Hello and welcome a bonus blog looking at the ten Essex Senior matches that took place on the 8th & 9th April, as we enter the last fortnight of the regular campaign. Thanks for reading.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL writer
Essex Senior League Round-up- Sat 9 April
The match with the most significance at the top was Saffron Walden Town’s 2 – 1 win at Little Oakley. Daniel Rowe had given Matt Carmichael’s team a first-half lead but Walden’s form has been strong of late and they showed this once again through strikes by Gavin Cockman and teenager Stanley Leech. The win puts Walden in prime position for the promotion play-off place, with matches against Sawbridgeworth and Hoddesdon to come, crucially both at Catons Lane. Oakley’s season still looks very positive overall and they will be looking to secure a top-six finish. Elsewhere, Redbridge got a good 3 – 1 home win over Stanway Rovers at Oakside, in a match delayed for nearly two hours as Rovers were caught in traffic chaos en route. Stanway did take the lead early in the second half through Danny Nesbitt, but a brace for Loui Hazlewood and a late goal from Michael Pindy secured the comeback win and keep George Christou’s side in contention for that much-wanted second spot.
Stansted also have a slim chance of pinching that spot after a 2 – 1 win over Southend Manor at Hargrave Park, thanks to goals from Jack Mitchell and Michael Salako. Manor had an unfortunate OG to assist their way back into the game but other results mean they are now safe from relegation, and credit has to go to boss James Wakeling and his coaching team. The Airportmen meanwhile have four matches left, and arguably have to win all four to leapfrog their rivals. Athletic Newham’s season is coming to a stuttering end as they were held by top-six rivals Enfield at Terry Mac. Kieran Bishop’s goal had given the E’s a first-half lead, but Daniel Izekor got a good equaliser with about ten minutes left. The result means Enfield remain six points clear of Newham, though Chris Davis’ side also have four matches to play (in the next fortnight). Also, FC Clacton are also finishing the season well as they got a 4 – 0 triumph over Clapton at Rush Green Bowl. A double for Mekhi McKenzie, plus goals by Elias Ahmed and Harry McDonald saw Tom Austin’s side to a fine win and they rose to eighth spot because of it. The Tons debatably need a point or two to make sure of their ESL place next term.
That is the case due to Sawbridgeworth Town’s hugely important 2 – 1 win over Errington Cup Finalists Cockfosters at Crofters. James Falaise and Morgan Arnold got the big goals for Alex Salmon and Kieran Amos’ side, with Bailey Stevenson responding for Gavin Kelsey’s team. ‘Fosters drop down to tenth but they still have 3 games left. Sawbo’s assignment is clear – they need at least one win from matches against Saffron Walden and West Essex to evade the bottom two. Meanwhile, Takeley continued their mini-revival with a 4 – 1 success over Sporting Bengal Utd at Station Road. The ensemble cast of Elliott Long, Glenn O’Hanlon, George Frodsham and Traevon Williams-Lauder all netted for Marc Das’ side to take them up to 11th spot. Bengal ended their campaign here and responded via an OG in this match but there will be a lot of soul-searching in the close season to come whilst they find out which division they will be placed in Step 6 following relegation.
The remaining Saturday game to note saw Hoddesdon Town claim a good 2 – 0 victory over champions Walthamstow. Terrell Sterling and Harrison Rookard both struck to give Simon Riddle’s team the points which takes them up to 50 points for the season. ‘Stow can still hit 90 points this term, even with a draw in their final game on April 23rd. On Friday night, West Essex got a 2 – 1 win over Ilford at Wadham Lodge, with Cameron Gray and Reece Clarke’s spot-kick enough to overhaul Jordan Fisher’s reply for the Foxes. West remain 13th after the weekend’s action, while Ilford stay 16th. Also, Woodford Town were held to a goalless draw by St Margaretsbury at Ashton’s, which kept Town in 14th but St Mags stay third-bottom, a point clear of Sawbo but with only one match left – at Redbridge on the final day of the league season.
Ensign: Red & Navy Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Clacton: White & Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Ensign edge to comeback win in terrific contest at Burroughs Park
White Ensign 4 – 3 FC Clacton
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The match on this year’s “Non-League Day” was a local trip to Burroughs Park for White Ensign’s last home game of the Essex Senior campaign as they welcomed FC Clacton. Both sides are seeking to claim a top-ten finish to round a throughly good campaign for both teams. Ensign had Louis Hawes in goal once again, with a back four of Thando Moyo, Charlie Adams, Carl Conway and skipper Jake McWee. Their forward line was led by George O’Connor and Luke Woodward, with support from Teddy Henderson and Jason Reynolds-Blanche. On the bench were good options in forwards Shemarie Perkins, Jake Chaplin and Emanuel Abudiore plus Courtney Justin and midfielder Reece Sayers. Clacton had Luke Avenell between the posts here, with a backline comprised of Kyle Ferguson, Teddy Collis plus centre-backs Michael Okafor and Adam Tilson. Jett Hogan and Jamie Bennett were in central midfield, with Mekhi McKenzie leading the forward line for Tom Austin’s side. Options from the sidelines included full- back Jenson Mulqueen and forward Elias Ahmed.
This game really sprung into life early on as Clacton forward Charlie Collis’effort was well parried over the woodwork by Ensign custodian Louis Hawes in the first minute. That was a let-off for the home side but they really punished their opposition as they took the lead on four minutes. From a set-piece, the ball was fed into midfielder Ethan Evison’s crisp strike beat visiting goalkeeper Luke Avenell at his near post.
Collis was proving a thorn in the home defence’s side with fine energetic runs and on thirteen minutes, home co-boss Jack Maleary in the dugout wouldve been glad to see another effort from the forward deflected, thus giving Hawes a chance to get across and gather. At the other end, forwards Luke Woodward and Teddy Henderson were utilising their pace and strength to keep Clacton central defenders Michael Okafor and Adam Tilson alert, with Okafor a towering presence in the air. Indeed, Clacton did get a deserved leveller on 21 minutes through a fine rapid move which ended with captain Billy Wales sweeping home a lofted finish into the net, giving Hawes little oppurtunity to deny him.
Clacton were continuing to look efficent and fast going forward, but they were also prone to the occasional moment of poor concentration in defence. One such moment happened allowed Henderson to get in on goal but his strike lacked the power to beat Avenell, who was relieved to claim the ball. The hosts also had a bit of fortune just past the half-hour as midfielder Jett Hogan stole in at the back post but his strike wasn’t enough to bypass Hawes.
Tom Austin’s team finished the half well and made it count as Collis finished a flowing move with a precise finish low into the right corner. They had edged the matxh at that point but the manner and timing of the goal would have delighted Austin and his assistant Ryan Salter, who are clear in the standards they seek to maintain in their team.
Half-Time: Ensign 1 – 2 Clacton
The second half was delayed in getting underway by a half-hour while attending paramedics dealt with a medical emergency after a spectator was taken ill. I would like to wish them a swift recovery.
Back to the match, and crikey it really was worth waiting for. The visitors again looked to use their guile to create chances and a quickly-taken goal kick up field by Avenell caught the home defence cold, allowing the onrushing Wales in on goal though Hawes again did well to deny him. Ensign got themselves back level as a fine centre from the right side by Jason Reynolds-Blanche found substitute Emanuel Abudiore who evaded the Clacton backline and slotted home calmly.
White Ensign were arguably having their best spell of the match at this point, with forward George O’Connor showing desire, strength and good pace as well and that was evident as he outpaced Okafor but with only Avenell to get past, his low strike sailed agonizingly wide of the right-side post. The home side did wrestle the lead back on 69 minutes from the penalty spot, with another Reynolds-Blanche cross causing problems, and referee Benjamin Horne adjudged the ball struck a hand. Reynolds-Blanche stepped up to duly convert the kick from twelve yards.
It has to be said that both teams were really going for the win, with forward Jordan Lartey heading narrowly over the woodwork, from a good cross from Wales on the left flank. Both teams were also understandably tiring, but Clacton crucially get a dramatic leveller in added-time. From another set-piece, centre-back Adam Tilson swept home with all the poise of a striker from about 15 yards out in a congested penalty area.
You could be forgiven for thinking ‘that was it’ but although both teams did not deserve to lose the match really, it was Ensign who were smiling at the final whistle. There was another foul seen in the 18-yard box which saw full-back Teddy Collis sent off for his second yellow card. Replacement Reece Sayers stood up to take the penalty and it was confidently dispatched, much to the delight of his team-mates.
Full-Time: White Ensign 4 – 3 FC Clacton
This is a hard match to summarise. Clacton edged the first half and their forward line was more efficent and more likely to score but they switched off as a unit in defence too often in the second half though Ensign still needed to show their famed spirit to get back in the game. Even with that, it was a tough result for the Seasiders to take as no-one deserved to lose it. Both teams deserve to be commended for the enthralling game they put on here.
There were terrific performances by many players in this game. For Ensign, I thought George O’Connor had a terrific match today. The forward showed strength, pace and desire and really gave the visiting defence a hard afternoon as the natch went on, also linking up well with Luke Woodward in attack. Jason Reynolds-Blanche also had a fine game, providing good crosses from the flanks and got a decent assist too. Lastly, Carl Conway put in a good shift at centre-back, making several important clearances and goalkeeper Louis Hawes also made some important saves earlier in the game to keep his side in it earlier in the match.
For Clacton, forward Charlie Collis had a great match here, showing work rate, pace and good passing as well as taking his goal very well. Fellow forward Mekhi McKenzie led the line very well also, showing good hold-up play, good awareness and movement. Centre-back Michael Okafor barely lost a challenge in the air all game and aided his defence well with good awareness too. Finally, midfielder Jett Hogan put in string display, making several important interceptions and passing in both halves on the pitch.
I’d just like to wish both sides good final weeks of the campaign.
White Ensign | Joint-Managers: Jack Maleary & Carl Conway | Assistant: Steve Thomson
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Louis Hawes (GK), 3 Thando Moyo, 6 Jake McWee (Capt), 14 Carl Conway, 12 Charlie Adams, 5 Ethan Evison, 8 Ben Austin (4 Reece Sayers 50′), 2 Teddy Henderson (17 Emanuel Abudiore 50′), 9 George O’Connor, 19 Luke Woodward, 11 Jason Reynolds-Blanche
Booked: Sayers, Woodward | Sub Not Used: Perkins, Chaplin
FC Clacton | Manager: Tom Austin | Assistant: Ryan Salter
Starting XI: 1 Luke Avenell (GK), 2 Kyle Ferguson (14 Jenson Mulqueen 27′), 3 Teddy Collis, 5 Adam Tilson, 6 Michael Okafor, 4 Jett Hogan, 8 Jamie Bennett (12 Elias Ahmed 75′), 7 Billy Wales (Capt), 9 Mekhi McKenzie, 10 Charlie Collis, 11 Jordan Lartey
Goal-scorers: Billy Wales [21′], Charlie Collis [45′], Adam Tilson [90’+2]
Booked: Okafor | Sent Off: T Collis (Two yellow cards) | Subs Not Used: Austin
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL Writer
Hello & welcome to a brief Essex Senior League round-up, rounding-up the three matches on Saturday 19 February that managed to bypass the miserly weather of the past week. It looks as though there will be a hectic end to the campaign for some ESL clubs as the FA have insisted that the season be concluded on April 23rd, a week earlier than planned, to allot time for the Promotion & Relegation play-offs also involving Step 4 and 6 clubs.
Essex Senior – Saturday 19 February
We begin with arguably the most important win on this matchday for title favourites Walthamstow, who grabbed a 2 – 0 win at Sporting Bengal Utd, with Charlie Edwards and the returning Jason Hallett both notching for John Mackie & Terry Spillane’s side. Seven more wins will be the most they will need to confirm ‘Stow’s long-awaited elevation to Step 4. Bottom side Bengal will need at least ten points from their ten remaining matches to evade the bottom two in two months’ time.
Also, Saffron Walden Town got a fine 4 – 1 triumph at West Essex, with the ensemble cast of Craig Calver, Khris Oti, George Pullen and Tom Skelton goals proving far too much for the Stags, who managed a reply through Oliseh Okuguni on the half-hour. The win for Walden keeps them in fifth, with games in hand they have a good chance of a top-four finish. Finally, FC Clacton went up to sixth spot with a 3 – 1 derby win over Stanway Rovers at the Rush Green Bowl. Mekhi McKenzie’s brace and one from Harry McDonald just before half-time overhauled a Ayo Odukoya strike just after the hour mark to claim a big win for the Seasiders. Such is how tight the top ten is, Tom Austin’s team may have to keep winning to secure a top ten finish with teams in & around them having matches in hand.
Matches Postponed from Friday 18 & Saturday 19 February because of waterlogged pitches and/or Storm damage:
Friday – Woodford Town v P – P White Ensign (Match rescheduled for Wednesday 23 February)
Clapton P – P Southend Manor
Hoddesdon Town P – P Cockfosters
Ilford P – P Enfield
St Margaretsbury P – P Athletic Newham
Stansted P – P Redbridge
Takeley P – P Little Oakley
Before we end this article, here’s a word on what was hinted on in the Introduction, there are a few sides who will have a fixture pile-up of League matches to complete in the next 60 days or so.
Athletic Newham – 14 matches remaining
Stansted, Saffron Walden Town, Little Oakley, Enfield and Hoddesdon Town – 11 matches left
Woodford Town, Ilford, Clapton, St Margaretsbury & Southend Manor – also have 11 matches left
That’s all for this edition, thanks for reading. You can follow the league’s Twitter for more updates @EssexSenior
West Essex: Yellow & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
FC Clacton: Pink Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
A highly-contested battle ends in draw for West and FC Clacton
West Essex 2 – 2 FC Clacton
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend saw a long trip back to Wadham Lodge for this Essex Senior clash between West Essex and FC Clacton, who I was watching properly for the first time since their transfer to the ESL last July. West Essex opened their Tea Bar today which progresses the matchday experience for spectators and with it, signifying the long-term aspiration for the club. Kwame Kwateng’s side have seen players depart recently and fielded talented goalkeeper Kacper Ignatiuk behind a central defence that included Emmanuel Oluwole and Tala Lo-Seye and a forward line of David Bell, Cameron Gray and Dimitri Frangeskides. Options from the sidelines included David Xavier and forwards Jon Ogunsanya and Symeon Taylor. Clacton had Luis Shamshoum in goal, with a defensive four of Kyle Ferguson, Teddy Collis and central defenders Jack Mochalski and Michael Okafor. Their forward line was comprised of Alfie Matthews and skipper Jordan Lartey with support from Harry McDonald. Their bench included Lee Clowsley and forward Mekhi McKenzie. Assistant boss Ryan Salter led the presence from dug-out with manager Tom Austin absent today.
The match began with a strong burst of energy from the hosts side as they looked to gain the early advantage, with Clacton looking to build on a solid base from the early moments. The Stags were not short of chances in the first third of the half, as forwards Dimitri Frangeskides and David Bell had strikes fizz narrowly wide of visiting custodian Luis Shamshoum’s woodwork. Once you ally that with further half-chances at goal for midfielders Oliseh Okuguni and David Ungudi, you’d be forgiven for thinking that West would regret not taking the lead early on.
On the other side of things, Clacton were looking decent on the counter-attack and even from the early stages, they looked motivated to battle for everything they could get. Jardel Francis was testing the West backline from right channel, while skipper Jordan Lartey was coming in from the left side and posing problems and getting strikes away at goal, which meant home goalkeeper Kacper Ignatiuk had to remain vigilant.
As the half progressed, you felt that the stalemate would not last and sure enough, on the half-hour, it was the hosts who made one of their chances pay, as a good strike by Okuguni in a congest eighteen yard area took a small deflection off a defender before sailing into the top left corner of Shamshoum’s goal.
However, this setback didn’t dissuade the visitors at all. Moments after Shamshoum punched away two free-kicks by West captain Reece Clarke, Clacton did level things up with a well-taken goal. Full-back Teddy Collis was involved in the move as his initial pass was knocked down well by Lartey into the path of forward Alfie Matthews just inside the penalty box and before the home defence could get a challenge in, Matthews fired the ball home low into the right corner, past the grasp of Ignatiuk.
Half-Time: West Essex 1 – 1 FC Clacton
After the interval, West started the second period with some vigour as they looked to claw back the initiative, with an audacious strike by Clarke going narrowly off-target and Frangeskides also struck wide. That being said, the Stags fell behind for the first time nine minutes after another good move by the Seasiders ended up with Matthews again powerfully striking the ball into the left corner, to the delight of the travelling contingent of supporters. The visitors continued their commendable efforts with a good phase after their second goal with Lartey forcing Ignatiuk into a good reaction save to keep his side in contention.
The spirit and style of play of West Essex was also evident in the latter stages which made for a fine last fifteen minutes of normal time. West got the equaliser they probably deserved on 76 minutes with a superb strike direct from a free-kick by the impressive Clarke, finding the top left corner of the net.
The nerves of both sides were increasingly frayed in the last part of this encounter as they looked for a decisive goal, but you have to give Clacton credit for holding firm, playing some good football at times and they did deserve something from the game. West should also be praised for their spirit as mentioned. I wouldn’t be that surprised if one or both of their sides end up in the top ten, which signifies the quality of the Essex Senior is improving year-on-year.
Full-Time: West Essex 2 – 2 FC Clacton
To sum up this match, this was a very entertaining battle which saw both sides having strong phases of play. West could have been well ahead before the break but profligate finishing prevented them from pushing the Seasiders into a tough position. Clacton could also have been in a match-wining position though the Stags were simply unwilling to give in, in the latter stages. All being said, a draw probably was the fair result for both sides who continue to seek a top-ten finish by late April.
The stand-out performances from this game start with Clacton. Alfie Matthews took both his goals well with crisp finishes and also played his part in good forward moves. Jordan Lartey also led his side well and showed good pace, movement and passing fro the left side of the front three. Centre-back Michael Okafor also had a good match, making several good interceptions to thwart the hosts’ forwards. Lastly, Kyle Ferguson had a good match at right-back and he got forward well. West had a few good performances as well, led by skipper Reece Clarke who once again had an influential performance, making a number of good tackles and also scored with a fine set-piece. Tala Lo-Seye also had a superb match, making several fine interceptions to keep his team in the match, preventing more chances for the Seasiders. Emmanuel Oluwole and custodian Kacper Ignatiuk also put in good performances for Kwame Kwateng’s side.
I’d just like to wish both sides a good remainder of the campaign.
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng | Assistant: George Karsa
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Kacper Ignatiuk (GK), 4 Sam McNally, 5 Emmanuel Oluwole, 6 Oliseh Okuguni (19 Jon Ogunsanya 71′), 15 Tala Lo-Seye, 17 Emmanuel Wazola, 8 Daniel Ungudi (2 David Xavier 61′), 12 Reece Clarke (Capt), 7 Dimitri Frangeskides, 11 Cameron Gray, 20 David Bell (9 Symeon Taylor 38′)
Hello and welcome to a bonus blog on the full Essex Senior programme that took place on Saturday 22nd January, as big results affected both ends of the table. The lead image above is from St Margaretsbury v Little Oakley yesterday, the match I attended. Thanks for reading this round-up.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Essex Senior League Round-up- Sat 22 January
We begin with the showdown at the top of the table, as Walthamstow got a added-time winner in a 2 – 1 success against Enfield at Wadham Lodge. Tim Ogunrinde put his new club ahead just past the half hour, though David Cowley levelled from twelve yards three minutes after the interval. Callum Ibe sent the majority of the three hundred fans attending wild with a late winner to fortify ‘Stow’s position at the summit as they kept their ten-point lead over Stansted. The Airportmen now have a five-point cushion in second after a 3 – 1 home win against Cockfosters. Brad Russell gave Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side an early lead, but a crucially timed leveller from ‘Fosters stalwart George Beattie came two minutes before the break. However, second half goals from Michael Salako [66’] & Connor Hammond [84’] made sure that the ‘Blue Brazil’ made the most of other sides faltering around them.
One of those sides who debatably dropped points were Stanway Rovers, who were held to a goalless draw with West Essex at Hawthorns. The Stags are now only four points adrift of the top ten. Redbridge got a narrow 2 – 1 triumph over Takeley at Oakside with two goals in three minutes from Michael Pindy and Robbie Norris enough to give them the points. Charlie Allum got the solitary reply for Marc Das’ side but they fell to twelfth spot. The Motormen remain in fourth but are now seven points clear of Athletic Newham after Newham lost the ‘Terry Mac’ derby 0 – 2 to Clapton, who are now five points clear of the bottom three.
Elsewhere, Saffron Walden Town were denied a morale-boosting win as they drew 3 – 3 with White Ensign at Catons Lane. Scott Piggott struck twice for Jason Maher’s team, with Gavin Cockman adding their other goal. However, the crowd of around 250 got their share of goals here as Luke Woodward’s fine treble ensured Carl Conway & Jack Maleary’s side got a point, which lifts them up to eighth and stay only a point off Walden in sixth. Hoddesdon Town got a vital win in their battle of the bottom seven sides, as they edged to a 4 – 3 success over bottom side Sporting Bengal Utd at Lowfield. Harrison Cage struck twice for the hosts, with Jack Lee and Josh Stevens goals also proving decisive. Bengal gave it everything and had strikes by Yaha Djau , Quincy Roberts and Gianfranco Mici to thank staying in the match but ultimately they fell to another loss and their need to win matches gets that bit higher.
Two more matches this weekend and Woodford Town got a narrow 1 – 0 win at Southend Manor, with ex-Redbridge winger Ayub Kadiri getting the only goal there for Shane Baptiste’s side, who remain 14th. Also, FC Clacton set aside a bad loss in midweek as they won 4 – 0 at Sawbridgeworth Town. Kyle Ferguson and Mekhi McKenzie gave the Seasiders a comfortable lead at the interval, with late strikes by Harry McDonald and substitute Jordan Lartey adding further pain to the Sawbo side. This result meant that Clacton stay in the top ten, a point clear of fellow North East Essex side Oakley.
Hello and welcome a bonus blog (replacing this week’s Match report as the focused match fell to the weather) rounding-up the four Essex Senior matches that took place on the 8th January. We’ll also have a short look at the standings as well, with nearly four months of the season remaining (if there are no remaining Covid interruptions). Thanks for reading & a Happy 2022 to you all.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Essex Senior League Round-up- Sat 8 January
The match with the most on the line was at the Hawthorns as Saffron Walden Town set aside a challenging week with a 4 – 2 success at fellow top six side Stanway Rovers. Walden started the match the stronger and after leading the way at the interval, two goals from Joe Pullen from a goal apiece for Tom Skelton and Craig Calver was enough to give the Bloods a vital win, which sees them reduce the deficit on the top three to five points. Recent signing Ayo Odukoya got both goals for Stanway though they fell to only their third loss at home this term.
Elsewhere, Athletic Newham went into seventh spot, only two points adrift of Walden following a 3 – 0 victory over Ilford at the Terry Mac. Jailson Seidi opened the scoring for Chris Davis’ side, before a late brace for the League’s top-scorer Richard Kone secured the win for Newham and took Kone to the 25-goal mark this season. Ilford remain in 16th, nine points clear of the bottom four. There was an extraordinary comeback by FC Clacton as they won 4 – 3 in added-time at Little Oakley. Strikes by Danny Garrad and Mason Ridgway-Lumley had put Matt Carmichael’s side two goals up at half-time, but Clacton were level on the hour thanks to goals from Harry McDonald and Jordan Lartey. Tyler Sullivan netted for Oakley with fourteen minutes left to give them a narrow lead but injury-time strikes from McDonald and Mekhi McKenzie secured the points for the visitors which took them back into the top ten.
Finally, in their derby at Hargrave Park, Stansted had first-half goals from John Clarke and Paul Clayton to be thankful for in their 2 – 1 success over Sawbridgeworth Town. Teddy Hall got a late consolation for Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon’s side who continue to seek points to draw in the sides above them .
The six matches that were off this weekend (Sat 8 Jan) were as follows:
Enfield P – P Takeley, Hoddesdon Town v St Margaretsbury, Redbridge v Clapton, Southend Manor v White Ensign, Sporting Bengal Utd v Woodford Town and Walthamstow v Cockfosters.
With regards to the table, Walthamstow are still strong favourites to finally seal the promotion they have sought for some time. They are on sixty points (with 19 wins from their 24 matches), ten points clear of nearest rivals Stansted who are again having a fine season under the tutelage of Paul Pittuck and John Watters. Then we have the chasing pack of Redbridge (3rd – 48 points from 24 games), Stanway Rovers (4th – 47 points from 26 matches), Enfield (5th – 43 points from 22 matches) and Saffron Walden Town (6th – 43 points from 23 matches) who are all striving to find themselves in the play-off mix at the end of the campaign, where the victors will face-off against a struggling side from a local Step 4 division, as I understand it.
At the foot of the table, there are debatably five sides who are most wary of avoiding relegation. Sporting Bengal remain at the bottom after one win all season to date (4 points from 23 matches). Steve Clark’s side also need to help their goal difference though Southend Manor are only seven points better off (11 points from 23 matches) and recently appointed former Hullbridge assistant boss James Wakeling as their new boss. Both teams will need more goals in their armoury to catch up to Sawbridgeworth Town who sit 19th, on 16 points and St Margaretsbury are just above them on goal difference. Clapton also will be mindful of securing points as they are 17th, with 18 points from their 23 matches to date.
Hello and welcome a to a special one-off article looking at the Cordell Cup competitions (in advance of Cordell Finals Weekend), which were invitational tournaments run by the Essex Senior, ahead of the full resumption of League action In August 2021.
I’m really pleased to add that Jack Newman (JN) from the Non-League Chronicles Team, Essex Senior Media official Scott Lanza (SL) and respected Non-League writer Peter Dudley (PD) join me (SW) in giving our views on the competitions, from the writer’s perspective. Thank you for reading.
Firstly, thank you all for your time. Despite the majority of the tournaments being played ‘behind closed doors’ to spectators, what has it been like to get back to watching Non-League Football again (as Media)?
Peter: It was such a relief to get back to covering football once again, watching it on TV had become rather mundane, boring and it cannot replicate the atmosphere of a live game, and I also feel blessed I was given the chance to cover games that the normal public could not, so I was very thankful for that. It was also a big help with my well-being too and was another step to some sort of normality, which certainly helps.
Scott L: It’s been great as non-league football is part of my life, and so getting a chance to get back watching games live has been wonderful. The ‘behind closed doors’ part of the experience hasn’t been so good, as the lockdown made me realise that part of the reason I like lower league football is because of the many friends I have there. It was good to see some of them at the games, but others were not allowed to enter, which was a shame but inevitable considering the government restrictions.
Jack (NLC): I think it’s fair to say that all the contributors to The Non-League Chronicles have loved the opportunity that we’ve been afforded by the competition organisers (the Essex Senior – Ed). It’s been magnificent to be back watching live football.
What have been your favourite matches to watch in the Cordell Cup or Cordell Trophy?
JN: Certainly in terms of favourite matches the games we’ve seen involving Athletic Newham & Woodford Town have all been enjoyable high scoring end-to-end affairs which is always good. Woodford’s big win at Aveley over Great Wakering Rovers being of particular note.
PD: The first one of the tournament between Hackney Wick and West Essex was one of the best games I have seen for some time, eight goals, high tempo, and two sides who went for it, so that was very entertaining. I also would say the derby between Holland and FC Clacton which had just about everything, five goals, feisty clashes, red card, a missed penalty which was retaken, and then we almost saw a comeback, so that was an enjoyable day on a sunny day on the North Essex coast.
SL: I didn’t cover too many games due to the restrictions in place regarding who could attend. However, the opening game I saw was Woodford Town v Barkingside which was a very good game, and if I am honest better than I thought I would be seeing bearing in mind the lockdown has played havoc with teams with match fitness being lost due to the enforced break. This was not in evidence here, and the West Essex v Stansted game was another one which saw 90 minutes of flowing end-to-end football being served up.
Which teams have impressed you (That you’ve watched live)?
PD: Was quite impressed with Clapton and their organisation at the back, bar their two defeats to Redbridge they did not concede a goal and put in some impressive displays, also impressed with Hackney Wick too who have a side where all but two of the squad were U23, they look very dangerous and will cause teams problems next season if they can keep them together. Those two sides would be the ones I’d pick out mainly because I didn’t expect or didn’t know what to expect from them, and they surprised me slightly at how well they played.
SW: For me, White Ensign do deserve credit for the way they have approached the competition and for their form, particularly in the group stages where they won three out of three. It will be fascinating to see if they bring players in to improve the squad or keep faith with this group of players as they take on the Essex Senior League for the first time in their history from August.
Also, I do feel honourable mentions have to go to Barkingside, who really gave Ensign a scare in their Quarter-Final and also to Athletic Newham who deserve a lot of praise for their attacking style of play and could also be one to watch next term in the Essex Senior.
JN: We’ve really been impressed with the quality shown by the teams throughout and White Ensign, Redbridge & Cockfosters have all looked in good nick – especially the former who we all think will be an excellent addition to the Essex Senior League next season.
SL: Redbridge impressed me as they seemed to be taking the tournament seriously straight from the off. I was also impressed with Stansted, and Athletic Newham certainly looked a strong outfit when I saw them in the Quarter Final at Redbridge. They were strong, physical, and fast going forward. And although I didn’t get to see them play live, you have to be impressed with Step 6 outfits White Ensign and Holland, who got some very good results in the bag against teams higher up the pyramid, with Holland of course going all the way to the Len Cordell Memorial Cup Final.
Peter, you’ve been one of the lead commentators on the Live-streamed matches. How has that been as an experience?
PD: I have always wanted to try my hand at commentary and after getting over the first match nerves I really enjoyed it, and led the commentary at all the games I did after the first one, ended up doing four games in total and it was a very good experience, even if two of those games we had to share one microphone between two people, but we muddled through as they say!
All in all, do you feel these competitions (Cordell Cup/Trophy & Plate) have truly honoured the late Len Cordell’s contribution to Redbridge FC (formerly Ford Utd) and Non-League Football as a whole?
SL: The fact a number of teams outside the ESL entered shows you how well Len was thought of in Essex Non-League circles. The fact that so many of the teams took the competition seriously shows you again how well Len was respected. The ESL have honoured Len Cordell by naming a cup competition after him, but the clubs also honoured him by taking part and then playing their games in a competitive spirit – which is what Len would have wanted as this man truly lived and breathed non-league football.
PD: I am sure Len would have appreciated the Essex Senior organising such a brilliant competition and all the teams that have taken part deserve praise for entering and helping to honour the great man, there have been some terrific games and plenty of goals and drama along the way, I am sure Len is looking down on us all and smiling at what he has seen.
SW: I agree that Len would have enjoyed some of the fast, flowing Football that we have seen in the competitions, which have rightly honoured someone who has contributed so much to Non-League during his time.
In your neutral opinion, which teams have endorsed their reputations in these competitions?
SL: Holland without question, alongside White Ensign and Barkingside – all Step 6 clubs that mixed it with clubs higher up the football pyramid. Clapton for me have in a way redeemed themselves. Struggling at the foot of the table when the League season was curtailed, the Tons went on to have a very good Len Cordell Cup campaign which could launch them onto a better time next season when league football resumes. I have to mention Barking, who really took the tournament seriously, and made it to the Semi-Finals before exiting at the hands of Holland, in what was shock result.
PD: White Ensign put in some decent performances, especially in the group stages by winning all three of their group games, Cockfosters too put in some decent performances to back up their decent league campaign up until the shutdown, I think Barking’s youngsters deserve some praise in reaching the Quarter Finals, and I think it’s marvellous that Redbridge, the team Len did so much work for, have ended up in the final and have a chance of winning it, that would certainly be some story indeed.
SW: With regards to the Cordell Trophy, both Harlow Town Reserves & Barkingside Res have had excellent competitions and this will aid them going on to next season and crucially for Reserve sides, have aided player development having being involved in tournament Football. Talking about the Cordell Cup, I will have to add the two sides in the North East side of the county in FC Clacton and Holland. Both sides have had their moments in the competition and for Holland to make the Final is a great achievement in itself.
JN: In terms of teams to watch going forwards Redbridge will certainly worth keeping an eye on – they’ve been very strong throughout and look like real contenders for the title next season if they can keep their momentum going.
Jack is a member of the Non-League Chronicles, a growing team of writers covering Non-League matches across London & Essex. You can find them on Facebook at “The Non League Chronicles” or via Twitter – @NLChronicles
Scott Lanza is the current Media official of the Essex Senior League, where he also edits the CentreSpot bulletin every week including links, match reports & more on Essex Senior & related news. To view Centrespot editions, head here: https://essexseniorleague.co.uk/centrespot/
Pete Dudley hardly needs any introduction, but the prolific writer has seen matches in the Essex Senior, Eastern Senior League South, Essex Olympian League & more this season and also was former Fixtures Secretary at local side Southend Manor. You can find him on Twitter at @ped1980 or on his blog: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/
As for me, I’m Scott W and I’m also a Non-League writer on Essex Senior League & Essex Olympian League divisions. I also mostly write reports on matches I head out and watch.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – ESL & Non-League Writer
Hello and welcome to my round-up of the six of the eight ties in the Last 16 round of the Cordell Cup which took place this week. The Semi-Finals of the Cordell Cup Plate competition is also looked at towards the end of this article as the two sides who will contest the Final of the subsidiary competition.
After the round-up, we’ll have a gander at the draw for the Quarter-Finals, ahead of the remainder of the last 16 matches which take place in midweek as some of the sides involved are also taking part in other Cups.
The Len Cordell Cup – Last 16
St Margaretsbury 2 – 2 FC Clacton (Clacton won 3 – 2 on pens) | The Rec | Friday 30 Apr
St Mags held Clacton after the ninety minutes but exited on spot-kicks in this tie played on Friday night, which was also live-streamed on the night. Charlie Thompson struck both goals for the Seasiders, though their lead was nullified by goals from Chris Manangu and Kirk McPherson for Ray Bartlett and James Falaise’s side. It needed spot-kicks to decide the tie and it went the way of the visitors.
West Essex 1 – 3 Stansted | Mayesbrook Park [3G] | Friday 30 Apr
Stansted continued their improving form with a fine win at West Essex. Jordan Palmer put the Airportmen ahead after eleven minutes. Greg Frederick levelled the tie nine minutes after the interval for Kwame Kwateng’s side but two goals in the last quarter of the game sealed the match. Michael Salako [68’] struck to once again give the visitors the lead, before Harry Bushell [82’] ended the hopes of the Stags and confirm Stansted’s place in the last eight.
White Ensign 1 – 1 Barkingside (Ensign won 3 – 1 on pens)| Held at Lower Road | Fri 30 Apr
Barkingside gave Ensign a scare before ultimately bowing out in the dreaded shoot-out at Lower Road. Ensign led nine minutes before the break through a calm finish by Dominic Locke. However, the hosts couldn’t convert the chances they did create and were pegged back just four minutes from time by Reece Simpson’s powerful header for Steven Le Sage’s spirited ‘Side. Ensign did get through a twitchy shoot-out to advance though to the quarter-finals. I was at this match & my report is available here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/02/s-20-21-match-report-white-ensign-1-1-barkingside-30-april/
Billericay Town U23 0 – 1 Athletic Newham | New Lodge [3G] | Sat 1 May
In the last tie of the weekend in the Cordell Cup, Athletic Newham withstood the pressure to complete a narrow win over Billericay’s impressive development side at New Lodge. Joel Appiah got the only goal on 24 minutes to give Chris Davis’ side the win and see them through to the last eight.
Brimsdown 0 – 0 Clapton (Clapton won 7 – 6 on pens) | New River Sta | Mon 3 May
A tense match in awful conditions (is it really the start of May you sometimes wonder) saw the Tons held by Step 6 side Brimsdown in this match held at the New River Stadium. Despite having the better of the play in normal time, the gritty ‘home’ side held on for spot-kicks, which the Tons got through in ‘sudden death’. Fellow Non-League writer Pete Dudley was at this match & here’s his report: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2021/05/brimsdown-0-clapton-0-clapton-won-7-6.html
Cockfosters 1 – 1 Barking (Barking won 7 – 6 on pens) | Chalk Lane | Tues 4 May
The Blues made it through on spot-kicks at Chalk Lane. Kieran Jones gave the visitors the lead on 31 minutes though Charlie Morgan levelled things up for Cockfoster just shy of the seventy minute mark. With no further goals forthcoming, it was left to the shoot-out from twelve yards to decide the tie, and after a nervy battle Barking emerged with the win 7 – 6 on penalty kicks. The Blues will face either Holland or tenants for this competition Hackney Wick in the Quarter-Finals.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello and welcome to my round-up of the opening weekend of the Len Cordell Cup action, an invitational competition run by the Essex Senior to remember a pillar of the Non-League Family in Len Cordell, who was associated with Redbridge FC for many years.
The twenty teams competing in this competition have been split into five groups. Unfortunately, with spectators still barred from attending these matches until mid-May, these matches were largely played “behind closed doors”, with the notable exception of at least two matches, more on that as we go.
Before we recap the action, below is a snapshot on who is in which group.
Len Cordell Cup – Friday 9 April
Hackney Wick 3 – 5 West Essex | Mayesbrook Park [3G] | Group D
The Cordell Cup got off to a corker of a start as West had to dig deep to claim an important win at Mayesbrook Park. Callum Bloss put Kwame Kwateng’s side ahead after only three minutes with a fine finish after being played in by forward Symeon Taylor. That lead lasted all of two minutes before Mohammed Razza levelled things up for Wick, who are also playing their matches at Mayesbrook in this competition. Lewis Danquah fired Wick into the lead just after the twenty minute mark but again, that lead barely existed before Cameron Gray levelled things again for the Stags.
Bloss added another two goals, the second from the spot to claim a first-half treble and give the attack-minded West side a 4 – 2 lead at the interval. Razza netted again nine minutes after the resumption to keep Wick in it before a powerful strike from Emmanuel Shoderu on the 90 minute mark finally sealed the points for West Essex, after one heck of an enthralling battle.
DT FC 2 – 2 Cockfosters | the Harlow Arena [3G] | Group A
In what was a first for the Essex Senior, this match was streamed live over the virtual screens and it took a last-minute leveller to deny newcomers DT a commendable victory at the Harlow Arena. Ned Clarke added to his reputation at the ‘Fosters by putting them ahead seven minutes before the break. DT held firm though and the Essex Alliance League Senior Division side levelled things up midway through the second-half through Kieron Hipgrave’s strike. It got even better for the hosts as ex-Ilford & Epping Town forward Alex Paraskeva put them ahead with twelve minutes remaining. That wasn’t the end of the drama though as defender Marcus Crowther snatched a point for Ryan Wade’s side in added time.
St Margaretsbury 1 – 1 Hoddesdon Town | The Rec | Group A
In the other match in Group A, these two old rivals resumed their rivalry at the Rec. Cyrus Babaie put Hoddy ahead before Dominic Wynter-Stephens ensured that Ray Bartlett’s side secured a point and leave the group wide open with two matches for all to play.
Redbridge 1 – 0 Clapton | Oakside | Group B
The Motormen began their Cordell Cup campaign with a narrow win over the Tons at Oakside. Tony Martin got the only goal of the game for George Christou’s side on 50 minutes, with Redbridge undoubtedly looking to get deep into the Cup that bears the name of their long-serving former Secretary. Non-League writer Pete Dudley was also at this game & here’s his report: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2021/04/redbridge-1-clapton-0.html
Woodford Town 3 – 4 Barkingside (4pm KO) | Coles Park [3G] | Group B
In the late kick-off of the day, Barkingside staved off a late fightback by Woodford to claim all three points at Coles Park. Steven Le Sage’s side started strongly, with Joe Gent [11’] and Reece Simpson [13’] goals giving them a two-goal cushion before the quarter-hour. Jaydon Charles halved the deficit for the hosts from 12 yards just before the break. ‘Side responded in great fashion after the interval, with strikes from Jack Gibbons six minutes into the second-half and Jacob Dingli [65’] giving them an impressive 4 – 1 lead. There was more drama in the latter stages as Charles’ second of the afternoon and Ridwan Hussein goal on the 90 minute mark made it a nervy end for ‘Side but they held on.
Billericay U23 3 – 0 Holland | New Lodge [3G]| Group C
In this clash at New Lodge which the hosts also streamed live via YouTube, Billericay U23s grabbed an impressive win with Marlon Stratford opening the scoring on 11 minutes. Second-half goals from Max Gnandi [47’] and Nyan Mesuria twenty minutes from time sealed maximum points for the Essex Senior Reserve Division side.
FC Clacton 2 – 1 Stansted | Rush Green Bowl| Group C
The Airportmen made the long trip to North East Essex but ultimately came away empty-handed. Jordan Lartey and Kevin Coyle got the goals for the Eastern Counties League Premier Division side, with Ryan Ramsay getting the solitary reply for Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side.
Frenford 1 – 1 Barking | The Drive [3G]| Group D
These two local rivals faced each other at The Drive, with both sides claiming a point. Owen James got the equaliser for the home side, after Isaac Westendorf had put the Blues ahead just short of the half-hour.
Athletic Newham 1 – 1 Brimsdown | Terry Mac | Group E
This match of the two Eastern Senior League South sides took a while to get going though it was Brimsdown who took the lead through an OG a minute after the interval. Newham did grab a point through as forward Richard Kone levelled in added time. You feel that both these sides need one win in their remaining two matches in the Group to progress.
Great Wakering Rovers 1 – 4 White Ensign | Lower Road | Group E – Featured Match
These two sides usually ground-share at Burroughs Park but on this occasion, they faced off about ten miles away at Hullbridge’s Lower Road. After a promising start by Wakering, it was Ensign who took the lead thanks to impressive winger Dominic Locke on 18 minutes. The visitors took that lead into the second half and pretty much sealed the contest either side of the hour, through well-taken strikes by Connor Barnby [55’] and Locke [64’] to accrue his second of the afternoon. Jake Gordon pulled one back for Rovers with eleven minutes to go but in truth, it was not their day. Locke then turned provider for Luke Skinner to slot home a fourth for Ensign six minutes from time.
Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League review, looking back at the seven matches that took place in the League, with three ESL sides taking part in the FA Vase Second Round Proper also. Thanks for reading.
Saturday 2nd November – ESL
Cockfosters 1 – 1 Hoddesdon Town | Chalk Lane | Att: 87
The ‘Fosters ended their run of three-home matches on-the-spin with a late leveller against Hoddesdon. Joss Lillis put the Lilywhites ahead on 37 minutes and Simon Riddle’s side may have thought they were heading for a gutsy win though substitute Billy Murray netted in added-time to deny the visitors the win and extend the hosts unbeaten stretch to three matches. Ryan Wade’s side drop to eighth, with Hoddy only ahead of them on goal difference in 7th.
Hadley 3 – 0 Woodford Town | Brickfield Lane | Att: 46
Hadley’s terrific home form continued as they set aside Woodford at Brickfield Lane. A brace from in-form forward Luke Jupp and one from lively winger Solomon Ofori ensured the Bricks made it five league wins in succession, rising to fourth in the standings, seven points adrift of leaders Hashtag. Woodford’s third defeat in their last five meant they fell to 11th place though their squad rebuild will mean patience is needed at this point.
Ilford 3 – 1 Enfield | Cricklefield | Att: 28
The Foxes overwhelmed inconsistent Enfield at Cricklefield. Tela Trivelato opened the scoring on 11 minutes for Jonny Fowell’s side though the bulk of the scoring came in the latter stages of the contest. Ikechi Eze netted direct from a corner with 16 minutes remaining to give he hosts that crucial second goal. Matt Frew pulled one back for the E’s after coming off the substitutes’ bench though Trivelato had the last word as he netted his second with a minute of normal time to play. Two wins from two at home since Fowell took charge means they rise to fourth-bottom. Enfield drop to 13th.
Sawbridgeworth Town P – P Redbridge | Crofters
This match at Crofters fell foul of the elements and was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Manor recorded what could be a very important win over fellow strugglers Clapton at Southchurch Park. Michael Ogboin got the only goal as the Southend side ended a streak of five matches without a win to go above the Tons into 17th, twelve points above bottom side Sawbridgeworth.
Sporting put in a big performance to end the Tags’ ten-match league winning run at Mile End. Quick-fire goals from Bobby Redwood [30’] and talisman Steven Carvell only a minute later put them well on their way to the win. After the break, Imrul Gazi’s side had to be very resilent as Utd forced their way back into the match through Ross Gleed’s free-kick 15 minutes from time. Despite the league leaders pressurising the home side hard in the latter stages, Bengal did emerge with their first win in six matches, which puts them up to 9th place in the table. Hashtag’s fantastic streak is over though with nearest rivals Saffron Walden and Walthamstow both in FA Vase action this weekend, they remain four points clear at the summit.
St Margaretsbury 1 – 2 Tower Hamlets | The Recreation Ground | Att: 19
Hamlets emerged with a fine win at St Mags. Goals from Ben Brookes [10’] and the in-form Suaibo Balde just before the break ended up giving the East London side the victory, their third win in their last four. The hosts replied through their own chief goal-getter Kyle Roberts on the half-hour though still fell to first loss in five matches. Hamlets rise to 12th spot now while St Mags drop to 10th.
West Essex 1 – 5 Takeley | Mayesbrook Park | Att: 28
West’s week went from bad to worse as Takeley powered five in a big win at Mayesbrook. In a match played in awful conditions, Jason Todd [23’] and Mitchell Das [26’] goals put Marc Das’ team in the ‘box seat’ before Bryn Thorpe made it three five minutes before the interval. After the break, former St Margaretsbury striker Charncey Dash made his mark for his new club by grabbing a fourth on 55 minutes, then Michael Castle added further gloss to the score-line with the fifth 18 minutes from time. Brad Russell’s strike was scant consolation as the Stags dropped to sixth spot after this loss, with Takeley rising above them into 5th after ending a run of four matches without a win.
The FA Vase Second Round Proper (ESL Sides)
Saffron Walden Town 3 – 4 FC Clacton | Catons Lane | Att: 235
Walden exited the FA Vase in an enthralling contest with Thurlow Nunn Premier side FC Clacton at Catons Lane. New signing Ricky Griggs put the visitors ahead with a minute gone, though Charlie Cole levelled only four minutes later for Jason Maher’s side. Lewis Francis struck to put the hosts ahead with 16 minutes played, though nine minutes afterward Adam Hampson restored parity for Clacton. The tide really turned in favour of the East Essex Coast side as Hampson got his second 12 minutes before the break and Griggs netting just before the interval to make it 4 – 2. Ryan Fleming made it tight with the hosts’ third goal nine minutes after the break though Cacton withstood the pressure to advance.
News: Tonight (Sunday), it’s been announced by Saffron Walden that long-serving forward Lewis Francis has departed, with the club thanking him for all his efforts in his time there. I’d like to wish Lewis well in his next chapter, certainly been an important player for the Bloods.
Stansted 1 – 0 Mildenhall Town | Hargrave Park | Att: 142
The Airportmen edged a close game with Thurlow Nunn Premier side Mildenhall at Hargrave Park. Ryan Ramsey got the only goal on the stroke of half-time to ensure that his side are the only ESL representatives remaining in the FA Vase this season. Congrats to co-managers Paul Pittuck & John Watters and the team on their progress.
Walthamstow 2 – 3 AFC Uckfield Town | Wadham Lodge | Att: 74
AFC Uckfield sent ‘Stow out of the FA Vase with a narrow win at Wadham Lodge. It started well for the hosts as Ollie Fortune struck ten minutes in to put them ahead, though the start of the second half saw the game turn. First, Dan Okosie struck five minutes after the resumption to level the tie, before Ellis Cormack put AFC ahead five minutes later. Richie Welsh got a crucial third goal for the visitors with 18 minutes left and though Samrai Gebrai made it a tight finish with a second for ‘Stow 11 minutes from time, the visitors held on despite the hosts being unhappy at ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’ by their opposition. Even so, Ryan Maxwell’s side will hone their focus in on the league, as they have matches to catch up on in the following weeks.