Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy – Final
Venue: Station Road (Takeley FC)
2022-23 Season: Match 61
Monday 1st May 2023 – 3pm KO
Redbridge: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts & Socks
FC Clacton: Yellow Shirts, Navy Shorts, Yellow Socks
Redbridge battle to retain Peter Butcher Trophy
Redbridge 1 – 0 FC Clacton
Match Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
Photos by Scott W (unless stated), Essex Senior [@EssexSenior] & @TheOnionbag1, used with thanks
The first game of May saw a welcome return to covering the Essex Senior’s Peter Butcher Trophy Final, as the defending champions Redbridge took on FC Clacton at Takeley’s Station Road. George Christou’s team rotated their squad a bit here, naming George Martin as goalkeeper, with a defence of Bradley Bennett, Joe Elliott and centre-backs Olamiji Ayoola & Dean Hall. The midfield had Remi Nelson, Abd Thompson, Jack Chawner and Jerold Cobblah, with the forward line being led by Ibrahim Kehinde and skipper James Barlow. Clacton were also forced to make a couple of changes but could name Luke Avenell in goal, with a backline of powerful centre-backs Chris Ribchester and Michael Okafor, with Jordan Lartey & captain Billy Wales. Kyelan Marvell and Jack Marshall were in central midfield, with Teddy Collis and Rueben Cowler on the flanks. Top goalscorer Mekhi McKenzie was joined by Adam Tilson in attack.
The celebratory mood for the hosts after their comeback win in the Inter-League play-off Final at Haywards Heath Town just 48 hours previous to today was added to here pre-match with a presentation of the Essex Senior Runners-up Shield as well, seen below.
The match itself got underway and both sides battled from the opening minute, but it was the Seasiders who had the edge in terms of ball time and glimmers at goal. Clacton centre-back Chris Ribchester headed over early on, before fellow centre-back Michael Okafor’s low 20-yard drive needed a decent parry from Motormen custodian George Martin, while the follow-up by Mekhi Mckenzie was also well-blocked. Despite their early promise in terms of play, it was the Motormen who broke the deadlock on twenty minutes as a good ball through the middle found forward Ibrahim Kehinde and he bypassed the off-side trap and slotted home past Seasiders stopper Luke Avenell into the right-side corner.
Kehinde was in on the action again on twenty-eight minutes but this time a fine block by Okafor denied him a shot at goal. Clacton were finding it hard to get down the channels but when they did, wingers Teddy Collis and Rueben Cowler looked to get in behind to produce those telling crosses, while midfielder Kyelan Marvell was also getting on the ball and looking to instigate forward moves with some decent passes as well.
Half-Time: Redbridge 1 – 0 FC Clacton
The rain started before the break as well but both teams were looking to find their fluency here. George Christou brought on Solomon Ogunwomoju at half-time, replacing Abs Thompson and it gave them a little more pace & energy in their forward line. The half began with more battling in midfield, and Redbridge skipper lost his footing at the crucial moment when well-poised to strike just three minutes after the resumption. For the most part, Clacton’s defence was rebuffing the opposition, but a minute it was a good piece of oppurtunism by McKenzie who did well to seize the ball ahead of the impressive Olamiji Ayoola and get a strike away, bringing a decent save out of Martin.
The minutes ticked by as stern defending by this resolute & galvanized Redbridge side was equal to Clacton’s attacks and you felt the longer they could defend, the harder it would be for the Seasiders. McKenzie was still a threat throughout both with his pace & his aerial ability, but unfortunately Tommy Austin’s side overall were not at their best here. Saying that, they forced Redbridge to defend deep in the latter stages but they were not to be denied here.
It could have been easier for the Blues as on 84 minutes, but midfielder Remi Nelson’s good strike was judged well by Avenell as be parried the all over the crossbar. Despite six minutes of added-time, it was not to be for the Seasiders as referee Daniel Baines soon blew the final whistle, which started joyous scenes for the Motormen, who won the Trophy for the second season in succession – some statistic that is by the way!
Full-Time: Redbridge 1 – 0 FC Clacton
In summary, this was a gritty battle that Redbridge had to stay alert in to deal with an enterprising Clacton side who couldn’t quite establish enough chances to seriously test Motormen stopper George Martin. In truth, this was a game which didn’t provide a morass of chances for either side, but Tommy Austin’s team could not make the most of their promising patches in the game. The Motormen would not be denied thanks to a strong defensive display. Congratulations to Redbridge on a fine achievement & also on their promotion to Step 4. The quest remains now whether they will notch a memorable treble when they play in the Errington Cup Final on Friday night against Barking, and be the first team to do it since Witham Town did in 2012.
A mention also for hard-working Clacton, who still have had a memorable season under manager Tommy Austin & assistant Ryan Salter. They finished fourth in the league, six points clear of in-form Takeley & reached this Final as well. I’d like to wish them all the best going forward, hopefully they will remain in the ESL next term as they are a good side to watch.
We start the honourable mentions with victors Redbridge. Centre-back Olamiji Ayoola really did have a good game, making several good interceptions and was also a good aerial presence as well. Centre forward Ibrahim Kehinde also got the conclusive goal as well as showing good movement at times. Central midfielder Jack Chawner also put in a very good shift & was a decent outlet from set-pieces as well in a match that was always tight. For Clacton, I must add that central defender Michael Okafor had another very good game, battling well against the opposition forwards & made a few runs forward as well at times, forcing a decent save out of Martin at one point. Forward Mekhi McKenzie also worked hard and had a few half-chances at goal, turning past his marker well too on occasions. Finally, midfielder Kyelan Marvell put in some good passes & did well from some of the Seasiders’ free-kicks too.
Redbridge | Manager: George Christou | Assistant: Jack Toghli |
Starting XI (Subs): 1 George Martin (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett, 3 Joe Elliott, 5 Dean Hall, 6 Olamiji Ayoola, 8 Jack Chawner, 4 Jerold Cobblah (14 Reuben Campbell 75′), 7 Abs Thompson (10 Solomon Ogunwomoju 46′), 16 Remi Nelson, 9 Ibrahim Kehinde (11 George Purcell 62′), 15 James Barlow (Capt) (19 Brian Moses 69′)
Goal-scorer: Ibrahim Kehinde [20′]
Booked: Thompson, Elliott, Purcell | Sub Not Used: Pindy
FC Clacton | Manager: Tommy Austin | Assistant: Ryan Salter
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Luke Avenell (GK), 2 Jordan Lartey, 3 Billy Wales (Capt), 5 Chris Ribchester, 6 Michael Okafor, 8 Jack Marshall, 4 Kyelan Marvell, 7 Teddy Collis (15 Toby Harms 90’+2), 10 Adam Tilson (16 Charlie Thompson 69′), 9 Mekhi McKenzie, 11 Rueben Cowler (14 Samuel Thompson 77′)
Booked: Okafor, Ribchester, Marshall | Subs Not Used: Hanna, Lamb
Referee: Daniel Baines
Assistants: Denis Hasanaj & Olabisi Omotosho
Fourth Official: George Barker