Essex Olympian League – Senior Division Two
Venue: Stambridge Memorial Ground
2019 – 20 Season: Match 44
Saturday 7th December 2019 – 2.00pm KO
Corinthians: Sky Blue & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Old Southendian Res: Green Shirts, Black Shorts, Green Socks
OS Ressies battle hard to claim big win at Corinthians
Corinthians 1 – 3 Old Southendian Reserves
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s match saw me divert back to the Essex Olympian League ‘arena’ as two of the top six sides in Senior Division Two faced each other in Corinthans and Old Southendian Reserves at the Stambridge Memorial Ground. Both sides were in good form in recent weeks, with only one loss each thus far this term. Chris Stoneham’s hosts named a front three of Jake Hodder, John Bolton-Smith and Nathan Dewberry with Nathan Warren between the sticks and Alfie Knight skippering the side. Bill Wilton and Theo Cannon were among the options on the home bench. They were without Connor Summerhill, Jake Lang and Ollie Brickwood here. The ‘Old Boys’ second-side had regular stopper George Dugdale in goal, a back four of Ryan Kelly, Andrew Cable, Thomas Smith and Thomas Margerison. Greg Molford and Ben Franklin led their attack with Lewis Caplin, David Stubbs and Thomas Adams making up their substitutes’ bench.
As we got started, it was clear that the pitch was in good nick considering the recent rain though was still a little slippery. Chances were not hard to come by in the opening minutes of the match as forward Nathan Dewberry could have added to his glistening goal-tally a minute into the contest though prodded wide of the far post. Seconds later, OS skipper Oliver Tatton-Bennett caught a home defender in possession and his lay-off found forward Greg Molford in a good position though he also shot wide of Nathan Warren’s goal.
At the other end, visiting goalkeeper George Dugdale was called into action just a few minutes in to deny midfielder Luke Owen’s strike though as we got into the second third of the half, the visitors found another gear. Ben Manley’s team found their rhythm going forward even if they didn’t quite have the finishing to match it as winger Jack Dagget twice failed to bypass Warren and early replacement David Stubbs’s near-post effort was blocked at close range.
As the half entered its final five minutes, you sensed this one could not remain a stalemate for long. The hosts kept pushing for that opening goal as Dewberry’s initial effort on goal was blocked, only for a follow-up effort by way of an acrobatic John Bolton-Smith overhead kick to slither wide of the left-side post. Old Southendian Reserves responded at the other end as Stubbs raced clear though when one-on-one with Warren, the ‘keeper pulled off a smart save to deny him. The drama didn’t end there as seconds before the interval, a corner from the far side was powerfully headed in by Ben Franklin to give the visitors a timely lead, despite it being wafer-thin at this point.
Half-Time: Corinthians 0 – 1 Old Southendian Res
We could have had four or five goals by this point on another day and both sides continued to attack after the break. Corinthians were being frustrated by gritty, uncompromising defending by the visitors who certainly put their bodies on the line at times too. Soon after the break, efforts from midfielder Matt Burrell and Dewberry couldn’t evade Dugdale in the OS goal and on the counter, the visitors could have extended their lead as supporting forward Andrew Turner made another telling run down the middle though Franklin was unable to follow-up as he lamped his strike over the goal frame. Nine minutes into the half, the pace of the game was steadily rising as on the counter-attack themselves, home forward Jake Hodder was picked out well by Dewberry, only for Hodder to fire wide from about twenty yards out.
As we passed the hour mark, it was still anyone’s game though that altered a tad on 64 minutes, with Old Southendian opening up the hosts’ defence which allowed Franklin to power in a firm strike past Warren from about 18 yards to double their advantage. This time however, the hosts responded immediately as Dewberry did add to his growing goal-tally this term as his lofted strike went over Dugdale and high into the net, barely a minute later. The hosts pushed for that important leveller though somehow and combination of the woodwork and Dugdale denied both Dewberry and Hodder in quick succession.
Realising the threat, OS carved out a neat move involving Stubbs and Tatton-Bennett led to the onrushing Turner’s good strike being well-saved by Warren. As it turned out, that move was a pre-cursor as with twelve minutes remaining, Warren came out of his goal-line to distract a visiting forward from firing at goal but crucially, OS retained possession and Tatton-Bennett, wide out on the left side of the box fizzed home from an acute angle right into the corner, much to the delight of his team-mates. With moments remaining, Hodder fired over from substitute Theo Cannon’s free-kick though in the end, it was a hard-fought victory for Ben Manley’s ‘Greens’ here at Stambridge, which sends them up to 3rd, above their opponents here though Corinthians do have two matches in hand.
Full-Time: Corinthians 1 – 3 Old Southendian Res
Difficult though it is to sum up this really tough battle, in the end the hosts were not at their fluent best here. Why that was the case will differ on your point of view, though you can’t deny that the ‘Old Boys’ really did put a heck of a shift in to frustrate Corinthians in their quest to build momentum with their rapid, free-flowing attacking game. For Ben Manley’s visitors, skipper Oliver Tattton-Bennett had another good game, with support forward Andrew Turner really being hard for the home defence to track, coming in deep from midfield. Thomas Margerison was a rock at the back & a threat from long throw-ins for the visitors too, with Ben Franklin also giving the hosts a headache in defence as well as his two goals here.
For Corinthians, forwards Jake Hodder, John Bolton-Smith and the ever-wily Nathan Dewberry did give the opposition more than a few nervous moments. As a side, they contributed heavily to what was an enthralling match despite not making the most of their chances, particularly in the first half. You have to credit both sides for their energy levels and desire to triumph as well here.
Finally, my thanks to the hosts for their welcome, and I wish both clubs well for the remainder of what is turning out to be a fascinating Division Two campaign.
Corinthians | Manager: Chris Stoneham
Starting XI: 1 Nathan Warren (GK), 2 Ethan Lemmon, 3 Brad Smith, 4 Sammy Ayres, 5 Luke Owen, 6 Alfie Knight (Capt), 7 Leo Clarke, 8 Matt Burrell, 11 Jake Hodder, 9 John Bolton-Smith, 20 Nathan Dewberry
Goal-scorer: Nathan Dewberry [65’]
Subs On: 14 Bill Wilton, 16 George Fulcher, 17 Theo Cannon & 12 Dan Cooksley
Booked: Bolton-Smith, Dewberry
Old Southendian Res | Manager: Ben Manley
Starting XI: 1 George Dugdale, 2 Ryan Kelly, 3 Andrew Cable, 4 Thomas Smith, 17 Thomas Margerison, 6 Andrew Turner, 7 Daniel Dowd, 8 Oliver Tatton-Bennett (Capt), 9 Greg Molford, 10 Ben Franklin, 11 Jack Dagget
Goal-scorers: Ben Franklin [ 45’+2 & 64’], Oliver Tatton-Bennett [78’]
Subs On: David Stubbs, Lewis Caplin, Thomas Adams | Booked: Stubbs
Referee: Samuel Laidler