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: Benfleet 1 – 2 Halstead Town (Sat 23 Apr) [EaSL Sth P/O SF 24.4.22]

Eastern Senior League – South Division Play-Off Semi-Final

Venue: Park Lane

Attendance: 162

2021-22 Season: Match 75

Saturday 23rd April 2022 – 3pm KO

Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts,Sky Blue Socks

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

Action still from first-half (Image by Scott W)

Halstead battle hard to overcome Benfleet in play-off Semi-Final

Benfleet  1 – 2 Halstead Town (AET)

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

The first match this weekend saw a return to Park Lane for a crucial Eastern Senior League play-off Semi-Final, as Benfleet ,who finished 3rd in the League season) entertained Halstead Town, who finished the season strongly.

Buoyed on their sizeable travelling contingent of supporters, Halstead looked to keep things tight early-doors as Halstead forward Calvin Poku struck wide of home custodian Florent Gislette’s woodwork. Benfleet looked to retain possession and gain the impetus as well, and prominent forward Ben Foord had a half-chance two minutes into the game but visiting stopper Jack Cherry did well to deny him. The same two players were key on eleven minutes as a fierce strike by Foord was well-parried onto the woodwork by Cherry.

You may have thought at this point that it was a case of when Robert Polkinghorn’s side would break the deadlock. But that wasn’t the case as the Humbugs certainly defended stoutly and the hosts couldn’t quite create the clear chances their possession advantage may have given them. It got worse for Benfleet on twenty-four minutes. From a relatively rare foray forward at this point in proceedings, a good run down the right channel by winger Jordan Blackwell ended with a fine cross into the six-yard area, which allowed wily forward Calvin Poku to slot home from close range after evading the ‘Fleet backline.

Benfleet looking to get test Halstead keeper Jack Cherry

Benfleet were playing some neat football, but their finishing was going astray. A good move involving full-back Joe Hunter and defender Sonny Hartman ended with Foord again firing off-target. Halstead did also clear a good header off the goalline and they did ride theur luck a little. But for me, the Humbugs were also more composed in defence and they were not rattled by the task at hand. Cherry was called into action again just before the break as a good header by centre-back Cameron Harris from about eight yards out was denied by the Halstead captain.

HT: Benfleet 0 – 1 Halstead

Billy Carter (left) about to launch long pass on for Benfleet

Benfleet needed to find another gear after the interval as although Halstead had few chances in the first half, they looked a danger going forward and they did catch the Blues defence napping on occasion. Early on in the second half, impressive winger Frankie Stone sprinted clear of the retreating visiting defence, only to be denied by an excellent recovery tackle by a Humbugs defender.

I was starting to wonder on the hour whether this match would be a case of ‘missed chances’ for the hosts. On 62 minutes, the Poku was again given too much space in the area by the home defence with his resulting strike being well-denied by Gislette. Benfleet sensed they had to level quickly and responded as Foord was through on goal but again a superb recovery challenge by full-back Ryan Carter stifled the oppurtunity to shoot past Cherry.

Jordan Blackwell (right) launches a forward move for Halstead

Benfleet were really cursing their luck after a free-kick by substitute Henry Sims was nodded on by Foord and Stone’s prod at goal was cleared off the goal-line. Fourth official Ian Pascu signalled six added minutes to play and just as you started to think the solitary goal would be the winner, Benfleet finally scored. A powerful header by Harris found the net in a congested area two minutes into added time and gave them a chance in extra-time.


Joe Hunter (far left) about to cross the ball in for ‘Fleet (Image by Scott W)

FT (90 mins): Benfleet 1 – 1 Halstead 

So, thirty minutes added time we had but there was a near -immediate dramatic turn in the match. Just two minutes in, Benfleet’ defence was caught trying to clear by Poku, who unselfishly slotted in Jordan Palmer who calmly finished past the grasp of Gislette. Halsyead really should have made the game secure eight minutes later but forward Adam Hampson’s decent strike was well-saved low down by Gislette.

Benfleet gave it everything in the second period of extra-time but it wasn’t to be. To their credit, Halstead showed plenty of desire, composure and application to edge their way to the play-off Final with a gritty and commendable performance.


Full-Time (AET):  Benfleet  1 – 2 Halstead Town

This match was a dramatic encounter though in summary, Halstead just edged it on composure in both penalty boxes, in my view. They took their goals well from the relatively few chances they had, compared to their hosts who couldn’t convert their morass of chances due to a combination of profligate finishing and last-ditch Humbugs defending.

There were some fine performances in this match . First, for winners Halstead. Winger Jordan Blackwell put in a fine display, exercising his movement and pace to good effect to stretch the home backline. Forward Calvin Poku also showed his guile and got an goal & an assist as part of a good all-round performance. Goalkeeper Jack Cherry pulled off three good saves in the first-half to keep it tight and centre-back Garry Burdett had another good game, showcasing desire and good positioning.

For Benfleet, I felt full-back Joe Hunter had an excellent game showing high energy, good passing and good awareness too. Support forward Frankie Stone also had a good game too, showing good pace, awareness and movement. Cameron Harris had another good game at centre-half making several good interceptions & also taking his goal well. Lastly, a word for forward Ben Foord who was their focal point up front and never stopped grafting. He was a constant threat until he had to be substituted late on.

Victors Halstead applaud their travelling supporters post-match

Congrats to both sides but it is Halstead who go on to face Buckhurst Hill in the Final after they defeated Wivenhoe 3-2 today. That will be a tough game.


Teams

Benfleet    |  Manager: Robert Polkinghorn  | Assistant: Robert Rook

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter, 4 Martyn Lacey, 5 Cameron Harris, 6 Sonny Hartman (17 Billy Bonham-Dare 67′), 7 Frankie Stone (15 Danny Hurford 108′), 8 Aaron Russell (Capt), 9 Robert Lacey, 11 Ben Foord (14 Mason Shave 86′), 10 Taylor Lawrence (12 Henry Sims 73′)

Goal-scorer: Cameron Harris [90’+2]

Sin-bin: R Lacey (115′)  | Subs Not Used: Frost


Halstead Town  | Manager: Mark McLean | Assistant: Pete Travers

Starting XI: 1 Jack Cherry (GK & Capt), 2 Ryan Carter, 3 Matt Travell, 4 Garry Burdett, 5 Nick Miller (14 Greg Strong 106′), 6 Alfie Cleal, 7 Jordan Blackwell, 8 Jordan Palmer, 9 Calvin Poku (15 Curtis Abel 92′), 10 Adam Hampson, 11 Jordan Pavett (12 Louis O’Sullivan 83′)

Goal-scorers: Calvin Poku  [24′], Jordan Palmer [ET 2′]

Booked: Miller | Subs Not Used: None


Referee: Chris Darling
Assistants: Sam Jones & Iain George

Fourth Official: Ian Pascu

S21-22 Match Report: Burnham Ramblers 1 – 2 Harwich & Parkeston  (Sat 16 Apr) [EaSL Sth 21-22 16.4.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Leslie Field

Attendance: TBC

2021-22 Season: Match 73

Saturday 16th April – 3pm KO

Burnham R: Blue Shirts, Black Shorts, Blue Socks

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

Albert Galbally (far left) sends free-kick into the Harwich 18-yard box [Image by Scott W]

Harwich produce fine away-day display to defeat nervy Burnham at Leslie Field

Burnham Ramblers   1 –  2  Harwich & Parkeston

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

The Easter weekend continued with a trip back to Leslie Field for a real crunch match in the play-off race as Burnham Ramblers entertained Harwich & Parkeston. It’s always good to visit this historic ground and it was also a rare opportunity to see the North East Essex side as well. Burnham realistically had to win to stay in contention for a play-off spot but Harwich had been improving of late. As for the teams then and Burnham fielded Adam French in goal once again, with a back four of Nathan Putt, Albert Galbally and centre-backs Matthew Stevens-Brown and Ben Wood, who skippered the side. Adebolu Adeyemi played in a deeper role here, supporting forwards Samir Ali, George Hart and Haziz Kone. Options on the bench included forwards Said Issa, Deane Stone and Jack Walker. Harwich named Jack Lines as their goalkeeper here, with a defence comprised of Alfred Smith, Reece Harte with captain Nathan Kioussis alongside Jack Wood in central defence. Their attack was led by Joe Boreham-Knight and Jamie Eades. Their depleted bench included Cameron Brunsden, Jay Eggerichs and Tony Clarke.

This match got underway with the palpable sense that Harwich felt more comfortable in possession, and Burnham were feeling the nerves as they knew a strong result was key here. Samir Ali and Adebolu Adeyemi both had glimpses at visiting custodian Jack Lines’ goal frame but they couldn’t test the ‘keeper. Harwich were starting to create problems at the other end, as a set-piece by midfielder Brandon Rusby found commanding centre-back Jack Wood but his header was well parried away by home goalkeeper Adam French. Ramblers had a good chance just short of the half-hour as a move instigated by Haziz Kone down the left flank ended with his pass finding fellow forward George Hart and his effort was well-blocked in a congested penalty area by Harwich full-back Alfred Smith.

Burnham were creating a few nervous moments with their angled crosses in from deep but chances on goal were still few & far between, much to their growing frustration. The scale of the task grew ever higher as Harwich did break the deadlock seven minutes before the break. Harwich forward Joe Boreham-Knight made another telling run and his effort on goal evaded the home defenders which allowed Declan Kama to nip in and slot home from mere yards out, at the far post. Game on for Luke Goodson’s side. The Shrimpers nearly got a second goal as a speculative lobbed effort by Boreham-Knight went wide of French’s goal. You got the sense that Burnham were happy to not concede any more goals and needed some inspiration to rejuvenate their performance and possibly their season after the interval.

Half-Time: Burnham Ramblers  0 – 1   Harwich & Parkeston


The second half got underway as Burnham signalled their intent to resurrect their chances of the play-offs by getting back on terms. However, it was Harwich who were continuing to stretch the hosts’ defence, as Boreham-Knight again got past the backline after an errant pass by skipper Ben Wood was claimed. The forward then again sent a long pass into the far post area, agonizingly wide of strike partner Jamie Eades’ grasp as the ball trickled away, much to French’s relief. Another omen of it not being Burnham’s day came on seventy-five minutes as midfielder Levi Griffiths was given a straight red card for a high foot which did clatter into substitute Jay Eggerichs, who had to be substituted 15 minutes after coming on.

Harwich were sensing that they could wrap the points up and Kama’s strike was well-cleared off the goal line by Burnham captain Ben Wood. Burnham rallied and substitutes Jack Walker and Deane Stone did give them a little more impetus in the latter stages, with Stone breaking through the Harwich defence well before sending a well-struck effort wide of Line’s woodwork.

Despite showing good work rate, the hosts could not get the key passes into the forwards often enough for their liking really and Harwich sealed the win on eighty-nine minutes. A fine cross by midfielder Steven Polley found Boreham-Knight who controlled his header well as it flew into the far corner with French stranded. Burnham were awarded a spot-kick deep into added-time after Adeyemi was felled inside the area, which Samir Ali did convert with aplomb but it was not enough to prevent falling to a demoralising loss here and Ramblers simply have to win at Cornard Utd on the last day and hope Halstead lose at home to mid-table Coggeshall Utd.

The midfield battle… [Image by Scott W]

Full-Time: Burnham Ramblers 1 – 2   Harwich & Parkeston

In summary, Burnham could not conjure up a performance they needed to win the game. It may well been nerves and/or the pressure of needing the points today but that’s not really for me to say. Take nothing away from Harwich though as they put in a very good display, with strong performances all over the pitch, good movement and passing and a resolute defence as well to earn the points.

There were several creditable performances in this match. For victors Harwich, forward Joe Boreham-Knight led the attack well and also took his goal with aplomb. He gave the Burnham defence a tough afternoon, especially when the hosts had to push forward in the second half to get back into the game. Also, centre-back Jack Wood was a aerial threat in both boxes and could have two goals from set-pieces. Full-back Alfred Smith had a good match as well, showing good positional awareness in his defensive responsibilities and good work rate plus winger Declan Kama also took his goal well and showed decent movement off-the-ball.

For Burnham, Adebolu Adeyemi did well in his position supporting the forwards, threading in some good passes and gave everything for his team in terms of work rate. Centre-back Matthew Stevens-Brown put in some fine tackles as well to keep his side competitive and full-back Nathan Putt also showed good energy and passing. Finally, forward Samir Ali did all he could to get his team going and made some decent runs and showed good movement too.

I’d like to wish both sides well for their respective final match on Easter Monday and wish them well going into next season. Also, a big thanks to Burnham for their hospitality, it’s been really good to see the club as a whole on an upward curve this term.  


Teams

Burnham Ramblers  | Manager: Luke Goodson  | Assistant: Ross Mernick

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Adam French (GK), 2 Nathan Putt (16 Deane Stone 84’), 3 Albert Galbally, 5 Ben Wood (Capt), 6 Matthew Stevens-Brown, 4 Levi Griffiths, 8 Harry Shawyer, 7 Samir Ali, 9 Adebolu Adeyemi, 10 Haziz Kone, 14 George Hart (17 Jack Walker 73’)

Goal-scorer: Samir Ali [pen 90’+5]

Booked: Putt | Sent Off: Griffiths [75’] | Subs Not Used: Barry, Jackman & Issa


Harwich & Parkeston      | Manager: Sean Tynan | Assistant: Gary Kioussis

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Jack Lines (GK), 2 Alfred Smith, 3 Reece Harte, 5 Nathan Kioussis (Capt), 6 Jack Wood, 7 Mark Palmer (14 Jay Eggerichs 62’ himself replaced due to injury by 12 Cameron Brunsden 77’), 8 Brandon Rusby, 9 Joe Boreham-Knight, 107 Jamie Eades, 11 Declan Kama

Goal-scorers: Declan Kama [38′], Joe Boreham-Knight [89′]

 Booked: Palmer, Eades, Boreham-Knight | Subs Not Used: None


Referee: Joshua Evans

Assistants: Garry Roberts & Daren Bigg

S21-22 Match Report: Barkingside 0 – 3 Burnham Ramblers (Mon 4 Apr) [EaSL South 21/22 5.4.22]

Eastern Senior League – South Division

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: TBA

2021-22 Season: Match 67

Monday 4th April 2022 – 7.45pm KO

Barkingside: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts,Navy Blue Socks

Burnham: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks


Burnham grab good win with hard-working display at Barkingside

Barkingside 0 – 3 Burnham Ramblers

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

The first midweek match in April saw a return to Cricklefield for this Eastern Senior League South match which saw play-off chasing Burnham Ramblers visit to face Barkingside. The hosts are hoping for a top-ten finisdh but the main thing they needed is impetus ahead of next season. The hosts fielded Duncan Smith in goal, with a defence of captain Jordan Cornelius, Joseph Lanes, Kevin Difika and Nathan Saunders. As ever, James Peagram was the focal point in attack for ‘Side, with support from Josh Duyile, Quincy Warner and Umaru Kabia. Options from the sidelines inluded midfielders David Etcheri and Ismael Dahjaoul and forward Anton Alexander. Burnham have the hallmarks of a united squad which is good to see, they had Adam French in goal, with a back four of Nathan Putt, Albert Galbally plus centre-backs Tom Howard and skipper Ben Wood. Eddie Appleton and Joe Howard were in centtral midfield, Haziz Kone and Samir Ali were the chief support to forwards Adebolu Adeyemi and Jack Walker. Their substitutes included centre-back Ben Jackman, midfielders Harry Shawyer, Liam Barry and George Hart plus Said Issa.

It would be fair to say that the match did take a little while to find its rhythm. The first chance of note saw a good run by Burnham winger Samir Ali down the right flank end with a good cross which found forward Jack Walker but the latter’s header was off-target which didn’t trouble home custodian Duncan Smith. The visitors were having most of the play and the better of the few chances we saw in the half, with wingers Ali and Haziz Kone both testing their markers well. With the half-hour approaching, a good move involving Kone and energetic full-back Albert Galbally found Walker but again he couldn’t test Smith.


The good crowd in attendance (including several from the visitors, which was reassuring to see) did see a goal on 31 minutes and another darting run by the impressive Haziz Kone broke past ‘Side’s backline and slotted home low past Smith with no trouble. The hosts were having some decent approach plkay, largely through the likes of Umaru Kabia’s good runs down the right channel and James Peagram once again leading the line, although the Ramblers defence was being miserly and cleared well for the most part.

Half-Time: Barkingside 0 – 1 Burnham Ramblers


Two minutes after the restart, a rare defensive error by Barkingside’s Kevin Difika allowed Ramblers midfielder George Hart to get on the ball and his strike went wide but it showed that Luke Goodson’s side were keen to build momentum and take the points here as quickly as they could. Forward Adebolu Adeyemi also put in some testing crosses which the hosts did well to clear. A rare chance for Barkingside came on 53 minutes as midfielder Archie Hammond garnered some space down the centre but his effort went over Adam French’s woodwork.

Perhaps sensing their lead at this point was slender, Burnham pushed forward again just after the hour mark and got that telling second goal. Kone again made another good run which couldn’t be stopped, with Kone unleashing a fierce strike which was well palmed away by Smith, but unfortunately for the hosts, Samir Ali got in first to help himself to a close range tap-in.

Burnham’s Nathan Putt takes a long throw

There was no doubting Barkingside’s work rate and they nearly got an important goal back as a fine ball in by substitute David Etcheri just evaded Kabia in the eighteen-yard area. The points were made secure though for the visitors eight minutes from time as Adeyemi fired home a good low strike from a narrow angle at the far post which bypassed Smith and found the net.

In fairness, Burnham did more than deserve the win and showed why they are the fourth highest scorers in the division this season. They have a big match at rivals Halstead Town at the weekend, which could pretty secure the play-off berth they will be looking for.


Full-Time:  Barkingside 0 – 3  Burnham Ramblers

This match can be summed up by Burnham having more options in their team and they have goals throughout their forward line and they showed that once again here. Barkingside have a decent backline, and decent build-up play but their main problem is scoring goals on a consistent basis. James Peagram has 19 league goals this term which is commendable, but he is well ahead of next lead goal-scorer for his team. Burnham also have a robust defence who  did have a few nervy moments, but they were not heavily troubled in this game.

There were some fine performances in this match. First, for winners Burnham I felt winger Haziz Kone had a very good match, showing time & again his pace and crossing ability to really test the home backline. Fellow winger Samir Ali once again showed his credentials as well and his goal was an oppurtunistic one. Forward Adebolu Adeyemi also added further goal threat and took his goal well late on as well as good passes from deep at times. Finally, a word for full-back Albert Galbally, who typified his team’s defence with a robust performance and also sowed good energy and a good outlet for his team.

For Barkingside , winger Umaru Kabia was a good outlet down the right flank for the hosts, making several good runs and showed decent work rate along with it. In central defence, Nathan Saunders made several good interceptions and good positioning to keep proceedings tight, particularly in the first half. Josh Duyile added to his side’s forward moves showing good trickery, pace and movement while full-back Jordan Cornelius also had a decent match at full-back.

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


Teams

Barkingside    |  Manager: Steven Le Sage  | Assistant: Tommy Shelts

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Duncan Smith (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius (Capt), 3 Joseph Lanes (7 David Etcheri 46′), 5 Kevin Difika, 6 Nathan Saunders, 14 Patrick Hoy, 8 Archie Hammond (16 Ismael Dahjaoul 59′), 15 Umaru Kabia, 10 Josh Duyile, 9 James Peagram (17 Anton Alexander 87′), 11 Quincy Warner

| Sub Not Used: Umaru


Burnham Ramblers  | Manager: Luke Goodson | Assistant: Ross Mernick

Starting XI: 1 Adam French (GK), 2 Nathan Putt, 3 Albert Galbally, 5 Ben Wood (Capt), 17 Tom Howard (6 Ben Jackman 75′), 8 Eddie Appleton, 10 Joe Howard (16 George Hart 35′), 9 Adebolu Adeyemi (12 Said Issa 84′), 15 Haziz Kone, 7 Samir Ali, 14 Jack Walker

Goal-scorers: Haziz Kone [31′], Samir Ali [63′], Adebolu Adeyemi [82′]

 | Subs Not Used: Shawyer, Barry


Referee: Ayesemuate Agho
Assistants: Lee Markwick and Peter Jago

S21-22 Match Report: Benfleet 2 – 2 Brimsdown (Sat 19 Mar) [EaSL 21-22 19.3.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Park Lane

Attendance: 25

2021-22 Season: Match 62

Saturday 19 March 2022 – 3pm KO

Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Brimsdown: White Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks  

Benfleet about to take a free-kick in first half

Brimsdown put in spirited performance to take valuable draw at Benfleet

Benfleet 2 – 2 Brimsdown

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

The main match this weekend was a fascinating match in Eastern Senior League South as Benfleet welcomed bottom side Brimsdown. Both sides needed the win, albeit for very different reasons and the home side were looking to recover from a frustrating loss to title-chasing Ipswich Wanderers three days previously. Brimsdown really needed the points to gain ground on their rivals. Benfleet named regular goalkeeper Florent Gislette in goal, with a defence of Billy Carter, Joe Hunter plus centre-backs Martyn Lacey, Cameron Harris and Mckenzie Davidson. Ben Foord and Billy Bonham-Dare led the line, with support from Robert Lacey and Aaron Russell, who skippered the side. Brimsdown had Akan George in goal, with Mauro Rodrigues and Adelmar Rodrigues in central defence, captain Ali Tas as the creative midfielder alongside Simeon Beckford, with Damon Rendell leading the line. Supporting him were Zion Dos Santos and Samuel Kyei.

Action still from early on in the contest, Benfleet in Sky Blue shirts

The match began with the home side looking to push on and they were rewarded. On five minutes, full-back Billy Carter made a good run down the right side and his centre found skipper Aaron Russell in a congested penalty area, unfortunately Russell could not connect properly and in the blink of an eye, the chance was gone. However, Brimsdown did not heed that warning as two minutes later, Benfleet did get the opening goal. A set-piece from the right found centre-back Cameron Harris at the back post and his towering header bypassed visiting custodian  Akan George and found the net. That was definitely not in the visitors’ game plan pre-match.

Benfleet nearly had a glimmer of a second goal on ten minutes as a good run by forward Billy Bonham-Dare was deflected off a defender into the path of George at some pace, but the Brimsdown ‘keeper did well to gather. However, anyone who prescribed to the theory that this was going to be a comfortable win for the hosts was soon to be proven wrong. While it was true that interim boss Robert Rook’s side were having a lot of possession, they were not really doing that much with it. as Brimsdown were clearing their lines well. Ben Foord also spurned a half-chance for the hosts but curiously, their momentum were starting to fade which the visitors did sense as we got into the latter part of the half.

Benfleet making another forward press in first half, down the right channel

They had very few in the way of chances on goal up to this point though just after the half-hour, Reon Reid made a fine darting run on the right flank, with his centre deflected for a corner. Soon after, the lack of chances was immaterial as Brimsdown got an important equaliser on thirty-five minutes. A good cross deep from the right flank by Simeon Beckford found forward Damon Rendell and his powerful header found the net well, past Benfleet stopper Florent Gislette. All of a sudden, the visitors were galvanized by the leveller and they sensed that the hosts wanted to get back to the dressing rooms for the half-time team talk in a hurry.

Half-Time: Benfleet 1 – 1  Brimsdown

Brimsdown press forward after the break

As we resumed after the interval, the intent was clear from the home side, as two substitutes came on immediately into the second half. Frankie Stone and Jack Frost had replaced Joe Hunter and goal-scorer Harris respectively. Unfortunately for Benfleet, they couldn’t re-establish their impetus from early on in the game by creating a variety of clear-cut chances. Foord had another decent effort on fifty-three minutes, firing wide of George’s left-side post. Besides that, Brimsdown were admirably holding firm although the concern for them would have been whether they could maintain it.

We had another dramatic turn of events on sixty-five minutes as a well-worked corner by captain Ali Tas found Samuel Kyei who found some space before powering in a superb strike low into the left corner, giving Gislette little chance of stopping it. Brimsdown had the lead, and now Benfleet had to battle their way not only into the ascendancy but crucially, back into the match on the score-sheet along with it. In fairness, the hosts here showed no lack of work rate or endeavour, but as the minutes ticked by, it was looking likely that Brimsdown were going to claim a highly valuable win in their battle to evade the drop.


There was another twist in the match as we approached added-time. Benfleet got a precious equaliser as a good ball in from the right found substitute Frankis Stone who showed no lack of composure to guide his header into the net on 89 minutes. It was hard on Brimsdown though it could’ve been worse for them moments later. Foord went down in the penalty area, after a challenge by Adelmar Rodrigues but referee Paul Sturton was not minded to point to the spot.

The visitors did hold on to claim a worthy point here, though their frustration will be that it could have been all three points. If they do play like this for the remaining five matches this term, they may not finish bottom of the table. Benfleet will need to garner some wins in their remaining six games, with Wivenhoe Town, Burnham Ramblers and Halstead Town still battling them in the play-off area.

Benfleet plead for a spot-kick late on

Full-Time: Benfleet 2 – 2 Brimsdown

In summary, Brimsdown put in a very good display here and made the most of the relatively few chances they had and crucially, their confidence in the match grew just as they sensed their hosts’ confidence was ebbing away. Defensively, Steve Wakefield’s side did well and could have grabbed an unlikely victory, though they were denied late on. You do have to credit the spirit of the Benfleet side, they refused to give up despite their performance not being of the standards they would set themselves.

There were several creditable performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for Brimsdown, centre-back Adelmar Rodrigues was a stand-out player for his side, making a number of important interceptions and showed good energy and positional awareness. Reon Reid had a really good game, making a number of good darting runs down the right channel and put in some good crosses with it, as well as good defensive work. Forward Damon Rendell took his goal really well and generally gave the home defence a hard afternoon with his movement, while Zion Dos Santos also merits a mention for good, energetic play down the left side and that lifted his team at an important time before the interval.

For Benfleet, midfielder Henry Sims had a good game, showing good work rate, good set-pieces and generally had a good influence for his team. Forward Billy Bonham-Dare also stretched a resolute Brimsdown backline well at times with good ace and movement, but will want goals to turn up soon. Also, full-back Billy Carter put in a good hard-working display, making a number of energetic runs down the right channel to give his side extra width. Finally, substitute Frankie Stone got that last-gasp leveller which could prove to be a important moment of composure for him and his team.

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


Teams

Benfleet  | Interim Managers: Robert Rook & Mike Cundy  | (Manager Rob Polkinghorn was away)

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter (12 Frankie Stone 46’), 4 Mckenzie Davidson, 5 Cameron Harris (15 Jack Frost 46’), 6 Martyn Lacey, 7 Billy Bonham-Dare, 8 Henry Sims (14 Mason Shave 81’), 9 Aaron Russell (Capt), 10 Robert Lacey, 11 Ben Foord

Goal-scorers: Cameron Harris [7’], Frankie Stone [89’]

Booked: Russell | Subs Not Used: Hurford, Scott


Brimsdown   | Manager: Steve Wakefield

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Akan George (GK), 8 Reon Reid, 3 Mauro Rodrigues, 5 Adelmar Rodrigues, 9 Pianny Nzamale, 2 Emre Tas, 7 Ali Tas (Capt), 4 Simeon Beckford (15 Masoor Nooristani 79’), 18 Zion Dos Santos, 10 Damon Rendell, 11 Samuel Kyei

Goal-scorers: Damon Randell [35’], Samuel Kyei [65’]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None


Referee: Paul Sturton

Assistants: Ian Butler & Michael Jarvis

S21-22 Match Report: May & Baker 3 – 1 Benfleet (Wed 16 Feb) [EaSL South 21-22 17.2.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Parkside [3G]

Attendance: 57

2021-22 Season: Match 57

Wednesday 16th February 2022 – 7.45pm KO

May & Baker: Black & White Shirts, Black Shorts, White Socks

Benfleet: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks


Bakers’ Anthony Cooke about to strike a set-piece

‘Bakers battle well in tough conditions to claim good win at Parkside

May & Baker  3 – 1  Benfleet

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

An additional match in the season’s journey was played at Parkside, as i finally got the chance to watch May & Baker at their current ‘home’ ground as they welcomed fellow play-off chasing side Benfleet in the Eastern Senior League South. The artifical playing surface came in handy given the terrible weather this week and I can certainly see why several ground-hoppers like this ground with its stadium feel. Bakers had Frankie Worboyes in goal, with a back four of Cain Brougham, Jamie Marsh, George Breen and Kunle Adeyemi. Daniel Whitehead led the forward line, with Anthony Cooke and Robert Bagnall in support. Benfleet named Florent Gislette between the posts, with full-backs Billy Carter and Joe Hunter and a forward line of captain Aaron Russell, Danny Hurford and Mason Shave. The influential forward Ben Foord had to withdraw after pulling up with a niggle during the warm-up.

The match began with a fairly subdued start as both sides had to adapt to high winds and accompanying rain, which came through during most of the match. It was the visitors who had a fair amount of ball retention in those early stages, with full-back Billy Carter making some good runs down the right channel and forward Danny Hurford getting into some good positions in the 18-yard area, which nearly ended up with the latter getting on the end of good cross from the right side. Jordan Harris & Alec Simm’s side did get their way back into the game in the possession stakes, even if clear chances eluded both teams in the first part of the game.

Idris Aminu (#11, far left) makes another good run for Bakers

However, as we got into the second part of the first half, Bakers forward Daniel Whitehead was looking a good threat for the hosts, and fired a good strike at goal which visiting custodian Florent Gislette did well to parry at his far post. The atmosphere was getting a little tense, with the match needing a goal and with Bakers continuing to have the better of the ball time, it duly arrived eight minutes before the interval.


From a set-piece, it was well connected with from a powerful header from centre-back Jamie Marsh and said header gave Gislette zero chance of preventing it finding the corner. Of course, the goal lifted the home side and Gislette also had to punch central mdfielder Robert Bagnall’s free-kick away from danger on the stroke of half-time. May & Baker were edging it at this point, as Benfleet looked decent on the ball but struggled to create chances.

HT: May & Baker 1 – 0 Benfleet

After the resumption, Benfleet had a good start to the second period but were thwarted as Martyn Lacey continued a good run and placed the ball low into the net past home stopper Frankie Worboyes – though it didn’t count as referee Joshua Evans had already signalled a free-kick for the hosts, presumably for an off-side. Visiting forward Danny Hurford was also putting in some good crosses in fron the left, and one of those narrowly missed the advancing run of Carter just wide of the back post. Bakers soon wrestled back possession and doubled their lead on 53 minutes. The impressive Idris Aminu made another fine darting run down the left channel before finding Whitehead with an instinctive low pass, which Whitehead controlled well and sent a fine curling drive right into the corner, evading the grasp of Gislette.

Benfleet had the pressure squarely on them at this point to launch a comeback but unfortunately, forwards Mason Shave and skipper Aaron Russell were somewhat isolated and the determined home backline were giving little away either. Indeed, it was not a big surprise when May & Baker got their third goal midway into the second half. Darren Seymour made the most of a good counter by the hosts, and he found Whitehead who again finished calmly past Gislette, low into the net.


Benfleet did to their credit, keep the focus going in the latter stages to get themselves back into the contest, and Hurford’s goal-bound effort did require Worboyes to be alert and save. Unfortunately for Robert Polkinghorn’s team, said comeback was a forlorn prospect by the time Russell broke free of the Bakers defence and clawed back a consolation goal with a low drive past Worboyes in added time.


Full-Time: May & Baker 3 – 1 Benfleet

All in all, this was a good performance by May & Baker, who played some good stuff at times despite the challenging conditions (a hefty wind and bands of rain). They created the better chances and made the most of a uncharacteristic display by Benfleet in which they rarely threatened Worboyes’ goal. Losing two players in the warm-up I understand did hit them hard though they will need to be more creative & more clinical going forward to get the points they desire to secure that top-five finish. Bakers are not out of the running for those play-offs either and if they can keep playing like this, they may well be in with a good chance.


As ever, there were good performances worthy of note for both sides. Firstly for visitors May & Baker, forward Daniel Whitehead certainly made a difference for his side in scoring two good goals and played a good role in his side’s forward moves too, showing good pace and movement. Winger Idris Aminu made several good darting runs down the left side, adding fine passing to his team’s moves and got a fine assist. Centre-back Jamie Marsh got a fine goal and typified his side’s defending as well, showing good positioning. Lastly, full-back Kunle Adeyemi put in an energetic display, looking to set the tone with passing as well.

For Benfleet, forwards Danny Hurford and Aaron Russell showed moments of good passing and movement, with full-back Billy Carter put in a good shift, making several good runs down the right flank. Also, custodian Florent Gislette made two good saves to keep his team in the game in the first half.

Finally, I’d like to wish both teams a good remainder of the season.


Teams

May & Baker  | Joint-Managers: Jordan Harris & Alec Simm  |

Starring XI (Subs): 1 Frankie Worboyes (GK), 2 Cain Brougham, 3 Kunle Adeyemi, 5 Jamie Marsh, 6 George Breen, 4 Kane Messenger (Capt), 8 Robert Bagnall (17 Josh Lowbridge 83′), 7 Darren Seymour (15 Kalum Bama 77′), 9 Daniel Whitehead, 10 Anthony Cooke (16 Abidemi Lamina 70′), 11 Idris Aminu

Goal-scorers: Jamie Marsh [37′], Daniel Whitehead [53′ & 67′]

Booked: None  | Subs Not Used: Rodrigues, Riddell (GK)


Benfleet  |  Manager: Robert Polkinghorn | Assistant: Robert Rook

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter (15 Lee Scott 68′), 4 Stephen Ellery (16 Jack Frost 75′), 5 Cameron Harris, 6 Martyn Lacey, 7 Henry Sims, 8 Taylor Lawrence, 9 Mason Shave, 10 Aaron Russell (Capt), 11 Danny Hurford

Goal-scorer: Aaron Russell [90’+1]

Booked: Harris | Subs Not Used: Stone, Dickinson


Referee: Joshua Evans
Assistants: Craig Wood & Abu Taher

S21-22 Match Report: Barkingside 2 – 0 Park View (Mon 24 Jan) [EaSL Sth 21-22 25.1.22]

Eastern Senior League – Division South

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 82

2021-22 Season: Match 51

Monday 24th January 2022 – 7.45pm KO

Barkingside: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Park View: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts, Yellow Socks



Barkingside do enough to claim decent win over Park View at Cricklefield

Barkingside  2 – 0  Park View

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

The midweek matches returned on the Non-League journey this season after a minor hiatus, with a return visit to Cricklefield to see Barkingside face Park View in the Eastern Senior League South. ‘Side were looking to erase the memory of a heavy loss to Harwich & Parkeston at the same venue forty-eight hours earlier. Park View were also looking to bounce back from a loss at the weekend and gain ground on the teams above them in the table. Barkingside fielded Duncan Smith in goal, with a defensive four of centre-backs Nathan Saunders & skipper Elliot Scott, with full-backs Jordan Cornelius and Shaquel Foyewa. The forward line was led by Kevin Difika and James Peagram, with support from Quincy Warner, and options from the bench included forwards Osas Umaru, Archie Hammond and midfielder Jason Jones. Park View gave Ibrahim Nuhu  the goalkeeper’s jersey here, with Francis Williams, Raymond Agyemang and Rui Rocha being their forward line, with Daniel Amihere captaining the side.

The match began in the decreasing temperature with Barkingside very much having the impetus going forward. After only four minutes, a long ball forward found advancing midfielder Anton Alexander, who headed wide of Ibrahim Nuhu’s woodwork after coming inside from the right channel. It was a warning from the hosts which Park View did not heed. Moments later, the home side did break the deadlock with a slightly bizarre goal. A set-piece from deep was sent in to the penalty area and Park View defender Maxwell Ntim got goal-side and unfortunately headed past Nuhu and into his own net. Steven Le Sage’s side were not going to complain though and pressed forward to extend this acquired advantage. Eight minutes in, a long pass by Quincy Warner was gathered at the second attempt by Nuhu before forward Kevin Difika could have a chance from close range.



Barkingside spurned another half-chance five minutes later as James Peagram’s attempted lob was denied by Nuhu. The visitors were feeling the pressure at this stage and did push on the counter-attack, as forward Francis Williams found himself in on goal, only for ‘Side skipper Elliot Scott to get in and intercept the potential danger seconds before Williams could get a strike away at Duncan Smith’s goal.

That chance for the visitors did prove important as on twenty-seven minutes, ‘Side doubled their lead. A good ball in found Peagram just short of the six-yard line and his effort on goal evaded the reach of Nuhu and found the left corner of the goal. The hosts then couldn’t make the most of decent chances as Nuhu denied Alexander’s far post header and Difika nodded wide as well when well-placed. At the other end, Smith pulled off a good save to deny a good strike by rapid forward Rui Rocha not long before the interval.


‘Side getting forward down the right flank in the first half

Half-Time: Barkingside  2 – 0  Park View

After the interval, the pace of the match dropped somewhat, but not before Park View stopper Nuhu denied a goal-bound header by winger Josh Duyile and just shy of the hour, Maxwell Ntim struck his effort over the woodwork for Park View. It was becoming apparent that ‘Side were finding it tricky to keep the same energy & impetus they showed earlier in the game, which allowed Park View more possession and generally speaking, they did cause some nervy moments for the home defence, which were well-dealt with, with skipper Elliot Scott determined to keep the clean sheet.

Just after the hour, Duyile unleashed a speculative effort from the left channel to catch out Nuhu and the ball cannoned off the top of the crossbar. Duyile also brought a good save out of Nuhu in the last twenty minutes, with a fierce drive being tipped over the woodwork by the alert Park View stopper.




In the end, Barkingside would have been happy to see the final whistle come and emerge with the points and a clean sheet. They still have faint hopes of a play-off spot though they will need a lot of wins from the matches they have in hand on their rivals. It was also good to see many ground-hoppers as ever supporting the club here.

Full-Time: Barkingside  2 – 0  Park View

In summary, Barkingside did well to put aside a tough defeat 48 hours previously to put in an energetic showing here, especially in the first half. Park View didn’t test home goalkeeper Duncan Smith on a consistent basis here although they will be disappointed that they did not get on the score-sheet with the few good half-chances they had. The hosts will need to put in consistent performances to get into the play-off picture I feel, with the matches they have in hand on their rivals.

There were several creditable performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for Barkingside, forward Kevin Difika had a good game, putting good energy into the hosts’ forward line alongside James Peagram, and showed decent movement to test the opposition defence. Centre-back Elliot Scott also had a good match, marshalling his defence well and making a number of important interceptions to stifle Park View’s forward line from creating further clear-cut chances. Finally, Anton Alexander showed good pace and touch in midfield to contribute to his team’s display. For Park View, forward Francis Williams was their biggest threat and was unfortunate to not get on the score-sheet here, showing good movement and a few good passes too. Raymond Agyemang and skipper Daniel Amihere both had good matches too, the latter in a defensive role.

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


Teams

Barkingside  | Manager: Steven Le Sage  |

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Duncan Smith (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius, 3 Shaquel Foyewa, 5 Nathan Saunders, 6 Elliot Scott (Capt), 14 Quincy Warner, 7 David Etcheri (12 Patrick Hoy 81’), 8 Anton Alexander, 9 James Peagram (16 Antonio Scotellaro 61’), 10 Kevin Difika, 11 Joshua Duyile (17 Jason Jones 74’)     

Goal-scorers: Maxwell Ntim OG [5’], James Peagram [27’]

Subs Not Used: Umaru, Hammond


Park View

Starting XI: 1 Ibrahim Nuhu (GK), 2 Lloyd Mukanda, 3 Daniel Amihere (Capt), 4 Kwadwo Asamoah, 5 Gerald Mensah, 6 Francis Williams, 7 Rui Rocha, 8 Raymond Agyemang, 9 Felix Kouassy, 10 Robinhood Mensah-Sowah, 11 Maxwell Ntim

 Subs Not Used: Debrah, Rudys, Domfeh


Referee: Andrew Crossley

Assistants: Peter Jago & Abu Taher

S21-22 Match Report: Benfleet 1 – 1 Buckhurst Hill (Sat 15 Jan) [EaSL Sth 21\22 15.1.22]

Eastern Senior League – South Division

Venue: Park Lane

Attendance: 52

2021-22 Season: Match 49

Saturday 15th January 2022 – 3pm KO

Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks

Buckhurst Hill: White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks


Benfleet deny Buckhurst Hill in hard-fought match

Benfleet 1 – 1 Buckhurst Hill

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

This weekend’s match was a fascinating encounter at Park Lane which saw two of the current top four sides in the Eastern Senior League South clash as Benfleet welcomed promotion-chasing Buckhurst Hill. Both sides have had something of an extended break from action of late but with other sides in the top six having played more matches already, that might be in both teams’ favour come April. Benfleet named Daniel Smith as their goalkeeper, with a back four of Darnell Shakes, Joe Hunter & centre-backs MacKenzie Davidson and Sonny Hartman. Ben Foord led the forward line as ever, with support from Rob Lacey and skipper Aaron Russell. Options on the bench included forwards Billy Bonham-Dare and Mason Shave and centre-back Cameron Harris.

Buckhurst were keen to grab another win here to keep tabs on rivals Ipswich Wanderers and had regular custodian Daniel Blockley in goal, with Alfie Harris and Henry Day as centre-backs and Liam Foster & Edward Buchanan as the attack-minded full-backs. Captain Suleyman Zuhdu led their attack, with support from the Sollosi brothers (Sam & Nathan). Their substitutes included Brad Rowland, Sonny Shilling and Max Nicholson.

The match began with Buckhurst Hill having more possession and therefore having more impetus to break the deadlock. On seven minutes, after Josh Banfield had been involved in the build-up, full-back Liam Foster’s centre found forward Suleyman Zuhdu who retained the ball well just inside the Benfleet penalty area before firing a speculative overhead kick which home stopper Daniel Smith had to gather.


The visitors were showing their high work rate & energetic style of Football, which forced Benfleet to deal with several waves of forward moves from their opposition, although Buckhurst did not create a huge array of clear chances as they sought to regain their clinical finishing. Zuhdu sent in another powerful free-kick which Smith was equal to, before the half-hour though Buckhurst’s final ball was eluding them on occasion.

Benfleet were focused on keeping things tight and were grateful for several important defensive blocks by Sonny Hartman to keep things level, as well as the alertness of goalkeeper Daniel Smith. A minute before the interval, their miserly attitude defensively was rewarded as Hartman took advantage of a momentary lapse of concentration from the visitors to head home a set-piece at the near post and altogether change the tone of this match.. and the half-time team talks along with it.


Half-Time: Benfleet 1 – 0 Buckhurst Hill

Unsurprisingly, Buckhurst were fired up after the break to get themselves level and Zuhdu was in good form, piercing the home defence on 55 minutes, sprinting to the loose ball ahead of the onrushing Smith but with the ‘Fleet custodian off his goal-line, Zuhdu’s curling finish was headed away on the line by a well-positioned home defender. Rapid winger Nathan Sollosi also had a decent header well thwarted from a set-piece thanks to determined defending by Rob Polkinghorn’s side. At the other end, Benfleet were still decent on the counter, and forward Aaron Russell was unlucky to see a fine strike cannon back off the crossbar with visiting goalkeeper Blockley beaten.

It was becoming apparent that it may not be Buckhurst’s day when they were awarded a penalty, seconds after they had the ball in the net. Tyler Dolan stepped up to take it from twelve yards, but Smith was in no mood to concede, making a fine save. However, Mark Williams’ team did get a deserved goal on sixty-three minutes as from the right side of the 18-yard area, Nathan Sollosi fired home a superb low effort which found the bottom left corner, giving Smith no chance of preserving his clean sheet.



Again, Buckhurst pushed for a decisive goal in the latter stages, with full-back Foster firing wide from a narrow angle and Zuhdu was well-denied by Smith after once again evading the ‘Fleet backline and only had the goalkeeper to bypass. The last key moment of the match came in added time as with Benfleet admirably trying to stifle the rapid forward moves of the visitors, they conceded another spot-kick. Centre-back Henry Day took the responsibility of taking the penalty, but again Smith underlined his good perormance by making a good penalty save, for the second time in the match.

Soon after, the final whistle blew on a match that had a lot of intrigue and good attacking build-up play though not the goals that many may have thought.


Full-Time:  Benfleet  1 – 1 Buckhurst Hill

To sum up this match, Buckhurst Hill had enough ball retention in the first half but couldn’t make the most of the chances they had. Benfleet’s goal just before half-time altered the complexion of the game and although the visitors scored a fine leveller, they were not their usual clinical selves in terms of their finishing. In fairness, both sides were lacking some rhythm, after an extended break from action recently though ‘Fleet will be the happier of the two sides, having got a point.

As ever, there were a number of good performances in this entertaining match. For Benfleet, stopper Daniel Smith had an excellent day, denying penalties from Tyler Dolan and then Henry Day in added-time, which added to fine saves to deny Buckhurst talisman Suleyman Zuhdu. Centre-back Sonny Hartman also shone, making several important defensive blocks as well as scoring his side’s goal with a near-post header. Aaron Russell also did well & was unfortunate to not score from a fine strike. Joe Hunter also showed good energy at left-back.

For Buckhurst, creative midfielder Josh Banfield made several fine passes & some good interceptions. Forward Nathan Sollosi scored a fine leveller & made a number of good runs while Suleyman Zuhdu showed good work rate and was only denied from getting on the score-sheet thanks to fine defending. Lastly, Louis Wynter had a good game as well getting in good positions and setting up good forward moves.

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

Buckhurst’s Josh Banfield in possession [Image: Scott W]

Teams

Benfleet  | Manager:  Rob Polkinghorn |

Starting XI: 1 Daniel Smith (GK), 2 Darnell Shakes, 3 Joe Hunter, 5 MacKenzie Davidson, 6 Sonny Hartman, 4 Stephen Ellery, 8 Taylor Lawrence (14 Billy Bonham-Dare 66′), 7 Aaron Russell (Capt) (17 Sam Dulieu 83′), 9 Ben Foord (12 Mason Shave 70′), 10 Robert Lacey, 11 Henry Sims

Goal-scorer: Sonny Hartman [44′]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Harris, Scott


Buckhurst Hill     |  Manager: Mark Willams |

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster (18 Max Nicholson 77′), 3 Edward Buchanan (12 Keaton Moore 55′), 4 Alfie Harris, 15 Henry Day, 16 Louis Wynter, 8 Josh Banfield, 14 Tyler Dolan, 7 Sam Sollosi (21 Sonny Shilling 61′), 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (Capt), 11 Nathan Sollosi

Goal-scorer: Nathan Sollosi [63′]

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Falola, Rowland


Referee: Steven Marr
Assistants: Michael Jarvis & Amy Purser

S21-22 Match Report: Barkingside 0 – 1 Benfleet (Mon 8 Nov) [EaSL Sth 21/22 9.11.21]

Eastern Senior League – South Division

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 78

2021-22 Season: Match 39

Monday 8th November 2021 – 7.45pm KO

Barkingside: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Orange Socks

Benfleet: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks



‘Fleet grab a narrow win in drab match at Barkingside

Barkingside 0 – 1 Benfleet

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

The first midweek match this week saw a return to Cricklefield for this interesting clash between mid-table Barkingside and high-flyers Benfleet in the Eastern Senior League South. Both sides were needing points for different reasons with ‘Side keen to join the top eight and Benfleet looking to keep the pressure up on the top two. ‘Side retained Josh Chebesi in goal, with a back three of Jordan Cornelius, Shaquel Foyewa and captain Elliot Scott. David Etcheri and Archie Hammond were in central midfield, with forwards Dan Jones, James Peagram and Darnel Bromfield. On their bench were midfielders Grant Frances & Patrick Hoy alongside Osas Umaru. Benfleet were looking to keep the ‘winning feeling’ going two days after defeating Wivenhoe Town, with regular stopper Florent Gislette shielded by a back four of Billy Carter, Joe Hunter plus centre-backs Cameron Harris and Sonny Hartman. Callum Fitzer and Mason Shave led the forward line, with support from Luc Harpon and skipper Aaron Russell. Among their options from the sidelines were forward Ben Foord and midfielders Sam Dulieu and David Salako.

Unusually for both sides, the early stages of this match were somewhat quiet in terms of clear-cut chances. Benflert winger Luc Harpon had a sight of Josh Chebesi’s goal but could only blaze over the goal frame in the early stages, while Darnel Bromfield’s strike deflected wide in response for ‘Side. The hosts had a let-off of sorts on 18 minutes as a long throw-in from Benfleet full-back Billy Carter was nodded on ahead on onrushing ‘Side custodian Chebesi but the visitors could not force the ball into the net. Defences were largely on top for both teams at this point in proceedings, with ‘Side forward Dan Jones looking to find those piercing through balls to the likes of James Peagram and Reece Simpson who was making runs from deep.



As the half prorgressed, Benfleet were edging things with making more half-chances though their final ball eluded them to extent. That being said, Barkingside’s defence had to be alert with centre-back Elliot Scott and fellow defender Jordan Cornelius made a few important interceptions to keep them on parity. Benfleet did finally break the deadlock on 39 minutes with a good team move. Full-back Joe Hunter began the move down the left side, finding forward Callum Fitzer who turned and sent in a fizzing cross which found the advancing Mason Shave who powered in a good header high into the net at the near post.



Half-Time: Barkingside 0 – 1 Benfleet

So it was the visitors who held a narrow lead but the scrappy nature of this match did persist into the second period. The visitors had a half-chance from a corner on 54 minutes, with centre-back Cameron Harris heading over the woodwork from about six yards out. ‘Side’s promising moves down the channels were thwarted by the visitors’ hard-working defence, marshalled well by centre-back Sonny Hartman who made several important clearrances. As the match entered its later stages, Benfleet were looking to get that crucial second goal which would secure the points for Rob Polkinghorn’s side.

Another free-kick from the visitors tested Chebesi who couldn’t gather, but fortunately for the hosts, Scott was there to clear the danger. And then with moments remaining two substitutes combined as they got clear of the tiring ‘Side backline. Ben Foord found Sam Dulieu in a good arc to strike on goal but the latter’s tame shot came off the left-sided post. The final whistle blew soon afterwards and while ‘Fleet were not at their best form here, they will be happy enough with the points. ‘Side will be frustrated as they remain outside the top ten.



Full-Time:  Barkingside 0 – 1  Benfleet

To sum up this match, well it won’t win many plaudits for quality but what you can say is there was a lot of effort expended by both sides on a chilly evening. Benfleet had more of the chances but could not conclusively put the game beyond the reach of ‘Side, who in turn could not test visiting stopper Gislette.

There were some good performances here. First, for winners Benfleet I felt forwards Mason Shave and Callum Fitzer deserve a mention for their running down the channels and their passing and Shave’s goal came at a good time to quell the nerves of Rob Polkinghorn’s side. Also, centre-back Sonny Hartman put in a good display, clearing several promising attacks for ‘Side away from danger and finally full-back Joe Hunter did well down the left side to build forward moves in support of Fitzer. Barkingside had good performances from forwards Darnel Bromfield and Dan Jones with Bromfield looking to get in behind defenders using his pace and dribbling. Jones looked to find incisive balls to his fellow forwards but was thwarted by a miserly visiting defence. Quincy Warner also put in a good hard-working performance and skipper Elliot Scott put in a valiant display at centre-back as he stifled the quick Benfleet attacks.

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



Teams

Barkingside    |  Manager: Steven Le Sage  | Assistant: Tommy Shelts

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Josh Chesbesi (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius, 3 Shaquel Foyewa, 6 Elliot Scott (Capt), 5 Archie Hammond, 7 David Etcheri (13 Patrick Hoy 63′), 4 Reece Simpson, 8 Quincy Warner, 9 James Peagram (14 Osas Umaru 63′), 10 Dan Jones (12 Grant Frances 74′), 11 Darnel Bromfield

Booked: Etcheri, Cornelius | Subs Not Used: Piccolo


Benfleet  | Manager: Rob Polkinghorn | Assistant: Rob Rook

Starting XI: 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Joe Hunter, 4 Stephen Ellery, 5 Cameron Harris, 6 Sonny Hartman, 7 Luc Harpon (16 Ben Foord 51′), 8 Taylor Lawrence, 9 Callum Fitzer, 10 Aaron Russell (Capt), 11 Mason Shave (14 Sam Dulieu 70′)

Goal-scorer: Mason Shave [39′]

Booked: Lawrence | Sub Not Used: Willsmer, D Salako, Stewart


Referee: Joshua Evans
Assistants: Bobby Breen & Abu Taher

S21-22 Match Report: Barkingside 1 – 6 Buckhurst Hill (Mon 25 Oct) [EaSL Sth 26.10.21]


Eastern Senior League – South Division

Venue: Cricklefield

Attendance: 115

2021-22 Season: Match 36

Monday 25th October 2021 – 7.45pm KO

Barkingside: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Buckhurst H: White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks


Players pre-match

Buckhurst achieve comfortable win over ‘Side at Cricklefield

Barkingside  1 – 6  Buckhurst Hill

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

The midweek match in late October was this fascinating encounter at Cricklefield between two sides in contrasting form as Barkingside welcomed local rivals Buckhurst Hill in Eastern Senior League South. ‘Side were looking to swiftly recover from a heavy weekend loss at Halstead whilst Buckhurst were still buzzing after their progression in the FA Vase after victory at Great Yarmouth. One other bit of news for the hosts saw First-team boss Francesco Zabotti depart for EOFL Premier side Springfield last week, which saw GM Steven Le Sage back in charge for Barkingside here. They named Lubomir Georgiev in goal, with right-back Jordan Cornelius skippering the team. David Etcheri and Patrick Hoy were the centre midfield pair, alongside Reece Simpson and Quincy Warner in attack. Options from the sidelines included defender Berkcan Belindir and forward Joe Gent. Buckhurst rotated their squad somewhat following that aforementioned Vase win but still had Daniel Blockley between the sticks, with a defence of Liam Foster, Edward Buchanan, Alfie Harris and Max Nicholson. Suleyman Zuhdu retained his place and captained the side, with Sonny Shilling and Tyler Dolan joining him in an enterprising forward line. Their bench included forwards Nathan Sollosi, Fehinti Falola and Brad Rowland.


As the match began in earnest, it was the hosts who had the first sight of goal on two minutes as forward Reece Simpson showed his intent, firing a good strike wide of the right-side post from twenty-five yards. It was a cagey start to the game, with little in the way of clear-cut openings and to their credit, ‘Side defended quite well and that was shown by good clearances by centre-back Jason Jones and right-back Jordan Cornelius. However, the first big point of the game happened on 21 minutes as Buckhurst forward Tyler Dolan was fouled in the area, which resulted in the penalty being converted low into the right corner by Dolan himself to give the visitors the lead. Barkingside responded on the counter-attack, with Reece Simpson being played in unselfishly and his firm effort on goal was well denied by visiting stopper Dan Blockley.

Steven Le Sage’s side were having their best period of the match at this juncture, and just before the half-hour, Jones was unfortunate to have a powerful header at goal cleared off the goalline by a well-placed covering Buckhurst defender. This seemed to galvanise the visitors snd they respoonded with a second goal just after the half-hour. A neat passing move ended with a controlled finish by attacking midfielder Jake Moss who did well to beat stranded ‘keeper Lubomir Georgiev. So, with the Stags two goals to the good, they were in a decent position. However, ‘Side responded all of thirty seconds later as Simpson really nailed a powerful strike from 25 yards which Blockley got a glove on but it still sailed high into the net. You could argue that ‘Side deserved that goal, but it was also apparent that Buckhurst could still raise their game further before the evening was done.


A glimmer of this was shown by another rapid run by forward Suleyman Zuhdu who made a good break down the left channel, cut inside and saw a good effort well parried by Georgiev. With half-time approaching, Barkingside tried fo force a leveller but Simpson’s tame effort dribbled wide of the left-side post, almost demanding that a team-mate would run in and grab a tap-in but it wasn’t to be.

Half-Time: Barkingside  1 – 2  Buckhurst Hill


So, as the players emerged for the second half it was fair to say that ‘Side were in the game and that Buckhurst had ‘more gears to find’ in attack. Unfortunately for the hosts, they did find that rhythm after the break. Eight minutes after the restart, a free-kick from just outside the eighteen-yard area on the angle found the top left corner, courtesy of a great strike by full-back Edward Buchanan. Mark Williams’ side were building their attacking ryhthm now and on the hour, forward Sonny Shilling’s lob somehow cannoned back off a post with the majority of the goal to aim at, and seconds later Zuhdu’s fine strike was well clawed away by the impressive Georgiev. Barkingside were in danger of being overrun at this point and Georgiev was in action again moments afterward, denying Zuhdu again with a fine one-handed save low on the ground.


Hill did get a fourth goal with fifteen minutes left as from a set-piece, full-back Liam Foster’s low finish found the net in a congested penalty area. The hosts couldn’t keep the ball for the long enough as Buckhurst poured forward with wave after wave of forward presses. Substitute Brad Rowland shot was denied by Georgiev as we entered the last ten minutes, though the Stags rounded off a fine evening’s work with replacement Fehinti Falola lobbing Georgiev well and in added-time, Rowland’s fierce strike got a hefty deflection off a defender which wrong-footed the goalkeeper.


Full-Time: Barkingside  1 – 6  Buckhurst Hill

In summary, Barkingside did well to compete in the first half and could have made things level at the interval, but ultimately they were unable to stifle a Buckhurst side who continue to impress with their goal-scoring and their pace going forward. Buckhurst deserved to win the game as they continue their quest to fortify their position in the top six.

In terms of stand-out performances, visitors Buckhurst Hill had midfielder Jake Moss to thank for scoring a good goal in a key period of the match. He also played his part in building up forward moves, as did full-back Liam Foster who took his goal well and continues to have a good season thus far. Centre-back Alfie Harris also made a number of important interceptions, while forward Suleyman Zuhdu also had a good gamewith his pace and movement and could’ve had at least two goals here if it wasn’t for good goalkeeping.

On that note, Goalkeeper Lubomir Georgiev had an excellent game for Barkingside, making at least five notable saves to keep his side in the contest. Jason Jones did well at centre-back in making several clearing headers, and support forward Quincy Warner put in a good shift making the visiting defence concentrate with neat passes and good darting runs. Lastly, Reece Simpson took his goal very well and could have added to his goal tally on another day.

My thanks to the hosts for their hospitality & best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.


Teams

Barkingside  | Manager: Steven Le Sage |

Starting XI (Subs) : 1 Lubomir Georgiev (GK), 2 Jordan Cornelius (Capt), 3 Shaquel Foyewa (16 Berkcan Belindir 72′), 5 Nathan Saunders, 6 Jason Jones, 14 Patrick Hoy, 7 David Etcheri, 8 Quincy Warner, 9 Reece Simpson, 10 Archie Hammond (18 Grant Frances 83′), 11 Osas Omuru (17 Joe Gent 58′)

Goal-scorer: Reece Simpson [32′]

Booked: Etcheri, Jones  | Sub Not Used: Scott, Thompson


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

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Daniel Blockley (GK), 2 Liam Foster, 3 Edward Buchanan, 4 Alfie Harris, 5 Max Nicholson, 7 Jack Griggs, 8 Josh Banfield, 16 Jake Moss (21 Fehinti Falola 67′), 14 Sonny Shilling, 10 Suleyman Zuhdu (20 Harry Markatis 75′), 15 Tyler Dolan (22 Brad Rowland 46′)

Goal-scorers: Tyler Dolan [pen 21′], Jake Moss [32′], Edward Buchanan [53′], Liam Foster [74′], Fehinti Falola [83′], OG [90’+2]

Sin-Bin: Shilling [44′] | Booked: Nicholson | Subs Not Used: Jiro, N Sollosi


Referee: Tommy Breen
Assistants: Alan Steward & Craig Wood