Essex Olympian League – Division Two
Venue: Stambridge Memorial Ground
2020-21 Season: Match 11
Saturday 26th September 2020 – 2.30pm KO
Corinthians: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Epping Town : White Shirts, Black Shorts, Red Socks
Corinthians & Epping battle to a draw in highly-competitive match at Stambridge
Corinthians 2 – 2 Epping Town
Match Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
This weekend saw me return to Essex Olympian League action with this Division Two clash between Corinthians and Epping Town at the Stambridge Memorial Ground. In truth, I had five good options in the EOFL, but this tussle had a feeling of being a good encounter. Chris Stoneham’s hosts were missing several key players, including long-term absentees Luke Owen and Alfie Knight, though Bill Wilton was also unavailable through injury. The home back four was comprised of full-backs Brad Smith and George Fulcher, with skipper Connor Summerhill and Sammy Ayres as centre-backs. Wingers Leo Clarke and Jake Hodder were chief support to forwards Nathan Dewberry and Jake Lang here, with the likes of John Bolton-Smith and Theodore Cannon on the bench.
Epping have started the new season well, with virtually a new squad under the reigns of manager Stuart Hoskins. Their back four featured physical centre-backs Charlie Pollard and Michael Moore, with Tyler Sango-Ishmael and George Clarke as their attacking full-backs. The visitors’ front-three featured centre-forward Graeme Turner with support from Sam Law and Chris Gormley. Ex-White Ensign utility player David Limber was among the replacements, along with Charlie Avent and Ben Collier.
The match got going amongst the back drop of gusty, chilly conditions as autumn takes hold of our weather. The hosts nearly had a first-minute lead as forward Jake Lang’s pass found strike partner Nathan Dewberry but visiting stopper Will Skingley was equal to it, parrying Dewberry’s curling effort round the far post for a corner. Epping were a threat in the attacking third as well at the other end as home custodian Ethan Lemmon had to gather a couple of crosses early-doors under pressure from the likes of Town forward Graeme Turner. On the quarter-hour, Corinthians winger Jake Hodder made a good darting run down the right channel and although his cross was cleared, it was a marker which he soon followed up on.
Barely a minute after that, Hodder made another telling run down the same flank, with his centre coming to opposite winger Leo Clarke who turned on the arc of the D and fired home a superb curling finish to beat Skingley and give the home side the lead, well-taken goal it was as well. Both sides traded openings in the minutes following the opening goal. Turner headed over for Epping from a decent position, before Clarke sent another ‘warning shot’ wide of the right-sided post for the hosts. The visitors had a goal chalked off on twenty-six minutes with Charlie Pollard’s header not counting.
Stuart Hoskins’ side was having a good spell of play at this point of the match and seven minutes prior to half-time, full-back Tyler Sango-Ishmael’s smart run ended with a pass to attack-minded midfielder Steve Moore who fired over the woodwork from just outside the 18-yard box. Unfortunately for the visitors, they fell further behind moments later as after an initial Corinthians attack was blocked, the Town defence was caught napping by the ever-alert Nathan Dewberry who waltzed in unmarked and slotted home smartly from close range.
Half-Time: Corinthians 2 – 0 Epping Town
Even though the hosts had a decent advantage, I felt Epping were in the game and they soon set about eradicating their arrears early in the second period. Only a minute after the restart, Epping forward Sam Law was felled just inside the penalty box, and Joe Rickett stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick with aplomb. Town sensed that they could cause further damage and moments after the goal, Rickett sent another drive wide, albeit from a tricky angle.
Epping had the mantle at this stage and did level on 53 minutes as substitute David Limber, playing as a centre forward, was well put through on goal and his crisp strike flew into the net past the disappointed home goalkeeper Lemmon. To be fair to the custodian, the physical visiting forward line were giving the home backline a headache or two and just past the hour mark, Turner evaded the defence and with only Lemmon to bypass, the Corinthians’ goalie pulled off a decent save to deny the on-rushing forward’s effort.
The home side were still pinging in crosses at the other end, though centre-backs Michael Moore and Charlie Pollard were doing well at powering them out of danger. Midway through the half, Lang forced a good one-handed save out of Skingley before the follow-up was blocked on the goal-line. As the minutes ebbed away and the tension was rising right along with it, Skingley had a couple of fortunate moments, one of which was with eleven minutes remaining he lost the flight of the wind-assisted ball, which gave Dewberry a chance to slot home, only for determined defending on the line by midfielder Joe Rudkin to deny him. Both sides had good chances to pinch it with moments remaining, as Dewberry’s strike was spilled initially by Skingley before gathering gratefully at the second attempt with the advancing Hodder about to pounce.
Then as we trickled into added time, Limber once again found himself in on goal, one-on-one with Lemmon, though the goalkeeper was equal to Limber’s strike and saved well.
Full-Time: Corinthians 2 – 2 Epping Town
So, it was a point apiece for these two good sides here at Stambridge. Epping will probably be the happier of the two sides though they also performed well and partly nullified the opposition attacks well. For Corinthians, they will be disappointed to see a two-goal advantage sat the interval slip but both sides could have won this match in my view. There were a number of good performances seen today, firstly for Corinthians – winger Leo Clarke had a fine afternoon, with his pace, ball-striking and work ethic defensively also aiding his team. Jake Hodder also had good moments, while defenders George Fulcher and Sammy Ayres also needed to be firm to lessen the impact of Epping’s enterprising forward play.
For Epping, centre-forward Graeme Turner was a good focal point, with fellow forwards Dave Limber and Sam Law making a difference in unsettling the home defence at times. Also a mention for centre-backs Michael Moore and Charlie Pollard for anchoring the defensive line and their strength probably stopped their side facing a worse deficit earlier in the match. Finally, I’d like to wish both sides a good rest of the season.
Corinthians | Manager: Chris Stoneham
1 Ethan Lemmon (GK), 2 George Fulcher, 3 Brad Smith, 4 Sammy Ayres, 5 Connor Summerhill (Capt), 6 Ollie Brickwood, 8 Matt Burrell, 7 Leo Clarke, 11 Jake Hodder, 20 Nathan Dewberry, 19 Jake Lang
Goal-scorers: Leo Clarke [16’], Nathan Dewberry [40’]
Sub On: 9 John Bolton-Smith [61’]
Booked: Ayres, Burrell (Sin-Binned) | Subs Not Used: Cannon, Cooksley, Read
Epping Town | Manager: Stuart Hoskins
1 Will Skingley (GK), 2 George Clarke, 3 Tyler Sango-Ishmael, 4 Joe Rudkin (Capt), 5 Charlie Pollard, 6 Michael Moore, 7 Joe Rickett, 8 Steve Moore, 9 Graeme Turner, 10 Sam Law, 11 Chris Gormley
Goal-scorers: Joe Rickett [pen 46’], David Limber [53’]
Subs On: 16 David Limber [46’], 12 Ben Collier [59’], 14 Charlie Avent [77’]
Booked: Rickett, S Moore | Subs Not Used: Green, Hoskins
Referee: Matthew Pointer