Match Report: Sporting Bengal Utd 2 – 0 Walthamstow (Wed 3 Apr) [ESL 4.4.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: TBC

2018-19 Season – Match 65

Wednesday 3rd April 2019  – 7.45pm KO

Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Walthamstow: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Bengal hold off ‘Stow to obtain record-breaking win

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

A ‘bonus’ midweek match saw me travel to Mile End to see Sporting Bengal face Walthamstow in what was Sporting’s final home match of the season. Bengal had come into this one in intermitten form at best, while ‘Stow have continued a superb winning run and were still looking to gain ground on the top-two of Hullbridge & Stansted. Bengal fielded Denzel Kobia in goal, with a strong midfield of Ashaan Siddik, Charles Gregory and Steven Carvell, who smashed two cracking free-kicks in their 4 – 3 home loss to Saffron Walden in their previous match. Tanvir Ahmed and teenagers Raul Gazi & Adil Haque were among the substitutes.

‘Stow also named a strong side, with a forward line of ESL Top-scorer Dwade James and Kieran Bishop, with exciting prospect Samrai Gebrai in support. Ollie Fortune and the returning Ryan Ramsay were among their bench. Both sides took a little while to ‘size each other up’ somewhat in the early stages of this contest though Walthamstow arguably had the better half-chances, with talisman Dwade James being denied a one-on-one oppurtunity with home stopper Denzel Kobia by the assistant referee’s flag. Kobia had to also be alert to tip over a Reece Conway free-kick which  arrowed its way into the danger area.

Bengal did respond well as on 18 minutes, playmaker Ashaan Siddik found the ball 20-plus yards out and rifled a drive over the bar. Forward Jay Knight was also predictably causing issues for the well-drilled ‘Stow backline, peeling off to find space ahead of them and after a fine run by full-back Rokib Choudhury down the right, Walthamstow custodian James Bransgrove was ever-aware of the danger to smother the ball ahead of Knight. The Bengal forward also blasted over the bar moments later as ‘Stow uncharacteristically withdrew somewhat in terms of their attacking mindset. You could be forgiven for thinking they were very aware of how significant this match was for them.

It got worse for the visitors eight minutes before the break, as Knight again nipped in, beat his defender and placed his shot well, out of the reach of Bransgrove to break the deadlock.

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Half-Time: Sporting Bengal  1 – 0  Walthamstow

I felt at the break that ‘Stow needed to raise their intensity, particularly going forward as although they carried a threat, they couldn’t quite find the final ball needed to pierce a quick Bengal backline. Indeed, it was the hosts who had the first opening after the interval as Knight cut inside well from the left before smashing a low drive from a narrow angle which Bransgrove did well to deny with his legs. To their credit, ‘Stow then had a decent spell and after James had headed wide from midfielder Nicky Symons’ free-kick, the Walthamstow striker spurned a decent chance, skewing a low strike wide of the far post with only Kobia to beat.

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On the hour mark, Bransgrove had to make another double-save in a goal-mouth scramble as Bengal knew that they needed a second goal. As we entered the last twenty minutes of the match, an errant back pass by full-back Ross Pope nearly sold Bransgrove short and allowed Knight in though Bransgrove remained composed to gather. Minutes afterward, Bengal talisman Steven Carvell sent in a sweet through ball into the path of Knight though Bransgrove once again came out well to smother.

As the minutes ebbed away, Siddik made a superb lung-busting 50-yard run through the middle into the 18-yard box before Bransgrove gathered at his feet. Bengal did get their reward though in added-time as another telling pass by Carvell found Siddik who slotted home well and realistically end ‘Stow’s promotion hopes.

Full-time: Sporting Bengal Utd  2 – 0  Walthamstow

In terms of stand-out performances, for the hosts, Jay Knight showed his experience with Steven Carvell, Ashaan Siddik and Kamarl Duncan also making important contributions here. For Walthamstow, goalkeeper James Bransgrove did very well to limit the damage, given the one-on-one chances Bengal had. Dwade James and Semrai Gebrai also shone in the ‘Stow forward line.

Finally, it was great to see the reaction of the Bengal management staff & players post-match as they knew they had broken the club’s points record in the league for the second successive season. Credit has to go to boss Imrul Gazi and his team. You also have to say that Walthamstow’s long winning run has been superb and as the club’s Twitter feed mentioned prior to this match, they have had some season this term compared to last.

Sporting Bengal Utd   | Manager: Imrul Gazi

Denzel Kobia (GK), Rokib Choudhury, Joshua Adeji, Corey Cameron, Kamarl Duncan (Capt), Moddu Jammeh, Charles Gregory, Ashaan Siddik, Steven Carvell, Jay Knight, Curtley McIntosh

Goal-scorers: Jay Knight [37′], Ashaan Siddik [90’+3]

Booked: McIntosh   | Subs Not Used: R Gazi, Ahmed, Haque, Tandon

Walthamstow  | Player-Manager: Ryan Maxwell

James Bransgrove (GK), Ross Pope (Jaffa Hussain 87′), Kyan Gulliver, Reece Conway (Capt), Craig Pope, Gus Douglas, Jack Folan, Nick Symons (Tage Kennedy 73′), Dwade James, Kieran Bishop (Ollie Fortune 79′), Semrai Gebrai

Booked: Conway    | Subs Not Used: Maxwell, Ramsay

Referee: Gary Baker

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Match Report: Clapton 2 – 4 West Essex (Tues 2 Apr) [ECC SF 3.4.19]

Errington Challenge Cup: Semi-Final

2018-19 Season: Match 64

Tuesday 2nd April 2019 – 7.45pm KO

Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Attendance: TBC

Clapton Red & White Striped Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Shorts

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

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The Stags’ clinical finishing secures passage to the Errington Cup Final 

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

This Errington Challenge Cup Semi-Final tie between Clapton and West Essex was too big a draw to miss. Both sides have been notching the goals recently so many may well have thought this would be a fascinating encounter. The Tons fielded Emmanuel Olajide in goal, Lanre Vigo and Conor Duffy as their full-backs, and in-form Giovanni Palmer leading the line. Kirk MacPherson, Timi Abiola and Dan Martin were among the substitutes. For West, they named a strong side as well with Jack Coker in goal, skipper Tom MacLeod in midfield alongside Callum Bloss and Joe Lefley. James Jewers and Cameron Gray were among their substitutes.

The visitors had the better of the early running with forward Symeon Taylor stretching the hosts’ backline. Jon Fowell’s side had the first clear-cut chance though on seven minutes as a lung-busting run by forward Giovanni Palmer down the left saw him pass West full-back Emanuel Wazola before placing a good effort towards the far post, although visiting custodian Jack Coker did well to turn it round the post. The Stags responded by breaking the deadlock three minutes later as creative midfielder Callum Bloss played in forward Michael Mignot who kept his composure to lob Tons stopper Emmanuel Olajide and making the net bulge.

In a match which continued to be played at a frenetic pace, Palmer again surged forward, forcing Coker into another good save before Palmer blasted the rebound wide. Midway through the half, Wazola played in Mignot down the West right flank, before cutting inside into the penalty area and sending in a dangerous cross that managed to evade everyone before being hacked away. West doubled their lead just shy of the half-hour with Wazola in the action again, his teasing ball in from the right unfortunately finding opposing full-back Lanre Vigo at the back stick whose momentum forced the ball over the line.

Clapton got back into proceedings minutes later as a curling free-kick from Ali Al-Nashi thundered off the crossbar with Coker beaten, with the ball falling to midfielder Andy Greenslade who fired home well. West soon restored their two-ggoal cushion, on 38 minutes as skipper Tom MacLeod rose highest at the back post and his knock-down caused panic in the home defence while Mignot nipped in and got a rare tap-in.

Half-Time: Clapton 1 – 3 West Essex

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Clapton started the second-half strongly with the lively Giovanni Palmer continuing to be their best outlet, with Palmer in on goal, forcing Coker into another fine save. The Tons fized two more chances wide wirth Al-Nashi and Greenslade unable to find the target. On the hour mark, Mignot was played in again and cut through the home defence before rolling home to complete another hat-trick. Six minutes later, tricky forward Samraj Gill found himself testing Olajide whilst one-on-one.

To their credit, the hosts kept pouring forward and with West bringing on substitutes and adopting a slightly more defensive mindset, gifted winger Ryan Reed blasted home another stunner from 30-yards into the bottom corner to suddenly enhance the his side’s chances of getting back into the game. However, the hosts would have no further joy as West dug in to seal a memorable win.

Full-Time: Clapton  2 – 4  West Essex

Clapton undoubtedly played their part in what was a throughly entertaining match, with Giovanni Palmer unfortunate to add to his growing goal-tally this term here. Lanre Vigo, Ryan Reed and Ali Al-Nashi all had good games tonight too. For West, Michael MIgnot showed once again how important he is to the side, though ‘keeper Jack Coker also made a number of good saves. Symeon Taylor and Callum Bloss also had good games tonight as well.

It is West who progress to the final at Bishop’s Stortford to face Stansted on May 6th, it will be a proud day for their club.

Teams:

Clapton   |    Manager: Jon Fowell

Emmanuel Olajide (GK), Lanre Vigo, Conor Duffy (Timi Abiola 63′), Ebz Gyamerah, James Falaise (Capt) (Tayo Awoderu 63′), Ahmed Mohammed, Ryan Reed, Andy Greenslade, Jeffrey Cobblah, Ali Al-Nashi (Jaydon Charles 68′), Giovanni Palmer

Goal-scorers: Andy Greenslade [34′], Ryan Reed [80′]

Booked: Palmer, Charles       |   Subs Not Used: MacPherson, Martin

West Essex    |   Manager: Kwame Kwateng

Jack Coker (GK), Emanuel Wazola (Kofi Appiah 78′), Sanchez Hardy, NIck Walk, Josh French, Tom MacLeod (Capt), Callum Bloss, Joe Lefley, Syemeon Taylor (James Jewers 76′), Samraj Gill (Cameron Gray 68′), Michael Mignot

Goal-scorers: Michael Mignot [10′, 38′ & 59′], Lanre Vigo [OG 29′]

Booked: Gill, Jewers |  Sub Not Used: Woodbridge, Ogedi-Uzokwe

Ref: Robert Claussen

Match Report: Stansted 0 – 0 Hullbridge Sports (Sat 30 Mar) [ESL 31.3.19]

Essex Senior League

2018-19 Season: Match 63

Saturday 23rd March 2019 – 3pm KO

Venue: Hargrave Park

Attendance: 183

Stansted: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Shorts

Hullbridge: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks

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The teams before KO [Image: Scott W]

Points are shared in this bruising top-two encounter at Hargrave Park 

Report by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] with Photos by Neil Hunwicks [Twitter: @ABridgeTooFar16] and Scott

This weekend’s Essex Senior League jaunt took me back to Hargrave Park for an eagerly-anticipated clash between the top-two sides in the division as Stansted took on leaders Hullbridge. The hosts have been grinding a few wins out of late though knew that a win here could be crucial to their hopes of the title. Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s team named a strong side with Charlie Turner retained between the sticks, with a back four of the returning Papa Asamoah, skipper Billy Coyne plus centre-backs Sam West and Joe Clark. Paul Clayton was just ahead of them with a front three of Callum Ibe, Jack Mitchell and the wily James Peagram. Ollie Bell, Carl Mullings and Jack West were all options on the bench.

Hullbridge tinkered with their starting XI with Daniel Okah replacing the injured Perry Dunn at centre-back, while Greg Frederick returned into their energetic midfield alongside Joe Skeels and Emmanuel Okunja with Yemi Adelani as their focal point in attack. Joe Wright and Adebola Sotoyinbo were on the bench, the latter having completed his recent suspension.

The match began in a slightly nervous way for the visitors as barely a minute in, Dan Okah’s challenge on home forward James Peagram was inches away from conceding a spot-kick. Skipper Billy Coyne stepped up to strike it though the ‘Bridge defence set the tone with a stubborn block. Bridge did respond and minutes later, pressed forward with a good run by right-back Courtney Homans ending with a good cross in though forward Nathan Scarborough’s header lacked the power to beat home ‘keeper Charlie Turner. This was a prelude to a good spell of pressure for the visiting side, as ten minutes in, a corner was floated in, and Turner did well to punch clear, he took a whack for his trouble.

At the other end, another Coyne set-piece was well-punched away by Sports custodian Lewis Greene. From the resulting corner, a super ball in from midfielder Charlie Barlow needed the intervention of centre-back Jamal Allen, still playing in a face mask to shield a broken nose. Even by the quarter-hour mark, the ‘Big match’ feel increased with an enlarged crowd only adding to the atmosphere around the ground. There was no shortage of tough, bullish challenges being made by both teams as they knew the importance of this match. Dead on the half-hour mark, Joe Skeels’ free-kick ended up falling to Allen in the area and his fizzing drive went through a crowed six-yard box and needed Turner to be alert to gather at the second attempt before the ball trickled over the line.

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Stansted ‘keeper Turner stays alert to prevent an opener for ‘Bridge [Image: Neil H]
Homans drives forward (St v Hul ESL 30.3.19)
Bridge right-back Courtney Homans sought to push forward whenever possible here [Image: Neil H]
Darren Manning’s side were showing the more energy and industry in midfield by this point. Timo Monsheju dashed down the right flank though Coyne did well tracking-back to deny him a good crack at a telling cross into the six-yard area. As the first half came into its final few minutes, Greene rushed out to punch the ball away from home forward Callum Ibe though in doing so, momentarily lost his bearings and was adjudged to have handled outside the area. After consulting his assistant, the referee decided to give the unfortunate Greene his marching orders, much to his frustration. Coyne had another free-kick much akin to the one in the opening minute, and again, the visiting backline did a firm job of denying the home skipper. Fortunately for the visitors, they could bring on substitute ‘keeper George Marsh who replaced Monsheju.

Half-Time: Hullbridge 0 – 0 Stansted

At half-time, I reflected on this battle as being a side with experience and craft in Stansted against the energy and pace of Hullbridge. It was the visitors who started the second period well, though half-chances at best for Scarborough and fellow forward Yemi Adelani couldn’t seriously test Turner. Both defences continued to enjoy good afternoons, as there were a number good clearances to repel decent crosses into the respective penalty areas. For the hosts, Callum Ibe was his usual threatening self with his pace and energy, even though at times he was fairly isolated because of the Sports midfield cutting off his supply line as they won the majority of the battles in the middle of the park.

Ibe in action (St v Hul ESL 30.3.19)
Callum Ibe was the hosts’ chief threat, here battling Homans for the ball [Image: Neil H]
Stansted were also reduced to ten men just after the hour as full-back Papa Asamoah’s clumsy tackle led to a melee and ultimately an added reaction to an opposition player in that confrontation saw Asamoah dismissed for his actions. As we verged on the last 20 minutes of the game, home forward James Peagram’s well-hit strike from the edge of the area drew a good tip over the crossbar by Marsh. Hullbridge pressed again for a decisive goal from a set-piece that found willing runner Nathan Scarborough down the left channel, he in turn found substitute Joe Wright who lifted his effort just over the woodwork in the last few minutes.

Full-Time: Hullbridge 0 – 0  Stansted

Turner punches out from danger (St v Hul ESL 30.3.19)
Turner punches clear with Allen closest to it for ‘Bridge [Image: Neil H]
Ultimately both sides drew ablank though the scoreline doesn’t entirely tell the story of a bruising encounter that contained more work-rate than chances for either side. The visitors will perhaps feel they got a ‘moral victory’ given they did perhaps edge this match. In terms of stand-out performances, for the hosts, Callum Ibe was a lively striker as ever, with bullish anchor midfielder Paul Clayton and full-back Billy Coyne also having good games today. For Hullbridge, centre-back Jamal Allen had another very good game, barely missing a header all match while Yemi Adelani was a threat as well with selfless running and stretching the home defence at times. Mainly there were two good teams on display here who were unwilling to ‘give an inch’ and thus, the ESL title race will continue into April.

My thanks to Stansted for their kind welcome as ever, and to the Webb family.

Teams

Stansted   | Joint-Managers: Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman

Charlie Turner (GK), Papa Asamoah, Billy Coyne (Capt), Sam West, Joe Clark (Carl Mullings 87′), Paul Clayton, Rob Norris, Charlie Barlow (James Turvey 84′) Callum Ibe, James Peagram, Jack Mitchell (Ollie Bell 69′)

Subs Not Used: Bennett, J West  |  Booked: Clark, Norris | Sent Off: Asamoah

Hullbridge Sports  | Manager: Darren Manning

Lewis Greene (GK), Courtney Homans, Matt Rose (Capt), Jamal Allen, Daniel Okah, Joe Skeels, Emmanuel Okunja, Greg Frederick (Adebola Sotoyinbo 76′), Timo Monsheju (George Marsh (GK) 45′), Yemi Adelani (Joe Wright 79′), Nathan Scarborough

Subs Not Used: Baxter, McLeavy |

Booked: Okah, Monsheju, Scarborough, Adelani | Sent Off: Greene

Ref: Eugene Robinson

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 0 Saffron Walden Town (Tues 26 Mar) [ESL 27.3.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Lower Road

Tuesday 26th March 2019 – 7.45pm KO

Attendance: 167

2018-19 Season: Match 62

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

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

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Both sides before KO in front of a hefty crowd at Lower Rd [Image: Scott W]

Hullbridge grab all-important three points over Walden at Lower Road

Report & Photo by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] with additional photos by Neil H [Twitter: @ABridgeTooFar16]

The latest Essex Senior League midweek match took me to this match at Lower Road as top-three sides Hullbridge and Saffron Walden faced off. Hullbridge had boss Darren Manning back in the dugout though also had to contend with a number of players out, with Adebola Sotoyinbo banned, Luke Hornsley unavailable and Greg Frederick and Michael Salako injured. Lewis Greene got the nod between the sticks with a forward three of Adetokunbo Sotoyinbo, Joe Wright and Yemi Adelani. Nathan Scarborough and Tim Monsheju were on the bench. For Walden, they were well-backed by their fans as they have been quite often this term and named Spike Bell and Jack Mead as full-backs with Ryan Fleming skippering the side and a front two of Charlie Portway and Lewis Francis. Oliver Emsden was among the options on the substitutes’ bench.

It was the visitors who started strongly as the ‘Bridge boys had no choice but to be alert from the get-go. Even then, in the first minute, full-back Jack Mead surged forward and his low drive was well-turned wide by home goalkeeper Lewis Greene. Three minutes later, home defender Jamal Allen, playing in a mask due to a broken nose, headed away though the fall fell to Bloods forward Lewis Francis blazed his effort over the woodwork. Walden did have the better of a predictably tight contest, in terms of possession and half-chances as we got into the middle of the first half. Sports had the odd telling foray in attack, as a good ball in found Joe Wright who moved quickly to find himself almost in on goal, though a excellent recovery challenge by visiting defender Ryan Fleming denied him the chance of a one-on-one with custodian Neil O’Sullivan.

What followed just before the half-hour was two great chances for Walden. First, Mead’s stinging effort was again well-saved by Greene before Francis’ header cannoned off the crossbar following up.

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Francis’ header cannons off the bar  [Image: Neil H]
A mere minute later, a peach of a cross by full-back Spike Bell found goal-hungry forward Charlie Portway though he powered a header wide of the far post. Perhaps sensing they were fortunate to still be level, ‘Bridge pushed forward again and only a brilliant save by O’Sullivan denied home forward Yemi Adelani good strike when one-on-one with the ‘keeper.  Portway miscued another effort wide when perhaps off-balance a minute before the interval. Although it was the visitors who had more of the chances, on the score-sheet they had precious little to show for it.

Half-Time: Hullbridge  0 – 0  Saffron Walden

Life after the interval was quite a bit different. ‘Bridge did break the deadlock seven minutes in as a powerful run by the ever-consistent full-back Courtney Homans ended as he let fly from the edge of the area which beat O’Sullivan before it went low into the net. Two minutes later, Adelani broke free of the attentions of the Walden backline though O’Sullivan saved well once again. The central defensive partnership of Fleming, Frew and Pethers were characteristically firm with a combination of recovery interceptions, powerful clearances and the like. That mindset of ‘shutting up shop’ was on display again as anchor midfielder Dan Okah’s shot was well-blocked for a corner. The hosts’ concern was raised in the latter stages as after having used all three substitutions, combative defender Perry Dunn had to be assisted off the pitch after aggravating a groin knock. To be fair to the travelling support, fans of both sides applauded him off after another gutsy display.

Walden sensed they had to take advantage of the hosts’ defensive re-jig as Okah went back into defence. To their credit, the visitors piled forward and created pressure as Messrs Portway and Francis sought to pounce though chances were thin on the ground at this point. As we entered added-time, substitute Tim Monsheju had an effort blocked for a corner but that ended up being a prelude to a moment of quality. Monsheju powered forward on the counter-attack down the left channel and played in Adelani who powered a sweet strike past O’Sullivan and into the top corner to seal the points for Darren Manning’s side.

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Adelani’s strike finds the top corner in added-time [Image: Neil H]
Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports  2 – 0  Saffron Walden Town

Without over-using cliches, the hosts roared back into the contest after being second-best, particularly in terms of chances in the first half. To their credit, Walden contributed a lot to the match and quite how Portway or Francis didn’t register on the score-sheet here is beyond me but that is how it can go. We’ve seen how much of an offensive threat Walden are and they showed what they will be going forward into next season as well if they keep this squad together.

In terms of performances, there were a number of players on both sides that shone in what was a tough battle. For the hosts, goalkeeper Greene, defenders Homans and Dunn and forwards Wright and Adelani all did well. For Walden, full-backs Bell and Mead showed a lot of purpose, energy and quality, with skipper Fleming showing his defensive nous and forward Francis didn’t stop running either.

Thanks to Hullbridge for their hospitality and it was great to see many familiar faces tonight, including a few Essex Senior League managers among them. It is a Non-League family after all and I’ll do well to remember that from this encounter. Thanks also to Malcolm for assistance with the stats tonight.

Teams

Hullbridge Sports  | Manager: Darren Manning

Lewis Greene (GK), Courtney Homans, Matt Rose (Capt), Jamal Allen, Perry Dunn (Forced off injured 79′), Daniel Okah, Emmanuel Okunja, Matt Baxter (Joe Skeels 63′), Adetokunbo Sotoyinbo (Nathan Scarborough 59′), Joe Wright (Tim Monsheju 68′), Yemi Adelani

Goal-scorers: Courtney Homans [52′], Yemi Adelani [90′ +5]

Booked: Okah, Baxter, Scarborough, Homans   | Subs Not Used: Marsh (GK), Dicks

Saffron Walden Town   | Manager: Jason Maher

Neil O’Sullivan (GK), Spike Bell, Jack Mead, Ryan Fleming (Capt), Matt Frew (Tom Lakin 73′), Scott Pethers, Craig Calver (Joe Maybanks 84′), Ashley Skeggs (Oliver Emsden 68′), Greg Strong, Charlie Portway, Lewis Francis

Booked: Strong    | Subs Not Used: Ledwith, Riley

Referee: Steven Marr

Round-up: Essex Olympian League (Sat 23 Mar) [EOFL 23.3.19]

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

Hello & welcome to another of my round-up pieces, this time looking at the Essex Olympian League action on Saturday 23 March, from the top tier to the results from Division Four as promotion & relegation issues continue to be sorted as we enter the last six weeks of the campaign.

EOFL Premier Dvivision

In Olympian Premier, the top-two faced off at Roding Lane. Buckhurst Hill defeated Kelvedon Hatch 3 – 0 with former May & Baker striker Reece Tranter getting all three goals to grant them their 10th straight win and extend Hill’s cushion to nine points at the top. Ten points from their last eight matches will be enough to seal the title and crown off a dominant season.

Springfield went up to 11th after a 3 – 0 win at Manford Way – a result which will see Manford relegated, unless off-pitch issues elsewhere see them be granted a reprieve. Rayleigh Town continued their good form with a 2 – 1 win at Old Southendian. Luke Stillwell netted for OS though Harry Talbot and Bailey Moss strikes overcame the hosts and increase Town’s hopes of getting a top-six finish.

Sungate also tasted triumph, with a 3 – 2 over Hutton. Rory McKenzie struck twice for the home side with Alan Brown also finding the ‘onion bag’. Will Marlowe and John Hilliard hit back for Hutton but they stay 8th while ‘Gate go 10th.  Finally, Bishop Stortford Swifts’ quest for a top-three finish gained momentum after a 3 – 2 win over Leigh Ramblers at Silver Leys. Steve Moore, Gavin Cockman and substitute Ashley Taylor-Forbes were the Swifts marksmen though Ramblers hit back through Seb Allen and Dan Martin goals. Swifts and Catholic Utd are the sides likely to battle ‘to the wire’ for that 3rd spot.

 

EOFL Senior One

Shenfield AFC won the top-four clash with Ramsden Scotia 5 – 3 with an ensemble cast on the score-sheet. Alex Broadbridge, Mitchell Day, Harry Hatt, Ronnie Hobbrough and substitute George Cunningham all netted to send AFC six points clear at the summit after their fourth straight league win. Basildon Town are among the challengers as they came from behind to win 2 – 1 at Ongar Town. Alfie Phillips and substitute Ross Giles both netted to keep the gap to 11 points though they have five matches in hand on the leaders. Lee Perry had put Ongar ahead though their mixed end to the season continues.

Rayleigh Town Res also had a forgettable afternoon as they lost 4 – 2 at home to Galleywood. Jack Chatterway hit another brace with Luke Osborne and Lewis Rose the other scorers for ‘Wood. Eight straight losses for Town mean they need at least three points to avert the drop, though they have five games to get those points in.

Herongate Athletic had a fine day to remember with a 7 – 1 demolition of basement side May & Baker Res. Ben Warren grabbed three goals, with Lee Atkinson and Ben Lambert both nabbing braces each to give Ath their ninth win of the season. Also, FC Hamlets were held 1 – 1 at home by fellow mid-table side Old Chelmsfordians.  Jordan Boden struck for OC’s who are unbeaten in their last six matches while Darren Serrano-Griffiths netted to ensure FC took a point to keep above their opposition here.

EOFL Senior Two

There were no fixtures in Division Two this weekend – another reminder that the end of the season Is approaching.

 

EOFL Senior Three

Into Senior Three now, with the most significant result being Basildon Town Reserves 6 – 3 home win over relegated Old Chelmsfordians Res. Player-boss Alex Shields got a double, and he was joined in the ‘brace club’ by none other than the Essex Senior League’s top scorer from last season in Marcus Bowers. Jake Bridgeman and Tommy Green were also on target as Town’s second side secured their Division Three status for another season. The same relief couldn’t be said for Roydon who lost 3 – 2 at Hutton Res in their final match of the season. Micky Coppin and Lewis Watson both struck for the visitors though Hutton got the win thanks to Tom Biddiss, Ben Trigg and Dan Grennell strikes.  Six defeats on-the-roll for Roydon has been very costly as they will likely join OC’s in Div Four next term.

Meanwhile, Laindon Orient won 2 – 0 at home to mid-table Leigh Town to endorse their chances of a top-four finish. A James Shadwell spot-kick was added to by Samuel Lake as Orient got their fourth consecutive success to go third on goal difference.

 

EOFL Senior Four

Finally, in Senior Four, Toby Res enhanced their chances of avoid the drop as they won 3 – 1 at mid-table Galleywood Res.

Buckhurst Hill Res strengthened their grip on fifth spot with a 2 – 1 win over Lakeside Res. That result means that a point in Dagenham Utd’s final match will mean Utd will finish third this term.

Also, Epping Town defeated Old Barkabbeyans 6 – 0 in Ilford. Glen Warwick led the charge with a treble, while Alex Paraskeva, Chris Lockwood and Daniel Garfinkle were also on target as Billy Cove’s side went five points clear at the summit, although Corinthians have three matches in hand. That result also meant that Old Barks will succumb to relegation next month after only three wins this term.

Match Report: West Essex 2 – 0 Redbridge (Sat 23 Mar) [ESL 23.3.19]

Essex Senior League

2018-19 Season: Match 61

Saturday 23rd March 2019 – 3pm KO

Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Attendance: 43

West Essex: Red & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Red Shorts

Redbridge: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

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Mayesbroook Park pitch pre-match

 

Stags’ defensive strength assists in valuable win over Redbridge

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

This weekend’s Essex Senior League match took me back to Mayesbrook Park where West Essex welcomed in-form Redbridge. The hosts welcomed back talisman Michael Mignot into the starting XI here, alongside the lively Symeon Taylor and Samraj Gill in attack with Jack Coker resuming between the sticks, debutant James Jewers in midfield and Sanchez Hardy skippering the side. Tom MacLeod, Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe and Cameron Gray were among a strong Stags bench. Redbridge came into this one in fine form though were missing important players in Connor Okus, Kai Heather and Jon Watson here though still named a front three of Daniel Gilchrist, Petrit Elbi and Taylor Tombides, with Paul Preston just behind them and Rhys Hughes between the sticks. New signing Walid Chaib was on the bench.

Early doors, it was the visitors who gradually asserted themselves in terms of possession and with fourteen minutes gone, Motormen forward Petrit Elbi lofted drive was tipped over the crossbar by West ‘keeper Jack Coker. A good one-two followed at the other end with tricky forward Samraj Gill feeding the ball back to fellow attacker Michael Mignot before Mignot skewed his effort wide. Mignot was predictably giving the visiting defence a hard afternoon with his pace and strength,  his knock-down was blazed over by strike partner Symeon Taylor on 26 minutes.

West were finding the odd pocket of space in front of the visiting backline and just shy of the half-hour, West creative midfielder Callum Bloss’ telling through ball found Mignot though he fizzed his shot wide in the sand-assisted penalty area from ten yards out. For Micky Wetherall’s team, they had enough of the ball though were finding it hard to create the clear-cut chances they needed. Ten minutes before the break, skipper Liam Burgess fired a free-kick in to the back-post but there was ‘nobody home’ at the back-post on that occasion.

In terms of chances, the game wasn’t dull as they continued to be traded around. Elbi fired over once again for the visitors, before Mignot broke through the Motormen defence though his drive was denied well by visiting stopper Rhys Hughes. With half-time approaching, Redbridge forward Daniel Gilchrist made a good run into the box though was stopped by a good interception by West full-back Emanuel Wazola. Moments later, patient build-up play around the 18-yard box eventually found Gill who let fly with a sumptious curling drive, above the reach of Hughes and into the top corner for a fine home opening goal.

Half-Time: West Essex  1 – 0  Redbridge

The visitors started the second half well as strong midfielder Charleston Browne played in full-back Billy Willis though Stags captain Sanchez Hardy cut out the ensuing cross from the right. On the other side of the pitch, stand-in full-back Daniel McCullock made a fine run down the left though Elbi again couldn’t find a way past Coker. Minutes later, Hughes did well again to deny Taylor, this time one-on-one. Midway through the second half though, Taylor made a surging run into the box, got his shot away which was dribbling wide though Mignot was on-hand to guide the ball into the roof of the net.

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West set-piece curator Joe Lefley about to strike a free-kick

Redbridge continued to push for a way back into the contest, though Gilchrist’s powerful effort was well-parried away by Coker. In fairness, the Stags’ backline was in a miserly mood, making all manner of headers away and timely interceptions to frustrate the opposition. On a rare occasion where Gilchrist found a little space in the penalty area, he miscued a good chance wide of the far post with only Coker to beat. West were continuing to look dangerous on the counter, as after Bloss had chipped just over the woodwork, substitute Cameron Gray flicked on fellow sub Tom Woodbridge’s pass to Mignot who fired wide. With minutes left on the clock, Elbi’s frustrating afternoon continued as his drive was well-parried again by Coker, out for a corner.

West did manage to complete a rare clean sheet here which is a testament to their determined attitude today and they deserved their victory as well, showing their usual attractive brand of attacking football to good effect. Redbridge will be disappointed that they couldn’t be more clinical in front of goal as they did well in terms of ball retention in phases during the match.

Full-Time: West Essex  2 – 0  Redbridge

In summary, in my view the front three of Taylor, Gill and Mignot all had good games for West as they each provided a threat and an option for their team. The back five also deserve a mention, as they really ‘stood up to be counted’ in terms of their defensive display. For Redbridge, Petrit Elbi kept going despite not getting on the score-sheet, as did Dan Gilchrist though I also have to mention stand-in full-back Daniel McCullock who usually plays further forward, he did well in an unfamilar role at left-back, giving his side pace and energy down that side.

Finally, I’d like to thank West Essex for their welcome today, what with Barking’s plans for a 3G pitch next season, they may well benefit from being tenants playing here then.

 

If you’d like to watch video highlights of this match, check out WD Sportz footage here: https://youtu.be/O3T1dGghIlY (first match in the episode)

Teams

West Essex   | Manager: Kwame Kwateng

Jack Coker (GK), Emanuel Wazola, Sanchez Hardy (Capt), Josh French, Nick Walk, James Jewers (Tom Woodbridge 67′), Callum Bloss, Joe Lefley (Cameron Gray 75′), Samraj Gill (Tom MacLeod 79′), Symeon Taylor, Michael Mignot

Goal-scorers: Samraj Gill [45′ +2], Michael Mignot [66′]

Subs Not Used: Bromfield, Ogedi-Uzokwe |  Booked: Walk, Wazola

Redbridge   |   Manager: Micky Wetherall

Rhys Hughes (GK), Billy Willis (Ezekiel Adesanya 82′), Daniel McCullock (Quincy Egbejale 82′), Daniel Smith, Dean Hall, Liam Burgess (Capt), Charleston Browne, Paul Preston, Daniel Gilchrist, Petrit Elbi, Taylor Tombides (Walid Chaib 46′)

Booked: McCullock, Smith, Burgess, Hall    |  Subs Not Used: None

Ref: Remi Opolade

Match Report: Hoddesdon Town 0 – 1 Stansted (Sat 16 Mar) [ESL 16.3.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Lowfield

Attendance: TBC

2018-19 Season – Match 59

Saturday 16th March 2019  – 3pm KO

Hoddesdon: White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Stansted:  Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

 

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Both teams before KO

 

Stansted grind out a hard-fought win at Lowfield

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

This weekend’s Essex Senior League match took me to Lowfield for the first time to see Hoddesdon battle leaders Stansted. Hoddesdon have had a very decent first season in the division, with their defence being one of the better ones in the league so the Airportmen knew they would be in for a tough game here. The Lilywhites made one change from last week’s narrow loss at Hullbridge, with Chris Webb coming in at right wing-back with Aiden Critchley on the other side and a front three of Cyrus Babaie, Joss Lillis and Blue Gallagher. Stansted retained Charlie Turner between the sticks and had wingers Jack Mitchell and Connor Hammond supporting forwards Callum Ibe and Ollie Bell, with Messrs Peagram, Mullings and Palmer all options on the bench.

In the early throngs of this contest, it was the hosts who had the better of the possession as the Airportmen lived up to their characteristics of defending stoutly. The first half-chance came on 13 minutes, with a free-kick found Hoddy centre-back Oliver Gnandi at the back-post though his header lacked the power to beat visiting stopper Charlie Turner, who gathered it compentently. At the other end, Stansted had a few forages forward though dangerous crosses were just out of reach of their intended targets. The windy conditions nearly had a telling hand in proceedings as a good ball in from winger Connor Hammond got caught up before cannoning off the Hoddesdon woodwork.

For the most part, it was the Lillywhites who had the better of the ball before the break, though clear-cut chances just were not there, due to combination of stubborn defending and that final ball for the hosts which wasn’t forthcoming. Even so, Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s charges knew they needed to usher in an improvement after the break.

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Half-Time: Hoddesdon  0 – 0  Stansted

Stansted did emerge after the break with renewed purpose, as they forced a few corners on-the-reel to give the Hoddy defence a headache. However, it was Simon Riddle’s side who arguably didn’t make the most of two decent chances. Five minutes into the half, forward Joss Lillis’ header forced Turner into action. Two minutes later, midfielder Scott Hayes bombed on and sent a tame effort wide of the far post with Turner committed. The deadlock was finally broken on 55 minutes as another Hammond corner arrowed into the six-yard line and after a goalmouth scramble, skipper Paul Clayton headed home to give Stansted the advantage.

Just after the hour, Stansted had a glimmer of that lead being doubled as centre-back Sam West’s dinked ball in found substitute Jordan Palmer who sent his header wide. As we entered the last 20 minutes, the hosts remained a threat as Lillis played in fellow forward Cyrus Babaie whose effort was well-parried by Turner. Stansted knew that they had to ‘stay on the front foot’ and minutes later, Ollie Bell’s 20-yard free-kick was well-denied by Hoddy goalkeeper Aaron Bull who was in no mood to concede again.

As the minutes slowly elapsed, Callum Ibe’s pace was stretching the home defence as on two occasions he beat the off-side trap though after good runs, he couldn’t get past Bull with two efforts on goal. In the end, the hosts didn’t quite had enough in terms of finishing to back up their decent ball rentention and defensive qualities as the Airportmen ground out another important three points.

Full-time: Hoddesdon 0 – 1  Stansted

As far as stand-out performances go today, although it was a solid team performance by Hoddesdon, forward Cyrus Babaie, ‘keeper Aaron Bull and centre-back Michael Elliott all had good games today I feel. For the Airportmen, centre-back Paul Clayton, winger Connor Hammond and and right-back Jamie Bennett stood out somewhat here as Stansted showed they can keep racking up the wins and with other results going for them, it sets up an exciting showdown with Hullbridge at the end of the month.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you to Hoddesdon for their hospitality today and wish them well for the final month or so of the campaign.

 

Hoddesdon Town   | Manager: Simon Riddle

Aaron Bull (GK), Chris Webb, Michael Elliott (Capt) (Mulik Rickman 76′), Jack Riddle, Oliver Gnandi, Sam Cross, Cyrus Babaie, Scott Hayes, Joss Lillis (Imani Matthews 85′), Blue Gallagher (Harrison Rockard 65′), Aiden Critchley

Booked: J Riddle, Elliott, Bull, Critchley    | Subs Not Used: Ramthor, C Doherty

 

Stansted  | Joint-Managers: Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman

Charlie Turner (GK), Jamie Bennett, Joe Clark, Sam West, Paul Clayton, Rob Norris, Jack Mitchell (James Turvey 85′), Harvey Brown (Jordan Palmer 58′), Callum Ibe, Ollie Bell, Connor Hammond (James Peagram 70′)

Goal-scorer: Paul Clayton [55′]

Booked: Bell    | Subs Not Used: Mullings, Buffin

Referee: Jide Ogunba

Match Report: Hashtag Utd 1 – 2 Harleston Town (Tues 12 Mar) [TNFDKO S-F 12.3.19]

Thurlow Nunn First Division KO Cup: Semi-Finals

Venue: Coles Park

Attendance: TBC

2018-19 Season – Match 58

Tuesday 12th March 2019  – 7.45pm KO

Hashtag U: Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks

Harleston: White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Harleston overcome Hashtag to make KO Cup Final

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

On a rare break from Essex Senior League action, I went to Haringey Borough’s Coles Park to see the first semi-final of the TN First Division Knockout Cup which saw Hashtag Utd take on Harleston Town. Both of these sides of top of their respective divisions at present (Hashtag are top of Eastern Senior Lge (EaSL) South while Town are top of EaSL North). As many in the Non-League community have this term, you hear a fair bit of the ‘buzz’ that Hashtag Utd have created in their first season of senior Football, with their match commentary and obvious social media connections but what interested me the most is this: what are they like on-the-pitch?

In this match, Player/assistant boss Neil Richmond led the attack alongside Ryan Adams, with wingers Albie Keith and Harry Honesty providing the support on the flanks. Matt Carter, Lee Hursit and Charlie Morley were among the substitutes. Harleston are another side that have had a stand-out season regardless of how it finishes, as they named Lawrence Cheese as their number nine, with Scott Roberts and Nathan Stone providing support. It was worth noting that all three have got more than ten league goals this term already.

Onto the match itself then and it was the visitors who had the better of the early stages, with full-back Jake Anema looking  to ping in dangerous crosses from the right flank to stretch the home defence. Town frontman Lawrence Cheese signalled his intent as well barely three minutes in as his drive had to be parried away by home stopper Jamie Jackson. The ‘Tags’ responded immediately at the other end as forward Ryan Adams’ stinging effort needed visiting custodian Brandon LIng to be alert enough to tip it over the ccrossbar.

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Image by Peter D 

 

Cheese continued to be a threat for Harleston and only a superb covering tackle by Utd centre-back Faral Tsingano prevented him having a sighter on goal. The action-packed start to the game continued as Hashtag poured forward again, with winger Harry Honesty’s good centre found fellow winger Albie Keith who sent a powerful header towards goal which Ling did well to save. With 19 minutes on the watch, Neil Richmond was well-placed in the penalty box though just when you thought he had a tap-in, Ling reacted well to smother the angle and deny Utd again.

Harleston then broke the stalemate six minutes later as a ball forward nicked off a home defender into the path of the advancing Cheese who blasted home past Jackson low into the net to really give the home side something to think about. Honesty had a header at goal just before the break though in the main, Harleston deserved their lead as they were showing their uncompromising nature, particularly defensively.

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Image by Peter D 

Half-Time: Hashtag 0 – 1 Harleston

Hashtag started the second half looking to get back on terms though in their pursuit of creating clear-cut chances, they were frustrated by a Harleston defence who were in no mood to gift anything, led by the impressive Andrew Howell who barely lost a header all match. Still, Utd were looking to get back on terms, although Honesty let fly with a 30-yarder which Ling gathered at the second attempt. The crucial second goal for the enterprising visitors came on 56 as after Jackson made a good interception to deny a dangerous cross, his momentum took him into Town midfielder Nick Howell who was sent sprawling. Referee’s verdict: Penalty.

Nathan Stone stepped up to duly fire home the spot-kick and Hashtag were really up against it, although you wouldn’t say that to the noisy contingent of home fans singing songs about their favourite players and that is good to see. Utd continued to huff & puff though finally got a breakthrough with 15 minutes remaining. Midfielder Ross Gleed cracked home a super strike, low into the corner from 20+ yards to give Jay Deveraux’s side some hope of getting back into the tie.

Unsurprisingly, Utd poured forward in the latter stages and although there were signs that Town were ‘feeling the pressure’ at the back, they held firm to complete a fine win and a place in the First Division KO Cup Final.

Full-time: Hashtag  1 – 2 Harleston

I would like to say thank you to the hosts for their hospitality and wish Hashtag well in their quest to get promoted and therefore join the ranks of the Essex Senior League.

Hashtag Utd   | Manager: J Deveraux

Jackson (GK), Peddie, Williams, Tsingano, Harrison (Capt), Evans (Hursit 79′), Keith (Morley 83′), Gleed, Adams (Carter 61′), N Richmond, Honesty

Goal-scorer: Ross Gleed [75′]

Booked: Richmond   | Subs Not Used: Brougham, Kellum

 

Harleston Town  | Manager: A Gorleston

Ling (GK), Anema, Delaney, Roe, Howard (Capt), A Howell, Russell, N Howell (Burke 62′), Roberts, Stone (Betts 68′)

Goal-scorers: Lawrence Cheese [25′ ], Nathan Stone [pen 56′]

Booked: Roe    | Subs Not Used: Pickess, Hundson, Green,

Match Report: Hullbridge 1 – 0 Hoddesdon (Sat 9 Mar) [ESL 10.3.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 72

2018-19 Season: Match 57

Saturday 9th March 2019 – 3pm KO

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

Hoddesdon: White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Players before KO (Image by SW)
Players before KO (Image by Scott W)

Hard work sees Hullbridge to another win over gutsy Hoddy

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

This weekend’s Essex Senior League match took me back to Lower Road for an intriguing battle between promotion-chasing Hullbridge and the sturdy mid-table outfit that is Hoddesdon. The plot thickened a bit before kick-off as news emerged that Sports boss Darren Manning started a three-match stadium ban here so the team would be lead by assistant boss James Wakeling and their coaching team. ‘Bridge had won their last three matches so would there be any change to their form? They named a front three of Adebola Sotoyinbo, Luke Hornsley & Nathan Scarborough with Jamal Allen once again being partnered by Perry Dunn in central defence, plus recent signings Wright, Fuadianitu and Tbo Sotoyinbo on the bench.

Hoddesdon have shown themselves to be formidable opposition on their day this season in the ESL and prior to this one had only lost one of their last five outings, as they looked to add further foundations here to ensure a top-ten finish. Simon Riddle’s team had Aaron Bull in goal with Cyrus Babaie and Connor Bolton supporting Joss Lillis in their front-line. The elements had certainly tried their best to cause trouble as pitch conditions were slippery at best, with added swirling wind coursing through regularly as well.

It didn’t take long for Hoddy to ‘set their stall out’ to be hard-working and strong in the challenge as well. The aforementioned conditions did cause a fair bit of nervousness in the home defence in the early moments of the match, as goalkeeper George Marsh’s errant clearance fell to visiting forward Blue Gallagher though Marsh redeemed himself by denying Gallagher’s chance on goal.

The visitors were looking to be a threat from set-pieces as well and soon after the quarter-hour, Gallagher’s pass was just out of the reach of forward Joss Lillis when the latter was well-placed to strike. The nerves in the home stands was steadily rising as although the ‘engine room’ of Frederick and Skeels in midfield was matching their opposition, the final fall to the forwards was not coming on a surface that wasn’t particularly helpful, it has to be said.

Sotoyinbo's header sees ball in net (Image by Neil H)
Sotoyinbo’s header finds the net (Image: Neil H)

Regardless, it was Hullbridge who broke the stalemate on 28 minutes as a super cushioned ball in from the right flank by full-back Courtney Homans arrowed into the six-yard line which found creative forward Adebola Sotoyinbo who rose to beat two opposition defenders in the air and head home well past visiting stopper Aaron Bull and into the corner. The relief for the hosts was palpable though in the next phase of the match, it got increasingly niggly as tensions threatened to boil over briefly.

Two more chances presented themselves before the break as with three minutes until the break, a deep Skeels free-kick as headed wide by ‘Bridge centre-back Perry Dunnat the back post. And moments before the whistle, a ball in from Hoddy winger Connor Bolton swirled up in the wind though Marsh kept his concentration to gather before it crept in under his crossbar.

Half-Time: Hullbridge 1 – 0  Hoddesdon

Hoddy 'keeper Aaron Bull punches away another set-piece (Image by Neil H)
Solid ‘keeper Aaron Bull punches ball out of danger (Image by Neil H)

After the break, Hoddesdon came out with a new fizz to their play as the home defence took time to settle into their work. Minutes into the second-half, pacy winger Cyrus Babaie was redeployed into a more central position and his pace and trickery gave the likes of Dunn a headache, only endorsing the fact that the job was not done yet for the home side. At the other end, Hoddy centre-back Oliver Gnandi was marshalling the defence well and heading crosses out well. Chances continued to be at a premium really, as the match showed more promise than what actually cropped up. Both sides continued to work hard though and defended deep at times.

One of the stand-out moments of the game came on 76 minutes as home forward Luke Hornsley made one of his trademark strong runs into the penalty area, beating three defenders though didn’t have the finish to match as he slotted wide. It was hardly plain-sailing though for the home defence as they had to deal with more anxiety-provoking moments as Joss Lillis’ strike struck his own player with ten minutes to go and seconds later, substitute Chris Webb fired wide as well.

When the final whistle did sound, it was some comfort that the hosts had retained a clean sheet though to be fair, on another day, Hoddy could have well claimed a share of the spoils though both sides struggle to create clear-cut opportunities as both custodians in Marsh and Bull were not hugely tested.

Full-Time: Hullbridge 1 – 0 Hoddesdon

In summary, it is ‘all about the points’ now as the season run-in begins and Hullbridge keep leaders Stansted on their toes, with the deficit remaining at four points though ‘Bridge have two matches more to play. On the plus side, they have a four-point cushion on Saffron Walden in third spot. Hoddesdon remain 9th, three points clear of Ilford just behind them.

Teams

Hullbridge Sports   | Stand-in Manager: James Wakeling

George Marsh (GK), Courtney Homans, Matt Rose (Capt), Jamal Allen, Perry Dunn, Joe Skeels (Joe Wright 71’), Greg Frederick, Emmanuel Okunja (Dan Okah 56’). Adebola Sotoyinbo, Luke Hornsley, Nathan Scarborough

Goal-scorer: Adebola Sotoyinbo [28’]

Booked: Skeels, Okunja, Hornsley, Rose, Sotoyinbo, Wright  | Subs Not Used: Taylor, Fuadianitu, T Sotoyinbo

Hoddesdon Town    | Manager: Simon Riddle

Aaron Bull (GK), Michael Elliott (Capt) (Chris Webb 78’), Aiden Critchley, Jack Riddle, Oliver Gnandi, Sam Cross (Aaron Ramthor 78’), Cyrus Babaie, Scott Hayes, Joss Lillis, Blue Gallagher (Mulik Rickman 58’), Connor Bolton

Booked: Critchley, Elliott | Subs Not Used: Farrow

Referee: Ervin Kegyes

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 2 Mar) [ESL 3.3.19]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League round-up, looking at this weekend’s action on Saturday 2nd March, hopefully this piece won’t bring on any more daft jibes.

Saturday 2nd March

Clapton   3 – 1    West Essex    | Old Spotted Dog | Att: 42

The Tons produced another strong home display to overpower West Essex. Strikes by Bryan Kyungu [17’], Valentine Iheanyiogu five minutes before the break and a third from Giovanni Palmer with 15 minutes to play secured the hosts’ third win in their last five matches to send them up to 11th. West got one back through Michael Mignot though they sit in 14th spot.

Ilford  2 – 1  Barkingside  | Cricklefield ‘derby’  | Att: 38

Ilford ended up getting the victory here to rise to tenth spot though the score-line doesn’t tell the whole story as my report here will say: survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/match-report-ilford-2-1-barkingside-sat-2-mar-esl/

Redbridge  4 – 1   Sawbridgeworth Town   | Oakside  | Att: 42

The Motormen powered to another good home success, this time over Sawbridgeworth. The damage was done before the break really as Taylor Tombides opened the scoring on 23 minutes for Micky Wetherall’s team. Connor Okus [30’] and full-back Billy Willis [43’] strikes gave the hosts a comfortable advantage. Tombides got a second just four minutes after the re-start to secure a good day for Redbridge though they couldn’t hold on to a clean sheet because Louie Kenny’s 90th minute goal gave Sawbo a little to savour on a long day for them. Redbridge’s 9th win this season takes them a point shy of Sawbo in the standings, while Town suffered fourth straight league loss here.

Southend Manor  2 – 0  Leyton Athletic  | Southchurch Park | Att: 52

Manor’s early blitz gave them a great platform to secure a big win for them as they seek to cut the bottom two adrift. Early goals from Kye Jude on four minutes and Grant Frances two minutes later set Adam’s Peek side on their way to a first win in 11 league matches. Leyton could not respond as their own winless run extends to 20 matches now and only above the bottom on goals scored.

Sporting Bengal Utd  0 – 1  Hullbridge Sports | Mile End  | Att: 40

Hullbridge will feel the result was better than their performance as a added-time Perry Dunn header granted them the win over a spirited Bengal side at Mile End. Nevertheless this extended the ‘Bridge boys unbeaten stretch to six matches as they remain 2nd, only a point behind leaders Stansted, with a match in hand. Bengal’s third straight match without a win sees them remain eighth.

Stanway Rovers   0 – 5   St Margaretsbury  | Hawthorns  | Att: 49

St Margaretsbury roared to an impressive 5 – 0 win at the Hawthorns. Loanee Lanre Balogun continued his scoring run with the opener on 14 minutes though talisman Charncey Dash doubled that advantage on 36 minutes though Ollie Sharman made it three four minutes before the interval as Max Mitchell’s side continued their recent fine form. Prince Madu [49’] and Dash’s second of the afternoon with 18 minutes remaining added more polish to St Margs’ third straight win to send them sixth. Stanway fall to 13th.

 

Takeley  4 – 0  Saffron Walden Town  | Station Road  | Att: 266

Takeley stunned the Bloods with arguably their performance of the season with front of a hefty crowd at Station Road. Three goals in the first half-hour saw to Marc Das’ side to a position from which Walden couldn’t recover from. First, Michael Castle struck after just five minutes before Coby Miles [15’] and Josh Sykes [25’] gave the hosts a dominant lead. Freddie Burrell struck on the hour to seal a memorable day for the hosts and send them back above Walden to third spot. The Bloods’ second defeat in their last eight sees them six points off top spot.

Walthamstow  1 – 0  Tower Hamlets   | Wadham Lodge Stadium | Att: 42

Hamlets gave one of the front-runners a tough afternoon for the second weekend running as ‘Stow battled to a narrow win at Wadham Lodge. Dwade James was the man to be counted again as his 86th-minute penalty separated the sides. Walthamstow remain fifth after their fourth win in their last five matches. Hamlets remain 17th though they are five points behind Redbridge immediately above them.

Woodford Town  3 – 3  Enfield   | Harlow Arena ‘derby’ | Att: 57

Woodford were denied another victory by as Enfield retained their recent spirit in an entertaining draw in the Harlow Arena ‘derby’. Josh Steele, Jordan Sanderson and Asher Modeste all found the net for Dee Safer’s side though Jimmy Cox’s fine hat-trick continued both his goal-scoring run and Enfield’s recent unbeaten stretch. Woodford drop to seventh while the E’s rise to 12th.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading.