Essex Senior League
2019-20 Season: Match 54
Wednesday 29th January 2020 – 7.45pm KO
Ilford: Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Walthamstow: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Ilford battle to hold ‘Stow at Cricklefield
Ilford 2 – 2 Walthamstow
Match Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
A return to midweek action in the Essex Senior took me back to Cricklefield to see mid-table Ilford face Walthamstow, in what was the first match since former boss Ryan Maxwell departed last week. Ilford named Joe Taylor in goal, with Dominic Wynter-Stephens and Ahmed Mohammed in central midfield and a front two of Alfie Walker and Larry Akanbi. Saeed Yusuf and Andre Embalo were among the options from the bench for Jonny Fowell’s side. Walthamstow were guided by the dug-out by the club’s owner I understand. James Bransgrove was once again between the sticks, with a defence in front of him of full-backs Charlie Yexley and Kyan Gulliver and centre-backs Jamie Bennett & Vinny Murphy. The attack-minded front three were skipper Dwade James, Callum Ibe and Lewis Francis with Emiel Aiken, Samrai Gebrai and Danny McCullock all on the bench.
The match began with ‘Stow having early chances on goal. Only four minutes into the contest, a defensive slip-up by the Foxes handed Walthamstow forward Lewis Francis a one-on-one chance with home stopper Joe Taylor though Francis’ stinging drive was well parried away by the goalkeeper. Minutes later, strike partner Dwade James saw Taylor off his line and tried to lob him from 35 yards away, and the ball only narrowly evaded the goal frame.
The visitors continued to be in the ascendency and Callum Ibe was his usual self, looking a threat in possession and looking to bypass defenders. Ibe also had a good effort denied by Taylor after perhaps initially misjudging the path of the shot, though the stopper did well to prevent it sailing low into the corner. The chances shelled by ‘Stow were costly as Ilford broke the deadlock with twenty minutes on the clock. Dominic Wynter-Stephens’s flick-on evaded the visiting defence into the path of centre-back Jordan Fisher who got a tap-in from close range.
As the half-hour mark approached, Ilf had another half-chance as winger Noel Omondi’s header was gathered by visiting goalkeeper James Bransgrove just under his own crossbar. ‘Stow did level a couple of minutes later as James did well to find Francis who tucked the ball away low past Taylor with aplomb. Five minutes before half-time, Foxes forward Alfie Walker had to be stretchered off with a bad knee injury, we sincerely wish him well in his recovery.
Half-Time: Ilford 1 – 1 Walthamstow
The second half began with a early chance for the visitors though Dwade James’ cross-shot evaded Francis at the back post and harmlessly drifted wide. Walthamstow would not be denied though as on 52 minutes, a free-kick was awarded in a promising position, 20 yards out. Francis stepped up and curled in a well-struck effort into the left-side corner, out of the grasp of Taylor. Even so, ‘Stow were not quite their usual miserly selves in defence as just past the hour, a rare mix-up at the back presented Ilford forward Larry Akanbi with a good chance to strike, though Bransgrove denied his firm strike with strong hands.
With 15 minutes remaining, Vinny Murphy saw a decent free-kick gathered by Taylor though the scoring was rounded out soon after as a corner by full-back Foday Jaiteh got caught up in the swirling wind and evaded everyone and cured into the far corner of the net.
Full-Time: Ilford 2 – 2 Walthamstow
So the points were shared, a result the Walthamstow contingent will likely see as ‘two points dropped’ though it also represents an ‘end of an era’ in some ways as several players announced post-match that they were moving on to pastures new. Credit to Ilford though who came back well and will see this as a decent point in their quest to rise up the table.
In terms of stand-out performances, for the Foxes, centre-back Jordan Fisher and midfielder Dominic Wynter-Stephens were heavily involved and did well. Winger Chris Magangu and forward Larry Akanbi also stood out being good going forward. For ‘Stow, striker Lewis Francis put in a good performance and his free-kick for the second goal was a classy one. Vinny Murphy also put in a very good showing at the back, whilst Callum Ibe also gave the home defence a headache with this pace and dribbling. ‘Keeper James Bransgrove also made a number of good saves too to deny the hosts all three points. Best wishes to both sides for the rest of the season.
Ilford | Manager: Jonny Fowell | Assistants: Darren Gosnell & Adam Peek
1 Joe Taylor (GK), 2 Tyson Talanya, 3 Foday Jaiteh, 4 Dominic Wynter-Stephens, 15 Ryan Cosson, 6 Jordan Fisher, 7 Chris Magangu (14 Chris Cordara-Soares 82’), 8 Ahmed Mohammed, 9 Larry Akanbi, 10 Alfie Walker (18 Saeed Yusuf 43’), 11 Noel Omondi (16 Andre Embalo 58’)
Goal-scorers: Jordan Fisher [20’], Foday Jaiteh [77’]
Subs Not Used: Antoniou, Charles | Booked: Wynter-Stephens
Walthamstow | Stand-in Manager: Lee Doherty
1 James Bransgrove (GK), 2 Charlie Yexley, 3 Kyan Gulliver, 4 Jack Folan, 5 Jamie Bennett, 6 Vinny Murphy, 7 Joel Brown (12 Emiel Aiken 60’), 8 Benji Crilley (14 Danny McCullock 80’), 9 Dwade James (Capt), 10 Callum Ibe, 11 Lewis Francis (16 Samrai Gebrai 72’)
Goal-scorers: Lewis Francis [32’ & 52’]
Booked: None | Sub Not Used: Douglas
Referee: Liam Giles
Assistant Referees: Cliff Everett & Gavin Bailey