S20-21 Match Report: Cockfosters 4 – 0 Sporting Bengal Utd (Sat 12 Dec) [ESL 20-21 13.12.20]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League

Venue: Chalk Lane

Attendance: 100

2020 -21 Season – Match 20

Saturday 12th December 2020 – 3pm KO

Cockfosters: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red & White Socks

Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Second-half goal blitz sees ‘Fosters to victory over Sporting Bengal

Cockfosters 4 – 0 Sporting Bengal Utd

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

With the continuing uncertainty this Football season, I decided to make the long trek to North London and Chalk Lane for this Essex Senior encounter between Cockfosters & Sporting Bengal Utd. Ryan Wade fielded Brad Robinson between the sticks with an attack-focused full-back pair of Luke Marshall and recent signing Vinny Durrant, with a front two of Carl Mullings and James Verney supported by George Beattie. A threadbare bench featured fellow recent signing Kyle Roberts and Matt Turpin, who scored in the London Senior Cup in midweek. Sporting Bengal have had a tricky start to the campaign and named skipper Rokib Choudhury at right-back, Tanvir Ahmed at left-back and D’Norfe Diaz Vaz and Chaka Barnett on the flanks, supporting Soulyman El Amri and lynchpin Joel Ramos in attack. Among their replacements were technical winger Carlos Hubner and defenders Raul Gazi and Manraj Gill.



The match got underway with a flourish from the hosts, with some early crosses giving the Bengal defence one or two nervy moments. Those nerves continued on five minutes as home full-back Vinny Durrant broke through the visiting defence and stroke home crisply from close range, with Sporting stopper Aires Ferreira unable to keep it out despite getting a hand to it. Bengal responded with forward Joel Ramos blasting over the goal frame from thirty yards out, but on the quarter-hour winger George Beattie played the ball in to Durrant but he twice couldn’t find the target, on his weaker foot. Sporting Bengal did find their way into the contest in the second part of the half as winger Chaka Barnett spurned a half-chance by shooting wide of home custodian Brad Robinson’s right-side post when in a promising position.

On twenty-six minutes, Ramos was in the action again as a free-kick from about thirty yards was well-struck and needed Robinson to superbly tip the ball onto the post as it was sliding in. Bengal’s speedy and good passing moves were gaining momentum at this point, with midfielder Gianfranco Mici also blasting wide from twelve yards when he could’ve done better. At the other end, eight minutes from time during another probing attack from the hosts, another fine centre from the right flank from Marshall found tall forward Carl Mullings though he was well thwarted by visiting skipper Rokib Choudhury’s challenge with the striker poised to strike.

Half-Time: Cockfosters  1 – 0 Sporting Bengal Utd

It was still well-poised at the interval though Ryan Wade’s side did need to ‘up the ante’ after the break. They certainly started the second half as they did the first. Moments into the half, ‘Fosters winger Rueben Campbell spotted a chance to chip from the right flank and it needed Ferriera to be alert and parry it over with Campbell’s effort arrowing towards the top right corner. Centre-back Marcus Crowther also headed powerfully off-target moments later which only endorsed the home side’s keenness to seal the points. With the hosts still strongly in command, forward James Verney played in strike partner Mullings though only a strong interception from Bengal centre-back Shayan Ghamarinezhad denied him. Perhaps it was the hosts’ day as just after the hour mark, a rare blemish from Robinson allowed Bengal substitute Carlos Hubner to rob him of possession by Hubner could not make him pay as he lobbed his strike over the crossbar.

The chances that Bengal had were to further highlighted as midway through the half, ‘Cockfosters doubled their goal tally. Mullings sprinted down the right channel and fed Beattie though Ferriera was able to block his close-range strike, only for Verney to be in ‘the right place at the right time’ to poke home from close range. ‘Fosters added a third goal only four minutes later as another fine cross by Marshall evaded everyone but found Mullings ghosting in at the far post to fire home well, past Ferriera to more or less seal the win there and then.

Wade’s side then added further pain on the visitors on seventy-one minutes as Beattie ghosted past the Bengal backline to slot home. It was harsh on Bengal but it underlines the fact that you can’t ‘switch off’ against this sort of quality for any period of time. To their credit, Bengal did not allow their heads to drop, with Ramos denied by substitute Charlie Morgan’s tackle with four minutes remaining. Verney then missed a decent opportunity soon after, clipping the ball wide at the near post. Then, with full-time approaching, Bengal replacement Abraham Richard-Tagoe breezed past the tackles of the home defenders but couldn’t get his strike away with any venom to test Robinson.

Full-Time: Cockfosters  4 – 0 Sporting Bengal Utd

In summary, Cockfosters deserved the win in the end on a tricky surface, although in parts of the game Bengal did show their speed and technical ability, particularly in attack. Unfortunately though for the visitors, defensive lapses cost them dearly here and conceding three goals in six second-half minutes absolutely snuffed out any chance of getting something from the game. Manager Imrul Gazi will know that you cannot gift chances to the calibre of players that the ‘Fosters have they can take positives from this encounter.

For my stand-out performers, the hosts were livened up by a strong front three of James Verney, Carl Mullings and chief support George Beattie who were a threat all match but really forced the pace after the interval. Right-back Luke Marshall also put in some superb crosses which added to the visiting defence’s problems and also showed good energy levels too. Lastly, custodian Brad Robinson made a terrific save before the half-hour when Sporting had a good phase of the match.

For the visitors, forward Joel Ramos was their chief outlet going forward and he also did well looking to stretch the home backline by going into the right-side channel and was unfortunate to not get on the score-sheet. Full-backs Tanvir Ahmed and Rokib Choudbury also showed good willingness to support their attacks and also made good individual interceptions under pressure. Midfielder Gianfranco Mici also showed some neat passing and finally, centre-back Shayan Ghamarinezhad also made some well-time tackles to stifle the strong home forward line at times.

Finally, I’d like to thank Cockfosters for their welcome, particularly Deputy Chairman Mike Bell. It was great to return to Chalk Lane, which is a ground with its own character and is good to visit. Was good also to catch up here with both management teams as well. I wish both sides well for the rest of the season.

Teams

Cockfosters  | Player-Manager: Ryan Wade |  Assistant: Nick Mountford

1. Brad Robinson (GK), 2. Luke Marshall, 3. Vinny Durrant (14 Charlie Morgan 58’), 4. Matty Thomson (Capt), 5. Danny Haigh, 6 Marcus Crowther, 7 Rueben Campbell, 18. Kaidyn Michael, 9. Carl Mullings (12 Kyle Roberts 73’), 10. James Verney, 11. George Beattie

Goal-scorers: Vinny Durrant [5’], James Verney [65’], Carl Mullings [69’], George Beattie [71’]

Booked: Mullings | Sub Not Used: Turpin

Sporting Bengal    |  Manager: Imrul Gazi

1. Aires Ferriera (GK), 2. Rokib Choudhury (Capt), 3. Tanvir Ahmed, 4. Anthony Murray-Bruce, 5. Lee Sharpe (17 Manraj Gill 66’), 6. Shayan Ghamarinezhad, 8. Gianfranco Mici, 14. Chaka Barnett (7 Carlos Hubner 60’), 9. Joel Ramos, Soulyman El Amri (12 Abraham Richard-Tagoe 73’), 11. D’Norfe Diaz Vaz

Booked: Ghamarinezad | Subs Not Used: R Gazi, Konjuvca

Referee: Alistair Potter

Assistant Referees: Andy Tregoning & Katie Dorling

S20-21 Round-ups: Essex Senior League (Sat 24 Oct) [ESL 20-21 24.10.20]

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

Hello and welcome back to another of my occasional round-up articles looking at the Essex Senior League for the Season 2020-21. This article tracks all the action from Saturday 24 October. Thanks for reading.

My thanks to Matt North  [@MattNorth_] for the photo

 Essex Senior – Saturday 24 October

Clapton  1 – 5  Enfield   | Terry Mac |

The E’s moved out of the bottom three with a big win over nine-man Clapton at the Terry Mac. Olly Miles struck twice for Jamie Cureton’s side here, with Lewis Francis, Joseph Boachie and a spot-kick from Joe Thomas crowned off an important away win for Enfield and consign the Tons to their sixth loss in ten matches thus far, they remain second-bottom.  

Hashtag Utd  1 – 1  Southend Manor | Len Salmon Stadium [3G]  | Att: 252

In front of another large crowd at the Len Salmon, Hashtag came from behind to secure a point against fellow in-form side Manor. Luca Frankis had put Craig Waters & Garry Pond’s side ahead though Jay Devereux’s side piled on the pressure after the break and got some reward for it as Albert Keith’s levelled things on 52 minutes. Despite dropping points at home for the first time this term, the Tags remain five points clear at the summit, whereas Manor’s unbeaten run sits at three matches now and they reside in sixth place, four points adrift of the top three.

Ilford  3 – 0  Woodford Town | Cricklefield | Att: 60

Ilford ended their five-match winless run with a comfortable win over Woodford at Cricklefield. Two goals in seven minutes saw Adam Peek’s side on their way with Dimitri Christou’s strike [16’] and Yemi Adelani netting his sixth league goal this season seven minutes later. A wonder strike from defender Steve Sylvester in the last few moments ended a good day’s work for the Foxes and sees them up to 14th while the Town remain winless in nine matches this season.

Saffron Walden Town  0 – 1  Walthamstow  | Catons Lane  | Att: 296

Walthamstow emerged from another battle with rivals Saffron Walden with the three points, thanks to Dwade James’ spot-kick late on. Player-manager Max Mitchell’s side got their fifth win in their last six matches which sees them in fourth spot currently. Walden’s luckless run goes on as they fell to eighth place.

Sawbridgeworth Town  0 – 2  Hoddesdon Town  | Crofters  | Att: 54

Hoddesdon got their third win in their last five games with a hard-fought win at Sawbridgeworth. Harry Andic broke the stalemate right on the half-hour to put the Lilywhites ahead, before substitute Harrison Rookard sealed the points with three minutes remaining. Simon Riddle’s side rise up to fifth place while Sawbo drop to 13th, five points clear of the bottom three.

Stansted  1 – 1  Cockfosters   | Hargrave Park   | Att: 110

Stansted came out of a tough encounter with fellow top-three side Cockfosters with a point at Hargrave Park. After a goalless first period, Connor Hammond’s free-kick gave the hosts the lead on 65 minutes. But that lead scarcely lasted three minutes before Ned Clarke levelled following good work by former Stansted player Carl Mullings. With neither side able to force a winner, both sides go on to twenty points, with the ‘Fosters in second on goal difference.  

Sporting Bengal Utd  1 – 0  West Essex   | Mile End | BCD

Bengal got a third win in their last five matches by edging this contest with the Stags at Mile End. Rachid Qist’s spot-kick was the only goal but the visitors had a goal chalked off which mystified them somewhat. Imrul Gazi’s side go up to twelfth place, level on points with West who drop to tenth but both sides are among five sides who are on 13 points.

Takeley  5 – 0  St Margaretsbury  | Station Road | Att: 94

Takeley continued their decent home form as they outclassed St Margaretsbury at Station Road. Elliott Long doubled his goal tally for the season with four goals in this contest to effectively seal the contest, before Ryan Lynch added a late fifth to make it twenty-four goals scored in seven home matches this season – an average of 3.42 per game! The hosts are up to ninth but St Mags’ winless run extends to three matches and are winless away from the Rec – they drop to third-bottom.

S20-21 Round-ups: Essex Senior League (Mon 12 – Wed 14 Oct) [ESL 20-21 15.10.20]

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

Hello and welcome back to another of my occasional round-up articles looking at the Essex Senior League for the Season 2020-21. This article tracks all the action from the midweek action from Monday 12 October to Wednesday 14 October. Thanks for reading.

My thanks to Matt North  [@MattNorth_] for the photo

ESL crest

 Essex Senior

 Monday 12 October

Hashtag Utd  2 – 0  Woodford Town | Len Salmon Stadium [3G]  | Att: 138

The midweek action started on Monday night as Hashtag got another valuable three points to go level on points with leaders Cockfosters, prior to their match on Wednesday night. An early strike by Samraj Gill gave Jay Devereux’s side the lead, before George Smith got his fifth league goal already this term to confirm a decent win over winless Woodford, who remain four points adrift at the bottom.

Tuesday 13 October

Hoddesdon Town  4 – 2  Walthamstow   | Lowfield |

Hoddesdon fought back from behind to claim a fine win over Walthamstow. It was the visitors who took the lead through a fine header from Jason Beck though the Lilywhites did get back on terms through Frazer John’s close-range finish. Simon Riddle’s side led at the interval thanks to Kardan Campbell’s effort from a set-piece. After the break, Hoddy extended their lead thanks to Ben Quarrington-Carter and Cyrus Babaie to make the points pretty much safe, despite a late goal from Connor Scully for ‘Stow who fell to their third loss in seven games, as they drop to sixth. Hoddesdon go above their opponents into fourth, five points away from the leaders.

Saffron Walden Town  1 – 1  Enfield  | Catons Lane  |  

This gritty encounter ended in a draw at Catons Lane. Walden conceded a spot-kick midway into the half but Enfield’s Olly Miles’ spot-kick was well-denied by commanding goalkeeper James Bransgrove. Eight minutes before the break, centre-back Luke Wilson’s effort was ruled out for a foul on an Enfield player in the build-up. The deadlock was broken eight minutes after the resumption, with Miles successful in striking past Bransgrove to give the E’s the lead. That lead only lasted five minutes though before Gavin Cockman equalised. With no further goals forthcoming, Walden inch up to eighth spot, and Enfield rise to 15th before Wednesday’s action.

Sawbridgeworth Town  1 – 4  Redbridge  | Crofters  |

Redbridge continued their upward curve with a fine win at Sawbridgeworth. Darnell Bromfield netted four minutes before the break for his new side to give the Motormen the lead. Ayub Kadiri [67’] and James Barlow [73’] goals put George Christou’s side in command. Sawbo responded five minutes later but Redbridge secured the points late on through replacement Terry Amoafo as the visitors went into the top half. Sawbo fall below their opponents here into 11th.

Stansted  1 – 3  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Hargrave Park   |

Sporting Bengal recovered from their FA Vase exit on Sunday in some style with a fine comeback win at Stansted. Ryan Ramsay opened the scoring on 24 minutes after a spot-kick was saved by Bengal ‘keeper Luciano Junior. Imrul Gazi’s team responded strongly after the break as a goal from Mahdi Khan and a late brace from substitute Joel Ramos (who has now scored six goals in the league this term) secured a swift turnaround to give Bengal their second league win this term and move up to 13th. The Airportmen fell to only their second loss this term and drop to fifth.

St Margaretsbury  P – P  Southend Manor | The Rec | Match OFF due to Waterlogged pitch

Takeley  5 – 1  Clapton  | Station Road | Att: 49

Takeley added to the Tons’ pain defensively with a big win at Station Road. A goal-blitz in the first-half through braces from Lewis Deamer [16’ & 29’] and two goals in four minutes for Coby Miles on 37 and 40 minutes all but sealed the game before the half-time team-talks. Matthew Bentley struck again for Clapton three minutes after the break but the hosts held firm after that and replacement Ryan Lynch netted in the final moments to secure the win for Marc Das’ team, who go up to 12th. The Tons remain second-bottom.  

West Essex  0 – 2  Hadley  | Mayesbrook Park [3G]  |

Hadley weathered tricky conditions and a tough trip to Barking with a decent win. Shaz Anwar and substitute Jordan Edwards got the goals to see the Bricks to another three points to keep pace with the leaders as they go up to third spot. The Stags drop to tenth but will be in action again at home on Friday night against Enfield.

Wednesday 14 October 

Ilford  1 – 1  Cockfosters  | Cricklefield |

In the solitary match on Wednesday, Adam Peek’s Ilford side held Cockfosters to a creditable 1 – 1 draw. Right on the quarter-hour mark, it was the Foxes who took the lead through the skilful forward Mo Kargbo, though Ryan Wade maintained his fine goal-scoring run to level for the ‘Fosters on the half-hour. Despite a good performance, the hosts couldn’t break through and had to settle for a point. The result keeps Cockfosters at the summit ahead of their top-of-the-table clash with Hashtag this weekend, while Ilford go above Enfield into 15th spot.

Season 2020-21: The FA Cup Extra Prelim Rd (ESL/EaSL Sides) [FAC 2020-21 3.9.20]


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

Hello all and welcome to the new season of blogs here, you’ll find blogs on the Essex Senior, Essex Olympian League divisions & maybe a little more besides during the course of the season too.

This initial blog is looking at the local sides that were in action this week, which saw eleven Essex Senior sides progress and one Eastern Senior South side. Thanks for reading.

Monday 31 August

Woodford Town  3 – 1  London Colney   | The Harlow Arena | Attendance: 247

Woodford Town opened the round’s action with a fine comeback victory over London Colney at the Harlow Arena. Scott Knight had given Colney an early advantage though Luke Parrott levelled matters on the half-hour for Town. Rigert Rama then turned the tide in favour of the hosts as the match approached the hour mark, tapping home following a goalkeeping error before sealing the contest thanks to a fine strike by Parrott to seal his brace and cue wild celebrations from the excited Towners faithful. Woodford are rewarded with a trip to Capershotts to face Waltham Abbey in the Prelim Round. 

Tuesday 1st September

Cockfosters  4 – 2  Stanway Rovers   | Chalk Lane   | Att: 221

The ‘Fosters made a miraculous comeback with ten men to overcome Eastern Counties Premier side Stanway at Chalk Lane. Stanway started well and took the lead after four minutes through debutant Dan Gilchrist’s strike. The ESL side responded through George Beattie’s 20th-minute goal but had a double set-back around the half-hour mark as combative midfielder Matt Thomson was dismissed and soon after, Rovers made the most of the man advantage as Harry Thomas bundled the ball over the line after a set-piece. The drama only escalated after the break though as three goals in 15 minutes swung the tie in favour of the hosts. First, new signing Carl Mullings levelled midway through the half after a defensive howler, then player-boss Ryan Wade powered home  a spot-kick mere minutes later. Substitute Rueben Campbell provided the telling fourth goal with eleven minutes left to eventually seal a terrific victory.

Walthamstow  3 – 2  London Lions  | Wadham Lodge | Att: 292 | 

Cockfosters will face Walthamstow in the next round as ‘Stow fought back to deny London Lions progression into the Prelim Round. Max Kyte broke the deadlock for the Lions in the early stages on the contest and although ‘Stow got more threatening in front of goal, it took until after the break for them to level through substitute Michael Osei’s curling drive. Kyle nabbed his second for the visitors soon afterward, but goals from Connor Scully and Charncey Dash [for Peter: Dash! Dash!] sealed the win in front of Walthamstow’s biggest crowd since 1996.                                                   

Hullbridge Sports  0 – 2  Hadley  | Lower Road  | Att: 310

Another bumper crowd at Lower Road saw Hadley shock higher league opposition again with a fine win at Isthmian North side Hullbridge. Second-half strikes by that man Solomon Ofori and a Sam Edwards free-kick handed the impetus to the Bricks. ‘Bridge also had a penalty saved by Hadley ‘keeper Luke Ward which added to a frustrating evening for them on-the-pitch. Hadley will face FC Clacton away on Saturday week.                                     

Stansted  3 – 2  Takeley  | Hargrave Park  | Att: 143

Stansted also had to fight back to secure their passage with a hard-fought win over local rivals Takeley at Hargrave Park. Luckless home skipper Billy Coyne headed into his own net five minutes in, but Jack Mitchell converted a spot-kick on 26 minutes to level things up. Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side then took the ascendency on the score-sheet after the break as Mitchell struck again ten minutes after the break. Ash Siddik notched the Airportmen’s third in the last few minutes to effectively seal the tie. Substitute Samson Adelaja netted for Marc Das’ side deep into added-time but their focus turns now to the league opener at West Essex on Friday night. Meanwhile, the ‘Blue Brazil’ welcome Basildon Utd to Hargrave in the next round of the Cup. 

Saffron Walden Town  4 – 2  Little Oakley  | Catons Lane  | Att: 286

Saffron Walden also progressed to the next round with victory over Eastern Senior League South side Little Oakley in another pulsating tie at Catons Lane. Oakley took the lead through Harry Mann before new signing Alfie Hilton levelled the match for the hosts. Oakley were not to be denied a second through as Jordan Heath made it 2 – 1 to Matt Carmichael’s team. More drama though was in the offing as Lewis Francis made his presence felt on his return to the Bloods in a big way. The forward came off the bench and struck a hat-trick to turn the match in favour of Jason Maher’s side and see them into the next round, in front of another hefty crowd. They face the trip to Welwyn Garden City.

 Sawbridgeworth Town  2 – 1  Romford  | Crofters  | Att: 260

Sawbridgeworth pulled off one of the surprises of the round by knocking out Isthmian North side Romford at Crofters. Goals from Conor Clarke and Kieran Amos did the job on a terrific night for Lee Mackman’s side. Malaki Toussaint got one back for Romford midway through the 2nd half but Sawbo went through welcome fellow ESL side St Margaretsbury In the Prelim Round.

 Clapton  2 – 2  Sporting Bengal Utd  (Bengal won 6 – 5 on pens)

| Terrence MacMillan Stadium

Sporting Bengal edged to the next round on spot-kicks after a two-two draw with Clapton at the Terry Mac. David Tarawali netted to give Imrul Gazi’s side the lead, before Conor Okus equalised for his new club. Bengal re-took the lead soon afterward with Carlos Siegal Hubner slotting home smartly. The Tons forced a penalty shoot-out late on though as Shaun Gittleson once again levelled the match with minutes remaining. It was Bengal who held their nerve in the shoot-out, winning 6 – 5 on spot-kicks here and will travel to Harlow Town in the next round.

Wednesday 2nd Sept

 Park View   1 – 2  Hashtag Utd   | New River Sports Ground

On Wednesday, Hashtag made their debut in the competition at Park View & came from behind to progress. Kleon James had given the hosts a surprise lead, before George Smith equalised with a well-struck penalty. After the interval, recent addition Toby Aromolaran netted from close range to win the match and they will face Felixstowe & Walton Utd from the Isthmian North in the next round. 

West Essex  6  – 3  Crawley Green    | Oakside  | Att: 147

Finally in our focused ten matches, West Essex progressed in a richly entertaining tie as they powered past Spartan South Midlands Premier side Crawley Green at Oakside. Michael Mignot blasted a hat-trick inside the first 30 minutes before Phil Draycott pulled one back for the visitors six minutes before the break. West extended their lead and sealed the tie through Mignot’s fourth soon after the break. Symeon Taylor and Tom Woodbridge then added further strikes as the Stags saw out a big night for them. To their credit, Danny Watson and Tyler Ingham added late goals for Crawley Green but there was no mistaking the performance by Kwame Kwateng’s side, who are rewarded with a trip to New Salamis in the Prelim Round.

Other Results (ESL & EaSL South Sides) – Tues 1 Sept

Brantham Athletic  1 – 1  Benfleet                     (Brantham won 3 – 2 on Pens)   

Tom Watkins                              Ben Foord

Harlow Town                   5 – 1     Enfield   | Harlow Arena  | Att: 260

Christian Adu Gyamfi,                  Hugo Vasconcelos 75’  

Craig Alcock,  

Ahmet Biler,

Hector Mackie                                  

Sam Taylor (OG)

Hoddesdon Town  1 – 2  FC Clacton   |at Ware FC   | Att: 129

 Cyrus Babaie                       Mekhi McKenzie

                                               Charlie Thompson

 Redbridge  0 – 2  Harpenden Town  | Oakside  | Att: 134

                               Mulik Rickman 16’

                                    Harvey Scott 55’

Southend Manor  0 – 5  Ware | Southchurch Park  | Att: 200 |

                                           Leigh Rose 15’

                                           David Kendall 46’ & 60’
                                           Louis Rose 74’

                                           Albert Adu-Donyinah 76’     

Wednesday 2nd Sept  

Baldock Town  2 – 2  St Margaretsbury  (St Mags win 4 – 2 on pens)

Scott Piggott                                          Kyle Roberts (pen)

Josh Furness                                          Jae Partridge

Ilford         1 – 3      Halstead Town  | Cricklefield | Att: 280

Juan Cardona                     Joe Jones

                                          Chris Harris x 2                                           

Season Review 2019-20: Essex Senior League (Part 2 – Bottom half) [ESL SR 19/20 10.5.20]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the second of a two-part blog looking back at the Essex Senior League 2019-20 season, as part of my Non-League ‘Season Review’ series.

In this concluding part, I look back at the sides in the bottom half of the division from the dry statistics perspective and my own thoughts on seeing them in action during the campaign, followed by the stats on Top Goal-scorers this season.

For The Top Ten sides in the ESL, add this URL: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2020/05/05/season-review-2019-20-essex-senior-lge-p1/   Thanks for reading.

 

Essex Senior League   (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)

As with most Football at or below Step 3 (Isthmian Premier Division in the local area), the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later.

Beginning the bottom half in 11th are West Essex. The Stags had a season of transition with thirty-one points being gathered in their 24 matches. Their campaign was also blighted by weather-affected postponements though they still struck fifty-one goals (a goals per game average (GpG) of 2.125) and also shelled fifty-one in defence. They won five of their 12 matches away from their Mayesbrook Park home and their strong team ethos spread to their goal-scorers with Michael Mignot (10 league goals), Brad Russell (8) and Hakim Medfai (6) leading the way on that front. It is also notable that they have continued to encourage young talent into the first team this term. I saw them in action defeat Woodford in September, win well at Sawbridgeworth Town and narrowly lose at Cockfosters, the latter two matches both in October. Their attacking pace has continued from last term though I think for most of the season they have been that bit stronger defensively, despite suffering a few heavy losses this term. It may be that their counter-attacking style favours playing away from home, but I believe it is also about longer-term brick-building you feel for the club as they seek to strengthen the youth side of the club to build pathways through to Senior football.

 

In 12th place were Clapton. The Tons had a very strong ‘end’ to the campaign to record thirty-one points also from their 27 matches.  Five of their nine wins this term came in their last eight matches and Julian Charles’ side were nomads, playing at Parkside before finishing the campaign at Southchurch Park. They scored forty goals and conceded 59 in total, though their ten losses from seventeen away matches also impeded them. I saw them twice back in November where they lost at Stansted after a decent start and then gave Saffron Walden Town a test before falling to a loss at home to the Bloods. They struck me as a decent side on-the-pitch though their concentration did let down at times. Deimar Queni led the goal-scoring charts with six league goals so well done Deimar.

In 13th place are Ilford, with Jonny Fowell’s side gaining thirty points from their twenty-eight games. Stats will show that they scored only 31 league goals (a GpG of 1.11) which is the third-lowest in the division this term, though they did concede fifty times at the other end, which on balance is second-best of all the bottom-half sides. Cricklefield was their ‘fortress’ with all league eight wins this season coming from their 15 home games, with only five points coming away from home. Being positive, I have little doubt that Fowell and his strong coaching team will be aiming for a better season next time out. I saw them narrowly best Tower Hamlets at home back in August before giving it their all in a draw with Walthamstow in late January. I found them to be a determined outfit with some talented players who will improve with coaching & experience.

St Margaretsbury ended up in 14th spot with twenty-six points from their 28 games, after a tough end to the season which saw them gain one win in their last ten matches. Tony Wild & Ray Bartlett’s team had issues finding the net, as they scored 36 goals (a GpG of 1.28) whilst shelling forty-eight goals at the other end. Forward Kyle Roberts snared eleven league goals to lessen the threat of being caught in the bottom four. In one of those quirks, I saw them twice against Southend Manor this term. Firstly, in early September where they just edged to a win at home in a real helter-skelter high-scoring battle before Manor returned the favour at Southchurch Park in early January. When I saw them they played quite an open, attacking style and benefitted by having the likes of Ryan Reed on set-pieces too. But in defence, they could be got at, much the same as their rivals in that bottom half. It was announced post-season that Tony Wild has moved across to lead the Youth section next term, with Bartlett taking sole charge of the first team, I’d like to wish both well in their respective roles next season.

A point behind St Mags were Sporting Bengal Utd in 15th, having gathered twenty-five points from their 26 matches, after being deducted three points early on in the campaign. Imrul Gazi’s side have played a attractive style of football for several seasons now, though this term they were that bit more vulnerable defensively, having conceded 62 goals (a GpG of 2.38) this term. Curtley McIntosh led the way in attack with a very respectable twelve league goals, with support from Bobby Redwood who got seven. As mentioned in the previous part of this article, Bengal contributed hugely to a fine match in their draw with Redbridge at Mile End in late September and reminds us that they have a very capable side, even if the consistency isn’t quite there.

Enfield 1893

Into the bottom four now, starting with Enfield in 16th spot. Matt Hanning’s side had twenty-four points on the board from their 26 matches, thanks in part to a decent run of two wins and three draws in their last eight matches. Defensively they conceded sixty-six goals – the second-worst in the division but to their credit, in the last few matches they did tighten up at the back and had the season continued, they may have ended the season in a better position. One plus for them as well was their new home of Woodside (Bishop’s Stortford) and they got some fine results there, winning five of their 14 matches there this season. In 17th spot was Southend Manor who endured a tough season it has to be said. They gained twenty-three points from their 26 matches, with four of their six league wins coming at Southchurch Park. The principal issue for them was scoring goals, as they scored twenty-eight times during the entire season – the lowest in the division (a GpG of 1.07). When I saw them live though, they did have their moments (particularly in the midway point of the season as they held Sawbridgeworth in November and edged to victory of St Margaretsbury in early January) but earlier in the campaign, lapses of concentration & confidence showed in home losses to Redbridge and Cockfosters.

 

Moving into the bottom two, and in 18th place were Tower Hamlets. They were a point adrift of Manor on 22 points from their 27 games played. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Hamlets had one of the youngest squads to play in the division, certainly this season if not going further back into the league’s history. One for the historians that is. On their day, their pace and exuberance was tough to stifle, but on the other end of that scale is that their inexperience cost them, defensively in particular. They shipped sixty-five goals (a GpG of 2.41) and they didn’t win any of their last ten league matches which did put them in the position that they finished, but ran the top-of-the-table sides close which did earn John Jatto’s side respect.  Finally, bottom of the standings were Sawbridgeworth Town who won eight points from their 28 matches. Two league wins all season kind of sets the tone though what really leaps off the page was the unfortunate defensive record, conceding ninety-nine goals this term (a GpG of 3.53). Their league wins came against Cockfosters at home in mid-November and at Sporting Bengal in mid-February. I saw them lose out at home to West Essex in mid-October where they had promising parts of the game but not enough end product.  When I saw next saw them battle hard for a point at Manor at the end of November, there were signs they were tightening up and their attacking promise was evident too. Ultimately though, you’re forced to concede that it was a very harsh campaign for Sawbo and one they can scarcely afford to see again.

 

 

Finally, here’s the Leading Goal-scorers in the Essex Senior League 2019/20

(Source: essexseniorleague.co.uk)

       
    Club/s League Goals Total Goals (All Comps)
1 Dwade James Walthamstow 27 40
2 George Smith Hashtag Utd 19 26
3 Solomon Ofori Hadley 18 25
         
4 Gavin Cockman Saffron Walden Town 16 20
5 Suiabo Balde Tower Hamlets 15 15
6 Lewis Francis Walthamstow/ Saffron Walden Town 13 17
         
=7 Taylor Tombides Redbridge 12 19
  Curtley McIntosh Sporting Bengal Utd 12 16
  Issac Marfo-Jacobs Hoddesdon Town 12 15
         
=10 Kyle Roberts St Margaretsbury/ Hadley 11 15
  Connor Hammond Stansted 11 13
         
=12 Michael Mignot West Essex 10 15
  Manny Hammond Hadley 10 12
  Ned Clarke Cockfosters/ Hadley 10 10
         
=15 Charlie Cole Saffron Walden Town 9 28
  Bryn Thorpe Takeley 9 15
  Alfie Bartram Hadley 9 12
  Hassan Nalbant Redbridge 9 11
  Cameron Ferguson Hadley 9 9
         
         

 

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Fri/Sat 31 Jan/1 Feb) [ESL 19/20 2.2.20]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and a warm welcome to another of my semi-regular round-up pieces looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action, from Friday 31st January & Saturday 1st February.

 

Essex Senior

Friday 31 January

Redbridge  2 – 7  Clapton  | Oakside  | Att: 49

Clapton put in an outstanding showing to batter the Motormen at Oakside on Friday night. Deimar Queni, Jaydon Charles and Nana Boakye-Yiadom all got braces for the Tons, to which Asher Modeste added a goal so Clapton led 7 – 0 before a late double from Hassan Nalbant and substitute Charlie Portway spared the hosts from a heavier loss. The Tons’ recent form continues to impress as its five wins from their last seven matches which sees them in 11th. Redbridge fell to their second loss in their last five though remain eighth.

Saturday 1 February    –   Essex Senior

Hashtag Utd  2 – 2  Takeley  | Chadfields  | Att: 139

Hashtag fought back twice to claim a share of the points at Chadfields. An OG put Marc Das’ side ahead on the quarter-hour, though Kris Newby got the Tags back on terms four minutes into the second half. In an encounter that was getting increasingly fraught, Reece Barrett put the visitors back in front on 55 minutes and it looked as though they may eke out the win though it wasn’t to be. Tom Anderson kept up his knack of scoring goals with a late equaliser to preserve the unbeaten run at five matches for Jay Devereux’s team.  Takeley remain 5th while Utd go up to second with rivals Walthamstow in Cup action this weekend.

Sawbridgeworth Town  0 – 1  Enfield   | Crofters | Att: 40

Enfield left it late before getting a crucial win at fellow strugglers Sawbridgeworth. Prince Adeyemi’s 90th-minute goal was enough to give Matt Hanning’s team an important three points, their first in eleven games to gain ground on rivals Tower Hamlets in the bottom three. Sawbo’s losing run extends to eight matches now and they are now 14 points adrift at the bottom with twelve matches remaining.

Southend Manor  1 – 0  Hoddesdon Town  | Southchurch Park | Att: 21

Manor emerged with a narrow win over Hoddesdon, thanks to Ruben Kennedy’s strike seven minutes before the end to obtain their first win in four games and leap up above Tower Hamlets into 16th and they are only three points off Sporting Bengal in 12th spot. Hoddesdon’s top-five aspiration this term is slipping as their winless run extended to four as they remain in ninth.

Stansted  3 – 2  West Essex  | Hargrave Park | Att: 68

The Airportmen made it ten straight league wins with a battling win over West Essex at Hargrave Park. Ryan Ramsay got the opener for the hosts inside a minute, though West have shown they are fired up in recent matches and levelled the match after 12 minutes through Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe. The game was well-poised into the second-half though Paul Clayton turned the game in a big way with a brace [70’ & 87’]. The Stags were depleted through illness and suspension though still got one back in added-time through Hakim Medfai though Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side held on to remain sixth though they went four points clear of Cockfosters in 7th.

My Non-League colleague Matt North was at the game and here is his report: mattnorthfootball.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/match-report-stansted-3-2-west-essex-esl-19-20-01-02-20/

Tower Hamlets  0 – 2  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Mile End ‘derby’ | Att: 30

Bengal got their second Mile End ‘derby’ win of the season as they got a much-needed three points. Curtley McIntosh got the opener for Imrul Gazi’s side five minutes before the break and Bobby Redwood ended up securing the win midway through the second-half to give Bengal their second win in their last six to rise up to 12th spot. Hamlets’ quest for a win goes on and they drop to third-bottom after a winless stretch which now sits at eight matches.

 

News: In better news for Hamlets, starlet Ali Omar signed for EFL Championship side Barnsley this week so plaudits have to go to the Essex Senior side for the project they have instigated this term and best wishes go to Ali as he continues his football development at Oakwell.

 

Errington Challenge Cup : Quarter-Final

Walthamstow  0 – 2  Cockfosters  | Wadham Lodge | Att: 40

The new dawn at Walthamstow began with defeat as Cockfosters made the last four of the Errington Cup. First-half goals by Ceykan Karagozlu [20’] and Harley Haag five minutes before the break ensured that Ryan Wade’s team got the win though for ‘Stow, it is arguably more important that new boss Max Mitchell & his new signings get settled quickly as the club seeks to maintain its promotion challenge this season.

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Fri 10/Sat 11 Jan) [ESL 19/20 11.1.20]

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up of the seven Essex Senior League matches that took place this weekend. As ever, there were surprises, late winners and more. Thanks for reading.

Friday 10 January

Redbridge  2 – 2  Ilford   | Oakside   | Att: 75

Ilford struck late to grab a point in this absorbing encounter at Oakside. Loanee Jeffrey Cobblah netted on his debut to give the Foxes the lead with 63 minutes gone. Kurt Smith soon levelled for Micky Wetherall’s team seven minutes later. In an increasingly dramatic latter part of the match, Liam Burgess turned the tide in favour of the Motormen with their second with five minutes remaining. However, Larry Akanbi had the last word with the equalizer for Jonny Fowell’s team with two minutes left to play.  On the plus side, Redbridge are unbeaten in their last five matches and reside in 9th spot, whereas Ilf have only lost one of their last five matches and rise to 11th after Saturday’s action.

 

Saturday 11 January

Hashtag Utd  4 – 2  Sawbridgeworth Town   | Chadfields   | Att: 148

Hashtag produced a stirring performance after the break to get another important three points in their promotion hunt. Debutant Tom Anderson struck after just five minutes to give Jay Deveraux’s side the impetus. However, Jake Skeet got another goal for Sawbo only two minutes afterward to restore parity. Things were tight until George Smith made his presence felt again in front of goal with a brace [65’ & an 88th-minute spot-kick], either side of a strike by Samraj Gill with 15 minutes remaining. Moyo-Jordan Ajibade got a consolation for Town on the stroke of the ninety minutes though the Tags fortified third spot with a sixth league win in their last seven which keeps them third, eight points clear of Hadley in 4th. Sawbo’s fifth consecutive loss sees them remain eleven points adrift of nearest rivals Enfield.

Hoddesdon Town  0 – 2  Walthamstow   | Lowfield

Walthamstow got their fifth straight victory at Lowfield. Ryan Maxwell’s team broke the deadlock a minute prior to the interval as Kyan Gulliver’s cross was turned in by the ever-prolific Dwade James. Then late on, substitute Lewis Francis pounced to fire home low to secure the points which keep them second after their 16th win this season. The Lilywhites have won one of their last five matches now and remain 8th, three points behind Cockfosters. My Non-League colleague Matt North was at the match & here’s his report: https://mattnorthfootball.wordpress.com/2020/01/11/match-report-hoddesdon-town-0-2-walthamstow-esl-19-20-11-01-2020/

 

Saffron Walden Town  4 – 0  Woodford Town   | Catons Lane | Att: 257

The Bloods made it a fine week with a comfortable victory over Woodford at Catons Lane., in front of a Towners-enhanced crowd of over 250. Tyger Smalls continued his promising start to his Walden career with the opening goal on six minutes. Gavin Cockman then added to his account for the season with Walden’s second on 24 minutes. Cockman then got his tenth goal of the season, six minutes before the break and 11 minutes after the break, the former Sawbridgeworth Town striker completed a fine hat-trick and crowned off another strong showing by Jason Maher’s side. Walden’s seventh win in their last eight league matches means they retain top spot & are three points clear of ‘Stow having played two games more. Woodford drop to 12th after their fifth loss in their last seven matches.

 

Southend Manor  2 – 2  Hadley   | Southchurch Park   | Att: 28

Manor showed they have big performances in them by holding Hadley to an entertaining draw at Southchurch Park. Michael Ogboin and Jordan Chambers goals gave Manor a two-goal lead at half-time, though another brace by talisman Solomon Ofori ended up securing a point for the Bricks. Manor go above Clapton with this point and we now have three teams on 18 points – Tower Hamlets, Manor & the Tons. Hadley got their second draw in succession as they lost ground on the top three.

 

Sporting Bengal Utd  2 – 1  Enfield   | Mile End  | Att: 30

Bengal got their first win in five matches with a late success over Enfield at Mile End. Mauricio Rimcon put Imrul Gazi’s side ahead on twenty minutes and that lead stood until Michael Salako’s strike restored parity for the E’s with 64 minutes on the watch. Freddy Tandon’s well-hit strike found the net on the stroke of the ninety to ensure the points stayed in East London. Bengal rise to 10th and Enfield drop to second-bottom as their winless run to nine matches.

 

St Margaretsbury  0 – 1  Stansted   | The Recreation Ground  | Att: 38

Stansted’s battle at St Mags were heading for a stalemate when Moses Carvalho headed home at the back stick with five minutes to play to breach the Airportmen’s winning run from last season and extends the current run to nine matches and puts them back in sixth spot. The hosts have lost their last six matches on-the-bounce and consequently drop to 13th.

That’s all for this week. We’ll be back soon with more Essex Senior action.

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