S22-23 Match Report: Barking 3 – 2 Woodford Town (Sat 22 Apr) [ESL 22-23 23.4.23]

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Mayesbrook Park 3G

Attendance: 73

2022-23 Season: Match 58

Saturday 22nd April 2023 – 3pm KO

Barking: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts & Socks

Woodford: Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts & White Socks

Barking pounce late on to seal narrow win over Woodford in an entertaining close-season match

Barking 3 – 2 Woodford Town

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

The last Saturday of the regular campaign saw an interesting match in the Essex Senior, with Barking welcoming Woodford Town to Mayesbrook Park. The hosts are aiming for a top-six finish while Town are still hoping to crown off a memorable season with a third-placed finish. Both teams made a few changes here, recognising a busy end to their league campaign in two days time, plus Errington Cup Semi-Finals in midweek. Nick Harding’s side had Harvey Simson in goal, with the defence being comprised of full-backs Kyrell Palmer and captain Eljay Worrell, with Kenedi Dariri and Alfie Leach in central defence. Jess Norey & Jack Folan were the central midfielder pair, with Sa-Sean Lutumba & Daniel Brock on the flanks, supporting forwards Sam Shaban and Lauric Diakiesse. Woodford had Sam Soutar in goal, with Miles Mitchell-Nelson, Simon Omope, Lee Sharpe & Luke Steele in their defence. The three-man midfield contained skipper Georges Kebi, James Runham & Ope Mosuro, with Luke Parrott, Ernest Okoh and Dimi Christou the front three here.

Understandably with such a busy last full week of the campaign to come, both sides were a little reserved in their play, and this meant chances were not plentiful. However, visiting goalkeeper Sam Soutar had to be alert to deny rapid Blues forward Sam Shaban’s effort. In the early going at least, it was rather even, as Town forward Ernest Okoh made a few good breaks down the right channel for Shane Baptiste’s side, with winger Sa-Sean Lutumba also showing intent for Blues down their left flank. Both teams were also keen to play their respective brands of possession football on the deck, and just short of the half-hour, the visitors nearly made the breakthrough. A good counter-attack by Town was started by James Runham’s good cross-field ball which found Okoh, and after another good break down the right side, his decent strike was narrowly over home custodian Harvey Simson’s top right corner of the goal.

Barking did break the stalemate right on that half-hour, as good initial work by forward Lauric Diakiesse on the right side saw him find winger Daniel Brock and his good touch found the advancing run of full-back Eljsay Worrell which the Town backline had not tracked, allowing Worrell the chance to slot home calmly, past Soutar into the right corner. It was a well-worked goal but a disappointing one from the visitors’ point of view. Woodford duly responded at the other end and levelled three minutes before the interval. Okoh was finding space well on the right channel, but this time he cut inside well and fired a low drive past Simson at his near post to level things up. Okoh netted his 18th league goal this season here. Town midfielder Runham also had a decent effort which needed the intervention of Simson, after a neat passing move.

HT: Barking 1 – 1 Woodford

You had the feeling that there was more to come in this match, given that both teams were looking dangerous going forward and had good spirit along with it. Woodford struck first ten minutes after the resumption as a good header by captain Georges Kebi found the net to give the visitors the lead for the first time. but this time it was the hosts’ turn to respond well. Midway into the second half, Diakiesse spurned a decent chance as he couldn’t generate enough power in his header to bypass Soutar, who comfortably gathered. Soon afterward though, the Woodford stopper couldn’t gather a dangerous cross, allowing forward Sam Shaban to stroke the ball home from five yards out to level the match once again.

Again to their credit, both sides were looking for the win as we entered the latter stages. The visitors had a decent chance nine minutes from time, as substitute Bailey Brown made a purposeful run down the right channel and his cross found fellow replacement Wale Odedoyin but he could only fire wide of the goal frame when well-placed. Nick Harding’s side had a golden chance to grab all three points with moments remaining, as referee Alex Baker pointed to the penalty spot, having adjudged there to be a handball by a Woodford defender.

Shaban duly stepped up & blasted the ball home from twelve yards, for his second in this game and his fourteenth league goal in all this term. Woodford kept going into added time but ultimately, they didn’t quite have enough on this day to avoid defeat. However, other results meant that if they will finish very likely finish third, which is some achievement. Barking will finish sixth if they win at Sawbridgeworth Town and rivals Newham fail to defeat Romford at home.

Full-Time: Barking 3 – 2 Woodford Town

In summary, this was an entertaining duel between two sides aiming to finish the league season strongly. Both sides had their forays forwards and nervy ones in defence too. Barking did well to come back from falling behind for first time not long after the interval, but errors from the visitors affected the result & made it a sore one to take for Shane Baptiste’s team.

The stand-out begins with victors Barking. Winber Sa-Sean Lutumba put in a very good display & made several important darting runs down the left side as well as good passes too. Forward Sam Shaban grew into the game as it went on & made the most of his oppurtunities with two goals, one from the penalty spot & also showcased good movement. Midfielder Jack Folan was a good, energising presence to bolster his side’s attacks while centre-back Kenedi Dariri did well at the back, making several important clearances to deal with a dangerous Woodford front three.

For Woodford, forward Ernest Okoh was always a threat down the right side, as well as cutting indide & taking his goal well. Okoh also made a good good crosses. Skipper Georges Kebi is a key player in this team, putting in another high-energy performance in both defence & attack. His goal did change the momentum in favour of the visitors for a time after the break. Lastly, there are mentions for centre-back Lee Sharpe and full-back Simon Omope. Sharpe had another good game, making important interceptions while Omope also made a few good tackles & was a good outlet from the left flank as well.


Barking |  Manager: Nick Harding  | Assistant: Jeff Sears  |

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Harvey Simson (GK), 2 Kyrell Palmer, 3 Eljay Worrell (Capt), 5 Kenedi Dariri, 6 Alfie Leach, 4 Jess Norey, 8 Jack Folan, 7 Se-Sean Lutumba (14 George Okoye 61′), 9 Sam Shaban, 10 Lauric Diakiesse, 11 Daniel Brock (16 Darnell Baxter-Alleyne 61′)

Goal-scorers: Eljay Worrell [30′], Sam Shaban [68′ & pen 87′]

Booked: Deniri, Leach |  Subs Not Used: Baker, Wisdom, Ombok

Woodford Town | Manager: Shane Baptiste  | Assistant: Dee Safer

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Sam Soutar (GK), 2 Miles Mitchell-Nelson, 3 Simon Omope, 5 Lee Sharpe, 6 Luke Steele, 4 James Runham (15 Wale Odedoyin 55′), 7 Ope Mosuro, 8 Georges Kebi (Capt), 9 Luke Parrott (14 Dimitri Nicolaou 74′), 10 Ernest Okoh (16 Zivonimir Lopes 74′), 11 Dimitri Christou (12 Bailey Brown 71′)

Goal-scorers: Ernest Okoh [42′], Georges Kebi [55′]

Booked: Mosuro, Omope, Odedoyin | Sub Not Used: Kiangebeni

Referee: Alex Baker
Assistants: Mihai Nitu & Adam Schroder


S22-23 Match Report: Frenford 2 – 2 Basildon Town (Sat 15 Apr) [EaSL Sth 16.4.23]

Eastern Senior League – Division One South

Venue: Jack Carter Centre [3G]

Attendance: 104

2022-23 Season: Match 56

Saturday 15 April 2022 – 3pm KO

Frenford: Red & White Shirts,  Red Shorts & Socks

Basildon: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Headline match sees Frenford grab late leveller to deny Bas a fine win

Frenford 2 – 2 Basildon Town

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

The second match of the day saw a pivotal match in the Step 6 season as promotion contenders Frenford and Basildon Town battled it out at the Drive on the penultimate weekend of the regular season. With there being only one automatic promotion spot, both sides wanted the win to avoid two further matches in the play-offs to follow in quick succession after April 22nd. Dave Forbes’ side named Jack Ryan in goal, with a backline of Aaron Scott, captain Lewis Bartrip, Sam Cross and Ben O’Brien. The midfield had Tom Potter, Billy Karby and Harry Daly in its ranks, with the forward line featuring Charlie Heatley, George Booker and Raheem Gray. Postponements have affected Bas in the last fortnight, and they named Matthew Knight as their custodian, with a defence of Thomas Pain, Mitchell Keen, Daniel Okah and Joe Burgess. Grant Cumming, Charlie Kendall & captain Ryan Scougall were in midfield, with Jamie Bradbourn, Harry Brown and player-boss Marcus Bowers completing the forward line.

There are big moments in these types of games and the first one of them came after just five minutes as Frenford took the lead. A decent corner found its way into the box, and a well-timed run by centre-back Sam Cross ended with a decent header which bypassed Knight & found its way into the net. Basildon responded well though and as we neared the half-hour mark, forward Harry Brown blazed over the woodwork twice, as the home backline struggled to deal with good passing by Basildon which created the chances. Just past the half-hour, the hosts responded with George Booker’s good effort which was superbly denied on the goal-line by Thomas Pain. The end-to-end nature of this match intensified as we approached the interval. Brown’s good strike was well parried away by Frenford custodian Ryan for a corner. Frenford so nearly had a second goal in added time as another firm effort by Booker required another good intervention by Knight to keep the finely-poised match tight.

Half-Time: Frenford 1 – 0  Basildon Town

After the break, the tide turned somewhat as the home defence had a warning as Brown skewed another effort wide but his persistence would soon be rewarded. Basildon were building the momentum well and did level nine minutes into the half. Bowers fizzed in a dangerous cross from the right flank, which took out the home defenders & into the path of Harry Brown who headed home past Ryan at the near post. The tension was moving up the scale as we got into the last half hour, and the visitors were indebted to Knight for denying two good goal-bound efforts in as many minutes by Raheem Gray. Set-pieces and long throws were a threat for the visitors as they pushed hard to break the stalemate, from one such long throw by Bowers, the ball fell to Pain and his super effort was narrowly wide of the left-sided post.

There was a big moment on 71 minutes as Booker was sent off by referee Lee Markwick for his second booking & all of a sudden, Frenford had to rally and battle hard to try and repel a fired-up opposition. The drama would only rise further as we entered the last fifteen minutes, as centre-back Daniel Okah nodded wide from another threatening set-piece, before substitute Alfie Hilton was denied by an excellent covering interception by Frenford skipper Lewis Bartrip. The hosts responded quickly at the other end, as another good pass in by Gray found Charlie Heatley, but his decent effort was off-target.

With only two minutes of normal time remaining, Basildon Town did take the lead. Brown’s initial effort was well-saved by Ryan but Town recycled the ball well and Marcus Bowers turned well before firing in a good, low strike into the left corner, provoking sheer joy from their dug-out. However, that said joy turned to frustation only four minutes later as Frenford levelled to earn a point. Replacement Owen James struck a fine free-kick right into the far corner, past the despairing dive of Knight – that could be a really important goal in the title race. Frenford have reached 75 points now & face Benfleet in midweek & Hackney Wick on the last day.

Harry Brown [#9] on the ball for Basildon

Full-Time: Frenford 2 – 2 Basildon Town

This big match for both sides was predictably dramatic but Basildon nearly benefitted from a fine second-half performance, but a last-gasp fine set-piece by substitute James snuffed out the three points for Town as quickly as it had arrived moments previously. This match was also a superb advert for the division and ensures the race for both the title and the play-off spots will continue in the last week of a highly entertaining campaign.

There were some strong performances in this match. For Basildon, I felt right-back Thomas Pain had a really good game, contributing in both defence and attack, making several good tackles and also good runs down the flank as well as decent passing. Centre-back Mitchell Keen was another player to stand out here, adding steel to a tough visiting backline, being a good presence aerially as well. It would be remiss not to mention a good display from forward Harry Brown whose persistence and pace was a threat, particularly in the second half. He also took his goal well and contributed several other good passes. Lastly, a mention for goalkeeper Matthew Knight who made at least three good saves here to keep his team in the game at a crucial time.

Frenford winger Raheem Gray also had a very good match, utilising his pace and directness well, and put in several good crosses & was unlucky not to score as well. Central defensive duo Lewis Bartrip and Sam Cross both played their part to hold Bas at bay for most of the game, Bartrip making several good clearances & Cross showing good positioning as well as taking his goal well early on. Central midfielder Billy Karby also had a good game, battling hard against an energised opposition after the break and also recycled the ball to good effect too.

There was an impact from other results as well as Wormley Rovers lost at home 1 – 2 to Stanway Pegasus, meaning their match with Basildon in midweek is crucial to both teams’ prospects.


Frenford  |  Manager: Dave Forbes  | Assistants: Lee Forbes, Ali Choroomi & Anthony Cook

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Ryan (GK), 2 Aaron Scott, 5 Lewis Bartrip (Capt), 6 Sam Cross, 3 Ben O’Brien, 4 Tom Potter, 8 Billy Karby, 7 Harry Daly (14 Owen James 65′), 9 Charlie Heatley (15 Sam Ince 85′), 10 George Booker, 11 Raheem Gray

Goal-scorers: Sam Cross [5′], Owen James [90’+2]

Booked: Bartrip, O’Brien | Sent Off: Booker (Two bookings) | Sub Not Used: Munns, Munton

Basildon Town  | Manager (dugout): Lee Bunn | Assistants: Aron Peters & Rhys Fatt

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Matthew Knight (GK), 12 Thomas Pain, 16 Mitchell Keen, 20 Daniel Okah, 10 Joe Burgess, 18 Grant Cumming (4 Michael Onafuye 76′), 8 Ryan Scougall (Capt), 14 Charlie Kendall (17 Billy Hutchison 81′), 11 Jamie Bradbourn (7 Alfie Hilton 24′, himself replaced by 5 Keanu Hill 90′), 9 Harry Brown, 19 Marcus Bowers (15 James O’Brien 89′)

Goal-scorers: Harry Brown [54′], Marcus Bowers [88′]

Booked: Pain |  Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Lee Markwick
Assistants: Emmanuel Armah-Agyeman & Chris Noble

S22-23 Match Report: Shenfield AFC 3 – 1 Wakering Sports Res (Wed 12 Apr) [EPC Final 22-23 13.4.23]

Essex County FA Premier Cup – Final

Venue: New Lodge 3G

2021-22 Season: Match 54

Attendance:  290  (Est)

Wednesday 12 April 2023 – 7.45pm KO

Shenfield AFC: White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Wakering Res: Green Shirts, Shorts & Socks

Shenfield defeat spirited Wakering Res to claim Essex Premier Cup

Shenfield AFC 3 – 1 Wakering Sports Res

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

The first Cup Final of the season was held at New Lodge 3G, as Shenfield AFC and Wakering Sports Res contested an all-Essex Olympian Essex Premier Cup Final. Shenfield have had a fine run in the competition, defeating promotion-chasing Rayleigh Town in the last four and boss Kevin Williamson named Joe Durrant in goal here, with a defence of Tom Blackmur, Marlon Stratford, Elliott Thompson & Sam Bubb. Alfie MacKay, Marc Holland & Samuel Lock were the midfield ‘engine room’ with co-boss Luke Williamson the advanced midfielder, supporting forwards Ben Absolon and Alex Tredgett. Wakering Res have had some recent history just by reaching to this final after beating Essex Alliance Senior side Woodford East on penaties, following a pulsating 4-4 draw in their semi-final, and the third-tier side fielded Tom King as their custodian. The backline was comprised of Ashley Sexton, Charlie Smith, Alex Jenkins and George Penfold. The midfield featured Taner Dagyaran, Ciaran Sweeney, Liam Clifford and Eben Rowledge. Leading their attack was top-scorer Connor Fardyga and Dave Watson.

The early stages of this Final were a little tense, as both sides managed to get down the flanks to get beyond the opposition defences, Wakering forward Connor Fardyga showed his pace and movement in making a couple of good darting runs down the right side. Shenfield also pushed on, particularly down the left side and their nerves were lessened on fourteen minutes when they took the lead. A set-piece was angled towards the far post by Sam Bubb from the halfway-line, Wakering stopper Tom King advanced out to grab it but the flight of the ball decieved him, allowing centre-back Elliott Thompson to nip in at the back post to head in to an unguarded goal. All credit to the Blues here as their response was admirable, with Eben Rowledge firing not far wide & Fardyga having a tame strike which didn’t unduly trouble Durrant. Hard-working midfielder Liam Clifford’s fierce strike from 30 yards moments later whistled past the Shenfield goal and Kevin Williamson’s team had to graft at this point.

Soon afterward, Wakering Res did get the goal their pressure deserved, as on a congested 18-yard box, full-back George Penfold’s low drive crept into the net to level this increasingly interesting match. Shortly before the leveller, Shenfield forward Alex Tredgett made a good darting run down the left flank, which was blocked out for a corner & from that full-back Tom Blackmur headed off-target. Gary Hanger’s Sports side were holding their own and just before the interval, a superb strike by Clifford from distance thundered off the goal frame – that would’ve been some goal!

Half-Time: Shenfield AFC 1 – 1 Wakering Sports Res

The second half started very strongly, with both sides trading chances. Fardyga was well-placed in the penalty area but his low drive came back off the left-side post, while centre-back Alex Jenkins also headed over. Tredgett was also in the action again, as his strike was well-saved by King. Ben Absolon also broke free of the Sports backline and only a superb covering interception by Penfold denied him a one-on-one chance at goal against King. A key moment came on the hour though as Jenkins was dismissed by referee Joseph Gray for a hard tackle and Sports fell behind barely a minute later. In another busy set play, midfielder Sam Lock had the initial strike for AFC blocked but Tredgett was well-placed to strike low into left corner to give Shenfield a priceless lead.

Wakering still pressed on despite their numerical disadvantage, and were awarded a penalty on 72 minutes after a foul in the box. Ciaran Sweeney stepped up, but his left-sided strike was well-parried by Durrant, who also blocked Sweeney’s follow-up effort. The Blues gave it everything in the latter stages, and another good run by the impressive Dave Watson ended with the fall finding substitute Adem Beji but his effort sailed over the goal frame.

Shenfield had to stay alert but could finally celebrate deep in added time as they notched a third goal, as substitute Frankie Fealty bypassed both the Wakering defence & the advancing King before slotting home into an empty net. The final whistle blew soon afterward & both teams showed what they are about in this fine Final, watched by a healthy crowd with both sides well supported.

Full-Time: Shenfield AFC 3 – 1 Wakering Sports Res

To summarise this match, Shenfield struck at key moments and defended their advantage well, although the Wakering side showed a lot of spirit and had several chances to really alter the complexion of this Final. Ultimately though, defensive errors cost them but they played well overall on a memorable occasion for the Shoeburyness-based team.

The stand-out performances start with victors Shenfield. Forward Alex Tredgett continues to have a good season and showcased guile, good movement and cool finishing for his goal. Goalkeeper Joe Durrant made some good saves & denied Wakering from the penalty spot at a crucial time. Centre-back Elliott Thompson had a good game in defence, and pushed forward to good effect too, taking his goal well with decent movement. Lastly, a mention for full-back Sam Bubb who put in a good shift & was a threat from set-pieces as well.

For Wakering, forward Dave Watson was a good threat for his side, creating decent chances from the flanks and he also tested the Premier Division side’s backline well, and was unfortunate not to score. Liam Clifford put in a good performance in central midfield, showing good work rate and was inches away from scoring & showed decent passing. Finally, George Penfold and Eben Rowledge put in good performances to assist their side in defence and attack respectively.

Congrats to all at Shenfield for this memorable victory & best wishes to all at Wakering Sports going forward.


Shenfield AFC  | Co-Managers: Kevin Williamson & Luke Williamson | Coach: Ben Kent

Starting XI: 1 Joe Durrant (GK), 2 Tom Blackmur, 3 Sam Bubb, 5 Marlon Stratford, 15 Elliott Thompson, 6 Alfie MacKay, 8 Samuel Lock, 10 Marc Holland, 4 Luke Willismson (Capt), 9 Ben Absolon, 17 Alex Tredgett

Goal-scorers: Elliott Thompson [14′], Alex Tredgett [61′], Frankie Fealty [90’+7]

Subs On (Time): 7 Harvey Clarke [replaced Lock, 65′], 11 Frankie Fealty [replaced Williamson, 88′], 16 Aaron Lang [replaced Tredgett, 90’+2]

Booked: Stratford, Absolon, Blackmur, Mackay | Subs Not Used: Cadd, Kent (GK)

Wakering Spts Res  | Manager: Gary Hanger | Assistant: Darryl Cross

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Tom King (GK), 12 Ashley Sexton, 5 Alex Jenkins, 6 Charlie Smith, 3 George Penfold (7 Jack Hanger 80′), 15 Taner Dagyaran (2 Billy Cottrill 80′), 10 Ciaran Sweeney, 4 Liam Clifford (11 Adem Beji 76′), 18 Dave Watson, 9 Connor Fardyga (8 Ollie Greene 76′), 17 Eben Rowledge (16 Steven Valente 76′)

Goal-scorer: George Penfold [26′]

Booked: Beji | Sent Off: Jenkins [60′] | Sub Not Used: None

Referee: Joseph Gray
Assistants: Kadir Nazif & John Caunt

Fourth Official: Andrew Wheaton

S22-23 Match Report: Ilford 1 – 4 Woodford Town (Sat 1 Apr) [ESL 22-23 2.4.23]

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 75

2022-23 Season: Match 52

Saturday 1st April 2023 – 3pm KO

Ilford: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts & Socks

Woodford: Green Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Woodford prevail with good performance at Ilford

Ilford 1 – 4 Woodford Town

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

The main match this weekend saw an interesting local derby in the Essex Senior League at Cricklefield, which saw hosts Ilford host play-off chasing Woodford Town. The Foxes have found it hard of late, with one win in their last seven matches and were missing key players here in defender Jake Chadwick, skipper Mitchell McCabe and playmaker Mo Kargbo. Richard Ponsford’s side did have stalwart Tim Pitman in goal, with a defence comprised of centre-backs OJ Senessie and Ryan Cosson, with full-backs Paul Cox and Ola Oluwasere. Conner Jones skippered the side here, with Nathan Tshola in central midfield, Harry Rawlins & Josh Boxall on the flanks. Jack Zielinski led the forward line, with support from Joe Lilly. Woodford saw their eight-match winning run in the league end on Thursday night as they drew with Halstead Town. Shane Baptiste fielded Eddie Allan as their custodian, with Miles Mitchell-Nelson & Simon Omope in the full-back spots, and Guy Kiangebeni & Lee Sharpe in central defence. James Runham and captain Georges Kebi were the hard-working central midfield, with Dimitri Christou supporting forwards Luke Parrott, Wale Odedoyin & Ernest Okoh.

Lee Sharpe (left) clears for Woodford

The early stages of this contest saw the visitors have slightly more time in possession and their first chance came after two minutes, as tricky support forward Dimitri Christou’s decent strike was well-blocked by Ilford goalkeeper Tim Pitman. Ilford did respond at the other end on six minutes, as forward Joe Lilly struck narrowly over the crossbar – the Foxes were starting to get down the flanks and sending in some decent crosses although those were fleeting moments as Woodford kept the ball well. The home side had several warnings in the next few moments as forward Ernest Okoh twice fired off-target, the second time when well-poised to score. On 17 minutes, Woodford had a big chance as Pitman had advanced out of his area, and forward Wale Odedoyin turned past him well but couldn’t finish from a narrow angle at the near post, allowing the covering defender to clear.

Woodford did get that crucial goal moments later, as from a good corner, full-back Miles Mitchell-Nelson planted a fine header into the net at the near post. So often one goal turns into two and on 25 minutes, Woodford doubled their lead. On the counter, a good pass found forward Luke Parrott and he unselfishly played in Christou who calmly struck low into an unguarded net. At this point, Woodford were in the ascendancy, Parrott had another chance eight minutes prior to the break, as his header drew another save out of Pitman. The Foxes responded at the other end by halving the arrears seconds later as Lilly’s set-piece swung in to the six-yard area and crept over the line despite Town stopper Allan’s best efforts.

Buoyed on by a good visiting Towners contingent, Woodford restored their two-goal led a minute before the break as they were awarded a penalty for a challenge on the left edge of the penalty area. The hosts were miffed at that decision, more so when Parrott converted his spot-kick from 12 yards, into the right-side corner. Overall, Town deserved their lead and could’ve been further ahead, although if Ilf were clinical in their finishing they could still have been well in contention.

HT: Ilford 1 – 3 Woodford

The early stages of the second half saw Woodford push on once again as they sought to make the points safe. Parrott had another decent effort blocked by the home defence, but the same robustness wasn’t there on 49 minutes as a good ball in found Odedoyin who had got past the off-side trap before calmly firing past the unfortunate Pitman to notch Town’s fourth goal. Understandably that goal had an effect on the morale of the Foxes but four minutes later, winger Josh Boxall managed to get some space on the edge of the penalty area before firing narrowly over the crossbar.

Woodford still pushed forward in an energised way, with forward Ernest Okoh unfortunate not to score himself, having at least two chances off-target in the secod half alone. Substitute Zivonimir Lopez also had a half-chance on goal as we entered the later stages of the game, though the Ilford defence was making some decent interceptions, particularly Paul Cox and Ola Oluwasere. The hosts were finding a little more space as Woodford focused on game management, with replacement Maliq Jikiemi and Harry Rawlins making some decent runs down the flanks, but the miserly Town backline was in no mood to concede any more goals.

In added time, Woodford were within inches of adding a fifth goal as a fine free-kick by substitute Dimitri Nicolaou was well tipped onto the crossbar by Pitman. Ultimately, Woodford did more than enough to claim the win.

Full-Time: Ilford 1 – 4 Woodford Town

In summary, this was a really good win for Shane Baptiste’s team, putting in a high-energy performance, particularly in midfield and took enough of their chances to claim another important three points. Ilford fought hard & created a few chances themselves, particularly before the interval but ultimately the pace & guile of the Woodford forward line was too good for them on this day.

We start the player mentions with victors Woodford. Dimitri Christou played an important part in the visiting side’s attacks with his pace, movement and good passing, also bagging a goal in the process. Forward Luke Parrott had a good game as well alongside partners Ernest Okoh and Wale Odedoyin, showing good link-up play and good running. Central midfielder Georges Kebi was influential in midfield, showing good energy levels in overpowering the opposition in the middle of the field and always had an eye for pass forward. Lastly, centre-back Guy Kiangebeni had a strong game in defence, clearing the ball well and showing good positioning.

For Ilford, defender Paul Cox had a good game in my opinion, sticking to his task well, making good interceptions and looking to start attacks as well. Winger Josh Boxall put in some fine crosses in this game & was unfortunate not to score himself, while forward Joe Lilly did score and linked the play well, particularly with Harry Rawlins on the left flank. Finally, substitute Maliq Jikiemi had a good cameo, making several decent darting runs down the left side & showing good dribbling as well.


Ilford |  Manager: Richard Ponsford  | Assistants: Mark Lilly & David Deller |

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Tim Pitman (GK), 2 Ola Oluwasere, 3 Paul Cox, 5 OJ Senessie (16 Frankie Zielinski 79′), 6 Ryan Cosson (17 George Hayes 54′), 4 Conner Jones (Capt), 8 Nathan Tshola (15 Oswald Nyahunda 75′), 7 Joshua Boxall (14 Maliq Jikiemi 63′), 9 Jack Zielinski (12 Brandon Wood 54′), 10 Joe Lilly, 11 Harry Rawlins

Goal-scorer: Joe Lilly [38′]

Booked: Oluwasere |  Subs Not Used: None

Woodford Town | Manager: Shane Baptiste  | Assistant: Dee Safer

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Eddie Allan (GK), 2 Miles Mitchell-Nelson (Ben Byrne 54′), 3 Simon Omope, 5 Lee Sharpe, 6 Guy Kiangebeni, 4 James Runham (17 Zivonimir Lopez 71′), 8 Georges Kebi (Capt), 7 Dimitri Christou (14 Dimitri Nicolaou 63′), 9 Luke Parrott (15 Khalil Kirwan-Meade 71′), 10 Wale Odedoyin (16 Jaedon Phillips 71′), 11 Ernest Okoh

Goal-scorers: Miles Mitchell-Nelson [19′], Dimitri Christou [25′], Luke Parrott [pen 44′], Wale Odedoyin [49′]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Avram

Referee: Andy Tregoning

S22-23 Match Report: Stanway Rovers 0 – 1 Redbridge (Sat 25 Mar) [ESL 22-23 26.3.23]

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Hawthorns

Attendance: 175

2022-23 Season: Match 50

Saturday 25th March 2023 – 6.30pm KO

Stanway: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts & Yellow Socks

Redbridge: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Redbridge again battle hard to claim another important win at Stanway

Stanway Rovers   0 – 1  Redbridge

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

The second match this weekend to mark Non-League Day was a rare visit to the Hawthorns to see hosts Stanway Rovers take on promotion-chasing Redbridge in another Essex Senior League Premier match, which was also my 50th match of the campaign. Redbridge were playing their third match in five days here, the perils of still being in two Cup competitions you may say. George Christou’s team had an understandable air of squad rotation about it, but goalkeeper Connor Wheatley started, with a defence comprised of centre-back pair Joe Elliott & Nathan Okoye, and full-backs Bradley Bennett & Tayo Olukolu. Captain Jack Chawner was alongside Jerrold Cobblah and Reuben Campbell in midfield, with George Purcell & Tony Martin leading the attack, with support from Joey May. Stanway are in transition, and have not had an easy campaign being where they are in 13th place. Former Colchester Utd legend Karl Duguid took the team here, and named Alfie Marigliani as their stopper, with full-backs Sean Bartlett & Emmanuel N’Daw and centre-backs Olumide Akinode & Freddy Cooper comprising their backline. Jordan Barnett, Joe Debell & Max Sherlock were the central midfield three, with Harry Thomas, captain James Crisell and Nathaniel Mardell the forward three.

The early stages of this game were entertaining to watch as Rovers looked to pile the pressure on the visitors. Forward Nathaniel Mardell made two enterprising runs down the right flank in these early stages, but couldn’t quite find the final pass or a finish respectively to significantly challenge visiting custodian Connor Wheatley. Midfielder Jordan Barnett also had decent strike just wide of the left-side post. George Christou’s team did push forward, perhaps sensing the need to wrestle momentum back and after one of several good runs made in the match by energetic midfielder Reuben Campbell, his effort was off-target but served as a warning for Rovers to not be too expansive going forward. To their credit though, Stanway responded well and a fine strike by centre-back Freddy Cooper just inside the eighteen-yard box was well-denied by Motormen stopper Wheatley.

What ended up being the decisive goal came on twenty-four minutes as centre-back Nathan Okoye took advantage of indeterminate marking on a set-piece to plant his header into the net at the near post. One of the better phases of the game for the second-placed side also saw in-form forward George Purcell head over the goal frame. Stanway were not fazed by their deficit and skipper James Crisell’s goal-bound effort required another decent save from Wheatley as the visitors had to do their share of defending, with centre-backs Joe Elliott & Nathan Okoye characteristically miserly in clearing the ball away in an efficient way.

HT: Stanway 0 – 1 Redbridge

The second half was a more restrained contest, with less chances cropping up for both teams. Mardell had again fired wide for Rovers in a rare glimpse at goal. Redbridge had a few chances, chiefly an acrobatic strike by substitute Tendi Quamina from just outside the area, which had to be cleared off the goal-line.

Campbell also fired wide for a Redbridge side which still showcased their game management skills to good effect here, and also their lead was slender, they were not extensively pressured in the latter stages and claimed a vital win, which saw them jump back up above FC Clacton into second place, with a key ‘promotion six-pointer’ at Enfield set for Wednesday night.

Full-Time: Stanway Rovers 0 – 1 Redbridge

In summary, Redbridge turned up and battled to their third win in just five days in all competitions which in itself in some going. Their forward play was decent at times, but credit also has to go to Stanway who were able to restrict the promotiobn-chasing side’s chances through exhuberant defending and also showed enough going forward to stay in the contest, even though their finishing wasn’t clinical and they also found Blues stopper Connor Wheatley in good form here. All in all though, Stanway’s youthful side did show that in time, they may improve.

The stand-out mentions starts with victors Redbridge. Forward George Purcell led the line well and brought others into play effectively as the focal point in attack. Right-sided midfielder Reuben Campbell made the most of space to make several good breaks down the channel and also put in some fine crosses which forced the intervention of the home defence. Lastly, centre-back Nathan Okoye got the telling goal & was his usual composed self in defence, making a number of good interceptions both in the air and on the deck.

For Stanway, rapid winger Nathaniel Mardell really contributed to his team’s attacks right from the get-go, and also had a couple of decent chances himself, utilising his good pace and movement too. Full-back Emmanuel N’Daw also put in a good display, being decent in defence and also pushing forward down the left side, pustting in some good balls into the penalty box. Lastly, centre-back Freddy Cooper had a good game, competing well with the visiting forward line, making some good interceptions and pushed forward as well, being a threat from set-plays too.

I’ll close this report by passing on my thanks to Stanway Rovers for their hospitality pre-match.


Stanway Rovers |  Interim Manager: Karl Duguid | Assistant: Stuart Nethercott |

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Alfie Marigliani (GK), 2 Sean Bartlett, 3 Emmanuel N’Daw, 5 Freddy Cooper, 6 Olumide Akinode, 4 Jordan Barnett, 8 Joe Debell, 7 Max Sherlock (16 Harrison Smith 84′), 9 Harry Thomas (15 Sonny Bastone 63′), 10 James Crisell (Capt), 11 Nathaniel Mardell (14 Sonny Dutton 72′)

Booked: Barnett |  Subs Not Used: Lines

Redbridge | Manager: George Christou   | Assistant: Jack Toghli

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Connor Wheatley (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett (17 Michael Pindy 90′), 3 Tayo Olukolu (16 Dean Hall 46′), 5 Joe Elliott, 6 Nathan Okoye, 18 Jack Chawner (Capt), 4 Jerrold Cobblah, 7 Reuben Campbell (15 James Barlow 72′), 19 Joey May (8 Tendi Quamina 58′), 9 George Purcell (11 Loui Hazelwood 84′), 10 Tony Martin

Goal-Scorer: Nathan Okoye [24′]

| Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Kola Adeyemi
Assistants: Robert Collins & Jozef Buda

S22-23 Match Report: FC Clacton 1 – 0 Sawbridgeworth Town (Sat 25 Mar) [ESL 22-23 26.3.23]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Rush Green Bowl

Attendance: 127

2022-23 Season: Match 49

Saturday 25th March 2023 – 3pm KO

Clacton: White Shirts, Blue Shorts & Socks

Sawbridgeworth:  Red & Black Shirts, Red Shorts & Socks

Clacton hold firm to earn another victory at home to Sawbridgeworth

FC Clacton 1 – 0 Sawbridgeworth Town

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

The first of two matches to mark a special Essex Senior weekend to mark this year’s Non-League Day saw a first visit to the Rush Green Bowl to see FC Clacton take on visitors Sawbridgeworth Town. Tom Auston’s side are still pushing for a top-three finish which would crown off a terrific campaign. They fielded Luke Avenell in goal, with a backline of centre-backs Michael Okafor & Chris Ribchester, with full-backs Jenson Mulqueen and skipper Billy Wales. Kyelan Marvell & Jack Marshall were the hard-working central midfield, with Teddy Collis & Rueben Cowler on the flanks in support of forwards Mekhi McKenzie & Charlie Collis. Sawbridgeworth were looking to pull further clear of the bottom three and co-bosses Kieran Amos & Ben Taylor named George Edgeworth in goal, with a defence comprised of full-backs Zachary Davidson & Luke Clark, alongside the central defence led by Marcus Dowdeswell & Elliott George. Danny Palmer & Jaydon Charles were in in central midfield, with wingers Ayub Kadiri and Louis Monk. The forward line was led by Bruno Gomes, with support from David Etcheri. 

As was the case with several matches in recent weeks, this match took some time to truly find the impetus, not assisted by several stoppages early-doors. The hosts had the better of the early chances, with centre-back Chris Ribchester’s header over the crossbar from a set-piece and winger Teddy Collis also firing a decent strike off-target. On the half-hour, Tom Austin’s team went close after centre forward Mekhi McKenzie’s good pass found Teddy Collis, whose fierce strike at goal was parried away well by visiting stopper George Edgeworth. Sawbo were defending admirably to stifle the hosts who couldn’t find their attacking, passing rhythm during the first half. At the other end, Sawbridgeworth didn’t have a large amount of ball time, but did have a few runs down the channels, and Clacton did not fall to what would have been a ‘sucker punch’ in the latter parts of the first half, with centre-back Michael Okafor in particular being well-placed to rebuff passes into the visiting forward line.

HT: Clacton 0 – 0 Sawbridgeworth

After a nice burger from the food hut at the break, the second half began in a similar tightly-contested vein, as the inveitable array of substitutes entering proceedings also broke up the rhythm a bit as well. Ferguson, Lartey & Tilson came on for the hosts to replace Teddy Collis, full-back Mulqueen & midfielder Marvell and one of those substitutes had a big part to play just moments after coming on. Midway through the second-half, a good move involving tall midfielder Jack Marshall and forward Mekhi McKenzie ended with the ball finding Jordan Lartey at the far post who evaded his marker well enough to strike from close-range to finally break the stern resistance of Sawbo.

So, Clacton had a lead to defend now and Sawbo had a bit more possession in midfield, but a wayward strike by centre forward Bruno Gomes with 15 minutes remaining, which didn’t trouble goalkeeper Luke Avenell. The Seasiders were helped on by a good home crowd, and came close to ,make it two with moments remaining, from substitute Jack Johnson’s free-kick, the ball found its way to Marshall & his fine header was superbly kept out by Edgeworth’s sprawling save.

Full-Time:  FC Clacton 1 – 0 Sawbridgeworth Town

In summary, this was a gritty battle which Clacton did enough to earn the points, as they did have enough chances & ball time. Sawbridgeworth did defend well as well, with goalkeeper George Edgeworth effectively keeping them in the contest with two fine saves here, but ultimately they could not nullify a strong Seasiders backline and test home custodian Luke Avenell often enough.

The stand-outs here begin wiith victors Clacton. Forward Mekhi McKenzie put in a hard-working display, looking to turn past his marker well and also put in some good passes too to contribute to his team’s attacking moves. Secondly, midfielder Jack Marshall also was a good outlet with his passing and threat aerially too, as welll as contributing to the build-up for the only goal of the game. Lastly, centre-back Michael Okafor led the defence well, showing good positioning and making crucial interceptions as well.

For Sawbridgeworth, centre-back Marcus Dowdeswell had a good game, making several good tackles and his defence made it tough for Clacton to break through as they deallt with crosses well in the air. Goalkeeper George Edgeworth was a good presence for his team and pulled off two very good saves as mentioned & finally, full-back Zachary Davidson bolstered his team’s defensive efforts and offered a decent outlet going forward as well, in support of winger Ayub Kadiri.

Finally, would like to pass on my thanks to Clacton for their hospitality, was good to finally visit the Rush Green Bowl.


FC Clacton |  Manager: Tom Austin | Assistant: Adam Daniels  |

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Luke Avenell (GK), 2 Jenson Mulqueen (15 Jordan Lartey 62′), 3 Billy Wales, 5 Chris Ribchester, 6 Michael Okafor, 4 Kyelan Marvell (14 Adam Tilson 65′), 8 Jack Marshall, 7 Teddy Collis (12 Kyle Ferguson 56′), 9 Mekhi McKenzie (16 Jack Johnson 87′), 10 Charlie Collis, 11 Rueben Cowler (17 Harry Miller 83′)

Goal-scorer: Jordan Lartey [68′]

Booked: Marshall, Mulqueen  |  Subs Not Used: None

Sawbridgeworth Town | Co-Managers: Kieran Amos & Ben Taylor  | Assistant: Paul Gissing

Starting XI (Subs): 1 George Edgeworth (GK), 2 Zachary Davidson, 3 Luke Clark (16 Shadrac Malembe 62′), 5 Elliott George, 6 Marcus Dowdeswell (Capt), 4 Danny Palmer (12 George Spillane 83′), 8 Jaydon Charles (14 Joshua Bardouleau 62′), 7 Ayub Kadiri, 9 Bruno Gomes, 10 David Etcheri (15 Austen Garrod 74′), 11 Louis Monk

Booked: Gomes, Dowdeswell, Monk | Subs Not Used: Amos

Referee: Nathan Kitteridge
Assistants: Michael Wallace & Trevor Williams

S22-23 Match Report: White Ensign 0 – 0 West Essex (Sat 11 Mar) [ESL 22-23 12.3.23]

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: 52

2022-23 Season: Match 46

Saturday 11th March 2023 – 3pm KO

Ensign: Red & Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

West: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Timmy Moncur (right) on the ball for West

Ensign secure another point in tough battle with West Essex

White Ensign 0 – 0 West Essex

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

The main match this weekend was a late switch to the Essex Senior match between White Ensign and visitors West Essex at Burroughs Park. The recent incessant rain had not prevented the match from taking place, as both sides were looking for the points – Ensign are looking up towards the top ten while West are still in the race for a top-six finish. White Ensign boss Aaron Bloxham rotated his squad somewhat here, but stlll fielded Luis Shamshoum in goal, with a defence comprised of full-backs Ben Sargent and Daniel Monk and centre-backs Montel Shonubi & Archie McFadden. The hard-working central midfield featured Iyiola Adebayo, Oliver Jenkins and stand-in skipper Kyle McAlindon. Forwards Billy Bonham-Dare and Joe Gregory were supported by Ethan Evison. West were looking to bounce bank from a shattering loss at Woodford Town three days ago and had Arthur LeBlond at their goalkeeper, with a backline of centre-backs Rodney Dame and Mitchell Arthur & full-backs Sanchez Hardy and Joel Lamb. Their midfield engine room had skipper Reece Clarke, Oliseh Okuguni & Saliu Lo Seye starting, with the creative Timmy Moncur supporting forwards Ezequiel Franchi & Cameron Gray.

Ensign’s Iyiola Adebayo keeps the ball in first half

Both teams were adapting to the slightly slippery conditions in the early going of this match, although Ensign certainly had the better of the early sighters at goal. Forward Joe Gregory’s effort had to cleared off the goal-line by a well-placed West defender, while anchor midfielder Oliver Jenkins also had a decent strike parried away by visiting stopper Arthur LeBlond. West couldn’t ease the pressure they had defensively for most of the first twenty minutes and their only glimmer at goal was forward Cameron Gray’s wayward drive which was comfortably off-target. As we neared the half-hour mark, the Stags did start to get their passing game going, as midfielders Saliu Lo Seye & Reece Clarke fired wide of Shamshoum’s goal.

Although chances were somewhat few & far between, the battle here wasn’t a hum-drum one and the West backline held on quite well, led by centre-backs Mitchell Arthur and Rodney Dame who were well-positioned and made key clearances too. Ensign were keen to build their way through the thirds from defence to attack and did so well at times, but the noticable thing for me was how focused their midfield was in not allowing West to settle on the ball, with Iyiola Adebayo and Kyle McAlindon in particular giving the likes of Clarke and Moncur little time to build attacks.

Long ball forward seeks to find the run of Franchi (second left) for West

HT: White Ensign 0 – 0 West Essex

In the early stages of the second half, the hosts had a few more decent chances. Four minutes after the restart, full-back Ben Sargent let fly with a well-struck effort which only narrowly flew over the crossbar. Moments after that, Ethan Evison’s set-piece was heading for the far corner and needed the intervention of LeBlond, although he conceded a corner in the process. From that resulting set-piece, enterprising forward Billy Bonham-Dare headed wide of the left-side post. That was a let-off for West and this game was tight just as the reverse fixture was at Wadham Lodge, several weeks previously. Ensign had a let off a minute later as a good ball found West forward Ezequiel Franchi’s run, although the defender got a important touch to take it out of Franchi’s path, although Shamshoum had advanced by this point to narrow the angle initially, and he had to race back to prevent it dribbling over the goal-line.

Ensign build from midfield in 2nd half

As we entered the last half hour, the tide was turning a bit as the hosts’ nerves were starting to rise after not be able to convert the earlier chances. Franchi and Clarke had efforts which fizzed over the crossbar for West Essex before they brought on tricky winger Mohamud Kaudeer, who had two chances on goal which whistled not far wide. In fairness, it would have been tough on Ensign to not take at least a point from this game and the stalemate means they are four games unbeaten now.

In the last few moments of the contest, both sides looked to try and get that decisive goal with West looking to get down the channels to evade an understandably tiring Ensign backline. Ensign brought on forwards Jack Mead and Emmanuel Abudiore with moments left to try and break through the visiting defence, with Abudiore making one or two good runs down the left but ultimately, the stalemate prevailed and both teams took a point each.

Full-Time: White Ensign 0 – 0 West Essex

This match was a a hard-fought battle and perhaps deserved goals for the teams’ respective endeavour. Ensign will be disappointed given they had the early chances but could not convert them. West took a while to retain the ball and have a few good chances though they found Luis Shamshoum in good form in the home goal. On the plus side for Kwame Kwateng’s team, they will be satisfied with the shut-out, as they also had several players unavailable here.

Ensign had some performances in the team to mention. Firstly, a mention for Archie McFadden who played in an unfamiliar centre-back role here and showed good positioning, work rate and tackling. Central midfielder Kyle McAlindon also had a good game, getting through a lot of work and passed the ball really well, plus linked defence & attack well too. Lastly, a word for forward Billy Bonham-Dare who contributed to his team’s attacks well, utilising his pace & movement plus doing a good shift defensively as well.

For West, centre-back Mitchell Arthur was an ever-present, making a number of important interceptions, including clearing one goal-bound effort off the goal-line. After a tough game in midweek, Arthur & his defenders can at least be glad to have a clean sheet. Saliu Lo Seye had a good game in midfield as the visitors found it hard to retain possession & breach a stubborn home backline. Lo Seye made several good passes & showed decent movement as well. Finally, full-back Joel Lamb had a good game in defence, tracking back well & giving an option going forward too. Lamb was involved in a good duel with Ensign full-back Ben Sargent for most of the game.


White Ensign  | Manager: Aaron Bloxham | Assistant: Nick Wilbrow

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Luis Shamshoum (GK), 2 Ben Sargent, 3 Daniel Monk, 5 Montel Shonubi, 4 Archie McFadden, 6 Oliver Jenkins, 11 Kyle McAlindon (Capt), 8 Ethan Evison, 18 Iyiola Adebayo (16 Jake Chaplin 64′), 9 Billy Bonham-Dare (19 Jack Mead 85′), 10 Joe Gregory (15 Emmanuel Abudiore 90’+3)

Booked: McFadden, Chaplin, Bonham-Dare  | Subs Not Used: Ferris, Turner

West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng | Assistant: George Karsa

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Arthur LeBlond (GK), 2 Sanchez Hardy, 3 Joel Lamb, 23 Rodney Dame, 25 Mitchell Arthur, 17 Saliu Lo Seye, 14 Reece Clarke (Capt), 22 Timmy Moncur (21 Mohamud Kaudeer 64′), 8 Oliseh Okuguni, 24 Ezequiel Franchi, 11 Cameron Gray (9 Lewis Danquah 80′)

Booked: Dame | Sub Not Used: McNally, Wazola

Referee: George Younger
Assistants: Glenn Michaels & Joe Lannon

S22-23 Match Report: Catholic Utd 3 – 0 Toby (Tues 28 Feb) [EOFL 22-23 2.3.23]

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Southchurch Park

Attendance: 35 (Est)

2022-23 Season: Match 44

Tuesday 28th February 2022 – 7.45pm KO

Catholic: Green & White Shirts, Black Shorts, Green & White Socks

Toby: Silver Shirts, Silver Shorts, Silver Socks

Late action still of Catholic Utd defending, shortly before FT [Image: Scott W]

First-half effort sees Catholic Utd to victory over Toby

Catholic Utd  3 – 0 Toby

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

Additional photo by Offside Photography, used with thanks [@offsidephot]

This midweek saw an additional match as Catholic Utd took on Toby at Southchurch Park, in the Essex Olympian League Premier Division. Simon Thomas’ side needed a win from this third midweek game in recent weeks, to take them back into second spot. Toby’s aims were somewhat different, as big results recently have seen the Brewers start to pull away from the bottom four & they sought to continue to bolster that gap. The ‘Super Hoops’ named teenage loanee goalkeeper Woody Wells with a three-man defence of Aaron Clark, Matt Wilson and Jack Leech. Ben Burrows, skipper Michael Sammut & Tom Elliott were in midfield, with in-form forward Liam Oliver supported by Kofi Goodrum and Lucas Polyblank. Mark Jones’ Toby side featured Charlie Perry in goal, with a backline of Jack Bruce, Callum Mann, Jamie Simpkins & Jacob Evident. Tom Roser, captain Dean Maguchu and Rhys Willson were the attack-minded midfield, with a front three of Harry Barham, Albert Perry and Ben Picton.

It was certainly a match played in the distinctly chilly air of the South Essex coast, and before the visitors could get themselves settled, they went a goal behind. A decent set-piece from defender Aaron Clark after two minutes was angled in towards the far post and found forward Liam Oliver, who rose highest to power home a header into the opposite corner, past visiting custodian Charlie Perry. Unsurprisingly, this spurred Toby into action and the front three of Albert Perry, Ben Picton & Harry Barham had no lack of movement of pace about them. Barham was found by central midfielder Dean Maguchu’s neat pass, but Barham’s strike was over the top of home goalie Woody Wells’ crossbar. Toby had a decent spell of ball time at that point, but still looked a little vulnerabe retreating back after losing possession. The Essex Bhoys responded on 20 minutes, as Oliver was in on goal again, but this time his effort was well-denied by Perry’s save low down. Enterprising forward Joe O’Kane also sent an effort not far wide & the intent was clear from the home side.

Oliver powers a header at goal for Utd [Image by Offside P]

Mark Jones’ side narrowly missed what turned out to be an important chance moments later as Maguchu’s header fizzed wide of the top right corner.  The intent for Utd did pay off on 23 minutes as despite the Brewers calling for an off-side, Oliver was well-found in box and timed his run to beat the off-side trap and slot the ball low past Perry into the net. Perhaps the good possession play at times by the visitors encouraged Catholic to seek that crucial third goal, and just past the half hour, captain Michael Sammut’s strike was well-struck but was denied by a fine block by the defender, who charged it down well.

Seven minutes before the interval, a good run by tricky Utd midfielder Kofi Goodrum inside the area was halted, too abruptly for referee Chris McGovern’s liking, and a second later he pointed to the penalty spot. Oliver was given the responsibility and he duly blasted the ball high into the net for his hat-trick & his 11th league goal of the season. The action wasn’t quite done yet though Barham sent a decent header just wide a minute before the regulation 45 minutes was up, which highlighted the frustration of missed chances for Toby thus far.

Utd’s Joe O’Kane on the ball in 1st half [Image: Scott W]

Half-Time:  Catholic Utd 3 – 0 Toby

After the break, the tempo was alright still but as to be expected, substitutes entering the fray did slightly change the complexion of the game. In fairness, it could have been worse for the visitors as three minutes after the resumption, a fierce drive by Utd midfielder Tom Elliott brought out another fine, sprawling save by Perry to deny him. Toby were still keen to grab a glimmer of hope to get themselves back into the game, and hard-working forward Albert Perry made a good run but found his resulting effort blocked by a Catholic defence that was no mood to concede soft goals. Just past the hour mark, Maguchu found himself in a decent position, and from a narrow angle struck his effort on target, forcing Wells into a smart save at his near post.

Ultimately though, Toby could not force a goal to give themselves the impetus they needed to get back into the match, as stubborn defending by the hosts enabled them to see out the remaining time & claim a decent three points, which meant they went back up into second place in the standings.

Toby wing-back Jacob Evident on the ball in 2nd half. [Image by Scott W]

Full-Time: Catholic Utd 3 – 0 Toby

This match was pretty much won by the interval with Catholic’s goal-scoring ability the crucial difference between the two sides. Utd are impressing with the resilence shown in the last month, especially because of the near-regular midweek matches of late. Defensively, they were switched on and they needed to be as Toby did threaten at times. The Brewers showed enough in their play in this match to showcase why they have picked up results recently. An arguable lack of clinical finishing ultimately prevented them from taking anything from this game.

There were some good performances by both teams here. For Catholic Utd, forward Liam Oliver added to his recent goal-scoring streak with three different goals here, taking his chances well and doing a decent shift as the focal point of the hosts’ attack. Support forward Joe O’Kane showed good dribbling skills and pace, contributing well to his team’s forward moves. Midfielder Tom Elliott also had a good game, in both defence and setting up attacks. Add in a good work rate and Elliott bolstered his team’s display well. Lastly, centre-back Matt Wilson had a really good game, defending well and was usually in the right position at the correct time. Wilson’s display will be welcomed by his manager given the squad rotation required for the remainder of the season.

For Toby, support forward Harry Barham put in a good, engergetic display, showing his pace and movement and had he converted one of the two chances he had, it may have been a different game. Goalkeeper Charlie Perry pulled off at least three good saves to effectively keep his side in the game at times, also showcasing good positioning. Centre-back Jamie Simpkins made a few crucial interceptions and exemplified his team’s spirit. Lastly, despite not having a flurry of chances, forward Albert Perry kept the Utd backline alert and had good movement and work rate too.

I’ll close this article with a mention of a good 40+ page programme which the hosts provided pre-match, which is rare for a Step 7 game. Kudos to Media manager Rob Lilley & the team of contributors for that.


Catholic Utd  |  Manager: Simon Thomas | Assistant: Tom Harding | Physio: Emily Mackler

Starting XI: 1 Woody Wells (GK), 3 Aaron Clark, 6 Jack Leech, 4 Matt Wilson, 12 Ben Burrows, 7 Kofi Goodrum, 8 Michael Sammut (Capt), 16 Tom Elliott, 20 Lucas Polyblank, 17 Liam Oliver, 10 Joe O’Kane

Goal-scorers: Liam Oliver [2′, 23′ & 38′]

Subs ON [Time]: 2 Patrick Kearney [46′], 9 James Warder [55′, replaced Oliver], 14 Tobias Da Souza [64′, replaced Polyblank], 11 Franklin Craik [69′], 5 Louis Robinson [75′, replaced Sammut]

Booked: Goodrum |  Subs Not Used: None

Toby | Manager: Mark Jones  | Assistant: Ben Morgan & Dominic Cooper

Starting XI: 1 Charlie Perry (GK), 3 Jack Bruce, 46 Callum Mann, 45 Jamie Simpkins, 41 Jacob Evident, 8 Dean Maguchu (Capt), 10 Tom Roser, 38 Rhys Willson, 29 Harry Barham, 9 Albert Perry, 32 Ben Picton

Subs ON (Time): 7 Luke Jones (31′, replaced Bruce), 6 Chris Rowland [46′], 24 Oliver Dingli [64′, replaced Willson], 23 Sonny Leeks [64′, replaced Maguchu], 2 Jake Jones [64′]

Booked: L Jones, Mann, Leeks, A Perry   | Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Chris McGovern
Asstistants: Joe Cowdrey & Chris Parkinson

S22-23 Match Report: Rayleigh Town 5 – 1 Canning Town (Sat 18 Feb) [EOFL 22-23 19.2.23]

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Thames Road (Concord Rangers FC)

Attendance: 25 (Est)

2022-23 Season: Match 41

Saturday 18th February 2022 – 2pm KO

Rayleigh: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts & Socks

Canning: White & Blue Shirts, White Shorts & Socks

Strong performance gives Rayleigh the win over Canning Town

Rayleigh Town 5 – 1 Canning Town

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

This weekend’s match was still in the Intermediate divisions, but featured two sides that are not only hungry for goals but also looking to finish the season strongly. Rayleigh Town welcomed Canning Town to Thames Road in the Essex Olympian League Premier Division. Rayleigh are keen to plant themselves in that second spot at least by the time May arrives, while Canning are looking to stay in a congested mid-table battle for a top-six finish. Del Lamont stood in for boss Paul Higgins here, and named stalwart Mark Brown in goal, with a three-man central defence of Jack Long, Sonny Coutts & Jack Chatterway, with wing-backs William Vile & Charlie Seaden pushing forward. Alfie Larkin, skipper George Vile & George Aston comprised the hosts’ central midfield, with Philip Anunwa and Harry Talbot leading the forward line. Canning Town fielded Josh Taylor in goal, with a defence of full-backs Stephen Ikumelo & Aidan Bailey with centre-backs Tom Vaughan & skipper Matt Betts. Their central midfield had Pourya Fazlollahi and Bron Pattanawanitkitkul, joined by Jack Williamson & Lewis Belcher on the flanks. Loanee Jake Frost joined Billy Gipp in attack for Lee Wilson’s team.

Jack Long [#17 left], looking to track the run of Harry Talbot [#7] for Rayleigh early on

In some games (particularly in this winter period), it takes some time for the momentum to build. That certainly wasn’t the case here as the hosts broke the deadlock after only four minutes. A in-swinging set-piece by skipper George Vile found the rising Jack Long who cushioned his header well and found the net, past visiting stopper Josh Taylor. However, Canning are not an easy side to keep quiet and they responded merely five minutes later. A foolhardy challenge in the area saw referee Phil Miles point to the penalty spot. Full-back Stephen Ikumelo stepped up and duly blasted the ball into the net to level things up. That goal came moments after Canning gave the hosts a warning as forward Jake Frost did well down the left flank, before finding strike partner Billy Gipp, who fired just wide of home custodian Mark Brown’s far post.

Referee Miles was involved again on 18 minutes, as good play by Philip Anunwa found the run of midfielder George Aston before he was felled by the goalkeeper’s challenge, and again Miles pointed to the 12-yard spot. Goalkeeper Josh Taylor redeemed himself though immediately as he superbly parried George Vile’s penalty onto the crossbar. In all fairness, as the half went on Rayleigh were definitely finding their rhythm. Forward Anunwa was holding the ball up well and winning a fair number of aerial battles too as the visiting defence were being unsettled by the rapid Rayleigh forward moves.

Charlie Seaden [#2, right] looking to get into the right-side channel for Rayleigh

On 26 minutes, Anunwa was involved again as his well-directed lob was parried away by Taylor, but into the path of wing-back Charlie Seaden who was unable to convert the rebound, allowing a relieved Taylor to gather. The visitors’ relief didn’t last long though as the team in Navy Blue extended their lead barely three minutes later. A fine low free-kick by George Vile evaded the grasp of Taylor and cannoned in off the left-sided post to make it three-one to the promotion-chasing hosts.

Rayleigh were sensing a chance to further extend their lead and they duly did so before the break. Ten minutes before the break, they made it four as a superb cross by Seaden found forward Harry Talbot who directed a powerful header which gave Taylor no chance and then a slightly wind-assisted corner by George Vile crept in at the near post, despite Taylor & a defender’s best attempts at clearing it – which made it four-one.

Half-Time:  Rayleigh Town 4 – 1 Canning Town

Canning in possession early in 2nd half

After the break, Canning were still keen to keep the ball on the deck. Frost & Gipp both made decent runs, but they still couldn’t unduly test Rayleigh goalie Mark Brown. The hosts made it five on 61 minutes through another spot-kick, George Vile this time did convert from 12 yards to complete another fine treble and add to another influential performance.

To their credit, Canning were still keen to get themselves in back into the contest midway through the half,regardless of the scoreline, but as they pushed high in an attack-minded formation, they left gaps in defence, allowing Talbot to break past the last defender & custodian Taylor but in doing so he went down the right channel, which allowed Taylor to rush back and get in position to deny Talbot’s eventual goal-bound effort.

Late in the game, Harry Talbot testing the visiting defence & poised to strike

As the contest pushed towards its conclusion, both sides looked to attack, further endorsing the good spirit in which this match was played. The hosts had chances through Anunwa whose effort was well-blocked by Taylor, before central midfidler George Aston fired not far wide of the goal frame. Canning nearly got another goal in added time, with centre forward Jake Frost connecting well with his strike which fizzed just past Brown’s far post.

Full-Time: Rayleigh Town 5 – 1 Canning Town

In summary, Rayleigh Town had more than enough chances to deserve the victory today, however some kudos has to be given to Canning Town’s keen approach play & they carried some threat at times going forward themselves. Unfortunately for Lee Wilson’s team, by the time they found their rhythm they were well behind on the score-sheet.

There were several fine performances from the Rayleigh side today. Starting with one of the key players in this team, central midfielder George Vile who not only notched a treble, but also grabbed an assist and sprayed some good passes forward as well, well done to him. Sonny Coutts also had an important role at centre-back here, winning most of the aerial duels as well as making some good interceptions. Wing-back Charlie Seaden put in several dangerous crosses from the right flank, one of which superbly found Talbot for his goal. Seaden also showed decent movement as well. Lastly, a mention for advanced midfielder George Aston whose influence grew as the game went on, made good passes and retained the ball well under pressure as well.

For Canning Town, central midfielder Bron Pattanawanitkitkul showed a lot of good dribbling skills, made good passes and showed a high work rate as well to provide some impetus for his team’s forward moves which were promising at times. Forward Billy Gipp also contributed to his team’s pace in attack, also having a few strikes on goal which were not far off-target. Full-back Stephen Ikumelo was influential at the back, making several good tackles & showing decent positioning, as well as encouraging his team-mates as the game went on. Lastly, a mention for tireless winger Jack Williamson, who kept pushing down the right flank well and recycled possession well at times, as well as putting in some good crosses and showing good energy levels.


Rayleigh Town  |  Stand-in Manager: Del Lamont | 

Starting XI: 1 Mark Brown (GK), 2 Charlie Seaden, 17 Jack Long, 6 Sonny Coutts, 3 Jack Chattaway, 11 William Vile, 8 George Vile (Capt), 4 Alfie Larkin, 10 George Aston, 7 Harry Talbot, 9 Philip Anunwa

Goal-scorers: Jack Long [4′], George Vile [29′, 39′ & pen 61′ ], Harry Talbot [35′]

Subs On (Time): 14 Sonny Woodward [51′], 15 Lewis Robson [51′]

Booked: Larkin | Subs Not Used: Baldry, Baxter

Canning Town | Manager: Lee Wilson | Assistants: Jay Dyer & Paul Newson

Starting XI: 1 Josh Taylor (GK), 3 Stephen Ikumelo, 5 Tom Vaughan, 4 Matt Betts (Capt), 2 Aiden Bailey, 8 Pourya Fazlollahi, 6 Bron Pattanawanitkitkul, 7 Jack Williamson, 9 Jake Frost, 10 Billy Gipp, 11 Lewis Belcher

Goal-scorer: Stephen Ikumelo [pen 9′]

Subs On (Time): 12 Nicolas Basoa [46′, replaced Vaughan], 15 Napat Pattanawanitkitkul [57′, replaced Fazlollahi], 14 George Turner [59′]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Dyer, Wilson

Referee: Phil Miles
Assistants: Guy Pell-Ilderton & Kieran Evans

S22-23 Match Report: Corinthians 3 – 2 Harold Hill (Sat 11 Feb) [EOFL 22-23 11.2.23]

Essex Olympian League – Division One

Venue: Stambridge Memorial Ground

Attendance: 20 (Est)

2022-23 Season: Match 40

Saturday 11th February 2022 – 2pm KO

Corin: Sky Blue & White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Hill: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts & Socks

Corinthians battle hard to claim important win over Harold Hill

Corinthians  3 – 2 Harold Hill

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

This weekend’s match was an intruiging battle between promotion-chasing Corinthians & visitors Harold Hill, who are looking to make the most of their remaining matches to make their into mid-table at least in Essex Olympian League’s Division One. The hosts are dealing with several injuries at present, with influential goal-scorer Bailey Moss, winger Leo Clarke & full-back Billy Wilton among those unavailable. However, manager Chris Stoneham did field goalkeeper Nathan Warren between the sticks, with a central defence comprised of Alfie Knight, Connor Summerhill & Daniel Frimley. Mark Frostick and Charlie Marden were deployed as wing-backs, along with skipper Matt Burrell, Jordan Stoneham and Jake Hinkley in central midfield. Brodie Horne and John Bolton-Smith led the attack here. Harold Hill’s squad was also affected by some of their squad not being available here. They fielded Daniel Johnson in goal, with a four-man defence of Clarence Emeh, Thomas Northwood and Ray Snares & Joseph Connor in central defence. Captain Jack Suters was alongside Connor Leon & Mario Gjini in midfield, with Harry Watkins & Ashley Blackburn leading the forward line, with Troy Tizard-Cleghorn supporting them.

Harold Hill clear their lines early on

It was certainly a forgettable opening to the game for the visitors, who conceded after only two minutes. Corinthians wing-back Charlie Marden sent in a fine cross from the right side which found the retreating centre-back who could only head the ball past Hill custodian Daniel Johnson and high into his own goal. You had to empathise with the visitors, and they were up against it, dealing with fluid passing & brisk movement from the further motivated home forward line. Hard-working forward Brodie Horne made a good run on five minutes, before finding strike partner John Bolton-Smith, but the latter’s tame effort went wide of Johnson’s woodwork. Harold Hill were still decent on the counter-attack though, as forward Ashley Blackburn fired off-target with a decent curling strike. The visitors did level on 13 minutes, thanks to fine strike by Harry Watkins, as the ball sailed past home stopper Nathan Warren and into the right side of the net.

Corinthians forward Brodie Horne [#19] on the ball in 1st half

Much to the hosts’ credit though, they roared back into the lead only three minutes later as another decent flowing move involving wing-back Mark Frostick and skipper Matt Burrell ended with Horne’s calm finish low into the net, leaving Johnson little chance. It got even more frustrating for the visiting dug-out as Corinthians grabbed another goal on 19 minutes. Hill’s defensive lapses were exposed as good link-up play involving Marden and midfielder Jake Hinkley ended with Horne turning his marker well before slotting home with aplomb for his second goal of the day. To be fair though, Billy Cove’s side were still posing a threat on the counter-attack, and Troy Tizard-Cleghorn and Mario Gjini were breaking well from midfield, supporting Watkins & Blackburn to good effect. Tizard-Cleghorn did force a decent save from Warren with his low drive at the near post before the half-hour.

Home forward John Bolton-Smith looking to get past his marker

Half-Time:  Corinthians 3 – 1 Harold Hill

Corinthians undoubtedly deserved their half-time lead, but there was a sense that there was more to come from this match. The second half began with more promise for the visitors, and Watkins’ good run and cross needed home centre-back Daniel Frimley to divert the ball over his own woodwork, as Hill forced a few set-pieces. Harold Hill did give themselves a chance of salvaging a point from the penalty spot, after referee Dave Bloxham pointed to the spot following Warren’s challenge.

The hosts were adamant that the goalkeeper got the ball but nonetheless, Tizard-Cleghorn slotted home the resulting penalty to the left side of the goal to ensure a gritty last twenty minutes for the hosts, who really needed the points. Harold Hill battled well and pushed further forward in tge latter stages, with substitute Ryan O’Connell’s first touch being a good effort which was well-tipped over the bar by Warren. Hill were leaving gaps in defence but Johnson pulled off a fine save onto the woodwork in added-time to deny Horne a hat-trick, after being unselfishly played in by replacement Max Jones, who moments earlier had fired wide when in a promising position.

Hill full-back Clarence Emeh jostles with Corinthians’ Mike Edgar for possession late on

Full-Time: Corinthians 3 – 2 Harold Hill

In summary, Corinthians made the most of a tepid start by the visitors and kept possession really well, particularly in the first half. After the break though, Harold Hill showed an admirable amount of courage and pace to force their way back into contention and give the hosts some nervy moments. Ultimately though, Corinthians showed enough steel & defensive nous to claim the win which keeps them fourth in the table, two points clear of Manford Way who picked up a huge 6 – 4 win at Corinthians’ promotion rivals Epping Town today.

There were several good performances from the Corinthians side here. They were led by two-goal striker Brodie Horne, who showcased his high work rate and movement to good effect, as well as utilising cool finishing for both goals. Centre-back Daniel Frimley also had a very good game here, and was a strong presence, making several good interceptions. Charlie Marden had a good game at right wing-back, putting in several good balls into the danger area and having good pace, with Jordan Stoneham having a good all-round game in central midfield also, competing well with the attack-minded visiting midfield.

For Harold Hill, forward Troy Tizard-Celghorn had a good game, with his influence growing after the interval as well as being a good presence in the air & showing decent pace. Ashley Blackburn also put in several good passes and surging runs down the channels to test the home backline at times. Winger Mario Gjini had a decent game also, showing his composure and good movement to make the most of available space. Lastly, a word for Jack Suters, who gave his all in central midfield & then in more of a defensive role after the break, making a number of important interceptions as the match went on.

Finally, I’d like to add that this was a entertaining match to watch and credit to both teams. Also, was nice to see both managers (Messrs Stoneham & Cove) as well, wish their respective teams well.


Corinthians  |  Manager: Chris Stoneham | Assistant: Graham Owen

Starting XI: 1 Nathan Warren (GK), 20 Charlie Marden, 3 Mark Frostick, 18 Daniel Frimley, 5 Connor Summerhill, 6 Alfie Knight, 8 Matt Burrell (Capt), 7 Jordan Stoneham, 19 Brodie Horne, 11 John Bolton-Smith, 10 Jake Hinkley

Goal-scorers: OG (Snares) [2′], Brodie Horne [16′ & 19′]

Subs On (Time): 14 Ryan Woodley [46′, replaced Burrell], 17 Max Jones [57′, replaced Bolton-Smith], 16 Mike Edgar [60′, replaced Hinkley]

Booked: Frostick, Horne | Subs Not Used: Brickwood

Harold Hill | Manager: Billy Cove | Assistant: George Young

Starting XI: 1 Daniel Johnson (GK), 2 Clarence Emeh, 3 Thomas Northwood, 5 Ray Snares, 6 Joseph Connor, 4 Jack Suters (Capt), 20 Connor Leon, 7 Mario Gjini, 8 Troy Tizard-Cleghorn, 10 Harry Watkins, 11 Ashley Blackburn

Goal-scorers: Harry Watkins [13′], Troy Tizard-Cleghorn [pen 69′]

Subs On: 14 Freddie Madle [46′, replaced Snares], 12 Ryan O’Connell [73′, replaced Leon]

Booked: Tizard-Cleghorn, Blackburn | Subs Not Used: None

Referee: David Bloxham