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

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.

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: (first match in the episode)


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


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.


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.

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.

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.


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:

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.

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


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.


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

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.


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.

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.

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.

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


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

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.


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

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


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