Match Report: Ilford 2 – 1 Barkingside (Sat 2 Mar) [ESL 2.3.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: TBC

2018-19 Season – Match 56

Saturday 2nd March 2019  – 3pm KO

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

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

 

Ilford break ‘Side hearts with late winner in Cricklefield derby

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

This weekend’s match was a crucial one for bottom team Barkingside as they entered the fray of another Cricklefield derby with mid-table Ilford. Alex Goldstone’s men had lost their last three league matches and had apparently struggled to create chances at times during that run. That certainly wasn’t the case here. Ilford have had a ‘mixed bag’ of late with victories hard to come by. Martin Haywood was missing a few of his key men including Jamal Djotsi and the suspended Yemi Adelani, which meant target-man Lauric Diakiesse led the line with support from livewire winger Musa Manneh and Connor Kain, with Lamarr Douglas skippering the side. Barkingside were also somewhat depleted with Isaac Marfo, Edward Lang, Max Bolton and Jamie Marsh all unavailable. Captain Harry Matthews reverted to centre-back, alongside Frederico Hernandez and Derek O’Halem and named a front three of Mario Gjini, David Hornsby and recent signing Craig Jeakins with another new signing in James Ross on the bench.

The match had barely begun when the Foxes handed ‘Side a ‘gift-wrapped’ opener. ‘Keeper Hugo Rossetti made a rare blemish of this magnitude as a goal-kick went straight to ‘Side forward Craig Jeakins about 15 yards out and he made no mistake in evading the attentions of a Ilf defender before slotting home calmly with a minute played. Unsurprisingly, this buoyed the ‘visitors’ as they showed that they were fired-up, even though after a good pass by midfielder Dan Jones, forward David Hornsby scuffed a shot harmlessly wide.

Ilford struggled for fluency in the early-going, with what few forays forward they had mostly heading the way of winger Musa Manneh who was a threat with his pace and trickery down the left flank. ‘Side defender Derek O’Halem still had to make two telling interceptions though to prevent clear chances on Ryan Karrer’s goal. Just past the half-hour, a rare Foxes corner was headed over at the back stick by centre-back Billy Golledge. ‘Side responded and you can only sum it up by saying they were wasteful in terms of the chances they created. Forward Mario Gjini was a willing runner all match though first his cross from the left of the penalty box lead to Hornsby mis-kicking his effort wide before Gjini himself was 12 yards out and his powerful strike cannoned back off the crossbar. Six minutes before the break, Gjini prodded a lofting drive over from eight yards.

Moments before the half-time whistle, Foxes full-back Emmanuel Dasho sent a pass in to midfielder Lamarr Douglas whose effort from the edge of the area was too tame to beat Karrer.

Half-Time: Ilford  0 – 1  Barkingside

Barkingside had produced a committed display in that first period, but were hamstrung by their wayward finishing.To their credit, Ilf gradually found their feet and battled defensively. Four minutes after the break, Douglas was barely off the left-side touchline before sending in a stinging curler which may have been heading wide of the top-right corner though Karrer was savvy to parry it wide to be safe. Just prior to the hour mark, Jeakins was denied from a set-piece by Rossetti tipping his effort wide before full-back George Woodward headed wide from the resulting corner. The hosts had a further setback when boss Haywood was given his marching orders on 62 minutes though the drama hardly ended there.

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Midway through the half, Ilford levelled through a well-taken strike by Golledge, hitting the top corner from about 14 yards. Ilford were suddenly back on terms and keen to battle on while the ‘Side players had the ‘wind knocked out of their sails’. The tension continued to increase with the game having a bit of a lull. With about 15 minutes to play, substitute James Ross had a toe-poke parried by a crucial one-handed save by Rossetti before being cleared off the line well. The luckless Gjini also struck the woodwork again when well-placed  before Rossetti gathered well to snuff out the danger and you wondered if it just wasn’t ‘Side’s day.

Unfortunately for the strugglers, it got worse with six minutes to play. A Douglas free-kick was turned home by ‘Side defender Matthews whose looping header wrong-footed Karrer and into the net. To be fair to Ilford, they kept their heads and saw the game out to collect a victory that earlier in the match they scarcely looked like getting, to be blunt. Not that they will fuss about that.

Full-Time: Ilford  2 – 1  Barkingside

Barkingside had enough chances to win two or three matches here though their poor finishing hurt them. They also showed where they are vulnerable as well as they paid a high price for defensive errors. You could argue that Ilford made the most of their decent periods in the game though sometimes score-lines don’t always reflect how the match goes.

Either way, congratulations to Ilford in their victory as they seek to remain in the hunt for a top-ten finish. Best wishes to ‘Side for the rest of their relegation battle this term. My thanks as well to Ilford for their hospitality.

Ilford   | Manager: Martin Haywood

Hugo Rossetti (GK), Emmanuel Dasho, Alejandro Seoane-Barber, Steve Sylvester, Billy Golledge, Luke Casey, Lion Docaj (Ryan O’Connell 60′), Lamarr Douglas (Capt), Lauric Diakiesse (Jerold Cobbiah 76′), Connor Kain, Musa Manneh

Goal-scorers: Billy Golledge [66′], Harry Matthews [OG 84′]

Booked: Douglas, Golledge  | Subs Not Used: MnCube, Mahoney

Barkingside  | Manager: Alex Goldstone

Ryan Karrer (GK), Harry Matthews (Capt), George Woodward, Derek O’Halem, Frederico Hernandez, Joe Thomas, Dan Jones (Connor Goldstone 80′), Joe Oates, Craig Jeakins, Mario Gjini, David Hornsby (James Ross 63′)

Goal-scorer: Craig Jeakins [1′]

Booked: Oates, Jeakins, O’Halem   | Subs Not Used: None

Match Report: Burham Ramblers 2 – 2 White Ensign (Tues 26 Feb) [EaSL Sth 27.2.19]

Eastern Senior League South

2018-19 Season: Match 54

Tuesday 26th February 2019 – 7.45pm KO

Venue: Leslie Field

Attendance: TBC

Burnham: Blue & Navy Blue Shirts, Black Shorts, Sky Blue Shorts

Ensign: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

 

Ensign snatch late point at spirited Burnham

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Players enter the ‘field of battle’ [Image by Scott] 
Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] with added photos by Peter D [Twitter: @ped1980]

A rare sujorn to Leslie Field saw me take in a midweek battle in the Eastern Senior League South between mid-table Burnham and top-four side White Ensign. The hosts have picked up somewhat since manager Alex Salmon took charge. Having brought a few more former Essex Senior League players into the squad like former Barkingside and Clapton midfielder James Briggs, the hosts are looking for a top-ten finish. They named a strong XI with Grant Webb at right-back, James O”Brien at centre-back and a front four made of wingers Adam Allen and Joe Howard plus forwards Bradley Morgan and ex-Hullbridge youngster Oliver Miller. Ensign needed to keep the pressure on leaders Hashtag Utd and included in their line-up was skipper David Limber, midfielder John Hillard (who grabbed a hat-trick last weekend) and a front three of Luke Skinner, Dominic Locke and player-boss Brett Munyard.

The first-half wasn’t one of the best you’ll see as both sides battled hard to gain the upper hand. Ensign did look somewhat hesitant in defence as they had to scramble the ball away from their area on two occasions in the early stages. forward Dom Locke was a good outlet down the right to ease the pressure though his good cross in was gathered by home ‘keeper Martin Sawyer. Burnham had two half-chances to break the deadlock before the quarter-hour as first, forward Oliver Miller broke down the left side of goal before drilling a strike just wide of visiting custodian Tim Pitman’s post. Minutes later, a home corner was half-cleared when midfielder James Briggs fired over from 20 yards out.

As the half wore on, both sides wrestled for the momentum and as a result, it did get very niggly for most of the latter part of the half. Ensign did hae a half-chance three minutes before the interval though midfielder Jake McWee’s header lacked the power to bypass Sawyer.

Half-Time: Burnham 0 – 0 White Ensign

 

The second half hardly lacked incident. The speedy Burnham front two did harry the visiting defence right after the whistle though it was Ensign who took the lead on 48 minutes. The home defence momentarily switched off which allowed a neat ball in to find forward Brett Munyard who struck a low effort past Sawyer into the corner. That lead only lasted nine minutes though before the hosts levelled with a fine attacking move. Forward Bradley Morgan found winger Joe Howard who sprinted down the right towards goal, out-pacing the visiting back-line and rifled home past Pitman superbly. Alex Salmon’s side made the most of this good spell as they took the lead five minutes later. This time, Morgan, Miller and Howard were involved in the move which ultimately saw Miller cross in for Morgan to strike home confidently from ten yards out.

Ensign did struggle to ‘raise it’ despite audible warnings from ‘keeper Pitman. In the latter stages, skipper Dave LImber’s back header struck the top of the bar and a 35-yard whopper from fellow centre-back Andy George needed Sawyer to parry it away befopre gathering at the second attempt.

Ensign continued to threaten as attacking midfielder Connor Barmby’s low strike drew another save from Sawyer. The hosts couldn’t hold on for all three points as substitute Nathan Dewberry powered home a well-taken strike, off the inside of the post to secure a point for his side, despite a period of the half where they were below-par and were in danger of defeat.

Full-Time: Burnham Ramblers  2 – 2 White Ensign

Burnham should be pleased with their performance, with spirit and stout defending being part of that. In my view, the front three of Miller, Joe Howard and Morgan showed that they can be a force in this division if they keep their consistency. They had good games today while for Ensign, forward Dom Locke and Jack Maleary stood-out.

Finally, I’d like to thank Burnham for their hospitality and also Ensign player-boss Brett Munyard.

Teams

Burnham Ramblers   | Manager: Alex Salmon

Martin Sawyer (GK), Grant Webb, Tom Howard, James O’Brien, Tyler Robinson, Jason Jones (Capt (Dave Etcheri 82′), James Briggs, Joe Howard, Bradley Morgan (Christopher Scott 90’+2), Oliver Miller (Karl Swanborough 76′), Adam Allen

Goal-scorers: Joe Howard [57′], Bradley Morgan [62′]

Subs Not Used: Kuderovitch, Fleming  |  Booked: Jones

 

White Ensign   |   Player-Manager: Brett Munyard

Tim Pitman (GK), Jack Maleary, Chris Howard (Thando Moyo 68′), Andy George, David Limber (capt), Jake McWee, Connor Barmby, John Hillard (Nathan Dewberry 72′), Luke Skinner, Dominic Locke, Brett Munyard

Goal-scorers: Brett Munyard [48′], Nathan Dewberry [89′]

Booked: Maleary, Barmby   |  Subs Not Used: Ainslie, Austin, Stubbs

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 3 – 1 Takeley (Sat 23 Feb) [ESL 23.2.19]

Essex Senior League

2018-19 Season: Match 53

Saturday 23rd February 2019 – 3pm KO

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 204

Hullbridge: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Takeley: Red Shirts,  Red Shorts, Red Socks

 

 

 

Second-half comeback secures important win for ‘Bridge over stubborn Takeley at Lower Road

Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] with photos by Neil Hunwicks [@AbridgeTooFar16] & Scott W

 

This weekend’s ESL game took me to Lower Road for this big clash between two of the current top-four sides as Hullbridge took on Takeley. The hosts enjoyed a big crowd for their ‘Sponsor’s Day’ and named a strong squad. New signings Greg Frederick and Joe Wright made their league debuts with the latter joining Luke Hornsley and Adebola Sotoyinbo in a quick front-line. Sam Taylor, Nathan Scarborough and ‘keeper George Marsh were on the bench. For Marc Das’ side, they named stalwart Ronnie Yates in goal with some back four of Bryn Thorpe, Andre Humphrey, skipper Matt Hurley and George Powell, with Freddie Burrell and Coby Miles supporting Mitchell Das in the central striker’s role.

It was the visitors who made the better start as once again the home side were ‘slow starters’. Right on ten minutes, lively winger Coby Miles attempted a curling chip from 25 yards though home custodian Lewis Greene gathered confidently. Moments after support forward Freddie Burrell struck a lob from a similar distance just over the woodwork, Takeley took the lead. A sweet in-swinging corner from Mitchell Das found centre-back George Powell at the back post who made no error from close range. Darren Manning’s side responded a minute later as energetic centre-back Jamal Allen headed just wide.

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Powell (far left) heads home opener for Takeley [Image: Neil H]
Takeley were characteristically powerful in the air with their tough defence heading crosses out of danger more often than not in the first half. They could have gone further ahead though as full-back Andre Humphrey’s blasted drive went through a crowded penalty box though Greene, possibly unsighted, made a good block to parry it away. The ‘Bridge boys were getting quite frustrated as we passed the midway point of the half as the match got niggly with tough challenges aplenty and fouls conceded. On 34 minutes, a super through ball by forward Luke Hornsley found strike partner Adebola Sotoyinbo though whilst one-on-one with Yates, the commanding goalie made a good save at his near post. Moments afterward, centre-back Perry Dunn had a header cleared off the line.

Although at times, the home side’s front-line were somewhat isolated, it needed another good save by Yates to deny midfielder Joe Skeels’ curling strike which was heading into the corner.

Half-Time:  Hullbridge  0 – 1  Takeley

This entertaining affair continued after the break, though the visitors will wonder what might have been as Miles found himself in on goal a minute into the second period, though his low strike was skewed wide of Greene’s far post. As we careered nearer to the hour mark, Sotoyinbo was getting some joy down the lleft flank with his pace and trickery. However, what ‘turned the tide’ was a reckless five minutes for the visitors. First, on the hour home midfielder Greg Frederick was bundled over in the box off-the-ball by midfielder Jason Todd, who promptly recieved his second yellow card by referee Eugene Robinson. Sotoyinbo converted the resulting spot-kick, in off the inside of the post.

What followed was even more surprising. Only three minutes later, the enterprising Frederick was hauled down again in the box and you guessed it..another penalty was awarded. Sotoyinbo converted once again, although his spot-kick squirmed under Yates who can count himself slightly unfortunate. Having said that, the Takeley goalkeeper more than redeemed himself in the latter stages as after a mazy run by Hornsley, past two opposition defenders, his point-blank effort was well-saved for a corner. Substitute Nathan Scarborough also unleashed a pile-driver which cannoned off the angle of post and crossbar as Hullbridge really asserted themselves with their opponents tiring.

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Takeley ‘keeper Yates sprawls across to deny Wright (far right) [Image: Neil H]
At the other end, a swift counter-attack saw Das play in midfielder Matt Gill whose goal-bound forced a fine save from Greene. The hosts sealed the points in added-time as a strong run from forward Joe Wright down the left saw him having only Yates to beat, he unselfishly squared the ball from the six-yard line to substitute Dan Okah to help himself to a tap-in to an unguarded net.

Full-Time:  Hullbridge  3 – 1   Takeley

Hullbridge certainly had more joy keeping the ball ‘on the deck’ after the break as Takeley defended stoutly in the first period. However, that five-minute spell of ill-discipline around the hour mark will irk the Takeley management team somewhat and ultimately they didn’t have enough ‘in the locker’ to get back into the game after they went behind. Takeley showed exactly why they are a stubborn opposition though ‘Bridge also showed two areas where they have improved this season, in defence and also scoring goals.

As far as stand-out performances go, Jamal Allen was strong in defence for the hosts today, along with ‘keeper Lewis Greene and midfield engine Greg Frederick. For Takeley, ‘stopper Yates reduced the deficit with another strong display, with centre-back George Powell and winger Coby Miles also having good games in my view.  I’d also like to thank Hullbridge for their consideration on their busy ‘Sponsor’s Day’ – that press box may be unfinished though it isn’t half bad.

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Hullbridge’s Greg Frederick in action today [Image: Neil H]

Teams:

Hullbridge Sports   |    Manager: Darren Manning

Lewis Greene (GK), Courtney Homans, Matt Rose (Capt), Jamal Allen, Perry Dunn, Joe Skeels, Greg Frederick, Emmanuel Okunja (Nathan Scarborough 70′), Adebola Sotoyinbo (Dan Okah 83′), Luke Hornsley, Joe Wright

Goal-scorers: Adebola Sotoyinbo [pen 60′ & pen 63′], Dan Okah [90’+3]

Booked: Okunja   |   Subs Not Used: Taylor, Marsh (GK), Fuadiantu

Takeley    |   Manager: Marc Das

Ronnie Yates (GK), Bryn Thorpe (George Pullen 51′), Andre Humphrey, Matt Hurley (Capt), George Powell, Jason Todd, Michael La Ronda (Joe Pullen 62′), Matt Gill, Mitchell Das, Freddie Burrell (Ryan Lynch 67′), Coby Miles

Goal-scorer: George Powell [14′]

Booked: Gill, Thorpe, Burrell | Sent Off: Todd (Two Bookings) |  Sub Not Used: Martin

Match Report: Sporting Bengal 2 – 2 West Essex (West won 3 – 4 on Pens in Errington Cup – Wed 20 Feb) (ECC QF 21.2.19)

The Errington Challenge Cup – Quarter-Final

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: 40

2018-19 Season: Match 52

Wednesday 20th February 2019 – 7.45pm KO

Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

West Essex: Yellow & Black Hooped Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Penalties sees West Essex through to Errington Cup Semi-Finals

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Players before KO (Image: Scott W)

Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with added photos by Andy Wilkins (Twitter: @wilkins_media)

The third of three midweek matches this week took me to Mile End for this hotly-anticipated Errington Challenge Cup Quarter-Final between top-seven side Sporting Bengal and mid-table West Essex. Sporting named a strong starting XI with Richard Robins in goal, playmaker Ashaan Siddik and front three of Steven Carvell, Mario Embalo and Curtley McIntosh, who scored four goals in a league match only days before. West Essex also showed they meany business with Jack Coker retaining the goalkeeper’s jersey, with a midfield of Samraj Gill, Callum Bloss and Joe Lefley supporting Hakim Medfai and Michael Mignot in attack.

It was the visitors who really got off to a flyer in this contest and broke the deadlock barely a minute in. A ball in from midfielder Callum Bloss was sent up for talismanic forward Michael Mignot to run onto. In doing just that, Mignot outpaced two Bengal defenders before slotting home well, low past Robins. The hosts were somewhat stunned as the Stags continued to have the better of the early knockings of this match, though Robins did well to deny Mignot on two separate occasions. Sporting started to came back into things as centre-back Kamarl Duncan’s header was parried well by West custodian Jack Coker.

Minutes later, Ashaan Siddik played in forward Mario Embalo who fired over the woodwork for the home side. Soon after, an error by visiting centre-back Nick Walk allowed Embalo in on goal though the Sporting forward was unable to keep the ball under control as Coker gathered at his feet before he could get a shot away.

Just shy of the half-hour, a brilliant run down the left flank by energetic midfielder Callum Bloss ended with a fine cross which found Mignot though he poked his effort wide. Kwame Kwateng’s side did get that crucial second goal eight minutes before half-time as Mignot slotted home very well from a narrowing angle.

Half-Time: Sporting Bengal  0 – 2  West Essex

As strong as West were at the start of the first-half, Sporting came out in the second period a different side and pulled a goal back on 53 minutes as a super ball in from the right wing found substitute Reside Coxi-Sebastiao who made no mistake from close range. Bengal continued to show their authority on the game though Coxi-Sebastiao fired over when one-on-one with Coker and centre-back Charles Gregory’s effort was straight at the Stags stopper midway through the second-half.

As we entered the latter stages of the 90, attacking midfielder Steven Carvell’s free-kick was well-parried away from immediate danger by Coker. A flash point came with twenty minutes remaining as West forward Hakim Medfai was dismissed for what was a adjudged to be a dangerous tackle on home skipper Duncan.  This further affected the visitors as there was a degree of tetchiness creeping in to the match.

The hosts did level things up with eight minutes to play as a peach of a cross from Carvell found Coxi-Sebastiao whose first effort rebounded off a post and then bundled it in on the second attempt from point-blank range. Bengal had a chance to win the tie in added-time as as another Carvell delivery found Embalo though the latter headed wide when well-placed. West had a half-chance as well seconds later as substitute Izzy Ogedy-Uzokwe headed back to Bloss who blazed his strike over.

After 90 Mins: Sporting Bengal Utd 2 – 2 West Essex

So, as the teams couldn’t be separated, the dreaded spot-kick lottery was required. Rokib Choudhury and substitute Codey Cameron netted the first two for Bengal while Callum Bloss and Michael Mignot responded in kind for West to leave it 2 – 2 after the first two kicks each. However, Mario Embalo and Symeon Taylor both missed their respective penalties so that score remained.

Charles Gregory and Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe netted the next spot-kicks to make it 3 – 3 though crucially, Coxi-Sebastiao missed which allowed Nick Walk to strike the winning penalty to see West to the Semi-Finals to face Clapton.

Result: West Essex won 4 – 3 on penalties (2 – 2 after 90 mins)

In summary, both sides showed their strengths at times and it could’ve gone either way though Sporting will be disappointed with their start to the match. West may have been similarly disappointed that they didn’t have the match won by half-time though the attending fans certainly saw an enthralling Cup tie with twists & turns. Thanks to Sporting for their hospitality.

Teams

Sporting Bengal   | Manager: Imrul Gazi

Richard Robins (GK), Rokib Choudhury, Tanvir Ahmed, Kamarl Duncan (Capt), Charles Gregory, Joshua Adeji, Bobby Redwood (Reside Coxi-Sebastiao 46’), Ashaan Siddik, Mario Embalo, Steven Carvell, Curtley McIntosh (Codey Cameron 73’)

Goal-scorers: Reside Coxi-Sebastiao [53’ & 82’]

Booked: Duncan, Siddik  | Subs Not Used:  Ngandu, R Gazi

West Essex    | Manager: Kwame Kwateng

Jack Coker (GK), Sanchez Hardy (Capt), Emanuel Wazola, Nick Walk, Josh French, Sam McNally, Callum Bloss, Samraj Gill (Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe 76’), Joe Lefley (Symeon Taylor 76’), Michael Mignot, Hakim Medfai

Goal-scorers: Michael Mignot [1’ & 37’]

Booked: Mignot, Hardy | Sent Off: Medfai | Subs Not Used: Bromfield, Matthews, Woodbridge

 

Match Report: Redbridge 2 – 2 Enfield (Tues 19 Feb) [ESL 20.2.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Oakside

Attendance: TBC

2018-19 Season – Match 51

Tuesday 19th February 2019  – 7.45pm KO

Redbridge: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Enfield: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks

 

Enfield deny Redbridge a morale-boosting win with dramatic leveller at Oakside

Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with photo by Peter D (Twitter: @ped1980)

The middle of the midweek action saw us travel to Oakside for another fascinating battle between two sides who have shown ‘shoots of recovery’ recently in Redbridge and Enfield. The hosts have made a number of new signings of late and fielded Michael Gooch between the sticks with winger Kai Heather and Paul Peston supporting a front two of Daniel Gilchrist and Taylor Tombides, with experienced pair Connor Okus and Petrit Elbi on the bench. Enfield also named a strong side with Joe Johnson, Stephen Ellery and skipper Ben Bradbury in midfield with support forward Ernold Haxhiu and Jimmy Cox in attack.

The match certain began as it meant to go on with both sides dukeing it out in an open, attacking way with winger Kai Heather and proflic forward Daniel Gilchrist both having early sighters of goal that failed to duly stress E’s custodian Jamie Merralls. Enfield’s defence has shown a renewed sense of determination of late as this was centre-back Jacob Dixon was in the right place at the right time to deny Gilchrist’s ball that was heading for the back stick. Enfield did have the odd foray forward and most of it was set up through creative midfielder Ben Bradbury though the home defence was certainly alert to the danger. Forward Jimmy Cox and midfielder Stephen Ellery had efforts which kept home stopper Michael Gooch honest though lacked power.

Redbridge responded in the last ten minutes or so of the half as a super deep cross in from full-back Jon Watson was well punched out by Merralls before fellow full-back Billy Willis inadvertently denied his side the opener as he got the final touch, tapping home whilst in an off-side position. As is so often the case, that moment was a flash point as with five minutes to go until the break, Ernold Haxhiu had the freedom of the penalty area to round Gooch twice before unselfishly finding Cox who blasted home from close range. The hosts hit back at the other end though Gilchrist fired over before Heather’s free-kick was parried well by Merralls and centre-back Joe Maskell then blazed over.

Half-Time: Redbridge  0 – 1  Enfield

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Midfield battle… (Image: Peter D)

Moments after the re-start, hesitant defending from the hosts nearly resulted in an OG. As it happened, the Motormen levelled two minutes into the half as Tombides’ well-directed header across into the far corner evaded Merralls’ grasp. Near the hour mark, a surging run by Tombides ended by neatly playing in strike partner Gilchrist though Merralls again did well to deny the former May & Baker man. Moments later, substitute Mark Frostick fired over the woodwork from a Bradbury corner and it was the visitors turn to suffer the consequences. With 63 minutes on the watch, Gilchrist cooly slotted low into the corner of the net to give Micky Wetherall’s men the impetus they so wanted.

The hosts piled forward seeking to ‘create daylight’ and secure the points though a combination of resolute defending and wasteful finishing meant they didn’t get the resounding lead they could’ve had at that point. E’s centre-back Lleweyn-Reid made two vital interceptions as well as substitutes Petrit Elbi and Connor Okus and Gilchrist all having chances but failed to beat Merrells, who had a good evening in the Es goal. With minutes to go of normal time, the visitors roared back as the home nerves intensified. Full-back Josh Flynn’s clever cut-back found substitute Akwasi Marfo who fired over.

That was a signal of the drama to follow as substitute Jordan William’s low strike found the corner to break the Motormen’s resolve in added-time. Due to players of both sides suffering knocks earlier, the added-time was substantial and both sides had chances to win it. Heather blazed wide when well-placed for the home side before William headed a good opening wide with almost the last action of the game.

All in all, it was a cracker of a match for the neutral (as to report on) though it was almost one of those games that will provoke diverse opinion. Redbridge certainly had enough chances to score at least four or five here though you know the adage about “If you don’t take your chances…..” and Enfield may have had a degree of fortune in that sense though in another they still contributed to a end-to-end battle as they were lively at times on the counter.

As far as ‘stand-outs’ go, in my view at least – the front two of Tombides and Gilchrist were a handful for the Motormen with tricky winger Kai Heather and playmaker Liam Burgess also showing how important they could be in their side’s progression in the coming months. For the E’s, centre-back Komal Lleweyn-Reid had a strong game with Ben Bradbury and ‘keeper Jamie Merrells also having a good influence on the game with their respective performances.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you to Redbridge for their hospitality and wish both sides well for the remainder of the season. Also, we have post-match Interviews with both managers on this week’s Grassroots Football Show on Thurs night. This match was yet another example (as if one were needed) that the division is getting tougher….

Full-Time: Redbridge 2 – 2 Enfield

Teams

Redbridge   | Manager: Micky Weatherall

Michael Gooch (GK), Jon Watson, Billy Willis, Joe Maskell, Dean Hall, Daniel Smith, Kai Heather, Liam Burgess (Capt), Daniel Gilchrist, Taylor Tombides, Paul Preston

Goal-scorers: Taylor Tombides [47′], Daniel Gilchrist [63′]

Booked: Willis, Okus | Subs Not Used: Miller, Asare

Enfield  | Manager: Matt Hanning

Jamie Merralls (GK), Josh Flynn, Tyler Fowles, Jacob Dixon, Komal Llewelyn-Reid, Joe Johnson, Amin Benyoucef (Akwasi Marfo 65′), Stephen Ellery, Jimmy Cox (Jordan William 76′), Ernold Haxhiu (Mark Frostick 56′), Ben Bradbury (Capt)

Goal-scorers: Jimmy Cox [40′], Jordan William [90′ +3]

Booked: Haxhiu, Dixon, William, Llewelyn-Reid  | Subs Not Used: Gormley, Thoma

Match Report: Barkingside 0 – 2 Walthamstow (Mon 18 Feb) [ESL 19.2.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 107

2018-19 Season – Match 50

Monday 18th February 2019  – 7.45pm KO

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

Walthamstow: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

 

 

 

 

Walthamstow record a comfortable win over ‘Side

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Players before KO (Image: Scott)

Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with added photos from Peter D (Twitter: @Ped1980)

The midweek action began with this crucial battle with ramifications at both ends of the table. Relegation-threatened Barkingside welcomed top-five side Walthamstow. The hosts welcomed back forwards Mario Gjini amd David Hornsby while veteran ‘keeper Ryan Karrer continued between the sticks. Ryan Maxwell’s side contained a central defensive partnership of Craig Pope and Vinny Murphy with a front two of prolific forward Dwade James and promising youngster Samrai Gebrai.

The home side had a poor start to proceedings as ‘Stow scored after just three minutes. A simple ball lofted over the top of the home defence by winger Luke Stanley found Dwade James who lobbed home custodian Ryan Karrer and into the net. The hosts nearly responded minutes later as forward David Hornsby was one-on-one with visiting ‘keeper James Bransgrove though the stopper got the better of the duel. Forward Samrai Gebrai and James were denied by Karrer when presented with good chances to score.

For the most part, the visitors dominated the play though concurrently, Barkingside’s defence was quite rigid, led by spirited centre-back Derek O’Halem. On the odd forage forward that Alex Goldstone’s side had, they were rebuffed by a strong ‘Stow back-line.

Half-Time: Barkingside  0 – 1  Walthamstow

 

 

 

The visitors started the second period in a strong fashion as well, as Gebrai’s dangerous delivery was cleared off the line by O’Halem. Ten minutes into the half, James burst down the left flank and his centre fell to Gebrai whose acrobatic over-head kick was parried by Karrer. ‘Stow continued to have the better of the possession though could be accused of being rather wasteful in terms of finishing. This was further evidenced by midfielder Jack Folan scuffing his shot when clean through to face Karrer.

In the latter stages, full-back George Woodward’s free-kick was headed wide by O’Halem. ‘Stow finally doubled their lead on 73 minutes as Harry Watkins fired in on the half-volley from 25 yards out. ‘Side’s evening got worse as Isaac Marfo was dismissed late on for severe dissent. Douglas was left alone in the area though Karrer denied him on the line.

Full-Time: Barkingside  0 – 2 Walthamstow

Teams

Barkingside   | Manager: Alex Goldstone

Ryan Karrer (GK), David Ottley, George Woodward, Jamie Marsh, Derek O’Halem, Harry Matthews (Capt), Joe Oates (Darnell Goather-Braithwaite 79′), Dan Jones, Mario Gjini, Max Bolton  (Isaac Marfo 70′), David Hornsby

Sent Off: Marfo   | Sub Not Used: Lang, Nascimento

 

Walthamstow | Player-Manager: Ryan Maxwell

James Bransgrove (GK), Ross Pope, Kyan Gulliver, Reece Conway (Capt) (Gus Douglas 79′), Craig Pope, Vinny Murphy, Luke Stanley, Harry Watkins (Benji Crilley 74′), Dwade James (Ryan Maxwell 85′), Samrai Gebrai, Jack Folan

Goal-scorers: Dwade James [3′], Harry Watkins [73′]

Subs Not Used: Flynn

Match Report: Frenford 1 – 1 White Ensign (Sat 16 Feb) (EaSL Sth 17.2.19)

Eastern Senior League South

Venue: Jack Carter Centre, the Drive

Attendance: 56

2018-19 Season – Match 48

Saturday 16th February 2019  – 3pm KO

Frenford: Red & White Striped Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

White Ensign: White Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

 

Frenford hold firm to deny Ensign a vital win

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

This weekend’s second match took me to a new ground and a league I rarely get a chance to watch as Frenford welcomed promotion-chasing White Ensign in this Eastern Senior League South encounter at the Jack Carter Centre in Gants Hill, East London.

Frenford are in a good mid-table spot and named Danny Driscoll as their focal point in attack, with Luke Woodward and Nick Hughes supporting him while skipper Carl Conway was joined in central defence by Nick Pegg. Ensign brought with them a strong squad with skipper Dave Limber alongside Andy George at the heart of their defence with John Williams and Connor Barnby in midfield and a front two of Dominic Locke and recent signing Nathan Dewberry.

The visitors showed flashes of their sharp passing game in the early stages with one example being midfielder John Williams looking to set attacks going with Connor Barnby bombing forward from midfield. Barnby had a sight of goal after a error by home goalkeeper Danny Fowler in clearing his lines fell to him though he fired over from 20 yards. Frenford did grow into the game though as full-back Enoch Freeman made a number of enterprising runs down the right flank, and although at times he was a little isolated, he gave the visiting back-line something to think about. With 16 minutes on the watch, Freeman fed midfielder Harry Daly whose cross found forward Nick Hughes though his header lacked the power to beat visiting custodian James Parkins.

The home side were having some joy down both flanks, with inter-play between full-back Billy Whatling and forward Luke Woodward ending up in crosses finding the Ensign box though more often than not, skipper Dave LImber was well-positioned in heading them out of danger. Ensign did look handy on the counter withexperienced forward Nathan Dewberry looking to beat the off-side trap though he also twice fizzed efforts wide of Fowler’s goal. Ensign spurned a decent opening three minutes before the break as Barnby broke free of the home defence though his strike failed to unduly trouble Fowler, who gathered well.

Half-Time: Frenford  0 – 0  White Ensign

In that first-half, although the hosts had more of the play and showed plenty of vigour, they didn’t really create many clear-cut openings. A mere 40 seconds after the re-start, midfielder Bradley Gates gave Ensign the lead with a vicious lob which diipped over Fowler and straight into the top right corner to leave quite a few in the ground a bit stunned. The hosts nearly responded before the hour though forward Danny Driscoll’s strike was well-saved by Parkins and for the next passage of the game, Frenford’s tempo dipped as Ensign conversely found more of the rhythm they needed. Forward Dominic Locke was also posing problems with his pace and trickery. Fowler was called into action again on 71 minutes though somehow centre-back Andy George missed a good chance to tuck home the re-bound.

Moments afterward, at the other end, Billy Whatling’s driving run from left-back led to another Woodward ball in to the area though Parkins did well to smother with home forwards lurking. However, Frenford were not to be denied as Woodward compounded a good performance by taking aim on the left of the penalty area which a sweet chip which evaded Perkins and crept under the bar. Both sides had chances to win it in the latter stages, with Barnby scuffing an effort whilst one-on-one with Fowler and Driscoll similarly couldn’t bypass Parkins after another telling Woodward pass. In the blur of added-time, a corner for the visitors was knocked on before before being cleared off the goal-line and substitute Julian Edwards got in front of Parkins but lobbed wide.

All in all though, a draw was a fair result, given both sides had their respective strong phases of the game. On another day, either side could have won it though Ensign may feel it is two points dropped, because of their keenness to keep tabs on the leaders. Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to all at Frenford (chiefly, the Forbes clan) for their hospitality and the welcome they extended today. I really wish them well with big plans coming to fruition ahead of next season.

Full-Time: Frenford  1 – 1 White Ensign

Teams

Frenford   | Manager: Dave Forbes

Danny Fowler (GK), Enoch Freeman, Billy Whatling (Tom Quinn 85′), Carl Conway (Capt), Nick Pegg, Harry Daly, Charlie Fairhead (George Fairhead 72′), Joe Villiers, Danny Driscoll, Luke Woodward, Nick Hughes (Julian Edwards 55′)

Goal-scorer: Luke Woodward [75′]

Booked: Villiers   | Subs Not Used: Cook

 

White Ensign  | Player-Manager: Brett Munyard

James Parkins (GK), Jack Maleary, Thando Mayo, Andy George, Dave Limber (Capt), Jake McWee, Bradley Gates (Peter Paoletti 80′), John Williams, Connor Barnby, Dominic Locke (Charlie Little 80′), Nathan Dewberry (Luke Skinner 64′)

Goal-scorer: Bradley Gates [46′]

Booked: Dewberry, Locke  | Subs Not Used: Austin, Howard

Match Report: Barkingside 0 – 4 Saffron Walden Town (Fri 15 Feb) [ECC 16.2.19]

Errington Challenge Cup 2018 – 19: Quarter-Final

2018-19 Season: Match 47

Friday 15th February 2019 – 8pm KO

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 115

Barkingside: Purple Shirts, Purple Shorts, Purple Socks

Saffron Walden: Red & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

 

 


Walden outclass ‘Side to reach the last four of the Errington Challenge Cup

 

Report & Photo by Scott W  [Twitter: ScottMHC14]

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The opening match of this weekend saw Barkingside welcome Saffron Walden in this Errington Challenge Cup Quarter-Final on Friday night, attended by a hefty posse of Ground-hoppers and ESL luminaries. The hosts fielded a front two of Max Bolton and Isaac Marfo with Jamie Marsh and Derek O’Halem in central defence and Ryan Karrer continuing in goal. Walden showed their intentions before kick-off as new signing Scott Pethers joining Ryan Fleming in defence, Jack Isherwood in central midfield and just the small matter of Daniel Trendall, (& former Sky Blues) Charlie Portway and Lewis Francis in attack.

 

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Alex Goldstone being presented with his MOTM award (Image: Adam R)

Before the match, on behalf of the GFS team, I presented ‘Side boss Alex Goldstone with the ESL ‘Manager of the Month’ award for January.

The match had barely begun when Bloods forward Charlie Portway found himself eight yards out though his strike cannoned off a post. On the quarter-hour, strike partner Daniel Trendall unselfishly played in Portway though his strike was this time saved by home custodian Ryan Karrer. Two minutes later, Lewis Francis did round Karrer though he didn’t bank on centre-back Derek O’Halem’s good positioning as he blocked Francis’ effort on the goal-line. To be fair to the hosts, they held firm despite Walden building momentum & pressure, showing the guts they will need you feel in their present League predictament.

The hosts had a little of the ball going forward but in all honesty, they got little change out of the Walden back-line who were certainly up for the challenge. In the latter stages of the half, Walden struck twice to put themselves in a good position. First, livewire Daniel Trendall was well played in and he made no error, slotting home confidently past Karrer. And then right on the stroke of half-time, The Bloods were awarded a spot-kick, which Portway stepped up to take. Despite seeing him uncharacteristically missing one recently, you still had the feeling he’d strike and shock, horror – Portway made no mistake to double his side’s advantage.

Half-Time: Barkingside  0 – 2  Saffron Walden

Jason Maher’s side hardly took their ‘foot off the gas’ as less than a minute into the second half, they were three goals up. Portway continued his unquenchable thrust for goals as he broke free of the ‘Side defence, before rounding Karrer and slotting home calmly. Walden saved the best goal for last though as only four minutes later, centre-back Scott Pethers’ stunning over-head kick flew past Karrer and into the roof of the net. After a sedate passage of play which highlighted where the result was going, Walden did keep going with substitute James Crane driving down the right flank and Francis continuing to strive to create oppurtunities as well on the opposite flank. Late on, substitute Ronnie Ledwith made a good darting run through the middle before his strike was saved by Karrer’s legs. ‘Side will have better evenings going forward though in Max Bolton, they had a quick striker who kept the Walden defence alert at times here.

At the end of the evening, there was no doubt who deserved the win though ‘Side will have to re-focus quickly as they entertain Walthamstow on Monday night. Saffron Walden go on to the semi-finals and they will take some stopping.

Full-Time: Barkingside  0 – 4   Saffron Walden

Teams

Barkingside   | Manager: Alex Goldstone

Ryan Karrer (GK), Abdul Musah, Edward Lang (Shaquain Maisara 60′), Harry Matthews (Capt), Jamie Marsh, Derek O’Halem, Dan Jones, Joe Oates, Max Bolton, Isaac Marfo, Darnell Goather-Braithwaite

Subs Not Used: Nascimento, Woodward | Booked: Lang, Marsh, O’Halem, Matthews

 

Saffron Walden Town   |   Manager: Jason Maher

Nicholas Eyre (GK), Spike Bell, Jack Mead, Ryan Fleming (Capt), Scott Pethers, Karolis Atutis (Ronnie Ledwith 55′), Craig Calver, Jack Isherwood (Tony Da Silva 49′), Daniel Trendall (James Crane 61′), Charlie Portway, Lewis Francis

Goal-scorers: Dan Trendall [38′], Charlie Portway [pen 45′ & 46′], Scott Pethers [50′]

Subs Not Used: Crowther, Maher

Match Report: Takeley 0 – 1 Enfield (Sat 9 Feb) [ESL 9.2.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Station Road

Attendance:  81

2018-19 Season – Match 46

Saturday 9th February 2019  – 3pm KO

Takeley: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Enfield: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks

Inspired Enfield battle to victory over Takeley at Station Road

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

This weekend’s Essex Senior League action took us to Station Road to see promotion-chasing Takeley take on Enfield, who were looking nervously over their shoulders at the bottom four, after a poor run. Marc Das’ side were missing the likes of George Wappett and Will Green though did field Andre Humphrey at left-back, skipper Matt Hurley and George Powell in central defence, with forward Mosepe Oguntuga being supported by Jason Todd and Coby Miles in attack.

Enfield rung the changes somewhat themselves with Tyler Fowles joining Jacob Dixon in the heart of the defence as well as Joe Johnson and Nathan Cook in central midfield. Jimmy Cox, signed from Hullbridge this week, was supported by Ernold Haxhiu in their froward line.

The E’s started the match a little nervily as an errant back-header presented the hosts with an early corner, though midfielder Alex Martin’s delivery narrowly evaded his team-mates in the area. Matt Hanning’s side responded in kind on four minutes as creative midfielder Ben Bradbury’s cross found midfielder Nathan Cook in space, thoug after a turn his effort on goal lacked the power needed to beat home custodian Ronnie Yates, who gathered comfortably. Both sides traded half-chances in the early stages of the game though the visitors suffered a blow as recent signing & goalkeeper Lewis Hawley had to be assisted off the field after only 13 minutes, due to a quad injury. We wish him well in his recovery.

The visitors gradually pushed their way into proceedings in the mid-way point of the half. Stephen Ellery’s free-kick was met by centre-back Tyler Fowles’ header, which Yates punched half-clear before the rebound was fired over the woodwork. Yates was called into action again soon after as after a good passing move, Ellery’s right-wing cross found forward Jimmy Cox, whose looping header was denied by the ever-dependable Takeley ‘stopper. Attacking midfielder Ernold Haxhiu’s fierce drive stung the fingers of Yates before it dribbled out of play with five minutes left before the break.

The home side nearly profited from hesitant defending at the end of the first-half as Coby Miles’ sweet ball in from the left caused indecision from both the defence and substitute ‘keeper Jayden Hocking-Rising before it was cleared. All in all though, the home side didn’t quite ‘find their feet’ in the first half and some of that was due to the unrelenting nature of the Enfield midfield.

Half-Time: Takeley  0 – 0 Enfield

 

The decisive goal came four minutes into the second-half as a good ball into the area found Cook, who flicked it on to debutant Cox,  who lashed home past Yates from about eight yards out. The visitors had another half-chance just past the hour as another Ellery free-kick honed in on the six-yard line was met by Bradbury’s header which forced another good save by Yates.

To be fair to Takeley, they did ‘move up the gears’ with regards to tempo in the last twenty minutes or so, as substitute Ben Smith’s strike hit a post, in a move involving fellow substitute Mitchell Das. The E’s responded again though as another Ellery set-piece from 20 yards out was well-tipped over by Yates. Marc Das’ side poured forward in the latter stages of the match as their approach play was decent though they got very little change out of a energised Enfield defence, who continued to close them down effectively.

All in all, the effort in that latter part of the game from the hosts came to nothing, who will be disappointed by the intensity of their performance here I suspect. They will have better days though take nothing away from Enfield, who really put in a resolute display and deserved the victory. Led by the hard-working midfield of Nathan Cook (whose work rate was outstanding) and Joe Johnson, the E’s defence were in no mood to concede sloppy goals here. Ernold Haxhiu also had a good game, as did fellow midfielders Stephen Ellery and skipper Ben Bradbury.

For Takeley, goalkeeper Ronnie Yates shone again to keep them in the match, while midfield anchor Alex Martin put in a good shift as well.

Full-Time: Takeley  0 – 1  Enfield

Takeley   | Manager: Marc Das

Ronnie Yates (GK), Mike La Ronda, Andre Humphrey, Alex Martin (Nick Barrett 71′), Matt Hurley (Capt), George Powell, Bryn Thorpe, Freddie Burrell (Ben Smith 61′), Mosepe Oguntuga  (Mitchell Das 53′), Jason Todd, Coby Miles

Booked: Powell, Smith  | Subs Not Used: J Pullen, G Pullen

 

Enfield  | Manager: Matt Hanning

Lewis Hawley (GK) (Jayden Hocking-Rising (GK) 13′), Luke Thomas, Kevin Bondjanga (Komal Llewelyn-Reid 71′), Joe Johnson, Tyler Fowles, Jacob Dixon, Stephen Ellery, Nathan Cook, Jimmy Cox (Michael Odoku 60′), Ernold Haxhiu, Ben Bradbury (Capt)

Goal-scorer: Jimmy Cox [49′]

Booked: Odoku   | Subs Not Used: Benjoucef, Thoma

Match Report: West Essex 5 – 2 Enfield (Sat 26 Jan) [ESL 27.1.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Attendance: 36

2018-19 Season – Match 44

Saturday 26th January 2019  – 3pm KO

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

Enfield: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

West’s five-star showing overwhelms Enfield

 

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

 

I returned to ESL ‘duties’ this weekend with this intriguing tie between two attack-minded sides in West Essex and Enfield at Mayesbrook Park. Neither side had won in their last three matches so both needed points. The hosts were missing the injured Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe and forward Cameron Gray though still named Michael Mignot and Hakim Medfai in attack with Tom Macleod returning as skipper. The E’s were also somewhat depleted though named goal-hungry Reece Barrett and Amin Benyoucef up front with Luke Thomas on the right flank.

Before the game, I had a feeling there would be goals in this one and that gut instinct bore fruit. The E’s started the game in a promising manner with full-back Josh Flynn and forward Reece Barrett giving the home defence a headache with their crossing and movement respectively. Fine margins did apply on seven minutes as creative midfielder Ben Bradbury was given space outside the box before crunching a 20-yard curling drive against a post with home stopper Jack Coker beaten. Minutes later, West midfielder Callum Bloss played in forward Michael Mignot, peeling away from the left flank though whilst one-on-one with Enfield ‘keeper Steven French, the ‘keeper did well to save with his feet.

On 13 minutes, Bloss was in the action again as he was adjudged to have been fouled in the area, with Joe Lefley converting the resultant spot-kick in the right corner. The visiting defence were not happy though four minutes later they really did make a mess of things as an under-hit back pass put French under pressure well ahead of his 18-yard box and he fumbled which lead to Mignot nipping in to rob him and gleefully passed into an empty net. Enfield responded strongly as Barrett had two chances but both went off-target. At the other end, Mignot’s pace was really troubling the visiting back-line and after French had denied him again after breaking through the back four, the talismanic forward had a hand in West’s third goal on 28 minutes.

Mignot did well to come off the left flank and with a low ball in, played in strike partner Hakim Medfai who ran on and drilled his strike past French into the far corner. Matt Hanning’s side did get a goal on the half-hour as they opened up the home defence to give Bradbury a tap-in from about six yards which to be fair their play deserved. West did look stubborn in defence in the main though with centre-backs Josh French and NIck Walk plus anchor midfielder Tom MacLeod powering away headers to clear their lines well. Six minutes before the break, the visitors pushed forward as Flynn played in winger Luke Thomas on the right though the latter’s drive sailed just wide of goal.

Half-Time: West Essex 3 – 1 Enfield

 

 

The second period began brightly for the hosts as on 50 minutes, as energetic midfielder Bloss played in a sublime weighted pass to play in Mignot who rounded substitute ‘keeper Jayden Hocking-Rising and slot home to make it 4 – 1. To their credit, Enfield continued to look handy in attack as around the hour mark, willing runner Amin Benyoucef blazed a half-chance wide plus Thomas and midfielder Ernold Haxhiou also slid efforts wide.

This in turn spurred the hosts who sensed they could further improve their goal difference. With 18 minutes remaining. substitute Symeon Taylor’s header was well-tipped over the bar by Hocking-Rising before Lefley’s effort hit a post. Moments later, Taylor sent another great ball in which fellow substitute Tom Woodbridge had a great chance though Hocking-Rising made another good save at full stretch to deny the hosts a fifth goal. Enfield did get a second with seven minutes to play as Haxhiou unleashed a powerful drive from 20-odd yards to beat Coker which gave them faint hope though that hope was extinguished in added-time as Taylor rifled home despite Hocking-Rising getting a hand on it. The E’s stopper had to be alert seconds later to deny Mignot a hat-trick though in the end there was no denying who deserved the points today.

The game also had a sour note to it in a sense as E’s substitute Jay Stavri was given a straight red for lashing out with a stray boot in the dying minutes.

Full-Time: West Essex 5 – 2 Enfield

 

All in all, this was a heck of a game and well-worth the trip, for the first-half alone. Undoubtedly, West boss Kwame Kwateng will be very happy with his side’s potency going forward as they did look sharp and could have easily got another two or three goals today. Add in the work rate to deny their opponents and they will consider it a job well done. Mignot and Bloss particularly stood out though the team performance was also strong from them here.

As for the E’s, like a few sides in the ESL this term, they are a contradiction (on this performance, anyway). They can certainly fashion chances well and be a threat with the quality they have, full-back Josh Flynn and forward Reece Barrett stood out for them today in my view, though you cannot ‘gift’ teams goals as they did here. Honestly, I sympathise with boss Hanning as I believe it is another indication of how the division (the ESL) is improving season-by-season and that hits teams hard at times.

Finally, I’d like to thank West Essex for the welcome they gave as usual and also I appreciate the hard work of both sides here in what was a pulsating match.

Check out my post-Match Interviews with both managers here (for WD Sportz & GFS): https://youtu.be/oAAhX4UFoek

 

Highlights of the match itself are here, courtesy of @Wdsportz

https://youtu.be/umP_7mOgZ1A

 

West Essex  | Manager: Kwame Kwateng

Jack Coker (GK), Emanuel Warzola, Sanchez Hardy, Nick Walk, Josh French (Symeon Taylor 57′), Tom MacLeod (Capt), Greg Frederick, Callum Bloss, Joe Lefley (Samraj Gill 80′), Michael Mignot, Hakim Medfai (Tom Woodbridge 70′)

Goal-scorers: Joe Lefley [pen 13′], Michael Miignot [17′ & 50′], Hakim Medfai [28′], Symeon Taylor [90′ 2]

Booked: Bloss  | Subs Not Used: Matthews

 

Enfield      | Manager: Matt Hanning

Steven French (GK) (Jayden Hocking-Rising (GK) 46′), Josh Flynn (Jay Stavri 64′), Kevin Bondjanga, Ernold Haxhiou, Chris Gormley, Jacob Dixon, Luke Thomas, Nathan Cook (Jordan William 64′), Amin Benyoucef, Reece Barrett, Ben Bradbury (Capt)

Goal-scorers: Ben Bradbury [30′], Ernold Haxhiou [83′]

Booked: Dixon  | Sent Off: Stavri  | Subs Not Used: Thoma