Essex Senior League – Premier Division
Venue: Hargrave Park
2021-22 Season: Match 41
Saturday 13th November 2021 – 3pm KO
Stansted: Royal Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Stanway: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
Stanway claim claim good win at Hargrave Park
Stansted 0 – 2 Stanway Rovers
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The match this weekend saw a long voyage to Stansted Mountfitchet to see the Airportmen take on second-placed Stanway Rovers, who have certainly impressed since returning to the Essex Senior this season. The ‘Blue Brazil’ have also had a good campaign to date and here fielded Jarvis Monk in goal, with a defence of Bryn Thorpe, skipper Billy Coyne plus centre-backs Tom Massey and Paul Clayton. The forward line was comprised of Jack Mitchell, Michael Salako and Michael Mignot with Brad Russell and Ashaan Siddik the creative midfielders. Options from the sidelines included forwards Luke Hornsley & Jamahl Godward and midfielders Dan Okah and Horace Ormsby. Stanway had regular stopper Harry Aldridge in goal, with a back four of Olimide Akinode, and Adrian Cant as full-backs with centre-halves Danny Nesbitt and captain Daniel Smith. Sean Bartlett and James Crisell were the front two, with support from Ernest Okoh and Lewis Francis on the flanks. Their bench included the prolific Ezequiel Franchi & Pavly Manduakila plus Joseph Heron and Joel Older, with the latter two players returning from injury.
Before kick-off here at Hargrave Park, both teams marked the traditional minute’s silence for Rememberance Day this weekend (pictured). Lest We Forget.
Both sides traded promising forward moves in the early minutes of the match, though the first telling moment came on 14 minutes as winger Ernest Okoh found half a yard of space to pounce ahead of the Airportmen defence to stroke home well into the left corner past home stopper Jarvis Monk after a good ball in from the right flank. It was a well-taken goal so credit to Okoh. Rovers were having the edge in terms of possession and keeping it on the deck a bit more as the half made its way to halfway, with the hosts unable to retain possession as well as they’d like but they did have a good opening with technical midfielder Ashaan Siddik getting past at least two Stanway defenders in a fine run across the penalty area before he was crowded out by the miserly visiting backline.
Rovers had to make a change before the half-hour with goal-scorer Okoh limping off with what looked like a hamstring injury, to be replaced by Ezequiel Franchi. Stansted were still frustrated, despite #10 Brad Russell putting in a few good passes in to the forwards. Shortly before the interval, a good ball in found the path of forward Michael Salako but good covering from Rovers centre-back Danny Nesbitt meant that the ball was shielded as visiting custodian Harry Aldridge advanced to gather.
Half-Time: Stansted 0 – 1 Stanway
So Stanway still had a narrow lead to defend as we entered the second period. Stansted did have a good start to the half, with a decent set-piece arrowed into the six-yard box finding defender Paul Clayton but his good header at goal was gathered by Aldridge at the second attempt. Soon afterward, Siddik put in another good lofted ball into the penalty box but Salako blazed his strike over the woodwork. Danny Slatter’s Rovers side were having to do a good amount of defending but they were certainly fired up by the challenge. They were marshalled superbly by skipper Daniel Smith, formerly of Redbridge.
The hosts continued to look for that all-important leveller and did create half-chances, particularly for Siddik and Salako but Aldridge was not tested as much as Stansted joint-managers Paul Pittuck and John Watters would have wanted. Substitute Jamahl Godward had a decent header on goal soon after entering the field, replacing Finley Gregory, who I felt had a good game.
As we entered the latter stages of the contest, with the Airportmen pushing forward still seeking that equaliser, a swift Stanway counter saw them break down the right side with a well-directed centre allowing Lewis Francis to power home a good low finish past Monk to give Stanway a two-goal lead with eleven minutes left.
Stansted did keep going but the realization was there that it ‘wasn’t their day’ and the action in the final third was decisive in this contest, which Stanway did get the better of. You could debate that there wasn’t that much to seperate the sides here though Rovers did win the key moments of this match, which was an absorbing contest and showed two good sides who will be up there in the Essex Senior this term.
Full-Time: Stansted 0 – 2 Stanway Rovers
To sum up this battle of a match, Stanway were just that bit sharper in the way they kept the ball and they had to defend well to deny their hosts a chance at coming back into the match. Stansted did have more possession in the second period but they could not get the better of a superb Stanway backline to continually test visiting goalkeeper Harry Aldridge. Rovers were also a threat on the counter-attack and scored two good goals to claim the three points.
For this match’s stand-out performances, we start with the victors Stanway. The central defensive pair of skipper Daniel Smith and Danny Nesbitt were superb, making many important inrterceptions, both in the air and also on the deck. They gave their side a good base on which they defended their lead that they took early on. Forward Lewis Francis had a good game also, running down the channels well and also playing his part in his side’s forward moves alongside centre forwards Sean Barrtlett and James Crisell. Finally, midfielder Harry Norman played his part in central midfield and drove his side on with a hard-working performance. For the Airportmen, midfielder Ashaan Siddik made several good passes to find forwards Jack Mitchell and Michael Salako. Salako also had a good game, making several telling runs down the flanks and was perhaps unfortunate to not get on the score-sheet here. Finley Gregory and defender Paul Clayton both also merit mentions for good displays that assisted their side as well.
I’d just like to wish both sides a good remainder of the campaign.
Stansted | Joint-Managers: Paul Pittuck & John Watters |
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jarvis Monk (GK), 2 Bryn Thorpe, 3 Billy Coyne (Capt), 4 Paul Clayton, 5 Tom Massey, 6 Finley Gregory (14 Jamahl Godward 75′), 7 Michael Mignot (12 Luke Hornsley 60′), 8 Ashaan Siddik, 9 Jack Mitchell, 10 Brad Russell, 11 Michael Salako (15 Horace Ormsby 80′)
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Okah, L Monk
Stanway Rovers | Manager: Danny Slatter | Assistant: Liam Daniels
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Harry Aldridge (GK), 2 Olimide Akinode, 3 Adrian Cant, 5 Danny Nesbitt, 6 Daniel Smith (Capt), 4 Jordan Barnett, 8 Harry Norman, 7 Ernest Okoh (18 Ezequiel Franchi 25′), 9 Sean Bartlett (16 Joseph Heron 71′), 10 James Crisell (12 Pavly Manduakila 75′), 11 Lewis Francis
Goal-scorers: Ernest Okoh [14′], Lewis Francis [79′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Gulliver, Older
Referee: Grant Conway
Assistants: Katie Dorling & Danny Squibb