Essex Senior League – Premier Division
Attendance: 55 (Est)
2022-23 Season: Match 13
Tuesday 13th September 2022 – 7.45pm KO
Redbridge: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Enfield: Yellow & Blue Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow & Blue Socks
Redbridge forced to battle hard to ensure victory over Enfield
Redbridge 2 – 1 Enfield
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The Non-League journey for this season re-commenced after the weekend’s shut-down with a intriguing match at Oakside between two unbeaten sides in Redbridge and Enfield in the Essex Senior League. George Christou named a strong side with George Martin the goalkeeper, with a defence of Bradley Bennett, Josh Olukolu and centre-backs Nathan Okoye and Joe Elliott. Skipper Jake Brocklebank was alongside Jack Roult and Jack Chawner in midfield. The forward line was comprised of Tony Martin, Solomon Ogunwomoju and Simon Bamidele. Enfield had the ever-present James Bransgrove in goal, with a three-man defence of Nnamdi Harold-Eagle, Tyler Corlett and Jack Grosvenor. Skipper Alex Warman was alongside Usman Adeniji and Samrai Gebrai in midfield, with Louie Johnson, Danny Norton and Adu Odukoya leading the forward line.
Before kick-off, both teams marked a fine minute’s silence in honour of the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II (see image above).
Onto the match itself, and the match got underway with increasing amounts of rain descending down, which made pitch conditions a bit tricky. Enfield started strongly as the hosts had to soak up a fair wad of pressure defensively, with forward Louie Johnson firing wide and Danny Norton also sent a header narrowly over the goal frame. Redbridge did respond and were granted a spot-kick on 13 minutes as centre-back Nathan Okoye was brought down by opposite number Jack Grosvenor, which saw the E’s defender recieve a booking. Centre forward Tony Martin stepped up and duly converted the penalty, firing home into the left-side corner, giving visiting stopper James Bransgrove little chance to save it.
That was an important goal, given that the visitors had started well. Redbridge did have more impetus going forward, but Enfield’s momentum was also building, such was the small margins already present in this match. Johnson had another decent effort at goal, while fellow forward Ayo Odukoya also testing the Motormen defence, with full-back Brad Bennett and Okoye required to make several important clearances.
It was apparent that the hosts would need to increase their lead and they did so on the half-hour in some style. Full-back Josh Olukolu made a superb, fast run down the left before sending in a great centre which tracked the run of Martin in the six-yard area and Martin timed his run perfectly and struck home confidently into the far corner. Enfield did respond well and halved the deficit five minutes later as a floated corner was headed in very well at the near post by centre-back Tyler Corlett.
Both sides poured forward to grab another goal before the interval. Redbridge had a glimmer of goal from an angled set-piece found midfielder Jake Brocklebank who sent in a header narrowly over the woodwork. At the other end, good interplay by Samrai Gebrai and Johnson ended with the latter’s strike being deflected by Elliott which allowed Martin to gather. Moments before the break, Elliott sent a decent strike not far wide of Bransgrove’s goal frame.
Half-Time: Redbridge 2 – 1 Enfield
With the inclement weather getting worse, it added to the chance of errors being made. There were several good chances as the pace of the game didn’t drop. Forward Solomon Ogunwomoju had a good chance to really push the pressure on Jamie Cureton’s side but he fired narrowly wide. The visitors went back on the offensive as Johnson set up Odukoya but the powerful forward also couldn’t find the target.
Bransgrove did well to deny Ogunwomoju’s effort when one-on-one just short of the hour as the E’s also reacted by bringing on Dwade James, Jeffrey Cobblah and Kieran Bishop before the midway point of the half. As the game became increasingly fraught, James and Bishop also had half-chances to get that telling equaliser for Enfield but it wasn’t to be.
All credit to the visitors though as they made Redbridge work hard right until the final whistle. After about four minutes of added time, referee Gavin Bailey blew for the final time and Christou’s side could at last celebrate not only maintaining their unbeaten start to the league season, but also rising to joint-top of the Essex Senior table, behind Little Oakley on goal difference only.
By contrast, Enfield have seen their winning start to the season end but there was enough on display in their performance here to show that they will be up there in the promotion reckoning come March & April 2023. Both teams put on an very good match to watch, so kudos to them for that.
Full-Time: Redbridge 2 – 1 Enfield
To sum up this battle of a match, Redbridge had to defend for large parts of the second half after grabbing the lead before the break but respect to George Christou’s team in that they relished the battle. Enfield on another day would’ve got three or four goals but ultimately had a lot to do after conceding those two goals in the first half-hour. Their midfield took time to adjust to the conditions but they showed enough as a team to suggest they will win a lot of games this season.
For this match’s stand-out performances, we start with victors Redbridge. Tony Martin led the forward line well and showed clinical finishing to dispatch the penalty and showed good positioning throughout, most tellingly to make the run to score his & his team’s second goal. Wing-back Josh Olukolu had a very good game also, making several rapid runs and putting in a superb cross from the left flank for his team’s second goal. Joe Elliott had a fine game alongside Nathan Okoye at centre-back, with skipper Jake Brocklebank putting in a tireless display in anchor midfield, making several important block tackles.
For Enfield, forward Louie Johnson was their chief threat, having several chances that were narrowly wide of goal or had to be denied as well as making several piercing runs. Centre-back Tyler Corlett took his goal well and was a big physical presence in the E’s backline. Samrai Gebrai had a decent game as well down the left side and showed good understanding with Johnson. Lastly, captain Alex Warman grew into the game well and contributed to his team’s forward moves.
I’d just like to wish both sides a good remainder of the campaign.
Redbridge | Manager: George Christou | Assistant: Jack Toghli
Starting XI (Subs): 13 George Martin (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett, 3 Joshua Olukolu (19 James Barlow 85′), 5 Joe Elliott, 6 Nathan Okoye, 4 Jake Brocklebank (Capt), 7 Jack Roult, 8 Jack Chawner, 9 Tony Martin (14 Miles Peterkin 75′), 10 Solomon Ogunwomoju (11 Loui Hazlewood 89′), 18 Simon Bamidele (12 Reuben Campbell 66′)
Goal-scorers: Tony Martin [pen 13′ & 30′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Gill
Enfield | Manager: Jamie Cureton | Assistant: Jim Duggan
Starting XI (Subs): 1 James Bransgrove (GK), 21 Tyler Corlett, 5 Nnamdi Harold-Eagle (7 Kieran
Bishop 67′), 6 Jack Grosvenor, 4 Alex Warman (Capt), 16 Usman Adeniji, 23 Danny Norton, 11 Samrai Gebrai, 18 Gavin Cockman (20 Jeffrey Cobblah 61′), 10 Louie Johnson, 19 Ayo Odukoya (27 Dwade James 58′)
Goal-scorer: Tyler Corlett [35′]
Booked: Grosvenor | Subs Not Used: Cousins, J Johnson
Referee: Gavin Bailey
Assistants: Kadir Nazif & Davide Scaraggi