Essex Alliance League – Fenton Trophy Final
Venue: Brisbane Road
2021-22 Season: Match 84
Monday 16 May 2022 – 7.30pm KO
Fairlop: Green & Black Shirts, Black Shorts & Socks
Old E’s: White Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Red Socks
Good Finishing gives Rovers the EAL Fenton Trophy at Orient
Fairlop Rovers 3 – 1 Old Esthamieans
(Short) Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The ‘Cup Finals’ fortnight began with a welcome first visit to Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road for my first of the series of Essex Alliance League Cup Finals, in this first-ever Fenton Trophy Final between Division Two champions Fairlop Rovers & mid-table D2 side Old Esthameians. Fairlop had James Crowe in goal here, with skipper Ellis Simmonds in central defence, allied with the forward line of Jake Kibblewhite, Dylan Scutt & Harry Oliver. Old Esthameians named Johnny Clayton between the posts, Les Moyo & Bradley Harris in central midfield & the trio of David Watson, Nelson Goncalves & Neil Robinson.
The match really found its rhythm early on as Fairlop broke the deadlock after just three minutes. Fairlop took advantage of some hesitant defending by Old E’s, which allowed forward Harry Oliver to head home into the corner from about six yards out with opposition stopper Johnny Clayton stranded. You may have thought that Old Esthamieans may take some time to recover their rhythm, but much to their credit, they responded in a fine and rapid manner. Their forward line of quick & tricky forward Nelson Goncalves and central forwards Dave Watson & Neil Robinson did pose problems for the Fairlop defence, marshalled well by Rovers skipper Ellis Simmonds. In fairness, both teams were showing good build-up play to support their respective forward lines.
Watson himself had a header off target for Old E’s just short of the quarter-hour but they retained the impetus and had a good chance on 18 minutes as good link-up play from Goncalves and Robinson ended with the latter’s effort lacked the power to get past Fairlop custodian James Crowe. That was a warning as to things to follow as more decent build-up ended with a leveller for Old E’s on twenty-four minutes as Les Moyo showed good athleticism to strike past Crowe from about seven yards out.
With the half-hour approaching, Crowe was called into action again as Robinson’s low drive was again denied as the Old E’s were edging their way ahead at this point, in terms of ball time. As you’d expect, the League champions responded in a big way on the half-hour, with Oliver again finding space in behind the opposition backline but his strike was well-stopped by Clayton.
Half-Time: Fairlop Rovers 1 – 1 Old Esthameians
The match was an entertaining one in the first half but again you felt Fairlop needed to make the most of their chances. In the early stages of the second period, they certainly showed that. Eight minutes after the break, referee Nathan Buckle took a moment before pointing to the penalty spot after a foul in the Old E’s penalty area. Oliver duly stepped up to emphatically strike home the resulting spot-kick and celebrated in front of both teams’ fans, which were part of impressive attendance of over 400 here tonight.
Crucially though, Fairlop maintained the pressure after that second goal and Clayton made an unorthodox save with his legs moments later to deny Rovers midfielder George Birch’s powerful effort. The third goal did materalise though for Fairlop on the hour as forward Jake Kibblewhite smashed in a superb, skilful strike into the left-side corner to really put the pressure on the Old E’s to recover.
Again, credit goes to Old Esthameians for keeping on going and robust defending from Fairlop stifled their attempts to grab a goal back and that would have made for a heck of a nervy end to the match. As it happened, Robinson was sent off late on adjudged simulation but it was too late for Fairlop to make the most of their numerical advantage. The clock did wind down and after six minutes of stoppage time, Fairlop could at last celebrate what has been a truly memorable campaign for them as they celebrated a Trophy triumph to go with their league honours. Congratulations to them on their fantastic season but also a big well done for Old Esthameians who also showed why they are a decent side as well in a match which was a good advert for the EAL and for Division Two specifically.
Full-Time: Fairlop Rovers 3 – 1 Old Esthameians
To summarise this good all-round Final, Fairlop taking the early lead did really spur Old E”s to a fine comeback which saw them level and they threatened to wrestle the impetus back as well, buoyed by a decent supporting contingent. However, Rovers hit hard in the early part of the second half and crucially got a two-goal lead, which their opponents could not ultimately battle back from.
There were some good performances from both sides here. For victors Fairlop, Harry Oliver had a fine game, scoring two goals and also providing a constant threat in attack against a decent Old E’s backline. Centre-back & captain Ellis Simmonds also made a number of important interceptions to rebuff some decent build-up play by their opponents, who certainly threatened to take the game away from the League Division Two champions before the break. Finally, forward Jake Kibblewhite deserves a mention for his terrific goal on the hour, while he also put in a good shift for Andrew Moffat’s team.
For Old Esthameians, forward Nelson Goncalves had a really strong game, showing good skill and passing to aid his side’s first-half comeback and kept the Fairlop defenders occupied. Midfielder Les Moyo also took his goal well & made some good tackles to stifle the Fairlop forward line. Finally, goalkeeper Johnny Clayton also pulled off some decent saves after conceding early on.
Thanks to the Essex Alliance League for having us & also congratulations again to both Finalists.
Fairlop Rovers | Manager: Andrew Moffat |
Starting XI: 1 James Crowe (GK), 12 Harrison McDonagh, 88 Ellis Simmonds (Capt), 6 Lewis Crowe, 28 Dylan Bruns, 32 Ben Harris, 8 George Birch, 21 Aodan Downer, 9 Jack Kibblewhite, 27 Harry Oliver, 37 Dylan Scutt
Goal-scorers: Harry Oliver [3′] & [pen 53′], Jake Kibblewhite [60′]
| Substitutes: Kian Burton, Michael Colgan, Toby Stephens, Logan Simmonds, Sam Beaman
Old Esthameians | Player-Manager: Danny Harris |
Starting XI: 1 Johnny Clayton (GK & Capt), 16 Henry Gray, 3 George Coffey, 6 Bartosz Bak, 14 Tavershima Yongo, 11 Shaun Vickers, 8 Les Moyo, 10 Bradley Harris, 5 David Watson, 7 Nelson Goncalves, 9 Neil Robinson
Goal-scorer: Les Moyo [24′] | Sent Off: Robinson
| Substitutes: Danny Harris, Jack Smerdon, Harland Taylor, 13 Dave Seed, 17 Josh Mitsu
Referee: Nathan Buckle
Assistants: Robert Watson & Tyriq Spencer
Fourth Official: Imran Patel