2021 In-Focus – Cordell Cup Competitions: The Writer’s View [LCC May 2021]

Still from Great Wakering Rovers v White Ensign [Group Stages, Cordell Cup – Image by Scott W]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome a to a special one-off article looking at the Cordell Cup competitions (in advance of Cordell Finals Weekend), which were invitational tournaments run by the Essex Senior, ahead of the full resumption of League action In August 2021.

I’m really pleased to add that Jack Newman (JN) from the Non-League Chronicles Team, Essex Senior Media official Scott Lanza (SL)  and respected Non-League writer Peter Dudley (PD) join me (SW) in giving our views on the competitions, from the writer’s perspective. Thank you for reading.

Firstly, thank you all for your time. Despite the majority of the tournaments being played ‘behind closed doors’ to spectators, what has it been like to get back to watching Non-League Football again (as Media)?

Peter: It was such a relief to get back to covering football once again, watching it on TV had become rather mundane, boring and it cannot replicate the atmosphere of a live game, and I also feel blessed I was given the chance to cover games that the normal public could not, so I was very thankful for that. It was also a big help with my well-being too and was another step to some sort of normality, which certainly helps.

Scott L: It’s been great as non-league football is part of my life, and so getting a chance to get back watching games live has been wonderful. The ‘behind closed doors’ part of the experience hasn’t been so good, as the lockdown made me realise that part of the reason I like lower league football is because of the many friends I have there. It was good to see some of them at the games, but others were not allowed to enter, which was a shame but inevitable considering the government restrictions.

Jack (NLC): I think it’s fair to say that all the contributors to The Non-League Chronicles have loved the opportunity that we’ve been afforded by the competition organisers (the Essex Senior  – Ed). It’s been magnificent to be back watching live football.


What have been your favourite matches to watch in the Cordell Cup or Cordell Trophy?

JN: Certainly in terms of favourite matches the games we’ve seen involving Athletic Newham & Woodford Town have all been enjoyable high scoring end-to-end affairs which is always good. Woodford’s big win at Aveley over Great Wakering Rovers being of particular note.

PD: The first one of the tournament between Hackney Wick and West Essex was one of the best games I have seen for some time, eight goals, high tempo, and two sides who went for it, so that was very entertaining. I also would say the derby between Holland and FC Clacton which had just about everything, five goals, feisty clashes, red card, a missed penalty which was retaken, and then we almost saw a comeback, so that was an enjoyable day on a sunny day on the North Essex coast.

SL: I didn’t cover too many games due to the restrictions in place regarding who could attend. However, the opening game I saw was Woodford Town v Barkingside which was a very good game, and if I am honest better than I thought I would be seeing bearing in mind the lockdown has played havoc with teams with match fitness being lost due to the enforced break. This was not in evidence here, and the West Essex v Stansted game was another one which saw 90 minutes of flowing end-to-end football being served up.

Still from White Ensign v Barkingside [Cordell Cup Last 16 – Image by Scott W]

Which teams have impressed you (That you’ve watched live)?

PD: Was quite impressed with Clapton and their organisation at the back, bar their two defeats to Redbridge they did not concede a goal and put in some impressive displays, also impressed with Hackney Wick too who have a side where all but two of the squad were U23, they look very dangerous and will cause teams problems next season if they can keep them together. Those two sides would be the ones I’d pick out mainly because I didn’t expect or didn’t know what to expect from them, and they surprised me slightly at how well they played.

SW: For me, White Ensign do deserve credit for the way they have approached the competition and for their form, particularly in the group stages where they won three out of three. It will be fascinating to see if they bring players in to improve the squad or keep faith with this group of players as they take on the Essex Senior League for the first time in their history from August.

Also, I do feel honourable mentions have to go to Barkingside, who really gave Ensign a scare in their Quarter-Final and also to Athletic Newham who deserve a lot of praise for their attacking style of play and could also be one to watch next term in the Essex Senior.

JN: We’ve really been impressed with the quality shown by the teams throughout and White Ensign, Redbridge & Cockfosters have all looked in good nick – especially the former who we all think will be an excellent addition to the Essex Senior League next season.

SL: Redbridge impressed me as they seemed to be taking the tournament seriously straight from the off.  I was also impressed with Stansted, and Athletic Newham certainly looked a strong outfit when I saw them in the Quarter Final at Redbridge. They were strong, physical, and fast going forward. And although I didn’t get to see them play live, you have to be impressed with Step 6 outfits White Ensign and Holland, who got some very good results in the bag against teams higher up the pyramid, with Holland of course going all the way to the Len Cordell Memorial Cup Final.

Peter, you’ve been one of the lead commentators on the Live-streamed matches. How has that been as an experience? 

PD: I have always wanted to try my hand at commentary and after getting over the first match nerves I really enjoyed it, and led the commentary at all the games I did after the first one, ended up doing four games in total and it was a very good experience, even if two of those games we had to share one microphone between two people, but we muddled through as they say!

Still from Redbridge v Athletic Newham {Cordell Cup QF – Image by Scott W]

All in all, do you feel these competitions (Cordell Cup/Trophy & Plate) have truly honoured the late Len Cordell’s contribution to Redbridge FC (formerly Ford Utd) and Non-League Football as a whole?

SL: The fact a number of teams outside the ESL entered shows you how well Len was thought of in Essex Non-League circles. The fact that so many of the teams took the competition seriously shows you again how well Len was respected. The ESL have honoured Len Cordell by naming a cup competition after him, but the clubs also honoured him by taking part and then playing their games in a competitive spirit – which is what Len would have wanted as this man truly lived and breathed non-league football.

PD: I am sure Len would have appreciated the Essex Senior organising such a brilliant competition and all the teams that have taken part deserve praise for entering and helping to honour the great man, there have been some terrific games and plenty of goals and drama along the way, I am sure Len is looking down on us all and smiling at what he has seen.

SW: I agree that Len would have enjoyed some of the fast, flowing Football that we have seen in the competitions, which have rightly honoured someone who has contributed so much to Non-League during his time.

In your neutral opinion, which teams have endorsed their reputations in these competitions?

SL: Holland without question, alongside White Ensign and Barkingside – all Step 6 clubs that mixed it with clubs higher up the football pyramid. Clapton for me have in a way redeemed themselves. Struggling at the foot of the table when the League season was curtailed, the Tons went on to have a very good Len Cordell Cup campaign which could launch them onto a better time next season when league football resumes. I have to mention Barking, who really took the tournament seriously, and made it to the Semi-Finals before exiting at the hands of Holland, in what was shock result. 

PD: White Ensign put in some decent performances, especially in the group stages by winning all three of their group games, Cockfosters too put in some decent performances to back up their decent league campaign up until the shutdown, I think Barking’s youngsters deserve some praise in reaching the Quarter Finals, and I think it’s marvellous that Redbridge, the team Len did so much work for, have ended up in the final and have a chance of winning it, that would certainly be some story indeed.

SW: With regards to the Cordell Trophy, both Harlow Town Reserves & Barkingside Res have had excellent competitions and this will aid them going on to next season and crucially for Reserve sides, have aided player development having being involved in tournament Football. Talking about the Cordell Cup, I will have to add the two sides in the North East side of the county in FC Clacton and Holland. Both sides have had their moments in the competition and for Holland to make the Final is a great achievement in itself.

JN: In terms of teams to watch going forwards Redbridge will certainly worth keeping an eye on – they’ve been very strong throughout and look like real contenders for the title next season if they can keep their momentum going.

END

Who’s Who?

Jack is a member of the Non-League Chronicles, a growing team of writers covering Non-League matches across London & Essex. You can find them on Facebook at “The Non League Chronicles” or via Twitter – @NLChronicles

Scott Lanza is the current Media official of the Essex Senior League, where he also edits the CentreSpot bulletin every week including links, match reports & more on Essex Senior & related news. To view Centrespot editions, head here: https://essexseniorleague.co.uk/centrespot/

Pete Dudley hardly needs any introduction, but the prolific writer has seen matches in the Essex Senior, Eastern Senior League South, Essex Olympian League & more this season and also was former Fixtures Secretary at local side Southend Manor. You can find him on Twitter at @ped1980  or on his blog: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/

As for me, I’m Scott W and I’m also a Non-League writer on Essex Senior League & Essex Olympian League divisions. I also mostly write reports on matches I head out and watch.

S20-21 Round-ups: Len Cordell Cup/Trophy (Fri 14/Sat 15 May) [LCC 2021 16.5.21]

ESL crest

Written by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – ESL & Non-League Writer

Hello and welcome to my round-up of the weekend’s Quarter-Final ties in the Len Cordell Cup, plus a look at the second semi-final of the Len Cordell Trophy which took place on Friday night. 

After the round-up, we’ll have a look at the updated draw for the Cordell Cup Semi-Finals and a run through of the matches that will also be played on Finals weekend on Saturday 29 May & Sunday 30 May. Thanks for reading.

Still from Redbridge v Athletic Newham this weekend [Image: Scott W]

Len Cordell Cup – Quarter-Finals

Redbridge  1 – 1 Athletic Newham  | Oakside  | Sat 15 May – 2pm KO

The Motormen edged through to the last four by way of defeating Athletic Newham 5 – 4 in a the necessary penalty shoot-out. Josh Sykes had put the hosts ahead on 21 minutes from twelve yards, before Jeff Idemudia levelled for Newham on 56 minutes as they finally made their growing rhythm in the game pay. The visitors couldn’t take the chances they had soon after the equaliser and found Redbridge stopper George Martin in good form in the shoot-out as he made three penalty saves.

I was at this match & my report is here: survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/15/s-20-21-match-report-redbridge-1-1-athletic-newham-sat-15-may/ 

Stansted  0 – 1  Clapton | Mayesbrook Park [3G]   |  Sat 15 May – 3pm KO

The Tons booked their place in the last four by edging this battle with the Airportmen at Mayesbrook Park, in the live-streamed match this weekend. Eleftherios Metso got the only goal of the game just the quarter-hour. The visitors held on despite seeing skipper Hussein Jaffa dismissed with about an hour left to play. Fellow Non-League writer Peter Dudley was at this match on co-commentary duties & here’s his report: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2021/05/stansted-0-clapton-1.html

These results mean that Redbridge will again face the Tons in the Semi-Finals, after beating their fellow East London side in the group stages. But their next meeting has rather more hanging on it – a place in the final in a fortnight’s time.

Len Cordell Trophy  – Semi-Final

Barkingside Res  2 – 0  Grays Athletic U23  | Lakeside Sports Ground | Fri 14 May

Barkingside Reserves saw off a decent Grays Under-23 side to make the Cordell Trophy Final on Friday night. Goals from Robert Adams [66’] and Manraj Phagura two minutes later were enough to defeat Michael Walther’s side and secure a tangible reward for a fine competition so far. They will face Harlow Town Res in the final (see below)

Updated Draw for the Cordell Cup Semi-Finals:

Clapton v Redbridge   |  Date & Venue TBC

Barking/Holland (Match played on Tuesday 18 May)  v  FC Clacton  

Cordell Trophy Final: 

Harlow Town Res  v  Barkingside Res  | at Oakside | Sunday 30 May 4pm KO

Other competition Finals

Cordell Cup – Plate Final

Hoddesdon Town  v  Woodford Town | Oakside | Saturday 29 May 12pm KO

Cordell Trophy – Plate  Final

Walthamstow Res   v  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Oakside  | Sunday 30 May 12pm KO

S20-21 Round-ups: Len Cordell Trophy (Fri/Sat 30 April/1 May) [LCC 2021 4.5.21]

ESL crest

Written by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – ESL & Non-League Writer

Hello and welcome to my round-up of the Cordell Trophy and Cordell Trophy Plate competitions.  The Trophy reached its quarter-final stage this weekend, and the Cordell Trophy Plate had its semi-finals.

All the results from this week’s action are below, they took place on Friday 30th April & Saturday 1st May. After that section, we’ll have a brief look at the draw and how the Finals weekend shapes up across all four competitions on May 29th & 30th. Thank you for reading.

The Cordell Trophy – Quarter-Finals

Barkingside Res  2 – 0  Woodford Town U23   | Marconi Centre, Chelmsford | Sat 1 May

Barkingside’s second team navigated a tricky tie and defeated the Woodford development side in a match moved to the Marconi Centre in Chelmsford. Dominic Edwards got both goals for the hosts in the first half hour as they booked their place in the last four. Despite defeat here, it’s been a good tournament for Shane Baptiste’s side as they now look forward to the new season in August.

Grays Athletic U23  1 – 0  May & Baker Res | Lakeside Sports Ground | Friday 30 Apr

Grays advanced to the last four as well after narrowly defeating May & Baker at the Lakeside Sports Ground. Callum Watts’ solitary goal was enough to see Michael Walther’s side go through where they will face ‘Side’s second-team in a ‘derby’ at the same ground as this match was played at.

Harlow Town Res  6 – 2  Redbridge Res  | Harlow Arena [3G]  | Fri 30 April

Harlow continued their goal-scoring form as they put six past Redbridge Ressies on Friday night. Said Issa continued his fine form in the competition with another double here, with Haziz Kone, Graeme Butler, Dillon Gordon and Marcus Marku all adding strikes here in this convincing win. The Motormen’s development side had Roy Stevens’ brace to thank for their goals but they bowed out here.

Tower Hamlets Res  2 – 1  White Ensign Res  | Mile End  | Sat 1 May

Hamlets continued their strong competition with a win over Ensign’s second side at Mile End. Rajhi Makasi [50’] and Ezekiel Adesanya  on the hour were the goals that did the job for the hosts. Ensign responded through Erald Makolli’s strike but Jack Caten’s side ended their run in the Trophy here.

Draw for Len Cordell Trophy – Semi-Finals

Barkingside Res  v  Grays Athletic U23

Tower Hamlets Res  v Harlow Town Res

Dates TBC

——————————————–

Len Cordell Trophy – Plate Semi-Finals

Frenford Res  1 – 3  Walthamstow Res   | at Jack Carter Centre | Sat 1 May

Walthamstow emerged victorious with a fine win at Frenford. Zachary Thomas struck twice for the visitors, with Airon Paul also netting here. Julian Edwards scored for the third successive match for his team but ultimately they couldn’t force their way back into the contest.

Sawbridgeworth Town Res  3 – 2  West Essex Dev   | Crofters  | Sat 1 May

Sawbridgeworth also made it into the Trophy Plate Final by edging a dramatic game with West Essex’s development side at Crofters. Sam Bashua, Raheem Gray and Arley Barker all netted for the home side but there were some jitters to deal with, thanks to a double from Mo Kaudeer for the visitors. Town held on though to reach the Final, where there will face Walthamstow Reserves at the end of the month.

The Len Cordell Trophy Plate Final  – Held at Oakside (on Sunday 30th May – 12pm KO)

Sawbridgeworth Town Res   v  Walthamstow Res

S20-21 Round-ups: Len Cordell Trophy (Fri/Sat 16/17 April) [LCT 2021 18.4.21]

Written by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL Writer

Hello and welcome to my look at the second weekend of the Len Cordell Trophy, a competition run by the Essex Senior League for Reserve sides to also remember the contribution the late Len Cordell made to local Non-League Football.

After the Results section in each group, we also have a brief table and a look at the Fixtures for next weekend (Kick-offs may be subject to alteration)

Len Cordell Trophy  – Friday 16th April

Barkingside Res   2 – 0    White Ensign Res  |  Lakeside Sports Ground [3G]  | Group C

Barkingside’s second team got their first win of the competition and went top of Group C after Saturday’s action (see table below) after this win over White Ensign Reserves at the Lakeside Sports Ground. First-half goals from Dominic Edwards [14’] and Manraj Phagura ten minutes after the opener were the difference-makers for the hosts who remain unbeaten from their two matches thus far. Ensign’s Ressie side know that a win against will put them in the top two.

Saturday 17 April

Walthamstow Res  0 – 7    Harlow Town Res   | Wadham Lodge | Group A

Harlow’s second-side made easy work of this tricky encounter at Wadham Lodge. Hassan Muzib grabbed a treble, being well-supported by the ensemble cast of Dillon George who grabbed a brace, plus there were goals for Graeme Barker and Said Issa. Harlow’s thumping win gives their first points of the tournament whereas it was a day to forget for the ‘Stow development side.

Woodford Town U23s  3 – 2   Sawbridgeworth Town Res | Ashton’s (Side pitch) | Group A |

Woodford continued their good start to the Cordell Trophy with their second successive 3 – 2 win, this time over Sawbo’s Ressies at Ashton’s. Luke Steele, Alexandros Ndoj and Rashaad Ogun’s second goal in as many weeks sealed the win for Shane Baptiste’s team. Ollie Palmer and Jack Taylor both netted for the visitors but they are yet to win and they will have to beat Harlow Town to get in the top two.

Group A Table after Week Two (Apr 17, 2021)

Saturday 17 April

May & Baker Res  1 – 1  Redbridge Res  | May & Baker FC | Group B  

May & Baker Reserves maintained their unbeaten run with this draw with Redbridge Ressies. David Asante-Boateng scored for Jimmy Donald’s side, with Landry Gogoa’s goal ensuring that the visitors got their first point of the competition thus far. May & Baker know that if they avoid defeat in their final group match they will be assured of a top two finish in the group.

West Essex Dev  0 – 1   Tower Hamlets Res  | Debden Park Sch   |  Group B

Tower Hamlets’ second-side made the trip to Debden and handed the West development side a second consecutive narrow defeat. Paolo-Armani Okoye got the only goal five minutes before the break and that ended up being enough to see Hamlets to remain top of the standings.

Group B Table after Week Two (April 17,2021)

Saturday 17 April

Frenford Res  1 – 1   Grays Athletic U23s  | The Drive, Frenford  |  Group C

In this encounter at Frenford’s the Drive, the youthful Grays side made it two draws from two games. Harry Baker got the visitors’ goal with Julian Edwards responding for the home side but there was to be no breaking the stalemate. Both sides know they need a win to advance in the main competition.

Group C Table after Week Two (April 17, 2021)

Fixtures for next Weekend  (Friday/Saturday 23/24 April)

Group A

Harlow Town Res v Sawbridgeworth Town Res

| Fri 23 April 7.45pm KO | Harlow Arena [3G]

and Walthamstow Res v Woodford Town U23
| Sat 24 April 2.30pm KO | Wadham Lodge |

Group B (both on Saturday 24 April at 2.30pm)

May & Baker Res v Tower Hamlets Res | May & Baker FC |

and Redbridge Res v West Essex Dev. | Ford’s Sports Club (Newbury Park) |

Group C

Barkingside Res v Frenford Res
| Fri 23 Apr 6.45pm KO | Lakeside Spts Grd [3G] |

and White Ensign Res v Grays Athletic U23 |

Sat 24 April 2.30pm KO | Len Forge Centre [3G]

That’s all from this week’s round-up, thank you for reading.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 13 Apr) [ESL 14.4.19]

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Still from Redbridge v Stansted this weekend

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League round-up. With the season rapidly concluding, the last of these pieces for this season will be in two weeks’ time. This day was still quite big for two clubs at the bottom of the table.

Sat 13 April

Enfield 4 – 2 Clapton  | Harlow Arena | Att: 67

The E’s came from behind to overcome the Tons at the Harlow Arena. In-form Giovanni Palmer put the visitors ahead on 18 minutes. Either side of the break, young Leyton Orient loanee Ernold Haxhiu struck, first levelling on 32 minutes before putting his side in front with 63 minutes on the watch. Luke Thomas netted nine minutes later to increase the home side’s lead before Palmer added to his growing reputation as a marksman by making it 3 – 2 wiith 12 minutes left. Joe Pattison made the points safe for Matt Hanning’s side two minutes from time, who now rise to 11th.

Ilford  0 – 3  Hullbridge Sports | Cricklefield | Att: 53

Hullbridge soured to a very decent win over Ilford at Cricklefield. Midfield dynamo Emmanuel Okunka opened the scoring only three minutes in. The Foxes were a man down after Steve Sylvester accrued two bookings and they were made to pay as first, Nathan Scarborough struck six minutes into the second-half before in added-time, Luke Hornsley grabbed a third for his side. Darren manning’s side know they have to win at home to Stanway on the final day to secure a much-desired ESL title and play in Botik league Division North for the first time next term.

Leyton Athletic  0 – 3  Takeley  | Wadham Lodge | Att: 38

Takeley secured a good three points at Wadham Lodge, which also ensured Ath will finish bottom of the Essex Senior League this term. Nick Barrett [19′] got the opener for Marc Das’ side, before Bryn Thorpe got his fifth goal in two matches ten minutes before half-time. Barrett got his second of the game three minutes before the break which rounded out the scoring here. Ath’s inability to win games has seriously impinged their quest to remain in Step 5, with only three wins all campaign. It looks very likely they will be relegated to the Eastern Senior League South next term, with the question now being is any other side going to join them, which will ultimately be decided by the FA.

Redbridge   0 – 4  Stansted | Oakside | Att: 70

Stansted showed their desire and superior finishing to win well at a decent Redbridge side. Goals from Jack Mitchell [9′], Jack West [41′ & 90’+1] and Paul Clayton [83′] saw off their hosts, who had to play the last half-hour with ten men following Daniel Smith’s dismissal. The Airportmen must win at Leyton to have any chance of winning the title in two weeks’ time. I attended this match and my report is here:  https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/04/13/match-report-redbridge-0-4-stansted-sat-13-apr-esl/

Saffron Walden Town  3 – 2  Southend Manor  | Catons Lane | Att: 203

Walden rode out a late comeback from Manor to grab all three points. Walden struck on 11 eleven minutes through full-back Spike Bell. Seven minutes after the break, Bell got his second of the afternoon before Matt Frew made it three on 59 minutes. Manor did fight back well in the latter stages as arguably their stand-out player this term Mo Kargbo netted a late brace [85′ & 89′] to make it a nervy end for Jason Maher’s team. Walden stay fourth and will finish third if they better Walthamstow’s result on the last day which would still constitute a good campaign. Manor’s first loss in five games means they stay fifth-bottom.

St Margaretsbury   0 – 0  Sawbridgeworth Town | The Rec | Att: 44

These two out-of-form sides scrapped to a stalemate at the Rec. St Margs did end a four-match losing streak here though are could still be regarded as ‘under-dogs’ for the upcoming Gordon Brasted Final on Easter Monday. Sawbridgeworth ended a five-match losing run here with this point though they remain in the bottom three.

Stanway Rovers  0 – 0  West Essex | Hawthorns | Att: 61

These two bottom-half sides battled in a goal-less stalemate in what the visitors described as a ‘end-of-seaon affair’ at the Hawthorns. Stanway are somewhat limping their way towards the end of their campaign with only two wins in their last 11 games while West are finishing in a decent run with four wins in their last nine matches though it is likely the Stags will finish just outside the top-ten.

Peter Butcher Trophy: Semi-Final

Hoddesdon Town  1 – 2  Barkingside Res | Lowfield | Att: 127

Barkingside Reserves continued their fine campaign as they defeated another Essex Senior League side to reach the PBT final. Reserve Division top-scorer Carl Patten broke the deadlock on 56 minutes though that lead only lasted seven minutes before Lilywhites winger Connor Bolton levelled. Late drama followed though as Darren Seymour got the winner for the visitors wth six minutes left.