Essex Senior League – Premier Division
Venue: Burroughs Park
2021-22 Season: Match 28
Saturday 2nd October 2021 – 3pm KO
Ensign: Red & Navy Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Cockfosters: Royal Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Ensign grab big win over Cockfosters in a truly memorable Match
White Ensign 8 – 3 Cockfosters
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s main match saw a return trip to Burroughs Park for this enticing match between in-form White Ensign and visitors Cockfosters, who are in the top ten. Both sides were missing players here, for Ensign they were missing the likes of goalkeeper Frankie Worboyes, midfielder Harry Skinner and forward Connor Barnby. Jack Riddell deputised in goal, with a back four of Jason Reynolds-Blanche, skipper Andy George, Jake McWee and recent recruit Liam Whipps. The forward line was led by Luke Woodward, Joe Gregory and Dominic Locke. Options from the bench included full-backs Adams & Buffin, plus forward Brandon Martin. Ryan Wade’s ‘Fosters side were also missing the likes of star winger Reece Mosanya, forward Billy Healey and experienced defenders in Danny Haigh and Marcus Crowther. Joshua Bradley deputised here for regular stopper Matt Nolan, with a defensive four of Andy Polycarpou, Jamal Brimah, Michael Okafor and Prince Madu. Player-boss Ryan Wade led the line alongside skipper George Beattie, with support from the flanks from Joe Entwistle and George Constanti. Their options from the sidelines were midfielders Lopes and Ungudi, with forwards Jack Hockney and Charncey Dash also named.
Even before kick-off, the grey clouds did their worst to try and affect this one and the rain continued throughout the match. In the early stages of the contest, Ensign seemed keen to use the channels to test the visiting backline as on three minutes a decent left-wing cross from full-back Liam Whipps had to be cleared by visiting defender Michael Okafor for a set-piece. However, it didn’t take the hosts long to open the scoring as on six minutes, in-form forward Joe Gregory was well found and with only ‘keeper Josh Bradley to beat, he slipped in a low shot that trickled into the net. Ensign were starting to signify that they were finding their passing rhythm as with 13 minutes played, good interplay by forward Dominic Locke and full-back Jason Reynolds-Blanche down the right flank found Gregory but this time Bradley got in to make a decent save.
The visitors couldn’t retain possession as well as they would’ve liked in the early stages but on the quarter-hour, a corner delivered by forward George Beattie saw Ensign stopper Jack Riddell have to punch away well to deny the lurking Cockfosters forwards. There was a degree of fortune to Ensign’s second goal on seventeen minutes as another good centre by Whipps cannoned off unfortunate defender Michael Okafor and gave Bradley little chance to save. That said, Cockfosters could’ve been further behind moments later but Locke was just unable to slide his effort past Bradley from a narrow angle at the far post.
What was a tough first 25 minutes for the visitors was compunded by a fine third goal for Brett Munyard & Mark Healy’s side. Luke Skinner sent in a fine threaded ball through to the on-running Luke Woodward who fired home superbly. Cockfosters at that point had a lot of work to do just to get back in the game but the spirit of Wade’s side was apparent again as soon afterwards, they pulled a goal back to make it three-one. After Riddell had parried an initial effort, Beattie was there to power home a well-directed strike in a congested penalty area. Cockfosters were starting to show their good attacking game as well at this point in proceedings, with midfielders Kaidyn Michael and Joe Entwistle making good runs in supporting forwards Beattie and Wade. Riddell stayed alert to gather Wade’s chip just after the half-hour but seven minutes before the interval, Cockfosters grabbed another goal.
Entwistle was involved again as he was played in well before firing in an angled drive into the left-sided corner, giving Riddell little chance. The Ensign goalkeeper managed to deny another strike by Wade but at the interval it was anyone’s game and the nerves may have started to gather for the hosts.
Half-Time: W. Ensign 3 – 2 Cockfosters
One thing was for sure, we didn’t have to wait long for more goalmouth action after the interval. Locke fired wide moments after the resumption, and the rapid forward was involved again in the next forward move which also involved Skinner ended up being deflected for another corner. This one wasn’t dealt with by the visiting defence, which allowed Woodward to strike powerfully into the net. Four-two to the hosts and we still had forty minutes remaining. Although Ensign were only just getting started in this hugely telling spell of attacking play.
Six minutes after their fourth goal, Ensign made it five as Woodward did well to win the ball on the left flank, before advancing forward and feeding Locke who squeezed his strike into the left corner of the net despite the attentions of ‘keeper Bradley and the declining angle. To be fair to ‘Fosters, they still looked a threat going forward as well, as midway through the half a good pass by Reece Barrett found Entwistle but this time he could only send his strike high over the woodwork.
White Ensign were still keen to grab more goals, and got a sixth goal on 68 minutes as midfielder Zack Littlejohn send a well-struck strike from twenty-five yards into the net, with Bradley beaten. Sometimes you see sides with a big lead on the score-sheet tighten up defensively and be content with what they’ve got – but that wasn’t the case here. Two minutes after Littlejohn’s goal, Woodward took advantage of uncertain defending to fire home his third goal and cement this match as a memorable occasion for the home supporters. Even at this stage of the match given the declining conditions, it was still pretty end-to-end with Cockfosters keen to showcase their talents as well. They got a third goal with ten minutes remaining, with Barrett threading in a good pass to the onrushing Beattie who then faced Riddell one-on-one and Beattie’s confident low finish found the net.
Moments later, Beattie could have secured his hat-trick for the visitors after evading the home backline again, but this time his low strike cannoned back off the right-side post and away. Ensign still found time to add further pain to the opposition as on the stroke on ninety minutes, a good pass by Thando Moyo found substitute Brandon Martin who unleashed a sumptious chip over Bradley and nestled into the net to grab a goal on his debut for the club. Eight-three was the scoreline and it was a truly memorable match, but ‘Fosters will lament the chances they couldn’t take here. Take nothing away from the free-scoring Ensign side though, they were near their best as they grabbed another excellent three points.
Full-Time: White Ensign 8 – 3 Cockfosters
In summary, this was a really enthralling match played in awful conditions with rain falling throughout. Ensign were the stronger side and more than deserved the points. Cockfosters did well to come back from three goals down to only have a one-goal deficit at the interval but they had no answer for four goals in a twenty minute spell for Ensign soon after the resumption. ‘Fosters were still a threat going forward and took their goals well though there was just no stopping a superb Ensign forward line, with Woodward grabbing a treble and the match was sealed with Martin’s superb chip right at the end.
In a match of so many goals & quality, it is tough to pick out players. For Ensign, Luke Woodward had a brilliant match. Three goals, a searing threat down the channels and he supported his fellow forwards very well indeed on a memorable day for him. Fellow forward Dominic Locke also had another very good match, with good running down the flanks, good passing and high energy levels – he also took his goal well. Luke Skinner was also a very important player here, setting up several good moves for the hosts and displayed good awareness and passing. Finally, a mention for Zack Littlejohn whose goal was well-taken & also showed good energy levels to break up enterprising counter-attacks from the visitors. For Cockfosters, I felt midfielder Kaidyn Michael had another good game, showing good movement and passing alongside energetic full-back Prince Madu. Skipper George Beattie was their chief goal threat here and took his two goals very well. Lastly, a word for Reece Barrett who set up Beattie for his second goal and put in a good shift for his team.
I’d just like to wish both sides a good remainder of the campaign, as they both contributed to a terrific afternoon’s entertainment for the small, dedicated contingent of supporters who attended today.
White Ensign | Player-Manager: Brett Munyard | Assistant: Mark Healy
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Riddell (GK), 11 Jason Reynolds-Blanche (2 Charlie Buffin 70′), 5 Andy George (Capt), 6 Jake McWee, 12 Liam Whipps (14 Charlie Adams 70′), 3 Thando Moyo, 10 Luke Skinner , 16 Zack Littlejohn, 7 Dominic Locke, 19 Luke Woodward, 17 Joe Gregory (8 Brandon Martin 66′)
Goal-scorers: Joe Gregory [6′], OG (Okafor) [17′], Luke Woodward [24′, 50′ & 70′], Dominic Locke [56′], Zack Littlejohn [68′], Brandon Martin [90′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Maleary, Munyard
Cockfosters | Player-Manager: Ryan Wade | Interim Assistant: Sam Ruff
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Josh Bradley (GK), 2 Andy Polycarpou (15 Zivonimir Lopes 58′), 3 Prince Madu, 5 Jamal Brimah, 6 Michael Okafor, 4 Reece Barrett, 8 Kaidyn Michael (16 Daniel Ugundi 72′), 7 Joe Entwistle, 9 Ryan Wade (12 Jack Hockney 69′), 10 George Beattie (Capt), 11 George Constanti
Goal-scorers: George Beattie [26′ & 80′], Joe Entwistle [38′]
Booked: None | Sub Not Used: Wild, Dash
Referee: Adam Miller
Assistants: Glenn Michaels & Connor Cornell