S21-22 Match Report: Billericay Town U23 1 – 2 Harlow Town Res (Sun 24 Apr) (ESL LDC Final 25.4.22)

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Essex Senior League – League Divisional Cup Final

Venue: Capershotts (Waltham Abbey FC)

Attendance: 165

2021-22 Season: Match 76

Sunday 24th April 2022 – 3pm KO

Billericay: Blue Shirts,  Black Shorts, Blue Socks

Harlow: Red & White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks


Harlow’s late winner sees them lift the ESL League Divisional Cup at Capershotts

Billericay Town Res  1 – 2 Harlow Town Res

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The second & final match of this last weekend of the League part of the ESL campaign saw a welcome ‘bonus’ match at Capershotts as Reserve League Division One Champions Billericay Town Reserves (or U23s) faced Harlow Town Reserves for the League Divisional Cup, which is a new competition in the Essex Senior this term. It is a rare pleasure to see Reserve teams and this was my third Reserves match of this campaign.

The good crowd of over 160 in attendance saw a very open-ended start to the game as both sides were looking to gain the advantage. In the early moments, Harlow forward Manny Phagura got in on goal evading his marker but his goalbound effort was gathered by Billericay stopper Jordan Williams. The Blues side was assisted by the good play down the left flank by Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo and one of his teasing crosses into the centre so nearly found the head of forward Louie Vesper who had a well-timed run in the eighteen yard area.



Harlow responded at the other end as forward Charles Nicol got ahead of his marker and powered a header off-target on 14 minutes. The decent approach play continued from both teams but it was Mbambo who curled in a good ball which evaded the unfortunate Horgan and came back off the post onto him and into the net with 31 minutes on the watch. The Hawks were undeterred though and responded barely two minutes later as attacking midfielder Henry Clark found the run of forward Marko Protic and he finished with aplomb, low under the dive of Williams to level things up.

Williams was called into action again four minutes before the break as a decent move that involved full-back Callum Berg and Protic ended with a curling strike that the Billericay stopper gathered.


Half-Time: Billericay 1 – 1 Harlow


It would be fair to say that the second period was not quite at the same pace as the first half, although there were a few decent chances for either side. Just shy of the hour mark, Billericay midfielder Freddy Cooper sent a header in on goal which Horgan gathered well enough. At the other end, Harlow’s creative forward Manny Phagura had been fizzing in some good passes and one of those on 69 minutes found Nicol who had narrowly strayed offside.

Danny Brown’s side responded with two decent chances, first after a good move involving substitute Nyan Mesuria and Vosper led to Cooper firing his effort wide. Soon afterward, decent build-up play by Mbambo led to full-back George Cornwell having a go at goal, forcing a decent save from Horgan.

Cornwell (2) making a good run down the right flank for Blues (Image by Scott W)

But just when it looked as though it would would finish level after the 90 minutes, Harlow got a crucial winning goal on eighty-four minutes as decent play in the build-up ended with full-back Sammy Bayon drilling in a good low strike which left the unfortunate Williams stranded as it found the net. The Blues could not respond and had to settle for their runners-up medals in what has still been a good campaign for them.

Charles Nicol (far right) jostling for possession with Billericay’s Tom Duffy

Full-Time:  Billericay Town Res  1 – 2 Harlow Town Res

To summarise this match, a really energetic first-half meant that both sides were finding it tricky to match said energy levels after the interval. The Billericay side showed enough to display why they had won the ESL Reserve League Division One title but they could not dominate a good Harlow side, whose main focus ended up being this competition. The late winner really did come at a good time as we were hurtling towards another 30 minutes, for the second time this weekend. It was hard to deny Harlow their win as they put in a good all-round effort.

There were some really good performances in this game. For Harlow Res, I felt forward Charles Nicol had a really good game, provuding his team with a good focal point in attack and show good physicality and passing. Fellow forwards Marko Protic and Manny Phagura also shone, with Protic taking his goal well and being a constant threat to the Billericay backline, while Phagura was the creative passer & dribbler just behind them in the formation. Finally, a word for full-back Sammy Bayon who already put in a hard-working performance before producing a fine strike for the winning goal.

For the Billericay side, I thought winger Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo showed why he’s had loan spells elsewhere in Senior football this term, showcasing good pace, passing and movement in addition to his goal. Freddy Cooper had a fine game in central midfield and made several good passes, while forward Louie Vosper did test the stout Harlow backline with his pace and trickery. Lastly, full-back George Cornwell did well to provide an attacking option at times, making several good runs down the right flank & added some good passes as well.

Here are your winners – Harlow Town Reserves!

Congrats to the victors Harlow but I will add it was good to see both teams looking to play the game in a fast, enterprising style.


I’ll end with some thanks, firstly to Essex Senior League President Rob Errington and also to Match Referee Craig Wood, for his assistance pre-match. Thank you.


Teams

Billericay Town Res     |  Manager: Danny Brown 

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jordan Williams (GK), 2 George Cornwell, 3 James Drake, 18 Henry Lukombo, 16 Tom Duffy (Capt), 5 Josh Brown (7 Nyan Mesuria 63′), 17 Freddy Cooper, 8 Jack Taylor, 14 Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo, 11 Robert Adams, 9 Louie Vosper (19 Kaylen Harris 87′)

Goal-scorer: Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo [31′]

Booked: Mesuria  | Sub Not Used: Davey, Bassa, Clubb


Harlow Town Res     | Manager: Adam Connolly

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Robert Horgan (GK), 2 Sammy Bayon, 3 Callum Berg, 5 Reece Hardwick, 6 Greame Butler (Capt), 4 Jamie Brooker (18 Harry Yorke 90′), 14 Eden Hayday, 10 Henry Clark, 19 Manny Phagura, 9 Marko Protic, 7 Charles Nicol (8 Ishmeal Fiadzomor 84′),

Goal-scorers: Marko Protic [34′], Sammy Bayon [84′]

Booked: Clark | Subs Not Used: Harwood, Ambrose, Parker


Referee: Craig Wood
Assistants: Yaron Woolf & Katie Dorling

Fourth Official: James Latham

S20-21 Round-ups: Len Cordell Cup (Fri/Sat 9/10 April) [LCC 2021 11.4.21]

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

Hello and welcome to my round-up of the opening weekend of the Len Cordell Cup action, an invitational competition run by the Essex Senior to remember a pillar of the Non-League Family in Len Cordell, who was associated with Redbridge FC for many years.

The twenty teams competing in this competition have been split into five groups. Unfortunately, with spectators still barred from attending these matches until mid-May, these matches were largely played “behind closed doors”, with the notable exception of at least two matches, more on that as we go.

Before we recap the action, below is a snapshot on who is in which group.

Len Cordell Cup  – Friday 9 April 


Hackney Wick 3 – 5  West Essex  | Mayesbrook Park [3G] | Group D

The Cordell Cup got off to a corker of a start as West had to dig deep to claim an important win at Mayesbrook Park. Callum Bloss put Kwame Kwateng’s side ahead after only three minutes with a fine finish after being played in by forward Symeon Taylor. That lead lasted all of two minutes before Mohammed Razza levelled things up for Wick, who are also playing their matches at Mayesbrook in this competition. Lewis Danquah fired Wick into the lead just after the twenty minute mark but again, that lead barely existed before Cameron Gray levelled things again for the Stags.

Bloss added another two goals, the second from the spot to claim a first-half treble and give the attack-minded West side a 4 – 2 lead at the interval. Razza netted again nine minutes after the resumption to keep Wick in it before a powerful strike from Emmanuel Shoderu on the 90 minute mark finally sealed the points for West Essex, after one heck of an enthralling battle.

My good friend & fellow Non-League writer Pete Dudley was at this match, here’s his report: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2021/04/hackney-wick-3-west-essex-5.html 

Len Cordell Cup  – Saturday 10 April 

DT FC   2 – 2  Cockfosters |  the Harlow Arena [3G]  | Group A

In what was a first for the Essex Senior, this match was streamed live over the virtual screens and it took a last-minute leveller to deny newcomers DT a commendable victory at the Harlow Arena. Ned Clarke added to his reputation at the ‘Fosters by putting them ahead seven minutes before the break. DT held firm though and the Essex Alliance League Senior Division side levelled things up midway through the second-half through Kieron Hipgrave’s strike. It got even better for the hosts as ex-Ilford & Epping Town forward Alex Paraskeva put them ahead with twelve minutes remaining.  That wasn’t the end of the drama though as defender Marcus Crowther snatched a point for Ryan Wade’s side in added time.

St Margaretsbury  1 – 1   Hoddesdon Town | The Rec | Group A

In the other match in Group A, these two old rivals resumed their rivalry at the Rec. Cyrus Babaie put Hoddy ahead before Dominic Wynter-Stephens ensured that Ray Bartlett’s side secured a point and leave the group wide open with two matches for all to play.

Redbridge 1 – 0  Clapton  | Oakside  | Group B

The Motormen began their Cordell Cup campaign with a narrow win over the Tons at Oakside. Tony Martin got the only goal of the game for George Christou’s side on 50 minutes, with Redbridge undoubtedly looking to get deep into the Cup that bears the name of their long-serving former Secretary.
Non-League writer Pete Dudley was also at this game & here’s his report: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2021/04/redbridge-1-clapton-0.html

Woodford Town 3 – 4  Barkingside (4pm KO) | Coles Park [3G]   |  Group B

In the late kick-off of the day, Barkingside staved off a late fightback by Woodford to claim all three points at Coles Park. Steven Le Sage’s side started strongly, with Joe Gent [11’] and Reece Simpson [13’] goals giving them a two-goal cushion before the quarter-hour. Jaydon Charles halved the deficit for the hosts from 12 yards just before the break. ‘Side responded in great fashion after the interval, with strikes from Jack Gibbons six minutes into the second-half and Jacob Dingli [65’] giving them an impressive 4 – 1 lead. There was more drama in the latter stages as Charles’ second of the afternoon and Ridwan Hussein goal on the 90 minute mark made it a nervy end for ‘Side but they held on.

Billericay U23  3 – 0  Holland   | New Lodge [3G]   | Group C

In this clash at New Lodge which the hosts also streamed live via YouTube, Billericay U23s grabbed an impressive win with Marlon Stratford opening the scoring on 11 minutes. Second-half goals from Max Gnandi [47’] and Nyan Mesuria twenty minutes from time sealed maximum points for the Essex Senior Reserve Division side.

FC Clacton  2 – 1  Stansted   | Rush Green Bowl   | Group C

The Airportmen made the long trip to North East Essex but ultimately came away empty-handed. Jordan Lartey and Kevin Coyle got the goals for the Eastern Counties League Premier Division side, with Ryan Ramsay getting the solitary reply for Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side.

Frenford  1 – 1 Barking   | The Drive [3G]   | Group D

These two local rivals faced each other at The Drive, with both sides claiming a point. Owen James got the equaliser for the home side, after Isaac Westendorf had put the Blues ahead just short of the half-hour.

Athletic Newham 1 – 1 Brimsdown   | Terry Mac | Group E

This match of the two Eastern Senior League South sides took a while to get going though it was Brimsdown who took the lead through an OG a minute after the interval. Newham did grab a point through as forward Richard Kone levelled in added time. You feel that both these sides need one win in their remaining two matches in the Group to progress.

Great Wakering Rovers 1 – 4   White Ensign | Lower Road | Group E – Featured Match

These two sides usually ground-share at Burroughs Park but on this occasion, they faced off about ten miles away at Hullbridge’s Lower Road. After a promising start by Wakering, it was Ensign who took the lead thanks to impressive winger Dominic Locke on 18 minutes. The visitors took that lead into the second half and pretty much sealed the contest either side of the hour, through well-taken strikes by Connor Barnby [55’] and Locke [64’] to accrue his second of the afternoon. Jake Gordon pulled one back for Rovers with eleven minutes to go but in truth, it was not their day. Locke then turned provider for Luke Skinner to slot home a fourth for Ensign six minutes from time.

This was my featured match this weekend & here’s my report: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/04/10/match-report-great-wakering-1-4-white-ensign-sat-10-apr/

That’s all for my round-up of Week One of the Len Cordell Cup, I hope to do more of these as the competition progresses, likely to be on a semi-regular basis.