Essex Premier Cup – Quarter-Final
Venue: Mabley Green 3G
2022-23 Season: Match 36
Attendance: 15 (Est)
Saturday 21 January 2023 – 1.45pm KO
Woodford E: Yellow Shirts, Yellow Shorts & Socks
Hutton: Red Shirts, Red Shorts & Socks
Superb comeback sees the Peacocks into the last four of the Essex Premier Cup
Woodford East 4 – 2 Hutton
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The frosty weather again thwarted several matches in Steps 5, 6 & 7 so it was an oppurtunity to see two highly-rated sides face off in the Essex Premier Cup Quarter-Finals, as Essex Alliance League Senior side Woodford East welcomed the Essex Olympian leaders Hutton to Mabley Green 3G. Woodford East are fifth in the EAL Senior (Step 7) at present and named Alfie Watts in goal, with a backline of Billy Barr, Kai Law and centre-backs Matt Stacey & Joe Kemp. Eren Mehmet, Frank Glock, Callum Maltese were pushing on from midfield, with forward Harry Robinson supported by Lucio Uare and Ben Smith down the flanks. Hutton were unbeaten in the League coming into this tie, and had regular custodian Adrian Faherty in goal, with a defensive four of centre-backs Johnathon Hilliard & Lewis Scott plus Sean O’Callaghan and George Nash as full-backs. Kyle Linzell, Luke Ricketts & Stephen Judge were the central midfield three, while Jude Keeling, David Johnson & Joshua Seal were the forward line.
This match kicked into life with some verve from both sides. An early free-kick by East’s Callum Maltese needed the intervention of Hutton custodian Adrian Faherty. Hutton were also useful going forward from the early-going here, and took the lead after only seven minutes. A dangerous set-piece in by midfielder Steophen Judge evaded the home defence and picked out centre-back Lewis Scott who nodded the ball home past East stopper Alfie Watts. The visitors were in the ascendancy at this point in proceedings, although had a let-off of sorts as the Peacocks did have central defender Matt Stacey’s header dribble narrowly wide after going all the way across the face of goal. Matt Singh’s team had a goal chalked off also at the other end as another super corner by Judge evaded everyone and found the far corner, only for a foul that was detected by referee Kadir Nazif and he ruled it out.
As ever though, the Reds pushed on and did get the second goal, taking advantage of a little fortune as an initial effort cannoned off his own player & crucially stayed in play allowing forward David Johnson to power home a firm effort to double his side’s advantage. Both teams were engaging to watch in this high-tempo match, and Woodford were starting to find their rhythm past the half-hour mark, as a good effort by Peacocks skipper Frank Glock was well-denied by Faherty. The Reds kept their lead intact at the break, though I felt there was more to come in this Cup tie.
Half-Time: Woodford East 0 – 2 Hutton
That feeling materalised rather quickly, as only five minutes into the second half, Woodford East pulled a goal back, as a rapid counter was started by a long ball through to forward Harry Robinson who controlled it well and sent a cool, low finish into the far corner, with Faherty unable to deny him. This sparked a real sea change in fortunes for the Peacocks, as their threat going forward was morte palpable. Another good forward move ended with a Red defender heading against his own goalpost, but Glock could only fire off-target following-up. East forward Lucio Uare was finding more space since the interval & he made full use of it, sending several good crosses into the box. One such Uare cross evaded the Reds defence & found the run of Matt Stacey at the far post, who slotted home from a yard out to level the tie.
Woodford did get a crucial third goal to complete a stirring comeback on sixty-five minutes as a good strike by full-back Billy Barr made the most of a narrow opening to send the home dugout wild. Woodford East had struck at key moments and really looked to secure a memorable win as Robinson struck a fierce drive inches above the top right corner, with Faherty beaten. Halil Hassan’s side also had a goal chalked off on 83 minutes as substitute Andrew Rowe slotted home past Faherty, but hadn’t bypassed the off-side line. East did get a fourth goal moments later though as club stalwart Ben Smith netted an oppurtunist’s goal into the left corner to complete a fine win for the EAL side & seal some comeback.
Full-Time: Woodford East 4 – 2 Hutton
To summarise this very good enterprising match, Hutton were decent value for their lead at the interval as the Peacocks looked vulnerable at times defensively and couldn’t get past a characteristically tough Hutton backline often enough. After the break, Woodford East showed exactly why they are well thought of with a stirring comeback & some good goals along with it. It was the Reds’ turn to look somewhat shaky and they couldn’t recover and put considerable pressure on the hosts as they suffered a rare loss this term.
The stand-out performances here for the victors Woodford East start with a superb performance from support forward Lucio Uare, who was very good, especially in the second half. Uare broke down the left flank at will and put in some fine passes as well, including for his side’s leveller as well as showcasing good energy levels. Hard-working Callum Maltese & Ben Smith both got some reward for their high work rate, with Maltese putting in good passes and Smith notching the fourth goal. These two players are so important to their team. Also, centre-back Matt Stacey typified the resolve of his team after the interval with some good interceptions.
For Hutton, Lewis Scott had a good game at centre-back, despite the eventual score-line, making good clearances, showing good positioning defensively & took his goal well early on. Midfielder Stephen Judge made several important passes and also from set-pieces like the opening goal for example, while support forward Joshua Seal was a handful for the East defence to cope with, laying the ball off smartly to forwards Keeling & Johnson. Lastly, a word for full-back Sean O’Callaghan who again had a decent game, making good runs down the right side as well as covering well at times.
Finally, Congratulations to Woodford East as they again make the last four & also I’d like to wish both teams a fine rest of the season.
Woodford East | Manager: Halil Hassan |
Starting XI: 1 Alfie Watts (GK), 9 Billy Barr, 4 Matt Stacey, 5 Joe Kemp, 2 Kai Law, 3 Eren Mehmet, 8 Frank Glock (Capt), 11 Callum Maltese, 10 Ben Smith, 19 Harry Robinson, 18 Lucio Uare
Goal-scorers: Harry Robinson [50′], Matt Stacey [61′], Billy Barr [65′], Ben Smith [85′]
Sub On (Time): 7 Connor Braithwaite [46′], 17 Andrew Rowe [80′], 26 Jordan Lema [86′]
Booked: Kemp, Mehmet, Maltese, Rowe | Subs Not Used: Morris, Martin
Hutton | Manager: Matt Singh | Assistants: Bill Stratford & Dan Williams
Starting XI: 1 Adrian Faherty (GK), 2 Sean O’Callaghan, , 6 Jonathon Hilliard, 4 Lewis Scott, 3 George Nash, 8 Kyle Linzell (Capt), 7 Stephen Judge, 11 Luke Ricketts, 9 Jude Keeling, 10 Joshua Seal, 17 David Johnson
Goal-scorers: Lewis Scott [7′], David Johnson [25′]
Sub On (Time): 12 Freddie Miller [72′], 16 Rodney Wilson [72′], 19 Will Marlowe [77′]
Booked: Seal & Judge | Subs Not Used: Carroll, Gardner
Referee: Kadir Nazif
Assistants: James Allaoui & Norman Miller