Essex Olympian League – Premier Division
Venue: Garon Park [3G]
2019 – 20 Season: Match 60
Saturday 29th February 2020 – 2.30pm KO
Old Southendian: Green Shirts, Black Shorts, Green Socks
Basildon T: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Old Southendian motor to fine win at a blustery Garons
Old Southendian 4 – 1 Basildon Town
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
After a miserable week weather-wise, the local Non-League scene was heavily affected in Steps 4, 5 & 6 as well as the Olympian League, so I returned to Garon Park 3G for this important mid-table tussle between Old Southendian and Basildon Town. With matches running thin, the hosts needed the points to try and ward off the threat of being overtaken by the sides below them, which included their opposition here. And before kick-off, Town’s decent away record may have been a concern, having won four of their previous eight matches away from Basildon Sports Club.
The hosts named a strong starting squad, with Charlie Merrin between the posts, Connor Burrows and Matt Wilson in central defence and a front two of Nick Henesy and Riley Oliver, supported by wingers Elliot Hemmings and Ed Gould. Among the options from the bench were midfielder Ryan Stillwell and forwards Nico Dubouchet and Harry DaCosta. Basildon fielded Lucas Morenas-Jones in goal, with a back four of Alex Horey, Daley Grant, James O’Brien and Jamal Hinds. The attack as led by top-scorer Keith King and Jamie Broadbourn while the options from the sidelines included midfielders Billy Childs and Sam Green and forwards Barv Walkuaika & Kieron Case.
The match got underway in a relentless gale of ice-cold wind with the visitors being quite nervous in defence, as OS looked to start well. Seconds after one of those said defensive lapses nearly gave OS forward Nick Henesy a one-on-one chance to beat visiting custodian Luke Morenas-Jones, home full-back Charlie Kernott slipped in the right-side of the penalty box though his drive from a narrow angle was well parried away by the Basildon stopper. At the other end, Basildon were showing they had pace and purpose as well, though forward Keith King sent two efforts wide of goal, it was a warning for the home back-line.
The hosts responded minutes later as after god build-up play involving wingers Ed Gould and Elliot Hemmings, the ball came to forward Riley Oliver though his effort went just wide of the onion-bag. As we passed the midway point of the half, with Town on the back-foot, they had another setback as enterprising forward Jamie Bradbourn had to be withdrawn and it did affect their play in attack. Old Southendian added another blow as they took the lead moments later. Gould found a little pace on the right side of the 18-yard area and lobbed Morenas-Jones, with the ‘keeper possibly being wrong-footed by the swirling gust of wind though it was still a good bit of thinking by Gould. The hosts lookd to extend their lead soon after the half-hour as Henesy’s pass found Gould though this time he couldn’t find a way to bypass Morenas-Jones. Another good move by OS saw Gould neatly finding Hemmings, though again the strike was off-target.
Half-Time: Old Southendian 1 – 0 Basildon Town
The game was still well-poised at the interval, though the hosts did extend their lead seven minutes into the half, with Henesy again involved in the build-up, finding strike partner Oliver who fired home low past a number of bodies in the six-yard area. Basildon did hold firm in the next part of the game, although found it hard to keep the ball in the attacking third of the pitch, finding the back four and tigerish midfielder Luke Moloney in a battling mood. It was Moloney himself who grabbed a third goal on 73 minutes. Sitting deep outside the D, a cool pull back ended with an unstoppable rising drive from 25 yards from Moloney which sailed past Morenas-Jones into the top corner of the net, much to his teammates’ delight and was applauded by the opposition dug-out as well.
As we entered the last ten minutes, Town midielder Tom Green lashed a shot into the side-netting from a narrow angle while the over-worked Morenas-Jones also did well to tip wide a curling effort by home substitute Nico Dubouchet. Centre-back Matt Wilson’s header crowned off a fine day for the hosts with six minutes left though the clean sheet also went moments later as the home defence lapsed, allowing substitute Barv Walkuaika to slot home well with three minutes left.
Full-Time: Old Southendian 4 – 1 Basildon Town
The win for OS takes them back up to eighth, but as the bottom seven sides are still so closely-packed, the Southend side are seven points clear of bottom side Harold Wood Athletic with only four matches left to play and their rivals all have games in hand, apart from Canning Town in tenth spot.
Despite the need for points, Connor Lane’s side played good football throughout most of this match, with neat passing moves and were decent in defence as well. Ed Gould gave the Basildon defence a hard afternoon with his running, skill and passing, with Nick Henesy also shining here as a centre-forward, linking up well with Gould and Riley Oliver, who also had a good game here. Also, skipper Luke Moloney had a superb afternoon as the ‘engine room’ in central midfield and capped it off with a stellar strike which he and those watching won’t forget quickly. Finally, winger Elliot Hemmings also did well tracking back and assisting the forward line in attacking moves.
For Basildon, they had their moments going forward, particularly in the first-half and although he had to be subbed off prior to the half-hour, Jamie Bradbourn showed enough purpose, trickery and movement to be noted here. Defender James O’Brien and midfielder Scott Cooper had solid outings here, as did centre-back Jamal Hinds, particularly when his side were up against it after the interval. A note also for the tireless running of centre-forward Keith King who despite being isolated up front, he did keep the home defence alert with his probing runs and passing.
Finally, my thanks to the hosts for the kind welcome as usual. Good also to see Gareth Cleverly’s Basildon side as well for the first time. I’d like to wish both teams well for the rest of their respective seasons.
Old Southendian | Manager: Connor Lane | Assistant: David Tubbs
Starting XI: 1 Charlie Merrin (GK), 2 Charlie Kernott, 3 Steven Sharpe, 4 Luke Moloney (Capt), 5 Connor Burrows, 6 Matt Wilson, 7 Elliot Hemmings, 8 Lawrence Phillips, 9 Nick Henesy, 10 Riley Oliver, 11 Ed Gould
Goal-scorers: Ed Gould [33’], Riley Oliver [52’], Luke Moloney [73’], Matt Wilson [84’]
Subs On: 14 Ryan Stillwell [62’, on for Phillips], 12 Nico Dubouchet [76’, on for Oliver] | Subs Not Used: DaCosta, Nutman, Lane
Basildon Town | Manager: Gareth Cleverly
Starting XI: 1 Luke Morenas-Jones (GK), 2 Alex Horey, 3 Daley Grant (Capt), 16 James O’Brien, 5 Jamal Hinds, 6 Ross Giles, 12 Scott Cooper, 8 Jimmy Markham, 18 Tom Green, 10 Keith King, 11 Jamie Bradbourn
Goal-scorers: Barv Walkuaika [87’]
Subs On: 20 Billy Childs [27’, on for Bradbourn], 17 Sam Green [62’], 7 Matt Juson [73’], 14 Barv Walkuaika [73’], 9 Kieron Case [76’]
Subs Unused: None |
Referee: Simon Caton
Assistant Referees: Ryan Bennett & Haydn Seaman