S21-22 Match Report: Cockfosters 2 – 3 Enfield (Mon 2 May) [ESL ECC 3.5.22]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Errington Challenge Cup Final

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: 466

2021-22 Season: Match 80

Monday 2nd May 2022 – 3pm KO

Cockfosters: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Enfield: White Shirts, Blue Shorts, White Socks


The Silverware… the Winners permanent Trophy & the Errington Cup itself [Image by Scott W]

Superior finishing gives Enfield Errington Cup glory at Burroughs Park

Cockfosters  2 – 3 Enfield

Match Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

With photos by Katie Dorling (on behalf of ESL), Scott W, Enfield FC & James W

The second match of ESL ‘Finals Day’was the big one, with Cockfosters taking on Enfield for the Errington Challenge Cup. Gavin Kelsey’s team had Charlie Mann in goal, Danny Haigh & Michael Okafor in central defence, with skipper Matt Thomson & Joe Entwistle in midfield, and led by forwards Theo Coeta and top-scorer George Beattie. The E’s were looking to round off a good campaign with silverware and had James Bransgrove between the posts, Alfie Mason, Jack Johnson & Tyler Corkett in defence with a forward line of Dwade James and Louis Johnson assisted in the flanks by Samrai Gebrai & Kieran Bishop.

Image by Scott W

It was the North London side who started the match well, with several enterprising runs down the channels. Midfielder Joe Entwistle had the first half-chance of note, firing off-target. As the half went on though, the E’s had more momentum & possession as Samrai Gebrai also struck wide for Jamie Cureton’s side. The opening goal may have had a little fortune about it but it was still a crisp strike by Louis Johnson which bounced and decieved Reds stopper Charlie Mann who did well to get a glove on it but couldn’t prevent the ball from going into the net.

Five minutes afterward, Enfield really took advantage of their good spell as forward Dwade James smashed home an unstoppable strike right into the top corner, giving Mann no chance. It was one of the best technique goals you will see anywhere. Unsurprisingly, that goal compromised Cockfosters’ rhythm and it got worse still on 32 minutes. A fine cross from the left side found Gebrai who powered in a header into left-side corner.


Cockfosters launch a counter-attack.. [Image by James W]

So at the interval, ‘Fosters were well behind despite showing good approach play and they gave the E’s some nervy moments in defence. Strong finishing was the difference thus far in this game.

Half-Time: Cockfosters 0 – 3 Enfield

After the break, the Reds rallied and got a goal they did deserved as star winger Reece Mosanya stole half a yard of space and slotted in past Enfield stopper Bransgrove. Now it was the ‘Fosters who were making the E’s backline a little wary as centre-back Michael Okafor who nearly slotted home at the backpost but it only found the side-netting.

Another turning point happened on the hour as Okafor was dismissed for a really tough tackle on Enfield skipper Reece Conway, who had to be substituted after several minutes of treatment. Ryan Ramsay replaced him, and ‘Fosters depleted defence nearly conceded again soon afterward with James having an effort wide, much to Mann’s relief.


Reece Mosanya looks up to start a forward move (Image by Katie D)

As we entered the last twenty minutes of the match, Cockfosters were again pushing forward with George Beattie making runs from deep down the flank & the nerves were rising in the Enfield defence. The Reds had another good effort on goal on 81 minutes through Beattie’s freekick from 25 yards which went narrowly over the woodwork.


Samrai Gebrai sprints forward for Enfield… (Image by Katie D)

As the minutes ebbed away, there was one more fantastic strike left in the contest. Barely a minute after coming off the bench, Daniel Ferrigno unleashed a fine strike which curled round Bransgrove’s grasp to really add to the tension in the seven additional minutes of stoppage time. Cockfosters pushed on looking for what was earlier an unlikely leveller but they were unable to force extra time. Take nothing away from both sides though who contributed to an absorbing contest which was worthy of the competition.

Image by Scott W

Full-Time:  Cockfosters 2 – 3 Enfield

To summarise this entertaining Errington Cup Final, Enfield’s finishing in the first half was quite simply the difference that gave them a commanding half-time advantage. Dwade James’ goal was a terrific display of technique while Samrai Gebrai got a rare header for his side’s third goal. ‘Fosters came back into the match well in the latter stages despite centre-back Michael Okafor’s red card. It’s also worth adding that substitute Dan Ferrigno’s goal was also brilliant.

There were terrific performances by several players in this game. For victors Enfield, forward Dwade James was announced as Man of the Match & his stunning goal was worthy of it. But James also showed good movement and good energy, while defender Tyler Corlett had another strong match as the right-sided defender here, making several crucial interceptions. Also, a word for talented forward Samrai Gebrai, who also made several telling runs, made good passes and took his goal well. For Cockfosters, winger Reece Mosanya had a fine game, being his team’s best creative outlet, showing good movement and also a decent goal. Also, forward Theo Costa made some good intelligent runs and was unlucky not to score, while Reece Barrett also provided a good presence in a attacking midfield role.

Congratulations again to Enfield but also a word for Cockfosters who gave it everything today and made it a nervy end for the E’s with their comeback.

Finally, as this is my last Essex Senior-related match of the season, I’d like to say thank you to all at the Essex Senior League for their hospitality at the three Cup Finals in the last three weeks. It’s been a long season but also a good one & it is an privilege to write on the ESL. Thank you to all the Clubs & Match Officials as well.

Enfield celebrate with the Cup [Image Credit: Enfield FC]

Here are your winners, Enfield FC!

Enfield team applauding their fans with the Cup [Image by James W]

Teams

Cockfosters     |  Manager: Gavin Kelsey  | Assistant: Glenn Draper

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Charlie Mann (GK), 2 Rueben Campbell, 3 Prince Madu, 5 Michael Okafor, 6 Danny Haigh, 4 Joe Entwistle (15 Zivonimir Lopes 88′), 7 Matt Thomson (Capt) (14 Dan Ferrigno 88′), 8 Reece Barrett (16 Fred Agyemang 69′), 9 Theo Costa, 10 George Beattie, 11 Reece Mosanya

Goal-scorers: Reece Mosanya [52′], Dan Ferrigno [89′]

Booked: Mosanya  | Sent Off: Okafor [59′] | Sub Not Used: Constanti, N Barrett


Enfield     |  Player-Manager: Jamie Cureton | Assistants: Terry Fogarty & Lee Hanning

Starting XI: 1 James Bransgrove (GK), 21 Tyler Corlett, 5 Jack Johnson, 15 Alfie Mason, 8 Reece Conway (Capt) (7 Ryan Ramsay 64′), 16 Jack Cousins (20 Jeffrey Cobblah 80′), 4 Alex Warman, 9 Kieran Bishop, 10 Louis Johnson, 27 Dwade James, 11 Samrai Gebrai (3 Toby Barlow 90’+1)

Goal-scorers: Louis Johnson [18′], Dwade James [23′], Samrai Gebrai [32′]

Booked : Bishop & Gebrai | Subs Not Used: Luther, Cureton

Referee: James Keane

Assistants: Richard Airey & Royan Campbell
Fourth Official: Michael Scott

S21-22 Match Report: Buckhurst Hill 1 – 2 Halstead Town  (Sat 30 Apr) [EaSL Sth 21-22 30.4.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South Play-Off Final

Venue: Roding Lane

Attendance: TBC

2021-22 Season: Match 78

Saturday 30th April 2022 – 3pm KO

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

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


Halstead produce excellent display to overcome odds & book their place in Step Five

Buckhurst Hill 1 – 2 Halstead Town

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

with additional photo by Halstead Town FC, used with thanks.

The last weekend of Senior football for the current season began with a welcome return to Roding Lane for this hotly-anticipated Eastern Senior League South Play-Off Final as Buckhurst Hill welcomed Halstead Town. Unsurprisingly, there was a substantial crowd in attendance for this game which had the ultimate prize for these two sides – Promotion to Step 5. Buckhurst defeated Wivenhoe narrowly last week, while Halstead won in extra-time against Benfleet to set this tie up.

The warmth of Summer was in evidence here, and we didn’t have a slow start to proceedings here either. After just three minutes, Halstead made the most of a corner and central midfielder Jack Schelvis stole half a yard of space before bundling home his effort into the net, which left home stopper Daniel Blockley stranded. The goal was understandably celebrated by the ‘Halstead Ultras’ – standing behind that goal. Buckhurst Hill responded with a forward press of their own, with the impressive Tyler Dolan getting past the visiting defence, only to be denied by Halstead’s commanding goalkeeper Jack Cherry, who came out and gathered.

The nerves were still present in the Buckhurst defence on 17 minutes, as Jordan Palmer’s effort was spilled by Hill stopper Daniel Blockley and went out for a set-piece. The half was moving on into the midway point with Buckhurst finding it difficult to carve out strong chances but they got a crucial leveller, as forward Suleyman Zuhdu’s strike came back off a Halstead defender before looping over Cherry and into the net. Just when you thought the Humbugs might have blinked, three minutes later they took the lead once again. Another fine pass in by winger Jordan Blackwell came to forward Calvin Poku in the penalty area and he quickly got his strike away and it found the left corner. It was a well-taken goal but it precipitated another response by the Stags front-line.

Buckhurst looking to push forward, Liam Foster on the ball here [Image by Scott W]

Two minutes before the interval, Zuhdu was unfortunate to not add to his goal tally as a fierce strike sailed into the crossbar and back off the underside of it without crossing the line. The Humbugs had one more half-chance before the break as Palmer headed narrowly wide of Blockley’s woodwork. Overall though, Halstead had (much like the week before in the Semi-Final) set their stall out to make it difficult through resolute & organised defence and they were 45 minutes away from a famous win.


Buckhurst defender Henry Day (left) looks for options [Image by Scott W]

Half-Time: Buckhurst Hill  1 – 2  Halstead Town


The second half began with Buckhurst Hill having the ball in the Halstead half for long periods. Dolan once again found his way into the penalty area after evading a visiting defender but Cherry once again stood tall and denied him. Zuhdu also headed wide soon afterward. On 54 minutes, a fine centre by full-back Liam Foster found Nathan Sollosi but Cherry was in action again to tip Sollosi’s shot wide. Full-back Keaton Moore also powered in a well-struck effort which missed the top corner by inches.

Despite Buckhurst creating the chances they had, they did not quite look entirely comfortable. Pressure could well have played a part in that, and they were growing frustrated with their profligacy in front of goal. Zuhdu was again denied by Cherry who did well to deny a powerful effort by the Buckhurst captain, but substitute Callum Ibe also blazed over when well-placed ten minutes after coming onto the field. The Humbugs did not have many forays forward as they were defending in numbers but Poku was still showing his quality in holding the ball up and making good runs on occasion.


Halstead defender Ryan Carter (2) jostles with the run of Suleyman Zuhdu (10) for Buckhurst

With Buckhurst taking a few more risks seeking that important equaliser, forward Adam Hampson fired well over after being found well on the counter-attack. On the whole though, you have to applaud the work rate and attitude of the Halstead side who did emerge with a famous victory, which means they are getting promoted to Step 5. It is a testament to the high standards Buckhurst have set this season that they are still tough opposition, even if they were not quite at their best. It will be intriguing to see how they start next season but they are a club who have come a long way since their Step 7 days.

Halstead remain resolute & organised in defence, Sonny Shilling (9) on the ball for Buckhurst

Full-Time: Buckhurst Hill  1 – 2   Halstead Town

In summary, Halstead had to produce a superb display in defence which was allied to clinical finishing to edge their way to a second momentous victory in as many weeks, which means they will compete in Step 5 after a gap of 17 years, most likely in the Essex Senior League come August. They are a side that will be a welcome addition and don’t be surprised if they surprise a few next season. You had to feel for Buckhurst who contributed heavily to the match, but conceding early was costly for them and they could not make the most of their chances which they created having had long spells of ball retention, and had some strong performances. This loss will hurt, but it should not detract from what is still a fabulous first campaign of Senior football for Mark Williams’ side.

There were several creditable performances in this match. For victors Halstead, winger Jordan Blackwell had another stand-out match on the right flank. I believe he got assists for both their goals, and he also made several important passes and showed good work rate. Defender Chris Harris also epitomised his teams’ resoluteness in defence, making several big interceptions and block tackles. Goalkeper Jack Cherry also showed once again how important a player he is to the side, making at least three fine saves when the Humbugs backline was breached. Finally, forward Calvin Poku showed guile and good finishing for his goal and despite not having much opportunity to test the Buckhurst goalkeeper, he took his goal very well to change the momentum of this match.    

For Buckhurst Hill, I thought Tyler Dolan had a really good game, showing his high energy, good passing and movement. He was unlucky in not scoring today. Full-back Keaton Moore also contributed to his team’s forward moves well & was inches away from scoring a fabulous goal. Centre-back Jonah Gregory also did well, showing good alertness and positioning. Lastly, talisman Suleyman Zuhdu has to get a mention as he was central to the hosts’ forward moves, showing good passing and work rate. Also, Halstead stopper Cherry did superbly to deny him on two occasions. Zuhdu will end the season as the League’s top goal-scorer on 37 goals.

Finally, I’d like to wish Halstead well in their campaign at Step 5 next season, they will be a tough side to beat – a testament to manager Mark McLean and his staff. Commiserations to Buckhurst Hill as well, they will emerge from this experience as a stronger club in time.


Here are your Play-Off Final winners – Halstead Town!! [Image by Halstead Town FC, used with thanks]

Teams

Buckhurst Hill  | Manager: Mark Williams  | Assistant: JP Kent

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster (14 Sam Sollosi 77’), 3 Keaton Moore, 5 Henry Day, 20 Jonah Gregory, 6 Jack Griggs (15 Jake Moss 40’), 7 Tyler Dolan, 8 Josh Banfield, 9 Sonny Shilling (21 Callum Ibe 60’), 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Nathan Sollosi

Goal-scorer: Suleyman Zuhdu [22’]

Booked: Griggs  | Subs Not Used: Nicholson


Halstead Town     | Manager: Mark McLean | Assistant: David Streetly

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Cherry (GK & Capt), 2 Ryan Carter, 3 Matt Travell, 4 Chris Harris, 5 Nick Miller, 6 Jack Schelvis, 7 Jordan Blackwell, 8 Jordan Palmer, 9 Calvin Poku (14 Markus Dunn 90’+2), 10 Adam Hampson, 11 Kane Gilbert

Goal-scorers: Jack Schelvis [3′], Calvin Poku [25′]

Booked: Gilbert, Carter | Subs Not Used: Walker, Kendle (GK)


Referee: Dario Matthewson

Assistants: Michael Jarvis & Daren Bigg

Fourth Official: Ashley Tyne

S21-22 Match Report: Stanway Rovers 0 – 2 Redbridge (Mon 18 Apr) [ESL PBT Final 21-22 19.4.22]


ESL crest

ESL Peter Butcher Trophy – Final

Venue: Catons Lane

Attendance: 181

2021-22 Season: Match 74

Monday 18 April 2022 – 3pm KO

Stanway: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Redbridge:  Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks



The Silverware.. This is the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy [Image by Scott W]

Early Action Still with Redbridge defending [Image by Scott W]

Redbridge secure another Trophy with hard-earned win over resilient Stanway

Stanway Rovers  0 – 2  Redbridge

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

Additional photos by Katie Dorling [for @EssexSenior], used with thanks. Thanks also to the ESL’s Ashley Leat.

The last match of the Easter weekend saw the first Essex Senior-related Cup Final of the campaign as we headed to Saffron Walden’s Catons Lane for an interesting battle between high-flyers Redbridge and mid-table side Stanway Rovers. Stanway had to bypass Sawbridgeworth Town, West Essex and Takeley to reach this occasion and named Harry Aldridge between the posts, with captain Jack Clampin and Danny Nesbitt in central defence. Jordan Barnett and Harry Norman were the central midfield, with Ernest Okoh and Ayo Oukoya leading the attack, with support from James Crisell and Sean Bartlett. Forwards Joel Older, Max Sherlock and Ezequiel Franchi were all options from the sidelines for boss Danny Slatter.

Redbridge had to lift themselves following a disappointing end to their League match on Good Friday but in this competition, they had defeated Southend Manor, St Margaretsbury, Walthamstow and Stansted en route to this Final. They named regular stopper George Martin in goal, with a back four of Bradley Bennett, skipper Jack Roult plus centre-backs Dean Hall and Nathan Okoye. Tony Martin led the forward line, alongside Ibrahim Kehinde and Timothy Ogunrinde. Jerold Cobblah and Michael Pindy were cup-tied & therefore unavailable. Their bench included forward Loui Hazelwood, midfielders Kwabena Yeboah and Tayo Olukolu and defender Joe Elliott.  

The Stanway team pre-match [Image by Katie D]

The Redbridge Starting XI pre-match [Image by Katie D]

This match had a cagey start, perhaps reflecting the long & arduous season that both sides have had. It is understandable that the teams were mentally tired more than anything but the match did find its way into gear on ten minutes as Redbridge pushed forward and Robbie Norris’ header forced a decent save from Rovers custodian Harry Aldridge. Stanway had given the Motormen defence a few nervy moments in the early minutes, with forwards Ernest Okoh and Ayo Odukoya proving a good duo with good movement and strength. They couldn’t quite create the chances they needed though as the Blues did get the better of the midfield battle. On twenty-five minutes, a set-piece was angled into the penalty box, which centre-back Nathan Okoye got onto but his header was not powerful enough to trouble Aldridge, who gathered.

Stanway were commendably strong in defence but couldn’t quite find the telling passes to the forwards often enough as they were frustrated by a good Motormen backline. Rovers had a warning on thirty-three minutes when a good one-two passing move involving Martin and Timothy Ogunrinde ended with Ogunrinde firing wide of the right-side post, with Kehinde making a surging run in the centre of the penalty area.

Redbridge looking to get forward in first half [Image by Scott W]

The game was starting to drift towards the interval, needing a goal and one duly arrived nine minutes before the break. Good build-up play saw a good cross-field ball find Ibrahim Kehinde on the left flank, before the wily forward turned past his marker and sent a superb cross in to the far post, finding Tony Martin who powerfully headed home into the far post with Aldridge helpless to prevent it. George Christou’s side were having the better of the chances but they were not plentiful.

So at the Interval, Redbridge had a slender lead but they had to stay alert to shake off the threat posed by Odukoya and Okoh in particular while Rovers had to step up the tempo to further stretch & test the Redbridge defence.

Redbridge looking to counter-attack in 1st half with Stanway skipper Jack Clampin (5) marking [Image by Katie D]

Half-Time: Stanway Rovers 0 – 1 Redbridge


Redbridge looked to regain the momentum early in the second half but Kehinde was unable to make the most of two half-chances, first firing off-target and then shortly afterwards, his effort was saved by Aldridge, who was having a decent game. Stanway were still finding it tricky to create clear chances, with Okoh having the only effort of note off-target ten minutes after the restart. Max Sherlock came off the bench for Danny Slatter’s team to replace Sean Bartlett and immediately gave Rovers an injection of pace and energy down the left flank, which added to the threat the Motormen defence had to face.

At the other end, fellow substitute Loui Hazelwood was also causing problems for the Rovers backline as a surging run ended with Aldridge doing well to deny his effort as well. Stanway came back into proceedings well in the latter stages though as Okoh was denied by Motormen stopper George Martin before Sherlock got hold of the rebound and saw his strike blocked by the well-placed covering defenders. Redbridge were searching keenly for that telling second goal and Hazelwood so nearly had it, sending a curling strike from left side of penalty box which Stanway captain Jack Clampin did very well to clear off the goal-line.


Stanway put another dangerous ball into the box [Image by Scott W]

Rovers were still piling forward looking for that crucial leveller and were leaving gaps in their defence on the counter-attack. Redbridge did just that a minute before the ninety was up, with Hazelwood doing well making another run before playing in skipper Jack Roult but his strike went narrowly wide of Aldridge’s left-side post. That ended up being the last let-off Rovers had as a minute later, Redbridge finally got a second goal to seal the Peter Butcher Trophy.

A searing run by the impressive Kehinde down the right channel got the better of the Stanway defence before coolly playing in Hazelwood who struck home well with a looping finish to send the Redbridge contingent into raptures.

Stanway’s Ayo Odukoya being marked by Redbridge’s Robbie Norris [Image by Scott W]

Rovers had little time to mount a fightback as the final whistle went soon afterwards, though I must pay respect to the performance that they put in here. They put in a hard shift defensively but ultimately it wasn’t enough to claim the Trophy here.


Full-Time: Stanway Rovers  0 – 2 Redbridge

In summary, Redbridge were the stronger of the two sides going forward but Stanway made it tough with a resilient defensive display and the Motormen’s one goal lead going into the latter stages was precarious. That and Stanway looked more lively in attack after the interval meant there were nervy moments but George Christou’s side scored a superb second goal which secured more silverware, their second Trophy in two seasons.     

There were several fine performances from both sides In this Final. For victors Redbridge, forward Ibrahim Kehinde once again impressed, showing high energy and good running down the channels as well as good passing and two good assists and was named Man of the Match during the presentation post-match as well.  Jake Brocklebank had a good game in central midfield, as did centre-back Nathan Okoye who made several important interceptions at the heart of the Motormen backline. Finally, a word too for energetic forward Loui Hazelwood who did cause problems in the last half-hour with his movement and trickery after coming off the bench. He capped a memorable day for the club with a well-taken second goal.


Stanway also had some good performers on the big occasion, with Ernest Okoh leading the line well alongside Ayo Odukoya. His work rate and movement did give the Blues defence some nervy moments, particularly early on. Centre-back & captain Jack Clampin typified their resolve with some good clearances under pressure, assisted by full-back Daniel Smith who also put in a determined performance in defence and also sent in a few good crosses into the penalty area too.  Finally, substitute Max Sherlock made a difference after coming on, on the hour mark as well. His pace and passing really gave Rovers some impetus as the Motormen’s lead was perilously thin. Commiserations to Danny Slatter and his team, they’ve had a decent season.


Here are your winners of the Peter Butcher Trophy for Season 2021-22, Redbridge!!


Teams

Stanway Rovers  | Manager: Danny Slatter | Assistant: Jack Wignall

Starting XI  (Subs): 1 Harry Aldridge (GK), 2 Daniel Smith, 3 Olumide Akinode (15 Ezequiel Franchi 76’), 5 Jack Clampin (Capt), 18 Danny Nesbitt, 4 Jordan Barnett, 8 Harry Norman, 7 James Crisell, 9 Ernest Okoh (14 Joel Older 82’), 10 Ayo Odukoya, 11 Sean Bartlett (12 Max Sherlock 61’)

Booked: Akinode, Odukoya | Subs Not Used: Skinner (GK)


Redbridge  | Manager: George Christou  | Assistant: Jack Toghli

Starting XI (Subs): 1 George Martin (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett, 3 Jack Roult (Capt), 5 Dean Hall, 6 Nathan Okoye, 4 Jake Brocklebank, 8 Robbie Norris (16 Joe Elliott 86’), 18 Jack Chawner, 9 Ibrahim Kehinde, 10 Tony Martin (7 Loui Hazelwood 61’), 11 Timothy Ogunrinde (12 Kwabena Yeboah 80’)

Goal-scorers: Tony Martin [36’], Loui Hazelwood [90’]

Booked: Bennett, Brocklebank, G Martin (GK)  | Subs Not Used: Olukolu, Grace (GK)


Referee: Lukas Wood

Assistants: Ben Compton & Lee Jarvis

Fourth Official: Reece Pinchback

S21-22 Round-ups: Essex Senior League (Sat 16 Apr) [ESL 21-22 17.4.22]

Hello and welcome a bonus blog looking at the action from the Essex Senior from Thurs 14th to Saturday 16th April, the penultimate weekend of the regular league season. Thanks for reading.

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

Action still from Redbridge v Little Oakley on Good Friday [Image by Scott W]

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

On Thursday night, the re-arranged game between Hoddesdon Town and Stansted at Lowfield ended in a 2 – 1 victory for the Lilywhites. Larry Asare-Bediako gave them a first-minute lead, before Harry Andic netted a second goal just after the half-hour. Billy Coyne’s reply by way of a penalty six minutes before the break didn’t do enough to reverse the Airportmen’s fortunes here and further dimmed their play-off spot chances.

On Good Friday, Redbridge also had a dramatic game as they were held 1 – 1 by Little Oakley at Oakside. Michael Pindy put the Motormen ahead after three minutes to give them a dream start. However, profligate finishing scuppered their chances of making the points safe, allowing Oakley to stay in the game and a Harry Mann spot-kick was enough to give a depleted Oakley side a point.

If you’d like more on this game, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/s21-22-match-report-redbridge-1-1-little-oakley-fri-15-apr

On Friday night, Woodford Town‘s last home game of the season ended in a 1 – 1 draw with Cockfosters. Both goals came late on, with Montel McKenzie putting Shane Baptiste’s side ahead on 81 minutes, only for substitute Bailey Stevenson levelling the game deep in added time with a fine volley. Cockfosters still remain in the top ten and have a Errington Cup Semi-Final at Enfield in midweek. If you’d like more on this game, fellow Non-League writer Peter Dudley was there & his report can be viewed here (second part of article): https://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/04/redbridge-1-little-oakley-1-woodford.html

Onto the five matches on Saturday now, start with Saffron Walden Town‘s priceless 2 – 0 triumph over strugglers Sawbridgeworth Town. Khris Oti and Gavin Cockman got the goals as Walden almost mathematically secured the second-place they have sought after. A crowd of 457 watched on at Catons Lane and they are unbeaten in their last 11 matches – some run that is at a crucial time. Sawbo have to win at home to West Essex next weekend and hope St Margaretsbury fail to win at Redbridge or they will be in the lottery of the relegation/promotion play-off between a Step 5 & 6 side as I understand it.

Elsewhere, Stansted kept up their very slim hopes of that second spot with a 2 – 0 victory at home to White Ensign at Hargrave Park. Michael Salako [49 & 82′] notched a double here to reach 20 league goals this campaign, congrats to him on another fine season. A win for Ensign at Enfield next Saturday evening will confirm a top-ten spot in their first term at Step 5. Also, Enfield conclusively won 4 – 1 at Clapton, with Samrai Gebrai notching a fine treble and Jack Grosvenor also on target midway in the second half. Ryan Ferrari got a consolation for the Tons as they still need a point to vanquish any mathematical chance of finishing in the bottom three.

FC Clacton got a 1 – 0 victory over Athletic Newham at the Rush Green Bowl, with Jamie Bennett the goal-scorer there. the Seasiders go above Newham in the standings into seventh and could still finish in the top eight which would a super achievement. Finally, Hoddesdon Town drew 0 – 0 with Ilford at Lowfield which means both sides will finish the bottom half this term. A good point though for the Foxes in boss Adam Peek’s penultimate game in charge.

S21-22 Match Report: Redbridge 1 – 1  Little Oakley (Fri 15 Apr) [ESL 21-22 15.4.22]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Oakside

Attendance: 64

2021-22 Season: Match 72

Friday 15 April 2022 – 1pm KO

Redbridge:  Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

L Oakley: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks



Redbridge denied an important win by last-gasp Oakley spot-kick

Redbridge    1 – 1  Little Oakley

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

The first match of the Easter weekend saw the hectic end of the season continue with a trip back to Oakside to see a critical mach in the fortunes of the Motormen as they entertained a robust & impressive Oakley side who are still after a top-six finish. George Christou’s hosts also had to think about their Peter Butcher Trophy Final on Easter Monday and fielded George Martin in goal, with a back four in front of him of Bradley Bennett, skipper Jack Roult and centre-backs Nathan Okoye and Joe Elliott. The forward line here was led by Ibrahim Kehinde, Tim Ogunrinde and Michael Pindy. Options from the sidelines included forwards Loui Hazelwood and Tony Martin. Matt Carmichael’s Acorns recently opened their new stand at their Memorial ground celebrating a fan who has supported them for seven decades in Gordon Carter. Their side here included stopper Daniel Joyce, Hayden Dutch and Will Crissell as their central defence, Ekow Owusu-Boakye and Bradley James in central midfield, with top-scorer Harry Mann leading the forward line alongside Sam Cooke. Their depleted bench was comprised of forwards Greg Rodger & Danny Garrad, alongside Tyler Sullivan.  


This match really broke into life early-doors as Redbridge not only threatened visiting custodian Daniel Joyce’s goal but also scored after just three minutes. A characteristic fast forward move allowed Tim Ogunrinde a strike at goal which was parried by Joyce, but the Oakley stopper couldn’t gather and Michael Pindy followed up, pinching the ball off skipper Edward Nobbs’ toes and Pindy duly slotted home low into the net without any further invitation. It was a setback for Oakley, who have made some reputation this season for being tough to break down and bypass. In the next phase of the game though, it was less happiness and more frustration for the team in blue though as they struck the woodwork twice before the half-hour arrived.

First, Ogunrinde’s fine strike nearly bypassed Joyce but not the goal frame and soon after, midfielder Jack Chawner’s well-struck free-kick also thundered off the woodwork with Oakley counting their luck and Redbridge cursing their luck. As they have in several matches this term, the duo of Ibrahim Kehinde & Michael Pindy really orchestrated the home side’s forward line, with Pindy showing excellent movement and no lack of pace either. Kehinde also showcased his pace and technique as well. Oakley did have a half-chance about ten minutes before the break as defender Will Crissell connected with a deep free-kick and the ball trickled wide, thankfully for Motormen goalkeeper George Martin.

Redbridge had one more chance at goal before the break but Kehinde couldn’t find the target as his shot drifted wide. All in all, the hosts should really have been two or three goals ahead at the break, but you know what they say about ‘having to take your chances’. That particular cliché would be further evidenced here but more on that later.

Half-Time: Redbridge  1 – 0  Little Oakley

Redbridge’s Bennett (2) about to launch a long throw [Image by Scott W]

Looking back, Oakley did gradually get themselves back into the running in the match, helped by the ‘midfield engine room’ of Ekow Owusu-Boakye and Bradley James plus the willing runner in forward Harry Mann. Moments on goal were less frequent, as the battle for midfield superiority replaced that to an extent. Oakley had to manage for ten minutes with ten men after Mason Lumley’s sin-bin just shy of the hour but substitute Danny Garrad did give them more impetus in the last fifteen minutes.

Frustratingly for the hosts, their early promise was being overtaken by tired legs and it highlighted how important chances were again just shy of seventy minutes when another set-piece by Chawner from nearly the half-way line also cannoned off the crossbar thanks to a one-handed save by Joyce. Centre-back Nathan Okoye’s effort was also denied by Joyce as Oakley were given some reason for optimism. The other thing the Acorns have been known for doing this season is staying in games and their belief has probably earned them a few points as well. It was Redbridge’s turn for a let-off with ten minutes remaining as Harry Mann fired well over when well-placed after good work by Garrad, but the assistant referee did put up his flag.


With mere moments remaining and despite Oakley not really creating a lot of chances at Martin’s goal, they did get a equaliser on eighty-nine minutes. A foul in a congested box by Okoye allowed Mann to step up and confidently fire home a fine spot-kick into left corner, away from Martin’s grasp – this was also Mann’s 20th league goal this term. And with little time left to conjure up a key second goal, it was the clock that won the day as Oakley left with a point & relatively happy with their afternoon’s work. The same certainly couldn’t be said for the hosts as desolation took hold after the final whistle and those earlier missed chances had come back to bite.

Redbridge now have to focus on the Peter Butcher Trophy final and hope that Sawbridgeworth stifle Saffron Walden’s charge to second spot on Saturday (16 April).

Oakley’s Ed Nobbs looking for options from the Throw-in late on [Image by Scott W]

Full-Time: Redbridge 1 – 1   Little Oakley

In summary, Redbridge should really have been two or three goals up as I said at the interval, but profligate finishing and decent defending by Oakley kept it to one goal. The Acorns would probably have wanted to have played better but their resolute belief will carry them well, looking at next season. It is some ways a credit to the high bar that both teams have set for themselves this term and that has to be recognised.    

There were several good performances from both sides in this match. For Redbridge, forwards Michael Pindy and Ibrahim Kehinde really gave the Oakley backline a hard afternoon, particularly in the first half with their pace, movement and passing. Centre-back Joe Elliott made several key interceptions and added to a good performance from his team’s back five while Jerold Cobblah impressed in central midfield with a high work rate and some good passes too. For Oakley, forward Harry Mann was as ever a good presence in attack, despite little in the way of service at times from his team-mates, but Mann did make several good runs in the channels. Mdfielder Ekow Owusu-Boakye put in a good display with a good work rate as well and good tackles, while defenders Ed Nobbs and Rory Harman also put in decent displays as well.

Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.


Teams

Redbridge  | Manager: George Christou  | Assistant: Jack Toghli

Starting XI (Subs): 1 George Martin (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett, 3 Jack Roult (Capt), 5 Joe Elliott, 6 Nathan Okoye, 4 Jerold Cobblah, 8 Kwabena Yeboah (12 Shawn Harris 75’), 18 Jack Chawner, 7 Michael Pindy, 9 Ibrahim Kehinde (16 Tony Martin 71’), 11 Timothy Ogunrinde (19 Loui Hazelwood 78’)

Goal-scorer: Michael Pindy [3’]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Norris, Ayoola


Little Oakley  | Manager: Matt Carmichael | Assistant: James Good

Starting XI  (Subs): 1 Daniel Joyce (GK), 2 Rory Harman, 3 Edward Nobbs (Capt), 5 Hayden Dutch, 6 Will Crissell (12 Tyler Sullivan 65’), 4 Bradley James, 8 Ekow Owusu-Boakye , 7 Daniel Rowe 9 Harry Mann, 10 Sam Cooke (14 Danny Garrad 74’), 11 Mason Lumley

Goal-scorer: Harry Mann [pen 89’]

Booked: James, Rowe | Subs Not Used: Fernandes, Rodger


Referee: John Duffy

Assistants: Olabisi Omotosho & Muzackir Hussain

S21-22 Round-ups: Essex Senior League Round-up (Sat 9 Apr) [ESL 21-22 10.4.22]

Archive Image: Ensign v Clacton last month [Image by Scott W]

Hello and welcome a bonus blog looking at the ten Essex Senior matches that took place on the 8th & 9th April, as we enter the last fortnight of the regular campaign. Thanks for reading.

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL writer

Essex Senior League Round-up- Sat 9 April

The match with the most significance at the top was Saffron Walden Town’s 2 – 1 win at Little Oakley. Daniel Rowe had given Matt Carmichael’s team a first-half lead but Walden’s form has been strong of late and they showed this once again through strikes by Gavin Cockman and teenager Stanley Leech. The win puts Walden in prime position for the promotion play-off place, with matches against Sawbridgeworth and Hoddesdon to come, crucially both at Catons Lane. Oakley’s season still looks very positive overall and they will be looking to secure a top-six finish. Elsewhere, Redbridge got a good 3 – 1 home win over Stanway Rovers at Oakside, in a match delayed for nearly two hours as Rovers were caught in traffic chaos en route. Stanway did take the lead early in the second half through Danny Nesbitt, but a brace for Loui Hazlewood and a late goal from Michael Pindy secured the comeback win and keep George Christou’s side in contention for that much-wanted second spot.

Stansted also have a slim chance of pinching that spot after a 2 – 1 win over Southend Manor at Hargrave Park, thanks to goals from Jack Mitchell and Michael Salako. Manor had an unfortunate OG to assist their way back into the game but other results mean they are now safe from relegation, and credit has to go to boss James Wakeling and his coaching team. The Airportmen meanwhile have four matches left, and arguably have to win all four to leapfrog their rivals. Athletic Newham’s season is coming to a stuttering end as they were held by top-six rivals Enfield at Terry Mac. Kieran Bishop’s goal had given the E’s a first-half lead, but Daniel Izekor got a good equaliser with about ten minutes left. The result means Enfield remain six points clear of Newham, though Chris Davis’ side also have four matches to play (in the next fortnight). Also, FC Clacton are also finishing the season well as they got a 4 – 0 triumph over Clapton at Rush Green Bowl. A double for Mekhi McKenzie, plus goals by Elias Ahmed and Harry McDonald saw Tom Austin’s side to a fine win and they rose to eighth spot because of it. The Tons debatably need a point or two to make sure of their ESL place next term.

Archive Image: St Mags v L Oakley earlier this season [Image by Scott W]

That is the case due to Sawbridgeworth Town’s hugely important 2 – 1 win over Errington Cup Finalists Cockfosters at Crofters. James Falaise and Morgan Arnold got the big goals for Alex Salmon and Kieran Amos’ side, with Bailey Stevenson responding for Gavin Kelsey’s team. ‘Fosters drop down to tenth but they still have 3 games left. Sawbo’s assignment is clear – they need at least one win from matches against Saffron Walden and West Essex to evade the bottom two. Meanwhile, Takeley continued their mini-revival with a 4 – 1 success over Sporting Bengal Utd at Station Road. The ensemble cast of Elliott Long, Glenn O’Hanlon, George Frodsham and Traevon Williams-Lauder all netted for Marc Das’ side to take them up to 11th spot. Bengal ended their campaign here and responded via an OG in this match but there will be a lot of soul-searching in the close season to come whilst they find out which division they will be placed in Step 6 following relegation.

The remaining Saturday game to note saw Hoddesdon Town claim a good 2 – 0 victory over champions Walthamstow. Terrell Sterling and Harrison Rookard both struck to give Simon Riddle’s team the points which takes them up to 50 points for the season. ‘Stow can still hit 90 points this term, even with a draw in their final game on April 23rd. On Friday night, West Essex got a 2 – 1 win over Ilford at Wadham Lodge, with Cameron Gray and Reece Clarke’s spot-kick enough to overhaul Jordan Fisher’s reply for the Foxes. West remain 13th after the weekend’s action, while Ilford stay 16th. Also, Woodford Town were held to a goalless draw by St Margaretsbury at Ashton’s, which kept Town in 14th but St Mags stay third-bottom, a point clear of Sawbo but with only one match left – at Redbridge on the final day of the league season.

End

S21-22 Match Report: Redbridge 3 – 1 Enfield (Sat 2 Apr) [ESL 21-22 3.4.22]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Oakside

Attendance: 61

2021-22 Season: Match 66

Saturday 2 April 2022 – 3pm KO

Redbridge: Blue Shirts,  Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Enfield: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks




Redbridge battle hard to complete good win against play-off rivals Enfield

Redbridge  3 – 1  Enfield

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

The last month of the Essex Senior campaign started for me at Oakside with this important battle between Redbridge and visitors Enfield, with both sides very keen on grabbing that second-place which also carries with it a spot in the promotion/relegation play-off with a Step 4 side at the end of the month. Both teams had been in good form recently and Redbridge named George Martin between the goalposts, with a defence comprised of Bradley Bennett, Jack Roult and centre-backs Dean Hall (who recently made his 100th appearance for the club) and Nathan Okoye. The forward line was led by Michael Pindy, skipper James Barlow and Ibrahim Kehinde. Options from the sidelines included forwards Timothy Ogunrinde and Tony Martin, with midfielder Robbie Norris also named. Enfield had James Bransgrove in goal, with Jack Grosvenor and Tyler Corlett in central defence. Their attack was led by Louie Johnson, Kieran Bishop and Jeffrey Cobblah with player-boss Jamie Cureton in the ‘number ten’ role. Their bench included forwards Samrai Gebrai and Dwade James, defender George Essuman and midfielder Jack Cousins.


This match did not take long to get going as the hosts made the most of a promising start by grabbing the opening goal on two minutes. A good cross allowed an opportunistic header by forward Ibrahim Kehinde to nod home from close range at the far post. Enfield couldn’t really gather enough possession to restrict the rapid hosts’ forward line from creating chances in the first part of the match. Kehinde spurned another chance and the impressive Michael Pindy fired in a fine strike which  commanding goalkeeper James Bransgrove did well to punch away from danger. After you factor in a spurned chance from twelve yards from Kehinde on eight minutes, you started to fear for the E’s if they conceded further goals at this point in proceedings.

That being said, they did hold firm, in no small part because of good positioning by their defence and profligate finishing by the home side, if you were being critical of the latter. As the half went on, the E’s did generate more chances alongside more possession, with midfielder Alex Warman thwarted by Redbridge custodian George Martin before he could prod the ball home. As the half drew near its conclusion, Enfield skipper Reece Conway had to receive lengthy treatment for a head injury after a tough challenge. Jamie Cureton’s side did keep the ball well and they forced some good clearances by a robust Motormen defence, led well by Nathan Okoye.


Half-Time: Redbridge 1 – 0 Enfield

The opening twenty minutes of the second-half was also affected by a few long stoppages as Redbridge skipper James Barlow landed awkwardly on the far side and had to be substituted after suffering a dislocated shoulder, we wish him a swift recovery. Tony Martin replaced him whilst Conway was also replaced early in the second half, with Jack Cousins coming in in midfield. The best chance early in the half came about for Redbridge after another run by Michael Pindy down the right side which found central midfielder Jerold Cobblah but he could only send his strike well over the woodwork.

With the match entering its latter stages, Enfield had a good chance from centre-back Tyler Corlett’s long throw, which found substitute Samrai Gebrai and his strike narrowly went wide. Redbridge re-took the lead & the initative on eighty minutes. A defensive howler allowed Kehinde to evade the visiting defence and nick the ball off Bransgrove who had come outside his area and Kehinde showed good awareness to find replacement Tony Martin who could pass the ball into an empty net. It really was an unfortunate moment for the E’s after all the battling they had done earlier in the game.

Buoyed on by their enthusiastic & vocal supporters, Enfield did push forward again and influential forward Samrai Gebrai made a good return from injury by scoring a fine goal five minutes later. A telling run down the right flank by the pacy Jeffrey Cobblah got the better of home full-back Jack Roult and Cobblah’s centre found Grebrai who controlled the ball well before firing past Martin into the right corner from just inside the box.

Enfield GK Bransgrove launches a free-kick forward late on

Despite dealing with a few nervy moments late on as Enfield went all-in for a ahother goal, Redbridge did get a crucial third goal well into added time. Another good run by Pindy down the left wing ended with a pinpoint cross finding Martin who headed home comfortably past Bransgrove to seal this important three points for George Christou’s team. Cobblah was sent off moments later as Enfield’s play-off charge was dented here.

Full-Time: Redbridge  3 – 1  Enfield

In summary, Redbridge did well to weather the storm in the second half and find another gear late on to complete an important win which does curtail the E’s chances of a top-two finish somewhat. Enfield were decentin their build-up play and defensively but couldn’t create a lot of good chances to test home stopper George Martin.  George Christou’s side broke the deadlock early on and had they been more clinical, could have been two or three goals ahead.

There were several notable performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for victors Redbridge, I felt forward Michael Pindy had an excellent game and utilised his pace down the channels really well and put in good crosses as well being unfortunate not to score himself. Fellow forward Ibrahim Kehinde also tested the E’s backline well and took his goal well. Jerold Cobblah had a good game also in midfield, making several important passes and showing good work rate. Centre-back Nathan Okoye played well to shore up the home defence, making several good clearing interceptions.

For Enfield, forward Jeffrey Cobblah made a number of good darting runs down the flanks to stretch the Redbridge backline well at times. Fellow forward Kieran Bishop also posed a good threat to the opposition full-backs too and kept the Redbridge defence alert. Tyler Corlett had a good game in central defence and also had a few good moments in the opposition penalty box too. Alex Warman showed again his work rate and incisive passing too from central midfield but ultimately it wasn’t Enfield’s day here.

Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.


Teams

Redbridge  | Manager: George Christou  | Assistant: Jack Toghli

Starting XI (Subs): 1 George Martin (GK), 2 Bradley Bennett, 3 Jack Roult, 5 Dean Hall, 6 Nathan Okoye, 4 Jerold Cobblah, 8 Jake Brocklebank, 7 Michael Pindy ( 12 Robbie Norris 90’+7), 18 Jack Chawner, 9 Ibrahim Kehinde (11 Timothy Ogunrinde 90’+5), 15 James Barlow (Capt) (16 Anthony Martin 58’)    

Goal-scorers: Ibrahim Kehinde [2’], Tony Martin [80’ & 90’+4)

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Hazelwood, Corderoy (GK)


Enfield  | Player-Manager: Jamie Cureton  | Assistants: Jim Duggan & Gary Hart

Starting XI (Subs): 1 James Bransgrove (GK), 7 Ryan Ramsay, 5 Jack Johnson (18 George Essuman 42’), 6 Jack Grosvenor, 21 Tyler Corlett, 4 Alex Warman, 8 Reece Conway (Capt) (16 Jack Cousins 47’), 10 Louie Johnson, , 9 Kieran Bishop, 25 Jamie Cureton (11 Samrai Gebrai 66’), 20 Jeffrey Cobblah

Goal-scorer: Samrai Gebrai [85’]

Booked: Ramsay, Essuman | Sent Off: Cobblah [90’+8] |

Subs Not Used: Luther, James


Referee: Tom Wyatt

Assistants:  Spencer King & Charlie Duggins-Jones

S21-22 Match Report: White Ensign 4 – 3 FC Clacton (Sat 26 Mar) [ESL 21/22 26.3.22]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: 52

2021-22 Season: Match 65

Saturday 26th March 2022 – 3pm KO

Ensign: Red & Navy Blue Shirts,  Red Shorts, Red Socks

Clacton: White & Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks


Jett Hogan (#4, Centre) on the ball for Clacton

Ensign edge to comeback win in terrific contest at Burroughs Park

White Ensign  4 – 3 FC Clacton

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

The match on this year’s “Non-League Day” was a local trip to Burroughs Park for White Ensign’s last home game of the Essex Senior campaign as they welcomed FC Clacton. Both sides are seeking to claim a top-ten finish to round a throughly good campaign for both teams. Ensign had Louis Hawes in goal once again, with a back four of Thando Moyo, Charlie Adams, Carl Conway and skipper Jake McWee. Their forward line was led by George O’Connor and Luke Woodward, with support from Teddy Henderson and Jason Reynolds-Blanche. On the bench were good options in forwards Shemarie Perkins, Jake Chaplin and Emanuel Abudiore plus Courtney Justin and midfielder Reece Sayers. Clacton had Luke Avenell between the posts here, with a backline comprised of Kyle Ferguson, Teddy Collis plus centre-backs Michael Okafor and Adam Tilson. Jett Hogan and Jamie Bennett were in central midfield, with Mekhi McKenzie leading the forward line for Tom Austin’s side. Options from the sidelines included full- back Jenson Mulqueen and forward Elias Ahmed.


This game really sprung into life early on as Clacton forward Charlie Collis’effort was well parried over the woodwork by Ensign custodian Louis Hawes in the first minute. That was a let-off for the home side but they really punished their opposition as they took the lead on four minutes. From a set-piece, the ball was fed into midfielder Ethan Evison’s crisp strike beat visiting goalkeeper Luke Avenell at his near post.

Collis was proving a thorn in the home defence’s side with fine energetic runs and on thirteen minutes, home co-boss Jack Maleary in the dugout wouldve been glad to see another effort from the forward deflected, thus giving Hawes a chance to get across and gather. At the other end, forwards Luke Woodward and Teddy Henderson were utilising their pace and strength to keep Clacton central defenders Michael Okafor and Adam Tilson alert, with Okafor a towering presence in the air. Indeed, Clacton did get a deserved leveller on 21 minutes through a fine rapid move which ended with captain Billy Wales sweeping home a lofted finish into the net, giving Hawes little oppurtunity to deny him.


Clacton were continuing to look efficent and fast going forward, but they were also prone to the occasional moment of poor concentration in defence. One such moment happened allowed Henderson to get in on goal but his strike lacked the power to beat Avenell, who was relieved to claim the ball. The hosts also had a bit of fortune just past the half-hour as midfielder Jett Hogan stole in at the back post but his strike wasn’t enough to bypass Hawes.

Tom Austin’s team finished the half well and made it count as Collis finished a flowing move with a precise finish low into the right corner. They had edged the matxh at that point but the manner and timing of the goal would have delighted Austin and his assistant Ryan Salter, who are clear in the standards they seek to maintain in their team.


Half-Time: Ensign 1 – 2 Clacton

The second half was delayed in getting underway by a half-hour while attending paramedics dealt with a medical emergency after a spectator was taken ill. I would like to wish them a swift recovery.

Back to the match, and crikey it really was worth waiting for. The visitors again looked to use their guile to create chances and a quickly-taken goal kick up field by Avenell caught the home defence cold, allowing the onrushing Wales in on goal though Hawes again did well to deny him. Ensign got themselves back level as a fine centre from the right side by Jason Reynolds-Blanche found substitute Emanuel Abudiore who evaded the Clacton backline and slotted home calmly.

White Ensign were arguably having their best spell of the match at this point, with forward George O’Connor showing desire, strength and good pace as well and that was evident as he outpaced Okafor but with only Avenell to get past, his low strike sailed agonizingly wide of the right-side post. The home side did wrestle the lead back on 69 minutes from the penalty spot, with another Reynolds-Blanche cross causing problems, and referee Benjamin Horne adjudged the ball struck a hand. Reynolds-Blanche stepped up to duly convert the kick from twelve yards.


Jordan Lartey (#11) in possession for Clacton

It has to be said that both teams were really going for the win, with forward Jordan Lartey heading narrowly over the woodwork, from a good cross from Wales on the left flank. Both teams were also understandably tiring, but Clacton crucially get a dramatic leveller in added-time. From another set-piece, centre-back Adam Tilson swept home with all the poise of a striker from about 15 yards out in a congested penalty area.

You could be forgiven for thinking ‘that was it’ but although both teams did not deserve to lose the match really, it was Ensign who were smiling at the final whistle. There was another foul seen in the 18-yard box which saw full-back Teddy Collis sent off for his second yellow card. Replacement Reece Sayers stood up to take the penalty and it was confidently dispatched, much to the delight of his team-mates.


Charlie Collis about to take a free-kick for Clacton

Full-Time:  White Ensign  4 – 3  FC Clacton

This is a hard match to summarise. Clacton edged the first half and their forward line was more efficent and more likely to score but they switched off as a unit in defence too often in the second half though Ensign still needed to show their famed spirit to get back in the game. Even with that, it was a tough result for the Seasiders to take as no-one deserved to lose it. Both teams deserve to be commended for the enthralling game they put on here.

There were terrific performances by many players in this game. For Ensign, I thought George O’Connor had a terrific match today. The forward showed strength, pace and desire and really gave the visiting defence a hard afternoon as the natch went on, also linking up well with Luke Woodward in attack. Jason Reynolds-Blanche also had a fine game, providing good crosses from the flanks and got a decent assist too. Lastly, Carl Conway put in a good shift at centre-back, making several important clearances and goalkeeper Louis Hawes also made some important saves earlier in the game to keep his side in it earlier in the match.

For Clacton, forward Charlie Collis had a great match here, showing work rate, pace and good passing as well as taking his goal very well. Fellow forward Mekhi McKenzie led the line very well also, showing good hold-up play, good awareness and movement. Centre-back Michael Okafor barely lost a challenge in the air all game and aided his defence well with good awareness too. Finally, midfielder Jett Hogan put in string display, making several important interceptions and passing in both halves on the pitch.

I’d just like to wish both sides good final weeks of the campaign.


Teams

White Ensign     |  Joint-Managers: Jack Maleary & Carl Conway  | Assistant: Steve Thomson

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Louis Hawes (GK), 3 Thando Moyo, 6 Jake McWee (Capt), 14 Carl Conway, 12 Charlie Adams, 5 Ethan Evison, 8 Ben Austin (4 Reece Sayers 50′), 2 Teddy Henderson (17 Emanuel Abudiore 50′), 9 George O’Connor, 19 Luke Woodward, 11 Jason Reynolds-Blanche

Goal-scorers: Ethan Evison [4′], Emanuel Abudiore [58′], Jason Reynolds-Blanche [pen 69′], Reece Sayers [pen 90’+4]

Booked: Sayers, Woodward  | Sub Not Used: Perkins, Chaplin


FC Clacton     | Manager: Tom Austin | Assistant: Ryan Salter

Starting XI: 1 Luke Avenell (GK), 2 Kyle Ferguson (14 Jenson Mulqueen 27′), 3 Teddy Collis, 5 Adam Tilson, 6 Michael Okafor, 4 Jett Hogan, 8 Jamie Bennett (12 Elias Ahmed 75′), 7 Billy Wales (Capt), 9 Mekhi McKenzie, 10 Charlie Collis, 11 Jordan Lartey

Goal-scorers: Billy Wales [21′], Charlie Collis [45′], Adam Tilson [90’+2]

Booked: Okafor | Sent Off: T Collis (Two yellow cards) | Subs Not Used: Austin

Referee: Benjamin Horne

S21-22 Match Report: Sporting Bengal Utd 0 – 3 Southend Manor (Wed 23 Mar) [ESL 21/22 24.3.22]

ESL crest

Essex Senior League – Premier Division

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: TBC

2021-22 Season: Match 64

Wednesday 23rd March 2022 – 7.45pm KO

Bengal: Green Blue Shirts,  Red Shorts, Green Socks


Manor: Blue & White Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks



Late rally sees Manor claim important victory over Bengal at Mile End

Sporting Bengal Utd 0 – 3 Southend Manor

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


Players just prior to KO

The match got underway with an understandable array of nerves from both sides as neither team could break down the oppsition’s defence. Louie Maxwell and Freddy Tandon did an admirable job in central defence for Bengal, while Montel Shonubi, Perry Dunn and Sam Richardson did the same for Manor as they were keen to keep things level and build well from the back. For the smattering of spectators attending, chances were not forthcoming on a regular basis in the first half, though midfielder Josh Devlin’s free-kick wasn’t far off-target, while the oppurtunistic Ben Allen narrowly drilled a strike wide as well in the first twenty minutes. For Bengal, they were finding it hard to bypass the solid Manor backline, though forwards Ricardas Milasius and Troy Cleghorn had some promising moments and keot the visiting defence alert too.

As the first half moved into the midway stages, Bengal winger Reinaloo Araujo had a glimmer of a chance at the far post but couldn’t test Manor stopper Christian North as it fizzed wide. At the other end, the first gilt-edged chance came for Manor youngster Sam Richardson as his fine header drew a good save out of Bengal goalkeeper Christian Villanucci, who parried the ball away well.


We got to the interval with no goals but a fair amount of intrigue as to where the points would be heading by full-time.

HT: Manor 0 – 0 Sporting Bengal

In fairness to Sporting Bengal, they did have the edge in terms of ball time in the early part of the second half. Eight minutes after the restart, Araujo made a good run down the left before finding Milasius who in turn struck a fierce effort which Manor stopper North sprawled across to make a good save and claw the ball away from the top right corner. Bengal centre-back Maxwell also nodded wide from a decent set-piece as well. Manor had to raise their game and maintain their focus, as they were getting drawn into making poor challenges at times.

However, in the last twenty minutes of the game, Southend Manor came back into the match and in some style. Moments after coming off the bench, forward Isaac Acquah finally broke the deadlock on seventy-two minutes as he found half a yard of space before netting from close range past Villanucci. The match as a whole badly needed a goal by this stage but it was only going to get harder for Steve Clark’s team.


Manor made this telling spell count in a big way as only three minutes afterward, the influential Allen took advantage of the hosts switching off in defence to fire the ball confidently into the left side corner to put James Wakeling’s side two goals ahead in the space of four minutes. Manor were really in the ascendancy in the close minutes, as forward Cesario Mendes narrowly hit off-target and a speculative effort by midfielder Daniel Brock cannoned off the crossbar with Villanucci beaten. Manor did get a third goal right on the ninety-minute mark as a fine run by Allen, weaving round his marker with some skill in the penalty area before slotting home well to crown off a fine finish to a game that harboured some tough moments for the improving Manor team.

Full-Time: Sporting Bengal Utd  0 – 3  Southend Manor 

In summary, some may look at the scoreline and think this was a comfortable win for Manor. It wasn’t quite like that as Bengal defended well in the first hour or so, but the main problem for the hosts was the lack of consistent goal threat. Manor goalkeeper did need to make two good saves but his side ended the match in a strong way, which breeds optimism for the future.


In terms of stand-out performances, Manor forward Ben Allen was a good outlet for his team, showing good passing and pace and took his goals very well. Manor full-back Ben Sargent also was a key player in the attacking moves, showing good energy and movement while skipper Perry Dunn marshalled the refence well as ever. For Bengal, forward Ricardas Milasius had good pace and movement as well, forcing a good save out of North. Centre-back Louie Maxwell made a lot of good clearances to aid his team plus winger Reinaloo Araujo also stretched the visiting defence utilising his pace and good crossing ability.

Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign. 


Teams

Sporting Bengal Utd  | Manager: Steve Clark |

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Christian Villanucci (GK), 2 Tanvir Ahmed (12 Kamarni Collington 76′), 3 Ajani Bryan-Wilson, 5 Louie Maxwell (Capt), 6 Freddy Tandon, 4 Thami Mmakola, 8 Ben Bickford (17 Emmanuel Olu 42′), 7 Reinaloo Araujo, 9 Troy Cleghorn (14 Prashanta Paul 76′) , 10 Ricardas Milasius, 11 Hugo Amaral

Booked: Ahmed, Mmakola, Tandon | Subs Not Used: George


Southend Manor | Manager: James Wakelindg  | Asstistant: Ryan Frost

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Christian North (GK), 2 Nathan Booty, 3 Ben Sargent, 5 Montel Shonubi, 6 Perry Dunn (Capt), 16 Sam Richardson, 4 Josh Devlin (9 Ryan Kenyon 71′), 8 Daniel Brock, 11 Cesario Mendes (18 Billy Richardson 78′), 10 Ben Allen, 14 Andre Embalo (7 Isaac Acquah 71′)

Goal-scorers: Isaac Acquah [72′], Ben Allen [75′ & 90′]

Booked: Dunn, Devlin, Brock | Sub Not Used: Bolger, J Allen


Referee: Nathan Kitteridge
Assistants: Olabisi Omotosho & Adrian Vernica

S21-22 Round-ups: Essex Senior League (Fri 11/Sat 12 March) [ESL 21/22 13.3.22]

Archive Image: S Manor 1 – 0 Sawbo from late February

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

Hello & welcome to a Essex Senior League round-up from the weekend of Saturday 12th March, which forms part of a occasional blog series through the 2021-22 season. There were big results, particularly at the bottom of the table which does form the bulk of our focus in this piece.

Essex Senior – Saturday 12 March

All the bottom five sides were in action this weekend, and second-bottom Sawbridgeworth Town will be the ones feeling most pleased with their result after a fine 2 – 1 victory at Stanway Rovers. Goals from Harry Davison and Arley Barker meant that Kieran Amos & Alex Salmon’ side got their fifth win this term and closed the gap to St Margaretsbury directly above them to three points, with a game in hand. Ernest Okoh netted for Danny Slatter’s side but their form has dropped recently, having only won two of their last ten league games, they remain in seventh spot.  Southend Manor went out of the bottom two after securing a good 1 – 1 draw with Redbridge at Oakside. Tony Martin’s spot-kick put George Christou’s side ahead ten minutes before the break, but ten minutes after the resumption, Ben Allen levelled, also from the penalty spot. Manor are in 18th now, a point behind Clapton who also got a 1 – 1 draw away from home, as they drew with Hoddesdon Town at Lowfield. Larry Asare-Bediako opened the scoring for the hosts six minutes after half-time, though Isaac Stevens got a important equaliser for Michael Walther’s team with 20 minutes left. Hoddy remain 15th in the table.


The now bottom two sides both suffered tough defeats this weekend. Bottom side Sporting Bengal Utd’s recent uptick in form was brought to a juddering halt as they lost 1 – 5 at home to Cockfosters at Mile End. George Beattie’s fine treble saw him reach 18 league goals this term, allied with strikes for Reece Mosanya and substitute Bailey Stevenson – Gavin Kelsey’s side got a big win which takes them up to 11th spot. Bengal’s goal here came from Chris Bird once again but they are 11 points adrift of St Mags in third-bottom with only six matches left.  Stansted also heightened the pressure on St Margaretsbury as the Airportmen powered to a 5 – 1 win at Hargrave Park. Michael Salako went past 15 league goals this term with a fine treble here. Jack Mitchell and Michael Mignot also added strikes late on to give co-boss Paul Pittuck a win in his 201st match in charge, congrats on reaching 200 games earlier this week Paul. Jon Stevenson’s goal had given Paul Holding’s side a glimmer of a way back into the contest before half-time.


At the summit, Walthamstow got an important 2 – 0 win at Athletic Newham, with Jason Beck and substitute Tendai Quamina notching for Terry Spillane & John Mackie’s side here. It would seem more likely than not that four more wins will be enough to see the champions-elect secure the title. Newham’s fixture pile-up is starting to have an effect on their form, as they reside in ninth place at present, but they still have 11 matches left to play. Saffron Walden Town have really come back into play-off contention in recent weeks, and they remain third after a 4 – 3 triumph over Ilford at Catons Lane. A double for Khris Oti, plus goals for the long-serving James Crane and George Pullen just outdid a brace for Josh Oghagbon and one from Joel Gomes for Adam Peek’s side. Walden boss Jason Maher paid tribute to the Bloods fans post-match. Ilford remain 16th, seven points clear of the bottom five.


Meanwhile, Enfield got a narrow 1 – 0 win at West Essex with Kieran Bishop getting a late goal to send Jamie Cureton’s side up to fifth. The last game on Saturday saw two sides that are battling it out for a top ten finish battle at Burroughs Park. White Ensign were held by Matt Carmichael’s Little Oakley 0 – 0. Ensign sit in tenth, while Oakley are three points clear in sixth in what has been a fine season for the Acorns, regardless of where they finish.

There was one match on Friday night, which Woodford Town draw 1 – 1 with FC Clacton at a rainy Ashton’s. George Thompson had given the Towners a narrow advantage just before the interval but Jordan Lartey’s second-half leveller meant the points were shared. Woodford dropped to 12th after the weekend’s action and Clacton are well-placed in eighth.

Thanks for reading, hopefully there will be at least one more ESL round-up piece before the end of their campaign.