S20-21 Round-ups: Essex Olympian League (Sat 29 May) [EOFL EoS 20/21 2.6.21]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer

Hello all and welcome to the last edition of my Essex Olympian League round-up articles for the restarted Season 2020-21, looking the action in the  Essex Olympian League divisions on Saturday 29th May. Before we move on, I’d like to reiterate my thanks for the support I’ve received from Managers, players & Club Officials during the season and for their assistance during the season.

EOFL Premier Division 

On the last day of action in the Premier Division, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts secured a fourth-placed finish in the PPG Table with a 3 – 2 win over Harold Wood Athletic at Silver Leys. Ryan Blackman struck twice for the hosts, with substitute Jayden Hocking-Rising also netting to secure the win. Jack Sykes-Brown and Robert Whitnell both struck for Wood but this result they dropped to ninth in the PPG Table, below Rayleigh Town. After this match, both Billy Cove and Alex Goldstone announced their departures from their respective managerial roles and I wish them well for their next role in the game.

Hutton drew 1 – 1 with Springfield at Polo Fields, with Tarik Moore-Azille nettng for Matt Singh’s side, and Jake Clarke responding for Dan Williams’ side. Hutton finish seventh in the modified table, with Springfield ending the campaign tenth after a run of just one defeat in their last seven matches. Elsewhere, Rayleigh Town defeated runners-up Basildon Town 2 – 0 thanks to strikes from Sonny Coutts and a Bailey Moss spot-kick. Rayleigh finish eighth after a run of five wins in their last seven which gives them some foundation for next term. Sungate also drew 3 -3 with Champions Buckhurst Hill, in what was Hill’s first draw of the league season.

Uncontested:

Catholic Utd  H – W  Kelvedon Hatch   | Home Walkover

EOFL Division One 

The one matter to resolve in Division One was who would join champions Ongar in being elevated to the Premier Division. Galleywood ended that question with a 2 – 1 win at previously unbeaten Ongar Town, with Matthew Buckingham scoring both goals for the Chelmsford-based side. Aaron Blair notched his 100th goal for the club (Not bad in three seasons!) in response but Town were unable to get through the season unbeaten, but still face a new challenge next term. Nearest challengers Manford Way were just edged out despite a 2 – 0 win at Herongate Athletic, with Billy Rees and Daniel Lopes scoring for Trevor Grace’s side here but they finished two points adrift of the top two in third spot.

Elsewhere, Rayleigh Town Ressies ended their season with an entertaining 4 – 4 draw with Ramsden Scotia. George Vile scored twice for the hosts, with Harry Barham and Ebeneezer Djan also on target for Dave Barker’s side. Richard Bishop struck a treble in response for Ramsden, with Jamie Rivers getting the other goal and they got a point despite finishing with ten men. Town finished tenth, a point clear of the bottom two whereas Ramsden finish eighth, nine points better off.

Uncontested:

Chingford Athletic  A – W  Snaresbrook   | Away Walkover

Shoebury Town H – W   Old Chelmsfordians   | Home Walkover

Toby H – W   Runwell Sports  | Home Walkover


EOFL Division Two

The two outstanding matches provided plenty of goals in Division Two but it was Beacon Hill Rovers who secured the second promotion spot with a 3 – 2 win over Wakering Sports at Wickham Bishops Sports Ground. Josh Perry hit two goals here for Stephen Bennett’s side, with Bradley Morgan notching the other. Ben Rowe and Mohammed Sesay got the goals for player-boss Mitchell Gleeson’s team but they finish in fourth in the PPG-adjusted standings. Epping Town got third spot with a thumping 7 – 0 win over Corinthians, in a game that was overshadowed by player-boss Stuart Hoskins being taken to hospital with a serious leg injury, I wish him well in his recovery. Callum Turner led the way with a treble and a brace from substitute Chris Gormley plus one each for Sam Law and Joe Rickett emphasised the scale of the victory here. The Stambridge side finished fifth after a barren run of only one win in their last five matches.  

Uncontested: 

AS Rawreth  H – W   Ryan     |  The Warren

Laindon Orient  H – W  May & Baker A  | Home Walkover

EOFL Division Three

Champions ACD Utd went into their new challenge next season in Division Two with a 3 – 2 win at Hullbridge Sports A, with player-boss Michael Wade, Billy Rungay and George Munns all on target as they secured their 14th win of a very impressive campaign. Harry Boswell’s second penalty in as many games was allied with Charlie Oakman’s strike to give the youthful Hullbridge side hope but ultimately they finish sixth this term. Meanwhile, Manford Way Ressies celebrated their runners-up spot with a 5 – 0 triumph at faltering Collier Row, with David Hornsby scoring yet another treble, plus Charlie Parish and replacement Joe Marjason also netted here.

Hutton Reserves may have more points but their inferior PPG to Manford Ressies was really costly in the end, and ended their season with a huge 8 – 2 victory at Buckhurst Hill Res. Matthew Price netted a hat-trick, along with doubles for Jack Shaw and substitute Dayne Wood. Carl Dutton also got on the score-sheet again as Bill Stratford’s side commendably played twenty games this term, just two short of a ‘full’ season. Buttrint Lecaj got both goals  here for Hill Reserves but they finish ninth, four points clear of the bottom two.

Uncontested:
Toby Res A – W Basildon Town Res   | Away Walkover

EOFL Division Four Results    

Catholic Utd  Res   4 – 2   Canning Town Res  | Prittlewell Chase 

Uncontested:

Ongar Town Res    H – W  Chingford Athletic Res  |  Home Walkover

EOFL Division Five Results

Fixtures 29 May

Collier Row Res  1 – 1   Wakering Sports A   | Forest Row Cen (Pitch 2)

Old Barkabeyans 4 – 3  AS Rawreth Res   | Barking Abbey Sch

Uncontested:

Epping Town Res  H – W  Herongate Ath Res   | Epping UC Rugby Club (4pm KO)

Runwell Sports Res  A – W  Roydon   |  Away Walkover

Shoebury Town Res  A – W    Newbury Forest Res   | Home Walkover

Thank you for reading this season. That’s you’re lot of these until the new season which is predicted to beginning in August (Source: EOFL website) 2021. When the new constitution is released, I may write something on that, as I might about the Full PPG-enhanced tables & Statistics for this season plus clubs talking about this campaign just finished (ala last season’s “Club In-Focus” blog series), so keep tabs on this site or my Twitter for updates.

For now though, I wish you all a good summer break. Best wishes, Scott

S20-21 Round-ups: Essex Olympian League (Sat 22 May) [EOFL 20/21 23.5.21]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer

Hello all and welcome to another edition of my round-up articles, looking the action in week ten of the ‘mini-season’ in the  Essex Olympian League divisions on Saturday 22nd May, plus a mention of the action in midweek as the champions were confirmed in the Premier Division. As ever, the focus is on the top four divisions despite several matches being uncontested this week.

EOFL logo

EOFL Premier Division 

In the Premier Division, Basildon Town secured second place after a 3 – 1 triumph at home to Old Southendian. Strikes from player-boss Marcus Bowers, Grant Cumming and replacement Michael Clark were enough to earn a good tangible reward for the change of fortunes under Bowers this term. Basildon Town have also announced this week that they will ground-share at Gardiners Close with Step 4 side Basildon Utd next season, ahead of the heavily-rumoured new ground that Utd will build in the near future. Os will likely finish the season bottom but with relegation looking most unlikely, they will have some room to re-build ahead of what will be a tough division next term.

Elsewhere, Springfield got their second win in their last four with a 2 – 1 success at Rayleigh Town. A Shaun Gittleson power strike was not enough for the hosts to avoid defeat here. Dan Williams’ visiting side have secured a tenth-placed finish after this win. That is the case as Shenfield AFC lost their final game of the season, as Harold Wood Athletic won 2 – 1 at St Martins Sch 3G. Strikes from Max Shepherd and Tom Ward secured a second consecutive away win for Alex Goldstone’s team and a win in their final match next weekend could see them sneak into the top six.

Also, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts came from behind to draw 1 – 1 with Catholic Utd at Silver Leys. Aaron Baldwin put the visitors ahead on the hour, but substitute Gabriel Odili’s third league goal in his spell at the club ensured the points were shared. The Hoops have finished their season now and they remain third, but the form Billy Cove’s side has shown since the restart continues – they are nine league games unbeaten now.

Sungate’s match with Kelvedon Hatch was uncontested and the ‘Gate got the points, with Hatch also unable to compete next week too.

Finally, Buckhurst Hill were given a scare before securing a 4 – 3 success at Hutton. A brace from Max Nicholson plus goals by Tyler Dolan and Jack Griggs were enough to give Mark Williams’ side the points but the hosts responded through Josh Brocklebank and a brace from substitute Ben Stanton made it a nervy end for the Champions, who were presented with the Trophy shortly after the match, which I had a chance to see first-hand as I was at this match & my in-depth report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/22/s-20-21-match-report-hutton-3-4-buckhurst-hill-sat-22-may/

 Hill can pass the fifty-point mark with a win at Sungate next weekend, whereas Hutton need to defeat Springfield to at least secure fifth spot.

Buckhurst Hill celebrate their Premier Division title win [Image: Scott W]

EOFL Division One 

Moving now into Division One, with two matches uncontested (see listing at end of this section), the action was restricted to two matches this weekend. Firstly, Toby got a fine 2 – 0 win at Chingford Athletic to go up to fifth in the table after their third win in a row. Chingford drop to ninth and a rebuilding job awaits in the summer though full respect to Chairman Lee Bowers who has stepped in as manager for the last several weeks. Also, Manford Way defeated Herongate Athletic 4 – 0 at Jo Richardson Sch to give them hope of overhauling rivals Galleywood to secure the runners-up spot next weekend. Charlie Heatley scored twice here after coming off the bench, with James Clarke and Tyrone Scarlett also netting for Trevor Grace’s side. Fellow Non-League writer Aaron Moore was there & here’s his look at the game: https://footballreview.net/match-report-manford-way-4-0-herongate-athletic/

Next weekend, Manford have to win in the reverse match at Herongate whilst Galleywood have to win at champions Ongar Town. Intriguingly poised I’m sure you’ll agree.

Uncontested:

Ramsden Scotia   H – W   Snaresbrook   | Home Walkover
Ongar Tn   H – W   Rayleigh Tn Res    | Home Walkover


EOFL Division Two

Division Two is also not all ‘said & done’ either in terms of the promotion spots. That being said, Champions Leigh Town endorsed their growing reputation with a 5 – 1 win away at Ryan in Leigh’s farewell match of the season. Jack Pearman’s side remain third in the conventional table, though have won the title thanks to their superior PPG ratio. Ryan have two matches left and maximum points from those matches will see them pinch eighth spot.

Elsewhere, Harold Wood Athletic Res gathered a third win in succession with a 1 – 0 triumph at Laindon Orient. James Pottle got the only goal from twelve yards as their campaign ended on a high at Markhams Chase. Laindon must win next weekend to have any chance of pinching fifth spot but all in all, it’s been a decent season for Neil Blackburn’s side.

Beacon Hill Rovers are still in the box seat for the crucial runners-up position in the division after a nerve-jangling 4 – 3 win over May & Baker A at Wickham Bishops Sports Ground. Strikes from Bradley Morgan, Josh Perry, George Davis and player-boss Stephen Bennett were enough to secure a fourth win in five matches. Their job next week is simple, win against Wakering Sports and the job is done. Bakers were in the game for long periods through a brace from Tolouwa Dada and one from Jeese Martin ultimately wasn’t enough and they need four points from their last two matches to have any chance of a top-ten finish.

Finally, Wakering Sports secured a top-five finish with a 2 – 0 win over AS Rawreth at Cupid’s. Aaron Clark and Ben Rowe goals made it six wins in their last seven matches for Mitchell Gleeson’s side. This result also makes sure Rawreth will finish bottom of the standings.

As far the promotion picture stands, Epping Town have a chance of overhauling Beacon Hill if the latter fail to win, but Stuart Hoskins’ side also have to defeat Corinthians at home on the final day after they got another three points without playing, as did the Stambridge side.

Uncontested matches:

Corinthians  H – W Rochford Town    | Home Walkover

Epping Tn  H – W  Old Southendian Res   | Home Walkover

EOFL Division Three

Finally for this week, in Division Three ACD Utd cemented their position as Champions with a walkover win against Toby Res. The race for second is somewhat more complex, as Hutton Res played twice this week again. Firstly, on Thursday night they edged to a 4 – 3 win over Hullbridge A at a very windy Lower Road. Matthew Price struck twice for Bill Stratford’s side here, with Thomas Price and Jack Shaw also on target to make Joe Ives’ fine treble for Hullbridge semi-redundant with regards to the points.

Then on Saturday, the Hutton second-side were held 4 – 4 by Basildon Town Ressies at Basildon Sports Club in the late kick-off. Jack Shaw struck another treble to take his tally to nineteen league goals this term, with James Gardner also netting. But Town responded through the ensemble cast of Keith King, Garron Leatherbarrow, Tom Clayton and replacement Jamie Simpkins to gain a point which means they will finish at least sixth.

The knock-on effect of the above now means that Manford Way Res can secure the runners-up spot with another win next weekend after they won 2 – 1 at Lakeside Utd in the lunchtime kick-off this weekend. David Hornsby took his tally to 24 this term with another brace here, in a match that Aaron also watched – his report is here: https://footballreview.net/match-report-lakeside-united-1-2-manford-way-reserves/

Daniel Stokes responded for Lakeside but this defeat means they will finish the season in eighth spot. In the other matches, Hullbridge A defeated Collier Row 2 – 1 while Wakebury secured a top-four finish with a 3 – 1 success at Buckhurst Hill Res, with Charlie Little’s 15th league goal of the campaign plus Jack Smith and Billy Bonham-Dare goals were enough for Matt Cardy’s team to secure the win

.

EOFL Division Four Results    

Laindon Orient Res 0 – 3   Shenfield AFC Res   |  Peagsus Club

Wakering Sports Res  1 – 1   Galleywood Res  |  Cupid’s CC (Pitch 1)

Uncontested:
Sungate Res    H – W    Leytonstone Utd   |  Home Walkover

EOFL Division Five  Results


AS Rawreth Res   0 – 10   Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res  | The Warren

Springfield Res   1 – 0  Leigh Ramblers Res   |  Arun Park

Uncontested:
Epping Town Res   H – W  Shoebury Town Res   | Home Walkover

Herongate Athletic Res   A – W   Roydon   |  Away Walkover

Runwell Sports Res   A – W   Collier Row Res   |  Away Walkover

Wakering Sports A   H – W   Newbury Forest Res   | Home Walkover

Thank you for reading, the final edition of this season’s EOFL Round-up will be available in about ten days time to round out the campaign. It’s been a pleasure to write about the Essex Olympian League this term once again and my thanks to all the clubs, managers & players that have assisted these articles this season.

S 20-21 Match Report: Hutton 3 – 4 Buckhurst Hill (Sat 22 May) [EOFL 20-21 22.5.21]

EOFL logo

Essex Olympian League – Premier Division

Venue: Polo Fields

2020 -21 Season – Match 37

Saturday 22nd May 2021 – 2.30pm KO

Hutton: Red Shirts, Red Shorts & Red Socks

Buckhurst Hill: Blue & Navy Blue Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

Hutton line-up ready for kick-off, with boss Singh on the left [Image: Scott W]

Buckhurst Hill deny spirited Hutton comeback to claim the win

Hutton  3 – 4  Buckhurst Hill

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

The penultimate weekend of my Non-League season saw me head to Polo Fields for this intriguing contest between Hutton, seeking a top-four finish and Champions Buckhurst Hill who were playing their second-to-last match as a Step 7 side before being elevated to the Eastern Senior League South next term. Matt Singh’s Hutton side were missing several players here with Alfie Cerulli, Stephen Judge, Kyle Linzell and forward Will Marlowe among those unavailable. They did field regular stopper Adrian Faherty between the sticks, with their centre-backs being Jonathan Hilliard and Tarik Moore-Azille. Jamie Moore and Joshua Seal provided the ammunition from the flanks, with Brad Freeman leading the line. Their options from the bench were also limited, with forward Ben Stanton and player-assistant boss Robert Lorkins being said options. Buckhurst Hill were also missing a few here with Nathan Sollosi, Josh Banfield, Zachary Davidson and Louis Wynter all not part of their 13-man squad. Daniel Blockley was the goalkeeper as usual, with a central defensive pairing of Henry Day and Jonah Gregory. The forward line was spearheaded by talisman & 20-goal forward Suleyman Zuhdu, with Max Nicholson and Daniel Whitehead in chief support.

This writer was hoping for a good battle, given it was likely also my last Essex Olympian League match of the 2020-21 campaign. The visitors were switched on in the opening minutes as a enterprising run by Hutton winger Joshua Seal ended with Buckhurst defender Henry Day denying him a firm effort at Dan Blockley’s goal. Minutes later, a really good run by visiting forward Suleyman Zuhdu was well rebuffed by home centre-back Tarik Moore-Azille down the right-sided channel. The first real chance of note came on eight minutes as a fine pass down the right by wing-back Liam Foster found winger Daniel Whitehead who then sent a fierce drive at goal, which was well tipped over by Hutton custodian Adrian Faherty. The hosts responded just short of the quarter-hour mark as a fine run by right-back Tom Stephens didn’t quite get the end it deserve as his effort on goal fizzed wide of Blockley’s far post.

Buckhurst were starting to gather momentum and gave their hosts another warning on 27 minutes as influential winger Sam Sollosi struck a first-time effort but Faherty could gather at the second attempt. Said warnings were up as just past the half-hour, midfielder Tyler Dolan weaved past two defenders well before slotting home calmly but inside the penalty area to finally break the stalemate in the game. Zuhdu nearly doubled his side’s advantage five minutes later after another searing run was too strong for the home defence and after evading Faherty, the declining angle saved the hosts as his strike cannoned off the left-side post. Whitehead also fired wide moments after as Mark Williams’ side looked to really gain a foothold. That second goal did arrive four minutes before the interval as after turning his marker inside-out, winger Max Nicholson fizzed a great strike past Faherty and into the net.

Zuhdu (Hill #10) & Foster (#2) involved in an attacking move [Image: Scott W]

Half-Time:  Hutton 0 – 2 Buckhurst Hill

Straight after the restart, it was the hosts who had to be alert as Sollosi again was well-placed but his chance was snuffed out by the well-placed Josh Brocklebank. The visitors were building their rhythm going forward at this stage of the match, as substitute Alfie Harris made a searing run down the right flank, and his centre was cleared almost off the goal-line by energetic right-back Tom Stephens, with fellow replacement Callum Ibe ready to pounce for a tap-in. This did prove important as with an hour played, a good free-kick from the edge of the penalty area by Seal managed to get past the Buckhurst defenders and find the on-rushing Brocklebank who helped himself to a goal from a few yards out. Looked simple but it was well-worked. Unfortunately for Hutton, Buckhurst soared up the other end on a counter-attack and Jack Griggs got past the home backline and his strike just escaped the clutches of Faherty before trickling home into the corner of the net, much to the custodian’s derision. This gave Buckhurst their two-goal cushion back and to be fair, on another day Buckhurst should have been ‘home & hosed’ in this match in the following fifteen minutes of the contest.

Midway into the half, forward Ibe made another of his trademark enterprising runs before his fierce strike was well clawed over the crossbar by the impressive Faherty. Hutton responded with twenty minutes to play as another Seal free-kick was on-target but lacked the power to bypass Blockley, who pushed it over the goal frame. From that resulting corner, substitute Ben Stanton narrowly nodded wide of the right-side post. Buckhurst again counter-attacked as Ibe was in a promising position again and a well-thought out chip was parried up by Faherty before needing to be cleared off the goal-line as well by more committed defending from the hosts. In truth, it wasn’t Ibe’s day as he and Sollosi was both denied on at least three more occasions through a combination of good blocks and wayward finishing.

Just as you were starting to suspect the hosts were tiring, they roared back into the match as a fine cross in from deep found Stanton who arrowed in a fine header at the far post to make it 2 – 3 with ten minutes remaining. Again though, Hill responded two minutes later as Nicholson’s well-taken strike again found the net, moments after Faherty pulled off another fine save in the previous attack. But the scoring was not done yet as the tension was rising before Stanton’s low finish bypassed both the defender and Blockley to find the net on 87 minutes and give the Champions some more nervy moments.   

Hutton’s Lewis Scott (#8) challenging for possession [Image: Scott W]
‘Keeper Faherty (in Green) joins his side’s attack in the closing moments! [Image: Scott W]

The visitors did hold out and the final whistle came without further incident as Mark Williams’ side could celebrate and without delay, they were presented with the Essex Olympian League Premier Division trophy.

Buckhurst boss Williams (r) lifts the Trophy with skipper Zuhdu post-match {Image: Scott W]

Full-time: Hutton  3 – 4  Buckhurst Hill

In summary, Buckhurst Hill took a little while to reach their destructive best and arguably spurned several chances after the break to score a hatful of goals before the dramatic late goal surge here. Every credit to Hutton though as well who showed the gritty attitude that has served them well this season, particularly in the second half of the match. The only thing they were lacking if you were being really critical was more of a goal threat as hard-working forward Brad Freeman was slightly isolated at times, though he was well-marshalled by the adept Buckhurst defence in fairness.

In terms of stand-out performances, for the Champions Buckhurst Hill – it’s hard not to mention two-goal star winger Max Nicholson who took his goals well and importantly gave his side a decent lead at the interval. The Influential Sam Sollosi also kept his side ticking in attack and although he should have been on the score-sheet, he is excellent at creating moves with well-thought out passes. Ball-playing centre-back Henry Day also had another fine afternoon with several good interceptions and right wing-back Liam Foster also deserves a mention for giving the visitors an outlet making gallivanting rapid runs down the flank too.   

For Hutton, I felt right-back Tom Stephens had an excellent match, covering a huge amount of ground all over the pitch, making good passes, showing good energy levels and making crucial clearances in the nick of time to aid his fellow defenders and crucially, keep Hutton in the match. Centre-back Tarik Moore-Azille also showed good tackling, good pace to keep up with Hill’s star forward Zuhdu and looks a good prospect. Winger Joshua Seal was a threat from set-pieces and gave everything here, plus goalkeeper Adrian Faherty who may feel he should’ve done better with one of the goals, but that is outflanked by the four really good saves to deny Buckhurst a thumping win.

All that is left for me to add is that is a been a delight to cover the Essex Olympian League again this season, and it would be remiss not to thank all the clubs and managers of all the matches I’ve written about this season. Thank you also to the League and it was a nice bonus to see Buckhurst presented with the Premier Division trophy post-match, which is a fitting reward for boss Mark Williams sticking with the club for as long as he has done. Best wishes to both Buckhurst Hill and Hutton for next season.

If you’d like to have a read of the wider action in the Essex Olympian League divisions, this week’s round-up is available here:

Hill’s squad & club officials pose with the EOFL Premier Division Trophy [Image: Scott W]

Teams

Hutton    | Manager: Matt Singh  | Assistant: Robert Lorkins

Starting XI: 1 Adrian Faherty (GK), 2 Tom Stephens, 3 Josh Brocklebank, 4 Jack Lelliott, 5 Jonathan Hilliard, 6 Tarik Moore-Azille, 7 Jamie Moore, 8 Lewis Scott, 9 Brad Freeman, 10 Sean O’Callaghan, 11 Joshua Seal

Goal-scorers: Josh Brocklebank [60’], Ben Stanton [80’ & 87’]

Subs On: 16 Ben Stanton [70’], 17 Robert Lorkins [70’]

Booked: None     | Sub Not Used: None

Buckhurst Hill   | Manager: Mark Williams

Starting XI: 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster, 3 Bradley Gayer, 4 Henry Day, 5 Jonah Gregory, 6 Jack Griggs, 7 Sam Sollosi, 8 Tyler Dolan, 12 Max Nicholson, 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Daniel Whitehead

Goal-scorers: Tyler Dolan [31’], Max Nicholson [41’ & 82’], Jack Griggs [60’]

Subs On: 9 Callum Ibe [46’], 15 Alfie Harris [46’]

Booked: Gayer, Zuhdu | Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Adekola Adeyemi

Assistant Referees: Martin Smith & Maragrit Tsekov

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town (Tues 10th Mar) [ILN 19/20 11.3.20]

Isthmian League Division North

Tuesday 10th March 2020 – 7.45pm KO

Venue: Len Salmon Stadium [3G]

Attendance: 70

2019-20 Season: Match 62

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

Deeham: Greeen Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

Dereham’s fast-paced attack grabs the points with win at Hullbridge 

Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town

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

A ‘bonus’ match saw me travel to the Len Salmon Stadium to see last season’s Essex Senior champions Hullbridge Sports continue their Isthmian League North campaign with a ‘home’ match against Dereham Town. ‘Bridge had a mixed week with a heavy loss to Cambridge City a week ago being part-vanquished by a decent point at Bury Town last weekend. Darren Manning fielded an unchanged side from that draw at Bury Town, with Lewis Greene between the sticks and in front of him, a defence of full-backs Courtney Homans and skipper Matt Rose with Michael Agboola and Jamal Allen as centre-backs. Jamie Salmon and Emmanuel Okunja made up the central midfield with Daniel Gilchrist and Joe Wright leading the line. Forwards Dan Walker and Kieran Bishop were among the options from the bench. Dereham were in decent form coming into this match, having won 3 – 1 away to Brentwood Town last weekend.

Adam Gusterson’s Magpies side featured Elliot Pride in goal, with Shaun Wones among the centre-backs and in central midfield, George Quantrell and David Hinton were named with a front three of Nathan Stewart, Ryan Crisp and top-scorer Adam Hipperson. The added factor here was that this is my first visit to the Bowers & Pitsea’s Len Salmon Stadium since it went 3G and goodness, the good talk I’ve heard about it is more than accurate, so fair play to Rob Small’s side on that development.

Onto the match and in the early-going, Dereham started well with the lively Nathan Stewart being denied by a timely interception by Sports centre-back Michael Agboola on four minutes. Minutes later, a good run down the middle by the rapid Adam Hipperson fed Stewart with an unselfish pass though with the angle on goal declining with only home custodian Lewis Greene to beat, his strike was well-blocked by Greene getting down low. At this point, the Hullbridge goal was living a tad of a charmed life as a succession of corners heaped the pressure on as the nippy visiting front line gave the home backline enough to handle with mazy runs.

With eighteen minutes on the watch, Hullbridge ventured forward and box-to-box midfielder Emmanuel Okunja played in forward Daniel Gilchrist as he bared down on goal, though visiting goalkeeper Elliot Pride did well to deny his strike. Joe Wright followed up in the next attack with an attempted chip which lacked the finesse to bypass Pride. Midway through the half, a fine long ball sprayed in by experienced midfielder Jamie Salmon found Wright down the right channel and Wright’s cut-back only just escaped the run of onrushing winger Callum Thompson, who felt he was impeded.

The Magpies responded at the other end, taking advantage of a defensive lapse by the hosts as Stewart ghosted in, though with only Greene to beat, the advancing forward’s drive was well-blocked by Greene’s legs. As we entered the last few minutes before the interval, Agboola made a couple of good interceptions for the hosts though Stewart made a fine run down the left-side on the penalty box, evading Agboola in the process but unfortunately for Adam Gusterson’s side, his effort was tame and Greene could gratefully gather. ‘Bridge had periods in the half but ultimately their final ball was letting them down, plus Dereham showed their pace and passing game enough to make you feel this wasn’t going to stay a stalemate.

Half-time: Hullbridge 0 – 0 Dereham

Hullbridge changed their system just before the hour, with Kieran Bishop and Dan Walker replacing Gilchrist and midfielder Gregory Frederick who worked hard in breaking up the opposition attacks. Soon after coming on, Walker was played in by full-back Courtney Homans’ long-throw and his strike was well-saved by Pride in the Dereham goal. The deadlock was finally broken midway through the half as a free-kick from the half-line fell to Dereham skipper David Hinton after Sports were unable to clear their lines defensively and Hinton weaved away from a couple of defenders before striking low and calmly past Greene  to give the visitors a deserved lead.

To their credit, Hullbridge kept trying to get back on level terms showing passion and energy, though that crucial final pass continued to elude them and the frustration was starting to show. With eleven minutes remaining, another defensive mix-up allowed the tireless Ryan Crisp in on goal, though Allen got in first to pick his pocket before facing Greene one-on-one.

Then, in added-time, Crisp got his reward for holding on to a ‘lost cause’ down the left wing, before gliding impressively past three defenders and working the angle to slot past Greene from about five yards out. Not one for the home defence to remember perhaps, though Crisp’s ninth league goal this term sealed the points.

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town

In all fairness, it was the right result as Dereham had more than enough chances to score and win the game conclusively and they did play some really good stuff at times, though it is a credit to ‘Bridge that the Magpies didn’t look quite so assured in defence in the second half.

In my view, the stand-out performances for Dereham were tireless forward Ryan Crisp who typified his work rate with a well-taken goal in added-time. Playmaker David Hinton got his side going supporting the frontline and also took his goal well, with Nathan Stewart also having a lot of joy on the right flank with his pace and directness. Shaun Wones also stood out with an assured performance at centre-back. For Hullbridge, on a difficult evening, centre-back pairing Michael Agboola and Jamal Allen played their part to repel the fast-paced Magpies attacks, though goalkeeper Lewis Greene had a fine match with at least five good saves. Dan Gilchrist also did a fair wad of unselfish work up front down the channels for the Bridge Boys.

Finally, as ever I would like to say thank you to Hullbridge for their welcome & hospitality. Also, my thanks to the Webb family. Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season. Dereham went up into eighth place with this win, while Hullbridge remain in 16th, seven points clear of the relegation spot.

Teams

Hullbridge Sports  | Manager: Darren Manning  | Assistant Mgr: James Wakeling

1 Lewis Greene (GK), 2 Courtney Homans, 3 Matt Rose (Capt), 4 Jamal Allen, 5 Michael Agboola, 6 Gregory Frederick (10 Daniel Walker 54′), 7 Callum Thompson, 18 Jamie Salmon, 8 Emmanuel Okunja, 9 Daniel Gilchrist (16 Kieran Bishop 54′), 11 Joe Wright (12 Tim Monsheju 74′)

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Rahman Fujah, Garrett-Douglas

Dereham Town    | Manager: Adam Gusterson | Assistant: Olly Willis

1 Elliot Pride (GK), 2 Thomas Matthews, 3 Owen Murphy, 4 Robbie Linford, 5 Tomas Snapkauskas, 6 Shaun Wones, 7 Nathan Stewart (12 Lagshan Sivakumar 90′ +1), 8 George Quantrell, 9 Ryan Crisp, 10 David Hinton (Capt), 11 Adam Hipperson

Goal-scorers: David Hinton [67′], Ryan Crisp [90′ +2]

Booked: None   | Subs Not Used: Willis, Smith

Referee: Jamie Pope
Assistant Referees:  Kennedy Kikulwe  & Andy Simmonds

Preview: Essex Senior League (Sat 2 Mar) [ESL 1.3.19]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League Preview piece as Peter Dudley and Scott W look at the ESL fixtures this weekend (Sat 2 March). Scott caught up in the Predictions stakes after a win last week – coming into the run-in, who will best who this weekend?

Also, catch Peter & Scott fronting the Grassroots Football radio show this week here: http://www.mixcloud.com/EastLondonRadio/grassroots-football-show-28-feb-19/

 

Saturday 2nd March

Clapton v West Essex | Old Spotted Dog

Pete: It’s 14th vs 13th in Forest Gate as The Tons welcome West Essex to their Old Spotted Dog ground, and they won here the last time they played so will look to take that into this one, whilst the visitors lost a tight one against the league leaders at home last time out. Could be tight this one so going for a score draw.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The Tons welcome the Stags to the OSD. Jon Fowell’s side won at home to Barkingside last weekend though remain in the bottom half, while West Essex are among the pack attempting to get into the top ten and narrowly lost out to Stansted last weekend. This has the makings of another tight affair and I’ll plump for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Ilford v Barkingside | Cricklefield ‘derby’

Pete: It’s the Cricklefield derby as Ilford ‘host’ Barkingside in a game the visitors must win if they want to keep any realistic hopes of avoiding the drop. The Foxes did lose at home last time out too against an in-form St Margaretsbury side, but form does go out of the window in these games so even though both lost last time out that counts for nothing in this one. I do fancy Ilford to win this one though.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Cricklefield ‘derby’ returns and what a time for it as well. Both sides lost out last weekend, Ilf at home to St Margaretsbury and ‘Side at Clapton though bottom team Barkingside arguably need the points more here. The Foxes have been scoring though in recent matches so this could be a factor, even though the ‘form book’ scarcely applies to local derbies. Will go for a narrow away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Redbridge v Sawbridgeworth Town | Oakside

Pete: It’s been a weird few days for the Motormen, defeating Southend Manor 4-1 last weekend before succumbing 6-0 to a rampant Woodford Town side in midweek, so quite what Redbridge will show up remains to be seen. They take on a Robins side who have been off-the-pace for a few weeks now, so confidence won’t be high in their camp, and I feel the hosts may edge this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Sawbridgeworth travel to Oakside. The Motormen had a mixed week to say the least with a big win over Southend Manor last weekend before a heavy defeat away to Woodford in midweek. They have goals in their side now though as they face one of the poorest defences in out-of-form Sawbo, who haven’t won in four matches. They gave Walthamstow a battle at home last weekend though they need goals at present. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Southend Manor v Leyton Athletic | Southchurch Park

Pete: This is a rather important fixture at the bottom end of the table as third-bottom Manor host second-bottom Athletic with the hosts currently holding an eight-point lead over their opponents, so which way this result goes will certainly change that dramatically one way or the other. Manor have had two draws either side of a disappointing loss at Redbridge lately, whilst Leyton did manage a clean sheet in their last game to gain a point too. I feel though that the hosts may grab a very important win here though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This is arguably the most important match of the weekend as Manor entertain Leyton. Manor had a disappointing defeat at Redbridge last weekend though did have a promising rearguard action in a scoreless draw with Tower Hamlets on Wednesday. Adam Peek’s side is another team who need goal-power at the moment, as do Leyton, who got a goal-less draw against Enfield last weekend. This could well be a scrap though the hosts may just prevail.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd v Hullbridge Sports | Mile End

Pete: Sporting have dropped to eighth in recent times after a dip in form this calendar year, and Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at home to St Margaretsbury was a poor night all round, so they won’t be chuffed at seeing second-placed Hullbridge roll into town after they recorded a very important win over Takeley last time out. Expecting the Bridge Boys to get the job done here.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Bengal seek to recover from a poor midweek loss to St Margaretsbury in midweek as they face high-flyers Hullbridge at Mile End. Imrul Gazi’s side did hold Stanway last weekend though face a strong ‘Bridge back-line. Hullbridge won over Takeley last weekend before a comfortable Tolleshunt D’Arcy Cup win over Kelvedon Social in midweek. The hosts will have to start well to stay in this one I feel though ‘Bridge as well need to ‘stay on the gas’ or they could slip up. Despite that, it’s hard not to head for an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Stanway Rovers v St Margaretsbury | Hawthorns

Pete: This is a repeat of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy Semi-Final tie in which the visitors breezed 4-0, but you rarely see the same result twice. However, the visitors have had a brilliant February and will be high on confidence against a Stanway Rovers side who have recently broke into the top ten so have certainly been solid that’s for sure. I still feel the visitors will win this one but maybe not as easily as the semi-final success.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: This fascinating clash sees Rovers face in-form St Margs. Max Mitchell’s side won here well in Cup action recently so Terry Spillane’s team will want some measure of revenge to level that out. Rovers were held by Bengal last weekend while St Margs have won at Ilford and Bengal in the last week. Stanway need to cut off the visitors’ supply of goals I feel to get anything out of this one though I also suspect the recent four-match unbeaten run will continue for the ‘Bury. Away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Takeley v Saffron Walden Town | Station Road

Pete: Big clash at Station Road as 4th takes on 3rd, and you have to say that Takeley are the ones who need the victory the most although the top five are only separated by ten points, so anything can happen down the stretch as they say. Walden could go second if they win and Hullbridge slip up, but even if that does not happen a win for the visitors would still open a five-point gap to their opponents, so this is why it’s important the hosts do not lose this one. Thinking it may end all-square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: Another cracker-jack encounter takes place at Station Road. The hosts started well before losing out at Hullbridge last weekend and defeat here may be a big dent in their top-four aspirations. Walden ground out a narrow win at Tower Hamlets last weekend as they look to keep tabs on Stansted & Hullbridge above them in the table. The highest-scoring side in Step 5 in the country in Walden as ever will take some stopping and as such, it’s an away win for me. Could be a real battle though given Takeley’s defensive qualities.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

Walthamstow v Tower Hamlets | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Pete: Stow need a win to keep their promotion hopes going, a win for them and slip ups above could see them into fourth and only a point off third place Walden, but they will come up against a hard-working Hamlets side who have picked up some useful results lately as they pull away from that bottom two, now thirteen points clear of it, so they can probably relax with a result here. I feel that the hosts will have too much for them ultimately though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: ‘Stow face Hamlets in what could be a passionate encounter at Wadham Lodge. Hamlets have only conceded one goal in matches this week, against Saffron Walden and Southend Manor respectively so this will give the much-heralded Walthamstow front-line a challenge. ‘Stow did win fairly well at Sawbridgeworth last weekend and if they avoid under-estimating the visitors then they should pick up the points here. Home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Woodford Town v Enfield | Harlow Arena ‘derby’

Pete: It’s the Harlow Arena derby as Woodford take on Enfield, and the hosts come into this one after a 6-0 demolition of Redbridge, but the visitors are unbeaten in five and have kept three clean sheets to boot, so they will not be an easy side to break down. The visitors could also break into the top ten with victory too, so this would be a good achievement for them, whilst Woodford would remain in the top six with the points. Think this one could end a draw though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Finally this weekend, it is the Harlow ‘derby’ between co-tenants Woodford and Enfield. Woodford recovered from last weekend’s narrow loss to Hoddesdon with a six-goal hammering of Redbridge on the 3G in midweek. Dee Safer’s team are looking to stay in the top six and face the E’s who are unbeaten in their last five now. My gut feeling says there will be goals in this one and that it will also be a hard-fought encounter. Narrow home win in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

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

Essex Senior League Preview (ESL 23.2.18)

Written by Peter D & Scott W

Hello & welcome to this week’s piece looking at the weekend’s Essex Senior League following a midweek where Wakering went joint-top with Redbridge. Peter also returns so below are his and Scott’s thoughts on all the fixtures set for this weekend (Weather-permitting):

Friday 23rd February

Woodford Town P – P  Takeley    | Venue: Goffs Lane

This match has been postponed due to floodlight failure, Town announced on Friday lunch-time.

Saturday 24th February

Barkingside v Basildon Utd   | Venue: Cricklefield

Peter: The hosts welcome the Bees to Cricklefield having stretched their unbeaten run to four games after a draw in midweek, although they were two goals up in that one so felt disappointed to only get a point.  The Bees, who have lost only once in their last ten, will be looking to grab the three points to keep the pressure on the top two and put in a good performance at FC Romania in the week, however I expect this one to finish all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: The Saturday action kicks off with ‘Side host Basildon at Cricklefield. Michael Walther’s side have drawn their last three matches, including a home draw against Southend Manor last weekend followed by holding Waltham Forest in midweek. Basildon battled to a goalless stalemate at FC Romania in midweek, and have only lost one of their last ten matches now, sitting in 4th place. This could be another battle and the Bees need the points to keep tabs on the top-three.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Clapton v Sporting Bengal Utd | Venue: Old Spotted Dog

Peter: The Tons saw their four-game winning run ended by Takeley last weekend, but they welcome a struggling Sporting Bengal side to The Old Spotted Dog who have lost all but one of their last eight games, although that one was a thumping home win over Waltham Forest, however Clapton are playing some decent stuff at the moment so will take the win here I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 3-1

Scott: The Tons welcome Sporting Bengal to the OSD. Jon Fowell & Wayne Seal’s side narrowly lost out to Takeley last weekend in what was their first loss in five matches. Sporting have had two weeks off and are in 15th place, two points above the bottom four. One win in their last five outings means they need points to avert falling into the bottom four. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

 

FC Romania v West Essex  | Venue: Theobalds Lane

Peter: The Romanian’s long unbeaten record is still ongoing after they drew at home to Basildon United in midweek, although they had ‘keeper Darabant to thank for that, and they welcome a free-flowing attacking West Essex to Theobalds Lane who ended their four-game winless streak with victory at the start of the month, however they have been out of action for three weeks now so there may be some rustiness, and I feel the hosts may take advantage of this to pick up the points.

Pete’s Prediction: 4-2

Scott: The tricky matches keep coming for the Wolves as West Essex are the visitors to Theobalds Lane here. The hosts were held by Basildon in midweek, while West Essex’s tie at home to Redbridge was postponed. FCR have drawn three of their last five matches and West Essex can definitely pose a threat those postponements have hampered the Stags recently. Still reckon the hosts should prevail here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Hullbridge Sports v Wadham Lodge   | Venue: Lower Road

Peter: This is what you call a ‘six-pointer’ down at the foot of the table.  Sports are unbeaten in four outings and grabbed an important win last time out against Tower Hamlets, whilst Lodge ended a six-game winless run with victory over their Walthamstow rivals Forest last time out.  Both need the points to take them closer to getting out the bottom four, however I feel this may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Hullbridge welcome Wadham in what is a massive ‘six-pointer’ at the bottom. The hosts had midweek off due to the inclement weather and may need to improve on last weekend’s performance in their narrow win over Tower Hamlets. Wadham overcame Forest in the ‘Walthamstow Derby’ last weekend to avert a winless league run. This could well be a scrappy battle with goals in it.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Great Wakering Rovers  | Venue:  Crofters End

Peter: This proves to be a pretty decent game at Crofters, as The Robins, who have certainly picked up in 2018, host league leaders GWR who themselves are unbeaten in eight games having won seven of those in the process.  And with the Robins having won at Burroughs Park earlier in the campaign, this shows they have what it takes to get the better of the visitors. However, I can see the league leaders grabbing the points.

Pete’s Prediction: 0-2

Scott: In-form Wakering head to Crofters to take on Sawbridgeworth. Iain O’Connell’s side went joint-top following their narrow win at Ilford in midweek. Sawbo were held by the Foxes last weekend before grabbing a late win at Burnham in midweek. John Watters’ side are looking at breaking into the top ten after a run of two defeats in their last seven and this will be another test of GWR’s mettle.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

Southend Manor v Ilford  | Venue: Southchurch Park

Peter: This proves to be a battle on the Essex Coast as Manor host The Foxes with both sides in similar form of late.  Manor are unbeaten in their last two whilst Ilford are winless in four, although all those games were very tight indeed.  Expecting another tight one here and another draw I feel.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-1

Scott: Manor welcome Ilford to Southchurch after a harrowing midweek which saw their match at Hackney Wick abandoned just minutes in due to serious injury to a Manor forward. Our best wishes go to Ellis in his recovery. The hosts have been affected by injuries of late and arguably still need a few points to avoid getting dragged into the relegation slug-fest. The Foxes are also finding wins hard to sustain though they may get the job done here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Tower Hamlets v Stansted | Venue: Mile End Stadium

Peter: Hamlets form in 2018 has been mixed to say the least, and they are winless in five coming into this one.  Stansted have hit a small ‘sticky patch’ after beginning 2018 brilliantly, although they ended a two-game losing run with a point in midweek, although it was a late leveller that denied them all three.  Will be a tight one this I feel but one I believe the visitors may just edge.

Pete’s Prediction: 1-2

Scott: This fascinating encounter sees Hamlets entertain Stansted at Mile End. There were definitely positives to take for the hosts in their loss at Hullbridge last weekend and I feel the Airportmen will need to defend well here. The visitors fell to defeat at Enfield last Saturday before holding Woodford at Goffs Lane in midweek. Hamlets are winless in their last five matches with Stansted winless in their last three so this could be another battle. Hard one to call, going for a entertaining draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Waltham Forest v Enfield 1893  | Venue: Kitchener Road

Peter: Another huge six-pointer down at the foot of the table sees Forest host Enfield at Kitchener Road.  Forest are winless in their last four although fought back to draw in midweek after trailing by two at the break, whilst Enfield have won two in a row to see them spring out of the bottom four and go above their opponents on goal difference in this one.  The winner of this game could put five points between them and the bottom four, whilst the loser could find themselves back in it, so very important. Reckon this could end all square though.

Pete’s Prediction: 2-2

Scott: Lastly on Saturday, Enfield make the trip to Kitchener Road to take on Forest. The hosts’ four-match winless run has come at a bad time with Ryan Maxwell’s side hovering just above the bottom four. Enfield went above Forest last weekend thanks to a good home win over Stansted, their third win in their last five matches. With this being Forest’s third match in 8 days, will this affect their performance levels? Time will tell.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Check our respective blogs on Sunday for our round-up’s of ESL action. You can follow Peter on Twitter: @ped1980 and Scott: @ScottMHC14.