S21-22 Match Report: Rainham WMC 2 – 2 Unitey* (Sat 21 May) [EAL D2 Cup Final 21.5.22)

Essex Alliance League – Division Two Cup Final

Venue: Victoria Road

Attendance: 280 (Est)

2021-22 Season: Match 86

Saturday 21 May 2022 – 2pm KO

RWMC: Claret Shirts, Claret Shorts & Socks

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

Victoria Road pitch pre-match

Unitey earn the Division Two Cup on spot-kicks at Victoria Road

Rainham Working Men’s Club 2 – 2 Unitey (Unitey won 3 – 2 on penalty kicks)

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

The ‘Cup Finals’ fortnight continued this weekend and I made a welcome return to Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Road to see an interesting Essex Alliance League Division Two Cup Final. Rainham finished 2nd in the league while Unitey were not far behind them in 3rd. I was seeing both teams for the first time here but going by the league form, it was a battle between Rainham WMC’s defence and Unitey’s forward line.

The match got underway with a flourish for Paul Tormey’s Rainham team having most of the ball time, but they also couldn’t create lots of chances to test Atu Ngoy in the Unitey goal. Charlie Perry had their best opening but his effort went wide of the left-side post. Unitey sensed they had to respond and with their first big chance, they scored. Substitute Romario Christian threaded through a superb pass through the middle, finding the run of forward Ahmed Dousa who evaded his marker, before firing home past WMC custodian Owen Ryley.

Unitey launch a free-kick up field early on

It got even better for Vincent Ndodi’s team four minutes later as Dousa was again causing problems for the Rainham backline, turning well from the far side of the penalty area, got past his marker and got his strike on target – unfortunately Ryley couldn’t keep hold of the ball and it trickled into the corner of the net, which was a real blow for Rainham after their impressive start.

As we approached the interval, Connor Kain’s setpiece was cleared off the goal-line before Rainham midfielder Cameron Shakes had a decent effort denied by Ngoy at his near post but at this point Rainham really needed to find another gear or two & get the next goal. The team-talk would have been interesting to hear, that’s for sure.

Rainham’s Ndukwe (18) makes a run down left flank

Half-Time: Rainham 0 – 2 Unitey

After the break, Rainham did find their rhythm as Unitey were pushed back. The ‘home’ side did get the next crucial goal, from a set-piece. Nathan Wilson’s firm header found the net well, past Ngoy to finally give Rainham a chance of a comeback. Unitey were stuttering in possession and they were finding it harder to clear their lines, as a defensive error gave Shakes the chance to turn and get past two defenders and strike home confidently.

Unitey burst forward through the midfield

Unitey had to re-focus in what was becoming an increasingly tetchy match, with several free-kicks being conceded. Both sides had the chances to get that priceless winning goal, with Rainham having two good chances in the last ten minutes. Firstly, Wilson had a header go wide at the far post from yards out. Soon after, Cameron Shakes then knocked the ball on to replacement Scott Gormer skewed his shot wide, much to Ngoy’s relief.


Unitey were decent in their passing in midfield in the latter stages but they couldn’t quite breach the high off-side line of the Rainham backline often enough, leaving Dousa and winger Mohammed Abaker frustrated as they were looking a threat for the tiring Rainham defenders. After seven minutes of added time, referee Alan Steward blew up for the end of 90 minutes, and penalties would be required to settle this absorbing match, played in front of over 275 spectators which is another boost to the Essex Alliance League.


Full-Time (After 90 mins): Rainham WMC 2 – 2 Unitey

So, the nerve-racking shoot-out was called upon to decide the destination of the EAL Division Two Cup. After several missed spot-kicks both by sides, It had to be Unitey’s goal-scoring hero Ahmed Dousa who converting the winning penalty to ensure his team took the Cup, 3 – 2 on penalties.

To sum up this fiesty and sometimes fiery match, Unitey really battled back well after Rainham had put in a fine first 15 minutes, even if they could not make the most of their build-up play. Unitey went two goals up to really punish their lack of finishing and it could’ve been more. Credit has to go to Rainham though for the manner of their comeback and it was Unitey’s turn to battle hard. Both teams tgen had chances to win in a tense finale but ultimately, the lottery of spot-kicks decided the contest.

There were some good performances from both sides here. For victors Unitey, forward Ahmed Dousa led the line well and aside from his two goals, his movement and dribbling were a threat for a hard-working Rainham defence. Centre-back  Nathan Lupumba also had a really strong match in my view, really limiting the opposition forwards and made timely jnterceptions to keep his team in it early on. Winger Mohammed Abaker also had a good game, showing high work rate and good intent with his crosses from the left side. And finally, a word for substitute Romario Christian who produced a superb through ball for Dousa’s first goal and all in all, put in a good shift for his team too.

For Rainham Working Men’s Club, playmaker Connor Kain put in a hard-working performance to try & lift his side back into the contest after going behind and still put in some telling passes. Centre-back Tyrell Phillips had a really good game as well, marshalling his defence well and clearing the ball from danger with good effect. Forwards Cameron Shakes and Charlie Perry also put in good performances as well, testing the Unitey backline at times, with Shakes taking his goal well to crucially level the tie midway into the second half.

Congratulations to Unitey who played some neat football at times, and commiserations to Rainham who fought back well to give themselves a chance after their mixed first half display.


Teams

Rainham Working Men’s Club |  Manager:  Paul Tormey  | 

Starting XI: 1 Owen Ryley (GK), 2 Josh Perry, 12 Matty Humphreys, 6 Tyrell Phillips (Capt), 5 Nicky Tormey, 18 Gozie Ndukwe, 10 Nathan Wilson, 7 Cameron Shakes, 8 Connor Kain, 9 Charlie Perry, 11 Sean Tormey

Goal-scorers: Nathan Wilson [56′], Cameron Shakes [68′]

Subs ON [Time]: 28 Dillon Anderson [68′], 14 Scott Gormer [84′], 3 Joe McGivney [90’+5]

Subs Not Used: Brady, Obeney


Unitey  |  Manager: Vincent Ndodi | 

Starting XI: 1 Atu Ngoy (GK & Capt), 2 Matthew Surry, 16 Peter Spencer, 4 Nathan Lupumba, 5 Renal Stewart, 6 Matthew Pitchford, 7 Devantae Young, 8 Ishwar Ravi, 9 Bubintende Masadi, 10 Ahmed Dousa, 11 Mohammed Abaker

Goal-scorers: Ahmed Dousa [24′ & 28′]

 | Subs ON: 13 Romario Christian [13′], 14 Remy Beckford [69′], 17 David Blessing [74′], 3 Ameer Bursal [89′], 15 Eddy Litambolo [90’+1]

Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Alan Steward
Assistants: Robert Watson & Jeff Mattheou

Fourth Official: Dave Rivett

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 Round-ups: Essex Olympian League (Sat 14 May) [EOFL 21/22 15.5.22]

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

Hello and welcome to this week’s extended round-up of the action in the Essex Olympian League this week, including the midweek action In League & Cups and the action on Saturday 14 May. The focus this week is on the League action in the top three divisions. Thank you for reading.

Photos by Trevor Robinson Photography [@TrevRobPhoto] & Scott W

Image from Basildon Town’s 1 – 0 win at Hutton last week, Image by @TrevRobPhoto

Essex Olympian League – Midweek [Tues 10 May]

The solitary midweek match this week was the EOFL Senior League Cup Final, which saw Canning Town grab a surprise 3 – 2 triumph over Sungate at Woodside. Goals from Dominic Lewis, Karl Harms and Jack Williamson confirmed a memorable evening for Canning. Jake Willis and Petrit Elbi both netted for Sungate but they will have to be content with their Essex Premier Cup success this term.


Essex Olympian League – Saturday 14 May

Now moving on to the weekend action, and Ongar Town got a big 4 – 0 victory over Catholic Utd to confirm the EOFL Premier Division title for the first time. Second-half goals from Evernage Nyahunda, Joe Lilly, Mitchell McCabe & a Fred Mattock special secured a memorable day (and evening) of celebrations for Richard Ponsford’s team as they won the title on goal difference. Utd will finish no worse than seventh and have one more match to play at home to Canning Town next weekend. If you’d like more on this match, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/05/15/s21-22-match-report-ongar-town-4-0-catholic-utd-sat-14-may/

A Champions’ Guard of Honour for Ongar Town yesterday post-match by Catholic Utd

Continuing with the Premier Division, Galleywood secured their divisional safety for another season with a 3 – 0 success at Springfield. Matthew Crick scored twice for the visitors there, with Thomas Watling again on target in this win against their local rivals. Canning Town retained their slim hopes of avoiding a bottom two finish with a 3 – 0 home victory over Bishop’s Stortford Swifts in Beckton. Town will have to win all three of their remaining matches to do that, and two of those games are against Sungate. Swifts fell to 11th but are out of immediate danger.

Finally in the Premier, Old Southendian grabbed a 2 – 0 win at Sungate, with two Daniel Frimley goals giving Altar Ali’s team the points, they will likely finish in eighth in what has been a good season in the main for OS.

In Division One, Beacon Hill Rovers confirmed their safety for another season with a superb 3 – 2 win away at rivals Snaresbrook at Hackney Marshes. ‘Brook need at least a point to avoid a bottom two finish from their last match – against rivals Leigh Town next weekend.

In Division Two, Manford Way got given the points from a recent match after an infringement from the opposition and that boost assisted them to a runners-up finish (and promotion so congratulations to them) as they won 4 – 3 at AS Rawreth. James Dobson, Alfie Smith and substitutes Samuel Oramadike and Dawid Potoczek all netted to secure the win for the East London side. Harold Hill finished third as they lost 1 – 4 to Hutton Res at Polo Fields, which also ensured the Hutton scond-side will avoid a bottom two finish and likely avoiding relegation along with it. With Division One short of clubs, Hill might still get elevated. Rawreth & Rochford Town are the bottom two clubs and will likely be demoted.

Finally, in Division Four Old Chelmsfordians Res secured their promotion as they grabbed a 4 – 1 victory over Ongar Town Res. They will finish second and congrats to them as well. Champions Chingford Athletic Res also ended their season with a home walkover win against Sungate Development, who finish bottom and will be relegated.

The last edition of this round-up for the season will be online on or soon after Monday 23 May. Thank you for reading.

S21-22 Match Report: Ongar Town 4 – 0 Catholic Utd (Sat 14 May) [EOFL 15.5.22]

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Lakeside Sports Ground 3G

2021-22 Season: Match 83

Attendance: 130 (Est)

Saturday 14 May 2022 – 2.30pm KO

Ongar Town: Navy Blue Shirts, Shorts & Socks

Catholic Utd: Green & White Shirts, Black Shorts, Green & White Socks



Strong display from Ongar confirms EOFL Premier title win with victory over Catholic Utd

Ongar Town 4 – 0 Catholic Utd

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

The last Olympian League game of the campaign saw me travel to Lakeside 3G for the first time to see title-chasing Ongar Town face Catholic Utd with the assignment being a simple one – win this last game and the title would be theirs. Utd could still get fifth spot if they won here. Ongar named regular stopper Tim Pitman in goal, with a back four of Delphin Moorat, Harry Herbert and centre-backs George Hayes & Jake Chadwick. Skipper Mitchell McCabe was in midfield alongside Evernage Nyahunda and the forward line was led by Jack Zielinski and Harry Rawlins, supported by Joe Lilly. The visitors had Louis Godwin-Green as their custodian as ever, with John Nutman & Louis Robinson in their backline. Captain Michael Sammut was alongside Tom Elliott and Tom Kearney in midfield with James Warder and Franklin Craik leading their attack.

With the match being played in serene, warm conditions it was understandably a cagey start to proceedings as the visitors held firm defensively and negated the array of chances that Town had. Jack Zielinski had a header wide for Ongar and James Warder sent a difficult header off-target in the early moments. Ongar gradually retained possession better as Utd just could not keep the ball out of their half for long periods, and centre-back Jake Chadwick was unfortunate to have a decent header cannon back off the woodwork midway through the half.

First-half image with Catholic Utd defending well

Chances were increasing in their regularity for the hosts as a fine through ball by creative forward Joe Lilly found the run of Fred Mattock could only skew his effort wide of the left-sided post. Also, rapid forward Harry Rawlins was posing consistent problems down the left flank for Richard Ponsford’s side, and sent several chances in on goal but they didn’t seriously trouble Utd stopper Louis Godwin-Green. The only ‘down side’ for Ongar about the half was that they were not ahead when they certainly could have been.


Half-Time: Ongar Town 0 – 0 Catholic Utd

With the tension palpable as the match restarted, the visitors were keen to re=establish the defensive screen they fought hard to manage in the first 45 minutes but that shut-out ended two minutes after the break. Rawlins made another surging run down the left, and his pass eventually came to energetic midfielder Evernage Nyahunda who struck home low to find the net, much to the relief of the home contingent. It got better for Ongar just two minutes after that as a decent strike by Zielinski came back off the woodwork, but Lilly was there in the right spot ahead of covering defenders, and the Ongar forward made no mistake to really dampen the resolve of the Utd side.

By this point, it was really starting to be a one-sided match but take nothing away from the champions-elect as they made it three on 57 minutes. Rawlins made another fine bursting run past the Catholic defence and again the visitors couldn’t clear, allowing skipper Mitchell McCabe to stroke the ball home from close range. Lilly nearly made it four just short of the hour mark but his effort on goal was wide, though Utd really needed to retain the ball for the next phase of the game as they were being over-run by the exuberant Ongar forwards.

Second half action still as Utd’s Alfie Whiteaker (3) seeks to clear the ball from immediate danger

However, Ongar pressed on and they rewarded with the goal of the game with twenty-one minutes remaining. Mattock made a fine run himself on the left side of the penalty area, showing superb skill to evade his marker whilst controlling the ball to create the opportunity and fired home a great strike into the right corner of the net to add further gloss to an already strong score-line. Catholic did have a moment where they threatened to deny Ongar a clean sheet, but substitute Matt Creevy’s cross almost dipped under Ongar stopper Tim Pitman’s crossbar and with moments remaining, Rawlins was denied a deserved goal as his good low strike was denied well by Godwin-Green’s legs.

Overall though, Ongar more than deserved the points and they win the EOFL Premier Division on goal difference, which is tough on rivals Basildon Town but they have a different challenge in Step 6 next season after their promotion was ratified by the FA on Thursday evening. Ongar will remain in the Premier Division next term but don’t be surprised if they match Basildon’s achievement in time.


Catholic Utd giving the Champions Ongar an impromptu Guard of Honour post-match

Full-Time: Ongar Town  4 – 0 Catholic Utd

To summarise, Ongar were thwarted by a hard-working Utd defence in first half but it was an altogether different story after the interval, as superb finishing comfortably saw them to a memorable first Premier Division title win since they entered the EOFL in 1968, many congratulations to manager Richard Ponsford, the playing squad and all at the club. They will definitely be ambitious for more success next term.

The stand-out performances here were led by Ongar’s Harry Rawlins who simply outpaced & outclassed the Catholic Utd defence and grabbed at least two assists, and was unfortunate to not score himself. His pace, crossing and energy levels were excellent. Central midfielder Mitchell McCabe had another assured game and did well to stroke home the third goal here, with Fred Mattock scoring the goal of the natch and generally assisted his team well. Lastly, a word for creative forward Joe Lilly who had a good game as well, curling in some fine passes and took his goal calmly as well.

For Utd, defender John Nutman did well in holding the lively Ongar forwards at bay for long periods in the first half, making important clearances. Full-back Alfie Whiteaker also made several good challenges & was decent with his free-kicks as well. To end, forwards James Warder & Franklin Craik had a hard job in attack but they still gave the home backline a couple if nervy moments in the first half. They just didn’t really get the service to influence the game here.


Finally, I’d like to add that it’s been super to watch more Olympian League matches this term, and with Runwell Sports & Toby joining the top-tier in 2022-23, next season looks good too. Just hope we have 15 or 16 teams in the division in August as that would add to the strength of the division.


Teams

Ongar Town  | Manager: Richard Ponsford 

Starting XI: 1 Tim Pitman (GK), 2 Delphin Moorat, 3 Harry Herbert, 5 George Hayes, 6 Jake Chadwick, 4 Evernage Nyahunda, 8 Mitchell McCabe (Capt), 7 Freddy Mattock, 9 Jack Zielinski, 10 Joe Lilly, 11 Harry Rawlins

Goal-scorers: Evernage Nyahunda [47′], Joe Lilly [49′], Mitchell McCabe [57′], Fred Mattock [69′]

Subs On (Time): 16 Conner Jones [62 ], 14 Joshua Boxall [67′], 15 Brandon Wood [70′], 17 Zach Holding [84′], 12 Oliver Plunkett [84′]

Booked: Herbert | Sub Not Used: None


Catholic Utd  | Player-Manager: Simon Thomas | Assistant: Tom Harding

Starting XI: 1 Louis Godwin-Green (GK), 3 Alfie Whiteaker, 20 John Nutman, 5 Louis Robinson, 6 Jack Leech, 19 Tom Elliott, 8 Michael Sammut (Capt),  7 Thomas Kearney, 10 Harrison Day, 9 James Warder, 19, 11 Franklin Craik

Subs On (Time): 17 Patrick Kearney [54′], 12 Tobias DeSouza [59′], 14 Matt Creevy [59′]

Booked: None  | Subs Not Used: Thomas


Referee: Kevin Nicholson
Assistants: Joseph Wilby & Henry Steele

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 36 – Sat 7 May) [EAL 21-22 10.5.22]

Hello 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 on Saturday 7 May. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up also includes a mention of Monday night’s solitary match in Senior Divsion. 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 7 May

PREMIER DIVISION CUP

The full line-up for this season’s Premier Division Cup is now known as the second semi-final was completed on Saturday where London Park City were in action once again, taking on London Cranes in Seven Kings. A close game saw the sides finish level at 1-1 at full-time, sending the game to another shootout. After a penalties victory last weekend, it was London Park City who once again prevailed, winning 3 – 2 to send their side to a maiden final, facing Wapping later in the month.

DIVISION THREE CUP

In the Division Three Cup, the first of the semi-finals took place which saw ASA attempting to stand in the way of champions FC Baresi Under 23s as the latter sought the opportunity of a league and cup double. A terrific game saw ASA lead through strikes by Mithurn Vijayarajah & Panushanth Kulenthiran before a Baresi fightback led by goals from Maamoon Khan and Zach Aliane took the game to penalties. In the shootout, it was the champions who progressed to their first final, winning 4 – 2 to send their side to Dagenham & Redbridge!


SENIOR DIVISION

Some huge games in the Senior Division took place over the weekend which saw Chigwell Town, a side who had been in the relegation zone almost the entirety of the season, pull off a massive win, defeating Tower United 3 – 2 to stay in the league. Harry Tew-Robinson was the hero with a hat-trick which ensured his side stayed up by the narrowest of margins. Abdullah Jama’s double was not enough for Tower who finished bottom & will most likely be relegated.

It was also a great day for Blue Marlin who knew they had to get a win against London Cup finalists FC Petrocub in order to give themselves a chance of beating the drop. And a win was exactly what Blue Marlin delivered, beating their mid-table opponents in a 2 – 0 scoreline, thanks to strikes by Macauley Harrington & Ni Acquaye and moved out of the relegation zone and confirm their senior status for another season.

Over in Beckton, those results meant that CSM London had no choice but to win their game to stay in the league but were facing a Woodford East side with just as much in the game for them as they strove for runners-up spot. Eli Brown scored for CSM but East goals from Billy Barr, Andrew Rowe, Ben Smith and Reece Beaumont meant their side took the honours in a 4 – 1 win, keeping their hopes of top two alive going into Monday’s match.

Cup finalists, Rapid Chingford, warmed up for their huge occasion in the coming fortnight with a terrific win in their last game of the season, defeating Jolof Sports in a 1 – 0 scoreline over at Mayfield Leisure Centre. A single Tita Daniel goal was enough for the Fenton Cup finalists to take the points, confirming an eighth placed finish in the process.

On Monday night, Jolof Sports recovered from their narrow loss 48 hours earlier by recording a superb 5 – 0 victory over Woodford East in their match, held at Mayesbrook Park 3G. This result means that East finish the league campaign in third spot but Halil Hassan’s side are still involved in two Cup competitions so they have a chance of endoing their first season at Step 7 in a memorable way. 

PREMIER DIVISION

The penultimate game of the Premier Division season saw Frenford A the hosts to fifth placed Wapping, the latter looking for a confidence boost ahead of their own cup final in a couple of weeks time. A closely fought battle eventually went in favour of the champions as Frenford won the game 4 – 2 to ensure they completed a terrific campaign in some style ahead of their debut top flight season. Joel Opara and Wisley Baltazar both netted two goals each to confirm a memorable day.

DIVISION ONE

Division One’s action was wrapped up on Saturday as Belfry went out knowing that three points would see them achieve something quite special. But standing in their way were a side who will have been pleased with their own efforts this year and RCXI raced into a 3 – 0 lead through goals two goals from Ayo Matthews and a Sammy Anjorin goal. Two Kieran James responses wasn’t enough as RCXI sent the champions to just their first defeat, in the very last game of the season.

All eyes were then on the big game at the Marshes where Cowley Community went into their battle against Francis Luke knowing they needed the points to ensure themselves of the runners-up position. They delivered exactly what they needed, winning the game 3 – 1 as two Elias Tackie strikes and a Michael Taylor goal promoted their club into the Premier Division for next season!

DIVISION TWO

It’s congratulations to Fairlop Rovers who were confirmed as Division Two champions on Saturday as their opponents could not raise a side for the remaining fixture. A tremendous achievement for the club as they continue their rise through the divisions. Well done to Dylan and all of the Rovers players on their success!

Following that outcome, the battle was then on for the runners-up spot which saw Rainham Working Mens Club needing to secure a win against Royal Forest to take second place. And that was exactly what they managed to do as Connor Kain scored twice and Sean Tormey once to give the Workies a 3 – 2 win, confirming promotion to Division One. Well done to everyone involved!

In the battle to avoid the drop in Division Two, a key six pointer saw St Francis taking on Loughton Lions at Robert Clack, the Saints knowing they needed to secure a win to keep things in their favour. But the Lions were able to secure a valuable point for their side in a 3 – 3 draw, despite two Omar Hafid goals and a Peter Luvualu effort for Saints. Lions now need just two points to beat the drop.

S21-22 Round-ups: Essex Olympian League (Sat 7 May) [EOFL 21/22 8.5.22]

Hutton winger Luke Ricketts in possession v Catholic Utd [Image by Scott W]

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

Hello and welcome to this week’s extended round-up of the action in the Essex Olympian League this week, including the midweek action In League & Cups and the action on Saturday 7 May. The focus this week is on the League action in the top three divisions. Thank you for reading. Photos are by Scott W & Wakering Sports FC, used with thanks.


Essex Olympian League – Midweek [Tues 3 May]

We begin the midweek action began with the EOFL Reserve Cup Final, held once again at Woodside (Bishop’s Stortford FC). Wakering Sports Res ended a fine campaign with a 4 – 1 triumph over Buckhurst Hill U23 with Connor Fardyga underlining his superb goal-scoring campaign with a brace here, which Ciaran Sweeney and David Watson added goals to complete the win to claim the silverware.
Before we move on, I’d like to add my congratulations to the Wakering Sports second-side, as a club Sports have had a strong season.

Wakering Sports celebrate with the Res Lge Cup [Image by Wakering Sports FC]

Also on Tuesday night, Rayleigh Town maintained their slim chances of the EOFL Premier title with a superb second-half showing securing them a 4 – 0 success at home to Galleywood. Harry Talbot netted twice for Paul Higgins’ side, with Liam Oliver and replacement William Vile also on target. Rivals Basildon Town and Ongar Town need a point to both overhaul Rayleigh’s points total as of this point ahead of the weekend’s action. Non-League writer Peter Dudley was there & here is his report:  https://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/05/rayleigh-town-4-galleywood-0.html  

The other game was at a chilly Len Forge 3G where Catholic Utd put in a good performance to dispatch Hutton 4 – 0. James Warder struck two goals here for Simon Thomas’ team and Aaron Baldwin & Joe O’Kane was also on the score-sheet in the match I attended. If you’d like more on this match, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/05/04/s21-22-match-report-catholic-utd-4-0-hutton-tues-3-may-eofl/


Essex Olympian League – Saturday 7 May

Now onto the weekend’s action, and in the match I attended, Basildon Town got a crucial 1 – 0 victoryat Hutton to seal a top-two finish at least. Graham Harrison got the goal just before the hour mark which means Ongar Town have to win next weekend to claim the title. If you’d like more on this game, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/05/07/s21-22-match-report-hutton-0-1-basildon-town-sat-7-may-eofl/

Elsewhere, Catholic Utd still have a chance of afifth-placed finish after they secured a superb 5 – 1 triumph over Galleywood at the Len Forge. Aaron Baldwin netted twice here, with Franklin Craik, Thomas Kearney and debutant Matt Creevy also netting here. Thomas Watling again scored for ‘Wood but they still need at least a point to avoid a bottom-three finish. Finally, Sungate will definitely finish in the top half after a 4 – 2 success at Harold Wood Athletic. James Pottle and replacement Jamie Webb-Kelly struck for Ath but it was confirmed here that they will finish bottom. ‘Gate will face Canning Town in the Senior League Cup Final on Tuesday at Woodside (Bishop’s Stortford) – the first of three matches against Canning in 18 days.

In Division One, Snaresbrook are two points from safety now after a fine 4 – 2 victory over Corinthians at Hackney Marshes. Bailey Moss and John Bolton-Smith scored for Chris Stoneham’s visitors but a double from Lee Lashley as well as strikes by Yevhen Zhyvka and substitute Tyrell Holder were enough to claim the win which keeps Rob Caine’s side well in contention for Division One survival. If they defeat Beacon Hill Rovers next weekend, they will stay up. The Stambridge-based side have finished fourth after another good season.

In Division Two, AS Rawreth also earned a crucial triumph, winning 3 – 2 against Harld Wood Athletic Res at the Warren. Freddy Shepherd & Thomas Butler’s penalty made it tough but Rawreth responded to claim the points. A victory next week at home to promotion-chasing Manford Way may be enough to avoid a bottom-two finish, if Hutton Res lose at home to Manford’s promotion rivals Harold Hill.

Lastly, for this week – in Division Four, Roydon kept up their slim chances of a top three finish with a 2 – 0 victory at Sungate Dev. Mike Hayes & an OG secured the win for Roydon but they must win by at least six clear goals at Springfield Res in two weeks’ time to leapfrog their rivals and finish 3rd. Sungate Development are now confirmed as finishing second-bottom and will likely be relegated. 


EOL Divisions Three & Five have now been completed.

That’s all for this week, the EOFL round-up has two more editions this month before we end for the season. Thanks to you all for reading.

S21-22 Match Report: Hutton 0 – 1 Basildon Town (Sat 7 May) [EOFL 7.5.22]

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Polo Fields

2021-22 Season: Match 82

Attendance: 100 (est)

Saturday 7 May 2022 – 2pm KO

Hutton: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Basildon: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

George Nash (11) makes another good run for Hutton down left side

Basildon Town overcome spirited Hutton to claim a priceless victory at Polo Fields

Hutton  0 – 1 Basildon Town

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

Additional Photo by Steve Alison (Twitter: @EastLondonWall], used with thanks.

This weekend, the Intermediate season continued with a huge match between Hutton and title-chasing visitors Basildon Town in the Essex Olympian League Premier Division. This match could be the last competitive match played here by the Hutton first team for a while, as next term they will be a tenant at Tilbury’s Chadfields so it was nice to return here.

Reece Latimer (5) recycling possession for Town [Image by Scott W]

This match got underway with the premise being simple, anything less than a win for Basildon would be the end of their title hopes. It was unsurprisingly a tense start to the game, with Hutton looking for some response after a hefty loss away at Catholic Utd in midweek, Matt Singh’s team started in a lively manner. With the match going at a good tempo, chances were at a premium with Bas forward Rhys Willson’s fine cross narrowly evading player-boss Marcus Bowers at the far post. Soon afterward, lead goalscorer Graham Harrison nearly had a one-on-one chance with Reds stopper Adrian Faherty but the assistant’s flag was raised.

Basildon were the more threatening of the sides as we got towards the half hour mark, as Faherty denied Harrison’s stinging strike. James Gardner and Jonathon Hilliard were doing well in the Hutton central defence to break up the enterprising Town forward line. At the other end though, Hutton were also a threat through hard-working forward Brad Freeman who had two chances but was unable to bypass Bas custodian Matt Knight. The first of those chances saw him well found by strike partner Luke Ricketts but Freeman’s effort went narrowly wide.

Basildon pushing forward in first half [Image by Scott W]

With the interval fast approaching, Bas nearly got that precious goal as another good centre by Willson found winger Rhys Fatt at the far post but the latter’s header was straight at Faherty. Harrison also had another effort well stopped by Faherty as the visitors were getting closer to breaking the stalemate.

Half-Time: Hutton 0 – 0 Basildon Town

Tom Stephens making another run down right side [Image by Scott W]

Town began the second half with renewed impetus, and the occasional error was creeping into the hosts’ defending. First, Fatt’s strike came back off the woodwork when he could’ve found the corner, and soon after Harrison again was thwarted as his header was off-target.

That let-off though for Hutton would not last though as Basildon took the lead on 56 minutes. Graham Harrison did make the most of half a yard of space in a congested penalty area and fired home a fine strike into the right corner. Bowers was involved in the build-up. Commendably, Hutton did not let their heads drop and substitute Stephen Judge’s decent free-kick was saved by Knight’s legs.


Basildon threaten in the Hutton penalty box [Image by Steve Alison]

Both sides carried on with some vigour, and replacement Adam Bessadi got in past the Reds backline, but his effort was again ably stopped by Faherty. Fatt was there to put the ball in the net following up, but the assistant had other ideas as his flag was again raised. Basildon could not get that comforting second goal to seal the win and that was adding to the tension for all the travelling contingent.

Despite some nervy moments at the end of the match for Bas, which saw Gardner’s header come back off the woodwork, Town held on for the win which means Ongar Town have to defeat Catholic Utd at Lakeside Sports ground 3G next weekend to claim the title. Even if Bas lose out on the silverware, it is still very likely they will be promoted to Eastern Counties Lge Division One South and join the most recent addition from the EOFL – Buckhurst Hill. Many congrats to all at Basildon Town on a superb season.


Full-Time: Hutton 0 – 1 Basildon Town

In summary, Basildon did have to work hard to secure this win but credit to them for battling and keeping a good defensive shut-out. Hutton more than contributed to the game with a spirited display and had their finishing been more clinical, it would have been more than nervy moments for Bas at the match’s end. All in all, I felt this match deserved more than the one goal we got, such was the high tempo and quality of the match, buoyed on a very good crowd for a Step 7 game.

As ever, there was a number of good perfrmances in this match. For victors Basildon, forward Rhys Willson got engaged into the match from the early stages, putting in a number of telling crosses from the left side and generally having a good game, being a good outlet for his team. Graham Harrison grew into the match as it went on, playing in a deeper role today but nonetheless getting the crucial goal. But for good goalkeeping by Faherty, he could have had more goals today. A word also for energetic midfielder Michael Onafuye who put in a good performance, being good in possession and gave his team another option making forward runs as well. Lastly, centre-back Reece Latimer had a good game, dealing with a number of aerial balls in with relative ease and alongside Keanu Hill, they ensured they kept out the lively Hutton forward line.

Onto Hutton then, and full-back Tom Stephens showed good awareness in both defence and attack, making several long runs down the flank to aid his team. Captain James Gardner was again commendably strong in dealing with the tricky and quick Town forward line, making several important clearances. Forward Luke Ricketts did well to break past the opposition backline at times while fellow forward Brad Freeman put in another hard-working display and was unfortunate to not be on the score-sheet today.

My thanks to both teams, was good to see them both in action.


Teams (Rolling Subs Used in EOFL matches)

Hutton  | Manager: Matt Singh | Assistant: Bill Stratford

Starting XI: 1 Adrian Faherty (GK), 2 Tom Stephens, 3 John Carroll, 5 James Gardner (Capt), 6 Jonathon Hilliard, 4 Lewis Scott, 7 Jamie Moore, 8 Billy Chilcott, 9 Brad Freeman, 10 Luke Ricketts, 11 George Nash

Subs On (Time): 17 Stephen Judge [21′], 15 Jack Greenwood [56′], 16 Will Marlowe [70′], 18 Frazer Wraights [73′]

Booked: Gardner  | Subs Not Used: None


Basildon Town | Player-Manager: Marcus Bowers  |  Assistant: Lee Bunn

Starting XI: 1 Matt Knight (GK & Capt), 2 Andy Edmunds,  3 James O’Brien, 5 Reece Latimer, 6 Keanu Hill, 8 Michael Onafuye, 4 Graham Harrison, 7 Rhys Fatt, 17 Marcus Bowers, 10 Grant Cumming, 9 Rhys Willson

Goal-scorer: Graham Harrison [56′]

Subs On (Time): 11 Adam Bessadi [56 ], 12 Ben Smith [56′], 14 Jamie Bradbourn [83′], 18 Louis Hill [84′], 16 Keith King [90’+1]

Booked: Edmunds, King | Sub Not Used: None


Referee: Alan Moore
Assistants: Henry Steele & George Marsh

S21-22 Match Report: Catholic Utd 4 – 0 Hutton (Tues 3 May) [EOFL 21/22 4.5.22]

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Len Forge Centre 3G

2021-22 Season: Match 81

Attendance: 35 (Est)

Tuesday 3rd May 2022 – 7.30pm KO

Catholic Utd: Green & White Shirts, Black Shorts, Gren & Socks

Hutton: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Hutton launch a counter-attack in first half

Super Hoops put on convincing display to defeat hard-working Hutton

Catholic Utd  4 – 0 Hutton

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

The ‘Senior’ (Step 6 & above) season may have ended but the Intermediate season re-started for me with a welcome return to Len Forge 3G to see an intriguing match between two top six sides in Catholic Utd and Hutton in an Essex Olympian League Premier Division match. Both sides were looking to finish the season strongly and have big matches coming up at the weekend, with Galleywood the visitors to the Len Forge and Hutton welcoming promotion-chasing Basildon Town so both teams would have wanted to put in a good performance here.

This match got underway with the home side enjoying an early flourush, with quick forward Joe O’Kane doing well to bypass approaching defenders before firing off-target on two seperate occasions. Fortunately though for the supporting home contingent watching, they didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal. Midfielder Carl Read was involved in the build-up, finding forward Aaron Baldwin well before the latter struck low past Hutton stopper Adrian Faherty and into the corner to give Simon Thomas’ side the advantage.

Alfie Whiteaker about to take a throw-in for Utd

The visitors were up for the challenge of dealing with some fine forward play by Utd, but couldn’t threaten at the other end enough, as on 22 minutes a good cross from the right side allowed George Nash to get a header in on goal but Utd custodian Louis Godwin-Green could gather comfortably. Catholic Utd continued to press forward and it was little surprise they got the next goal. On 37 minutes, the impressive Franklin Craik got past a covering defender well before firing a goal-bound strike which Faherty did well to keep out, but fellow forward James Warder was following up and he helped himself to a tap-in from close range.

With the interval approaching, Hutton did have a good chance six minutes before half-time, as hard-working forward Brad Freeman’ strike forced a good save out of Godwin-Green before midfielder Lewis Scott’s follow-up header was also saved.

Half-Time: Catholic Utd 2 – 0 Hutton

Utd GK Godwin-Green about to launch the ball forward

Matt Singh’s side knew they had to get the next goal to reinvigorate their chances in this game, but it was Utd who started the second half well, with Craik making another fine sprint before his effort went narrowly wide of the goal frame. The hosts pretty much sealed the points with a counter-attack on 56 minutes. Godwin-Green had punched away a teasing Freeman cross and from that, a quick forward move allowed Joe O’Kane to show good composure before stroking the ball into the net, to cap a good performance from him.

James Warder made it four two minutes later as he finished a fine move also involving Baldwin & Craik to end up with a close-range finish. The Reds just looked a little tired, understandable given they had a tough battle with rivals Rayleigh Town only four days previously. They did find some energy though in the latter stages as Utd backed off a little defensively given their hefty lead.

Luke Ricketts (7) on the ball for Hutton

With seventeen minutes left, midfielder Joshua Seal made a super surging run down the middle but again, Lewis Scott was denied as he couldn’t find the target. Godwin-Green also made two good clearances late on, remaining alert and earning his team a satisfying defensive shut-out.


Full-Time: Catholic Utd  4 – 0 Hutton

To summarise, Utd put in a very good display here, particularly in the first hour or so. Their defending was decent but their four-man forward line was difficult for their opponents to deal with, utilising pace, movement and good passing. Allied with good finishing, Simon Thomas’ team deserved the win though as ever, Hutton kept going and created a bit more late on in the game with their approach play, they just couldn’t find that telling final pass.

There were several good performances here. For victors Utd, I thought Franklin Craik put in a very good display, showcasing his high work rate, good movement and decent ball striking which provided at least one assist. Fellow forward Joe O’Kane also impressed, showing good awareness and an eye for goal, showing good composure to get his goal. Centre-half John Nutman was a good steadying influence at the back and goalkeeper Louis Godwin-Green needed to make a few good clearances to keep his team’s clean sheet.

For Hutton, I thought dependable centre-back James Gardner made several good interceptions to help his team stay in the game in the first half, while Joshua Seal making several runs from midfield and also showing good passing & determination. Forward Brad Freeman also put in a characteristic hard-working display and replacement Billy Chilcott also gave his team more pace  in attack after the break.

With this win, Utd still have a shot of taking fifth spot while Hutton still need a point to secure another fine fourth-placed finish.  My thanks to Catholic Utd boss Simon Thomas and Hutton boss Matt Singh for their assistance pre-match.

Catholic Utd looking to push forward in first half

Teams

Catholic Utd  | Player-Manager: Simon Thomas | Assistant: Tom Harding

Starting XI: 1 Louis Godwin-Green (GK), 2 Patrick Kearney, 3 Alfie Whiteaker, 20 John Nutman, 8 Michael Sammut (Capt), 16 Carl Read, 7 Thomas Kearney, 10 Joe O’Kane, 9 James Warder, 19 Aaron Baldwin, 11 Franklin Craik

Goal-scorers: Aaron Baldwin [13′], James Warder [37′ & 58′], Joe O’Kane [56′]

Subs On (Time): 17 Jay Nash [62′], 5 Tom Elliott [73′], 14 Alex O’Leary [73′]


Booked: None  | Subs Not Used: Harding, Thomas

Hutton  | Manager: Matt Singh |  Assistant: Bill Stratford

Starting XI: 1 Adrian Faherty (GK), 2 Tom Stephens, 3 John Carroll, 5 James Gardner (Capt), 4 Stephen Judge, 8 Lewis Scott, 18 Joshua Seal, 7 Luke Ricketts, 9 Brad Freman, 10 Will Marlowe, 11 George Nash

Subs On (Time): 12 Billy Chilcott, 17 Jude Keeling & 19 Jamie Rivers [all three on 46′], 6 Jamie Greenwood [64′]

Booked: None | Sub Not Used: None


Referee: James Perry
Assistants: Oliver Townsend & Simon Brickwood

S21-22 Match Report: Hashtag Utd Res 2 – 1 White Ensign Res [AET] (Mon 2 May) [LCP 3.2.22)

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Len Cordell Plate Final

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: 122

2021-22 Season: Match 79

Monday 2nd May 2022 – 11am KO

Hashtag: Blue & Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks

Ensign: White Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

The glassware… The Cordell Plate (Image by Scott W)

Hashtag Reserves battle hard to overcome resilient Ensign Res in LCP Final

Hashtag Utd Res 2 – 1 White Ensign Res (AET)

Short Match Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

with Photos by Scott W & Katie Dorling (on behalf of ESL)

The first match of ‘ESL Finals Day’ saw an early kick-off for the Len Cordell Plate Final between Hashtag Utd Res and White Ensign Res. Both sides have good campaigns in their respective Reserve Divisions (One and Two) for different reasons, and the Tags side was looking to end the campaign on a high after losing out of the League title to Billericay Town U23 recently.

This match got underway with both sides looking to gain an early advantage but also content to keep things tight and give their opponents an edge. Central defender Joe Burgess had a header gathered by Tags stopper Jack Gannon and layer-boss Kiernan Hughes-Mason’s free-kick also came off the woodwork but there were relatively few chances. That was until the deadlock was broken on 25 minutes as forward Emmanuel Abudiore stole in ahead of his marker from yard out to head home past Gannon and give the Ensign team the lead.

Image by Scott W

Hashtag did respond well to that setback and importantly, they levelled before the break. Hughes-Mason was again involved as his set-piece was powerfully headed in by Brandon Chapman, who did have a strong all-round performance here. Ensign custodian Archie Matthews could do nothing to prevent that fine header. The tension was exacerbated just before the interval as Jonny Vandyck was given a straight red card for kicking out at an Ensign defender, after the Tags player had won a free-kick at the edge of the penalty area. Even so, we went into the break all-square and that feeling continued into the second half though Hashtag were having more ball time, with winger Ed Cooper having a few good darting runs down the flank, assisting creative forward Tommy Sykes, who was also posing problems.

The match itself was getting gritty with chances not overly apparent, although substitute Kieran Wilson-Fowler was giving Ensign an important outlet down the flanks to keep the Tags defence alert. They were well marshalled by Tags stalwart Marcus Stamp. Ensign nearly won it in added-time as Abudiore was in on goal with only Gannon to beat but the Tags stopper did well to gather the forward’s strike.

Full-Time (90 mins): Hashtag 1 – 1 Ensign

Image by Scott W

So Extra Time was required and seven minutes in, Hashtag replacement Brad Bunker did well to guide a header from another good Hughes-Mason centre on target, but Matthews did well to judge the trajectory of the ball and gather. As it turned out, that was a let off for the robust but tiring Ensign backline and four minutes into the second part of Extra Time, another Hughes-Mason free-kick was angled into the back post and Bunker was there to pounce with a firm header past Matthews.

The last chance of note for the Division Two side came seven minutes from time as a set-piece by Ensign skipper Zach Somerset-Butler was on target but lacking the power to bypass Gannon. The Final whistle blew and Hashtag could at last celebrate a victory in a match that will many watching may mention as gritty. Ensign have every reason to be proud of their efforts though some would debate that they needed to create more to test a good Hashtag backline here.

Image by Katie D

Full-Time (AET): Hashtag Res 2 – 1 Ensign Res

Congratulations to Hashtag Utd Res on their Plate victory and best wishes to White Ensign Res who made the Tags work hard for the win, despite them being a division below their opposition in the Reserve divisions.

You have to give the Tags’side credit though for pushing on well in extra time and they were the more attacking side in the latter stages of the contest, despite playing more than 75 minutes with ten men. Good performances in this match for Hashtag were led by captain Tommy Sykes who really looked to instigate forward moves by way of good passing & had several decent efforts on goal. Winger Ed Cooper and player-boss Kiernan Hughes-Mason also played their part in a good team performance, as did Brandon Chapman, who got awarded man of the match.

The young Ensign side also put in a good display and kept things tight for long periods with a hard-working display. Forward Emmanuel Abudiore took his goal well and put a good shift in, while defender Owen Dixie also did well to make it difficult at times for the opposition forwards and made some good passes. Finally, Josh Reilly also made a difference when he came on or the last hour or so of the game and gave his team some more impetus with some timely tackles.


Teams

Hashtag Utd Res   | Player-Manager: Kiernan Hughes-Mason  | Assistant: Paul Prosser

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Gannon (GK), 2 Nathan Wilson, 3 Matas Skarna (14 Ali Alanezi 84′), 5 Marcus Stamp (16 Joel Bevan 105′), 6 Brandon Chapman, 7 Ed Cooper (9 Brad Bunker 69′), 8 Jonny Vandyck, 4 Iyiola Adebayo, 12 Tommy Sykes (Capt), 10 Kiernan Hughes-Mason, 11 Rujorn Tuitt (15 Tommy Kilcast 116′)

Goal-scorers:  Brandon Chapman [39′],  Brad Bunker [109′]

Booked: Skarna, Stamp, Sykes | Sent Off: Vandyck [43′]  | Subs Not Used: None


White Ensign Res  | Manager: Liam Phillips  | Assistant: Joe Phillips

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Archie Matthews (GK), 18 Owen Dixie, 16 Joe Burgess, 5 Joshua Hayward, 10 Joss Pountney (3 Josh Reilly 59′), 2 Yaw Danso, 7 Zach Somerset-Butler (Capt), 8 Daniel Wringe (15 Emmanuel Grey-Coker 98′), 13 Emmanuel Abudiore, 17 Lewis Brown (11 Kieran Wilson-Fowler 72′), 9 Shemarie Perkins-Palmer

Goal-scorer: Emmanuel Abudiore [25′]

Booked: Hayward, Dixie, Reilly, Grey-Coker  | Subs Not Used: Curtis


Referee: Dwayne Uylett

Assistants: Andy Wheaton & Darrell Adams
Fourth Official: Joe Lannon

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