Eastern Senior League – Division South
Venue: Spa Road, Witham
Attendance: 35 (est)
2021-22 Season: Match 24
Wednesday 22 September 2021 – 7.45pm KO
Hackney Wick: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks
Holland: Orange Shirts, Orange Shorts, Orange Socks
Powerful Wick side claim point against determined Holland
Hackney Wick 1 – 1 Holland
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This week’s midweek match saw a first visit to Spa Road to see Hackney Wick face Holland in an Eastern Senior League South match. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the hosts, who now groundshare at Witham Town’s Spa Road. Holland are mid-table having reached the Len Cordell Cup Final in May. The hosts had Jonti Purdom in goal, with a defence of Justin Domfeh, Kwame Dawso and skipper Myles John. The front three were Lewis Danquah, Louie Remi and Daniel Thompson. Holland named Finlay Shorten between the posts, with a defensive unit of Kieran Michaels, Rueben Cowler, Steve Downes and captain Harvey Cowler. Scott Sloots led the line here, with support from Ryan Mahon.
In fairness, it was a cagey start to this encounter, with Hackney skipper Myles John making a good interception in the opening moments, as the hosts had the majority of the ball in said early stages. the first stinging drive came on the quarter-hour, which saw Dante McIntosh’s strike from 30 yards go wide of Shorten’s goal. McIntosh was in the action again soon afterward with another strike from outside the area being well clawed over by goalkeeper Finlay Shorten. Shorten again showed his ability by denying a one-on-one chance for Wick forward Lewis Danquah when he was well-placed to score not long after the previous oppurtunity.
Holland were buoyed by the aerial ability of forward Scott Sloots but they were also frustrated in that they didn’t have a huge array of chances prior to the midway point of the half. So it was somewhat against the run of play that they took the lead on 25 minutes. Ryan Mahon’s strike manage to evade the Wick defence and did cross the goal-line, after referee Mahdi Elhalawany had consulted with assistant Ian Butler. Now that they had a lead to defend, Paul Phelan’s side were more motivated to get to the interval without conceding. Hackney couldn’t made the most of several promising passes but play-maker Brandon White was unlucky to see a super strike from 35 yards power off a goal post. Marian Hristov somehow was unable to direct a header from mere yards out as well shortly before the interval for the home side.
Half-Time: Hackney Wick 0 – 1 Holland
After what I reckon to be a stirring team-talk at the interval, both sides emerged with their respective objectives renewed in mind, with Hackney continuing to have a good share of ball rention, buoyed on as they were by a small contingent of vocal Wickers fans behind the goal. Two minutes into the half, a good pass by the energetic Louie Remi found Danquah but again, he couldn’t bypass Shorten who denied him well when one-on-one. Remi himself was unfortunate soon afterward as after a good turn advancing on the edge of the 18-yard area, his strike cannoned off the left-sided goal post with the ‘keeper beaten. On the hour, when Remi had a goal from McIntosh’s pass chalked off for an assistant’s raised flag, then you felt it may not be Wick’s night.
With the minutes beginning to tick away on 71 minutes, Remi again brought a smart save out of the impressive Shorten as after a good turn, the Hackney forward’s effort was denied by the visiting stopper. There were a few signs that the hard-working Seasiders defence were tiring and with nine minutes remaining, their lead disappeared.
Being honest, it was a terrific strike by Brandon White who powered in thunderbolt past the stranded ‘keeper Shorten from some distance, it did show good technique. There were two big chances remaining in the contest, as a rare foray forward in the latter stages for Holland saw right-back Kieran Michaels’ lob from deep narrowly evade both Hackney stopper Jonti Purdom and the crossbar. At the other end, substitute Miles Peterkin had only Shorten to beat but the Holland stopper pulled off another good save in the last seconds of the game.
In some respects, both sides might be disappointed with this result. Wick will feel they did enough to win it given the anount of chances they had while the Seasiders will be frustrated that they didn’t hold on for a narrow win and also they had perhaps conceeded possession too often for their liking.
Full-Time: Hackney Wick 1 – 1 Holland
To summarise, Holland worked extremely hard with their defensive unit characteristically blocking a number of strikes from distance in the match, However, you couldn’t begudge Wick a share of the points for the exhuberance, pace and energy they showed throughout, having enough chances to get the win, but for a combination of superb goalkeeping by visiting custodian Finlay Shorten and the woodwork.
There were a number of good performances here, starting with the hosts. Brandon White did a lot of running and dribbling as a support forward from deep and showed he had an eye for goal and deserved his goal, having earlier been denied by the goal frame. Midfielder Dante McIntosh had a fine game as well, showing good passing, energy and bit of movement too. Forward Louie Remi did well to test the Holland defence with his movement, passing and had several decent efforts on goal, plus full-back Justin Domfeh also had a good game, particularly in the second half. He showed good pace, ability to get past players and passing as well. For Holland, goalkeeper Finlay Shorten assisted his team superbly, making at least four good saves when his defence was breached. Defender Steve Downes also typified the robust Seasiders defence and marshalled the defence well alongside skipper Harvey Cowler, Also, a mention for forward Scott Sloots who won a number of headers despite being somewhat isolated at times, particularly after the interval and he did help build counter-attacks well for Paul Phelan’s side.
Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign.
Hackney Wick | Manager: Yilmaz |
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jonti Purdom (GK), 2 Justin Domfeh, 3 Kwame Dawso, 5 Myles Baiden (15 Naser Bakare 46′), 6 Myles John (Capt), 12 Marian Hristov, 4 Dante McIntosh, 10 Brandon White, 9 Lewis Danquah (19 Michael Abu 68′), 7 Louie Remi, 11 Daniel Thompson (14 Miles Peterkin 60′)
Goal-scorers: Brandon White [81′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Gyedu, Sayay
Holland | Manager: Paul Phelan |
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Finlay Shorten (GK), 2 Kieran Michaels, 3 Rueben Cowler, 4 Joe Martin, 5 Harvey Cowler (Capt), 6 Steve Downes, 7 Ben Dixon, 8 Keelan Sorrell, 9 Scott Sloots, 10 Ryan Mahon (12 Jamey Williams 68′), 11 Josh Rutter (14 Stephane Trah 62′)
Goal-scorer: Ryan Mahon [25′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Finch, Watts
Referee: Mahdi Elhalawany
Assistants: Ian Butler & Abu Taher