Errington Challenge Cup Final 2017/8
Venue: Capershotts (Waltham Abbey FC)
2017-18 Season – Match 69
Monday 5th May 2018 – 3pm KO
Sawbridgeworth Town: Red & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Red Socks
Great Wakering: Green & White Striped Shirts, White Shorts and White Socks
Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a baking hot day, Waltham Abbey’s Capershotts ground hosted the Errington Challenge Cup Final between Sawbridgeworth Town and Great Wakering Rovers, who were gunning for the league and cup double. Sawbo named Aaron Thomas and Toby Cleaver in attack while the vastly experienced Matt Frew joined captain Louis Deamer at the heart of the defence with Daryl Doolan among the substitutes. For GWR, they named a very strong XI, though Kiah Froud stepped in for Jason Ring at right-back. Neil Richmond led the line after being rested in Wakering’s final league match on Saturday.
Before the match, the stadium fell silent for a minute’s silence to remember non-league stalwart and former AFC Hornchurch secretary Pete Butcher, who sadly died last week. I’d like to join the chorus of the Non-League community in sending my best wishes to Pete’s family and friends at this sad time.
As the match got underway in front of a very healthy crowd of over 200, Wakering’s leading scorer Neil Richmond was ‘in the mood’ early on though scuffed an effort wide while Sawbridgeworth captain Louis Deamer nodded wide with a back-post header moments later. Rovers found Sawbo goalkeeper James Mays in good form as he denied both full-back Aaron Russell and Richmond in the same attack. Sawbo were stretching the Rovers back-line meaning custodian Louis Hawes did have to ‘rush out’ a bit and twenty minutes in, Hawes just about denied forward Toby Cleaver though the match was a bit scrappy at times with clear-cut chances at somewhat of a premium.
As half-time approached, Wakering midfielder Ricky Evans powered an effort from distance that Mays gathered before at the other end, a good first-time cross from the right by full-back Mark Robinson, which couldn’t quite be turned home by forward Aaron Thomas who sent his effort wide.
Half-Time: Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 0 Great Wakering Rovers
After the interval, the heat was only going to add to the players’ fatigue though Richmond was once again posing problems for the Sawbridgeworth defence and eight minutes into the half, the evergreen striker’s strike cannoned off the post. That chance was a warning of things to come though as after being well-found by Butterworth, Richmond slotted home for his 31st goal of an impressive campaign.
Wakering continued to push forward though Mays denied Richmond twice further, the second of those occasions following a deft lofted pass from winger Stephen Butterworth’s free-kick. The Sawbridgeworth stopper was much the busier of the two goalkeepers in the second half and further earned a “Man of the Match” award by pulling off two more good saves to deny Rovers substitute Chris Bryan, either side of Sawbo substitute Ollie Cleaver’s header that was saved by Hawes and turned in but the goal was ruled out following a assistant referee’s flag being drawn.
In truth, while Sawbridgeworth did show some nice build-up play in their attacking moves, they couldn’t assert themselves going forward against a typically-stubborn Wakering defence. As we got into five minutes of added-time, Sawbo substitute Daryl Doolan’s strike was blocked by the alert Hawes as Wakering held out comfortably to secure a double that sees them leave the Essex Senior League as the first winners of the newly re-named Errington Challenge Cup!
Full-Time: Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 1 Great Wakering Rovers
If you’d like to view match highlights (courtesy of WD Sportz) click here: https://youtu.be/ss_j4LzzFlo
Also, as part of the tie-in with WD Sportz, GFS co-presenter Pete D & myself conducted the post-match interviews with both managers: https://youtu.be/sy5NQpsnk3U and co-did a post-match sum-up: https://youtu.be/br86_AyXuj4
Sawbridgeworth Town | Manager: John Watters
James Mays (GK), Mark Robinson (Ollie Cleaver 71′) Louis Monk, Lewis Deamer (Capt), Matt Frew, Tom Jelliman, Danny Wickenden, George Pullen (Jack Cousins 84′), Aaron Thomas, Toby Cleaver, Zak Johnson (Daryl Doolan 56′)
Subs Not Used: Hunter, Wright | Booked: Robinson, T Cleaver
Great Wakering Rovers | Manager: Iain O’Connell
Louis Hawes (GK), Kiah Froud, Aaron Russell (Danny Hurford 46′), Scott Pethers (Capt), Aaron Waters, Sam Carter, Billy Johnson (Chris Bryan 59′), Ricky Evans, Neil Richmond, Jay Nash, Stephen Butterworth
Goal-scorer: Neil Richmond [58′]
Subs Not Used: Seaden, Dopson | Booked: Waters, Carter
Referee: Jamie Pope
Assistant Referees: Jamie Wood & Michael Wingate
Fourth Official: Brett Grant