Len Cordell Cup – Quarter-Final
2020 -21 Season – Match 35
Saturday 15th May 2021 – 2pm KO
Redbridge: Red Shirts, Red Shorts & Red Socks
Newham: Blue & White Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
Redbridge deny spirited Newham on penalties at Oakside
Redbridge 1 – 1 Athletic Newham (Redbridge won 5 – 4 on pens)
Match Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Photos by Scott Lanza (@lanza_sport) & Scott W
This weekend saw me return to the Cordell Cup with this Quarter-Final, which saw Redbridge host Eastern Senior League South side Athletic Newham, who have had a great run in the competition thus far. The hosts were beset by injuries but still named George Martin in goal, a centre-half pairing of Alamiji Ayoola and ex-Romford & Aveley defender Harry Gibbs, with Jack Roult skippering the side in central midfield. Forward Josh Sykes led the line, with support from Abdishakur Farah and Gayene Sanderson. The options on the sidelines for George Christou’s side included forward Tony Martin, plus James Barlow, Sonny Fish and tricky winger Ayub Kadiri. Athletic Newham continued with the attack-minded side which has won them matches in this tournament. Captain Joel Appiah was joined in attack by Richard Kone, with support from Mauricio Rui Carlos and Anderson Baro. Their substitutes’ bench included forward Tony Cookey, plus the likes of Nnamdi Harold-Egole, Blessing Adomah and Simon Bamidele.
The match was about two minutes old when there was a concerning injury to Newham’s tricky support forward Anderson Baro, who had come off worse from a challenge by Ayoola. Much to his credit though, Baro did return to the pitch after several minutes’ treatment. Newham were keen to get their pass & move game going and an early sighter of that emerged on six minutes as Mauricio Rui Carlos got down the left flank and was well intercepted by Redbridge full-back Chikosi Basden. Visiting skipper Joel Appiah was denied a chance at goal on the quarter-hour by Alamiji Ayoola who stuck to his task well. Redbridge went up the other end and countered through pacy forward Abishakur Farah who weaved his way past two defenders before centre-back Christopher Ndoji got in and cleared. Newham burst forward in the next phase as a fine deep cross from the right channel found forward Richard Kone but his header was off-target.
One of the many telling moments in this match arrived on twenty-one minutes as referee Alex Kyriacou adjudged a handball in the Newham box, and pointed to the penalty spot. Josh Sykes stepped up and his low strike into the left-side corner opened the scoring, somewhat against the run of play at that stage. As we approached the half-hour, Newham were posing a question or two again to the home defence as Alvaro Guerrero’s free-kick was sent in to the near post and home custodian George Martin passed that test of alertness there. The Motormen missed a good chance just moments later as a fine centre from the left side by full-back Jack Blackledge found Sykes but his powerful header was narrowly wide of the near post. Chris Davis’ side deserved that let-off really given the chances they had created and they weathered this passage of play as a good challenge in the 8-yard area by full-back Louis Hiobi ended Farah’s progress of setting up another attack. From the resulting corner, Ayoola lost his marker but couldn’t guide his header to threaten Wilkinson Boateng’s goal.
As the interval was fast approaching, Rui Carlos made a good run into the danger area and managed to get his strike away which did draw a save out of Martin. Newham were looking the stronger side in terms of building attacking moves but also needed to find a bit more rhythm and composure. Redbridge would definitely have been aware of how slender their lead was at the break.
Half-Time: Redbridge 1 – 0 Athletic Newham
In the early minutes of the second half, Athletic Newham needed to stay alert defensively as a decent move involving winger Gayene Sanderson found Farah again but his tame strike didn’t unduly trouble Boateng in the Newham goal. It was the hosts’ turn to have a let-off on 49 minutes as Appiah’s low strike was also gathered by Martin. The visitors were definitely building their attacking rhythm at this point and soon levelled on fifty-six minutes. Kone’s initial effort was partly blocked by Martin but a combination of being unable to gather and his defenders unable to clear left Jeff Idemudia enough time to strike home, much to the delight of the visiting side.
Newham should really have struck again in the next seven minutes. First, Kone somehow couldn’t finish from a narrow angle as the ball agonizingly trickled across an unguarded goal-line, before full-back Carlos Indjai was denied a goal after being adjudged to have strayed into an off-side position. But, the game stayed level and the hosts needed to retain possession better to prevent the waves of energetic attacking moves by the visitors. This energy was displayed well on sixty-nine minutes as a fine fifty-yard run by centre-back Ndoji ended with him finding Idemudia but this time the latter fired narrowly wide.
The Motormen looked to finish the half strongly but despite good running shown by skipper Jack Roult, their main chance came with a minute of normal time remaining as a powerful header by centre-back Harry Gibbs cannoned off the far post and away from danger.
Full-Time (after 90 minutes): Redbridge 1 – 1 Athletic Newham
So the hosts had denied the more enterprising visitors after normal time and we went straight into the shoot-out. It was Redbridge who went first and they scored their first two spot-kicks, thanks to Jack Brocklebank and Tony Martin. Newham scored their first kick through Louis Hiobi but saw Alvaro Guerrero’s strike saved by Martin. The hosts’ narrow lead looked even more precarious as Harry Gibbs blazed his spot-kick over the woodwork.
Richard Kone successfully blasted high into the net to make it two-two but more drama soon followed. James Barlow’s penalty was adjudged to have crossed the line after coming back off the upright, before Blessing Adomah’s penalty was well-saved by Martin. Newham goalkeeper was then equal to Adbishakur Farah’s penalty, punching it away, before Christopher Ndoji’s low strike made it 3 – 3. Ayub Kadiri for the hosts and Jay Jimali for Newham made no mistake and netted their respective kicks so at 4 – 4, it was down to ‘sudden death’. Skipper Jack Roult blasted his penalty high into net past Boateng and then the experienced Tony Cookey stepped up, but it wasn’t his day as Martin pulled off another good save to his left and parried Cookey’s spot-kick to seal the narrowest of victories for the home side.
Result: Redbridge 1 – 1 Athletic Newham (Redbridge won 5 – 4 on penalty kicks)
This match is difficult to summarize, but I think even the hosts will feel like on another day they could have been beaten here. Newham were unfortunate to not seal the tie in normal time, as their second-half performance was probably enough to win the match. That and they had several good chances as they had the better of the second period. However, you have to also credit Motormen custodian George Martin for making three penalty saves in the shoot-out and that was the difference at the end of the day.
There were a number of good performances from the visitors today, who showed enough to display why they have a very good record of scoring goals and would be a threat to any side in Step 5 or 6, whichever league they are in next season, but that’s all up to the FA now. Forward Richard Kone had another fine game, showing his pace, passing and movement and was unfortunate not to get his name on the score-sheet here. Wing-back Jeff Idemudia gave it his all and added to the forward line when he took that position later in the match, with centre-back Christopher Ndoji making several key interceptions in the Newham defence. Skipper Joel Appiah again had a good game as well, building the attacking moves that gave the home backline a hard afternoon.
For Redbridge, as mentioned earlier George Martin deserves a lot of credit for his saves in the shoot-out, though forward Abdishakur Farah also had a good afternoon I felt and his pace and trickery was a good outlet for George Christou’s side. Centre-back Harry Gibbs and right-back Chikosi Basden also deserve mentions for showing good energy levels and awareness in both boxes.
Redbridge go through then to the last four, where they will face Clapton, likely to be next weekend but its TBC at present. My best wishes to both sides going into next season as well.
Also, my thanks to Essex Senior Media official Scott Lanza for some of the pictures (all credited) from the match today.
Redbridge | Manager: George Christou
13 George Martin (GK), 2 Chikosi Basden, 3 Jack Blackledge (16 James Barlow 60’), 4 Jack Chawner (14 Sonny Fish 80’), 5 Alamiji Ayoola, 6 Harry Gibbs, 7 Jack Roult (Capt), 8 Sam Dickens (12 Jack Brocklebank 73’), 19 Josh Sykes (9 Tony Martin 60’), 10 Abdishakur Farah, 11 Gayene Sanderson (15 Ayub Kadiri 80’)
Goal-scorer: Josh Sykes [pen 21’]
Booked: Sykes | Sub Not Used: Bennett, Harris, D Hall
Athletic Newham | Manager: Chris Davis
1 Wilkinson Boateng (GK), 2 Carlos Indjai (12 Jay Jimali 80’), 3 Louis Hiobi, 4 Christopher Ndoji, 7 Jeff Idemudia (9 Tony Cookey 88’), 8 Alvaro Guerrero, 14 Akin Akinola (6 Blessing Adomah 90’ +4), 18 Mauricio Rui Carlos (20 Nnamdi Harold-Egole 53’), 15 Anderson Baro, 10 Joel Appiah (Capt), 17 Richard Kone
Goal-scorers: Jeff Idemudia [56’]
Booked: Kone, Hiobi, Jimali | Subs Not Used: Mpalampa, Bamidele, Purdon
Referee: Alex Kyriacou
Assistant Referees: Martin Quinn & Nick Reece