Match Report: West Essex 1 – 2 Godmanchester Rovers (The FA Vase R1 – Sun 14 Oct 18) [FAV 14.10.18]

The FA Vase – First Round Proper

Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Attendance: 65

2018-19 Season – Match 22

Sunday 14th October 2018  – 2pm KO

West Essex: Red & Black Striped Shirts, White Shorts, Red Socks

Godmanchester Rovers: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks


Goddy overcome West to progress in the FA Vase



Report & Photo by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)


On a soggy day at Mayesbrook Park, Essex Senior League side West Essex welcomed Thurlow Nunn Premier outfit Godmanchester Rovers in a FA Vase First Round tie. The hosts named Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe as they focal point once again with Symeon Taylor, Joe Lefley and Cameron Gray in supporting roles. Godmanchester, or ‘Goddy’ as they are affectionately also known, are enjoying a very good season thus far in the TN Premier and fielded Niall Conroy between the posts and a front two of Austen Diaper and skipper Mike Hyem with Tom Spark and Matty Allen on the flanks.

The visitors started the match brightly with winger Tom Spark firing an early warning shot wide of the post on 5 minutes. West goalkeeper Jack Coker was called into action again seconds later as Goddy full-back Joe Furness’ sweet free-kick was palmed away well when it was heading for the far corner.

Godmanchester did break the deadlock ten minutes in as midfielder Simon Unwin broke free from the home defence to get a tap-in after good work by winger Matty Allen on the right. Ollie Drake’s side built on that as they pushed forward and showed their potent attacking strength, on the quarter-hour Unwin’s ball in found centre-back Charlie Bowen though he fizzed a header wide.

West didn’t quite create too many stone-wall openings though they did force visiting stopper Niall Conroy into action and full-back Ben Leo’s drilled effort which sailed wide did remind Goddy that their lead was thin. The hosts levelled the contest as the ball found its way to substitute NIck Walk who smashed in a class low strike into the corner, past Conroy, nine minutes before the break. West finished the half stongly as captain Tom MacLeod spurned two half-chances to give Kwame Kwateng’s side a surprise lead.

Half-Time: West Essex  1 – 1  Godmanchester Rovers

Into the second half and only two minutes in, Goddy substitute Buster Harradine’s terrific 25-yard strike forced Coker into another good save. The visitors sensed they had the better of the match and Coker maintained his good form, denying efforts from forward Mike Hyem, Allan and Spark. Goddy were’t going to be denied though as Harradine powered a header past Coker on 69 minutes to put the Thurlow Nunn side back ahead to cue joyous scenes in front of the travelling support.

MacLeod headed wide for the hosts in the latter stages though unfortunately they didn’t have the energy or much joy going forward and all told, Godmanchester deserved to progress into the next round.

Full-Time: West Essex  1 – 2  Godmanchester Rovers



West Essex  | Manager: Kwame Kwateng

Jack Coker (GK), Sanchez Hardy, Ben Leo (Samraj Gill 73′), Tom Macleod (Capt), Josh French, Greg Fredericks, Callum Bloss (Nick Walk 26′), Symeon Taylor, Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe (Tom Woodbridge 80′), Joe Lefley, Cameron Gray

Goal-scorer: Nick Walk [36′]

Booked: Leo    | Subs Not Used: Forster, Bromley

Godmanchester Rovers | Manager: Ollie Drake

Niall Conroy (GK), Reec King, Joe Furness, Chris Hyem, Charlie Bowen, Ross Munro, Matty Allen (Tom Moran 87′), Simon Unwin (Buster Harradine 44′), Austen Diaper (Tom Lloyd 90’+2), Mike Hyem (Capt), Tom Spark

Goal-scorers: Simon Unwin [10′], Buster Harradine [69′]

Booked: Furness, Spark  |  Subs Not Used: Walker, Palmer


Guest Blog: Will’s Eredivisie trip: Feyenoord 1 – 0 Heracles (23.2.18)

Venue: De Kuip Stadion

Sunday 19th February 2018

Written by Will Randle

Tulips? Clogs? Goldmember? I’m sure these are all images that are conjured whenever Holland is mentioned, but for me the first thing that comes to mind is football. As an advocate (or should that be Advocaat?) of the beautiful game, the Eredivisie seemed the logical choice for my latest ground-hop. Way back in September I decided on Feyenoord and with the news that Robin Van Persie had returned to his hometown team around a fortnight before my trip, I was glad I plumped for the Rotterdam club over their Amsterdam rivals Ajax. Why Feyenoord? Two words: ‘’De Kuip’’.

Old-school stadiums have always been a favourite of mine and by all accounts, I’d been reliably informed that ‘’The Tub’’, as it’s known in English, was the grandest of all in Europe. By the time of my first glimpse of the ground from the Erasmus bridge, I found it hard to disagree. With its red and blue seats and magnificent oval roof, I imagine that this is as close as I could get to the Old Wembley. Inside the arena, a novel feature was the use of ‘’Muntens’’ or little coins bearing the club crest used to purchase food and drink. 12 Euros afforded me 5 of the local currency which stretched to 2 pints of Heineken, a snack of two croquettes in a bread roll and a coffee ; which I deemed to be a fair exchange rate. With around 20 minutes to kick-off and suitably refreshed, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the homecoming hero Van Persie was in line for his first start since his return.

In a patient game which bared very little resemblance to the high-pressing style I’ve grown accustomed to in England of late, Feyenoords’ classic 4-3-3 formation saw RVP take the number 10 role. Despite the Rotterdammers’ careful and considered approach, they were hardly in the game during a first half in which Left Winger Jean-Paul Boëtius, expected to provide a creative spark, repeatedly came unstuck against his full-back. Indeed, despite all the home sides’ possession, it was Heracles who created the better of the chances during the opening 45 minutes; Breukers failed to hit the target, whilst Kuwas looked to be through but for a late offside flag. Vermeij also had an opportunity to test Brad Jones but the Australian was equal to his effort.

The second half started in a similar fashion with an attempt from distance by Kristoffer Peterson hitting the underside of the bar but it was Van Persie who demonstrated his feather touch and clinical finishing, breaking the deadlock around the hour mark. After receiving a pass just outside the box from Vilhena, RVP cushioned the ball with his wand of a left foot before placing it past Castro with a passed finish. Despite the lack of anything that got the Feyenoorders off their seats during the previous 59 minutes, as the ball hit the back of the net, the entire ground appeared to shake.

This moment aside, there was little else to get excited about, until Paul Gladon fired wide during the closing stages, when he looked set to equalise for the visitors from Almelo. Come full time, I was already analysing the match that had just gone and couldn’t help but feel as though I’d just witnessed an almost alien version of the game I watch every week back home.

Firstly, the full backs would barely touch the ball in their own half, their job more reminiscent of a deep lying midfielder in build-up, underlapping simply to recycle. The time and space afforded to them in the final third saw plenty of overlapping runs, but despite the not inconsiderate aerial threat of Jorgensen, the pullback was almost always favoured. Secondly and much more strikingly different, was the time and space afforded to almost every player on the pitch. Both teams played as if there was an unwritten rule, allowing your opposite number to settle and find his pass. Defenders appeared to be much more concerned with defending space and territory, blocking passing lanes and forcing the ball wide, with little desire to press and apply pressure to the ball. While this would appear to gift the opposition the opportunity to either thread a through-ball or strike from distance, this also seemed to be governed by a form of gentlemanly conduct, restricting the player in possession to recycling the ball around the edge of the box, looking to bring the full-backs into the game.

One can’t help but be impressed by the overall technical ability of every one of the 22 on the pitch, with lots of first-time passes out of defence and excellent takes from supporting players, but the lack of direct play developed from being frustrating to almost farcical. As pleasing on the eye as the Dutch game is, you’d feel that based on the patterns of play in this fixture, a direct player with an eye for goal would dominate the league. Overall, I enjoyed my visit to the Kuip, and feel as though there is plenty both the Dutch, with their emphasis on technique and the English, with their high-tempo, aggressive style of play could learn from each other.

Will Randle follows both Everton and Lowestoft Town FC and is a lover of all things football. Will is a keen fan of continental football, as well as an FA Level 2 qualified coach.

You can follow Will on Twitter: @WillRandle92


My thanks to Will for giving his permission to use this article. It’s certainly an interesting diversion from EPL and Non-League Football. Cheers Will!