Essex Senior League – Premier Division
Venue: Burroughs Park
2022-23 Season: Match 34
Saturday 7th January 2023 – 2pm KO
Ensign: Red & Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Redbridge: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Ensign secure hard-earned point and deny Redbridge a much-needed win
White Ensign 0 – 0 Redbridge
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The opening match of 2023 saw a interesting tussle between second-placed Redbridge and hosts White Ensign, who have already secured some big results in the 2022-23 campaign in the Essex Senior. The conditions were windy and a tad slippery but considering the amount of recent rain, Burroughs Park was in good shape. With boss Aaron Bloxham away, assistant boss Nick Wibrow took the reigns here for the hosts and he named new loan signing Luis Shamshoum in goal, a defence comprised of Ben Sargent, Daniel Monk & Centre-backs Montel Shonubi and captain Mitchell Stuart-Evans. Their midfield featured Iyiola Adebayo, Joe Hunter and Kyle McAlindon, with the forward line being led by Charlie Portway, supported by Billy Bonham-Dare and Kian Bradshaw. Redbridge knew they needed the win here after leaders Enfield’s big win at Buckhurst Hill 18 hours prior and manager George Christou fielded Connor Wheatley as their goalkeeper, with a backline of Reuben Campbell, Joe Elliott and centre-backs Nathan Okoye and skipper Dean Hall. Jerrold Cobblah and Jack Chawner were their central midfield pairing. Michael Pindy and Joey May supported forwards Ibrahim Kehinde and Tony Martin.
The early stages of this match was interesting to watch, given that White Ensign succeeded somewhat in frustrating the opposition, who could not find their rhythm, particularly in attack. Defensively, Redbridge were more rigid as you would expect for a good side & where they are in the table at present, but Ensign still carved out a big chance in the first quarter of the game. Support forward Billy Bonham-Dare managed to evade his marker and slip through a good pass into forward Charlie Portway, but unfortunately for the hosts, his low effort trickled past visiting custodian Connor Wheatley and wide of the left-side post. As the half passed the midway point, the Motormen were starting to find their passing game, with forward Ibrahim Kehinde getting in good positions, but a combination of good defending and a lack of a final pass did frustrate both Kehinde and the visiting dug-out.
Full-back Joe Elliott’s long throws were also posing a problem for the home defence, and from one of those throw-ins, support forward Joey May’s header needed tipping over by loanee stopper Luis Shamshoum, a short-term signing from Frenford I understand. Forward Kian Bradshaw was also posing a threat down the right flank wth his pace, though his tame effort when in space in the penalty area was comfortably gathered by Wheatley. Redbridge pushed on towards the end of the first half, with Kehinde having a decent chance on goal which couldn’t bypass Shamshoum.
Half-Time: White Ensign 0 – 0 Redbridge
I had a feeling that Motormen boss George Christou would utilise his substitutes soon after the resumption, and that would prove to be the case, with full-back Jack Roult, tricky winger Samraj Gill and midfielder Jamie Price all coming on before the hour, replacing Campbell, May & Cobblah respectively. Much to their credit, Ensign continued to be resilent in defence and occasionally made decent strides going forward as well, with midfielder Joe Hunter’s looping drive forcing Redbridge stopper Wheatley into action four minutes after the restart. Forward Ibrahim Kehinde also had a header which was well-gathered by Shamshoum after a good ball in by Elliott from the right flank. It was undeniable that the Motormen put pressure on the Ensign defence, though skipper Mitchell Stuart-Evans and full-back Daniel Monk led the way commendably to stifle an increasingly frustated visiting side.
Winger Samraj Gill did make a difference to the visiting forward line after coming on, as he put in several good crosses into the box, but Shamshoum and his defenders were equal to the task, with the Ensign stopper showing as much by palming away a dangerous ball in by Gill from the left flank late on, despite being under pressure from the advancing Jamie Price. Harry Kateley also had come on for Ensign and he also made a few good runs to give the Redbridge defence a couple of nervy moments alongside Bradshaw in the latter stages, but all in all, this was a good point for Ensign, hard-earned as it was. The result sees Ensign drop to 15th, because of Romford’s win at Sawbridgeworth, while the Motormen are now ten points adrift of leaders Enfield.
Full-Time: White Ensign 0 – 0 Redbridge
Although there were no goals in this contest, there was a lot of endeavour, a few good chances and some good approach play. Overall, Ensign stuck to their task well & their confidence grew as the match went on. Redbridge were unusually slow to get into their rhythm & although they pushed hard at times, they couldn’t grab that decisive goal to lessen the gap to leaders Enfield.
Redbridge’s good performances here were led by forwards Michael Pindy and Ibrahim Kehinde, who both put in a good shift for their team. Pindy made several good runs down the right flank and showed good movement while Kehinde showed guile and good willingness to get in between defenders, although both were thwarted by a resilent home defence. Full-back Joe Elliott put in a good defensive display, as well as making a few good surging runs down the flanks. Lastly, substitute Samraj Gill heightened the pressure on a tiring Ensign defence in the last half hour, putting in several dangerous crosses into the penalty area in the latter stages.
White Ensign had several good individual displays here, led in my view by full-back Daniel Monk who made several important clearances, covered well defensively as well as putting in some good passes forward. Midfielder Iyiola Adebayo put in another good display in both boxes, distributing the ball well alongside Joe Hunter in central midfield and showed hgh energy levels. Captain Mitchell Stuart-Evans was a good anchor in defence as well, making several timely interceptions to frustrate the Motormen attack, while goalkeeper Luis Shamshoum was as assured presence, making a few decent saves and stayed alert well too.
I’d like to wish both teams a good remainder of the season.
White Ensign | Stand-in Manager: Nick Wilbrow | Assistant: Enrico Tiritera
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Luis Shamshoum (GK), 2 Ben Sargent, 3 Daniel Monk, 5 Montel Shonubi, 4 Mitchell Stuart-Evans (Capt), 6 Kyle McAlindon, 7 Joe Hunter (16 Teddy Rumsey 87′), 8 Iyiola Adebayo, 9 Billy Bonham-Dare (11 Harry Kateley 58′), 19 Charlie Portway, 10 Kian Bradshaw
Booked: Bonham-Dare | Subs Not Used: Ferris, O Jenkins
Redbridge | Manager: George Christou | Assistant: Jack Toghli
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Connor Wheatley (GK), 2 Reuben Campbell (Jack Roult 52′), 3 Joe Elliott, 5 Nathan Okoye, 6 Dean Hall (Capt), 4 Jerrold Cobblah (16 Jamie Price 58′), 8 Jack Chawner, 7 Michael Pindy (14 Tayo Joshua Olukolu 72′), 19 Joey May (20 Samraj Gill 58′), 9 Ibrahim Kehinde (15 James Barlow 72′), 10 Tony Martin
Booked: Cobblah | Sub Not Used: None
Referee: Alex Baker
Assistants: Gary Telling & Joe Lannon