S22-23 Match Report: Ilford 0 – 0 West Essex (Sat 28 Jan) [ESL 22-23 28.1.23]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: TBA

2022-23 Season: Match 37

Saturday 28th January 2023 – 2pm KO

Ilford: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

West: Yellow & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks



Hard-fought battle sees West held at Ilford

Ilford 0 – 0 West Essex

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

The Saturday match this weekend saw a return to Cricklefield for an interesting local derby between Ilford and West Essex. Both sides wanted the points for different reasons, with the Foxes looking to get into the top ten and West looking to remain in the top six. Richard Ponsford fielded Tim Pitman in goal, with a defence comprised of Paul Cox & Henry Fisher plus centre-backs Tobi James & Jake Chadwick. The midfield was marshalled by skipper Mitchell McCabe with Mwetsi Matangi alongside him, with Josh Boxall & Mo Kargbo down the channels. Caleb Adomako-Mensah and Joe Lilly led the attack here. West have brought a couple of players into the squad in recent weeks, with loanee Dren Hoti deputising for the unwell Arthur LeBlond in goal, and a backline of Emanuel Wazola, Tala Lo Seye, Mitchell Arthur and Joel Lamb. Their energetic midfield had captain Reece Clarke, Saliu Lo Seye and Oliseh Okuguni in its ranks. David Bell led the attack, with support from Cameron Gray and Zak Oliver.

The early stages of this match saw the visitors start quite well, as their astute passing game did test the levels of focus of their hosts. Forward David Bell and midfielder Oliseh Okuguni had early half-chances that were wide of Tim Pitman’s goal. Ilford were finding it tricky to keep the ball but they still had one decent glimpse at goal as forward Caleb Adomako-Mensah saw a close-range effort fizz wide of the left-side post. As we entered the last 15 minutes of the first half, the Foxes did have arguably their best phase of the game up to this point, with only determined defending by the Stags preventing them from testing goalkeeper Dren Hoti.

Ilford boss Richard Ponsford watches on, early in first half

West Essex were creating promising moments, led by the enterprising running of support forward Zak Oliver, who was breaking down the right flank well, although his crosses was cleared by a stubborn central defence, led by Ilford’s Jake Chadwick. One of those Oliver crosses was well-angled in toards the far post, which Bell got across to well but could only loft his effort over the crossbar.

Half-Time: Ilford 0 – 0 West Essex

The Stags did have the better of the first half which was pretty hard-going for both teams. However, besides a glimmer at goal from captain Reece Clarke, West were spending more time defending in the early stages after the break. This was particularly the case on the hour as a good run by support forward Joshua Boxall down the left side ended with a good ball into the six yard box, which found Adomako-Mensah who timed his header well and was unfortunate as said header cannoned back off the under-side of the crossbar and back out. Bell also had another decent sight of goal but couldn’t direct his strike, allowing Pitman to gather fairly comfortably.

West winger Zak Oliver gets past Ilf’s Henry Fisher

My gut instinct was starting to sense that the stalemate could prevail here, although Ilford were keen to get down the channels, with substitutes Harry Rawlins and Delphin Moorat keen to evade the Stags midfield, who themselves battled well. There was two more chances of note as we entered the last ten minutes. First, substitute Moyo Ajibade did well to break down the right channel, putting a good ball into the box, which fellow replacement Callum Bloss latched on to but his strike sailed wide of the left-sided post. And then with mere moments left, Foxes skipper Mitchell McCabe struck a low-crisp effort which came back off the near post with Hoti beaten.

In the end though, the draw was a decent point for the Foxes who gathered their eighth shut-out of the season, which is good reward for a squad adapting to Senior football this term. West will be disappointed that they couldn’t convert their chances but they also showed parts of their development as a team in the last 12 months – specifically that they are often a tough side to beat.

Full-Time: Ilford 0 – 0 West Essex


So in the end, it was a battling if scrappy contest which neither side could edge. Even so, there was a lot to applaud from both sides as they will be pleased with elements of their respective displays here.
 
For West, the stand-out performers here were led by support forward Zak Oliver who made several good runs down the right flank, and included some good passing & pace as well. Full-back Emanuel Wazola also had a fine game, particularly in the second half as the hosts were getting more lively in attack, with Wazola making some good interceptions under pressure and used the ball well too. Centre-back Tala Lo Seye also put in a very good defensive display, making it hard for the opposition to create clear-cut chances. Finally, a word for dependable skipper Reece Clarke who put in a high-energy display in both defence & supporting the attack.

Ilford had a number of good individual performances here also, with full-back Henry Fisher putting in a very good performance, utilising possession well and making several important tackles to stifle a decent West forward line. Centre forward Caleb Adomako-Mensah also had a good game, showing decent pace & movement. He could count himself unlucky to not get on the score-sheet. Support forward Josh Boxall put in a number of good runs and passes, particularly after the break. While captain Mitchell McCabe also put in a hard shift for his team, becoming more influential in the last half hour.

I’d like to wish both teams a good remainder of the season.


Ilford | Manager: Richard Ponsford   | Assistant: Mark Lilly

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Tim Pitman (GK), 2 Paul Cox (16 Delphin Moorat 13′), 3 Henry Fisher, 5 Tobi James, 6 Jake Chadwick, 4 Mwetsi Matangi (14 Ozzie Nyahunda 46′), 8 Mitchell McCabe (Capt), 7 Mo Kargbo, 10 Joe Lilly (12 Harry Rawlins 66′), 9 Caleb Adomako-Mensah (15 Luke Pike 76′), 11 Joshua Boxall

Booked: James  | Sub Not Used: Fresneda


West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng | Assistant: George Kars

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Dren Hoti (GK) , 6 Emanuel Wazola, 15 Tala Lo Seye, 25 Mitchell Arthur, 3 Joel Lamb (10 Callum Bloss 59′), 14 Reece Clarke (Capt), 17 Saliu Lo Seye (22 Timmy Moncur 73′), 8 Oliseh Okuguni, 19 Zak Oliver (18 Moyo Ajibade 70′), 20 David Bell (21 Mohamud Kaudeer 78′), 11 Cameron Gray

Sin-Bin: Okuguni [90’+2] | Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Dumitru Vasile
Assistants: Karl Dunnage & Adam Schroder

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S22-23 Round-ups: Essex Olympian Lge & Cups (Sat 21 Jan) [EOFL 22-23 23.1.23]

Woodford East v Hutton image from this weekend [Image by Scott W]

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

Hello & welcome to the another edition of the Essex Olympian League round-up. This week, we look at the action in all divisions & Cups from Saturday 21 January, as the weekend’s action was again reduced because of the frosty weather.

EOFL Premier Division & Division Three action was postponed this week.

EOFL Divisions One and Two

Division One only saw one match as Harold Wood Athletic got a important 5 – 0 victory over bottom side Wakering Sports. James Pottle netted twice here for John Field’s team, with Zach Holding, Perry Robinson & Louis Bazely’s spot-kick accounting for the other goals. The win takes Ath seven points clear at the top, with Corinthians the most likely rivals once they have played the four games they have in hand on Ath.

Into Division Two now and the only match here saw May & Baker draw 2 – 2 with Harold Wood Athletic Res at home. Matthew Harris & replacement Josh Portway netted for the visitors but they lost the chance to go back up to third here.


EOFL Divisions Four & Five

It’s straight into Division Four now, and Herongate Athletic Res are three points clear in third after a narrow 1 – 0 victory over Leigh Ramblers Res. John Hanrahan’s penalty proved decisive as Ath retained their chances of overhauling second-placed Collier Row, given they have three extra games to play, compared to Row. Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res rose to fourth after a conclusive 4 – 0 triumph at strugglers Leytonstone Utd. The cast of Archie Gerard, Henry Harnack, Matthew Allen & Jordan Trott were all on target for Swifts there. Finally in this division, Shenfield AFC Res defeated Wakering Sports A 4 – 0 at St Martin’s 3G. Mason Everitt, Kyle Constable, Lewis Dalley & Alec Roeper all scored to fortify AFC’s sixth place.

In Division Five, Collier Row Res are up to second after a 2 – 1 win at Sungate Res, with Raheem Bravo and Nicholas George the scorers for Row there. In the other match, Runwell Sports Res are five points clear in fourth after a 2 – 0 success at Wakebury Res. Harry Ford and Daniel Hobbs scored for Sports as they secured their sixth win this term.


Cups

Starting the Cup round-up with the Essex Premier Cup Quarter-Finals, and Wakering Sports Res‘ dream run continues after a superb 5 – 1 victory over Toby at Cupid’s. Connor Fardyga once again contributed hugely in big games with a hat-trick here, and Eben Rowledge & Charlie Smith also scoring. Jamie Simpkins replied for Toby but they bowed out – their focus is now on EOFL Premier survival. Rayleigh Town renewed their rivalry with Catholic Utd and Town prevailed 3 – 2 at Len Forge 3G. Harry Talbot scored twice for Paul Higgins’ side here, with Jack Long also scoring. Joe O’Kane had earlier given Utd the lead, and Aaron Baldwin netted a late second but they exited the Premier Cup.

Elsewhere, Shenfield AFC were made to battle hard for a 2 – 1 win at EOFL Division One side Corinthians. John Bolton-Smith’s spot-kick gave the hosts the lead but Ben Carroll & Elliott Thompson strikes turned the tide and saw AFC progress to the last four. Also, in the match I attended this week, Woodford East produced a superb comeback to defeat Hutton 4 – 2 at Mabley Green 3G. The Reds led by two goals at the break, through Lewis Scott & David Johnson. But a roaring response by East saw strikes by Harry Robinson, Matt Stacey, Billy Barr & Ben Smith saw the Essex Alliance side prevail. If you’d like more on this game, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2023/01/21/s22-23-match-report-woodford-east-4-2-hutton-sat-21-jan-epcqf/

Now into the EOFL Senior Cup games, Old Southendian progressed with a 4 – 1 success over Leigh Ramblers at Belfairs Park. Mattias Tonking netted two goals for Altan Ali’s team, while Mitchell Ali & Connor Burrows strikes secured a fine win. Canning Town also went through as they won another penalty shoot-out 5 – 4 after a 1 – 1 stalemate at Runwell Sports. Oliver Williamson netted for Runwell there.

The solitary Reserve Cup match this weekend saw Galleywood Res go through after a 3 – 1 victory at Shoebury Town Res. Alfie Hooper’s fine treble secured a good win for the visitors at the Ekco Sports Club.

Lastly this week, in the EOFL Denny King Cup, Epping Town had a Conor Corrigan goal to thank for a 1 – 0 win at home to Chingford Athletic Res. Shoebury Town also went through after a 4 – 1 win at home to Buckhurst Hill U23. Mechack-Kisoka Asuka scored another two goals here, with Aaron Marshall & an OG accounting for the other goals.

End

S22-23 Round-ups: Essex Olympian Lge & Cups (Sat 14 Jan) [EOFL 22-23 16.1.23]

Archive Image – Leigh Ramblers v Galleywood earlier this term

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

Hello & welcome to the another edition of the Essex Olympian League round-up. This week, we look at the action in all divisions & Cups from Saturday 14 January, as the weekend’s action was again affected by the wintry weather.

EOFL Premier Division

In the top-tier, Leigh Ramblers have gone up to second spot after an incredible 7 – 2 victory at Bishop’s Stortford Swifts. Doubles for Andrew Webster and Tom Franks set Mark Hunter’s side on their way here, with further strikes by Justin Hazell, Matthew Brinklow & Jack Gardner securing a handsome win. Daryl Doolan & replacement Charlie Gilbert replied for Swifts but they are vulnerable having played several more games than the bottom two clubs currently (Springfield & Galleywood). The other result saw Canning Town rise to third after a 4 – 1 win at home to Springfield. Lewis Chapman netted for the visitors but Town got their 7th win this term.

EOFL Divisions One, Two & Four

Division One only saw one match beat the weather, as ACD Utd grabbed a 5 – 3 victory over Wakering Sports at Westlands. Shaun Goddard’s treble saw Michael Wade’s side in command, but goals from Harry Payne & substitute Jacob Dingli were needed to overhaul Paul Wines’ brace for Sports & one goal for Nathan Roche as well. ACD rose to fifth after this win.

Into Division Two now and the only match here saw Old Southendian Res edge to a 3 – 2 triumph over May & Baker at Garon Park 3G. Carl Patten & Darren Seymour netted for the visitors but goals for Nico Dubouchet, Oliver Tatton-Bennett & substitute Callum Ludlaim ensured the points went to Josh Bambury’s side – they now sit 7th in the table, seven points adrift of their opponents here.

It’s straight into Division Four, and Ongar Town got a valuable 2 – 1 success over Collier Row at Marks Hall Centre. Jude Collins nabbed both goals for the hosts here to send up to seventh spot. Row had a setback here, and they will need to amass as many points as possible from their six remaining games to stay in the promotion race. Herongate Athletic Res also drew 0 – 0 with Shenfield AFC Res, which temporarily lifts them up to third.

There was no action in Divisions Three & Five this week, due to postponements.


Cups

Now into the EOFL Senior Cup games, and Hutton breezed through into the next round thanks to a 5 – 1 win over Shenfield AFC, in this tie moved to New Lodge 3G. Connor Hammond struck two goals here for Matt Singh’s side, added to by Luke Ricketts, Joshua Seal & Kyle Linzell strikes. Co-manager Luke Williamson got the Shenfield reply but the Reds went through. Elsewhere, Toby progressed after defeating Harold Wood Athletic 2 – 1 on spot-kicks, following a battling 1 – 1 draw at the Nursery Sports Ground. Chris Rowland netted for Toby, with James Pottle scoring for Ath there.

The other tie saw Old Chelmsfordians overcome a scare at Division Two Wakebury. The OC’s won 4 – 1 on penalties, following a 3 – 3 draw at Cupid’s. Harry Kateley netted twice for the Berries here, with Will Wheeler notching the other goal for them.

One game in the Reserve Cup saw Wakrering Sports Res progress with a terrific 6 – 1 triumph over Collier Row Res on the Main pitch at Cupid’s. Adem Beji & Connor Fardyga both scored twice here for the hosts, with Steven Valente and Substitute Charlie Smith also finding the net for Sports.

In the Essex Junior Trophy, Manford Way Res went through after a 5 – 0 victory at Silver End Utd Res. George Green’s fine hat-trick was added to by two goals for prolific scorer Luke Bennett. But Basildon Town A are out after a 4 – 1 loss to Snaresbrook, leaders of Essex Alliance League Division Two.

S22-23 Match Report: Frenford 0 – 3 St Margaretsbury (Sat 14 Jan) [EaSL Sth 22-23 15.1.23]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Jack Carter Centre 3G

Attendance: 48

2022-23 Season: Match 35

Saturday 14th January 2023 – 3pm KO

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

St Margaretsbury: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks


Excellent St Margaretsbury performance sees them win at leaders Frenford

Frenford  0 – 3 St Margaretsbury

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

This weekend saw a welcome trip to Jack Carter Centre 3G in Gants Hill for the Eastern Senior League South match between leaders Frenford and St Margaretsbury. Dave Forbes’ side were looking to build on their five-point lead at the summit, following Stanway Pegasus’ narrow win at May & Baker 16 hours previously. He named recent signing Josh Blackburn in goal, with a defence of full-backs Augustine Appiah & Jack Sykes and skipper Lewis Bartrip & Sam Cross in central defence. The midfield included Tom Potter, Billy Karby and Charlie Munns, with centre forward Nick Reynolds being supported by Raheem Gray & Johnathon Vandyck on the flanks. St Mags have found it tough to get points away from home since I saw them win at Benfleet in August, but nevertheless they are a tricky mid-table side. Co-managers Paul Holding & Adam Connolly fielded Sidi Haidara as their custodian, with their defence being comprised of Bayon, Berg, Hayden-Eley & Daniels. The hard-working duo of Mulqueen & Moutawafiq were in central midfield, with forwards Marko Protic & Isaac Stevens being supported by Jacob Waring & captain Kamarni Collington.

The visitors started the game well, looking to get in behind the Frenford defence, utilising the artificial playing surface to good effect. They took the lead after only 12 minutes as a surging run by skipper Kamarni Collington down the right flank ended with a good ball into the box which ended up finding forward Marko Protic who fired in a low strike into the net, beyond Frenford stopper Josh Blackburn. The hosts were unable to rally and retain the ball, as the spirited St Mags forward line were understandably buoyed by this early goal. They added a second goal seven minutes later as Collington was well-found this time, and his low finish calmly doubled his team’s advantage, also netting his fifth league goal this term.


The first chance of note really for Frenford came midway through the half as strong centre-back Lewis Bartrip powered a header off-target from a set-piece. But the concern was at the other end, as an effort from close range by forward Isaac Stevens was denied by Blackburn just befote the half-hour mark. Strikes from range by Charlie Munns & Billy Karby kept St Mags custodian Sidi Haidara alert, with Munns’ effort being spilled by the goalkeeper initially before he gathered the ball just before Frenford forward Nick Reynolds could pounce. Sam Cross also fired in a set-piece just before the break which Haidara gathered, but in the main it was the visitors who looked energetic & composed in attack.

Half-Time: Frenford  0 – 2  St Margaretsbury

St Mags skipper Collington (right) on the ball early on

After the break, St Mags set about their task with renewed vigour and added a vital third goal five minutes into the half. A good break down the right flank by creative midfielder Sami Moutawafiq, bypassing his marker ended with picking out Collington who again showed calm finishing by slotting the ball into the left corner, for his second goal of the day. Not long after that, Frenford boss Dave Forbes made changes from the bench, as Tim Dennis & Sam Munton replaced Jonathan Vandyck & Jack Sykes respectively. The hosts did gradually push on in attack, as the visitors were more content to defend their advantage.

Frenford full-back Jack Sykes (#3) breaks into penalty area in 2nd half

Midway through the half, quick winger Raheem Gray saw his strike for the hosts blocked, and very shortly afterwards, a good strike on goal forced an excellent save by Haidara to turn it beyond the post. For the post part, the hard-working central defence of Callum Berg and Jake Hayden-Eley made it tough for the hosts to find the likes of Reynolds & Munns and latterly Wisley Baltazar, who came on for the last ten minutes. The St Mags defence was well supported by the team as a whole who assisted them well, as they completed a fine win in NE London.

Full-Time: Frenford  0 – 3 St Margaretsbury

In summary, this was a good, enterprising game played in wintry, windy conditions. St Mags more than deserved the points and the combination of rapid counter-attacking play, good passing & calm finishing secured the points for Paul Holding & Adam Connolly’s team. Frenford found it hard to retain possession after conceding early doors, against a hard-working visiting side. Resilent defending by St Mags also negated the amount of forward moves by the hosts, although thry had to defend well in the last half hour to keep the conclusive score-line.

There were a lot of good performances from the St Mags side today. They were led by captain Kamarni Collington who scored two calm goals, put a number of good crosses into the box and generally put in a high-energy performance. Tricky midfielder Sami Moutawafiq also made a few good dribbling runs in midfield, providing a good assist as well. Tom Mulqueen had a good game, tracking the hosts’ midfield well and assisting in forward moves too. Lastly, full-back Sammy Bayon was tireless in providing a good outlet on the right flank, putting in good passes and tracking back well

For Frenford, skipper Lewis Bartrip led his defence well, clearing several dangerous balls into the box, as well as posing a threat from attacking set-pieces. Winger Raheem Gray made good intelligent breaks down the channels as well as neat passing at times. Lastly, midfielder Billy Karby & right-back Augustine Appiah put in solid displays, showing high work rate and giving their team an option in counter-attacks, particularly in the second-half on what was a frustrating day for them.

St Mags full-back Sammy Bayon about to clear the ball in 2nd half

Congrats to St Mags on their win & I’d like to wish both teams well for the season ahead.


Teams

Frenford  |  Manager: Dave Forbes |  Assistants: Lee Forbes, Ali Choroomi & Anthony Cook

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Josh Blackburn (GK), 2 Augustine Appiah, 3 Jack Sykes (15 Sam Munton 59′), 5 Lewis Bartrip (Capt), 4 Tom Potter, 6 Sam Cross, 8 Billy Karby, 7 Johnathon Vandyck (12 Tim Dennis 59′), 10 Charlie Munns (16 Liam Newton 83′), 9 Nick Reynolds (14 Chris Reed 76′), 11 Raheem Gray (17 Wisley Baltazar 79′)

Subs Not Used: None | Booked: None


St Margaretsbury  | Manager: Paul Holding & Adam Connolly

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Sidi Haidara (GK), 2 Sammy Bayon, 5 Callum Berg, 6 Jake Hayden-Eley, 3 Kai Daniel, 4 Sami Moutawafiq, 7 Tom Mulqueen (18 Charles Nicol 75′), 10 Jacob Waring, 11 Marko Protic (8 Gerson Artur 82′), 9 Isaac Stevens (12 Miles Holding 75′), 14 Kamarni Collington (Capt)

Goal-scorers: Marko Protic [12′], Kamarni Collington [19′ & 50′]

Subs Not Used: Ndukwu | Booked: Haidara, Bayon


Referee: Dumitru Vasile
Assistants: Jamie Wood & Liam Dawson

S22-23 Round-ups: Essex Olympian League & Cups (Sat 7 Jan) [EOFL 22-23 9.1.23]

Archive Image – OS v Rayleigh Town from last month

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

Hello & Happy New Year to the readers of this column. Welcome to the first edition of the Essex Olympian League round-up series in 2023. This week, we look at the action in all divisions from Saturday 7 January, plus the Cup ties this week.


EOFL Premier Division

Firstly in the top-tier, Hutton extended their seemingly unassailable lead at the top to 14 points after a 5 – 0 victory at Springfield. David Johnson netted twice here for Matt Singh’s side, with Jude Keeling, Tom Stephens and substitute Connor Hammond also netting here. The hosts remain second bottom, two points adrift of Toby. Sungate are in third on goal difference, despite being held to a goal-less draw by Bishop’s Stortford Swifts. Leigh Ramblers are up to fourth after a gritty 1 – 0 victory at home to Runwell Sports at Belfairs. Scott Clark again got a crucial goal for Mark Hunter’s team.

Meanwhile, Catholic Utd started the calendar year with a 4 – 1 triumph at home to Kelvedon Hatch at the Len Forge 3G. James Burt scored for Hatch, but a team effort turned the tide as Franklin Craik, Aaron Baldwin, Tom Kearney and replacement Harrison Day all scored to keep Simon Thomas’ side in sixth, but are only two points adrift of Sungate in third. Shenfield AFC also picked up a big home win, as they triumphed 4 – 0 over Galleywood at St Martin’s Sch 3G. Jack Maleary, Ben Absolon, Jack Panons & Ben Carroll all netted here to send them three points clear in ninth, with matches in hand over most of the teams around them. ‘Wood’s tough season continues, as they are five points adrift of exiting the bottom two. Finally, Old Southendian got back to winning ways in some style as they won 6 – 0 at home to Toby at Garon Park, which sent them up to fifth on goal difference in what is a very tight chasing pack.


EOFL Divisions One & Two

Division One only saw three matches this week because of the weather but Epping Town got a huge 6 – 1 victory over strugglers Wakering Sports. Scout Bown netted four goals here for Stuart Hoskins’ team, to take his season’s league goal tally to 16. Edirin Eghwrudje and Abdul Kamara also scored here to add to the visitors’ pain and reduce leaders Harold Wood Athletic’s lead at the summit to four points. Beacon Hill Rovers also got a cucial victory, defeating Herongate Athletic 3 – 2 at Wickham Bishops. Bertie Whymark took his goal tally to seven this term with a double here, with William Strutt also netting for the hosts. Manford Way also drew 1 – 1 with Old Chelmsfordians, with Daniel Demain coming off the bench to score for the hosts there, with the point gained seeing them up to seventh in the table.

Into Division Two, there were some big results for the top four sides. Leaders Shoebury Town are four points clear at the top after an important 3 – 0 victory over Hashtag Utd Development, who dropped to third. Mechack-Kisoka Asuka scored another two goals to take his league goal tally to 13 this term. Substitute Enoch Gyimah added the other goal for Garry Johnson & John Galley’s side here. Wakering Sports Res are up to second spot after a 5 – 0 win against AS Rawreth at Cupid’s. May & Baker‘s Olympian side had to battle hard before completing a 4 – 3 victory at Catholic Utd Res, in a match moved to Waterside Farm Centre on Canvey. Carl Patten struck twice for Josh Lowbridge & Antony McDonald’s side, with Darren Seymour and Alfie Horan also scoring for the visitors there, who stay sixth but are only four points behind Wakering Sports Res in second, which endorses how tight the top half of the table is.

Elsewhere, Hutton Res moved up to eighth following a big 3 – 2 win at Wakebury. Thomas Price, Billy Chilcott and Ronnie Richardson-Cook all netted here for the visitors. Finlay Dorrell & Ben Perry responded for Matt Cardy’s team here but they lost ground on the top two. The other result saw Old Southendian Res win 4 – 2 at Rayleigh Town Res.


EOFL Divisions Three, Four & Five

In Division Three, Basildon Town Res are eight points clear at the summit after a 2 – 1 victory over local rivals Pitsea Athletic Res. Jamie Bradbourn’s brace sealed the points for the hosts, overturning Ath’s goal by substitute Carlos Dias. Ath fell to their first defeat this term & dropped to fourth. Hullbridge Sports Res are up to second after a comprehensive 8 – 0 victory at strugglers Corinthians Res. Jay Knight, Harry Mole and substitute George Mole all got doubles here, with Joe Tuskin and Joseph Gray strikes adding further gloss to the score-line.

Leigh Town Res are now third after a 5 – 2 success at home to Springfield Res at John Burrows Rec. Chris Pope netted twice here for Town, with Jack Pearman, Steve Birnie and Joshua Dalton all on target to render Liam England & William Roe goals for Springfield as consolation goals. Chingford Athletic Res grabbed a 4 – 1 victory at Old Chelmsfordians Res, with the ensemble cast of Luke Dimond, Bilel Benyoucef, George Miller and replacement Conor Medhurst all scoring for Ath.

Moving into Division Four, and Leigh Ramblers Res gained ground on second-placed Collier Row with a 1 – 0 victory at Forest Row. Luis Bracci got the decisive goal there, to raise his side up to third in the table. In the only other game in the division, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res were held 1 – 1 by Ongar Town at Silver Leys. Matthew Allen scored for Swifts, with Benjamin Adams responding for Ongar. Swifts drop to fifth, while Ongar are in eighth.

Finally for the League action this week, In Division Five the leaders are Manford Way Res, who won 4 – 1 at AS Rawreth Res. Callum Thomas, Luke Bennett, Charlie Ewing & Rakim Janneh all netted to extend their lead at the top to five points. Justin Burrell got the solitary goal back for the Rawreth team, who are three points adrift at the bottom. Wakebury Res moved into second spot following a 3 – 1 triumph over Basildon Town A at Shoebury Park. Ross Barnes’ treble saw Joe Creak’s side to their seventh win this term. Jamie Miller got the reply for Bas, who are now in sixth.

Elsewhere, Runwell Sports Res are up to fourth after they won 1 – 0 at home to Sungate Res. Daniel Hobbs got the only goal there at St Luke’s Park. The other result saw Shoebury Town Res draw 1 – 1 with Collier Row A at the Ekco Sports Club (Pitch 2).

In the Cup action this weekend, Canning Town emerged with a 4 – 3 win on penalties in the Senior League Cup after drawing 1 – 1 with Division One side Harold Hill in the early kick-off at Noak Hill 3G.

In the one match in the Reserve League Cup, Herongate Athletic Res got a morale-boosting 2 – 1 victory over Harold Wood Athletic Res, thanks to goals from Kemston Allen and replacement Jasper Stuckey. Josh Portway got the reply for Harold Wood’s Ressie side there but they exited the Cup here.

S22-23 Match Report: White Ensign 0 – 0 Redbridge (Sat 7 Jan) [ESL 22-23 8.1.23]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: 52

2022-23 Season: Match 34

Saturday 7th January 2023 – 2pm KO

Ensign: Red & Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Redbridge: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks


Ensign secure hard-earned point and deny Redbridge a much-needed win

White Ensign  0 – 0  Redbridge

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

The opening match of 2023 saw a interesting tussle between second-placed Redbridge and hosts White Ensign, who have already secured some big results in the 2022-23 campaign in the Essex Senior. The conditions were windy and a tad slippery but considering the amount of recent rain, Burroughs Park was in good shape. With boss Aaron Bloxham away, assistant boss Nick Wibrow took the reigns here for the hosts and he named new loan signing Luis Shamshoum in goal, a defence comprised of Ben Sargent, Daniel Monk & Centre-backs Montel Shonubi and captain Mitchell Stuart-Evans. Their midfield featured Iyiola Adebayo, Joe Hunter and Kyle McAlindon, with the forward line being led by Charlie Portway, supported by Billy Bonham-Dare and Kian Bradshaw. Redbridge knew they needed the win here after leaders Enfield’s big win at Buckhurst Hill 18 hours prior and manager George Christou fielded Connor Wheatley as their goalkeeper, with a backline of Reuben Campbell, Joe Elliott and centre-backs Nathan Okoye and skipper Dean Hall. Jerrold Cobblah and Jack Chawner were their central midfield pairing. Michael Pindy and Joey May supported forwards Ibrahim Kehinde and Tony Martin.

The early stages of this match was interesting to watch, given that White Ensign succeeded somewhat in frustrating the opposition, who could not find their rhythm, particularly in attack. Defensively, Redbridge were more rigid as you would expect for a good side & where they are in the table at present, but Ensign still carved out a big chance in the first quarter of the game. Support forward Billy Bonham-Dare managed to evade his marker and slip through a good pass into forward Charlie Portway, but unfortunately for the hosts, his low effort trickled past visiting custodian Connor Wheatley and wide of the left-side post. As the half passed the midway point, the Motormen were starting to find their passing game, with forward Ibrahim Kehinde getting in good positions, but a combination of good defending and a lack of a final pass did frustrate both Kehinde and the visiting dug-out.

Joe Elliott fires in a long throw for the visitors

Full-back Joe Elliott’s long throws were also posing a problem for the home defence, and from one of those throw-ins, support forward Joey May’s header needed tipping over by loanee stopper Luis Shamshoum, a short-term signing from Frenford I understand. Forward Kian Bradshaw was also posing a threat down the right flank wth his pace, though his tame effort when in space in the penalty area was comfortably gathered by Wheatley. Redbridge pushed on towards the end of the first half, with Kehinde having a decent chance on goal which couldn’t bypass Shamshoum.

Half-Time:  White Ensign 0 – 0 Redbridge 

Reuben Campbell [#2] making a good surging run early in 2nd half for Motormen

I had a feeling that Motormen boss George Christou would utilise his substitutes soon after the resumption, and that would prove to be the case, with full-back Jack Roult, tricky winger Samraj Gill and midfielder Jamie Price all coming on before the hour, replacing Campbell, May & Cobblah respectively. Much to their credit, Ensign continued to be resilent in defence and occasionally made decent strides going forward as well, with midfielder Joe Hunter’s looping drive forcing Redbridge stopper Wheatley into action four minutes after the restart. Forward Ibrahim Kehinde also had a header which was well-gathered by Shamshoum after a good ball in by Elliott from the right flank. It was undeniable that the Motormen put pressure on the Ensign defence, though skipper Mitchell Stuart-Evans and full-back Daniel Monk led the way commendably to stifle an increasingly frustated visiting side.

Winger Samraj Gill did make a difference to the visiting forward line after coming on, as he put in several good crosses into the box, but Shamshoum and his defenders were equal to the task, with the Ensign stopper showing as much by palming away a dangerous ball in by Gill from the left flank late on, despite being under pressure from the advancing Jamie Price. Harry Kateley also had come on for Ensign and he also made a few good runs to give the Redbridge defence a couple of nervy moments alongside Bradshaw in the latter stages, but all in all, this was a good point for Ensign, hard-earned as it was. The result sees Ensign drop to 15th, because of Romford’s win at Sawbridgeworth, while the Motormen are now ten points adrift of leaders Enfield. 

Full-Time:  White Ensign 0 – 0 Redbridge


Although there were no goals in this contest, there was a lot of endeavour, a few good chances and some good approach play. Overall, Ensign stuck to their task well & their confidence grew as the match went on. Redbridge were unusually slow to get into their rhythm & although they pushed hard at times, they couldn’t grab that decisive goal to lessen the gap to leaders Enfield.

 Redbridge’s good performances here were led by forwards Michael Pindy and Ibrahim Kehinde, who both put in a good shift for their team. Pindy made several good runs down the right flank and showed good movement while Kehinde showed guile and good willingness to get in between defenders, although both were thwarted by a resilent home defence. Full-back Joe Elliott put in a good defensive display, as well as making a few good surging runs down the flanks. Lastly, substitute Samraj Gill heightened the pressure on a tiring Ensign defence in the last half hour, putting in several dangerous crosses into the penalty area in the latter stages. 

White Ensign had several good individual displays here, led in my view by full-back Daniel Monk who made several important clearances, covered well defensively as well as putting in some good passes forward. Midfielder Iyiola Adebayo put in another good display in both boxes, distributing the ball well alongside Joe Hunter in central midfield and showed hgh energy levels. Captain Mitchell Stuart-Evans was a good anchor in defence as well, making several timely interceptions to frustrate the Motormen attack, while goalkeeper Luis Shamshoum was as assured presence, making a few decent saves and stayed alert well too. 

I’d like to wish both teams a good remainder of the season.


Teams

White Ensign  | Stand-in Manager: Nick Wilbrow | Assistant: Enrico Tiritera

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Luis Shamshoum (GK), 2 Ben Sargent, 3 Daniel Monk, 5 Montel Shonubi, 4 Mitchell Stuart-Evans (Capt), 6 Kyle McAlindon, 7 Joe Hunter (16 Teddy Rumsey 87′), 8 Iyiola Adebayo, 9 Billy Bonham-Dare (11 Harry Kateley 58′), 19 Charlie Portway, 10 Kian Bradshaw

Booked: Bonham-Dare | Subs Not Used: Ferris, O Jenkins


Redbridge | Manager: George Christou  | Assistant: Jack Toghli

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Connor Wheatley (GK), 2 Reuben Campbell (Jack Roult 52′), 3 Joe Elliott, 5 Nathan Okoye, 6 Dean Hall (Capt), 4 Jerrold Cobblah (16 Jamie Price 58′), 8 Jack Chawner, 7 Michael Pindy (14 Tayo Joshua Olukolu 72′), 19 Joey May (20 Samraj Gill 58′), 9 Ibrahim Kehinde (15 James Barlow 72′), 10 Tony Martin

Booked: Cobblah  | Sub Not Used: None


Referee: Alex Baker
Assistants: Gary Telling & Joe Lannon

S22-23 Match Report: Catholic Utd 3 – 0 Larkspur Rovers (ART R3 – Sat 17 Dec) [17.12.22]

Anagram Records Trophy – Round Three

Venue: Len Forge Centre 3G

2022-23 Season: Match 33

Attendance: 40 (Est)

Saturday 17th December 2022 – 2pm KO

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

Larkspur Rvrs: Black & White Shirts, Black Shorts, Red Socks



Super Hoops outdo gallant Larkspur to progress in the Anagram Records Trophy

Catholic Utd 3 – 0 Larkspur Rovers

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

The prolonged chilly weather continued to affect a myriad of Leagues this weekend, so it was a return trip to the Len Forge 3G to see Catholic Utd’s home match with visitors Larkspur Rovers in the Anagram Records Trophy. Larkspur are having a promising campaign, sitting fourth in the MIddlesex County Premier Division with 22 points from 12 games thus far, only four points adrift of leaders Shepherds Bush FC. Catholic are also in decent form, sitting seventh in the Olympian Lerague Premier but already with several games more to play than any of the teams around them. Manager Simon Thomas had to ring some changes here, with several regulars out with illness. Louis Godwin-Green continued in goal, with a defence of full-backs Aaron Clark & Luke Mackie and centre-backs Jack Leech and Louis Robinson. Joe Burton, Tom Kearnry and skipper Mike Sammut made up the midfild, with forwards Liam Oliver & Aaron Baldwin being supported by Ben Burrows. Larkspur had Bailey Mulhall as their goalkeeper, with full-backs Ben McCarron and Anthony Byfield joined in defence by captain Courtney Francis and Gabriel Joseph. Player-boss Brad Morris was at the base of a midfield also containing Charlie Quinnell, Kammus Metrane, Aidan Hurley and Ryan Durrant. Centre forward Deluxe Mwengula led the line for the visitors here.

There was very little time for the visitors to get settled as barely two minutes into the contest, Catholic Utd opened the scoring. Forward Liam Oliver made a good surging run down the middle, bypassing the visiting backline well before unselfishly finding the run of Ben Burrows, who duly slotted home low into the net past visiting stopper Bailey Mulhall. The only ‘snag’ of sorts for the hosts was that they should have been further ahead before the half-hour mark. Oliver had two further chances that couldn’t find the target, also a third oppurtunity was well-denied by Mulhall’s legs. Overall, the visitors from the Northolt area were conceding possession in midfield and finding it difficult to repel the Utd attacks as well, as they showcased tempo and good passes.

Utd forward Liam Oliver (#17) really testing Rovers backline early on

The early forays forward by Brad Morris’ side were in the most part rebuffed by a solid home backline, although winger Ryan Durrant had a glimmer at goal just short of the quarter-hour, which sailed not far wide of the right-side post. Respect also has to go to the travelling Larkspur contingent who did make the trip, but their frustrations was only heightened just after the half-hour.

Forward Aaron Baldwin fired in a fine curling strike from about 25 yards out which caught Mulhall out, and the ball flew into the net despite the goallkeeper’s best attempts to keep it out. It could have been worse for the visitors as Catholic had a prospective third goal ruled out for an off-side, as Aaron Clark’s fine set-piece was headed home by centre-back Louis Robinson, only for the assistant’s flag being raised to deny him.


Rovers winger Ryan Durrant watched by Utd’s Luke Mackie in 1st half

Despite a few promising moments down the flanks, the half-chances for Rovers were very few in  number, with midfielder Aidan Hurley fring well wide of the woodwork. The home defence, led by  Jack Leech did nullify the chances on goal that Rovers had. Despite this, forward Deluxe Mwengula had already made some promising runs by this point, with Catholic Utd employing the fair high defensive line to deploy the ‘off-side trap’.

Half-Time: Catholic Utd 2 – 0 Larkspur Rovers

Utd defender Louis Robinson clears the ball with Rovers forward Deluxe Mwengula closing, in the 2nd half

The Essex Olympian League Premier side had a good habit of scoring goals at crucial times in this match and they did just that, three minutes after the interval. A set-piece in a crowded penalty area again caught the Larkspur defence off-guard, which allowed skipper Mike Sammut to angle home a decent strike high into the net, leaving Mulhall powerless to deny him. In fairness to the Larkspur goalkeeper, he also pulled off two or three decent saves during the game to effectively keep his team in the contest, so kudos to him.

With respect to the visitors, they did slowly find their rhythm in the second half as Utd slowly but surely changed things by bringing their substitutes onto the field.Durrant was a good outlet down the right side and put some decent passes in, as did fellow midfielder Charlie Quinnell. Unfortunately for them, their comparative lack of options from the sidelines did not aid them here. That being said, they did have a goal chalked off midway through the half. Good play initially by full-back Anthony Byfield ended with a good ball into the area which found Mwengula, with his low strike finding the net but again, the assistant’s flag was up so it didn’t count.

Rovers full-back Anthony Byfield in possession late on

Ultimately, it did not affect the result although I suspect Larkspur will be disappointed with their performance here even though they were missing top-scorer Chris Mathieson (suspended) and several others through injury & illness.


Full-Time: Catholic Utd  3 – 0 Larkspur Rovers

To summarise this decent game in the chilly conditions, Catholic Utd were too slick with their passing and their good tempo saw them to a fairly comfortable victory against a Larkspur side that struggled for numbers but showed some neat play at times, particularly down the channels. But centre forward Deluxe Mwengula wasn’t found by his midfield often enough & therefore despite some good surging runs, ultimately Rovers didn’t create enough to trouble home stopper Godwin-Green enough.

There were several good performances in this match. For victors Utd, their defensive display was led well by centre-back Jack Leech who showed good awareness to get in good positiomns to clear effectively, while attacking full-back Aaron Clark also got forward well and was a danger from set-pieces. Midfield duo Tom Kearney & Mike Sammut also put in good performances to supply the forward line well with good passing & movement, as well as a good goal in Sammut’s case.

For Larkspur, winger Ryan Durrant had a good game down the right side, putting in some good passes at times and showing decent energy levels. Forward Deluxe Mwengula also showed promise, keeping the Utd defence alert despite being the line forward here, as well as showing good pace. Lastly, a word for goalkeeper Bailey Mulhall who produced a few good saves to keep his team in the match, while full-back Anthony Byfield had a decent game also, making several good runs in the second half to add to his team’s attacking threat.

With this win, Catholic now move into the Quarter-Finals of the Trophy & face the conundrum of having a very busy last four months or so of their season in League & Cups. Still, boss Simon Thomas will be happy with their performance levels here.


Teams

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

Starting XI: 1 Louis Godwin-Green (GK), 2 Luke Mackie, 3 Aaron Clark, 5 Louis Robinson, 6 Jack Leech, 7 Thomas Kearney, 8 Michael Sammut (Capt), 15 Joe Burton, 12 Ben Burrows, 17 Liam Oliver, 19 Aaron Baldwin,

Goal-scorers: Ben Burrows [2′], Aaron Baldwin [32′], Mike Sammut [48′]

Subs On (Time): 20 Carl Read [46′, replaced Burrows], 10 Dominic O’Kane [57′, replaced Baldwin], 16 James Ainslie [66′, replaced Mackie], 9 Daniel Williams [70′, replaced Oliver] & 14 Matt Creevy [75′, replaced Kearney]

Booked: None  | Subs Not Used: None

Larkspur Rovers | Player-Manager: Brad Morris | 

Starting XI: 1 Bailey Mulhall (GK), 2 Ben McCarron, 3 Anthony Byfield, 4 Gabriel Joseph, 5 Courtney Francis (Capt), 6 Charlie Quinnell, 10 Brad Morris, 14 Kammus Metrane, 8 Aiden Hurley, 7 Ryan Durrant, 9 Deluxe Mwengula

Sub On (Time): 22 Dan DeAbreu [55′]

Booked: DeAbreu | Sub Not Used: None


Referee: Daniel Mann
Assistants: Simon Brickwood & Broghan Kelly

S22-23 Round-ups: Essex Olympian Lge (Sat 10 Dec) [EOFL 22-23 12.12.22]

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

Hello & welcome to this weekend’s round-up from the action in the Essex Olympian League. This week on Saturday 10 December, we look at the action in all divisions, the weekend’s ‘big freeze’ heavily reduced the amount of fixtures played. Even so, some teams earned big wins in their respective divisions.

Image from Old Southendian v Rayleigh Town this weekend

EOFL Premier Division, Divisions One & Two

In the top-tier this week,  the only game that survived the freeze was at Garon Park 3G, where Rayleigh Town grabbed a late winner to win 2 – 1 at Old Southendian, in the match I attended this weekend. Goals from Jack Long & William Vile ensured Paul Higgins’ side went back up to second, eleven points adrift of leaders Hutton. Connor Burrows’ fine strike on the hour had given Altar Ali’s side the lead but they remain in sixth. If you’d like more on this game, my report is available here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/12/11/s22-23-match-report-old-southendian-1-2-rayleigh-town-sat-10-dec-eofl/


In Division One, the only surviving game was at Cupid’s (Main pitch) where Corinthians secured a 3 – 1 victory over Wakering Sports. Bailey Moss netted twice to reach 14 league goals this term, with Max Jones netting the other goal as the Stambridge-based side when within one point of second-placed Epping Town. Luke Winter got the goal for Sports but they remain bottom, without a point, with ten matches remaining this term.

In Division Two, Catholic Utd Res gained a useful three points as they overwlmed Old Southendian Res 7 – 1 at St Thomas More Sch. Franklin Craik netted four goals here himself, with Dominic O’Kane, Daniel Williams & substitute Thomas Kearney adding one each to add to the visitors’ pain. The win takes the Utd second-side up to seventh, while the OS side remain bottom, with Hutton Res only above them on goal difference.


EOFL Divisions Three, Four & Five

In the fourth-tier, Buckhurst Hill U23 put in a superb performance to win 8 – 1 over Toby Res at Roding Lane. Harvey Woods struck four goals here to raise his goal-tally to nine league goals thus far, with substitute Jack Ferris netting twice. Charlie Cole & Eden Reyes alao netted for Darren Gosnell’s talented side. Jamie Sparkes’ consolation goal meant Toby had something to take from the game but they remain three p[oints adrift at the bottom.

Into Division Four now, and Collier Row had to fight hard to win 3 – 2 at Wakering Sports A. Freddie Donkor, Elliott Barrow & Benjamin Whomersley strikes were enough to claim the points & overhaul goals a double for James Loudon for the hosts. Row ‘s revival this term continues as they are now level on points with leaders Roydon, and are 11 points clear of nearest rivals Herongate Athletic Res, having played three games more.

Finally, there were two matches in Division Five. First, Manford Way Res increased their lead at the summit to five points after a 5 – 0 success over strugglers Sungate Res. Luke Bennett powered in another treble to reach 15 league goals (congrats to him) this term, with Rakim Janneh added the other two goals. The Sungate remain eighth of the now nine active sides (see news below).

In the other game, Collier Row Res went up to third after a convincing 6 – 1 triumph at home to Wakebury Res. First-half goals by Ryan Costello & Aloisio Dos Santos were added to by Harry Potts, Jordan Lee & substitutes Danny Gilley & George Coker after the break to ensure the win. Replacement Alfie Stone got the goal for the berries second-side, who drop to fifth spot.

Also, it was announced this week that Epping Town Res have become the latest side to withdraw from the league this term. Hopefully, they will return in due course.

End

S22-23 Match Report: Old Southendian 1 – 2 Rayleigh Town (Sat 10 Dec) [EOFL 22-23 11.12.22]

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Garon Park 3G

2022-23 Season: Match 32

Attendance: 20 (Est)

Saturday 10 December 2022 – 2.30pm KO

Old S: Green Shirts, Black Shorts & Green Socks

Rayleigh T: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts & Socks

Old Southendian advance down the left flank in first half

Last-gasp winner sees Rayleigh get a vital win at Garon Park

Old Southendian 1 – 2 Rayleigh Town

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

The ‘big freeze’ this weekend saw a high amount of matches in the region at Steps Five, Six & Seven postponed, so I ventured out in the chilly conditions to see this Essex Olympian League Premier Division tussle between mid-table side Old Southendian and top-four side Rayleigh Town. The visitors have several matches in hand on most of their rivals but they have dropped points recently, which saw them slide 14 points behind leaders Hutton. Old Southendian are having a decent campaign thus far and named Peter Loveday in goal, with the defence being comprised of centre-backs Neil MacLean, Jordan Faulkner & Oliver Tatton-Bennett plus full-backs Ben Marrable & Connor Burrows. Nick Henesy & Jack Lelliott were in central midfield. Mitchell Ali, Nico Dubouchet & Matt Tonking were the forward line for Altar Ali’s side. Rayleigh named a strong team, with regular stopper Mark Brown in goal, a central defence of Sonny Coutts, Frank Hession-Harris & Jack Chatterway, with advancing wing-backs Will Vile & Charlie Seaden. Skipper George Vile was alongside Ben Baxter and George Aston in midfield with Harry Talbot and top-scorer Jack Long in attack.

Both sides had three substitutes here, and perhaps that was partly in the teams’ minds as the early stages of this match were cagey. The ‘Old Boys’ were keen to establish a base of being strong in defence, although because they sat fairly deep, it did make it harder to push forward when in possession. Rayleigh also looked a little incoherent, perhaps sensing the need to get the win.

OS’ Jack Lelliott shielding the ball in first half

Chances were few & far between until the clock motored on towards the half hour. Rayleigh forward Jack Long was the chief threat, firing two efforts off-target and also having a good strike fizz back off the woodwork. Strike partner Harry Talbot also fired over the crossbar as there were murmurings that the visitors were starting to find their attacking rhythm. However, the home backline was in a miserly mood and defended well to frustrate the opposition. Their big chance just after the 30-minute mark saw forward Mitchell Ali play in Nico Dubouchet whose strike went agonizingly wide of the right-side post after passing visiting custodian Mark Brown.


As the half-time whistle sounded, there was definitely a need for a goal, and perhaps a rise in tempo from both teams.

Half-Time: Old S  0 – 0 Rayleigh Town

As the natural light declined and along with it the temperature, both teams did emerge with renewed impetus after the break. Long was in the action again three minutes into the half, as after a good turn he got his left-footed strike in on goal, only for OS goalkeeper Peter Loveday to gather well. When we did get the opening goal on the hour, it came in some style. Old Southendian full-back Connor Burrows caught the visiting defence off-guard by thundering home a fine strike from 20 yards past Brown & high into the net.

Almost from that point onwards, Rayleigh Town piled on the pressure with waves of forward moves and balls into the box, with several decent crosses from William Vile down the left flank, being dealt with fairly well. Long & Talbot continued to test the tiring OS defence, with Talbot firing off-target moments after the he opening goal.


OS forward Mitchell Ali (#10) jostles with Rayleigh’s George Vile for possession

The Old Boys did not have that many breaks forward in the last half-hour, but midfielder Jack Lelliott garnered ome space well to get his strike away, but it lacked the power to bypass Brown. Eventually, the pressure did tell as Town equalised on 84 minutes. A set-piece by skipper George Vile angled its way into the six-yard box, which Long seized on to prod home from two yards out before the OS defence could clear. With Town going all-out for goals by this stage, OS did have one bg chance in the last few minutes, but substitute Bradley Confrey could only blast high over Brown’s goal when well-placed.

That costly miss was only amplified deep in added -time as Town did get a hugely-important last-gasp winner. Talbot darted down the left-side of the penalty box, getting round his marker before produced a fine low ball which found the path of the energetic William Vile who powered in a decent strike past Loveday & into the net to shatter the hosts’ aspirations and grab the points for Paul Higgins’ side.


Full-Time: Old Southendian 1 – 2 Rayleigh Town

To summarise this battle of a match, Old Southendian battled hard to rebuff the surging runs from the visitors. Although they were not at their best, the opening goal for OS startled Town into another gear and several waves of pressure on the hosts eventually told, but Rayleigh will know they left it very late to grab a win they really needed.

The stand-out performances here for the victors Rayleigh Town were led by a strong forward performance by Jack Long, who relished the battle, showed good movement and had several chances before his eventual equaliser. Central midfielder George Vile is such an intrinsically important player for Town & another hard-working display pushed his side on in the second half. It was sheer persistence from forward Harry Talbot who showed his importance as well, showing his pace, dribbling and passing to get the assist for the winner. Persistence also applies to winger William Vile, who put several good crosses in from the left side as well as good pace. Factor in the good movement to create the oppurtunity for an oppurtunistic winning goal & he deserves a mention.

For OS, central midfielder Nick Henesy played his part well in their passing game, despite resilent defending by Rayleigh. Full-back Connor Burrows did his defensive duties well, showed good awareness too but his superb goal really got this game going. Centre-back Jordan Faulkner also was an important part of the Old Boys defence that held firm well until the latter stages, showing good ability in the air. Lastly, forward Mitchell Ali did well to keep the visiting defence occupied at times & was also up for the battle, showing good physicality in the increasingly chilly conditions.

Rayleigh push on in second half

Finally, I’d like to wish both teams a good remainder of the season.


Teams

Old Southendian  | Manager: Altar Ali  | Assistants: Paul Tonking, John Rees & David Tubbs

Starting XI: 1 Pete Loveday (GK), 2 Connor Burrows, 3 Ben Marrable, 5 Neil MacLean, 6 Jordan Faulkner, 4 Oliver Tatton-Bennett, 7 Nick Henesy (Capt), 8 Jack Lelliott, 11 Matt Tonking, 10 Mitchell Ali, 9 Nico Dubouchet

Goal-scorer: Connor Burrows [60′]

Sub On (Time): 17 Bradley Confrey [on for Dubouchet 77′]

Booked: None  | Sub Not Used: Lovegrove, Gould


Rayleigh Town  | Manager: Paul Higgins | Assistant: Del Lamon

Starting XI: 1 Mark Brown (GK), 2 Charlie Seaden, 6 Sonny Coutts, 17 Frank Hession-Harris, 3 Jack Chatterway, 8 George Vile (Capt), 10 George Aston, 12 Ben Baxter, 11 William Vile, 9 Jack Long, 7 Harry Talbot

Goal-scorers: Jack Long [84′], William Vile [90’+3]

Sub On (Time): 4 Sonny Woodward [on for Aston 64′]

Booked: Coutts, Hession-Harris, Long  | Subs Not Used: Baldry, Sweetman


Referee: Kirk Edwards
Assistants: Simon Brickwood & Joseph Cowdrey

S22-23 Round-ups: Essex Olympian Lge & Cups (Sat 3 Dec) [EOFL 22-23 5.12.22]


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

Hello & welcome to the first edition in December of the Essex Olympian League round-up. This week, we look at the action in all divisions from Saturday 3 December, and we begin with the Cup competitions this weekend.

Essex Premier Cup – Round Four

This week we begin with the Essex Premier Cup fourth round. Premier Division side Toby defeated Essex Alliance League Senior side Kit Out London 3 – 0 at Nursery Sports Ground. Callum Mann, Jake Jones & Luis Ruiz all netted to seal progression to the last eight for Mark Jones’ side. Fellow top-tier side Rayleigh Town also went through after a 3 – 0 victory at Division One side Beacon Hill Rovers. Harry Talbot netted twice for Paul Higgins’ side here, with Jack Long again on target to seal the win. EOFL Prem leaders Hutton had a battle before winning 3 – 2  against Border League side Dunmow Town at Hannakins Farm, after extra time. Will Marlowe, Rodney Wilson & replacement David Johnson got the crucial goals there for the Reds. There was a win for Shenfield AFC in their local derby with Harold Wood Athletic, as another double for Ben Absolon secured a 2 – 1 win for AFC, with Zach Holding getting the solitary goal for the second-tier side.

Meanwhile, there was a real battle at Stambridge Memorial Ground which saw Division One side Corinthians narrowly defeat Premier side Leigh Ramblers 4 — 3. Bailey Moss’ treble & a goal for Bill Wilton secured an excellent victory for Chris Stoneham’s team, outdoing strikes for the Rams by Tom Franks, George Moxon and Matthew Brinklow. The lowest-ranked EOFL side in the competition – Division Two’s Wakering Sports Res , produced an excellent display to secure a 3 – 2 success against Essex Alliance League Senior Division side Chadwell Heath Spartans at Cupid’s. Connor Fardyga scored another two goals, and substitute Oliver Greene also netted for Sports. Joe Butcher & Jon Evans goals for the Spartans made it tight but it was a tough afternoon for Aaron Hunwicks’ side.

Finally, Catholic Utd put in a good performance to defeat Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier side Colne Athletic 5 – 2 at the Len Forge 3G, in the match I attended on Saturday. A brace for Aaron Baldwin added to goals by Louie Hay, Franklin Craik & a James Warder spot-kick to see the Super Hoops through & make it seven Olympian League sides in the quarter-finals this term, thus continuing the dominance by EOFL sides in recent years, in this competition. 

If you’d like more on the win for Catholic Utd. my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/12/04/s22-23-match-report-catholic-utd-5-2-colne-athletic-sat-3-dec-epc/



EOFL Reserve League Cup

Two matches to note in the Ressie League Cup. Firstly, Collier Row Res produced a fine performance to win 4 – 0 at Old Southendian Res, with Aloisio Dos Santos netting twice, along with goals from Charlie Quant & Ryan Costello to ensure the win for Mark Lee’s side. Leigh Ramblers Res joined them in the next round after a narrow 1 – 0 win in their derby with Leigh Town Res at Belfairs. Luis Bracci got the winning penalty with five minutes left to seal the tie.


EOFL Premier Division & Division One

In the top-tier this week, there was two vital wins for teams in the bottom three. Firstly, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts gained ground on the teams above them with a 5 – 0 triumph over Galleywood at Silver Leys. Mitchell Burr’s fine treble was added to by goals for Valter Simao & Edward Atkinson-Purse to ensure a fine win and leave ‘Wood three points adrift at the bottom. Springfield also got an important 2 – 1 victory at Runwell Sports, with Lewis Chapman & an OG ensuring Allan Fenn’s side got the win. Finally, Sungate had a Solomon Asomah strike to thank for a 1 – 0 win over Old Southendian which sees them rise to second spot.

In Division One, Epping Town cut the deficit to leaders Harold Wood Athletic to seven points after a 5 – 2 victory at home to Harold Hill. Chris Gormley let the way with a superb hat-trick, with goals from Abdul Kamara & Scout Bown adding to Hill’s pain. Old Chelmsfordians moved back up to third after a 6 – 1 win at home to ACD Utd, and Manford Way went up to seventh spot after a comprehensive 4 – 0 success at home to winless Wakering Sports. Daniel Demain, David Alele, James Dobson & an OG secured a good win for Colin Dobson’s team.  


EOFL Divisions Two, Three, Four & Five

In Division Two, with leaders Shoebury Town not in action, the chasing pack all got important wins. Hashtag Utd Development remain second after a enthralling 8 – 1 victory at Rayleigh Town Res. Jay Knight got a fine treble, with an ensemble cast of Thomas Matthew, Josh Jarvis, Tony Stevens, Matthew Gauci & Tommy Green all grabbing a goal each for Denis Simpson’s team. Harold Wood Athletic Res are two points behind in third spot after a battling 3 – 2 win away at Hutton Res. Kieron Moynihan, Max London & Matthew Harris all scored for Steve Hubbard’s side there. Thomas Price & Ronnie Richardson-Cook both scored for the hosts there at Polo Fields.

Meanwhile, Wakebury are up to fourth after a 2 – 0 victory over third-bottom Catholic Utd Res at Cupid’s. Finlay Dorrell & Jordan Farrell both netted for Matt Cardy’s side there. And last but not least in this division, May & Baker EOFL secured another fine win with a 6 – 3 triumph over AS Rawreth. Jack O’Connor led the way for the hosts with a double, while Carl Patten, Kane Messenger, Darren Seymour & Alfie Horan all netted too to ensure they are eight points clear in sixth place. Billy Brown’s double & a goal from substitute Hamoud Salum accounted for the Rawreth goals here.


In Division Three, Basildon Town Res remain seven points clear at the summit after a fine 5 – 0 triumph at Springfield Res. Jamie Bradbourn’s double, allied with goals for Antony Aylett, Joe Fogarty & substitute Ashley Drury ensured the points went back with the visitors. Second-placed Pitsea Athletic look the most likely side to be able to catch the leaders, but had to settle for a narrow 1 – 0 home win against Buckhurst Hill U23. Hullbridge Sports Res lost ground on the top two after losing 1 – 3 to Old Chelmsfordians Res, who remain in seventh.

Moving into Division Four now, unbeaten leaders Roydon retained their three-point lead after a 4 – 0 win against Shenfield AFC Res at Roydon Rec. Nader Benzid, Connor Riddoch, Rene Pivarnik & Mike Hayes all scored for Nigel Jordon’s team in that game. Collier Row are eight points clear in second after a 3 – 1 victory over Leytonstone Utd in the ‘Forest Row derby’. Elsewhere, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res went three points clear in fifth spot after a 3 – 1 win at Herongate Athletic Res. Matthew Allen got a fine double here, with Archie Gerard also on target for the Swifts side. Finally, Galleywood Res defeated Ongar Town 2 – 0 at Slades Lane, with Ebenezer Fasoranti & Aryan Tathgar goals giving them only their second league win this term & also saw them rise out of the bottom two.

In Division Five, we have new leaders after Manford Way Res won 5 – 0 in their top-two clash at Basildon Town A. There were doubles for Luke Bennett & Callum Thomas, as well as a goal for George Green as Manford went two points clear at the summit. Wakebury Res also won as they defeated Sungate Res 5 – 1 at Shoebury Park.Liam Dunne & Riley Oliver both scored twice for Joe Creak’s side, with Charlie Canning’s goal sealing their fourth straight victory and a rise to third spot, three points behind Basildon Town A. In the other game, Canning Town Res got a comfortable 4 – 0 success over Runwell Sports Res to fortify their position in sixth.