S22-23 Match Report: Runwell Sports 0 – 1 Shenfield AFC (Sat 15 Oct) [EOFL 22-23 15.10.22]

EOFL logo

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: St Luke’s Park

2021-22 Season: Match 22

Attendance: 35 (Est)

Saturday 15 October 2022 – 2pm KO

Runwell: Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts &  Yellow Socks

Shenfield: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Shenfield grab hard-fought win at Runwell

Runwell Sports 0 – 1 Shenfield AFC

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The Saturday outing this week was a first visit to St Luke’s Park for what I felt was a ‘lesser-known gem’ of a match between Runwell Sports and Shenfield AFC in the Essex Olympian League Premier Division. The hosts are back this term in the Intermediate top-tier for the first time in about twenty years and representing Rob Hodgson’s side here was goalkeeper Josh Hudson, a defence comprised of full-backs Charlie Buffin & Oliver Williamson and centre-backs Taylor Armstrong and Nathan James. The Central midfield duo were skipper Jordan Gregory and Damilare Eniolorunda with Joe Olley supporting a front three of Gianni Frankis, James Dalton and Charlie Little. Shenfield had Joe Durrant in goal, with a defence of Sam Bubb, Tom Black, Elliott Thompson and Jack Maleary. The three-man midfield was led by captain & co-boss Luke Williamson, with Marc Holland and Marlon Stratford alongside him. Their goal-hungry forward line was led by Ben Absolon, Alex Tredgett and Ben Carroll.

This match did not take long to provide a few half-chances, with Shenfield forward Ben Absolon having an early strike off-target before Runwell forward Gianni Frankis responded at the other end, nodding wide at the far post past Shenfield stopper Joe Durrant. Shenfield did seem to have that bit of extra zip about them and they did break the early stalemate after eleven minutes, as midfielder Marc Holland’s strike from the edge of the penalty area took a deflection which looped it over unfortunate home custodian Josh Hudson and into the net.

There was an air of ‘fine margins’ at this point but as the half wore on, Shenfield did start to retain the ball better and push on to create some further chances. One such chance occured on the quarter-hour as a decent break forward ended with Ben Carroll being denied by Hudson. Runwell were solid enough in defending but more often than not, their clearances were just going back to the Shenfield defence or midfield, who in turn added to the pressure the hosts’ backline was enduring. Absolon had also had another half-chance before Runwell started to see more of the ball and keep Durrant alert in the process.

Runwell’s Gianni Frankis did well to get down the right channel of the penalty area and outdid his marker before finding centre forward James Dalton but his strike lacked the power to bypass the Shenfield goalkeeper, who got across to save well. Five minutes before the interval, Shenfield forward Ben Absolon did well to get down the left, evading defenders before sending in his cross which Runwell defender Taylor Armstrong had to deal with and did so well, heading it over his own goal frame.

Oliver Williamson’s [#3, left] long throw arrows in the first half

Half-Time: Runwell  0 – 1  Shenfield

The second half was high on competitiveness but also high on niggly fouls which stifled both teams at times. Runwell forward Charlie Little was having to do a fair bit of defensive work earlier on, but just shy of the hour, a good through ball released him to face Durrant one-on-one but it was the goalie that got the better of that moment, with Little’s shot being saved when well-poised. AFC substitute Jack Shaw showed a glimpse of his ability soon after as his swivel & strike didn’t threaten Hudson’s goal but did send an alert that the visitors were keen to wrap up the points.

Rob Hodgson’s side were more in the game since the interval but a resilent & determined Shenfield defence were making it difficult for them. Frankis again had a glimmer at goal with 17 minutes remaining, but unfortunately for him, he lost his footing as he struck wide of the left-side post, leaving Durrant a chance to draw breath.

Runwell push forward in first half

Shenfield were still a threat on the counter-attack and one said counter led to Shaw pouring forward, requiring Hudson to advance out of his goal to challenge and whilst outside the eighteen-yard area, the visiting forward was felled as referee Daniel Mann showed little hesitation in deeming Hudson as the ‘last man’ and duly sent him off, leaving Sports down to ten men for about the last ten minutes.

There were a tense few moments in the latter stages after Hudson’s dismissal but the tiring visiting forward line did not heavily threaten emergency custodian Nathan James’ goal as they were content with the lead they had, which was enough to give Kevin Williamson & Luke Williamson’s hard-working side the three points. Armstrong had a decent strike wide in the last few seconds but as the referee blew for time, Shenfield could be pleased with both their performance & the points.

Shenfield midfield Marc Holland challenges for the ball late on

Full-Time: Runwell Sports 0 – 1 Shenfield AFC

To summarise this gritty game, Shenfield just had the edge in terms of chances created and being resolute throughout the spine of the side as well. Runwell showed the spirit that saw them to success last season but they didn’t create enough chances or sustained pressure to force at least a share of the points in my view.

The stand-out performances here stand with victors Shenfield. Forwards Ben Carroll & Ben Absolon led the line well for Kevin Williamson & Luke Williamson’s side here, stretching the defence, making intelligent runs and sending it good crosses at times. Also, a word for centre-back Elliott Thompson who was a powerful presence to maintain the resolute response to some decent build-up play by the hosts. Lastly, central midfielder Marc Holland put in a hard-working display and made some good passes as well as getting the goal with his deflected looping strike.

For Runwell, there were some good performances also. Winger Gianni Frankis did well at times, getting down the flanks utilising his pace and also having a couple of chances at goal. James Dalton also led the forward line well despite the relative lack of service, and had to come deep to get the ball in the second period. Centre-back Taylor Armstrong was a good, solid presence for Rob Hodgson’s side making several important clearances while lastly, a word for full-back Oliver Williamson who dealt with the pressure well & put in a high-energy performance too.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Runwell for their welcome today & to both teams for their kind words today. It is appreciated.


Runwell Sports     | Manager: Rob Hodgson  |  Assistants: Jason Davis & Ian Read

Starting XI: 1 Josh Hudson (GK), 2 Charlie Buffin, 3 Oliver Williamson, 5 Taylor Armstrong, 6 Nathan James, 4 Jordan Gregory (Capt), 8 Damilare Eniolorunda, 10 Joe Olley, 7 Gianni Frankis, 9 James Dalton, 11 Charlie Little

Subs On (Time): 16 Jamie Philbrick [63′], 15 Riley Armstrong [71′]

Booked: Little, Olley | Sent Off: Hudson [79′] | Subs Not Used: Day, Sparrow, Watson

Shenfield AFC    | Co-Managers: Kevin Williamson & Luke Williamson    

Starting XI: 1 Joe Durrant (GK), 2 Tom Black, 3 Sam Bubb, 15 Elliott Thompson, 11 Jack Maleary, 4 Luke Williamson (Capt), 5 Marlon Stratford, 8 Marc Holland, 7 Ben Carroll, 9 Ben Absolon, 17 Alex Tredgett

Goal-scorer: Marc Holland [11′]

Subs On (Time): 14 Jack Shaw [replaced Tredgett 46′], 18 Jack Panons [replaced Absolon 70′], 12 Frankie Fealty [replaced Carroll 85′], 6 Samuel Lock [replaced Williamson 86′]

Booked: Absolon, Bubb   | Subs Not Used: A MacKay

Referee: Daniel Mann
Assistants: Daniel Ward & Stuart Tredget

Author: survivor16b

I'm a Mental Health survivor (been surviving for years) & campaigner. I also like Music & Sport. This blog is centred on all things Non-League Football, mainly Match Reports of matches I've seen (mainly Essex Senior League (ESL) but also other Leagues) though it also houses the regular round-up's of the ESL action plus the Essex Olympian League divisions regularly. It also has the odd post about the scary world that we're all in, talking from a Mental Health perspective. Thank you for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: