Essex Olympian League – Premier Division
Venue: Len Forge Centre 3G
2021-22 Season: Match 13
Saturday 21st August 2021 – 3pm KO
Catholic Utd: Green & White Shirts, Black Shorts, Green & White Socks
Springfield: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Six-goal Catholic Utd convincingly defeat Springfield at Len Forge
Catholic Utd 6 – 0 Springfield
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
With the FA Cup taking centre stage in Non-League circles this weekend, I decided it’d be a good time to begin my coverage of Essex Olympian League matches with a trip to the Len Forge Centre to see Catholic Utd welcome visitors Springfield in this Premier Division encounter. Simon Thomas’ Utd side fielded club stalwart & now assistant boss Louis Godwin-Green between the posts, with a three-man central defence of John Nutman, John Mbamarah and Lewis Payne. Centre forward Jay Nash led the line, with support from Franklin Craik and Pablo Passenda. On their substitutes’ bench were Max Kent, Daniel Dunn, Carl Read and Thomas himself. Springfield also had a number of players unavailable, with Tom Storkey in goal behind a back four of Callum Crown, Henry Lynch and centre-backs Liam Wright and skipper Ryan Batchford. Forwards Jake Clarke and Aiden Brown were supported by wingers Jack Mundy and Jordan Sargeant. Options from the sidelines included new signing Dean Wallace and forwards Andy Morgan and Rhys Williams.
The match began with a sluggish start for both sides, with Springfield winger Jordan Sargeant looking to get on the ball early to set attacking moves up, though he found the home defence in good form. Catholic were a little casual in possession, much to the dismay of their vocal goalkeeper Godwin-Green. That casualness didn’t last long though as on twelve minutes, Utd were ahead. Good forward hold-play play down the left flank by Jay Nash started the move before the ball fell to Frankin Craik who struck low to defeat stopper Tom Storkey.
The visitors were holding firm for the most part at this stage, but other than occasional ball play by wingers Sargeant and Jack Munday, they could not really conjure up telling passes to outwit an organised defence. Catholic Utd were slowly building up wave after wave of pressure going forward in the remainder of the first half. Springfield had a bit of a warning on the half hour as a good centre by energetic left-back Alfie Whiteaker found Nash who headed narrowly wide, though the assistant’s flag was up anyway.
Half-Time: Catholic Utd 1 – 0 Springfield
So at the break, the hosts were largely frustrated by a combination of lack of a final pass and good defending by the visitors. That frustration was certainly dealt with for the hosts after the break. Just seven minutes after the break, a good move by the Super Hoops ended with them doubling their lead as tricky forward Pablo Passenda evading his marker before calmly finishing past Storkey. You got the feeling that Simon Thomas’ side were going up through the gears and they nearly went three goals ahead on 56 minutes. Another fine run by Craik ended with finding Nash but Storkey did well to get down low and deny the effort.
It turned out to be delaying the inevitable in a sense as just after the hour, the third goal came. Substitute Daniel Dunn was involved in another enterprising foray forward, before Craik again turned past the covering defender before striking low into the net. By this stage, Craik was really giving the opposition a hard afternoon, and another move involving Dunn and Craik ended with replacement Max Kent blasting an effort on goal which Storkey did well to parry away. Again though, there was no denying the hosts as with fifteen minutes remaining, a cross by Whiteaker found centre-back John Nutman at the far post and the latter powered a header home.
Springfield were feeling weary by this point and on a rare second half attack, substitute Andy Morgan sent a decent header wide of Godwin-Green’s goal but there was to be more pain before this match was complete. In the latter stages of the contest, Storkey again denied the unfortunate Nash, before another Kent thunderbolt cannoned off the woodwork. Two well-taken finishes by Franklin Craik made it six in the last few minutes, the second of those ending up being the last kick of the match, but it sealed a memorable afternoon for the Super Hoops forward and will build confidence for his side.
Full-Time: Catholic Utd 6 – 0 Springfield
In summary, the home side here were much too strong for their Chelmsford-based visitors after the interval. Catholic Utd showed a real zest for goals today and took their chances well. That being said, Springfield did well to hold them to one goal in the first half but when Simon Thomas’ side stepped up the pressure after the break, they could not respond, having struggled to create chances all afternoon.
There were a number of strong performances today. For the hosts, four-goal star forward Franklin Craik was superb today, taking his goals very well and also making a number of piercing runs down the flanks to assist his team going forward. Tom Kearney put in a characteristic midfield display, with forward Jay Nash having a fine game showing intelligent hold-up play and deserved a goal himself as well. For Springfield, forward Jordan Sargeant was their main outlet in attack, showing good energy and movement. Centre-back Liam Wright also made a number of telling interceptions in the first half, but his departure at half-time through injury was a turning point for the visitors. Experienced fellow centre-back Ryan Batchford did well to command his area in the air in the first half.
I’d like to thank both teams for their assistance & wish them a good rest of the season.
Catholic Utd | Player-Manager: Simon Thomas
Starting XI: 1 Louis Godwin-Green (GK), 2 Patrick Kearney, 3 Alfie Whiteaker, 20 John Nutman, 9 Johnathan Mbamarah, 17 Lewis Payne, 7 Tom Kearney, 8 Mike Sammut (Capt), 11 Franklin Craik, 15 Pablo Passenda, 18 Jay Nash
Goal-scorers: Franklin Craik [12′, 62′, 86′, 90’+2], Pablo Passenda [52′], John Nutman [75′]
Sin-Bin: Craik | Sub Not Used: Thomas
Springfield | Manager: Dan Williams |
Starting XI:1 Tom Storkey (GK), 2 Callum Crown, 3 Henry Lynch, 4 Andy Elgar, 5 Ryan Batchford (Capt), 6 Liam Wright, 7 Jordan Sargeant, 8 James Shadwell, 19 Jake Clarke, 10 Aiden Brown, 11 Jack Mundy
Subs On: 14 Dean Wallace [46′], 9 Andy Morgan [52′], 15 Robert Dunn [52′], 12 Rhys Williams [68′]
Booked: Sargeant, Clarke | Sub Not Used: Miller
Referee: Nnaemeka Ukah
Assistants: Max Di-Lieto & Joe Lannon