Essex Olympian League – Division One
Venue: London Road
2020-21 Season: Match 33
Saturday 8th May 2021 – 12.30pm KO
Rayleigh Res: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks
Shoebury: White & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black & White Socks
A re-engerised Shoebury win first game in eight at London Road
Rayleigh Town Res 3 – 5 Shoebury Town
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend, there was a bit of a treat as I visited London Road again for a double-header of matches, starting with this Essex Olympian League Division One clash between Rayleigh Town Reserves and Shoebury Town, who despite being depleted in numbers recently, have steadfastly continued on playing, which is a credit to them. Home manager Dave Barker fielded Jayden Powell in goal with Harry Barham and Jack Taylor the chief support to forwards Eben Djan and Matt Atoo. Visitors Shoebury have installed Lee Boosey as their interim manager until the end of the season and had Kyle Merenda between the posts, Tyler Boosey in midfield and the attack was led by Garry Johnson, Aaron Day and Kirk Hudson, with Dominic Binns unavailable, Mitchell Odd and Simon Pearce were among the options from the bench.
The visitors set their stall out early to test Rayleigh ‘keeper Jayden Powell’s handling skills in the swirling wind as a strike from distance by Tyler Boosey needed the stopper to gather on five minutes. That ended up being a warning as on seven minutes, the visitors did open the scoring. Forward Garry Johnson found a yard of space in a congested 18-yard box to plant his header firmly into the net. Howver, the defensive ‘gremlins’ that have affected Shoebury recently returned a minute later as Harry Barham levelled neatly for Dave Barker’s side.
The visitors looked really motivated for the contest but were fortunate on eleven minutes as Rayleigh forward Matt Atoo evaded the visiting backline before skewing a tame strike wide when through on visiting custodian Kyle Merenda’s goal. Billy Cottrill’s wind-assisted corner was desparingly out of reach for Powell as despite laying a glove on it, the ball flew into the top corner to give Shoebury a two-one lead on 18 minutes. The vistors’ good momentum continued on twenty minutes as a fine effort from Johnson forced Powell into a decent save low down on the deck. Both sides continued to trade chances as Merenda pulled off a good save to parry over Reiss Foley’s deflected free-kick for the home side.
Much to the disappointment of the home dugout, Shoebury were then awarded a spot-kick with 32 minutes on the clock. Johnson stepped up and duly fired home high ibtob the corner to extend the visitors’ advantage. To their crediit, the hosts halved their deficit three minutes afterward as good tracking back by Atoo was rewarded as the ball flew off his block ans sailed past Merenda into the net.
Half-Time: Rayleigh Town Res 2 – 3 Shoebury Town
Shoebury had a slender lead but were looking fiesty and just about the more likely the score at the interval. Shoebry were happy to be awarded another spot-kick on the hour and forward Kirk Hudson also blasted the ball home to make it 4 – 2. to the visitors. Midway into the second half, a curling free-kick by Foley needed Merenda to tip the decent strike out of danger. Rayleigh were having arguably their best phase of the game as they forced a number of set-pieces but the revitalised Shoebury defence held firm. Rayleugh Res could well have forced a more nervy end to the game had Eban Djan connected with a header or support forward Jack Taylor’s chip not been nervily parried by Merenda in the swirling wind. Atoo also headed wide with eleven minutes left and the feeling was building that it wasn’t going to be the hosts’ day.
That feeling was only elevated on 82 minutes as fine chip by Johnson evaded Powell and secured a good treble for the Shoebury Town striker. Matthew Bampus headed in another consolation for the hosts a few minutes later but it wasn’t enough to avert Shoebury getting their first league win in eight matches here in this lunchtime kick-off.
Full-Time: Rayleigh Town Res 3 – 5 Shoebury Town
In summary, Shoebury did deserve their win given the chances they created and the energy they put into their play for most of the match. News came out this week that a new committee has been appointed so Town will no doubt be looking to stay in this division for next term and they will need the battling qualities they showed here. Rayleigh’s Ressie side also showed promise going forward but their defensive errors were costly.
There were a number of good performances in this game. Firstly for Shoebury, I felt that forward Garry Johnson was a threat with his finishing & movement and also backed up his record in front of goal this term. Tyler Boosey also had a good game in midfield showing good willingness & energy. Kirk Hudson showed desire and good passing down the channels & finally, Aaron Day also had a decent game. For the hosts, winger Harry Barham took his goal well and tried hard to instigate attacking moves for his side. Forward Matt Atoo was also a presence in attack for the hosts with his strength, with midfielder Reiss Foley looking to drive his team on from midfield. Finally, goalkeeper Jayden Powell arguably kept his side in the contest in the second half with some smart saves.
The win for bottom side Shoebury brings them only one point behind Herongate just above them, whereas Town’s second side stay third-bottom, six points adrift of Ramsden Scotia above them. My thanks to home boss Dave Barker & Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign.
If you’d like to read about all the action in the Essex Olympian Lge divisions this week, my round-up is available here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/09/s20-21-round-ups-essex-olympian-league-sat-8-may-eofl/
Rayleigh Town Res | Manager: Dave Barker
Starting XI: 1 Jayden Powell (GK), 2 Matt van Lint, 3 Matt Seago, 4 Reiss Foley, 5 Matthew Bampus, 6 James Braithwaite, 7 Harry Barham, 8 Dean Hazleton, 9 Ebeneezer Djan, 10 Jack Taylor, 11 Matt Atoo
Goal-scorers: Harry Barham [8′], Matt Atoo [35′], Matthew Bampus [84′]
Subs On: 12 James Jarvis [31′], 15 Liam Brooks [61′], 14 Jack Maguire [67′]
Booked: van Lint, Seago, Jarvis | Subs Not Used: None
Shoebury Town | Interim Manager: Lee Boosey
Starting XI: 1 Kyle Merenda (GK), 2 Billy Horrell, 15 Jack Kindell, 23 Jason Carter, 4 Daniel Brooker, 5 Tyler Boosey, 7 Henry Swan, 18 Billy Cottrill, 19 Aaron Day, 10 Garry Johnson, 14 Kirk Hudson
Goal-scorers: Garry Johnson [7′, pen 32′, 82′], Billy Cottrill [18′], Kirk Hudson [pen 60′]
Subs On: 9 Simon Pearce [46′], 6 Mitchell Odd [46′], 20 Adam Woolsey [46′], 3 Steven Sharpe [60′], 16 Fahad Issa [80′]
Booked: Woolsey | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Lewis Moore