Round-up: Essex Senior League & FA Vase Second Rd (ESL sides) (Sat 2 Nov) [ESL 19/20 3.11.19]

ESL Badge

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League review, looking back at the seven matches that took place in the League, with three ESL sides taking part in the FA Vase Second Round Proper also. Thanks for reading.

Saturday 2nd November – ESL

Cockfosters  1 – 1  Hoddesdon Town  | Chalk Lane  | Att: 87

The ‘Fosters ended their run of three-home matches on-the-spin with a late leveller against Hoddesdon. Joss Lillis put the Lilywhites ahead on 37 minutes and Simon Riddle’s side may have thought they were heading for a gutsy win though substitute Billy Murray netted in added-time to deny the visitors the win and extend the hosts unbeaten stretch to three matches. Ryan Wade’s side drop to eighth, with Hoddy only ahead of them on goal difference in 7th.

 

Hadley  3 – 0  Woodford Town   | Brickfield Lane | Att: 46

Hadley’s terrific home form continued as they set aside Woodford at Brickfield Lane. A brace from in-form forward Luke Jupp and one from lively winger Solomon Ofori ensured the Bricks made it five league wins in succession, rising to fourth in the standings, seven points adrift of leaders Hashtag. Woodford’s third defeat in their last five meant they fell to 11th place though their squad rebuild will mean patience is needed at this point.

 

Ilford  3 – 1  Enfield   | Cricklefield | Att: 28

The Foxes overwhelmed inconsistent Enfield at Cricklefield. Tela Trivelato opened the scoring on 11 minutes for Jonny Fowell’s side though the bulk of the scoring came in the latter stages of the contest. Ikechi Eze netted direct from a corner with 16 minutes remaining to give he hosts that crucial second goal. Matt Frew pulled one back for the E’s after coming off the substitutes’ bench though Trivelato had the last word as he netted his second with a minute of normal time to play. Two wins from two at home since Fowell took charge means they rise to fourth-bottom. Enfield drop to 13th.

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  P – P  Redbridge    | Crofters

This match at Crofters fell foul of the elements and was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

 

Southend Manor   1 – 0   Clapton    | Southchurch Park | Att: 12

Manor recorded what could be a very important win over fellow strugglers Clapton at Southchurch Park. Michael Ogboin got the only goal as the Southend side ended a streak of five matches without a win to go above the Tons into 17th, twelve points above bottom side Sawbridgeworth.

 

Sporting Bengal Utd   2 – 1  Hashtag Utd   | Mile End | Att: 101

Sporting put in a big performance to end the Tags’ ten-match league winning run at Mile End. Quick-fire goals from Bobby Redwood [30’] and talisman Steven Carvell only a minute later put them well on their way to the win. After the break, Imrul Gazi’s side had to be very resilent as Utd forced their way back into the match through Ross Gleed’s free-kick 15 minutes from time. Despite the league leaders pressurising the home side hard in the latter stages, Bengal did emerge with their first win in six matches, which puts them up to 9th place in the table. Hashtag’s fantastic streak is over though with nearest rivals Saffron Walden and Walthamstow both in FA Vase action this weekend, they remain four points clear at the summit.

 

St Margaretsbury  1 – 2  Tower Hamlets   | The Recreation Ground | Att: 19

Hamlets emerged with a fine win at St Mags. Goals from Ben Brookes [10’] and the in-form Suaibo Balde just before the break ended up giving the East London side the victory, their third win in their last four. The hosts replied through their own chief goal-getter Kyle Roberts on the half-hour though still fell to first loss in five matches. Hamlets rise to 12th spot now while St Mags drop to 10th.

 

West Essex  1 – 5  Takeley   | Mayesbrook Park  | Att: 28

West’s week went from bad to worse as Takeley powered five in a big win at Mayesbrook. In a match played in awful conditions, Jason Todd [23’] and Mitchell Das [26’] goals put Marc Das’ team in the ‘box seat’ before Bryn Thorpe made it three five minutes before the interval. After the break, former St Margaretsbury striker Charncey Dash made his mark for his new club by grabbing a fourth on 55 minutes, then Michael Castle added further gloss to the score-line with the fifth 18 minutes from time. Brad Russell’s strike was scant consolation as the Stags dropped to sixth spot after this loss, with Takeley rising above them into 5th after ending a run of four matches without a win.

 

 

FA Vase image

The FA Vase Second Round Proper (ESL Sides)

 

Saffron Walden Town  3 – 4  FC Clacton   | Catons Lane | Att: 235

Walden exited the FA Vase in an enthralling contest with Thurlow Nunn Premier side FC Clacton at Catons Lane. New signing Ricky Griggs put the visitors ahead with a minute gone, though Charlie Cole levelled only four minutes later for Jason Maher’s side. Lewis Francis struck to put the hosts ahead with 16 minutes played, though nine minutes afterward Adam Hampson restored parity for Clacton. The tide really turned in favour of the East Essex Coast side as Hampson got his second 12 minutes before the break and Griggs netting just before the interval to make it 4 – 2. Ryan Fleming made it tight with the hosts’ third goal nine minutes after the break though Cacton withstood the pressure to advance.

News: Tonight (Sunday), it’s been announced by Saffron Walden that long-serving forward Lewis Francis has departed, with the club thanking him for all his efforts in his time there. I’d like to wish Lewis well in his next chapter, certainly been an important player for the Bloods.

 

Stansted  1 – 0  Mildenhall Town  | Hargrave Park | Att: 142

The Airportmen edged a close game with Thurlow Nunn Premier side Mildenhall at Hargrave Park. Ryan Ramsey got the only goal on the stroke of half-time to ensure that his side are the only ESL representatives remaining in the FA Vase this season. Congrats to co-managers Paul Pittuck & John Watters and the team on their progress.

 

Walthamstow   2 – 3  AFC Uckfield Town   | Wadham Lodge | Att: 74

AFC Uckfield sent ‘Stow out of the FA Vase with a narrow win at Wadham Lodge. It started well for the hosts as Ollie Fortune struck ten minutes in to put them ahead, though the start of the second half saw the game turn. First, Dan Okosie struck five minutes after the resumption to level the tie, before Ellis Cormack put AFC ahead five minutes later. Richie Welsh got a crucial third goal for the visitors with 18 minutes left and though Samrai Gebrai made it a tight finish with a second for ‘Stow 11 minutes from time, the visitors held on despite the hosts being unhappy at ‘unsportsmanlike behaviour’ by their opposition. Even so, Ryan Maxwell’s side will hone their focus in on the league, as they have matches to catch up on in the following weeks.

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 18/Sat 19 Oct) [ESL 17.10.19]

20191012_161733
Archive: Sawridgeworth 0 – 3 W Essex in ESL last week (Image: Scott W)


Written by Scott W
[Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this weekend’s preview of Essex Senior League action on Saturday 19 October, as nine matches take place this coming weekend.

 

ESL Fixtures  –

Friday 18th October

Woodford Town  v  Sawbridgeworth Town   | Harlow Arena [3G]  |

The weekend’s action gets underway once again at the Harlow Arena as Woodford welcome Sawbridgeworth. The Towners were held last Friday night by Clapton after a late OG gave the Tons a point. Ross Weare’s side have got two wins in their last five but are adjusting after a influx of squad changes recently. Sawbridgeworth showed some spirit before going down at home to West Essex at home last weekend which extended their winless run. The results may start coming for Lee Mackman’s side soon though this is still a tough test on paper. Narrow home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

 

Saturday 19th October

Enfield  v  Southend Manor   | Woodside |

Saturday’s action starts with Manor’s trip to Enfield. The E’s have had a disappointing week, with a long away-day at Harborough Town resulting in their exit from the FA Vase last weekend, followed up by a loss at North Greenford Utd in the Middlesex County Cup in midweek. Southend’s Manor’s form is also mixed of late, with two losses in their last four matches, though new Michael Walther has brought in new players of late so it make time for his new-look squad to gel. Think there will be goals in this one. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Hadley  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Brickfield Lane |

The Bricks look to get their league campaign back on track as they welcome fellow high-flyers Hoddesdon. Hadley suffered a rare home loss to exit the FA Vase as Milton Keynes Robins won last weekend. In the ESL though, they have only conceded one goal in four home matches to date so that tells you something. Hoddesdon were involved in a corker of a match in their loss to Hashtag, having had a two-goal lead thus ultimately fell to a heavy defeat, their first loss since the opening day of the campaign. Therefore, manager Simon Riddle will want a reaction from his side, though piercing the second-best defence in the league will be tough. Narrow home win for the hosts for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Updated: Walthamstow v Redbridge | Wadham Lodge |

The Motormen’s match with ‘Stow has been switched to Wadham Lodge as Oakside is not sufficiently recovered from the week’s weather to host. Redbridge have had their last two league matches postponed, so you have to go back to October 5th for their last league game, a win at Southend Manor. Ryan Maxwell’s Walthamstow side are a different proposition though (with all respect to Manor) as they continued their FA Vase run into Round Two with a good win at Broadfields Utd last weekend,  and won well at St Margaretsbury the midweek before that. ‘Stow have a very stingy defence, the best in the league having only conceded one goal in their six matches so far. Micky Wetherall’s side are strong going forward though can be a tad leaky defensively and ‘Stow will know they need to win their games in hand on the top two. Hard to see anything but an a win for Walthamstow here

 

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  Cockfosters   | Catons Lane  |

Walden return to the league action after a hugely admirable win in their FA Vase Replay with Biggleswade Utd in midweek. They welcome Cockfosters to Catons Lane, looking to continue their unbeaten league run and keep tabs on leaders Hashtag Utd. Cockfosters were in action in midweek after being thwarted by the weather last weekend. The ‘Fosters won on penalties at Ilford to advance to the last four of the Gordon Brasted Trophy. Their away form does not favour them here, with one win in five matches and therefore, have to go with a win for the Bloods here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Stansted  v  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Hargrave Park

The Airportmen welcome Bengal to Hargrave Park, with arguably both sides in need of a win. Paul Pittuck’s & John Watters’ side picked a morale-boosting win in the FA Vase last weekend over Aylesbury Vale Dynamos. Their league form recently though isn’t great as four straight defeats see them third-bottom at present. Bengal have been defeated in their last two home matches, to West Essex and most recently, St Margaretsbury. This could be a highlight match of the weekend. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Takeley  v  Hashtag Utd | Station Road

The ‘big match’ this weekend surely takes place at Station Road as Takeley welcome in-form Hashtag. Marc Das’ side exited the FA Vase last weekend with a narrow loss at Wellingborough Town, after being held by a spirited Southend Manor at home the midweek before. Hashtag are in prime form after a superb comeback win at Hoddesdon last week extended their winning run to eight matches. Goalkeeper Louis Hawes (formerly of Basildon Utd & Great Wakering) has also been added to the squad this week to compete with regular stopper Tim Pitman. The likes of George Smith and Ryan Adams will take some stopping at present and while Takeley are quite capable of producing a brilliant defensive showing, the Tags may well edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Tower Hamlets  v  Clapton | Mile End Stadium

Hamlets welcome the Tons to Mile End. Both sides are finding wins hard to come by, though Hamlets did produce an impressive performance to win well at Southend Manor last weekend. That win was their first in five matches, while the Tons got a point at Woodford last weekend. They are winless in three matches though with both sides being unpredictable, I’m going head for a stalemate here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

West Essex  v  St Margaretsbury  | Mayesbrook Park

Finally for this weekend, the Stags welcome a similarly in-form St Mags side to Mayesbrook. West made it four consecutive league wins with success at Sawbridgeworth last weekend, while Ray Bartlett & Tony Wild’s side win at Sporting Bengal made it one loss in their last six matches. This has the hallmarks of a bruising encounter with technical players in both sides. The crucial factor may be how the visitors’ defence deals with the likes of Taylor and Mignot. Expect this one to a very hard-fought match.

Scott’s Prediction:  2 – 1

That’s your Preview for this week, thanks for reading.

 

Match Report: Sporting Bengal Utd 3 – 3 Redbridge (Sat 28th Sept) [ESL 19/20 29.9.19]

Essex Senior League

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: TBC

2019 – 20 Season: Match 25

Saturday 28th September 2019 – 3pm KO

S Bengal: Green Shirts, Red Shorts, Green Socks

Redbridge : Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

 

 

 

 

Bengal & Redbridge battle to a very entertaining draw at Mile End

Sporting Bengal Utd 3 – 3 Redbridge

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

After a mini-break from ESL action recently, I returned ‘to the field’ with a fascinating tie in store which saw Sporting Bengal welcome Redbridge to Mile End. Imrul Gazi’s side have competed in the UK Asian Championships in Glasgow recently, while the Motormen are right in the middle of a squad re-build and from afar, both sides have been scoring goals of late so that added to the anticipation before the match.

Bengal named a front three of Curtley McIntosh, Bobby Redwood and Steven Carvell with Charles Gregory and Chaka Barnett supporting them. Billal Khan retained the goalkeeper’s jersey while Adil Haque, Dominic Stephens and Tanvir Ahmed were options from the bench. Redbridge named Florent Gislette in goal, skipper Liam Burgess in midfield and a front three of Tom Harvey, Tony Martin and reliable goal-getter Daniel Gilchrist. James Barlow, Sam Dickens and recent addition Rujorn Tuitt were all among the substitutes.

The match didn’t take long to ‘get into gear’ with home custodian Billal Khan called into action after just four minutes to deny a drive by Motormen forward Tom Harvey. It was Bengal who took the lead though five minutes later as attacking midfielder Chaka Barnett was fouled in the area. Charles Gregory stepped up and concerted the resulting spot-kick. The hosts couldn’t celebrate for long though on 12 minutes, the visitors vanquished their arrears as Dan Gilchrist pounced with a cool finish to beat Khan to level things up. The early stages saw both teams ‘going for it’ and there was no lack of chances created. Bengal forward Bobby Redwood’s strike was parried by visiting goalkeeper Florent Gislette out of danger before Redbridge centre-back Joe Maskell headed over after a hurried clearance by the hosts led to a corner.

Both teams continued to create chances, almost in tandem as with the half-hour mark coming, the visitors were well-denied following Gilchrist’s pass to strike partner Tony Martin who only had Khan to beat though Bengal’s stopper did well to snuff out the chance. At the other end, Curtley McIntosh was stretching the visiting defence with runs down the channels, and his build-up fed Carvell who fired wide twice in as many minutes. Khan then denied Gilchrist and Maskell whose header was adjudged to have not passed the goal-line.

Half-Time: Sporting Bengal Utd  1 – 1  Redbridge

Bengal started the second half strongly and early-doors, a good move involving McIntosh and Barnett found Carvell who again fired a thunder-bolt narrowly wide of the goal-frame. Barnett then had a half-chance himself, though Gislette pushed away his header at the near post. Imrul Gazi’s side would not be denied though as two quick-fire goals gave them the impetus in this game. First, on 51 minutes, the ball was threaded through to McIntosh who calmly passed home into the far corner with only the stranded Gislette to beat. Then, as the visitors were still recovering two minutes later, Barnett’s fine cross from the right gave Redwood a tap-in. Even then though, with the tenor of the match being as it was, you still felt there was more drama to come.

We weren’t disappointed. Just after the hour mark, the visitors made the most of a yard of space just outside the 18-yard box as Harvey Brown teed up skipper Liam Burgess to lash a cracker into the top corner, giving Khan no chance. Unsurprisingly this lifted Micky Wetherall’s side and after substitute Anthony Bruce had denied Martin another good chance at goal, a goal-mouth scramble followed with Bengal under heavy pressure. As we went into the latter stages of this enthralling tie, Bengal full-back Jerry Jairette did well to ghost in past the Redbridge backline though Gislette denied his header before Redwood fired a promising chance wide after another good run by Barnett.

The topsy-turvy nature of this one continued. Redbridge substitute Rujorn Tuitt had looked a threat since his introduction, and with fifteen minutes left, he was fouled in the area by Bruce. Gilchrist stepped up to take the penalty and fired it low into the corner. Redbridge did finish the match the stronger as midfielder Harvey Brown was denied by the impressive Khan with a fingertip save in added-time though it was hard to deny both sides a share of the points.

 

Full-Time: Sporting Bengal Utd 3 – 3 Redbridge

All told, this match was a real winner in terms of both sides wanting to play attacking Football and on another day it could easily have been 5 – 5, such was the open manner in which it was played. I don’t often say this though today, a draw really was the fair result. Both managers respected the opposition’s abilities I felt and I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams got mid-table finishes this term.

Also, I have to give a brief mention to the youthful team manning the Tea Bar by the stands, certainly added a nice aura to the tone of this match, they did a good deed for their club so good on them.

Finally, in terms of stand-out performances, for the home side, goalkeeper Billal Khan made at least three good saves to assist his defence while the front three of Curtley McIntosh, Steven Carvell and Bobby Redwood all posed a threat with McIntosh leading the line well, Carvell’s passing and strikes a near ever-present danger. Recent signing Chaka Barnett was also a threat down the right flank with his trickery and pace. It’s good to see Bengal having perhaps a few more options in attack this term.  For the Motormen, forward Daniel Gilchrist showed again why he is highly-thought of at this level with his pace, finishing and calmness. Tom Harvey and Tony Martin also added to the danger posed by the visiting front three, playing their part in good teams moves, while substitute Rujorn Tuitt also made an impact in his cameo, and ‘keeper Gislette also made a few good saves to round off a good display by Micky Wetherall’s team.

 

Teams

Sporting Bengal    |  Manager: Imrul Gazi

Billal Khan (GK), Jerry Jairette, Raul Gazi (Anthony Bruce 68’), Joshua Adeji, Edward Lang (Capt), Kaleem Luthra, Chaka Barnett (Adil Haque 77’), Charles Gregory (Dominic Stephens 70’), Curtley McIntosh, Steven Carvell, Bobby Redwood

Goal-scorers: Charles Gregory [pen 9’], Curtley McIntosh [51’], Bobby Redwood [53’]

Booked: Gregory, Bruce | Subs Not Used: T Ahmed, Ross

 

Redbridge  |  Manager: Micky Wetherall

Florent Gislette (GK), Luke Stanley (Rujorn Tuitt 65’), Jordayne Henry, Jack Blackledge (Sam Dickens 57’), Joe Maskell, Dean Hall, Harvey Brown, Liam Burgess (Capt), Tom Harvey, Tony Martin (James Barlow 77’), Daniel Gilchrist

Goal-scorers: Daniel Gilchrist [12’ & pen 76’], Liam Burgess [63’]

Booked: Burgess, Blackledge, Tuitt | Subs Not Used: C Brown, Latimer

Referee: Michael Scott

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

20190807_201148
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.

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

20190427_171758
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.

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

Essex Senior League

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: TBC

2018-19 Season – Match 65

Wednesday 3rd April 2019  – 7.45pm KO

Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Walthamstow: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Bengal hold off ‘Stow to obtain record-breaking win

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

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

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

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

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

20190403_202032

Half-Time: Sporting Bengal  1 – 0  Walthamstow

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

20190403_202038

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

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

Full-time: Sporting Bengal Utd  2 – 0  Walthamstow

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

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

Sporting Bengal Utd   | Manager: Imrul Gazi

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

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

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

Walthamstow  | Player-Manager: Ryan Maxwell

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

Booked: Conway    | Subs Not Used: Maxwell, Ramsay

Referee: Gary Baker

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

The Errington Challenge Cup – Quarter-Final

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: 40

2018-19 Season: Match 52

Wednesday 20th February 2019 – 7.45pm KO

Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

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

Penalties sees West Essex through to Errington Cup Semi-Finals

20190220_194508
Players before KO (Image: Scott W)

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

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

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

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

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

Half-Time: Sporting Bengal  0 – 2  West Essex

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teams

Sporting Bengal   | Manager: Imrul Gazi

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

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

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

West Essex    | Manager: Kwame Kwateng

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

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

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