2021 In-Focus – Cordell Cup Competitions: The Writer’s View [LCC May 2021]

Still from Great Wakering Rovers v White Ensign [Group Stages, Cordell Cup – Image by Scott W]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome a to a special one-off article looking at the Cordell Cup competitions (in advance of Cordell Finals Weekend), which were invitational tournaments run by the Essex Senior, ahead of the full resumption of League action In August 2021.

I’m really pleased to add that Jack Newman (JN) from the Non-League Chronicles Team, Essex Senior Media official Scott Lanza (SL)  and respected Non-League writer Peter Dudley (PD) join me (SW) in giving our views on the competitions, from the writer’s perspective. Thank you for reading.

Firstly, thank you all for your time. Despite the majority of the tournaments being played ‘behind closed doors’ to spectators, what has it been like to get back to watching Non-League Football again (as Media)?

Peter: It was such a relief to get back to covering football once again, watching it on TV had become rather mundane, boring and it cannot replicate the atmosphere of a live game, and I also feel blessed I was given the chance to cover games that the normal public could not, so I was very thankful for that. It was also a big help with my well-being too and was another step to some sort of normality, which certainly helps.

Scott L: It’s been great as non-league football is part of my life, and so getting a chance to get back watching games live has been wonderful. The ‘behind closed doors’ part of the experience hasn’t been so good, as the lockdown made me realise that part of the reason I like lower league football is because of the many friends I have there. It was good to see some of them at the games, but others were not allowed to enter, which was a shame but inevitable considering the government restrictions.

Jack (NLC): I think it’s fair to say that all the contributors to The Non-League Chronicles have loved the opportunity that we’ve been afforded by the competition organisers (the Essex Senior  – Ed). It’s been magnificent to be back watching live football.


What have been your favourite matches to watch in the Cordell Cup or Cordell Trophy?

JN: Certainly in terms of favourite matches the games we’ve seen involving Athletic Newham & Woodford Town have all been enjoyable high scoring end-to-end affairs which is always good. Woodford’s big win at Aveley over Great Wakering Rovers being of particular note.

PD: The first one of the tournament between Hackney Wick and West Essex was one of the best games I have seen for some time, eight goals, high tempo, and two sides who went for it, so that was very entertaining. I also would say the derby between Holland and FC Clacton which had just about everything, five goals, feisty clashes, red card, a missed penalty which was retaken, and then we almost saw a comeback, so that was an enjoyable day on a sunny day on the North Essex coast.

SL: I didn’t cover too many games due to the restrictions in place regarding who could attend. However, the opening game I saw was Woodford Town v Barkingside which was a very good game, and if I am honest better than I thought I would be seeing bearing in mind the lockdown has played havoc with teams with match fitness being lost due to the enforced break. This was not in evidence here, and the West Essex v Stansted game was another one which saw 90 minutes of flowing end-to-end football being served up.

Still from White Ensign v Barkingside [Cordell Cup Last 16 – Image by Scott W]

Which teams have impressed you (That you’ve watched live)?

PD: Was quite impressed with Clapton and their organisation at the back, bar their two defeats to Redbridge they did not concede a goal and put in some impressive displays, also impressed with Hackney Wick too who have a side where all but two of the squad were U23, they look very dangerous and will cause teams problems next season if they can keep them together. Those two sides would be the ones I’d pick out mainly because I didn’t expect or didn’t know what to expect from them, and they surprised me slightly at how well they played.

SW: For me, White Ensign do deserve credit for the way they have approached the competition and for their form, particularly in the group stages where they won three out of three. It will be fascinating to see if they bring players in to improve the squad or keep faith with this group of players as they take on the Essex Senior League for the first time in their history from August.

Also, I do feel honourable mentions have to go to Barkingside, who really gave Ensign a scare in their Quarter-Final and also to Athletic Newham who deserve a lot of praise for their attacking style of play and could also be one to watch next term in the Essex Senior.

JN: We’ve really been impressed with the quality shown by the teams throughout and White Ensign, Redbridge & Cockfosters have all looked in good nick – especially the former who we all think will be an excellent addition to the Essex Senior League next season.

SL: Redbridge impressed me as they seemed to be taking the tournament seriously straight from the off.  I was also impressed with Stansted, and Athletic Newham certainly looked a strong outfit when I saw them in the Quarter Final at Redbridge. They were strong, physical, and fast going forward. And although I didn’t get to see them play live, you have to be impressed with Step 6 outfits White Ensign and Holland, who got some very good results in the bag against teams higher up the pyramid, with Holland of course going all the way to the Len Cordell Memorial Cup Final.

Peter, you’ve been one of the lead commentators on the Live-streamed matches. How has that been as an experience? 

PD: I have always wanted to try my hand at commentary and after getting over the first match nerves I really enjoyed it, and led the commentary at all the games I did after the first one, ended up doing four games in total and it was a very good experience, even if two of those games we had to share one microphone between two people, but we muddled through as they say!

Still from Redbridge v Athletic Newham {Cordell Cup QF – Image by Scott W]

All in all, do you feel these competitions (Cordell Cup/Trophy & Plate) have truly honoured the late Len Cordell’s contribution to Redbridge FC (formerly Ford Utd) and Non-League Football as a whole?

SL: The fact a number of teams outside the ESL entered shows you how well Len was thought of in Essex Non-League circles. The fact that so many of the teams took the competition seriously shows you again how well Len was respected. The ESL have honoured Len Cordell by naming a cup competition after him, but the clubs also honoured him by taking part and then playing their games in a competitive spirit – which is what Len would have wanted as this man truly lived and breathed non-league football.

PD: I am sure Len would have appreciated the Essex Senior organising such a brilliant competition and all the teams that have taken part deserve praise for entering and helping to honour the great man, there have been some terrific games and plenty of goals and drama along the way, I am sure Len is looking down on us all and smiling at what he has seen.

SW: I agree that Len would have enjoyed some of the fast, flowing Football that we have seen in the competitions, which have rightly honoured someone who has contributed so much to Non-League during his time.

In your neutral opinion, which teams have endorsed their reputations in these competitions?

SL: Holland without question, alongside White Ensign and Barkingside – all Step 6 clubs that mixed it with clubs higher up the football pyramid. Clapton for me have in a way redeemed themselves. Struggling at the foot of the table when the League season was curtailed, the Tons went on to have a very good Len Cordell Cup campaign which could launch them onto a better time next season when league football resumes. I have to mention Barking, who really took the tournament seriously, and made it to the Semi-Finals before exiting at the hands of Holland, in what was shock result. 

PD: White Ensign put in some decent performances, especially in the group stages by winning all three of their group games, Cockfosters too put in some decent performances to back up their decent league campaign up until the shutdown, I think Barking’s youngsters deserve some praise in reaching the Quarter Finals, and I think it’s marvellous that Redbridge, the team Len did so much work for, have ended up in the final and have a chance of winning it, that would certainly be some story indeed.

SW: With regards to the Cordell Trophy, both Harlow Town Reserves & Barkingside Res have had excellent competitions and this will aid them going on to next season and crucially for Reserve sides, have aided player development having being involved in tournament Football. Talking about the Cordell Cup, I will have to add the two sides in the North East side of the county in FC Clacton and Holland. Both sides have had their moments in the competition and for Holland to make the Final is a great achievement in itself.

JN: In terms of teams to watch going forwards Redbridge will certainly worth keeping an eye on – they’ve been very strong throughout and look like real contenders for the title next season if they can keep their momentum going.

END

Who’s Who?

Jack is a member of the Non-League Chronicles, a growing team of writers covering Non-League matches across London & Essex. You can find them on Facebook at “The Non League Chronicles” or via Twitter – @NLChronicles

Scott Lanza is the current Media official of the Essex Senior League, where he also edits the CentreSpot bulletin every week including links, match reports & more on Essex Senior & related news. To view Centrespot editions, head here: https://essexseniorleague.co.uk/centrespot/

Pete Dudley hardly needs any introduction, but the prolific writer has seen matches in the Essex Senior, Eastern Senior League South, Essex Olympian League & more this season and also was former Fixtures Secretary at local side Southend Manor. You can find him on Twitter at @ped1980  or on his blog: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/

As for me, I’m Scott W and I’m also a Non-League writer on Essex Senior League & Essex Olympian League divisions. I also mostly write reports on matches I head out and watch.

S20-21 Round-ups: Len Cordell Trophy (Fri/Sat 30 April/1 May) [LCC 2021 4.5.21]

ESL crest

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

Hello and welcome to my round-up of the Cordell Trophy and Cordell Trophy Plate competitions.  The Trophy reached its quarter-final stage this weekend, and the Cordell Trophy Plate had its semi-finals.

All the results from this week’s action are below, they took place on Friday 30th April & Saturday 1st May. After that section, we’ll have a brief look at the draw and how the Finals weekend shapes up across all four competitions on May 29th & 30th. Thank you for reading.

The Cordell Trophy – Quarter-Finals

Barkingside Res  2 – 0  Woodford Town U23   | Marconi Centre, Chelmsford | Sat 1 May

Barkingside’s second team navigated a tricky tie and defeated the Woodford development side in a match moved to the Marconi Centre in Chelmsford. Dominic Edwards got both goals for the hosts in the first half hour as they booked their place in the last four. Despite defeat here, it’s been a good tournament for Shane Baptiste’s side as they now look forward to the new season in August.

Grays Athletic U23  1 – 0  May & Baker Res | Lakeside Sports Ground | Friday 30 Apr

Grays advanced to the last four as well after narrowly defeating May & Baker at the Lakeside Sports Ground. Callum Watts’ solitary goal was enough to see Michael Walther’s side go through where they will face ‘Side’s second-team in a ‘derby’ at the same ground as this match was played at.

Harlow Town Res  6 – 2  Redbridge Res  | Harlow Arena [3G]  | Fri 30 April

Harlow continued their goal-scoring form as they put six past Redbridge Ressies on Friday night. Said Issa continued his fine form in the competition with another double here, with Haziz Kone, Graeme Butler, Dillon Gordon and Marcus Marku all adding strikes here in this convincing win. The Motormen’s development side had Roy Stevens’ brace to thank for their goals but they bowed out here.

Tower Hamlets Res  2 – 1  White Ensign Res  | Mile End  | Sat 1 May

Hamlets continued their strong competition with a win over Ensign’s second side at Mile End. Rajhi Makasi [50’] and Ezekiel Adesanya  on the hour were the goals that did the job for the hosts. Ensign responded through Erald Makolli’s strike but Jack Caten’s side ended their run in the Trophy here.

Draw for Len Cordell Trophy – Semi-Finals

Barkingside Res  v  Grays Athletic U23

Tower Hamlets Res  v Harlow Town Res

Dates TBC

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Len Cordell Trophy – Plate Semi-Finals

Frenford Res  1 – 3  Walthamstow Res   | at Jack Carter Centre | Sat 1 May

Walthamstow emerged victorious with a fine win at Frenford. Zachary Thomas struck twice for the visitors, with Airon Paul also netting here. Julian Edwards scored for the third successive match for his team but ultimately they couldn’t force their way back into the contest.

Sawbridgeworth Town Res  3 – 2  West Essex Dev   | Crofters  | Sat 1 May

Sawbridgeworth also made it into the Trophy Plate Final by edging a dramatic game with West Essex’s development side at Crofters. Sam Bashua, Raheem Gray and Arley Barker all netted for the home side but there were some jitters to deal with, thanks to a double from Mo Kaudeer for the visitors. Town held on though to reach the Final, where there will face Walthamstow Reserves at the end of the month.

The Len Cordell Trophy Plate Final  – Held at Oakside (on Sunday 30th May – 12pm KO)

Sawbridgeworth Town Res   v  Walthamstow Res

S20-21 Round-ups: Len Cordell Trophy (Thurs-Sat 22-24 April) [LCT 2021 25.4.21]

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

Hello and welcome to my look at the last weekend of the group stage of the Len Cordell Trophy, a competition run by the Essex Senior League for Reserve sides to also remember the contribution the late Len Cordell made to local Non-League Football.

After the Results section in each group, we also have a Final table and a projected look at which sides have advanced in the Trophy and which sides will be moved to the Cordell Plate competition.

In the Tables themselves, those sides highlighted in bold are those that have progressed to the Quarter-Finals. Thanks for reading.

Friday 23rd April – Group A

Harlow Town Res  5 – 1   Sawbridgeworth Town Res  | Harlow Arena [3G]  | Group A

Harlow confirmed their place in the knockout stages on Friday night with a second big win in as many weeks. Sam Bashua netted for the Sawbo side but a double for Mahedul Hasan Muzib plus strikes by Dillion Gordon, Graeme Butler and replacement Said Issa meant that Harlow finish in second spot.

Saturday 24 April

Walthamstow Res  1 – 6  Woodford Town U23  | Ashton’s (Side Pitch) | Group A

Woodford sailed through to the last eight with a big win over ‘Stow’s reserve side at Ashton’s. George Thompson grabbed a hat-trick here, with Prince Ofori-Duodu, Harry Carter and Esat Saiti all also scored to maintain the 100% winning record in the group for Shane Baptiste’s team. Louie Maxwell struck for W’stow but they go into the Plate competition after finishing bottom of the group.  

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Thursday 22nd April – Group B

Redbridge Res  2 – 2  West Essex Development  | Ford’s Sports Club (Newbury Park)

On Thursday night, Redbridge Ressie side were held by West Essex’s development side at Ford’s Sports Club in Newbury Park. Emmanuel Odunaike and Mohamed Allie both scored for the visitors, but strikes from Landry Gogoa and Chris Kitanos ensured the home side got a second point of the group stage which was ultimately enough to see them through to the last eight as one of the two best third-placed sides. West’s youthful side exit & will go into the Plate competition.     

Saturday 24th April –  Group B

May & Baker Res  1 – 2   Tower Hamlets Res  | May & Baker FC |

On Saturday, Tower Hamlets’ second-side made it three wins from three with a good win at May & Baker. Goals from Paolo-Armani Okoye and Abdirahman Ahmed secured the win, despite David Asante-Boateng’s reply for Jimmy Donald’s side. Both sides go through as they finished in the top two (see below).

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Friday 23rd April – Group C

Barkingside Res  1 – 1     Frenford Res |  Lakeside Sports Ground [3G]  |

Barkingside’s second team were held on Friday night by visitors Frenford but still went through in a tight Group C. Dominic Edwards netted for ‘Side three minutes after the interval, with Julian Edwards getting the leveller for the Frenford second-string. Frenford unfortunately exit the competition despite amassing two draws.

Saturday 24th April – Group C

White Ensign Res 0 – 2    Grays Athletic U23   | Len Forge Centre [3G]

A fine away-day for Michael Walther’s Grays side meant they also went through. A brace from Callum Watts was enough to defeat Jack Caten’s side and go above them in the group stages. Both sides go through to the last eight.

The draw for the Quarter-Finals of the ESL Len Cordell Trophy was made on Saturday night, here it is (Matches to be played on weekend of Friday 30 April/Saturday 1 May)

Draw for Len Cordell Trophy Last 8 \ QFs

Barkingside Res  v  Woodford Town U23s

Grays Athletic U23s  v  May & Baker Res

Harlow Town Res   v   Redbridge Res

Tower Hamlets Res  v  White Ensign Res 

S20-21 Round-ups: Len Cordell Trophy (Fri/Sat 16/17 April) [LCT 2021 18.4.21]

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

Hello and welcome to my look at the second weekend of the Len Cordell Trophy, a competition run by the Essex Senior League for Reserve sides to also remember the contribution the late Len Cordell made to local Non-League Football.

After the Results section in each group, we also have a brief table and a look at the Fixtures for next weekend (Kick-offs may be subject to alteration)

Len Cordell Trophy  – Friday 16th April

Barkingside Res   2 – 0    White Ensign Res  |  Lakeside Sports Ground [3G]  | Group C

Barkingside’s second team got their first win of the competition and went top of Group C after Saturday’s action (see table below) after this win over White Ensign Reserves at the Lakeside Sports Ground. First-half goals from Dominic Edwards [14’] and Manraj Phagura ten minutes after the opener were the difference-makers for the hosts who remain unbeaten from their two matches thus far. Ensign’s Ressie side know that a win against will put them in the top two.

Saturday 17 April

Walthamstow Res  0 – 7    Harlow Town Res   | Wadham Lodge | Group A

Harlow’s second-side made easy work of this tricky encounter at Wadham Lodge. Hassan Muzib grabbed a treble, being well-supported by the ensemble cast of Dillon George who grabbed a brace, plus there were goals for Graeme Barker and Said Issa. Harlow’s thumping win gives their first points of the tournament whereas it was a day to forget for the ‘Stow development side.

Woodford Town U23s  3 – 2   Sawbridgeworth Town Res | Ashton’s (Side pitch) | Group A |

Woodford continued their good start to the Cordell Trophy with their second successive 3 – 2 win, this time over Sawbo’s Ressies at Ashton’s. Luke Steele, Alexandros Ndoj and Rashaad Ogun’s second goal in as many weeks sealed the win for Shane Baptiste’s team. Ollie Palmer and Jack Taylor both netted for the visitors but they are yet to win and they will have to beat Harlow Town to get in the top two.

Group A Table after Week Two (Apr 17, 2021)

Saturday 17 April

May & Baker Res  1 – 1  Redbridge Res  | May & Baker FC | Group B  

May & Baker Reserves maintained their unbeaten run with this draw with Redbridge Ressies. David Asante-Boateng scored for Jimmy Donald’s side, with Landry Gogoa’s goal ensuring that the visitors got their first point of the competition thus far. May & Baker know that if they avoid defeat in their final group match they will be assured of a top two finish in the group.

West Essex Dev  0 – 1   Tower Hamlets Res  | Debden Park Sch   |  Group B

Tower Hamlets’ second-side made the trip to Debden and handed the West development side a second consecutive narrow defeat. Paolo-Armani Okoye got the only goal five minutes before the break and that ended up being enough to see Hamlets to remain top of the standings.

Group B Table after Week Two (April 17,2021)

Saturday 17 April

Frenford Res  1 – 1   Grays Athletic U23s  | The Drive, Frenford  |  Group C

In this encounter at Frenford’s the Drive, the youthful Grays side made it two draws from two games. Harry Baker got the visitors’ goal with Julian Edwards responding for the home side but there was to be no breaking the stalemate. Both sides know they need a win to advance in the main competition.

Group C Table after Week Two (April 17, 2021)

Fixtures for next Weekend  (Friday/Saturday 23/24 April)

Group A

Harlow Town Res v Sawbridgeworth Town Res

| Fri 23 April 7.45pm KO | Harlow Arena [3G]

and Walthamstow Res v Woodford Town U23
| Sat 24 April 2.30pm KO | Wadham Lodge |

Group B (both on Saturday 24 April at 2.30pm)

May & Baker Res v Tower Hamlets Res | May & Baker FC |

and Redbridge Res v West Essex Dev. | Ford’s Sports Club (Newbury Park) |

Group C

Barkingside Res v Frenford Res
| Fri 23 Apr 6.45pm KO | Lakeside Spts Grd [3G] |

and White Ensign Res v Grays Athletic U23 |

Sat 24 April 2.30pm KO | Len Forge Centre [3G]

That’s all from this week’s round-up, thank you for reading.