S22-23 Match Report: Romford 1 – 1 Takeley (Sun 21 Aug) [FAC PR 21.8.22]

The Emirates FA Cup – Prelim Round

Venue: Mayesbrook Park 3G

Attendance: 136

2022-23 Season: Match 8

Sunday 21 August 2022 – 3pm KO

Romford: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts & Blue Socks

Takeley: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Hurford (#3) about to cross ball in for Romford

Takeley deny 10-man Romford to force a Replay in midweek

Romford 1 – 1 Takeley

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

The FA Cup returned for its Prelim Round stage this weekend and I made the trip to Mayesbrook Park to see tenants Romford face a tricky test in fellow Essex Senior side Takeley. Romford fielded goalkeeper Billy Lawlor, on loan from local side Dagenham & Redbridge, with a defence of full-backs Toby Barlow and Danny Hurford, plus centre-backs Tambeson Eyong and John Mbamrah. Kris Newby skippered the side in a deep midfield role, with wingers Charlie Morris and Jesse Odukolu supporting forwards Alex Balisani and Emmanuel Robe. Experienced forwards Martin Tuohy and Jake Gordon were among their substitutes. Takeley had Matt Gill between the sticks, with Bryn Thorpe and George Powell in central defence. George Frodsham and Warren Kayembe were the lead forwards for Marc Das’ side, and Glen O’Hanlon once again captained the visitors.

The early stages of this match were lively, and Takeley had a left-off early on as forward Alex Balisani broke clear of the visiting backline before curling a strike wide of the target. The visitors responded a minute later as skipper Glen O’Hanlon fizzed a header wide but we didn’t have to wait long for goals. Five minutes in, the tricky Balisani was felled in the area and home skipper Kris Newby duly converted into the left side corner, giving opposition custodian Matt Gill little chance.

However, Takeley responded within five minutes as Jordan Westcott’s initial strike was parried by Romford stopper Billy Lawlor, but George Frodsham was in prime position to follow-up and his low effort went into the net. That leveller provided a lot of impetus for Takeley in the increasing temperatures, and forward Warren Kayembe’s incisive pass found Frodsham, only for full-back Danny Hurford to make a fine tackle to deny him a good chance at Lawlor’s goal.

Frodsham was continuing to be lively on the right flank, as Romford could not retain the ball for long periods, or create much to sorely test the visiting backline, with Thorpe and Powell well-placed to rebuff any runs down the channels. Romford did have a few good moments, mainly through the runs of Balisani, who couldn’t quite find that telling pass.

Half-Time: Romford 1 – 1 Takeley

The second half didn’t quite get energised like the first half start did, though the job got harder for Takeley on 56 minutes as full-back Andre Humphrey was given a straight red card for a ‘reckless’ tackle. Even with a numerical advantage, the hosts could not strive to really make said advantage count. Indeed it was the visitors who had next chance as Thorpe’s well-hit strike was well-gathered by Lawlor.

Romford boss Steve Butterworth elected to bring on experienced forward pair Martin Tuohy and Jake Gordon in place of Emmanuel Robe and Charlie Morris and the two substitutes combined moments later, with Gordon’ cross from the right finding Tuohy, who toe-poked an effort narrowly wide of the near post.

Newby continued to have an influence on his side and his long searching pass found winger Jesse Olukolu well but Olukolu’s effort was well-gathered by Gill. As the minutes went by, it looked increasingly likely that Takeley were going to hold firm and force the replay in midweek and by the time the final whistle arrived, Marc Das’ team had completed that job.

Full-Time: Romford 1 – 1 Takeley

In summary, this hard-fought Cup tie was high on guts and strong tackles but a bit lighter on chances created as the match went on. Takeley will be happy to have seen off the hosts despite playing with ten men for over half an hour of the second half. Romford may rue the fact they could not test a tiring visiting defence that much in the latter stages, in front of a good attendance of over 130 in the sunshine at Mayesbrook Park.

There were some good performances to note as ever. For Romford, forward Alex Balisani did look to get past defenders quickly and put in some telling passes, though he had to come deeper into midfield to get on the ball in the second half. Captain Kris Newby put in some fine passes too from deep and generally was a good influence for his team. George Cox was his usual hard-working self in central midfield, while a mention also for full-back Danny Hurford who stuck to his task keeping the lively Frodsham from galloping past him several times on his flank.

For Takeley, forward George Frodsham was the livewire of their attack, taking his goal well and making several rapid runs down the right side for most of the game, before switching to a more defensive role late on to aid the visitors. George Powell and Bryn Thope symbolised the defensive effort for Marc Das, making several good jnterceptions and also a word for winger George Wappett who also made good runs down left side and added to the home defenders’ headache until he had to come off with a knock late on.

So, a Replay is required on Wednesday night at Takeley’s Station Road.


Romford    |  Manager: Steve Butterworth |  Assistant: Dan Spinks

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Billy Lawlor (GK), 2 Toby Barlow, 3 Danny Hurford, 5 Tamerson Eyong, 6 John Mbamarah, 4 Kris Newby (Capt), 8 George Cox (17 Jacob Wiggins), 7 Jesse Olukolu, 9 Emmanuel Robe (16 Martin Tuohy 61′), 10 Alex Balisani, 11 Charlie Morris (14 Jake Gordon 61′)

Goal-scorer: Kris Newby [pen 5′]

Booked: Newby, Gordon  |  Subs Not Used: Ademi, Sibanda

Takeley  | Manager: Marc Das | Assistant: Kevin Riley

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Matthew Gill (GK), 2 Mike La Ronde, 3 Andre Humphrey, 4 Bryn Thorpe, 5 George Powell, 6 Freddie Burrell (15 Charlie Dobinson 73′), 10 Glen O’Hanlon (Capt), 8 Jordan Westcott (14 Lewis Powell 39′), 7 George Frodsham, 9 Warren Kayembe, 11 George Wappett (17 Charlie Allum 81′)

Goal-scorer: George Frodsham [10′]

Booked: Frodsham, Burrell, Dobinson  | Sent Off: Humphrey [56′]

Subs Not Used: Lambrou, Bull (GK), Deamer


Round-up : Essex Senior League/ FA Cup FRQ & Eastern Senior South (Sat 7 September) [ESL 19/20 8.9.19]

Action Still from West Essex v Woodford Town [ESL 7.9.19] [Image: Scott W]

Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to the latest of my round-up pieces on the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign, with results in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round involving the three remaining ESL sides plus the results from the Eastern Senior League action this weekend.


Essex Senior League

Saturday 7th September

Cockfosters  2 – 1  Tower Hamlets  | Chalk Lane  | Att: 38

Two goals in three minutes was enough for the ‘Fosters to defeat Hamlets at Chalk Lane. Billy Healey opened the scoring for the hosts on 31 minutes, before player-boss Ryan Wade’s spot-kick two minutes later put the hosts in a strong position. In-form Suaibo Balde struck again for Damien Briggs’ team though they still fell to their sixth league defeat this term. Cockfosters are unbeaten since the opening day now in the league.



Enfield  4 – 4  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Woodside   | Att: 65

The game of the day for goals was certainly at Woodside as Enfield drew 4 – 4 with Bengal. The E’s took the lead after just four minutes thanks to Alfie Cleal though Bobby Redwood nullified that lead for Imrul Gazi’s side on 18 minutes. Cleal struck again on 26 minutes before Nana Asamoah made it 3 – 1 to the hosts eight minutes afterward. The momentum continued to swing in this entertaining again as Redwood struck twice more to claim his treble before the interval [43’ & 45’] to ensure it was level. Komal Lleweyn-Reid netted eight minutes after the resumption to hand Matt Hanning’s side the lead again. It wasn’t to last though as Curtley McIntosh netted on the hour for the visitors as this one ended honours-even,


Ilford  3 – 0  Clapton   | Cricklefield  | Att: 37

This quickly-convened encounter saw the Foxes defeat the Tons at Cricklefield. Nicolas Keyamo put the hosts ahead on 12 minutes before returning centre-back Steve Sylvester made it two eight minutes into the second-half. Clifford Newby-Harris also netted four minutes later as Morgan LaForce’s side got their second successive league win, while Clapton fell to defeat.


Redbridge  2 – 3  Saffron Walden Town  | Oakside  | Att: 73

Walden saw of the threat of the Motormen to grab the win at Oakside. Jason Maher’s side led proceedings on five minutes thanks to Gavin Cockman’s opener. Taylor Tombides kept up his goal-scoring form with the hosts’ leveller ten minutes before the break though a strong start after the interval for the Bloods was a telling factor here. First, Jack Isherwood struck on 51 minutes before Cockman got his second of the afternoon midway through the second half. Tombides got a second for the hosts late on to ensure a nervy end though Walden held on to go top, and are still unbeaten.


Sawbridgeworth Town  2 – 3  Hashtag Utd  | Crofters

Hashtag recovered from a poor start to grab all three points at Crofters. Sawbo started well and led by two goals thanks to Aaron Donaldson and Harry Bushell. Veteran Neil Richmond came off the bench and soon levelled things up with a brace [71’ & 86’] before George Smith got the decisive goal with moments remaining as the Tags got their fourth straight league win. Sawbo remain bottom though the signs are more promising than it looked a month ago.


Stansted  1 – 1  St Margaretsbury   | Hargrave Park  | Att: 48

St Margs’ continued their decent mini-run with a draw against Stansted at Hargrave Park. Wisley Baltazar got his second goal in as many games with the opener two minutes after the interval for the visitors. The Airportmen did get a point though as Jack Mitchell struck with 19 minutes remaining, though they haven’t won in the league since the opening day now.


West Essex  3 – 2  Woodford Town   | Mayesbrook Park  | Att: 28

West got the points in a hard-fought, high-tempo match at Mayesbrook Park. Michael Mignot got another double here, along with a powerful header by skipper Tom MacLeod. Town levelled on two occasions here through Samir Ali and an OG. I attended this match & my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/09/07/match-report-west-essex-3-2-woodford-town-sat-7th-sept-esl/


Eastern Senior League South Results

Friday 6th September  – Frenford 2 – 3  Benfleet


Saturday 7th September

Brightlingsea Regent Res  0 – 1  Harwich & Parkeston

Burnham Ramblers  0 – 1  Lopes Tavares

Coggeshall Utd  2 – 2  White Ensign

Halstead Town 5 – 0 Fire Utd

Little Oakley  7 – 0  Wormley Rovers

Wivenhoe Town 6 – 2 Hackney Wick


FA Cup Image

The FA Cup  – First Round Qualifying  (ESL Sides) Results

Saturday 7th September

Hadley  3 – 2  Arlesey Town  | Brickfield Lane  | Att: 127

The Bricks continued their fine FA Cup run with a win over Arlesey Town at Brickfield Lane. The goal-getters for Anthony Clark’s side were Shaz Anwar, another spot-kick by Alfie Bartram and one from in-form forward Solomon Ofori. Charlie Thake and James Hatch responded for Town though the ‘fortress’ is holding at present for the ESL side.


Takeley  0 – 1  Potters Bar Town  | Station Road | Att: 166

After denying White Ensign in extra-time in the last round, it was Takeley’s turn to feel the heart-break here as an added-time goal sealed progression for Step 3 side Potters Bar in front of a very decent crowd at Station Road. Bradley Sack was the hero for the visitors as they FA Cup journey goes on.



Sun 8th Sept  – Aylesbury Utd  0 – 3  Walthamstow  (to be updated)

Preview: Essex Senior League with the FA Cup FRQ & Essex Olympian League (Sat 7 September) [ESL 19/20 6.9.19]



Action Still from St Margs v S Manor on Tuesday 3rd Sept (Image: Scott W)

Written by Scott W
(Twitter: @ScottMHC14) – ESL Writer & Grassroots Football Show Contributor

Hello all and welcome to the latest of my weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign, with a run-down on the fixtures in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round involving the three remaining ESL sides plus the Essex Olympian League as well this weekend, which also sees the return of its Senior Cup.


Essex Senior League

Saturday 7th September

Cockfosters  v  Tower Hamlets  | Chalk Lane

First up this weekend is this intriguing tie as Hamlets travel to North London to face Cockfosters at Chalk Lane. Ryan Wade’s side lost out after extra-time to Coggeshall Utd in the FA Vase last weekend and will be wary of an unpredictable youthful Hamlets side that lost to Redbridge last weekend before getting a hard-fought win over Enfield on Monday night. That said, they haven’t lost in three league matches now so with that in mind, I’ll plump for a narrow home win.


Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Enfield  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Woodside

Enfield entertain Sporting Bengal at Woodside, following a mixed week for Matt Hanning’s team. First, they won against Ilford at Cricklefield in the FA Vase last weekend before a rapid turnaround saw them fall to defeat at Tower Hamlets on Monday night. Bengal also lost, in the FA Vase to Wormley Rovers last weekend so they will look to ‘hit the ground running’ now that the league focus has returned for them. I find this one very tough to predict though the E’s only have one league win in five league matches thus far, which they will know they need to improve on. That league win did come at home and they may just edge this one as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Redbridge  v  Saffron Walden Town  | Oakside

A fascinating game in prospect sees the Motormen face a formidable test in Saffron Walden at Oakside. The hosts have had a free midweek after a big win over Hamlets last weekend while Walden were held by gallant Hadley

last weekend in the league before getting the better of Woodford Town in a goal-laden tie in the Gordon Brasted Trophy in midweek. Jason Maher’s side are still unbeaten with three wins in their five league matches and you sense that the improving hosts will have to be at their best to get a win here, given the goal-scoring power the Bloods have. Away win.


Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 4


Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Hashtag Utd  | Crofters

The next chapter in Hashtag’s journey sees them visit Sawbridgeworth. Town are still looking for their first league point and it didn’t get any better for them in the FA Vase last weekend as they battled to a loss at Wodson Park. Hashtag’s week hasn’t been serene though it was successful, with wins over now-defunct Leyton Athletic in the FA Vase last weekend before a win at Halstead Town in the Essex Senior Cup in midweek, watched by a crowd of over 400. Hard to see anything but an away win here to be honest.


Scott’s Prediction: 0 – 3


Stansted  v  St Margaretsbury   | Hargrave Park

The Airportmen return to ‘home comforts’ at Hargrave Park as they welcome St Margaretsbury, who are another side who have had quite a week. The hosts have had a break recently, while St Margs won at Woodford Town and at home to Southend Manor this week in the FA Vase and league respectively. That isn’t the whole story though as on Wednesday manager Jon Fowell departed, with Tony Wild and Ray Bartlett in caretaker charge. It remains to be seen what impact that will have on the squad though with both sides currently in the bottom four, they could both do with a win here. Home win in my view.


Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


West Essex  v  Woodford Town   | Mayesbrook Park

Another side who return to their home ground is West Essex, who take on Wododford Town at Mayesbrook Park. West have had an emotional week it is fair to say as after the initial FA Vase tie at Park View was abandoned due to a serious injury to one of their players, West returned there on Wednesday night and won well to advance to the next round. Woodford will want to get a result here after defeats to St Margaretsbury and Saffron Walden this week in the Vase and Gordon Brasted Trophy respectively. Both teams reside in mid-table currently and with both of them having attacking natures, I reckon goals will be in store here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2


For more of a preview on the FA Cup ties below, have a listen to this week’s Grassroots Football Show (in the last half hour or so) here: http://www.mixcloud.com/EastLondonRadio/grass-roots-football-5-sep-19


The FA Cup  – First Round Qualifying  (ESL Sides)

Saturday 7th September

Hadley  v  Arlesey Town  | Brickfield Lane

Takeley  v  Potters Bar Town  | Station Road

Sun 8th Sept  – Aylesbury Utd  v  Walthamstow


To round out this week’s piece, we have a listing of the many fixtures in the Essex Olympian League this weekend. The EOFL round-up will return on Sunday/Monday with all the action from the top four divisions & Cup ties too.


Saturday 7th August

EOFL Premier Division

Buckhurst Hill  v  Basildon Town    |  Roding Lane

Canning Town  v  Bishop’s Stortford Swifts  | West Ham Community Ground [3G]

Harold Wood Athletic  v  Rayleigh Town  |  Harold Wood Park

Hutton  v  Old Southendian             | Polo Fields


Kelvedon Hatch  v  Leigh Ramblers   | New Hall

Springfield  v  Catholic Utd   |  Springfield Hall Park

Sungate  v  Shenfield AFC  | Ilford Wanderers RFC


Senior Division One

Ramsden Scotia  v  Manford Way  | Nursery Sports Ground

Rayleigh Town Res  v  Snaresbrook   | Rayleigh Sports Club, London Road

Shoebury Town  v  Ongar Town    |  Cupid’s Country Club


EOFL Senior League Cup 2019-20 (2.15pm kick-offs)

AS Rawreth  v  Newbury Forest Res   | The Warren

Dagenham Utd  v  Galleywood  | Ford’s Sports Club (Dagenham U Pitch)

Epping Town  v  Corinthians  |  Stonards Hill Recreation Ground

FC Hamlets  v  Rochford Town   | Hackney Marshes, Pitch 2


Forest Glade  v  Westhamians    | Barleylands Road

Laindon Orient  v  Herongate Athletic  | Ford’s Sports Club (Basildon)

Leytonstone Utd  v  Hullbridge Sports ‘A’  | Forest Row Centre, Lodge Lane

Roydon  v  Ryan   | Paringdon Sports Club

Wakering Sports  v  Collier Row  | Cupid’s Country Club (Pitch 1)

White Ensign Res  v  Toby  |  The Len Forge Centre [3G]


Senior Division Two

Beacon Hill Rovers  v  Harold Wood Athletic Res  | Wickham Bishops Sport Ground

May & Baker Res  v  Leigh Town   | May & Baker Sports Club, Dagenham Road


Senior Division Three

Basildon Town Res  v  Wakebury  | Basildon Sports Club

Corinthians Res  v  Leigh Town Res  | Stambridge Memorial Ground

Toby Res  v  Hutton Res   | Ford’s Sports Club (Newbury Park)


Match Report: Southend Manor 0 – 0 Long Melford (Sat 10th Aug) [FAC 19/20 EPR 10.8.19]

The FA Cup 2019 -20: Extra Preliminary Round

Venue: Southchurch Park

Attendance: TBA

2019 – 20 Season: Match 10

Saturday 10th August 3pm KO

S Manor: Yellow & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks

L Melford: White & Black Striped  Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks


Players on-pitch before KO (Image: Scott W)


Manor frustrated at home to Long Melford in the FA Cup

Southend Manor 0 – 0 Long Melford


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

The FA Cup returned for the 2019 – 20 season here with the first of two matches this weekend. Fresh from their fine win at Hashtag Utd in midweek, Southend Manor entertained Thurlow Nunn Premier side Long Melford (who are celebrating 150 years in existence, a great achievement) at Southchurch Park. Boss Adam Peek elected to keep the same starting XI from that away win mentioned, with Jordan Chambers continuing as skipper with Mekhi Hyde & Callum Fitzer on the flanks. Melford have suffered defeats in both of their opening matches in their league, and named Australian goalkeeper Ben Devlin between the sticks, with Hassan Ally and Will Wingfield at either flank.

It was immediately evident prior to kick-off that the blustery wind around the ground would have a say in this contest and that was the case throughout most of the tie. In what was mostly a quiet opening to proceedings, Melford winger Hassan Ally looked tricky down the visitors’ right with pace to boot as well. As mentioned, the blowy wind was playing havoc with long punts upfield for both sides and 19 minutes in, an errant clearance by Manor right-back Josh Brocklebank could’ve ended up anywhere before it whistled wide for a corner to the visitors.

Both sides appeared a little pensive as well, perhaps realising what was at stake. Midway into the half, Manor’s Mekhi Hyde powered a well-hit strike from a narrow angle wide of the target. The hosts were gradually edging their way on top at this point. On the half-hour, forward Larry Akanbi ghosted past his marker and his centre reached the creative Callum Fitzer though his low drive was kept out by visiting custodian Ben Devlin. Fitzer was posing a threat himself moments later before being well-tackled by Melford’s Declan Roy in the area. As half-time neared, Hyde was in the thick of the action for the hosts again as his low strike was well-saved by Devlin at his near post.


Half-Time: Southend Manor 0 – 0 Long Melford

After the break, the visitors started to have a few pops at goal though on two occasions, Melford’s Will Wingfield couldn’t find the target with decent strikes. On the hour mark, a tactical switch for the hosts saw Bill Rungay replace Brad Rowland, while skipper Jordan Chambers reverted to the right flank. It almost worked a treat within minutes, as first he curled an effort narrowly wide of Devlin’s far post before then taking advantage of some at best hesitant defending by the visitors to nip in ahead of the Melford stopper though his strike at an almost unguarded net was tame and allowed a covering defender to get a telling clearance in.

In the latter stages, the visitors’ previously sluggish passing began to improve as playmaker Nathan Howe got on the ball more and showed some neat touches as well as hitting a fierce drive just beyond the woodwork. On another day, the visitors may have pinched a win in added -time though as midfielder Jacob Brown’s shot was denied well by home goalie Jacob Adams and a covering defender.

Full-Time: Southend Manor 0 – 0 Long Melford

After the final whistle sounded, both sides have to settle for a replay in midweek (Wednesday night I understand). In summary, Manor had enough chances to get themselves through in this one though I feel it is also fair to say that the league match at Hashtag three days earlier probably took a bit out of Adam Peek’s side. As for Long Melford, the travelling support seemed disappointed with their performance at times and they will certainly look to improve in midweek, after some shaky defending here.

Finally, it was good to meet new Manor Chairman Jerry Omango today and I’d like to thank the hosts for their hospitality today. Good also to speak to a few of the travelling support as well. Best wishes to Long Melford in their season in the Thurlow Nunn Premier too.



Southend Manor    | Manager: Adam Peek

Jacob Adams (GK), Josh Brocklebank, Jordan Chambers (Capt), Jordon Fisher (Harry Rogers 84’), Connor Burrows, Kiah Froud, Mekhi Hyde, Alfie Walker, Larry Akanbi, Brad Rowland (Bill Rungay 61’), Callum Fitzer (Max Makaka 72’)

Booked: Fisher, Rowland, Walker | Sub Not Used: Evident, Grisili, Mosuro


Long Melford   | Stand-in Manager: Mick Garbi

Ben Devlin (GK), Dan Smith, Ben Judge (Sam Newton 59’), Declan Roy, Anthony Waugh, Ross Waugh (Capt), Hassan Ally (Jake Jackson 83’), Jacob Brown, Jamie Griffiths, Nathan Rowe, Will Wingfield (Kyle Hurley 68’)

Subs Not Used: Sloots, Hemson


Preview: The FA Cup First Round Quali (ESL sides) & Essex Senior League (Fri 7th & Sat 8th Sept) [FAC & ESL 7.9.18)

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome back to our Preview series, this weekend looking at the action involving ESL sides in the FA Cup First Round Qualifying as well as the Essex Senior League fixtures, and one Gordon Brasted Cup tie on Friday night. How do you think your side will do?

The FA Cup – First Round Qualifying  – Sat 8th Sept  (ESL sides)  (In draw order)

Saffron Walden Town  v  St Ives Town   | Catons Lane

Pete: Walden welcome Evo-Stik South Premier side St Ives Town to Catons Lane looking to cause an upset and make it through to the Second Qualifying Round.  The visitors have had a reasonable start to their league campaign and will pose a difficult challenge to the hosts, but the hosts no doubt will also cause their opponents difficulties too.  Despite this though I reckon the visitors will sneak it.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: The Bloods face a stern test as Step 3 side St Ives travel to Catons Lane. The visitors, who play in the Southern League Premier Central division, alongside former Isthmian Lge clubs Leiston and Lowestoft and former big names from the past such as Kettering and Tamworth, haven’t started their division too well though also don’t concede many goals. Walden sent Southend Manor out of the Errington Challenge Cup in midweek and will be eyeing an upset and the £6,000 Prize money on offer as a result. I wouldn’t put it past the hosts to claim the prize of progression with a likely big crowd in attendance though the visitors may be too strong here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Walthamstow  v  Beaconsfield Town   |  Kitchener Road

Pete: Stow welcome Evo-Stik Southern Premier South side Beaconsfield Town to Kitchener Road off the back of two home defeats over the last week, so this game comes at the wrong time for them looking at form.  But the visitors haven’t began their season too well so Stow will look to expose this weakness and put the pressure on them no doubt.  Fancy Stow to cause a surprise here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: The ‘Stow welcome Southern League Premier South side Beaconsfield Town to Kitchener Road. Ryan Maxwell’s side have had a mixed week which started with a battling home loss after extra time to Takeley in the FA Vase last week before resting a few players in readiness for this tie in thir Essex County Cup exit to Ilford in midweek. Beaconsfield play in the same division as big names such as Salisbury, Weymouth and Farnborough and although they have found league wins hard to come by, they did send Bostik South Central side Uxbridge out in the last round. Walthamstow upset Felixstowe & Walton Utd away from home in the last round so they do have a performance in them but they also have to tighten up in defence.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Bowers & Pitsea  v  Takeley   |  Parkside (3G)

Pete: Could be an intriguing game at Aveley’s Parkside ground as Bowers hosts Takeley.  The hosts have began the season well and are unbeaten so far, whilst Takeley have won all their games so far this campaign.  Fancy the hosts to prove just too strong though for their opponents.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: This absolute cracker of a tie takes place at Aveley FC’s Parkside, given that Bowers’ own 3G pitch at the Len Salmon isn’t ready to play on as yet. Rob Small’s side have started their season well and defeated AFC Sudbury at King’s Marsh last weekend in league action. Takeley have started imperiously with regards to their winning record in all competitions though in this match I believe they will need to be more clinical to secure an upset. I’ll go for a narrow home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Essex Senior League & Cups

Friday 7th September  – Gordon Brasted Trophy

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Tower Hamlets   | Crofters End

Pete: The Robins welcome Hamlets to Crofters End for a Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy tie on Friday evening, and the hosts need to get back to winning ways after their last home game ended in a poor defeat to Leyton Athletic.  They do welcome a Hamlets side who have failed to win any games this season after a less than impressive start to their season, and I feel they may lose here too.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Hamlets travel to Crofters to battle Sawbridgeworth in a match where both sides could really do with a victory. Sawbridgeworth have a below-par home record thus far while Hamlets can’t seem to secure a win as they are winless in three matches league-wise and were upset at Step 6 side Langford in the FA Cup last weekend. The only thing that seems on the cards here is goals and if the visitors can’t deal with Sawbo’s physicality then they may find this a tough outing.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1


Essex Senior League – Sat 8th Sept

Barkingside    v   St Margaretsbury  | Cricklefield

Pete:   Both these sides have just one league win between them so far this campaign, and both suffered poor defeats last time out too.  The hosts have struggled to score goals so far this term, whilst the ‘Bury boys will want to put a disappointing Vase defeat at the weekend behind them.  Think this one may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: The Saturday league action begins at Cricklefield where Barkingside entertain St Margaretsbury. ‘Side have only one win to their name of late, and that was a battling win on penalties at Woodford in the Gordon Brasted Trophy. Their visitors also have a problem conceding as they have won one of their opening three league games and a poor start saw them defeated by Hadleigh Utd in the FA Vase last weekend. ‘Side have been perhaps the stronger side in defence but they have to start turning one point into three and that might happen here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Hoddesdon Town  v  Hullbridge Sports   | Lowfield

Pete:  Fourth hosts second at Lowfield as Hoddesdon look to put their first league defeat behind them by bouncing back here against a very good Hullbridge side who are still unbeaten in the league this season.  Feel this one may end all-square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: This interesting match sees Hullbridge head to Hertfordshire to battle newcomers Hoddesdon. Hullbridge edged Eastern Senior League Sth side Lopes Tavares in the Essex County Cup in midweek while Hoddesdon have picked up two wins in their four league matches thus far. My belief is that Hoddesdon are a hard-working side who will pose a threat here while Hullbridge need to keep up their work rate for a whole match, something which the lack cost them in their recent FA Cup exit at Newmarket. I can see this one ending honours-even.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Redbridge   v   Clapton  | Oakside

Pete:  The Motormen are unbeaten in the league this season although you feel they have yet to hit their stride thus far this season, whilst the Tons have had a mixed start to their campaign as both sides sit towards the middle of the pack.  Another entertaining draw me thinks with plenty of goals.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 3

Scott: These two local rivals do battle once again at Oakside. Redbridge have won win and two draws from their opening three matches though they did progress in the Essex County Cup with a narrow win over FC Clacton in midweek. The Tons won their FA Vase replay against Woodford at the Harlow Arena and going forward, they do absolutely pose a danger to opposition defences. That said, they are also unpredictable and the Motormen will want to get their first home league win of 2018/19 on the board

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Southend Manor  v  Stansted   | Southchurch Park

Pete:  Manor hosts Stansted at Southchurch Park and will look to repeat their fine win against Ipswich Wanderers at home last weekend, and not the defeat at home to Saffron Walden in midweek.  Stansted have not began the season well although have shown enough to suggest they will come good eventually, but I feel the hosts may grab the points here.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Scott: Southend Manor entertain Stansted at Southchurch Park. Both sides have been slightly unpredictable of late, though Manor achieved a comeback win over Barkingside in their last League outing though fell to a late defeat to Saffron Walden in the Errington Challenge Cup in midweek. Stansted have retained their battling spirit though perhaps haven’t quite ‘got going’ yet in terms of rhythm. This one is a hard one to call as the hosts have been doing well going forward and they might edge it.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sporting Bengal Utd  v  Enfield 1893   | Mile End

Pete: Sporting have shown that they can mix it with the best this season if they can find their shooting boots on, as they would of knocked Brentwood Town out of the FA Cup had they had taken the many chances they created over those two ties.  Enfield themselves have had a mixed start themselves but always pose a threat, but I think the hosts might grab their first win here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Scott: Sporting Bengal take on Enfield at Mile End. The hosts have only played two league games though have shown enough in all competitions to suggest they will score goals this term. Enfield picked up their first league win this season two weeks ago at home to Sawbridgeworth though will need to be on their game to quell a quick Bengal side. There could be goals in this encounter as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

West Essex  v  Leyton Athletic   |  Mayesbrook Park

Pete: The hosts will be buoyed by the return of Michael Mignot to their squad, and boy do they need some of his goals as they have lost all four league games so far this season.  Leyton Athletic fielded a young side in the Vase last weekend and got thrashed, but they did edge past Burnham Ramblers on Tuesday in the County Cup to give them some heart.  But I feel the hosts will be galvanised by the returning Mignot, and whether he plays or not, I think this will have a positive impact on the home side.

Pete’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Scott: The Stags welcome Leyton to Mayesbrook Park, knowing they really need to notch a win on the board after four straight league defeats. The return of prolific forward Michael Mignot may assist them in that regard though defensively they need to tighten up, having conceded nine in their last three league matches. Leyton rock up here on the back of a disappointing FA Vase exit to Stotfold last weekend though they are on a three-match unbeaten league run.

I was at this fixture last season and there were goals in that match and I can see history repeating here. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

That is all for this week. Thank you for reading.

Match Report: Sporting Bengal Utd 1 – 3 Brentwood Town (FA Cup PR Replay – Wed 29.8.18) [FAC 30.8.18]

The FA Cup Prelim Round – Replay (Season 2018-19)

Venue: Mile End Stadium

Attendance: 158

2018-19 Season – Match 11

Wednesday 29th August 2018  – 7.45pm KO

S Bengal Utd: Royal Blue Shirts, Royal Blue Shorts, Royal Blue Socks

Brentwood Town: Maroon Shirts, Maroon Shorts, Light Blue Socks

Brentwood tough it out to win a cracker at Mile End

Both teams before KO (Image: Peter D)

Report by Scott W (Twitter: ScottMHC14) with photos by Peter D (Twitter: @ped1980)

The FA Cup Prelim Round continued with this fascinating replay between Sporting Bengal Utd and Brentwood Town at Mile End Stadium. The initial tie ended 1 – 1 at the Brentwood Arena the previous Saturday.

With regards to the respective line-up’s, Bengal named a strong starting XI with Bobby Redwood leading the attack with Steven Carvell, skipper Ashaan Siddik and Codey Cameron among the supporting cast. For the Blues, player-assistant boss John Easterford partnered Connor Martin in the centre of defence, with ex-Romford goalkeeper Rob Budd between the sticks. The forward line was led by Jack Mitchell and Alfie Hilton.

The game got underway with an early flourish from the hosts as a neat move involving forwards Steven Carvell and Bobby Redwood led to playmaker Ashaan Siddik’s cross from the right which evaded everyone in the box. Redwood showed his intent with an effort from the edge of the 18-yard area on 11 minutes.

However, it was Brentwood who struck first as a long-throw from the right was flicked on by defender John Easterford which found full-back Oluwatobi Joseph unmarked at the back post who helped himself to a tap-in just 12 minutes into the game. Joseph could’ve had another only three minutes later but his scuffed shot was gathered by home goalkeeper Suleyman Mahmood. Blues forward Jack Mitchell was also giving the Bengal defence a headache at times with his darting runs though it was Bengal who had the next big oppurtunity as Blues custodian Rob Budd fouled Redwood in the area. Penalty to Bengal though Budd atoned for his error with a decent save from a Siddik penalty which in truth, lacked power.

In the last third of the first period, chances were being shelled at both ends. Brentwood skipper for the evening Albert Levett’s free-kick only just went over the bar before Siddik and Carvell missed the target for the hosts. As Bengal began piling on the pressure to the visiting defence, Redwood’s goal-bound was well-denied by Budd. A mixture of near-misses and committed defending saw the Blues through to half-time with their narrow lead intact.

Brentwood’s Albert Levett stands over free-kick in dangerous position (Image: Peter D)

Half-Time: Sporting Bengal  0 – 1  Brentwood Town

As the second-half breezed into life, Imrul Gazi’s side again started fairly brightly though Siddik blazed a shot from 20 yards over the bar and then Carvell was denied by a combination of the inspired Budd at point-blank range and the post. Carvell by this stage was orchestrating attacks for the hosts though they couldn’t quite create the final ball to thread through the Blues defence.

At the other end, substitute Ayrton Coley was asking the home defence questions with his intelligent runs though Bengal centre-backs Anthony Bruce and Kamarl Duncan dealt with the opposing forwards admirably. Bengal had further chances on the hour as first from a corner, substitute David Vaughan couldn’t direct his header from close range and in the next attack, Siddik blasted over the bar.

The hosts had a lifeline on 68 minutes though as Redwood was felled just inside the area which meant another spot-kick for Bengal. Full-back Jon Watson took up the responsibility and duly converted past Budd to level up the tie once again. However, unlike the original tie, the score was level for all of two minutes before Blues forward Alfie Hilton’s calm finish saw the visitors re-take the lead.

Codey Cameron was really a thorn in the visitors’ side down the Bengal right flank all evening and his direct running and pace led to a corner though from that resulting corner, Cameron’s firm header was just wide. In the latter stages of this pulsating contest, both sides saw a man dismissed as the game got somewhat strained given the rising tension, Adeji for Bengal and Cuthbert for Brentwood both on the other end of two yellow cards. With minutes remaining, Carvell’s powerful drive fizzed just wide of goal before a moment of quality ended the tie in added-time.

Spotting that Bengal galkeeper Mahmood way off his goal-line, Blues winger Levett unleashed a crafty lob from 30 yards which found the target well to cue celebrations from the visiting side and their supporters who had travelled in good numbers here. Brentwood saw out the remaining moments of the match and with it, progression into the next round where will welcome Bostik Premier side Haringey Borough.

Full-Time: Sporting Bengal Utd   1 – 3  Brentwood Town

In this scribe’s opinion, the main difference between the teams tonight was the visitors’ finishing and perhaps that little bit of experience. In fairness, if Bengal had taken more of their chances, it could have been a marketedly different match though Sporting Bengal have a lot to be proud of given their work rate and passing moves and if they keep building, who knows where they will end up come April.

Sporting Bengal’s Carvell instigating another attack from deep (Image: Peter D)


Sporting Bengal Utd   | Manager: Imrul Gazi

Suleyman Mahmood (GK), Chris Greenslade (Danny Tenkorang 72′), Jon Watson, Joshua Adeji, Kamarl Duncan, Anthony Bruce, Codey Cameron, Ashaan Siddik (Capt), Bobby Redwood, Steven Carvell, Zakariya Haque (David Vaughan 46′)

Goal-scorer: Jon Watson [pen 68′]

Booked: Siddik | Sent Off: Adeji (two bookings) |

Subs Not Used: R Choudhury, Ryan-McCall, R Gazi, Okoli, Hamzah

Brentwood Town  |  Manager: Craig Shipman

Robert Budd (GK), Jack Gardner (Connor Tyrell 87′), Oluwatobi Joseph, Mitchell Hunter, John Easterford, Connor Martin, Harry Doyle (Ayrton Coley 46′), Ryan Mallett, Jack Mitchell (Harry Cuthbert 58′), Alfie Hilton, Albert Levett (Capt)

Goal-scorers: Oluwatobi Joseph [12′], Alfie Hilton [71′], Albert Levett [90’+2]

Booked: Hunter | Sent Off: Cuthbert (two bookings) |

Subs Not Used: Falaise, Brown, Scott, Blockley (GK)

Match Report: Stansted 0 – 1 Takeley (The FA Cup Prelim Rd – Sun 26th Aug) [FAC PR 26.8.18]

The FA Cup Prelim Round (Season 2018-19)

Venue: Woodside Park

Attendance: 207

2018-19 Season – Match 10

Sunday 26th August 2018  – 2pm KO

Stansted: Royal Blue Shirts, Royal Blue Shorts, Royal Blue Socks

Takeley: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks

Takeley overcome a spirited Stansted effort at Woodside Park

Report by Scott W (Twitter: ScottMHC14) with additional photos by Peter D (Twitter: @ped1980)

The FA Cup Prelim Round weekend continued with this Sunday encounter at Bishop’s Stortford’s Woodside Park, given that Stansted’s Hargrave Park home is still tied up due to the Cricket season. Takeley have started the league season very well and were heavily backed pre-match. Marc Das’ team saw Matt Gill continuing in goal, Bryn Thorpe at centre-back and the familar front three of Stuart Zanone leading the line with George Wappett and Mitchell Das providing the support from the flanks. Charlie Cole and Matt Hurley were among the substitutes.

For Stansted, Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman’s side were led in attack by ex-Takeley forward Carl Mullings with Callum Ibe, Jordan Palmer and Jack Folan just behind him.

The game got underway in the dreary drizzle more associated with Autumn though in the early stages, the visitors showed their intent with crosses that fizzed wide of the six-yard area followed by chances through midfielder George Pullen which was gathered by Stansted goalkeeper Charlie Turner and tricky winger Mitchell Das’ free-kick which sailed over the woodwork. Carl Mullings had the hosts’ best early chance which Takeley custodian Matt Gill parried over the bar.

One critical moment of this match came as early as the 14th minute as Turner rushed out of his goal and clattered into Das on the Takeley right, which prompted referee Mark Pond to issue a straight red card without hesitation. Midfielder Jack Smith had to take on the goalie’s gloves given that the Airportmen had no specialist ‘keeper on the bench.

At this point you may have thought that Takeley will pile on the goals with a man advantage. What did follow what a wave of chances for the visitors to break the deadlock as Pullen, winger George Wappett and captain Jason Todd couldn’t find the target. The Airportmen still posed a threat of their own with Mullings leading the line manfully. Just after the half hour, visiting centre-back Bryn Thope made a good challenge on winger Jordan Palmer to deny the hosts a decent chance at goal.

The tempo was building in the latter stages of the half as the visitors couldn’t quite find that final ball to bypass the home defence. On 37 minutes, a lovely delivery from the right by Das was headed wide by Wappett though on the brink of half-time, on a semi-rare foray forward, full-back Courtney Homans and skipper Billy Coyne shot wide for Stansted.

Half-Time: Stansted   0 – 0   Takeley

As the second-half petered into life, the conditions worsened as the rain poured down. In the early-going after the break, the hosts had fleeting moments of joy going forward though winger Callum Ibe and Mullings couldn’t find a way past Gill. Takeley had brought on Charlie Cole at half-time to assist Zanone in piercing the hosts’ typically stubborn defence.

Just after the hour, the visitors finally took the lead as Zanone’s ball in from just outside the penalty box was mis-controlled by a home defender, allowing Das to nip in and slot home past stand-in ‘keeper Smith. Soon after, the visitors had a goal ruled out for off-side, Zanone the man denied from Wappett’s teasing ball in.

In the latter stages, Takeley should really have sealed the contest though substitute Matt Hurley’s effort was denied and Zanone blasted a drive high into the stand. To be fair to Stansted, their work rate was very good considering the circumstances and they refused to wilt and might have snatched a replay as substitute Jamie Bennett found himself one-on-one with Gill though the ‘stopper snuffed out his shot.

Full-Time: Stansted   0 – 1  Takeley

Takeley did deserve to win through though it could have been a considerably easier afternoon for the league leaders, had their finishing been better. Congrats to Takeley on their victory regardless and best wishes to Stansted for the rest of the season. Thank you also to Stansted & Bishop’s Stortford for their hospitality as well today. Good food does help on days such as this.

Thanks also to Essex Senior League President Rob Errington.


Stansted   | Joint-Managers: Paul Pittuck & Marc Benterman

Charlie Turner (GK), Courtney Homans, Lee Hurkett (Oliver Bell 84′), Paul Clayton, Billy Coyne (Capt), Callum Ibe, Sam West, Jack Smith, Carl Mullings (Jamie Bennett 78′), Jack Folan, Jordan Palmer (Julien Lloyd 70′)

Sent Off: Turner  | Subs Not Used: Thomas, Carvelho

Takeley   |  Manager: Marc Das

Matt Gill (GK), Mason Page, Kyan Russell, Bryn Thorpe, Michael Castle, Freddie Burrell (Charlie Cole 46′), George Pullen (Matt Hurley 80′), Jason Todd (Capt), Stuart Zanone, Mitchell Das, George Wappett (Olly Miles 78′)

Goal-scorer: Mitchell Das [63′]

Booked: Thorpe   |  Subs Not Used: Humphrey, Sosanya, Oatham, C Miles

Match Report: Newmarket Town 2 – 1 Hullbridge Sports (The FA Cup PR 25.8.18)

The FA Cup Prelim Round (Season 2018-19)

Venue: Cricket Field Road

Attendance: 124

2018-19 Season – Match 9

Saturday 25th August 2018  – 3pm KO

Newmarket Town: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Yellow Socks

Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks



Last-gasp winner sends ‘Bridge out of the FA Cup



Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)

The FA Cup continued this weekend as we entered the Preliminary Round of the competition as Hullbridge of the Essex Senior League travelled to Thurlow Nunn Premier side Newmarket Town. Hullbridge named a strong side with a three-man central defence made up of Phil Lawson, Andre Gumbs and club stalwart Sam Taylor. Luke Hornsley and Nathan Scarborough were among the forwards in an attack-minded XI. Newmarket, aka the Jockeys named Shaun Avis and Rhys Thorpe in attack with Joe Bennett and Blaze Kicks on the flanks and player-manager Michael Shinn marshalling the midfield.

In the early stages of the contest, the match was more known for full-blooded challenges going in, another reminder of just how precious this match was for both clubs. The hosts were fairly lively in attack and on seven minutes, a Jockeys free-kick was well parried by the ever-impressive ‘Bridge stopper George Marsh. Darren Manning’s side had to be alert at the back as both Phil Lawson and Sam Taylor made good interceptions on the stroke of 20 minutes.

Straight after that, visiting winger Adebola Sotoyinbo curled a sweet strike just over the right corner crossbar. On the half-hour mark, the hosts showed their attacking intent again though right winger Blaze Kicks’ cross was too deep and harmlessly fizzled wide. Into the last ten minutes or so of the first half now and Hullbridge midfielder Matt Tapley’s dipping free-kick was parried, slightly hurriedly by home custodian Andy Archer.

Soon afterwards, Newmarket centre-back Nathan Clarke’s towering header from a long throw provoked a corner which Marsh once again dealt with well, punching clear. Six minutes before the break, the visitors led through a surging run by midfielder Daniel Okah who tapped home after breaking past the home defence. At this point, it was a lead they probably merited.

However, before the half was done, Jockeys captain Jack Watson and forward Shaun Avis both failed to find the target.

Half-Time: Newmarket Town  0 – 1  Hullbridge Sports

I should give a mention to the entertaining home mascot as well who certainly ‘earned his keep’. Joking aside, it is always nice to see friendly clubs and the hosts here have to join that list, in my opinion.

Back to the match and after the interval, the hosts looked the brighter of the two sides. Avis was again in the action, forcing a save out of Marsh nine minutes into the second period. Moments later, the over-worked Marsh remained composed to deny home full-back Jack Whiting’s powerful drive which the goalkeeper did well to hold on to as well. Forward Rhys Clarke’s 20-yard curling effort also needed Marsh’s intervention soon after.

Around the hour mark, Sotoyinbo & attacking midfielder Aundre Spencer both blazed decent chances wide for the visitors though for the most part, it was a torrent of possession for the hosts. On 68 minutes, Avis should have scored but his header cannoned off the post from which Marsh could gather. Three minutes later, Marsh did well to tip Thorpe’s effort over the bar and you would be forgiven for thinking ‘it may be the visitors’ day’

Not so, as in the last 15 minutes of this encounter, the pendulum swung. With 12 minutes left, Hullbridge substitute Joe Pattison careered a curling drive over the bar and by this stage the chances were drying up for the visitors. The Jockeys finally did strike on 81 minutes as Avis grabbed a tap0in after a good ball in from the right flank. On the cusp of the 90, ‘bridge substitute Jimmy Cox’s shot was blocked though in added-time, the hosts sealed the comeback as midfielder Michael Shinn’s free-kick hit the post though Avis reacted fastest to tuck home his second of the afternoon.

For me, Jack Whiting, Nathan Clarke and Shaun Avis stood out for the hosts today while for the visitors, centre-back Sam Taylor and goalkeeper George Marsh both had stand-out performances.

Full-Time: Newmarket Town  2 – 1  Hullbridge Sports

Town held on to claim a priceless win and I’d like to wish them the best for the next round & the rest of their season. Thank you to them as well for their hospitality as well.  Best wishes to Hullbridge for the remainder of the season, they are back in league action on Tuesday where they face St Margaretsbury at Lower Road.


Newmarket Town   | Player-Manager: Michael Shinn

Alex Archer (GK), Jacob Partridge, Jack Whiting, Michael Shinn, Nathan Clarke, Tyrone Allene, Blake Kicks, Jack Watson (Capt), Rhys Thorpe (Joshua Lowe 90’+3), Shaun Avis, Joe Bennett

Goal-scorers: Shaun Avis [81′ & 90’+2]

Booked: Clarke, Watson  | Subs Not Used: Newman, Antoine, Gomarsall

Hullbridge Sports   |  Manager: Darren Manning

George Marsh (GK), Sam Taylor, Phil Lawson, Andre Gumbs (Matt Dicks 63′), Matt Rose, Daniel Okah, Matt Tapley, Aundre Spencer (Joe Pattison 69′), Nathan Scarborough, Luke Hornsley (Capt) (Jimmy Cox 85′), Adebola Sotoyinbo

Goal-scorers: Dan Okah [39′]

Booked: Gumbs, Sotoyinbo, Rose, Okah  |

Subs Not Used: Merralls (GK), Hales, Hodgson, Salako

Preview – The FA Cup 2018-19: Prelim Round (ESL sides) & ESL (Sat 25th Aug) [24.8.18]

Written by Scott W & Peter D

Hello and welcome to another of our Preview pieces, this week looking at the ties in the FA Cup Prelim Round involving Essex Senior League & Eastern Senior League South sides.

The FA Cup Prelim Round

Saturday 25th August

Felixstowe & Walton Utd  v  Walthamstow  | Venue: Dellwood Avenue

Pete: Walthamstow travel to Suffolk to take on Bostik North side Felixstowe & Walton United knowing they have every chance of causing an upset here.  However, the hosts know if they play well they should win and I reckon they will do just that.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Scott: Walthamstow make the trip to north east Essex to take on last season’s Thurlow Nunn Premier champions Felixstowe. The now-Bostik North hosts here enter the competition here while Ryan Maxwell’s side defeated Walsham-le-Willows in the last round. The ‘Stow narrowly progressed in the Gordon Brasted Trophy with a win at Southend Manor on spot-kicks, despite a second-half slump. If ‘Stow can start well then they could give Felixstowe a game though defensively they simply have to improve. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Heybridge Swifts  v  West Essex  | Venue: Scraley Road  |

Pete: This proves a very tough assignment for West Essex as they travel to take on Heybridge Swifts with the host two wins from two in the Bostik North.  All the signs point to a home win and this is how I feel it will pan out.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 0

Scott: Swifts entertain the Stags at Scraley Road, in what could be described as one of the visitors’ biggest games for some time. Kwame Kwateng’s side recovered to defeat Burnham Ramblers at Leslie Field in the last round. Heybridge have started their Bostik North season well and with the Stags’ recent defensive record in tow, it’s unlikely to see anything but a home win occuring here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 0

Long Melford  v  St Margaretsbury | Venue: Stoneylands |

Pete: This should be a decent tie at Stoneylands as Long Melford host St Margaretsbury with both sides having similar starts in their respective leagues too. But I have a feeling the ESL Premier side will sneak this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: ESL side St Margaretsbury travel to Stoneylands to take on a Long Melford side that is in good form & unbeaten at home in the Thurlow Nunn Premier thus far. The hosts here knocked Redbridge out at Oakside in the previous round while the ‘Bury sent Enfield out of the competition. If the hosts have an off-day then St Margs could make it very tough though I have to go with a home win.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Haringey Borough  v  Stanway Rovers  | Venue: Coles Park

Pete: Stanway Rovers travel to Coles Park to take on Bostik Premier side Haringey Borough as massive underdogs, but this is cup football so you just never know.  But I don’t think their will be much shocking going on here and I feel the visitors may be on the end of a hiding here.

Pete’s Prediction: 6 – 0

Scott: Stanway’s reward for defeating Tower Hamlets in midweek is a daunting trip to Bostik Premier side Haringey. That being said, Borough have won one in three league games thus far thouh Stanway have also struggled to adapt to the ESL as well. Should be a home win as Tom Loizou’s side should have too much firepower.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

Great Wakering Rovers  v  Leyton Athletic  | Venue: Burroughs Park

Pete:  Leyton Athletic make the trip to the Essex Coast to take on last season’s ESL Premier champions Great Wakering Rovers and the visitors have kept four clean sheets on the spin going into this one, although GWR will be a different kettle of fish and I feel they will be too strong in the end.

Pete’s Prediction: 4 – 1

Scott: Great Wakering welcome Leyton to Burroughs Park. Athletic’s 3 – 0 win over Barkingside in their replay from the last round saw them here though they face an altogether different proposition in a well-drilled Rovers outfit, who won last weekend in their division. I feel Ath would have to play near their best to get a replay. Another home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

Newmarket Town  v  Hullbridge Sports  | Venue: Cricket Field Road

Pete:  This proves to be a good cup tie at Cricket Field Road as Newmarket Town host Hullbridge Sports.  Sports of course knocked out Gorleston in the last round so will not fear their opponents here but Newmarket will still pose a real threat for sure, but I feel the Bridge Boys may nick this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Scott: This fascinating contest sees Hullbridge on another away day heading north-west. They take on a Newmarket side that is struggling put wins together in their division, the Thurlow Nunn Premier. Will the hosts’ artifical surface help or hinder the visitors, that is a question I’m wondering. On the form book, Hullbridge are in better touch though this is another big game and this could be an important marker for the ‘Bridge boys’ season. That said, I’m going be bold (or foolish) and go away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

Saffron Walden Town  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Venue: Catons Lane

Pete: These two have had solid starts to their campaigns and this proves to be a tough battle at Catons Lane.  Sure to be plenty of goals too if the hosts previous games are anything to go by, and I predict a high-scoring contest, edged by the visitors.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Scott: This all-ESL clash pts two sides against each other that are in reasonable league form. Saffron Walden needed a replay to send Wroxham out in the last round while Hoddesdon won at Wodson Park. The Bloods’ defence might be a concern for Stuart Wardley’s side given they were pegged back from 3 – 1 up to 4 – 4 by a spirited ten-man Sporting Bengal last weekend. Though forward Charlie Portway is right in-form. I can see goals in this one as Hoddesdon are a hard-working side themselves.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 2

Brentwood Town   v   Sporting Bengal Utd  | Venue: Brentwood Arena

Pete:  Sporting Bengal United travel to take on Bostik North side Brentwood Town knowing this has the makings of a cup shock.  The hosts have lost their only league game so far and welcome a Sporting side to The Brentwood Arena with bags of character and a decent squad to choose from.  If Brentwood play well they will win but if not then Sporting can pounce, and I feel the ESL Premier side may earn a replay here.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: Brentwood welcome Sporting Bengal to the Brentwood Arena. The hosts have only had one league match, compared to Bengal’s two and Imrul Gazi’s side notched up an incredible comeback to draw at Saffron Walden last weekend and if they keep that scoring touch up then they could be a credible threat. I have a gut feeling the upset is on here.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

Faversham Town  v  Hackney Wick    | Venue: Salters Lane

Pete: In most step four vs step six encounters you’d say easy home win, well not this one, as Hackney Wick arrive in Kent having banged in ten goals in their last two outings.  They will surely provide a stern test for the hosts who lie eighth in the Bostik South East Division after two games so far.  I really do feel the visitors may earn a replay in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 1 – 1

Scott: The Wickers travel to Step 4 side Faversham, on the back of two impressive league wins in the last week. The visitors here may need to raise their game further as their hosts won at Thamesmead last Sunday in the Bostik South East division. This could be a tester for the hosts though they should pull through.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

Sunday 26th August

Stansted  v  Takeley   | Venue: Woodside Park (Bishop’s Stortford FC)

Pete: There will be no love lost in this tie as local rivals Stansted and Takeley do battle at Woodside Park on Sunday.  Stansted had to get rid of another local rival in the shape of Sawbridgeworth Town in the last round but I feel Takeley will have too much on the day and will progress in this one.

Pete’s Prediction: 0 – 2

Scott: Takeley travel to Woodside Park to take on a Stansted side that league-wise, is yet to truly find their feet. The same cannot be said for the current league leaders Takeley, the only side with a 100% winning record in the ESL thus far. The Airportmen may well make it a battle though I can see the visitors winning this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3


Essex Senior League – Saturday 25th August

Enfield Town  v  Sawbridgeworth Town  | The Harlow Arena  |

Pete:   In the one League contest at the weekend Enfield host Sawbridgeworth Town at The Harlow Arena.  The hosts are yet to win this season so will be looking to put that right, whilst The Robins have begun their league campaign with two wins from three starts.  This should be a good game and a tough one for both, and I reckon it may end all square.

Pete’s Prediction: 2 – 2

Scott: The solitary ESL match that has been brought forward sees Sawbridgeworth travel to the Harlow Arena to take on Enfield. Matt Hanning’s side are yet to win this term and will look to improve on their showing against Barkingside last weekend. Sawbridgeworth got back to winning ways last weekend with a narrow win over Woodford. Difficult one to call this is though I’ll plump for a draw.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

That’s all for this week. Pete will have the FA Cup round-up later this weekend while Scott will have the round-up’s of the Bostik League action & more. Thanks for reading

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 1 Gorleston (FA Cup EPR 11.8.18)

The FA Cup Extra Prelim Round  (Season 2018-19)

Venue: Lower Road

Attendance: 113

2018-19 Season – Match 6

Saturday 11th August 2018  – 3pm KO

Hullbridge Sports: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Gorleston: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks


Late Drama swirls ‘Bridge into the next round in this roller-coaster of a match!


Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with photos from Andy Wilkins (@andywilkins24)

The FA Cup returned for another season as Hullbridge welcomed Thurlow Nunn Premier side Gorleston to Lower Road. The hosts named a strong starting XI with Adebola Sotoyinbo and Michael Salako on the flanks supporting front two Aundre Spencer and captain Luke Hornsley. Gorleston fielded ex-Wroxham frontman Ross Gilfedder and Joel Watts in attack and they would be right up for this match following a midweek  league win over ex-Bostik North side Norwich Utd

‘Bridge started fair well as tenacious full-back Matt Rose’s left-wing cross just eluded winger MIchael Salako as visiting goalkeeper George Parkin came out to collect. After this initial spell, the visitors came on strongly and led just after the quarter-hour as forward Joel Watts breached the back-tracking home defence and blasted an unstoppable drive past the despairing hand of home custodian George Marsh, much to the delight of the hardy band of visiting fans. Soon afterward, Gorleston had numerous oppurtunities to extend their lead though a mixture of last-ditch defending, poor finishing and good goalkeeping denied Stuart Larter’s side. Marsh himself denied Gilfedder and winger Jordan Stanton’s 25-yard speculative effort in as many minutes.

Hullbridge finished the half a bit better as on 33 minutes, Sotoyinbo’s blasted strike fizzed just over the crossbar though if anything, Darren Manning’s side sorely needed to ‘step things up a gear’ after the break.

Half-Time: Hullbridge  0 – 1  Gorleston

“Hullbridge captain Hornsley on another foray forward (FAC 11.8.18) Credit: Andy W 

Unfortunately for the hosts, Gorleston started the second period in a good vein though wasteful finishing from Watts and Stanton plus a good save from Marsh denying a powerful effort, again from Watts, denied the visitors a dominant lead and you felt the tension rising in this FA Cup tie. Messrs Salako and Sotoyinbo were causing problems on the flanks though a key point of the match saw Gorleston forward Ross Gilfedder limp off with 25 minutes left with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.

After that, Hullbridge slowly built some better attacks, buoyed on by an good crowd although they still looked a tad stretched in defence. Into the last ten minutes and Hullbridge were awarded a spot-kick which also resulted in the dismissal of Gorleston right-back Joel Tipple. Sotoyinbo made no mistake, slotting home into the left corner. With my objective hat on, on another day the visitors really should have been ‘home and dry’ as they say.

The hosts saw to it that that analogy meant absolutely zip on this day as substitute Nathan Scarborough first fluffed two good chances from near point-blank range. Full-back Rose showed every part of his tenacity with a brillant sliding challenge to deny visiting substitute Dino Tabakovic a good run at goal. And then…. moments after a fizzing shot crashed against the woodwork, in injury-time, Sotoyinbo sent in another low cross from the right wing which Scarborough gleefully tapped-in from close range to send the management and bulk of the crowd ectatic.  ‘Bridge held on for an improbable victory though you know what they say about “you have to take your chances”.

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 2 – 1 Gorleston

In saying that though, I can’t just leave it there. Gorleston showed what a good, combative side they are and you had to feel for them, particularly the manner of how they exited the competition. The crowd applauded both teams off the pitch and both sides deserved as much.

Best wishes to both sides for the rest of their respective campaigns. Hullbridge face another tough test – away at fellow Thurlow Nunn Premier side Newmarket Town in the next round.


Hullbridge Sports   | Manager: Darren Manning

George Marsh (GK), Matt Dicks, Phil Lawson (Andre Gumbs 59′), Luke McLeavy, Matt Rose, Jamal Allen, Emmanuel Okunja (Joe Pattison 76′), Michael Salako (Nathan Scarborough 69′), Aundre Spencer, Luke Hornsley (Capt), Adebola Sotoyinbo

Goal-scorers: Adebola Sotoyinbo [pen 83′], Nathan Scarborough [90’+2]

Booked: None     | Subs Not Used: Merralls (GK), Taylor, Tapley, Cox


Gorleston   |  Manager: Stuart Larter

George Parkin (GK), Jack Tipple, Luke Goreham, Elliott Hannant, George Yussuff, Aarron Taylor (Capt), Nelson Carinhas, Jordan Cantwell, Ross Gilfedder (Dino Tabakovic 66′), Joel Watts, Jordan Stanton

Goal-scorer: Joel Watts [16′]

Booked: Cantwell, Tabakovic | Sent Off: Tipple

Subs Not Used: Stanley, Norton, Philpott, Coombe (GK)