Essex Olympian League – Division Two
Venue: London Road (Back pitch)
2021-22 Season: Match 19
Saturday 4th September 2021 – 1pm KO
Rayleigh Res: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks
Rawreth: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, White Socks
Rawreth grab a point in well-contested match at Rayleigh Reserves
Rayleigh Town Res 2 – 2 AS Rawreth
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend saw a rarity of a double-header in the Essex Olympian League. The early match was in EOFL Division Two, which saw AS Rawreth, now managed by Josh Hutchins, travel to London Road to face Rayleigh Town Res who voluntarily dropped down to this division in the summer. Dave Barker’s home side had Jayden Powell between the posts, with a defensive four of centre-backs Dan Webb and Jordan White with full-backs Lewis Dines and William Vile. Support for the front two of Ebeneezer Djan and Matt Oaten came from wingers Byron Down and Kempson Allen. Their options from the bench were forward Robbie Allen plus midfielders Dean Hazleton and Brandon Martin and Jack Taylor. AS Rawreth embarked on a new era in the summer under Hutchins and assistant Callum Bolger and fielded Oliver Johnson as goalkeeper, with a central defensive pair of captain Reece Samuel and Alex Swan, with Tom Binks leading the attack, supported by Ryan Kenyon, Said Ahmed and Mason MacCullum. On their substitutes’ bench were forwards Danny Carr and Mahir Adbulkadir and defenders Todd Bolger and James Brice.
The match got underway with the right-sided duo of Lewis Dines and Byron Down for Rayleigh looking to use that flank to cause the opposition defence problems. Forward Ebeneezer Djan having an early shot on Oliver Johnson’s goal but it drifted wide. The home side did have more of the play in the early stages, with Dines looking to get his team going. But AS Rawreth were starting to find their rhythm with a little more purpose on the ball as on 11 minutes, centre forward Tom Binks’ lofted effort was gathered by home stopper Jayden Powell. That served as a warning though which the hosts didn’t heed as only two minutes afterward, the visitors opened the scoring. A neat move involving winger Said Ahmed and full-back Joseph Frisby-Brown found Binks who slotted the ball into the net past Powell on the second attempt.
Town had a speculative chance just before that goal as support forward Matt Oaten attempted a lob from about 35 yards, trying to catch Johnson out off his goal-line but it was to no avail. Rayleigh couldn’t quite gather their pace and rhythm in possession to get in behind the Rawreth defence, with centre-backs Reece Samuel and Alex Swan doing a good job of clearing their lines. That being said, Town still had a number of half-chances, with a poor pass by the visitors midway through the half allowing Town winger Kempson Allen a strike on goal but he could only fire over the goal frame.
Rawreth were having to hold firm at this stage, and Djan’s curling lob was well-denied by a sprawling save by Johnson. As we passed the half-hour though, Josh Hutchins’ side responded with Binks unfortunate to not squeeze a shot past a congested six-yard area and thus allowing Powell to gratefully claim the ball. Powell also denied AHmed’s strike, cutting inside from the left flank at his near post. Rayleigh knew they had to raise it up a gear after the interval, despite a good move seven minutes before the break which good play from winger Byron Down find Oaten whose imaginative back-heeled effortwas denied at point-blank range by Johnson.
Half-Time: Rayleigh Town Res 0 – 1 AS Rawreth
Town skipper John Hanrahan was encouraging his players from his anchor midfield role and after a quiet-ish opening phase of the second half where his side were causing the visitors problems, the breakthrough came on the hour. Down was felled in the area and without hesitation, referee Daniel Mann pointed to the spot. Hanrahan duly stepped up and converted the resulting spot-kick low into the net and for the first time in the game, Rawreth were really up against it. The introduction of Robbie Allen from the bench just before the hour had proven a positive one for Dave Barker’s side and the visiting defence were starting to concede set-pieces more often as well. The game turned again from one said set-piece on sixty-nine minutes as Allen powered home a free-kick past the wall and Johnson’s grasp to give the hosts the advantage.
Both sides were scrambling for the initative as we entered the latter stages of the game, but Rawreth did end up claiming a share of the points as a close-range finish by another replacement in Danny Carr six minutes from time proved important for the visitors. There was still one good chance with moments remaining as two substitutes combined for Town, with Allen’s good ball in finding Brandon Martin who unfortunately the hosts slotted wide. All in all, it was a decent result for both sides, with perhaps Rayleigh having the better of the the second period, after Rawreth had made an encouraging first-half display.
Full-Time: Rayleigh Town Res 2 – 2 AS Rawreth
There were a number of influential performances today by both sides. For Rayleigh Town Res, skipper John Hanrahan led his team admirably and was constant encouraging his team-mates as well as putting in a good display in anchor midfield. Right-bank Lewis Dines put in a commendable display and really stood out in the early stages, looking assured and showed good energy levels. Centre-back Jordan White also showed good positioning for the majority of the match whilst substitute Robbie Allen gave his side a lift after his introduction and his goal was a turning point in the match. For Rawreth, centre-back Reece Samuel marshalled his backline well and dealt with a lot of crosses aerially as well. Forward Tom Binks was also a threat for the home defence, looking to breakthrough and had a decent strike in him as well. Said Ahmed had a decent match on the left side too, whilst goalkeeper Oliver Johnson also deserves a mention for two or three smart saves to keep his side in the match.
I’d like to thank both teams for their assistance & wish them a good rest of the season.
Rayleigh Town Res | Manager: Dave Barker
Starting XI: 1 Jayden Powell (GK), 2 Lewis Dines, 3 William Vile, 4 John Hanrahan (Capt), 5 Dan Webb, 6 Jordan White, 7 Kempson Allen, 8 Jordan Lewis, 9 Ebeneezer Djan, 10 Matthew Oaten, 11 Byron Down
Subs On: 12 Dean Hazleton [30′], 16 Robbie Allen [55′], 14 Jack Taylor [63′], 15 Brandon Martin [79′]
Goal-scorers: John Hanrahan [pen 60′], Robbie Allen [69′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None
AS Rawreth | Manager: Josh Hutchins |
Starting XI: 1 Oliver Johnson (GK), 12 Chris Batt, 3 Joseph Frisby-Brown, 4 Derek Boakye, 15 Reece Samuel (Capt), 6 Alex Swan, 7 Ryan Kenyon, 8 Harry Groves, 9 Tom Binks, 10 Mason MacCullum, 11 Said Ahmed
Goal-scorers: Tom Binks [13′], Danny Carr [84′]
Subs On: 22 Todd Bolger [46′], 14 Mahir Adbulkadir [58′], 5 James Brice [73′], 19 Danny Carr [76′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Daniel Mann