Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town (Tues 10th Mar) [ILN 19/20 11.3.20]

Isthmian League Division North

Tuesday 10th March 2020 – 7.45pm KO

Venue: Len Salmon Stadium [3G]

Attendance: 70

2019-20 Season: Match 62

Hullbridge:  Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Deeham: Greeen Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

Dereham’s fast-paced attack grabs the points with win at Hullbridge 

Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town

Match Report & Photos by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

A ‘bonus’ match saw me travel to the Len Salmon Stadium to see last season’s Essex Senior champions Hullbridge Sports continue their Isthmian League North campaign with a ‘home’ match against Dereham Town. ‘Bridge had a mixed week with a heavy loss to Cambridge City a week ago being part-vanquished by a decent point at Bury Town last weekend. Darren Manning fielded an unchanged side from that draw at Bury Town, with Lewis Greene between the sticks and in front of him, a defence of full-backs Courtney Homans and skipper Matt Rose with Michael Agboola and Jamal Allen as centre-backs. Jamie Salmon and Emmanuel Okunja made up the central midfield with Daniel Gilchrist and Joe Wright leading the line. Forwards Dan Walker and Kieran Bishop were among the options from the bench. Dereham were in decent form coming into this match, having won 3 – 1 away to Brentwood Town last weekend.

Adam Gusterson’s Magpies side featured Elliot Pride in goal, with Shaun Wones among the centre-backs and in central midfield, George Quantrell and David Hinton were named with a front three of Nathan Stewart, Ryan Crisp and top-scorer Adam Hipperson. The added factor here was that this is my first visit to the Bowers & Pitsea’s Len Salmon Stadium since it went 3G and goodness, the good talk I’ve heard about it is more than accurate, so fair play to Rob Small’s side on that development.

Onto the match and in the early-going, Dereham started well with the lively Nathan Stewart being denied by a timely interception by Sports centre-back Michael Agboola on four minutes. Minutes later, a good run down the middle by the rapid Adam Hipperson fed Stewart with an unselfish pass though with the angle on goal declining with only home custodian Lewis Greene to beat, his strike was well-blocked by Greene getting down low. At this point, the Hullbridge goal was living a tad of a charmed life as a succession of corners heaped the pressure on as the nippy visiting front line gave the home backline enough to handle with mazy runs.

With eighteen minutes on the watch, Hullbridge ventured forward and box-to-box midfielder Emmanuel Okunja played in forward Daniel Gilchrist as he bared down on goal, though visiting goalkeeper Elliot Pride did well to deny his strike. Joe Wright followed up in the next attack with an attempted chip which lacked the finesse to bypass Pride. Midway through the half, a fine long ball sprayed in by experienced midfielder Jamie Salmon found Wright down the right channel and Wright’s cut-back only just escaped the run of onrushing winger Callum Thompson, who felt he was impeded.

The Magpies responded at the other end, taking advantage of a defensive lapse by the hosts as Stewart ghosted in, though with only Greene to beat, the advancing forward’s drive was well-blocked by Greene’s legs. As we entered the last few minutes before the interval, Agboola made a couple of good interceptions for the hosts though Stewart made a fine run down the left-side on the penalty box, evading Agboola in the process but unfortunately for Adam Gusterson’s side, his effort was tame and Greene could gratefully gather. ‘Bridge had periods in the half but ultimately their final ball was letting them down, plus Dereham showed their pace and passing game enough to make you feel this wasn’t going to stay a stalemate.

Half-time: Hullbridge 0 – 0 Dereham

Hullbridge changed their system just before the hour, with Kieran Bishop and Dan Walker replacing Gilchrist and midfielder Gregory Frederick who worked hard in breaking up the opposition attacks. Soon after coming on, Walker was played in by full-back Courtney Homans’ long-throw and his strike was well-saved by Pride in the Dereham goal. The deadlock was finally broken midway through the half as a free-kick from the half-line fell to Dereham skipper David Hinton after Sports were unable to clear their lines defensively and Hinton weaved away from a couple of defenders before striking low and calmly past Greene  to give the visitors a deserved lead.

To their credit, Hullbridge kept trying to get back on level terms showing passion and energy, though that crucial final pass continued to elude them and the frustration was starting to show. With eleven minutes remaining, another defensive mix-up allowed the tireless Ryan Crisp in on goal, though Allen got in first to pick his pocket before facing Greene one-on-one.

Then, in added-time, Crisp got his reward for holding on to a ‘lost cause’ down the left wing, before gliding impressively past three defenders and working the angle to slot past Greene from about five yards out. Not one for the home defence to remember perhaps, though Crisp’s ninth league goal this term sealed the points.

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town

In all fairness, it was the right result as Dereham had more than enough chances to score and win the game conclusively and they did play some really good stuff at times, though it is a credit to ‘Bridge that the Magpies didn’t look quite so assured in defence in the second half.

In my view, the stand-out performances for Dereham were tireless forward Ryan Crisp who typified his work rate with a well-taken goal in added-time. Playmaker David Hinton got his side going supporting the frontline and also took his goal well, with Nathan Stewart also having a lot of joy on the right flank with his pace and directness. Shaun Wones also stood out with an assured performance at centre-back. For Hullbridge, on a difficult evening, centre-back pairing Michael Agboola and Jamal Allen played their part to repel the fast-paced Magpies attacks, though goalkeeper Lewis Greene had a fine match with at least five good saves. Dan Gilchrist also did a fair wad of unselfish work up front down the channels for the Bridge Boys.

Finally, as ever I would like to say thank you to Hullbridge for their welcome & hospitality. Also, my thanks to the Webb family. Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season. Dereham went up into eighth place with this win, while Hullbridge remain in 16th, seven points clear of the relegation spot.

Teams

Hullbridge Sports  | Manager: Darren Manning  | Assistant Mgr: James Wakeling

1 Lewis Greene (GK), 2 Courtney Homans, 3 Matt Rose (Capt), 4 Jamal Allen, 5 Michael Agboola, 6 Gregory Frederick (10 Daniel Walker 54′), 7 Callum Thompson, 18 Jamie Salmon, 8 Emmanuel Okunja, 9 Daniel Gilchrist (16 Kieran Bishop 54′), 11 Joe Wright (12 Tim Monsheju 74′)

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Rahman Fujah, Garrett-Douglas

Dereham Town    | Manager: Adam Gusterson | Assistant: Olly Willis

1 Elliot Pride (GK), 2 Thomas Matthews, 3 Owen Murphy, 4 Robbie Linford, 5 Tomas Snapkauskas, 6 Shaun Wones, 7 Nathan Stewart (12 Lagshan Sivakumar 90′ +1), 8 George Quantrell, 9 Ryan Crisp, 10 David Hinton (Capt), 11 Adam Hipperson

Goal-scorers: David Hinton [67′], Ryan Crisp [90′ +2]

Booked: None   | Subs Not Used: Willis, Smith

Referee: Jamie Pope
Assistant Referees:  Kennedy Kikulwe  & Andy Simmonds

Match Report: White Ensign 1 – 2 Lopes Tavares (Sat 7 March) [EaSL Sth 19/20 7.3.20]

Eastern Senior League South

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: TBC

2019 – 20 Season: Match 61

Saturday 7th March 2020 – 3pm KO

W Ensign: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Lopes T: & Yellow & Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks

 

Lopes end Ensign’s record run with fine display at Burroughs Park

White Ensign  1 – 2  Lopes Tavares

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

The weekend’s Non-League match saw a change in the ‘billing’ as after a match elsewhere was shelved, it was a return trip to Burroughs Park to see this Eastern Senior League South top-of the-table clash between White Ensign and Lopes Tavares. The scene was set, a win for the hosts would make it 12 straight league triumphs whereas Lopes needed the points to reduce the gap to the leaders and stay in the promotion hunt. Ensign did have a stronger squad available here as centre-back Andy George returned to join skipper Jake McWee at the back. Cannor Barnby also came back into the side to partner Brett Munyard in attack, with Jason Reynolds-Blanche and Dominic Locke providing the support from the flanks. Dave Limber, Rhys Fatt and John Hilliard were among the options on the bench.

Lopes Tavares fielded a number of familiar names who previously played for Hackney Wick, with Simpson Mpalampa captaining the side, Alvaro Guerrero their technical playmaker and Simon Bamidele & Jeff Idemudia on the flanks. The line was led by experienced forward Tony Cookey and Joel Appiah, with Akin Akinola and tricky forward Richard Kone were among the replacements.

This encounter started slowly in the early minutes, though Lopes did start off the stronger with winger Simon Bamidele’s dangerous cross from the left evading everyone in the six-yard area after getting past Ensign right-back Charlie Buffin. The Navy Boys couldn’t quite find their passing game in the first throngs of the contest as both sides perhaps realised the importance of the three points. There wasn’t a huge amount of goal-mouth action in the first part of the half though as we approached the half-hour mark, a good through ball by home player-boss Brett Munyard found rapid winger Dominic Locke though the angle wasn’t favourable and he struck wide of visiting custodian Wilkinson Boateng’s far post. Moments later, Munyard was denied a one-on-one chance with the ‘keeper himself as Lopes defender Carlos Indjai closed out the chance as quickly as it had arisen.

Lopes powered forward on the counter-attack, and after winger Jeff Idemudia’s drive was deflected out for a corner, the delivery found forward Joel Appiah whose well-directed header was cleared away by the well-positioned Buffin on the goal-line. Right on the half-hour, Tony Cookey added to the chance count for the visitors as he powered a drive just over the goal frame. Minutes later, Ensign responded as from a Bradley Gates free-kick, centre-back Andy George’s header flew just wide of the ‘onion bag’. Connor Barnby also fired over the bar from another set-piece as the minutes ebbed away.

It was Lopes who got the crucial breakthrough three minutes before the break as a fine cross from the left by Bamidele found Cookey who superbly guided a header past Ensign ‘keeper Nick Wilson. On the balance of play, it was a lead Chris Davis’ side did deserve though you also felt there was more to come.

Half-Time: White Ensign 0 – 1  Lopes Tavares

After the break, it was the visitors who had the better opportunities in the first phase of the second half. Idemudia fired over the target after a surging run through the middle, before Appiah had a shot well-saved by Ensign stopper Wilson’s foot. On the hour, an initial error by Lopes goalkeeper Boateng gave a half-chance to George though his header was well tipped over by the recovering Lopes custodian. From that corner, substitute Dave Limber had a header saved before Munyard headed over seconds later. As we entered the final twenty minutes here, energetic winger Jason Reynolds-Blanche had a firm header well-clawed away by Boateng and Locke couldn’t make the most of a rare chance with only Boateng to bypass. The frustration from the home dug-out was audible and you couldn’t really blame them.

Lopes doubled their lead with thirteen minutes remaining as Ensign pushed forward, substitute Richard Kone powered forward on the counter and bypassed the covering McWee and slotted low past the exposed Wilson with aplomb into the far corner. Moments afterward, Kone danced his way past the tiring home backline again though this time Wilson did well to deny him a quick-fire second. Lopes Tavares sensed the chance was there to close the game out and Appiah sent a good centre in which the ever-watchful Wilson did well to palm away from the top corner though thanks to his efforts, Ensign did have a sniff of a point at the end.

Four minutes before the end of the ninety, Locke was felled in the penalty area and Luke Skinner blasted the resulting spot-kick in. That said, a slack throw-in from the hosts allowed Kone another chance at goal though again, custodian Wilson did well to deny him with his feet. What ensued after was a fraca after a bad tackle by Skinner saw him dismissed by referee Ryan Smith, once the situation had been calmed down. However, Idemudia and Indjai were also sent to the dressing rooms for Lopes for respective second bookings for their part in the resulting arguments. Ensign nearly had an unlikely hero deep into added time as from substitute John Hilliard’s deep free-kick, Wilson, up from the back headed towards goal  though his opposite number Boateng was equal to it and gathered. Lopes held on after a tough end to the game but you have to applaud their forward play which involved invention, pace and power.

20200307_165123

Full-Time : White Ensign  1 – 2  Lopes Tavares

It was the right result, although in fairness Lopes Tavares did have more of the chances and showed once again why they are right in amongst the challengers for promotion from this division come of the next month though at time of writing, they still have thirteen matches yet to play. Ensign were not at their peak, by their own admission though are still well-placed to secure an elevation to Step 5 whatever happens.

In terms of stand-out performances, for the hosts centre-back Andy George had to be on good form to repel some of the Lopes attacks, while goalkeeper Nick Wilson pulled off at least four good saves to keep his side in the contest. Jason Reynolds-Blanche & Connor Barnby arguably had the better of the forward line displays today though they could not bypass the visitors’ backline often enough. For Lopes, Joel Appiah was a big threat all match with his pace, unselfish passing and movement. Strike partner Tony Cookey took his goal very well and Simon Bamidele was another constant presence on the left flank and his crossing was really good at times.

Finally, I’d like to wish both teams the best for the rest of the campaign. Also, a thank you to Ensign for their welcome today.

 

Teams

White Ensign    | Player-Manager: Brett Munyard | Assistant: Mark Healy

1 Nick Wilson (GK), 12 Charlie Buffin (14 John Hilliard 72’), 3 Thando Moyo (13 Dave Limber 52’), 5 Andy George, 8 Jake McWee (Capt), 6 Bradley Gates, 10 Luke Skinner, 7 Connor Barnby, 9 Jason Reynolds-Blanche (15 Rhys Fatt 82’), 20 Brett Munyard , 11 Dominic Locke

Goal-scorers: Luke Skinner [pen 86’]

Booked: Barnby | Sent Off: Skinner [90’ +2] | Subs Not Used: Maleary, Austin, Martin (GK)

 

Lopes Tavares |  Manager: Chris Davis

1 Wilkinson Boateng (GK), 2 Carlos Indjai, 3 Louis Hiobi, 20 Khalifa Jabbie, 5 Simpson Mpalampa (Capt), 19 Simon Bamidele, 8 Alvaro Guerrero (14 Akin Akinola 88’), 11 Babs Sonupe (16 James Purdon 64’), 7 Jeff Idemudia, 9 Tony Cookey (17 Richard Kone 71’), 10 Joel Appiah

Goal-scorers: Tony Cookey [42’], Richard Kone [77’]

Booked: Mpalampa, Guerrero, Jabbie | Sent Off: Idemudia [two bookings], Indjai  [two bookings] |

Subs Not Used: Jimali, Asaro

 

Referee: Ryan Smith

Assistant Referees: Martin Green & Daniel Keeble

Match Report: Old Southendian 4 – 1 Basildon Town (Sat 29th Feb) [EOFL 19/20 1.3.20]

eofl-logo
EOFL Crest

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Garon Park [3G]

2019 – 20 Season: Match 60

Saturday 29th February 2020 – 2.30pm KO

Old Southendian: Green Shirts, Black Shorts, Green Socks

Basildon T: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

 

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Garon Park 3G pre-KO

Old Southendian motor to fine win at a blustery Garons

Old Southendian 4 – 1 Basildon Town

 

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

After a miserable week weather-wise, the local Non-League scene was heavily affected in Steps 4, 5 & 6 as well as the Olympian League, so I returned to Garon Park 3G for this important mid-table tussle between Old Southendian and Basildon Town. With matches running thin, the hosts needed the points to try and ward off the threat of being overtaken by the sides below them, which included their opposition here. And before kick-off, Town’s decent away record may have been a concern, having won four of their previous eight matches away from Basildon Sports Club.

The hosts named a strong starting squad, with Charlie Merrin between the posts, Connor Burrows and Matt Wilson in central defence and a front two of Nick Henesy and Riley Oliver, supported by wingers Elliot Hemmings and Ed Gould. Among the options from the bench were midfielder Ryan Stillwell and forwards Nico Dubouchet and Harry DaCosta. Basildon fielded Lucas Morenas-Jones in goal, with a back four of Alex Horey, Daley Grant, James O’Brien and Jamal Hinds. The attack as led by top-scorer Keith King and Jamie Broadbourn while the options from the sidelines included midfielders Billy Childs and Sam Green and forwards Barv Walkuaika & Kieron Case.

The match got underway in a relentless gale of ice-cold wind with the visitors being quite nervous in defence, as OS looked to start well. Seconds after one of those said defensive lapses nearly gave OS forward Nick Henesy a one-on-one chance to beat visiting custodian Luke Morenas-Jones, home full-back Charlie Kernott slipped in the right-side of the penalty box though his drive from a narrow angle was well parried away by the Basildon stopper. At the other end, Basildon were showing they had pace and purpose as well, though forward Keith King sent two efforts wide of goal, it was a warning for the home back-line.

The hosts responded minutes later as after god build-up play involving wingers Ed Gould and Elliot Hemmings, the ball came to forward Riley Oliver though his effort went just wide of the onion-bag. As we passed the midway point of the half, with Town on the back-foot, they had another setback as enterprising forward Jamie Bradbourn had to be withdrawn and it did affect their play in attack. Old Southendian added another blow as they took the lead moments later. Gould found a little pace on the right side of the 18-yard area and lobbed Morenas-Jones, with the ‘keeper possibly being wrong-footed by the swirling gust of wind though it was still a good bit of thinking by Gould. The hosts lookd to extend their lead soon after the half-hour as Henesy’s pass found Gould though this time he couldn’t find a way to bypass Morenas-Jones. Another good move by OS saw Gould neatly finding Hemmings, though again the strike was off-target.

Half-Time: Old Southendian  1 – 0  Basildon Town

The game was still well-poised at the interval, though the hosts did extend their lead seven minutes into the half, with Henesy again involved in the build-up, finding strike partner Oliver who fired home low past a number of bodies in the six-yard area. Basildon did hold firm in the next part of the game, although found it hard to keep the ball in the attacking third of the pitch, finding the back four and tigerish midfielder Luke Moloney in a battling mood. It was Moloney himself who grabbed a third goal on 73 minutes. Sitting deep outside the D, a cool pull back ended with an unstoppable rising drive from 25 yards from Moloney which sailed past Morenas-Jones into the top corner of the net, much to his teammates’ delight and was applauded by the opposition dug-out as well.

As we entered the last ten minutes, Town midielder Tom Green lashed a shot into the side-netting from a narrow angle while the over-worked Morenas-Jones also did well to tip wide a curling effort by home substitute Nico Dubouchet. Centre-back Matt Wilson’s header crowned off a fine day for the hosts with six minutes left though the clean sheet also went moments later as the home defence lapsed, allowing substitute Barv Walkuaika to slot home well with three minutes left.

Full-Time: Old Southendian  4 – 1  Basildon Town

The win for OS takes them back up to eighth, but as the bottom seven sides are still so closely-packed, the Southend side are seven points clear of bottom side Harold Wood Athletic with only four matches left to play and their rivals all have games in hand, apart from Canning Town in tenth spot.

Despite the need for points, Connor Lane’s side played good football throughout most of this match, with neat passing moves and were decent in defence as well. Ed Gould gave the Basildon defence a hard afternoon with his running, skill and passing, with Nick Henesy also shining here as a centre-forward, linking up well with Gould and Riley Oliver, who also had a good game here. Also, skipper Luke Moloney had a superb afternoon as the ‘engine room’ in central midfield and capped it off with a stellar strike which he and those watching won’t forget quickly. Finally, winger Elliot Hemmings also did well tracking back and assisting the forward line in attacking moves.

For Basildon, they had their moments going forward, particularly in the first-half and although he had to be subbed off prior to the half-hour, Jamie Bradbourn showed enough purpose, trickery and movement to be noted here. Defender James O’Brien and midfielder Scott Cooper had solid outings here, as did centre-back Jamal Hinds, particularly when his side were up against it after the interval. A note also for the tireless running of centre-forward Keith King who despite being isolated up front, he did keep the home defence alert with his probing runs and passing.

Finally, my thanks to the hosts for the kind welcome as usual. Good also to see Gareth Cleverly’s Basildon side as well for the first time. I’d like to wish both teams well for the rest of their respective seasons.

 

Teams

Old Southendian  | Manager: Connor Lane | Assistant: David Tubbs

Starting XI: 1 Charlie Merrin (GK), 2 Charlie Kernott, 3 Steven Sharpe, 4 Luke Moloney (Capt), 5 Connor Burrows, 6 Matt Wilson, 7 Elliot Hemmings, 8 Lawrence Phillips, 9 Nick Henesy, 10 Riley Oliver, 11 Ed Gould

Goal-scorers: Ed Gould [33’], Riley Oliver [52’], Luke Moloney [73’], Matt Wilson [84’]

Subs On: 14 Ryan Stillwell [62’, on for Phillips], 12 Nico Dubouchet [76’, on for Oliver] | Subs Not Used: DaCosta, Nutman, Lane

 

Basildon Town  | Manager: Gareth Cleverly

Starting XI: 1 Luke Morenas-Jones (GK), 2 Alex Horey, 3 Daley Grant (Capt), 16 James O’Brien, 5 Jamal Hinds, 6 Ross Giles, 12 Scott Cooper, 8 Jimmy Markham, 18 Tom Green, 10 Keith King, 11 Jamie Bradbourn

Goal-scorers: Barv Walkuaika [87’]

Subs On: 20 Billy Childs [27’, on for Bradbourn], 17 Sam Green [62’], 7 Matt Juson [73’], 14 Barv Walkuaika [73’], 9 Kieron Case [76’]

Subs Unused: None  |

Referee: Simon Caton

Assistant Referees: Ryan Bennett & Haydn Seaman

 

 

Match Report: White Ensign 1 – 0 Halstead Town (Sat 22 Feb) [EaSL Sth 19/20 23.2.20]

Eastern Senior League South

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: TBC

2019 – 20 Season: Match 59

Saturday 22nd February 2020 – 3pm KO

W Ensign: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Halstead: & Black & White Squared Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

 

 

Ensign narrowly overcome spirited Halstead to reach 11 straight League wins

White Ensign  1 – 0 Halstead Town

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

The weekend’s Non-League match saw me return to Burroughs Park to see the Eastern Senior League South encounter between leaders White Ensign and promotion rivals Halstead Town. Although I’d seen the Navy Boys at home in the FA Vase this term, this was the first League match I’ve attended this season, as well as the first time seeing Halstead, who I’d heard good things about. Ensign looked to extend their ten-match league winning run whilst Town looked to gain ground on their opponents. The hosts were depleted, without the suspended Connor Barnby and influential forward Luke Skinner. They did name former Woodford Town & Holland stopper Nick Wilson in goal, with Dave Limber and skipper Jake McWee at the centre of the backline, with front two Jason Reynolds-Blanche and Brett Munyard supported by Dominic Locke and John Hilliard. Recent signing Rhys Fatt and defender Jack Maleary were among the options from the bench. Halstead fielded Jack Cherry between the posts with centre-backs Garry Burdett, Matt Caley and Jack Schelvis in front of him, and a attack of top scorer Chris Harris and Ricky Gardner. Hassan Ayten, Conor Scurlock and Nick Miller were all on the bench.

This highly-anticipated match started in a tense way, as both sides looked to get a minor advantage. The first chance of note came after just two minutes for the hosts as from a John Hilliard corner, centre-back Dave Limber powerfully headed wide of the far post. Town were looking good going forward though as moments later a neat through ball by Kane Munday found the run of forward Ricky Gardner though the home defence retreated to clear their lines. I feel it would be fair to say Ensign started the match in a nervy way, particularly in defence, much to the ire of vastly experienced custodian Nick Wilson. As the increasing breeze made conditions tough, Ensign winger Dominic Locke was once again a big outlet on the right flank with his surging runs and passing. It was Locke himself who played in forward Jason Reynolds-Blanche though the ball’s path decreased his angle on goal as he fired wide of the opposite post past the committed Humbugs ‘keeper Jack Cherry.

In truth, Halstead were growing in stature as their neat build-up play tested the hard-working Ensign midfield. Moments after Town midfielder Charlie Pleace had fired wide, a searching cross by Munday from the left got caught up in the wind, and Wilson did well to prevent it landing in the far corner by clawing it away with an outstretched hand, though Jamie Baker’s follow-up shot was comfortably gathered by the well-positioned Wilson. Ensign needed a telling blow at this point of the match and they duly found it on 33 minutes. A fine ball in from the left by Hilliard was flicked on by Reynolds-Blanche to the onrushing Locke who bypassed the visiting defence to power home from about five yards out as Brett Munyard & Mark Healy’s side took the lead.

Halstead did well to keep their focus as eight minutes before half-time, as Ensign forward Reynolds-Blanche did well to get past the defence though his well-hit drive was tipped over by Cherry. From the ensuing corner, Hilliard found Locke at the near post but Cherry again foiled him, getting down low to claw it away. The pace was building in this dramatic match as Halstead responded at the other end as an errant clearance by the hosts found Gardner just outside the 18-yard box though he couldn;t find the target. Baker also fired wide before Halstead had a penalty appeal turned down as Ensign were getting ‘hot under the collar’ in clearing their lines.

 

Half-Time: White Ensign 1 – 0 Halstead Town

After the break, Ensign forced a number of set-pieces and had a penalty shout of their own as Reynolds-Blanche went down in the area. Referee Fabio Roque refused to budge, just as with the earlier appeal at the other end before the interval. Early in the half, Ensign were having more joy in attack, as Hilliard’s clever passing and the pace of Locke overloaded the visitors’ backline. On the hour, a fine centre by Locke found Reynolds-Blanche though his header lacked the power to trouble Cherry. Meanwhile, Humbugs full-back Munday was engaged in a entertaining duel with home full-back Charlie Buffin down the Halstead left flank, in what was a battle of wills.

The match got more fraught in the latter stages, as the tension rose. Town full-back Liam Whitehead did well to deny player-boss & top scorer Brett Munyard a one-on-one chance with Cherry though the final ball wasn’t quite there for the hosts. With 13 minutes to play, a neat ball by Hilliard found Reynolds-Blanche whose attempted pass was just gathered by Cherry ahead of substitute Rhys Fatt. Locke had another decent chance after another searing run moments later, though his drive cannoned back off the post.

At the other end, Halstead substitute Hassan Ayten and Harris  were giving the home defence a problem or two trying to get in behind though full-back Thando Moyo stuck to his task well. On the cusp of the ninety, Fatt’s header was gathered by the impressive Cherry though Ensign had to endure a nervous added few moments before the final whistle blew.

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Teams shake-hands at Final Whistle

Full-Time : White Ensign  1 – 0 Halstead Town

The score-line doesn’t really tell the story of a tense, gripping encounter which both sides could have won and on another day the Humbugs could well have grabbed a point. Ensign will take some stopping at present though as they made it eleven straight league wins and remain seven points clear at the summit, with Little Oakley remaining their closest rivals after they smashed Benfleet 9 – 1 this weekend. Halstead certainly showed why they are a strong side in a division that some in Non-League arguably still underestimate. Mark McLean’s side are strong going forward and have a committed defence as well, you wouldn’t be surprised if they finish in the top four this season.

In terms of stand-out performances, Ensign winger Dominic Locke had another strong match, aided by the technical ability of John Hilliard sizing up incisive passes while centre-back Dave Limber was a strong presence in the air, assisted by skipper Jake McWee who also shut out the enterprising play of the Halstead forward line well. For Town, centre-back Matt Caley was superb, making quality interceptions all game and showing great awareness to boot. Centre forward Chris Harris was a threat all match too, supported by strike partner Ricky Gardner and energetic full-back Kane Munday who sent in good crosses for most of the match. Goalkeeper Jack Cherry also had a certain presence about him as the last line of the defence.

Finally, I’d like to wish both teams the best for the rest of the campaign. It’s good to see Ensign on such a strong run on-the-pitch and if Halstead do join them in getting promoted this term, they will both strengthen whichever Step 5 division they get placed in.

 

Teams

White Ensign    | Player-Manager: Brett Munyard | Assistant: Mark Healy

1 Nick Wilson (GK), 12 Charlie Buffin, 3 Thando Moyo, 13 Dave Limber, 8 Jake McWee (Capt), 6 Bradley Gates, 16 Ben Austin, 15 John Hilliard (2 Jack Maleary 85’), 9 Jason Reynolds-Blanche, 20 Brett Munyard (14 Rhys Fatt 72’), 11 Dominic Locke

Goal-scorers: Dominic Locke [33’]

Booked: Reynolds-Blanche, Locke, Hilliard | Subs Not Used: Martin (GK), George

 

Halstead Town |  Manager: Mark McLean

1 Jack Cherry (GK), 2 Liam Whitehead, 3 Matt Caley, 4 Garry Burdett, 5 Jack Schelvis, 6 Jake Brown (Capt) (15 Conor Scurlock 76’), 7 Jamie Baker, 8 Charlie Pleace (12 Hassan Ayten 59’), 9 Chris Harris, 10 Ricky Gardner, 11 Kane Munday

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Dunlop, Miller

Referee: Fabio Roque

Assistant Referees: Nicholas Hodges & Daniel Keeble

Match Report: Corinthians 3 – 1 Rochford Town (Sat 15 Feb) [EOFL 19/20 16.2.20]

eofl-logo
EOFL Crest

Essex Olympian League – Senior Division Two

Venue: Stambridge Memorial Ground

2019 – 20 Season: Match 58

Saturday 15th February 2020 – 2.00pm KO

Corinthians: Sky Blue & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Rochford Town: Red & Yellow Striped Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

 

Corinthians get important win over local rivals Rochford at wind-swept Stambridge

Corinthians 3 – 1  Rochford Town

 

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

On the weekend that ‘Storm Dennis’ heavily reduced the local action across the Non-League divisions, I made the return trip to Stambridge to see this EOFL Senior Two tussle between local rivals Corinthians and Rochford Town. Chris Stoneham’s hosts welcomed Nathan Warren back in goal, with a back four of George Fulcher, Brad Smith, Sammy Ayres and skipper Alfie Knight. The attack-minded Nathan Dewberry and John Bolton-Smith were supported by wingers Bill Wilton and Jake Hodder. Leo Clarke, Ollie Brickwood and Jordan Stoneham completed a depleted bench, with the likes of Dan Cooksley, Ethan Lemmon and Theo Cannon all unavailable here.

Rochford named Elliott Pattison between the posts, with Jack Clarke and Josh Ledger in central defence, skipper Freddie Pettitt on the right flank and a front two of Jordan Ginty and Josh Fryer, with top scorer Tommy Dominguez alongside the likes of Harry Ford and Joe Lovett on the bench.

Even when I got to the ground, it was quite clear that the hosts had done well to get the game on as the rain drifted in to join the blustery wind close to kick-off. It was also one of those afternoons where you could understand those involved wouldn’t be so keen to play or watch so fair play. In the early stages of the contest, both sides were looking decent going forward as the hosts were going into the wind. Rochford forwards Jordan Ginty and Josh Fryer were linking up well on the counter-attack in the early minutes, though it was Corinthians who has the first sighters of goal as first, Nathan Dewberry’s free-kick dribbled wide of the far post and soon after from a corner, Jake Hodder’s prodded effort was just gathered by visiting custodian Elliott Pattison. The hosts had their fair share of possession at this stage but with the conditions affecting long-range passing, they just needed that bit more composure which they later found.

On 18 minutes, energetic forward John Bolton-Smith fired another effort off-target for the hosts and then a couple of minutes later, another free-kick in a promising position was curled in by Dewberry though Pattison did well to palm away  from the danger zone. Town were conceding a few set-pieces at this point and from Matt Burrell’s corner, Corinthians were adamant that the ball had wafted over the goal-line though it wasn’t given. This seemed to charge up the hosts as midway through the half, they took he lead. A good run into midfield by centre-back Alfie Knight ended by feeding a neat through ball to Hodder who only had Pattison to defeat and his low finish got the better of the Rochford stopper.

Corinthians doubled their advantage only a few minutes later as fine curling finish by Bolton-Smith found the top corner from inside the area. Just past the half-hour, Rochford did have a rare surge forward which saw skipper Freddie Pettitt put in a good centre, though the home defence stood firm to clear their lines. Pattison was called into action again for Rochford soon after, as another good pass by Knight found Bolton-Smith though the latter’s header was clawed away by the Town goalkeeper as it was heading in under the crossbar. The hosts kept the pressure on as from a Luke Owen corner, Pattison palmed the ball away for another set-piece. From that very corner, Bolton-Smith’s in-swinging delivery got caught up in a gust and trickled past everyone into the net, past an unfortunate Pattison to make it comfortable for the Stambridge-based side.

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Just shy of the interval, a rasping 20-yard drive by Rochford midfielder Rinor Zeqiri fizzed wide of Nathan Warren’s goal though for the most part, the home side deserved their lead.

Half-Time: Corinthians  3 – 0  Rochford Town

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You have to credit Rochford for their response after the break, despite the declining conditions. Three minutes after the re-start, Town forward Josh Fryer was well found in the area though with only Warren to bypass, the home glovesman did well to deny Fryer with a firm one-handed save. In what was a slighter quieter second-half overall, Owen had a decent strike saved by Pattison nine minutes into the half. As we entered the last twenty minutes, Town forward Jordan Ginty’s well-struck strike powered wide of the right-side post, a reminder that the visitors were not ‘downing tools’.

Moments afterward at the other end, a searing cross by Dewberry was inch-perfect for Bolton-Smith though he couldn’t get the direction on it as it went over the goal frame. Dewberry also gave us a small reminder of his fancy footwork as well to get past his marker before angling a tame effort wide. Town did get a goal back as a good ball found onrushing midfielder Jack Power and he tucked home well past Warren with twelve minutes remaining. And then late on, substitute Jordan Stoneham was played in, one-n-one with Pattison though the Town ‘keeper did well to deny him to crown off a good personal display.

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Full-Time: Corinthians  3 – 1  Rochford Town

In summary, Corinthians showed enough purpose and had more than enough chances to deserve the points, though to be fair, Rochford were also decent at times going forward, although they were at risk of getting overloaded in defence, thanks to the hosts’ passing and movement, not to mention the finishing too.

In terms of stand-out performances, for Corinthians, I felt centre-back Alfie Knight had a strong game, not only doing his defensive duties but also making surging runs forward into midfield and also got an assist for the first goal too. Forward John Bolton-Smith and winger Jake Hodder also did well, stretching the Rochford defence as well as getting all three home goals between them, while full-back George Fulcher also showed good energy and purpose at both ends of the pitch.

For Rochford, forward Josh Fryer put in a combative display and kept the home back-line busy at times with skipper Freddie Pettitt being a useful creative outlet as well as putting in a hard-working display in both boxes. Goalkeeper Elliott Pattison also did well with decent handling in the tough conditions & also produced some good saves too, plus midfielder Jack Power also made a good contribution, along with his goal.

Finally, my thanks as ever to the hosts for their welcome; they are a credit to themselves and the Olympian League. I’d also like to note that it is good seeing Rochford in action again, as they are my local club. I wish both clubs well for the remainder of this hugely interesting Division Two campaign.

 

Teams

Corinthians    | Manager: Chris Stoneham

Starting XI: 1 Nathan Warren (GK), 2 George Fulcher, 3 Brad Smith, 4 Sammy Ayres, 5 Luke Owen, 6 Alfie Knight (Capt), 7 Bill Wilton, 8 Matt Burrell, 11 Jake Hodder, 9 John Bolton-Smith, 20 Nathan Dewberry

Goal-scorers: Jake Hodder [22’], John Bolton-Smith [25’ & 38’]

Subs On: 12 Leo Clarke [57’], 14 Ollie Brickwood [67’], 15 Jordan Stoneham [67’]

 

Rochford Town  | Stand-in Manager: James Cooper

Starting XI: 1 Elliott Pattison (GK), 2 Jacob Hubble, 3 Alex Gray, 4 Rinor Zeqiri, 5 Jack Clarke, 6 Josh Ledger, 7 Freddie Pettitt (Capt), 8 Jack Power, 9 Jordan Ginty, 10 Josh Fryer, 11 Matt Welsh

Goal-scorer: Jack Power [78’]

Subs On: 12 Harry Ford, 15 Tommy Dominguez, 13 Joe Lovett

Booked: Fryer  | Subs Not Used: Browne, Holyland

Referee: Stuart Nixon

Match Report: Leigh Town 2 – 0 Corinthians (Sat 1st Feb) [EPC 19/20 1.2.20]

BBC Essex Premier Cup – Quarter-Final

Venue: John Burrows Recreation Ground

2019 – 20 Season: Match 55

Saturday 1st February 2020 – 1.40pm KO

Leigh Town: Black & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Corinthians: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, White Socks

 

Unbeaten Leigh continue their fine season with hard-fought triumph

Leigh Town  2 – 0  Corinthians

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

This weekend’s match was a first visit to the John Burrows Recreation Ground (for Football), to see a hotly-anticipated Essex Premier Cup Quarter-Final tie between two Essex Olympian League Division Two sides in unbeaten Leigh Town and mid-table Corinthians. The hosts fielded Matt Riley in goal, with a back three of Zac Mashford, skipper James Roberts and Harry Payne. The attack was led by Max Jones, Sam Irivine and Daniel Driscoll, with Shane Cooper and Sam Gillmore among the substitutes for Jack Pearman’s side. Corinthians are in the midst of a rare lean spell and had John Eckett between the sticks, with Sammy Ayres and Alfie Knight in central defence and at the top of the pitch, the front three of Nathan Dewberry, Leo Clarke and John Bolton-Smith. Bill Wilton, Ollie Brickwood, Dan Cooksley and Theodore Cannon were among the options on the sidelines.

This encounter didn’t take long to really heat up, with strong but fair tackles being made by both sides early-doors, as both sides looked to gain the early ascendancy. The first major chance came after eight minutes as a fierce effort by Town forward Daniel Driscoll cannoned back off the far-side post before the rebound was fizzed over seconds later. Minutes later, Corinthians forward Nathan Dewberry had a glimpse of goal from twenty yards out though it lacked the power to defeat home custodian Matt Riley. Leigh were looking purposeful and rapid going forward and on 18 minutes, a good move led by Driscoll ended with strike partner Sam Irvine’s powerful strike rebounding off the goal frame.

The visitors had a goal chalked off as midfielder Matt Burrell’s free-kick somehow managed to evade everyone and trickle in though referee David Tregaskes spotted an infringement and promptly ruled it out. Both teams were showing a huge amount of passion, energy and determination which exuded outward with Leigh having more ball retention. Just past the half-hour, home forward Irvine was only denied a one-on-one chance with visiting stopper John Eckett by a well-timed crucial interception by tigerish centre-back Sammy Ayres. And then with half-time looming large, Driscoll had a tap-in ruled out for the home side though it was hard to be critical of either side, even if the visitors didn’t quite test Riley on enough occasions at this point.

Half-Time: Leigh Town  0 – 0  Corinthians

Five minutes after the restart, Corinthians came out with renewed purpose and after good play by support forward Jake Hodder, forward John Bolton-Smith effort was off-target. Moments later, Town forward Max Jones drifted an effort wide of the left-side post and although Corinthians had their share of the play at this point, they still had to negotiate some near-misses by Town. On the hour, centre-back Zac Mashford’s free-kick only just evaded Jones at the back stick as the hosts started to get the odds back in their favour.

That being said, the visitors were still quick on the counter-attack as another Burrell free-kick found Bolton-Smith whose header was not lacking in power, though it was in direction as Riley saw it whistle over the crossbar. Leigh did break the deadlock midway into the second half as in a congested penalty area, substitute Sam Gillmore stroked in from close range three minutes after coming onto the field. As we entered the last twenty minutes of this enthralling contest, a fine run by winger Leo Clarke who jostled past two oncoming defenders before feeding Dewberry though unfortunately his strike wasn’t powerful enough to get past Riley, who gathered calmly.

Leigh got that crucial second goal ten minutes from time, as another replacement struck moments after coming on. Forward Shane Cooper peeled away from his marker to tap home from mere yards, despite fierce opposition from the visitors who wanted it chalked off for a foul. In added-time, midfielder Luke Owen’s 25-yard drive was saved by Riley as he secured another clean sheet. Kudos also to the hosts who defended very well and didn’t give Chris Stoneham’s side time to settle and launch their fine attacking style of play in large parts of the game.

 

Full-Time: Leigh Town  2 – 0 Corinthians

So at the much-sought after Final whistle for them, the hosts secured their passage to the last four of the Essex Premier Cup, with the Final again taking place at Billericay Town’s New Lodge in April. In terms of stand-out showings, there were many candidates for the home side though I have to start with forward Daniel Driscoll who harried the opposition backline all afternoon and was a big threat as well, alongside fellow forward Sam Irvine. Centre-back pair James Roberts and Harry Payne were robust and miserly in defence plus ‘keeper Matt Riley started their attacks from the back well & was an assured presence.

Despite the result, Corinthians put in a spirited showing, full of running and determination themselves, with winger Leo Clarke standing out with his pace and movement. Centre-back Sammy Ayres stuck to a tough task well at the back for Chris Stoneham’s team while Jake Hodder and John Bolton-Smith also shone and concentrated the home defence’s minds with their passing, pace and energy.

Finally, credit to both teams for providing such an absorbing tie which may not have overloaded the goal charts, but made up for it in terms of dedication, commitment and twists & turns too. Best wishes to both sides for the rest of their respective campaigns.

 

Teams

Leigh Town  | Manager: Jack Pearman

Starting XI: 1 Matt Riley (GK), 4 Zac Mashford, 25 James Roberts (Capt), 16 Harry Payne, 6 Adam Smith, 8 Rhys Mosedale, 14 Jamie Yorwarth, 18 Dan Steerwood, 9 Sam Irvine, 10 Max Jones, 20 Daniel Driscoll

Goal-scorers: Sam Gillmore [68’], Shane Cooper [80’]

Subs On: 11 Sam Gillmore (65’), 7 Shane Cooper (78’), 2 Tom Byford (85’)

Sub Unused: Craine

 


Corinthians   
| Manager: Chris Stoneham

Starting XI: 1 John Eckett (GK), 2 Jordan Stoneham, 3 Brad Smith, 16 Sammy Ayres, 6 Alfie Knight (Capt), 5 Luke Owen, 8 Matt Burrell, 7 Leo Clarke, 10 Jake Hodder, 9 John Bolton-Smith, 17 Nathan Dewberry

Subs On: 15 Bill Wilton (82’), 11 Dan Cooksley (84’), 14 Ollie Brickwood (84’)

Booked: Burrell, Owen, Cooksley |  Subs Unused: Fulcher, Cannon

Referee: David Tregaskes
Assistant Referees: Phil Clarke & Kenneth Goff

Match Report: Ilford 2 – 2 Walthamstow (Wed 29 Jan) [ESL 30.1.20]

ESL Badge

Essex Senior League

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 65

2019-20 Season: Match 54

Wednesday 29th January 2020 – 7.45pm KO

Ilford: Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

 Walthamstow: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

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Players pre-KO [Image: Scott W]

Ilford battle to hold ‘Stow at Cricklefield

Ilford 2 – 2 Walthamstow

Match Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

A return to midweek action in the Essex Senior took me back to Cricklefield to see mid-table Ilford face Walthamstow, in what was the first match since former boss Ryan Maxwell departed last week. Ilford named Joe Taylor in goal, with Dominic Wynter-Stephens and Ahmed Mohammed in central midfield and a front two of Alfie Walker and Larry Akanbi. Saeed Yusuf and Andre Embalo were among the options from the bench for Jonny Fowell’s side. Walthamstow were guided by the dug-out by the club’s owner I understand. James Bransgrove was once again between the sticks, with a defence in front of him of full-backs Charlie Yexley and Kyan Gulliver and centre-backs Jamie Bennett & Vinny Murphy. The attack-minded front three were skipper Dwade James, Callum Ibe and Lewis Francis with Emiel Aiken, Samrai Gebrai and Danny McCullock all on the bench.

The match began with ‘Stow having early chances on goal. Only four minutes into the contest, a defensive slip-up by the Foxes handed Walthamstow forward Lewis Francis a one-on-one chance with home stopper Joe Taylor though Francis’ stinging drive was well parried away by the goalkeeper. Minutes later, strike partner Dwade James saw Taylor off his line and tried to lob him from 35 yards away, and the ball only narrowly evaded the goal frame.

The visitors continued to be in the ascendency and Callum Ibe was his usual self, looking a threat in possession and looking to bypass defenders. Ibe also had a good effort denied by Taylor after perhaps initially misjudging the path of the shot, though the stopper did well to prevent it sailing low into the corner. The chances shelled by ‘Stow were costly as Ilford broke the deadlock with twenty minutes on the clock. Dominic Wynter-Stephens’s flick-on evaded the visiting defence into the path of centre-back Jordan Fisher who got a tap-in from close range.

As the half-hour mark approached, Ilf had another half-chance as winger Noel Omondi’s header was gathered by visiting goalkeeper James Bransgrove just under his own crossbar. ‘Stow did level a couple of minutes later as James did well to find Francis who tucked the ball away low past Taylor with aplomb.  Five minutes before half-time, Foxes forward Alfie Walker had to be stretchered off with a bad knee injury, we sincerely wish him well in his recovery.

Half-Time: Ilford 1 – 1  Walthamstow

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The second half began with a early chance for the visitors though Dwade James’ cross-shot evaded Francis at the back post and harmlessly drifted wide. Walthamstow would not be denied though as on 52 minutes, a free-kick was awarded in a promising position, 20 yards out. Francis stepped up and curled in a well-struck effort into the left-side corner, out of the grasp of Taylor. Even so, ‘Stow were not quite their usual miserly selves in defence as just past the hour, a rare mix-up at the back presented Ilford forward Larry Akanbi with a good chance to strike, though Bransgrove denied his firm strike with strong hands.

With 15 minutes remaining, Vinny Murphy saw a decent free-kick gathered by Taylor though the scoring was rounded out soon after as a corner by full-back Foday Jaiteh got caught up in the swirling wind and evaded everyone and cured into the far corner of the net.

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Full-Time: Ilford  2 – 2  Walthamstow

So the points were shared, a result the Walthamstow contingent will likely see as ‘two points dropped’ though it also represents an ‘end of an era’ in some ways as several players announced post-match that they were moving on to pastures new. Credit to Ilford though who came back well and will see this as a decent point in their quest to rise up the table.

In terms of stand-out performances, for the Foxes, centre-back Jordan Fisher and midfielder Dominic Wynter-Stephens were heavily involved and did well. Winger Chris Magangu and forward Larry Akanbi also stood out being good going forward. For ‘Stow, striker Lewis Francis put in a good performance and his free-kick for the second goal was a classy one. Vinny Murphy also put in a very good showing at the back, whilst Callum Ibe also gave the home defence a headache with this pace and dribbling. ‘Keeper James Bransgrove also made a number of good saves too to deny the hosts all three points. Best wishes to both sides for the rest of the season.

 

Teams

Ilford | Manager: Jonny Fowell | Assistants: Darren Gosnell & Adam Peek

1 Joe Taylor (GK), 2 Tyson Talanya, 3 Foday Jaiteh, 4 Dominic Wynter-Stephens, 15 Ryan Cosson, 6 Jordan Fisher, 7 Chris Magangu (14 Chris Cordara-Soares 82’), 8 Ahmed Mohammed, 9 Larry Akanbi, 10 Alfie Walker (18 Saeed Yusuf 43’), 11 Noel Omondi (16 Andre Embalo 58’)

Goal-scorers: Jordan Fisher [20’], Foday Jaiteh  [77’]

Subs Not Used: Antoniou, Charles  | Booked: Wynter-Stephens

 

Walthamstow |  Stand-in Manager: Lee Doherty

1 James Bransgrove (GK), 2 Charlie Yexley, 3 Kyan Gulliver, 4 Jack Folan, 5 Jamie Bennett, 6 Vinny Murphy, 7 Joel Brown (12 Emiel Aiken 60’), 8 Benji Crilley (14 Danny McCullock 80’), 9 Dwade James (Capt), 10 Callum Ibe, 11 Lewis Francis (16 Samrai Gebrai 72’)

Goal-scorers: Lewis Francis [32’ & 52’]

Booked: None | Sub Not Used: Douglas

Referee: Liam Giles

Assistant Referees: Cliff Everett & Gavin Bailey