Essex Olympian League – Premier Division
Venue: Thames Road (Concord Rangers FC)
Attendance: 25 (Est)
2022-23 Season: Match 41
Saturday 18th February 2022 – 2pm KO
Rayleigh: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts & Socks
Canning: White & Blue Shirts, White Shorts & Socks
Strong performance gives Rayleigh the win over Canning Town
Rayleigh Town 5 – 1 Canning Town
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s match was still in the Intermediate divisions, but featured two sides that are not only hungry for goals but also looking to finish the season strongly. Rayleigh Town welcomed Canning Town to Thames Road in the Essex Olympian League Premier Division. Rayleigh are keen to plant themselves in that second spot at least by the time May arrives, while Canning are looking to stay in a congested mid-table battle for a top-six finish. Del Lamont stood in for boss Paul Higgins here, and named stalwart Mark Brown in goal, with a three-man central defence of Jack Long, Sonny Coutts & Jack Chatterway, with wing-backs William Vile & Charlie Seaden pushing forward. Alfie Larkin, skipper George Vile & George Aston comprised the hosts’ central midfield, with Philip Anunwa and Harry Talbot leading the forward line. Canning Town fielded Josh Taylor in goal, with a defence of full-backs Stephen Ikumelo & Aidan Bailey with centre-backs Tom Vaughan & skipper Matt Betts. Their central midfield had Pourya Fazlollahi and Bron Pattanawanitkitkul, joined by Jack Williamson & Lewis Belcher on the flanks. Loanee Jake Frost joined Billy Gipp in attack for Lee Wilson’s team.
In some games (particularly in this winter period), it takes some time for the momentum to build. That certainly wasn’t the case here as the hosts broke the deadlock after only four minutes. A in-swinging set-piece by skipper George Vile found the rising Jack Long who cushioned his header well and found the net, past visiting stopper Josh Taylor. However, Canning are not an easy side to keep quiet and they responded merely five minutes later. A foolhardy challenge in the area saw referee Phil Miles point to the penalty spot. Full-back Stephen Ikumelo stepped up and duly blasted the ball into the net to level things up. That goal came moments after Canning gave the hosts a warning as forward Jake Frost did well down the left flank, before finding strike partner Billy Gipp, who fired just wide of home custodian Mark Brown’s far post.
Referee Miles was involved again on 18 minutes, as good play by Philip Anunwa found the run of midfielder George Aston before he was felled by the goalkeeper’s challenge, and again Miles pointed to the 12-yard spot. Goalkeeper Josh Taylor redeemed himself though immediately as he superbly parried George Vile’s penalty onto the crossbar. In all fairness, as the half went on Rayleigh were definitely finding their rhythm. Forward Anunwa was holding the ball up well and winning a fair number of aerial battles too as the visiting defence were being unsettled by the rapid Rayleigh forward moves.
On 26 minutes, Anunwa was involved again as his well-directed lob was parried away by Taylor, but into the path of wing-back Charlie Seaden who was unable to convert the rebound, allowing a relieved Taylor to gather. The visitors’ relief didn’t last long though as the team in Navy Blue extended their lead barely three minutes later. A fine low free-kick by George Vile evaded the grasp of Taylor and cannoned in off the left-sided post to make it three-one to the promotion-chasing hosts.
Rayleigh were sensing a chance to further extend their lead and they duly did so before the break. Ten minutes before the break, they made it four as a superb cross by Seaden found forward Harry Talbot who directed a powerful header which gave Taylor no chance and then a slightly wind-assisted corner by George Vile crept in at the near post, despite Taylor & a defender’s best attempts at clearing it – which made it four-one.
Half-Time: Rayleigh Town 4 – 1 Canning Town
After the break, Canning were still keen to keep the ball on the deck. Frost & Gipp both made decent runs, but they still couldn’t unduly test Rayleigh goalie Mark Brown. The hosts made it five on 61 minutes through another spot-kick, George Vile this time did convert from 12 yards to complete another fine treble and add to another influential performance.
To their credit, Canning were still keen to get themselves in back into the contest midway through the half,regardless of the scoreline, but as they pushed high in an attack-minded formation, they left gaps in defence, allowing Talbot to break past the last defender & custodian Taylor but in doing so he went down the right channel, which allowed Taylor to rush back and get in position to deny Talbot’s eventual goal-bound effort.
As the contest pushed towards its conclusion, both sides looked to attack, further endorsing the good spirit in which this match was played. The hosts had chances through Anunwa whose effort was well-blocked by Taylor, before central midfidler George Aston fired not far wide of the goal frame. Canning nearly got another goal in added time, with centre forward Jake Frost connecting well with his strike which fizzed just past Brown’s far post.
Full-Time: Rayleigh Town 5 – 1 Canning Town
In summary, Rayleigh Town had more than enough chances to deserve the victory today, however some kudos has to be given to Canning Town’s keen approach play & they carried some threat at times going forward themselves. Unfortunately for Lee Wilson’s team, by the time they found their rhythm they were well behind on the score-sheet.
There were several fine performances from the Rayleigh side today. Starting with one of the key players in this team, central midfielder George Vile who not only notched a treble, but also grabbed an assist and sprayed some good passes forward as well, well done to him. Sonny Coutts also had an important role at centre-back here, winning most of the aerial duels as well as making some good interceptions. Wing-back Charlie Seaden put in several dangerous crosses from the right flank, one of which superbly found Talbot for his goal. Seaden also showed decent movement as well. Lastly, a mention for advanced midfielder George Aston whose influence grew as the game went on, made good passes and retained the ball well under pressure as well.
For Canning Town, central midfielder Bron Pattanawanitkitkul showed a lot of good dribbling skills, made good passes and showed a high work rate as well to provide some impetus for his team’s forward moves which were promising at times. Forward Billy Gipp also contributed to his team’s pace in attack, also having a few strikes on goal which were not far off-target. Full-back Stephen Ikumelo was influential at the back, making several good tackles & showing decent positioning, as well as encouraging his team-mates as the game went on. Lastly, a mention for tireless winger Jack Williamson, who kept pushing down the right flank well and recycled possession well at times, as well as putting in some good crosses and showing good energy levels.
Rayleigh Town | Stand-in Manager: Del Lamont |
Starting XI: 1 Mark Brown (GK), 2 Charlie Seaden, 17 Jack Long, 6 Sonny Coutts, 3 Jack Chattaway, 11 William Vile, 8 George Vile (Capt), 4 Alfie Larkin, 10 George Aston, 7 Harry Talbot, 9 Philip Anunwa
Goal-scorers: Jack Long [4′], George Vile [29′, 39′ & pen 61′ ], Harry Talbot [35′]
Subs On (Time): 14 Sonny Woodward [51′], 15 Lewis Robson [51′]
Booked: Larkin | Subs Not Used: Baldry, Baxter
Canning Town | Manager: Lee Wilson | Assistants: Jay Dyer & Paul Newson
Starting XI: 1 Josh Taylor (GK), 3 Stephen Ikumelo, 5 Tom Vaughan, 4 Matt Betts (Capt), 2 Aiden Bailey, 8 Pourya Fazlollahi, 6 Bron Pattanawanitkitkul, 7 Jack Williamson, 9 Jake Frost, 10 Billy Gipp, 11 Lewis Belcher
Goal-scorer: Stephen Ikumelo [pen 9′]
Subs On (Time): 12 Nicolas Basoa [46′, replaced Vaughan], 15 Napat Pattanawanitkitkul [57′, replaced Fazlollahi], 14 George Turner [59′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Dyer, Wilson
Referee: Phil Miles
Assistants: Guy Pell-Ilderton & Kieran Evans