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
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.
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
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.
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 | 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