Essex Senior League – Premier Division
Venue: Burroughs Park
2022-23 Season: Match 46
Saturday 11th March 2023 – 3pm KO
Ensign: Red & Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
West: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
Ensign secure another point in tough battle with West Essex
White Ensign 0 – 0 West Essex
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The main match this weekend was a late switch to the Essex Senior match between White Ensign and visitors West Essex at Burroughs Park. The recent incessant rain had not prevented the match from taking place, as both sides were looking for the points – Ensign are looking up towards the top ten while West are still in the race for a top-six finish. White Ensign boss Aaron Bloxham rotated his squad somewhat here, but stlll fielded Luis Shamshoum in goal, with a defence comprised of full-backs Ben Sargent and Daniel Monk and centre-backs Montel Shonubi & Archie McFadden. The hard-working central midfield featured Iyiola Adebayo, Oliver Jenkins and stand-in skipper Kyle McAlindon. Forwards Billy Bonham-Dare and Joe Gregory were supported by Ethan Evison. West were looking to bounce bank from a shattering loss at Woodford Town three days ago and had Arthur LeBlond at their goalkeeper, with a backline of centre-backs Rodney Dame and Mitchell Arthur & full-backs Sanchez Hardy and Joel Lamb. Their midfield engine room had skipper Reece Clarke, Oliseh Okuguni & Saliu Lo Seye starting, with the creative Timmy Moncur supporting forwards Ezequiel Franchi & Cameron Gray.
Both teams were adapting to the slightly slippery conditions in the early going of this match, although Ensign certainly had the better of the early sighters at goal. Forward Joe Gregory’s effort had to cleared off the goal-line by a well-placed West defender, while anchor midfielder Oliver Jenkins also had a decent strike parried away by visiting stopper Arthur LeBlond. West couldn’t ease the pressure they had defensively for most of the first twenty minutes and their only glimmer at goal was forward Cameron Gray’s wayward drive which was comfortably off-target. As we neared the half-hour mark, the Stags did start to get their passing game going, as midfielders Saliu Lo Seye & Reece Clarke fired wide of Shamshoum’s goal.
Although chances were somewhat few & far between, the battle here wasn’t a hum-drum one and the West backline held on quite well, led by centre-backs Mitchell Arthur and Rodney Dame who were well-positioned and made key clearances too. Ensign were keen to build their way through the thirds from defence to attack and did so well at times, but the noticable thing for me was how focused their midfield was in not allowing West to settle on the ball, with Iyiola Adebayo and Kyle McAlindon in particular giving the likes of Clarke and Moncur little time to build attacks.
HT: White Ensign 0 – 0 West Essex
In the early stages of the second half, the hosts had a few more decent chances. Four minutes after the restart, full-back Ben Sargent let fly with a well-struck effort which only narrowly flew over the crossbar. Moments after that, Ethan Evison’s set-piece was heading for the far corner and needed the intervention of LeBlond, although he conceded a corner in the process. From that resulting set-piece, enterprising forward Billy Bonham-Dare headed wide of the left-side post. That was a let-off for West and this game was tight just as the reverse fixture was at Wadham Lodge, several weeks previously. Ensign had a let off a minute later as a good ball found West forward Ezequiel Franchi’s run, although the defender got a important touch to take it out of Franchi’s path, although Shamshoum had advanced by this point to narrow the angle initially, and he had to race back to prevent it dribbling over the goal-line.
As we entered the last half hour, the tide was turning a bit as the hosts’ nerves were starting to rise after not be able to convert the earlier chances. Franchi and Clarke had efforts which fizzed over the crossbar for West Essex before they brought on tricky winger Mohamud Kaudeer, who had two chances on goal which whistled not far wide. In fairness, it would have been tough on Ensign to not take at least a point from this game and the stalemate means they are four games unbeaten now.
In the last few moments of the contest, both sides looked to try and get that decisive goal with West looking to get down the channels to evade an understandably tiring Ensign backline. Ensign brought on forwards Jack Mead and Emmanuel Abudiore with moments left to try and break through the visiting defence, with Abudiore making one or two good runs down the left but ultimately, the stalemate prevailed and both teams took a point each.
Full-Time: White Ensign 0 – 0 West Essex
This match was a a hard-fought battle and perhaps deserved goals for the teams’ respective endeavour. Ensign will be disappointed given they had the early chances but could not convert them. West took a while to retain the ball and have a few good chances though they found Luis Shamshoum in good form in the home goal. On the plus side for Kwame Kwateng’s team, they will be satisfied with the shut-out, as they also had several players unavailable here.
Ensign had some performances in the team to mention. Firstly, a mention for Archie McFadden who played in an unfamiliar centre-back role here and showed good positioning, work rate and tackling. Central midfielder Kyle McAlindon also had a good game, getting through a lot of work and passed the ball really well, plus linked defence & attack well too. Lastly, a word for forward Billy Bonham-Dare who contributed to his team’s attacks well, utilising his pace & movement plus doing a good shift defensively as well.
For West, centre-back Mitchell Arthur was an ever-present, making a number of important interceptions, including clearing one goal-bound effort off the goal-line. After a tough game in midweek, Arthur & his defenders can at least be glad to have a clean sheet. Saliu Lo Seye had a good game in midfield as the visitors found it hard to retain possession & breach a stubborn home backline. Lo Seye made several good passes & showed decent movement as well. Finally, full-back Joel Lamb had a good game in defence, tracking back well & giving an option going forward too. Lamb was involved in a good duel with Ensign full-back Ben Sargent for most of the game.
White Ensign | Manager: Aaron Bloxham | Assistant: Nick Wilbrow
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Luis Shamshoum (GK), 2 Ben Sargent, 3 Daniel Monk, 5 Montel Shonubi, 4 Archie McFadden, 6 Oliver Jenkins, 11 Kyle McAlindon (Capt), 8 Ethan Evison, 18 Iyiola Adebayo (16 Jake Chaplin 64′), 9 Billy Bonham-Dare (19 Jack Mead 85′), 10 Joe Gregory (15 Emmanuel Abudiore 90’+3)
Booked: McFadden, Chaplin, Bonham-Dare | Subs Not Used: Ferris, Turner
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng | Assistant: George Karsa
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Arthur LeBlond (GK), 2 Sanchez Hardy, 3 Joel Lamb, 23 Rodney Dame, 25 Mitchell Arthur, 17 Saliu Lo Seye, 14 Reece Clarke (Capt), 22 Timmy Moncur (21 Mohamud Kaudeer 64′), 8 Oliseh Okuguni, 24 Ezequiel Franchi, 11 Cameron Gray (9 Lewis Danquah 80′)
Booked: Dame | Sub Not Used: McNally, Wazola
Referee: George Younger
Assistants: Glenn Michaels & Joe Lannon