S21-22 Match Report: St Margaretsbury 1 – 3 Little Oakley (Sat 22nd Jan) [ESL 21-22 22.1.22]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: The Recreation Ground

Attendance: TBA

2021-22 Season: Match 50

Saturday 22nd January 2022 – 3pm KO

St Mags: Red Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

L Oakley: Blue & Black Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks


Oakley produce resolute display to win at St Mags

St Margaretsbury 1 – 3 Little Oakley

Match Report & Photos by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

My 50th match of the campaign saw me return to the Essex Senior League and a long trip back to the Recreation Ground for an intriguing match between strugglers St Margaretsbury and mid-table Little Oakley. Paul Holding’s side had garnered two good wins already this week and were looking to pull further clear of the bottom two. This was my first occasion seeing Oakley since their promotion to the Essex Senior and I’d heard good things about a resolute side under Matt Carmichael’s tutelage. Onto the Teams then and St Mags fielded a front three of Miles Holding, Rodney Clements and Tommy Jenkins, with Jon Stevenson joining stalwart skipper Aiden Read in central defence. Options from the bench included forwards Joe Abe and Jake Hayden-Eley. Little Oakley had Daniel Joyce in goal, Jamie Dobkin and captain Lewis Wood as their centre backs with Rory Harman and Ed Nobbs completing their defence. The goal-hungry pair of Danny Garrad & Harry Mann lined up in attack, with support from Michael Brothers and Mason Ridgway-Lumley. Their substitutes were midfielder Tyler Sullivan and the attack-minded Sam Cooke and Daniel Rowe. Greg Rodger and Nick Farthing were among those unavailable.


On a pleasant winter’s day, the match began with Oakley firing in a few shots at goal to test the reflexes of home custodian Harvir Deans, though he was equal to strikes by Harry Mann, Mason Lumley and the experienced Michael Brothers. The hosts did respond with a decent counter which saw the tireless Stefanos Georgiou fizz a decent effort narrowly wide of visiting goalkeeper’s Daniel Joyce’s woodwork. Unfortunately for the hosts, their inability to keep possession did return to bite them on eleven minutes as forward Danny Garrad stole in from the left flank and after evading his marker, sent in a cool lob out of the grasp of the stranded Deans to open the scoring for the Acorns.

Little Oakley did retain the ball better at this point, with St Mags feeling the frustration and getting caught up in a bit of a scrappy match with several free-kicks being conceded. Tricky forward Harry Mann had a powerful strike deflected wide for a set-piece midway through the half, but it was a good indication of what could transpire if the hosts switched off defensively. As it happened, moments after home defender Jon Stevenson was sent to the sin-bin for dissent, the next goal came from twelve yards after a decision that was also hotly disputed by the St Margaretsbury dugout. Even so, referee Benjamin Horne had little hesitation in pointing to the spot, and Mann duly struck home the resulting penalty.


If anything, Oakley could have put themselves beyond reach in the next phase of the game as a speculative drive from the far side by full-back Rory Harman clipped the woodwork with Deans beaten, and Garrad struck narrowly over as well.

With the interval approaching, Paul Holding’s side were starting to find their rhythm. A good left-wing cross by Andy Greenslade found forward Miles Holding though the latter was unable to get sufficient power in his header to get past Joyce in the Acorns’ goal, who could gather relatively untroubled.

St Mags’ Stefanos Georgiou [#5 on right side] looks to test the Oakley defence

Half-Time: St Margaretsbury  0 – 2  Little Oakley

After the break, St Mags having brought on Euan Tungamirai-Hove and Jake Hayden-Eley to replace the promising Charlie Hill and Dylan Gray, they would have a couple of good spells later in the half. First though in the early stages of the second-half, the likes of Read & co. had to deal with a good ball in from the left edge of the penalty area by support forward Michael Brothers which Tungamirai-Hove got in and cleared just ahead of the onrushing Garrad, primed for a far post tap-in. The hosts did switch off defensively on 55 minutes as Oakley substitute Daniel Rowe beat the offside trap but Deans got down low to pull off a good save from the one-on-one opportunity that Rowe had, having made a good run.

To their credit, St Margaretsbury did respond in a positive way, with Georgiou making another decent run and firing his strike narrowly over the woodwork. Georgiou and fellow midfielder Sami Moutawafiq did have more time in possession at this point and were showing good glimpses of their respective abilities, as was forward Tommy Jenkins, who made a few good runs down the left channel in the first-half. Tungamirai-Hove laid the ball off to forward Rodney Clements just short of the hour mark, and his fierce drive brought a good acrobatic save from Joyce as he clawed it over the woodwork.

Oakley begin another forward move

The Acorns had to show their resolute nature to keep themselves ahead, making good interceptions although St Mags didn’t test Joyce with alarming regularity. Midway through the half, a smart ball in by Rodney Clements from the right flank found replacement Joe Abe but when well-placed, Abe could only blaze his effort over the crossbar, much to his frustration. The hosts persistently looked to reduce their arrears but they conceded another spot-kick in the closing minutes, as substitute Sam Cooke was felled by Read’s challenge. Rowe stepped up to convert the penalty and although they were not in top form, Oakley did enough to claim the points here.

St Margaretsbury did get on the score-sheet in the first of six added minutes as Clements was fouled in the area. Clements stepped up himself to strike low into the net past Joyce to erase the clean sheet that could have come for the Acorns but in truth, they should be pleased with the points. Results elsewhere saw Clapton an important win to reduce St Mag’s advantage over the Tons to one point, in a bottom five tussle that will likely run and run.

Tommy Jenkins [#7 St Mags] going forward trying to unlock Oakley’s defence

Full-Time: St Margaretsbury  1 – 3  Little Oakley

In summary, Little Oakley made the most of a disjointed first-half display by the hosts to get themselves ahead but did find it harder after the interval. In fairness though, Matt Carmichael’s side did have enough chances to put the game beyond doubt, particularly in that first 45 minutes.

There were a number of good performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for Oakley, the forward pair of Danny Garrad and Harry Mann posed the home defence enough problems, with Mann’s movement and touch making him hard to track. Garrad came in from the left flank to good effect as well and his goal was well-taken. Ekow Owusu-Boakye had a good match in central midfield, tracking back well at times as well as being involving in attacking moves, with Michael Brothers also playing a good role as a support forward, unsettling the hosts.

For St Mags, forward Tommy Jenkins had a good all-round match, making good runs and making some telling passes to his fellow forwards in a match where his side didn’t create as much as they would have liked. Midfielder Stefanos Georgiou also put in a big shift, looking to dictate the play and playing his part in an improved team showing after the interval. Lastly, a word for forward Rodney Clements who could have been on the score-sheet before the last few moments and showed good energy, pace and work rate with St Margaretsbury looking to get back into the game.  

Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.

Teams

St Margaretsbury  | Manager: Paul Holding  | Assistant: Richard Dagger

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Harvir Deans (GK), 2 Andy Greenslade, 17 Jon Stevenson, 6 Aiden Read (Capt), 2 Andrew Greenslade, 4 Sami Moutawafiq, 5 Stefanos Georgiou (15 Joe Abe 65’), 8 Charlie Hill (3 Euan Tungamirai Hove 46’), 7 Tommy Jenkins, 9 Dylan Gray (12 Jake Hayden-Eley 46’), 10 Miles Holding, 11 Rodney Clements

Goal-scorer: Rodney Clements [pen 90’+1]

Booked: Read  | Sin-bin: Stevenson [24’]

Subs Not Used: Ajong, Hares


Little Oakley  | Manager: Matt Carmichael | Assistant: James Good

1 Daniel Joyce (GK), 2 Rory Harman, 3 Ed Nobbs, 5 Lewis Wood (Capt), 6 Jamie Dobkin, 4 Bradley James, 7 Mason Ridgway- Lumley, 8 Ekow Owusu-Boakye, 9 Harry Mann (15 Daniel Rowe 52’), 10 Michael Brothers (14 Sam Cooke 79’), 11 Danny Garrad (12 Tyler Sullivan 69’),

Goal-scorers: Danny Garrad [11’], Harry Mann [pen 27’], Daniel Rowe [pen 87’]

| Subs Not Used: None


Referee: Benjamin Horne

Assistants: Trevor Williams & Ray Parmenter

S21-22 Round-ups: Essex Olympian League (Sat 18 Dec) [EOFL 21/22 19.12.21]

First look at Nursery Sports Ground where my match took place this week

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer

Hello all and welcome to my round-up of the action in the Essex Olympian League, on Saturday 18 December. This week, we had a deluge of matches postponed because of Covid-related reasons (with the fixture list’s proximity to Christmas & rising case numbers in the county) plus the advance of Wintery weather would also have had an effect.

Included in this mini-article is the surviving action this weekend & a look at the Division Two table at Christmas, with four months remaining of the season. Many thanks for reading.

Essex Olympian League Round-up – Saturday 18 December

EOFL Division Two

Two matches were played in Division Two and they involved the top three teams in the division. ACD Utd are the new leaders after a conclusive 5 – 1 win over AS Rawreth at Westlands. Michael Wade lead the goal-scoring here with two goals for Greg Knock’s side. Jacob Dingli, Jamie Alexandrou and Billy Rungay also scored as ACD got their 12th win of the league season.

They lead the standings because rivals Harold Hill dropped points. The East London had a rather tougher assignment as they travelled to third-placed Wakebury. Indeed, it was Wakebury who came out on top with a fine 6 – 2 victory over Harold Hill at the Nursery Sports Ground in the match I attended this weekend. Max Hall netted four goals for Matt Cardy’s side here, with Will Wheeler and substitute Brodie Horne netted minutes into his debut for the club. James Hughes and Harry Agombar’s free-kick got the goals for Hill though they also had two players dismissed and one more sent to the sin-bin late on. For more on this match, my report is available here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/12/18/s21-22-match-report-wakebury-6-2-harold-hill-sat-18-dec-eofl/

Here is a look at the Division Two Table, in this 22-game season for clubs at this level.

I’d like to wish all the reders of this column and all involved in the Essex Olympian League a Happy Christmas & sincere best wishes for 2022.

End

S21-22 Match Report: Cockfosters 0 – 4 Tring Athletic (Sat 20 Nov) [FAV R2 21.11.21]

Fa Vase Trophy

The FA Vase – Second Round Proper

Venue: Chalk Lane

Attendance: TBC

2021-22 Season: Match 43

Saturday 20th November 2021 – 3pm KO

Cockfosters: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red & White Socks

Tring Ath: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks


Inspired Tring overwhelm ‘Fosters to progress into Round Three of the Vase

Cockfosters 0 – 4 Tring Athletic

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

With no League action this weekend in the ESL, I decided to visit Chalk Lane for this big FA Vase Round Two match as Cockfosters took on former Spartan South Midlands rivals Tring Athletic. The hosts named a strong squad, with Bartosz Bilinski retaining his spot in goal, with a defence of Rueben Campbell, Prince Madu & centre-backs Danny Haigh and Jamal Brimah. The forward three here were Charncey Dash, George Beattie and Reece Mosanya. Options from the bench included player-boss Ryan Wade, fellow forward Fred Agyemang and midfielder Joe Entwistle. Tring were missing several players but had Dave Saunders between the posts, a defence that included Ben Johnson and Scott Bonner, with Emmanuel Gbejuade and Frankie Hercules on the flanks supporting forwards Chris Blunden and captain Kieran Turner. A youthful bench included Reily Churchill, Ali Mohiuddin, Jimmy Doherty and Temi Bankole.

Kaidyn Michael on the ball (right) for Cockfosters

In the early minutes of the match, it was ‘a tale of two chances’. The hosts had a fine downward header by forward Charncey Dash well clawed away by visiting stopper Dave Saunders with the ball close to the goal-line. Tring responded with some vigour and broke the deadlock on seven minutes as a floated ball in by skipper Kieran Turner was spilled by home custodian Bartosz Bilinski which allowed the onrushing George Carbery to prod home from close range calmly, much to the delight of the visiting contingent of supporters.

Cockfosters had a decent start to the tie, although they were conceding territory to the Tring forward line and they were looking good on the counter-attack. Ryan Wade’s side were feeling the fustration even more after an incident on 23 minutes. The Referee consulted with his assistant before dismissing Dash for lashing out at a Tring defender. Unsurprisingly, Tring were keen to ramp up the pressure the hosts were feeling and just shy of the half-hour, a good run down the right flank by winger Frankie Hercules ended with a fine strike by Turner which thundered off the woodwork.


‘Fosters responded a few minutes later as from 25 yards out, forward George Beattie let fly with a well-struck effort which Saunders couldn’t gather until the second attempt. Athletic managed to extend their lead at a crucial time (on 39 minutes) as another good ball in ended with an initial header coming back off the goal frame with Bilinski beaten, and midfielder John Smith was happy enough to help himself to a tap-in, ahead of a disorganised home defence, which is unusual for them.

There was still more driving play from the visitors for Cockfosters to withstand ahead of the interval as a fine strike by Smith from 25 yards out drifted in the air and needed Bilinski to parry it over for a set-piece, it was a good save.


Half-Time: Cockfosters 0 – 2 Tring Athletic

However invigorating Ryan Wade’s team-talk may have been for the hosts at the interval, Tring effectively ended any hopes of a comeback just two minutes after the restart as more hesitant defending encouraged a move involving forward Chris Blunden and Hercules which found Emmanuel Gbejuade who slotted home with aplomb past the adavancing Bilinski.

On the whole, it was a quieter second half with fewer chances though substitute Fred Agyemang had a decent strike which went wide, soon after entering the field in place of full-back Rueben Campbell. Athletic were still a threat going forward, with the impressive Turner and Hercules both having strikes off-target. Cockfosters couldn’t rally to get themselves back into the contest despite the efforts of Mosanya and Beattie in attack, but you also have to give credit to the miserly Tring defence and the work rate displayed by the entire team here for reducing the amount of chances that the hosts could create.


Ryan Sturges’ side added gloss to what was a memorable day for them as Carbery fired home superbly, high into the net to grab a late fourth for Tring, who advanced into Round Three. ‘Fosters will be disappointed at their performance and not being able to put their opponents under sustained pressure for long periods of the match. Despite the result, it was a good occasion to be a part of and I thank the hosts for their welcome today.


Full-Time: Cockfosters  0 – 4  Tring Athletic

In summary, Tring more than deserved the win and the pain could’ve been worse for Ryan Wade’s side as Tring squandered a few other good chances here. It could’ve been rather different if Saunders hadn’t denied Dash’s early header, but you know what they say about chances missed….

For this match’s stand-out performances I’ll start with the victors. Being earnest, there were a lot of good options to pick from, with George Carbery nabbing two goals today, both of them were well-taken and it was a memorable day for him. Hard to not start with the forward two of Chris Blunden and skipper Kieran Turner who between them were a big headache for the home defence with their movement, passing and work rate. Plaudits to them. A mention too for winger Emmanuel Gbejuade who did stretch the opposition backline from the left channel and didn’t hesitate with the finish for his goal. Finally, John Smith did well from midfield and put in a hard-working display and supported his forwards well. For ‘Fosters, forwards Reece Mosanya and George Beattie did what they could to orchestrate a comeback, with Mosanya testing the resolute visiting defence with sharp runs and passes, while Beattie tested Tring stopper Saunders on two occasions. A note also for enterprising full-back Prince Madu who was a good outlet down the left side and also centre-back Jamal Brimah who also cleared several dangerous crosses well.

I’d like to wish Tring Athletic all the best in the next round of the Vase. Fortunately for the Essex Senior, Athletic Newham and Saffron Walden Town did make it through to Round Three on December 11th.


Teams

Cockfosters |  Player-Manager: Ryan Wade  | Assistant: Sam Ruff

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Bartosz Bilinski (GK), 2 Rueben Campbell (16 Fred Agyemang 57′), 3 Prince Madu, 4 Danny Haigh, 5 Luke Marshall (Capt), 6 Jamal Brimah, 7 Reece Barrett (15 Joe Entwistle 64′), 8 Kaidyn Michael (12 Zivonimir Lopes 79′) , 9 Charncey Dash, 10 George Beattie, 11 Reece Mosanya

Booked: Haigh | Sent Off: Dash [23′] | Subs Not Used: Wild, Hockney, Ungudi, Wade


Tring Athletic  | Manager: Ryan Sturges   | Assistants: Lee Groves & Ian Henderson

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Dave Saunders (GK), 2 Harrison Cornick, 3 Adam Sawyer, 16 Scott Bonner, 12 Ben Johnson (17 Reily Churchill 84′), 15 George Carbery, 8 John Smith, 7 Frankie Hercules (14 Ali Mohiuddin 79′), 11 Emmanuel Gbejuade (18 Jimmy Doherty 67′), 9 Chris Blunden, 10 Kieran Turner (Capt)

Goal-scorers: George Carbery [7′ & 87′], John Smith [39′], Emmanuel Gbejuade [47′]

| Subs Not Used: Bankole, Pitts (GK)


S21-22 Match Report: St Margaretsbury 0 – 1 Takeley (Tues 16 Nov) [ESL 21/22 17.11.21]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: The Recreation Ground

Attendance: 59

2021-22 Season: Match 42

Tuesday 16th November 2021 – 7.45pm KO

St Mags: Red & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black & Red Socks

Takeley: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks



Takeley claim scrappy win over St Mags

St Margaretsbury  0 – 1  Takeley

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The midweek match this week was a trip to the Recreation Ground to see another interesting match in the Essex Senior which saw St Margaretsbury face visitors Takeley. The hosts are in the midst of another rebuilding phase under recently-appointed boss Paul Holding and fielded Matthew Botlan in goal, with a central defence of Andy Greenslade, captain Aiden Read and Jake Hayden-Eley and Conor Tyrrell led the forward line with support from Rodney Clements & Stefanos Georgiou. Takeley were looking to get back into the top ten with a victory and had Sam Soutar between the posts, with a forward line of Kieran Southgate, Jordan Westcott and George Frodsham with support from Theo Campbell.
 
As the match got underway, the feeling came to mind that the hosts were in growing need of the points to avoid getting drawn into the bottom four. Unfortunately for St Mags, Takeley did open the scoring after five minutes. A decent move ended with a well-directed header from Theo Campbell found the right corner from about six yards, evading the grasp of home custodian Matthew Boylan. The home dugout was audibly keen on saying it was off-side but the goal stood. In all respect to St Mags, they reacted well after conceding that early goal, having a good amount of possession and midway through the half, a good one-two started with St Mags winger Marcus Poncho sprinting down the left-wing and found forward Conor Tyrrell who in turn laid the ball back to Poncho whose strike was angled narrowly over the right corner of the goal.


Takeley did look more assured in their passing at this point and slightly more solid in defence, with the hosts not able to retain the ball in the opposition half as well as they wanted. Even so, Marc Das’ side were a little fortunate to stay ahead as further strikes for St Mags by Poncho and Rodney Clements came back off the woodwork. Tyrrell also had a goal chalked off for an off-side. Takeley had a good spell shortly before the interval though, with Campbell having another effort which struck the goal frame. All in all though, the visitors needed to have more impetus to make the the points secure here after the break.


Half-Time: St Margaretsbury 0 – 1 Takeley

In the second half, the pace of the game did not liven up hugely it has to be said though St Margaretsbury did keep a good amount of possession and before we reached the hour mark, midfielder Sami Moutawafiq and the lively winger Stefanos Georgiou had half-chances to level up proceedings here, although visiting stopper Sam Soutar was looking comfortable. Takeley were holding firm defensively though but their ball rentention wasn’t at their characteristic best.

St Mags kept going as the minutes ebbed away and they did give Takeley a few nervy moments. With three minutes left until added time, a super run down the middle by Georgiou started with a fine turn before evading two defenders and then narrowly firing over Soutar’s woodwork. It would’ve been a fine goal and given the balance of play, St Mags would’ve earned a draw. However, the last few moments were getting increasingly tetchy and the hosts had skipper Aiden Read dismissed in added time for a poor tackle near the half-way line.



Full-Time: St Margaretsbury  0 – 1 Takeley

To sum up this really gritty encounter, Takeley will be happy enough with the three points and they did enough to deny the hosts’ forward moves. St Mags had several chances to at least get a leveller. There is an argument the visitors didn’t retain possession as often as usual but St Mags were simply unable to make the most of the chances they created, in a match which got increasingly bad-tempered in the latter stages. St Mags will need to be more clinical with their finishing going forward though the positive they have to take from this match is they kept the ball quite well at times.

The stand-out performances from this game start with Takeley. Theo Campbell had a really good game. Besides his goal, he made several good runs from deep in support of his team’s forwards. Jordan Westcott also made good runs down the channels and linked-up well with strike partner Kieran Southgate. Skipper George Powell also did a good job as ever of marshalling his tram and his defence. For St Mags, Stefanos Georgiou had a good game as well, making several good runs and was unlucky not to score, as was forward Rodney Clements who played his part aa well, displaying good movement. Winger Marcus Poncho was also a good outlet for Paul Holding’s side down the flanks as his side did threaten to break past the visiting defence on a few occasions.

I’d just like to wish both sides a good remainder of the campaign.


Teams

St Margaretsbury  | Manager: Paul Holding  | Assistant: Dan Evans

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Matthew Boylan (GK), 3 Andrew Greenslade, 6 Aiden Read (Capt), 5 Jake Hayden-Eley (15 Joe Evans 68′), 2 Evan Hove (12 Casey Nolan-Samuels 75′), 11 Marcus Pancho, 4 Charlie Hill, 8 Sami Moutawafiq, 10 Rodney Clements, 9 Conor Tyrrell (17 Jack Mongey 68′), 7 Stefanos Georgiou

Booked: Hayden-Eley, Hill | Sent Off: Read [90’+5]  | Subs Not Used: Mutsviaro, Rodriguez


Takeley  | Manager: Marc Das  | Assistant: Kevin Riley

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Sam Soutar (GK), 2 Mike La Ronde, 3 Alfie Anderson, 4 George Powell (Capt), 6 Freddie Burrell (12 Lewis Powell 66′), 5 Charlie Dobinson, 7 Charlie Allum, 8 Theo Campbell (14 Carmac Clarke 74′), 9 Kieran Southgate, 10 Jordan Westcott, 11 George Frodsham (17 Charlie Gilbert 82′)

Goal-scorer: Theo Campbell [5′]

Booked: Anderson, Burrell, Southgate | Subs Not Used: Wilson, Jelliman


Referee: Leigh Ballinger
Assistants: Darrell Evans & Andy Wheaton

S21-22 Match Report: Barkingside 1 – 6 Buckhurst Hill (Mon 25 Oct) [EaSL Sth 26.10.21]


Eastern Senior League – South Division

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 115

2021-22 Season: Match 36

Monday 25th October 2021 – 7.45pm KO

Barkingside: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Buckhurst H: White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks


Players pre-match

Buckhurst achieve comfortable win over ‘Side at Cricklefield

Barkingside  1 – 6  Buckhurst Hill

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The midweek match in late October was this fascinating encounter at Cricklefield between two sides in contrasting form as Barkingside welcomed local rivals Buckhurst Hill in Eastern Senior League South. ‘Side were looking to swiftly recover from a heavy weekend loss at Halstead whilst Buckhurst were still buzzing after their progression in the FA Vase after victory at Great Yarmouth. One other bit of news for the hosts saw First-team boss Francesco Zabotti depart for EOFL Premier side Springfield last week, which saw GM Steven Le Sage back in charge for Barkingside here. They named Lubomir Georgiev in goal, with right-back Jordan Cornelius skippering the team. David Etcheri and Patrick Hoy were the centre midfield pair, alongside Reece Simpson and Quincy Warner in attack. Options from the sidelines included defender Berkcan Belindir and forward Joe Gent. Buckhurst rotated their squad somewhat following that aforementioned Vase win but still had Daniel Blockley between the sticks, with a defence of Liam Foster, Edward Buchanan, Alfie Harris and Max Nicholson. Suleyman Zuhdu retained his place and captained the side, with Sonny Shilling and Tyler Dolan joining him in an enterprising forward line. Their bench included forwards Nathan Sollosi, Fehinti Falola and Brad Rowland.


As the match began in earnest, it was the hosts who had the first sight of goal on two minutes as forward Reece Simpson showed his intent, firing a good strike wide of the right-side post from twenty-five yards. It was a cagey start to the game, with little in the way of clear-cut openings and to their credit, ‘Side defended quite well and that was shown by good clearances by centre-back Jason Jones and right-back Jordan Cornelius. However, the first big point of the game happened on 21 minutes as Buckhurst forward Tyler Dolan was fouled in the area, which resulted in the penalty being converted low into the right corner by Dolan himself to give the visitors the lead. Barkingside responded on the counter-attack, with Reece Simpson being played in unselfishly and his firm effort on goal was well denied by visiting stopper Dan Blockley.

Steven Le Sage’s side were having their best period of the match at this juncture, and just before the half-hour, Jones was unfortunate to have a powerful header at goal cleared off the goalline by a well-placed covering Buckhurst defender. This seemed to galvanise the visitors snd they respoonded with a second goal just after the half-hour. A neat passing move ended with a controlled finish by attacking midfielder Jake Moss who did well to beat stranded ‘keeper Lubomir Georgiev. So, with the Stags two goals to the good, they were in a decent position. However, ‘Side responded all of thirty seconds later as Simpson really nailed a powerful strike from 25 yards which Blockley got a glove on but it still sailed high into the net. You could argue that ‘Side deserved that goal, but it was also apparent that Buckhurst could still raise their game further before the evening was done.


A glimmer of this was shown by another rapid run by forward Suleyman Zuhdu who made a good break down the left channel, cut inside and saw a good effort well parried by Georgiev. With half-time approaching, Barkingside tried fo force a leveller but Simpson’s tame effort dribbled wide of the left-side post, almost demanding that a team-mate would run in and grab a tap-in but it wasn’t to be.

Half-Time: Barkingside  1 – 2  Buckhurst Hill


So, as the players emerged for the second half it was fair to say that ‘Side were in the game and that Buckhurst had ‘more gears to find’ in attack. Unfortunately for the hosts, they did find that rhythm after the break. Eight minutes after the restart, a free-kick from just outside the eighteen-yard area on the angle found the top left corner, courtesy of a great strike by full-back Edward Buchanan. Mark Williams’ side were building their attacking ryhthm now and on the hour, forward Sonny Shilling’s lob somehow cannoned back off a post with the majority of the goal to aim at, and seconds later Zuhdu’s fine strike was well clawed away by the impressive Georgiev. Barkingside were in danger of being overrun at this point and Georgiev was in action again moments afterward, denying Zuhdu again with a fine one-handed save low on the ground.


Hill did get a fourth goal with fifteen minutes left as from a set-piece, full-back Liam Foster’s low finish found the net in a congested penalty area. The hosts couldn’t keep the ball for the long enough as Buckhurst poured forward with wave after wave of forward presses. Substitute Brad Rowland shot was denied by Georgiev as we entered the last ten minutes, though the Stags rounded off a fine evening’s work with replacement Fehinti Falola lobbing Georgiev well and in added-time, Rowland’s fierce strike got a hefty deflection off a defender which wrong-footed the goalkeeper.


Full-Time: Barkingside  1 – 6  Buckhurst Hill

In summary, Barkingside did well to compete in the first half and could have made things level at the interval, but ultimately they were unable to stifle a Buckhurst side who continue to impress with their goal-scoring and their pace going forward. Buckhurst deserved to win the game as they continue their quest to fortify their position in the top six.

In terms of stand-out performances, visitors Buckhurst Hill had midfielder Jake Moss to thank for scoring a good goal in a key period of the match. He also played his part in building up forward moves, as did full-back Liam Foster who took his goal well and continues to have a good season thus far. Centre-back Alfie Harris also made a number of important interceptions, while forward Suleyman Zuhdu also had a good gamewith his pace and movement and could’ve had at least two goals here if it wasn’t for good goalkeeping.

On that note, Goalkeeper Lubomir Georgiev had an excellent game for Barkingside, making at least five notable saves to keep his side in the contest. Jason Jones did well at centre-back in making several clearing headers, and support forward Quincy Warner put in a good shift making the visiting defence concentrate with neat passes and good darting runs. Lastly, Reece Simpson took his goal very well and could have added to his goal tally on another day.

My thanks to the hosts for their hospitality & best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.


Teams

Barkingside  | Manager: Steven Le Sage |

Starting XI (Subs) : 1 Lubomir Georgiev (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius (Capt), 3 Shaquel Foyewa (16 Berkcan Belindir 72′), 5 Nathan Saunders, 6 Jason Jones, 14 Patrick Hoy, 7 David Etcheri, 8 Quincy Warner, 9 Reece Simpson, 10 Archie Hammond (18 Grant Frances 83′), 11 Osas Omuru (17 Joe Gent 58′)

Goal-scorer: Reece Simpson [32′]

Booked: Etcheri, Jones  | Sub Not Used: Scott, Thompson


Buckhurst Hill     |  Manager: Mark Williams  | Assistant: JP Kent

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster, 3 Edward Buchanan, 4 Alfie Harris, 5 Max Nicholson, 7 Jack Griggs, 8 Josh Banfield, 16 Jake Moss (21 Fehinti Falola 67′), 14 Sonny Shilling, 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (20 Harry Markatis 75′), 15 Tyler Dolan (22 Brad Rowland 46′)

Goal-scorers: Tyler Dolan [pen 21′], Jake Moss [32′], Edward Buchanan [53′], Liam Foster [74′], Fehinti Falola [83′], OG [90’+2]

Sin-Bin: Shilling [44′] | Booked: Nicholson | Subs Not Used: Jiro, N Sollosi


Referee: Tommy Breen
Assistants: Alan Steward & Craig Wood

S21-22 Match Report: Sporting Bengal Utd 2 – 2 Sawbridgeworth Town (Sat 23 Oct) [ESL 23.10.21]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: 50

2021-22 Season: Match 35

Saturday 23rd October 2021 – 3pm KO

S Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Sawbo: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks



Fine comeback by Bengal denies Sawbo an important win at Mile End

Sporting Bengal Utd  2 – 2 Sawbridgeworth Town

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

This weekend’s match saw a return to Mile End Stadium to see a big match at the bottom of the table, as bottom two sides Sporting Bengal Utd and Sawbridgeworth Town faced each other. Bengal are now under the management of Shipon Miah and he named Kevin Rrushi in goal, with a defence of Nazrul Ahmed, George Turner, Ehizojie Onoabhagbe and the returning Kamarl Duncan, who impressed in his previous spell at the club. Redon Abazi and Arinze Ossai led the forward line here, with support from the flanks from Oshun Lewis and Joshua Carr. Tariq Fowler skippered the side, with goal-scoring forward Gianfranco Mici on the bench here, alongside fellow forwards Shiblu Miah and Oscar Onuorah. Sawbridgeworth are jointly-managed by Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon these days and Jimmy Parker was their goalkeeper, with a defensive unit of  Rowan Dorling, Lewis Wicker, Billy Stewart and captain Cory Rider. They had a forward three of Teddy Hall, Harry Davison and Morgan Arnold, with experience on the bench in Prince Alozie, Daryl Doolan and James Falaise, who joined the club this week.

The match got underway with a early effort from home full-back George Turner from 35 yards which went narrowly over visiting custodian Jimmy Parker’s crossbar on three minutes. Sawbridgeworth responded well with forward Harry Davison flashing a strike wide of goal, before strike partner Teddy Hall had a chance denied by Bengal stopper Kevin Rrushi. The visitors were finding their fovus going forward, with full-back Rowan Dorling and midfielder Grant Webb combining well down the right in a move which ended with forward Morgan Arnold slotting narrowly wide of Rrushi’s left-side post.



At this point in proceedings, Sawbo were having more of the ball and constructing more chances with it as well. Hall sent in a powerful strike from thirty yards which sailed wide of the far post. Fortunately for Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon’s side, they did make the most of good period midway through the half. Davison was played in well and he finished well with a low strike into the right corner. As we hurtled towards the interval, Sporting had to defend deep at times, but they were led well by Kamarl Duncan, who denied the opposition several times through good positioning and strong clearances.

Bengal stopper Kevin Rrushi was called into action again on 32 minutes and he denied another effort from Teddy Hall from close range. Sawbo were unable to get themselves clear in this match and conceded more possession in the last ten minutes of the half , which allowed Shipon Miah’s side a couple of promising moves, involving Oshun Lewis and Redon Abazi in the channels. Unfortunately for the hosts, their final ball was missing which meant they didn’t test Sawbo ‘keeper Parker on a regular basis.


Half-Time: Sporting Bengal 0 – 1 Sawbridgeworth Town


The visiting forwards still kept up the initative after the break, as Bengal brought all three of their substitutes on before the hour mark. Gianfranco Mici came on at the start of the second half and you sensed he would give Sawbo a different challenge, gathering the ball from deep and dribbling on past players. Sawbo did have another glimmer of a chance through Davison but the effort was gathered by Rrushi. The visitors certainly needed a second goal and on 56 minutes, it turned up in some style with midfielder Billy Purdy’s powerful strike finding the left corner from 25 yards with Rrushi beaten.

The scale of the task for Bengal got harder as centre-back Duncan had to hobble off on the hour, meaning they had to play the last third of the match with ten men. Even so, the momentum started to come for the home side, as Gianfranco Mici capped off a decent move with a well-struck strike that fizzed off the right-side post with Parker beaten. Sawbridgeworth responded as they hit the woodwork on 71 minutes, with Davison unlucky to see a fine curling drive come back off the goal frame.


The substitutes for Bengal were having an impact with Mici’s driving runs proving hard to stop for the visiting defence, and Oscar Onuorah was also stretching the Sawbo backline down the left channel. This was probably Bengal’s best phase of the match and they soon halved the deficit. With eleven minutes remaining, substitute Shiblu Miah ended a decent counter-attack with a fine strike high into the net to really add to Sawbo’s nerves.

All of a sudden, it was Sawbo’s turn to feel the pressure and it affected them going forward, with some decent approach play scuppered by them unable to find that telling final pass. Bengal did complete a rousing comeback four minutes from time as Onuorah struck home into the left corner after finding a half-yard of space past the tiring visiting defence. It was a frenetic end to the match but neither side could pinch a winner in the several minutes of added time played, so it ended in an entertaining draw.



Full-Time: Sporting Bengal Utd 2 – 2 Sawbridgeworth Town

In summary, this was a tense encounter which was understandable given both sides badly needed the points as they the bottom two sides in the division. There was some neat play from both sides though Sawbridgeworth will be disappointed that they couldn’t see the match out, having been two goals ahead with fifteen minutes remaining. Bengal though will be happy to have got something out of the match, although their defensive vulnerability remains and that may prove costly as the season goes on. All in all, this was a good match to watch.

In terms of stand-out performances here, we’ll start with Sawbo. The front three of Harry Davison, Teddy Hall and Morgan Arnold caused problems for the home defence with good movement, pace and in Davison’s case, good finishing as well. I also thought midfielder Grant Webb had a decent match as well, asisting in building his side’s attacking moves. For Bengal, full-back George Turner had a good game, showing good intent to get forward and start forward moves from the left channel and defended well too. Centre-back Kamarl Duncan had an excellent game, making several fine interceptions and really kept his team in the game, before he had to hobble off on the hour mark. Also, winger Joshua Carr showed good movement and pace and substitute Gianfranco Mici lifted the team after his introduction, showing good dribbling, movement and pace.

Best wishes to both teams for rthe rest of the season.


Teams

Sporting Bengal Utd     |  Manager: Shipon Miah  | Assistant: Rui Costa

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Kevin Rrushi (GK), 2 Nazrul Ahmed, 3 George Turner, 4 Kamarl Duncan, 5 Ehizojie Onoabhagbe, 6 Djibril Cante, 7 Oshun Lewis (16 Oscar Onuorah 54′), 8 Tariq Fowler (Capt), 9 Redon Abazi (15 Shiblu Miah 57′), 10 Arinze Ossai (14 Gianfranco Mici 46′), 11 Joshua Carr

Goal-scorers: Shiblu Miah [79′], Oscar Onuorah [86′]

Booked: Cante | Subs Not Used: Omobdi, Ntueba


Sawbridgeworth Town  | Joint-Managers: Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jimmy Parker (GK), 2 Rowan Dorling, 3 Lewis Wicker, 17 Billy Stewart, 5 Cory Rider (Capt), 4 Billy Purdy, 7 Grant Webb, 8 Jake Skeet, 9 Teddy Hall (14 Daryl Doolan 75′), 10 Harry Davison (19 Jack Walker 84′)), 11 Morgan Arnold

Goal-scorers: Harry Davison [24′],  Billy Purdy [56′]

Booked: Dorling  | Sub Not Used: Potoczek, Alozie, Falaise


Referee: Joseph Sach
Assistants: John Caunt & Kebba Malcolm-Mayenda

S21-22 Match Report: Buckhurst Hill 3 – 1 Brimsdown (Tues 19 Oct) [EaSL Sth 20.10.21]


Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Roding Lane

Attendance: 152

2021-22 Season: Match 34

Tuesday 19th October 2021 – 7.45pm KO

Buckhurst H: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Brimsdown: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks



Buckhurst battle hard to defeat Brimsdown at Roding Lane

Buckhurst Hill 3 – 1 Brimsdown

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The solitary midweek match this week saw a return trip to Roding Lane for the match between high-flying Buckhurst Hill and visitors Brimsdown in what was the first Senior match the hosts played under floodlights at their upgraded ground. The hosts perhaps with their big FA Vase tie at Great Yarmouth Town at the weekend in mind, rotated their squad somewhat, with regular stopper Daniel Blockley having a defensive four in front of him comprised of Liam Foster, Max Nicholson, Alfie Harris and Edward Buchanan. The forward line here was led by centre forward Fehinti Falola, with support from Brad Rowland and Nathan Sollosi. Options from the bench included defender Henry Day and forwards Suleyman Zuhdu and Sonny Shilling. Brimsdown have also had a squad overhaul recently, with new boss Marce Collington naming Ali Dogan in goal, a defensive four of Joshua Lamaswala, Dillon Lee, Omer Bingol and Stephane Zolo. The attack was led by Kamarni Collington and Chikosi Basden with Ricardo Price and Jermaine Baptiste in support.

In the early stages of the match, Brimsdown showed enough to suggest they would be ne an energetic, hard-working side and would not be overawed by their opposition. Hill had a half-chance with six minutes on the clock as a decent centre from the right flank by midfielder Jake Moss found centre forward Fehinti Falola but his header was off-target of visiting goalkeeper Ali Dogan’s goal. The vistors responded swiftly on the counter-attack, as a decent strike by midfielder Anthony Sanderson required home custodian Dan Blockley to be alert. The Sollosi brothers were in tandem moments later for Buckhurst as Sam made a good turn before finding Nathan on the edge of the box but could only turn his strike over the woodwork. Marce Collington’s side responded strongly again as a teasing cross by Ricardo Price was deflected behind for a set-piece. From that resulting corner, forward Chikosi Basden’s fierce initial strike was deflected off a team-mate in Price who got the crucial touch to send it beyond Blockley and into the net, despite the hosts wanting the assistant referee’s flag. No flag was forthcoming so it was Brimsdown who took a surprise lead.


To be fair to Brimsdown, they were more than holding their own during the half as Buckhurst could not find their well-known attacking rhythm and pace. On twenty minutes, a fine run and turn by Nathan Sollosi allowed him the chance to strike at goal, but his tame strike allowed Dogan to gather. Then, just past the half-hour, another set-piece by Sam Sollosi found its way to full-back Liam Foster whose shot also couldn’t bypass Dogan, who was growing in confidence.


Half-time: Buckhurst Hill 0 – 1 Brimsdown


So as we entered the second period of the match, Buckhurst knew they had to raise their game somewhat, but it was Brimsdown who had a sight at goal on 51 minutes, with forward Basden sending through a good pass to find captain Reece Capleton, unfortunately for the visitors, the latter could only fire his effort over the woodwork. Mark Williams did not hesitate long to instigate changes from the bench, and the introduction of Sonny Shilling did bring about a change to the rhythm of the hosts’ attacks. Only two minutes after coming on, Buckhurst had a corner which full-back Edward Buchanan did well to slide the ball across to Nathan Sollosi who curled home a nice strike into the top corner to level things up, after earlier spurning several decent chances.

The hoss were really starting to gain momentum at this point and Shilling’s free-kick from a promising position was well parried away from danger by Dogan midway through the half. Brimsdown did respond on the counter-attack as a free-kick of their own by winger Jermaine Baptiste (pictured below) brought a decent save from Blockley as the ball was dipping on him. As we entered the last fifteen minutes of the contest, the energy expended by the visitors was starting to tell on them as Sollosi evaded the defence again, only to be denied again by the impressive Dogan. Forward Suleyman Zuhdu had also come on by this point, and his follow-up strike was also denied by the Brimsdown stopper.


Eventually though, the pressure from Buckhurst did tell and they took the lead on 77 minutes. Moments after the inspired Dogan denied him, Shilling did find the net with a smart low drive into the left corner. Brimsdown played a commendable part in the match though they could not get back into the contest going forward as the minutes ticked by. Zuhdu’s curling set-piece was well gathered by Dogan after re-adjusting his position but on the stroke on the ninety minutes, Buckhurst got a third as a fine lob by Sollosi capped a fine match on a personal note and a hard-earned three points for the hosts on this big occasion for them.



Full-Time:  Buckhurst Hill  3 – 1  Brimsdown

To sum up this occasion, Buckhurst was unusually sloppy with ball retention and with the pace & rhythm of their forward moves for at least half of the match, but a fierce response in the latter stages made it hard for the tiring Brimsdown backline, who couldn’t deal with a strong last thirty minutes from Buckhurst.

In terms of stand-out performances, this time I’ll begin with Brimsdown. Goalkeeper Ali Dogan had an excellent match, making several important saves and effectively kept his side in the match in the second half. Midfielders Anthony Sanderson and Reece Capleton both did well to outwork the hosts in midfield in the first hour and they typified the hard-working display that their side displayed in the match. They both made a number if good tackles as well. Finally, forward Chikosi Basden was a good presence with his pace, energy and passing alongside strike partner Kamarni Collington.

For victors Buckhurst Hill, forward Nathan Sollosi made a telling contribution with his passing, movement & had several shots on goal before finding the net and grabbing his brace. Fehinti Falola did a good job leading the line for Mark Williams’side and could’ve had a couple of goals here. Full-back Liam Foster had another good game and showed his usual high energy levels down the right channel and put in good passes to assist his team. Lastly, substitute Sonny Shilling made a big impact coming off the bench to assist his side’s attacking rhythm with good movement, dribbling and finishing.

Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.


Teams

Buckhurst Hill   |  Manager: Mark Williams  | Assistant: JP Kent

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster, 3 Edward Buchanan, 4 Alfie Harris, 5 Max Nicholson, 6 Jake Moss (17 Jack Griggs 73′), 7 Sam Sollosi (14 Sonny Shilling 57′), 8 Josh Banfield (Capt), 11 Nathan Sollosi, 9 Fehinti Falola (19 Suleyman Zuhdu 66′), 18 Brad Rowland

Goal-scorers: Nathan Sollosi [59′, 90′], Sonny Shilling [77′]

Booked: Foster | Subs Not Used: Day, Markatis


Brimsdown  | Manager: Marce Collington |

Starting XI (Subs): 12 Ali Dogan (GK), 2 Joshua Lamaswala (16 George Gregory 72′), 3 Stephane Zolo (19 Marcus Cordova 58′), 4 Dillon Lee, 5 Omer Bingol, 6 Reece Capleton (Capt), 7 Jermaine Baptiste, 8 Anthony Sanderson, 9 Karmarni Collington, 10 Chikosi Basden, 11 Ricardo Price (20 Jordan Gomez 24′)

Goal-scorer: Ricardo Price [14′]

Booked: Lee, Basden | Sub Not Used: Traore

Referee: Fabio Roque
Assistants: Chris Noble & David Smith

S 21-22 Match Report: Benfleet 2 – 2 Burnham Ramblers (Wed 13 Oct) [EaSL Sth 14.10.21]

Eastern Senior League South (Step 6)

Venue: Park Lane, Canvey

2021-22 Season: Match 31

Attendance: 81

Wednesday 13 October 2021 – 7.45pm KO

Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts,  Sky Blue Socks

Burnham R: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks


Burnham hit late leveller to claim decent point at Park Lane

Benfleet 2 – 2 Burnham Ramblers

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

This week’s midweek match was a rare excursion to Park Lane to see two sides hoping to be in the running for promotion from Eastern Senior League South come April in Benfleet and visitors Burnham Ramblers. Benfleet manager Rob Polkinghorn rotated his squad for this game and fielded a defensive four of Billy Carter, Martyn Lacey, Sonny Hartman and Cameron Harris, son of forward Millwall legend Neil. Taylor Lawrence and skipper Aaron Russell were the players promoted to attack, with support from the flanks by Luc Harpon and Ben Foord. Options from their bench included former Burnham defender Ryan Willsmer, recent recruit David Salako and goal-scoring forward Billy Bonham-Dare. Luke Goodson’s side incuded Adam French in goal, a central defensive pairing of Matthew Stevens-Brown and Ben Wood, with captain Charlie Brewer and Eddie Appleton in midfield and a forward line of Adebolu Adeyemi, Samir Ali and Harry Shawyer.

Both sides knew the importance of the points here I believe and as you sometimes see in these type of matches, it was a tepid start in terms of chances at either end. Burnham forward Samir Ali had fired over in the opening minutes but we had an early stoppage after a rash tackle by the onrushing Liam Barry saw him clatter into home stopper Florent Gislette, which left the custodian in considerable pain and needing treatment. Admirably though, Gislette continued and Barry was given a early booking. Both sides were showing the way they play, with good passing, movement and possession but they were also both somewhat lacking that final ball that you need to bypass defences. The hosts were unfortunate on 21 minutes as winger Luc Harpon’s teasing cross evaded both the visiting backline and stopper Adam French but forward Ben Foord was agonizingly out of reach of the ball at the far post.


Benfleet were showing glimpses of finding their form, but on the half-hour, they conceded a spot-kick, with tricky Burnham forward Samir Ali felled in the eighteen-yard area. Ali stepped up himself and blasted a firm strike into left-side corner to give Ramblers the lead. Benfleet responded with some vigour, as attacking midfielder Aaron Russell outran the onrushing French but the Burnham custodian did well to recover his position to deny Foord with his follow-up strike. Moments later, a good header from a set-piece by Cameron Harris was clawed away well by French. By contrast, the visitors were unable to unsettle Gislette after the early incident but a Eddie Appleton free-kick did force the Benfleet stopper into gathering the ball minutes before the interval.


Half-Tme: Benfleet 0 – 1 Burnham Ramblers

So it was the Ramblers who held a narrow lead going into the second period. Benfleet did find their rhythm around the hour mark but again were thwarted by Burnham ‘keeper French. Russell had a good chance from close range but the custodian denied him and Foord’s strike on the rebound and perhaps you would start to think it wasn’t going to be the hosts’ night. Not a bit of it – they levelled on 64 minutes as French made another good parry from an initial effort but the bounce rather caught the unfortunate stopper unawares which allowed Foord to head in the rebound. It was as much as ‘Fleet deserved after spurning several decent half-chances prior to that point.

Foord was the chief threat really to a stern Burnham defence who did clear the ball from danger fairly well throughout, even if Benfleet were still stuttering in their quest to find that clinical final pass. As we entered the last fifteen minutes of the match, the tempo ramped up another notch or two. Full-back Billy Carter did well to grab a yard of space in the penalty area to strike an effort on goal which French did well to sprawl over to deny him as the hosts were really the stronger side by this point. Benfleet winger Luc Harpon had made some good runs at times in this match again and another threatening centre from the left side of pemalty area found substitute Billy Bonham-Dare who slotted home past French from close range, barely a minute after coming on to give the hosts the advantage.


The drama didn’t end there though. Benfleet’s defence rather switched off less than two minutes later and on the counter-attack, a move involving forward Adebolu Adeyemi and replacement Tom Howard found Harry Shawyer in space and with only Gislette to beat, he powered in a low drive into the corner of the net to claw back a useful point.  Benfleet had Foord sin-binned in added time for reacting to the referee’s decisions but it was too late to really undermine the home side. You could argue Burnham were fortunate to grab a draw given they had few real chances in the second half but then you also have to factor in that Benfleet really had to see the last five minutes of the match out which they were unable to do.

In fairness though, it is hard to be too critical as it again shows how unpredictable this division is and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a very tightly-packed top eight sides once again as the season progresses.


Full-Time: Benfleet  2 – 2  Burnham Ramblers

In terms of stand-out performances, we’ll start with Benfleet. Winger Luc Harpon had another good game and his presence on the flank unsettled the visiting defence and his assist for the second goal highlighted his value to the side, even when he didn’t get too much of the ball here. Full-back Billy Carter put in another strong, energetic performance, showing good awareness and passing. Defender Sonny Hartman was pushing his side to create forward moves as the ball-playing central defender and forward Ben Foord’s presence in attack meant the Burnham defence had to concentrate and have a solid game. For Burnham, goalkeeper Adam French pulled off several good saves and kept his side in the match, while forward Samir Ali again had a good game, being the most promising outlet for Luke Goodson’s side here. Harry Shawyer also made some good runs and took his goal well, plus centre-back Matthew Stevens-Brown had a good match, making several interceptions to stifle the hosts’ forward line.

All told, it was a good evening’s action. Thanks to the hosts for their kind welcome & also a thank you to my friends Pete Dudley, DW and Rob Parker – it is always nice to be surrounded by good company at matches.

Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign.


Benfleet  | Manager: Robert Polkinghorn  | Assistant: Rob Rook

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Martyn Lacey (16 Joe Hunter 61′) 5 Cameron Harris, 6 Sonny Hartman, 4 Stephen Ellery (17 Billy Bonham-Dare 82′), 10 Lee Scott (15 David Salako 71′), 8 Taylor Lawrence, 9 Aaron Russell (Capt), 7 Luc Harpon, 11 Ben Foord

Goal-scorers: Ben Foord [64′]  Billy Bonham-Dare [83′]

Booked: Hartman | Sin-Bin: Ben Foord [90’+1]  | Subs Not Used: Willsmer, Shave


Burnham Ramblers  | Manager: Luke Goodson  |  Assistant: Ross Mernick

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Adam French (GK), 7 Joe Howard (2 Ben Jackman 46′), 11 Liam Barry (16 Shemarie Perkins-Palmer 82′), 4 Matthew Stevens-Brown, 5 Ben Wood, 6 Calum Smith, 8 Eddie Appleton, 17 Charles Brewer (Capt) (15 Tom Howard 74′), 12 Harry Shawyer, 9 Adebolu Adeyemi, 10 Samir Ali

Goal-scorers: Samir Ali [pen 30′], Harry Shawyer [85′]

Booked: Barry  | Subs Not Used: Da Costa, Walker


Referee: Tommy Breen
Assistants: Martin Green & Jamie Wood

S21-22 Match Report: Benfleet 6 – 1 Holland [Sun 26 Sept) [FAV 21/22 26.9.21]


The FA Vase – Second Round Qualifying

Venue: Park Lane , Canvey

Attendance: 62

2021-22 Season: Match 26

Sunday 26 September 2021 – 2pm KO

Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts,  Sky Blue Socks

Holland: Orange Shirts, Orange Shorts, Orange Socks


Terrific performance sees Benfleet power past ten-man Holland at Park Lane

Benfleet 6 – 1  Holland

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

This weekend’s second match saw a return to Canvey’s Park Lane for a fascinating all-Eastern Senior League South tie as Benfleet welcomed Holland. The ‘Fleet were looking to advance again after knocking out Essex Senior side St Margaretsbury in the previous round. Florent Gislette was once again the goalkeeper here for the hosts, with a defensive four of Ryan Willsmer, Martyn Lacey plus centre-backs Lee Scott and Cameron Harris. The forward line was once again comprised of Billy Bonham-Dare, Ben Foord and Luc Harpon. Holland named Finlay Shorten between the posts, with a defensive unit of Tom Ayton, Rueben Cowler, Steve Downes and stalwart Joe Martin. Scott Sloots led the line here, with support from Ryan Mahon and Josh Rutter.


There were many quirks in this match. The first of them arrived barely two minutes into the contest, as an goalkeeping error by Benfleet custodian Florent Gislette allowed the advancing Scott Sloots to slot home into the left corner, much to the silent surprise of the home suppport. However, the hosts were not behind for long as little over five minutes after that, they levelled things up as a good break down the right side of the penalty box by Billy Carter ended with his pass finding forward Billy Bonham-Dare who struck home confidently past Holland stopper Finlay Shorten. At this point in proceedings, things were pretty even, with a looping header by Holland midfielder Keelan Sorrell on the edge of the 18-yard box being gathered by Gislette.

To be fair to the home side, Holland glovesman Shorten had been the busier keeper making two good saves to deny another promising performance by the Benfleet forward line, at this point. At the other end, Holland forward Sloots was a threat in the air. However, it was Benfleet who took the advantage for the first time on 28 minutes, as Carter again found the space to put in a telling pass, this time finding tireless forward Ben Foord who displayed fine technique to get the ball under control before firing home well into the right corner, giving Shorten little chance.

The Seasiders were feeling frustrated as they were limited to strikes from long-range, with Sorrell having a decent effort which sailed wide of Gislette’s left-sided post. Six minutes before the break, the visitors suffered a setback when Sloots was dismissed for adjudged to have lashed out at a home defender. Referee Samuel Everitt didn’t hesitate for a second as Sloots walked off. Things got rather worse for them before the break as moments after ‘Fleet skipper Taylor Lawrence couldn’t test Shorten when in a great position to score, the hosts did extend their lead.


Lawrence did rather make amends for that miss a few moments previously though as from a free-kick, he powered home a fine strike into the right corner past Shorten to make it three-one to the hosts. It got even better two minutes later as the Seasiders’ resolve took another hit. Bonham-Dare was adjudged to have been fouled inthe area by Shorten, with Lawrence stepping up to convert the resulting spot-kick, sending a low effort into the right corner again. Those last ten minutes of the half really upscaled the size of the visitors’ task but you have to credit the ruthlessness of Rob Polkinghorn’s side, who certainly made the most of it to put themselves in a commanding position at the interval.

Half-Time:  Benfleet  4 – 1 Holland


To their credit, the Holland unit kept going admirably, despite being reduced to ten men. Centre-back Joe Martin typified their resolve and they did enough to prevent Bonham-Dare’s header finding the net after being well found by Foord, soon after the resumption. Foord did get a second goal with 54 minutes on the stopwatch. Another good ball in found him before Foord sent a superb low finish past Shorten at his near post. Paul Phelan’s did keep their intent going but found telling counter-attacks hard to come by, with a good run by Rueben Cowler down the left flank ending with his scuffing his effort on goal wide of Gislette’s far post.

Benfleet completed the scoring on what was a memorable afternoon for them on 72 minutes with another smart forward press, involving Foord and replacement Mason Shave before being finished well by full-back Martyn Lacey who neatly tapped home from close range. By this point, Holland knew it wasn’t going to be their day though a set-piece did spin away from the path of Ryan Mahon late on. Foord still had time to create another decent chance, sending a curling effort narrowly wide of Shorten’s far post.

All in all though, it was a very strong result and performance by ‘Fleet as they continued their good form in League & Vase this term.

Ryan Mahon on the ball for Holland

Full-Time: Benfleet  6 – 1  Holland

To summarise, Benfleet’s superb performance made this a more one-sided game than many had expected. Granted that Holland’s red card did dampen the chances of them coming back into the game but they struggled to create the chances they needed after they fell behind and they found the home defence in good form as well.

There were a number of influential performances here, with two-goal Ben Foord standing out for Benfleet with his goals being good clinical finishing, as well as displaying good movement and work rate. Fellow forward Billy Bonham-Dare was also a constant presence in attack and could’ve got a second goal today. Midfielder Billy Carter delivered an energetic display as well and contributed well to his side’s forward moves, while centre-back Cameron Harris also had a fine match making several important tackles. For Holland, Midfielders Ben Dixon and Kieran Michaels showed good intent and passing as they looked to build counter-attacks, while Keelan Sorrell had a good game in anchor midfield, assisting his defence well and centre-back Joe Martin also restricted the strong Benfleet forward line as he made several telling interceptions.

Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign.


Benfleet      | Manager: Robert Polkinghorn  | Assistant: Rob Rook

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Ryan Willsmer, 3 Martyn Lacey, 5 Cameron Harris, 6 Lee Scott, 7 Billy Carter (12 Mason Shave 60′), 8 Joe Hunter (14 Charlie Sullivan 78′), 9 Billy bonham-Dare, 10 Ben Foord, 11 Luc Harpon (15 Ashley Blackburn 60′)

Goal-scorers: Billy Bonham-Dare [8′], Ben Foord [28′ & 54′], Taylor Lawrence [42′ & 44′ (pen)], Martyn Lacey [72′]

Booked: None    | Subs Not Used: None


Holland  | Manager: Paul Phelan  |  Assistant: Rob Barnett

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Finlay Shorten (GK), 2 Tom Ayton (12 Cameron Dolphin 46′), 3 Rueben Cowler, 5 Joe Martin, 6 Steve Downes, 7 Ben Dixon, 8 Kieran Michaels (Capt), 9 Scott Sloots, 10 Ryan Mahon, 11 Josh Rutter (14 Jamey Williams 46′)

Goal-scorer: Scott Sloots [2′]

Sent Off: Sloots [39′]   | Subs Not Used: Finch, Watts, Fowler (GK)


Referee: Samuel Everitt

S20-21 Match Report: Rayleigh Town Res 3 – 5 Shoebury Town (Sat 8 May) [EOFL 20/1 9.5.21]

EOFL logo


Essex Olympian League – Division One

Venue: London Road

2020-21 Season: Match 33

Saturday 8th May 2021 – 12.30pm KO

Rayleigh Res: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Shoebury: White & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Black & White Socks

A re-engerised Shoebury win first game in eight at London Road

Rayleigh Town Res  3 – 5  Shoebury Town

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

This weekend, there was a bit of a treat as I visited London Road again for a double-header of matches, starting with this Essex Olympian League Division One clash between Rayleigh Town Reserves and Shoebury Town, who despite being depleted in numbers recently, have steadfastly continued on playing, which is a credit to them. Home manager Dave Barker fielded Jayden Powell in goal with Harry Barham and Jack Taylor the chief support to forwards Eben Djan and Matt Atoo. Visitors Shoebury have installed Lee Boosey as their interim manager until the end of the season and had Kyle Merenda between the posts, Tyler Boosey in midfield and the attack was led by Garry Johnson, Aaron Day and Kirk Hudson, with Dominic Binns unavailable, Mitchell Odd and Simon Pearce were among the options from the bench.

The visitors set their stall out early to test Rayleigh ‘keeper Jayden Powell’s handling skills in the swirling wind as a strike from distance by Tyler Boosey needed the stopper to gather on five minutes. That ended up being a warning as on seven minutes, the visitors did open the scoring. Forward Garry Johnson found a yard of space in a congested 18-yard box to plant his header firmly into the net. Howver, the defensive ‘gremlins’ that have affected Shoebury recently returned a minute later as Harry Barham levelled neatly for Dave Barker’s side.

The visitors looked really motivated for the contest but were fortunate on eleven minutes as Rayleigh forward Matt Atoo evaded the visiting backline before skewing a tame strike wide when through on visiting custodian Kyle Merenda’s goal. Billy Cottrill’s wind-assisted corner was desparingly out of reach for Powell as despite laying a glove on it, the ball flew into the top corner to give Shoebury a two-one lead on 18 minutes. The vistors’ good momentum continued on twenty minutes as a fine effort from Johnson forced Powell into a decent save low down on the deck. Both sides continued to trade chances as Merenda pulled off a good save to parry over Reiss Foley’s deflected free-kick for the home side.

Much to the disappointment of the home dugout, Shoebury were then awarded a spot-kick with 32 minutes on the clock. Johnson stepped up and duly fired home high ibtob the corner to extend the visitors’ advantage. To their crediit, the hosts halved their deficit three minutes afterward as good tracking back by Atoo was rewarded as the ball flew off his block ans sailed past Merenda into the net.

Half-Time:  Rayleigh Town Res  2 – 3  Shoebury Town

Shoebury had a slender lead but were looking fiesty and just about the more likely the score at the interval. Shoebry were happy to be awarded another spot-kick on the hour and forward Kirk Hudson also blasted the ball home to make it 4 – 2. to the visitors. Midway into the second half, a curling free-kick by Foley needed Merenda to tip the decent strike out of danger. Rayleigh were having arguably their best phase of the game as they forced a number of set-pieces but the revitalised Shoebury defence held firm. Rayleugh Res could well have forced a more nervy end to the game had Eban Djan connected with a header or support forward Jack Taylor’s chip not been nervily parried by Merenda in the swirling wind. Atoo also headed wide with eleven minutes left and the feeling was building that it wasn’t going to be the hosts’ day.

That feeling was only elevated on 82 minutes as fine chip by Johnson evaded Powell and secured a good treble for the Shoebury Town striker. Matthew Bampus headed in another consolation for the hosts a few minutes later but it wasn’t enough to avert Shoebury getting their first league win in eight matches here in this lunchtime kick-off.

Full-Time: Rayleigh Town Res  3 – 5  Shoebury Town

In summary, Shoebury did deserve their win given the chances they created and the energy they put into their play for most of the match. News came out this week that a new committee has been appointed so Town will no doubt be looking to stay in this division for next term and they will need the battling qualities they showed here. Rayleigh’s Ressie side also showed promise going forward but their defensive errors were costly.

There were a number of good performances in this game. Firstly for Shoebury, I felt that forward Garry Johnson was a threat with his finishing  & movement and also backed up his record in front of goal this term. Tyler Boosey also had a good game in midfield showing good willingness & energy. Kirk Hudson showed desire and good passing down the channels & finally, Aaron Day also had a decent game. For the hosts, winger Harry Barham took his goal well and tried hard to instigate attacking moves for his side. Forward Matt Atoo was also a presence in attack for the hosts with his strength, with midfielder Reiss Foley looking to drive his team on from midfield. Finally, goalkeeper Jayden Powell arguably kept his side in the contest in the second half with some smart saves.

The win for bottom side Shoebury brings them only one point behind Herongate just above them, whereas Town’s second side stay third-bottom, six points adrift of Ramsden Scotia above them. My thanks to home boss Dave Barker & Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign.

If you’d like to read about all the action in the Essex Olympian Lge divisions this week, my round-up is available here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/09/s20-21-round-ups-essex-olympian-league-sat-8-may-eofl/

Teams

Rayleigh Town Res    | Manager: Dave Barker 

Starting XI: 1 Jayden Powell (GK), 2 Matt van Lint, 3 Matt Seago, 4 Reiss Foley, 5 Matthew Bampus, 6 James Braithwaite, 7 Harry Barham, 8 Dean Hazleton, 9 Ebeneezer Djan, 10 Jack Taylor, 11 Matt Atoo

Goal-scorers: Harry Barham [8′], Matt Atoo [35′], Matthew Bampus [84′]

Subs On: 12 James Jarvis [31′], 15 Liam Brooks [61′], 14 Jack Maguire [67′]

Booked: van Lint, Seago, Jarvis | Subs Not Used: None

Shoebury Town   | Interim Manager: Lee Boosey

Starting XI: 1 Kyle Merenda (GK), 2 Billy Horrell, 15 Jack Kindell, 23 Jason Carter, 4 Daniel Brooker, 5 Tyler Boosey, 7 Henry Swan, 18 Billy Cottrill, 19 Aaron Day, 10 Garry Johnson, 14 Kirk Hudson

Goal-scorers: Garry Johnson [7′, pen 32′, 82′], Billy Cottrill [18′], Kirk Hudson [pen 60′]

Subs On: 9 Simon Pearce [46′], 6 Mitchell Odd [46′], 20 Adam Woolsey [46′], 3 Steven Sharpe [60′], 16 Fahad Issa [80′]

Booked: Woolsey  | Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Lewis Moore