S22-23 Match Report: Benfleet 3 – 1 Newbury Forest (Sun 25 Sept) [FAV 2RQ 25.9.22]

The FA Vase

The Isuzu FA Vase – Second Round Qualifying

Venue: Park Lane

Attendance: TBC

2022-23 Season: Match 17

Sunday 25th September 2022 – 3pm KO

Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts & Navy Blue Socks

Newbury: Navy Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Benfleet sprint down the left channel in first half

Good all-round Benfleet display sees them through to First Round

Benfleet  3 – 1  Newbury Forest

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

The FA Vase Second Round Qualifying weekend was extended with a ‘bonus’ match at Park Lane as Benfleet hosted Newbury Forest in this battle of the Eastern Senior League South sides. Benfleet had regular stopper Florent Gislette between the posts, a defence comprised of centre-backs Jack Frost and skipper Cory Rider, with full-backs Martyn Lacey and Billy Carter. Taylor Lawrence and Henry Sims were in central midfield, while the forward line had Deolindo Lima and Ben Foord up too, with Mason Shave and Billy Purdy the chief support to them. Newbury Forest won on spot-kicks at Step 5 side Whitton Utd in the previous round but their league form hasn’t quite got going as yet. Long-time boss Leo Connolly had Harrison Cole as their goalkeeper, with a defence of full-backs Tony Shaw and Matt Connolly , with Ansa Edem & captain Jack Hurley in central defence. Mustafa Kahie and Mohamed Hussein were the centre midfield pair, with Anis Assoweh the creative midfielder supporting forwards Chaka Barnett, Freddie Bose and Ali Abdulkadir.

This match got going at lightning speed as Alex Salmon’s side made the most of a strong start. Barely two minutes into the game, the ball was played into the path of forward Deolindo Lima and he made no mistake tucking away a low finish past the helpless Newbury stopper Harrison Cole to opn the scoring. Newbury’s stuttering start was further exacerbated just four minutes later as tireless forward Ben Foord was brought down in the area, and referee Ka Ho Wong immediately pointed to the penalty spot. Taylor Lawrence stepped up to take the spot-kick and smashed it into the right corner, giving the unfortunate Cole another oppurtunity to pick the ball out of his net. Cole did keep his side in it arguably, as he denied Foord moments later when the striker was in one-on-one.

After that difficult start for Leo Connolly’s side, they gradually got their way into the game, lkept the ball better and with the likes of Freddie Bose, Mohamed Hussein and Chaka Barnett in the side, they soon pushed on to threaten the Benfleet goal as they did somewhat retreat, giving Forest more ball time. Newbury did take full advantage of that change in attitude as they halved the deficit on 16 minutes. From a set-piece, the ball was passed into full-back Matt Connolly’s feet and he let fly a stunning 30-yarder which surprised the home backline and the crowd as it flew into the net.

Deolindo Lima (far left) keeps ball in play early on for ‘Fleet

In some ways, Benfleet had to re-assert their game all over again as the visitors unsurprisingly had more motivation now to get back into the tie. Chances were less frequent for either side, but it’s fair to say Benfleet’s best chance came ten minutes before the break as a searching cross from the right by full-back Billy Carter found Foord at the far post and whilst his header had enough power, it didn’t quite have the accuravy as it fizzed wide of Cole’s near-side post.


Half-Time: Benfleet 2 – 1 Newbury Forest

The atmosphere was getting a little tense early oin the second half as Newbury continued to have a decent amount of possession. Benfleet did get a third goal at a crucial time, on 51 minutes. A free-kick was awarded in a promising position, but Lawrence still curled in a superb flighted effort which sailed high into the net, giving Cole little chance. That was Lawrence’s secoond goal and added to a good performance as well.

To be fair to Forest though, they didn’t really flinch at the scale of the task ahead of them, and Barnett continued to make several enterprising runs down the left channel, testing the calibre of Benfleet right-back Carter. Although they showed some promise on the ball, centre forward Ali Abdulkadir only had a couple of glimpses at goal which didn’t test Gislette unduly.


That being said, as we got into the latter stages, Forest did have a couple of half-chances, with Chaka Barnett firing over after another good darting run down the left flank, and replacement Josh Smith’s low effort had to be cleared off the goal-line. The ‘Fleet responded as Lima made another good surging run, before finding winger Mason Shave in a good position, and Shave’s strike was well-held by Cole.

There was concern at the end for Newbury as skipper Jack Hurley had to be assisted off the pitch with what looked like a bad knee injury, so I’d like to wish him well in his recovery. After a few moments of added time, the referee blew for full-time and Benfleet will be happy with their day’s work and of course, another £725 in prize money won.

Newbury full-back Tony Shaw [#2] in possession after the interval

Full-Time: Benfleet 3 – 1 Newbury Forest

In summary, Benfleet’s start to the game was crucial and while they backed off a bit after getting their two-goal lead, Newbury could not quite test home stopper Florent Gislette enough to get back into the game. Lawrence’s superb set-piece ultimately made the game safe for Akex Salmon’s side, despite Newbury’s decent approach play which certainly kept the home defence alert.

There were some really good performances in this match. For winners Benfleet, forward Deolindo Lima really put in a hard-working performance and gave the visiting defence a difficult afternoon. Lima also took his goal well early on. Midfielder Taylor Lawrence put in a good all-round shift, making good runs and passes, plus that free-kick was important at the time it came in the game. Ben Foord also did well in attack, running down the channels as well and with two in the forward line, it meant he could drop deep to set off moves, while full-back Martyn Lacey also had a good game down the left side, stretching the visiting defence more and providing good passes too.

For Newbury, winger Chaka Barnett made several good runs down the left side utilising his pace and dribbling abilities, and gave the Benfleet defence some nervous moments, and tested Gislette on a couple of occasions. Forward Ali Abdulkadir was a good presence and had glimpses of goal at times. Mohamed Hussein put in a good display in central midfield, showing good awareness and energy levels while number ten Freddie Bose also covered a lot of ground in defence and attack to assist his team, and also made some neat passes.


Teams

Benfleet  | Manager: Alex Salmon | Assistants: Dave Saxton & Ray Coker

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Martyn Lacey, 5 Jack Frost, 6 Cory Rider (Capt), 4 Taylor Lawrence, 8 Henry Sims, (15 Billy Shulver 69′), 7 Mason Shave, 10 Billy Purdy (16 Aaron Russell 58′), 9 Deolindo Lima, 11 Ben Foord (17 Jake Frost 83′)

Goal-scorers:  Deolindo Lima [2′] , Taylor Lawrence [pen 6′ & 51′]

Booked: Purdy, Lima | Subs Not Used: Scott, Monk


Newbury Forest  |  Manager: Leo Connolly |  Assistant: Bostry Bansende

Starting XI (Subs): 13 Harrison Cole (GK), 2 Tony Shaw, 3 Matt Connolly, 5 Jack Hurley (Capt), 6 Ansa Edem, 4 Mustafa Kahie (12 Josh Smith 46′), 8 Mohamed Hussein, 7 Anis Assoweh, 10 Freddie Bose (18 Joshua Kanu 65′), 9 Ali Abdulkadir, 11 Chaka Barnett

Goal-scorer: Matt Connolly [16′]

Booked: Shaw, Abdulkadir |  Subs Not Used: Gates, Anderson


Referee: Ka Ho Wong
Assistants: Daniel Mann & Joe Lannon

S22-23 Match Report: Barkingside 1 – 1 May & Baker  (Wed 31 Aug) [EaSL South 22/23 1.9.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 100

2022-23 Season: Match 11

Wednesday 31st August 2022 – 7.45pm KO

B’side: Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Black Socks

May & Baker: Red & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks


Late leveller sees Bakers to a point at Barkingside

Barkingside 1  –  1 May & Baker

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

The midweek Non-League matches resumed at the end of August, as Barkingside hosted their second Wednesday home match of the season as they welcomed May & Baker in another Eastern Senior League South tie. The hosts are still under the management of Steve LeSage, and he named Hayden West in goal, with a defence of Jordan Cornelius, Elliot Scott and Josh George. Archie Hammond skippered the side, with the forward line being led by James Ross, supported by Michael James-Akerele & Codey Cosgrave. May & Baker returned to league action after a tough battle with Stotfold in the FA Vase just three days before. Seb Barford was their goalkeeper, with a defence of Cain Brougham, Kunle Adeyemi and centre-backs Toulouwa Dada and captain Jamie Marsh. Remi Awosanya led the forward line, with Jayden Silcott-Brown & Idris Aminu on the flanks.

It was ‘Side who began the match with a flourish and stated their intent in the first minute as skipper Archie Hammond’ strike from a freekick was only narrowly over the crossbar. Visuting custodian Seb Barford was the busier stopper as Bakers just about managed to deal with the impetus and pace from Steven LeSage’s side. There was definitely some pushback from a big penalty decision on 14 minutes as the hosts were awarded a spot-kick. Midfielder Harrison Burke’s penalty was initally saved well by Barford but Burke got onto the rebound to slot home at the second attempt, as the visiting defence were unable to prevent it, much to the ire of Barford.



To be fair to ‘Side, they were having the better of the first half which was tight and more than a little scrappy. Chances were not plentiful either and Bakers were probably grateful to get to the interval with a slim disadvantage, given how little they tested home stopper Hayden West.

Bakers look to set up another forward move

Half-Time: Barkingside 1 – 0 May & Baker

Into the second half now, which did liven up somewhat. Bakers were starting to get themselves going towards the hour mark, with Jamie Marsh firing an effort off-target from the edge of the penalty area. On 62 minutes, Barkingside responded as Demi Elegushi’s strike was denied by a decent save from Barford. As we went into the last 25 minutes, Barkingside were defending deeper and deeper in their own half as Bakers maintained the pressure with some decent passing.

With 77 minutes on the clock, Bakers substitute Trevor Harding fizzed a strike narrowly over the goal frame, and Idris Aminu being denied twice in four minutes by ‘Side stopper Hayden West. Moments after fellow substitute Shaun Omogbai’s low effort dribbled agonizingly wide, Bakers finally did make their pressure tell.


Bakers substitute Daniel Barth took full advantage of his marker being unable to clear by firing home a fine strike from inside the area, giving West little chance to deny him as the ball flew high into the net.

Full-Time: Barkingside  1 – 1   May & Baker

To sum up this match, it had glimmers of good play but it didn’t quite find the spark of consistent creativity that said glimmers had perhaps promised, particularly in the first half when the hosts were at their strongest. Bakers definitely had the better of the last 25 minutes though and although they left it late to earn a point, it isn’t a bad result. I suspect boss Jordan Harris will know though that they will need to play better to rack up the wins required in order to reach their target for this term.

There were some good performances from both sides here. For hosts Barkingside, midfielder Harrison Burke looked lively and made some good runs down the middle, as well as some neat passes and got his goal after seeing his spot-kick saved by Barford. Forward James Ross was a good presence too in their forward line, making a welcome return to Football at start of this term.  Also, a mention for Codey Cosgrave as well who contributed to his team’s all-round performance, particularly in the first half.

For May & Baker, winger Jayden Silcott-Brown had a good game, testing the Barkingside left side with his quick runs and decent passing. Idris Aminu also had a good game, particularly in the second period when Bakers’ were posing problems and had a couple of decent chances to score himself. Finally, determined centre-back Jamie Marsh was typically resolute defensively as their team gave less oppurtunities away for their opponents to hurt them after the interval.

This may have been a bit of a scrappy game but the food went down well with quite a few of the spectators, which helps when it gets a bit chilly as it did here. I’d like to wish both teams well for the season ahead.


Teams

Barkingside  | Manager: Steven LeSage | Assistant: Tommy Shelts

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Hayden West (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius, 3 Josh George, 6 Elliot Scott (12 Josh Peach 68′), 5 Shaquel Foyewa (16 Jon Vanvdyck 63′), 4 Harrison Burke, 7 Codey Cosgrave, 8 Demi Elegushi, 9 James Ross, 10 Archie Hammond (Capt) (15 Joe Oates 74′), 11 Michael James-Akerele (14 Dan Jones 59′)

Goal-scorer: Harrison Burke [14′]

Subs Not Used: Gayer | Booked: James-Akerele, George, Foyewa, Elegushi


May & Baker  | Manager: Jordan Harris | Assistant: Scott Harding

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Seb Barford (GK), 2 Cain Brougham (16 Ryan Leavens 74′), 3 Kunle Adeyemi, 5 Jamie Marsh (Capt), 6 Toulouwa Dada, 4 Kalum Bama (17 Trevor Harding 70′), 7 Jayden Silcott- Brown (15 Shaun Omogbai 67′), 8 Robert Bagnell, 9 Remi Awosanya (18 Daniel Barth 67′), 10 Anthony Cooke, 11 Idris Aminu

Goal-scorer: Daniel Barth [87′]

Sub Not Used: Breen


Referee: Jordan Dixon-Walker

Assistants: Grant Moody & Abu Taher

S22-23 Match Report: Benfleet 1 – 2 St Margaretsbury (Sat 20 Aug) [EaSL South 22/23 20.8.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Park Lane

Attendance: 50 (Est)

2022-23 Season: Match 7

Saturday 20th August 2022 – 3pm KO

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

St Margaretsbury: Red Shirts, Black Shorts, Red & Black Socks

The ball is passed through to Stone [#3] for Benfleet [Image by Scott W]

Resilent St Margaretsbury grab 99th minute winner to deny Benfleet at Park Lane

Benfleet  1 – 2  St Margaretsbury

Match Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Photos by James Waple & Scott W

This weekend saw the first visit to Park Lane this term to see Benfleet take on visitors St Margaretsbury, who were bottom of the early standings and obviously keen to push on. Benfleet were looking to find the form which saw them win at Wivenhoe Town last week, rather than the form that saw them lose 1 – 2 to Burnham Ramblers in midweek. The hosts are now managed by Alex Salmon and he named stalwart Florent Gislette in goal, with a backline of Deolindo Lima, Frankie Stone, Martyn Lacey and skipper Cory Rider. Mason Shave and Lee Scott were the chief support to forward Ben Foord, with Henry Sims and Billy Carter among the midfield. St Margaretsbury had Sidi Haidara between the sticks, with a defence of Harry Gilzean, captain Emmanuel Ndukwu, Ethan Daniels and Alffie Campbell. Their front line was led by Gerson Artur and Kamarni Collington, with support from Miles Holding and Kai Daniel.

Shave [#11] attempts to break past St Mags defence [Image by James Waple]

This match was delayed by 13 minutes because of the match officials being delayed but when we did get underway, both sides had openings to grab that important early goal. For the visitors, both Miles Holding and Kamarni Collington had half-changes but they could not defeat Benfleet custodian Florent Gislette. The hosts had more ball time in the early stages, with their chance eminating from a fine centre by full-back Frankie Stone, which found forward Ben Foord and his flick was well clawed away by St Mags stopper Sidi Haidara.

Stone (far left) crosses in to find the forwards [Image by Scott W]

Benfleet were showing good effort levels but they could not quite craft their favoured passing game, and they had those earlier warnings which was underlined when St Margaretsbury broke the deadlock on 23 minutes. In a congested penalty area, St Mags managed to find Gerson Artur and without hesitation, his well-taken strike beat Gislette on its way to the right corner of the net. Clear-cut chances were not easy to come by but Collington still sent a set-piece narrowly over the woodwork and Mason Shave had a glimpse at goal before his effort was gathered by the visiting goalkeeper Haidara.

Collington [#14] uses his pace to run down the channels for St Mags [Image by James Waple]

St Mags went into the interval with that slender advantage, though they were showing increasing confidence in their defensive abilities, while the ‘Fleet needed to raise their game a notch or two.

Half-Time: Benfleet 0 – 1 St Margaretsbury

Into the second half then and St Mags were continuing to frustrate the home side, though their resolve was commendable given recent results. There was a nervy moment for St Mags, four minutes in as a short pass back to the ‘keeper by defender Alfie Campbell was seized on by Shave, but Haidara denied him again with his feet. Benfleet continued to press for that important leveller, but St Margaretsbury were holding firm.

St Mags close down Lacey [#4] in first half [Image by James Waple]

As we entered the latter stages of this match, the the tension went up a gear as St Mags nearly made the points safe as Campbell’s crisp strike was well parried away by Gislette. Alex Salmon’s side responded immediately at the other end with a fierce strike by Foord being well saved by the impressive Haidara.

We went into added-on time with St Mags still just the one goal ahead but there was two big monents yet to come. First, with six minutes played in added time, Benfleet struck as a set-piece ended up with Deolindo Lima heading on for Foord to get something on the ball to force it over the line, with the diving defender unable to clear the ball off the goalline. Then there was another twist in the tale, as St Mags launched the ball up field on the counter, and Gerson Artur again found himself in on goal and fired home into the left corner to seal the game with pretty much the last kick of the game.

The Goalkeeper’s perspective… for St Mags ‘keeper Haidara in second half [Image by James Waple]

Full-Time: Benfleet 1 – 2 St Margaretsbury

To sum up at times a gritty and scrappy battle, there were a number of occasions where Benfleet threatened to get back in the game though credit has to go to a well-organised St Margaretsbury side, who made it hard to get through their backline. Their young side has seen a lot of change since last term, but joint-managers Paul Holding & Marce Collington will be happy with the resolve shown by their team here. As for the hosts, they couldn’t create enough on a consistent basis and when Foord scored in added-time, they may well have thought they had grabbed a point but the ‘footballing gods’ were not smiling on them today.

There were some good performances from both sides here. For victors St Mags, I felt forward Kamarni Collington really gave his team a good outlet going forward, stretching the home defence with his pace and dribbling. Full-back Harry Gilzean also impressed, showing good defensive awareness in making timely interceptions and playing a few good passes from the back. Forward Gerson Massala Artur took both his goals well wiith well-taken finishes, and a word for goalkeeper Sidi Haidara who made three good saves to keep his team in the game today.

For Benfleet, Frankie Stone had a good game at left-back, putting in several important crosses to keep the visiting defence alert. Forward Ben Foord showed his usual tireless running and took his goal well in a crowded penalty area. Mason Shave also made some decent runs but ultimately couldn’t get into faultless striking positions, while centre-back Martyn Lacey also showed good composure and positioning to deny the visitors more runs on goal.

Congrats to St Mags on their win & I’d like to wish both teams well for the season ahead.


Teams

Benfleet    |  Manager: Alex Salmon | Assistants: Dave Saxton, Michael Cundy & Ray Coker

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Deolindo Lima, 3 Frankie Stone, 4 Martyn Lacey (16 Billy Shulver 70′) 5 Cory Rider (Capt), 6 Taylor Lawrence, 7 Billy Carter (12 Flynn Monk 62′, replaced by 14 Jack Frost 90′), 8 Henry Sims, 9 Ben Foord, 10 Lee Scott (15 Billy Firman 62), 11 Mason Shave (17 Jake Frost 70′)

Goal-scorers: Ben Foord [90’+6]

Subs Not Used: None | Booked: None


St Margaretsbury  | Joint-Managers: Paul Holding & Marce Collington | Assistant: Dom Woods

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Sidi Haidara (GK), 2 Harry Gilzean, 3 Emmanuel Ndukwu (Capt) (15 Dylan Goldsmith 84′), 5 Ethan Daniels, 4 Alfie Campbell, 6Jason Brown (17 James Lawrance 90′), 7 Kai Daniel (12 Jack Standing 78′), 8 Isaac Evans, 9 Gerson Massala Artur, 14 Kamarni Collington, 11 Miles Holding

Goal-scorers: Gerson Massala Artur [23′ & 90’+9]

Subs Not Used: None | Booked: Campbell & Haidara


Referee: Kevin Harrington
Assistants: Martin Burroughs & Brian Chapman

S22-23 Round-ups: Eastern Senior League South (Sat 13 Aug) [EaSL Sth 22/23 14.8.22]

Archive Image – Frenford 3 – 3 May & Baker in early August [Image by Scott W]

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer

Hello & welcome to the first of an occasional blog series this term looking at the action in the Eastern Senior League South, starting with this weekend (Sat 13th August). This weekend’s action saw some good away wins and also one club marked the loss of a great man.


Eastern Senior League South – Saturday 13 August

We begin with a fine victory for Benfleet as they kept up their good form with a 4 – 1 victory at Wivenhoe Town. Ben Foord and Mason Shave put Alex Salmon’s side ahead before the interval, and Jake Frost added a third just past the hour before an OG added further gloss to the scoreline. John Thain got one back for the Dragons though they fell to defeat here. Frenford also got a win on the road, as they defeated Newbury Forest 3 – 2 at Oakside. Raheem Gray, Charlie Munns and Simon Peddie all scored for Dave Forbes’ side, who are only outside the play-off spots on goal difference.

There was a sombre atmosphere at Leslie Field on Saturday as Burnham Ramblers marked the loss of Chairman and long-standing club official Martin Leno with a two minutes’ silence pre-match. Enfield Borough were the visitors and a superb treble for substitute Andreas Aranganathan secured all three points for Boro in a 3 – 2 victory and resisted a spirited comeback from the hosts.

Elsewhere, May & Baker got another three points as a Daniel Whitehead goal just after the half-hour was enough to give Jordan Harris’ team a 1 – 0 win over St Margaretsbury at Parkside 3G. Bakers went level on points with early leaders Stanway Pegasus after this win. Tower Hamlets also got a narrow win in their first game back at Mile End Stadium, as Tobi Irefin’s strike was enough to beat Coggeshall Utd 1 – 0. Justin Gardner’s new team are up to 12th spot.

In other action, NW London were held 1 – 1 by visitors Hackney Wick at Brickfield Lane. Also, Wormley Rovers got a decent 2 – 0 triumph over Sporting Bengal Utd.

End

S22-23 Match Report: Frenford 3 – 3 May & Baker (Tues 2 Aug) [EaSL Sth 22/23 3.8.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Jack Carter Centre [3G]

Attendance: 119

2022-23 Season: Match 4

Tuesday 2nd August 2022 – 7.45pm KO

Frenford:  Red & White Shirts, Red Shorts &  Red Socks

May & Baker: Black & White Shirts, Black Shorts, White Socks


Superb battle for the neutral ends with Frenford & Bakers sharing the points

Frenford 3 – 3 May & Baker

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

The new season began its midweek foray with a welcome visit to the Jack Carter Centre to see two sides that are highly-regarded in Frenford and May & Baker. The hosts were looking for their first win this term, whilst Bakers were looking to build on a good opening weekend win. Frenford fielded Jack Ryan in goal, with a back four of Alfie Karby, Tom Potter, captain Simon Peddie and Jack Sykes, with wingers Josh Fisayo and Raheem Gray the chief support to forwards James Peagram and Charlie Munns. Bakers had Seb Barford between the posts, with a defence of skipper Jamie Marsh , George Breen and Dauda Nimaga and the full-backs Cain Brougham and Ryan Leavens bombing forward at every oppurtunity. Forwards Shaun Omogbai and Anthony Cooke were supported by rapid wingers Abidemi Lamina and Idris Aminu.

This match did ‘get through the gears’ pretty fast with the visitors looking decent in possession, but it was Frenford who had the better of the early chances, with wingers Josh Fisayo and Raheem Gray both having strikes on Seb Barford’s goal. However, it was Jordan Harris’ tea who broke the deadlock on 11 minutes. From a set-piece from the far side, the threatening ball in found captain Jamie Marsh who powered home a fine header into the right corner, evading the grasp of home stopper Jack Ryan.


Impressive winger Abidemi Lamina had another strike blocked soon after as Bakers looked to push further ahead with the impetus they had created. The match was gathering pace and Dave Forbes’ side levelled on 22 minutes as a powerful strike by Harry Daly was denied by Barford, only to find forward James Peagram well-positioned to strike low into the net on the rebound. The home contingent were celebrating that equaliser but barely three minutes later, Bakers were back ahead. Idris Aminu’s fine weighted pass found fellow winger Lamina who strode through onto goal and his low strike got the better of Ryan to give Bakers the advantage for the second time.

The frenetic pace was still increasing as both defences were struggling to prevent chances. Frenford responded yet again on 34 minutes as a decent strike by energetic midfielder Sam Munton got past the gloves of Barford to make it tw-two. It didn’t stop there though, those of us ground-hoppers in attendance were really finding tricky to keep up but Frenford took the lead for the first time, two minutes after they levelled. Winger Raheem Gray stole in behind the visiting defence and his cool finish ensured that the hosts’ held a slender advantage at the interval.


Half-Time: Frenford 3 – 2 May & Baker

The interval was a chance to catch our breath and while the second half had less goals, it certainly did have plenty of action and big moments. Bakers made a double change of their forward line at the half-time, which saw Trevor Harding and Daniel Whitehead come on to replace Anthony Cooke and Shaun Omogbai. Both substitutes had early chances on goal in the second half and sure enough, they were level with 53 minutes on the clock.

Aminu was involved in the build-up, making another fine run down the right channel, and the ball found its way to Whitehead who connected well with his strike and it was well-saved by unfortunate Frenford stopper Ryan, though Robert Bagnall anticipated the rebound well and promptly tucked the ball into the net into the left corner, to level things up once again.

Ryan was in action throughout the half, making several important saves with his defence finding Bakers’ rapid forward moves tricky to contain. We nearly got a stand-out goal midway through the half as visiting captain Jamie Marsh showing some of the poise of a forward before firing narrowly wide of the target.


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Frenford’s chances were comparatively rare in the second half but visiting custodian Seb Barford still had to be alert to deny Peagram’s initial effort, only for the rebound to find its way to Munton and without hesitation, his follow-up strike was well-blocked by a Bakers defender. Jordan Harris’ side responded with several set-pieces in the latter stages but Harding’s late strike was well-denied by Ryan’s legs.



Full-Time: Frenford 3 – 3 May & Baker

To sum up this enthralling, attack-minded match at both ends of the pitch, both sides contributed heavily to the game and whilst it can be debated that Bakers had more chances to win it, it would be a positive outlook to menton that both teams deserved something from this match, given their respective efforts. This division once again shown the entertaining factor it has, even if both defences may be disappointed.

There were some great performances from both teams. For Bakers, winger Abidemi Lamina was a consistent, pacey threat dpown the right flank, utilising his pace and trickery well. Lamina also took his goal well so plaudits to him. Also, skipper Jamie Marsh put in another good display at centre-back, being a resolute presence in the heart of the backline and also his powerful headed goal was important for his side’s impetus at that point. Winger Idris Aminu had a fine match too, creating several good half-chances for his team-mates and can be pleased with his performance. Finally, substitute Daniel Whitehead made a big impact after entering the match at half-time, having several efforts at goal and was well-thwarted by the Frenford defence and goalkeeper Jack Ryan.

For Frenford, goalkeeper Jack Ryan did have an excellent game, making at least five good saves to keep his team in the game at times. Ryan also deserved something from this match for his importance to the team, whilst centre-back Alfie Karby also made several important challenges as well. Forward James Peagram took his goal well to typify a good display, particularly in the first 45 minutes. Lastly, recent signing Sam Munton put in a good energetic display, also tracking back well to assist his team’s defence.

I’ll end this report by wishing both teams well for the rest of the season and also a big thanks to Frenford manager Dave Forbes for his warm welcome, on behalf on the club at this match. It is appreciated.

Bakers’ Lamina (#7) arrows in a fine long-throw late on

Teams

Frenford    |  Manager: Dave Forbes |  Assistants: Lee Forbes & Anthony Cook

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Ryan (GK), 5 Tom Potter (15 Liam Newton 20′), 2 Alfie Karby, 4 Simon Peddie (Capt), 3 Jack Sykes, 6 Harry Daly (12 Charlie Fairhead 63′), 7 Josh Fisayo, 8 Sam Munton, 10 Charlie Munns, 9 James Peagram, 11 Raheem Gray (14 Callum Owen 65′)

Goal-scorers: James Peagram [22′], Sam Munton [34′], Raheem Gray [36′]

Booked: Gray, Owen | Subs Not Used: Pegg, Silva


May & Baker  | Manager: Jordan Harris | Assistant: Scott Harding

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Seb Barford (GK), 2 Cain Brougham, 3 Ryan Leavens, 5 Jamie Marsh (Capt), 6 George Breen, 4 Douda Nimaga (16 Kalum Bama 86′), 7 Abidemi Lamina, 8 Robert Bagnall, 9 Shaun Omogbai (14 Trevor Harding 46′), 10 Anthony Cooke (15 Daniel Whitehead 46′), 11Idris Aminu

Goal-scorers: Jamie Marsh [11′], Abidemi Lamina [25′], Robert Bagnall [53′]

Booked: Cooke, Nimaga | Subs Not Used: George, Riddell (GK)

Referee: Andrew Crossley
Assistants: Kevin Curran & Paul Watts

S21-22 Match Report: Buckhurst Hill 1 – 2 Halstead Town  (Sat 30 Apr) [EaSL Sth 21-22 30.4.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South Play-Off Final

Venue: Roding Lane

Attendance: TBC

2021-22 Season: Match 78

Saturday 30th April 2022 – 3pm KO

Buckhurst: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

 Halstead: Red & White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks 


Halstead produce excellent display to overcome odds & book their place in Step Five

Buckhurst Hill 1 – 2 Halstead Town

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

with additional photo by Halstead Town FC, used with thanks.

The last weekend of Senior football for the current season began with a welcome return to Roding Lane for this hotly-anticipated Eastern Senior League South Play-Off Final as Buckhurst Hill welcomed Halstead Town. Unsurprisingly, there was a substantial crowd in attendance for this game which had the ultimate prize for these two sides – Promotion to Step 5. Buckhurst defeated Wivenhoe narrowly last week, while Halstead won in extra-time against Benfleet to set this tie up.

The warmth of Summer was in evidence here, and we didn’t have a slow start to proceedings here either. After just three minutes, Halstead made the most of a corner and central midfielder Jack Schelvis stole half a yard of space before bundling home his effort into the net, which left home stopper Daniel Blockley stranded. The goal was understandably celebrated by the ‘Halstead Ultras’ – standing behind that goal. Buckhurst Hill responded with a forward press of their own, with the impressive Tyler Dolan getting past the visiting defence, only to be denied by Halstead’s commanding goalkeeper Jack Cherry, who came out and gathered.

The nerves were still present in the Buckhurst defence on 17 minutes, as Jordan Palmer’s effort was spilled by Hill stopper Daniel Blockley and went out for a set-piece. The half was moving on into the midway point with Buckhurst finding it difficult to carve out strong chances but they got a crucial leveller, as forward Suleyman Zuhdu’s strike came back off a Halstead defender before looping over Cherry and into the net. Just when you thought the Humbugs might have blinked, three minutes later they took the lead once again. Another fine pass in by winger Jordan Blackwell came to forward Calvin Poku in the penalty area and he quickly got his strike away and it found the left corner. It was a well-taken goal but it precipitated another response by the Stags front-line.

Buckhurst looking to push forward, Liam Foster on the ball here [Image by Scott W]

Two minutes before the interval, Zuhdu was unfortunate to not add to his goal tally as a fierce strike sailed into the crossbar and back off the underside of it without crossing the line. The Humbugs had one more half-chance before the break as Palmer headed narrowly wide of Blockley’s woodwork. Overall though, Halstead had (much like the week before in the Semi-Final) set their stall out to make it difficult through resolute & organised defence and they were 45 minutes away from a famous win.


Buckhurst defender Henry Day (left) looks for options [Image by Scott W]

Half-Time: Buckhurst Hill  1 – 2  Halstead Town


The second half began with Buckhurst Hill having the ball in the Halstead half for long periods. Dolan once again found his way into the penalty area after evading a visiting defender but Cherry once again stood tall and denied him. Zuhdu also headed wide soon afterward. On 54 minutes, a fine centre by full-back Liam Foster found Nathan Sollosi but Cherry was in action again to tip Sollosi’s shot wide. Full-back Keaton Moore also powered in a well-struck effort which missed the top corner by inches.

Despite Buckhurst creating the chances they had, they did not quite look entirely comfortable. Pressure could well have played a part in that, and they were growing frustrated with their profligacy in front of goal. Zuhdu was again denied by Cherry who did well to deny a powerful effort by the Buckhurst captain, but substitute Callum Ibe also blazed over when well-placed ten minutes after coming onto the field. The Humbugs did not have many forays forward as they were defending in numbers but Poku was still showing his quality in holding the ball up and making good runs on occasion.


Halstead defender Ryan Carter (2) jostles with the run of Suleyman Zuhdu (10) for Buckhurst

With Buckhurst taking a few more risks seeking that important equaliser, forward Adam Hampson fired well over after being found well on the counter-attack. On the whole though, you have to applaud the work rate and attitude of the Halstead side who did emerge with a famous victory, which means they are getting promoted to Step 5. It is a testament to the high standards Buckhurst have set this season that they are still tough opposition, even if they were not quite at their best. It will be intriguing to see how they start next season but they are a club who have come a long way since their Step 7 days.

Halstead remain resolute & organised in defence, Sonny Shilling (9) on the ball for Buckhurst

Full-Time: Buckhurst Hill  1 – 2   Halstead Town

In summary, Halstead had to produce a superb display in defence which was allied to clinical finishing to edge their way to a second momentous victory in as many weeks, which means they will compete in Step 5 after a gap of 17 years, most likely in the Essex Senior League come August. They are a side that will be a welcome addition and don’t be surprised if they surprise a few next season. You had to feel for Buckhurst who contributed heavily to the match, but conceding early was costly for them and they could not make the most of their chances which they created having had long spells of ball retention, and had some strong performances. This loss will hurt, but it should not detract from what is still a fabulous first campaign of Senior football for Mark Williams’ side.

There were several creditable performances in this match. For victors Halstead, winger Jordan Blackwell had another stand-out match on the right flank. I believe he got assists for both their goals, and he also made several important passes and showed good work rate. Defender Chris Harris also epitomised his teams’ resoluteness in defence, making several big interceptions and block tackles. Goalkeper Jack Cherry also showed once again how important a player he is to the side, making at least three fine saves when the Humbugs backline was breached. Finally, forward Calvin Poku showed guile and good finishing for his goal and despite not having much opportunity to test the Buckhurst goalkeeper, he took his goal very well to change the momentum of this match.    

For Buckhurst Hill, I thought Tyler Dolan had a really good game, showing his high energy, good passing and movement. He was unlucky in not scoring today. Full-back Keaton Moore also contributed to his team’s forward moves well & was inches away from scoring a fabulous goal. Centre-back Jonah Gregory also did well, showing good alertness and positioning. Lastly, talisman Suleyman Zuhdu has to get a mention as he was central to the hosts’ forward moves, showing good passing and work rate. Also, Halstead stopper Cherry did superbly to deny him on two occasions. Zuhdu will end the season as the League’s top goal-scorer on 37 goals.

Finally, I’d like to wish Halstead well in their campaign at Step 5 next season, they will be a tough side to beat – a testament to manager Mark McLean and his staff. Commiserations to Buckhurst Hill as well, they will emerge from this experience as a stronger club in time.


Here are your Play-Off Final winners – Halstead Town!! [Image by Halstead Town FC, used with thanks]

Teams

Buckhurst Hill  | Manager: Mark Williams  | Assistant: JP Kent

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster (14 Sam Sollosi 77’), 3 Keaton Moore, 5 Henry Day, 20 Jonah Gregory, 6 Jack Griggs (15 Jake Moss 40’), 7 Tyler Dolan, 8 Josh Banfield, 9 Sonny Shilling (21 Callum Ibe 60’), 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Nathan Sollosi

Goal-scorer: Suleyman Zuhdu [22’]

Booked: Griggs  | Subs Not Used: Nicholson


Halstead Town     | Manager: Mark McLean | Assistant: David Streetly

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Cherry (GK & Capt), 2 Ryan Carter, 3 Matt Travell, 4 Chris Harris, 5 Nick Miller, 6 Jack Schelvis, 7 Jordan Blackwell, 8 Jordan Palmer, 9 Calvin Poku (14 Markus Dunn 90’+2), 10 Adam Hampson, 11 Kane Gilbert

Goal-scorers: Jack Schelvis [3′], Calvin Poku [25′]

Booked: Gilbert, Carter | Subs Not Used: Walker, Kendle (GK)


Referee: Dario Matthewson

Assistants: Michael Jarvis & Daren Bigg

Fourth Official: Ashley Tyne

S21-22 Match Report: Benfleet 1 – 2 Halstead Town (Sat 23 Apr) [EaSL Sth P/O SF 24.4.22]

Eastern Senior League – South Division Play-Off Semi-Final

Venue: Park Lane

Attendance: 162

2021-22 Season: Match 75

Saturday 23rd April 2022 – 3pm KO

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

Halstead: Black & White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Action still from first-half (Image by Scott W)

Halstead battle hard to overcome Benfleet in play-off Semi-Final

Benfleet  1 – 2 Halstead Town (AET)

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

The first match this weekend saw a return to Park Lane for a crucial Eastern Senior League play-off Semi-Final, as Benfleet ,who finished 3rd in the League season) entertained Halstead Town, who finished the season strongly.

Buoyed on their sizeable travelling contingent of supporters, Halstead looked to keep things tight early-doors as Halstead forward Calvin Poku struck wide of home custodian Florent Gislette’s woodwork. Benfleet looked to retain possession and gain the impetus as well, and prominent forward Ben Foord had a half-chance two minutes into the game but visiting stopper Jack Cherry did well to deny him. The same two players were key on eleven minutes as a fierce strike by Foord was well-parried onto the woodwork by Cherry.

You may have thought at this point that it was a case of when Robert Polkinghorn’s side would break the deadlock. But that wasn’t the case as the Humbugs certainly defended stoutly and the hosts couldn’t quite create the clear chances their possession advantage may have given them. It got worse for Benfleet on twenty-four minutes. From a relatively rare foray forward at this point in proceedings, a good run down the right channel by winger Jordan Blackwell ended with a fine cross into the six-yard area, which allowed wily forward Calvin Poku to slot home from close range after evading the ‘Fleet backline.

Benfleet looking to get test Halstead keeper Jack Cherry

Benfleet were playing some neat football, but their finishing was going astray. A good move involving full-back Joe Hunter and defender Sonny Hartman ended with Foord again firing off-target. Halstead did also clear a good header off the goalline and they did ride theur luck a little. But for me, the Humbugs were also more composed in defence and they were not rattled by the task at hand. Cherry was called into action again just before the break as a good header by centre-back Cameron Harris from about eight yards out was denied by the Halstead captain.

HT: Benfleet 0 – 1 Halstead

Billy Carter (left) about to launch long pass on for Benfleet

Benfleet needed to find another gear after the interval as although Halstead had few chances in the first half, they looked a danger going forward and they did catch the Blues defence napping on occasion. Early on in the second half, impressive winger Frankie Stone sprinted clear of the retreating visiting defence, only to be denied by an excellent recovery tackle by a Humbugs defender.

I was starting to wonder on the hour whether this match would be a case of ‘missed chances’ for the hosts. On 62 minutes, the Poku was again given too much space in the area by the home defence with his resulting strike being well-denied by Gislette. Benfleet sensed they had to level quickly and responded as Foord was through on goal but again a superb recovery challenge by full-back Ryan Carter stifled the oppurtunity to shoot past Cherry.

Jordan Blackwell (right) launches a forward move for Halstead

Benfleet were really cursing their luck after a free-kick by substitute Henry Sims was nodded on by Foord and Stone’s prod at goal was cleared off the goal-line. Fourth official Ian Pascu signalled six added minutes to play and just as you started to think the solitary goal would be the winner, Benfleet finally scored. A powerful header by Harris found the net in a congested area two minutes into added time and gave them a chance in extra-time.


Joe Hunter (far left) about to cross the ball in for ‘Fleet (Image by Scott W)

FT (90 mins): Benfleet 1 – 1 Halstead 

So, thirty minutes added time we had but there was a near -immediate dramatic turn in the match. Just two minutes in, Benfleet’ defence was caught trying to clear by Poku, who unselfishly slotted in Jordan Palmer who calmly finished past the grasp of Gislette. Halsyead really should have made the game secure eight minutes later but forward Adam Hampson’s decent strike was well-saved low down by Gislette.

Benfleet gave it everything in the second period of extra-time but it wasn’t to be. To their credit, Halstead showed plenty of desire, composure and application to edge their way to the play-off Final with a gritty and commendable performance.


Full-Time (AET):  Benfleet  1 – 2 Halstead Town

This match was a dramatic encounter though in summary, Halstead just edged it on composure in both penalty boxes, in my view. They took their goals well from the relatively few chances they had, compared to their hosts who couldn’t convert their morass of chances due to a combination of profligate finishing and last-ditch Humbugs defending.

There were some fine performances in this match . First, for winners Halstead. Winger Jordan Blackwell put in a fine display, exercising his movement and pace to good effect to stretch the home backline. Forward Calvin Poku also showed his guile and got an goal & an assist as part of a good all-round performance. Goalkeeper Jack Cherry pulled off three good saves in the first-half to keep it tight and centre-back Garry Burdett had another good game, showcasing desire and good positioning.

For Benfleet, I felt full-back Joe Hunter had an excellent game showing high energy, good passing and good awareness too. Support forward Frankie Stone also had a good game too, showing good pace, awareness and movement. Cameron Harris had another good game at centre-half making several good interceptions & also taking his goal well. Lastly, a word for forward Ben Foord who was their focal point up front and never stopped grafting. He was a constant threat until he had to be substituted late on.

Victors Halstead applaud their travelling supporters post-match

Congrats to both sides but it is Halstead who go on to face Buckhurst Hill in the Final after they defeated Wivenhoe 3-2 today. That will be a tough game.


Teams

Benfleet    |  Manager: Robert Polkinghorn  | Assistant: Robert Rook

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter, 4 Martyn Lacey, 5 Cameron Harris, 6 Sonny Hartman (17 Billy Bonham-Dare 67′), 7 Frankie Stone (15 Danny Hurford 108′), 8 Aaron Russell (Capt), 9 Robert Lacey, 11 Ben Foord (14 Mason Shave 86′), 10 Taylor Lawrence (12 Henry Sims 73′)

Goal-scorer: Cameron Harris [90’+2]

Sin-bin: R Lacey (115′)  | Subs Not Used: Frost


Halstead Town  | Manager: Mark McLean | Assistant: Pete Travers

Starting XI: 1 Jack Cherry (GK & Capt), 2 Ryan Carter, 3 Matt Travell, 4 Garry Burdett, 5 Nick Miller (14 Greg Strong 106′), 6 Alfie Cleal, 7 Jordan Blackwell, 8 Jordan Palmer, 9 Calvin Poku (15 Curtis Abel 92′), 10 Adam Hampson, 11 Jordan Pavett (12 Louis O’Sullivan 83′)

Goal-scorers: Calvin Poku  [24′], Jordan Palmer [ET 2′]

Booked: Miller | Subs Not Used: None


Referee: Chris Darling
Assistants: Sam Jones & Iain George

Fourth Official: Ian Pascu

S21-22 Match Report: Burnham Ramblers 1 – 2 Harwich & Parkeston  (Sat 16 Apr) [EaSL Sth 21-22 16.4.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Leslie Field

Attendance: TBC

2021-22 Season: Match 73

Saturday 16th April – 3pm KO

Burnham R: Blue Shirts, Black Shorts, Blue Socks

 Harwich: Red & White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks  

Albert Galbally (far left) sends free-kick into the Harwich 18-yard box [Image by Scott W]

Harwich produce fine away-day display to defeat nervy Burnham at Leslie Field

Burnham Ramblers   1 –  2  Harwich & Parkeston

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

The Easter weekend continued with a trip back to Leslie Field for a real crunch match in the play-off race as Burnham Ramblers entertained Harwich & Parkeston. It’s always good to visit this historic ground and it was also a rare opportunity to see the North East Essex side as well. Burnham realistically had to win to stay in contention for a play-off spot but Harwich had been improving of late. As for the teams then and Burnham fielded Adam French in goal once again, with a back four of Nathan Putt, Albert Galbally and centre-backs Matthew Stevens-Brown and Ben Wood, who skippered the side. Adebolu Adeyemi played in a deeper role here, supporting forwards Samir Ali, George Hart and Haziz Kone. Options on the bench included forwards Said Issa, Deane Stone and Jack Walker. Harwich named Jack Lines as their goalkeeper here, with a defence comprised of Alfred Smith, Reece Harte with captain Nathan Kioussis alongside Jack Wood in central defence. Their attack was led by Joe Boreham-Knight and Jamie Eades. Their depleted bench included Cameron Brunsden, Jay Eggerichs and Tony Clarke.

This match got underway with the palpable sense that Harwich felt more comfortable in possession, and Burnham were feeling the nerves as they knew a strong result was key here. Samir Ali and Adebolu Adeyemi both had glimpses at visiting custodian Jack Lines’ goal frame but they couldn’t test the ‘keeper. Harwich were starting to create problems at the other end, as a set-piece by midfielder Brandon Rusby found commanding centre-back Jack Wood but his header was well parried away by home goalkeeper Adam French. Ramblers had a good chance just short of the half-hour as a move instigated by Haziz Kone down the left flank ended with his pass finding fellow forward George Hart and his effort was well-blocked in a congested penalty area by Harwich full-back Alfred Smith.

Burnham were creating a few nervous moments with their angled crosses in from deep but chances on goal were still few & far between, much to their growing frustration. The scale of the task grew ever higher as Harwich did break the deadlock seven minutes before the break. Harwich forward Joe Boreham-Knight made another telling run and his effort on goal evaded the home defenders which allowed Declan Kama to nip in and slot home from mere yards out, at the far post. Game on for Luke Goodson’s side. The Shrimpers nearly got a second goal as a speculative lobbed effort by Boreham-Knight went wide of French’s goal. You got the sense that Burnham were happy to not concede any more goals and needed some inspiration to rejuvenate their performance and possibly their season after the interval.

Half-Time: Burnham Ramblers  0 – 1   Harwich & Parkeston


The second half got underway as Burnham signalled their intent to resurrect their chances of the play-offs by getting back on terms. However, it was Harwich who were continuing to stretch the hosts’ defence, as Boreham-Knight again got past the backline after an errant pass by skipper Ben Wood was claimed. The forward then again sent a long pass into the far post area, agonizingly wide of strike partner Jamie Eades’ grasp as the ball trickled away, much to French’s relief. Another omen of it not being Burnham’s day came on seventy-five minutes as midfielder Levi Griffiths was given a straight red card for a high foot which did clatter into substitute Jay Eggerichs, who had to be substituted 15 minutes after coming on.

Harwich were sensing that they could wrap the points up and Kama’s strike was well-cleared off the goal line by Burnham captain Ben Wood. Burnham rallied and substitutes Jack Walker and Deane Stone did give them a little more impetus in the latter stages, with Stone breaking through the Harwich defence well before sending a well-struck effort wide of Line’s woodwork.

Despite showing good work rate, the hosts could not get the key passes into the forwards often enough for their liking really and Harwich sealed the win on eighty-nine minutes. A fine cross by midfielder Steven Polley found Boreham-Knight who controlled his header well as it flew into the far corner with French stranded. Burnham were awarded a spot-kick deep into added-time after Adeyemi was felled inside the area, which Samir Ali did convert with aplomb but it was not enough to prevent falling to a demoralising loss here and Ramblers simply have to win at Cornard Utd on the last day and hope Halstead lose at home to mid-table Coggeshall Utd.

The midfield battle… [Image by Scott W]

Full-Time: Burnham Ramblers 1 – 2   Harwich & Parkeston

In summary, Burnham could not conjure up a performance they needed to win the game. It may well been nerves and/or the pressure of needing the points today but that’s not really for me to say. Take nothing away from Harwich though as they put in a very good display, with strong performances all over the pitch, good movement and passing and a resolute defence as well to earn the points.

There were several creditable performances in this match. For victors Harwich, forward Joe Boreham-Knight led the attack well and also took his goal with aplomb. He gave the Burnham defence a tough afternoon, especially when the hosts had to push forward in the second half to get back into the game. Also, centre-back Jack Wood was a aerial threat in both boxes and could have two goals from set-pieces. Full-back Alfred Smith had a good match as well, showing good positional awareness in his defensive responsibilities and good work rate plus winger Declan Kama also took his goal well and showed decent movement off-the-ball.

For Burnham, Adebolu Adeyemi did well in his position supporting the forwards, threading in some good passes and gave everything for his team in terms of work rate. Centre-back Matthew Stevens-Brown put in some fine tackles as well to keep his side competitive and full-back Nathan Putt also showed good energy and passing. Finally, forward Samir Ali did all he could to get his team going and made some decent runs and showed good movement too.

I’d like to wish both sides well for their respective final match on Easter Monday and wish them well going into next season. Also, a big thanks to Burnham for their hospitality, it’s been really good to see the club as a whole on an upward curve this term.  


Teams

Burnham Ramblers  | Manager: Luke Goodson  | Assistant: Ross Mernick

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Adam French (GK), 2 Nathan Putt (16 Deane Stone 84’), 3 Albert Galbally, 5 Ben Wood (Capt), 6 Matthew Stevens-Brown, 4 Levi Griffiths, 8 Harry Shawyer, 7 Samir Ali, 9 Adebolu Adeyemi, 10 Haziz Kone, 14 George Hart (17 Jack Walker 73’)

Goal-scorer: Samir Ali [pen 90’+5]

Booked: Putt | Sent Off: Griffiths [75’] | Subs Not Used: Barry, Jackman & Issa


Harwich & Parkeston      | Manager: Sean Tynan | Assistant: Gary Kioussis

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Lines (GK), 2 Alfred Smith, 3 Reece Harte, 5 Nathan Kioussis (Capt), 6 Jack Wood, 7 Mark Palmer (14 Jay Eggerichs 62’ himself replaced due to injury by 12 Cameron Brunsden 77’), 8 Brandon Rusby, 9 Joe Boreham-Knight, 107 Jamie Eades, 11 Declan Kama

Goal-scorers: Declan Kama [38′], Joe Boreham-Knight [89′]

 Booked: Palmer, Eades, Boreham-Knight | Subs Not Used: None


Referee: Joshua Evans

Assistants: Garry Roberts & Daren Bigg

S21-22 Match Report: Barkingside 0 – 3 Burnham Ramblers (Mon 4 Apr) [EaSL South 21/22 5.4.22]

Eastern Senior League – South Division

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: TBA

2021-22 Season: Match 67

Monday 4th April 2022 – 7.45pm KO

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

Burnham: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks


Burnham grab good win with hard-working display at Barkingside

Barkingside 0 – 3 Burnham Ramblers

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

The first midweek match in April saw a return to Cricklefield for this Eastern Senior League South match which saw play-off chasing Burnham Ramblers visit to face Barkingside. The hosts are hoping for a top-ten finisdh but the main thing they needed is impetus ahead of next season. The hosts fielded Duncan Smith in goal, with a defence of captain Jordan Cornelius, Joseph Lanes, Kevin Difika and Nathan Saunders. As ever, James Peagram was the focal point in attack for ‘Side, with support from Josh Duyile, Quincy Warner and Umaru Kabia. Options from the sidelines inluded midfielders David Etcheri and Ismael Dahjaoul and forward Anton Alexander. Burnham have the hallmarks of a united squad which is good to see, they had Adam French in goal, with a back four of Nathan Putt, Albert Galbally plus centre-backs Tom Howard and skipper Ben Wood. Eddie Appleton and Joe Howard were in centtral midfield, Haziz Kone and Samir Ali were the chief support to forwards Adebolu Adeyemi and Jack Walker. Their substitutes included centre-back Ben Jackman, midfielders Harry Shawyer, Liam Barry and George Hart plus Said Issa.

It would be fair to say that the match did take a little while to find its rhythm. The first chance of note saw a good run by Burnham winger Samir Ali down the right flank end with a good cross which found forward Jack Walker but the latter’s header was off-target which didn’t trouble home custodian Duncan Smith. The visitors were having most of the play and the better of the few chances we saw in the half, with wingers Ali and Haziz Kone both testing their markers well. With the half-hour approaching, a good move involving Kone and energetic full-back Albert Galbally found Walker but again he couldn’t test Smith.


The good crowd in attendance (including several from the visitors, which was reassuring to see) did see a goal on 31 minutes and another darting run by the impressive Haziz Kone broke past ‘Side’s backline and slotted home low past Smith with no trouble. The hosts were having some decent approach plkay, largely through the likes of Umaru Kabia’s good runs down the right channel and James Peagram once again leading the line, although the Ramblers defence was being miserly and cleared well for the most part.

Half-Time: Barkingside 0 – 1 Burnham Ramblers


Two minutes after the restart, a rare defensive error by Barkingside’s Kevin Difika allowed Ramblers midfielder George Hart to get on the ball and his strike went wide but it showed that Luke Goodson’s side were keen to build momentum and take the points here as quickly as they could. Forward Adebolu Adeyemi also put in some testing crosses which the hosts did well to clear. A rare chance for Barkingside came on 53 minutes as midfielder Archie Hammond garnered some space down the centre but his effort went over Adam French’s woodwork.

Perhaps sensing their lead at this point was slender, Burnham pushed forward again just after the hour mark and got that telling second goal. Kone again made another good run which couldn’t be stopped, with Kone unleashing a fierce strike which was well palmed away by Smith, but unfortunately for the hosts, Samir Ali got in first to help himself to a close range tap-in.

Burnham’s Nathan Putt takes a long throw

There was no doubting Barkingside’s work rate and they nearly got an important goal back as a fine ball in by substitute David Etcheri just evaded Kabia in the eighteen-yard area. The points were made secure though for the visitors eight minutes from time as Adeyemi fired home a good low strike from a narrow angle at the far post which bypassed Smith and found the net.

In fairness, Burnham did more than deserve the win and showed why they are the fourth highest scorers in the division this season. They have a big match at rivals Halstead Town at the weekend, which could pretty secure the play-off berth they will be looking for.


Full-Time:  Barkingside 0 – 3  Burnham Ramblers

This match can be summed up by Burnham having more options in their team and they have goals throughout their forward line and they showed that once again here. Barkingside have a decent backline, and decent build-up play but their main problem is scoring goals on a consistent basis. James Peagram has 19 league goals this term which is commendable, but he is well ahead of next lead goal-scorer for his team. Burnham also have a robust defence who  did have a few nervy moments, but they were not heavily troubled in this game.

There were some fine performances in this match. First, for winners Burnham I felt winger Haziz Kone had a very good match, showing time & again his pace and crossing ability to really test the home backline. Fellow winger Samir Ali once again showed his credentials as well and his goal was an oppurtunistic one. Forward Adebolu Adeyemi also added further goal threat and took his goal well late on as well as good passes from deep at times. Finally, a word for full-back Albert Galbally, who typified his team’s defence with a robust performance and also sowed good energy and a good outlet for his team.

For Barkingside , winger Umaru Kabia was a good outlet down the right flank for the hosts, making several good runs and showed decent work rate along with it. In central defence, Nathan Saunders made several good interceptions and good positioning to keep proceedings tight, particularly in the first half. Josh Duyile added to his side’s forward moves showing good trickery, pace and movement while full-back Jordan Cornelius also had a decent match at full-back.

Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.


Teams

Barkingside    |  Manager: Steven Le Sage  | Assistant: Tommy Shelts

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Duncan Smith (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius (Capt), 3 Joseph Lanes (7 David Etcheri 46′), 5 Kevin Difika, 6 Nathan Saunders, 14 Patrick Hoy, 8 Archie Hammond (16 Ismael Dahjaoul 59′), 15 Umaru Kabia, 10 Josh Duyile, 9 James Peagram (17 Anton Alexander 87′), 11 Quincy Warner

| Sub Not Used: Umaru


Burnham Ramblers  | Manager: Luke Goodson | Assistant: Ross Mernick

Starting XI: 1 Adam French (GK), 2 Nathan Putt, 3 Albert Galbally, 5 Ben Wood (Capt), 17 Tom Howard (6 Ben Jackman 75′), 8 Eddie Appleton, 10 Joe Howard (16 George Hart 35′), 9 Adebolu Adeyemi (12 Said Issa 84′), 15 Haziz Kone, 7 Samir Ali, 14 Jack Walker

Goal-scorers: Haziz Kone [31′], Samir Ali [63′], Adebolu Adeyemi [82′]

 | Subs Not Used: Shawyer, Barry


Referee: Ayesemuate Agho
Assistants: Lee Markwick and Peter Jago

S21-22 Match Report: Benfleet 2 – 2 Brimsdown (Sat 19 Mar) [EaSL 21-22 19.3.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Park Lane

Attendance: 25

2021-22 Season: Match 62

Saturday 19 March 2022 – 3pm KO

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

Brimsdown: White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks  

Benfleet about to take a free-kick in first half

Brimsdown put in spirited performance to take valuable draw at Benfleet

Benfleet 2 – 2 Brimsdown

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

The main match this weekend was a fascinating match in Eastern Senior League South as Benfleet welcomed bottom side Brimsdown. Both sides needed the win, albeit for very different reasons and the home side were looking to recover from a frustrating loss to title-chasing Ipswich Wanderers three days previously. Brimsdown really needed the points to gain ground on their rivals. Benfleet named regular goalkeeper Florent Gislette in goal, with a defence of Billy Carter, Joe Hunter plus centre-backs Martyn Lacey, Cameron Harris and Mckenzie Davidson. Ben Foord and Billy Bonham-Dare led the line, with support from Robert Lacey and Aaron Russell, who skippered the side. Brimsdown had Akan George in goal, with Mauro Rodrigues and Adelmar Rodrigues in central defence, captain Ali Tas as the creative midfielder alongside Simeon Beckford, with Damon Rendell leading the line. Supporting him were Zion Dos Santos and Samuel Kyei.

Action still from early on in the contest, Benfleet in Sky Blue shirts

The match began with the home side looking to push on and they were rewarded. On five minutes, full-back Billy Carter made a good run down the right side and his centre found skipper Aaron Russell in a congested penalty area, unfortunately Russell could not connect properly and in the blink of an eye, the chance was gone. However, Brimsdown did not heed that warning as two minutes later, Benfleet did get the opening goal. A set-piece from the right found centre-back Cameron Harris at the back post and his towering header bypassed visiting custodian  Akan George and found the net. That was definitely not in the visitors’ game plan pre-match.

Benfleet nearly had a glimmer of a second goal on ten minutes as a good run by forward Billy Bonham-Dare was deflected off a defender into the path of George at some pace, but the Brimsdown ‘keeper did well to gather. However, anyone who prescribed to the theory that this was going to be a comfortable win for the hosts was soon to be proven wrong. While it was true that interim boss Robert Rook’s side were having a lot of possession, they were not really doing that much with it. as Brimsdown were clearing their lines well. Ben Foord also spurned a half-chance for the hosts but curiously, their momentum were starting to fade which the visitors did sense as we got into the latter part of the half.

Benfleet making another forward press in first half, down the right channel

They had very few in the way of chances on goal up to this point though just after the half-hour, Reon Reid made a fine darting run on the right flank, with his centre deflected for a corner. Soon after, the lack of chances was immaterial as Brimsdown got an important equaliser on thirty-five minutes. A good cross deep from the right flank by Simeon Beckford found forward Damon Rendell and his powerful header found the net well, past Benfleet stopper Florent Gislette. All of a sudden, the visitors were galvanized by the leveller and they sensed that the hosts wanted to get back to the dressing rooms for the half-time team talk in a hurry.

Half-Time: Benfleet 1 – 1  Brimsdown

Brimsdown press forward after the break

As we resumed after the interval, the intent was clear from the home side, as two substitutes came on immediately into the second half. Frankie Stone and Jack Frost had replaced Joe Hunter and goal-scorer Harris respectively. Unfortunately for Benfleet, they couldn’t re-establish their impetus from early on in the game by creating a variety of clear-cut chances. Foord had another decent effort on fifty-three minutes, firing wide of George’s left-side post. Besides that, Brimsdown were admirably holding firm although the concern for them would have been whether they could maintain it.

We had another dramatic turn of events on sixty-five minutes as a well-worked corner by captain Ali Tas found Samuel Kyei who found some space before powering in a superb strike low into the left corner, giving Gislette little chance of stopping it. Brimsdown had the lead, and now Benfleet had to battle their way not only into the ascendancy but crucially, back into the match on the score-sheet along with it. In fairness, the hosts here showed no lack of work rate or endeavour, but as the minutes ticked by, it was looking likely that Brimsdown were going to claim a highly valuable win in their battle to evade the drop.


There was another twist in the match as we approached added-time. Benfleet got a precious equaliser as a good ball in from the right found substitute Frankis Stone who showed no lack of composure to guide his header into the net on 89 minutes. It was hard on Brimsdown though it could’ve been worse for them moments later. Foord went down in the penalty area, after a challenge by Adelmar Rodrigues but referee Paul Sturton was not minded to point to the spot.

The visitors did hold on to claim a worthy point here, though their frustration will be that it could have been all three points. If they do play like this for the remaining five matches this term, they may not finish bottom of the table. Benfleet will need to garner some wins in their remaining six games, with Wivenhoe Town, Burnham Ramblers and Halstead Town still battling them in the play-off area.

Benfleet plead for a spot-kick late on

Full-Time: Benfleet 2 – 2 Brimsdown

In summary, Brimsdown put in a very good display here and made the most of the relatively few chances they had and crucially, their confidence in the match grew just as they sensed their hosts’ confidence was ebbing away. Defensively, Steve Wakefield’s side did well and could have grabbed an unlikely victory, though they were denied late on. You do have to credit the spirit of the Benfleet side, they refused to give up despite their performance not being of the standards they would set themselves.

There were several creditable performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for Brimsdown, centre-back Adelmar Rodrigues was a stand-out player for his side, making a number of important interceptions and showed good energy and positional awareness. Reon Reid had a really good game, making a number of good darting runs down the right channel and put in some good crosses with it, as well as good defensive work. Forward Damon Rendell took his goal really well and generally gave the home defence a hard afternoon with his movement, while Zion Dos Santos also merits a mention for good, energetic play down the left side and that lifted his team at an important time before the interval.

For Benfleet, midfielder Henry Sims had a good game, showing good work rate, good set-pieces and generally had a good influence for his team. Forward Billy Bonham-Dare also stretched a resolute Brimsdown backline well at times with good ace and movement, but will want goals to turn up soon. Also, full-back Billy Carter put in a good hard-working display, making a number of energetic runs down the right channel to give his side extra width. Finally, substitute Frankie Stone got that last-gasp leveller which could prove to be a important moment of composure for him and his team.

Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.


Teams

Benfleet  | Interim Managers: Robert Rook & Mike Cundy  | (Manager Rob Polkinghorn was away)

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter (12 Frankie Stone 46’), 4 Mckenzie Davidson, 5 Cameron Harris (15 Jack Frost 46’), 6 Martyn Lacey, 7 Billy Bonham-Dare, 8 Henry Sims (14 Mason Shave 81’), 9 Aaron Russell (Capt), 10 Robert Lacey, 11 Ben Foord

Goal-scorers: Cameron Harris [7’], Frankie Stone [89’]

Booked: Russell | Subs Not Used: Hurford, Scott


Brimsdown   | Manager: Steve Wakefield

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Akan George (GK), 8 Reon Reid, 3 Mauro Rodrigues, 5 Adelmar Rodrigues, 9 Pianny Nzamale, 2 Emre Tas, 7 Ali Tas (Capt), 4 Simeon Beckford (15 Masoor Nooristani 79’), 18 Zion Dos Santos, 10 Damon Rendell, 11 Samuel Kyei

Goal-scorers: Damon Randell [35’], Samuel Kyei [65’]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None


Referee: Paul Sturton

Assistants: Ian Butler & Michael Jarvis