Essex Senior League
Venue: Mile End Stadium
2019 – 20 Season: Match 43
Monday 2nd December 2019 – 7.50pm KO
T Hamlets: Orange Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Cockfosters: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red & White Hooped Socks
Players before KO
Clarke stunner edges Cockfosters to win at Mile End
Tower Hamlets 0 – 1 Cockfosters
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
A rare Monday night Essex Senior match took me to Mile End to see the new-look Tower Hamlets side face Cockfosters. Hamlets named a front two of Ezra Ndukuba with Anthony Folkes in support, with Yoan Edoukou and Josh Rusoke on the flanks. Cockfosters had first-choice Brad Robinson in goal, Matt Thomson alongside Billy Murray in midfield and a front two of in-form Billy Healey and Ned Clarke.
The hosts had won two of the last five before this one, while ‘Fosters had lost out in their last two matches. On what was a frightfully cold evening in East London, there were early sighters on goal in this one. First, Hamlets midfielder Ambrosio Preira’s drive smashed against a post after four minutes. Almost immediately, Ryan Wade’s side responded at the other end though winger Rueben Campbell’s drive was well over the woodwork. Moments later, a decent run down the centre by visiting forward Ceykan Karagozlu bypassed the first defender before Hamlets centre-back Alan Zuqolli tracked back and cleared well into the stands and the proverbial ‘Row Z’. Forward Billy Healey also whistled a drive past Ade Oyenuga’s goal soon after as Cockfosters gradually built momentum.
That being said, Hamlets were still dangerous on the counter with good balls in from the flanks being exemplified by full-back Tony Musoke’s cross from the left flank, which brought visiting stopper Robinson into action to punch away from danger. Midway into the half, Oyenuga did well to block another Healey drive from close range though Karagozlu really could have scored on the follow-up, only for it to be cleared off the goal-line.
The visitors did concede the odd needless free-kick just outside 18-yard area and from one of these on 26 minutes, forward Anthomy Folkes fizzed a well-directed effort just over the goal frame. Nine minutes later, the threatening Karagozlu sent in two or three teasing balls into the six-yard area though a teammate could not a decisive touch on them. Karagozlu also had a good effort saved by Oyenuga after evading the home defence though the telling moment came in added-time before the break.
Forward Ned Clarke, who has had a good start to life at Cockfosters, received the ball 30 yards out in a bit of space before hammering home an unstoppable drive with a tad or curl to pass Oyenuga and high into the net. It was undoubtedly one of the goals of the campaign that I’ve seen. And with that, referee Andy Simmonds soon blew for half-time.
Still from T Hamlets v Cockfosters ESL 2.12.19
Half-Time: Tower Hamlets 0 – 1 Cockfosters
You have to respect what this Hamlets team have done since the summer, given that most have come up from the Reserve side playing in the Essex Alliance League last term. They came out after the break with renewed purpose, and Ndukuba did well to evade his marker before firing harmlessly over the crossbar four minutes into the half.
Cockfosters knew they were in for a battle here as Hamlets maintained the momentum in the next phase of the game, with Zuqolli heading a corner towards goal though Robinson could gather just in front of his own goal frame.
Home winger Josh Rusoke also tested Robinson moments afterward as his drive looked to get a small deflection off the defender though Robinson held firm to deny him. ‘Fosters had a goal chalked off for a foul with twenty minutes remaining, though they held firm as Hamlets couldn’t sustain the possession pressure to continue their attacking intent. A twenty-yard drive by skipper Ali Omar was gathered by Robinson in the dying minutes. Finally, on the stroke of the ninety, Cockfosters substitute George Beattie’s fierce strike brushed a post though they deserved the win although it may have been grittier than they would have ideally wanted.
Full-Time: Tower Hamlets 0 – 1 Cockfosters
In summary, a tough evening’s work for Cockfosters though ultimately they did enough to claim the points, thanks to that Clarke’s stunning strike. Clarke had another decent game, as did strike partner Billy Healey and winger Rueben Campbell. For Hamlets, forward Ezra Ndukuba was skilful, quick and a danger to the opposition defence while Anthony Folkes provided good support and Yoan Edoukou also did well. Best wishes to both sides going forward this term and also thank you to Hamlets for their welcome.
Teams (with shirt numbers)
Tower Hamlets | Manager: John Jatto
99 Ade Oyenuga (GK), 2 Jesse Boalenga, 3 Anthony Musoke, 4 Ali Omar (Capt), 5 Allan Zuqolli, 6 Ambrosio Preira (16 Adam Kerroche 43’), 7 Yoan Edoukou, 8 Ben Brookes, 9 Ezra Ndukuba (12 Benas Vaivada 80’), 10 Anthony Folkes, 11 Josh Rusoke
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Anderson, Daniel
Cockfosters | Player-Manager: Ryan Wade
1 Brad Robinson (GK), 2 Luke Marshall, 3 Marcus Crowther, 4 Matt Thomson, 5 Danny Haigh (Capt), 6 Dan Odamo, 7 Rueben Campbell, 8 Billy Murray, 9 Billy Healey (12 George Beattie 81’), 10 Ned Clarke (14 Alex Michaelides 67’), 11 Ceykan Karagozlu (15 Kai Bowers 74’),
Goal-scorer: Ned Clarke [45’ +2]
Booked: Thomson | Sub Not Used: Charles, Haag
Referee: Andy Simmonds