Match Report: Rayleigh Town 3 – 1 Leigh Ramblers (Sat 24th Aug) [EOFL 19/20 24.8.19]

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Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Rayleigh Sports Club, London Road

2019 – 20 Season: Match 16

Saturday 24th August 2019 – 2.30pm KO

Rayleigh: Navy Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Leigh R: Red & Black Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

 

 

 

 

 

Rayleigh battle hard to defeat Ramblers at London Road

Rayleigh Town 3 – 1 Leigh Ramblers

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] with additional photos by Andy Wilkins [Twitter: @wilkins_media]

A nice detour from regular Essex Senior League action saw me make the relatively short trip to London Road to see Rayleigh Town take on Leigh Ramblers in the Essex Olympian League Premier Division (Step 7). Yes, it was FA Cup weekend though on occasion I feel it is important to watch some clubs further down the ‘pyramid’ too.  Anyway, onto the teams and Paul Higgins’ home side were strong with former Great Wakering pair Charlie Seaden and Danny Hurford lining up at right-back and left-wing respectively. Paul Morris and Jamie Blewitt were the front two with Jack Long skippering the side. Bailey Moss, Connor Bridger and Jake Chaplin comprised the bench for the hosts. For Ramblers, Dylan Skinner once again donned the gloves, with Rhys Fatt and Ola James on the flanks, centre-back Ryan Lowe captaining the side and Acer Wake, Rick Alabaster and Joe Hunter among the options on the bench for Wayne Seal’s team.

 

So as the match got underway on a baking hot day in South Essex, both sides traded early blows. With two minutes on the watch, a good ball in from the right flank found winger Danny Hurford though his header back across goal flew wide of visiting custodian Dylan Skinner. Moments later, Ramblers winger Rhys Fatt saw his strike fizz wide of the target. Town raised it a gear in response as forward Jamie Blewitt’s 20-yard drive fizzed wide of the left-side post.

The hosts broke the deadlock on 26 minutes as after a good run and turning past his marker, Hurford sent a cool low finish beyond Skinner into the far corner. The visitors so nearly responded four minutes later as a powerful free-kick from forward Sam Mountstephens was heading for the top corner, but home ‘keeper Mark Brown did brilliantly to tip it onto the crossbar and out. The hosts kept going well despite the heat and held their lead going into the break. Ramblers couldn’t quite find their rhythm and get past a tough home defence often enough.

Half-Time: Rayleigh Town  1 – 0  Leigh Ramblers

 

 

The second half beckoned and once underway, we had a dramatic opening third of it. Firstly, three minutes after the restart, midfielder Pat Cannon made a good turn before sending a tame effort which Brown gathered comfortably. Minutes later, Rayleigh forward Bailey Moss had a sight of goal though his effort was denied by Skinner. With 56 minutes played, the visitors were awarded a penalty for handball in the area, and Fatt stepped up to take it. However, goalkeeper Brown guessed the way and saved the resulting spot-kick. Right on the hour mark, the hosts added to the opposition’s pain as casual defending on the edge of the Ramblers own 18-yard area saw midfielder Henry Sims nick the ball before slotting home well past Skinner to double their advantage.

Although Ramblers were starting to find their prowess going forward after that second goal, chances were quite rare and from a promising free-kick, Fatt blazed over the bar. As we entered the last seven minutes of the contest, Leigh did pull one back as substitute Joe Hunter powered in a crisp curling strike past Brown to knacker the home side’s idea of a clean sheet. That wasn’t the final word though as with the visitors piling forward in search of an leveller, Town countered with a right-wing cross by Blewitt finding Moss in space and the substitute did the rest, coolly slotting past Skinner to seal the points for Paul Higgins’ side and retain their 100% start to the league campaign.

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Full-Time: Rayleigh Town  3 – 1  Leigh Ramblers

As the full-time whistle sounded, my thoughts are that Town deserved to win this match, as their forward line was a bigger headache to the visitors than the Ramblers attackers, who did cause the hosts’ nervous moments, ultimately they were not at their best today, in my opinion.

Finally, I’d like to first say a big thank you to Rayleigh Town FC for their kind hospitality today, which is much appreciated. Second, it was great to talk to former Clapton & Southend Manor boss Wayne Seal today too. I wish both sides well for the long season ahead.

 

 

Teams

Rayleigh Town    | Manager: Paul Higgins

Starting XI: Mark Brown (GK), Charlie Seaden, Harry Higgins, Jack Long (Capt), Tom Franks, Cameron Glover, Connor Peralta, Henry Sims, Paul Morris, Jamie Blewitt, Danny Hurford

Goal-scorers: Danny Hurford [26’] , Henry Sims [60’], Bailey Moss [88’]

Booked: Hurford  | Subs Named**: Bailey Moss, Connor Bridger, Jake Chaplin

 

Leigh Ramblers   | Manager: Wayne Seal

Starting XI: Dylan Skinner (GK), Lewis Kelsey, Jack Davies, Montana Stewart, Ryan Lowe (Capt), Harry Haysom, Rhys Fatt, Pat Cannon, Dan Williams, Sam Mountstephens, Ola James

Goal-scorers: Joe Hunter [84’]

Booked: Alabaster | Subs Named**: Acer Wake, Rick Alabaster, Bobby Brocklebank, Joe Hunter

Referee: Stuart Nixon

 

** – as the EOFL uses the ‘rolling substitutes’ system, the substitutes are not listed as replacements by name as they are in Essex Senior League/Eastern Senior League. They in all likelihood would have played at least some part of the match. Apologies.

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

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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.

Match Report: Walthamstow 1 – 0 Stansted (Sat 17 Aug) [ESL 19/20 17.9.19]

Essex Senior League

2019-20 Season: Match 14

Saturday 17th August 2019 – 3pm KO

Venue: Wadham Lodge Stadium

Attendance: TBA

Walthamstow: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Stansted: White Shirts, Grey Shorts, Grey Socks

 

 

Stow defeat gritty Stansted at Wadham Lodge

Walthamstow 1 – 0 Stansted

 

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

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The players enter the field (Image: Scott W)

This weekend’s match took me to on a solo jaunt to Wadham Lodge Stadium to see Walthamstow renew rivalries with Stansted in an Essex Senior League encounter. The plot thickened this week as ‘Stow signed winger Callum Ibe from the Airportmen this week, and yep you guessed it – Ibe started against his old club. He was joined in the home front-line by Emiel Aiken and the prolific Dwade James. The back five for Ryan Maxwell’s side were imposing ‘keeper James Bransgrove, full-backs Jamie Bennett & Kyan Gulliver with centre-backs Vinny Murphy and Gus Douglas. Recent signing Jack Grosvenor was ruled out with a knee problem, we wish him well in his recovery.

Stansted were looking for a better performance after exiting the FA Cup last week and opted for solidity with three centre-backs, Sam West, Joe Clark and Jack West with Moses Carvalho and Billy Coyne acting as attacking full-backs. Recent signings Michael Ogboin and Daniel Cheema also both started, with full-back Louis Monk joining Joe McEvoy and Harvey Brown on the substitute’s bench.

In the early stages of the match, the Airportmen were looking to build a foundation defensively as home winger Danny McCullock pinged in a few good crosses from the right flank, ultimately to no avail. As we approached the quarter-hour, ‘Stow forward Dwade James went up for a aerial challenge with visiting custodian James Pellin, which left Pellin needing treatment. What followed in the next phase of the match was a bit of a scrappy time, with fouls breaking up the rhythm of the game and a lot of play in midfield. As ever, Callum Ibe was posing a threat, coming inside from the left and before the half-hour, he did well to seize a loose ball before skewing a low shot wide of a post. Minutes later, the ever-dangerous James had two half-chances at goal though on both occasions his strike lacked the punch to beat Pellin, though his movement was adding to the visitors’ concerns. That said, Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ team were dealing with balls in the air well to stifle their hosts’ attacks.

Six minutes before the break, a rare clear chance for the visitors saw winger Jack Mitchell in on goal, one-on-one with home goalkeeper James Bransgrove though scuffed his shot wide. Moments later, Ibe struck wide again after finding a yard of space and then on the stroke of half-time, James was once again denied by a well-placed defender on the goal-line following a free-kick.

In fairness, the hosts did shade the half with Emiel Aiken being a good presence in the air, acting as a good foil for Ibe and James. Michael Ogboin was also a physical presence in attack for Stansted though he was being crowded out by the home defence.

Half-time: Walthamstow  0 – 0  Stansted

Moments after the second-half began, a stinging drive from near the touch-line by left-back Moses Carvalho was gathered by Bransgrove though unfortunately for the visitors, that wasn’t a precursor to many further attacking moves. Almost immediately after Carvalho’s effort, ‘Stow forward Emiel Aiken’s angled drive was well-parried away from danger by Pellin. The visitors’ resistance was broken with 56 minutes on the clock as ‘Stow left-back Kyan Gulliver found Ibe down the left channel and in turn, he played in James who coolly slotted over Pellin, much to the home crowd’s relief. The visiting defence kept their composure minutes later as another testing Ibe cross was well headed away by centre-back Jack West. Midway through the half, Stansted skipper Billy Coyne stroked in a free-kick from deep though midfielder Paul Clayton could only head above the woodwork.

Soon afterward, Pellin pulled off another smart save by tipping over a venomous 20-yard drive by McCullock as the hosts had the better of the second-half in terms of chances. ‘Stow saw the game out and will be happy with the points though in their minds they may have wanted another goal or two. Stansted didn’t have many clear-cut opportunities today as the supply line to their forwards was cut off probably more often than not. The biggest positive for them today for me was that defensively they looked much more like their ‘usual selves’ and that bodes well for the remainder of this long campaign.

 

Full-Time: Walthamstow  1 – 0  Stansted

Thank you to Walthamstow for their assistance today & best wishes. On a nice side-note, remember the many sticker albums (Be it the Premiership or World Cup etc) that many a kid used to  enjoy back in the day? Well, ‘Stow have their own one this year and to be fair, it’s a nice bit of fun and rare to see a Non-League club do it so that’s good to see. Best wishes to Stansted for the rest of the season as well, I believe the team are in good hands under the stewardship of Messr’s Pittuck & Watters.

 

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Today’s Match Programme (left) & Stow’s own Album (right)

Teams

Walthamstow  | Player-Manager: Ryan Maxwell | Player-Assistant Mgr: Nicky Symons

James Bransgrove (GK), Jamie Bennett, Kyan Gulliver, Vinny Murphy (Capt), Gus Douglas, Jack Folan, Ben Crilley, Daniel McCullock (Ryan Reed 82′), Emiel Aiken (Charlie Yexley 77′), Dwade James, Callum Ibe (Olly Fortune 70′)

Goal-scorer: Dwade James [56′]

Booked: Murphy   | Subs Not Used: Symons, Madu

 

Stansted    | Joint-Managers: Paul Pittuck & John Watters

James Pellin (GK), Billy Coyne (Capt), Moses Carvalho, Sam West, Joe Clark, Jack West, Rob Norris (Joe McEvoy 30′), Paul Clayton, Michael Ogboin, Daniel Cheema (Harry Prince 78′), Jack Mitchell (Harvey Brown 83′)

Booked: Norris, Carvalho, S West, Clayton, Clark, Ogboin  | Subs Not Used: Monk, Turvey

Match Report: White Ensign 3 – 1 Woodford Town (Wed 14th Aug) [FAC 19/20 EPR 15.8.19]

The FA Cup 2019 -20: Extra Preliminary Round Replay

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: TBA

2019 – 20 Season: Match 13

Wednesday 14th August 2019 – 7.45pm KO

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

Woodford :Yellow Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

 

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Ensign triumph in an enthralling FA Cup tie at Burroughs Park

White Ensign  3 – 1  Woodford Town

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

This year’s FA Cup Extra Prelim Round ended for me with a trip to Great Wakering’s Burroughs Park to see White Ensign face Woodford Town in this replay following an entertaining draw in Harlow the previous Friday night. It was widely reported that Ensign held their own in that match and are one of the sides talked about with regards to promotion from the Eastern Senior League South this term. Woodford Town reside in the Essex Senior League though before kick-off it was felt in the local Non-League scene that the hosts had a chance of progression here.

For this debut match in their new ‘home’, Ensign fielded a strong side with Elliot Vile and Andy George in central defence, midfielder & skipper Jack McWee with a front three of player-boss Brett Munyard, Connor Barnby and Dominic Locke. Forward Luke Skinner and midfielder John Hilliard were among the substitutes. Woodford, buoyed on by their travelling support ‘the Woodford Towners’ also named a well-recognised side with Morgan Seaman, Josh Steele, Tola Odedoyin and Ellis Routledge making up their back four, Andrea Mantovani as captain and a front two of the in-form Asher Modeste and a big prospect in Temi Babalola. Samir Ali, Connor Leon and Vlad Sighiartau were among the options on the bench.

The hosts started the game brightly, as on eight minutes forward Connor Barnby got his past his marker to face Town custodian Alex Reed one-on-one though his low drive was adrift of the target. Four minutes later, Ensign took the lead as from Munyard’s in-swinging corner, centre-back Elliot Vile powered home a header past Reed to really gee up the home crowd. Woodford took a little time to settle, particularly defensively and conceded another decent opportunity for the hosts though rapid forward Dominic Locke’s effort was tame and was easily gathered by Reed. As we passed the midway point in the first half, Town were getting their passing game going and had two half-chances of their own though forward Asher Modeste and midfielder Georges Kebi couldn’t trouble home stopper James Parkins.

That momentum continued for Town as the hosts were finding it increasingly difficult to break out of their own half, though the likes of midfielder Ensign Ben Austin were doing an admirable job of ‘dampening the tide’ as Town’s attacks gathered steam. With nine minutes to play until half-time, Locke did well to seize on a Town defensive error though couldn’t make the most of it. Woodford did level moments later as a ricochet off a home defender saw the ball fall kindly to the on-rushing Temi Babalola who made no mistake as he drilled low past Parkins to heighten the tension in this tie.

Half-Time: White Ensign 1 – 1  Woodford Town

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The tempo of the match was building as the second-half began as both sides traded openings. Six minutes into the half, a free-kick in a promising position saw visiting skipper Andrea Mantovani step up and his good strike was well parried away from danger by Parkins. At the other end, forward Brett Munyard was causing some trouble with his set-pieces and from his deep free-kick, energetic midfielder Harry Skinner headed over after being well picked out. On the hour, Ensign’s good passing continued as Munyard was well found though just as he was making his way in on goal to strike, Town centre-back Tola Odedoyin made a crucial interception to snuff out the opportunity.

The hosts had another good opening for Ensign minutes later as after forward Connor Barnby was denied by ‘keeper Reed, Munyard picked up the second ball though his drive was well-blocked on the goal-line. With ten minutes remaining on the watch, Town midfielder Georges Kebi did well showing neat touches before blasting over. The Ensign defence had to stay alert in the latter stages as Parkins superbly denied a firm header on goal.

After 90 Minutes: White Ensign 1 – 1 Woodford Town

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Extra-time it was then and somehow you felt that it was one of those ties that you felt was going to need that extra 30 minutes and that one single incident might have a bearing on who would win out. It was the hosts who had the first chance though after decent approach play, Locke found himself in goal but he couldn’t generate the power in his shot to beat Reed, who gathered comfortably. Kebi also headed over for Town in that first period of extra-time though more drama came on the other side of the extra thirty minutes.

Just three minutes into the second period of extra-time, Town defender Tola Odedoyin brought down substitute Luke Skinner and was promptly sent off, much to the dismay of the visiting side. Directly from the free-kick just outside ‘the D’, substitute John Hilliard (who has just come on for Munyard) sent over a crisp strike over the wall and curled in past Reed to give the hosts the lead once again. Ensign hammered home the advantage as with five minutes to play, midfielder Jake McWee made no mistake from close range to send the vocal home fans into raptures and give them a two-goal cushion to defend.

Not even a late second booking for Vile after a tussle with Babalola could dampen the spirits for Ensign who held out for arguably their most important win as a Senior club and complete one of the biggest results in their history.

 

Full-Time (AET): White Ensign  3 – 1  Woodford Town  

After the full-time whistle, the home side turned to their supporters to applaud them as the celebrations begun in earnest. Woodford will feel they had the chances to come away with a win though ultimately the energy levels and determination of the Ensign side could not be matched. As far as stand-out performances go, it is very hard to pick out one or two players. For Ensign, midfielder Harry Skinner typified the resolve of his side and shone, as did centre-half pairing Elliot Vile and Andy George who had to deal with the physicality of Babalola plus the skill of the likes of Modeste and substitute Sighiartau. Full-back Charlie Buffin also showed great willing and energy plus the pace of Dominic Locke really gave the hosts a good outlet on the right flank.

For Woodford, forward Temi Babalola was always an outlet going forward while centre-half pairing Josh Steele and Tola Odedoyin also stood firm under pressure. Skipper Mantovani also helped build his side’s attacks well and could’ve had a big say on the match with his delivery too.

Finally, I’d like to thank Ensign for their hospitality and regardless of the result, it was great to be there for a dramatic and highly-engrossing match. Brett Munyard’s side make the trip to ESL side Takeley in the Preliminary round of the FA Cup and whilst that is a different challenge, these two matches may well buoy them on for the season to come. Best wishes to Woodford as well for the rest of the campaign.

 

Teams

White Ensign    | Player-Manager: Brett Munyard | Assistant: Mark Healy

James Parkins (GK), Charlie Buffin, Elliot Vile, Andy George, David Limber, Harry Skinner, Jake McWee (Capt), Ben Austin (Luke Skinner 72’), Connor Barnby, Dominic Locke (Jack Maleary 113’), Brett Munyard (John Hilliard 106’)

Goal-scorers: Elliot Vile  [12’], John Hilliard [110’], Jake McWee [115’]

Booked: Locke | Sent Off: Vile (two bookings) | Sub Not Used: Ainslie

 

Woodford Town   | Manager: Dee Safer | Assistants: Neil Day & Ross Weare

Alex Reed (GK), Morgan Seaman, Ellis Routledge (Connor Leon 106′), Chris John (Alfie Anderson 74′), Josh Steele, Tola Odedoyin, Andrea Mantovani (Capt) (Mohammed Al-Dani 84′), Georges Kebi, Temi Babalola, Asher Modeste (Vlad Sighiartau 54′), Sharn Quinn

Goal-scorers: Temi Babalola [37’]

Booked: Routledge, Seaman, Babalola, Quinn | Sent Off: Odedoyin |Subs Not Used: Ali, Parrott

Referee: Lukas Wood

Match Report: West Essex 1 – 2 Whitton Utd (Sun 11th Aug) [FAC 19/20 EPR 12.8.19]

The FA Cup 2019 -20: Extra Preliminary Round

Venue: Oakside

Attendance: 109

2019 – 20 Season: Match 11

Sunday 11th August 2019 – 3pm KO

W Essex: Yellow & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Whitton: Green & White Striped Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks

 

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Players before KO at Oakside (Image: Scott W)

 

West bow out in the FA Cup to Whitton in frustrating display

West Essex 1 – 2 Whitton Utd

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

The second of my FA Cup weekend matches took me to Redbridge’s Oakside. Like the first match 24 hours earlier, this was also a battle between Essex Senior League and Thurlow Nunn Premier sides. ESL representatives West Essex welcomed Whitton Utd, who are based in Ipswich and have existed under their present guise since 1926. West of course are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, having worked their way up the leagues since their inception in 1989.

As for the teams today, West fielded ever-present Jack Coker in goal, with a back four of Sanchez Hardy, Tom MacLeod, Nick Walk and Sam McNally. Cameron Gray pulled up with a knock in the warm-up so Joe Lefley replaced him in the starting eleven. Defender Josh French plus forwards Symeon Taylor & Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe were among the options on the bench. Whitton named Harry Wales and Josh Hubert in central defence with Lewis Higgins as their goalkeeper and three-pronged forward line in Jamie Cole, Liam Wales and Jacob Lay.

Both sides gradually made their way into the match, with Whitton defender Harry Wales heading well wide nine minutes in whilst in a promising position about eight yards out. Meanwhile at the other end, home midfielder Callum Bloss was attempting to find his radar sending through his telling through balls into forward Michael Mignot though visiting centre-back Josh Hubert was alert to the danger, showing good positioning. Whitton broke the deadlock after 17 minutes as a powerful drive from forward Liam Wales caught out Stags custodian Jack Coker and flew into the net from twenty yards. With Kwame Kwateng’s side on the back foot, they had a great chance to level just four minutes after the goal as creative midfielder Joe Lefley found himself one-on-one with ‘keeper Lewis Higgins though his shot couldn’t find the target, though Hubert did well to clear off the goal-line before Mignot blazed the follow-up over the bar.

The first ‘flash-point’ of the match struck with a jolt on the half-hour as Greens centre-back Harry Wales was given a straight red card for a challenge on Mignot just as the forward was approaching the penalty area, much to the chagrin of the visiting dugout. To be fair to Shane Caldron’s team, they were still posing a threat of their of their own as fleet-footed winger Jacob Lay was driving his way towards the 18-yard area before a good challenge by West right-back Sanchez Hardy stopped him. The Stags were losing their rhythm in the five minutes or so before half-time and just before the interval came the second ‘flash-point’. Mignot was fouled again on the edge of the penalty area though this time reacted rather vigorously as the defender ended up on the floor. You’ve seen dismissals happen for that type of thing before and the West forward was fortunate to not add to that statistic.

 

 

 

Half-Time: West Essex  0 – 1  Whitton Utd

After the interval, the hosts started building their good passing play as a move involving Bloss and forward Hakim Medfai showed before Higgins gathered the ball with Mignot lurking. At the other end, on 52 minutes a corner by Greens midfield anchor Kevin Inglis viciously curled in which needed the intervention of Coker to tip round the post. Moments later, Higgins denied Mignot again though the hosts did level nine minutes into the half as a sweet Joe Lefley corner found skipper Tom MacLeod who powered an unstoppable header right into the top left corner.

West had chances to take the advantage themselves trough Mignot and Medfai though Higgins and a well-regimented visiting backline was equal to it. As we entered the latter stages, the atmosphere only increased in tension as the Stags could not settle into their preferred ‘pass & move’ play, instead getting drawn into a physical battle. With 17 minutes left, Lay sent in a great ball from the left for fellow winger Zehnn Young though his stroke was blocked, with the rebound falling to Lay himself who drilled his low strike narrowly wide.

Soon after Higgins again denied MIgnot, the crucial goal came as West were piling numbers forward, Greens forward Jamie Cole challenged Coker on the edge of the area before lobbing home coolly the rebound. The fraid nerves were only going to go one way and despite the Stags piling on the pressure to the Whitton 18-yard area in added time which need two goal-line clearances from the gutsy visitors and Higgins being alert to deny late substitute Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe’s drive, it was not enough as the visitors held on for one heck of a hard-fought victory.

 

Full-Time: West Essex  1 – 2  Whitton Utd  

 

 

It has to be said that this is a darn hard game to sum up. To call it ‘feisty’ would be an understatement though the one thing we saw in abundance is passion and fortitude. This may not have been the best West performance I’ve seen, though one thing I will ‘stick my neck out’ to say is that they are driven to improve, irrespective of how long that journey takes. Skipper Tom MacLeod stood out for me, reverting to centre-back today and showed again his aerial threat and determined attitude. Fellow defender Sam McNally also had his moments with some good interceptions. Forward Michael Mignot again showed that despite it not being his day in front of goal, he is a difficult player to keep out of the game.

You had to respect Whitton for their guts in defending en-bloc, with centre-back Josh Hubert really shining out for his side with good tackles at times to prevent more chances going the way of the hosts. Also, to hold firm for over an hour with ten men takes some doing, fair play. The front three of Jamie Cole, Liam Wales and Jacob Lay all offered a differing threat too. Cole with his physicality, Wales with his running & finishing and Lay with his pace and trickery. It is arguable that they were trying to ‘take time out of the game’ as well at times and whilst it won’t win them many friends, it did the job for them.

Finally, I’d like to say thanks to West for their hospitality and that by Ricky Eaton and Redbridge FC. Thanks also to Dan Reading.

 

Teams

West Essex    | Manager: Kwame Kwateng

Jack Coker (GK), Sanchez Hardy, Sam McNally, Tom MacLeod (Capt), Nick Walk, Emanuel Wazola, Brad Russell, Callum Bloss (Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe 82’), Joe Lefley (Symeon Taylor 67’), Michael Mignot, Hakim Medfai

Goal-scorer: Tom MacLeod [54’]

Booked: Mignot | Sub Not Used: Russell (GK), French, Leo, Dodon, Gray

 

Whitton Utd   | Manager: Shane Caldron

Lewis Higgins (GK), Lloyd Clarke, Ethan Clarke (Capt), Kevin Inglis (Stef Mallardo 75’), Harry Wales, Josh Hubert, Zehnn Young, Jack Baker, Jamie Cole, Liam Wales, Jacob Lay (Jack Newman 82’)

Goal-scorers: Liam Wales [17’], Jamie Cole [78’]

 

Booked: L Clarke, Newman | Sent Off:  H Wales | Subs Not Used: Garrett, Gittens, Stevens

Referee: Sam Ingrey

Match Report: Hashtag Utd 0 – 2 Southend Manor (Wed 7th Aug) [ESL 19/20 8.8.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Chadfields

Attendance: 291

2019 – 20 Season: Match 9

Wednesday 7th August 7.45pm KO

Hashtag Utd: Yellow & Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks

S Manor: White & Red Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

 

Manor out-perform Hashtag to complete memorable win

Hashtag Utd 0 – 2 Southend Manor

 

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The teams prior to kick-off (Image: Scott W)

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

The second of the new season’s Essex Senior League matches took me to Tilbury FC’s Chadfields, the new home of last season’s Eastern Senior League South champions, not forgetting social media heavyweights Hashtag Utd. Jay Devereux’s team made their bow in the ESL here, facing established ESL side Southend Manor. The hosts fielded a mixture of youth and experience, with recent signing George Smith leading the line, with a supporting trio of Albert Keith, veteran Neil Richmond and Ryan Adams, who also skippered the side. Tricky winger Harry Honesty and centre-back Farai Tsingano were among the substitutes.

Manor began their campaign with a narrow loss at home to Sporting Bengal four days previously and retained Hullbridge loanee Jacob Adams between the sticks with Kiah Froud and Connor Burrows at centre-back and Larry Akanbi as their number nine. Jordan Chambers reverted to left-back and was named captain here.

The hosts began with decent passing moves in the early throngs of this match as they looked to set the tone early. Manor also ‘set their stall’ out to be combative in defence and push forward on the counter-attack. Twelve minutes into the contest, Manor winger Callum Fitzer made a speedy jinking run down the left flank and got his effort on goal though it drifted wide of the left-side post. Right on the quarter-hour, Utd responded as from a free-kick, midfielder Lee Hursit’s powerful effort kept visiting custodian Jacob Adams interested before it fizzed wide of the woodwork at pace. By about this point, the visiting backline had their fair share of defending to do though they remained alert to the danger.

With twenty minutes on the watch, Manor were awarded a penalty as winger Mekhi Hyde was felled in the 18-yard area. Hyde stepped up to take the spot-kick himself after a short delay, which saw Tags right-back Cain Brougham booked for the foul. Hyde made no mistake, his penalty evading the grasp of home stopper Tim Pitman who had guessed the right way but was unable to keep things level. Adam Peek’s side were having their best phase of the game so far going forward at this stage, with Fitzer again breaking through the home defence though when one-on-one with Pitman, the ‘keeper did well to smother the angle in denying his strike. Manor did increase their lead though with 27 minutes gone, with Larry Akanbi netting with a cool finish, under pressure in the area.

Hashtag responded moments later as anchor midfielder Ricky Evans’s header failed to hit the target from a corner just shy of the half-hour mark. Forward George Smith, who signed from Coggeshall Utd in the summer, was the bright spark for the home side in attack, stretching the visiting defence at times. With half-time approaching, Smith’s well-struck effort was parried by Manor goalkeeper Adams, though home winger Ryan Adams could only blaze over the rebound.

 

 

Half-Time: Hashtag Utd 0 – 2 Southend Manor

Manor were standing firm with their hard-earned lead at the break, though you sensed Hashtag needed to raise their game somewhat. Winger Joshua Osude came on at the start of the second-half to add more pace and trickery on the right-flank. The opening phase of the second period was a little muted although that soon ended when winger Harry Honesty entered the field of play, coming on for Richmond. Honesty showed no shortage of pace and trickery down the left wing though unfortunately for the hosts, his crosses couldn’t find a teammate in a promising position in the area.

As we entered the latter stages of this exciting encounter, Smith had a close-range header for the hosts well-cleared on the goal-line as the Manor defence remained vigilant and determined. Hashtag midfielder Albert Keith also piled in a 25-yard drive though Adams got across well to gather. With full-time was approaching, you couldn’t say the hosts were not putting in the effort with Osude and Honesty good outlets on the flanks.

Full-Time: Hashtag Utd 0 – 2 Southend Manor

 

In summary, you could not fault the gutsy and hard-working visitors who deserved their win here. Centre-back Kiah Froud marshalled the defence well and made several decent interceptions to assist Manor to the win. Larry Akanbi also led the line well, with good support from Callum Fitzer & Mekhi Hyde, among others. It was certainly a team effort by them and although the hosts may be disappointed by the result, they will be comforted by the fact that we had an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 300 in attendance here. One thing I do not doubt is that they will return stronger for the experience here and may even be good for them in the long run.

Finally, I’d like to thank Hashtag for the welcome tonight and wish them well for the season. It certainly looks like an interesting journey for them once again.

 

Teams

Hashtag Utd   | Manager: Jay Devereux

Tim Pitman (GK), Cain Brougham (Joshua Osude 46’), Jack Martin (Farai Tsingano 78’), Okuwute Izuchukwu, Ross Gleed, Ricky Evans, Albert Keith, Lee Hursit, Ryan Adams (Capt), George Smith, Neil Richmond (Harry Honesty 57’)

Booked: Brougham, Smith, Osude   | Subs Not Used: Clarke (GK), Isa

 

Southend Manor    | Manager: Adam Peek

Jacob Adams (GK), Josh Brocklebank, Jordan Chambers (Capt), Jordon Fisher, Kiah Froud, Connor Burrows, Mekhi Hyde (Max Makaka 63’), Alfie Walker, Larry Akanbi (Harry Rogers 77’), Brad Rowland, Callum Fitzer (Ope Mosuro 87’)

Goal-scorers: Mekhi Hyde [pen 20’], Larry Akanbi [27’]

Booked: Rowland, Makaka | Sub Not Used: Evident, Rungay

Referee: Leigh Ballinger

Match Report: Barkingside 4 – 0 Newbury Forest (Mon 5 Aug) [EaSL 19/20 6.8.19]

Eastern Senior League South

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 145

2019 – 20 Season: Match 8

Monday 5th August 2019 – 7.45pm KO

Barkingside: Sky Blue Shirts, Sky Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks

Newbury Forest: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

 

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‘Side start the season with a morale-boosting win over Newbury at Cricklefield

Barkingside  4 – 0  Newbury Forest

 

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

The new Non-League season continued with our first midweek venture with regards to competitive action, which saw me travel to Cricklefield to see Barkingside’s first match in Step 6, in which they took on local rivals Newbury Forest. There were a few familiar names in the home starting eleven from last season, with centre-back Elliott Scott skippering the side. Dan Jones and Joe Oates were among the front three, alongside Olijide Yusuff. Forest fielded former Tower Hamlets goalkeeper Jordan Stansbury between the sticks, with ex-White Ensign pair Dean Nevill and Lubona Wyatt at centre-back and on the left flank respectively.

The home side started the brighter in terms of possession, though failed to create any telling final balls to the forwards. Four minutes in, a moment of nerves cropped up as custodian Charlie Howson’s hasty clearance cannoned off opposition forward Reece Okugbeni and flew wide of a post at pace. The visitors’ chief threat in those early stages came from wingers Lubona Wyatt and Tyrell Holder, who both exhibited trickery and pace. The half was fairly quiet in terms of chances as both sides laboured to ‘click into gear’. Eight minutes before the break, it was Forest’s turn to have anxious moments as forward Joe Oates was twice foiled by ‘keeper Stansbury.

Not making the most of chances somewhat blighted Barkingside’s campaign last term so at this point you’d be forgiven for thinking the same might happen here.

 

Half-Time: Barkingside  0 – 0  Newbury Forest

After the break, the ‘Side defence had to stay alert to deny Okugbeni an oppurtunity from Holder’s delivery though the tide shifted on 51 minutes when Joe Oates found himself in on goal with a prized chance, and his drive beat Stansbury, although the stopper did get a hand on it he could not keep it out. Barkingside had a much-sought after advantage. The visitors still posed a threat at this stage as Wyatt’s cross was blocked by ‘Side defender Nathan Saunders, who showed decent positioning. It was to be the hosts’ day though as just after the hour, after Stansbury had fumbled Oates’ initial drive, forward partner Dan Jones helped himself to the rebound to double the lead for Steven Le Sage’s team.

Forest had blazed a half-chance over the woodwork minutes later and with 21 minutes left, Oates got his second with a close-range finish with only the ‘keeper to beat. Five minutes after that, the hosts wrapped up a very promising second-half showing as substitute Muyiwa Osenie’s cool low finish fizzed into the left corner. Newbury were still looking to banish the hopes of a clean sheet and substitute Matt Connolly forced a decent save from Howson in the latter stages, while fellow substitute Antony McDonald’s effort just evaded the crossbar as well.

Full-Time: Barkingside  4 – 0  Newbury Forest

All in all, a good showing from ‘Side here with defenders Elliott Scott and Nathan Saunders doing well in defence, with forward Joe Oates proving the difference in attack. Forest fell away in the last half-hour or so which will be a slight concern, with wingers Lubona Wyatt and Tyrell Holder catching the eye in this match for them. I’d like to close by mentioning a ‘thank you’ to Barkingside FC, it may not be often that I’ll see them this term though it was good to be there following a tough time for the club.

 

 

 

 

Teams

Barkingside   | Manager: Steven Le Sage

Charlie Howson (GK), Nathan Saunders, Shaquel Foyewa (Ben Clarke 51’), James O’Brien, Elliott Scott (Capt), Berkcan Belindir, Francesco Balestrini (Ali Rajim 73’), Archie Hammond, Olijide Yusuff (Muyiwa Osenie 73’), Dan Jones, Joe Oates

Goal-scorersJoe Oates [51’ & 69’], Dan Jones [63’], Muyiwa Osenie [76’]

Subs Not Used: Hayward, Fudge

 

Newbury Forest    | Manager: Leo Connolly

Jordan Stansbury (GK), Thierry Bolton, Ansa Edem, Ferid Medanovic (Antony McDonald 70’), Freddie Anderson (Capt), Dean Nevill, Tyrell Holder (Matt Connolly 79’), Joseph Adewunmi, Reece Okugbeni (Zacharias Panagiotou 64’), Kieren Huddart, Lubona Wyatt

Sub Not Used: Morgan, Lupulescu

Referee: Neil Bailey