Match Report: Walthamstow 1 – 2 Ilford (Sat 12 Jan) [ESL 12.1.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Wadham Lodge Stadium

Attendance: 61

2018-19 Season – Match 41

Saturday 12th January 2019  – 3pm KO

Walthamstow: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Ilford: Red and White Hooped Shirts,  Red Shorts, Red & White Socks




Ilford’s gritty display sees them to a five victory


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

This weekend’s match saw me re-join ESL President Rob Errington and head to Wadham Lodge to see in-form Walthamstow face an Ilford side who have somewhat struggled for wins of late. The hosts have seen players come & go of late, with defender Bryn Thorpe heading back to Takeley, though new signing Correy Davidson was on the bench. Reece Conway skippered the side here including a very strong front three of Dwade James, Leon McKenzie and Marcus Bowers. Samrai Gebrai and Matt Brinklow were also on the bench. For the visitors, near ever-presents in goalkeeper Hugo Rossetti, full-back Luke Casey and captain Danny Haigh retained their places while Deji Adeniran and Seye Okunlola led the line.

The match didn’t exactly go according to the ‘script’ right from the get-go as after only three minutes, a foul on full-back Luke Casey on the right flank allowed a free-kick to be sent in by support forward Callum Maltese which home goalkeeper James Bransgrove punched away – only for the ball to find it way to Ilf winger Collins Atubrah who lashed home well from 20 yards out. Unsurprisingly, ‘Stow picked up after they conceded, and in the next portion of the game they had the vast majority of the play though didn’t have quite as many chances as their play warranted.

Attacking midfielder Christian Owusu blazed two efforts over the bar before experienced forward Leon McKenzie sent over a tellling cross from the right wing, which Foxes custodian Hugo Rossetti had to punch clear before fellow forward Dwade James could get a header in on goal. The pressure was clearly on the visiting defence at this point (just past the quarter-hour) though Ilford’s committed nature was summed up superbly by captain Danny Haigh’s great tackle on James in the area after he was well-found by rapid full-back Ryan Ramsey’s pass.

The visitors were looking decent on the odd occasion they had the chance to counter-attack though another ‘pinch point’ came on the half-hour as McKenzie’s fine goal-bound header was tipped over brilliantly by Rossetti. An increasingly frantic end to the half saw James uncharacteristically blaze over when one–on-one with Rosetti three minutes before the break while Bransgrove did well at the other end to deny Ilf forward Deji Adeniran from close range.

Half-Time: Walthamstow 0 – 1 Ilford


Straight into the second half and new boy Correy Davidson was thrust into proceedings for the hosts, who could have been level two minutes into the second half though somehow James didn’t make the most of a one-on-one chance, scuffing his shot wide of a post. To be fair, it wasn’t just down to the striker having an ‘off-day. Rossetti denied centre-back Craig Pope’s effort from close range, from a ‘Stow free-kick on 54 minutes as Martin Haywood’s side showed no lack of fighting spirit as they battled hard to keep their admittedly slender advantage.

Samrai Gebrai entered the fray with 20 minutes left for Ryan Maxwell’s men and quickly set about giving the tiring Ilford back-line another problem or two with his pace and crossing. Another good interception by Ilford midfielder Billy Golledge to deny a decent chance on goal showed that the Foxes were determined to hang on for the points and although their defending wasn’t pretty at times, in the face of big-time pressure from the home side who pretty much did everything but score, the Foxes stood firm.

And with ‘Stow pouring players foward, Ilford remarkably went two goals up as a good ball in found forward Okunlola at the back post and he made no mistake from close range with 13 minutes to play. Soon afterward, Ilf centre-back Steven Sylvester was dismissed for his second bookable offence and then to make matters really jittery for them, ‘Stow were given a penalty for a hand-ball in the are. James duly converted to atone for the earlier misses and it took another quality tackle from Haigh to deny him another opening in added-time.

Full-Time: Walthamstow  1 – 2  Ilford


All in all, this gutsy display from the Foxes was enough to claim a priceless three points for them, considering their recent form. Goalkeeper Hugo Rossetti and centre-back Danny Haigh shone for them today. Walthamstow will undoubtedly have better days than today, indeed it may well fire them up to go on another decent run. They are certainly able to win games well with the goal-power they have, that has not changed. Ryan Ramsey and tenacious midfielder Reece Conway stood out in my view for them today. Also, I’d like to thank ‘Stow for their hospitality as well today.


Walthamstow   | Player-Manager: Ryan Maxwell

James Bransgrove (GK), Vinny Murphy, Ryan Ramsey, Reece Conway (Capt), Craig Pope, Gus Douglas, Jack Folan, Christian Owusu (Correy Davidson 46′), Dwade James, Leon McKenzie, Marcus Bowers (Samrai Gebrai 70′)

Goal-scorer: Dwade James [pen 83′]

Booked: Conway, Ramsey, Murphy | Subs Not Used: R Pope, Brinklow, Seoane-Barker


Ilford      | Manager: Martin Haywood

Hugo Rossetti (GK), Luke Casey (Jamal Djotsi 59′), Simon Dahl (Festus Lori 72′), Steven Sylvester, Danny Haigh (Capt), Billy Golledge, Collins Atubrah, Lamarr Douglas, Deji Adeniran, Callum Maltese, Seye Okunlola

Goal-scorers: Collins Atubrah [3′], Deji Adeniran [77′]

Booked: Douglas | Sent Off: Sylvester (2 bookings)  | Subs Not Used: Flavin, Docaj


Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 12 Jan) [ESL 11.1.19]

Written by Scott W

Hello and welcome to another of our Preview pieces looking at the action in the Essex Senior League this weekend, written by Non-League blogger & GFS stalwart Scott W. Peter’s predictions may follow before KO tomorrow or via his blog. How do you think this weekend’s ties will go?

Essex Senior League

Saturday 12th January 2019

Barkingside  v  Leyton Athletic   | Cricklefield

Scott: The bottom two sides have a tussle at Cricklefield. Both sides upset their opponents to varying degrees last weekend. ‘Side beat Hamlets well at home while Leyton forced a draw at Clapton. The hosts are looking for their third straight win while Ath haven’t won in a while. Very difficult to call. One thing we do know, if there is a victor here then they will draw other sides further into the relegation scrap…

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Hoddesdon Town  v  Saffron Walden Town   | Lowfield

Scott: Hoddy welcome the Bloods to Lowfield. Simon Riddle’s side lost out late on to Enfield last weekend though have had a more than creditable first half of the campaign. Walden recovered from defeat at rivals Walthamstow by defeating out-of-form Redbridge in midweek. Jason Maher’s side will be aware of the need to not concede more ground to the sides above them. The home defence will ‘be in for a game’ with the likes of Portway and Trendall to contend with. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Hulllbridge Sports  v  Redbridge  | Lower Road

Scott: Sports battle new-look Redbridge at Lower Road. Hullbridge produced a outstanding second-half display to defeat Sawbridgeworth to complete six straight league wins. Redbridge are undoubtedly in transition though with five defeats on-the-bounce, following losses at home to Takeley and at Saffron Walden in midweek, new boss Micky Wetherall will need some points as soon as possible. They may not fancy this trip though their hosts will no doubt be seeking more goals here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Sporting Bengal Utd    | Crofters End

Scott: Sporting travel to Sawbridgeworth, on the back of a important win over West Essex last weekend to regenerate their bid for a top-half finish at the least. Sawbo ended up fading in the latter stages in their heavy loss at Hullbridge last weekend though did show earlier in the match that they can pose opposition problems. John Watters’ side are a stronger side at home and that could be what sees them to a positive result here. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Stansted   v   Clapton    |  Hargrave Park

Scott: The Tons are the latest visitors to Hargrave Park to face leaders Stansted. The Airportmen did well to win at Stanway Rovers last weekend and are now six matches unbeaten. Clapton were held at home by Leyton Athletic last weekend and are still rather unpredictable, to be fair, with two wins in their last six league outings. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Stanway Rovers  v  Enfield   | the Hawthorns

Scott:  Stanway entertain Enfield at the Hawthorns. Rovers lost out late on to Stansted last weekendand are not in the best of form with five losses in their last seven matches. Enfield had a rather ‘mixed bag’ with two matches at home in the last week. A narrow win over Hoddesdon last weekend was followed in midweek with a narrow defeat to St Margaretsbury. To take a positive out of those matches, The E’s are finding the net a bit more though Rovers are still a good at home. Tough one to call this, you guessed it – I’m going for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Takeley   v  Woodford Town   |  Station Road

Scott: This could end up being a shout for ‘Game of the Day’ at Station Road. Takeley continued their promotion tilt with a narrow win over Redbridge last weekend and a battling win over Southend Manor at home in midweek. Woodford were held by Ilford last weekend at home though as they’ve shown this season, their pace in attack will catch teams out. As much as this may get me some heat, in my view this game is a big test of Takeley’s credentials this season. Think Town have enough to get a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Tower Hamlets   v   St Margaretsbury    | Mile End Stadium
Scott: Hamlets take on St Margs at Mile End. It’s not been a great week for Hamlets as they lost at Barkingside last weekend before losing out on spot-kicks to West Essex in Errington Cup on Monday night. St Margs will be rather happier though with their exploits as they won at Southend Manor and Enfield in the last week as they’ve won four of their last six. Think the visitors may sneak this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Walthamstow    v  Ilford    | Wadham Lodge

Scott: In-form Walthamstow entertain Ilford at Wadham Lodge. Ryan Maxwell’s side defeated Saffron Walden last weekend to extend their unbeaten run to five matches. Ilford ended a five-match losing run with a late leveller at Woodford last Friday night though will undoubtedly find this one a tough encounter. Home win I suspect.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

West Essex   v   Southend Manor   | Mayesbrook Park

Scott: West welcome Manor to Mayesbrook. Kwame Kwateng’s side have had a decent week, with a win & a loss at Mile End, losing to Sporting Bengal in the league at the weekend and defeating Tower Hamlets in the Errington Cup on penalties, following a 3 – 3 draw. Manor by contrast have had two losses, narrowly at home to St Margaretsbury and at Takeley in midweek, both in the league. Both sides have similar records in terms of recent form so I can see this one ending in a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Round-up: Essex Olympian League (Sat 5 Jan) [EOFL 7.1.19]

A still from Wadham Lodge 3G (earlier in the season)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello & welcome to another of my round-up pieces, this time looking at the Essex Olympian League action on Saturday 5th January, with a firm round-up of the Premier Division, all the way to Senior Division Four.

EOFL Premier Dvivision

Leaders Buckhurst Hill continued their superb form with a strong 4 – 0 home win over lowly Manford Way.  Suley Zuhdu’s brace of penalties, Josh Addinall and Josh Banfield saw Hill to a 13th win in 14 league matches. Harold Wood Athletic were in no mood to concede any ground though with a 4 – 1 victory over Canning Town. Reiss Kingsley notched two while goalkeeper Martyn Guest and Charlie Liddiard also scored to maintain the gap to Hill to three points. David Tilley got the Canning goal as they sit in 8th spot.

Catholic Utd got their 5th straight league win with a big 6 – 0 triumph over Great Baddow at the Len Salmon Stadium. Tom Hollingsworth was among the goals again with a treble, while Thomas Kearney got two and Tony Jacobs also chipped in. Kelvedon Hatch lost ground on the top-two as they were held 1 – 1 at home by fellow high-flyers Bishop’s Stortford Swifts. Alan Taylor netted for Hatch while Gavin Cockman replied for Mark Watters’ side.

Leigh Ramblers are the ‘best of the rest’ in fifth, seven points adrift of Swifts in 4th as they defeated Rayleigh Town 3 – 2 at Belfairs Park. Max Jones and Harry Talbot struck for Rayleigh though a Justin Hazell double plus one from Jamie Selby-Knight saw Ramblers to their fourth win in their last seven. Mid-table sides Hutton and Old Southendian drew 3 – 3 at Polo Fields. Jon Hilliard netted twice and Brad Freeman also scored for the hosts, with Jon Staines joining in ‘on the brace front’ with two goals and Riley Oliver getting the other goal.

Springfield drew 2 – 2 with Sungate with Peter Morgan and Anthony Pantaleo  strikes for the hosts being cancelled out by Jermaine Purchase and Chris Barry goals for the visiting side.


EOFL Senior One

Most of the goal-power in Senior One was found in Basildon Town’s mammoth 12 – 2 triumph over May & Baker Reserves. Keith King and Alex Witham both got hat-tricks while Barv Walkuaika and substitute Brodie Horne grabbed two each and Daley Grant and Jamie Miller also chipped in for the hosts. Kevin Badu and Tim Ojo goals were scant consolation for the bottom side.

Mid-table Ongar Town won 6 – 1 at Rayleigh Town Res, largely thanks to Ben Polley’s hat-trick and Niki Love’s double. James Stevens got the other strike for Ongar and Charlie Legg netted for the hosts. Snaresbrook maintained their six-point lead at the summit with a slender 1 – 0 win at Shenfield AFC. Max Catherall got the only goal in that one.

Ramsden Scotia leapfrogged Shenfield into second spot with a 2 – 1 home success over strugglers Old Chelmsfordians. Kurt King and Sam Wren provided the goals for the hosts, with the prolific Martin Mixture getting one back for the visitors. Finally for this division, Herongate Athletic won 2 – 0 at home to Frenford Res, as Glen Jordan and substitute Joe Barness struck for Ath to see them up one to 10th.


EOFL Senior Two

In Senior Two, Lakeside maintained sixth spot with a 3 – 1 hom triumph over fellow mid-table side Harold Wood Athletic Res. Joe Pyne netted for Ath though Ollie Pettit, Charlie Ashpole and Drew Klessa-Smith goals did the business for the hosts.

Meanwhile, Runwell Sports went three points clear at the summit with another big win, 6 – 1 at home to Ryan. Aaron Rix got two of them, with Charlie Adams, Declan Clark, Scott Mortlock and Carey Wallace all notching. Beacon Hill Rovers went third with a fine  2 – 1 win at Shoebury Town. Mat Kosinski and David Howard goals were enough to give Rovers their ninth win this term.

There were plenty of goals elsewhere as Toby lost ground on the leaders as they fell to a 4 – 1 loss at Chingford Athletic. Ross Dipple netted again for the visitors though Eric Kelly’s brace & Joe Cloake and Gary Murray goals saw Ath open up a eight-point gap on Rochford Town. Newham Utd produced a fine display to defeat Rochford Town 6 – 3 with Lisandro Tavares striking twice though Omar Jomanday, Abraham Kwaku Adjei, Mikel Smith and sub Kaci Henry all also chipped in. Ashley Fowles star turn with a hat-trick wasn’t enough for Town.


EOFL Senior Three

In Division Three, Academy Soccer continued a good run with a 2 – 0 home win over Hutton Res. Luis Ruiz got both of the hosts’ strikes. Basildon Town Res moved four points clear of the bottom with a good performance in a 3 – 1 away win at bottom side Old Chelmsfordians Res. Levi Harbour, Alexander Shields and Andrew Wiggins were the names on the goal tally for Bas. Jake Henry responded for OC but they fell to their 11th loss this season. Old Southendian Res notched their seventh win this campaign with a 4 – 2 home win over White Ensign Res. A brace from Greg Molford was added to by David Stubbs and Oliver Tatton-Bennett strikes. Perry Osborne and substitute Chadrack-Kisoka Domingo netted for Ensign here.

Leigh Town won 2 – 0 at Roydon, thanks to strikes from Sam Irvine and Harry Payne. The success takes them 5th. Leaders Westhamians extended their lead to four points with a 2 – 1 success over Wakering Sports with Kenny Liddiard and Lewis Rix strikes seeing them to the win, Tom Vine netted for Sports.


EOFL Senior Four

In Senior Four, it was another strong weekend for the top teams. Corinthians added to their fine season with a 3 – 0 win at Catholic Utd Reserves. Leo Clarke, Jake Lang and Bill Wilton all netted to see the Stambridge-based side to victory. Dagenham Utd also won ‘on the road’ with a 2 – 1 victory over Canning Town Res with Mark McAuley and Lanre Sodeinde both finding the net.

Epping Town stayed fourth in the standings with a superb  7 – 2 win over strugglers Old Barkabbeyans. Glen Warwick led the way with a hat-trick with substitute William Weightman getting two and former Ilford pair Joe Killingback and Alex Paraskeva also notching. Lakeside Res also won, 3 – 2 at fellow mid-table side Galleywood Res with Harry Davison getting a brace and Brandon Booty also netting. Matthew Buckingham and Sam Rawlinson struck for the hosts but they fell to their third defeat this term.

Goals from Thomas Oliver and Corley Ross saw Shenfield AFC Res to a 2 – 1 victory over Buckhurst Hill’s second-string, who stay third. Finally, Toby Ressies comfortably defeated bottom side Leigh Ramblers Res 4 – 1 as Peter Spicer nabbed two while Charlie Ross and Leroy Sackey-Addoo also got on the score-sheet. Seb Allen got the solitary consolation for the Rams.

Round-up: Bostik Division North (Sat 5 Jan) [BLN 6.1.19]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the first Bostik North round-up piece of the new year, on a day where there were no draws at all in the ten matches in the division.

Saturday 5th Jan

AFC Sudbury  0 – 2  Aveley  | King’s Marsh (3G) | Att: 255

Aveley continued their almost unblemished recent form with a good win at King’s Marsh. Tom Rochardson broke the stalemate on 33 minutes to put thevisitors ahead. That lead was doubled nine minutes into the second-half by influential forward Andy Freeman. The Millers picked up their seventh win in their last ten outings to go into 4th place, five points off the promotion spot. The Suds saw their four-match winning run end here though still sit in 6th place, five points adrift of the play-offs.

Barking  5 – 1  Basildon Utd  | Mayesbrook Park  | Att: 72

The Blues added more misery to the Bees with this comprehensive win at mayesbrook Park. Justin Gardner’s side were three up by the half-hour as Kemo Darboe 5th-minute opener was added to by a brace by former Ware forward Ross Elsom [16′ & 26′]. Darelle Russell made it four, six minutes before the interval. Jeffrey Cobblah struck Basildon’s consolation [53′] though new boss Neil Blackburn’s re-building job isn’t going to be easy. Abs Seymour rounded out the scoring by getting the hosts’ fifth with six minutes remaining. Barking have won three of their last five matches which sees them reside in 12th spot. Basildon’s eighth loss in their last eleven matches sees them drop to 11th, a point clear of their opponents here.


Canvey Island  2 – 1  Mildenhall Town   | Park Lane  | Att: 208

Adam Vyse inspired Canvey to success over struggling Mildenhall. Town did take the lead in this one though through Abouhadje Kouassi [25′]. Vyse levelled matters from the penalty spot, seven minutes before the break. Vyse then got the winner with 16 minutes remaining to give the Islanders their third win in five matches, which sees them up to 9th spot. The Hall are winless in seven matches now, which sees the remain second-bottom, two points from safety.


Felixstowe & Walton Utd  3 – 0  Coggeshall Town  | Dellwood Ave  | Att: 560

Felixstowe upset Cogg to claim a much sought-after three points at Dellwood Avenue. All three goals came in a twenty-minute spell. First, Rhys Henry broke the deadlock right on the hour, and a brace from Josh Kerridge [73′ & 80′] sealed their first win in seven matches. They rise to 13th while Coggeshall drop to 5th, five points clear of nearest rivals Sudbury.


Grays Athletic  3 – 2  Bury Town   | Parkside (3G)  | Att: 192

Grays battled to victory in a match which saw most of the goal action after the innterval. Kieran Bishop added to his glowing reputation with the Ath fans with the opener just before half-time. Kyran Clements got an equaliser on 72 minutes though barely four minutes later, Bishop struck again to restore the home side’s lead. Aron Gordon made it 3 – 1 on 82 minutes and although Ryan Horne added a 90th-minute second for the visitors, it wasn’t enough to deny Ath a first win in five outings and go above their opponents here into 7th place.


Great Wakering Rovers  2 – 4  Maldon & Tiptree  | Burroughs Park  | Att: 103

Maldon came away with the points from this tussle at Burroughs Park. Wayne Brown’s side had the better of the first half as DeCarrey Sheriff’s spot-kick put them ahead on 16  minutes, before Sammie Mcleod’s brace [30′ & 32′] put the Jammers well ahead. Jake Gordon pulled one back for a stubborn Wakering side 12 minutes before the break. The first period ended with Sham Barnwell netting for the hosts and Sheriff grabbing his second for the visitors. The visitors held on without further incident to achieve their fourth win in their last six to stay third. Wakering’s 4th loss in their last seven sees them drop to 15th.


Heybridge Swifts  1 – 0  Bowers & Pitsea  | Scraley Road  | Att: 329

This battle of the top-two went the way of the hosts, with recent signing Charlie Kendall grabbing the only goal on 62 minutes. Bowers’ five match-winning run is over  while Swifts continue to impress under boss Julian Dicks as they are unbeaten in seven matches now.


Soham Town Rangers  4 – 0  Romford  | Julius Martin Lane  | Att: 136

Soham won this ‘six-pointer’ with something to spare in the end to consign Boro to their sixth loss in their last seven. Soham were two goals up inside the first 20 minutes as Sam Mulready continued his fine scoring form with the opener on 11 minutes, before Callum Russell [18′] doubled the lead. Mulready put the game realistically beyond doubt with his second of the afternoon, ten minutes after the break. Michael Baulk added a late fourth to give his side a second straight victory to send them above their opponents into 17th, four points above the bottom two. Romford are two points behind Soham in 18th.


Tilbury  4 – 2  Dereham Town   | Chadfields  |  Att: 101

The Dockers continued their fine run with a good win over bottom side Dereham. The visitors took the lead through David Hinton’s goal on 21 minutes though that advantage only lasted six minutes before talisman Lewis Smith levelled the match. A brace from influential midfielder Thomas Barton [56′ & 64′] turned the course of the game. Smith got his second of the day with 11 minutes to play. Joe Gatting grabbed a second for Town on the stroke of the 90 though the visitors winless run extends to nine matches. By contrast, Marc Harrison’s team has only tasted defeat once in eight matches and go up to tenth spot.


Witham Town  2 – 1  Brentwood Town  | Spa Road  | Att: 117

Witham extended their winning run to five matches with a hard-fought win over Brentwood at Spa Road. Ernest Okoh gave the visitors the lead on 24 minutes though Town restored parity ten minutes afterward through Toby Aromolaran and then led on the stroke of half-time thanks to Luke Mallett’s penalty.  Witham sit 16th, seven points clear of the drop zone while Town slip to 14th because of results elsewhere.


Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 6 – 1 Sawbridgeworth Town (Sat 5 Jan) [ESL 5.1.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 59

2018-19 Season – Match 40

Saturday 5th January 2019  – 3pm KO

Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Sawbridgeworth: Red and Black Hooped Shirts,  Black Shorts, Red Socks


Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with Photos by Neil Hunwicks (Twitter: @ABridgeTooFar16) & Scott

Players pre-match in the fading light (Image: Scott W)

2019 and the second half of the ESL season began in earnest for Hullbridge and Sawbridgeworth with what turned out to be a cracker at Lower Road. You’ve heard the phrase ‘Game of two halves’ a lot, this match was almost two matches in one. Hullbridge, looking to reduce the gap to leaders Stansted, had to make a late change as gooalkeeper Lorcan Morrissey (himself due to replace stand-out stopper George Marsh due to injury) suffered an ankle injury in the warm-up so in came Alfie Cross between the sticks. The ‘usual suspects’ of Luke Hornsley, Adebola Sotoyinbo and Nathan Scarborough made up a formidable front three for the hosts, with Matt Rose skippering the side and recent signing Courtney Homans at right-back.

Sawbridgeworth named promising goalkeeper James Askew in their starting XI, with Joe Wright and Ollie Fortune leading the line and Lewis Deamer captaining the side. Julien Lloyd was among those unavailable due to being banned. What interested me is would an improving Sawbo side pose Hullbridge problems after their Errington Cup exit last weekend to Hoddesdon. We soon got an answer…..

To be fair, the pitch was rather soft in places with added sand in both goal-mouths. Anyway, we had an enterprising start to this match as in the first minute, ‘Bridge midfield dynamo Emmanuel Okunja rifled an effort past James Askew’s left-side post.  Mere minutes later, forward Nathan Scarborough unleashed a powerful drive which Askew had to parry away while skipper Matt Rose also scuffed a shot wide. Fellow forward Luke Hornsley was also ‘in the mood’ as after bypassing two Town defenders, he also fired wide.

The hosts could have been ahead though Sawbo also looked a threat on the counter-attack with winger Daryl Doolan and the front two of Wright and Fortune looking to stretch the home back-line. Indeed, the visitors struck first in this game as on 12 minutes, Doolan powered down the left flank and whipped in a peach of a cross which found forward Joe Wright and he fired home confidently.

John Watters’ side arguably had their best patch of the half just after the goal as just past the 20-minute mark, captain Lewis Deamer struck wide from a corner before minutes later, attempting to catch stand-in ‘keeper Alfie Cross off his goal-line, Wright sent a 40-yard lob wide of the ‘onion bag’. The tackles were starting to getting slightly crunchy as well at times, though Sawbridgeworth’s defence were frustrating the hosts to some degree and ‘keeper Askew also was commanding his area well and made decent saves as well.

On the half-hour, the hosts sensed they needed to find another gear and forward Adebola Sotoyinbo powered in an effort which Askew superbly tipped onto the woodwork. Two minutes later, Doolan had another half-chance, fizzing an effort over the bar.

On the cusp of half-time, the hosts got their leveller as from Rose’s cross, Sotoyinbo reacted first to grab a tap-in. It was the sort of game that could’ve been 2 – 2 at the break, it was that open though on chances alone, the hosts should have been level, even if the timing of the leveller felt like a ‘sucker-punch’ for the visitors.

Half-Time:  Hullbridge 1 – 1 Sawbridgeworth


After the break, club stalwart Sam Taylor entered the action for the hosts, coming in at centre-back while Jamal Allen filled in the anchor midfield slot. Taylor immediately had an impact as he denied Wright a clear sight at goal for the visitors. With 54 minutes on the watch, Okunja composed himself in the area going round his marker though was again well-denied by the impressive Askew. The hosts were finding their rhythm by this stage as Sotoyinbo had a low shot cleared off the goal-line before Hornsley fired wide after being well-found by Scarborough.

What followed that was a devastating spell of five goals in 14 minutes, to which Sawbo simply had no answer. First, from Sam Taylor’s sweet corner, substitute Michael Salako’s neat header found the far corner of the net on 69 minutes. Only five minutes later, the hosts were two goals ahead as Scarborough was in the right place to poke home after Hornsley had been denied. Unfortunately for the tiring visitors, it didn’t end there as the hosts were right in the ascendancy.


With 14 minutes remaining, Hornsley was fouled in the area and Sotoyinbo stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and duly converted. The quick and tricky forward then got the goal of the game three minutes later with a superb 25-yard chip which sailed into the corner past a helpless Askew to also complete a fine hat-trick. Sawbo had a half-chance at the other end as after a lung-busting run, full-back Louis Monk blasted over the woodwork with nine minutes left. Soon after, the scoring was rounded off as from Scarborough’s cross, Salako powered home another header to secure a big win for Darren Manning’s side and quite a comeback.

Full-Time: Hullbridge 6 – 1 Sawbridgeworth


You had to feel somewhat sorry for the visitors as they didn’t deserve a hammering today, especially after their contribution to the game in the first-half. That being said, they faded quite heavily after the break – which boss Watters will be disappointed about. For Hullbridge though, their goal-power showed again and with that, they did no harm to their goal difference either. It’s not often you see goals pouring as they did here in the second-half and that ruthlessness will undoubtedly leave boss Manning and his coaching staff happy, as well as the home fans.

As ever, thank you to Hullbridge for their hospitality and also best wishes to Sawbo for the rest of their season.

Hullbridge Sports   | Manager: Darren Manning

Alfie Cross (GK), Courtney Homans, Matt Rose (Capt), Jamal Allen, Perry Dunn, Joe Skeels (Sam Taylor 46′), Joe Pattison (Michael Salako 65′), Emmanuel Okunja, Adebola Sotoyinbo, Luke Hornsley (Jonus Fuadianitu 79′), Nathan Scarborough

Goal-scorers: Adebola Sotoyinbo [45′, 76′ & 79′], Michael Salako [69′ & 82′], Nathan Scarborough [74′]

Booked: Skeels     | Subs Not Used: Tapley


Sawbridgeworth Town  | Manager: John Watters

James Askew (GK), John Clarke, Louis Monk, Lewis Deamer (Capt), Jo Cunning, Tom Jelliman, Daryl Doolan (Taylor Williamson 84′),James Baughurst, Joe Wright, Ollie Fortune (Isaac Amoah 68′), Danny Palmer (George Froosham 77′)

Goal-scorer: Joe Wright [12′]

Booked: Wright, Fortune    | Subs Not Used: Garrett

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 4/Sat 5 Dec) [ESL 3.1.19]

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to another of our Preview pieces with Non-League writers Peter Dudley & Scott W, looking at this weekend’s action in the Essex Senior League. What do you reckon to our thoughts on these ties? Thanks for reading and Happy New Year to all our readers.


Friday 4th January

Barkingside  v  Tower Hamlets   |  Cricklefield

Pete: ‘Side come into this one having won their last two in all competitions, and have also kept clean sheets in both, as their season finally gave them some cheer after what has been an awful one to now.  They take on a Hamlets side who have been resurgent lately, and two league wins from their last three suggests form is heading in the right direction.  They also thrashed Grays Reserves last time out in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy so confidence is high, and I do feel they may sneak this one.

Pete’s Predicition: 1 – 2


Scott: The weekend’s action starts at Cricklefield, where the crucial matches for ‘Side continue with this battle against neighbours Tower Hamlets. The home side are on a mini-upturn with two wins recently in league and cup over Leyton Ath and Sporting Bengal, both 1 – 0. The interesting thing will be how long can they maintain a miserly defence, given they are still five point adrift f nearest rivals Leyton and 12 points off two other clubs at the bottom.

Their opponents here are the inconsistent Hamlets, who I saw overcome Grays Athletic Reserves in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend. AJ Ashinike’s side can play decent football and three wins in their last six league matches makes up half of their league wins all season. ‘Side haven’t enjoyed good home form and Hamlets’ superior goal-power means I’m electing to go for an away win in a hard-fought affair.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Woodford Town  v  Ilford  | The Harlow Arena

Pete: The hosts recent unbeaten run has been ended with back-to-back defeats in the league so they will want to put that right against the league’s most out-of-form side in the shape of Ilford who have lost five straight in the division, although they did beat Clapton in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy last time out to at least give them some festive cheer.  Despite this though and the hosts recent defeats, I think the home side will prevail in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The other match set for Friday night is this intriguing battle between two sides who having ‘blips’ at present. Woodford have been impressive thsus far this term, sitting in 5th spot though have lost their last two league matches – at Hullbridge and St Margaretsbury respectively. What is most interesting about Dee Safer’s side is that they are the league’s third-highest scorers with 54 goals. Ilford’s ‘blip’ is somewhat more severe though with five straight league losses as they look to start 2019 on a strong footing, though they did secure passage in the Peter Butcher Trophy with a win over Clapton. Last month, the Foxes were leaky in defence and it’s no easy talk to ‘shut up shop’ against the likes of the Towners. Even though Ilf’s form is better away from home, I have to plump for a home triumph here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Saturday 5th January

Clapton  v  Leyton Athletic | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: The Tons come into this one having lost at Ilford in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy last time out, although they did win there in the league prior to Christmas, and two wins from their last three in the ESL suggests an upturn in form.  They welcome second-bottom Leyton Athletic to The Old Spotted Dog with the visitors having lost three of their last four matches, and with only thirteen goals scored between both these sides in their last six, goals maybe hard to come by here.  Going for a score draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1


Scott: Leyton make the trip to Forest Gate to take on a Tons side still looking for consistency. The hosts won last their last league match at Ilford though the Foxes did turn them over in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend. Leyton are winless in their last eight matches in league and cup though have had a mini-break from action recently which boss Eli Benoit will hope can assist them to a good start to the new year. Given that the Tons have found their goal-scoring touch more recently, I have to head for a home win in what could be a goal-laden match.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Enfield  v  Hoddesdon | The Harlow Arena

Pete: Both sides come into this one off the back of victories, the home side ending a run of three straight defeats in the process whilst Hoddy have won their last two now.  Both teams do struggle for goals though, with only 17 between them in six games, but the visitors are much better in defence though having conceded half of what Enfield have done in last six.  Despite this though I feel this may end a draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Enfield welcome Hoddesdon to the Harlow Arena. The E’s won their last league match at St Margaretsbury to end a mini-losing run though Hoddy’s form has also picked up with league wins at Leyton and at home to Sawbridgeworth recently before a fine performance sent Hullbridge packing out of the Errington Cup last weekend in their switched tie at Lowfield. Hoddesdon’s form away from home has been impressive with only two losses thus far and that could be a difference-maker here. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Hullbridge Sports  v  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Lower Road

Pete: Sports are the best team over the last six games in form having won their last five in a row in the league, although they were thrashed 5-1 at Hoddesdon Town in the Errington Challenge Cup just before the new year, so they will want to get that out of their system.  They welcome a Sawbridgeworth side to Lower Road who have won two of their last three outings so will be a tough one to crack for sure, but I feel the hosts will bounce back from that Lowfield disappointment to start 2019 off on the right foot.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Hullbridge welcome Sawbridgeworth to Lower Road. Darren Manning’s side had a rare ‘off-day’ in their loss at Hoddesdon in the Errington Cup last weekend though league-wise they have won their last five on-the-spin. The Bridge boys have had issues with postponements as well recently so that could impede their desire to find their rhythm to stay among the pace-setters.

Sawbo’s form has improved a touch recently with two losses in their last seven outings. Even so, John Watters’ tenth-placed side do need to improve their away form and this could give Hullbridge a little more impetus as they look to use their matches in hand to close the gap on leaders Stansted, which sits at four points presently.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Redbridge   v   Takeley  | Oakside

Pete: The Motormen have lost their last three in the league and were beaten heavily at Walthamstow last time out in the Errington Challenge Cup, so their form isn’t brilliant.  They do now welcome new boss Micky Wetherall to the club and this will be his first match in charge along with his new signings, most of whom have come in from his old club May & Baker.  How they adapt to new life in a division one step higher remains to be seen, but they couldn’t have picked a tougher side in Takeley to test that out, the visitors are one of the in-form sides in the division right now and will prove a very tough test for Wetherall and co.  Expecting an away win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2


Scott: Change is underway at Redbridge with new boss Micky Wetherall taking sole charge for the first time as they welcome Takeley to Oakside. The Motormen’s form continues to stutter as they’ve lost their last four in all competitions. A heavy loss at Walthamstow in midweek once again shows the job Wetherall has got to do, though he’s wasted no time in bringing in players from former club May & Baker to arrest his new side’s worrying league position. I saw them last month in their loss to Sporting Bengal and to be fair, there is courage and spirit in the team though their leaky defence has to be dealt with.

Takeley’s long unbeaten stretch ended at Stansted last time out though they are stronger away from home this season and I would suspect they will have enough to claim the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Southend Manor  v  St Margaretsbury  | Southchurch Park

Pete: With three league wins in their last four, Manor look in good shape going into the new year.  But they remain in trouble down at the bottom and lost 5-1 to Barkingside’s Reserve side last time out in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy in what was an alarming result for the Southchurch Park side.  St Margaretsbury have also won three of their last four but are in much better shape in the standings compared to their opponents, so you would say the visitors come into this in better frame of mind.  Reckon Dash and Co will get the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Scott: Manor welcome St Margs to Southchurch Park. Adam Peek’s side has picked up league-wise with three wins in the their last four matches, the last of those being a home win over Clapton. The ‘fly in the ointment’ though was a bad loss at Barkingside Reserves in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend. St Margs have only lost twice in their last eight games and crowned their recent run off with a good home win over Woodford last time out. Neither side has many draws to their name this term and I’ll plump for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  West Essex      | Mile End Stadium

Pete: The hosts’ form has dropped off recently after an incredible unbeaten run that lasted for two months, but the possible return of Knight and Carvell will certainly help their cause, and they come up against a West Essex outfit who come into this off the back of two straight defeats, just like the hosts.  I do feel this one may end all-square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: This fascinating tie sees West Essex travel to Mile End for the first of two matches in three days to face Sporting Bengal, who are in the middle of a blip with one win in their last five outings in the league. Imrul Gazi’s side did recover to win well at Harlow Town Reserves in the Peter Butcher Trophy last weekend. West have won two of their last five league matches though they are one of the teams that have been much stronger away from home. They did test Walthamstow last time out before succumbing to a narrow loss. This one could be tight as well though Bengal need to find their goal-touch on a more consistent basis. If they do that, they should get the win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 Stanway Rovers  v  Stansted     | Hawthorns

Pete: Terry Spillane welcome an ex-side to his Hawthorns ground as Stansted, the side he won the ESL with several years ago, take on his current squad Stanway Rovers.  The hosts’ form has been rather mixed of late, although they did taste victory in their last league outing, so will draw some confidence from that.  But Stansted are unbeaten in five having won three of those and currently lead the division, so this proves a tough one for the home side.  Stansted win for me.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 4

Scott: Stansted look to keep their revival going at the Hawthorns. Stanway’s recent record on four losses in their last six isn’t super though Terry Spillane’s side are a different beast at home with six wins in their ten matches at the Hawthorns thus far. The Airportmen have beaten Saffron Walden and Takeley of late so will pose potent opposition here. There could be goals in this one too and I reckon Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s side will find it a real battle here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Walthamstow  v  Saffron Walden Town      | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Pete: Big game at Kitchener Road as Walthamstow take on Saffron Walden, both have won two of their last three, and the hosts also had a thumping home win over Redbridge in midweek too. ‘Stow are unbeaten in their last four league games though, but Walden will prove a tough assignment.  This is a hard one to call for me, but I have a feeling Walden might sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: It’s a case of ‘last but hardly least’ with this fascinating match at Wadham Lodge which sees ‘Stow face another goal-hungry side in Saffron Walden. The hosts are unbeaten in five in league and cup, following a big win over Redbridge in midweek in their Errington Cup tie. The Bloods lost a cracker last time out at home to Stansted though are still unbeaten away from Catons Lane. That record will come under threat here in a match ‘Stow perhaps need to win slightly more to push themselves further into the promotion reckoning. Walden are a tough side to beat as well, with only three losses in 21 league matches. Could be goals in this one too as both sides have similar defensive records. Going to go for a entertaining draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

You can follow both writers on Twitter, which includes match-day tweets and links to articles. Follow Peter – @ped1980 and Scott – @ScottMHC14

Round-up: Bostik Division North (Sat 29 Dec) [BLN 31.12.18]

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello & welcome to another round-up of Bostik Division North action from the festive schedule on Saturday 29th Dec. Thanks for reading.
Saturday 18th November

Bostik Division North

Bowers & Pitsea  4 – 1  Great Wakering Rovers    |  Venue: Len Salmon Stadum (3G) | Att: 200

Bowers crowned off a super 2018 with a fine win over Rovers at the Len Salmon. David Knight [19’] and Martyn Stokes [28’] goals put them in a good position after GWR spurned a good chance to lead themselves. Ben Sartain made it three for the hosts three minutes before half-time. Brad Warner popped up to grab a fourth with 20 minutes remaining and although ex-Basildon forward Brian Moses got a consolation for his new side with 11 minutes left, Bowers roared to their fifth straight league win and extend their lead at the summit to seven points. Wakering’s third loss in their last six sees them in 14th though to fair to them, they have adapted well to the rigours of Bostik North and are building their side well.

Brentwood Town  2 – 2  Tilbury | Venue: Brentwood Arena    |   Att: 233

These two Essex rivals produced a cracker of a tie at Brentwood Arena. The Dockers got their noses ahead five minutes before half-time thanks to Oliver Spoone’s strike. Mitchell Gilbey doubled that lead on 62 minutes and the visitors may have thought the points were theirs. Not so as a roaring comeback from the Blues ensured they took a point. Substitute Harry Doyle’s thunder-bolt halved the deficit with three minutes left before skipper Quba Gordon struck on the cusp of the 90 to complete another come-back this term and crucially, without the prolific Charlee Hughes. Town have lost only one of their last six now and sit 10th. Tilbury are 11th after one loss in their last eight games.

Dereham  Town  0 – 1   Soham Town Rangers  | Venue: Aldiss Park | Att: 185

Soham compounded Dereham’s poor end to the calendar year with a narrow win at Aldiss Park. Callum Russell’s goal was the difference-maker a minute into the second-half to give Rangers their fourth win in their last eight matches, which sees them up to 17th and two points clear of danger. Dereham are winless in eight matches now and also have the worst defensive record in the division as they drop to the foot of the table.

Maldon & Tiptree  0 – 1  Witham Town |  Venue: Park Drive   |   Att: 244

Witham’s upturn in form continued with a fine battling win at Maldon & Tiptree. Sam Ashford got the only goal a minute before the break. Town had to see out the match with ten man as substitute Jack Kemsley was dismissed soon after coming on though Mark Ashford’s side notched their fourth straight victory to rise to 16th, five points clear of the bottom two. Maldon’s nine-match unbeaten run was ended here as they lost more ground to leaders Bowers & Pitsea.

Mildenhall Town  3 – 3  Felixstowe & Walton Utd  | Venue: Recreation Way       |  Att: 223

These two bottom-half sides had a right ding-dong battle at Recreation Way. The visitors took the lead through Miles Powell after six minutes. That lead only lasted mere minutes before Thomas Debenham [9’] levelled for the out-of-form Hall. Abouhadje Kouassi put the hosts ahead for the first time five minutes before the interval though Rhys Barber netted right on half-time to ensure two interesting team-talks at the break. The home side struck first after the interval as Jarid Robson struck on 49 minutes. Joseph Bloomfield struck for Felixstowe [66’] to eventually ensure that the points were shared though both sides are now winless in their last six matches.