Essex Olympian League – Division Two
Venue: Stambridge Memorial Ground
2020 -21 Season – Match 30
Thursday 29th April 2021 – 7.30pm KO
Corinthians: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Rawreth: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Corinthians withstand a battle with bottom side Rawreth to go second in D2
Corinthians 3 – 1 AS Rawreth
Match Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
In the second match of a populated Essex Olympian League midweek fixture list, I returned to Stambridge to see Corinthians face bottom side AS Rawreth in Division Two. Chris Stoneham’s side have two games in 48 hours with fellow promotion hopefuls Wakering Sports on Saturday (1 May), and fielded the ‘two Jakes’ – Hodder and Lang in attack here, with support from marauding wingers Leo Clarke and Damien Siemienczuk . The back four was comprised of full-backs Brad Smith and Bill Wilton with the centre-half pairing being captain Connor Summerhill and Alfie Knight. Options from the bench included forwards John Bolton-Smith and Daniel Cooksley. Rawreth got their first league point last weekend and general manager Shane Bird named Harry Hickman between the posts, with Muntizir Hussain skippering the side here and Nathan Cox leading the attack from the start. Centre-back Glody Mabassa was also in their starting line-up. The visitors also had substitutes Billy Brown, Ramadhan Ramadhan , Brandon Pembele-Basase and Jeffrey Hlongwane.
The match got going in quite a odd way as Rawreth were forced to begin two players shy of the full eleven but fortunately they were up to full compliment within the first few minutes. Chances were at a premium in the early stages, with a lob from home forward Jake Lang which was parried by visiting stopper Harry Hickman the main chance of note. If you was being really critical, the hosts were trying to ‘force the pace’ and this restricted their ability to settle into their attacking rhythm in the first half-hour. By comparison, Rawreth were not giving their opponents any space and playing through the thirds with relative ease though showed good pace and passing at times.
Indeed, the hosts had a bit of a let-off on thirty-one minutes as substitute Billy Brown showed his pace and craft by evading the home defence before facing home custodian Ethan Lemmon one-on-one, though Lemmon did well to deny Brown’ strike. The hosts went right up the other end and much to their relief, broke the deadlock a minute later in unfortunate circumstances for the visitors. Winger Leo Clarke broke free of the Rawreth defence before striking a firm strike which slipped through the hands of Hickman before trickling in to the net. It wasn’t what the visitors deserved but to be fair to Hickman, he soon redeemed himself. The hosts were chasing more telling blows in a decent attacking move, Lang’s initial strike was blocked by the covering defender Herbert Ndlovu but following-up, Ollie Brickwood’s shot was well-blocked by Hickman’s feet.
In the minutes before the interval, Ndlovu also headed over the goal frame. The hosts took the lead in first-half added-time as Lang struck from close range.
Half-Time: Corinthians 2 – 0 AS Rawreth
The second began with a flourish and importantly for the visitors, they halved the deficit as Brown weaved through the home defence and slotted home after Lemmon’s initial save. Predictably, the home side launched forward and impressive forward Jake Hodder made a good run before sending a curling effort goalwards though Hickman pulled off another great save, parrying the ball onto the far post. Clarke then got in on the attacking act a few minutes later, as his fierce goal-bound effort was also tipped wide by Hickman.
Rawreth had a glimmer of a chance with 64 minutes on the watch as a free-kick angled in by Jordy Moyo caused a moment of worry for home stopper Lemmon who swung for the ball but got the chilly thin air instead. Hodder got the goal his performance deserved with ten minutes remaining as a fine rapid run down the left ended by cutting inside with the ball and curled a fine effort past Hickman to finally secure a welcome three points for Chris Stoneham’s side, which sends them up to second in the table and level on points with leaders Leigh Town.
Full-Time: Corinthians 3 – 1 AS Rawreth
To sum this game up, Corinthians found it tricky at times to unlock the visiting defence, who fought for each other well and showed good promise going forward as well. The hosts had enough quality to secure the points but may consider themselves happy to have navigated this encounter in which Rawreth belied their current league position with a spirited display with good counter-attacking play in their own right.
There were a few ‘stand-out’ performers on both sides this evening. Top of the list for the hosts was forward Jake Hodder who made countless runs down the flanks and worked hard throughout with his pace, direct running and poise, as he showed with his well-taken goal late on. Right-back Brad Smith also had a really good game showing good energy levels and some decent passing too. Winger Leo Clarke also contributed to his side’s attacking moves and kept the visiting defence alert, even if his finishing wasn’t quite on point this evening. For Rawreth, goalkeeper Harry Hickman pulled off at least three very good saves here, which took some character after his unfortunate error earlier on. Fair play to him as he more than made up for said error for the remainder of the contest. Forward Billy Brown took his goal well and also made a number of telling runs through the home defence and was a good outlet for his side after coming off the bench to replace the unfortunate Nathan Cox, who came off with a knock. Centre-back Glody Mabassa made a number a well-timed challenges as well.
Corinthians | Manager: Chris Stoneham
Starting XI: 1 Ethan Lemmon (GK), 2 Brad Smith, 3 Bill Wilton, 4 Connor Summerhill (Capt), 5 Alfie Knight, 6 Jordan Stoneham, 8 Reece Barfoot, 7 Damien Siemienczuk, 17 Leo Clarke, 11 Jake Hodder, 20 Jake Lang
Goal-scorers: Leo Clarke [32’], Jake Lang [45’+2], Jake Hodder [80’]
Subs On: 15 Ollie Brickwood [22’], 12 Matt Burrell [46’], 9 John Bolton-Smith [59’], 14 Daniel Cooksley [74’]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Ayres
AS Rawreth | General Manager: Shane Bird
1 Harry Hickman (GK), 3 Daniel Hooper, 6 Jordy Moyo, 2 Glody Mabassa, 25 Herbert Ndlovu, 5 Thabo Ngwenya, 18 Connor MacLeod, 15 Muntizir Hussain (Capt), 8 Jamie King, 14 Said Ahmed, 9 Nathan Cox
Goal-scorers: Billy Brown [47’]
Subs On: 10 Billy Brown [20’], 19 Ramadhan Ramadhan [46’], 17 Brandon Pembele-Basase [46’], 13 Jeffrey Hlongwane
Booked: None | Sub Not Used: Salmon
Referee: Daniel Ripton