Redbridge: Royal Blue Shirts, Royal Blue Shorts, Royal Blue Socks
Newbury Forest: Red Shirts, Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Socks
Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a very wet afternoon at Oakside, new-look Essex Senior League side Redbridge took on Essex Olympian League Division One side and tenants Newbury Forest in the traditional pre-season ‘curtain-raiser’ for the Len Cordell Trophy.
The match began fairly evenly as Forest looked to get their noses in-front before Ricky Eaton & Joey May’s side found their proper rhythm. Redbridge forward Brian Moses had one of his side’s early chances, heading over the bar from a corner on ten minutes. Forest, to their credit, did not wilt and forced the Motormen ‘keeper into two saves in the first 20 minutes. Redbridge gradually found their feet going forward though and took the lead on the half-hour through a cool finish by winger Jason Reynolds-Blanche, passing the ball into the right corner from a narrow angle.
Forest had chances to level, though Redbridge extended their advantage with two goals in as many minutes with new signings Sipho Mytanda and Calvin Poku getting on the score-sheet, the latter was a drilled low effort into the left corner.
Half-Time: Redbridge 3 – 0 Newbury Forest
After the break, the rain really lashed down which made conditions awkward for the players. Both sides had chances in the first 15 minutes of the half, Moses once again denied by the impressive Forest ‘keeper. Newbury Forest got one back mid-way through the second half through a good free-kick tucked into the right corner from 18 yards. This seemed to gee the Motormen up further as with 70’ on the watch, Moses got the goal he deserved, a tap-in following an unselfish pass by full-back Eljay Worrell.
Forest could’ve clawed another goal back, but for a good save from the home ‘keeper from a 20-yard free-kick on 74’. Though to be fair, the last 15 minutes saw the hosts have a series of chances, with the Forest ‘keeper pulling off four good saves in this period of time. Redbridge did get another goal though, six minutes from time as midfielder Patrick Damali slotted home from close range. Straight after the goal, Damali drilled another shot wide though Redbridge did more than enough in the second half to deserve the win and the Len Cordell Trophy!
Thanks to Redbridge FC for their hospitality. Thank you also to Redbridge’s Adam Silver for his assistance today. Redbridge begin their ESL campaign at home to Tower Hamlets next weekend (Sat 29th July).
Southend Manor : Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Black Socks
Heybridge Swifts: Black & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a very wet evening at Southchurch Park, ESL side Southend Manor welcomed Isthmian North side Heybridge Swifts in another pre-season encounter.
The visitors started the match the brighter of the two sides and took the lead with 17 minutes on-the-clock as the impressive Ryan Henshaw getting a tap-in from close range. As the half-hour mark approached, Swifts were the better side going forward though against the run of play, Micky Hopkins slotted home past the Heybridge defence to level things up on 26’.
Heybridge didn’t rest of their laurels though as only four minutes later, new signing Harrison Chatting made a good run into the Manor box and slotted home well to restore the visitors’ lead. The visitors then extended their lead just before the break, first with a cool tap-in by fellow new signing Luke Callander and then moments later Henshaw powered in a 30-yard pile-driver as two goals in just three minutes gave Jody Brown’s side a comfortable advantage at the interval.
Half-Time: Southend Manor 1 – 4 Heybridge Swifts
The second half began with both sides making substitutions though would the changes undermine the rhythm in the second half? No chance! Heybridge continued to drive forward and create decent chances, though the Manor ‘keeper made a number of good saves during the entire match. Manor pulled another goal back ten minutes into the second half as Harry Hatt scored with a looping effort. Manor 2 – 4 Heybridge
During the next 25 minutes or so, Heybridge continued to pile forward and although the lashing rain made conditions even tougher to play on, the visitors could’ve easily got at least four more goals during this period. Though on balance, Hopkins could’ve also got a hat-trick as he missed two guilt-edged chances to reduce Manor’s deficit.
Into the last ten minutes and Heybridge finally got the reward they arguably richly deserved as Josh Fogbohun headed in from close range with six minutes remaining. Just two minutes later, fellow substitute Marley Andrews drilled an effort low into the left corner to complete an excellent showing at times from the visiting side.
Manor deserve some credit as well as they stuck to the task quite well at times though they will also know that before the season proper gets underway, they will need to improve at the back.
FT: Southend Manor 2 – 6 Heybridge Swifts
Hopkins 26’ Henshaw 17’, 44’
Hatt 55’ Chatting 30’
Callander 42’, Fogbohun 84’, Andrews 85’
In closing, I’d like to thank Southend Manor, Stuart Marshall, Peter Dudley for the earlier image & also wish both sides well for the forthcoming campaign.
Rather than write a detailed double of match reports, I thought I’d do a bit of deep sum-up of the day itself on what are very likely my last matches of the 2016/17 Football season.
So, in what was my first return to Wembley in seven years (my last visit being the heady days of Dagenham & Redbridge’s EFL League Two Play-off Final win here over Rotherham Utd in 2010) I joined a number of fellow ground-hoppers for this double-header that made up #NonLeagueFinalsDay, first the FA Vase Final: Cleethorpes Town v South Shields and then later on, the FA Trophy Final: Macclesfield Town v York City – both of the National League, although York has suffered a difficult season which ultimately ended in the pain of relegation.
FA Vase Final: Cleethorpes Town v South Shields
Cleethorpes took on heavily-fancied South Shields in the opening match of the day. Marcus Newell’s side managed to keep Shields at bay fairly well in the opening 45 minutes, although Shields forward Gavin Cogdon really did work hard throughout and kept the opposition defence on alert, whilst ex-Premier League star Julio Arca was still pulling the strings in midfield at the ripe age of 36. Cleethorpes couldn’t quite hold on until the break though with three minutes of the first period remaining, Cogdon was brought down inside the area, and ex-Newcastle Utd youngster Carl Finnigan converted the resulting penalty.
Half-Time : Cleethorpes Town 0 – 1 South Shields
Shields gradually built up their attacking rhythm after the break, having several opportunities to increase their advantage. Cleethorpes, to their credit, did well at the back though couldn’t quite find their range going forward. Graham Fenton & Ian Picton’s side would not be denied though as three goals in the last ten minutes sealed a truly memorable day. First, with ten minutes left, Dillon Morse’s header from substitute Robert Briggs’ free-kick made it 0-2.
Then late on, forward David Foley grabbed a brace, both of them crisp finishes to ensure the North East side took the FA Vase. The result I feel was a little harsh on Cleethorpes who battled hard though simply couldn’t match the clinical finishing of their opponents. Best wishes to both sides for next season.
Referee: Darren England Assistants: Matthew Jones & Marc Wilson
During the break, the ‘squad’ of us watching reflected on a good game, better in the second period though in a nutshell, we couldn’t have foreseen the match we had to come….
FA Trophy Final : Macclesfield Town v York City
Macclesfield, who finished in the top ten in the National League Premier took on York, who were agonisingly relegated from the same division on the last day.
This match didn’t take long to ‘rev up’ at all, as Macclesfield started well, with Chris Holroyd leading the line, Danny Whitaker & Rhys Browne in midfield and David Fitzpatrick at left-back the players standing out, though it was the Minstermen who opened the scoring after just seven minutes as veteran striker Jon Parkin’s header found the net. Macclesfield responded though as just five minutes later, lively winger Rhys Browne drilled home to level the contest. The high-tempo, frayed nature of the match continued though York re-took the lead through ex-Crewe striker Vadaine Oliver slotted home on 21 minutes. The Silkmen continued to push for the majority of the half and finally got their reward just before the interval, as midfielder Ollie Norburn walloped a superb effort past the excellent Kyle Letheren in the York goal to grab a deserved equaliser for John Askey’s side.
Half-Time: Macclesfield Town 2 – 2 York City
In all honesty, it took the entireity of the break to recover from such a superb first half of action. You hear the line ‘Football was the ultimate winner’ and in this match it certainly was the case.
After the break, Macclesfield continued to create chances though arguably just couldn’t find the ‘lethal touch’ in front of goal, with Letheren denying them well on more than one occasion. York battled well and held out, hoping for the odd chance as the game neared the end of 90 minutes. They got their chance, and substitute Aidan Connolly bundled the ball home after Parkin’s effort headed towards goal to give themselves a priceless advantage with five minutes remaining. They continued to hold out and claimed the FA Trophy to at least ease the pain of their difficult season and undoubtedly give Gary Mills’ side a fillet for what will be a tough assignment in the National League North next season.
Macclesfield will feel hard done by, though they should also hold their heads up high too. To both sides’ credit, they really wanted to win this match and that doesn’t always transpire on occasions like this.
York City Starting XI: Letheren, Heslop, Morgan-Smith, Klukowski, Hall, Oliver, Parkin, Newton, Holmes, Parslow, Bencherif
In summary, this was a cracking day at the national Stadium and I hope it’s not another seven years before I return. Good also to enjoy it with the likes of Grassroot Football Show’s Adam Richardson and Peter Dudley and fellow ground-hoppers Andrew, Richard & quite a few others too.
Finally, congratulations again to South Shields and York City while deserved commiserations go to Cleethorpes Town and Macclesfield Town and best wishes to all for next season. So this double-header was on the same day as the last day of the Premier League? Really… OK, Match of the Day was decent..
Tower Hamlets : Orange Shirts, Black Shorts, Orange Socks
Eton Manor : Red & White Shirts, White Shorts, Red Socks
Scott W reporting (Follow me on Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a fairly serene evening at Mile End Stadium, Tower Hamlets took on Eton Manor in another Essex Senior League match, which also marked Tower Hamlets’ final home game of the season.
This match got underway with a bang as just a few minutes in, Eton Manor were awarded a free-kick about 25 yards from goal following a foul on forward Josh Sykes. Midfielder Daniel Crowie stepped up to take it and blasted a pile-driver right into the top-right corner to give Eton the lead, past home ‘keeper Carl Duggas-During who didn’t really have a chance of saving it. It was a great effort by Crowie.
So, with Manor having that early lead, they could have went further ahead though Sykes and winger Harry Prince sent strikes wide soon after. Hamlets gradually had chances of their own, though forwards Roche Bailey and Germaine Agymeng couldn’t quite hit the target.
Eight minutes before the break, forward Josh Sykes found himself one-on-one with ‘keeper Duggas-During though hit goal-bound strike just swerved enough to hit the right-side post and go harmlessly wide.
Half-Time: Tower Hamlets 0 – 1 Eton Manor
The second half was a somewhat quieter affair and though Manor were tested in defence, the home side couldn’t quite find that ‘killer instinct’ to put chances away. Arguably their best chance of the second half was a good free-kick from full-back Ruben Nasco which hit the bar, with visiting ‘keeper Aston Grimes stranded, with 12 minutes left.
Manor looked decent at times going forward as well, with eight minutes of normal time remaining, Kadeem Brightly, playing as a forward after the break, hit a good strike on goal which Duggas-During parried onto the bar for a corner.
Manor won’t mind about the manner of how they won the game, and I believe they ground out the win, though they deserve credit for that. They remain 16th in the table; they are three points shy of Wadham Lodge in 15th, Eton having two matches to play. Tower Hamlets remain 20th, three points clear of Burnham in 21st, with Hamlets having two matches left, away to Enfield 1893 (Saturday 15th Apr) and West Essex (Sat 22nd April).