Essex Senior League
Venue: Hargrave Park
2019 – 20 Season: Match 40
Saturday 23th November 2019 – 3pm KO
Stansted: Royal Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Clapton: Red & White Striped Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Stansted out-finish battling Clapton at Hargrave Park
Stansted 3 – 0 Clapton
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
This weekend’s Essex Senior match took me across the county to make a rare visit to Hargrave Park to see in-form Stansted take on Clapton. The hosts fielded loanee goalkeeper George Marsh between the posts, with a centre-back pairing of Sam West and Joe Clark and skipper Paul Clayton alongside new recruit Ashaan Siddik in midfield. Billy Coyne and Jack West were among their substitutes. Clapton have had more changes to their squad recently, though could name William Hunt in goal, a centre-back pairing of captain Cory Rider and Henry Mabassa with a front three of Jayden Antwi-Nyame, Zakariya Muhammed and ex-Barkingside forward Mario Gjini. The likes of Jordan Cornelius and Jayesh Gohil were options from the sidelines.
The match opened with both sides having promising moments. Stansted forward Daniel Cheema did well to advance down the right channel two minutes in, only to be blocked by a well-timed interception by Tons skipper Cory Rider. The first chance of note came on seven minutes as a Clapton free-kick right on the edge of the penalty area by midfielder Jayke Welch smashed off the crossbar. Even then, the hosts took their time to adapt to the unfriendly pitch as Cheema and skilful midfielder Ashaan Siddik gradually had more influence on the game. The hosts had arguably their best spell yet midway through the half as after Siddik had prodded wide, rapid winger Connor Hammond forced visiting stopper Will Hunt into two smart saves. Firstly, a close-range header by Hammond at the near post forced Hunt to claw the ball wide before moment later, Hammond’s fierce strike was well parried out of danger by the Clapton stopper.
With eleven minutes remaining of the half, Clapton midfielder Prince Mamboti had a shot blocked before the rebound was struck wide by forward Zakariya Muhammed when in a decent position. The visitors had another good opportunity three minutes before the break, as a free-kick from 20 yards out by Muhammed forced home custodian George Marsh to change direction before making a good save under his own crossbar.
Half-Time: Stansted 0 – 0 Clapton
It was goalless at the break, though it was well-poised and instincts told you it would not remain that way. Both sides continued to trade chances as four minutes after the interval, tricky forward Jayden Antwi-Nyame got past the home backline though his centre went tantalisingly across the goalmouth before drifting wide of danger. Cheema once again reminded the opposition defence of the threat he posed as he had an effort well-saved by Hunt. It was an omen though as with 21 minutes left, the hosts finally broke their opponents’ resistance as a rapid 50-yard run by Cheema ended with an unselfish pass to Hammond who evaded the defence, stayed on-side and finished low, although Hunt did get a hand to it. The crucial second goal three minutes later for Stansted as another superb run by Cheema out-paced Rider before firing home well into the corner.
As we got into the latter stages, Tons forward Mario Gjini couldn’t make the most of a good cross in by substitute Jordan Cornelius before home substitute Jack West added a bit of gloss to the result with a smart low finish in added-time to make it six straight league wins for them and stay in sixth place in the standings.
Full-Time: Stansted 3 – 0 Clapton
In summary, the hosts knew that they were in a game here against a stubborn opposition on a tricky, boggy surface. Ultimately Stansted raised their game in that last half-hour as the Tons started to drift away, although the score-line slightly flattered the Airportmen, given that the visitors contributed heavily to the match, particularly in that first half. The hosts were indebted to forwards Daniel Cheema and Connor Hammond whose understanding and pace really hurt the visiting backline after the interval. Central forward Jack Mitchell and solid centre-back Joe Clark also had good games with goalkeeper George Marsh also making a few good saves to avoid the ‘Blue Brazil’ falling behind earlier in the match.
For the Tons, goalkeeper William Hunt had a fine game, making at least three very good saves in the match, with energetic full-back Daniel Emovan and midfielder Jayke Welch also doing well here. Finally, I’d like to thank Stansted for their hospitality and the welcome received by their committee and their joint-managers Paul Pittuck and John Watters.
Stansted | Joint-Managers: Paul Pittuck & John Watters
1 George Marsh (GK), 2 Adam Fowles, 3 Louis Monk, 4 Sam West, 5 Joe Clark, 6 Paul Clayton (Capt), 7 Daniel Cheema, 8 Ashaan Siddik (13 Billy Coyne 48’), 9 Jack Michell, 10 Ryan Ramsay (18 James Briggs 79’), 11 Connor Hammond (12 Jack West 74’)
Goal-scorers: Connor Hammond [69’]. Daniel Cheema [72’], Jack West [90’+2]
Booked: Fowles, Ramsay (Sin-bin) | Subs Not Used: None
Clapton | Interim Manager: Wilf Thomas | Assistant: Julian Charles
1 William Hunt (GK), 2 Bleron Ademi, 3 Daniel Emovan, 4 Henry Mabassa, 5 Cory Rider (Capt), 6 Mohamed Mahmoud, 7 Prince Mamboti (15 Valentine Iheanyiogu 83’), 8 Jayke Welch (12 Jordan Cornelius 63’), 9 Jayden Antwi-Nyame, 10 Zakariya Muhammed (14 Jayesh Gohil 71’), 11 Mario Gjini
Booked: Ademi, Rider, Mamboti | Sub Not Used: Brija
Referee: Michael Iddenden-Smith