Match Report: Redbridge 5 – 1 Newbury Forest (PSF)

The Len Cordell Trophy (Pre-Season Friendly)

Venue: Oakside

2017/18 Season – Match 6

Date: Saturday 22nd July 2017 2.15pm KO

 Redbridge: Royal Blue Shirts, Royal Blue Shorts, Royal Blue Socks

Newbury Forest: Red Shirts, Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Socks

Redbridge & N Forest players with Len Cordell & the Trophy before KO (PSF 22.7.17)
Both sides with Len Cordell and the Trophy before KO

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

On a very wet afternoon at Oakside, new-look Essex Senior League side Redbridge took on Essex Olympian League Division One side and tenants Newbury Forest in the traditional pre-season ‘curtain-raiser’ for the Len Cordell Trophy.

The match began fairly evenly as Forest looked to get their noses in-front before Ricky Eaton & Joey May’s side found their proper rhythm. Redbridge forward Brian Moses had one of his side’s early chances, heading over the bar from a corner on ten minutes. Forest, to their credit, did not wilt and forced the Motormen ‘keeper into two saves in the first 20 minutes. Redbridge gradually found their feet going forward though and took the lead on the half-hour through a cool finish by winger Jason Reynolds-Blanche, passing the ball into the right corner from a narrow angle.

Forest had chances to level, though Redbridge extended their advantage with two goals in as many minutes with new signings Sipho Mytanda and Calvin Poku getting on the score-sheet, the latter was a drilled low effort into the left corner.

Half-Time: Redbridge 3 – 0 Newbury Forest

After the break, the rain really lashed down which made conditions awkward for the players. Both sides had chances in the first 15 minutes of the half, Moses once again denied by the impressive Forest ‘keeper. Newbury Forest got one back mid-way through the second half through a good free-kick tucked into the right corner from 18 yards. This seemed to gee the Motormen up further as with 70’ on the watch, Moses got the goal he deserved, a tap-in following an unselfish pass by full-back Eljay Worrell.

Forest could’ve clawed another goal back, but for a good save from the home ‘keeper from a 20-yard free-kick on 74’. Though to be fair, the last 15 minutes saw the hosts have a series of chances, with the Forest ‘keeper pulling off four good saves in this period of time. Redbridge did get another goal though, six minutes from time as midfielder Patrick Damali slotted home from close range. Straight after the goal, Damali drilled another shot wide though Redbridge did more than enough in the second half to deserve the win and the Len Cordell Trophy!

Thanks to Redbridge FC for their hospitality. Thank you also to Redbridge’s Adam Silver for his assistance today. Redbridge begin their ESL campaign at home to Tower Hamlets next weekend (Sat 29th July).

Full-Time: Redbridge 5 – 1 Newbury Forest

Reynolds-Blanche 30’        #11  67′

Mytanda 41’, Poku 42’

Moses 72’, Damali 82’


TOL: CB, MH & desolate thoughts….


Hello and welcome to a rare blog re: Mental Health (MH). I, like a heck of a lot of other souls yesterday (and today) are mourning the loss of Linkin Park singer-songwriter Chester Bennington. The following I write while remembering him, but it is mainly for all the people affected by suicide, the many brave warriors embattled with MH challenges and those who assist, support or care for those said battlers. The following may also shock you so therefore I must add a distinctive trigger warning as well as there are some dark things mentioned.

I don’t often write blogs on MH, my brain jumbles the words up that I half feel like saying in blogs a lot of the time and I consequently get fed up. ‘Oh, keep it simple’, some disinterested wotsits might say in response. It just isn’t that simple, period. Much like the unsympathetic fools that say in response to suicide – ‘Oh, that person is a coward’ for doing what they’ve done. Now, this is my view and I own it, though that viewpoint just mentioned is categorically wrong. There are a lot more things that are cowardly. Giving sheepish PR-like (or false) answers to proper, straight questions for example, and in general that is too prevalent today. And no, for once I’m not going to rant about politicians either etc.

Change may be coming, in a good way. Though as I suspect many reading this will note, it takes a sodding ‘age’ to come. New-fangled ideas get stifled, bottled or just flatly ignored. Or even if they are taken on-board, the likelihood is that they’ll ‘sit on them’ for six months while the bureaucrats figure out what to do. Yep, I dislike PR-style answers, sometimes with a passion. Why? Because it simply doesn’t actually say anything of much note or interest. You might as well stick your hand up to indicate you’re not listening as it amounts to the same. That sort of crap among others will have to change if we are going to see a sea change in how the many Experts by Experience (EBEs) and the like are really going to feel like they can contribute, rather than being told ‘you must do this or that’ or be under threat of something or other. It’s wrong and that must stop.

Looking through a glass darkly, I know my time will come as well. Without being disrespectful to anyone, I’m not sure anyone knows ‘when’. I suppose if you believe in ‘pre-destined’ ideology then that may be different, and that’s fair enough. I have no idea about the pain or anguish that Chester himself may have felt yesterday, what I do know is that there is a long, long road to go before MH is thought of the same as cancer or tonsillitis for example.

Yours bluntly,


Follow me on Twitter at @ScottMHC14

Match Report: Hackney Wick 6 – 2 AC London (PSF)

Pre-Season Friendly

Venue: Mabley Green AstroTurf

2017/18 Season – Match 5

Date: Wednesday 19th July 2017 7.30pm KO

Hackney Wick : Yellow Shirts, Red Shorts, Black Socks

AC London : Dark Blue & Turquoise Blue Shirts, Dark Blue Shorts, Turquoise Socks

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

On a pleasant evening in Hackney, Essex Senior League newcomers Hackney Wick took on AC London at Mabley Green in another pre-season encounter. Although this match was slightly unusual, given that the match was composed of four ‘quarters’ totalling 115 minutes.

In the first ‘quarter’ the Wickers started the stronger of the two sides, having a shot over the bar after just four minutes. With 9’ on the watch, Hackney took the lead through a close-range strike making it past the AC London ‘keeper. Seven minutes later, AC levelled with what can only be described as a ‘freakish’ goal, with an AC forward looping a shot towards goal, swirling up in the air and was adjudged to have sneaked over the line, into the net. No criticism of the referee here, at the end of the day he has to make the decision and fair play to him.

This buoyed the visitors and with the end of ‘quarter’ (Q) 1 approaching, the AC forward had a strike from a narrow angle parried by the Wickers ‘keeper for a corner.

End of Q1: Hackney Wick 1 – 1 AC London

The second ‘quarter’  began with multiple substitutions for both sides, with it becoming apparent that the Wickers were using pretty much a ‘double squad’ ie. giving pretty much two XI’s a run-out in this match. The home side looked decent going forward, though in defence they looked nervous and a bit slack. AC London seized on this, pushing forward around the 40-minute mark and winning a corner after the ‘keeper parried a goal-bound effort. From the corner, AC took the lead for the first time with a close-range effort.

Wick didn’t take long to respond though; just two minutes later they levelled with a free-kick from the right side of the 18-yard line. AC once again responded though as we got to ‘half-time’, they couldn’t convert the chances they had to get past the Wickers ‘stopper.

End of Q2: Hackney Wick 2 – 2 AC London

The third ‘quarter’ was fairly low-key as Wick pushed forward, managing to find their rhythm as the ‘quarter’ went on. Mid-way through Q3, Wick once again took the lead through a tap-in from close-range in a case of ‘Right place, right time’ for the Wickers forward. The visitors nearly levelled with five minutes of Q3 to go, as a 25-yard free-kick crashed against the bar. Wick responded just moments later with a curling effort which nestled into the right-corner past the AC ‘stopper.

End of Q3: Hackney Wick 4 – 2 AC London

In the slightly reduced Q4, there were signs that both sides were tiring, though Wick extended their advantage with ten minutes left as the Wickers forward made a good darting run down the middle and slotted home past the ‘keeper well. With moments remaining, another AC free-kick was fired in from 30-yards out, only to fizz just wide, good strike it was too. Soon afterward, the Wickers won a penalty which was duly converted to get six on the board.

All in all, a good win for Wick though there were nervous moments against a spirited AC London side, who have risen up the ranks from being an amateur side. Best wishes to both sides for the coming season.

Full-Time:  Hackney Wick 6 – 2 AC London

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 3 Grays Athletic (PSF)

Pre-Season Friendly

Venue: Lower Road

2017/18 Season – Match 4

Date: Tuesday 18th July 2017 7.45pm KO

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

Grays Athletic : Sky Blue Shirts, Sky Blue Shorts & White Socks

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

With a chill in the air on a summer’s evening at Lower Road, Rob Hodgson’s Hullbridge Sports took on Isthmian North side Grays Athletic in another pre-season encounter.

Grays started the match the brighter of the two sides, having multiple chances to go in-front with a mixture of slightly wayward finishing and stubborn Hullbridge defending contributing to that. The home goal did live a bit of a ‘charmed life’ in the first twenty minutes or so though after that the hosts did get back into the match and it was more ‘even Stevens’ though the visitors certainly did have enough opportunities to have the lead at the break. What’s heartening for Sports is that they dug in and made it difficult for Jamie Stuart’s side, who couldn’t quite find the final ball to convert the better of their attacking play.

Half-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 0 Grays Athletic

The second half began as both sides made multiple substitutions, including player-manager Jamie Stuart who came on for the visitors, playing in front of the back four. It took a little while for the second half to spring into life as Grays continued to be the better side on-the-ball at this point though creating clear-cut chances was stifling them a bit.

However, on the hour Grays broke the deadlock from the spot as Ade Cole converted the spot-kick after a team-mate was felled in the area, it was a bit of a soft penalty to concede. Hullbridge did not retreat though after the goal, to their credit. They pushed on and certainly tested the opposition’s backline for a period and had two penalty shouts turned down.

It wasn’t until the last ten minutes that the Blues made the match safe as new signing Kiernan Hughes-Mason grabbed a quick-fire double in six minutes, the first Hughes-Mason shimmied the defender before slotting past the ‘keeper. For the second, he found space and curled an effort into the top-left corner.

Grays will be happy with the win & the stout performance in their first pre-season match though Hullbridge can definitely take something from this encounter with a stronger performance, particularly in defence with the beginning of the ESL season around ten days away.

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 3 Grays Athletic

Cole (pen) 60’

Hughes-Mason 82’, 88’

Check back later this week for more pre-season action before the ESL season officially kicks off on July 29th.

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 5 AFC Hornchurch (PSF)

Pre-Season Friendly

 2017/18 Season – Match 3

Venue: Lower Road

Date: Saturday 15th July 2017 4pm KO

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

AFC Hornchurch : Red & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

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

On a cloudy Saturday afternoon, Hullbridge Sports welcomed Isthmian North side AFC Hornchurch to Lower Road. Hullbridge knew that they would be in for a tough test from a side that made the Isthmian North play-offs last term.

The visitors had the better of the early-going, with both sides having efforts on goal, being denied by the opposition’s ‘keeper. After the quarter-hour, the Urchins were inching further forward on a more regular basis, having a succession of corner kicks in the space of a few minutes as the Hullbridge defence had to withstand heavy pressure.

With that in mind, it was no surprise that Hornchurch took the lead midway through the first half as forward Tobi Joseph hit a sweetly-struck curling effort past the Hullbridge ‘keeper into the right corner from 20 yards. Jimmy McFarlane’s side swiftly doubled their advantage just two minutes later as new signing Bradley Warner grabbed a tap-in from close range but made no mistake in putting it away.

In the moments after the second goal, the visitors hit the woodwork and also missed a one-on-one chance with the ‘keeper. They didn’t have to wait long as it turned out as only just after the half-hour fellow new signing Theo Fairweather-Johnson harried a Hullbridge defender into an error and slotted home to make it 0-3. To be fair, it could’ve been more as the home side struggled to create clear-cut opportunities as well as retaining possession.

Half-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 3 AFC Hornchurch

The second half began with predictably both sides making changes. One of the changes for the Urchins, George Purcell was certainly in the mood to make things happen. Only seven minutes into the half, a Purcell corner was headed in by Kenzer Lee.

On balance, the Hullbridge changes did make a little difference with Ronnie Pallett being a focal point in attack with captain Jimmy Cox dropping a bit deeper in the second half.

Purcell meanwhile was a threat, mostly on the right flank for Hornchurch. That said, midway through the second half Purcell collected a good ball on the left-side of the 18-yard box and blasted a drilled effort past the ‘keeper. With 73’ on the watch, there was a moment of controversy, as substitute Leon McKenzie’s header was blocked on the goal-line by a Hullbridge defender, there was a strong suspicion that it was hand-ball which did get a reaction (from a few Urchins players & fans) when the referee didn’t give it.

Whether it was a howler or not, it didn’t really affect the course of the match though, as the strong, physical Hornchurch side put in a dominant performance going forward and were decent at the back as well. For Hullbridge, they have a few more pre-season matches to come with Grays Athletic visiting on Tuesday (18th July) – they will need to improve in that match. Hornchurch visit VCD Athletic next Saturday (22nd July).

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 5 AFC Hornchurch

Joseph 22’, Warner 24’

Fairweather-Johnson 31’

Lee 52’, Purcell 67’

Match Report: Southend Manor 2 – 6 Heybridge Swifts (PSF)

Pre-Season Friendly

Venue: Southchurch Park

Date: Tuesday 11th July 2017 7.45pm KO

 Southend Manor : Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Black Socks

 Heybridge Swifts: Black & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

S Manor v Heybridge (PSF 11.7.17) (Credit - Peter D)
Manor pushing forward during the 1st half.. (Credit: Peter D)

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

On a very wet evening at Southchurch Park, ESL side Southend Manor welcomed Isthmian North side Heybridge Swifts in another pre-season encounter.

The visitors started the match the brighter of the two sides and took the lead with 17 minutes on-the-clock as the impressive Ryan Henshaw getting a tap-in from close range. As the half-hour mark approached, Swifts were the better side going forward though against the run of play, Micky Hopkins slotted home past the Heybridge defence to level things up on 26’.

Heybridge didn’t rest of their laurels though as only four minutes later, new signing Harrison Chatting made a good run into the Manor box and slotted home well to restore the visitors’ lead. The visitors then extended their lead just before the break, first with a cool tap-in by fellow new signing Luke Callander and then moments later Henshaw powered in a 30-yard pile-driver as two goals in just three minutes gave Jody Brown’s side a comfortable advantage at the interval.

Half-Time: Southend Manor 1 – 4 Heybridge Swifts

The second half began with both sides making substitutions though would the changes undermine the rhythm in the second half? No chance! Heybridge continued to drive forward and create decent chances, though the Manor ‘keeper made a number of good saves during the entire match. Manor pulled another goal back ten minutes into the second half as Harry Hatt scored with a looping effort. Manor 2 – 4 Heybridge

During the next 25 minutes or so, Heybridge continued to pile forward and although the lashing rain made conditions even tougher to play on, the visitors could’ve easily got at least four more goals during this period. Though on balance, Hopkins could’ve also got a hat-trick as he missed two guilt-edged chances to reduce Manor’s deficit.

Into the last ten minutes and Heybridge finally got the reward they arguably richly deserved as Josh Fogbohun headed in from close range with six minutes remaining. Just two minutes later, fellow substitute Marley Andrews drilled an effort low into the left corner to complete an excellent showing at times from the visiting side.

Manor deserve some credit as well as they stuck to the task quite well at times though they will also know that before the season proper gets underway, they will need to improve at the back.

FT: Southend Manor 2 – 6 Heybridge Swifts

Hopkins 26’                     Henshaw 17’, 44’

Hatt 55’                          Chatting 30’

Callander 42’, Fogbohun 84’, Andrews 85’

In closing, I’d like to thank Southend Manor, Stuart Marshall, Peter Dudley for the earlier image & also wish both sides well for the forthcoming campaign.

Match Report: Southend Manor 1 – 3 Thurrock (PSF)

The Mandy Mount Memorial Trophy (Pre-Season Friendly)

Venue: Southchurch Park

Date: Saturday 8th July 2017 3pm KO

Southend Manor : Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Black Socks

Thurrock : White Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

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

Hello and welcome to the Match Reports for the 2017/18 season! We start off with my first pre-season match at Southchurch Park which saw Essex Senior League side Southend Manor take on newly-promoted Isthmian Premier side Thurrock at for the Mandy Mount Memorial Trophy, raising money for Saint Francis Hospice in remembering a former sponsor/supporter of the home side, Mandy Mount who sadly passed away.

On with the match itself then, and the visitors certainly showed their class in the opening quarter-hour. The Fleet opening the scoring after just six minutes as forward Harry Cook coolly slotted past the debutant Manor goalkeeper.

Mark Stimson’s side then doubled their advantage just six minutes later as midfielder Lewwis Spence made no mistake from close range. Manor struggled to mount any powerful attacking play really in the first half and at times struggled in possession as well.

Midway through the half, Manor also showed shades of the tough-tackling outfit that was ‘a double-edged sword’ for them last season with some rough challenges. However, it didn’t perturb their opponents who grabbed their third shortly before the half-hour mark through the impressive Spence who slotted home after a good cross from the right flank.

Manor’s only real effort on goal in the half saw an effort blasted from 15 yards just wide of the left-side post.

Half-Time: Southend Manor 0 – 3 Thurrock

The second half began with both sides making a number of substitutions, particularly the visitors who must’ve brought on at least seven or eight subs at the start of the half. This aided Manor though as they found their stride going forward a bit and mid-way through the half, substitute George Crispin slotted past the visiting ‘keeper from a fairly narrow angle to reduce the home side’s deficit.

After that goal for Stuart Marshall’s Manor, the match was rather low-key to be honest, Thurrock stayed switched-on at the back though didn’t really pile forward with that much intensity. They held on to win the match comfortably and take the Mandy Mount Memorial Trophy.

My thanks to Manor boss Stuart Marshall, the club and also it was good to watch the match with ESL Chair Rob Errington.

Full-Time: Southend Manor 1 – 3  Thurrock

Crispin 68’                         Cook 6’   Spence 12’, 27’

After the match, the trophy was presented to Thurrock captain Richard Halle on the pitch (below).

Check back soon for more reports of pre-season matches before the ESL season gets underway on Saturday July 29th.