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.