Essex Senior League – Premier Division
Venue: Mayesbrook Park 3G
2022-23 Season: Match 26
Wednesday 9 November 2022 – 7.45pm KO
Romford: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts & Blue Socks
White Ensign: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Incredible turnaround sees Ensign grab big win
Romford 1 – 4 White Ensign
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The second match of this midweek saw a welcome return to Mayesbrook Park to see Romford entertain White Ensign in another Essex Senior League match. Romford had something of a re-jig in their starting XI with free-scoring Charlie Morris having recently departed for Step 4 Tilbury and skipper Kris Newby unavailable. Jake Anderson was the goalkeeper here, with an experienced backline comprised of Tambeson Eyong, Danny Hurford & centre-backs George Allen & skipper Scott Doe. Adalberto Pinto & Billy Harris were in central midfield, with wingers Jesse Olukolu and new recruit Josh Osude supporting forwards Emmanuel Robe & Lewis Smith. Ensign fielded Charlie Martin between the posts, with a defence of Ben Sargent, Callum Ferris plus centre-backs Mitchell Stuart-Evans (also skipper) and Charlie Portway. Iyiola El-Ameen Adebayo & Ethan Evison were the central midfield pair, with forwards Billy Bonham-Dare & Harry Kateley being supported by Ben Allen & Emmanuel Abudiore.
The match began with Romford putting Ensign under pressure from the early-going. Forward Lewis Smith made a good turn before getting his strike away but it didn’t test visiting goalkeeper Charlie Martin. Ensign had to do a large amount of defending during the half but when they did get forward, they did pose a threat. Harry Kateley did have a half-chance after a decent run down the left flank but saw his strike blocked. Centre forward Emmanuel Robe had the first of a few good chances but saw his effort saved low down by Martin, and rapid winger Josh Osude also firing off-target.
Romford could well have been ahead by this point but soon afterward, they had a big chance which saw Robe in on goal, with only Martin to bypass but Robe skewed his shot wide of the left-side post. The visitors had a few glimpses at goal themselves as the half wore on, with centre-back Charlie Portway angling a header over the crossbar & also Kateley also fizzed an effort wide. In the main, Ensign defended resolutely but Romford really should have had a comfortable lead at the interval, given the chances they had.
Half-Time: Romford 0 – 0 White Ensign
The second half began with a big moment for the hosts, as experienced centre-back Scott Doe was dismissed for a foul on the edge of the area. That ended up being a massive turning point as moments later, a fine strike by Ethan Evison found the net after good work by Emmanuel Abudiore, to give Aaron Bloxham’s side the lead. Before the Blues could wrestle back the momentum, Ensign’s lead was doubled on 53 minutes. Kateley was felled in the area, and referee Lukas Wood pointed to the spot. Portway stepped up & duly blasted the ball into the left corner, past Anderson.
The surprising turnaround continued on the stroke of the hour, as Ensign struck again with a third goal. Kateley finally did get past the Romford defence and his crisp, low finish defeated Anderson and found the left corner. Steve Butterworth’s side still pushed forward, with Osude & substitute George Cox having half-chances, with Cox being well denied by Martin. However, the home side did finally grab a goal with 13 minutes remaining. After jostling in a congested penalty area, replacement Camilo Restrepo slotted home low into the left side of the goal, five minutes after coming on to replace Olukolu.
Six minutes later, Ensign pushed forward again & after a good surging run, Ben Allen added a fourth goal with his low drive finding the far corner to complete a remarkable turnaround, in what was a really good match to watch.
Full-Time: Romford 1 – 4 White Ensign
This match is tough to summarise. Romford were the stronger side in the first half & should’ve had a clear advantage at the interval but Doe’s dismissal for the hosts energised Ensign to a terrific counter-effort which saw them score three goals in thirteen second-half minutes to utterly change the flow of the game. To their credit, the Blues never stopped pushing forward but it was ‘one of those games’ where not taking their chances cost them. That and you must also credit Ensign’s makeshift defence who competed very well indeed, as well as scoring some very good goals themselves in a incredible second half performance, boss Aaron Bloxham will have been delighted with the reaction.
There were some superb performances to note as ever. For Ensign, forward Ben Allen put in a fine display, testing the Romford defence for most of the game, as well as showing savvy passing and movement. Charlie Portway also stuck to his task really well playing as a centre-back here, making several important clearances aerially. Full-back Ben Sargent also showed his characteristic high work-rate and also made some good tackles. Forward Harry Kateley also deserves a mention for his good goal & showed good movement in the channels.
For Romford, rapid winger Josh Osude made several fine sprints down the flanks, and with it put in some good passes which on another day would’ve been key. Jesse Olukolu also put in a good display, utilising his pace and movement well and was thwarted by dedicated defending. Full-back Danny Hurford made several intelligent passes and important tackles while a mention too for tricky number 10 Lewis Smith, who made several fine runs & was unlucky not to score.
I’ll close by wishing both sides well for remainder of the season & a thank you also to Romford for their hospitality.
Romford | Manager: Steve Butterworth | Assistant: Dan Spinks
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jake Anderson (GK), 2 Tambeson Eyong (16 Bleron Ademi 60′), 3 Danny Hurford, 5 Scott Doe (Capt), 6 George Allen, 4 Adalberto Pinto, 8 Billy Harris (12 Jacob Wiggins 60′), 10 Lewis Smith (17 George Cox 60′), 7 Jesse Olukolu (14 Camilo Restrepo 72′), 9 Emmanuel Robe (15 Jake Gordon 72′), 11 Joshua Osude
Goal-scorer: Camilo Restrepo [77′]
Booked: Olukolu | Sent Off: Doe | Subs Not Used: None
White Ensign | Manager: Aaron Bloxham | Assistant: Enrico Tiritera
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Charlie Martin (GK), 2 Ben Sargent, 3 Callum Ferris (6 Teddy Rumsey 46′), 4 Mitchell Stuart-Evans (Capt), 19 Charlie Portway, 8 Ethan Evison (12 Jack Allen 82′), 5 Iyiola El-Ameen Adebayo (15 Kyle McAlindon 62′), 11 Emmanuel Abudiore (16 Charlie Sullivan 74′), 10 Ben Allen, 9 Billy Bonham-Dare, 7 Harry Kateley
Goal-scorers: Ethan Evison [47′], Charlie Portway [pen 53′], Harry Kateley [59′], Ben Allen [83′]
Booked: Stuart-Evans, Evison & Bonham-Dare | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Lukas Wood
Asstistants: Craig Wood & Gary Telling