S21-22 Match Report: Rainham WMC 2 – 2 Unitey* (Sat 21 May) [EAL D2 Cup Final 21.5.22)

Essex Alliance League – Division Two Cup Final

Venue: Victoria Road

Attendance: 280 (Est)

2021-22 Season: Match 86

Saturday 21 May 2022 – 2pm KO

RWMC: Claret Shirts, Claret Shorts & Socks

Unitey: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks

Victoria Road pitch pre-match

Unitey earn the Division Two Cup on spot-kicks at Victoria Road

Rainham Working Men’s Club 2 – 2 Unitey (Unitey won 3 – 2 on penalty kicks)

(Short) Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The ‘Cup Finals’ fortnight continued this weekend and I made a welcome return to Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Road to see an interesting Essex Alliance League Division Two Cup Final. Rainham finished 2nd in the league while Unitey were not far behind them in 3rd. I was seeing both teams for the first time here but going by the league form, it was a battle between Rainham WMC’s defence and Unitey’s forward line.

The match got underway with a flourish for Paul Tormey’s Rainham team having most of the ball time, but they also couldn’t create lots of chances to test Atu Ngoy in the Unitey goal. Charlie Perry had their best opening but his effort went wide of the left-side post. Unitey sensed they had to respond and with their first big chance, they scored. Substitute Romario Christian threaded through a superb pass through the middle, finding the run of forward Ahmed Dousa who evaded his marker, before firing home past WMC custodian Owen Ryley.

Unitey launch a free-kick up field early on

It got even better for Vincent Ndodi’s team four minutes later as Dousa was again causing problems for the Rainham backline, turning well from the far side of the penalty area, got past his marker and got his strike on target – unfortunately Ryley couldn’t keep hold of the ball and it trickled into the corner of the net, which was a real blow for Rainham after their impressive start.

As we approached the interval, Connor Kain’s setpiece was cleared off the goal-line before Rainham midfielder Cameron Shakes had a decent effort denied by Ngoy at his near post but at this point Rainham really needed to find another gear or two & get the next goal. The team-talk would have been interesting to hear, that’s for sure.

Rainham’s Ndukwe (18) makes a run down left flank

Half-Time: Rainham 0 – 2 Unitey

After the break, Rainham did find their rhythm as Unitey were pushed back. The ‘home’ side did get the next crucial goal, from a set-piece. Nathan Wilson’s firm header found the net well, past Ngoy to finally give Rainham a chance of a comeback. Unitey were stuttering in possession and they were finding it harder to clear their lines, as a defensive error gave Shakes the chance to turn and get past two defenders and strike home confidently.

Unitey burst forward through the midfield

Unitey had to re-focus in what was becoming an increasingly tetchy match, with several free-kicks being conceded. Both sides had the chances to get that priceless winning goal, with Rainham having two good chances in the last ten minutes. Firstly, Wilson had a header go wide at the far post from yards out. Soon after, Cameron Shakes then knocked the ball on to replacement Scott Gormer skewed his shot wide, much to Ngoy’s relief.


Unitey were decent in their passing in midfield in the latter stages but they couldn’t quite breach the high off-side line of the Rainham backline often enough, leaving Dousa and winger Mohammed Abaker frustrated as they were looking a threat for the tiring Rainham defenders. After seven minutes of added time, referee Alan Steward blew up for the end of 90 minutes, and penalties would be required to settle this absorbing match, played in front of over 275 spectators which is another boost to the Essex Alliance League.


Full-Time (After 90 mins): Rainham WMC 2 – 2 Unitey

So, the nerve-racking shoot-out was called upon to decide the destination of the EAL Division Two Cup. After several missed spot-kicks both by sides, It had to be Unitey’s goal-scoring hero Ahmed Dousa who converting the winning penalty to ensure his team took the Cup, 3 – 2 on penalties.

To sum up this fiesty and sometimes fiery match, Unitey really battled back well after Rainham had put in a fine first 15 minutes, even if they could not make the most of their build-up play. Unitey went two goals up to really punish their lack of finishing and it could’ve been more. Credit has to go to Rainham though for the manner of their comeback and it was Unitey’s turn to battle hard. Both teams tgen had chances to win in a tense finale but ultimately, the lottery of spot-kicks decided the contest.

There were some good performances from both sides here. For victors Unitey, forward Ahmed Dousa led the line well and aside from his two goals, his movement and dribbling were a threat for a hard-working Rainham defence. Centre-back  Nathan Lupumba also had a really strong match in my view, really limiting the opposition forwards and made timely jnterceptions to keep his team in it early on. Winger Mohammed Abaker also had a good game, showing high work rate and good intent with his crosses from the left side. And finally, a word for substitute Romario Christian who produced a superb through ball for Dousa’s first goal and all in all, put in a good shift for his team too.

For Rainham Working Men’s Club, playmaker Connor Kain put in a hard-working performance to try & lift his side back into the contest after going behind and still put in some telling passes. Centre-back Tyrell Phillips had a really good game as well, marshalling his defence well and clearing the ball from danger with good effect. Forwards Cameron Shakes and Charlie Perry also put in good performances as well, testing the Unitey backline at times, with Shakes taking his goal well to crucially level the tie midway into the second half.

Congratulations to Unitey who played some neat football at times, and commiserations to Rainham who fought back well to give themselves a chance after their mixed first half display.


Teams

Rainham Working Men’s Club |  Manager:  Paul Tormey  | 

Starting XI: 1 Owen Ryley (GK), 2 Josh Perry, 12 Matty Humphreys, 6 Tyrell Phillips (Capt), 5 Nicky Tormey, 18 Gozie Ndukwe, 10 Nathan Wilson, 7 Cameron Shakes, 8 Connor Kain, 9 Charlie Perry, 11 Sean Tormey

Goal-scorers: Nathan Wilson [56′], Cameron Shakes [68′]

Subs ON [Time]: 28 Dillon Anderson [68′], 14 Scott Gormer [84′], 3 Joe McGivney [90’+5]

Subs Not Used: Brady, Obeney


Unitey  |  Manager: Vincent Ndodi | 

Starting XI: 1 Atu Ngoy (GK & Capt), 2 Matthew Surry, 16 Peter Spencer, 4 Nathan Lupumba, 5 Renal Stewart, 6 Matthew Pitchford, 7 Devantae Young, 8 Ishwar Ravi, 9 Bubintende Masadi, 10 Ahmed Dousa, 11 Mohammed Abaker

Goal-scorers: Ahmed Dousa [24′ & 28′]

 | Subs ON: 13 Romario Christian [13′], 14 Remy Beckford [69′], 17 David Blessing [74′], 3 Ameer Bursal [89′], 15 Eddy Litambolo [90’+1]

Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Alan Steward
Assistants: Robert Watson & Jeff Mattheou

Fourth Official: Dave Rivett

S21-22 Match Report: Fairlop Rovers 3 – 1 Old Esthameians (Mon 16 May) [EAL 17.5.22]

Essex Alliance League – Fenton Trophy Final

Venue: Brisbane Road

Attendance: 400+

2021-22 Season: Match 84

Monday 16 May 2022 – 7.30pm KO

Fairlop: Green & Black Shirts,  Black Shorts & Socks

Old E’s: White Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Red Socks

A glimpse of the Brisbane Road ground at pitch level pre-match

Good Finishing gives Rovers the EAL Fenton Trophy at Orient

Fairlop Rovers 3 – 1 Old Esthamieans

(Short) Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The ‘Cup Finals’ fortnight began with a welcome first visit to Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road for my first of the series of Essex Alliance League Cup Finals, in this first-ever Fenton Trophy Final between Division Two champions Fairlop Rovers & mid-table D2 side Old Esthameians. Fairlop had James Crowe in goal here, with skipper Ellis Simmonds in central defence, allied with the forward line of Jake Kibblewhite, Dylan Scutt & Harry Oliver. Old Esthameians named Johnny Clayton between the posts, Les Moyo & Bradley Harris in central midfield & the trio of David Watson, Nelson Goncalves & Neil Robinson.

The match really found its rhythm early on as Fairlop broke the deadlock after just three minutes. Fairlop took advantage of some hesitant defending by Old E’s, which allowed forward Harry Oliver to head home into the corner from about six yards out with opposition stopper Johnny Clayton stranded. You may have thought that Old Esthamieans may take some time to recover their rhythm, but much to their credit, they responded in a fine and rapid manner. Their forward line of quick & tricky forward Nelson Goncalves and central forwards Dave Watson & Neil Robinson did pose problems for the Fairlop defence, marshalled well by Rovers skipper Ellis Simmonds. In fairness, both teams were showing good build-up play to support their respective forward lines.


Watson himself had a header off target for Old E’s just short of the quarter-hour but they retained the impetus and had a good chance on 18 minutes as good link-up play from Goncalves and Robinson ended with the latter’s effort lacked the power to get past Fairlop custodian James Crowe. That was a warning as to things to follow as more decent build-up ended with a leveller for Old E’s on twenty-four minutes as Les Moyo showed good athleticism to strike past Crowe from about seven yards out.

With the half-hour approaching, Crowe was called into action again as Robinson’s low drive was again denied as the Old E’s were edging their way ahead at this point, in terms of ball time. As you’d expect, the League champions responded in a big way on the half-hour, with Oliver again finding space in behind the opposition backline but his strike was well-stopped by Clayton.

Half-Time: Fairlop Rovers 1 – 1 Old Esthameians


The match was an entertaining one in the first half but again you felt Fairlop needed to make the most of their chances. In the early stages of the second period, they certainly showed that. Eight minutes after the break, referee Nathan Buckle took a moment before pointing to the penalty spot after a foul in the Old E’s penalty area. Oliver duly stepped up to emphatically strike home the resulting spot-kick and celebrated in front of both teams’ fans, which were part of impressive attendance of over 400 here tonight.

Crucially though, Fairlop maintained the pressure after that second goal and Clayton made an unorthodox save with his legs moments later to deny Rovers midfielder George Birch’s powerful effort. The third goal did materalise though for Fairlop on the hour as forward Jake Kibblewhite smashed in a superb, skilful strike into the left-side corner to really put the pressure on the Old E’s to recover.

Dylan Bruns (28) on the ball for Fairlop in first-half

Again, credit goes to Old Esthameians for keeping on going and robust defending from Fairlop stifled their attempts to grab a goal back and that would have made for a heck of a nervy end to the match. As it happened, Robinson was sent off late on adjudged simulation but it was too late for Fairlop to make the most of their numerical advantage. The clock did wind down and after six minutes of stoppage time, Fairlop could at last celebrate what has been a truly memorable campaign for them as they celebrated a Trophy triumph to go with their league honours. Congratulations to them on their fantastic season but also a big well done for Old Esthameians who also showed why they are a decent side as well in a match which was a good advert for the EAL and for Division Two specifically.


Full-Time:  Fairlop Rovers 3 – 1 Old Esthameians

To summarise this good all-round Final, Fairlop taking the early lead did really spur Old E”s to a fine comeback which saw them level and they threatened to wrestle the impetus back as well, buoyed by a decent supporting contingent. However, Rovers hit hard in the early part of the second half and crucially got a two-goal lead, which their opponents could not ultimately battle back from.

There were some good performances from both sides here. For victors Fairlop, Harry Oliver had a fine game, scoring two goals and also providing a constant threat in attack against a decent Old E’s backline. Centre-back & captain Ellis Simmonds also made a number of important interceptions to rebuff some decent build-up play by their opponents, who certainly threatened to take the game away from the League Division Two champions before the break. Finally, forward Jake Kibblewhite deserves a mention for his terrific goal on the hour, while he also put in a good shift for Andrew Moffat’s team.

For Old Esthameians, forward Nelson Goncalves had a really strong game, showing good skill and passing to aid his side’s first-half comeback and kept the Fairlop defenders occupied. Midfielder Les Moyo also took his goal well & made some good tackles to stifle the Fairlop forward line. Finally, goalkeeper Johnny Clayton also pulled off some decent saves after conceding early on.

Thanks to the Essex Alliance League for having us & also congratulations again to both Finalists.


Teams

Fairlop Rovers     |  Manager: Andrew Moffat  |

Starting XI: 1 James Crowe (GK), 12 Harrison McDonagh, 88 Ellis Simmonds (Capt), 6 Lewis Crowe, 28 Dylan Bruns, 32 Ben Harris, 8 George Birch, 21 Aodan Downer, 9 Jack Kibblewhite, 27 Harry Oliver, 37 Dylan Scutt

Goal-scorers: Harry Oliver [3′] & [pen 53′], Jake Kibblewhite [60′]

 | Substitutes: Kian Burton, Michael Colgan, Toby Stephens, Logan Simmonds, Sam Beaman


Old Esthameians  |  Player-Manager: Danny Harris |

Starting XI: 1 Johnny Clayton (GK & Capt), 16 Henry Gray, 3 George Coffey, 6 Bartosz Bak, 14 Tavershima Yongo, 11 Shaun Vickers, 8 Les Moyo, 10 Bradley Harris, 5 David Watson, 7 Nelson Goncalves, 9 Neil Robinson

Goal-scorer: Les Moyo [24′] | Sent Off: Robinson

 | Substitutes: Danny Harris, Jack Smerdon, Harland Taylor, 13 Dave Seed, 17 Josh Mitsu


Referee: Nathan Buckle
Assistants: Robert Watson & Tyriq Spencer

Fourth Official: Imran Patel