Essex Senior League
Venue: Leslie Field
Saturday 9th December 2017 3pm KO
2017-18 Season – Match 45
Burnham Ramblers: Navy Blue & Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks
West Essex: Red & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Red Socks
Scott W Reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a day partly beset by postponements due to the inclement weather, West Essex travelled to Leslie Field to take on Burnham Ramblers. Burnham were depleted though still named Charlee Hughes and Karl Swanborough in attack. West Essex were also missing a few key players though the ever-dangerous Michael Mignot was joined by Fatos Zeqiri up front and Jack Coker was back between the sticks.
I had a good feeling about this match before kick-off and that feeling was soon validated. The hosts had a double-chance early on though forwards Karl Swanborough and Charlee Hughes were both denied by visiting custodian Jack Coker. Both sides traded chances soon after that with home skipper Ryan Stillwell having an effort saved while West defender Nick Walk’s chip was saved by Burnham goalkeeper Josh Strizovic and Mignot’s lob struck the bar. It really was an open start to this match.
The visitors struck 17 minutes into the match through forward Fatos Zeqiri’s strike which found its way past Strizovic. The hosts struggled to keep up with the quickness of the Stags’ attacks and Strizovic produced a really good save to deny Mignot on the half-hour. That save was even more important at this point of the match as the hosts levelled minutes later through Karl Swanborough’s tap-in following-up.
The visitors responded just four minutes later as winger Cameron Gray’s initial shot was blocked though midfielder Joe Lefley slotted home neatly into the right corner. Strizovic was called upon again four minutes before the break to deny Zeqiri’s shot with his feet. There was a sense even at this point that there were more goals in this match.
Half-Time: Burnham Ramblers 1 – 2 West Essex
Just a minute after the re-start, the Stags extended their lead as a well-directed long pass found forward Michael Mignot and after rounding Strizovic, slotted home calmly into an unguarded net. Soon after, Gray nearly made it four though his effort was well-saved by Strizovic. Burnham spurned a decent opening six minutes after the break as Hughes fired wide. The visitors made it 4-1 moments after as Zeqiri grabbed his second of the afternoon, wrong-footing Strizovic before blasting home. Kwame Kwateng’s side continued to push with rapid attacks and just after the hour, midfielder Brad Russell’s attempted lob was well-saved again by the over-worked Strizovic.
The hosts got some respite in the form of a spot-kick, tucked away by Swanborough midway through the half to lessen the arrears once again and could’ve given the visitors a tricky last 15 minutes though Swanborough’s twin efforts on goal couldn’t get past Coker. In the last ten minutes of a really entertaining affair, West made it five after Mignot slotted home well from a narrow angle while at the other end five minutes later, Hughes couldn’t connect well with his header which was gratefully claimed by Coker.
Full-Time: Burnham Ramblers 2 – 5 West Essex
All in all, a pulsating match filled with both sides wanting to get the ball down and play good attacking football on a tricky pitch though to be fair, West had done more than enough to warrant the points so credit to them and in doing so, ending Burnham’s four-match unbeaten run. As for the hosts, well on another day they may have scored more and I have the feeling that manager Lee Hughes & his coaching staff will drive them on to a decent finish this term. One thing is for sure, watching Burnham’s matches is hardly dull, as there’s usually goals in them.
Finally, I’d like to thank both Burnham boss Hughes and West Essex Head Coach Kwame Kwateng as it was really good to talk to both of them post-match.
Joshua Strizovic (GK), Jed Bowman, Edison Tereziu (Jake Croft 46′), Ryan Plom, Fraser Inns (Julian Bavin 46′), Alex Karkoski, Ryan Stillwell (Capt), Ben Burgess, Robert Bagnall (Sam Warwick 63′), Charlee Hughes, Karl Swanborough
Goal-scorers: Karl Swanborough [32′ & pen 67′]
Subs Not Used: A French (GK), L Bond | Booked: Burgess
Jack Coker (GK), Nick Walk, Ben Leo, Maanoon Khan, Josh French, Tom MacLeod (Capt) (Kofi Appiah 87′) , Brad Russell, Joe Lefley (Tom Woodbridge 76′), Cameron Gray, Michael Mignot, Fatos Zeqiri (James Bromley 81′)
Goal-scorers: Fatos Zeqiri [17′ & 53′], Joe Lefley [36′], Michael Mignot [46′ & 81′]
Subs Not Used: T Ahmed, Carroll | Booked: None
Referee: James Masson
Assistant Referees: Ray Parmenter & Trevor Williams