Essex Senior League
2019 – 20 Season: Match 37
Friday 8th November 2019 – 7.45pm KO
Redbridge : Royal Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Woodford: Yellow Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
Woodford strike late to grab win in entertaining battle at Oakside
Redbridge 1 – 2 Woodford Town
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
This Essex Senior weekend first saw me head to Oakside on Friday night to see Redbridge entertain Woodford Town in a battle of two mid-table sides. Redbridge fielded Jake Larkins between the posts, with centre-backs Dean Hall and recent acquisition Eamon Payne, and a front three of skipper Tom Harvey, Taylor Tombides and Tony Martin. Daniel Gilchrist, Rujorn Tuitt and James Barlow were all options from the bench. Woodford, now under the stewardship of boss Ross Weare, had Eli Benoit and Morgan Seaman as their full-backs with skipper Tola Odedoyin at centre-back alongside Joshua Steele and Lauric Diakiesse leading the line. The likes of Lance Ledgister, Chinua Archer and Tyler Fowles were options from the sideline.
Woodford certainly started the match on a strong footing, with forward Lauric Diakiesse powering a strike which flew back off a post with only four minutes gone. Minutes later, after a corner by skilful midfielder Andrea Mantovani, an initial effort by Diakiesse was blocked, which led to centre-back Joshua Steele hitting wide though the hosts would consider themselves warned at this point. After 18 minutes, tricky winger Anis Mehmeti got in on the efforts on goal as he fizzed an effort wide too, while moments later, the Motormen’s first real sighter of goal saw forward Tony Martin blast a drive into the side-netting.
As the rain lashed down on the ground, Woodford were showing all of their energy, pace and passion and were testing the home backline, with anchor midfielder Harvey Brown making two good interceptions in the first half. Eventually though, Town would not be denied and they broke the stalemate short of the half-hour as Mantovani curled in a low drive into the right-side corner after an initial effort was repelled by the Redbridge defence. Unsurprisingly, the already fired-up Woodford fans were revved up by the opener and Town had the ball in the net nine minutes before the break, though it was chalked off for an off-side.
Half-Time: Redbridge 0 – 1 Woodford Town
The second-half began with Steele again getting up from the back for the visitors and drilling an effort wide. The likes of Mehmeti and rapid winger Dion Lewis-Kirwan was really adding to the home side’s headache as they were too fast for defenders to stick tight to. That said, the Motormen did break back into proceedings as the hour mark approached as Martin played in the ever-threatening Taylor Tombides though he failed to beat visiting custodian Alex Reed, who gathered his effort well. Woodford were also dealt a blow as Diakiesse was shown a second yellow for an apparent tussle in the opposition area just past the hour mark.
At the other end, home stopper Jake Larkins also denied Town superbly twice, with the latter occasion being from Steele, after being put in by Mehmeti. The amount of chances Town had to put the game away did cost them somewhat as midway through the second half, Martin unselfishly played in Tombides following a counter-attack, and the goal-hungry forward made no mistake from close range. As we entered the last twenty minutes of the contest, it was the hosts’ turn to not make the most of chances as substitutes James Barlow and Dan Gilchrist were unable to bypass Reed in the Woodford goal. Redbridge substitute Rujorn Tuitt also had a strike deflected when well-placed in the latter stages though it was Town who ultimately got the points with three minutes remaining. A super run down the right channel ended with a pinpoint cross to substitute Lance Ledgister, who buried it in the corner past Larkins.
Full-Time: Redbridge 1 – 2 Woodford Town
In the end, Woodford’s pace and energy made life hard for Redbridge who created several chances themselves though ultimately fell to that late winner by substitute Ledgister. Considering the tricky conditions, this was a good marker for two good attacking sides & therefore a good ‘advert’ for the Essex Senior.
In terms of stand-out performances, for victors Woodford I must pay a special mention to livewire wingers Anis Mehmeti and Dion Lewis-Kirwan. Mehmeti was a constant threat with his trickery, pace and directness. Lewis-Kirwan also had a really good game and you have to respect his persistence having recently returned after a long spell out injured. Fair play to you, Dion and your club. Creative midfielder Andrea Mantovani had a real influence on his side’s forward play while left-back Morgan Seaman also put in a good energetic shift as well tonight.
Finally, I’d like to wish both sides well for the remainder of the campaign and given that both teams are attack-minded; it was good to see both sides in action here.
Teams (with shirt numbers)
Redbridge | Manager: Micky Wetherall
1 Jake Larkins (GK), 2 Jordayne Henry, 3 Jack Blackledge, 4 Harvey Brown, 5 Dean Hall, 6 Eamon Payne, 7 Connor Okus (18 James Barlow 46’), 8 Darnell Bromfield (12 Daniel Gilchrist 57’), 9 Taylor Tombides, 10 Tom Harvey (Capt), 11 Tony Martin (15 Rujorn Tuitt 70’)
Goal-scorers: Taylor Tombides [68’]
Booked: Larkins | Subs Not Used: Edmunds, Raymond
Woodford Town | Manager: Ross Weare
1 Alex Reed (GK), 2 Eli Benoit, 3 Morgan Seaman, 4 Joshua Steele, 5 Tola Odedoyin (Capt), 6 Frankie Naidoo (8 Georges Kebi 74’), 18 Chris John, 11 Anis Mehmeti, 7 Dion Lewis-Kirwan (14 Lance Ledgister 64’), 10 Andrea Montovani, 9 Lauric Diakiesse
Goal-scorers: Andrea Montovani [27’], Lance Ledgister [87’]
Sent Off: Diakiesse (two bookings) | Subs Not Used: T Joseph, T Fowles, Archer
Referee: Jide Ogunba