Essex Olympian League – Division Two
Venue: Nursery Sports Ground
2021-22 Season: Match 48
Attendance: 15 (Est)
Saturday 18th December 2021 – 2pm KO
Wakebury: Royal Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Harold Hill: Sky Blue Shirts, Sly Blue Shorts & Socks
Excellent display sees Wakebury end 2021 with big win over Harold Hill
Wakebury 6 – 2 Harold Hill
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend, it was a sojourn into the Essex Olympian League divisions with this Division Two clash of two of the top three sides in Wakebury and Harold Hill. It was my first visit to the Nursery Sports Ground and my first time seeing Harold Hill on what was a big match for both sides with the Berries looking to gain ground on the top two. Wakebury had Callum Druce between the sticks, with a defence of Harry Kateley, Elliott Khupe, Alex Horey and Kofi Gyamfi. Max Hall led the line alongside Will Wheeler and Ibrahim Kagbanda and Chris Gore again captained the side. New recruit Brodie Horne was on the bench, as was Jake Butler. Peter Tyler returned to the Harold Hill side, alongside Harry Agombar and Sean Casey in their forward three. James Hughes skippered the side, with Finley Lyle in defence and Jack Suters as a defensive midfielder. Their sole substitute here was forward Ronnie Hobbrough.
The match began with both sides adapting to the tricky conditions, and it was the visitors who had more possession in the early stages. Wakebury couldn’t settle into their passing game, with Hill’s Ryan Handelaar having a decent strike cleared by the well-placed Alex Horey off the goal-line, after goalkeeper Callum Druce had come out of his area to clear the initial danger. Forward Harry Agombar also fired narrowly over the woodwork, as defenders Horey, Eliott Khupe and Kofi Gyamfi had to be alert from the early-going. As it turned out, their early wariness was rewarded as they broke the deadlock on fourteen minutes. Forward Will Wheeler and Gyamfi were involved in a good move on the counter for Matt Cardy’s side before winning a set-piece. From that corner, support forward Danny Buglione was inches away from getting a telling touch but Max Hall did get in the right place to force the ball over the line.
Unsurprisingly, Wakebury were lifted by that opening goal and they did have more impetus in the next phase of the match. Hall was again posing a threat as he struck a curling drive narrowly over visiting stopper Louie Kinsley’s goal frame. Wheeler and fellow forward Ibrahim Kagbanda were having an influential role in the forward moves for Wakebury and their rapid moves forced a defensive error on the half-hour, which Hall took full advantage of to stroke home low under Kinsley’s legs to double the lead for Wakebury.
The hosts kept the ante up as they looked for a telling third goal. However, Harold Hill did dig in and it would be harsh to say they ‘held on’, as they made several important clearances. That spirit was rewarded two minutes before half-time as they were awarded a free-kick which Wakebury were rather aggrieved about. They were still miffed when Agombar’s flighted set-piece found skipper James Hughes who powered in a fine header high into the net. Just like that, the hosts’ lead was perilously thin and it highlighted that both sides could go on and take the points.
Half-Time: Wakebury 2 – 1 Harold Hill
Soon after the interval, the encounter got somewhat tetchy as both sides really fought to claim the momentum. Wheeler was really giving the visitors a headache with his pace and fine passing and it was one of those telling passes that found Hall advancing on goal, although his effort sailed narrowly wide as Kinsley sought to cover his goal. The hosts were not denied for long though as on 66 minutes, they made it three-one as Hall turned provider with a well-directed long pass for substitute Brodie Horne who faced Kinsley one-on-one and fired home well, low into the net.
Barely a minute later, with Harold Hill still looking to reset, the hosts got a crucial fourth goal. Kagbanda put in a teasing cross from a set-piece and Wheeler burgled half a yard of space at the back post to strike the ball home from close range and really add to the visitors’ frustration. Unfortunately, it got worse for them as Wakebury added a fifth goal on 74 minutes. In increasingly slippery conditions, Kinsley couldn’t cleanly gather the ball at the edge of the 18-yard box, which allowed Hall to slip in and strike the ball home to complete his treble, past an understandably tiring Harold Hill defence.
Harold Hill had a tough last fifteen minutes, which began with Handelaar being sent off after receiving a second yellow card. Forward Peter Tyler had looked a threat for his side although the debate could be that did he receive enough of the ball in the match, and he fired a strike narrowly wide of home custodian Callum Druce’s goal. Soon afterward, Tyler continued his run at goal after referee David Bloxham’s whistle had blown, which earned him a early end to his match after being put in the sin-bin. With the visitors playing with nine men, Wakebury added a sixth goal involving substitute Jake Butler and Kagbanda who in turn found Hall who found the net for the fourth time – quite an afternoon for him.
Harold Hill saw forward Sean Casey sent off moments later for a second yellow card and despite finishing with eight players, they got a late second goal with Agombar curling in a decent free-kick past Druce to at least give his side something for their efforts. You may look at the score-line and think ‘this was a one-sided match’ though I’m not sure I agree with that. What I will say is that this was an engaging contest in which both sides put in a lot of graft and ultimately, Wakebury deserved to win the points for the excellent display that put in.
Full-Time: Wakebury 6 – 2 Harold Hill
To summarise, Wakebury put in a very energetic and attacking performance to outwork their opposition, whilst being clinical in taking their chances, with forward Max Hall scoring no less than four goals in this match to take his goal tally to eighteen goals. A strong defensive showing by Wakebury also stifled what looked a strong Hill frontline, I can certainly see why the likes of Peter Tyler have scored a lot of goals so far this term. Hill were not helped by having two players dismissed and Tyler sin-binned in the last 20 minutes as they finished the game with eight men. Even so, I have to give them credit putting in a hard-working display and looking a threat going forward, particularly in the first hour.
As ever, there was a number of good performances in this match. For Wakebury, firstly I have to applaud the four-goal haul of forward Max Hall, who has established himself in this side well now and also showed good movement here & got an assist. Defender Kofi Gyamfi had an excellent match at centre-back, making several good interceptions and showed a good willingness to track the opposition forwards. Forward Will Wheeler also had a fine match, particilarly down the right flank, putting in good passes and displaying good movement. Finally, midfielder Junior Lawrence put in a fine display, really setting attacking moves in motion with telling passes, and making good runs as well.
For Harold Hill, forward Harry Agombar had a good match and scored late on with a well-struck free-kick, after putting in a good shift for his side and making good runs. Anchor midfielder Jack Suters put in a very good display too, making important tackles and looked to get his side moving with good passes. Also a word for defender James Hughes and Finley Lyle who worked hard as well, with Hughes being a towering presence aerially and Lyle making several clearances as well.
Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign. My thanks to Wakebury duo Matt Cardy & Dan Blewett today & Harold Hill’s coach Rob and Secretary Jason for their assistance pre-match.
Wakebury | Manager: Matt Cardy | Assistant: Dan Blewett
Starting XI: 1 Callum Druce (GK), 15 Harry Kateley, 2 Elliott Khupe, 6 Alex Horey, 3 Kofi Gyamfi, 4 Chris Gore (Capt), 7 Will Wheeler, 8 Junior Lawrence, 9 Max Hall, 10 Danny Buglione, 11 Ibrahim Kagbanda
Goal-scorers: Max Hall [14′, 30′, 74′ & 86′], Brodie Horne [66′], Will Wheeler [67′]
Subs On (Time): 14 Brodie Horne [59′ – on for Buglione], 12 Jake Butler [76′, replacing Wheeler]
Booked: Kagbanda | Subs Not Used: J Smith
Harold Hill | Manager: Mark Ellis |
Starting XI: 1 Louie Kinsley (GK), 18 Finley Lyle, 8 James Hughes (Capt), 3 Sam Bolton, 14 Ryan Handelaar, 2 Jack Suters, 12 Nathan Tshole, 7 Tommy Foster, 10 Harry Agombar, 11 Peter Tyler. 9 Sean Casey
Goal-scorers: James Hughes [43′], Harry Agombar [89′]
Subs On (Time): 16 Ronnie Hobbrough [46′ replaced Foster]
| Sin-Bin: Tyler [82′] | Sent Off: Handelaar & Casey (both Two Yellows) | Sub Not Used: None
Referee: David Bloxham