Eastern Senior League – Division South
Venue: Leslie Field
2021-22 Season: Match 16
Saturday 28th August 2021 – 3pm KO
Burnham R: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Buckhurst H: White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Impressive display sees Buckhurst grab the win at Leslie Field
Burnham Ramblers 0 – 3 Buckhurst Hill
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The match of the weekend was a rare trip into the Eastern Senior League South, as I made the first visit to Leslie Field in to see Burnham Ramblers in two years as they faced Buckhurst Hill in a top-of-the-table clash. The hosts are now under the management of Luke Goodson and are backed by a growing Committee, including club stalwart Martin Leno. On the field for Burnham, Adam French was between the posts, with a defence comprised of full-backs Albert Galbally and Joe Howard with the centre-back berths being filled by Matthew Stevens-Brown and Louis Pollock. Top goalscorer Adebolu Adeyemi started alongside Shemarie Perkins-Palmer in their forward line, with support from Haziz Kone and Deane Stone. Charles Brewer skippered the side. The options from the bench included midfielder Tom Howard and the attack-minded Liam Barry and Said Issa. Buckhurst Hill came into this one after thumping Park View 8 – 0 the previous midweek and had Daniel Blockley in goal, with a three-man central defence of Alfie Harris, Keaton Moore and Jonah Gregory, with Liam Foster and Ted Buchanan in advanced full-back roles. Forward & skipper Suleyman Zuhdu led the line once again for Mark Williams’ team, supported by fellow forward Tyler Dolan, with the three-man substitutes’ bench being made up of forwards Fehinti Falola, Louis Wynter and Reece Tranter.
The early stages of this match saw Buckhurst Hill seek to gain a foothold in possession and making it hard for the Ramblers to gain any momentum. After only three minutes, a thunderous 30-yard strike directly from a free-kick by forward Suleyman Zuhdu needed an acrobatic tip onto the crossbar by Ramblers custodian Adam French. The hosts’ first chance of note was from a set-piece but forward Adebolu Adeyemi was unable to get his shot on target to trouble visiting stopper Daniel Blockley. You felt it wouldn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken here and on seven minutes, Buckhurst took the lead. A long ball up field by a Buckhurst defender wasn’t dealt with by the Ramblers backline and Zuhdu managed to break away and finish low into the net, with ‘keeper French getting fingertips on it but it still trickled in.
Mark Williams’ well-drilled, high-intensity team were not making it easy to obtain possession from as their quick passing was causing problems for Burnham. Zuhdu again had another strike cleared off the goal-line before the 20 minute mark. Burnham did have a few successful forays forward and winger Haziz Kone showed his skills, getting past defenders and cutting inside from the right flank, unfortunately for him, his strike was deflected which allowed Blockley to claim untroubled. With Burnham losing out in midfield, the lines of Adeyemi and Kone were not much opportunity to cause headaches in the visiting backline. Instead, the challenge got harder on twenty-eight minutes as Hill doubled their lead. Liam Foster advanced down the right flank and his fine cross found Zuhdu who again got the better of the home defence before slotting home past French from close range.
Luke Goodson’s side were feeling the pressure, buoyed on by a decent home crowd but after a few errant passes, in the last five minutes they put their opposition under some pressure, with a good centre by Kone from the right finding Adeyemi who improvised a back heel-like finish in mid-air but it lacked the power to bypass Blockley, who gathered.
Half-Time: Burnham Ramblers 0 – 2 Buckhurst Hill
The visitors were the stronger side at the interval, though in the early stages of the second period it was the home side who kept the ball a bit better. Unfortunately they still couldn’t quite manufacture the chances they would’ve wanted and ten minutes into the half, a slick counter saw them further in arrears on the score-sheet. This time it was forward Tyler Dolan who turned creator as his superb pass bypassed defenders and found Brad Rowland at the far post, who powered his strike past the defenceless French into the opposite corner.
Burnham kept battling on, despite the odds definitely being against them and on sixty-four minutes, a set-piece by the combative Joe Howard somehow managed to evade everybody in the congested six-yard box before sailing out of play. Having just past the 70 minute mark, Hill showed they were still full of energy as a good cross in by substitute Fehinti Falola found its way into the danger area by this time both Zuhdu and Dolan failed to get a telling touch to send it into the net. The hosts responded straight after, with Adeyemi sending a header narrowly wide though in fairness, Burnham were restricted to few chances by a miserly & energetic visiting defence. The tireless running of midfielder Josh Banfield nearly gave Buckhurst a fourth goal but at the second attempt, but Banfield could only scoop a curling drive over French’s top right corner of the goal. A frustrating day for Burnham ended really with another decent centre into the box, but substitute Said Issa was unable to get past Blockley from close range.
Full-Time: Burnham Ramblers 0 – 3 Buckhurst Hill
To summarise briefly, Buckhurst were good value for the win and the question for me now is – How long can they maintain this form? That being said, Burnham showed enough here to make it fair to say their resurgent start-of-season form can continue and I want to add that it is nice to see a ‘community spirit’ back at the club once again, after what has undoubtedly been some hard times for the club after their relegation from the Essex Senior in 2018.
There were a number of good performances in this match. For the victors Buckhurst Hill, star forward Suleyman Zuhdu had another good match, causing the home defence continued problems today and deserved his two goals. Strike partner Tyler Dolan also did well to bypass the opposition backline and the assist for the third goal was a good case in point. Centre-back Keaton Moore stood out in a determined three-man central defence, and also made some good passes going forward. Finally. The energy and work rate of midfielder Josh Banfield was nearly rewarded with a goal towards the end and his performance was typical of a hard-working unit.
For Burnham, centre-back Matthew Stevens-Brown led his team’s defence well, making a number of good clearances in the air, while winger Haziz Kone had some good moments on the flank despite not having many oppurtunities to shine today. The same has to be said for centre forward Adebolu Adeyemi but his good movement & clever thinking nearly resulted in a goal before the interval. Skipper Charles Brewer typified his team’s work ethic but Hill didn’t give the hosts much oppurtunity to supply the forwards, tracking back well for the majority of the game.
I’d like to wish both teams a good rest of the season.
Burnham Ramblers | Manager: Luke Goodson | Assistant: Ross Mernick
Starting XI: 1 Adam French (GK), 7 Joe Howard, 5 Matthew Stevens-Brown, 16 Louis Pollock, 3 Albert Galbally, 8 Harry Shawyer (15 Said Issa 76′), 11 Deane Stone (12 Liam Barry 56′), 17 Charles Brewer (Capt) (4 Tom Howard 83′), 14 Haziz Kone, 9 Adebolu Adeyemi, 10 Shemarie Perkins-Palmer
Booked: Barry | Subs Not Used: Lofts, Smith
Buckhurst Hill | Manager: Mark Williams | Assistant: JP Kent
Starting XI: 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 3 Liam Foster, 4 Alfie Harris, 5 Keaton Moore, 15 Jonah Gregory, 12 Ted Buchanan, 16 Jack Griggs (22 Louis Wynter 61′), 8 Josh Banfield, 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Tyler Dolan (18 Reece Tranter 76), 7 Brad Rowland (21 Fehinti Falola 69′)
Goal-scorers: Suleyman Zuhdu [7′ & 28′], Brad Rowland [55′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Fabian Robertson
Assistants: Martin Green & Nicholas Hodges