Essex Senior League Preview (12.1.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to another Preview piece looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action. With leaders Redbridge not in action this weekend, attention turns to the chasing pack and the frenzy that is the bottom-half of the table. Here are Peter & my thoughts on this weekend’s action:

Saturday 13th January

Barkingside v Woodford Town (2017) | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: Side have began 2018 in positive fashion so far and will look to continue this now vein of form against a Woodford side who threw away a three-goal lead last time out.  Both sides’ form over the last few weeks has been fairly similar too so expect a tight one at Cricklefield.  Gonna edge for Barkingside win though.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Barkingside ended a torrid run last weekend with a thumping win at Burnham and welcome Woodford Town to Cricklefield. The hosts here also gave Basildon Utd a tough Monday night match in the Errington Challenge Cup before exiting – once again on penalties. Loan signing Ryan Imbert has ‘hit the ground running’ since joining ‘Side from Witham Town recently. Woodford were three goals up before being pegged back to a draw by Southend Manor at Goffs Lane in midweek. Both sides have been leaky at the back this term and therefore I’m plumping for a draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Basildon Utd v Hackney Wick | Venue: The Hive

Peter: The Bees are unbeaten in five and had won four in a row until West Essex’s late leveller last time out meant they had to settle for a draw at home, however they welcome a Wick side who are bottom of the division and haven’t won for five games now.  The Bees have one of the meanest defences in the league too although they haven’t scored too many of late, but they should have too much for this Wick side.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: The Bees welcome Wick to the Hive as Marc Harrison’s side look to continue their stellar season thus far. Basildon were held by West Essex last weekend in league action but did go through in the Errington Challenge Cup at Cricklefield in midweek. Wick are still going through a tough phase, winless in their last five matches, with losses to Great Wakering (ESL) last weekend and Takeley in the Gordon Brasted Trophy in midweek. The Bees have only lost one of their last six matches and will probably take the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Clapton v Stansted  | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: The Tons have had a mixed last few weeks although remain in the top six, and they welcome the league’s most out-of-form side in the shape of Stansted to Old Spotted Dog who are on a terrible losing run right now and are wondering where their next points are coming from.  The Tons did start 2018 with defeat at Waltham Forest, however I feel they will get back to winning ways here.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: The Tons welcome the Airportmen to the OSD. Jon Fowell’s side have won two of their last six matches after defeat last weekend at Waltham Forest as they seek to shake off the inconsistency which has slightly blighted their tilt at the top, sitting in 6th place currently. Stansted’s torrid run was halted by a postponement last weekend though this is a tall order for Paul Pittuck’s side you would think to get a result here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Enfield 1893 v Sawbridgeworth Town | Venue: Harlow Arena

Peter: The hosts’ form has been rather poor over the last few weeks and their defeat at Tower Hamlets last weekend wasn’t the start they needed in 2018.  And they welcome a Sawbo side who started the year with an emphatic home win over Sporting Bengal United last weekend before snatching a point at Hamlets, so they are in decent form and will pose a threat. However I feel this one may end all square.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Sawbridgeworth travel to the Harlow Arena to take on Enfield 1893 in an interesting encounter. The hosts can certainly pose a threat though they just haven’t got the results thus far this term to back that up. Form-wise, they are winless in their last six matches. They face a Sawbridgeworth outfit that are picking up a few results and achieved a good win over Sporting Bengal last weekend before being held by Tower Hamlets in midweek. Concidentally, Enfield were defeated by Hamlets last weekend. Hard one to call this though the visitors may just edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


FC Romania v Waltham Forest
| Venue: Theobalds Lane

Peter: These two met only a few days ago in the Errington Challenge Cup and on that occasion FCR came away with a 2-1 win although Forest were unlucky to lose that one, so they have an immediate chance to gain revenge for that loss.  The hosts’ league form has been excellent and are currently on a five-game winning run, whilst Forest are much improved of late and are six unbeaten in the league with four wins.  This is going to be a tight contest and I feel a point a piece.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Forest once again travel to Theobalds Lane to take on FCR following their cup match in midweek, in which the hosts recorded a narrow victory. FCR are top of the chasing pack in 2nd place at pesent thanks to a very consistent run and only three defeats in 23 matches so far. In league action last weekend, the Wolves picked up a good win away at Ilford while Forest battled a trimuph at home to Clapton. Forest are definitely showing signs of improvement and a good result would only endorse that. That said, it’s hard to see anything but a win for the promotion-chasing hosts here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Great Wakering Rovers v Tower Hamlets | Venue: Burroughs Park

Peter: Rovers began 2018 with a comfortable win at bottom side Hackney Wick and have been in excellent form of late, however they welcome a Tower Hamlets side to Burroughs Park who have also started 2018 in positive fashion so this proves to be a good contest here. Reckon the hosts will win but it will be a tight contest and an entertaining one I feel too.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-2

Scott: Another fascinating tie sees Wakering take on Hamlets at Burroughs Park. Fifth-placed GWR started 2018 the right way with a routine win at strugglers Hackney Wick while the visitors defeated Enfield last weekend. Hamlets also held Sawbo to a draw on Monday night. GWR will want to shake off the memory of their last home match just before Christmas though if they bring their ‘A-game’ here they will be tough to stop. Hamlets are also having a good season in 7th spot and have won three of their last six matches. Another hard one to predict, though i suspect the hosts may just pull through.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd v Ilford | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: The hosts started 2018 with a heavy defeat at Sawbridgeworth, and with no win in three games they will be looking to get back to winning ways.  However, up against this Ilford side that will prove a tough assignment although The Foxes’ form hasn’t been great either, no league win in four and have lost their last two.  Interesting one to call this however I feel it may end all square.

Peter’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: Another intriguing tie awaits at Mile End where Sporting Bengal entertain Ilford. Both sides are finding wins hard to come by of late with the hosts winless in three matches and the visitors winless in their last four encounters. 13th-placed Bengal could do with some points to ward off being dragged into the scramble at the bottom while it seems Ilford are stuck in mid-table. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Takeley v Burnham Ramblers  | Venue: Station Road

Peter: The Station Road outfit may have fallen some way behind the leaders over recent weeks however they still pose a huge threat and with three wins from four are in decent form right now.  They welcome a Burnham side to their home who began 2018 with a stunning home loss to Barkingside, bringing them back down to earth with a bump after finishing 2017 with two wins.  Fancy the hosts to grab the points here.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: Burnham travel to Station Road to take on high-flyers Takeley. The hosts are in good form and were boosted by a good cup win at Hackney Wick in midweek. League-wise, they sit in 4th place as part of the chasing pack. Burnham’s good recent run was ended by a heavy loss to Barkingside last weekend though on their day, Lee Hughes’ side can still spring a surprise. They will have to go some though to get past Takeley’s strong backline though. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Wadham Lodge v Southend Manor | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Lodge haven’t won in the league for four games now and have only one win in six, whilst Manor haven’t won in five, and with three of those defeats are now starting to look over their shoulders at the teams below.  They did fight back from 3-0 down in midweek to grab a point so showed character there, and they will want to go one better this time round.  Think Manor may end their winless run in this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 0-2

Scott: Manor are on the road again as they visit Kitchener Road to take on Wadham. The hosts here were not in action last weekend though one win from their last six outings tells you that they need to pick things up a bit. Manor managed a come away with a point from Woodford Town in midweek though I can see this one being a scrappy battle to be honest. Adam Peek’s men are also finding it hard to get wins of late and thus, I can see this one being a draw as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

West Essex v Hullbridge Sports | Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Peter: The hosts haven’t won in two although had won three previous to that, but they did hold Basildon to a draw at the Hive last time out.  Sports will be trying to put their disappointing Vase defeat behind them with a good performance here and no doubt three points to go with it.  And with two wins in their last three league games there is no reason why they couldn’t do it, however West Essex will pose a huge threat.  Fancy this one to end all square.

Peter’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: The Stags entertain Hullbridge at Mayesbrook Park. The hosts recovered well to get a point at Basildon last weekend while Hullbridge boss Darren Manning will undoubtedly be looking for a reaction here following their disappointing FA Vase exit last weekend. With both sides being quite open at the back sometimes, I can see goals in this encounter. Another hard one to call, though I’m going go for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

That’s your lot for this week. If you’d like to follow Peter on Twitter, he can found at @ped1980

If you’d like to follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottMHC14

And finally, for more on the local Non-League scene, have a listen to this week’s Grassroot Football Show here: https://m.mixcloud.com/EastLondonRadio/grassroots-football-show-11th-january-2018/

In addition, both Peter & me spent the day with Hullbridge and here’s a special podcast with pre-match thought & post-match reaction with a number of contributors: https://m.mixcloud.com/EastLondonRadio/grass-roots-football-show-special-tring-athletic-vs-hullbridge-sports-jan-18/

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Essex Senior League Preview (23.12.17)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to another preview piece of the action in the ESL which is the last of 2017, here is Peter & Scott’s thoughts for this weekend’s matches:-

 

Sat 23rd December (3pm KO unless stated)

FC Romania v Barkingside | Venue: Theobalds Lane

Peter: Second-placed FCR welcome a Barkingside outfit to Theobalds Lane who have lost their last seven in the league which has seen them drop to third-bottom, and with the hosts in fine form for me their is only one winner here.

Peter’s Prediction: 4 – 0

Scott: The Wolves welcome ‘Side to Theobalds Lane. Both sides have been beset by fixture postponements of late though 2nd-placed FCR will be hoping to end 2017 on a good note, while the out-of-form visitors need a “platform to build on” to avoid the relegation battle they’re now in. Home win for me though.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Great Wakering Rovers v Basildon Utd | Venue: Burroughs Park

Peter: It’s fourth against fifth in the ESL as Rovers welcome The Bees to Burroughs Park and it’s such a tough one to call. The visitors won the corresponding fixture at The Hive in dramatic fashion so expect another tight & tasty affair here. Hard to pick a winner so going for a draw.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Two of the top-five sides meet at Burroughs Park. Both are in good league form though the hosts did FA Vase exit at home recently. Marc Harrison’s side will be in for a battle though may feel that a tad more pressure is on the hosts to win this one. That said, both defences are in for a tough afternoon in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Hackney Wick v Waltham Forest | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: This could prove to be a fairly well-contested London Derby at the Old Spotted Dog with both sides needing the points to try and get away from the bottom four. You’d say Wick probably need the points more though and I feel this may see it tilted in their favour slightly.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-0

Scott: Forest travel to the OSD, having won three of their last six in the league. Wick are still in a ‘transition phase’ though they they will need points to avoid losing ground to their rivals. Tough one to call this, going for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Hullbridge Sports v Sawbridgeworth Town | Venue: Lower Road

Peter: Sports may be bottom of the division but they are by no means ‘push-overs’ these days as Redbridge found out last weekend. The Robins also find themselves in the bottom half after an indifferent season so far, but last weekends’ win against Barkingside certainly gave them a boost. Expecting a draw in this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: Hullbridge welcome Sawbridgeworth to Lower Road. The hosts will looking to maintain the intensity they showed during their narrow loss to Redbridge last weekend. Though John Watters’ side will be another firm test, following their win last weekend. I have a feeling the hosts will prevail here though.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Ilford v Redbridge | Venue: Cricklefield   (1pm KO)

Peter: A rather feisty local derby awaits us at Cricklefield as Ilford host Redbridge with ‘no love lost’ between these two. Previous meetings have seen a 5-1 thrashing by the Motormen although The Foxes did then net a 3-1 over their rivals in the cup, so it’s one win all this season. Redbridge are on a pretty amazing run right now but will find Ilford hard to beat, so I reckon a draw could be the outcome.

Peter’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: The Motormen pitch up at Cricklefield for the early kick-off. Ilford will be keen to ‘re-dress the balance’ league-wise after their heavy loss at Oakside earlier this campaign. Things didn’t go their way in a mid-season friendly either earlier this week and I don’t doubt Redbridge will be fired-up for this one. Ilford will test them hard though the “Redbridge juggernaut” may well continue here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Southend Manor v Burnham Ramblers | Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: This local derby went the way of the hosts not so long ago, however Ramblers are now in the midst of a decent vein of form once again and a win would take them above Manor and possibly into the top ten. However, Manor themselves are capable of a win too so it’s another hard one to call but can see the hosts just winning this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-1

Scott: Burnham travel to Southchurch Park to take on Adam Peek’s side. The hosts may be in tenth spot though with the bottom half of the table so ‘bunched up’ points are needed to avert being pulled into that scrap. Burnham did overcome Wadham late on last weekend and certainly have goals in them. I’m going for a battling draw here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Takeley v Stansted | Venue: Station Road

Peter: These two met at Hargrave Park recently and Takeley ran out 3-0 winners. Its hard to see this not happening again, the hosts are on a terrible run of eight straight defeats in the league whilst Takeley are in third spot in the division and having another solid season. Expecting an easy home win to be honest.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-0

Scott: Takeley welcome out-of-form Stansted to Station Road. Marc Das’ side are having another good season though you feel they need a long run of wins to really be in the promotion shake-up come April and this tie is exactly the type of match they need to build such a run. Paul Pittuck’s side are having a tough season thus far and will have better openings than this to put points on the board.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Tower Hamlets v Woodford Town | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: This encounter could well be a pretty entertaining battle between two good attack-minded sides and although Woodford’s form on paper shows a run of defeats, they have been very competitive in those games. Hamlets are looking to end the year on a high at their home ground and after a terrific first half of the season this will be what they want. Gonna go for a narrow home win here.

Peter’s Prediction: 3-2

Scott: Hamlets welcome Woodford to Mile End in a match the hosts will want to win to reach the “mid-season break” on a high. To be fair, both sides can score goals so the defences might be in for a tough afternoon here. It has to be said that league-wise Hamlets are on the way to banishing the (at times, torrid) memories of last season. Think the hosts will edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2-1

 

Wadham Lodge v Sporting Bengal Utd
| Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Lodge seem to have ‘hit a wall’ after a fine run which saw them go from bottom to mid-table in a matter of weeks, but the departure of Marc Farrell could of affected matters perhaps? Sporting themselves were on a good run until this was ended by rivals Tower Hamlets, and this game certainly proves to be a tough one to call. Fancy Sporting to edge it.

Peter’s Prediction: 1-2

Scott: Wadham welcome Bengal to Kitchener Road. The hosts sit 14th though they are only six points off the bottom of the table. Sporting are five points ahead of their opponents here in 11th so it may be a closely-fought encounter. I suspect we’re going to see in the next month which direction in the table Wadham will go. Draw here for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

West Essex v Clapton | Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Peter: This proves to be a decent game at Mayesbrook Park as a rejuvenated West Essex take on a Tons side who are in the top-six after another solid year so far. A win for the hosts takes them above Clapton and I feel they will do just that.

Peter’s Prediction: 2-1

Scott: Clapton travel to Mayesbrook Park to take on another goal-hungry side in West Essex. The hosts are in ‘good touch’ just now following wins at Burnham and most recently, Enfield 1893. Results-wise, the Tons have yet to shake off that degree of inconsistency of late. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2-1

 

If you’d like to follow Peter’s myriad of sporting articles, his Twitter is @ped1980

You can also follow Scott on Twitter at @ScottMHC14

All that’s left to say is that we wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year in 2018.

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 3 – 2 Enfield 1893 (FA Vase R3 2.12.17)

The FA Vase Third Round (Last 64)

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 85

2017-18 Season: Match 43

Saturday 2nd December 2017 3pm KO

Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Enfield 1893: Green & White Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks

 

Scott W Reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

On FA Vase Third Round day, Hullbridge Sports welcomed ESL stable-mates Enfield 1893 to Lower Road for an intriuging cup-tie. For the hosts, Russell Harley got the nod between the sticks, with Harry Watkins making his first start and skipper Jimmy Cox and Michael Salako leading the line. Regarding the visitors, they lost full-back Matthew Claxton in the warm-up because of a hamstring injury, David Ottley filled in while ex-Ilford winger Luke Thomas lined up on the right flank with forward John Bricknell being supported up top by Ben Bradbury. Jayden Hocking-Rising and Josh Sykes were options for Matt Hanning’s side from the bench.

This much-anticipated tie (with radio’s BBC Essex also in attendance) got underway with Hullbridge having the first real chance as Cox’s cross from the left found Salako though he couldn’t direct his header past visiting ‘stopper Michael Corderoy. The visitors did have more of the ball in the early stages, with the hosts arguably sitting too deep. Enfield winger Thomas was a consistent threat down the right flank with his direct running and pace.

As we got to the mid-way point of the 1st half, both sides were lacking that final ball to unlock defences thus far. Midway into the half, home midfielder Joe Pattison’s drive was blocked in the area, the referee pointed to the spot after adjudging it to be a handball. Cox stepped up and buried the spot-kick in the right corner.

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Hullbridge forward Cox coverts the first spot-kick (Image: Neil Hunwicks – Twitter: @ABridgeTooFar16 & Used with permission)

Enfield nearly levelled on the half-hour as Bricknell’s free-kick shaded past the top-right corner with home custodian Russell Harley beaten. On the stroke of half-time, Hullbridge midfielder Harry Watkins’ free-kick was saved by Corderoy.

Half-Time: Hullbridge 1 – 0 Enfield 1893

The second half didn’t begin well for the visitors. Already aggrieved at the manner of the first spot-kick given against them, Enfield conceded another penalty two minutes after the re-start. Cox once again duly stepped up for Hullbridge and converted it well, low into the right corner of the net. On the hour mark, Salako was well-denied by Enfield full-back Joe Clark when poised to strike.

On 68 minutes, Clark’s cross from the left found midfielder Joe Johnson though he shot wide at the back post. Five minutes later, the visitors were awarded a penalty after a foul on Thomas, with Bricknell dispatching it well. So, 2-1 with a little over a quarter-hour to play – you knew it was going to get a bit frantic.

The ‘chaos meter’ went up a notch again with 11 minutes of allotted time left as Hullbridge substitute goalkeeper Jamie Merralls, who had only been on the pitch 12 minutes, was dismissed for reacting to being fouled. Home forward Cox had the unenviable task of taking the goalkeeper’s jersey.

IMG_20171202_202234
Hullbridge skipper Cox crowns an all-action game by taking the goalie’s gloves late on (Image by Neil Hunwicks & used with permission)

The action was far from over though as with nine minutes of normal time remaining, the hosts increased their lead with a pearler of a free-kick from Watkins, which past Corderoy into the left corner. Enfield showed more guts though a few minutes later to halve the deficit through Thomas’ strike from close range. As we entered six minutes of added-time, Enfield defenders Ryan Cosson and Clark had to be alert to deny Salako another sight of goal. Enfield by this time were peppering the home defence with balls into the box, though the defiant back-line, led by centre-backs Rob Hodgson, Perry Dunn and Jordan Meikle dealt with it well though Enfield substitute Jayden Hocking-Rising’s shot did test stand-in stopper Cox.

As the full-time whistle sounded, unsurprisingly the Hullbridge players & staff showed their delight though they knew they had been in a real battle here, for which credit should go to Enfield. There really wasn’t much to seperate these two sides today, though it is Hullbridge who take their place in the next round of the competition.

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 3 – 2 Enfield 1893

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Hullbridge players & management show their delight after the winning goal (Image by Neil Hunwicks)

As ever, I’d like to thank Hullbridge for their hospitality, club photographer Neil for the use of his superb images and wish Enfield the best for the remainder of the league campaign. It was also good to be joined by respected colleague Peter Dudley today and we both spoke to Hullbridge boss Darren Manning post-match which you’ll be able to hear on this week’s Grassroot Football Show on Thursday night (7th December).

Teams

Hullbridge Sports

Russell Harley (GK) (Jamie Merralls 67′), Jordan Meikle, Sam Taylor, Joe Pattison, Rob Hodgson, Perry Dunn, Tom Ranger (Michael Edgar 39′), Harry Watkins, Michael Salako, Jimmy Cox (Capt), Charlie Buffin

Goal-Scorers: Jimmy Cox [Pen 23′, Pen 47′], Harry Watkins [81′]

Sent Off: Merralls [79′]

Subs Not Used: Offord, Kimmence, Pallett | Booked: Watkins

 

Enfield 1893

Michael Corderoy (GK), David Ottley (Josh Sykes 76′), Joe Clark, Ryan Cosson, James O’Brien (Capt), Joe Johnson, Luke Thomas, Joe Staunton, John Bricknell, Ben Bradbury, Harry Prince (Jayden Hocking-Rising 65′)

Goal-Scorers: John Bricknell [Pen 73′], Luke Thomas [84′]

Subs Not Used: Thoma, Tirivanhu | Booked: Thomas, Bradbury, Sykes

Essex Senior League & FA Vase (ESL sides) Preview (1.12.17)

Written by Scott W

This weekend, there’s two FA Vase 3rd Rd ties involving ESL sides plus a reduced ESL programme. I’m solo again this week so here are my thoughts on the weekend’s matches:-

Saturday 2nd December

The FA Vase Third Round

Great Wakering Rovers v Cogenhoe Utd | Venue: Burroughs Park

Scott: Wakering welcome United Counties League Premier side Cogenhoe to Burroughs Park. The hosts have had a mixed week with a league win at Barkingside & a Gordon Brasted Trophy defeat by Hullbridge in midweek. Their league form is very good though, and Cogenhoe are mid-table in their division. I reckon Wakering will get the job done as they did ‘shuffle their pack’ a bit squad-wise in midweek.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Hullbridge Sports v Enfield 1893 | Venue: Lower Road

Scott: Also in the FA Vase on Saturday, Enfield travel to Hullbridge in an all-ESL tie at Lower Road. The new-look hosts have had a good week with a league win at Southend Manor last Saturday and that cup win at Wakering in midweek Their opponents have had a mixed one, comprised of a heavy home loss to FC Romania last weekend though came back to get a draw with Bengal on Monday night. Both sides will be up for this encounter though I have a feeling there will be goals in it too, given both sides’ defensive records this term. Hullbridge might just edge it though it really could go either way.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

 

Essex Senior League

FC Romania v Woodford Town | Venue: Theobalds Lane

Scott: Woodford are the visitors to Theobalds Lane as they take on in-form FCR. The hosts picked up a big win at Enfield last time out, while Town lost out at home to Wadham. Dee Safer’s side have lost five out of their last seven league matches though shouldn’t be under-estimated here. That said, I still reckon FCR will prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Ilford v Burnham Ramblers | Venue: Cricklefield

Scott: Ilford take on Burnham at Cricklefield. The Foxes have had a mixed last week, getting a point at Clapton though exited the Errington Challenge Cup at Sawbridgeworth in midweek. League-wise, they’ve won three of their last eight matches. Burnham have had a good week with league wins at Stansted and Wadham which ended a barren ESL run. Really tough one to call this as both sides could do with the points, therefore it might end all-square.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Sporting Bengal Utd v Hackney Wick | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Scott: Bengal welcome near-neighbours Wick to Mile End. The hosts have had a good week with a win over West Essex last weekend and a draw at Enfield on Monday night. Wick lost out to Hamlets last weekend though do have a better record away from home so far this term. Also, Wick appointed ex-Brentwood & Woodford boss Tony Ievoli this week and as ever, you can’t discount the ‘new manager’ effect. I’m going to plump for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Takeley v Southend Manor | Venue: Station Road

Scott: Takeley welcome Manor to Station Road. The hosts lost their long unbeaten stretch last weekend at Waltham Forest while Manor lost out to Hullbridge last Saturday and then exited the Essex Senior Cup at Harlow in midweek. The hosts will know that they have two games in hand on leaders Redbridge though they are under a bit of pressure to win those matches given the leaders’ excellent recent league run. I do reckon they will emerge with the points here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

 

Waltham Forest v Tower Hamlets | Venue: Kitchener Road

Scott: Forest welcome Hamlets to Kitchener Road. The home side have are unbeaten in three league matches now following a surprise win over Takeley last weekend. Hamlets have won three & lost three in their last six outings though sit 7th in the table currently. They face a tough test here as Waltham seek to continue their mini-revival. The hosts will have to keep the likes of Curtis Pond quiet though so I’m going to plump for a score draw here.
Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

West Essex v Barkingside | Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Scott: ‘Side travel to Mayesbrook Park in this battle of two out-of-form sides. The Stags lost out to Bengal last weekend and have won two of their last eight league matches. Their opponents are on a poor run themselves with just a single win in their last eight ESL matches, though they did get pipped late on at Clapton in midweek. I have a feeling both sides may ‘throw caution to the wind’ here and therefore this could be an exciting encounter. Hard to seperate them though so I’ll go with a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

If you would like to see more of the vast ‘back catalogue’ of Peter’s work including ESL round-up’s & Match reports then follow him on Twitter – @ped1980 and on his website at http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl/

You can also follow Scott at @ScottMHC14 on Twitter

 

Match Report: Tower Hamlets 0 – 5 Redbridge (ESL 20.11.17)

Essex Senior League

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: 72

2017-18 Season – Match 41

Monday 20th November 2017 7.45pm KO

Tower Hamlets: Orange Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Redbridge: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Scott W reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

On a Monday night encounter at Mile End Stadium, Tower Hamlets took on Redbridge in an intriguing Essex Senior League fixture. The hosts still had a few players banned including goalkeeper James Pellin and forward Luke With so Curtis Pond led the attack here, with fellow forwards James Ross and Wale Odedoyin on the bench. For the Motormen, recent signing Martin Tuohy joined the talisman that is Brian Moses in attack, with Calvin Poku and Jacob Dingli options on the bench.

Both sides took a little time to settle on a slippy pitch though midfielder Mata Julio had Hamlets’ first chance of note when he spotted Redbridge goalkeeper Lewis Greene off his line though the stopper recovered to save his lob which was off-target. The Motormen took the lead on 12 minutes as skipper Eljay Worrell flighted in a lovely free-kick into the right corner of the net. This unsurprisingly encouraged the visitors and and after a couple of crosses which were cleared, forward Brian Moses was well played in though he blazed his shot wide of the left corner.

Hamlets did find a bit more urgency soon after that, though Julio and forward Curtis Pond couldn’t hit the target then winger Hasan Mustafa’s shot brought a save out of Greene. In the last minutes of the first half, the visitors did push forward again looking for that important second goal and they got it five minutes before the break as Moses’ downward header was prodded home by Worrell.

Half-Time: Tower Hamlets 0 – 2 Redbridge

Redbridge started the second half with renewed purpose with Hamlets goalkeeper Jerome Anthony being tested by winger Reside Coxi-Sebastfao and Moses in the first third of the second period. The hosts were not at their best going forward all evening though prior to being substituted, Mustafa was a threat down the right wing.

Redbridge extended their lead further 19 minutes after the break when Tuohy slotted home calmly past Anthony. Jacob Dingli came off the bench for the visitors and his toe-poke was cleared for a corner soon after coming on though after fellow substitute Calvin Poku’s curling strike was parried by Anthony, Dingli tucked in the rebound to add some gloss to the score-line.

The Motormen defence had been solid all evening, and wanted a rare clean sheet. Unfortunately for the hosts, they conceded a penalty deep in stoppage-time as Dingli was fouled in the area. Worrell stepped up and put away the spot-kick to claim his hat-trick.

Hamlets were well beaten in the end as the visitors once again showed that they are a ‘force to be reckoned with’ this season and extended their excellent winning run in the league. Hamlets lacked a focal point in attack and found the Motormen back five in miserly form too.

Full-Time: Tower Hamlets 0 – 5 Redbridge

 

Teams:

Tower Hamlets

Jerome Anthony (GK), O’Neal Rowe, John Watson, Aliu Ibrahim, Tola Odedoyin, Hasan Mustafa (Wale Odedoyin 65′), Mata Julio, Curtis Pond (James Ross 74′), Frankie Sinclair (C), Danny McCarthy (Elias Tackie 54′), Igor Furtado

Booked: Sinclair  | Subs Not Used: Tobun, Capleton

 

Redbridge

Lewis Greene (GK), Courtney Homans, Marcus Carter, Shaun Harris, Liam Thomas, Jonathan Mbamarah, Reside Coxi-Sebastfao (Jacob Dingli 64′), Patrick Duggan (Philip Bamfoe-Browne 66′), Martin Tuohy (Calvin Poku 67′) Brian Moses, Eljay Worrell (C)

Goal-Scorers: Worrell [12′, 40′ & pen 90’+6], Tuohy [64′], Dingli [73′]

Subs Not Used: Turner, Nelson

 

Referee: Stacey Ford

Assistant Referees: Martin Quinn & Neil Bailey

Match Report: Great Wakering Rovers 7 – 1 Hullbridge Sports (ESL 18.11.17)

Essex Senior League

Venue: Burroughs Park

2017-18 Season: Match 40

Saturday 18th November 2017 3pm KO

Great Wakering: Green & White Striped Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

 

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

On a chilly afternoon at Burroughs Park, Great Wakering Rovers welcomed Hullbridge Sports in another Essex Senior League encounter. Wakering kept the nucleus of their side with Messrs Richmond and Bryan leading the line while Hullbridge gave a full debut to recent signing Sam Kimmence.

The hosts started this match in the best possible fashion as only a minute into proceedings, a cross from the left flank found box-to-box midfielder Aaron Russell whose near-post header beat visiting goalkeeper Lewis Catling. Hullbridge responded soon after though midfielder Tom Ranger sent two efforts wide of goal.

The visitors were the architects of their own downfall at times in this match and this was the case when on seven minutes, an errant back-pass found its way between visiting defenders and midfielder Billy Johnson ghosted in, nicked the ball, ran into the area and rounded Catling then struck home well. The visiting defence were under pressure by this point, Catling made a good save to deny Rovers a third within the opening twenty minutes of the game.

Wakering made it three on 24 minutes through a Neil Richmond penalty, struck well into the left corner of the net. The visitors then had a goal ruled out, winger Charlie Buffin the unfortunate party. Captain Jimmy Cox then brought a save from Rovers custodian Rees Hawkins. Just shy of the half-hour, full-back Jason Ring’s cross from the right found Richmond though after a good turn, he blasted his shot wide.

Eight minutes before the break, substitute Jay Nash spurned a decent chance as his drive at goal was well-saved by Catling. A fairly rare Hullbridge attack saw Cox’s lofted ball in for fellow forward Oliver Miller saved by Hawkins, five minutes before the break though Wakering were comfortably ahead in this one at the interval.

Half-Time: Great Wakering 3 – 0 Hullbridge Sports

Four minutes after the break, the hosts extended their lead with another spot-kick from Richmond after fellow forward Chris Bryan was felled in the area. Bryan then blasted an effort wide after being found well by full-back Jimmy Cook just past the hour. Hullbridge forward Miller had a header comfortably saved by Hawkins though in truth, the forward line didn’t have much oppurtunity to shine throughout, partly down to the typically solid and committed nature of the home defence.

Wakering pushed for more goals though Johnson and Richmond couldn’t find the target after decent build-up play. Hullbridge did get a consolation on 71 minutes though as Buffin fed Miller who struck a low shot home well from a narrow angle. Unfortunately, that joy was short-lived as the hosts struck again from close range five minutes later. Richmond completed another hat-trick late-on with a close-range strike.

Hawkins had to be alert to deny a good strike by Hullbridge substitute Sam Dulieu as we crept into injury-time though the visitors’ difficult afternoon was compounded as Wakering captain Scott Pethers powered a 20-yard strike into the right corner with virtually the last-kick of the match.

Full-Time: Great Wakering 7 – 1 Hullbridge

Credit has to go to Wakering for a dominant performance and they go above Clapton into 5th place in the table. If they keep playing like this then they will be right in the promotion shake-up at the end of the campaign. As for Hullbridge, well as a neutral, I felt deflated for them though this might be a turning point for them. They fall to the bottom of the pile after Waltham Forest’s win today. Manager Darren Manning has made signings and that may spin things around when they come into the team.

Teams:

Great Wakering: Rees Hawkins (GK), Jason Ring (Charlie Seaden 60′), Jimmy Cook, Scott Pethers (C), Oliver Woodhouse (Louis Robinson 60′), Sam Carter (Jay Nash 21′), Billy Johnson, Ricky Evans, Neil Richmond, Chris Bryan, Aaron Russell

Goal-scorers: Russell [1′], Johnson [12′], Richmond [pen 24′, pen 49′, 88′], Unknown [76′], Pethers [90’+3]

Booked: Evans | Sub Not Used: Dopson

Hullbridge Sports: Lewis Catling (GK), Shawn Coe, Sam Taylor, Ben Perry (Michael Edgar 51′), Angus Poole, Ollie Quick, Tom Ranger (Sam Dulieu 65′), Charlie Buffin, Oliver Miller, Jimmy Cox (C), Sam Kimmence (Howard Wright 76′)

Goal-scorer: Miller [71′]

Booked: Buffin, Perry | Subs Not Used: Offord, Gerada

ESL Preview (17.11.17)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Essex Senior League action returns this weekend and there are some cracking matches in store. Here are Peter’s and my thoughts on the matches that start on Friday night:-

Friday 17th November

Redbridge v West Essex    | Venue: Oakside

PeterThe Motormen are well motoring along right now and have reached the summit after ending Clapton’s long winning run in midweek.  They welcome West Essex to Oakside on Friday night and the visitors have had a mixed few weeks although they did edge past Ilford last weekend so will of no doubt gained some good morale from that.  However I reckon the hosts will come out on top in a thriller at Oakside.

Peter’s Prediction: 4 – 2

Scott: Redbridge take on the Stags at Oakside. The hosts are on red-hot form at present and will fancy their chances here against a West Essex side having a ‘bit of a blip’ though they did trimuph over ten-man Ilford last weekend. It’s hard to go against the Motormen as they can win matches in different ways plus the Stags do concede a few goals at times. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1
Saturday 18th November

Barkingside v Waltham Forest   | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: These two are pretty much the worst performers in terms of results in the last six games, the hosts have lost five of those whilst Forest are on an eight game losing run.  Side will take some heart from their last two games, narrowly loosing to Clapton before taking Takeley to penalties in midweek after trailing by two goals in that one, and I feel they will cause Forest problems and will sneak a win here.

Peter’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Cricklefield hosts a match that represents an oppurtunity for both sides to pick up a much-needed three points. ‘Side did well to recover from a two-goal deficit in the Gordon Brasted Trophy before exiting on spot-kicks on Monday night. Forest were defeated by Woodford Town last weekend in Match #2 of the ESL Ground-Hop last weekend and they know wins are urgent as they sit bottom of the pile at present. Both if these sides are inconsistent though I think Michael Walther’s side will pinch it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Basildon Utd v Ilford    | Venue: The Hive

Peter: The Bees are in a good place right now although they lost top spot to Redbridge in midweek and their 2-1 home loss to local rivals Southend Manor last weekend was certainly not in the script.  Ilford have been solid if not spectacular recently and bounced back from last weekend’s disappointment at West Essex to defeat Hullbridge Sports in midweek and they have caused Basildon issues in the past, but I feel the Bees may win this one.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: The Bees welcome the Foxes to the Hive. Basildon lost out to Southend Manor last weekend while Ilford recovered from last weekend’s loss to record a home midweek win over Hullbridge. The hosts will want to banish the memories of that home loss last weekend and they will be revved up for this encounter. Ilford have made signings this week though they know that they have ground to make up to be in the promotion shake-up. I doubt that Marc Harrison’s men will lose two at home on-the-bounce though it will be a very tight match.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Burnham Ramblers v Enfield 1893 | Venue: Leslie Field

Peter: Ramblers are in a poor run of form right now, four losses in-a-row with only two goals scored, although they aren’t short of bottle and fight and showed that last weekend at Redbridge despite defeat.  Enfield have been very ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ recently but on their day can give anyone problems in this division and I feel they may take a win here.

Peter’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Burnham welcome Enfield to Leslie Field. Burnham haven’t had the best week with losses to Redbridge and Southend Manor in that time. They welcome an Enfield side that prevailed in the FA Vase last Saturday over Tower Hamlets then lost a rapid re-match at home in the league to the same opponents on Monday night. Matt Hanning’s side will no doubt be going for the three points though the hosts have showed endeavour so far this season though they know they must start getting results. This one could go either way though Enfield may get the win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


FC Romania v Clapton  | Venue: Theobalds Lane

PeterThe Tons saw their eight-match winning run come to an end at Redbridge in midweek and they face another tough away assignment at Theobalds Lane against an in-form FCR side who have won five of their last six in the league, although they did fall to a home defeat against Great Wakering Rovers in an ill-tempered affair in their midweek Vase replay.  Both come into this off the back of defeats so both will want to make amends, but I feel a draw is the likely outcome here.

Peter’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Two of the ESL’s big-hitters meet at Theobalds Lane. FCR narrowly lost out to Wakering in their FA Vase replay in midweek so the question is ‘Will they have a hangover?’ from that match. Clapton got a good win over Barkingside last weekend though their good run was ended by Redbridge on Tuesday night.The Tons have signed two ‘keepers this week so the need for a stand-in will hopefully be gone as although they have dealt with that sutuation quite well, it did need sorting, with all respect to club legend Jerry Jairette. I have a gut feeling the visitors will edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2


Great Wakering Rovers v Hullbridge Sports | Venue: Burroughs Park

Peter: Rovers welcome Sports to Burroughs Park only around two weeks after they went to Lower Road and took a 3-2 win, although they made hard work of it after cruising for two thirds of the contest.  They will fancy a quick double over their local rivals too, the Lower Road outfit have now lost five in a row in the league, but under new manager Darren Manning and some recent new additions to the squad they will surely be more competitive.  Going for a home win but it will be a close one I feel.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: New Hullbridge boss Darren Manning’s introduction to management hardly gets any easier as his new side visit Burroughs Park. Sports did start well in the eventual midweek loss at Ilford in midweek though their defence has really got to be on its ‘A-game’ against a Wakering side that are getting wins in the league and they will be on a high following their progress in the FA Vase in midweek. Wakering currently sit 6th in the table (prior to the weekend’s action) though they are only four points behind Basildon in second. Iain O’Connell’s side will fancy this one and it’s hard to see anything other than a home win.
Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1


Hackney Wick v Woodford Town (2017)  | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: Wick are finding Senior League football tough right now and five defeats in their last six suggests this, and after last weekend’s loss at home to a revitalised Lodge find themselves in the bottom four.  Woodford on the other hand are having a solid season to date and after last weekend’s victory at Forest ended a run of three successive defeats, they will be confident of recording back to back wins.  And I feel they may just do this too.

Peter’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Woodford have another away-day, this time at the Spotted Dog to take on Hackney Wick. The hosts were defeated in the evening KO of the Ground-Hop day last weekend and are only two points above Waltham Forest at the foot of the table. The visitors sit 11th at present after a good win at Forest last weekend. My belief is that the visitors will get the job done here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Sawbridgeworth Town v Takeley | Venue: Crofters End

Peter: A nice tasty local derby awaits us at Crofters as The Robins and Takeley lock horns, and with the hosts unbeaten in their last three league outings and only one defeat in their last six, they will no doubt prove a stern test for the Station Road outfit although they themselves are in great league form, five wins from six and twenty two goals scored, so they will be confident of victory.  Something tells me this will end a draw though.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Sawbo seek to continue their revival at home to in-form Takeley at Crofters End. The hosts picked up a good win at Stansted last weekend though this will be a good test of their new-look side. Takeley were not in league action last weekend so the rest may help them though they will be aware that a win could return them to top spot if other results go their way this weekend. Marc Das’ side are another team that can grind out results when they bave to and I’ll go for a narrow away win in an entertaining match.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Southend Manor v Tower Hamlets  | Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: These two are in decent form coming into this one, Manor have won their last two whilst Hamlets have won four of their last six.  The hosts stunned Basildon at the Hive last weekend before putting four past Burnham at Leslie Field in midweek whilst Hamlets bounced back from that Vase embarassment last weekend to defeat the same side on Monday.  Hard to pick a winner here so draw for me.

Peter’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Speaking of revivals, Manor are another side who have had a good week with wins over Basildon and Burnham, both away from home. They welcome a Hamlets side who recovered from a ‘bad day at the office’ last weekend to win at Enfield on Monday night. Both these sides are not particularly known for their discipline and consequently have players banned from this encounter. The hosts could go level on points with their opponents should they win and they may get a narrow trimuph here, as the visitors might have one eye on Monday’s home match with Redbridge.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Wadham Lodge v Stansted  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: The transformation of Lodge under Marc Farrell has been very noticable, and with the side now out of the bottom four and in the top ten in the form table, he has certainly made his side a much better outfit.  They welcome a Stansted side to Kitchener Road who have lost their last four games in the league and probably don’t have the best of confidence right now, and I can see the hosts picking up another win here.

Peter’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Finally on Saturday, Wadham welcome Stansted to Kitchener Road. The hosts are another side who have picked up of late though the legacy of their tough start still means they narrowly have the worst goal difference in the division. They also might have the heavy loss to the Airportmen earlier in the season on their minds as well. Stansted are in 12th spot and although inconsistent, they are a gutsy side and the hosts will need to play well to get tge points. I reckon a narrow win for the hosts here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 0
If you’d like to follow Scott, you can do so on Twitter – @ScottMHC14 and on his blog at http://www.survivor16b.wordpress.com

You can also follow Peter on Twitter – @ped1980 and on his website – http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl

Also, Scott joined the Grassroot Football Show team this week with guest John Watters of Sawbridgeworth Town: https://m.mixcloud.com/EastLondonRadio/grassroots-football-show-16th-november-2017/

The ESL ‘Ground-Hop’ Day – Sat 11th November 2017

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with afterword by Essex Senior League Chairman Rob Errington

Well, you may have seen some of the match reports from the Essex Senior League ‘Ground-Hop’ Day event, though what did the occasion feel like?

So, as part of a good ‘crew’ that included ESL Chair Rob Errington and respected fellow Non-League colleague Peter Dudley, we set off through the maze of traffic to reach Oakside, home of Redbridge FC, for their match against Burnham Ramblers, which kicked off proceedings at midday.

Redbridge & Burnham players honouring the fallen on Armistice Day with a minute’s silence

I will say that the Motormen always give you a decent welcome, led by Programme/Website chap Adam Silver though being honest, the hot food helps as well! Anyway it did seem like a few ground-hoppers and perhaps curious punters had joined the crowd to watch proceedings. To be fair, the match itself was a good one as the hosts showed why there are one of the in-form teams in the division right now. Though as I’ve said previously, Burnham are a different proposition this season compared to last term. They are spirited, more determined and decent going forward too.

Forest (in white shirts) in action v Woodford Town

I’m not usually in a rush to head off post-match though today it was rather a necessity, what with the next match kicking-off about a half-hour afterwards. Joined by ESL Secretary (& organiser of this event) Michelle Dorling in the ‘Batmobile’ (Well, it was jokingly called that so I thought I’d leave it in), the four of us just about made the start of the second designated match at 2.30pm – Waltham Forest v Woodford Town at Kitchener Road,Walthamstow. It’s been documented in the last week or so that Forest are in some financial strife as they look to keep the club going on to & past its 150th anniversary next season, and while the match itself was alright, the result didn’t go the way of the hosts. Being at the ground was a bit of a change for me as I don’t get round there that often, chiefly due to its location. I sincerely wish Forest all at Forest well in their efforts to preserve the club going forward.
With regards to Woodford Town, I could see why they’ve been scoring a few goals this term though they are probably seeking what quite a few other sides are – that ‘holy grail’ of consistency.

Right, well with the darkening sky well on its way, we made our way to our third and final match of the day at the Old Spotted Dog for the 5.30pm KO between Hackney Wick and Wadham Lodge. The chill in the air had also set in by this point though once settled, my attention turned to this encounter which was an important one at the bottom of the table.

The Wick and Wadham players before KO

Along with Woodford, I hadn’t seen Wadham this term before today though I’m well aware they won’t want to recall the tough start to the season that they had to endure. The visitors looked decent at times as they got the result with their superior finishing being the difference in my opinion. 

An action still from Hackney v Wadham (in red)

As far as the ‘occasion’ goes, I don’t think anyone can complain about a lack of goals (12 in three matches). And that adds to my (and others) thoughts that this season is ‘on its way’ nicely at both ends of the table. Perhaps future occasions of this ilk could have one or two matches on a Sunday or Bank Holiday afternoon though for a debut, it was really rather good. Days like this may help most clubs, though particularly those whose attendances aren’t that strong.
In the main though, ‘more of the same’ please. The ESL is ‘on the rise’ and long may that continue.

As hinted earlier, below are the thoughts of ESL Chairman Rob Errington on the day:

The day dawned with the excitement of the first-ever Hop by conveying Scott and Peter and the resultant chats added to the whole experience of the three matches, all ending 3-1 or 1-3, being very memorable. A day to remember indeed and hopefully to be repeated.

Match Report: Ilford 3 – 0 Sporting Bengal Utd (ESL)

Essex Senior League

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 48

Date: Saturday 1st April 2017 3pm KO

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

 Sporting Bengal Utd : Orange Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

On a fairly nice afternoon at Cricklefield, Ilford took on Sporting Bengal Utd in an Essex Senior League encounter.

The match began with Ilford being on the front foot with forward Sipho Mytanda striking a free-kick that was comfortably saved by visiting ‘keeper Dwayne Espirit.

Bengal responded with experienced forward Steven Carvell curling a decent strike wide of the right-hand post on around 10 minutes. Bengal’s Chris Wright could have put the visitors in front just moments later but shot just wide from close range.

Ilford came back though as mid-way through the half, forward Karolis Atutis’s header passed the ‘keeper but not the post. Just the past hour, Wright could have given Imrul Gazi’s side the lead though his strike was cleared off the goal-line.

Both sides had chances to go ahead, though the first-half was still rather quiet and well, after half-time I was hoping for an improvement, to be honest.

Half-Time: Ilford  0  –  0  Sporting Bengal Utd

As it happens, that improvement came after the break. Ilford took advantage of a bright-ish start and took the lead through Luke Thomas curling drive from inside the area. Ilford kept the pressure firmly on as only a minute later, a speculative effort from 25 yards from Mytanda caught Espirit unawares and he couldn’t keep it out.

Ilford completed a three-goal salvo in less than 15 minutes when midfielder Isaac Nkosi robbed Espirit of possession and passed the ball calmly into the net. Credit to Bengal though as they didn’t give up and kept running, winger Codey Cameron made a couple of good runs down the flanks, as well as forward Carvell having a couple of chances from free-kicks and fellow forward David Tarawali effort was blocked, all late on.

Just before the final whistle, Mytanda nearly grabbed a second as a great free-kick heading into the top corner was tipped over by Espirit in the Bengal goal for a corner. Ilford’s back four had a good game, with Toib Adeyemi playing at centre-half and was strong throughout. Overall, this was a good win for Allan Fenn’s side and they rise to 5th in the ESL table, five points behind Takeley with a game in hand. Bengal stay 19th, still nine points clear of Tower Hamlets in 20th.

FT:                     Ilford       3   –    0        Sporting Bengal Utd

Thomas 51’, Mytanda 52’ Nkosi 62’

Teams:

Ilford

Manager: Allan Fenn

Sporting Bengal Utd 

Manager: Imrul Gazi

1  Chris Clark (GK) 1  Dwayne Espirit   (GK)
2  Edas Valionis 2  Josh Adeji
3  Luke Thomas 3  Shafi Noor
4  Harry Matthews     (Subbed 61’) 4  Jack Lamb
5  Toib Adeyemi 5  Chris Wright    (Subbed 61’)
6  Luke McLeavy (C) 6  Mark Wheeler (C)
7  Ryan Ramsay 7  Codey Cameron
8  Isaac Nkosi 8  Ashaan Siddik
9  Carl Mullings        (Subbed 81’) 9  Lewis Francis          (Subbed 68’)
10  Karolis Atutis     (Subbed 61’) 10  Steven Carvell
11  Sipho Mytanda 11  David Tarawali
Substitutes:
12  Chris Stevens 14  Troy Alexander    (On 68’)
14  Joe Killingback   (On 61’) 16  David Vaughan    (On 61’)
15  Alfie Bartram  (On 61’) 17  Oscar Mendes
16 Jamie Hart         (On 81’)
17 Andy Edmunds
Booked: Mytanda, Killingback Booked: None
Referee: Adam Humphreys
Assistant Referees: Tony King

Moraru Gheorghe

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 3 – 0 Burnham Ramblers

Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup Semi-Final

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 51

Date: Tuesday 28th March 2017 7.45pm KO

Hullbridge Sports  : Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Burnham Ramblers : Red & Yellow Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Hullbridge & Burnham teams before KO (TDA Cup 28.3.17)
Hulbridge & Burnham players before KO

Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

On a fairly serene evening at Lower Road, Hullbridge Sports took on ESL rivals Burnham Ramblers in the second Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup Semi-Final.

Hullbridge started the stronger of the two sides, having a goal chalked off after just five minutes for an Off-side. Charlie Little down the Hullbridge right flank was posing the visitors’ problems through his direct running, pace and pinging across the odd good cross as well. The Hulbridge forward pairing of captain Jimmy Cox and Luca Frankis did have openings, Cox in particular spurning a few chances, failing to beat visiting ‘keeper Chris Leonard.

The home side did eventually make their superior play count just past the half hour as midfielder Dean Wallace blasted home from inside the area into top right corner. Only minutes later, midfielder comrade Dan Regan blasted another effort wide, much to the Hullbridge man’s dismay. Burnham couldn’t quite retain possession long enough to string together passages of play in attack unfortunately, as the both sides named strong XI’s for this Cup match. Burnham’s best chance really came on 14 minutes as forward Charlee Hughes’ header from a free-kick was saved by home ‘keeper Jamie Merralls.

Half-Time: Hullbridge Sports 1 – 0 Burnham Ramblers

The second half began with Hullbridge having a slender lead for a fairly dominant first period. They made good on their resolve though early on in the second period, as just three minutes in, Hullbridge forward Cox passed the ball into the net after a defensive mishap to double the home side’s lead. Only seven minutes or so after that, winger Little blasted home a long-range effort to really take the wind out of Burnham’s sails.

Burnham kept going for the majority of the second half, though struggled to create guilt-edged chances, though they did pose the Hullbridge back four a few more problems through forwards Craig Heskey and Charlee Hughes, though Hullbridge could’ve added to their goal tally late on. Substitute Ryan Wallington skewed his strike wide of goal when one-on-one with Leonard, before Little had two well-struck efforts well-saved by Leonard late on as Hullbridge reached the Final, where they’ll play Ryman League Division North side Heybridge Swifts.
FT: Hullbridge Sports       3   –    0     Burnham Ramblers

      Wallace 32’, Cox 48’ , Little 55’

Teams:

Hullbridge Sports

 

Player-Manager: Rob Hodgson

Burnham Ramblers

 

Manager: Lee Hughes

1  Jamie Merralls (GK) 1  Chris Leonard  (GK)
2  Aaron Hunwicks 2  Connor Peralta
3  Sam Taylor 3  Grant Webb        (Subbed 64’)
4  Dan Regan 4  Ben Timson
5  Rob Hodgson 5  Reggie Disley (C)
6  Joe Turpin 6  Matthew Coppen
7  Charlie Little 7  Andrew Mowforth   (Subbed 64’)
8  Dean Wallace 8  Luke Moloney   (Subbed 46’)
9  Jimmy Cox (C)    (Subbed 73’) 9  Craig Heskey
10  Luca Frankis     (Subbed 73’) 10  Ryan Stillwell
11  Charlie Gerada    (Subbed 73’) 11  Charlee Hughes
   
Substitutes:
12  Ryan Walington    (On 73’) 12  Sam Eve    (On 46’)
14  Howard Wright   (On 73‘) 15  Sam Kimmence
15  Ronnie Pallett     (On  73‘) 15  Jordan Denyer    (On 46’)
GK Ryan Emery 17  James Wilsher     (On 64’)
  18  Kevin Obaze
   
Booked: Regan, Wright  
Referee: Dave Tregaskes
Assistant Referees: Tom Bullard

Stephen Vieira