Essex Alliance League – Senior Division
Venue: Harlow Arena [3G]
2021-22 Season: Match 27
Tuesday 28 September 2021 – 7.45pm KO
DT: Red & White Shirts, White Shorts, Red Socks
CH Spartans: Grey Shirts, Grey Shorts, Black Socks
DT’s goal threat secures big win at a damp Harlow Arena
DT FC 5 – 2 Chadwell Heath Spartans
Match Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
Photos by Scott W & Neil Hunwicks [@ABridgeTooFar16]
The midweek game was a rare spectacle of an Essex Alliance League Senior Division (at Step 7, alongside Essex Olympian Premier Division in the Non-League pyramid) match under the lights at the Harlow Arena, where DT FC took on newly-promoted Chadwell Heath Spartans. The hosts have recently appointed the highly experienced Allan Fenn as manager and his side included Alex Jennings in goal, with a defence of Lewis Evans, Ashley Skeggs, Billy Golledge and Steve Domfeh. Their forward line was led by Jake Kissiedu and Ollie Fortune with support from Stanley Green and Kieran Hipgrave. The Spartans are led by player-boss Aaron Hunwicks and promising goalkeeper Josh Woodrow was between the posts, with their central defence being comprised of Joe Robb, skipper Janel Alexander and Ray Hunwicks. Jeffrey Nketia and James Odukoya led their attack, with support from Tom Callagher.
The match began with DT looking to get the impetus early, as a fine cross from the left flank by full-back Lewis Evans found support forward Stanley Green who sent his header wide of the left-sided post. Spartans responded at the other end as Tom Callagher sent a header off-target but it was the home side who were showing a bit more pace going forward and having more of the early half-chances. However, it was the visitors who took the lead on twenty minutes as a good set-piece found its way to captain Janel Alexander at the back post who slotted home well past DT stopper Alex Jennings. Unfortunately for the Spartans, that lead only lasted for two minutes before the hosts levelled. Forward Jake Kissiedu was causing problems down the right channel with his pace and trickery and he was found well before turning his marker and firing home low past Woodrow.
To their credit, Chadwell Heath Spartans responded with some vigour and Mike Ramsay was played in with only Jennings to defeat but the hosts’ goalkeeper was equal to his effort. DT did take the lead for the first time on the stroke of the half-hour, with Kissiedu being fouled in the area and Kieran Hipgrave stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick with aplomb in the right-side corner. Spartans had to defend well and an great example of that came five minutes after the hosts’ second goal as another good centre by Kissiedu this time found Hipgrave, only for a great block tackle which denied him well.
Half-Time: DT 2 – 1 CH Spartans
With the rain continuing to fall heavily, the hosts looked to get back on the front foot soon after the interval. Spartans custodian Josh Woodrow was having a good game, making several decent saves and being a good presence in his area. Woodrow had to make another decent save on forty-eight minutes to deny Ollie Fortune’s strike from about six yards out. It was a sign of things to come though as DT did get that important third goal moments later. Another threatening set-piece found centre-back Billy Golledge who found the net from close range. But again, the Spartans’ self-belief kept them in the game as they responded four minutes later to make it three-two. A good ball in to forward James Odukoya ended with the forward getting past the defender and firing home confidently past Jennings to give his team some hope.
DT were looking very enterprising on the counter, with Green and substitute Lewis Page really stretching the visiting backline with his pace and crossing ability. On the hour, another decent cross in by Green was headed wide by Fortune, the hosts’ intent to wrap up the match was clear. As we got into the last 15 minutes, Woodrow pulled off yet another fine save to deny DT replacement Eliandro Soque’s good strike. Spartans skipper Janel Alexander was doing an admirable job of holding back the home forwards who were really posing problems in the declining conditions.
Two goals in three minutes eventually sealed the contest in the hosts’ favour. Firstly on 76 minutes, another fine run down the left by Lewis Page ended with another fine cross finding Fortune who struck home well, after doing well to hold off his marker. And then three minutes later, Fortune netted again from close range to finally seal a contest that had been very entertaining for the near 50 or so in attendance.
Full-Time: DT FC 5 – 2 Chadwell Heath Spartans
In summary, the Spartans fought extremely hard throughout, showing commendable spirit and nearly got back into the contest after their second goal, but ultimately DT’s forward line were too strong and saw Allan Fenn’s side to a good win.
For stand-out performances here, we’ll start with the victors. Full-back Lewis Evans and support forward stamley Green put in some good sprints and fine crosses into the penalty box during the match and also both showed good energy levels. Substitute Lewis Page also showed good skill, pace and crossing in the second-half while forward Ollie Fortune led the line well and took his two goals late on with some aplomb to seal the contest. For the Spartans, forward James Odukoya took his goal well and led their forward line admirably. Goalkeeper Josh Woodrow had a fine evening, making at least three good saves to keep his team in the contest, while skipper Janel Alexander had a good game in central defence, making several crucial interceptions.
Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign. Finally, I have to note that it was good to see my first Essex Alliance League midweek game, as the league continues to go from strength to strength. We wish them well in their first campaign as a Step 7 League.
DT FC | Manager: Allan Fenn |
Starting XI: I: 1 Alex Jennings (GK), 21 Steve Domfeh, 5 Ashley Skeggs, 19 Billy Golledge, 33 Lewis Evans, 49 Mike Ikotun, 4 Mickey Mesmin, 10 Kieran Hipgrave, 7 Stanley Green, 14 Jake Kissiedu, 15 Ollie Fortune
Goal-scorers: Jake Kissiedu [22′], Kieran Hipgrave [pen 29′], Billy Golledge [50′], Ollie Fortune [76′ & 79′]
Subs On: 11 Lewis Page [46′], 16 Eliandro Soque [58′], 18 Kaci Henry [80′], 3 Kevin Bondjanga [82′]
Subs Not Used: Smith
Chadwell Heath Spartans | Player-Manager: Aaron Hunwicks |
Starting XI: 1 Josh Woodrow (Gk), 2 Harry Amoah, 3 Joe Butcher, 4 Janel Alexander (Capt), 5 Joe Robb, 6 Raymond Hunwicks, 7 Mike Ramsay, 8 Courtney Holness, 9 Jeffrey Nketia, 10 James Odukoya, 11 Tom Callagher
Goal-scorers: Janel Alexander [20′], James Odukoya [54′]
Subs On: 14 Rashid Matabaro [53′], 17 Samir Aboulainaf [57′], 15 Jack Evans [61′], 12 Tommy Harrison [72′], 16 Aaron Hunwicks [84′]
Referee: Alan Steward