Essex Alliance League – Senior Division
Venue: Lakeside Spts Ground [3G]
Attendance: 15 (Est)
2022-23 Season: Match 43
Saturday 25 February 2023 – 2.30pm KO
Spartans: Red & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Red Socks
Baresi:Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts & Socks
Organised Spartans battle to a narrow win over Baresi at Lakeside
Chadwell Heath Spartans 1 – 0 FC Baresi
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
Additional Photos by Neil Hunwicks (for CH Spartans – @ABridgeTooFar16]
The Saturday match this week was a rare sujorn to the Essex Alliance League Senior Division and a keenly-anticipated match between hosts Chadwell Heath Spartans and promotion-chasing FC Baresi, who are among four or five sides who could yet win the region’s newest Step 7 title this term. Both sides were missing players for this game, and Spartans fielded ever-present Lewis Edwards in goal, with a defence comprised of centre-backs Meer Ishanzadeh & player-boss Aaron Hunwicks, plus full-backs Richard Oteniya & captain Brad Downes. The central midfield had Tommy Harrison and Aka Ezeemo, with Harry Goodwin & Raymond Hunwicks on the flanks. The forward line featured top-scorer Peter Adeleye & Mike Ramsay. Baresi had regular Eric Andoh as their goalkeeper here, with a defence of Zuhayr Amjad, Romauld Boco and Jayyab Mahmood. The forward-minded midfield contained Bradley Soares, Munnir Saad and Korede Da Silva, with the forward line being comprised of Tyreece Robertson, Nicola Rapacchiani and Ahmed Abdulla.
The match began with Baresi pushing hard to wrestle the momentum and put the Spartans under continual pressure. Forward Nicola Rapacchiani had an early sight of goal, which was gathered by home custodian Lewis Edwards but you still felt that there was a lot of work required by Spartans to frustrate their opponents here. Spartans really made an early chance count on 11 minutes as from a Meer Ishanzadeh corner, forward Peter Adeleye got a touch and the ball was bundled in off an opposition defender to give Aaron Hunwicks’ side a surprise lead. Baresi were not unduly affected though as they kept pushing forward, with Munnir Saad’s strike being denied by Edwards at the second attempt.
Chadwell Heath were having to focus hard on their defensive attributes here, as an effort from Tyreece Robertson needed the intervention of Spartans stopper Edwards. It was taking a toll on the hosts, who had to make substitutions because of knocks, with Elie Fanga and Manu Kahatadeniya coming on during the last 15 minutes of the half. Adeleye was a decent outlet for the hosts, shoewing decent control in possession, but it was also increasingly clear that Baresi would have more of the ball as the match went on.
Half-Time: CH Spartans 1 – 0 FC Baresi
After the break, Baresi pushed forward seeking the goals they needed to turn the tide of this match. To their credit, the visitors did retain the ball well at times, assisted by the tireless midfielder Korede Da Silva, support forward Ahmed Abdulla plus Saad and Robertson, who moved the ball on well and made some good runs down the channels as well. Edwards in the Spartans goal needed his powers of concentration to deny decent strikes by Da Silva and Abdulla to keep his team ahead. To be fair, Spartans were a threat from set-pieces and sending the ball long in open play did unsettle the visiting defence at times, they didn’t really threaten visiting custodian Eric Andoh, besides a near-post chance for Brad Downes at this stage in proceedings.
As we got into the last fifteen minutes of an increasingly tense contest, Spartans did have a rare glimpse at goal as from Adeleye’s good run, he found substitute Kahatadeniya but his effort was parried wide by Andoh. Baresi poured forward in the last ten minutes or so, and substitute Raymond Poku’s fine strike was superbly parried over the goal frame by Edwards. You had to feel a bit for the hard-working visitors whose only frailty here was not being clinical enough in terms of finishing.
Baresi centre-back Jaayab Mahmood nearly crowned off a good performance defensively with a goal, as his added-time strike was very well struck, forcing Edwards into another acrobatic save to claw it round the far post. Despite all the pressure though, Baresi couldn’t force a leveller and they will be keen to make the most of midweek matches in March to stay in the title picture.
Full-Time: Chadwell Heath Spartans 1 – 0 FC Baresi
So in summary, this was a real battle which saw Spartans have to push themselves hard to defend for large parts of the game, but they did show some promise going forward. Baresi gave it everything and to use the well-used phrase they ‘Did everything but score’ and they will be disappointed with the result which saw rivals Woodford East overtake them into second spot. They are also vulnerable to being caught by Jolof Sports & Sporting Hackney behind them, who both have several games in hand on Baresi.
There were some really good performances here. Starting as ever with the victors, centre-back Meer Ishanzadeh was adept at his task keeping the rapid Baresi forwards at bay, also adding composure & positioning. Credit has to go to Meer for that. Next, a word for goalkeeper Lewis Edwards who made at least three acrobatic saves to keep his team’s shut-out intact, as well as being a good presence at the back. Midfielder Aka Ezeemo also put in a hard-working shift as well against some good play by an attacck-minded Baresi side, while skipper Brad Downes also defended well and got forward occasionally to good effect, as well as making some decent passes.
For Baresi, there were some good performances also. Firstly, I was impressed by midfielder Korede Da Silva, who was tireless throughout and contributed to his team in defence & attack as well as showing decent passing too. Central defender Jayyab Mahmood also put in a commendable effort, making it hard for the hosts to gather momentum and made a number of good interceptions defensively. Lastly, a word for winger Tyreese Robertson who was a good outlet for his team here, showcasing his pace and movement to good effect & Munnir Saad also had a good game, running from deep and had a few decent shots at goal as well which tested the Spartans backline.
I’ll close this report by adding that this was a tough Step 7 battle to watch and that it was good to see both teams in action.
Chadwell Heath Spartans | Player-Manager: Aaron Hunwick | Assistant: Niru Hunwicks
Starting XI: 1 Lewis Edwards (GK), 2 Richard Oteniya, 4 Brad Downes (Capt), 3 Meer Ishanzadeh, 6 Aaron Hunwicks, 5 Tommy Harrison, 8 Aka Ezeemo, 7 Raymond Hunwicks, 9 Peter Adeleye, 10 Mike Ramsay, 11 Harry Goodwin
Goal-scorer: OG [11′]
| Subs ON (Time): 14 Elie Fanga [29′, replaced Ramsay], 15 Manu Kahatadeniya [36′], 12 Paul Chukwuwa [72′, replaced R Hunwicks], 16 Niru Hunwicks [82′, replaced Adeleye]
Booked: Adeleye & Kahatadeniya | Subs Not Used: Berwick
Starting XI: 1 Eric Andoh (GK), 2 Zuhayr Amjad, 19 Romuald Boco, 23 Jayyab Mahmood, 6 Bradley Soares, 14 Munnir Saad, 4 Korede Da Silva, 25 Umaru Kabia, 7 Tyreece Robertson, 5 Ahmed Abdulla, 15 Nicola Rapacchiani
| Subs ON (Time): 26 Nayan Tajbakhsh [44′, replaced Rapacchiani], 17 Raymond Poku [66′, replaced Robertson], 16 Timi Kofo [69′], 10 Ali Shikheey [87′, replaced Poku]
Sub Not Used: Fethallah
Referee: Daniel Norris
Assistants: Stephen Hales & William Fotiou