S21-22 Match Report: DT FC 0 – 1 Rapid Chingford (Mon 23 May) [EAL Fenton Cup Final 24.5.22]

Essex Alliance League – Fenton Cup Final

Venue: Brisbane Road

Attendance: 400+

2021-22 Season: Match 87

Monday 23 May 2022 – 7.30pm KO

DT: Red Shirts, White Shorts & Red Socks

Rapid: Yellow Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks



Rapid put in hard-working defensive display to win the Fenton Cup

DT FC 0 – 1 Rapid Chingford

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

The last week of the Non-League season began with a return visit to Brisbane Road to see an interesting Fenton Cup Final between Essex Alliance League champions DT FC (soon to be renamed Cannons Wood ahead of next term) and Rapid Chingford, who finished eighth after a mixed league campaign. Rapid were buoyed by their travelling support, who had turned up in numbers and sang throughout this match.

The match began with DT looking to assert themselves in possession and build through the thirds, showing god build-up play. Stanley Green headed wide of the woodwork in the early phase of the match, but Rapid showed they were up for this Final with some good defending and some good moments on the counter-attack as well, looking to break quickly. Rapid did have the ball in the net around the twenty minute mark as a fine header by Catalin Anghel found the left corner, but the assistant’s flag was raised.



Rapid still admirably continued to press forward after their goal was disallowed, but DT were also showing why they had got past so many defences this season on their way to the League title, and the impressive Jermaine Francis struck a good effort on goal but DT’s principal problem was their final pass could not breach the Rapid backline often enough.

Rapid were growing in confidence as well and after an adjudged push in the penalty area, forward Andrei Boga stepped up to calmly convert the resulting spot-kick into the right-side corner to give them that crucial, if slender advantage at the interval. Just before the interval, DT skipper Chris Smith’s free-kick was straight at Popescu which signified his side’s frustration and inability to test the Rapid Chingford custodian.

Half-Time: DT 0 – 1 Rapid


The second half continued in a similar vein for DT, as Rapid continued to rebuff their attacking moves with diligent defending. Rapid were also still a threat on the counter too, with Daniel Tita making good runs down the right channel as well as fizzing in some good curling loss passes to the forwards. Seven minutes into the second half, Tita’s powerful strike was only narrowly over DT goalkeeper Alex Jennings’ woodwork.

Billy Cove’s team were also a threat from set-pieces, and midway through the half an in-swinging corner need Popescu to palm the ball away from immediate danger, and Popescu also gathered well from Smith’s decent strike, following-up on the volley. DT showed no lack of effort or spirit, much to their credit but were still finding chances hard to come by. DT forward Robbie Farrell also fired a long-range effort off-target. The minutes continued to ebb away and Rapid’s firm resistance continued and after the final whistle blew, the unadulterated joy started, which would continue long after the post-match Trophy presentation was complete.

DT push forward in the second half

Full-Time:  DT FC 0 – 1 Rapid Chingford

To summarise this gritty but fairly good match, Rapid Chingford got the advantage that they needed and defended well against a DT side that couldn’t quite find their final pass into the forwards to really create too many chances on Popescu’s goal. Rapid also showed some good technical skills and were inspired by their exuberant travelling support, who really added to the occasion, waving their flags & singing their songs proudly. Popescu himself shows good handling skills in the Rapid goal and bolstered the confidence of his defence in front of him. DT showed good approach play and were decent in defence themselves, showcasing enough to suggest why they won the League title, but to use a common phrase in Sport, it just wasn’t their day here. Congratulations to Rapid Chingford on their triumph here, they did deserve their win here.

There were some good performances in this match. Beginning with victors Rapid, Andrei Boga not only converted the important penalty well but also showed good movement to keep the DT defence alert, while advanced midfielder Daniel Tita showed good technical skills, always looking up to find his forward line to start another counter-attack. Captain Bogdan Ivancia was the stalwart of the Rapid backline and typified his team’s defensive efforts, while goalkeeper Daniel Popescu also looked assured and snuffed out potential chances for the goal-hungry opposition forwards.

For DT, Jermaine Francis had a good game, breaking forward well and showing good passing and high work rate, with Stanley Green also doing well to get down the channels to set up crossing oppurtunities. Centre-back Ashley Campbell did well in defence to keep a lively Chingford forward line at bay, and skipper Chris Smith really drove his team on, particularly in the second half and show good work rate in both attack and defence.


Here are your winners, Rapid Chingford!


Teams

DT FC     |  Manager: Billy Cove  | Assistant: Nick Jennings

Starting XI: 1 Alex Jennings (GK), 2 Adam Palmer, 15 Ashley Campbell, 17 Tremayne Coley, 21 Jacob Melford, 25 Cory Ugbonah, 29 Chris Smith (Capt), 7 Stanley Green, 22 Jermaine Francis, 18 Izaih Antoine, 11 Robbie Farrell

| Substitutes: 4 Mickey Mesmin, 14 Jake Kissiedu, 31 Sebastian Barford, 33 Steve Opoku-Domfeh

Booked: Farrell, Francis, Opoku-Domfeh


Rapid Chingford  |  Player-Manager: Florin Florea | Assistants: Bobaru Mircea & Bodgan Galan

Starting XI: 99 Daniel Popescu (GK), 20 Vlad Bucur, 4 Bogdan Ivancia (Capt), 11 Florin Ivancia, 6 Catalin Manea, 7 Dragos Aenasoaie, 8 Daniel Tita, 29 Sorin Tudose, 22 Catalin Anghel, 10 Andrei Boga, 17 Darwin Romero

Goal-scorer: Andrei Boga [pen 36′]

 | Substitutes: 13 Claudiu Florea, 31 Ionut Labunt, 27 Zoltan Mihaly, 9 Bogdan Galan, 14 Federico Ardei

Booked: Tudose, Tita, Aenasoaie, Galan


Referee: Tony King
Assistants: Albert Forbes & Kyle Robertson

Fourth Official: Paul Roberts

S21-22 Round-ups: Essex Olympian League (Sat 21 May) [EOFL 21/22 22.5.22]

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

Hello all and welcome to the final edition of the Essex Olympian League round-up, looking at the action from Saturday 21 May, from the Premier Division & Division One. There were still big things to settle, with the identity of the clubs being relegated from the top two tiers was pretty much assured after this weekend’s action. Lead image is from Ongar Town v Catholic Utd last weekend.

Archive Image from Wakebury v Harold Hill earlier in the season

Essex Olympian League Round-up – Saturday 21 May

In the Premier Division, they key game was at the Len Forge Centre which saw Catholic Utd launch a stirring comeback from two goals behind to claim a 3 – 2 victory over Canning Town. Goals by Franklin Craik, Thomas Kearney and an OG sealed the turnaround and send Canning down with two matches left to play for them. Utd got the points in their last game of the campaign to strengthen their position in sixth, but Sungate can overhaul them if they win their last two games – both against Canning Town.

 This was club stalwart Louis Godwin-Green’s last game before retiring from playing & I’d just like to wish him well for the future and congratulate him on a super career for several clubs in the area. Fellow Non-League writer Pete Dudley was there & here is his report: pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/05/catholic-united-3-canning-town-2.html 

Elsewhere in the top division, Harold Wood Athletic ended their 15 year tenure in the EOFL Premier Division with a spirited & welcome 3 – 1 victory over Old Southendian at Harold Wood Park. Tommy Harber, Oluwatomiwa Bankole and Thomas Butler got the goals for Gary Willis’ side, with the Wood gaffer standing down from over a decade of service to the club in various management roles, I’d like to wish Gary well for his future as well. Wood will compete in Division One next term after seeing their relegation confirmed several weeks ago. Finally, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts ended their season with a walkover win over Hutton, which saw the latter deducted two points but their finishing place of fourth is not affected. Swifts will finish tenth, on 30 points.

In the big game in Division One, Snaresbrook retained their status in the division with a brilliant 4 – 2 victory over Leigh Town in a match moved to Ilford Wanderers RFC, where Sungate usually play. The Snaresbrook scorers were Yehven Zhyvka from the penalty spot, Rajpal Bumbra, Max Catherall and Youssef Moumen. The result leaves Snaresbrook in eighth place, having moved above their opponents here on goal difference. They finished ninth, with Herongate Athletic finishing second-bottom, which could see them relegated.

One game to Division Four to round off the EOFL articles this term, which was Springfield Res winning 2 – 0 at home to Roydon which meant they secured third spot and a possible promotion, given that Division Three is also short on clubs.


Thank you for reading this article series during the season, it’s certainly taken hours & hours to put together. Have a good summer everyone.  

S21-22 Match Report: Corinthians 2 – 1 Wakebury  (Thurs 19 May) [SCC 21-22 20.5.22]

Southend Charity Cup A Final

Venue: Len Forge 3G

Attendance: 110 [Est]

2021-22 Season: Match 85

Thursday 19th May 2022 – 7.30pm KO

Corinthians: Blue & White Shirts, Black Shorts & Socks

Wakebury: Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks  


Corinthians battle hard to claim Southend Charity Cup

Corinthians 2 – 1 Wakebury

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

Additional photo by Daniel Mann/Corinthians FC [@_corinthiansf_c], used with thanks

There was a ‘bonus’ match which saw a return to the Len Forge Centre for this Southend Charity Cup Final between two local sides in EOFL Division One side Corinthians and another ambitious side in EOFL Division Two side Wakebury. It is a credit to both teams that they named near full-strength sides for this contest, and as you often see in a Cup Final, it was a slow-building start to the game as broth sides were keen not to hand the initiative to their opponents.

As it happened, the opening goal cropped up on the quarter-hour, as a good ball in from left side evaded the Corinthians backline and found Wakebury skipper Ben Perry at the back post and his strike fizzed low into the left corner past stopper Nathan Warren with a similar calmness to a goal-hungry striker. It added to the intrigue of the game & as you’d expect, Corinthians responded quickly. Forward Leo Clarke had two decent strikes denied by a well-drilled ‘Bury defence but Clarke was having an increasingly important part to play here.

Corinthians attack down the left flank, with Wilton (3) on the ball

Chris Stoneham’s side did find their rhythm as the half went on, and Wakebury’s spirited defending was holding them off well, until the ‘home’ side got an equalizer on 26 minutes. Matt Burrell’s well-placed corner into the back post found top scorer Bailey Moss who powered in a header into the right corner. Matt Cardy’s team were still well in the contest here, and their pace in attack was finding the gap between the opposition’s midfield and defence to good effect. Unfortunately though for them, after making a fine run down the left, Wheeler’s strike couldn’t bypass Warren.

The Berries had a let-off of their own three minutes before the interval as Corinthians recycled the ball well and Moss displayed good close control before having another low shot denied by the advancing ‘Bury custodian Lewis Catling. The ball trickled towards the goal-line before it was cleared by the well-positioned Liam Ellis.

Half-Time: Corinthians 1 – 1 Wakebury


The second half began with a higher tempo, Wakebury had the first effort on goal as Wheeler was again well-denied by Warren and although they had several decent chances, the Corinthians backline was also stifling their enterprising forward moves. Moments later, forward Harry Kateley got in behind the opposition defence utilizing his pace well but Warren again blocked his fierce shot with his legs.

Those two saves by Warren did prove important as Corinthians took the lead for the first time soon afterward as a deft set-piece by Clarke was slid through to substitute John Bolton-Smith who sent the ball on, but centre-back Connor Summerhill got the final tough to force the ball into the net. Wakebury midfielder Junior Lawrence also had a well-struck effort which was off-target.

Harry Kateley strikes a shot for Wakebury from edge of the 18-yard box

At the other end, Clarke was unfortunate to see his powerful, curling strike go narrowly wide of the top left corner, as the number of chances increased as the half went on. Wakebury kept going admirably, but the Corinthians backline was not as troubled by them as they were earlier in the game. The latter’s concern would have been that they had to recoup their tempo & rhythm a little.

As we got into the latter phase of the this game, Corinthians were getting a bit tense and were conceding several free-kicks did not help their cause. On the stroke of 70 minutes, Wakebury underlined that the main inhibitor for them was finishing as a decent corner by full-back Kofi Gyamfi was turned towards goal by substitute Ben Morley’s swiveling effort but it was straight at Warren, who gathered. Chris Stoneham’s side responded at the other end with 14 minutes of normal time left as forward Jake Hodder broke forward well, twisting and turning past his marker before his low strike was well-denied by Catling, who had to get down well to avoid the ball creeping in at left-side post.

The six minutes of added time did not help the Corinthians’ contingent’s understandable nerves and at the end of that stopage time, Wakebury thought they had levelled as Gyamfi had put stuck the ball into the net well from another set-piece, but was denied by an assistant’s flag. In the end, Corinthians did deserve the victory, mainly because of their more assured finishing but Wakebury really gave them a good match here and they certainly have positives to take, ahead of next season.

Full-Time: Corinthians  2 – 1  Wakebury


Corinthians celebrate their triumph with the Shield post-match [Image by Daniel Mann]

To sum up this one, Wakebury took a surprise lead and whilst Corinthians produced a stirring comeback to take the lead shortly after the interval, they were also made to battle hard because of an exuberant ‘Bury forward line that couldn’t quite find the required finishing. This was a good match, and credit to both teams for contributing heavily to it so late in the campaign.

There were several fine performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for winners Corinthians, I thought full-back Bill Wilton had a good game, showing characteristically high energy levels, and was an important player down the left side in both boxes. Forward Leo Clarke also had a strong match, making several important driving runs and made some astute passes as well. Captain Matt Burrell was a decent threat from set-pieces & put in a good shift in central midfield, while forward Jake Hodder also put in a good display

For Wakebury, tricky forward Will Wheeler once again put in a good display, showcasing his dribbling & passing ability. The only thing that denied him at least one goal was clinical finishing. Harry Kateley was also a threat in the forward line and was well-denied by the opposition backline, and showed good tracking back in defence when required. Skipper Ben Perry took his goal well & defensively was also robust too. Full-back Kofi Gyamfi had a good match too & in the second half was a threat from set-pieces and would have levelled, but for an off-side flag.

Best wishes to both sides for the forthcoming season & it was good to see them both in action once again. Finally, congratulations to the Southend Borough & District Combination Committee for holding a good event here, which was well supported by the local area.


Teams (up to 5 substitutes allowed)

Corinthians | Manager: Chris Stoneham  | Assistant: Graham Owen

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Nathan Warren (GK), 2 Charlie Marden, 3 Bill Wilton, 5 Connor Summerhill, 6 Alfie Knight, 7 Jordan Stoneham, 8 Matt Burrell (Capt), 11 Damien Siemienczuk, 9 Jake Hodder, 18 Bailey Moss, 10 Leo Clarke

Goal-scorers: Bailey Moss [26’] , Connor Summerhill [51’]

Subs ON: 15 John Bolton-Smith [46’], 12 Ollie Brickwood [74’], 4 Sammy Ayres [81’], 14 Ethan Lemmon [89’]

Booked: Summerhill, Burrell, Brickwood, Warren | Sub Not Used: Peralta |


Wakebury | Manager: Matt Cardy  | Assistants: Dan Blewett & Gareth Cleverly

Starting XI: 1 Lewis Catling (GK), 2 Elliott Hutchinson-Khupe, 3 Kofi Gyamfi, 5 Jack Smith, 6 Ben Perry (Capt), 4 Liam Ellis, 8 Junior Lawrence, 7 Will Wheeler, 10 Daley Grant, 9 Harry Kateley, 11 Ibrahim Kagbanda

Goal-scorer: Ben Perry [15’]

Subs ON: 16 Ben Morley [54’], 14 Jerry Nkoy [74’], 12 Alex Horey [84’]

| Booked: Wheeler | Subs Not Used: Butler


Referee: Connor Cornell

Assistants: Joe Wise & Keith Robinson

S21-22 Match Report: Cockfosters 2 – 3 Enfield (Mon 2 May) [ESL ECC 3.5.22]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Errington Challenge Cup Final

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: 466

2021-22 Season: Match 80

Monday 2nd May 2022 – 3pm KO

Cockfosters: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Enfield: White Shirts, Blue Shorts, White Socks


The Silverware… the Winners permanent Trophy & the Errington Cup itself [Image by Scott W]

Superior finishing gives Enfield Errington Cup glory at Burroughs Park

Cockfosters  2 – 3 Enfield

Match Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

With photos by Katie Dorling (on behalf of ESL), Scott W, Enfield FC & James W

The second match of ESL ‘Finals Day’was the big one, with Cockfosters taking on Enfield for the Errington Challenge Cup. Gavin Kelsey’s team had Charlie Mann in goal, Danny Haigh & Michael Okafor in central defence, with skipper Matt Thomson & Joe Entwistle in midfield, and led by forwards Theo Coeta and top-scorer George Beattie. The E’s were looking to round off a good campaign with silverware and had James Bransgrove between the posts, Alfie Mason, Jack Johnson & Tyler Corkett in defence with a forward line of Dwade James and Louis Johnson assisted in the flanks by Samrai Gebrai & Kieran Bishop.

Image by Scott W

It was the North London side who started the match well, with several enterprising runs down the channels. Midfielder Joe Entwistle had the first half-chance of note, firing off-target. As the half went on though, the E’s had more momentum & possession as Samrai Gebrai also struck wide for Jamie Cureton’s side. The opening goal may have had a little fortune about it but it was still a crisp strike by Louis Johnson which bounced and decieved Reds stopper Charlie Mann who did well to get a glove on it but couldn’t prevent the ball from going into the net.

Five minutes afterward, Enfield really took advantage of their good spell as forward Dwade James smashed home an unstoppable strike right into the top corner, giving Mann no chance. It was one of the best technique goals you will see anywhere. Unsurprisingly, that goal compromised Cockfosters’ rhythm and it got worse still on 32 minutes. A fine cross from the left side found Gebrai who powered in a header into left-side corner.


Cockfosters launch a counter-attack.. [Image by James W]

So at the interval, ‘Fosters were well behind despite showing good approach play and they gave the E’s some nervy moments in defence. Strong finishing was the difference thus far in this game.

Half-Time: Cockfosters 0 – 3 Enfield

After the break, the Reds rallied and got a goal they did deserved as star winger Reece Mosanya stole half a yard of space and slotted in past Enfield stopper Bransgrove. Now it was the ‘Fosters who were making the E’s backline a little wary as centre-back Michael Okafor who nearly slotted home at the backpost but it only found the side-netting.

Another turning point happened on the hour as Okafor was dismissed for a really tough tackle on Enfield skipper Reece Conway, who had to be substituted after several minutes of treatment. Ryan Ramsay replaced him, and ‘Fosters depleted defence nearly conceded again soon afterward with James having an effort wide, much to Mann’s relief.


Reece Mosanya looks up to start a forward move (Image by Katie D)

As we entered the last twenty minutes of the match, Cockfosters were again pushing forward with George Beattie making runs from deep down the flank & the nerves were rising in the Enfield defence. The Reds had another good effort on goal on 81 minutes through Beattie’s freekick from 25 yards which went narrowly over the woodwork.


Samrai Gebrai sprints forward for Enfield… (Image by Katie D)

As the minutes ebbed away, there was one more fantastic strike left in the contest. Barely a minute after coming off the bench, Daniel Ferrigno unleashed a fine strike which curled round Bransgrove’s grasp to really add to the tension in the seven additional minutes of stoppage time. Cockfosters pushed on looking for what was earlier an unlikely leveller but they were unable to force extra time. Take nothing away from both sides though who contributed to an absorbing contest which was worthy of the competition.

Image by Scott W

Full-Time:  Cockfosters 2 – 3 Enfield

To summarise this entertaining Errington Cup Final, Enfield’s finishing in the first half was quite simply the difference that gave them a commanding half-time advantage. Dwade James’ goal was a terrific display of technique while Samrai Gebrai got a rare header for his side’s third goal. ‘Fosters came back into the match well in the latter stages despite centre-back Michael Okafor’s red card. It’s also worth adding that substitute Dan Ferrigno’s goal was also brilliant.

There were terrific performances by several players in this game. For victors Enfield, forward Dwade James was announced as Man of the Match & his stunning goal was worthy of it. But James also showed good movement and good energy, while defender Tyler Corlett had another strong match as the right-sided defender here, making several crucial interceptions. Also, a word for talented forward Samrai Gebrai, who also made several telling runs, made good passes and took his goal well. For Cockfosters, winger Reece Mosanya had a fine game, being his team’s best creative outlet, showing good movement and also a decent goal. Also, forward Theo Costa made some good intelligent runs and was unlucky not to score, while Reece Barrett also provided a good presence in a attacking midfield role.

Congratulations again to Enfield but also a word for Cockfosters who gave it everything today and made it a nervy end for the E’s with their comeback.

Finally, as this is my last Essex Senior-related match of the season, I’d like to say thank you to all at the Essex Senior League for their hospitality at the three Cup Finals in the last three weeks. It’s been a long season but also a good one & it is an privilege to write on the ESL. Thank you to all the Clubs & Match Officials as well.

Enfield celebrate with the Cup [Image Credit: Enfield FC]

Here are your winners, Enfield FC!

Enfield team applauding their fans with the Cup [Image by James W]

Teams

Cockfosters     |  Manager: Gavin Kelsey  | Assistant: Glenn Draper

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Charlie Mann (GK), 2 Rueben Campbell, 3 Prince Madu, 5 Michael Okafor, 6 Danny Haigh, 4 Joe Entwistle (15 Zivonimir Lopes 88′), 7 Matt Thomson (Capt) (14 Dan Ferrigno 88′), 8 Reece Barrett (16 Fred Agyemang 69′), 9 Theo Costa, 10 George Beattie, 11 Reece Mosanya

Goal-scorers: Reece Mosanya [52′], Dan Ferrigno [89′]

Booked: Mosanya  | Sent Off: Okafor [59′] | Sub Not Used: Constanti, N Barrett


Enfield     |  Player-Manager: Jamie Cureton | Assistants: Terry Fogarty & Lee Hanning

Starting XI: 1 James Bransgrove (GK), 21 Tyler Corlett, 5 Jack Johnson, 15 Alfie Mason, 8 Reece Conway (Capt) (7 Ryan Ramsay 64′), 16 Jack Cousins (20 Jeffrey Cobblah 80′), 4 Alex Warman, 9 Kieran Bishop, 10 Louis Johnson, 27 Dwade James, 11 Samrai Gebrai (3 Toby Barlow 90’+1)

Goal-scorers: Louis Johnson [18′], Dwade James [23′], Samrai Gebrai [32′]

Booked : Bishop & Gebrai | Subs Not Used: Luther, Cureton

Referee: James Keane

Assistants: Richard Airey & Royan Campbell
Fourth Official: Michael Scott

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

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 34 – Sat 23 Apr) [EAL 21-22 25.4.22]

and welcome to the latest action from the Essex Alliance League, which continues on this blog this season under the “Guest Blog” strand.  This edition looks at the action across the League divisions and action in the respective Divisional Cups on Saturday 23 April. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission. Thanks for reading.

Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL  [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]

With additional reporting by Scott W

Essex Alliance League Round-up- Saturday 23 April

DIVISION TWO CUP

The line-up for the Division Two Cup Final is now complete as the second semi-final took place on Saturday with Emerson & Upminster Reserves in action away at Unitey. A sparkling performance from the hosts saw Unitey book their place at Dagenham & Redbridge as Bubintende Masadi’s hat-trick, a brace from Ahmed Dousa and a Mohammed Abaker goal sealed a 6 – 1 win. Tobi Onafeko grabbed the Emerson goal in reply.

SENIOR DIVISION

It’s celebration time for DTFC as the Harlow based side were crowned league champions on Saturday in their last league game of the season, defeating Kit Out London in a 3 – 1 scoreline to seal the title at the Harlow Arena. Many congratulations to all involved at the club on this significant achievement, confirming promotion to Step 6 football in the process! They still have cup ties ahead to really make this an even more memorable campaign.

The chase for the runners-up spot will go down to the last games of the season as Chadwell Heath Spartans kept themselves in the mix with a 5 – 0 success in their last game of the season. Rapid Chingford were the final visitors to Chigwell where Harry Payne and Jeffrey Nketia both struck twice and Ray Hunwicks netted the other to finish a very creditable season for the Spartans.

Woodford East go into their remaining games knowing what they need to do and saw their runners-up quest dented with a shock defeat at home against FC Baresi at the Marshes. Connor Brathwaite’s double and an Andrew Rowe goal were not enough as Raymond Pok scored twice for the visitors with Tyreece Robertson, Jeffery Botendo and Abdisamad Mohamed strikes handing Baresi a 5 – 4 win.

Over in Noak Hill, Lymore Gardens kept up their outside hopes of a top four finish as they sent FC Petrocub to a big defeat, Lymore winning the game 7 – 3 ahead of a big week for Petrocub. Andre Rashford scored a hat-trick with Bradley Williams, Alex Coster, Tyriq Davies and Jonathan Hurrell efforts finishing off the game. In matters at the other end of the table, the race to beat the drop will head to a dramatic conclusion it appears as both of the bottom two sides recorded hugely important wins. Bottom team Tower United had a massive game at home against Blue Marlin and were able to record a 6 – 1 success, despite a Josh Morris goal for the visitors. That result closes the gap between the two sides to just a couple of points.

Over in Dagenham, a game with just as much significance saw Chigwell Town get themselves into a 3 – 0 lead in their game against top four chasing Jolof Sports. John Lye scored two and Ross Chimes one and they eventually held on to take the victory, despite second half fightback goals from Joshua Kweifio-Okai and Ahmadou Seye, the 3 – 2 victory giving Town vital points.


PREMIER DIVISION

The race for promotion in the Premier Division is into the final sequence of games and Dagenham United’s final game of the season has seen them move up into second place as they came through 3 – 1 victors in their game against Crookz United. Ancuba Cassama, Iaia Jau and Shaquille Mathurin were the men on target to give Dagenham a big chance of a top three finish.

In the other game from the division, Oakside’s own push for the top three is also still on track after they recorded win number ten this season with a 5 – 1 success away against Athletic Newham Under 23s. Kieren Huddart, Jahvid Irish, Demi Elegushi, Sam Davie and Kyrone Scotland were all on the scoresheet with this crucial three point haul. Rodney Botuli got the solitary reply for Newham, who will finish in mid-table.

DIVISION ONE

The promotion race in Division One took another turn on Saturday as promotion favourites, Cowley Community, slipped to defeat with two games to go, going down 3 – 1 to Kwanzas London Sport. Dwayne White scored for the hosts but his efforts were not quite enough as Kwanzas recorded their own ninth win of the campaign in their final league game of the season.

Something From Nothing will be relatively pleased with their first outing in Saturday football as their last league game of the season saw them confirm a top half finish following a 3 – 2 win at home against relegated Francis Luke. Brighton Tutalamon scored twice for Luke but those goals were not enough to take any points from the game.

DIVISION TWO

League leaders, Fairlop Rovers, missed the chance to take the title on Saturday as they could only take a single point from a double header against a rampant St Francis side who themselves moved further clear of danger at the bottom. Saints were 3 – 2 winners in the first game with Martin Valkov (2) and Omar Hafid netting the all important goals before taking a point in game two, Godwill Kumpana netting to make it 1 – 1.

The only side left who can catch the leaders are Rainham Working Mens Club but they failed to make the most of that Rovers slip as they could only draw in their home game against Old Esthameians, the two sides starting the day six points apart. That gap remained by full-time with neither side able to trouble the scorers in a 0 – 0 draw.

Over in Loughton, two more sides locked in a mid-table battle, Royal Forest and FHN Athletic, met at Roding Valley with the latter holding a slender one point lead going into the fixture. By full-time they had extended that to four as FHN ran out 3 – 1 victors to record their ninth league win of the season with three games to go.


DIVISION THREE

Congratulations are in order for the now confirmed Division Three league champions after FC Baresi Under 23s secured the points they needed to take the title, beating Buckhurst Way 6 – 0 in their eighteenth game of the season to move above runners-up, Old Barkabbeyans Reserves. Zach Aliane has had a fine season and he netted a hat-trick, Joshua Adu and Kii Jean-Baptiste scoring the others. Well done to all involved with the team on such a fine success.

Over in Hainault, two further sides completed their league seasons with Royal Forest Reserves the hosts to a Glendale side, both teams knowing the game had little riding on it with positional matters resolved. The Trees scored a couple of early goals and consolidated that with a third in the second half with Josh Loften, James Nelson and Tom Alexander all netting in a 3 – 0 scoreline.

S21-22 Match Report: Billericay Town U23 1 – 2 Harlow Town Res (Sun 24 Apr) (ESL LDC Final 25.4.22)

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – League Divisional Cup Final

Venue: Capershotts (Waltham Abbey FC)

Attendance: 165

2021-22 Season: Match 76

Sunday 24th April 2022 – 3pm KO

Billericay: Blue Shirts,  Black Shorts, Blue Socks

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


Harlow’s late winner sees them lift the ESL League Divisional Cup at Capershotts

Billericay Town Res  1 – 2 Harlow Town Res

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

The second & final match of this last weekend of the League part of the ESL campaign saw a welcome ‘bonus’ match at Capershotts as Reserve League Division One Champions Billericay Town Reserves (or U23s) faced Harlow Town Reserves for the League Divisional Cup, which is a new competition in the Essex Senior this term. It is a rare pleasure to see Reserve teams and this was my third Reserves match of this campaign.

The good crowd of over 160 in attendance saw a very open-ended start to the game as both sides were looking to gain the advantage. In the early moments, Harlow forward Manny Phagura got in on goal evading his marker but his goalbound effort was gathered by Billericay stopper Jordan Williams. The Blues side was assisted by the good play down the left flank by Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo and one of his teasing crosses into the centre so nearly found the head of forward Louie Vesper who had a well-timed run in the eighteen yard area.



Harlow responded at the other end as forward Charles Nicol got ahead of his marker and powered a header off-target on 14 minutes. The decent approach play continued from both teams but it was Mbambo who curled in a good ball which evaded the unfortunate Horgan and came back off the post onto him and into the net with 31 minutes on the watch. The Hawks were undeterred though and responded barely two minutes later as attacking midfielder Henry Clark found the run of forward Marko Protic and he finished with aplomb, low under the dive of Williams to level things up.

Williams was called into action again four minutes before the break as a decent move that involved full-back Callum Berg and Protic ended with a curling strike that the Billericay stopper gathered.


Half-Time: Billericay 1 – 1 Harlow


It would be fair to say that the second period was not quite at the same pace as the first half, although there were a few decent chances for either side. Just shy of the hour mark, Billericay midfielder Freddy Cooper sent a header in on goal which Horgan gathered well enough. At the other end, Harlow’s creative forward Manny Phagura had been fizzing in some good passes and one of those on 69 minutes found Nicol who had narrowly strayed offside.

Danny Brown’s side responded with two decent chances, first after a good move involving substitute Nyan Mesuria and Vosper led to Cooper firing his effort wide. Soon afterward, decent build-up play by Mbambo led to full-back George Cornwell having a go at goal, forcing a decent save from Horgan.

Cornwell (2) making a good run down the right flank for Blues (Image by Scott W)

But just when it looked as though it would would finish level after the 90 minutes, Harlow got a crucial winning goal on eighty-four minutes as decent play in the build-up ended with full-back Sammy Bayon drilling in a good low strike which left the unfortunate Williams stranded as it found the net. The Blues could not respond and had to settle for their runners-up medals in what has still been a good campaign for them.

Charles Nicol (far right) jostling for possession with Billericay’s Tom Duffy

Full-Time:  Billericay Town Res  1 – 2 Harlow Town Res

To summarise this match, a really energetic first-half meant that both sides were finding it tricky to match said energy levels after the interval. The Billericay side showed enough to display why they had won the ESL Reserve League Division One title but they could not dominate a good Harlow side, whose main focus ended up being this competition. The late winner really did come at a good time as we were hurtling towards another 30 minutes, for the second time this weekend. It was hard to deny Harlow their win as they put in a good all-round effort.

There were some really good performances in this game. For Harlow Res, I felt forward Charles Nicol had a really good game, provuding his team with a good focal point in attack and show good physicality and passing. Fellow forwards Marko Protic and Manny Phagura also shone, with Protic taking his goal well and being a constant threat to the Billericay backline, while Phagura was the creative passer & dribbler just behind them in the formation. Finally, a word for full-back Sammy Bayon who already put in a hard-working performance before producing a fine strike for the winning goal.

For the Billericay side, I thought winger Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo showed why he’s had loan spells elsewhere in Senior football this term, showcasing good pace, passing and movement in addition to his goal. Freddy Cooper had a fine game in central midfield and made several good passes, while forward Louie Vosper did test the stout Harlow backline with his pace and trickery. Lastly, full-back George Cornwell did well to provide an attacking option at times, making several good runs down the right flank & added some good passes as well.

Here are your winners – Harlow Town Reserves!

Congrats to the victors Harlow but I will add it was good to see both teams looking to play the game in a fast, enterprising style.


I’ll end with some thanks, firstly to Essex Senior League President Rob Errington and also to Match Referee Craig Wood, for his assistance pre-match. Thank you.


Teams

Billericay Town Res     |  Manager: Danny Brown 

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jordan Williams (GK), 2 George Cornwell, 3 James Drake, 18 Henry Lukombo, 16 Tom Duffy (Capt), 5 Josh Brown (7 Nyan Mesuria 63′), 17 Freddy Cooper, 8 Jack Taylor, 14 Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo, 11 Robert Adams, 9 Louie Vosper (19 Kaylen Harris 87′)

Goal-scorer: Gabriel Ipanga Mbambo [31′]

Booked: Mesuria  | Sub Not Used: Davey, Bassa, Clubb


Harlow Town Res     | Manager: Adam Connolly

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Robert Horgan (GK), 2 Sammy Bayon, 3 Callum Berg, 5 Reece Hardwick, 6 Greame Butler (Capt), 4 Jamie Brooker (18 Harry Yorke 90′), 14 Eden Hayday, 10 Henry Clark, 19 Manny Phagura, 9 Marko Protic, 7 Charles Nicol (8 Ishmeal Fiadzomor 84′),

Goal-scorers: Marko Protic [34′], Sammy Bayon [84′]

Booked: Clark | Subs Not Used: Harwood, Ambrose, Parker


Referee: Craig Wood
Assistants: Yaron Woolf & Katie Dorling

Fourth Official: James Latham

S21-22 Match Report: Stanway Rovers 0 – 2 Redbridge (Mon 18 Apr) [ESL PBT Final 21-22 19.4.22]


ESL crest

ESL Peter Butcher Trophy – Final

Venue: Catons Lane

Attendance: 181

2021-22 Season: Match 74

Monday 18 April 2022 – 3pm KO

Stanway: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Redbridge:  Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks



The Silverware.. This is the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy [Image by Scott W]

Early Action Still with Redbridge defending [Image by Scott W]

Redbridge secure another Trophy with hard-earned win over resilient Stanway

Stanway Rovers  0 – 2  Redbridge

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

Additional photos by Katie Dorling [for @EssexSenior], used with thanks. Thanks also to the ESL’s Ashley Leat.

The last match of the Easter weekend saw the first Essex Senior-related Cup Final of the campaign as we headed to Saffron Walden’s Catons Lane for an interesting battle between high-flyers Redbridge and mid-table side Stanway Rovers. Stanway had to bypass Sawbridgeworth Town, West Essex and Takeley to reach this occasion and named Harry Aldridge between the posts, with captain Jack Clampin and Danny Nesbitt in central defence. Jordan Barnett and Harry Norman were the central midfield, with Ernest Okoh and Ayo Oukoya leading the attack, with support from James Crisell and Sean Bartlett. Forwards Joel Older, Max Sherlock and Ezequiel Franchi were all options from the sidelines for boss Danny Slatter.

Redbridge had to lift themselves following a disappointing end to their League match on Good Friday but in this competition, they had defeated Southend Manor, St Margaretsbury, Walthamstow and Stansted en route to this Final. They named regular stopper George Martin in goal, with a back four of Bradley Bennett, skipper Jack Roult plus centre-backs Dean Hall and Nathan Okoye. Tony Martin led the forward line, alongside Ibrahim Kehinde and Timothy Ogunrinde. Jerold Cobblah and Michael Pindy were cup-tied & therefore unavailable. Their bench included forward Loui Hazelwood, midfielders Kwabena Yeboah and Tayo Olukolu and defender Joe Elliott.  

The Stanway team pre-match [Image by Katie D]

The Redbridge Starting XI pre-match [Image by Katie D]

This match had a cagey start, perhaps reflecting the long & arduous season that both sides have had. It is understandable that the teams were mentally tired more than anything but the match did find its way into gear on ten minutes as Redbridge pushed forward and Robbie Norris’ header forced a decent save from Rovers custodian Harry Aldridge. Stanway had given the Motormen defence a few nervy moments in the early minutes, with forwards Ernest Okoh and Ayo Odukoya proving a good duo with good movement and strength. They couldn’t quite create the chances they needed though as the Blues did get the better of the midfield battle. On twenty-five minutes, a set-piece was angled into the penalty box, which centre-back Nathan Okoye got onto but his header was not powerful enough to trouble Aldridge, who gathered.

Stanway were commendably strong in defence but couldn’t quite find the telling passes to the forwards often enough as they were frustrated by a good Motormen backline. Rovers had a warning on thirty-three minutes when a good one-two passing move involving Martin and Timothy Ogunrinde ended with Ogunrinde firing wide of the right-side post, with Kehinde making a surging run in the centre of the penalty area.

Redbridge looking to get forward in first half [Image by Scott W]

The game was starting to drift towards the interval, needing a goal and one duly arrived nine minutes before the break. Good build-up play saw a good cross-field ball find Ibrahim Kehinde on the left flank, before the wily forward turned past his marker and sent a superb cross in to the far post, finding Tony Martin who powerfully headed home into the far post with Aldridge helpless to prevent it. George Christou’s side were having the better of the chances but they were not plentiful.

So at the Interval, Redbridge had a slender lead but they had to stay alert to shake off the threat posed by Odukoya and Okoh in particular while Rovers had to step up the tempo to further stretch & test the Redbridge defence.

Redbridge looking to counter-attack in 1st half with Stanway skipper Jack Clampin (5) marking [Image by Katie D]

Half-Time: Stanway Rovers 0 – 1 Redbridge


Redbridge looked to regain the momentum early in the second half but Kehinde was unable to make the most of two half-chances, first firing off-target and then shortly afterwards, his effort was saved by Aldridge, who was having a decent game. Stanway were still finding it tricky to create clear chances, with Okoh having the only effort of note off-target ten minutes after the restart. Max Sherlock came off the bench for Danny Slatter’s team to replace Sean Bartlett and immediately gave Rovers an injection of pace and energy down the left flank, which added to the threat the Motormen defence had to face.

At the other end, fellow substitute Loui Hazelwood was also causing problems for the Rovers backline as a surging run ended with Aldridge doing well to deny his effort as well. Stanway came back into proceedings well in the latter stages though as Okoh was denied by Motormen stopper George Martin before Sherlock got hold of the rebound and saw his strike blocked by the well-placed covering defenders. Redbridge were searching keenly for that telling second goal and Hazelwood so nearly had it, sending a curling strike from left side of penalty box which Stanway captain Jack Clampin did very well to clear off the goal-line.


Stanway put another dangerous ball into the box [Image by Scott W]

Rovers were still piling forward looking for that crucial leveller and were leaving gaps in their defence on the counter-attack. Redbridge did just that a minute before the ninety was up, with Hazelwood doing well making another run before playing in skipper Jack Roult but his strike went narrowly wide of Aldridge’s left-side post. That ended up being the last let-off Rovers had as a minute later, Redbridge finally got a second goal to seal the Peter Butcher Trophy.

A searing run by the impressive Kehinde down the right channel got the better of the Stanway defence before coolly playing in Hazelwood who struck home well with a looping finish to send the Redbridge contingent into raptures.

Stanway’s Ayo Odukoya being marked by Redbridge’s Robbie Norris [Image by Scott W]

Rovers had little time to mount a fightback as the final whistle went soon afterwards, though I must pay respect to the performance that they put in here. They put in a hard shift defensively but ultimately it wasn’t enough to claim the Trophy here.


Full-Time: Stanway Rovers  0 – 2 Redbridge

In summary, Redbridge were the stronger of the two sides going forward but Stanway made it tough with a resilient defensive display and the Motormen’s one goal lead going into the latter stages was precarious. That and Stanway looked more lively in attack after the interval meant there were nervy moments but George Christou’s side scored a superb second goal which secured more silverware, their second Trophy in two seasons.     

There were several fine performances from both sides In this Final. For victors Redbridge, forward Ibrahim Kehinde once again impressed, showing high energy and good running down the channels as well as good passing and two good assists and was named Man of the Match during the presentation post-match as well.  Jake Brocklebank had a good game in central midfield, as did centre-back Nathan Okoye who made several important interceptions at the heart of the Motormen backline. Finally, a word too for energetic forward Loui Hazelwood who did cause problems in the last half-hour with his movement and trickery after coming off the bench. He capped a memorable day for the club with a well-taken second goal.


Stanway also had some good performers on the big occasion, with Ernest Okoh leading the line well alongside Ayo Odukoya. His work rate and movement did give the Blues defence some nervy moments, particularly early on. Centre-back & captain Jack Clampin typified their resolve with some good clearances under pressure, assisted by full-back Daniel Smith who also put in a determined performance in defence and also sent in a few good crosses into the penalty area too.  Finally, substitute Max Sherlock made a difference after coming on, on the hour mark as well. His pace and passing really gave Rovers some impetus as the Motormen’s lead was perilously thin. Commiserations to Danny Slatter and his team, they’ve had a decent season.


Here are your winners of the Peter Butcher Trophy for Season 2021-22, Redbridge!!


Teams

Stanway Rovers  | Manager: Danny Slatter | Assistant: Jack Wignall

Starting XI  (Subs): 1 Harry Aldridge (GK), 2 Daniel Smith, 3 Olumide Akinode (15 Ezequiel Franchi 76’), 5 Jack Clampin (Capt), 18 Danny Nesbitt, 4 Jordan Barnett, 8 Harry Norman, 7 James Crisell, 9 Ernest Okoh (14 Joel Older 82’), 10 Ayo Odukoya, 11 Sean Bartlett (12 Max Sherlock 61’)

Booked: Akinode, Odukoya | Subs Not Used: Skinner (GK)


Redbridge  | Manager: George Christou  | Assistant: Jack Toghli

Starting XI (Subs): 1 George Martin (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett, 3 Jack Roult (Capt), 5 Dean Hall, 6 Nathan Okoye, 4 Jake Brocklebank, 8 Robbie Norris (16 Joe Elliott 86’), 18 Jack Chawner, 9 Ibrahim Kehinde, 10 Tony Martin (7 Loui Hazelwood 61’), 11 Timothy Ogunrinde (12 Kwabena Yeboah 80’)

Goal-scorers: Tony Martin [36’], Loui Hazelwood [90’]

Booked: Bennett, Brocklebank, G Martin (GK)  | Subs Not Used: Olukolu, Grace (GK)


Referee: Lukas Wood

Assistants: Ben Compton & Lee Jarvis

Fourth Official: Reece Pinchback

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: Redbridge 1 – 1  Little Oakley (Fri 15 Apr) [ESL 21-22 15.4.22]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Oakside

Attendance: 64

2021-22 Season: Match 72

Friday 15 April 2022 – 1pm KO

Redbridge:  Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

L Oakley: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks



Redbridge denied an important win by last-gasp Oakley spot-kick

Redbridge    1 – 1  Little Oakley

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

The first match of the Easter weekend saw the hectic end of the season continue with a trip back to Oakside to see a critical mach in the fortunes of the Motormen as they entertained a robust & impressive Oakley side who are still after a top-six finish. George Christou’s hosts also had to think about their Peter Butcher Trophy Final on Easter Monday and fielded George Martin in goal, with a back four in front of him of Bradley Bennett, skipper Jack Roult and centre-backs Nathan Okoye and Joe Elliott. The forward line here was led by Ibrahim Kehinde, Tim Ogunrinde and Michael Pindy. Options from the sidelines included forwards Loui Hazelwood and Tony Martin. Matt Carmichael’s Acorns recently opened their new stand at their Memorial ground celebrating a fan who has supported them for seven decades in Gordon Carter. Their side here included stopper Daniel Joyce, Hayden Dutch and Will Crissell as their central defence, Ekow Owusu-Boakye and Bradley James in central midfield, with top-scorer Harry Mann leading the forward line alongside Sam Cooke. Their depleted bench was comprised of forwards Greg Rodger & Danny Garrad, alongside Tyler Sullivan.  


This match really broke into life early-doors as Redbridge not only threatened visiting custodian Daniel Joyce’s goal but also scored after just three minutes. A characteristic fast forward move allowed Tim Ogunrinde a strike at goal which was parried by Joyce, but the Oakley stopper couldn’t gather and Michael Pindy followed up, pinching the ball off skipper Edward Nobbs’ toes and Pindy duly slotted home low into the net without any further invitation. It was a setback for Oakley, who have made some reputation this season for being tough to break down and bypass. In the next phase of the game though, it was less happiness and more frustration for the team in blue though as they struck the woodwork twice before the half-hour arrived.

First, Ogunrinde’s fine strike nearly bypassed Joyce but not the goal frame and soon after, midfielder Jack Chawner’s well-struck free-kick also thundered off the woodwork with Oakley counting their luck and Redbridge cursing their luck. As they have in several matches this term, the duo of Ibrahim Kehinde & Michael Pindy really orchestrated the home side’s forward line, with Pindy showing excellent movement and no lack of pace either. Kehinde also showcased his pace and technique as well. Oakley did have a half-chance about ten minutes before the break as defender Will Crissell connected with a deep free-kick and the ball trickled wide, thankfully for Motormen goalkeeper George Martin.

Redbridge had one more chance at goal before the break but Kehinde couldn’t find the target as his shot drifted wide. All in all, the hosts should really have been two or three goals ahead at the break, but you know what they say about ‘having to take your chances’. That particular cliché would be further evidenced here but more on that later.

Half-Time: Redbridge  1 – 0  Little Oakley

Redbridge’s Bennett (2) about to launch a long throw [Image by Scott W]

Looking back, Oakley did gradually get themselves back into the running in the match, helped by the ‘midfield engine room’ of Ekow Owusu-Boakye and Bradley James plus the willing runner in forward Harry Mann. Moments on goal were less frequent, as the battle for midfield superiority replaced that to an extent. Oakley had to manage for ten minutes with ten men after Mason Lumley’s sin-bin just shy of the hour but substitute Danny Garrad did give them more impetus in the last fifteen minutes.

Frustratingly for the hosts, their early promise was being overtaken by tired legs and it highlighted how important chances were again just shy of seventy minutes when another set-piece by Chawner from nearly the half-way line also cannoned off the crossbar thanks to a one-handed save by Joyce. Centre-back Nathan Okoye’s effort was also denied by Joyce as Oakley were given some reason for optimism. The other thing the Acorns have been known for doing this season is staying in games and their belief has probably earned them a few points as well. It was Redbridge’s turn for a let-off with ten minutes remaining as Harry Mann fired well over when well-placed after good work by Garrad, but the assistant referee did put up his flag.


With mere moments remaining and despite Oakley not really creating a lot of chances at Martin’s goal, they did get a equaliser on eighty-nine minutes. A foul in a congested box by Okoye allowed Mann to step up and confidently fire home a fine spot-kick into left corner, away from Martin’s grasp – this was also Mann’s 20th league goal this term. And with little time left to conjure up a key second goal, it was the clock that won the day as Oakley left with a point & relatively happy with their afternoon’s work. The same certainly couldn’t be said for the hosts as desolation took hold after the final whistle and those earlier missed chances had come back to bite.

Redbridge now have to focus on the Peter Butcher Trophy final and hope that Sawbridgeworth stifle Saffron Walden’s charge to second spot on Saturday (16 April).

Oakley’s Ed Nobbs looking for options from the Throw-in late on [Image by Scott W]

Full-Time: Redbridge 1 – 1   Little Oakley

In summary, Redbridge should really have been two or three goals up as I said at the interval, but profligate finishing and decent defending by Oakley kept it to one goal. The Acorns would probably have wanted to have played better but their resolute belief will carry them well, looking at next season. It is some ways a credit to the high bar that both teams have set for themselves this term and that has to be recognised.    

There were several good performances from both sides in this match. For Redbridge, forwards Michael Pindy and Ibrahim Kehinde really gave the Oakley backline a hard afternoon, particularly in the first half with their pace, movement and passing. Centre-back Joe Elliott made several key interceptions and added to a good performance from his team’s back five while Jerold Cobblah impressed in central midfield with a high work rate and some good passes too. For Oakley, forward Harry Mann was as ever a good presence in attack, despite little in the way of service at times from his team-mates, but Mann did make several good runs in the channels. Mdfielder Ekow Owusu-Boakye put in a good display with a good work rate as well and good tackles, while defenders Ed Nobbs and Rory Harman also put in decent displays as well.

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


Teams

Redbridge  | Manager: George Christou  | Assistant: Jack Toghli

Starting XI (Subs): 1 George Martin (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett, 3 Jack Roult (Capt), 5 Joe Elliott, 6 Nathan Okoye, 4 Jerold Cobblah, 8 Kwabena Yeboah (12 Shawn Harris 75’), 18 Jack Chawner, 7 Michael Pindy, 9 Ibrahim Kehinde (16 Tony Martin 71’), 11 Timothy Ogunrinde (19 Loui Hazelwood 78’)

Goal-scorer: Michael Pindy [3’]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Norris, Ayoola


Little Oakley  | Manager: Matt Carmichael | Assistant: James Good

Starting XI  (Subs): 1 Daniel Joyce (GK), 2 Rory Harman, 3 Edward Nobbs (Capt), 5 Hayden Dutch, 6 Will Crissell (12 Tyler Sullivan 65’), 4 Bradley James, 8 Ekow Owusu-Boakye , 7 Daniel Rowe 9 Harry Mann, 10 Sam Cooke (14 Danny Garrad 74’), 11 Mason Lumley

Goal-scorer: Harry Mann [pen 89’]

Booked: James, Rowe | Subs Not Used: Fernandes, Rodger


Referee: John Duffy

Assistants: Olabisi Omotosho & Muzackir Hussain