Round-up: Essex Senior League (Fri 16/Sat 17 Aug) [ESL 2019/20 18.8.19]

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Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to another of my weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign. After a frenetic two weeks of ESL & FA Cup matches which involved replays for a few of our sides, the league programme to take centre stage, hot on the heels of the Replays that two of our sides had in midweek.

Friday 16th August

Woodford Town  1- 3  West Essex   | the Harlow Arena | Att: 58

West started the weekend’s action with a fine win at Woodford. Symeon Taylor opened the scoring for Kwame Kwateng’s side. Sharn Quinn levelled for Dee Safer’s Town side though it was the visitors who took the points as Hakim Medfai & Brad Russell both struck to make it a night to remember for the Stags.

 

Saturday 17th August 

Enfield   1 – 3   Cockfosters  | Woodside

Cockfosters came away from Woodside with a good three points. James Verney, on loan from Hitchin Town, got the first for Player-manager Ryan Wade’s side on 19 minutes. Wade then notched himself as the visitors had a 2 – 1 lead at the break. Verney then got his second with three minutes remaining to give the ‘Fosters their second win of the campaign. The E’s tricky start to the season continued here with their fourth loss in five matches in all competitions.

 

Hadley  2 – 0  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Brickfield Lane | Att: 52

The Bricks kept their home form going in all competitions with a hard-fought win over Bengal at Brickfield Lane. After an own goal had put the hoss ahead, substitute Peter Rosemin completed the scoring to give Anthony Clark’s team the win, their third in League and Cup.

 

Ilford  0 – 3   Hoddesdon Town  | Cricklefield

Hoddy overpowered the Foxes with a fine display at Cricklefield. All the goals came after the hour as Connor Scully’s double [62’ & 80’] more than set Simon Riddle’s side on their way to victory. Blue Gallagher added a late third as Ilf extended their wait for a first win this term.

 

Redbridge  0 – 2   Hashtag Utd  | Oakside

Hashtag held firm to record their second win of the season at Oakside. Substitute George Smith was the difference-maker as he got the opening goal on the hour, just six minutes after entering the fray. Smith then completed his brace five minutes later as Jay Devereux’s side showed they can get results wherever they play here. The Motormen were defeated at home for the second time this term, though remain in the top ten in this embryonic table.

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  1 – 4  Tower Hamlets  | Crofters

Hamlets produced a fine display to add to Sawbo’s early-season woes at Crofters. Ezra Ndukuba grabbed a hat-trick to make it a day worth savouring personally while Kahlil Kirwan-Meade got the other goal for Damien Briggs’ side, who racked up their first win of the season here.

 

Takeley  0 – 1  Saffron Walden Town  | Station Road

Walden got the result in this local derby, laying another foundation for a possible challenge on the top three here. Jack Leachman got the only goal of the game just shy of the hour mark as the Bloods got their second win of the season. Takeley’s 100% start to the campaign ended here though they remain top of the standings.

 

Walthamstow  1 – 0  Stansted       | Wadham Lodge Stadium | Att: 63

Finally, ‘Stow won a battle with rivals Stansted as Dwade James struck again on 56 minutes to edge a tight affair at Wadham Lodge.

I attend this match & my in-depth report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/08/17/match-report-walthamstow-1-0-stansted-sat-17-aug-esl/

 

That’s all for this weekend’s Essex Senior League action. Thank you for reading. Check back regularly for more Essex Senior League round-up articles, Match Reports from the ESL & elsewhere, plus the regular Essex Olympian League round-up articles here on my blog. Finally, here are the results from this weekend’s Eastern Senior League South matches. Thanks for reading.

 

Eastern Senior League South Results

Friday 16th August

Barkingside 1 – 0 Hackney Wick

Frenford  2 – 2  Coggeshall Utd

May & Baker  3 – 0  Newbury Forest

Wivenhoe Town 3 – 0 Brightlingsea Regent Res

 

Saturday 17th August

Benfleet  5 – 1  Holland

Halstead Town  1 – 0  Burnham Ramblers

Little Oakley  2 – 0 Fire Utd

White Ensign  3 – 1  Harwich & Parkeston

 

 

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Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 16/Sat 17 August) [ESL 19/20 15.8.19]

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Still from Hashtag Utd v S Manor on August 7th (Image: Scott W)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to another of my weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign. After a frenetic two weeks of ESL & FA Cup matches which involved replays for a few of our sides, the league programme to take centre stage, hot on the heels of the Replays that two of our sides had in midweek.

 

Friday 9th August – 7.45pm KO

 

Woodford Town v West Essex   | the Harlow Arena

The weekend kicks off with Woodford back in action just 48 hours after their battle with White Ensign in the FA Cup Extra Prelim Round Replay which went to extra-time on Wednesday night. They face a West Essex who also went out of the FA Cup this week so both teams may feel they have to ‘get back in the saddle’ with a league triumph. If both sides play near their best, this could be another corker of a match given both teams’ attacking nature. Have to go with my gut instinct which says a narrow West win, purely because they’ve had three more days to recover from their last match than their hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Saturday 10th August – 3pm KO

 

Enfield    v   Cockfosters  | Woodside

Our look at the Saturday action begins at Woodside as Enfield welcome Cockfosters. The E’s haven’t had the best week with a loss in their long trip to Fairford Town last weekend in the Cup before getting narrowly beaten by Hoddesdon in midweek, also at home. Their only win in their opening three has come at home though, ten days ago at home to Stansted so there are signs they could make their new home a fortress, which you sense boss Matt Hanning & co will want to do. Cockfosters may be ‘riding high’ after progression in the FA Cup with a win over Eastern Senior League South side Leyton Athletic last weekend, which was followed by a super comeback to draw at home to Ilford in midweek. Player-boss Ryan Wade scored twice in that latter match and I can see this one perhaps being a draw as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Hadley  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Brickfield Lane

The Bricks return to ‘home comforts’ after a good win over ESL side Redbridge in the FA Cup last weekend. Anthony Clark’s team have scored ten goals in their three matches in League & Cup thus far so that is a record they will want to keep adding to at this early stage of the season. Bengal were overpowered by Walthamstow in the Cup last weekend and will seek to avoid a repeat here. Imrul Gazi’s side are not one to under-estimate though in my view they will need to improve defensively to get anything out of this away-day. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Ilford  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Cricklefield

Ilford are at home once again as they welcome the Lilywhites to Cricklefield. Morgan LaForce’s Foxes have had a mixed week at best. Last weekend wasn’t a happy one as they exited the FA Cup with a home loss to Eastern Senior League South side Harwich & Parkeston. That said, their midweek exploits was better as they battled to an entertaining draw at Cockfosters, which was their first points of the campaign. Hoddesdon have had a brighter week with a good win over Brantham Athletic in the FA Cup before a good away performance in the win at Enfield on Wednesday night. If Simon Riddle’s side keep stern in defence then it could be an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Redbridge   v   Hashtag Utd  | Oakside

The Motormen entertain Hashtag Utd at Oakside. Micky Wetherall’s side played their part in their recent two matches, before succumbing to successive defeats at Hadley and Takeley in the FA Cup and league respectively in the past week, despite four goals in those two games. Jay Devereux’s Hashtag outfit will be buoyed after a late five-goal flourish in a hefty win over Tower Hamlets in midweek at Chadfields. This is a tricky one to call as both sides have the firepower to score goals though will narrowly go with ‘the Tags’.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Tower Hamlets  | Crofters

Sawbo welcome Hamlets to Crofters. These two sides had many battles last term though since then both have had rather extensive squad changes and their recent results suggest that those changes will take time to settle. Sawbridgeworth went out of the Cup with a home loss to Step 6 side Halstead Town last weekend though did score in that match. Hamlets did triumph in the Cup last weekend with a battling win over Selsey at Mile End though had a chastening end to their match at Hashtag in midweek. Manager Damien Briggs will want to get that out result out of his team’s systems. Instinct says a narrow win for the hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Takeley  v  Saffron Walden Town  | Station Road

Takeley face Saffron Walden in an early-season belter at Station Road. Marc Das’ side has started the season in a spritely fashion and backed that up in the last week with wins in League & Cup. First, a good victory at Crawley Green in the Cup last weekend was followed by a hard-fought win at Redbridge in the league in midweek. Forward Bryn Thorpe has notched five goals in all competitions already though this match represents arguably their toughest test yet. Walden also progressed in the FA Cup with a narrow win over Baldock Town last weekend and you do sense their forward line will click into goal-scoring touch sooner or later. Takeley powered to a good win in this fixture last season so Jason Maher’s team may have that in their minds too. Draw in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Walthamstow  v  Stansted       | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Finally this weekend, another potential corker awaits as ‘Stow entertain Stansted at Wadham Lodge. Ryan Maxwell’s side have started the season as they mean to go on, in regards to goal-scoring. They progressed in the Cup with a big win over Sporting Bengal last weekend though following that match, it was revealed that promising forward Samrai Gebrai has departed for Step 3 Canvey Island. Stansted had a hiccup last Sunday as they crashed out to Eastern Senior League South side Barkingside in the Cup as they seek to settle following minor squad changes recently. This may be closer than some think though hard to go against another home triumph.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

That’s all for this edition of the ESL preview blogs. Check back on Sunday/Monday  when I’ll have the round-up of what happened in this weekend’s matches of the 2019 – 20 Essex Senior League season. Thanks for reading.

Round-up: The FA Cup Extra Prelim Rd (ESL & EaSL sides – Fri/Sat/Sun 9-11 Aug) [FAC EPR 11.8.19]

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Still from West Essex v Whitton Utd (Sun) [Image: Scott W]
Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to another of  round-up pieces, looking at the many FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round ties involving Essex Senior League & Eastern Senior League South sides. Due to the large amount of ties being played this weekend, I will focus on 13 ties with other results also being listed. The winners will receive £2, 250 while the losing side still earns £750.

 

Friday 9th August

 

Hackney Wick  1 – 3  Framlingham Town | Switched to Framlingham Sports Club

In a match switched due to the issues at their current landlords Clapton, Wick (of the Eastern Senior Lge South) travelled to Thurlow Nunn Division One North side Framlingham. Hackney led on six minutes though were pegged back by Mason Ransome’s goal. Town made their way into the next round though as Danny Smith and Cyrus Thorpe strikes sealed a good victory.

 

Woodford Town  1 – 1  White Ensign   | the Harlow Arena | Att: 281

White Ensign’s first-ever FA Cup tie saw them travel to Harlow to face ESL side Woodford Town. For the lion’s share of this one, they were the better side and took the lead through Connor Barnby. Town rallied though and forced a replay in midweek through the increasingly-reliable Vlad Sighiartau. The replay will be the first competitive match played at Ensign’s new home, ground-sharing at Great Wakering – it is a set for Wednesday night and Brett Munyard’s team will be hopeful of a repeat showing then.

 

Saturday 10th August

 

Clapton  0 – 6  Stowmarket Town   | Moved to Parkside (Aveley FC) | Att: 31

Thurlow Nunn Premier side Stowmarket outclassed the ESL outfit at Parkside. Josh Mayhew led the way for the ambitious ‘Stow with a hat-trick, recent signing Christy Finch added a brace with the other goal scored by Joe Jefford as Rick Andrews’ team breezed into the next round.

 

 Crawley Green  2 – 5  Takeley  | Crawley Green Recreation Ground

Essex Senior League side Takeley travelled to Spartan South Midlands side Crawley Green and came away with a fine victory. Bryn Thorpe and Mitchell Das both nabbed braces here alongside a first-half Mike Castle goal which will please boss Marc Das. Crawley Green joint-managers Craig Meyrick & Craig Bicknell did have something to savour though as full-back Bunker got a brace of his own, the second of those being a late spot-kick.

 

Hadley  4 – 2  Redbridge   |  Brickfield Lane  | Att: 68

In this all ESL-tie, Hadley welcomed Redbridge to Brickfield Lane. The hosts played well on the opening day of the league season at home though they didn’t start as well here as Redbridge led early on through Taylor Tombides. Alfie Bartram responded for the Bricks with another brace of spot-kicks (ala last week) before Connor Okus struck for the visitors to make it 2 – 2. The hosts restored their lead through strikes by Solomon Ofori and Sam Lyon as Anthony Clark’s team made the next round.

 

Ilford  1 – 2  Harwich & Parkeston   | Cricklefield

Eastern Senior League South side Harwich visited ESL side Ilford and exited with a memorable win. Kevin Coyle and Jordan Heath got the goals for the visitors, buoyed by an exuberant travelling support. Valter Simao got the consolation for the Foxes though they bowed out of the competition here.

 

Saffron Walden Town 1 – 0 Baldock Town  | Catons Lane

ESL side Walden narrowly won over Spartan South Midlands side Baldock as Jack Isherwood’s solitary strike a minute before the break was enough to seal Jason Maher’s side’s progression to the next round.

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  1 – 3  Halstead Town  | Crofters

Halstead Town, of the Eastern Senior Lge South returned to the competition with a fine away win at out-of-form Sawbridgeworth. Although the hosts opened the scoring, the Humbugs responded through Tom Cook and Kane Munday strikes before sealing the win early in the second half thanks to Callum Vincent’s strike.

 

Southend Manor  0 – 0  Long Melford   | Southchurch Park

Southend Manor entertained Thurlow Nunn Premier side Long Melford as the blowy conditions affected both sides at Southchurch Park.

I attended this match, my full report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/match-report-southend-manor-0-0-long-melford-fac-19-20-epr-10-8-19/

 

Tower Hamlets 2 – 1  Selsey  | Mile End Stadium

South Coast side Selsey made the long trip to East London to face ESL side Tower Hamlets. Damien Briggs’ team won out thanks to a brace from promising AJ Folkes. Selsey responded through an unfortunate OG, following a good ball in from Selsey’s Callum Dowdell. Hamlets held on though for a morale-boosting triumph and their FA Cup adventure continues.

 

Walthamstow  5 – 0  Sporting Bengal Utd     | Wadham Lodge

This all-ESL tie saw Walthamstow progress with another goal-laden display against a Bengal side that ended the match with nine men. Dwade James got another double, with Samrai Gebrai, Jamie Bennett and Danny McCullock all on the score-sheet for Ryan Maxwell’s side who also had a man dismissed.

 

Other Results from Saturday 10th August

FC Clacton 3 – 0  St Margaretsbury    | Rush Green Bowl

Fairford Town  3 – 2    Enfield   | Cinder Lane

Leyton Athletic 0 – 1  Cockfosters   | Chalk Lane (tie switched)

Woodbridge Town  1 – 0  Coggeshall Utd  | Notcutts Park

 

Sunday 11th August

Barkingside  4 – 1  Stansted  | Cricklefield  | Att 125

Eastern Senior South side Barkingside’s second-half comeback stunned ESL side Stansted to reach the next round at Cricklefield. The Airportmen led at the break through Rob Norris’ thunderbolt, though substitute Ali Rajim soon levelled early in the second-half. The turnaround was completed by Steven Le Sage’s side as Francesco Balestrini, Elliott Scott and Joe Oates all netted to record a memorable win.

 

West Essex  1 – 2  Whitton Utd       | Moved to Oakside (Redbridge FC) | Att: 109

Thurlow Nunn Premier side Whitton Utd withstood playing with a man light for more than an hour to record a precious win over ESL side West Essex. Liam Wales and Jamie Cole strikes saw Steve Caldron’s side to victory. Tom MacLeod’s powerful header had levelled things early in the second-half for the Stags.

 

Match Report link is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/08/12/match-report-west-essex-1-2-whitton-utd-sun-11-8-fac-19-20-epr/ 

 

Other Result: Hoddesdon Town  2 – 0  Brantham Athletic  | Wodson Park

 

That’s all for the this FA Cup Extra Prelim Round round-up. Check back late in the week when the Essex Senior League Preview articles return. Thanks for reading.

Preview: Essex Senior League Matchday 1 (Sat 3rd Aug) (ESL 19/20 1.8.19)

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Hullbridge won the ESL last term, who will get their hands on the trophy in April? (Image: SW)

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to the first of a new season of weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign. The opening day sees everyone except Hashtag Utd in action and two of the fancied sides at home. Two of the new clubs in Cockfosters and Hadley are also face their debut in the division with intriguing opposition.  Here are my thoughts on the nine matches this weekend.

Saturday 3rd August – 3pm KO

 

Clapton  v  Hoddesdon Town   | Old Spotted Dog

It’s the beginning of a new era for the management at Clapton as Glen Kendall takes charge for the first competitive match as the Tons welcome the Lilywhites to the Old Spotted Dog. Previous incumbent Jon Fowell did well in his near three-season reign in East London, though this is no easy initiation, given Hoddesdon’s very decent defensive record last term which was the joint fourth-best with Takeley.

Though as they say, the new season is a ‘new book’ to be written and I can see this one being a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Hadley  v  Enfield   |  Brickfield Lane

Hadley enter the ESL fray with a home encounter with Enfield, who finished last term in mid-table. The ‘Bricks’ as they are known, are managed by Anthony Clark and riding high after a 3rd-place finish in their last season in Spartan South Midlands league, prior to their transfer to the ESL. Included in their stats from last term is the small fact that they had the joint-best defence alongside champions Biggleswade.

The first question some may pose is how they will adapt to the rigours of the Essex Senior League and facing an E’s side who will know they have to improve defensively this season will be a good opener. Matt Hanning remains in charge of Enfield though they have moved ground to share at Bishop’s Stortford’s Woodside this season.

I’m hoping to attend this match and it could be a gooden. Have to go with a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Ilford  v  Stansted  | Cricklefield

The Foxes start another new campaign with a new management team, led by ex-Leyton Athletic boss Morgan LaForce. His brief you suspect is to match or better last season’s 10th place finish, which constituted a very respectable season on-the-pitch.

They entertain Stansted, a side who have also seen a change in the dugout. Last season’s co-boss Marc Benterman has headed off to Witham Town though that role has been filled pretty much by ex-Sawbridgeworth Town stalwart John Watters. The Airportmen lost out by five points to champions Hullbridge in the league but after being triumphant in both the Gordon Brasted Trophy and Errington Challenge Cup Finals, you trying telling them it wasn’t a really good season!!

Stand-out goalkeeper Charlie Turner may have moved on though most of the squad remains from last season, and they will be aiming for another strong campaign. Away win in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Redbridge   v   St Margaretsbury  | Oakside

Meanwhile, Redbridge welcome ‘Bury to Oakside on the opening day. Micky Wetherall’s team will be looking to harness the strong end to last season they had to get their 12th-place finish after their woes in the first half of the campaign. St Margs had their own tough spell last term, though under new boss Jon Fowell, they will hope for another decent campaign. My gut says there might be goals in this one and therefore I’m plumping for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  West Essex  | Catons Lane

In their own opening match of the campaign, much-fancied Saffron Walden face the Stags at Catons Lane. Jason Maher’s side have recruited well over the summer and will want to ‘lay down a marker’ in the opening month of the season you feel.

That said, West won this exact fixture in February and they begin their season with a series of league away matches, due to the pitch issues at landlords Barking , where they play. This match on paper sounds a tough assignment for Kwame Kwateng’s side so early on so in that respect, will head for a home win here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Sawbridgeworth Town   v  Woodford Town   | Crofters

At Crofters, Sawbridgeworth begin their new era under former Reserve team boss Lee Mackman, with Woodford Town being the visitors. From what we hear on the grapevine, there have been squad changes at Sawbo and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly they find their rhythm.

Woodford may have lost skipper & centre-back Jack Grosvenor to Walthamstow though the bulk of their promising squad remain and on the back of an impressive 6th place last term, if Dee Safer’s team keep that ‘winning habit’ they could be in for another strong campaign. Away win here for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Southend Manor  v  Sporting Bengal Utd     | Southchurch Park

Sporting Bengal begin their season with a trip to Southchurch Park to face Manor. Another ‘new dawn’ is starting at the Southend-based side though manager Adam Peek will have learned much from a tough campaign last term you suspect.

Imrul Gazi’s side is broadly the same as last season though influential skipper Freddy Tandon moved on during the close season, signing for Eastern Senior League South side Frenford. Their last two campaigns in the league have both broken club records in terms of points gained and this match could be a tough battle to start for both teams. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction:  1 – 1

 

Takeley  v  Cockfosters  | Station Road

Takeley entertain new ESL outfit Cockfosters at Station Road. Forward Reece Barrett has returned to the club, where he will be joined by stalwart goalkeeper Ronnie Yates and midfielder Mitchell Das once again. Cockfosters recruited former St Margaretsbury assistant Tony Faulkner in the summer alongside Ryan Wade and Nick Mountford. The North London side only just kept their Step 5 status in the Spartan South Midlands league last term and we’ll see how long it takes for them to adapt to the ESL.

Home win, in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Walthamstow  v  Tower Hamlets       | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Finally, one of the ESL ‘Title contenders’ in Walthamstow face Tower Hamlets at Wadham Lodge. ‘Stow have added the likes of Ryan Reed and Jamie Bennett to what was on paper at least a strong squad from April. Importantly, prolific forward Dwade James remains their focal point for goals.

By contrast, Tower Hamlets’ squad are in the middle of a rebuild after they saw boss AJ Ashinike depart to join former mentor Allan Fenn at Fisher FC. The Mile End side may take time to settle into the season though here they may well face a ‘Stow side hungry to get off to a strong start. Have to say home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

That’s all for the opening day’s preview. Check back on Sunday when I’ll have the round-up of what happened at the start of the 2019 – 20 Essex Senior League season. Thanks for reading.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 13 Apr) [ESL 14.4.19]

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Still from Redbridge v Stansted this weekend

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League round-up. With the season rapidly concluding, the last of these pieces for this season will be in two weeks’ time. This day was still quite big for two clubs at the bottom of the table.

Sat 13 April

Enfield 4 – 2 Clapton  | Harlow Arena | Att: 67

The E’s came from behind to overcome the Tons at the Harlow Arena. In-form Giovanni Palmer put the visitors ahead on 18 minutes. Either side of the break, young Leyton Orient loanee Ernold Haxhiu struck, first levelling on 32 minutes before putting his side in front with 63 minutes on the watch. Luke Thomas netted nine minutes later to increase the home side’s lead before Palmer added to his growing reputation as a marksman by making it 3 – 2 wiith 12 minutes left. Joe Pattison made the points safe for Matt Hanning’s side two minutes from time, who now rise to 11th.

Ilford  0 – 3  Hullbridge Sports | Cricklefield | Att: 53

Hullbridge soured to a very decent win over Ilford at Cricklefield. Midfield dynamo Emmanuel Okunka opened the scoring only three minutes in. The Foxes were a man down after Steve Sylvester accrued two bookings and they were made to pay as first, Nathan Scarborough struck six minutes into the second-half before in added-time, Luke Hornsley grabbed a third for his side. Darren manning’s side know they have to win at home to Stanway on the final day to secure a much-desired ESL title and play in Botik league Division North for the first time next term.

Leyton Athletic  0 – 3  Takeley  | Wadham Lodge | Att: 38

Takeley secured a good three points at Wadham Lodge, which also ensured Ath will finish bottom of the Essex Senior League this term. Nick Barrett [19′] got the opener for Marc Das’ side, before Bryn Thorpe got his fifth goal in two matches ten minutes before half-time. Barrett got his second of the game three minutes before the break which rounded out the scoring here. Ath’s inability to win games has seriously impinged their quest to remain in Step 5, with only three wins all campaign. It looks very likely they will be relegated to the Eastern Senior League South next term, with the question now being is any other side going to join them, which will ultimately be decided by the FA.

Redbridge   0 – 4  Stansted | Oakside | Att: 70

Stansted showed their desire and superior finishing to win well at a decent Redbridge side. Goals from Jack Mitchell [9′], Jack West [41′ & 90’+1] and Paul Clayton [83′] saw off their hosts, who had to play the last half-hour with ten men following Daniel Smith’s dismissal. The Airportmen must win at Leyton to have any chance of winning the title in two weeks’ time. I attended this match and my report is here:  https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/04/13/match-report-redbridge-0-4-stansted-sat-13-apr-esl/

Saffron Walden Town  3 – 2  Southend Manor  | Catons Lane | Att: 203

Walden rode out a late comeback from Manor to grab all three points. Walden struck on 11 eleven minutes through full-back Spike Bell. Seven minutes after the break, Bell got his second of the afternoon before Matt Frew made it three on 59 minutes. Manor did fight back well in the latter stages as arguably their stand-out player this term Mo Kargbo netted a late brace [85′ & 89′] to make it a nervy end for Jason Maher’s team. Walden stay fourth and will finish third if they better Walthamstow’s result on the last day which would still constitute a good campaign. Manor’s first loss in five games means they stay fifth-bottom.

St Margaretsbury   0 – 0  Sawbridgeworth Town | The Rec | Att: 44

These two out-of-form sides scrapped to a stalemate at the Rec. St Margs did end a four-match losing streak here though are could still be regarded as ‘under-dogs’ for the upcoming Gordon Brasted Final on Easter Monday. Sawbridgeworth ended a five-match losing run here with this point though they remain in the bottom three.

Stanway Rovers  0 – 0  West Essex | Hawthorns | Att: 61

These two bottom-half sides battled in a goal-less stalemate in what the visitors described as a ‘end-of-seaon affair’ at the Hawthorns. Stanway are somewhat limping their way towards the end of their campaign with only two wins in their last 11 games while West are finishing in a decent run with four wins in their last nine matches though it is likely the Stags will finish just outside the top-ten.

Peter Butcher Trophy: Semi-Final

Hoddesdon Town  1 – 2  Barkingside Res | Lowfield | Att: 127

Barkingside Reserves continued their fine campaign as they defeated another Essex Senior League side to reach the PBT final. Reserve Division top-scorer Carl Patten broke the deadlock on 56 minutes though that lead only lasted seven minutes before Lilywhites winger Connor Bolton levelled. Late drama followed though as Darren Seymour got the winner for the visitors wth six minutes left.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Fri 29/Sat 30 Mar) [ESL 1.4.19]

Turner punches out from danger (St v Hul ESL 30.3.19)
Stansted’s Charlie Turner punches ball away [Image: Neil H] 

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League round-up, as we hit the last month or so of the league season. Thanks for reading.

Fri 29 Mar

Woodford Town  3 – 1  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Harlow Arena | Att: 118

The weekend’s ties started with this success for Woodford in a hard-fought encounter with Sawbridgeworth. Sawbo took the lead on 17 minutes through Aaron Thomas though couldn’t maintain that lead until the interval as Asher Modeste levelled for the Towners on 34 minutes. Modeste got his second on 63 minutes before Samir Ali rounded out the scoring ten minutes from time. Sawbo ‘keeper James Askew did save a Town penalty though Sawbo’s winless run extends to ten matches, the worst in the division. Dee Safer’s side rounded out their stay at Harlow with their fifth win in their last ten matches overall.

 

Sat 23 Mar

Clapton  2 – 2  Stanway Rovers    |  Old Spotted Dog  | Att: 87

The Tons were held by Rovers in the mid-table clash at the Old Spotted Dog. Giovanni Palmer and Ali Al-Nashi struck for Jon Fowell’s side though Stanway showed their knack of scoring late goals again as Tyrone Scarlett got their first on 56 minutes before Scott Kemp got their second in added time. Boss Terry Spillane surprisingly departed Rovers this week and Rovers have announced Danny Slatter will see out the season as interim manager.

Enfield       1 – 3     Barkingside     | Harlow Arena  | Att: 51

‘Side got a huge result with a this win at Enfield. Edward Lang broke the deadlock on 29 minutes though the bulk of the twists came after the break. Powerful centre-back Derek O’Halem doubled the visitors’ lead on the hour though Jimmy Cox kept up his recent goal-scoring run with the E’s goal seven minutes later. Isaac Marfo had the last word though as his strike 14 minutes from time sealed the win for Alex Goldstone’s side which lifts them off the bottom.

Hoddesdon Town  1 – 2  Southend Manor  | Lowfield | Att: 79

Manor got another fine win, this time over Hoddy at Lowfield. Kye Jude put Adam Peek’s side ahead five minutes into the second half. Connor Bolton restored parity for the Lilywhites midway through the half though Manorgot their fourth win in their last five thanks to another important goal by recent signing Michael Ogboin on 72 minutes. Hoddy lost ground on a number of sides chasing them for a top-ten berth here.

Ilford  2 – 0  Leyton Athletic  | Cricklefield  | Att: 30

The Foxes did co-tenants Barkingside a favour by beating Leyton at Cricklefield. The hosts had a youthful side out though they certainly had an impact on proceedings, with Alejandro Seoane-Barber breaking the stalemate only ten minutes in. Ryan O’Connell made the points safe with a second on 62 minutes as Ilf’s unbeaten run extends to four matches. Leyton fell back to the foot of the standings after their third straight loss.

 

Redbridge  1 – 4  Tower Hamlets  | Oakside  | Att: 39

Redbridge had another disappointing day as they succumbed to defeat to Hamlets at Oakside. A three-goal blitz from the visitors either side of the half-hour did the bulk of the damage. First, Luka O’Neil opened his account 25 minutes in, before Ryan Atkinson made it two from the spot on the half-hour. O’Neil secured his brace on 35 minutes to give the Motormen a ‘mountain to climb’. Dan Gilchrist set about redicing the deficit with the hosts’ consolation a minute later though Yoan Edoukou made it a great day for AJ Ashinike’s side with the fourth on 64 minutes to complete only their second win in their last seven.

St Margaretsbury   2 – 6  West Essex   | The Rec  | Att: 22

The Stags ran riot over a weakened St Margs side at the Rec. The hosts had to sign at least ten players this week following a mass squad turnover following their recent managerial change. Enzo Periera was the home bright spark’ with a brace here though West are known for ‘making the net bulge’ when their forwards are on-song and that was certainly the case here. Symeon Taylor opened the scoring after only three minutes, with Samraj Gill adding a second five minutes later. Taylor got his second five minutes before the break  before Michael Mignot took centre-stage again with a treble [41’, 87’ & 89’] as Kwame Kwateng’s side roared to a big win which sent them up to 11th, four points adrift of a top-ten spot.

Sporting Bengal Utd  3 – 4  Saffron Walden Town  | Mile End | Att: 30

Saffron Walden produced a stirring comeback to defeat Bengal at Mile End. Talisman Steven Carvell put the hosts in a good position with a brace [17’ & 37’]. Matt Frew pulled one back six minutes before the break for the Bloods though Jason Maher’s team may have feared the worst when Curtley McIntosh restored Sporting’s two-goal lead a minute into the second half. The drama still to come though as first, Lewis Francis [ 78’] reduced the arrears for the visitors before Connor Molloy’s brace [83’ & 87’] turned the tide and gave Walden all three points as they chase a top-three finish.

Stansted  0 – 0  Hullbridge Sports    | Hargrave Park | Att: 183

The big top-two clash saw no goals but plenty of guts and work-rate by both sides as the visitors perhaps were the happier to claim the point as both sides finished with ten men. For more on this match, my report is here:

survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/match-report-stansted-0-0-hullbridge-sports-sat-30-mar-esl/

Walthamstow     2 – 0    Takeley     | Wadham Lodge  | Att: 56

‘Stow know they have to keep winning and they were arguably the ‘winners’ of the day given the above result and their hard-fought win over Takeley. Dwade James strengthened his chances of finishing the season as the ESL’s top goal-scorer with the opener on 17 minutes. Kieran Bishop made it two ust seven minutes later and although Ronnie Yates saved a penalty, they fell to a fourth defeat in their last seven matches.

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