Essex Senior League – Premier Division
2022-23 Season: Match 50
Saturday 25th March 2023 – 6.30pm KO
Stanway: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts & Yellow Socks
Redbridge: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Redbridge again battle hard to claim another important win at Stanway
Stanway Rovers 0 – 1 Redbridge
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The second match this weekend to mark Non-League Day was a rare visit to the Hawthorns to see hosts Stanway Rovers take on promotion-chasing Redbridge in another Essex Senior League Premier match, which was also my 50th match of the campaign. Redbridge were playing their third match in five days here, the perils of still being in two Cup competitions you may say. George Christou’s team had an understandable air of squad rotation about it, but goalkeeper Connor Wheatley started, with a defence comprised of centre-back pair Joe Elliott & Nathan Okoye, and full-backs Bradley Bennett & Tayo Olukolu. Captain Jack Chawner was alongside Jerrold Cobblah and Reuben Campbell in midfield, with George Purcell & Tony Martin leading the attack, with support from Joey May. Stanway are in transition, and have not had an easy campaign being where they are in 13th place. Former Colchester Utd legend Karl Duguid took the team here, and named Alfie Marigliani as their stopper, with full-backs Sean Bartlett & Emmanuel N’Daw and centre-backs Olumide Akinode & Freddy Cooper comprising their backline. Jordan Barnett, Joe Debell & Max Sherlock were the central midfield three, with Harry Thomas, captain James Crisell and Nathaniel Mardell the forward three.
The early stages of this game were entertaining to watch as Rovers looked to pile the pressure on the visitors. Forward Nathaniel Mardell made two enterprising runs down the right flank in these early stages, but couldn’t quite find the final pass or a finish respectively to significantly challenge visiting custodian Connor Wheatley. Midfielder Jordan Barnett also had decent strike just wide of the left-side post. George Christou’s team did push forward, perhaps sensing the need to wrestle momentum back and after one of several good runs made in the match by energetic midfielder Reuben Campbell, his effort was off-target but served as a warning for Rovers to not be too expansive going forward. To their credit though, Stanway responded well and a fine strike by centre-back Freddy Cooper just inside the eighteen-yard box was well-denied by Motormen stopper Wheatley.
What ended up being the decisive goal came on twenty-four minutes as centre-back Nathan Okoye took advantage of indeterminate marking on a set-piece to plant his header into the net at the near post. One of the better phases of the game for the second-placed side also saw in-form forward George Purcell head over the goal frame. Stanway were not fazed by their deficit and skipper James Crisell’s goal-bound effort required another decent save from Wheatley as the visitors had to do their share of defending, with centre-backs Joe Elliott & Nathan Okoye characteristically miserly in clearing the ball away in an efficient way.
HT: Stanway 0 – 1 Redbridge
The second half was a more restrained contest, with less chances cropping up for both teams. Mardell had again fired wide for Rovers in a rare glimpse at goal. Redbridge had a few chances, chiefly an acrobatic strike by substitute Tendi Quamina from just outside the area, which had to be cleared off the goal-line.
Campbell also fired wide for a Redbridge side which still showcased their game management skills to good effect here, and also their lead was slender, they were not extensively pressured in the latter stages and claimed a vital win, which saw them jump back up above FC Clacton into second place, with a key ‘promotion six-pointer’ at Enfield set for Wednesday night.
Full-Time: Stanway Rovers 0 – 1 Redbridge
In summary, Redbridge turned up and battled to their third win in just five days in all competitions which in itself in some going. Their forward play was decent at times, but credit also has to go to Stanway who were able to restrict the promotiobn-chasing side’s chances through exhuberant defending and also showed enough going forward to stay in the contest, even though their finishing wasn’t clinical and they also found Blues stopper Connor Wheatley in good form here. All in all though, Stanway’s youthful side did show that in time, they may improve.
The stand-out mentions starts with victors Redbridge. Forward George Purcell led the line well and brought others into play effectively as the focal point in attack. Right-sided midfielder Reuben Campbell made the most of space to make several good breaks down the channel and also put in some fine crosses which forced the intervention of the home defence. Lastly, centre-back Nathan Okoye got the telling goal & was his usual composed self in defence, making a number of good interceptions both in the air and on the deck.
For Stanway, rapid winger Nathaniel Mardell really contributed to his team’s attacks right from the get-go, and also had a couple of decent chances himself, utilising his good pace and movement too. Full-back Emmanuel N’Daw also put in a good display, being decent in defence and also pushing forward down the left side, pustting in some good balls into the penalty box. Lastly, centre-back Freddy Cooper had a good game, competing well with the visiting forward line, making some good interceptions and pushed forward as well, being a threat from set-plays too.
I’ll close this report by passing on my thanks to Stanway Rovers for their hospitality pre-match.
Stanway Rovers | Interim Manager: Karl Duguid | Assistant: Stuart Nethercott |
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Alfie Marigliani (GK), 2 Sean Bartlett, 3 Emmanuel N’Daw, 5 Freddy Cooper, 6 Olumide Akinode, 4 Jordan Barnett, 8 Joe Debell, 7 Max Sherlock (16 Harrison Smith 84′), 9 Harry Thomas (15 Sonny Bastone 63′), 10 James Crisell (Capt), 11 Nathaniel Mardell (14 Sonny Dutton 72′)
Booked: Barnett | Subs Not Used: Lines
Redbridge | Manager: George Christou | Assistant: Jack Toghli
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Connor Wheatley (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett (17 Michael Pindy 90′), 3 Tayo Olukolu (16 Dean Hall 46′), 5 Joe Elliott, 6 Nathan Okoye, 18 Jack Chawner (Capt), 4 Jerrold Cobblah, 7 Reuben Campbell (15 James Barlow 72′), 19 Joey May (8 Tendi Quamina 58′), 9 George Purcell (11 Loui Hazelwood 84′), 10 Tony Martin
Goal-Scorer: Nathan Okoye [24′]
| Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Kola Adeyemi
Assistants: Robert Collins & Jozef Buda