Essex Olympian League – Division One
Venue: Stambridge Memorial Ground
2021-22 Season: Match 37
Attendance: 15 (Est)
Saturday 30th October 2021 – 2pm KO
Corinthians: Blue & White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Herongate: Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Herongate resist Corinthians comeback to claim a point at Stambridge
Corinthians 2 – 2 Herongate Athletic
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s game was an interesting battle in Essex Olympian League Division One, which saw Corinthians welcome Herongate Athletic to Stambridge. The hosts were missing full-back Brad Smith and goal-hungry forward Bailey Moss through injury, and were missing several other regulars. They did field regular stopper Nathan Warren in goal, with a back four of Ollie Brickwood, Bill Wilton, skipper Alfie Knight and veteran Sammy Ayres. Damien Siemienczuk led the line, with chief support coming from Jake Hodder, Leo Clarke and Jordan Stoneham. Options from the sidelines were limited but midfielder Connor Peralta and forward Brad Read were available. Herongate were managed here by Kurt Smith, with boss Billy Cove away. They had Nick Wilson between the posts with a defence of Calum Doyle, Joseph Fogarty, Wayne Bowers and Reece Brandon, who captained the team. Martin Llewellyn led the forward line but two eye-catching signings made by Ath this week were forwards Kieran Southgate and Carl Mullings, who have both played for Takeley in the Essex Senior this season.
We certainly were not short of goalmouth action in this match. That action started merely a couple of minutes in as Herongate’s rapid forward Kieran Southgate was advancing towards goalkeeper Nathan Warren, only to be felled in the area as adjudged by referee Frank Holland. Centre forward Martin Llewellyn stepped up and blasted a superb spot-kick right in the top right corner, giving Warren no chance of preventing it going in. Herongate did have the better of the early moments as Corinthians found it tough to defend against the quick forward play of their visitors. Carl Mullings slotted wide of Warren’s goal on five minutes and this let-off did spur the hosts into a response. Midfielder Cameron Glover was unlucky to see his fine low strike cannon off the right-side post with visiting custodian Nick Wilson beaten, but forward Leo Clarke could only fire the follow-up shot narrowly wide.
In what was a really quick start to this enterprising match, Corinthians maintained the pressure on ten minutes as forward Jake Hodder saw a glimmer of goal blocked so he fed Clarke but his well-struck strike was denied well by Wilson’s foot. Perhaps realising that they needed further goals, Herongate did pour forward again and got a very good second goal on 18 minutes. After a good initial run down the right flank by forward Dominic Stephens, he played in Southgate who sent in a teasing floated cross from right touch-line, which Llewellyn controlled well and fired past Warren into the left-sided corner of the goal. At this point, the thing that seperated these two good sides was clinical finishing on the part of Herongate.
However, this time Corinthians replied on the score-sheet within three minutes. Herongate momentarily switched off defensively with allowed midfielder Jordan Stoneham the time to get his strike low at goal away and it found the left corner, past Wilson. The hosts were keen to erase Ath’s lead before the interval but a combination of poor finishing and strong defending, led by Herongate skipper Reece Brandon meant that they had to also focus on defensive duties with Mullings & Southgate a threat down the flanks for Kurt Smith’s side here. The hosts were relieved to see another Llewellyn effort on goal go wide nine minutes before the break as they were being opened up defensively by some telling passes by Ath.
Half-Time: Corinthians 1 – 2 Herongate Ath
Corinthians were a bit frustrated at the interval at being behind but took full advantage a minute after the restart of an errant clearance from Ath ‘keeper Wilson which found Clarke and the quick-thinking forward did well to curl home a strike from twenty yards which evaded the grasp of the Herongate stopper. How fast a match can change, the hosts now being level. It must be said though that Herongate defended really well at times as after another swift counter by the hosts, strikes by Hodder and Clarke were denied by good blocks by covering defenders. Just a minute shy of the hour mark, Wilson did parry wide another strike by Clarke. Midway through the half, perhaps fortune shone on the visitors as Glover had a goal chalked off for an off-side.
Soon after Mullings had sent another strike wide of goal, Wilson was sin-binned by the referee after responding too strongly in the eyes of the ref to what he felt was a foul on him. Substitute Aaron Waters had to go in goal for that ten minutes but even then, the hosts couldn’t test the ‘keeper enough, which was an issue throughout this match you could debate for Corinthians. The short answer is that Herongate expended a lot of energy through good defending, including some last-ditch tackles to claim the point that the hosts will feel that Herongate may have been fortunate to get. I believe that Herongate will be happy with the draw they got in a match which was a good advert for this competitive division.
Full-Time: Corinthians 2 – 2 Herongate Athletic
To summarise, I felt both sides contributed heavily to to a very good, rapid encounter. Corinthians did well to recover from what was a poor start by their standards, but ultimately their finishing wasn’t good enough here, despite some very good forward moves. Herongate were arguably more clinical in their finishing although they had quite a bit of defending to do in the second period.
In terms of performances, there was a lot of players who had good matches today. For the hosts, I felt forward Jake Hodder had another very good performance down the left side, with his pace, passing and keeness to get past the last defender. Only good defending stopped him from scoring today I feel. Fellow forward Leo Clarke also was a big outlet for Corinthians here, he took his goal well but was again stifled well by a well-drilled Ath backline. Also deserving of mentions are centre-back Alfie Knight who kept his side in it before the break with important interceptions and good positioning, while midfielder Jordan Stoneham had a good game, scored one and could have assisted well on another day too.
For Herongate, I thought Brandon Kelly had an excellent match, both in centre midfield and later in the match, in central defence. His positioning was good, his work rate was very good and passing wasn’t bad either. Forward Kieran Southgate had a really strong game too, proving a real threat down the right channel with pace and movement and his assist for second goal was very good. Skipper Reece Brandon had a good game in defence too and forward Martin Llewellyn deserves a mention too for his work rate, aerial ability and finishing.
Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign.
Corinthians | Manager: Chris Stoneham | Assistant: Graham Owen
Starting XI: 1 Nathan Warren (GK), 2 Ollie Brickwood, 3 Bill Wilton, 4 Sammy Ayres, 6 Alfie Knight, 5 Cameron Glover, 8 Matt Burrell, 7 Jordan Stoneham, 9 Damien Siemienczuk, 10 Leo Clarke, 11 Jake Hodder
Goal-scorers: Jordan Stoneham [21′], Leo Clarke [46′]
Sub On: Connor Peralta [86′]
Booked: Wilton | Subs Not Used: Moneghan, Read
Herongate Athletic | Interim Manager: Kurt Smith | Assistant: George Young
Starting XI: 1 Nick Wilson (GK), 2 Calum Doyle, 3 Joseph Fogarty, 4 Jack Main, 5 Wayne Bowers, 6 Reece Brandon (Capt), 7 Carl Mullings, 8 Brandon Kelly, 9 Martin Llewellyn, 10 Dominic Stephens, 11 Kieran Southgate
Goal-scorer: Martin Llewellyn [pen 2′ & 18′]
Subs On: 12 Alex Newton [56′], 15 Aaron Waters [56′], 14 Ben Clarke [69′]
Booked: Kelly | Sin-Bin: Wilson [75′] | Subs Not Used: Garfinkle, Smith
Referee: Frank Holland