Essex Olympian League – Premier Division
Venue: Polo Fields
2021-22 Season: Match 82
Attendance: 100 (est)
Saturday 7 May 2022 – 2pm KO
Hutton: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Basildon: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Basildon Town overcome spirited Hutton to claim a priceless victory at Polo Fields
Hutton 0 – 1 Basildon Town
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
Additional Photo by Steve Alison (Twitter: @EastLondonWall], used with thanks.
This weekend, the Intermediate season continued with a huge match between Hutton and title-chasing visitors Basildon Town in the Essex Olympian League Premier Division. This match could be the last competitive match played here by the Hutton first team for a while, as next term they will be a tenant at Tilbury’s Chadfields so it was nice to return here.
This match got underway with the premise being simple, anything less than a win for Basildon would be the end of their title hopes. It was unsurprisingly a tense start to the game, with Hutton looking for some response after a hefty loss away at Catholic Utd in midweek, Matt Singh’s team started in a lively manner. With the match going at a good tempo, chances were at a premium with Bas forward Rhys Willson’s fine cross narrowly evading player-boss Marcus Bowers at the far post. Soon afterward, lead goalscorer Graham Harrison nearly had a one-on-one chance with Reds stopper Adrian Faherty but the assistant’s flag was raised.
Basildon were the more threatening of the sides as we got towards the half hour mark, as Faherty denied Harrison’s stinging strike. James Gardner and Jonathon Hilliard were doing well in the Hutton central defence to break up the enterprising Town forward line. At the other end though, Hutton were also a threat through hard-working forward Brad Freeman who had two chances but was unable to bypass Bas custodian Matt Knight. The first of those chances saw him well found by strike partner Luke Ricketts but Freeman’s effort went narrowly wide.
With the interval fast approaching, Bas nearly got that precious goal as another good centre by Willson found winger Rhys Fatt at the far post but the latter’s header was straight at Faherty. Harrison also had another effort well stopped by Faherty as the visitors were getting closer to breaking the stalemate.
Half-Time: Hutton 0 – 0 Basildon Town
Town began the second half with renewed impetus, and the occasional error was creeping into the hosts’ defending. First, Fatt’s strike came back off the woodwork when he could’ve found the corner, and soon after Harrison again was thwarted as his header was off-target.
That let-off though for Hutton would not last though as Basildon took the lead on 56 minutes. Graham Harrison did make the most of half a yard of space in a congested penalty area and fired home a fine strike into the right corner. Bowers was involved in the build-up. Commendably, Hutton did not let their heads drop and substitute Stephen Judge’s decent free-kick was saved by Knight’s legs.
Both sides carried on with some vigour, and replacement Adam Bessadi got in past the Reds backline, but his effort was again ably stopped by Faherty. Fatt was there to put the ball in the net following up, but the assistant had other ideas as his flag was again raised. Basildon could not get that comforting second goal to seal the win and that was adding to the tension for all the travelling contingent.
Despite some nervy moments at the end of the match for Bas, which saw Gardner’s header come back off the woodwork, Town held on for the win which means Ongar Town have to defeat Catholic Utd at Lakeside Sports ground 3G next weekend to claim the title. Even if Bas lose out on the silverware, it is still very likely they will be promoted to Eastern Counties Lge Division One South and join the most recent addition from the EOFL – Buckhurst Hill. Many congrats to all at Basildon Town on a superb season.
Full-Time: Hutton 0 – 1 Basildon Town
In summary, Basildon did have to work hard to secure this win but credit to them for battling and keeping a good defensive shut-out. Hutton more than contributed to the game with a spirited display and had their finishing been more clinical, it would have been more than nervy moments for Bas at the match’s end. All in all, I felt this match deserved more than the one goal we got, such was the high tempo and quality of the match, buoyed on a very good crowd for a Step 7 game.
As ever, there was a number of good perfrmances in this match. For victors Basildon, forward Rhys Willson got engaged into the match from the early stages, putting in a number of telling crosses from the left side and generally having a good game, being a good outlet for his team. Graham Harrison grew into the match as it went on, playing in a deeper role today but nonetheless getting the crucial goal. But for good goalkeeping by Faherty, he could have had more goals today. A word also for energetic midfielder Michael Onafuye who put in a good performance, being good in possession and gave his team another option making forward runs as well. Lastly, centre-back Reece Latimer had a good game, dealing with a number of aerial balls in with relative ease and alongside Keanu Hill, they ensured they kept out the lively Hutton forward line.
Onto Hutton then, and full-back Tom Stephens showed good awareness in both defence and attack, making several long runs down the flank to aid his team. Captain James Gardner was again commendably strong in dealing with the tricky and quick Town forward line, making several important clearances. Forward Luke Ricketts did well to break past the opposition backline at times while fellow forward Brad Freeman put in another hard-working display and was unfortunate to not be on the score-sheet today.
My thanks to both teams, was good to see them both in action.
Teams (Rolling Subs Used in EOFL matches)
Hutton | Manager: Matt Singh | Assistant: Bill Stratford
Starting XI: 1 Adrian Faherty (GK), 2 Tom Stephens, 3 John Carroll, 5 James Gardner (Capt), 6 Jonathon Hilliard, 4 Lewis Scott, 7 Jamie Moore, 8 Billy Chilcott, 9 Brad Freeman, 10 Luke Ricketts, 11 George Nash
Subs On (Time): 17 Stephen Judge [21′], 15 Jack Greenwood [56′], 16 Will Marlowe [70′], 18 Frazer Wraights [73′]
Booked: Gardner | Subs Not Used: None
Basildon Town | Player-Manager: Marcus Bowers | Assistant: Lee Bunn
Starting XI: 1 Matt Knight (GK & Capt), 2 Andy Edmunds, 3 James O’Brien, 5 Reece Latimer, 6 Keanu Hill, 8 Michael Onafuye, 4 Graham Harrison, 7 Rhys Fatt, 17 Marcus Bowers, 10 Grant Cumming, 9 Rhys Willson
Goal-scorer: Graham Harrison [56′]
Subs On (Time): 11 Adam Bessadi [56 ], 12 Ben Smith [56′], 14 Jamie Bradbourn [83′], 18 Louis Hill [84′], 16 Keith King [90’+1]
Booked: Edmunds, King | Sub Not Used: None
Referee: Alan Moore
Assistants: Henry Steele & George Marsh