Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello & welcome to the latest of an occasional blog series this term looking at the action in the Essex Senior League this weekend, plus the two representatives in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round. This weekend saw eight League matches take place.
Essex Senior – Friday 16 & Saturday 17 September
We begin with Friday night’s matches, as Redbridge failed to take their chance of reaching the summit as Woodford Town defeated them 3 – 2 at Ashton’s. Luke Parrott, Zivonimir Lopes and Samir Ali got the goals for Shane Baptiste’s side as they went up to fourth. The Motormen replied through goals from Solomon Ogunwomoju and replacement Loui Hazelwood but they are still three points clear in third. Also on Friday, there was a rare match at Southchurch Park as White Ensign won the derby match, defeating Southend Manor 3 – 1 in front of a crowd of over 140. Daniel Monk, Charlie Portway and an injury-time goal from substitute Jack Allen gave Aaron Bloxham’s side the points as they rose to mid-table. Kieran James topped off a good performance with the only goal for Manor. I was at this game & if you’d like more on it, my report can found here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/09/18/s22-23-match-report-southend-manor-1-3-white-ensign-fri-16-sept-esl/
On Saturday, West Essex got the result of the day as they grabbed a superb 6 – 2 win away at Halstead Town. David Bell gave Kwame Kwateng’s team a sixth-minute lead there, but Jordan Pavett’s strike from 12 yards levelled things up 11 minutes later. West were in a mood to score goals though as two spot-kicks from Callum Bloss put them 3 – 1 up at the break, with the Humbugs down to ten men following Matt Travell’s dismissal just before the break. Further goals for the Stags from Oliseh Okuguni [58′], experienced forward Cameron Gray [68′] and substitute Tyler Morgan added to a fine day out for them – they also went two points clear at the top. Stansted maintained their mini-revival with a narrow 1 – 0 win over Athletic Newham at Hargrave Park. Jack Mitchell’s penalty was enough to give Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ team the points there.
Elsewhere, Takeley got a fine 3 – 0 triumph over Stanway Rovers at Station Road. First-half goals by Alex Lambrou and Lewis Deamer were added to midway into the second half by Bryn Thorpe to give Marc Das’ side a convincing victory, which sent them a point adrift of mid-table. Clapton also got their first win of the season with a late flourish to give them a 3 – 2 success at Ilford. Saidu Salifu gave Ross Weare’s team an early advantage, only for Jake Chadwick and Josh Boxall goals to turn it round for Richard Ponsford’s side. However, there was another twist in the offing as late strikes by Ricky Shaw and Vieira Mandica meant the Tons prevailed.
Barking also got a important success as they held on to win 4 – 3 at Saffron Walden Town. Jason Hallett got all three goals for Walden by the hour mark, but strikes by Sa-Sean Lutumba, George Fairhead, Luke Hirst and Eljay Worrell meant Charlie MacDonald’s side prevailed. Finally, Buckhurst Hill got another victory, this time winning 3 – 1 at Sawbridgeworth Town. Goals from Tyler Dolan, Ezekiel Bademosi and Suleyman Zuhdu were enough to see them to the win and sets up their clash with Redbridge at home on Tuesday well.
Emirates FA Cup – Second Qualifying Round (Sat)
Romford pulled off a superb 2 – 1 win at Step 3 Potters Bar Town to make the third Quali Round. Goals from Charlie Morris and Emmanuel Robe were enough to complete a comeback win for Steve Butterworth’s team. They will find out their opposition in the draw on Tuesday. Enfield are out though after a 4 – 0 home loss to Step 3 team Billericay Town. Former Witham & Braintree player Alfie Cerulli scored a hat-trick and Bradley Stevenson got the other goal as the E’s played well but couldn’t muster a comeback.
Eastern Senior League – Division South Play-Off Final
Venue: Roding Lane
2021-22 Season: Match 78
Saturday 30th April 2022 – 3pm KO
Buckhurst: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Halstead: Red & White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Halstead produce excellent display to overcome odds & book their place in Step Five
Buckhurst Hill 1 – 2 Halstead Town
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
with additional photo by Halstead Town FC, used with thanks.
The last weekend of Senior football for the current season began with a welcome return to Roding Lane for this hotly-anticipated Eastern Senior League South Play-Off Final as Buckhurst Hill welcomed Halstead Town. Unsurprisingly, there was a substantial crowd in attendance for this game which had the ultimate prize for these two sides – Promotion to Step 5. Buckhurst defeated Wivenhoe narrowly last week, while Halstead won in extra-time against Benfleet to set this tie up.
The warmth of Summer was in evidence here, and we didn’t have a slow start to proceedings here either. After just three minutes, Halstead made the most of a corner and central midfielder Jack Schelvis stole half a yard of space before bundling home his effort into the net, which left home stopper Daniel Blockley stranded. The goal was understandably celebrated by the ‘Halstead Ultras’ – standing behind that goal. Buckhurst Hill responded with a forward press of their own, with the impressive Tyler Dolan getting past the visiting defence, only to be denied by Halstead’s commanding goalkeeper Jack Cherry, who came out and gathered.
The nerves were still present in the Buckhurst defence on 17 minutes, as Jordan Palmer’s effort was spilled by Hill stopper Daniel Blockley and went out for a set-piece. The half was moving on into the midway point with Buckhurst finding it difficult to carve out strong chances but they got a crucial leveller, as forward Suleyman Zuhdu’s strike came back off a Halstead defender before looping over Cherry and into the net. Just when you thought the Humbugs might have blinked, three minutes later they took the lead once again. Another fine pass in by winger Jordan Blackwell came to forward Calvin Poku in the penalty area and he quickly got his strike away and it found the left corner. It was a well-taken goal but it precipitated another response by the Stags front-line.
Two minutes before the interval, Zuhdu was unfortunate to not add to his goal tally as a fierce strike sailed into the crossbar and back off the underside of it without crossing the line. The Humbugs had one more half-chance before the break as Palmer headed narrowly wide of Blockley’s woodwork. Overall though, Halstead had (much like the week before in the Semi-Final) set their stall out to make it difficult through resolute & organised defence and they were 45 minutes away from a famous win.
Half-Time: Buckhurst Hill 1 – 2 Halstead Town
The second half began with Buckhurst Hill having the ball in the Halstead half for long periods. Dolan once again found his way into the penalty area after evading a visiting defender but Cherry once again stood tall and denied him. Zuhdu also headed wide soon afterward. On 54 minutes, a fine centre by full-back Liam Foster found Nathan Sollosi but Cherry was in action again to tip Sollosi’s shot wide. Full-back Keaton Moore also powered in a well-struck effort which missed the top corner by inches.
Despite Buckhurst creating the chances they had, they did not quite look entirely comfortable. Pressure could well have played a part in that, and they were growing frustrated with their profligacy in front of goal. Zuhdu was again denied by Cherry who did well to deny a powerful effort by the Buckhurst captain, but substitute Callum Ibe also blazed over when well-placed ten minutes after coming onto the field. The Humbugs did not have many forays forward as they were defending in numbers but Poku was still showing his quality in holding the ball up and making good runs on occasion.
With Buckhurst taking a few more risks seeking that important equaliser, forward Adam Hampson fired well over after being found well on the counter-attack. On the whole though, you have to applaud the work rate and attitude of the Halstead side who did emerge with a famous victory, which means they are getting promoted to Step 5. It is a testament to the high standards Buckhurst have set this season that they are still tough opposition, even if they were not quite at their best. It will be intriguing to see how they start next season but they are a club who have come a long way since their Step 7 days.
Full-Time: Buckhurst Hill 1 – 2 Halstead Town
In summary, Halstead had to produce a superb display in defence which was allied to clinical finishing to edge their way to a second momentous victory in as many weeks, which means they will compete in Step 5 after a gap of 17 years, most likely in the Essex Senior League come August. They are a side that will be a welcome addition and don’t be surprised if they surprise a few next season. You had to feel for Buckhurst who contributed heavily to the match, but conceding early was costly for them and they could not make the most of their chances which they created having had long spells of ball retention, and had some strong performances. This loss will hurt, but it should not detract from what is still a fabulous first campaign of Senior football for Mark Williams’ side.
There were several creditable performances in this match. For victors Halstead, winger Jordan Blackwell had another stand-out match on the right flank. I believe he got assists for both their goals, and he also made several important passes and showed good work rate. Defender Chris Harris also epitomised his teams’ resoluteness in defence, making several big interceptions and block tackles. Goalkeper Jack Cherry also showed once again how important a player he is to the side, making at least three fine saves when the Humbugs backline was breached. Finally, forward Calvin Poku showed guile and good finishing for his goal and despite not having much opportunity to test the Buckhurst goalkeeper, he took his goal very well to change the momentum of this match.
For Buckhurst Hill, I thought Tyler Dolan had a really good game, showing his high energy, good passing and movement. He was unlucky in not scoring today. Full-back Keaton Moore also contributed to his team’s forward moves well & was inches away from scoring a fabulous goal. Centre-back Jonah Gregory also did well, showing good alertness and positioning. Lastly, talisman Suleyman Zuhdu has to get a mention as he was central to the hosts’ forward moves, showing good passing and work rate. Also, Halstead stopper Cherry did superbly to deny him on two occasions. Zuhdu will end the season as the League’s top goal-scorer on 37 goals.
Finally, I’d like to wish Halstead well in their campaign at Step 5 next season, they will be a tough side to beat – a testament to manager Mark McLean and his staff. Commiserations to Buckhurst Hill as well, they will emerge from this experience as a stronger club in time.
Buckhurst Hill |Manager: Mark Williams | Assistant: JP Kent
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster (14 Sam Sollosi 77’), 3 Keaton Moore, 5 Henry Day, 20 Jonah Gregory, 6 Jack Griggs (15 Jake Moss 40’), 7 Tyler Dolan, 8 Josh Banfield, 9 Sonny Shilling (21 Callum Ibe 60’), 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Nathan Sollosi
Goal-scorer: Suleyman Zuhdu [22’]
Booked: Griggs | Subs Not Used: Nicholson
Halstead Town | Manager: Mark McLean | Assistant: David Streetly
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Cherry (GK & Capt), 2 Ryan Carter, 3 Matt Travell, 4 Chris Harris, 5 Nick Miller, 6 Jack Schelvis, 7 Jordan Blackwell, 8 Jordan Palmer, 9 Calvin Poku (14 Markus Dunn 90’+2), 10 Adam Hampson, 11 Kane Gilbert
Goal-scorers: Jack Schelvis [3′], Calvin Poku [25′]
Booked: Gilbert, Carter | Subs Not Used: Walker, Kendle (GK)
Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks
Buckhurst Hill: White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Benfleet deny Buckhurst Hill in hard-fought match
Benfleet 1 – 1 Buckhurst Hill
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s match was a fascinating encounter at Park Lane which saw two of the current top four sides in the Eastern Senior League South clash as Benfleet welcomed promotion-chasing Buckhurst Hill. Both sides have had something of an extended break from action of late but with other sides in the top six having played more matches already, that might be in both teams’ favour come April. Benfleet named Daniel Smith as their goalkeeper, with a back four of Darnell Shakes, Joe Hunter & centre-backs MacKenzie Davidson and Sonny Hartman. Ben Foord led the forward line as ever, with support from Rob Lacey and skipper Aaron Russell. Options on the bench included forwards Billy Bonham-Dare and Mason Shave and centre-back Cameron Harris.
Buckhurst were keen to grab another win here to keep tabs on rivals Ipswich Wanderers and had regular custodian Daniel Blockley in goal, with Alfie Harris and Henry Day as centre-backs and Liam Foster & Edward Buchanan as the attack-minded full-backs. Captain Suleyman Zuhdu led their attack, with support from the Sollosi brothers (Sam & Nathan). Their substitutes included Brad Rowland, Sonny Shilling and Max Nicholson.
The match began with Buckhurst Hill having more possession and therefore having more impetus to break the deadlock. On seven minutes, after Josh Banfield had been involved in the build-up, full-back Liam Foster’s centre found forward Suleyman Zuhdu who retained the ball well just inside the Benfleet penalty area before firing a speculative overhead kick which home stopper Daniel Smith had to gather.
The visitors were showing their high work rate & energetic style of Football, which forced Benfleet to deal with several waves of forward moves from their opposition, although Buckhurst did not create a huge array of clear chances as they sought to regain their clinical finishing. Zuhdu sent in another powerful free-kick which Smith was equal to, before the half-hour though Buckhurst’s final ball was eluding them on occasion.
Benfleet were focused on keeping things tight and were grateful for several important defensive blocks by Sonny Hartman to keep things level, as well as the alertness of goalkeeper Daniel Smith. A minute before the interval, their miserly attitude defensively was rewarded as Hartman took advantage of a momentary lapse of concentration from the visitors to head home a set-piece at the near post and altogether change the tone of this match.. and the half-time team talks along with it.
Half-Time: Benfleet 1 – 0 Buckhurst Hill
Unsurprisingly, Buckhurst were fired up after the break to get themselves level and Zuhdu was in good form, piercing the home defence on 55 minutes, sprinting to the loose ball ahead of the onrushing Smith but with the ‘Fleet custodian off his goal-line, Zuhdu’s curling finish was headed away on the line by a well-positioned home defender. Rapid winger Nathan Sollosi also had a decent header well thwarted from a set-piece thanks to determined defending by Rob Polkinghorn’s side. At the other end, Benfleet were still decent on the counter, and forward Aaron Russell was unlucky to see a fine strike cannon back off the crossbar with visiting goalkeeper Blockley beaten.
It was becoming apparent that it may not be Buckhurst’s day when they were awarded a penalty, seconds after they had the ball in the net. Tyler Dolan stepped up to take it from twelve yards, but Smith was in no mood to concede, making a fine save. However, Mark Williams’ team did get a deserved goal on sixty-three minutes as from the right side of the 18-yard area, Nathan Sollosi fired home a superb low effort which found the bottom left corner, giving Smith no chance of preserving his clean sheet.
Again, Buckhurst pushed for a decisive goal in the latter stages, with full-back Foster firing wide from a narrow angle and Zuhdu was well-denied by Smith after once again evading the ‘Fleet backline and only had the goalkeeper to bypass. The last key moment of the match came in added time as with Benfleet admirably trying to stifle the rapid forward moves of the visitors, they conceded another spot-kick. Centre-back Henry Day took the responsibility of taking the penalty, but again Smith underlined his good perormance by making a good penalty save, for the second time in the match.
Soon after, the final whistle blew on a match that had a lot of intrigue and good attacking build-up play though not the goals that many may have thought.
Full-Time: Benfleet 1 – 1 Buckhurst Hill
To sum up this match, Buckhurst Hill had enough ball retention in the first half but couldn’t make the most of the chances they had. Benfleet’s goal just before half-time altered the complexion of the game and although the visitors scored a fine leveller, they were not their usual clinical selves in terms of their finishing. In fairness, both sides were lacking some rhythm, after an extended break from action recently though ‘Fleet will be the happier of the two sides, having got a point.
As ever, there were a number of good performances in this entertaining match. For Benfleet, stopper Daniel Smith had an excellent day, denying penalties from Tyler Dolan and then Henry Day in added-time, which added to fine saves to deny Buckhurst talisman Suleyman Zuhdu. Centre-back Sonny Hartman also shone, making several important defensive blocks as well as scoring his side’s goal with a near-post header. Aaron Russell also did well & was unfortunate to not score from a fine strike. Joe Hunter also showed good energy at left-back.
For Buckhurst, creative midfielder Josh Banfield made several fine passes & some good interceptions. Forward Nathan Sollosi scored a fine leveller & made a number of good runs while Suleyman Zuhdu showed good work rate and was only denied from getting on the score-sheet thanks to fine defending. Lastly, Louis Wynter had a good game as well getting in good positions and setting up good forward moves.
Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.
Benfleet | Manager: Rob Polkinghorn |
Starting XI: 1 Daniel Smith (GK), 2 Darnell Shakes, 3 Joe Hunter, 5 MacKenzie Davidson, 6 Sonny Hartman, 4 Stephen Ellery, 8 Taylor Lawrence (14 Billy Bonham-Dare 66′), 7 Aaron Russell (Capt) (17 Sam Dulieu 83′), 9 Ben Foord (12 Mason Shave 70′), 10 Robert Lacey, 11 Henry Sims
Goal-scorer: Sonny Hartman [44′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Harris, Scott
Buckhurst Hill | Manager: Mark Willams |
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster (18 Max Nicholson 77′), 3 Edward Buchanan (12 Keaton Moore 55′), 4 Alfie Harris, 15 Henry Day, 16 Louis Wynter, 8 Josh Banfield, 14 Tyler Dolan, 7 Sam Sollosi (21 Sonny Shilling 61′), 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Nathan Sollosi
Goal-scorer: Nathan Sollosi [63′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Falola, Rowland
Referee: Steven Marr Assistants: Michael Jarvis & Amy Purser
Barkingside: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks
Buckhurst H: White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Buckhurst achieve comfortable win over ‘Side at Cricklefield
Barkingside 1 – 6 Buckhurst Hill
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The midweek match in late October was this fascinating encounter at Cricklefield between two sides in contrasting form as Barkingside welcomed local rivals Buckhurst Hill in Eastern Senior League South. ‘Side were looking to swiftly recover from a heavy weekend loss at Halstead whilst Buckhurst were still buzzing after their progression in the FA Vase after victory at Great Yarmouth. One other bit of news for the hosts saw First-team boss Francesco Zabotti depart for EOFL Premier side Springfield last week, which saw GM Steven Le Sage back in charge for Barkingside here. They named Lubomir Georgiev in goal, with right-back Jordan Cornelius skippering the team. David Etcheri and Patrick Hoy were the centre midfield pair, alongside Reece Simpson and Quincy Warner in attack. Options from the sidelines included defender Berkcan Belindir and forward Joe Gent. Buckhurst rotated their squad somewhat following that aforementioned Vase win but still had Daniel Blockley between the sticks, with a defence of Liam Foster, Edward Buchanan, Alfie Harris and Max Nicholson. Suleyman Zuhdu retained his place and captained the side, with Sonny Shilling and Tyler Dolan joining him in an enterprising forward line. Their bench included forwards Nathan Sollosi, Fehinti Falola and Brad Rowland.
As the match began in earnest, it was the hosts who had the first sight of goal on two minutes as forward Reece Simpson showed his intent, firing a good strike wide of the right-side post from twenty-five yards. It was a cagey start to the game, with little in the way of clear-cut openings and to their credit, ‘Side defended quite well and that was shown by good clearances by centre-back Jason Jones and right-back Jordan Cornelius. However, the first big point of the game happened on 21 minutes as Buckhurst forward Tyler Dolan was fouled in the area, which resulted in the penalty being converted low into the right corner by Dolan himself to give the visitors the lead. Barkingside responded on the counter-attack, with Reece Simpson being played in unselfishly and his firm effort on goal was well denied by visiting stopper Dan Blockley.
Steven Le Sage’s side were having their best period of the match at this juncture, and just before the half-hour, Jones was unfortunate to have a powerful header at goal cleared off the goalline by a well-placed covering Buckhurst defender. This seemed to galvanise the visitors snd they respoonded with a second goal just after the half-hour. A neat passing move ended with a controlled finish by attacking midfielder Jake Moss who did well to beat stranded ‘keeper Lubomir Georgiev. So, with the Stags two goals to the good, they were in a decent position. However, ‘Side responded all of thirty seconds later as Simpson really nailed a powerful strike from 25 yards which Blockley got a glove on but it still sailed high into the net. You could argue that ‘Side deserved that goal, but it was also apparent that Buckhurst could still raise their game further before the evening was done.
A glimmer of this was shown by another rapid run by forward Suleyman Zuhdu who made a good break down the left channel, cut inside and saw a good effort well parried by Georgiev. With half-time approaching, Barkingside tried fo force a leveller but Simpson’s tame effort dribbled wide of the left-side post, almost demanding that a team-mate would run in and grab a tap-in but it wasn’t to be.
Half-Time: Barkingside 1 – 2 Buckhurst Hill
So, as the players emerged for the second half it was fair to say that ‘Side were in the game and that Buckhurst had ‘more gears to find’ in attack. Unfortunately for the hosts, they did find that rhythm after the break. Eight minutes after the restart, a free-kick from just outside the eighteen-yard area on the angle found the top left corner, courtesy of a great strike by full-back Edward Buchanan. Mark Williams’ side were building their attacking ryhthm now and on the hour, forward Sonny Shilling’s lob somehow cannoned back off a post with the majority of the goal to aim at, and seconds later Zuhdu’s fine strike was well clawed away by the impressive Georgiev. Barkingside were in danger of being overrun at this point and Georgiev was in action again moments afterward, denying Zuhdu again with a fine one-handed save low on the ground.
Hill did get a fourth goal with fifteen minutes left as from a set-piece, full-back Liam Foster’s low finish found the net in a congested penalty area. The hosts couldn’t keep the ball for the long enough as Buckhurst poured forward with wave after wave of forward presses. Substitute Brad Rowland shot was denied by Georgiev as we entered the last ten minutes, though the Stags rounded off a fine evening’s work with replacement Fehinti Falola lobbing Georgiev well and in added-time, Rowland’s fierce strike got a hefty deflection off a defender which wrong-footed the goalkeeper.
Full-Time: Barkingside 1 – 6 Buckhurst Hill
In summary, Barkingside did well to compete in the first half and could have made things level at the interval, but ultimately they were unable to stifle a Buckhurst side who continue to impress with their goal-scoring and their pace going forward. Buckhurst deserved to win the game as they continue their quest to fortify their position in the top six.
In terms of stand-out performances, visitors Buckhurst Hill had midfielder Jake Moss to thank for scoring a good goal in a key period of the match. He also played his part in building up forward moves, as did full-back Liam Foster who took his goal well and continues to have a good season thus far. Centre-back Alfie Harris also made a number of important interceptions, while forward Suleyman Zuhdu also had a good gamewith his pace and movement and could’ve had at least two goals here if it wasn’t for good goalkeeping.
On that note, Goalkeeper Lubomir Georgiev had an excellent game for Barkingside, making at least five notable saves to keep his side in the contest. Jason Jones did well at centre-back in making several clearing headers, and support forward Quincy Warner put in a good shift making the visiting defence concentrate with neat passes and good darting runs. Lastly, Reece Simpson took his goal very well and could have added to his goal tally on another day.
My thanks to the hosts for their hospitality & best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.
Barkingside | Manager: Steven Le Sage |
Starting XI (Subs) : 1 Lubomir Georgiev (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius (Capt), 3 Shaquel Foyewa (16 Berkcan Belindir 72′), 5 Nathan Saunders, 6 Jason Jones, 14 Patrick Hoy, 7 David Etcheri, 8 Quincy Warner, 9 Reece Simpson, 10 Archie Hammond (18 Grant Frances 83′), 11 Osas Omuru (17 Joe Gent 58′)
Goal-scorer: Reece Simpson [32′]
Booked: Etcheri, Jones | Sub Not Used: Scott, Thompson
Buckhurst Hill | Manager: Mark Williams | Assistant: JP Kent
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster, 3 Edward Buchanan, 4 Alfie Harris, 5 Max Nicholson, 7 Jack Griggs, 8 Josh Banfield, 16 Jake Moss (21 Fehinti Falola 67′), 14 Sonny Shilling, 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (20 Harry Markatis 75′), 15 Tyler Dolan (22 Brad Rowland 46′)
Goal-scorers: Tyler Dolan [pen 21′], Jake Moss [32′], Edward Buchanan [53′], Liam Foster [74′], Fehinti Falola [83′], OG [90’+2]
Sin-Bin: Shilling [44′] | Booked: Nicholson | Subs Not Used: Jiro, N Sollosi
Referee: Tommy Breen Assistants: Alan Steward & Craig Wood
Buckhurst H: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Brimsdown: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks
Buckhurst battle hard to defeat Brimsdown at Roding Lane
Buckhurst Hill 3 – 1 Brimsdown
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The solitary midweek match this week saw a return trip to Roding Lane for the match between high-flying Buckhurst Hill and visitors Brimsdown in what was the first Senior match the hosts played under floodlights at their upgraded ground. The hosts perhaps with their big FA Vase tie at Great Yarmouth Town at the weekend in mind, rotated their squad somewhat, with regular stopper Daniel Blockley having a defensive four in front of him comprised of Liam Foster, Max Nicholson, Alfie Harris and Edward Buchanan. The forward line here was led by centre forward Fehinti Falola, with support from Brad Rowland and Nathan Sollosi. Options from the bench included defender Henry Day and forwards Suleyman Zuhdu and Sonny Shilling. Brimsdown have also had a squad overhaul recently, with new boss Marce Collington naming Ali Dogan in goal, a defensive four of Joshua Lamaswala, Dillon Lee, Omer Bingol and Stephane Zolo. The attack was led by Kamarni Collington and Chikosi Basden with Ricardo Price and Jermaine Baptiste in support.
In the early stages of the match, Brimsdown showed enough to suggest they would be ne an energetic, hard-working side and would not be overawed by their opposition. Hill had a half-chance with six minutes on the clock as a decent centre from the right flank by midfielder Jake Moss found centre forward Fehinti Falola but his header was off-target of visiting goalkeeper Ali Dogan’s goal. The vistors responded swiftly on the counter-attack, as a decent strike by midfielder Anthony Sanderson required home custodian Dan Blockley to be alert. The Sollosi brothers were in tandem moments later for Buckhurst as Sam made a good turn before finding Nathan on the edge of the box but could only turn his strike over the woodwork. Marce Collington’s side responded strongly again as a teasing cross by Ricardo Price was deflected behind for a set-piece. From that resulting corner, forward Chikosi Basden’s fierce initial strike was deflected off a team-mate in Price who got the crucial touch to send it beyond Blockley and into the net, despite the hosts wanting the assistant referee’s flag. No flag was forthcoming so it was Brimsdown who took a surprise lead.
To be fair to Brimsdown, they were more than holding their own during the half as Buckhurst could not find their well-known attacking rhythm and pace. On twenty minutes, a fine run and turn by Nathan Sollosi allowed him the chance to strike at goal, but his tame strike allowed Dogan to gather. Then, just past the half-hour, another set-piece by Sam Sollosi found its way to full-back Liam Foster whose shot also couldn’t bypass Dogan, who was growing in confidence.
Half-time: Buckhurst Hill 0 – 1 Brimsdown
So as we entered the second period of the match, Buckhurst knew they had to raise their game somewhat, but it was Brimsdown who had a sight at goal on 51 minutes, with forward Basden sending through a good pass to find captain Reece Capleton, unfortunately for the visitors, the latter could only fire his effort over the woodwork. Mark Williams did not hesitate long to instigate changes from the bench, and the introduction of Sonny Shilling did bring about a change to the rhythm of the hosts’ attacks. Only two minutes after coming on, Buckhurst had a corner which full-back Edward Buchanan did well to slide the ball across to Nathan Sollosi who curled home a nice strike into the top corner to level things up, after earlier spurning several decent chances.
The hoss were really starting to gain momentum at this point and Shilling’s free-kick from a promising position was well parried away from danger by Dogan midway through the half. Brimsdown did respond on the counter-attack as a free-kick of their own by winger Jermaine Baptiste (pictured below) brought a decent save from Blockley as the ball was dipping on him. As we entered the last fifteen minutes of the contest, the energy expended by the visitors was starting to tell on them as Sollosi evaded the defence again, only to be denied again by the impressive Dogan. Forward Suleyman Zuhdu had also come on by this point, and his follow-up strike was also denied by the Brimsdown stopper.
Eventually though, the pressure from Buckhurst did tell and they took the lead on 77 minutes. Moments after the inspired Dogan denied him, Shilling did find the net with a smart low drive into the left corner. Brimsdown played a commendable part in the match though they could not get back into the contest going forward as the minutes ticked by. Zuhdu’s curling set-piece was well gathered by Dogan after re-adjusting his position but on the stroke on the ninety minutes, Buckhurst got a third as a fine lob by Sollosi capped a fine match on a personal note and a hard-earned three points for the hosts on this big occasion for them.
Full-Time: Buckhurst Hill 3 – 1 Brimsdown
To sum up this occasion, Buckhurst was unusually sloppy with ball retention and with the pace & rhythm of their forward moves for at least half of the match, but a fierce response in the latter stages made it hard for the tiring Brimsdown backline, who couldn’t deal with a strong last thirty minutes from Buckhurst.
In terms of stand-out performances, this time I’ll begin with Brimsdown. Goalkeeper Ali Dogan had an excellent match, making several important saves and effectively kept his side in the match in the second half. Midfielders Anthony Sanderson and Reece Capleton both did well to outwork the hosts in midfield in the first hour and they typified the hard-working display that their side displayed in the match. They both made a number if good tackles as well. Finally, forward Chikosi Basden was a good presence with his pace, energy and passing alongside strike partner Kamarni Collington.
For victors Buckhurst Hill, forward Nathan Sollosi made a telling contribution with his passing, movement & had several shots on goal before finding the net and grabbing his brace. Fehinti Falola did a good job leading the line for Mark Williams’side and could’ve had a couple of goals here. Full-back Liam Foster had another good game and showed his usual high energy levels down the right channel and put in good passes to assist his team. Lastly, substitute Sonny Shilling made a big impact coming off the bench to assist his side’s attacking rhythm with good movement, dribbling and finishing.
Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.
Buckhurst Hill | Manager: Mark Williams | Assistant: JP Kent
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster, 3 Edward Buchanan, 4 Alfie Harris, 5 Max Nicholson, 6 Jake Moss (17 Jack Griggs 73′), 7 Sam Sollosi (14 Sonny Shilling 57′), 8 Josh Banfield (Capt), 11 Nathan Sollosi, 9 Fehinti Falola (19 Suleyman Zuhdu 66′), 18 Brad Rowland
The Stags’ Fairytale season goes on with big Vase win over Enfield
Buckhurst Hill 3 – 0 Enfield
The second match of two on this hectic FA Vase weekend saw a return visit to the upgraded Roding Lane as Eastern Senior League South high-fliers Buckhurst Hill welcomed Essex Senior side Enfield in their First Qualifying Round tie. Before we get to the on-pitch things, I have to add that it is great to see a seated stand, turnstiles and a little Food kiosk are now present at the ground. Alright, now onto the hosts’ line-up and boss Mark Williams named a strong squad with Daniel Blockley in goal, a defence comprised of full-backs Liam Foster and Keaton Moore and Henry Day and Alfie Harris in central defence. The forward line was again led by star forward Suleyman Zuhdu, supported by Sonny Shilling and Nathan Sollosi. Their substitutes’ bench included the likes of Buchanan, Rowland, Nicholson, Griggs and Sam Sollosi.
Enfield were looking to return from their FA Cup exit to Hadley after 120 minutes on Wednesday night and with regular custodian James Bransgrove unavailable due to a knock, Jack Willmott took the gloves, with a defence of centre-backs Jack Johnson and Vinny Murphy and Ryan Ramsay and Jack Folan as full-backs. Dwade James was again the focal point of the attack for Jamie Cureton’s team, with support forwards Callum Ibe and Olly Miles also looking to add to their goal-scoring tallies this term.
It was the hosts who started the match with the first sight of goal, with Hill understandably a little nervy given the scope of the tie and the occasion. Enfield centre-back Jack Johnson sent a decent header over the crossbar from a set-piece. The respective number nines then had glimpses of goal with Buckhurst forward Sonny Shilling striking wide and Enfield’s Olly Miles effort blocked by a home defence who were starting to find their rhythm, buoyed on by an exuberant home crowd.
The E’s were unable to find that telling final ball but had speculative chances as Miles sent in a delicate lob on the quarter-hour but Buckhurst custodian Daniel Blockley could easily gather. It was the E’s turn to have a let-off a moment later as a superb run by forward Suleyman Zuhdu did Johnson for pace down the left side of the eighteen yard area but Zuhdu was unable to get the power on his shot to bypass Willmott.
Zuhdu did make a telling contribution on 26 minutes though as Buckhurst took a surprise lead. The physical forward’s threaded pass found the run of Nathan Sollosi and Sollosi slotted home past Willmott with cool aplomb. The home defence was aware of the rapid counter-attack by the E’s and with 31 minutes on the watch, Blockley did well to claw over an in-swinging corner by Alex Warman. The visitors had a decent phase of the game and in a match where he was uncharacteristically quiet, forward Dwade James was well found by full-back Jack Folan’s pass but James’ strike wasn’t strong enough to trouble Blockley. Soon after, Hill countered and from a good pass by full-back Liam Foster, Shilling’s header was off-target.
Zuhdu was troubling the visiting backline with pace and movement, though at the other end, Buckhurst centre-back Alfie Harris was also doing well to stifle a strong Enfield forward line. It was a slender lead at the interval but the pressure was slowly going across to the visitors, with the hosts growing in confidence.
Half-Time: Buckhurst Hill 1 – 0 Enfield
Enfield did begin the second period quite well with another searing run by Miles being well-tracked by Buckhurst centre-back Henry Day, while Zuhdu again got in the action, only to see his effort on goal deflected wide for a set-piece by the E’s defence. Enfield so nearly made it a totally different match as first on fifty-four minutes, Dwade James was one-on-one with Blockley but the ‘keeper did well to claw away the effort. Moments later, a superb strike, I think by Miles fizzed off the crossbar, with Blockley doing superbly to deny follow-up strikes by James and Miles. The E’s were still well in the tie with twenty minutes remaining as Miles narrowly headed over the goal-frame and substitute Benji Crilley also had an effort cleared off the goal-line as the visitors cursed their lack of fortune.
Buckhurst also had a Shilling goal chalked off but they would not be denied overall as the crucial second goal for them came on 75 minutes. Zuhdu was involved again as another fine pass found Tyler Dolan who evaded the off-side trap and finished calmly past Willmott to really put themselves in a great position. The E’s did keep going but as the minutes ticked by, the feeling grew that it wasn’t going to be their day and they conceded a third goal in added time as Dolan turned provider, tracking the run of midfielder Josh Banfield, who advanced on Wilmott’s goal and again finished well low into the right corner.
When the final whistle went, the contrasting reactions of the two sides was clear. Absolute unfiltered joy for Buckhurst, whilst the E’s had to reflect on what has been a bad week for them.
Full-Time: Buckhurst Hill 3 – 0 Enfield
In summary, the hosts showed pretty much what they are about – good, quick passing Football and defensively they dealt admirably with the threat posed by a good forward line of Enfield, even if the latter were perhaps not at their best. The E’s will be disappointed they didn’t quite create enough chances to really get back in the match but as so often us scribes say, if one of their chances did go in it really would’ve been a different match entirely. Hill do deserve credit though for not allowing the occasion to overwhelm them though, and it was a superb turnout – no doubting that.
For this match’s ‘stand-outs’ I’ll start with the victors. I have to credit Nathan Sollosi who really made the most of the space he managed to create and also took his goal well. Centre-back Henry Day again led the defensive line suoerbly, making a number of important interceptions himself during the match. Goalkeeper Dan Blockley had another good natch, pulling off two superb saves to deny James and Miles when his side were only one goal up. Also, talisman Suleyman Zuhdu again led the forward line with pace and power and he showed he can be a telling assist-maker as well as a fine goalscorer. For Enfield, I felt forward Olly Miles was their chief threat and was unlucky not to score. Miles was quick, direct and as we know, has a good strike on him. Callum Ibe and Jack Johnson also had good games, Ibe being tricky and pacy while Johnson had to really do well to stifle promising Buckhurst attacks. Midfielder David Cowley rounds off the mentions as his set-pieces had to be dealt with too.
Buckhurst progress into the Second Quali Round where they face a trip to local rivals Newbury Forest, who have also been scoring a lot of goals already this term. I’d like to wish both teams a good rest of the season.
Buckhurst Hill | Manager: Mark Williams | Assistant: JP Kent
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster (18 Jonah Gregory 79′), 3 Keaton Moore, 4 Alfie Harris, 5 Henry Day, 6 Louis Wynter (16 Jack Griggs 59′), 7 Tyler Dolan, 8 Josh Banfield, 9 Sonny Shilling (15 Max Nicholson 79′), 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Nathan Sollosi
Goal-scorers: Nathan Sollosi [26′], Tyler Dolan [75′], Josh Banfield [90’+3]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Buchanan, Rowland, Moss, S Sollosi
Enfield | Manager: Jamie Cureton | Assistant: Jim Duggan
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Willmott (GK), 2 Jack Folan (6 Luke Wilson 55′), 13 Vinny Murphy, 5 Jack Johnson, 7 Ryan Ramsay, 4 Alex Warman (14 Isaac Stevens 84′), 8 Reece Conway (Capt), 19 David Cowley, 10 Callum Ibe, 27 Dwade James (17 Benji Crilley 71′), 9 Olly Miles
Burnham R: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Buckhurst H: White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Impressive display sees Buckhurst grab the win at Leslie Field
Burnham Ramblers 0 – 3 Buckhurst Hill
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The match of the weekend was a rare trip into the Eastern Senior League South, as I made the first visit to Leslie Field in to see Burnham Ramblers in two years as they faced Buckhurst Hill in a top-of-the-table clash. The hosts are now under the management of Luke Goodson and are backed by a growing Committee, including club stalwart Martin Leno. On the field for Burnham, Adam French was between the posts, with a defence comprised of full-backs Albert Galbally and Joe Howard with the centre-back berths being filled by Matthew Stevens-Brown and Louis Pollock. Top goalscorer Adebolu Adeyemi started alongside Shemarie Perkins-Palmer in their forward line, with support from Haziz Kone and Deane Stone. Charles Brewer skippered the side. The options from the bench included midfielder Tom Howard and the attack-minded Liam Barry and Said Issa. Buckhurst Hill came into this one after thumping Park View 8 – 0 the previous midweek and had Daniel Blockley in goal, with a three-man central defence of Alfie Harris, Keaton Moore and Jonah Gregory, with Liam Foster and Ted Buchanan in advanced full-back roles. Forward & skipper Suleyman Zuhdu led the line once again for Mark Williams’ team, supported by fellow forward Tyler Dolan, with the three-man substitutes’ bench being made up of forwards Fehinti Falola, Louis Wynter and Reece Tranter.
The early stages of this match saw Buckhurst Hill seek to gain a foothold in possession and making it hard for the Ramblers to gain any momentum. After only three minutes, a thunderous 30-yard strike directly from a free-kick by forward Suleyman Zuhdu needed an acrobatic tip onto the crossbar by Ramblers custodian Adam French. The hosts’ first chance of note was from a set-piece but forward Adebolu Adeyemi was unable to get his shot on target to trouble visiting stopper Daniel Blockley. You felt it wouldn’t take long for the deadlock to be broken here and on seven minutes, Buckhurst took the lead. A long ball up field by a Buckhurst defender wasn’t dealt with by the Ramblers backline and Zuhdu managed to break away and finish low into the net, with ‘keeper French getting fingertips on it but it still trickled in.
Mark Williams’ well-drilled, high-intensity team were not making it easy to obtain possession from as their quick passing was causing problems for Burnham. Zuhdu again had another strike cleared off the goal-line before the 20 minute mark. Burnham did have a few successful forays forward and winger Haziz Kone showed his skills, getting past defenders and cutting inside from the right flank, unfortunately for him, his strike was deflected which allowed Blockley to claim untroubled. With Burnham losing out in midfield, the lines of Adeyemi and Kone were not much opportunity to cause headaches in the visiting backline. Instead, the challenge got harder on twenty-eight minutes as Hill doubled their lead. Liam Foster advanced down the right flank and his fine cross found Zuhdu who again got the better of the home defence before slotting home past French from close range.
Luke Goodson’s side were feeling the pressure, buoyed on by a decent home crowd but after a few errant passes, in the last five minutes they put their opposition under some pressure, with a good centre by Kone from the right finding Adeyemi who improvised a back heel-like finish in mid-air but it lacked the power to bypass Blockley, who gathered.
Half-Time: Burnham Ramblers 0 – 2 Buckhurst Hill
The visitors were the stronger side at the interval, though in the early stages of the second period it was the home side who kept the ball a bit better. Unfortunately they still couldn’t quite manufacture the chances they would’ve wanted and ten minutes into the half, a slick counter saw them further in arrears on the score-sheet. This time it was forward Tyler Dolan who turned creator as his superb pass bypassed defenders and found Brad Rowland at the far post, who powered his strike past the defenceless French into the opposite corner.
Burnham kept battling on, despite the odds definitely being against them and on sixty-four minutes, a set-piece by the combative Joe Howard somehow managed to evade everybody in the congested six-yard box before sailing out of play. Having just past the 70 minute mark, Hill showed they were still full of energy as a good cross in by substitute Fehinti Falola found its way into the danger area by this time both Zuhdu and Dolan failed to get a telling touch to send it into the net. The hosts responded straight after, with Adeyemi sending a header narrowly wide though in fairness, Burnham were restricted to few chances by a miserly & energetic visiting defence. The tireless running of midfielder Josh Banfield nearly gave Buckhurst a fourth goal but at the second attempt, but Banfield could only scoop a curling drive over French’s top right corner of the goal. A frustrating day for Burnham ended really with another decent centre into the box, but substitute Said Issa was unable to get past Blockley from close range.
Full-Time: Burnham Ramblers 0 – 3 Buckhurst Hill
To summarise briefly, Buckhurst were good value for the win and the question for me now is – How long can they maintain this form? That being said, Burnham showed enough here to make it fair to say their resurgent start-of-season form can continue and I want to add that it is nice to see a ‘community spirit’ back at the club once again, after what has undoubtedly been some hard times for the club after their relegation from the Essex Senior in 2018.
There were a number of good performances in this match. For the victors Buckhurst Hill, star forward Suleyman Zuhdu had another good match, causing the home defence continued problems today and deserved his two goals. Strike partner Tyler Dolan also did well to bypass the opposition backline and the assist for the third goal was a good case in point. Centre-back Keaton Moore stood out in a determined three-man central defence, and also made some good passes going forward. Finally. The energy and work rate of midfielder Josh Banfield was nearly rewarded with a goal towards the end and his performance was typical of a hard-working unit.
For Burnham, centre-back Matthew Stevens-Brown led his team’s defence well, making a number of good clearances in the air, while winger Haziz Kone had some good moments on the flank despite not having many oppurtunities to shine today. The same has to be said for centre forward Adebolu Adeyemi but his good movement & clever thinking nearly resulted in a goal before the interval. Skipper Charles Brewer typified his team’s work ethic but Hill didn’t give the hosts much oppurtunity to supply the forwards, tracking back well for the majority of the game.
I’d like to wish both teams a good rest of the season.
Burnham Ramblers | Manager: Luke Goodson | Assistant: Ross Mernick
Starting XI: 1 Adam French (GK), 7 Joe Howard, 5 Matthew Stevens-Brown, 16 Louis Pollock, 3 Albert Galbally, 8 Harry Shawyer (15 Said Issa 76′), 11 Deane Stone (12 Liam Barry 56′), 17 Charles Brewer (Capt) (4 Tom Howard 83′), 14 Haziz Kone, 9 Adebolu Adeyemi, 10 Shemarie Perkins-Palmer
Booked: Barry | Subs Not Used: Lofts, Smith
Buckhurst Hill | Manager: Mark Williams | Assistant: JP Kent
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello all and welcome to another edition of my round-up articles, looking the action in week ten of the ‘mini-season’ in the Essex Olympian League divisions on Saturday 22nd May, plus a mention of the action in midweek as the champions were confirmed in the Premier Division. As ever, the focus is on the top four divisions despite several matches being uncontested this week.
EOFL Premier Division
In the Premier Division, Basildon Town secured second place after a 3 – 1 triumph at home to Old Southendian. Strikes from player-boss Marcus Bowers, Grant Cumming and replacement Michael Clark were enough to earn a good tangible reward for the change of fortunes under Bowers this term. Basildon Town have also announced this week that they will ground-share at Gardiners Close with Step 4 side Basildon Utd next season, ahead of the heavily-rumoured new ground that Utd will build in the near future. Os will likely finish the season bottom but with relegation looking most unlikely, they will have some room to re-build ahead of what will be a tough division next term.
Elsewhere, Springfield got their second win in their last four with a 2 – 1 success at Rayleigh Town. A Shaun Gittleson power strike was not enough for the hosts to avoid defeat here. Dan Williams’ visiting side have secured a tenth-placed finish after this win. That is the case as Shenfield AFC lost their final game of the season, as Harold Wood Athletic won 2 – 1 at St Martins Sch 3G. Strikes from Max Shepherd and Tom Ward secured a second consecutive away win for Alex Goldstone’s team and a win in their final match next weekend could see them sneak into the top six.
Also, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts came from behind to draw 1 – 1 with Catholic Utd at Silver Leys. Aaron Baldwin put the visitors ahead on the hour, but substitute Gabriel Odili’s third league goal in his spell at the club ensured the points were shared. The Hoops have finished their season now and they remain third, but the form Billy Cove’s side has shown since the restart continues – they are nine league games unbeaten now.
Sungate’s match with Kelvedon Hatch was uncontested and the ‘Gate got the points, with Hatch also unable to compete next week too.
Finally, Buckhurst Hill were given a scare before securing a 4 – 3 success at Hutton. A brace from Max Nicholson plus goals by Tyler Dolan and Jack Griggs were enough to give Mark Williams’ side the points but the hosts responded through Josh Brocklebank and a brace from substitute Ben Stanton made it a nervy end for the Champions, who were presented with the Trophy shortly after the match, which I had a chance to see first-hand as I was at this match & my in-depth report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/22/s-20-21-match-report-hutton-3-4-buckhurst-hill-sat-22-may/
Hill can pass the fifty-point mark with a win at Sungate next weekend, whereas Hutton need to defeat Springfield to at least secure fifth spot.
EOFL Division One
Moving now into Division One, with two matches uncontested (see listing at end of this section), the action was restricted to two matches this weekend. Firstly, Toby got a fine 2 – 0 win at Chingford Athletic to go up to fifth in the table after their third win in a row. Chingford drop to ninth and a rebuilding job awaits in the summer though full respect to Chairman Lee Bowers who has stepped in as manager for the last several weeks. Also, Manford Way defeated Herongate Athletic 4 – 0 at Jo Richardson Sch to give them hope of overhauling rivals Galleywood to secure the runners-up spot next weekend. Charlie Heatley scored twice here after coming off the bench, with James Clarke and Tyrone Scarlett also netting for Trevor Grace’s side. Fellow Non-League writer Aaron Moore was there & here’s his look at the game: https://footballreview.net/match-report-manford-way-4-0-herongate-athletic/
Next weekend, Manford have to win in the reverse match at Herongate whilst Galleywood have to win at champions Ongar Town. Intriguingly poised I’m sure you’ll agree.
Ramsden Scotia H – W Snaresbrook | Home Walkover Ongar Tn H – W Rayleigh Tn Res | Home Walkover
EOFL Division Two
Division Two is also not all ‘said & done’ either in terms of the promotion spots. That being said, Champions Leigh Town endorsed their growing reputation with a 5 – 1 win away at Ryan in Leigh’s farewell match of the season. Jack Pearman’s side remain third in the conventional table, though have won the title thanks to their superior PPG ratio. Ryan have two matches left and maximum points from those matches will see them pinch eighth spot.
Elsewhere, Harold Wood Athletic Res gathered a third win in succession with a 1 – 0 triumph at Laindon Orient. James Pottle got the only goal from twelve yards as their campaign ended on a high at Markhams Chase. Laindon must win next weekend to have any chance of pinching fifth spot but all in all, it’s been a decent season for Neil Blackburn’s side.
Beacon Hill Rovers are still in the box seat for the crucial runners-up position in the division after a nerve-jangling 4 – 3 win over May & Baker A at Wickham Bishops Sports Ground. Strikes from Bradley Morgan, Josh Perry, George Davis and player-boss Stephen Bennett were enough to secure a fourth win in five matches. Their job next week is simple, win against Wakering Sports and the job is done. Bakers were in the game for long periods through a brace from Tolouwa Dada and one from Jeese Martin ultimately wasn’t enough and they need four points from their last two matches to have any chance of a top-ten finish.
Finally, Wakering Sports secured a top-five finish with a 2 – 0 win over AS Rawreth at Cupid’s. Aaron Clark and Ben Rowe goals made it six wins in their last seven matches for Mitchell Gleeson’s side. This result also makes sure Rawreth will finish bottom of the standings.
As far the promotion picture stands, Epping Town have a chance of overhauling Beacon Hill if the latter fail to win, but Stuart Hoskins’ side also have to defeat Corinthians at home on the final day after they got another three points without playing, as did the Stambridge side.
Corinthians H – W Rochford Town | Home Walkover
Epping Tn H – W Old Southendian Res | Home Walkover
EOFL Division Three
Finally for this week, in Division Three ACD Utd cemented their position as Champions with a walkover win against Toby Res. The race for second is somewhat more complex, as Hutton Res played twice this week again. Firstly, on Thursday night they edged to a 4 – 3 win over Hullbridge A at a very windy Lower Road. Matthew Price struck twice for Bill Stratford’s side here, with Thomas Price and Jack Shaw also on target to make Joe Ives’ fine treble for Hullbridge semi-redundant with regards to the points.
Then on Saturday, the Hutton second-side were held 4 – 4 by Basildon Town Ressies at Basildon Sports Club in the late kick-off. Jack Shaw struck another treble to take his tally to nineteen league goals this term, with James Gardner also netting. But Town responded through the ensemble cast of Keith King, Garron Leatherbarrow, Tom Clayton and replacement Jamie Simpkins to gain a point which means they will finish at least sixth.
The knock-on effect of the above now means that Manford Way Res can secure the runners-up spot with another win next weekend after they won 2 – 1 at Lakeside Utd in the lunchtime kick-off this weekend. David Hornsby took his tally to 24 this term with another brace here, in a match that Aaron also watched – his report is here: https://footballreview.net/match-report-lakeside-united-1-2-manford-way-reserves/
Daniel Stokes responded for Lakeside but this defeat means they will finish the season in eighth spot. In the other matches, Hullbridge A defeated Collier Row 2 – 1 while Wakebury secured a top-four finish with a 3 – 1 success at Buckhurst Hill Res, with Charlie Little’s 15th league goal of the campaign plus Jack Smith and Billy Bonham-Dare goals were enough for Matt Cardy’s team to secure the win
EOFL Division Four Results
Laindon Orient Res 0 – 3 Shenfield AFC Res | Peagsus Club
Wakering Sports Res 1 – 1 Galleywood Res | Cupid’s CC (Pitch 1)
Uncontested: Sungate Res H – W Leytonstone Utd | Home Walkover
EOFL Division Five Results
AS Rawreth Res 0 – 10 Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res | The Warren
Springfield Res 1 – 0 Leigh Ramblers Res | Arun Park
Uncontested: Epping Town Res H – W Shoebury Town Res | Home Walkover
Herongate Athletic Res A – W Roydon | Away Walkover
Runwell Sports Res A – W Collier Row Res | Away Walkover
Wakering Sports A H – W Newbury Forest Res | Home Walkover
Thank you for reading, the final edition of this season’s EOFL Round-up will be available in about ten days time to round out the campaign. It’s been a pleasure to write about the Essex Olympian League this term once again and my thanks to all the clubs, managers & players that have assisted these articles this season.
Buckhurst Hill: Blue & Navy Blue Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Buckhurst Hill deny spirited Hutton comeback to claim the win
Hutton 3 – 4 Buckhurst Hill
Match Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
The penultimate weekend of my Non-League season saw me head to Polo Fields for this intriguing contest between Hutton, seeking a top-four finish and Champions Buckhurst Hill who were playing their second-to-last match as a Step 7 side before being elevated to the Eastern Senior League South next term. Matt Singh’s Hutton side were missing several players here with Alfie Cerulli, Stephen Judge, Kyle Linzell and forward Will Marlowe among those unavailable. They did field regular stopper Adrian Faherty between the sticks, with their centre-backs being Jonathan Hilliard and Tarik Moore-Azille. Jamie Moore and Joshua Seal provided the ammunition from the flanks, with Brad Freeman leading the line. Their options from the bench were also limited, with forward Ben Stanton and player-assistant boss Robert Lorkins being said options. Buckhurst Hill were also missing a few here with Nathan Sollosi, Josh Banfield, Zachary Davidson and Louis Wynter all not part of their 13-man squad. Daniel Blockley was the goalkeeper as usual, with a central defensive pairing of Henry Day and Jonah Gregory. The forward line was spearheaded by talisman & 20-goal forward Suleyman Zuhdu, with Max Nicholson and Daniel Whitehead in chief support.
This writer was hoping for a good battle, given it was likely also my last Essex Olympian League match of the 2020-21 campaign. The visitors were switched on in the opening minutes as a enterprising run by Hutton winger Joshua Seal ended with Buckhurst defender Henry Day denying him a firm effort at Dan Blockley’s goal. Minutes later, a really good run by visiting forward Suleyman Zuhdu was well rebuffed by home centre-back Tarik Moore-Azille down the right-sided channel. The first real chance of note came on eight minutes as a fine pass down the right by wing-back Liam Foster found winger Daniel Whitehead who then sent a fierce drive at goal, which was well tipped over by Hutton custodian Adrian Faherty. The hosts responded just short of the quarter-hour mark as a fine run by right-back Tom Stephens didn’t quite get the end it deserve as his effort on goal fizzed wide of Blockley’s far post.
Buckhurst were starting to gather momentum and gave their hosts another warning on 27 minutes as influential winger Sam Sollosi struck a first-time effort but Faherty could gather at the second attempt. Said warnings were up as just past the half-hour, midfielder Tyler Dolan weaved past two defenders well before slotting home calmly but inside the penalty area to finally break the stalemate in the game. Zuhdu nearly doubled his side’s advantage five minutes later after another searing run was too strong for the home defence and after evading Faherty, the declining angle saved the hosts as his strike cannoned off the left-side post. Whitehead also fired wide moments after as Mark Williams’ side looked to really gain a foothold. That second goal did arrive four minutes before the interval as after turning his marker inside-out, winger Max Nicholson fizzed a great strike past Faherty and into the net.
Half-Time: Hutton 0 – 2 Buckhurst Hill
Straight after the restart, it was the hosts who had to be alert as Sollosi again was well-placed but his chance was snuffed out by the well-placed Josh Brocklebank. The visitors were building their rhythm going forward at this stage of the match, as substitute Alfie Harris made a searing run down the right flank, and his centre was cleared almost off the goal-line by energetic right-back Tom Stephens, with fellow replacement Callum Ibe ready to pounce for a tap-in. This did prove important as with an hour played, a good free-kick from the edge of the penalty area by Seal managed to get past the Buckhurst defenders and find the on-rushing Brocklebank who helped himself to a goal from a few yards out. Looked simple but it was well-worked. Unfortunately for Hutton, Buckhurst soared up the other end on a counter-attack and Jack Griggs got past the home backline and his strike just escaped the clutches of Faherty before trickling home into the corner of the net, much to the custodian’s derision. This gave Buckhurst their two-goal cushion back and to be fair, on another day Buckhurst should have been ‘home & hosed’ in this match in the following fifteen minutes of the contest.
Midway into the half, forward Ibe made another of his trademark enterprising runs before his fierce strike was well clawed over the crossbar by the impressive Faherty. Hutton responded with twenty minutes to play as another Seal free-kick was on-target but lacked the power to bypass Blockley, who pushed it over the goal frame. From that resulting corner, substitute Ben Stanton narrowly nodded wide of the right-side post. Buckhurst again counter-attacked as Ibe was in a promising position again and a well-thought out chip was parried up by Faherty before needing to be cleared off the goal-line as well by more committed defending from the hosts. In truth, it wasn’t Ibe’s day as he and Sollosi was both denied on at least three more occasions through a combination of good blocks and wayward finishing.
Just as you were starting to suspect the hosts were tiring, they roared back into the match as a fine cross in from deep found Stanton who arrowed in a fine header at the far post to make it 2 – 3 with ten minutes remaining. Again though, Hill responded two minutes later as Nicholson’s well-taken strike again found the net, moments after Faherty pulled off another fine save in the previous attack. But the scoring was not done yet as the tension was rising before Stanton’s low finish bypassed both the defender and Blockley to find the net on 87 minutes and give the Champions some more nervy moments.
The visitors did hold out and the final whistle came without further incident as Mark Williams’ side could celebrate and without delay, they were presented with the Essex Olympian League Premier Division trophy.
Full-time: Hutton 3 – 4 Buckhurst Hill
In summary, Buckhurst Hill took a little while to reach their destructive best and arguably spurned several chances after the break to score a hatful of goals before the dramatic late goal surge here. Every credit to Hutton though as well who showed the gritty attitude that has served them well this season, particularly in the second half of the match. The only thing they were lacking if you were being really critical was more of a goal threat as hard-working forward Brad Freeman was slightly isolated at times, though he was well-marshalled by the adept Buckhurst defence in fairness.
In terms of stand-out performances, for the Champions Buckhurst Hill – it’s hard not to mention two-goal star winger Max Nicholson who took his goals well and importantly gave his side a decent lead at the interval. The Influential Sam Sollosi also kept his side ticking in attack and although he should have been on the score-sheet, he is excellent at creating moves with well-thought out passes. Ball-playing centre-back Henry Day also had another fine afternoon with several good interceptions and right wing-back Liam Foster also deserves a mention for giving the visitors an outlet making gallivanting rapid runs down the flank too.
For Hutton, I felt right-back Tom Stephens had an excellent match, covering a huge amount of ground all over the pitch, making good passes, showing good energy levels and making crucial clearances in the nick of time to aid his fellow defenders and crucially, keep Hutton in the match. Centre-back Tarik Moore-Azille also showed good tackling, good pace to keep up with Hill’s star forward Zuhdu and looks a good prospect. Winger Joshua Seal was a threat from set-pieces and gave everything here, plus goalkeeper Adrian Faherty who may feel he should’ve done better with one of the goals, but that is outflanked by the four really good saves to deny Buckhurst a thumping win.
All that is left for me to add is that is a been a delight to cover the Essex Olympian League again this season, and it would be remiss not to thank all the clubs and managers of all the matches I’ve written about this season. Thank you also to the League and it was a nice bonus to see Buckhurst presented with the Premier Division trophy post-match, which is a fitting reward for boss Mark Williams sticking with the club for as long as he has done. Best wishes to both Buckhurst Hill and Hutton for next season.
If you’d like to have a read of the wider action in the Essex Olympian League divisions, this week’s round-up is available here:
Hutton | Manager: Matt Singh | Assistant: Robert Lorkins
Starting XI: 1 Adrian Faherty (GK), 2 Tom Stephens, 3 Josh Brocklebank, 4 Jack Lelliott, 5 Jonathan Hilliard, 6 Tarik Moore-Azille, 7 Jamie Moore, 8 Lewis Scott, 9 Brad Freeman, 10 Sean O’Callaghan, 11 Joshua Seal
Goal-scorers: Josh Brocklebank [60’], Ben Stanton [80’ & 87’]
Subs On: 16 Ben Stanton [70’], 17 Robert Lorkins [70’]
Booked: None | Sub Not Used: None
Buckhurst Hill | Manager: Mark Williams
Starting XI: 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster, 3 Bradley Gayer, 4 Henry Day, 5 Jonah Gregory, 6 Jack Griggs, 7 Sam Sollosi, 8 Tyler Dolan, 12 Max Nicholson, 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Daniel Whitehead
Goal-scorers: Tyler Dolan [31’], Max Nicholson [41’ & 82’], Jack Griggs [60’]
Subs On: 9 Callum Ibe [46’], 15 Alfie Harris [46’]
Booked: Gayer, Zuhdu | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Adekola Adeyemi
Assistant Referees: Martin Smith & Maragrit Tsekov
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello all and welcome to another edition of my round-up articles, looking the action in week seven of the ‘mini-season’ in the Essex Olympian League divisions on Saturday 8th May. As ever, our focus here is on the top four tiers, with results from Divisions Four & Five. Thank you for reading.
EOFL Premier Division
In the Premier Division, Springfield got arguably the result of the weekend, as they won 1 – 0 at Basildon Town. It may not have been pretty for Dan Williams’ side, given that their goal was an OG from a set-piece but that won’t worry the Springfield management team. The win sees them rise up to eleventh spot and Basildon needing points to secure their second place. Bas have a swift chance to exact some payback though – they visit Arun Park next weekend! Bas’ chief challengers could well be Bishop’s Stortford Swifts who made it seven league matches unbeaten with a 2 – 1 success at Kelvedon Hatch. Kurt Smith and Ryan Blackman goals got Billy Cove’s side another win and it sees them go fourth, level on points with Leigh Ramblers just above them. Lee Hamill’s strike for Kelvedon couldn’t prevent their second loss in their last five games, and they fell to twelfth place.
In other action, Buckhurst Hill can win the Premier Division title in midweek after they were made to work hard to defeat Canning Town 3 – 1 at Roding Lane. Alfie Harris’ double and Suleyman Zuhdu’s 20th league goal of the campaign secured Hill’s 13th win in fourteen matches. Canning’s defeat sees them drop back to second-bottom. Sungate were held 2 – 2 by Old Southendian in East London, with Craig Paton and Jamie Oates scoring for player-boss Connor Lane’s side. OS are two bottom, two points adrift of Canning Town but it was another gutsy point on the road. The ‘Gate remain sixth and they will aim for a top-four finish I feel given all their remaining three games are at home.
In the other action in this division, Catholic Utd travelled to Polo Fields and drew 2 – 2 with Hutton. Brad Rowland and Max O’Leary got the goals for Simon Thomas’ visiting side, but Joshua Seal and Alfie Curelli responded for Matt Singh’s team. Hutton remain sixth, while the Hoops drop to fifth after this result. Finally, Shenfield AFC got an eye-catching 3 – 2 win over Leigh Ramblers at St Martins Sch 3G. The win takes them up to tenth spot and Ramblers will have to hope victory in their last match next weekend at Hutton is enough to keep them in the top four at the end of May.
EOFL Division One
In the second tier, Galleywood completed a terrific 5 – 3 win at home to Snaresbrook, played at Moulsham Sch 3G. Mark O’Sullivan’s side finished the match with ten men but a treble from Thomas Watling (who made it eight league goals in twelve starts this term) plus strikes by Jack Chatterway and Jack Hayes secured the win which kept them in second spot. Drew Barbier’s double (one from 12 yards) and one from Daniel Walsh kept ‘Brook in the match but they drop to eighth spot in this increasingly competitive division.
The hunt for the second-placed finish is also getting tighter. Runwell Sports are a point behind Galleywood in second after a 2 – 0 win at Ramsden Scotia. This was their third win in their last five matches for Jason Plom’s side. They are a point clear of Manford Way who got a important 1 – 0 win at Chingford Athletic with Charlie Heatley getting the only goal of the game for Trevor Grace’s side. Fellow Non-League writer Aaron Moore (Twitter: @aaron_moore25) was there & here’s his take on the match: https://footballreview.net/match-report-chingford-afc-0-1-manford-way/
Also, Toby got a good 3 – 2 win at Herongate Athletic, with Rhys Willson, Chris Rowland and Louis Hill all on target for Mark Jones’ side. This result takes them up to sixth spot and they will have a say in how the top five shapes up, given they have to play Old Chelmsfordians & Runwell Sports in the next three weeks. Herongate remain second-bottom.
Meanwhile, Ongar Town garnering the points without needing to navigate a tricky tie with Old Chelmsfordians because the latter were unable to field an XI. It means that nearest challengers Galleywood have to defeat Chingford Athletic in midweek to stave off the party for champions-elect Town for another week.
EOFL Division Two
We have our first confirmed champions in the Olympian divisions as Leigh Town battled to a 3 – 2 win at Laindon Orient at Markhams Chase. Strikes from Max Jones, Brodie Horne and James Roberts finally secured elevation for Jack Pearman’s side here. Shomari Barnwell’s brace had put Neil Blackburn’s side in strong position earlier in the game but Leigh would not be denied and they get deserved recognition for the form they’ve showed in the last couple of seasons. I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Jack and the whole squad on a great achievement. Laindon remain in sixth, ready to pounce if the sides above them falter as they will be looking for a top-four finish.
Elsewhere, Beacon Hill Rovers gained another big three points with a 3 – 1 victory over promotion rivals Corinthians at Wickham Bishops Sports Ground. The former Burnham Ramblers pair of Karl Swanborough (2) and Bradley Morgan combined to overpower Chris Stoneham’s side and stay a point clear in second spot. Ted Turnham netted a late consolation for the visitors but this result means they are not in charge of their own destiny. That is chiefly because Epping Town moved above them into third spot after a thumping 5 – 1 win at AS Rawreth. Joe Rickett notched four times in this one to take his tally to 14 league goals this term. Peter Paoletti had opened the scoring for the visitors here and Stuart Hoskins’ side are two points clear of the Stambridge side with both teams having three matches remaining. Oh, and they face each other on the last day of the Olympian season in Epping. Rawreth remain bottom, five points off their nearest rival May & Baker A, who lost 3 – 1 at Harold Wood Athletic Res. Darren Wettner, Warren Taylor and Adam Farley got the goals to give Wood’s second side the win which takes them up to ninth spot, whereas the visitors stay second-bottom.
Elsewhere in the division, Old Southendian Res put a spanner in the works of Wakering Sports‘ promotion aspirations as the OS side won 2 – 1 at Cupid’s. Nico Dubouchet’s ninth league goal this term and one from Jack Cripps were enough to overturn substitute Mohammed Sesay’s strike and go five points clear in seventh, with one match remaining on May 22nd – a trip to Epping Town. Sports stay fifth but their chances of a top-two finish appear slim, despite having three matches remaining – and they welcome Corinthians to Cupid’s next weekend.
Finally, Rochford Town drew 1 – 1 with Ryan, with Freddie Pettitt getting the goal for Town. Ryan have four matches remaining, two of those against the top two sides so realistically, the best they can hope for is a seventh-placed finish which would be creditable for Declan Murphy’s team.
EOFL Division Three
This was quite a day in Division Three. Firstly, Hutton Res gave the title race added impetus as they fought back to win 3 – 2 at leaders ACD Utd. An OG and a Jamie Alexandrou strike put Michael Wade’s team in command but Bill Stratford’s side turned it around through strikes from Jim Gardner, Mike Cason and Jack Shaw and made it seven straight league wins as well. The visitors stay third, but are only two points away from the leaders, who have three matches remaining.
Manford Way Res are also right in the chase for elevation, after a 4 – 0 win over Toby Res at Ford’s Social Club in Newbury Park. David Hornsby took his goal tally past twenty for the league season with a treble here, with Jake Muller also on target. Manford’s second side are a point behind the leaders in second spot, with two matches remaining. It’s worth noting that Points Per Game (PPG) might also be a factor in which sides get promoted in the close season. Hullbridge Sports A picked up a hard-fought 1 – 0 win at Collier Row, which all but ends Row’s chances of a top-two finish. William Bray got the only goal to reduce the deficit between the sides to one point. The youthful Sports side in 7th and Row are in sixth.
Elsewhere, Basildon Town Reserves are three points clear now in fifth after a 3 – 0 success against Leigh Town Res at Basildon Sports Club. Jamie Simpkins’ brace and one from replacement Shaun Watkins were enough to give Richard Bennett’s side the points. Wakebury are also still in contention for that top-two finish as they battled to a 4 – 1 victory at Buckhurst Hill Res. A brace from Charlie Little plus goals from Billy Bonham-Dare and Harry Kateley made sure Matt Cardy’s side picked up the win against a side which certainly earned the visiting manager’s respect. Jason Gomes got the sole goal for the home side. The Berries stay fourth and realistically need at least two of the three sides above them to slip up but they have still had a great campaign to date, regardless of the outcome.
Also, Corinthians Res held Lakeside Utd to a creditable 2 – 2 draw in Stambridge. Utd remain in eighth place after their first draw this term. The hosts remain in tenth after a difficult campaign.
EOFL Division Four Results
Hashtag Utd Dev 0 – 1 Catholic Utd Res | Barleylands Road