Hello and welcome a bonus blog looking at the action from the Essex Senior from Thurs 14th to Saturday 16th April, the penultimate weekend of the regular league season. Thanks for reading.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League writer
Essex Senior League – Premier Division
On Thursday night, the re-arranged game between Hoddesdon Town and Stansted at Lowfield ended in a 2 – 1 victory for the Lilywhites. Larry Asare-Bediako gave them a first-minute lead, before Harry Andic netted a second goal just after the half-hour. Billy Coyne’s reply by way of a penalty six minutes before the break didn’t do enough to reverse the Airportmen’s fortunes here and further dimmed their play-off spot chances.
On Good Friday, Redbridge also had a dramatic game as they were held 1 – 1 by Little Oakley at Oakside. Michael Pindy put the Motormen ahead after three minutes to give them a dream start. However, profligate finishing scuppered their chances of making the points safe, allowing Oakley to stay in the game and a Harry Mann spot-kick was enough to give a depleted Oakley side a point.
On Friday night, Woodford Town‘s last home game of the season ended in a 1 – 1 draw with Cockfosters. Both goals came late on, with Montel McKenzie putting Shane Baptiste’s side ahead on 81 minutes, only for substitute Bailey Stevenson levelling the game deep in added time with a fine volley. Cockfosters still remain in the top ten and have a Errington Cup Semi-Final at Enfield in midweek. If you’d like more on this game, fellow Non-League writer Peter Dudley was there & his report can be viewed here (second part of article): https://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/04/redbridge-1-little-oakley-1-woodford.html
Onto the five matches on Saturday now, start with Saffron Walden Town‘s priceless 2 – 0 triumph over strugglers Sawbridgeworth Town. Khris Oti and Gavin Cockman got the goals as Walden almost mathematically secured the second-place they have sought after. A crowd of 457 watched on at Catons Lane and they are unbeaten in their last 11 matches – some run that is at a crucial time. Sawbo have to win at home to West Essex next weekend and hope St Margaretsbury fail to win at Redbridge or they will be in the lottery of the relegation/promotion play-off between a Step 5 & 6 side as I understand it.
Elsewhere, Stansted kept up their very slim hopes of that second spot with a 2 – 0 victory at home to White Ensign at Hargrave Park. Michael Salako [49 & 82′] notched a double here to reach 20 league goals this campaign, congrats to him on another fine season. A win for Ensign at Enfield next Saturday evening will confirm a top-ten spot in their first term at Step 5. Also, Enfield conclusively won 4 – 1 at Clapton, with Samrai Gebrai notching a fine treble and Jack Grosvenor also on target midway in the second half. Ryan Ferrari got a consolation for the Tons as they still need a point to vanquish any mathematical chance of finishing in the bottom three.
FC Clacton got a 1 – 0 victory over Athletic Newham at the Rush Green Bowl, with Jamie Bennett the goal-scorer there. the Seasiders go above Newham in the standings into seventh and could still finish in the top eight which would a super achievement. Finally, Hoddesdon Town drew 0 – 0 with Ilford at Lowfield which means both sides will finish the bottom half this term. A good point though for the Foxes in boss Adam Peek’s penultimate game in charge.
Hello and welcome a bonus blog looking at the ten Essex Senior matches that took place on the 8th & 9th April, as we enter the last fortnight of the regular campaign. Thanks for reading.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL writer
Essex Senior League Round-up- Sat 9 April
The match with the most significance at the top was Saffron Walden Town’s 2 – 1 win at Little Oakley. Daniel Rowe had given Matt Carmichael’s team a first-half lead but Walden’s form has been strong of late and they showed this once again through strikes by Gavin Cockman and teenager Stanley Leech. The win puts Walden in prime position for the promotion play-off place, with matches against Sawbridgeworth and Hoddesdon to come, crucially both at Catons Lane. Oakley’s season still looks very positive overall and they will be looking to secure a top-six finish. Elsewhere, Redbridge got a good 3 – 1 home win over Stanway Rovers at Oakside, in a match delayed for nearly two hours as Rovers were caught in traffic chaos en route. Stanway did take the lead early in the second half through Danny Nesbitt, but a brace for Loui Hazlewood and a late goal from Michael Pindy secured the comeback win and keep George Christou’s side in contention for that much-wanted second spot.
Stansted also have a slim chance of pinching that spot after a 2 – 1 win over Southend Manor at Hargrave Park, thanks to goals from Jack Mitchell and Michael Salako. Manor had an unfortunate OG to assist their way back into the game but other results mean they are now safe from relegation, and credit has to go to boss James Wakeling and his coaching team. The Airportmen meanwhile have four matches left, and arguably have to win all four to leapfrog their rivals. Athletic Newham’s season is coming to a stuttering end as they were held by top-six rivals Enfield at Terry Mac. Kieran Bishop’s goal had given the E’s a first-half lead, but Daniel Izekor got a good equaliser with about ten minutes left. The result means Enfield remain six points clear of Newham, though Chris Davis’ side also have four matches to play (in the next fortnight). Also, FC Clacton are also finishing the season well as they got a 4 – 0 triumph over Clapton at Rush Green Bowl. A double for Mekhi McKenzie, plus goals by Elias Ahmed and Harry McDonald saw Tom Austin’s side to a fine win and they rose to eighth spot because of it. The Tons debatably need a point or two to make sure of their ESL place next term.
That is the case due to Sawbridgeworth Town’s hugely important 2 – 1 win over Errington Cup Finalists Cockfosters at Crofters. James Falaise and Morgan Arnold got the big goals for Alex Salmon and Kieran Amos’ side, with Bailey Stevenson responding for Gavin Kelsey’s team. ‘Fosters drop down to tenth but they still have 3 games left. Sawbo’s assignment is clear – they need at least one win from matches against Saffron Walden and West Essex to evade the bottom two. Meanwhile, Takeley continued their mini-revival with a 4 – 1 success over Sporting Bengal Utd at Station Road. The ensemble cast of Elliott Long, Glenn O’Hanlon, George Frodsham and Traevon Williams-Lauder all netted for Marc Das’ side to take them up to 11th spot. Bengal ended their campaign here and responded via an OG in this match but there will be a lot of soul-searching in the close season to come whilst they find out which division they will be placed in Step 6 following relegation.
The remaining Saturday game to note saw Hoddesdon Town claim a good 2 – 0 victory over champions Walthamstow. Terrell Sterling and Harrison Rookard both struck to give Simon Riddle’s team the points which takes them up to 50 points for the season. ‘Stow can still hit 90 points this term, even with a draw in their final game on April 23rd. On Friday night, West Essex got a 2 – 1 win over Ilford at Wadham Lodge, with Cameron Gray and Reece Clarke’s spot-kick enough to overhaul Jordan Fisher’s reply for the Foxes. West remain 13th after the weekend’s action, while Ilford stay 16th. Also, Woodford Town were held to a goalless draw by St Margaretsbury at Ashton’s, which kept Town in 14th but St Mags stay third-bottom, a point clear of Sawbo but with only one match left – at Redbridge on the final day of the league season.
Hello and welcome to a bonus blog on the full Essex Senior programme that took place on Saturday 22nd January, as big results affected both ends of the table. The lead image above is from St Margaretsbury v Little Oakley yesterday, the match I attended. Thanks for reading this round-up.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Essex Senior League Round-up- Sat 22 January
We begin with the showdown at the top of the table, as Walthamstow got a added-time winner in a 2 – 1 success against Enfield at Wadham Lodge. Tim Ogunrinde put his new club ahead just past the half hour, though David Cowley levelled from twelve yards three minutes after the interval. Callum Ibe sent the majority of the three hundred fans attending wild with a late winner to fortify ‘Stow’s position at the summit as they kept their ten-point lead over Stansted. The Airportmen now have a five-point cushion in second after a 3 – 1 home win against Cockfosters. Brad Russell gave Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side an early lead, but a crucially timed leveller from ‘Fosters stalwart George Beattie came two minutes before the break. However, second half goals from Michael Salako [66’] & Connor Hammond [84’] made sure that the ‘Blue Brazil’ made the most of other sides faltering around them.
One of those sides who debatably dropped points were Stanway Rovers, who were held to a goalless draw with West Essex at Hawthorns. The Stags are now only four points adrift of the top ten. Redbridge got a narrow 2 – 1 triumph over Takeley at Oakside with two goals in three minutes from Michael Pindy and Robbie Norris enough to give them the points. Charlie Allum got the solitary reply for Marc Das’ side but they fell to twelfth spot. The Motormen remain in fourth but are now seven points clear of Athletic Newham after Newham lost the ‘Terry Mac’ derby 0 – 2 to Clapton, who are now five points clear of the bottom three.
Elsewhere, Saffron Walden Town were denied a morale-boosting win as they drew 3 – 3 with White Ensign at Catons Lane. Scott Piggott struck twice for Jason Maher’s team, with Gavin Cockman adding their other goal. However, the crowd of around 250 got their share of goals here as Luke Woodward’s fine treble ensured Carl Conway & Jack Maleary’s side got a point, which lifts them up to eighth and stay only a point off Walden in sixth. Hoddesdon Town got a vital win in their battle of the bottom seven sides, as they edged to a 4 – 3 success over bottom side Sporting Bengal Utd at Lowfield. Harrison Cage struck twice for the hosts, with Jack Lee and Josh Stevens goals also proving decisive. Bengal gave it everything and had strikes by Yaha Djau , Quincy Roberts and Gianfranco Mici to thank staying in the match but ultimately they fell to another loss and their need to win matches gets that bit higher.
Two more matches this weekend and Woodford Town got a narrow 1 – 0 win at Southend Manor, with ex-Redbridge winger Ayub Kadiri getting the only goal there for Shane Baptiste’s side, who remain 14th. Also, FC Clacton set aside a bad loss in midweek as they won 4 – 0 at Sawbridgeworth Town. Kyle Ferguson and Mekhi McKenzie gave the Seasiders a comfortable lead at the interval, with late strikes by Harry McDonald and substitute Jordan Lartey adding further pain to the Sawbo side. This result meant that Clacton stay in the top ten, a point clear of fellow North East Essex side Oakley.
Hoddesdon: White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Youthful Hoddesdon out-work Woodford to claim Cordell Trophy Plate
Woodford Town 0 – 3 Hoddesdon Town
Match Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Additional Photo by Jack Hayman, Non-League Chronicles team (@NLChronicles)
The 2020-21 Season ended (for me at least) on the late May Bank Holiday weekend with a return to the Cup Finals Day experience with two matches at Redbridge FC’s Oakside. This first match was the Len Cordell Cup – Plate Final between Woodford Town and Hoddesdon Town. Woodford are still a youthful set-up, marshalled by joint-bosses Dee Safer and Julian Charles and were skippered by centre-back David Agboola, with Harvey Simson between the sticks and a front three of Ramiah Mills, Rasheed Salau and Jaydon Charles. A slightly depleted bench featured Eren Muti and Ramzi Mahmoudi among the options there. Hoddesdon were also missing ten players though injury or unavailability so Simon Riddle’s side also had a youthful complexion but they could still field Connor Bolton as left-back, veteran centre-back Kardan Campbell as skipper and the talented front line of Harrison Rookard, Cyrus Babaie and Harry Andic in attack. Among their options from the bench were Alfie Little, Mark Stevenson and Shaun Barwaah.
The first thing to notice really as the match got underway was the buzz of the returning crowds for this Finals day. More than seventy people were spread out through the sides near the pitch and as you’d expect, the Woodford Towners were there in good numbers providing their usual mix of atmosphere and songs, good on them. Hoddesdon definitely settled the quicker of the two sides on-the-pitch, with the opening ten minutes seeing a firm strike by Cyrus Babaie which he skewed off-target with only Woodford custodian Harvey Simson to defeat. Full-back Connor Bolton then did force Simson into a decent save moments later, as the goalkeeper parried a fierce strike wide for a set-piece. Woodford didn’t need those warnings though as soon after they fell behind. On the quarter-hour, Babaie broke away from the Woodford defence again but this he fired home a cool finish with Simson to bypass and put Simon Riddle’s side in front.
The Lilywhites so nearly doubled their advantage barely a minute later as Babaie was again the architect, involved in a good passing move with midfielder James Mays and fellow forward Harrison Rookard which allowed the later to strike at goal, forcing Simson into an acrobatic save. Hoddy kept up the pressure at this stage of the match, as Woodford were unable to retain possession for any length of time, but skipper David Agboola did make a number of well-timed interceptions in the first half. Another cross from the left by Bolton needed the intervention of the central defender on twenty minutes. You sensed at this point that Woodford were in danger of falling further behind and but for Simson, they may have been as he pulled off another good save to deny as Mays were again one-on-one with the Town stopper.
Hoddesdon did get the second goal their play merited just shy of the half-hour as Cyrus Babaie turned provider by making a good run down the right flank, before his centre found Rookard who helped himself to a close-range goal. Woodford did emerge from their half towards the latter stages of the first period but found Hoddy stopper Alex Reed in decent form as a lofted goal-bound effort from substitute Reece DaCosta was well-tracked and gathered by Reed. So at the break it was an important team-talk for the Woodford side, whereas Hoddesdon had to be mindful of concentration lapses in defence.
Half-Time: Woodford Town 0 – 2 Hoddesdon Town
If the travelling Hoddesdon contingent were concerned about ‘sitting back’ after the break to protect their lead, they needn’t have done so as two minutes after the resumption, a well-hit overhead kick by Rookard tested Simson before the latter made a good save to clear his lines. In fairness though, Woodford did have more of the play in the second half though they found the Hoddesdon defence eager and enjoying the contest, particularly well-travelled centre-back Kardan Campbell who made a number of good interceptions throughout and was in no mood at all to give the opposition forwards any glimmer of hope of getting back into the match.
If there was one over-riding critique of Woodford up to this point, it was that they really didn’t test Lilywhites stopper Alex Reed enough, despite their customary decent approach play. On fifty-six minutes though, Town forward Jaydon Charles nearly found his radar as a well-struck effort was only narrowly wide of the far-left corner. Not surprisingly, this seemed to lift the ‘hosts’ as midway through the half, a rare blemish in work-rate by the well-drilled Hoddesdon defence allowed forward Ramiah Mills to make a good run and his pass found the advancing Shaye La-Rose, pushed forward from full-back but Reed again was well-placed to deny him with a good save.
During the latter stages, the chances fell away somewhat as Hoddesdon maintained their miserly defending despite the growing heat in the nice blue skies surrounding the ground, but in added-time, Cyrus Babaie grabbed his second of the contest with another cool finish past the unfortunate Simson to add further gloss to the score-sheet and secure the Plate for his side, which on balance was entirely deserved.
Full-Time: Woodford Town 0 – 3 Hoddesdon Town
So in summary, Woodford were not at their best here but it is worth adding that Hoddesdon did not allow their opposition to really settle into the game, through determined defending, good organisation and a high work-rate.
In-terms of stand-out performances, for the victors Hoddesdon, they were indebted to another excellent match for two-goal star Cyrus Babaie who really gave the Woodford defence a hard afternoon. Strike partner Harrison Rookard also had a good game for the Lilywhites, giving a whole-hearted performance with pace and running plus he took his goal well. Skipper Kardan Campbell marshalled the defence well and was a key figure in his side’s efforts, assisting the youngsters in the team. Connor Bolton also showed his experience well and could’ve got on the score-sheet as well.
For Woodford, it goes without saying that goalkeeper Harvey Simson had an impressive afternoon, making at least five important saves to keep his team in it. Skipper David Agboola also had a good game and Shaye La-Rose also made good runs on the left side to assist his side’s forward line.
All that’s left to say is I wish both sides well for next season. Both have talent but as the cliché says, it is about getting results and Hoddesdon got that result here.
Woodford Town | Joint-Managers: Dee Safer & Julian Charles
1 Harvey Simson (GK), 2 Cameron Lyttle (16 Reece DaCosta 33’), 3 Shaye La-Rose, 4 David Agboola (Capt) (12 Eren Muti 74’), 5 Abdus Salam-Salami, 6 Evangelos Empochontsif, 7 Tyriq Alexander (15 Jack Murry-Sharpe 81’), 8 Joshua Ron Gravesande, 9 Ramiah Mills, 10 Rasheed Salau, 11 Jaydon Charles (14 Ramzi Mahmoudi 83’)
Booked: None | Sub Not Used: McAvoy (GK)
Hoddesdon Town | Manager: Simon Riddle | Assistant: Jeff Cross
1 Alex Reed (GK), 2 Ben Fox, 3 Connor Bolton, 4 Archie Lockie, 5 Kardan Campbell (Capt), 6 Sam Cross (14 Alfie Little 71’), 7 Ollie Finch, 8 James Mays (12 Mark Stevenson 25’, himself replaced by 15 Shaun Barwaah 81’), 9 Harrison Rookard (17 Liam Nugent 81’), 10 Harry Andic, 11 Cyrus Babaie
Goal-scorers: Cyrus Babaie [15’ & 90’ +1], Harrison Rookard [29’]
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello and welcome back to another of my occasional round-up articles looking at the Essex Senior League for the Season 2020-21. This article tracks all the action from Saturday 24 October. Thanks for reading.
My thanks to Matt North [@MattNorth_] for the photo
Essex Senior – Saturday 24 October
Clapton 1 – 5 Enfield | Terry Mac |
The E’s moved out of the bottom three with a big win over nine-man Clapton at the Terry Mac. Olly Miles struck twice for Jamie Cureton’s side here, with Lewis Francis, Joseph Boachie and a spot-kick from Joe Thomas crowned off an important away win for Enfield and consign the Tons to their sixth loss in ten matches thus far, they remain second-bottom.
In front of another large crowd at the Len Salmon, Hashtag came from behind to secure a point against fellow in-form side Manor. Luca Frankis had put Craig Waters & Garry Pond’s side ahead though Jay Devereux’s side piled on the pressure after the break and got some reward for it as Albert Keith’s levelled things on 52 minutes. Despite dropping points at home for the first time this term, the Tags remain five points clear at the summit, whereas Manor’s unbeaten run sits at three matches now and they reside in sixth place, four points adrift of the top three.
Ilford ended their five-match winless run with a comfortable win over Woodford at Cricklefield. Two goals in seven minutes saw Adam Peek’s side on their way with Dimitri Christou’s strike [16’] and Yemi Adelani netting his sixth league goal this season seven minutes later. A wonder strike from defender Steve Sylvester in the last few moments ended a good day’s work for the Foxes and sees them up to 14th while the Town remain winless in nine matches this season.
Saffron Walden Town 0 – 1 Walthamstow | Catons Lane | Att: 296
Walthamstow emerged from another battle with rivals Saffron Walden with the three points, thanks to Dwade James’ spot-kick late on. Player-manager Max Mitchell’s side got their fifth win in their last six matches which sees them in fourth spot currently. Walden’s luckless run goes on as they fell to eighth place.
Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 2 Hoddesdon Town | Crofters | Att: 54
Hoddesdon got their third win in their last five games with a hard-fought win at Sawbridgeworth. Harry Andic broke the stalemate right on the half-hour to put the Lilywhites ahead, before substitute Harrison Rookard sealed the points with three minutes remaining. Simon Riddle’s side rise up to fifth place while Sawbo drop to 13th, five points clear of the bottom three.
Stansted came out of a tough encounter with fellow top-three side Cockfosters with a point at Hargrave Park. After a goalless first period, Connor Hammond’s free-kick gave the hosts the lead on 65 minutes. But that lead scarcely lasted three minutes before Ned Clarke levelled following good work by former Stansted player Carl Mullings. With neither side able to force a winner, both sides go on to twenty points, with the ‘Fosters in second on goal difference.
Sporting Bengal Utd 1 – 0 West Essex | Mile End | BCD
Bengal got a third win in their last five matches by edging this contest with the Stags at Mile End. Rachid Qist’s spot-kick was the only goal but the visitors had a goal chalked off which mystified them somewhat. Imrul Gazi’s side go up to twelfth place, level on points with West who drop to tenth but both sides are among five sides who are on 13 points.
Takeley 5 – 0 St Margaretsbury | Station Road | Att: 94
Takeley continued their decent home form as they outclassed St Margaretsbury at Station Road. Elliott Long doubled his goal tally for the season with four goals in this contest to effectively seal the contest, before Ryan Lynch added a late fifth to make it twenty-four goals scored in seven home matches this season – an average of 3.42 per game! The hosts are up to ninth but St Mags’ winless run extends to three matches and are winless away from the Rec – they drop to third-bottom.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello and welcome back to another of my occasional round-up articles looking at the Essex Senior League for the Season 2020-21. This article tracks all the action from the midweek action from Monday 12 October to Wednesday 14 October. Thanks for reading.
My thanks to Matt North [@MattNorth_] for the photo
Monday 12 October
Hashtag Utd 2 – 0 Woodford Town | Len Salmon Stadium [3G] | Att: 138
The midweek action started on Monday night as Hashtag got another valuable three points to go level on points with leaders Cockfosters, prior to their match on Wednesday night. An early strike by Samraj Gill gave Jay Devereux’s side the lead, before George Smith got his fifth league goal already this term to confirm a decent win over winless Woodford, who remain four points adrift at the bottom.
Tuesday 13 October
Hoddesdon Town 4 – 2 Walthamstow | Lowfield |
Hoddesdon fought back from behind to claim a fine win over Walthamstow. It was the visitors who took the lead through a fine header from Jason Beck though the Lilywhites did get back on terms through Frazer John’s close-range finish. Simon Riddle’s side led at the interval thanks to Kardan Campbell’s effort from a set-piece. After the break, Hoddy extended their lead thanks to Ben Quarrington-Carter and Cyrus Babaie to make the points pretty much safe, despite a late goal from Connor Scully for ‘Stow who fell to their third loss in seven games, as they drop to sixth. Hoddesdon go above their opponents into fourth, five points away from the leaders.
Saffron Walden Town 1 – 1 Enfield | Catons Lane |
This gritty encounter ended in a draw at Catons Lane. Walden conceded a spot-kick midway into the half but Enfield’s Olly Miles’ spot-kick was well-denied by commanding goalkeeper James Bransgrove. Eight minutes before the break, centre-back Luke Wilson’s effort was ruled out for a foul on an Enfield player in the build-up. The deadlock was broken eight minutes after the resumption, with Miles successful in striking past Bransgrove to give the E’s the lead. That lead only lasted five minutes though before Gavin Cockman equalised. With no further goals forthcoming, Walden inch up to eighth spot, and Enfield rise to 15th before Wednesday’s action.
Sawbridgeworth Town 1 – 4 Redbridge | Crofters |
Redbridge continued their upward curve with a fine win at Sawbridgeworth. Darnell Bromfield netted four minutes before the break for his new side to give the Motormen the lead. Ayub Kadiri [67’] and James Barlow [73’] goals put George Christou’s side in command. Sawbo responded five minutes later but Redbridge secured the points late on through replacement Terry Amoafo as the visitors went into the top half. Sawbo fall below their opponents here into 11th.
Sporting Bengal recovered from their FA Vase exit on Sunday in some style with a fine comeback win at Stansted. Ryan Ramsay opened the scoring on 24 minutes after a spot-kick was saved by Bengal ‘keeper Luciano Junior. Imrul Gazi’s team responded strongly after the break as a goal from Mahdi Khan and a late brace from substitute Joel Ramos (who has now scored six goals in the league this term) secured a swift turnaround to give Bengal their second league win this term and move up to 13th. The Airportmen fell to only their second loss this term and drop to fifth.
St Margaretsbury P – P Southend Manor | The Rec | Match OFF due to Waterlogged pitch
Takeley 5 – 1 Clapton | Station Road | Att: 49
Takeley added to the Tons’ pain defensively with a big win at Station Road. A goal-blitz in the first-half through braces from Lewis Deamer [16’ & 29’] and two goals in four minutes for Coby Miles on 37 and 40 minutes all but sealed the game before the half-time team-talks. Matthew Bentley struck again for Clapton three minutes after the break but the hosts held firm after that and replacement Ryan Lynch netted in the final moments to secure the win for Marc Das’ team, who go up to 12th. The Tons remain second-bottom.
West Essex 0 – 2 Hadley | Mayesbrook Park [3G] |
Hadley weathered tricky conditions and a tough trip to Barking with a decent win. Shaz Anwar and substitute Jordan Edwards got the goals to see the Bricks to another three points to keep pace with the leaders as they go up to third spot. The Stags drop to tenth but will be in action again at home on Friday night against Enfield.
Wednesday 14 October
Ilford 1 – 1 Cockfosters | Cricklefield |
In the solitary match on Wednesday, Adam Peek’s Ilford side held Cockfosters to a creditable 1 – 1 draw. Right on the quarter-hour mark, it was the Foxes who took the lead through the skilful forward Mo Kargbo, though Ryan Wade maintained his fine goal-scoring run to level for the ‘Fosters on the half-hour. Despite a good performance, the hosts couldn’t break through and had to settle for a point. The result keeps Cockfosters at the summit ahead of their top-of-the-table clash with Hashtag this weekend, while Ilford go above Enfield into 15th spot.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello and welcome back to another of my of round-up’s looking at the Essex Senior League for the Season 2020-21, which will appear here on a semi-regular basis. This piece also includes the results from the Eastern Senior League South action this weekend. Thanks to Matt North (@MattNorth_) for the Image & Thanks to you for reading.
Essex Senior League
Friday 25 September
West Essex 2 – 3 Walthamstow | Mayesbrook Park [3G] | Att: 88
Walthamstow fought back to claim a good three points at Mayesbrook Park, in a match which simply exploded into life in the early-goings. West wasted no time in breaking the deadlock as Cameron Gray’s goal gave them the lead after just two minutes. ‘Stow fell further behind as Michael Mignot extended the hosts’ lead four minutes later. However, before the match had passed the quarter-hour mark, the match was levelled as first Callum Ibe [9’] and then Connor Scully strikes had Kwame Kwateng’s side’s lead disappear almost as soon as it had been created.
Jon Clements finished off a pulsating half to give Max Mitchell’s side the lead for the first time ten minutes from the interval and the Stags were unable to level things again so it was ‘Stow who took their second league win this campaign.
Woodford Town 0 – 2 Redbridge | The Harlow Arena [3G] | Att: 56
The new era at Redbridge gathered momentum as they won 2 – 0 at Woodford Town. Goals from Craig Hall and Terry Amoufo did the business for George Christou’s new side and in doing so they got their first league win this term.
Saturday 26th September
Hadley 1 – 0 Takeley | Brickfield Lane | Att: 141
Hadley edged a contest with another strong side in Takeley, with Luke Alfano getting the only goal on 28 minutes as Anthony Clark’s team got their second win of the league season. The Bricks are trying to lay the foundations for another season of superb form at home, while Takeley are yet to win this season.
Hoddesdon surged to an important 5 – 3 win over Enfield at Lowfield. The action didn’t take long to get started as the Lilywhites broke the stalemate thanks to Craig Tulley’s goal on ten minutes. The E’s, under the tutelage of interim player-boss Jamie Cureton, levelled the game ten minutes afterwards through Sammy Leonard-Mould’s goal. The sides couldn’t be separated at the interval as Liam Mulligan had given the hosts the advantage again with 35 minutes played. Cureton himself netted five minutes later to make it 2 – 2 at half-time.
However, Hoddesdon made the most of the strong second-half with three goals in thirteen minutes. Mulligan got his second of the match on 63 minutes, before Blue Gallagher [70’] and Aiden Critchley [75’] adding to the visitors’ pain to make it 5 – 2. Alex Warman struck in the last few minutes to lessen the damage but Enfield’s tough start to the campaign continued.
Ilford held Walden to a draw at Cricklefield. Dimitri Christou gave the Foxes the lead four minutes before the break, and held on until well into the second period but the Bloods managed to grab a point as centre-back Luke Wilson struck twelve minutes from time. Adam Peek’s side are showing promise with four points from their opening three matches, while Walden have five points from their first four matches.
Hashtag had to put their exploits in the Cup competitions to one side as they staged another fine comeback to overwhelm Sawbridgeworth at Crofters. Sawbo opened the scoring after just six minutes through Horace Ormsby’s strike though the Tags responded five minutes later through Joe Gregory. Tom Anderson put the visitors ahead on the half hour though the evident fighting spirit of Lee Mackman’s side in recent weeks showed itself again as Conor Clarke netted from the penalty spot just before the hour to make it 2 – 2.
But, Hashtag are known for finishing games strongly and that showed itself again here as Gregory got his brace with 17 minutes left to give Jay Devereux’s side the lead for the second time and then Harry Honesty sealed the match with five minutes remaining to give the visitors’ their fourth consecutive league win.
Cockfosters retained their 100% winning start to the league season with a decent win over Bengal at Mile End. Carl Mullings got both goals [2’ & 21’] in the first half and held on to that advantage to their fourth win this season. There was no comeback this time for Imrul Gazi’s side as they fell to their first loss in the league since the opening day.
St Margaretsbury 3 – 3 Clapton | The Rec | Att: 35
St Mags clawed themselves back into this contest to claim a point against visitors Clapton at the Rec. The Tons started superbly and were three goals ahead at the break, thanks to goals from Ridwan Hussein, an OG and one from Matthew Bentley right on the stroke of half-time. Ray Bartlett’s side responded with some vigour after the break though, as a brace from Kyle Roberts, first on 65 minutes and then from twelve yards with 78 minutes on the watch, got them back into the match. The Tons were unable to hold on as Jake Hayden-Eley struck eight minutes from time to complete a sterling comeback. Both sides have now drawn three of their opening four league matches so they will need wins soon.
The Airportmen continued their unbeaten league start as they won decisively against Manor at Hargrave Park. First-half goals from Greg Moore [4’] and Michael Salako seven minutes before the break had given Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side the impetus at the interval. Billy Coyne made it three on the hour and Craig Waters’ side simply had no answer to get back into the contest. The ‘Blue Brazil’ turned on the style with late goals by Moore, who got his second of the afternoon with 85 minutes gone and Ryan Ramsay rounded out the scoring two minutes later.
Hello and welcome to the first of a two-part blog looking back at the Essex Senior League 2019-20 season, as part of my Non-League ‘Season Review’ series.
In this first part, I look back at the top ten sides in the division from the dry statistics perspective and my own thoughts on seeing them in action during the campaign, followed by the stats on ‘Clean Sheets’ this season. Thanks for reading.
Essex Senior League (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)
As with most Football at or below Step 3 (Isthmian Premier Division in the local area), the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later.
We start off the Top ten rundown at the summit, where Saffron WaldenTown led having grabbed sixty-six points from their 29 matches. Jason Maher’s side had another very strong campaign, with a much-admired strike force featuring the likes of Charlie Cole, Nathan Scarborough and highly-rated prospect Tyger Smalls breaking into the team in the second part of the campaign. The ‘Bloods’ hit 69 goals this term (at a Goals per game (GpG) average of 2.38) and had the fourth-best defence in the division (marshalled by the likes of Scott Pethers and club stalwart Spike Bell), conceding twenty-eight times in the league. They have all the hallmarks of a top side, being gritty when they need to be but also having searing pace going forward and can score goals almost at will when I watched them in-person. I also must give a special mention to determined forward Gavin Cockman, who struck sixteen league goals to lead his side in attack and personally he had a superb campaign.
Still from Errington Cup match: Saffron Walden v Cockfosters 28.12.19
Still from Errington Cup: S Walden v Cockfosters 28.12.19
Another still from Hashtag Utd v Redbridge ESL 18.1.20
In second place are Hashtag Utd, who memorably won the Eastern Senior League South in their debut campaign in 2018-19. It was another very positive season for Jay Devereux’s side, having accrued sixty-five points from their 26 matches prior to the season being halted. The ‘Tags’ were the most in-form side in March, with six wins from their most recent eight matches. Overall, they scored sixty-six times (a GpG of 2.54) and conceded 27 goals, the third-best defensive record in the division. Their home record was right up there but it was away from their temporary home of Chadfields that they excelled, winning eleven of their thirteen matches away from home. Striker George Smith was a superb addition to the team, firing home nineteen league goals, but canny signings during the season like centre-back Luke Wilson, goalkeeper Louis Hawes and midfielder Tom Anderson added to their momentum. I saw them in their opening ESL match where they surprisingly lost to Southend Manor, though after that they won their next ten matches on-the-reel. Then in January, an inspired spell after half-time saw them bypass Redbridge and at that point you knew they would take some stopping. For all the hype that follows them around, they are a very promising side and will expect to be right in the tussle for promotion again next season. They are on the move once again, having agreed to ground-share at Bowers & Pitsea’s Len Salmon Stadium next season, which will only add to the optimism going forward.
Image from Walthamstow v Stansted ESL 17.8.19
Walthamstow resided in third place, with new manager Max Mitchell taking the reins in late January. The East Londoners gained sixty-three points from their 26 games, winning twenty of them. They netted seventy-three times (a GpG of 2.81) and yes, Dwade James got 27 of those himself to end up the league’s top scorer for the second season in succession, you also have to applaud the stats at the other end of the pitch. Notably, they shelled only seventeen goals, the league’s best this term (a GpG of 0.65) and custodian James Bransgrove also gathered 16 clean sheets (see below), which speaks for itself. Previous gaffer Ryan Maxwell has to take some credit for assembling the team he did, and therefore was largely responsible for his side losing only one of their twelve away matches this term. I saw them since back in August where they just outshone Stansted and battle to a point at Ilford in late January though with Mitchell settling in well since his appointment, the ‘Waltham Rabble’ will be fired up once again next term for another good season at Wadham Lodge.
Hadley crest (Image: Hadley FC)
Still from Takeley v Hadley ESL Oct 19
Next in the table were league newcomers Hadley in fourth. They garnered 57 points from their twenty-six matches and have the esteem of scoring the most goals this term, with eighty strikes (a GpG of 3.07) and letting in only twenty-four goals, the second-best record in the division this term. I saw them back on the opening day where they comfortably defeated Enfield though the best thing I recall about that day was the good atmosphere at the club, not forgetting the intriguing ‘Tennis Ball Challenge’ game which is a rather unique half-time spot of entertainment. I saw them again in October where they had to play well to win at Takeley. Forward Solomon Ofori was arguably their star player this term with eighteen league goals to his name, though I’d also mention Luke Jupp, Cameron Ferguson and Manny Hammond who also were right up there in the goal-scorers chart and for their importance to the team. I doubt I’m the only writer who hopes they remain with the league next season as they certainly played their part in it for the football they played and the good people at the club. They were the only side unbeaten at home, winning 13 of their fourteen matches at Brickfield Lane, with only Saffron Walden Town holding them to a draw in the ESL in January. Finally, who could forget the FA Cup run to the Third Qualifying Round where they lost out at National League South side Havant & Waterlooville in early October.
Stansted club badge
Still from Stansted v Clapton ESL 23.11.19
Still from Stansted v Clapton 23.11.19
In fifth spot are Stansted, who got fifty points from their 27 matches this term. A mixed start to the campaign was swiftly nullified from the memory banks during mid-season as they achieved a new club record of twelve straight league wins which shot them up into the top six. They were in good nick towards the ‘end’ of the season as well. Having scored fifty-five goals in all this term (a GpG of 2.04) and their form at Hargrave Park was to be envied, with ten wins from their 14 matches at home. Paul Pittuck and John Watters’ side also made the last 64 of the FA Vase, and had a grand away day at Thurlow Nunn Premier high-flyers Stowmarket Town to show for it. Connor Hammond ended up their top scorer with eleven league goals, though in fairness the goals were well spread out this term. These two canny managers are known for having determined sides and that was certainly the case again this season. I saw them narrowly lose out at Walthamstow early-doors before besting Clapton in November. You wouldn’t be surprised if the Airportmen are competitive once again next season.
Takeley were once again in the upper echelons of the table in sixth place, garnering forty-three points from their 24 matches, as the indecent weather in the winter heavily affected their fixtures. Interestingly, their form away from Station Road was slightly better than at home, as Marc Das’ side won seven of their 13 matches away, with only three losses. They struck 46 goals this term, whilst the familiar steely backline remained, conceding thirty-four goals (a GpG of 1.42) – the fifth-best record in the ESL. Bryn Thorpe deserves a mention for being top scorer with nine league goals (15 in all competitions) and stopper Matt Gill also racked up six clean sheets as well. When I saw them back in late October, they were beaten by the better side in Hadley and their form toward the season’s halt wasn’t super with two wins and three losses in their last eight matches though it is a testament to the reputation that Das & co have built that you can’t rule out his side from having a good season, even if they are not the most spectacular.
That thought remains with the next club in seventh which was filled by Hoddesdon Town, having won 41 points from their twenty-seven matches. The solid nature of the previous season was maintained, with the Lilywhites conceding 35 times (a GpG of 1.29) and notching a half-century of goals too. Isaac Marfo-Jacobs was their top goal-getter with twelve goals, prior to his departure for Isthmian North side Witham Town. Jordan Halls got six league goals as well to help cover during the latter part of the campaign. Goalkeepers Simon Dent and Aaron Bull got ten clean sheets between them as well and you would feel Simon Riddle’s side are well-placed for another top-half finish at least in 2020/21.
Redbridge club crest
Still from Sporting Bengal v Redbridge ESL 28.9.19
Still from S Manor v Redbridge ESL 5.10.19
Redbridge are next in eighth spot, having recovered from a mid-season lull to notch thirty-eight points from their 25 games. Weather also affected the improving Oakside stadium, though the fact that they scored 57 league goals (a GpG of 2.28) says a lot for manager Micky Wetherall and his coaching staff. They also shelled 56 goals in defence which arguably held them back a bit but you also have to credit the manner of how they play. Their high-scoring draw at Sporting Bengal Utd in late September was one of my matches of the season, just for the attacking intent shown by both sides. Then in early October, they showed a more gritty side as they won at Southend Manor. Finally, a rare Friday night outing at Oakside in early November saw them just lose out to Woodford Town in another highly-competitive game. Incredibly, eight of their 12wins this came on-the-road and overall, I believe Micky will be happy enough with their campaign.
Woodford Town Badge
Image from Redbridge v Woodford Town ESL 8.12.19
Still from Redbridge v Woodford ESL 8.11.19
In ninth place were Woodford Town, after claiming thirty-four points from their 28 matches. Their season could ably be labelled as inconsistent though they did end up finishing well, with four wins from their last eight matches. Remaining at the Harlow Arena this term, they got six wins from their fourteen home games while having their struggles on away days, with four wins and nine losses from their fourteen matches away from home. I saw them lose out at West Essex in September before winning at Redbridge in early November. If they have a more settled squad next term, you would think they will finish higher next term, given they have some talented prospects in the young side. Finally for this part, in tenth spot are Cockfosters, another new side to the division. Ryan Wade’s team gathered thirty-four points also from their 26 matches and ended below Woodford on goals scored. Their Chalk Lane base saw them win six of their twelve matches and going forward, they are an enterprising side to watch, with Billy Healey and Ned Clarke among those impressing. I watched them narrowly defeat West Essex in late October and as some of my peers have said on radio this season, on that occasion they showed how much of a welcoming club they are and they should be congratulated for that. I also saw them make the most of a first-half blitz to win at Southend Manor in November before they ground out a win at Tower Hamlets in early December. All in all, they are a god side to watch and much like Hadley, I hope they remain in the ESL as they have added to the division this term.
The Bricks came out from this searing battle with exuberant Hamlets with the points though it was the East London side who made it a really tough game, with a late red card having an effect on their fortunes. The hosts had Sam Edwards and Emmanuel Hammond to thank for their first two goals, to which Suaibo Balde and Ezra Ndukuba both responded for the visitors. Edwards’ late spot-kick continued the good form for Anthony Clark’s team to keep them in the title hunt. Hamlets fall to 13th though they would have won a few more admirers of their play for this performance.
Hoddesdon Town 5 – 0 Sawbridgeworth Town | Lowfield | Att: 83
The Lilywhites handed Sawbo another damaging defeat after the break at Lowfield. Blue Gallagher put Simon Riddle’s side ahead on 28 minutes and that lead stood until the break. Three goals In nine minutes ultimately set the sides apart as Jack Gibbs got the hosts’ second on the hour, before Jordan Halls made it 3 – 0 three minutes later. Gallagher got his second with 68 minutes on the watch and Connor Bolton [80’] added a late fifth to give Hoddesdon a first win in four league matches to see them up to seventh. Sawbo remain six points adrift of Clapton at the bottom.
Ilford 2 – 1 West Essex | Cricklefield | Att: 41
The Foxes edged to a late victory over out-of-form West at Cricklefield. Jerold Cobblah put the hosts ahead on 11 minutes after good work from Tyson Talanya and Larry Akanbi down the right channel. Callum Bloss levelled things up nine minutes later and with the game petering towards a draw, Akanbi stepped up to net the winner with eight minutes remaining to end a three-match winless run for llf to lift them up one place to 15th.
Redbridge 6 – 0 Enfield | Oakside | Att: 25
The Motormen thumped Enfield at Oakside. Tony Martin opened the hosts’ account just ten minutes in. After having new recruit Rob Hodgson dismissed on the half-hour, Enfield’s struggles only became more apparent as Tom Harvey made 2 – 0 to the hosts three minutes before the break. Micky Wetherall’s side really added to the visitors’ pain after the interval as Connor Okus put the game realistically beyond doubt on 53 minutes. Hassan Nalbant made it four goals in his first two games for the club with another double here [67’ & 74’] and Martin got his second on the stroke of full-time to make it a chastening day for the E’s, who drop to 16th. Redbridge’s two wins this week put them up to 12th.
St Margaretsbury 0 – 0 Takeley | The Recreation Ground | Att: 40
St Mags put in another stubborn showing to hold Takeley at the Rec to a goalless stalemate. The hosts now have only lost two of their last eight games now and stay 9th. Takeley’s five-match winning run ended here though they still drop to third.
‘Stow responded from a rare loss in midweek to Takeley with a superb showing to defeat Manor at Wadham Lodge. The bulk of the damage was done in the first half and started just two minutes in as Callum Ibe scored against his former club. Dwade James struck another treble [14’, 27’ & 28’] to really sour the visitors’ afternoon and Emiel Aiken added a fifth for the relentless hosts just after the half-hour. Aiken got his second on 71 minutes and substitute Lewis Francis added a late seventh to roar Ryan Maxwell’s side back into second spot and join Hadley as the joint-highest league goal-scorers so far this term. It’s five defeats in their last six for Manor who remain third-bottom.
Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up of the Essex Senior League action, which includes matches from the seven league matches plus one Errington Cup tie on Saturday 26th October. Thanks for reading.
The ‘Fosters finally broke their recent run of three consecutive defeats as they edged Bengal in an enthralling contest at Chalk Lane. Ned Clarke opened the scoring after just four minutes to put the hosts ahead. Sporting responded with 17 minutes on the clock through the returning David Vaughan, though conceded an own goal two minutes later as player-manager Ryan Wade’s side had the edge. Curtley McIntosh levelled things up once again right on the half-hour. Cockfosters took the lead for the third time three minutes before the interval as Billy Healey’s goal helped them lead 3 – 2 at said interval. Two goals in three minutes midway in the second-half really turned the game in the hosts’ favour as Healey got his second of the match on 65 minutes, before a penalty by Wade himself two minutes later made it 5 – 2 to Cockfosters.
Sporting got themselves back into the match, also from the penalty spot with thirteen minutes to play through Ashaan Siddik and with the match getting increasingly fraught; Siddik converted another spot-kick with six minutes remaining to ensure a hugely nervy end to the contest although Bengal still fell to their fourth defeat on-the-spin. They drop to 11th, while ‘Fosters rise to tenth.
Hashtag Utd 3 – 1 Clapton | Chadfields | Att: 118
The Tags made it ten consecutive with this win over the Tons at Chadfields. Tashan Richmond broke the stalemate with only two minutes gone, before recent recruit Danny Smith made it two just before the hour with an unorthodox goal from deep. George Smith rounded off another good day’s work for Jay Devereux’s team with the third on 66 minutes. Mario Gjini struck for Clapton two minutes later to wreck any hopes of a clean sheet though overall Hashtag will be delighted as they extend their lead at the summit to four points.
Hoddesdon Town 4 – 1 Saffron Walden Town | Lowfield | Att: 121
Hoddesdon roared back from a three-match winless streak here to defeat in-form Saffron Walden at Lowfield. A cagey first half-hour was forgotten as Joss Lillis put the Lilywhites ahead five minutes before the break. Jordan Halls made it two for Hoddesdon just two minutes after the resumption though Charlie Cole’s penalty halved the arrears for the Bloods with 55 minutes gone. However, there was to be no comeback for Walden this time as Cyrus Babaie made it 3 – 1 to the hosts on 65 minutes. Lillis then grabbed his second of the match three minutes later to crown off a fine afternoon for Simon Riddle’s team and hand Walden their first league defeat of the campaign. Hoddesdon rise to sixth, with Walden conceding ground to leaders Hashtag after their loss. Best wishes go to forward Nathan Scarborough who picked up a nasty injury in this match, wish you a speedy recovery Nathan.
Walthamstow overwhelmed Manor at Southchurch Park to maintain their own winning run in the league. Ryan Maxwell’s side took the lead in this one thanks to the first converted spot-kick of the afternoon by talisman Dwade James. That was added to with fifteen minutes remaining as James again scored, again from 12 yards. Larry Akanbi gave Manor a shot at a result with his goal for Manor with ten minutes left. James then struck a third penalty of the afternoon with seven minutes remaining to pretty much end the contest. Substitute Emiel Aiken got a late fourth to make it five straight league wins and elevate themselves to third spot, eight points off leaders Hashtag with three matches in hand. Manor’s third defeat in succession meant they fell to third-bottom though are still nine points clear of bottom side Sawbridgeworth.
St Margaretsbury 1 – 1 Sawbridgeworth Town | The Rec | Att: 49
All the drama was saved for the latter stages of this local derby as Sawbridgeworth held St Mags at the Rec and got their first point of the season in the process. Daniel Palmer put the hosts ahead two minutes into added-time though just as Ray Bartlett & Tony Wild’s side thought they have got the points, more dramas was afoot. Harry Bushell levelled things barely a minute later to finally end their eleven-match losing run. St Margaretsbury are unbeaten in their last four matches now, as they reside in 8th spot.
Takeley 0 – 2 Hadley | Station Road | Att: 71
Hadley battled both Takeley and the elements to record a good win at Station Road. The visitors broke the deadlock on 19 minutes as Cameron Ferguson headed in at the back post from full-back Bradley Marriott’s pinpoint cross. After both sides had traded chances, it was the ‘Bricks’ who sealed the points thanks to Luke Jupp’s low strike with 66 minutes on the watch. Hadley leapfrog Takeley into 5th spot after this win, whereas Takeley fall to 7th, a point behind the top five. I attended this match and you can read my report here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/10/27/match-report-takeley-0-2-hadley-sat-26-oct/
Tower Hamlets 2 – 3 Stansted | Mile End | Att: 40
The Airportmen got a second straight league win as they battled hard to overcome a vibrant Hamlets side at a very wet Mile End Stadium. The visitors goals came from Billy Coyne [31’], Luke Hirst [35’] and Ryan Ramsey fourteen minutes from time. Suiabo Balde got another double to keep his fine record of goal-scoring going for the hosts though ultimately the hosts two-match winning run ended here. Stansted rise above Hamlets into 14th, six points above the bottom two.
Saturday 26th October – Errington Challenge Cup
Redbridge 4 – 0 Enfield | Oakside | Att: 48
The Motormen overwhelmed Enfield at Oakside to book their place in their next round. Micky Wetherall’s side took the lead here thanks to Tony Martin’s strike with twenty minutes gone. Just before the interval, Taylor Tombides got his name on the score-sheet before Redbridge wrapped things up here in the latter stages. Martin got his second of the afternoon with twelve minutes remaining before substitute Daniel Gilchrist made it four in added-time.