Match Report: Great Wakering Rovers 1 – 1 Southend Manor (ESL)

Essex Senior League

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: 103

2017-18 Season – Match 11

Date: Saturday 12th August 2017 3pm KO

Great Wakering Rovers: Green & White Striped Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks

Southend Manor : Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Black Socks

GWR & S Manor players before KO (ESL 12.8.17)
The handshakes before kick-off 

Report by Scott W  (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

On a bright afternoon at Burroughs Park, Great Wakering Rovers welcomed neighbours Southend Manor in another Essex Senior League encounter.

Wakering started marginally the brighter of the two sides, though the fact this was a local derby was further emphasised by a few strong challenges being made fairly early-doors. Wakering forward Neil Richmond got himself in some decent positions to have strikes on goal at times. Just before the quarter-hour mark, Richmond did have a strike on goal after receiving a good ball in, though his shot was saved by visiting ‘keeper Klinton Makayabo. It didn’t matter though as the assistant referee was flagging for an off-side.

Exactly on the quarter-hour, Manor took the lead as home goalkeeper Rees Hawkins was challenged in the air, firmly but fairly and in doing so, the ball fell to Manor forward Michael Hopkins, who tapped home into an unguarded net. Only five minutes later, Rovers forward Richmond showed his talent again as he sent a looping shot just over the bar from 20-yards out. As the first period continued, the match was fairly even as both sides only had fleeting chances to add to the scorers.

Five minutes before the break, Wakering were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, just outside the box. Richmond stepped up, and struck a sweet curling effort into the top-right corner of the net to level the match. The home side soon after lost forward Charlie Kirby to what looked a nasty injury just before the break.

Half-Time: Great Wakering Rovers 1 – 1 Southend Manor

The second half began with Manor boss Stuart Marshall sent to the stands. I’ll come back to the referee later. Wakering had to weather a mini-storm midway through the second half as ‘keeper Hawkins first saved well from Manor substitute Bayley Newell’s strike, then in the same attack pulled off two more good saves as well, one of them on the goal-line to deny the visitors the lead for the second time.

For the next little while after that, the match became quite low-key, partly because the booking count had risen by this point and would rise to nine in total by the conclusion of the match, so the tackles didn’t fly in as much. Anyway, in the last 15 minutes, the hosts did finish the stronger of the two sides, Wakering forward Jay Nash spurning a one-on-one opportunity which Makayabo saved. With moments remaining, Wakering substitute Michael Finneran fired wide of the left-side post.

Full-Time: Great Wakering Rovers 1 – 1 Southend Manor

Richmond 40’                          Hopkins 15’

In summary, this was a tightly-contested match, as expected. Aaron Russell and Neil Richmond stood out for me for Wakering today, Russell with an energetic performance and Richmond for his spark up top. For Manor, full-back Shay Kelly stood out in my opinion with his tackling and running all match. Both sides may well take a point, and though I really don’t like mentioning referees, it’s hard to argue that the man in black had an effect on today’s encounter. I say that as it wasn’t really a ‘dirty’ match, yet the card count… well I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that. I’d also like to thank GWR secretary Mike Lee for his assistance with the teamsheets.

 

Teams:

Great Wakering Rovers

Manager: Iain O’Connell

Southend Manor

Manager: Stuart Marshall

1  Rees Hawkins  (GK) 1  Klinton Makayabo (GK)
2  Jason Ring 2  Robbie Norris  (C)
3  Jimmy Cook 3  Shay Kelly
4  Ollie Woodhouse 4  Lee Delf    (Subbed 61’)
5  Joe Nightingill (C) 5  Scott Keys
6  Scott Pethers 6  Daniel Okah
7  Aaron Russell 7  Jack Adlington
8  Sam Carter   (Subbed 54’) 8  Callum Jex
9  Neil Richmond 9  Michael Hopkins  (Subbed 76’)
10  Jay Nash 10  Alfie Lindfield    (Subbed 54’)
11  Charlie Kirby  (Subbed 46’) 11  Joe Skeels
   

Substitutes:

12  Nikki Beale 12  Bayley Newell  (On 54’)
14  Louis Robinson     (On 54’) 14  Finley Dopson  (On 76’)
15  Charlie Seaden 15  Harry Hatt
16  Michael Finneran  (On 46’) 16  Lee Scott
  17  Rhys Fatt  (On 61’)
   
   

Referee:

Jamie Pope
Assistant Referees:

Trevor Williams

Dumitru Vasile

   
Booked: Cook, Nightingill, Ring Booked: Keys, Okah, Jex, Norris, Skeels & Fatt

In their next ESL matches, Wakering travel to Wadham Lodge on Wednesday (16th August) while Southend Manor host Takeley, also on Wednesday (16th August).

Essex Senior League 2017/18 – Predictions (Matchday Round 3)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to our next round of predictions, as the Essex Senior League returns this weekend following the FA Cup Extra Prelim Round action last weekend. Once again, I’ll be (jokingly) pitting my wits against my good friend & Grassroot Football Show colleague Peter Dudley in predicting the results in the ESL this season on both our blogs. Do you agree with our thoughts of this weekends’ round of matches?

Saturday 12th August (all 3pm KO’s)

Barkingside v Stansted                        Venue: Cricklefield

Scott: Barkingside welcome Paul Pittuck’s side to Cricklefield. Both sides lost out in FA Cup action last week and both will be looking for a better result here. The fact that both sides also have virtually new squads this term makes this tricky to predict, though I’m going for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Peter:  Side will be looking to bounce back from a heavy home defeat at home to Stowmarket Town in their FA Cup tie last weekend whilst the visitors’ also exited the cup at Redbridge so both will have to put those disappointments behind them.  Both sides have played Great Wakering Rovers away and had differing fortunes, Side winning whilst Stansted were beaten, and looking at this one I feel the hosts may grab the points.

Pete’s Prediction:  2-1

Basildon Utd v Wadham Lodge            Venue: The Hive

Scott: Wadham are the next visitors to The Hive Stadium. Basildon are unbeaten in league & cup so far, whilst Wadham are winless in the league. This will be a tough test for James Falaise & Kevin Lucas’ side and I reckon the Bees will have ‘enough in the locker’ in this one to claim the points.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Peter: The Bees have played two, won two in all competitions at home this season, a 2-0 win over Clapton in the League followed up by a 3-0 win over Walsham le Willows in the cup in midweek, whilst Wadham Lodge have lost both league games this season and exited the cup in midweek against Step Six side Framlingham Town so will be desperate for a win here.  Can’t see it though and expect the hosts to prevail.

Pete’s Prediction:  3-0

Clapton v Woodford Town (2017)             Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Scott: Clapton welcome Tony Ievoli’s Woodford to the Old Spotted Dog Stadium. Even though it’s very early on in the season, there’s been a degree of contradictions for both sides in terms of results. Clapton will undoubtedly be looking to triumph in what is their first home match of the campaign, while Woodford will seek to take advantage of their week off having not been in FA Cup action last weekend. I think this one could be an entertaining goal-fest, though it’s hard to look past the Tons, despite Woodford’s ability to score goals of late.

Scott’s Prediction: 4 – 2

Peter: The Tons come into this one off the back of two wins, one in the league against Ilford and one in the FA Cup at FC Clacton last weekend.  Woodford themselves didn’t play last weekend as they did not enter the FA Cup this season but their league form so far is a 0-5 home defeat to Ilford and then a 5-2 win at Wadham Lodge, so a mixed start it has to be said.  Feel the Tons may be too strong here and will take the win.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-0

Enfield 1893 v Ilford                                        Venue: The Harlow Arena

Scott: Enfield welcome Allan Fenn’s Foxes to the Harlow Arena. Both sides were involved in tight FA Cup matches last weekend, Enfield narrowly losing out to Haverhill Borough and Ilford pulling through against Woodbridge Town. It’s arguable that both sides haven’t quite settled and found their rhythm yet following quite large squad overhauls in the summer, albeit for differing reasons. It’s hard to separate these two, so I’m plumping for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Peter: Enfield have lost both their competitive games this season although have probably been unlucky in both, whilst Ilford kept free-scoring Woodbridge Town at bay last weekend in the cup so will take some heart from that.  Think this one could end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

FC Romania v Burnham Ramblers                          Venue: Theobalds Lane

Scott: FC Romania, unbeaten in league and cup thus far, welcome winless Burnham to Theobalds Lane. The visitors have a daunting task here to get past an FCR defence that hasn’t yet conceded a goal in two league matches. If anything, the pressure is off Burnham and there were ‘shoots of recovery’ last weekend in the FA Cup as they battled hard in a narrow loss. I reckon it’ll be a home win though not a massive one.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Peter: FCR have won both league games without conceding but will admit they haven’t been at their best so far, which is a worry for everyone else.  They were held to a 2-2 draw in the Cup by Waltham Forest last time out whilst for Burnham it’s been a difficult start to the season as many had predicted it would be.  However, despite losing all three competitive games so far they have showed battling qualities in all three which should be an encouragement for the club.  However I can’t see anything other than a home win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-0

Great Wakering Rovers v Southend Manor             Venue: Burroughs Park

Scott: Wakering welcome neighbours Manor to Burroughs Park. The ‘form book’ sometimes ‘goes out the window’ in derby matches and this could be the case here. Manor’s defence does look stronger than last term; though I can’t help thinking Wakering will want to roar back from a disappointing loss last weekend at Newmarket in the FA Cup, buoyed on by the home crowd in this one. With that in mind I’m going to ‘make hay’ and go for a score draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Peter: The eagerly awaited derby between GWR and Manor comes only three weeks into the season and with the sides only four miles apart, local pride is always at stake here. Rovers were thrashed at Newmarket Town last weekend in the Cup whilst Manor recorded a very impressive win over Wroxham at Southchurch Park, also in the cup, last weekend.  Tough one to call this one so I reckon it will end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Sawbridgeworth Town v Hackney Wick           Venue: Crofters End

Scott: Sawbridgeworth welcome the Wickers to Crofters End. This could be a compelling match with the home side announcing a slight alteration to their management team on Thursday. Although Wick are unbeaten in the league thus far, I reckon the home side’s fortunes will change and they could do so here. I reckon we’ll see a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Peter: The Robins have endured a difficult start to the season, suffering two home defeats to West Essex, one in the league and one in the Cup, although they did grab an encouraging draw at Redbridge in their other league outing so far.  Wick are unbeaten in two league games after beginning their first senior season impressively, although they suffered a disappointing home defeat to Long Melford at the weekend in what was a frustrating afternoon for them.  I have a feeling the Robins may sneak this one though and grab their first win of the campaign.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-1

Sporting Bengal Utd v Hullbridge Sports         Venue: Mile End Stadium

Scott: Bengal welcome Hullbridge to Mile End with both clubs looking for their first league win of the campaign. Last time out in the league, Bengal held West Essex at Mayesbrook Park so for them it could be about maintaining level of performance, whilst in FA Cup action last week, Hullbridge picked up a morale-boosting home win against Ipswich Wanderers. This is Bengal’s first home match and Hullbridge’s first match away from Lower Road, though I still think Bengal may edge a hard-fought contest.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Peter: Both sides have drawn one and lost one in the league so far although they had differing fortunes in the FA Cup, with Sporting going down 3-2 at Hadleigh United whilst Hullbridge recorded their biggest victory in the competition with a 5-1 drubbing of Ipswich Wanderers, which was mightily impressive indeed.  I feel the confidence this has almost certainly given the visitors will take them to victory here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0-2

Takeley v Redbridge                                      Venue: Station Road

Scott: Takeley, among the early ESL pace-setters, welcome Redbridge to Station Road. The home side are unbeaten in league & cup so far this term, whilst the Motormen perhaps haven’t quite found their best form as of yet, though they did pick up an important win in the FA Cup last weekend. The visitors will still have to have a good day in defence though as Takeley have been scoring well in the opening weeks of the campaign. If the visitors rise to the occasion, then we could see a heck of an encounter here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Peter: A potentially huge clash already this season takes place at Station Road as two of the pre-season favourites clash and Takeley have certainly had a fine start to the campaign with three straight wins, all at home, in all competitions whilst Redbridge have also played three home games and won two of them which included an FA Cup victory over Stansted last time out.  Almost impossible to call this one however gonna go for a narrow home win.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-0

Waltham Forest v West Essex                    Venue: Kitchener Road

Scott: Waltham Forest welcome West Essex to Kitchener Road. Forest are searching for their first league win, though have started the season OK. West Essex have started well, and are unbeaten in the league thus far and picked up a memorable away-day win in the FA Cup last weekend. The visitors will have to be on their guard here though as Forest can move the ball well going forward.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Peter: Forest are yet to win in two league outings so far however they did hold FC Romania to a draw last weekend in the FA Cup.  Both of West Essex’s wins have come at Crofters against Sawbridgeworth Town, one in the league and one in the cup, and they look more than useful this term.  Got a feeling the visitors may grab another impressive victory in Walthamstow as well.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-3

You can follow Scott W on Twitter: @ScottMHC14

You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 and on his website at http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl/LeagueNews

Also, you can follow the ‘umbrella’ that is the Grassroot Football Show on Twitter at @ELRFootball & also online at elrgfs.blogspot.co.uk

Bostik Division North Matchday #1 Preview

Written by Scott W  (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello and welcome to the new Isthmian Division North season, now known as the Bostik League Division North after twenty years of it being known as the Ryman League. It’s been mentioned that only one club will be relegated come season’s end and two will be promoted. Below is a list of the fixtures on Matchday #1.

Saturday 12th August  (3pm KO’s)

AFC Hornchurch v Soham Town Rangers      Venue: Bridge Avenue

Jimmy McFarlane’s Urchins welcome Soham to Bridge Avenue. Hornchurch have recruited a number of good players during the summer, including the likes of forwards Bradley Warner and Theo Fairweather-Johnson. Soham’s late revival of form at the latter stages of the season certainly assisted them in averting relegation last term and will look for a positive start here.

AFC Sudbury v Canvey Island           Venue: Wardale Williams Stadium

This encounter sees two sides that were both relegated last term clash as Canvey travel to Sudbury on the Suffolk/Essex border. Both sides will also be looking for a favourable campaign and may well be in the play-off hunt come season’s end. Former Bowers & Pitsea forward David Knight are among the signings Danny Heale has made in the close-season.

Aveley v Bowers & Pitsea               Venue: Parkside

Aveley welcome Bowers & Pitsea in what is their first league match at their brand-new Parkside home, which they will continue to share (as they did with Mill Field) with tenants Grays Athletic for the next two seasons. In what could be an even more highly-contested division than last term, both sides may be angling for another run at the play-offs this term.

Barking v Waltham Abbey        Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Essex Senior League champions Barking welcome Waltham Abbey to Mayesbrook Park in their first match back at Step 4. The hosts have a much-changed squad and a new co-manager in Justin Gardner this term, joining Glen Golby in the dug-out. The Abbotts will be looking to avoid the nerves of a relegation dogfight this season, as they had at times last campaign. Will Barking see previous ESL champions Bowers & Pitsea’s ‘yardstick’ of a top-six finish last season as encouragement for them? Perhaps, though I suspect they’d be content with a mid-table finish in April.

Brentwood Town v Hertford Town       Venue: The Brentwood Arena

Brentwood welcome Bostik North newcomers Hertford Town to the Brentwood Arena. Craig Shipman starts his first full season in charge with a squad largely the same as last term, though forward Lamar Reynolds clinched a big move to EFL Two side Newport County during the summer. Hertford might be thankful for the temporary reduction in relegation this season, though it’ll be an adventure for Gavin Kelsey’s men this term.

Bury Town v Romford          Venue: Ram Meadow

Romford travel to Ram Meadow in their season’s opener. Both these sides achieved creditable mid-table finishes last term. Paul Martin’s side has stayed in the division for around a decade and will look to continue to progress this term.

Dereham Town v Cheshunt       Venue: Aldiss Park

Dereham welcome Cheshunt to Aldiss Park. The Magpies appointed Neal Simmons in the summer as their new manager, as they look to improve on their 18th place finish last term. Cheshunt, who for a while last season looked to be contenders for a play-off spot, eventually finished a very creditable 10th. Jonny Ashman is among their summer signings as they perhaps quietly seek another tilt at the play-offs this term under manager Paul Wickenden.

Heybridge Swifts v Mildenhall Town              Venue: Scraley Road

Jody Brown’s side have made a number of intriguing signings in the summer as they look to avert another scramble with the drop, after their final-day heroics last season. They welcome newcomers Mildenhall to Scraley Road. I saw Heybridge in pre-season at Southend Manor in which they played very well, they might fancy a tilt at a top ten-finish, under the radar.

Norwich Utd v Haringey Borough         Venue: Plantation Park

The Planters take on ‘Borough in their league opener. Both sides perhaps performed above expectations last term as they achieved top-ten finishes.

Tilbury  v  Grays Athletic                 Venue: Chadfields

Tilbury welcome Grays to Chadfields. Tilbury finished 12th last season, as Grays finished bottom of Isthmian Premier last term. Grays though have overseen somewhat of a squad re-construction which has seen old faces such as Lamar Johnson and Jamie Slabber return to the club. Under Jamie Stuart’s tenure, they will be going for an immediate return to Bostik Premier.

Ware  v   Maldon & Tiptree           Venue: Wodson Park

Ware, who were reprieved from the drop in the summer, welcome last season’s play-off finalists Maldon & Tiptree to Wodson Park. Maldon’s top-scorer last term Liam Nash grabbed a huge transfer to League One side Gillingham in the summer though Kevin Horlock’s Jammers will again look to be in the promotion reckoning this season.

Witham Town v Potters Bar Town      Venue: Spa Road

Finally, Witham welcome newcomers Potters Bar to Spa Road. Ex-Stansted forward Sam Ashford is among the additions to Adam Flint’s side this term. It could be an ‘open book’ as to how these two get on this season.

Check back at the weekend for the the first Bostik League Division North results round-up of the new season.

Match Report: Barkingside 0 – 4 Stowmarket Town (FAC EPR)

The FA Cup – Extra Preliminary Round

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 215

2017-18 Season – Match 10

Date: Sunday 6th August 2017 2pm KO

 Barkingside : Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Stowmarket Town : Gold & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

 

Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

On a pleasant Sunday afternoon, Essex Senior League side Barkingside welcomed Thurlow Nunn Premier side Stowmarket Town to Cricklefield on the final day of this season’s FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round ties.

The hosts had what proved to be one of their best chances with only two minutes on the clock as forward Michael Ogboin was one-on-one with Stowmarket ‘keeper Craig Brand though his strike was just over the bar. The visitors soon responded. In the following twenty minutes, Town had numerous chances to open their account though efforts on goal from midfielder Jack Baker, winger Dan Cunningham and forwards Andrew Wood & George Bugg were all well-saved by the over-worked home goalkeeper Will Hunt.

Stowmarket did eventually take the lead seven minutes from the break, as the impressive full-back Ethan Clarke fizzed across a left-wing cross which was met by Wood, who slotted home past Hunt into the left corner. The visitors pushed for a second goal though Barkingside managed to keep the arrears to one at the break.

Half-Time: Barkingside 0 – 1 Stowmarket Town

The second half began in a similarly frenetic way, with Stowmarket forward Wood having another strike on goal saved by Hunt. The hosts then had a chance to level though forward Jerome Martelli blazed over the bar after being played in by Ogboin. Town spurned two more chances as the hour mark approached, though on 61 minutes they extended their lead as Bugg prodded home from a corner.

‘Side had one of their more decent spells in the match just after that goal though Ex-Southend Manor & Clapton winger Aundre Spencer’s shot went side of the right-side post whilst in a good position. Stowmarket did recover and pushed hard though in the last 15 minutes. The home side had a warning with twelve minutes left as they were indebted to a combination of their defence and Hunt as they cleared off the goal-line. Town did eventually wrap up the win though in the last six minutes as first, Ethan Clarke scored with a good deep looping header into the right corner, after being fed by a good ball in by full-back Ollie Brown. Wood then grabbed his second from the spot, blasted into the top-right corner.

Full-Time:  Barkingside 0 – 4  Stowmarket Town

Wood 38’, 87 (pen)’

Bugg 61’, E Clarke 84’

To be fair, Stowmarket more than deserved the win and played very well, they were good on-the-ball & were a hard-working outfit. As for Barkingside, it’s hard not to mention that this is a virtually new squad so it will take time for consistency to come, though today they didn’t really have the ball enough to create the chances that the likes of Ogboin would make the most of. I must also mention goalkeeper Will Hunt, who made numerous saves to keep his side in the match at times.

Best wishes to Stowmarket who host Romford in the next round. Commiserations to Barkingside, who will now focus elsewhere, starting with a home ESL match against Stansted on Saturday (12th August).

Teams:

Barkingside

Manager: Michael Walther

Stowmarket Town

Manager: Rick Andrews

1  Will Hunt  (GK) 1  Craig Brand  (GK)
2  Michael Bottone 2  Ollie Brown
3  Mike Sherwood 3  Anton Clarke
4  Euan Taylor-Reid 4  Ethan Clarke
5  Paul Shaves (C) 5  Phil Weavers
6  Jamie Pooley   (Subbed 53’) 6  Jemel Fox
7  Aundre Spencer 7  Dan Cunningham  (C)
8  Bradley Joseph 8  Jack Baker      (Subbed 62’)
9  Michael Ogboin     (Subbed 72’) 9  Andrew Wood
10  Jerome Martelli   (Subbed 53’) 10  George Bugg      (Subbed 79’)
11  Joe Newbold 11  Remi Garrett    (Subbed 72’)
   

Substitutes:

12  Jason Fontaine  (On 72’) 14  Angelo Harrop   (On 62’)
14  Mendez Gomez Formoso 15  Jon Carver
15  Eamon Payne 16  Ryan Yallop        (On 79’)
16 Tony Cookey 17  Billy Clark           (On 72’)
18  Matteus Santos    (On 53’) 18  Paul Mosgrove
19  Reece Hewitt       (On 53’)  
20  Jayden Mitchell-Brown  
   
   

Referee:

Michael Mackey

Assistant Referees:

David Behling

Grant Mathias

   
Booked: None Booked: Garrett

 

Match Report: Southend Manor 1 – 0 Wroxham (FA Cup EPR)

The FA Cup – Extra Preliminary Round

Venue: Southchurch Park

2017-18 Season – Match 9

Date: Saturday 5th August 2017 3pm KO

Southend Manor : Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Black Socks

Wroxham : White Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

The FA Cup. It is many things to many people. It is the oldest domestic cup competition. It is arguably a lifeline to those ‘smaller’ clubs up & down the country. And perhaps it is a beacon that multi-million pound player transfers don’t really matter.

So, on the first day of this season’s FA Cup, Southend Manor welcomed Thurlow Nunn Premier side Wroxham to Southchurch Park. The match began well with both sides having early opportunities to strike first. The Yachtsmen’s midfielder Harley Black sent a free-kick just wide of the top corner in the first minute. For Manor, forward Bayley Newell had an effort tipped wide for a corner by visiting ‘keeper Will Viner.

Manor had another good chance on 20 minutes when midfielder Callum Jex shot from point-blank range though Viner pulled off a good save. The visitors had two more decent chances soon after as winger Adam Smith struck an effort over the bar, before on the on the half-hour, forward Ross Gilfedder somehow contrived to nod a free-header over the bar from Robbie Sweeney’s left-wing cross.

Half-Time: Southend Manor 0 – 0 Wroxham

Wroxham did edge the first half in my view, though the second half began in quite a low-key way. Mid-way into the second half, Sweeney had a header saved by the dependable Manor ‘stopper Klinton Makayabo.

Manor then had two further chances to open the scoring on the 70 minute mark though winger Alfie Lindfield and Newell both couldn’t find the target. Moments later, the visitors had two really good chances. First, substitute Pete Wilshire found himself one-on-one with Makayabo but the ‘keeper stood tall and saved well. Then defender Shaun Taylor’s shot trickled across the face of goal and hit the bar before two further blocks on the line prevented the scorers being troubled.

With 15 minutes remaining, Wroxham winger Black powered a great strike from 25-yards in at goal, it struck a post. At this point, the visitors may have been thinking that the goal was coming.

It wasn’t to be though as just as we were thinking that a replay at Trafford Park would be needed, with two minutes or regulation time remaining, Newell popped up in the area after a good cross from the left by winger Finley Dopson and blasted a low effort past Viner into the left corner for his first FA Cup goal.

Full-Time: Southend Manor 1 – 0 Wroxham

Newell 88’

The result was tough on Wroxham who certainly had their moments in the match. I wish them well as they look to recover from last season’s struggles. As for Manor, they too had decent spells though perhaps were not at their best today, with ‘keeper Klinton Makayabo & the back four in front of him defending stoutly at times though the Yachtsmen forwards’ pace and trickery did give them a headache or two.

Southend Manor host Gorleston in the next round on Saturday August 19th.

Teams:

Southend Manor

Manager: Stuart Marshall

Wroxham

Joint-Managers: Ross Potter & Tom Parke

1  Klinton Makayabo  (GK) 1  Will Viner  (GK)
2  Robbie Norris  (C) 2  Shaun Taylor
3  Shay Kelly 3  Sam Bryant      (Subbed 65’)
4  Joe Skeels 4  Mark Shadrack
5  Daniel Okah 5  Michael Sommerfield
6  Scott Keys 6  Tom Matthews  (C)
7  Daryl Cooper   (Subbed 35’) 7  Adam Smith      (Subbed 57’)
8  Callum Jex 8  Joe Manning     (Subbed 50’)
9  Michael Hopkins     (Subbed 85’) 9  Ross Gilfedder
10  Bayley Newell 10  Robbie Sweeney
11  Alfie Lindfield      (Subbed 78’) 11  Harley Black
Substitutes:
12  Lee Scott 12  Myron Abodunde   (On 65’)
14  Mitchell Keen 14  Ben Fowkes     (On 50’)
15  Ryan Kelland       (On 85’) 15  Pete Wiltshire        (On 57’)
16  Finley Dopson    (On 78’) 16  George MacRae (GK)
17  Harry Hatt           (On 35’) 17  Dayton Swatman
18  Dominic Locke
21  James Good
Referee: David Moreno-Rojas
Booked: Lindfield Booked: Shadrack, Sommerfield, Matthews

Non-League Season 2017-18: National League Premier Matchday 1 Preview

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello & welcome to a ‘one-off’ piece previewing the beginnings of what should be a hugely-competitive season in the National League Premier, as the ‘carrot’ of promotion into the Football League (EFL) is dangled just that bit more as the end-of-season play-offs extend to six teams this season.

The division winners will still go up automatically. Teams that finish 2nd and 3rd will go straight through to the semi-finals, whilst the sides finishing 4th-7th go into the ‘qualifying round’. Four teams will still be relegated into National League North or South from the division at the end of the campaign.

So, below are the fixtures on Matchday one.

Saturday 5th August  (3pm KO’s unless stated)

Sutton Utd v Leyton Orient   (12.30pm KO)     Venue: Gander Green Lane

The U’s welcome the O’s in the early kick-off on the artificial pitch at Gander Green Lane. New-look Orient will want to begin the season well though face a tough test against Paul Doswell’s determined side, who of course had such a superb run in the FA Cup last term. Orient fans will undoubtedly just be happy that the new season is here, though they have made good signings during the summer.

AFC Fylde v Boreham Wood       Venue: Mill Farm

Newly-promoted Fylde begin their campaign as they welcome Boreham Wood to Mill Farm. Dave Challinor’s men will get a good indication of what this division is like here given that ‘Wood have signed some experienced players in the summer, including Dag & Red legend Paul Benson.

Bromley v Eastleigh                Venue: Hayes Lane

The hosts have added a 3G pitch in the summer though have a tough start to this campaign. The Ravens do have a new-look squad though they may feel they can quietly make a push for the play-offs. They take on Eastleigh and a club which will be looking to right some wrongs from last term. Richard Hill has added a number of players who have played higher up the footballing pyramid, though also lost a number of players in the summer. This could be some match to begin their respective campaigns.

Dagenham & Redbridge v Barrow        Venue: Victoria Road

Dagenham & Redbridge welcome the Bluebirds to Victoria Road. When you think of Dagenham, you invariably think of manager John Still and all his accomplishments. The Daggers haven’t really been mentioned that much in the build-up ‘promotion talk’ though D & R have added some good players who’ve done well in this division during the close-season. Paul Cox’s side will also have a target to reach the expanded play-offs this season and have added a few players with EFL experience in the summer.

FC Halifax Town v Aldershot Town                 Venue: The Shay Stadium

Halifax won the NL North play-off final last term to return to the National League and entertain Aldershot here. Billy Heath’s side will want to start well as they seek to stay in the division this season. Aldershot though will want to replicate last season’s finish, which saw them end in the play-offs and in Gary Waddock, they have a seasoned manager who nobody will want to write-off having led the club to promotion back in 2008.

Guiseley v Ebbsfleet Utd                                   Venue: Nethermoor Park

Guiseley welcome newly-promoted Ebbsfleet to Nethermoor Park. The Lions did survive the tight relegation scrap last term though only time will tell what they will achieve this term. Ebbsfleet won a return to this division after defeating Chelmsford in last season’s NL South play-off final. Under Daryl McMahon, the visitors here may be another of the sides that will go about their season quietly though they have brought in some EFL experience during the summer.

Hartlepool Utd  v  Dover Athletic                    Venue: Victoria Park

Hartlepool  are another club looking forward to banish the memories of last season’s relegation. Craig Harrison’s side enter the realm of non-league football for the first time in their history and will be hoping it’s a fleeting visit. Dover have a much-changed side this term though will be buoyed by their impressive top-six finish last term.

Maidstone Utd v Maidenhead Utd                        Venue: Gallagher Stadium

Maidstone welcome last season’s NL South champions Maidenhead to the Gallagher Stadium. Jay Saunders’ side have added some experienced players to the squad and will be looking to avoid the fabled ‘second season syndrome’ though last term’s mid-table finish does provide building blocks for this season. Maidenhead, under the management of wily boss Alan Devonshire, will be looking to avoid any brush with the bottom four in what is a new adventure for his side.

Solihull Moors P – P Chester                Venue: The Auto Technology Group Stadium

The Blues travel to Solihull as they look to build on their unpredictable season last term. Manager Jon McCarthy has added a number of experienced campaigners to his squad though lost top-scorer James Alabi to Tranmere in the summer. Solihull finished in a decent mid-table position last term and boss Liam McDonald will be looking to build on that in his first full season as boss.

Update: This match has been postponed due to safety concerns concerning the stadium.

Torquay Utd v Tranmere Rovers                         Venue: Plainmoor

The Gulls narrowly avoided the drop last term and with a new-look squad, manager Kevin Nicholson may well have an interesting season ahead having added a few experienced players to offset the number of players that unfortunately departed in the close-season. Tranmere are one of the favourites for promotion, though boss Micky Mellon has tasted the success of promotion with Fleetwood Town and has added some astute signings & has an enviable forward line too.

Woking v Gateshead                                                      Venue: Kingfield

It’s all change for Woking as experienced boss Garry Hill left in the summer. New boss Anthony Limbrick has apparently put his focus on youth after losing a number of experienced faces during the close-season. Gateshead may well be looking to build on last season’s 8th place finish, though with an altered squad this term, it may take a little time.

Wrexham v Macclesfield Town                     Venue: The Racecourse Ground

Dean Keates’ side begin this campaign looking to improve on last term’s mid-table finish with a much-changed squad this time around. With at least some of the focus on other clubs, the Red Dragons may slip under the radar for some. Among the new faces is Chris Holroyd, who played in the FA Trophy Final for Macclesfield at the end of last term. Speaking of Macclesfield, John Askey’s men are also much-changed from last term as they look for another season in the top-ten at least.

Thank you for reading, feel free to leave comments and I wish every club in the division a good season.

2017- 18 Season Predictions: FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Written by Peter D & Scott W

FA Cup fever returns as Essex Senior League sides are in action this weekend. The winners of each tie are awarded £1,500 which could make some difference in itself, below is a preview of each tie involving those sides in the Extra Preliminary Round of the competition:-

Saturday 5th August (3pm KO’s)

Enfield 1893 v Haverhill Borough       Venue: The Harlow Arena

Peter: Hosts Enfield will want to bounce back from their 3-0 loss at FC Romania in their first competitive outing although the score-line was harsh on the Harlow-based side.  Visitors Haverhill Borough have yet to start their league season so this will be their first competitive game of the campaign.  Gonna go for a home win in this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: Enfield welcome Haverhill to the 3G pitch of the Harlow Arena. The hosts will no doubt look to re-group following their loss in midweek. They may well have better fortune at home this time around though Haverhill will look to start their season well after promotion last term.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

FC Broxbourne Borough v Tower Hamlets       Venue: Goffs Lane

Peter: Tower Hamlets visit SSML One side FC Broxbourne Borough looking for their first competitive win of the season after a narrow loss and draw in their first two league outings.  Hosts Broxbourne are a step below the ESL and haven’t played a competitive game as yet and I fancy the Mile End side to take a win here.

Peter’s Prediction:  0-2

Scott: Tower Hamlets travel to Broxbourne Borough in this intriguing cup-tie. The hosts finished bottom of SSML Premier last term and with this being Hamlets third match in league & cup this week, I can see this one being a tight contest. Hamlets though have been ‘knocking on the door’ of a win though in those previous two matches and they may get that win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 1

FC Clacton v Clapton                                          Venue: Rush Green Bowl

Peter: Hosts FC Clacton have drawn one and lost one in the league so far his campaign, the loss being a 6-0 home defeat, whilst The Tons lost on the opening day of their season; however they thumped Ilford at Cricklefield in midweek to get their campaign back on track.  I feel the ESL will prevail here too.

Peter’s Prediction: 0-3

Scott: Clapton travel to north-east Essex on the back of that win in midweek. I have no doubt that the visitors here will be looking to progress in the competition here and in doing so banishing the result in their last away match last weekend.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 2

FC Romania v Waltham Forest                    Venue: Theobalds Lane

Peter: The hosts have won their opening two games without conceding whilst visitors Forest have drawn one and lost one so far this season.  Should be a decent game this one but I’m gonna plump for an entertaining home win.

Peter’s Prediction:  4-2

Scott:  FCR have started the season well though Forest are not a side that you’d discount easily given how they play. If the visitors have a good day at the back, then I can see Romania being made to work hard for the result here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Framlingham Town v Wadham Lodge       Venue: Badlingham Road

Peter: Hosts Framlingham ply their trade in the Thurlow Nunn Division One, a step below the ESL, although they are yet to begin their league season.  Lodge have played two league games so far, both at home, and lost them both so may see this cup game as a welcome break from league football, and this is also Lodge’s first ever FA Cup contest.  I reckon this could end a draw and a replay back in Walthamstow.

Peter’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: Lodge make their FA Cup bow with a long trip to Framlingham, just west of Saxmundham in Suffolk. Although they lost in midweek, James Falaise & Kevin Lucas’ side did score twice in that match and if they keep that up, they may get that priceless first win of the campaign. Mel Aldis’s side have seen the cup ‘in the flesh’ this week and will also want to put in a good performance in what could be another tight contest.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 1

Hackney Wick v Long Melford      Venue: Old Spotted Dog Stadium

Peter: Wick enter the FA Cup for the very first time and welcome Thurlow Nunn Premier side Long Melford to the Old Spotted Dog.  Wick have begun their first ESL campaign with a win and a draw whilst Long Melford have drawn their opening game in the league.  Feel Wick may just edge this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-1

Scott: Hackney Wick make their debut in the competition on what could be an emotional day for the club. Long Melford make the trip from Suffolk and I believe this will be tight match which could well end honours even.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Hadleigh Utd v Sporting Bengal Utd          Venue: Mill Field, Duke St

Peter: A 2-0 opening day loss at Takeley was followed by an impressive 2-2 draw at West Essex for Sporting Bengal United and they travel to Suffolk to take on Hadleigh United who are yet to play a competitive game this campaign.  Sporting made history in reaching the 1st Qualifying Round last season and I feel they may grab a draw in this one and take the Thurlow Nunn Premier side back to Mile End for a replay.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Bengal travel to Suffolk looking to maintain some form following that draw in midweek. Hadleigh will be a tough side to beat and with this being the visitors’ third match in a week, I can see this being a keenly-contested draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Hullbridge Sports v Ipswich Wanderers                  Venue: Lower Road

Peter: Sports haven’t had the best of starts to this campaign, taking just one point from their opening two games, and they come up against Ipswich Wanderers who drew their opening game in the Thurlow Nunn Premier. Wanderers have good cup pedigree over recent years, as do Hullbridge, however I have a feeling that the Suffolk side will prevail.

Peter’s Prediction:  1-2

Scott: Hullbridge have their third home match in a week here as they welcome Ipswich Wanderers to Lower Road. The hosts are a difficult side to beat, though having had two tough league matches in quick succession, I feel the visitors will have the edge here.

Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 1

Ilford v Woodbridge Town                            Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: The Foxes have had a mixed start to their season, winning 5-0 on the opening day before falling to a 4-1 home defeat in midweek.  Suffolk side Woodbridge have begun their season in the Thurlow Nunn One with two wins from two, and 6-1 home win followed by a 7-3 away win, so they will come to Cricklefield full of confidence.  However with Ilford being at home and being a step above I feel they will take the win.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-2

Scott: Ilford welcome Woodbridge to Cricklefield. Both sides have been involved in high-scoring matches recently though Ilford might well be fired-up after their loss in midweek. Allan Fenn’s side are still in a transition phase of sorts though if they start this tie well, I can see them advancing to the next round.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Newmarket Town v Great Wakering Rovers       Venue: Cricket Field Road

Peter: Wakering face a tough away trip to Newmarket Town off the back of a 2-1 home loss in midweek.  They did however win their opening fixture 2-0 last weekend so will look to find that form when they take on Newmarket Town who themselves are yet to play a league game this season.  Feel the ESL side will be knocked out here though.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Iain O’Connell’s side make the long trip to Newmarket searching for some impetus to take back into the ESL. Though with their hosts yet to get their league campaign underway, I reckon Rovers could battle hard to earn a replay at Burroughs Park.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Redbridge v Stansted                                         Venue: Oakside

Peter: The Motormen have had two entertaining encounters at Oakside so far this season and they welcome another ESL side to their home in the shape of Stansted in the FA Cup.  Stansted have won one lost one so far this campaign although this will be a tough assignment for the Airportmen and I think the hosts will progress.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: Stansted travel to Oakside to take on Ricky Eaton’s Redbridge. You do get the feeling that the new-look Redbridge side will gel at some point and this may be the day. If Stansted start well though, this could be some match.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1 

Sawbridgeworth Town v West Essex              Venue: Crofters End

Peter: This is a repeat of the opening day fixture of the season and saw the visitors win 3-1.  Both sides have drawn their second games and come into this one with hope they can progress to the next round.  However you rarely get the same result again when two sides play each other so quickly afterwards so therefore home win is the call.

Peter’s Prediction:  3-2

Scott: Both sides have their third match in a week here though they will also revved-up be as Sawbridgeworth will look to progress into the next round. West Essex make their debut in the FA Cup so regardless of the result it will be a special day for Kwame Kwateng’s team. I reckon this one will come down to purely who plays the better ‘on the day’ and can see this tie needing a replay.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Southend Manor v Wroxham                         Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: Manor welcome Wroxham to Southchurch Park having battled to a hard earned win at local rivals Hullbridge in midweek.  Wroxham, relegated from the Isthmian League last season, have drawn their opening encounter in the Thurlow Nunn Premier. Reckon this could end a draw and a replay in Norfolk.

Peter’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: This is a fascinating tie at Southchurch Park. Manor showed glimpses of their potential in their battling win at Hullbridge in midweek and will be looking to progress here in front of what could be a decent crowd. Wroxham will undoubtedly be looking to move on from last season’s struggles and a cup run would certainly aid that. Stuart Marshall’s side will be searching for consistency and I think bearing in mind it’s a long trip for the visitors, Manor may edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Takeley v Wivenhoe Town                                    Venue: Station Road

Peter: Hosts Takeley have begun the season with two wins from two and are full of confidence going into this encounter with Thurlow Nunn Premier side Wivenhoe Town, who are yet to begin their season.  The hosts have won two at home already this season and I feel they will make it three from three in this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-0

Scott: Takeley have started the season well with new signing Stuart Zanone already among the goals. Marc Das’ side will look to continue the ‘winning habit’ at Station Road as they welcome Wivenhoe Town. I can see the ‘Takeley juggernaut’ continuing here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Walsham-le-Willows v Basildon Utd

Peter: The Bees face a tough challenge as they travel to take on Walsham-le-Willows and with the Thurlow Nunn Premier side having won 6-0 away on the opening day and then getting a 1-1 draw against Ipswich Wanderers in midweek they will fancy their chances here.  However Basildon began their season with a 2-0 win over Clapton so will take confidence from this no doubt.  Got a feeling the hosts will prevail though.

Peter’s Prediction:  1-0

Scott: Basildon make the trip to Walsham-le-Willows, just north of Stowmarket, Suffolk. Walsham will be a stern test for Marc Harrison’s side though the fact that Basildon have had a week to prepare for this match might be in their favour.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sunday 6th August

Barkingside v Stowmarket Town  (2pm KO)     Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: ‘Side’s only competitive match this season saw them record a magnificent victory at Great Wakering Rovers in midweek, whilst Stowmarket Town have yet to get their Thurlow Nunn Premier campaign underway.  Gonna plump for a home win here.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Barkingside welcome Stowmarket to Cricklefield in what is the hosts’ second Sunday match at this stage of the competition in successive seasons. ‘Side laid down a marker with a good win at Wakering in midweek and will look to add to that here. It might be a hard-fought contest though I reckon it’ll be a win for Michael Walther’s side.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

St Margaretsbury v Burnham Ramblers   (3pm KO)

Peter: Both sides will want to put recent defeats behind them and progress in the FA Cup, the hosts’ only competitive outing saw them lose 8-2 at Colney Heath in the Herts Charity Shield whilst Ramblers have lost their opening two league games after a poor pre-season.  I think the hosts will probably prevail here.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Burnham travel to St Margaretsbury after a tough week in the league. I reckon both sides will keep it tight for long periods. The visitors may grab a draw which may be the nudge they need going forward.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

We wish all clubs well as they begin their FA Cup campaign.

You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 and on his website featuring results round-ups & match reports at http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl/

Also, you can follow Scott W on Twitter: @ScottMHC14 

Also, you can follow the ‘umbrella’ that is the Grassroots Football Show on Twitter at @ELRFootball & also online at elrgfs.blogspot.co.uk