Round-up : Essex Senior League/ FA Cup FRQ & Eastern Senior South (Sat 7 September) [ESL 19/20 8.9.19]

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Action Still from West Essex v Woodford Town [ESL 7.9.19] [Image: Scott W]

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to the latest of my round-up pieces on the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign, with results in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round involving the three remaining ESL sides plus the results from the Eastern Senior League action this weekend.

 

Essex Senior League

Saturday 7th September

Cockfosters  2 – 1  Tower Hamlets  | Chalk Lane  | Att: 38

Two goals in three minutes was enough for the ‘Fosters to defeat Hamlets at Chalk Lane. Billy Healey opened the scoring for the hosts on 31 minutes, before player-boss Ryan Wade’s spot-kick two minutes later put the hosts in a strong position. In-form Suaibo Balde struck again for Damien Briggs’ team though they still fell to their sixth league defeat this term. Cockfosters are unbeaten since the opening day now in the league.

 

 

Enfield  4 – 4  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Woodside   | Att: 65

The game of the day for goals was certainly at Woodside as Enfield drew 4 – 4 with Bengal. The E’s took the lead after just four minutes thanks to Alfie Cleal though Bobby Redwood nullified that lead for Imrul Gazi’s side on 18 minutes. Cleal struck again on 26 minutes before Nana Asamoah made it 3 – 1 to the hosts eight minutes afterward. The momentum continued to swing in this entertaining again as Redwood struck twice more to claim his treble before the interval [43’ & 45’] to ensure it was level. Komal Lleweyn-Reid netted eight minutes after the resumption to hand Matt Hanning’s side the lead again. It wasn’t to last though as Curtley McIntosh netted on the hour for the visitors as this one ended honours-even,

 

Ilford  3 – 0  Clapton   | Cricklefield  | Att: 37

This quickly-convened encounter saw the Foxes defeat the Tons at Cricklefield. Nicolas Keyamo put the hosts ahead on 12 minutes before returning centre-back Steve Sylvester made it two eight minutes into the second-half. Clifford Newby-Harris also netted four minutes later as Morgan LaForce’s side got their second successive league win, while Clapton fell to defeat.

 

Redbridge  2 – 3  Saffron Walden Town  | Oakside  | Att: 73

Walden saw of the threat of the Motormen to grab the win at Oakside. Jason Maher’s side led proceedings on five minutes thanks to Gavin Cockman’s opener. Taylor Tombides kept up his goal-scoring form with the hosts’ leveller ten minutes before the break though a strong start after the interval for the Bloods was a telling factor here. First, Jack Isherwood struck on 51 minutes before Cockman got his second of the afternoon midway through the second half. Tombides got a second for the hosts late on to ensure a nervy end though Walden held on to go top, and are still unbeaten.

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  2 – 3  Hashtag Utd  | Crofters

Hashtag recovered from a poor start to grab all three points at Crofters. Sawbo started well and led by two goals thanks to Aaron Donaldson and Harry Bushell. Veteran Neil Richmond came off the bench and soon levelled things up with a brace [71’ & 86’] before George Smith got the decisive goal with moments remaining as the Tags got their fourth straight league win. Sawbo remain bottom though the signs are more promising than it looked a month ago.

 

Stansted  1 – 1  St Margaretsbury   | Hargrave Park  | Att: 48

St Margs’ continued their decent mini-run with a draw against Stansted at Hargrave Park. Wisley Baltazar got his second goal in as many games with the opener two minutes after the interval for the visitors. The Airportmen did get a point though as Jack Mitchell struck with 19 minutes remaining, though they haven’t won in the league since the opening day now.

 

West Essex  3 – 2  Woodford Town   | Mayesbrook Park  | Att: 28

West got the points in a hard-fought, high-tempo match at Mayesbrook Park. Michael Mignot got another double here, along with a powerful header by skipper Tom MacLeod. Town levelled on two occasions here through Samir Ali and an OG. I attended this match & my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/09/07/match-report-west-essex-3-2-woodford-town-sat-7th-sept-esl/

 

Eastern Senior League South Results

Friday 6th September  – Frenford 2 – 3  Benfleet

 

Saturday 7th September

Brightlingsea Regent Res  0 – 1  Harwich & Parkeston

Burnham Ramblers  0 – 1  Lopes Tavares

Coggeshall Utd  2 – 2  White Ensign

Halstead Town 5 – 0 Fire Utd

Little Oakley  7 – 0  Wormley Rovers

Wivenhoe Town 6 – 2 Hackney Wick

 

FA Cup Image

The FA Cup  – First Round Qualifying  (ESL Sides) Results

Saturday 7th September

Hadley  3 – 2  Arlesey Town  | Brickfield Lane  | Att: 127

The Bricks continued their fine FA Cup run with a win over Arlesey Town at Brickfield Lane. The goal-getters for Anthony Clark’s side were Shaz Anwar, another spot-kick by Alfie Bartram and one from in-form forward Solomon Ofori. Charlie Thake and James Hatch responded for Town though the ‘fortress’ is holding at present for the ESL side.

 

Takeley  0 – 1  Potters Bar Town  | Station Road | Att: 166

After denying White Ensign in extra-time in the last round, it was Takeley’s turn to feel the heart-break here as an added-time goal sealed progression for Step 3 side Potters Bar in front of a very decent crowd at Station Road. Bradley Sack was the hero for the visitors as they FA Cup journey goes on.

 

 

Sun 8th Sept  – Aylesbury Utd  0 – 3  Walthamstow  (to be updated)

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Match Summary: Ilford 1 – 2 Enfield (Sat 31 August) [FAV FRQ 31.8.19]

The FA Vase – First Round Qualifying

Venue: Cricklefield

2019-20 Season: Match 18

Saturday 31st August 2019 – 3pm KO

Ilford: Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Enfield: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Yellow Socks

 

 

Enfield battle hard to defeat Ilford in the FA Vase First Qualifying Round

Ilford 1 – 2 Enfield

 

Summary & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello readers, due to the chaos that lined the A13 in Western Essex on Saturday, it was tough to even get to a game (annoyingly) so we had to divert to this still intriguing all-ESL FA Vase tie at Cricklefield between Ilford and Enfield. Because I missed the start of the match, the following will be a shorter report than usual, apologies in advance but I still wanted to get something out regarding this match.

Ilford named a fairly strong XI for this one with mainstay Hugo Rossetti retaining the gloves, Tyson Talanya and Lewis Wicker as the full-backs, and Valter Simao and Nicholas Keyamo on the flanks, with youth product Ryan O’Connell and Josh Kraus among those on the bench. Enfield also named a strong side, with Josh Flynn at right-back, loanee Michael Salako joining Alfie Mason in attack with Alfie Cleal and Dean Wallace among the options from the substitutes’ bench.

Ilford had raced into a first-minute lead through Jerold Cobblah, though that early advantage was erased as the E’s restored parity with Michael Salako getting the final touch, and that was after the referee had over-ruled his assistant’s initial flag, presumably for off-side.

After the unorthodox leveller, there were a number of tussles in midfield as both sides looked to grab the momentum. On the half-hour, Ilf centre-back Clifford Newby-Harris poked wide of the right-side post as the edged that phase of the game. Enfield were starting to come back into things in terms of ball retention though still couldn’t quite test Rossetti enough in the Ilford goal. That was until five minutes before the interval as E’s centre-back Josh Woodcock aimed well with a low drive that crept under the goalkeeper’s legs to pass into the net.

The drama wasn’t over there though in an increasingly bizarre period of the match as not one but two Enfield players were sin-binned within seconds of each other, it was midfielder Nana Asamoah and forward Michael Salako who both had to sit out the opening part of the second half.

Half-Time: Ilford 1 – 2 Enfield

Ilford showed they were not out of the contest seven after the break as midfielder Freddie Oakman curled a lovely effort which cannoned off the crossbar before a good pass in by Enfield forward Alfie Mason fed Salako though he couldn’t get the power on the header so Rossetti could come in to gather. It has to be mentioned that Ilf winger Nicolas Keyamo certainly was a headache for the opposition with his pace, trickery and crossing.

Salako was certainly posing a threat for Matt Hanning’s team with his pace and strength though as we entered the latter stages of the tie, it was Mason’s fierce drive that needed a good save by Rossetti to parry the ball out of danger. Ilford certainly put their visitors under pressure in the latter stages though Enfield could have sealed the match as a surging run by Mason down the middle was only denied by a adept interception by Newby-Harris. E’s midfielder Joe Pattison also struck the right-sided post with a firm header in added-time and it was the E’s who ultimately went through to the next round where I believe they will face Enfield Borough.

Full-Time: Ilford 1 – 2 Enfield

 

The frustration for the hosts was understandable though they did have some notable performances today. Defender Clifford Newby-Harris had another good display, as did winger Nicolas Keyamo. For Enfield, the stern backline of Lleweyn-Reid and Woodcock recovered from a few shaky moments, with Thoma the additional anchor in front of them. Messrs Salako and Mason also linked up well in the forward line.

 

Teams

Ilford | Manager: Morgan LaForce

Hugo Rossetti (GK), Tyson Talanya, Lewis Wicker, Santana Porter, Clifford Newby-Harris, Freddie Oakman (Haaroon Belaid 61’), Valter Simao, Said Ali, Felix Laws-Cochrane, Jerold Cobblah, Nicolas Keyamo (Josh Kraus 72’)

Goal-scorers: Jerold Cobblah  [1’]

Subs Not Used: O’Connell, A Embalo, Tolley

 

Enfield    | Manager: Matt Hanning

Lewis Hawley (GK), Josh Flynn, Kevin Bondjanga, Komal Lleweyn-Reid, Josh Woodcock, Matt Thoma (Alfie Cleal 62’), Joe Pattison, Nana Asamoah (Dean Wallace 65’), Michael Salako, Alfie Mason, Ben Bradbury (Capt) (Josiah Ereku 80’)

Goal-scorers: Michael Salako [11’], Josh Woodcock [40’]

Booked: Pattison | Sin-Binned: Asamoah & Salako | Subs Not Used: Shakes, Gormley

 

Match Report: Ilford 1 – 0 Tower Hamlets (Wed 21st Aug) [ESL 19/20 22.8.19]

ESL Badge

Essex Senior League

2019-20 Season: Match 15

Wednesday 21st August – 7.45pm KO

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: TBA

Ilford:  Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue & White Socks

Hamlets: Orange Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

 

Ilford edge this battle with Hamlets at Cricklefield

Ilford  1 – 0  Tower Hamlets

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

Our latest trip took me back to Cricklefield for this Essex Senior League encounter between Ilford and Tower Hamlets – two sides that have undergone management changes and hefty squad turnovers as well in the summer. Ilford were somewhat under-strength here with midfielder Connor Kain unavailable though could name goalkeeper Hugo Rossetti, the only survivor from last season’s regular side, in their starting XI. Former Watford and Norwich midfielder Clint Easton (who is also assistant manager) lined up at centre-back at the princely age of 41, respect to you Clint for ‘giving back’ to the game. The front two were Joshua Ekada and Valter Simao with academy graduate Ryan O’Connell and Felix Laws-Cochrane on the flanks. Hamlets’ management and squad are largely the team that competed for their reserve side in the Essex Alliance League last season with Anthony Folkes skippering the side, Jack Gannon in goal and a front three of Miles Mercury, Deese Kasinga-Madia and the hat-trick hero from last Saturday’s win at Sawbridgeworth, Ezra Ndukuba.

The first sighter of goal came on five minutes as Ilf winger Felix Laws-Cochrane’s strike at the near-post was gathered by visiting goalkeeper Jack Gannon. At the other end, Hamlets forward Miles Mercury had shown some neat touches in the early-going and his good forward run on 12 minutes ended with a shot lacking the power to beat home custodian Hugo Rossetti. Hamlets did have the edge overall in the first-half in what was growing to be a pretty lifeless match, with both sides cancelling each other out in midfield. With 25 minutes on the clock, visiting wing-back Anthony Musoke cut inside well though his drive at goal was gathered by Rossetti before it snuck inside the near post. The hosts suffered a blow when defender Clint Easton was forced off on the half-hour, to be replaced by Santana Porter. As half-time approached, a powerful long ball from centre-back Jedidiah Brown-Johnson found forward Ezra Ndukuba though his header couldn’t bypass Rossetti to break the deadlock.

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Half-time: Ilford  0 – 0  Tower Hamlets

As the second-half progressed, the match continued to be rather devoid of ‘stand-out’ moments or clear-cut chances. Seven minutes into the second-half, right-back Tyson Talanya’s stinging cross forced ‘keeper Gannon to remain alert to gather ahead of the opposition forwards. With less than twenty minutes remaining on the watch, a good delivery from an Ilford corner found Simao who headed wide.

The hosts had to play the last eleven minutes with ten men after full-back Talanya hobbled off and Morgan LaForce’s team had already used all three substitutes. At that point, you may thought this match would have trickled its way to a goalless stalemate. Not so though. With ten minutes left, substitute Nic Keyamo forced his way into the area with a good run and just when he was poised to strike, Hamlets midfielder Kahlil Kirwan-Meade snuffed out the chance with a well-timed challenge under pressure. As it happened though, the breakthrough came moments later as after another corner caused some anxiousness in the Hamlets defence, centre-back Clifford Newby-Harris powered in a strike from close range to hand his side their first win of the campaign.

Full-Time: Ilford  1 – 0  Tower Hamlets

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Ilford held out to get all three points in a match they may not have enjoyed much, though in fairness they did edge the second-half. Stand-outs for me today were winger Felix Laws-Cochrane who looked to get things going, centre-back Newbuy-Harris who did well after Easton was substituted and full-back Lewis Wicker. For Hamlets, midfielder Kahlil Kirwan-Meade and forward Miles Merciry did well and for both sides you suspect this is going to be a ‘learning’ season and there will be peaks & downturns along the way.

Finally, my thanks to Steve & the Ilford committee for the welcome pre-match & wish the side well this term. Best wishes to Hamlets for the reminder of the campaign as well.

Teams

Ilford  | Manager: Morgan LaForce | Player-Assistant Mgr: Clint Easton

Hugo Rossetti (GK), Tyson Talanya, Lewis Wicker, Clint Easton (Santana Porter 30′), Clifford Newby-Harris, Connor Duffey, Felix Laws-Cochrane, Said Ali, Joshua Ekada (Nic Keyamo 46′), Valter Simao, Ryan O’Connell (Aiden Tolley 66′)

Goal-scorer: Clifford Newby-Harris [81′]

Booked: Newby-Harris | Subs Not Used: Clements, Browne.

Tower Hamlets      | Manager: Damien Briggs

Jack Gannon (GK), Benas Vaivada, Anthony Musoke, Alan Zuqolli, Jedidiah Brown-Johnson, Joshua Rusoke, Kahlil Kirwan-Meade, Miles Mercury (Yoan Edoukou 60′), Deese Kasinga-Madia (Suaibo Balde 46′), Ezra Nudukuba

Booked: Rusoke   | Subs Not Used: Temur, Brookes.

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 16/Sat 17 August) [ESL 19/20 15.8.19]

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Still from Hashtag Utd v S Manor on August 7th (Image: Scott W)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to another of my weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign. After a frenetic two weeks of ESL & FA Cup matches which involved replays for a few of our sides, the league programme to take centre stage, hot on the heels of the Replays that two of our sides had in midweek.

 

Friday 9th August – 7.45pm KO

 

Woodford Town v West Essex   | the Harlow Arena

The weekend kicks off with Woodford back in action just 48 hours after their battle with White Ensign in the FA Cup Extra Prelim Round Replay which went to extra-time on Wednesday night. They face a West Essex who also went out of the FA Cup this week so both teams may feel they have to ‘get back in the saddle’ with a league triumph. If both sides play near their best, this could be another corker of a match given both teams’ attacking nature. Have to go with my gut instinct which says a narrow West win, purely because they’ve had three more days to recover from their last match than their hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Saturday 10th August – 3pm KO

 

Enfield    v   Cockfosters  | Woodside

Our look at the Saturday action begins at Woodside as Enfield welcome Cockfosters. The E’s haven’t had the best week with a loss in their long trip to Fairford Town last weekend in the Cup before getting narrowly beaten by Hoddesdon in midweek, also at home. Their only win in their opening three has come at home though, ten days ago at home to Stansted so there are signs they could make their new home a fortress, which you sense boss Matt Hanning & co will want to do. Cockfosters may be ‘riding high’ after progression in the FA Cup with a win over Eastern Senior League South side Leyton Athletic last weekend, which was followed by a super comeback to draw at home to Ilford in midweek. Player-boss Ryan Wade scored twice in that latter match and I can see this one perhaps being a draw as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Hadley  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Brickfield Lane

The Bricks return to ‘home comforts’ after a good win over ESL side Redbridge in the FA Cup last weekend. Anthony Clark’s team have scored ten goals in their three matches in League & Cup thus far so that is a record they will want to keep adding to at this early stage of the season. Bengal were overpowered by Walthamstow in the Cup last weekend and will seek to avoid a repeat here. Imrul Gazi’s side are not one to under-estimate though in my view they will need to improve defensively to get anything out of this away-day. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Ilford  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Cricklefield

Ilford are at home once again as they welcome the Lilywhites to Cricklefield. Morgan LaForce’s Foxes have had a mixed week at best. Last weekend wasn’t a happy one as they exited the FA Cup with a home loss to Eastern Senior League South side Harwich & Parkeston. That said, their midweek exploits was better as they battled to an entertaining draw at Cockfosters, which was their first points of the campaign. Hoddesdon have had a brighter week with a good win over Brantham Athletic in the FA Cup before a good away performance in the win at Enfield on Wednesday night. If Simon Riddle’s side keep stern in defence then it could be an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Redbridge   v   Hashtag Utd  | Oakside

The Motormen entertain Hashtag Utd at Oakside. Micky Wetherall’s side played their part in their recent two matches, before succumbing to successive defeats at Hadley and Takeley in the FA Cup and league respectively in the past week, despite four goals in those two games. Jay Devereux’s Hashtag outfit will be buoyed after a late five-goal flourish in a hefty win over Tower Hamlets in midweek at Chadfields. This is a tricky one to call as both sides have the firepower to score goals though will narrowly go with ‘the Tags’.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Tower Hamlets  | Crofters

Sawbo welcome Hamlets to Crofters. These two sides had many battles last term though since then both have had rather extensive squad changes and their recent results suggest that those changes will take time to settle. Sawbridgeworth went out of the Cup with a home loss to Step 6 side Halstead Town last weekend though did score in that match. Hamlets did triumph in the Cup last weekend with a battling win over Selsey at Mile End though had a chastening end to their match at Hashtag in midweek. Manager Damien Briggs will want to get that out result out of his team’s systems. Instinct says a narrow win for the hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Takeley  v  Saffron Walden Town  | Station Road

Takeley face Saffron Walden in an early-season belter at Station Road. Marc Das’ side has started the season in a spritely fashion and backed that up in the last week with wins in League & Cup. First, a good victory at Crawley Green in the Cup last weekend was followed by a hard-fought win at Redbridge in the league in midweek. Forward Bryn Thorpe has notched five goals in all competitions already though this match represents arguably their toughest test yet. Walden also progressed in the FA Cup with a narrow win over Baldock Town last weekend and you do sense their forward line will click into goal-scoring touch sooner or later. Takeley powered to a good win in this fixture last season so Jason Maher’s team may have that in their minds too. Draw in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Walthamstow  v  Stansted       | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Finally this weekend, another potential corker awaits as ‘Stow entertain Stansted at Wadham Lodge. Ryan Maxwell’s side have started the season as they mean to go on, in regards to goal-scoring. They progressed in the Cup with a big win over Sporting Bengal last weekend though following that match, it was revealed that promising forward Samrai Gebrai has departed for Step 3 Canvey Island. Stansted had a hiccup last Sunday as they crashed out to Eastern Senior League South side Barkingside in the Cup as they seek to settle following minor squad changes recently. This may be closer than some think though hard to go against another home triumph.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

That’s all for this edition of the ESL preview blogs. Check back on Sunday/Monday  when I’ll have the round-up of what happened in this weekend’s matches of the 2019 – 20 Essex Senior League season. Thanks for reading.

Preview: Essex Senior League Matchday 1 (Sat 3rd Aug) (ESL 19/20 1.8.19)

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Hullbridge won the ESL last term, who will get their hands on the trophy in April? (Image: SW)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to the first of a new season of weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign. The opening day sees everyone except Hashtag Utd in action and two of the fancied sides at home. Two of the new clubs in Cockfosters and Hadley are also face their debut in the division with intriguing opposition.  Here are my thoughts on the nine matches this weekend.

Saturday 3rd August – 3pm KO

 

Clapton  v  Hoddesdon Town   | Old Spotted Dog

It’s the beginning of a new era for the management at Clapton as Glen Kendall takes charge for the first competitive match as the Tons welcome the Lilywhites to the Old Spotted Dog. Previous incumbent Jon Fowell did well in his near three-season reign in East London, though this is no easy initiation, given Hoddesdon’s very decent defensive record last term which was the joint fourth-best with Takeley.

Though as they say, the new season is a ‘new book’ to be written and I can see this one being a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Hadley  v  Enfield   |  Brickfield Lane

Hadley enter the ESL fray with a home encounter with Enfield, who finished last term in mid-table. The ‘Bricks’ as they are known, are managed by Anthony Clark and riding high after a 3rd-place finish in their last season in Spartan South Midlands league, prior to their transfer to the ESL. Included in their stats from last term is the small fact that they had the joint-best defence alongside champions Biggleswade.

The first question some may pose is how they will adapt to the rigours of the Essex Senior League and facing an E’s side who will know they have to improve defensively this season will be a good opener. Matt Hanning remains in charge of Enfield though they have moved ground to share at Bishop’s Stortford’s Woodside this season.

I’m hoping to attend this match and it could be a gooden. Have to go with a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Ilford  v  Stansted  | Cricklefield

The Foxes start another new campaign with a new management team, led by ex-Leyton Athletic boss Morgan LaForce. His brief you suspect is to match or better last season’s 10th place finish, which constituted a very respectable season on-the-pitch.

They entertain Stansted, a side who have also seen a change in the dugout. Last season’s co-boss Marc Benterman has headed off to Witham Town though that role has been filled pretty much by ex-Sawbridgeworth Town stalwart John Watters. The Airportmen lost out by five points to champions Hullbridge in the league but after being triumphant in both the Gordon Brasted Trophy and Errington Challenge Cup Finals, you trying telling them it wasn’t a really good season!!

Stand-out goalkeeper Charlie Turner may have moved on though most of the squad remains from last season, and they will be aiming for another strong campaign. Away win in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Redbridge   v   St Margaretsbury  | Oakside

Meanwhile, Redbridge welcome ‘Bury to Oakside on the opening day. Micky Wetherall’s team will be looking to harness the strong end to last season they had to get their 12th-place finish after their woes in the first half of the campaign. St Margs had their own tough spell last term, though under new boss Jon Fowell, they will hope for another decent campaign. My gut says there might be goals in this one and therefore I’m plumping for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  West Essex  | Catons Lane

In their own opening match of the campaign, much-fancied Saffron Walden face the Stags at Catons Lane. Jason Maher’s side have recruited well over the summer and will want to ‘lay down a marker’ in the opening month of the season you feel.

That said, West won this exact fixture in February and they begin their season with a series of league away matches, due to the pitch issues at landlords Barking , where they play. This match on paper sounds a tough assignment for Kwame Kwateng’s side so early on so in that respect, will head for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Sawbridgeworth Town   v  Woodford Town   | Crofters

At Crofters, Sawbridgeworth begin their new era under former Reserve team boss Lee Mackman, with Woodford Town being the visitors. From what we hear on the grapevine, there have been squad changes at Sawbo and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly they find their rhythm.

Woodford may have lost skipper & centre-back Jack Grosvenor to Walthamstow though the bulk of their promising squad remain and on the back of an impressive 6th place last term, if Dee Safer’s team keep that ‘winning habit’ they could be in for another strong campaign. Away win here for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Southend Manor  v  Sporting Bengal Utd     | Southchurch Park

Sporting Bengal begin their season with a trip to Southchurch Park to face Manor. Another ‘new dawn’ is starting at the Southend-based side though manager Adam Peek will have learned much from a tough campaign last term you suspect.

Imrul Gazi’s side is broadly the same as last season though influential skipper Freddy Tandon moved on during the close season, signing for Eastern Senior League South side Frenford. Their last two campaigns in the league have both broken club records in terms of points gained and this match could be a tough battle to start for both teams. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 1

 

Takeley  v  Cockfosters  | Station Road

Takeley entertain new ESL outfit Cockfosters at Station Road. Forward Reece Barrett has returned to the club, where he will be joined by stalwart goalkeeper Ronnie Yates and midfielder Mitchell Das once again. Cockfosters recruited former St Margaretsbury assistant Tony Faulkner in the summer alongside Ryan Wade and Nick Mountford. The North London side only just kept their Step 5 status in the Spartan South Midlands league last term and we’ll see how long it takes for them to adapt to the ESL.

Home win, in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Walthamstow  v  Tower Hamlets       | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Finally, one of the ESL ‘Title contenders’ in Walthamstow face Tower Hamlets at Wadham Lodge. ‘Stow have added the likes of Ryan Reed and Jamie Bennett to what was on paper at least a strong squad from April. Importantly, prolific forward Dwade James remains their focal point for goals.

By contrast, Tower Hamlets’ squad are in the middle of a rebuild after they saw boss AJ Ashinike depart to join former mentor Allan Fenn at Fisher FC. The Mile End side may take time to settle into the season though here they may well face a ‘Stow side hungry to get off to a strong start. Have to say home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

That’s all for the opening day’s preview. Check back on Sunday when I’ll have the round-up of what happened at the start of the 2019 – 20 Essex Senior League season. Thanks for reading.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 6 Apr) [ESL 7.4.19]

The Gazi's (Imrul + Raul) Image - Andy W (SM v SB 6.4.19)
The Gazi’s, Imrul & Raul playing in same back four for Bengal v Manor this weekend

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] | Thanks to @Wilkins_media for photo

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League round-up, here on my blog. More important points were won throughout the division, how did your side get on? Thanks for reading. The last league round-up of the season will be on Sunday/Monday April 28/29.

Sat 6 April

Clapton  1 – 1  Hoddesdon Town | Old Spotted Dog | Att:

The Tons battled to another home draw, this time against stubborn Hoddesdon. In-form Giovanni Palmer struck for Jon Fowell’s team while Connor Bolton netted for the Lilywhites, who drop one to tenth after this result. Clapton drop to 12th. Both sides haven’t won in their last three league matches now.

 

Ilford  3 – 1  Stanway Rovers   | Cricklefield  | Att: 64

The Foxes came from behind to beat inconsistent Stanway at Cricklefield. A peach of a strike from Tyler Kemp on 14 minutes put Rovers ahead, though Alejandro Seoane-Barber restored parity for Martin Haywood’s side three minutes later. Lamarr Douglas put the home side ahead from the spot on 67 before Callum Maltese’s free-kick eight minutes later sealed a third straight win for Ilf which takes them up to 9th. Stanway stay 15th.

 

Redbridge  1 – 0   Leyton Athletic   |  Oakside   | Att: 48

The Motormen got the points after this tense win over strugglers Leyton at Oakside. Daniel McCullock got the only goal 19 minutes from time to end a three-match losing run and rise to the heady heights of 11th in the table, four points off the top-ten. Ath’s fourth straight loss keeps them two points off Barkingside though Morgan Le Force’s side have two home matches left, they are against Takeley and Stansted respectively. They’ll need to win at least one of those to avert finishing bottom.

Sawbridgeworth Town  0 – 3  Tower Hamlets     | Crofters  | Att: 21

These two bottom-four sides faced off for the fifth time this season and once again, Hamlets prevailed. A brace from Ijhal Currie-Wilson and one from Georgio Exakoidis were enough to give Hamlets their 11th win this term and move above Sawbo in the standings.

 

Southend Manor   3 – 1   Sporting Bengal Utd   | Southchurch Park | Att: 65

Manor defeated Bengal in a match that will go down as one for the Non-League statisticians out there. Manager Imrul Gazi had to be drafted in as an emergency centre-back, playing alongside his son Raul at full-back in what is a rare occurrence in the Non-League game. Three goals in a devastating 15-minute spell did the damage for Manor, as William Purdy opened his side’s account on the hour. Harry Rogers [73’] and recent talisman Michael Ogboin [75’] also struck to confirm the points. Ashaan Siddik got a superb consolation for Sporting, though their focus now turns to their Peter Butcher Trophy Semi-Final at Aveley Reserves in midweek. Manor remain 16th as their fine form continues.

 

Stansted  2 – 1  Woodford Town | Hargrave Park  | Att: 88 | ‘Kick It Out’ Match

Stansted recovered from an early setback to keep the title race alive in this designated ‘Kick It Out’ match at Hargrave Park. Asher Modeste gave a depleted Town the lead twenty minutes in, though Sam West levelled ten minutes later for the hosts. Rob Norris’ pile-driver midway through the second half secured the win , Stansted’s 25th of the campaign. They remain two points shy of Hullbridge in 2nd. Woodford will finish in 6th spot in what’s been a fine season for the Towners.

 

Takeley  8  – 1  Barkingside   | Station Road | Att: 64

Takeley really ‘turned on the style’ as they demolished ‘Side 8 – 1 at Station Road. Playing in a more forward role, Bryn Thorpe started proceedings with his first of the afternoon after only four minutes. Andre Humphrey made it two twenty minutes in though David Ottley struck four minutes later for the visitors so at the break, Alex Goldstone’s side may have thought they had a shot at a result. That hope was utterly extinguished after the break as Thorpe got his second three minutes after the re-start, swiftly followed a minute later by substitute Dan Hawkes to make it 4 – 1 to the hosts. ‘Side had Ricardo Bailey dismissed and succumbed in the latter stages to a damaging defeat with Thorpe bagging his hat-trick with 15 minutes left. Fellow substitute Ryan Lynch bagged a late brace [85’ & 90’] either side of Thorpe’s fourth of the afternoon to claim a huge win for Marc Das’ side which secured 5th place for them this term.

‘Side’s goal difference took a hammering here, and it is now only two goals better than Leyton, though they remain two points above their rivals.

Walthamstow  4  – 0  St Margaretsbury    |Wadham Lodge | Att: 81

‘Stow ended their season at Wadham Lodge with another good performance in a strong win over ‘Bury. Dwade James put the hosts ahead on the stroke of half-time before Kieran Bishop’s goal [67’] and a Nick Symons’ thunder-bolt seven minutes later sealed the win. Tage Kennedy put further gloss on the result though despite the win, results elsewhere dictated that Ryan Maxwell’s team are out of the title reckoning. A great season nonetheless for the ‘Waltham Rabble’ to savour this term and a win in their last match will secure third spot. St Margs are probably focusing their energy on the GBT Final in two weeks’ time and stay 8th after a fourth straight loss.

 

West Essex    0 – 2  Hullbridge Sports    |  Mayesbrook Park | Att: 53

Hullbridge had to overcome a feisty battle with the improving Stags at Mayesbrook to grab another hugely important three points. After an own goal had put them ahead on 27 minutes, Yemi Adelani underlined the importance of having goal-scorers in your side with the second on 66 minutes. Only one loss in their last ten puts ‘Bridge in the ‘box seat’ for promotion and if they better rivals Stansted’s result next weekend that could be enough to ‘seal the deal’ with regards to the title. West’s first loss in four league matches sees them drop to 13th, six points away from a top-ten spot.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Fri 29/Sat 30 Mar) [ESL 1.4.19]

Turner punches out from danger (St v Hul ESL 30.3.19)
Stansted’s Charlie Turner punches ball away [Image: Neil H] 

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League round-up, as we hit the last month or so of the league season. Thanks for reading.

Fri 29 Mar

Woodford Town  3 – 1  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Harlow Arena | Att: 118

The weekend’s ties started with this success for Woodford in a hard-fought encounter with Sawbridgeworth. Sawbo took the lead on 17 minutes through Aaron Thomas though couldn’t maintain that lead until the interval as Asher Modeste levelled for the Towners on 34 minutes. Modeste got his second on 63 minutes before Samir Ali rounded out the scoring ten minutes from time. Sawbo ‘keeper James Askew did save a Town penalty though Sawbo’s winless run extends to ten matches, the worst in the division. Dee Safer’s side rounded out their stay at Harlow with their fifth win in their last ten matches overall.

 

Sat 23 Mar

Clapton  2 – 2  Stanway Rovers    |  Old Spotted Dog  | Att: 87

The Tons were held by Rovers in the mid-table clash at the Old Spotted Dog. Giovanni Palmer and Ali Al-Nashi struck for Jon Fowell’s side though Stanway showed their knack of scoring late goals again as Tyrone Scarlett got their first on 56 minutes before Scott Kemp got their second in added time. Boss Terry Spillane surprisingly departed Rovers this week and Rovers have announced Danny Slatter will see out the season as interim manager.

Enfield       1 – 3     Barkingside     | Harlow Arena  | Att: 51

‘Side got a huge result with a this win at Enfield. Edward Lang broke the deadlock on 29 minutes though the bulk of the twists came after the break. Powerful centre-back Derek O’Halem doubled the visitors’ lead on the hour though Jimmy Cox kept up his recent goal-scoring run with the E’s goal seven minutes later. Isaac Marfo had the last word though as his strike 14 minutes from time sealed the win for Alex Goldstone’s side which lifts them off the bottom.

Hoddesdon Town  1 – 2  Southend Manor  | Lowfield | Att: 79

Manor got another fine win, this time over Hoddy at Lowfield. Kye Jude put Adam Peek’s side ahead five minutes into the second half. Connor Bolton restored parity for the Lilywhites midway through the half though Manorgot their fourth win in their last five thanks to another important goal by recent signing Michael Ogboin on 72 minutes. Hoddy lost ground on a number of sides chasing them for a top-ten berth here.

Ilford  2 – 0  Leyton Athletic  | Cricklefield  | Att: 30

The Foxes did co-tenants Barkingside a favour by beating Leyton at Cricklefield. The hosts had a youthful side out though they certainly had an impact on proceedings, with Alejandro Seoane-Barber breaking the stalemate only ten minutes in. Ryan O’Connell made the points safe with a second on 62 minutes as Ilf’s unbeaten run extends to four matches. Leyton fell back to the foot of the standings after their third straight loss.

 

Redbridge  1 – 4  Tower Hamlets  | Oakside  | Att: 39

Redbridge had another disappointing day as they succumbed to defeat to Hamlets at Oakside. A three-goal blitz from the visitors either side of the half-hour did the bulk of the damage. First, Luka O’Neil opened his account 25 minutes in, before Ryan Atkinson made it two from the spot on the half-hour. O’Neil secured his brace on 35 minutes to give the Motormen a ‘mountain to climb’. Dan Gilchrist set about redicing the deficit with the hosts’ consolation a minute later though Yoan Edoukou made it a great day for AJ Ashinike’s side with the fourth on 64 minutes to complete only their second win in their last seven.

St Margaretsbury   2 – 6  West Essex   | The Rec  | Att: 22

The Stags ran riot over a weakened St Margs side at the Rec. The hosts had to sign at least ten players this week following a mass squad turnover following their recent managerial change. Enzo Periera was the home bright spark’ with a brace here though West are known for ‘making the net bulge’ when their forwards are on-song and that was certainly the case here. Symeon Taylor opened the scoring after only three minutes, with Samraj Gill adding a second five minutes later. Taylor got his second five minutes before the break  before Michael Mignot took centre-stage again with a treble [41’, 87’ & 89’] as Kwame Kwateng’s side roared to a big win which sent them up to 11th, four points adrift of a top-ten spot.

Sporting Bengal Utd  3 – 4  Saffron Walden Town  | Mile End | Att: 30

Saffron Walden produced a stirring comeback to defeat Bengal at Mile End. Talisman Steven Carvell put the hosts in a good position with a brace [17’ & 37’]. Matt Frew pulled one back six minutes before the break for the Bloods though Jason Maher’s team may have feared the worst when Curtley McIntosh restored Sporting’s two-goal lead a minute into the second half. The drama still to come though as first, Lewis Francis [ 78’] reduced the arrears for the visitors before Connor Molloy’s brace [83’ & 87’] turned the tide and gave Walden all three points as they chase a top-three finish.

Stansted  0 – 0  Hullbridge Sports    | Hargrave Park | Att: 183

The big top-two clash saw no goals but plenty of guts and work-rate by both sides as the visitors perhaps were the happier to claim the point as both sides finished with ten men. For more on this match, my report is here:

survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/match-report-stansted-0-0-hullbridge-sports-sat-30-mar-esl/

Walthamstow     2 – 0    Takeley     | Wadham Lodge  | Att: 56

‘Stow know they have to keep winning and they were arguably the ‘winners’ of the day given the above result and their hard-fought win over Takeley. Dwade James strengthened his chances of finishing the season as the ESL’s top goal-scorer with the opener on 17 minutes. Kieran Bishop made it two ust seven minutes later and although Ronnie Yates saved a penalty, they fell to a fourth defeat in their last seven matches.