Essex Olympian League – Premier Division
Venue: Belfairs Park
2021-22 Season: Match 28
Attendance: 25 (Est)
Saturday 19 November 2022 – 2pm KO
Leigh Rams: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Galleywood: Yellow & Black Shirts, Yellow Shorts & Socks
Rams take their chances to claim big win over Galleywood
Leigh Ramblers 4 – 0 Galleywood
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The weekend match this week was remaining with the Essex Olympian League but moving up to the Premier Division clash between Leigh Ramblers and Galleywood at Belfairs Park. An hour before kick-off, we got a early sight of the match conditions which was consistent rain. Mark Hunter’s Rams side featured Dylan Skinner in goal, a defence comprised of Harry DaCosta, Barv Waiwaiku & centre-backs Jamie Skinner and captain Ryan Lowe. The midfield trio were Callum Morris, Billy Field & Matt Brinklow, supporting forwards Andrew Webster, George Moxon & Scott Clark. Galleywood were second-bottom pre-match and had Billy Cropper in goal, skipper Harry Bond, Bradley Taylor, Matthew Hicks & Freddie Bartram in their backline. Louie Herbert, Matthew Buckingham & Sean Barry were in midfield. Ben Smith led the forward line, with support from Roman Sparks & Alex Sparks.
The first half was an absolute battle as the rain continued to gain strength & influence the game. Galleywood pushed forward and had the edge early on, with forward Roman Sparks sending a half-chance off-target inside the opening eight minutes. Defending was getting increasingly tricky giving the inclement conditions and with the game getting increasingly end-to-end, the Rams did take the lead on ten minutes. Central midfielder Callum Morris saw a glimmer of an oppurtunity and unleashed a powerful strike from 30 yards out, which caught out visiting stopper Billy Cropper on its way to finding the net.
Most of the rest of the half was a pretty even contest in my view, with both teams venturing forward to good effect at times. Home skipper Ryan Lowe nodded wide of goal from a set-piece, while forwards George Moxon & Scott Clark were testing the visiting backline with their running & pace. Eight minutes before the interval, Roman Sparks was in the action again as his well-directed strike was heading for the far corner, only for a terrific save by home custodian Dylan Skinner clawed it away for a set-piece.
That intervention from Skinner ended up being influential as five minutes later, in attempting to recycle possession, Galleywood lost the ball in midfield and full-back Barv Waiwaiku’s good run ended with a fine pass which found Scott Clark in some space and his strike found the right corner, giving Cropper little chance of denying him.
Galleywood did have another chance on goal before the interval as forward Ben Smith could not find the target, firing narrowly over the goal frame from about 18 yards out.. At the interval, Dean Reeves’ team were still in the match but the rain continued unabated, which increased the effort needed to turn the game around.
Half-Time: Leigh Rams 2 – 0 Galleywood
As it happened, that chance for the visitors was pretty much gone after the Rams scored a third goal three minutes after the resumption. A well-angled cross by Matt Brinklow into the six-yard area, which found forward Andrew Webster and his header got the better of Cropper and it trickled into the net. Despite showing some admirable resolve to get down the channels to create crossing oppurtunities, Galleywood were unable to maintain the tempo they had started the game with, as Leigh Ramblers started to find another gear themselves.
Mark Hunter’s side further secured the points with a fourth goal, fourteen minutes from time. A well-measured pass by Brinklow split the visiting defence slightly left of centre of the pitch and found the advancing George Moxon who beat the off-side trap well and slotted home past Cropper and into the far corner. This writer felt it would be a case of ‘who wanted it more’ pre-match but in the end it was also a case of defensive errors proving costly for Dean Reeves’ team, which the Rams had the quality to make the most of.
Other than that, it was a good game considering all the factors mentioned earlier. This big win took the Rams up to seventh place after the weekend’s action, eight points above the top three. Galleywood drop to the foot of the table because of the goals conceded here, but they do have at least one game in hand on all of the teams around them.
Full-Time: Leigh Ramblers 4 – 0 Galleywood
To summarise this battling match played in difficult, rainy conditions, Leigh Ramblers traversed their way through a tricky first half in which Galleywood had a few chances to turn the screw in the second period, scoring some fine goals in the process. To their credit, the visitors kept going but the difficult conditions had an effect on them in the later stages. The main concern for Dean Reeves’ side is the need for more goals.
The stand-out performances start with victors Leigh Ramblers. Firstly, forward Scott Clark had another good game, making good runs & taking his goal calmly at an important time. Winger Matthew Brinklow makes a difference for the Rams and showed so again, conjuring up two assists & making several astute passes too. Skipper Ryan Lowe was his usual commanding self in defence and made several important interceptions in the first half & a few driving runs into midfield as well. Lastly, full-back Harry DaCosta also had a good game, showing good energy & stuck to his role in the side well to shut out a decent Galleywood forward line.
For Galleywood, midfielder Roman Sparks was their most creative player, making several good breaks forward, having two of their better chances & also making good passes too. Captain Harry Bond made a few really good tackles to keep his team in the game as well as showing high work rate, as did full-back Bradley Taylor who also had a good match. Forward Alex Sparks also contributed to his team’s forward moves, particularly before the break.
I will close by wishing both sides a good remainer of the season. Thanks for reading.
Leigh Ramblers | Manager: Mark Hunter | Assistant: Nathan Dewberry
Starting XI: 1 Dylan Skinner (GK), 2 Harry DaCosta, 14 Barv Waiwaiku, 5 Ryan Lowe (Capt), 4 Jamie Skinner, 7 Scott Clark, 8 Callum Morris, 12 Billy Field, 11 Matt Brinklow, 9 Andrew Webster, 10 George Moxon
Goal-Scorers: Callum Morris [10′], Scott Clark [42′], Andrew Webster [48′], George Moxon [76′]
Subs On (Time): 3 Thomas Franks [52′], 6 Scott Keys [78′]
Booked: J Skinner | Sub Not Used: Horne
Galleywood | Manager: Dean Reeves | Assistant: Billy Kinchlea
Starting XI: 1 Billy Cropper (GK), 2 Harry Bond (Capt), 3 Bradley Taylor, 4 Matthew Hicks, 12 Louie Herbert, 14 Matthew Buckingham, 5 Freddie Bartram, 11 Alex Sparks, 8 Roman Sparks, 7 Sean Barry, 9 Ben Smith
Subs On (Time): 6 Charlie Priest [52′], 16 Luke Seaton [68′], 10 Lewis Weedon [73′]
Booked: Bartram | Sub Not Used: Skipper, Kinchlea
Referee: Stuart Nixon
Assistants: Joe Cowdrey & David Bloxham