Essex Olympian League – Premier Division
Venue: Garon Park [3G]
Season 2020- 21: Match 14
Saturday 3rd October 2020 – 2.30pm KO
Old Southendian: Green Shirts, Black Shorts, Green Socks
Leigh Ramblers: Red & Black Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
A highly efficient display sees Ramblers to another win
Old Southendian 0 – 2 Leigh Ramblers
Match Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
This weekend’s match saw me return to Garon Park to see Old Southendian in action in the league for the first time this season, as they welcomed Leigh Ramblers in another Essex Olympian League Premier Division encounter. The hosts named Pete Loveday between the posts, with a defence of Ben Burrows, Billy Taylor plus centre-backs, skipper Connor Burrows and player-boss Connor Lane. Their forward line was led by hard-grafter Craig Paton, with support from Nick Henesy and Ryan Stillwell. On a depleted bench was midfielders Ed Gould and Sam Adcock plus defender Charlie Kernott. The Ramblers made a few changes after last week’s win at Catholic Utd, as they named a back five here with centre-backs Harry Haysom, skipper Ryan Lowe and Rick Alabaster alongside full-backs Billy Carter and Joe Hunter. Their forward line was comprised of Dan Williams and George Moxon, with Matt Brinklow the chief support. In their dug-out was forward Scott Rankin,Lewis Kelsey, Barv Waiwaiku and stand-in player-boss Ronnie Bridges.
After a slightly delayed start, the match got underway and in the first minute, an attack from the home side needed Ramblers right-back Billy Carter to produce a fine sliding challenge to clear the ball out of danger. Minutes later, the visitors had a sight at goal as after skipping past two defenders, forward George Moxon couldn’t quite keep his balance and therefore his tame shot wasn’t powerful to defeat home stopper Pete Loveday from close range. On seven minutes, a great long pass by Ryan Stillwell for the ‘Old Boys’ found forward Craig Paton though his finish couldn’t match the quality of the ball to him as he blazed over. Just after the quarter-hour mark, Loveday had to be alert again as a super free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard box from the Rams’ Matt Brinklow was just tipped over the woodwork.
Leigh Ramblers were starting to find their mojo going forward in the next phase of the game as following a good attacking move involving Brinklow and full-back Joe Hunter, Moxon was denied by a clear strike by the covering defender Connor Burrows, who made a good tackle to deny him. The warning signs were apparent but OS were unable to respond as on twenty-five minutes, another set-piece was arrowed in to the six-yard line and centre-back Harry Haysom was there to force the ball over the goal-line at the near post. That goal gave the Rams further impetus to continue their passing and high-pressing game, and exactly on the half-hour, after being well picked out again by Brinklow, another fine effort by Moxon in attempting to chip the ball over Loveday was thwarted by the over-worked Old Southendian ‘keeper.
It was fair to say that some feisty challenges were shared by both sides, and OS nearly levelled as Mitchell Ali broke away down the right channel from midfield, broke free of the Ramblers defence and his centre was headed against his own bar by visiting defender Rick Alabaster. It would’ve been quite an own goal but fortune favoured the bold in this case. For the most part though, the hosts’ passing was going astray as they struggled to maintain possession and deal with the pressing game of their opponents, who were happy to clear aerial balls in through the likes of Haysom and ever-committed skipper Ryan Lowe. Minutes before half-time, Luke Moloney’s free-kick from deep for Old Southendian was headed narrowly wide by Connor Burrows.
Half-Time: Old Southendian 0 – 1 Leigh Ramblers
After the interval, OS were continuing to defend deep, but consequently found it tough to get out of their own half in the early stages of the half. Barely a minute in, Ramblers midfielder Patrick Cannon sent a warning shot flying just wide of the left-sided post. As the hour mark approached, visiting midfielder Justin Hazell made a good darting run before curling a drive wide from about 15 yards. Moments afterward, visiting custodian Andrew Webster showed his concentration by getting in ahead of Ali, who was well-found by a fine through ball from Paton. Old Southendian were finding it frustrating work to get through the determined Ramblers defence, including from set-pieces.
Their task got even harder midway through the second half as the Rams doubled their lead. Moments after coming on, replacement Scott Rankin’s strike was cleared off the goal-line, only for that man Harry Haysom to stab the ball home following-up. He’s getting quite a knack for this goal-scoring lark – not bad for a centre-back!
Much to their credit, OS kept pushing as we entered the last twenty minutes and on 70 minutes, a well-struck effort from twenty yards by Stillwell was gathered quite well by Webster. Four minutes later, a telling centre by substitute Barv Waiwaiku from the left side found Rankin whose strike was well-saved by Loveday, only for the rebound to be powered away by central defender Connor Lane, which in fairness was one of at least half a dozen good interceptions he made all match. As the minutes ebbed away for the home side, replacement Ed Gould was unfortunate as a sterling drive from 25 yards cannoned back off the crossbar but ultimately it was the robust visitors who took the win here.
Full-Time: Old Southendian 0 – 2 Leigh Ramblers
So to sum up then, this was a more efficient performance by the hard-working Ramblers side here, but they showed their qualities in defence and also going forward. As a neutral watching on, they out-worked the hosts for large parts of the game and that will disappoint the Old Southendian management team of Connor Lane and David Tubbs. The hosts were also somewhat disjointed in terms of their own attacking prowess here today.
Finally, we go on to the stand-out performers from both teams today. For Leigh Ramblers, I have to give a good mention to hard-working forward Dan Williams, who again served as a fine focal point for his side with his energy, pace and movement. Williams and strike partner George Moxon gave the OS defence very little time to regroup and were both willing runners down the flanks. Again, I have to note the high level of defending by centre-backs Ryan Lowe and Harry Haysom, who alongside Rick Alabaster in a back five today, were in no mood to give any chances away. Lastly for the Rams, nice to see forward Matt Brinklow in good form again and he displayed his technical side to good effort, looking to start moves and was also a danger with his set-pieces.
Moving on to Old Southendian now and despite the result, credit has to go to gritty centre-back pairing Connor Lane and Connor Burrows. Lane certainly put in a number of good interceptions and noticeably reduced the amount of chances that the visitors had. He and Burrows also looked to drive the side forward as well. Ryan Stillwell was as ever a committed presence in midfield as well as looking to grab a goal plus honourable mentions for the hard-working forward Craig Paton and midfielder Mitchell Ali.
My thanks to both teams for their pre-match welcome and I wish both sides well for the remainder of what is again looking like a very tight Essex Olympian League Premier Division this season.
Old Southendian | Player-Manager: Connor Lane | Assistant: David Tubbs
1 Pete Loveday (GK), 2 Ben Burrows, 3 Billy Taylor, 4 Luke Moloney, 5 Connor Lane, 6 Connor Burrows (Capt), 7 Jamie Oates, 8 Mitchell Ali, 9 Craig Paton, 10 Ryan Stillwell, 11 Nick Henesy
Subs Used: 16 Sam Adcock [46’], 14 Ed Gould [62’], 15 Charlie Kernott [78’]
Booked: None | Sub Not Used: Tubbs
Leigh Ramblers | Stand-in Manager: Ronnie Bridges | Assistant: Paul Cannon
1 Andrew Webster (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter, 4 Harry Haysom, 5 Ryan Lowe (Capt), 6 Rick Alabaster, 7 Patrick Cannon, 8 Justin Hazell, 9 Dan Williams, 10 Matt Brinklow, 11 George Moxon
Goal-scorers: Harry Haysom [25’ & 65’]
Subs Used: 12 Scott Rankin [61’], 16 Barv Waiwaiku [67’], 14 Lewis Kelsey [73’] and 15 Ronnie Bridges [73’]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: David Tregaskes
Assistant Referees: Haydn Seaman and Ryan Bennett