Essex Senior League – Premier Division
2021-22 Season: Match 18
Wednesday 1st September 2021 – 7.45pm KO
Ilford: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Ath Newham: Red & White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Late goal gives Newham another away-day win
Ilford 2 – 3 Athletic Newham
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The midweek match this week was a trip to Cricklefield to see Ilford take on Athletic Newham. The hosts have a big FA Cup match with Aveley on the horizon, while Newham were looking for their third straight league win. The Foxes fielded Josh Blackburn in goal, with a back four of full-backs Dion Lewis-Kirwan and Josh Taylor, with centre-backs Anthony Kelsey and former Sporting Bengal player Lee Sharpe. Adam Peek’s side did have a few changes to it, as recent signing Michael Ogboin and Jerold Cobblah led the forward line. Options from the sidelines included forwards Tigana Quebe, Kieran Southgate and Ellis Leveridge. Athletic Newham had regular stopper Wilkinson Boateng between the posts, with Louis Hiobi, Christopher Nguidjol and Jeff Idemudia in defence and brought a foward line of Richard Kone, skipper Joel Appiah and experienced forward Simon Bamidele. Their substitutes’ bench included forward Tony Cookey, midfielders Emmanuel Odunaike and Best Toke.
This game didn’t take long to get going in earnest as Newham took the lead after just two minutes. A defensive error by the Foxes allowed in-form forward Richard Kone to steal in and slot home into the left-side corner from close range, past Foxes custodian Josh Blackburn. The hosts had to be alert moments later as a teasing cross from the left channel from Simon Bamidele evaded everyone. Ilford had their first big chance on ten minutes, as Reece Sayers’ free-kick from the right found centre-back Anthony Kelsey who sent a good header goalward which was tipped onto the crossbar well by Newham stopper Wilkinson Boateng.
Adam Peek’ team had a decent phase of the match at this point as advancing full-back Dion Lewis-Kirwan’s strike fizzed of Boateng’s far post. Newham responded midway through the half by doubling their advantage with a great solo run by Kone initially intercepted well by a covering defender, but Kone managed to get to the ball first and fired home past Blackburn. Ilford couldn’t create too much on the counter despite the pressure mounting on the visitors. With about ten minutes to the interval, a good header from a corner by Sharpe had to be tipped wide by the alert Boateng.
Soon after that chance, Ilford did pull a goal back. From another set-piece by Sayers, referee Tom Wyatt detected a hand-ball in the area and blew up for a spot-kick. Michael Ogboin stepped up and duly converted, low into the net past Boateng on 34 minutes.
Half-Time: Ilford 1 – 2 Athletic Newham
At the break, I had a strong feeling the open nature of the match would lead to more goals & that end-to-end composition of the game continued after the break. Sharpe and Ogboin both had chances with only Boateng to beat, but their respective strikes lacked the power to defeat the Newham goalkeepeer. As it happened, that was a warning as Ilford levelled on 52 minutes. A superb 20-yard thunderbolt from substutute Ellis Leveridge sailed into the top corner to really give the hosts a good chance od taking something from the match.
Just before the hour mark, fellow Ilford replacement Tigana Quebe was well found by Dimi Christou but when Quebe was poised, he was well-intercepted by Newham defender Louis Hiobi. The scoring ended on 79 minutes as Newham got the decisive goal, as Hiobi sent in a terrific cross deep from the left side, which Kone chested down well and allowed skipper Joel Appiah to steal in first ahead of the home defence and stroke home.
Newham would again feel unfortunate as substitute Tony Cookey had a good header chalked off for a off-side four minutes from time. It was fitting that the match ended with two good chances. First, Newham replacement Emmanuel Odunaike powered a fine strike just off-target and then in added-time, Quebe was unfortunate to see a lofted effort go over the advancing Boateng but the ball went agonizingly over the cross-bar.
Full-Time: Ilford 2 – 3 Athletic Newham
To briefly summarise, Ilford couldn’t get enough ball retention in the final third at times or finish the chances they had although they did give the Newham backline some nervy moments. Newham showed again the pace of their forward line, were more clinical in their finishing and they made the most of a poor start by their opponents and just about deserved the win, thanks to determined defending. For the visitors, Richard Kone had another strong match, showing rapid pace and good finishing to make it eight goals in the last three matches alone. Anderson Baro also had a good match, building attacking moves well. Defender Louis Hiobi was very good in the Newham defence & put in a great cross for their third goal, while Joel Appiah also contributed well to his team’s attacks.
For Ilford, forward Michael Ogboin led the line well and gave Newham a tricky evening and couldn’t had a brace here. Centre-back Lee Sharpe really showed his worth with a committed display to lead the hosts’ backline. Substitute Ellis Leveridge made a difference on second half and his superbly well-taken strike gave his team a chance of a point and fellow replacement Tigana Quebe did well down the flanks and his late lob was inches away from claiming a draw for Ilford.
I’d like to wish both teams a good rest of the season.
Ilford | Manager: Adam Peek | Assistant: Charlie Barlow
Starting XI: 1 Josh Blackburn (GK), 2 Dion Lewis-Kirwan, 3 Josh Taylor, 4 Ope Mosuro (Capt) (17 Ellis Leveridge 46′), 5 Anthony Kelsey, 6 Lee Sharpe, 7 Mo Kargbo (16 Tigana Quebe 36′), 8 Reece Sayers, 9 Michael Ogboin, 10 Jerold Cobblah, 11 Dimitrou Christou (15 Kieran Southgate 69′)
Goal-scorers: Michael Ogboin [pen 34′), Ellis Leveridge (52′)
Booked: Cobblah | Subs Not Used: Fisher, Olukolu
Athletic Newham | Manager: Chris Davis | Assistant: Timothy Tejuoso
Starting XI: 1 Wilkinson Boateng (GK), 3 Louis Hiobi, 4 Christopher Nguidjol, 7 Jeff Idemudia, 6 Yousupha Gaye (9 Tony Cookey 73′) , 14 Akin Akinola, 8 Eusfrause Cabulo (19 Emmanuel Odunaike 84′), 18 Simon Bamidele, 15 Anderson Baro, 10 Joel Appiah (Capt), 17 Richard Kone
Goal-scorers: Richard Kone [2′, 23′], Joel Appiah [79′]
Booked: Akinola, Kone, Appiah | Subs Not Used: Toke, Dame, Leurs
Referee: Tom Wyatt
Assistants: Craig Wood & Mackenzie Klessa-Smith