Essex Senior League
Venue: Chalk Lane
2019 – 20 Season: Match 32
Tuesday 29th October 2019 – 7.45pm KO
Cockfosters: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
West Essex: Yellow & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
Cockfosters battle hard to resist off-key West at Chalk Lane
Cockfosters 1 – 0 West Essex
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Midweek matches returned as I made a first visit to Chalk Lane to see this Essex Senior battle between Cockfosters and West Essex. The ground is a short walk away from the Cockfosters London Underground station and with player-boss Ryan Wade and assistant Nick Mountford both playing here, managerial duties were allocated to experienced coach Tony Faulkner. The ‘Fosters edged a ferocious match at home to Sporting Bengal the previous weekend and named Brad Robinson between the sticks, a back four of former Ilford captain Danny Haigh, on-loan Marcus Crowther plus centre-backs Dan Odamo and Mountford. Wingers Reece Mosanya and Alex Michaelides supported forwards Billy Healey and recent signing Ned Clarke. Ceykan Karagozlu, Sam Ruff and Harley Haag were among the options on the hosts’ bench. West were missing near ever-present Sanchez Hardy and midfielder Emanuel Wazola though could still field ‘keeper Jack Coker, with Greg Frederick, Callum Bloss and Cameron Gray in midfield with Symeon Taylor being chief support to forward Michael Mignot. The likes of Hakim Medfai, Brad Russell and Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe were on the bench for Kwame Kwateng’s side.
You suspected that this would be quite an attack-minded game given that both sides score goals and that was the case here. Barely a minute in, Cockfosters forward Billy Healey struck wide when given a sighter at goal. The Stags retaliated straight away as Mignot struck wide before having another effort on-target though it was cleared off the goal-line as the home defence set out to improve on their record of conceding recently. The hosts came back into the contest with winger Alex Michaelides headed over on 19 minutes after a fine ball in from the right side. Four minutes later, a well-struck drive by right-side winger Reece Mosanya needed the strong hand of visiting stopper Jack Coker to push it over the woodwork.
West were still dangerous at the other end although they couldn’t find that concise final ball to really outdo the home defence. Mignot’s pace again was a threat and just past the half hour, he raced past the ‘Fosters defence though his low strike was well kept out by Cockfosters custodian Brad Robinson.
Half-Time: Cockfosters 0 – 0 West Essex
Honours-even at the break then, though the visitors would have felt they shelled enough chances to have a decent lead at the interval. Early in the second half, Robinson extended his calm presence as he did well to gather midfielder Callum Bloss’ telling ball into the six-yard area before denying Mignot again after the forward had zipped past him on the counter. The hosts were building some momentum of their own though as they were certainly a threat going forward, with winger Reece Mosanya in particular posing problems with his pace, trickery and crossing. With 56 minutes on the watch, home forward Ned Clarke struck wide it was a let-off for the visitors.
Such let-offs would soon expire though as midway through the second-half the hosts took the lead as another telling ball in from the left by the impressive Alex Michaelides found Clarke who manufactured half a yard of space before firing home calmly past Coker to break the deadlock here. It could have been worse for the Stags as minutes after entering the fray, substitute Ceykan Karagozlu ghosted past the West defence, cut inside and sent a rasping strike just wide of the far post. It wasn’t to be West’s night as with eight minutes remaining, Taylor showed good touch before playing in replacement Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe who in turn ran down the left channel before his super centre found Bloss at the back stick though his header was straight into the grateful gather of Robinson.
The visitors’ frustration was visibly confirmed in added-time as after tracking back into his own half, Mignot saw red for a reckless challenge on ‘Fosters player-boss Ryan Wade, for which he soon apologised post-match on social media. It shouldn’t detract from a decent match though and Tony Faulker’s side will be happy to grab another victory.
Full-Time: Cockfosters 1 – 0 West Essex
In summary, Cockfosters deserve credit for being robust defensively despite being under heavy pressure for several phases of this encounter and being more than useful in attack. Goalkeeper Brad Robinson had a calm, assured presence here and stood out alongside rapid winger Reece Mosanya, full-back Danny Haigh, forward Ned Clarke and fellow winger Alex Michaelides who all gave the opposition a headache here.
Although West had a good first half here, they still didn’t quite seem entirely themselves and lacked some of the energy they are known for going forward. Striker Symeon Taylor did well as did young full-back Sam McNally and centre-back Josh French. Mignot once again was a searing threat for his side even though his evening did not end well.
Finally, I’d like to note the hospitality shown by Cockfosters tonight. I am pleased to have finally visited the ground and their friendly staff are a credit to their club, and to the League. They are certainly worth a visit. I sincerely wish them well for the rest of the debut campaign in the Essex Senior.
Cockfosters | Manager: Tony Faulkner (with Wade & Mountford on-pitch)
1. Brad Robinson (GK), 2. Danny Haigh (Capt), 3. Marcus Crowther, 4. Ryan Wade, 5. Dan Odamo, 6. Nick Mountford, 7. Reece Mosanya, 8. Reuben Campbell, 9. Billy Healey (15. Sam Ruff 77’), 10. Ned Clarke (12. Ceykan Karagozlu 72’), 11. Alex Michaelides
Goal-scorers: Ned Clarke [65’]
Booked: Haigh | Subs Not Used: Charles, Haag, Prempeh
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng
1. Jack Coker (GK), 5. Nick Walk, 2 Sam McNally, 4. Tom Macleod (Capt), 14. Josh French, 16. Greg Frederick, 8. Callum Bloss (9. Hakim Medfai 86’), 11. Cameron Gray (18 Brad Russell 71’), 10. Joe Lefley (20. Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe 79’ ), 7. Michael Mignot, 12. Symeon Taylor
Booked: Walk | Sent Off: Mignot | Subs Not Used: Woodbridge, D Russell (GK)
Referee: Endrit Malaveci