Hello and welcome a bonus blog looking at the ten Essex Senior matches that took place on the 8th & 9th April, as we enter the last fortnight of the regular campaign. Thanks for reading.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL writer
Essex Senior League Round-up- Sat 9 April
The match with the most significance at the top was Saffron Walden Town’s 2 – 1 win at Little Oakley. Daniel Rowe had given Matt Carmichael’s team a first-half lead but Walden’s form has been strong of late and they showed this once again through strikes by Gavin Cockman and teenager Stanley Leech. The win puts Walden in prime position for the promotion play-off place, with matches against Sawbridgeworth and Hoddesdon to come, crucially both at Catons Lane. Oakley’s season still looks very positive overall and they will be looking to secure a top-six finish. Elsewhere, Redbridge got a good 3 – 1 home win over Stanway Rovers at Oakside, in a match delayed for nearly two hours as Rovers were caught in traffic chaos en route. Stanway did take the lead early in the second half through Danny Nesbitt, but a brace for Loui Hazlewood and a late goal from Michael Pindy secured the comeback win and keep George Christou’s side in contention for that much-wanted second spot.
Stansted also have a slim chance of pinching that spot after a 2 – 1 win over Southend Manor at Hargrave Park, thanks to goals from Jack Mitchell and Michael Salako. Manor had an unfortunate OG to assist their way back into the game but other results mean they are now safe from relegation, and credit has to go to boss James Wakeling and his coaching team. The Airportmen meanwhile have four matches left, and arguably have to win all four to leapfrog their rivals. Athletic Newham’s season is coming to a stuttering end as they were held by top-six rivals Enfield at Terry Mac. Kieran Bishop’s goal had given the E’s a first-half lead, but Daniel Izekor got a good equaliser with about ten minutes left. The result means Enfield remain six points clear of Newham, though Chris Davis’ side also have four matches to play (in the next fortnight). Also, FC Clacton are also finishing the season well as they got a 4 – 0 triumph over Clapton at Rush Green Bowl. A double for Mekhi McKenzie, plus goals by Elias Ahmed and Harry McDonald saw Tom Austin’s side to a fine win and they rose to eighth spot because of it. The Tons debatably need a point or two to make sure of their ESL place next term.
That is the case due to Sawbridgeworth Town’s hugely important 2 – 1 win over Errington Cup Finalists Cockfosters at Crofters. James Falaise and Morgan Arnold got the big goals for Alex Salmon and Kieran Amos’ side, with Bailey Stevenson responding for Gavin Kelsey’s team. ‘Fosters drop down to tenth but they still have 3 games left. Sawbo’s assignment is clear – they need at least one win from matches against Saffron Walden and West Essex to evade the bottom two. Meanwhile, Takeley continued their mini-revival with a 4 – 1 success over Sporting Bengal Utd at Station Road. The ensemble cast of Elliott Long, Glenn O’Hanlon, George Frodsham and Traevon Williams-Lauder all netted for Marc Das’ side to take them up to 11th spot. Bengal ended their campaign here and responded via an OG in this match but there will be a lot of soul-searching in the close season to come whilst they find out which division they will be placed in Step 6 following relegation.
The remaining Saturday game to note saw Hoddesdon Town claim a good 2 – 0 victory over champions Walthamstow. Terrell Sterling and Harrison Rookard both struck to give Simon Riddle’s team the points which takes them up to 50 points for the season. ‘Stow can still hit 90 points this term, even with a draw in their final game on April 23rd. On Friday night, West Essex got a 2 – 1 win over Ilford at Wadham Lodge, with Cameron Gray and Reece Clarke’s spot-kick enough to overhaul Jordan Fisher’s reply for the Foxes. West remain 13th after the weekend’s action, while Ilford stay 16th. Also, Woodford Town were held to a goalless draw by St Margaretsbury at Ashton’s, which kept Town in 14th but St Mags stay third-bottom, a point clear of Sawbo but with only one match left – at Redbridge on the final day of the league season.
West Essex: Yellow & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
FC Clacton: Pink Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
A highly-contested battle ends in draw for West and FC Clacton
West Essex 2 – 2 FC Clacton
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend saw a long trip back to Wadham Lodge for this Essex Senior clash between West Essex and FC Clacton, who I was watching properly for the first time since their transfer to the ESL last July. West Essex opened their Tea Bar today which progresses the matchday experience for spectators and with it, signifying the long-term aspiration for the club. Kwame Kwateng’s side have seen players depart recently and fielded talented goalkeeper Kacper Ignatiuk behind a central defence that included Emmanuel Oluwole and Tala Lo-Seye and a forward line of David Bell, Cameron Gray and Dimitri Frangeskides. Options from the sidelines included David Xavier and forwards Jon Ogunsanya and Symeon Taylor. Clacton had Luis Shamshoum in goal, with a defensive four of Kyle Ferguson, Teddy Collis and central defenders Jack Mochalski and Michael Okafor. Their forward line was comprised of Alfie Matthews and skipper Jordan Lartey with support from Harry McDonald. Their bench included Lee Clowsley and forward Mekhi McKenzie. Assistant boss Ryan Salter led the presence from dug-out with manager Tom Austin absent today.
The match began with a strong burst of energy from the hosts side as they looked to gain the early advantage, with Clacton looking to build on a solid base from the early moments. The Stags were not short of chances in the first third of the half, as forwards Dimitri Frangeskides and David Bell had strikes fizz narrowly wide of visiting custodian Luis Shamshoum’s woodwork. Once you ally that with further half-chances at goal for midfielders Oliseh Okuguni and David Ungudi, you’d be forgiven for thinking that West would regret not taking the lead early on.
On the other side of things, Clacton were looking decent on the counter-attack and even from the early stages, they looked motivated to battle for everything they could get. Jardel Francis was testing the West backline from right channel, while skipper Jordan Lartey was coming in from the left side and posing problems and getting strikes away at goal, which meant home goalkeeper Kacper Ignatiuk had to remain vigilant.
As the half progressed, you felt that the stalemate would not last and sure enough, on the half-hour, it was the hosts who made one of their chances pay, as a good strike by Okuguni in a congest eighteen yard area took a small deflection off a defender before sailing into the top left corner of Shamshoum’s goal.
However, this setback didn’t dissuade the visitors at all. Moments after Shamshoum punched away two free-kicks by West captain Reece Clarke, Clacton did level things up with a well-taken goal. Full-back Teddy Collis was involved in the move as his initial pass was knocked down well by Lartey into the path of forward Alfie Matthews just inside the penalty box and before the home defence could get a challenge in, Matthews fired the ball home low into the right corner, past the grasp of Ignatiuk.
Half-Time: West Essex 1 – 1 FC Clacton
After the interval, West started the second period with some vigour as they looked to claw back the initiative, with an audacious strike by Clarke going narrowly off-target and Frangeskides also struck wide. That being said, the Stags fell behind for the first time nine minutes after another good move by the Seasiders ended up with Matthews again powerfully striking the ball into the left corner, to the delight of the travelling contingent of supporters. The visitors continued their commendable efforts with a good phase after their second goal with Lartey forcing Ignatiuk into a good reaction save to keep his side in contention.
The spirit and style of play of West Essex was also evident in the latter stages which made for a fine last fifteen minutes of normal time. West got the equaliser they probably deserved on 76 minutes with a superb strike direct from a free-kick by the impressive Clarke, finding the top left corner of the net.
The nerves of both sides were increasingly frayed in the last part of this encounter as they looked for a decisive goal, but you have to give Clacton credit for holding firm, playing some good football at times and they did deserve something from the game. West should also be praised for their spirit as mentioned. I wouldn’t be that surprised if one or both of their sides end up in the top ten, which signifies the quality of the Essex Senior is improving year-on-year.
Full-Time: West Essex 2 – 2 FC Clacton
To sum up this match, this was a very entertaining battle which saw both sides having strong phases of play. West could have been well ahead before the break but profligate finishing prevented them from pushing the Seasiders into a tough position. Clacton could also have been in a match-wining position though the Stags were simply unwilling to give in, in the latter stages. All being said, a draw probably was the fair result for both sides who continue to seek a top-ten finish by late April.
The stand-out performances from this game start with Clacton. Alfie Matthews took both his goals well with crisp finishes and also played his part in good forward moves. Jordan Lartey also led his side well and showed good pace, movement and passing fro the left side of the front three. Centre-back Michael Okafor also had a good match, making several good interceptions to thwart the hosts’ forwards. Lastly, Kyle Ferguson had a good match at right-back and he got forward well. West had a few good performances as well, led by skipper Reece Clarke who once again had an influential performance, making a number of good tackles and also scored with a fine set-piece. Tala Lo-Seye also had a superb match, making several fine interceptions to keep his team in the match, preventing more chances for the Seasiders. Emmanuel Oluwole and custodian Kacper Ignatiuk also put in good performances for Kwame Kwateng’s side.
I’d just like to wish both sides a good remainder of the campaign.
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng | Assistant: George Karsa
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Kacper Ignatiuk (GK), 4 Sam McNally, 5 Emmanuel Oluwole, 6 Oliseh Okuguni (19 Jon Ogunsanya 71′), 15 Tala Lo-Seye, 17 Emmanuel Wazola, 8 Daniel Ungudi (2 David Xavier 61′), 12 Reece Clarke (Capt), 7 Dimitri Frangeskides, 11 Cameron Gray, 20 David Bell (9 Symeon Taylor 38′)
West Essex: Yellow & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
Takeley: Royal Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Takeley outpace West with strong performance at Wadham Lodge
West Essex 2 – 4 Takeley
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s match was a interesting match between two mid-table sides in West Essex and Takeley, in a hastily-arranged Essex Senior League match at Wadham Lodge, after both sides’ initial opponents this weekend had to withdraw because of Covid-related reasons. West had Dan Russell between the posts, with a defence of Michael Morris, Emmanuel Oluwole, Nick Walk and Sam McNally. Skipper Cameron Gray led the forward line here, alongside Symeon Taylor and Moyo Ajibade. The likes of Samraj Gill, Callum Bloss and Demitris Frangeskides were all options from the bench for Kwame Kwateng’s side. Takeley were managed here by Kevin Riley, with manager Marc Das on holiday. Sam Soutar was the goalkeeper for them, with Glenn O’Hanlon captaining the side and a youthful front three of George Frodsham, Elliott Long and Kieran Southgate. Options on their bench included stalwart George Wappett and Theo Campbell.
It was the visitors who got the match underway with the most promise as the stags looked somewhat devoid of energy and focus. Takeley were not going to pass up a chance to obtain the impetus here though and their direct style was rewarded with a goal after five minutes. In a good move involving Kieran Southgate, he found forward George Frodsham who in turn unselfishly played in Elliott Long who slotted home calmly under West stopper Dan Russell’s legs to give the visitors the lead. West Essex were not finding their usual rhythm going forward though Symeon Taylor did make a good run down the right channel and the eventual cross was forced behind by full-ed James Darvill who got in a good position to clear. The hosts were starting to have more possession but didn’t look entirely like they would get back into the match at this point.
Skipper Cameron Gray curled a set-piece from 20 yards wide of the right-sided corner of the goal but it was Takeley who looked stronger on the counter-attack. In another decent move, Frodsham’s initial strike was blocked though the ball was recycled well and captain Glenn O’Hanlon’s stinging drive needed the time intervention of full-back sam McNally for the hosts. West responded with a good mazy run by attacking midfielder Mohamud Kaudeer in a passing move with ended with Taylor’s low shot being gathered well by visiting custodian Sam Soutar.
Takeley did get that crucial second goal nine minutes before the break. Southgate was prevented from breaking past the home defence by covering defender Nick Walk too strongly in referee Matt Rowling’s view and so awarded Takeley a free-kick in a dangerous area (see picture). Long stepped up to curl it towards goal, and although Russell got a glove on it, it still curled in off of the right-side post and into the net. You couldn’t really argue with the visitors having a decent lead at the interval, and West had a lot to do to get back in this game.
Half-Time: West Essex 0 – 2 Takeley
We certainly had enough action to entertain the crowd in the early part of the second period. A minute into the half, a good run down the left flank by Frodsham ended with the ball being half-cleared but Takeley continued the pressure as Freddie Burrell fired narrowly over the woodwork. However, West did get that crucial next goal on 48 minutes. Forward Moyo Ajibade’s initial strike on goal was well-blocked, but the ball did fall kindly to skipper Gray who calmly struck low past Soutar to get his side back in the contest.
Or so they thought. Unfortunately for the hosts, Takeley responded immediately at the other end as Burrell powered in a fine low effort beyond the reach of Russell a minute later to restore Takeley’s two-goal lead. West Essex were starting tocreate chances somewhat more readily as the hour mark approached but Gray was unable to defeat Soutar, when one-on-one as he sent another effort on goal wide of the left-side post. The hosts’ day got worse on the hour as Southgate was felled in the penalty area by goalkeeper Russell, which earned him a booking. Long took the resulting penalty, smashing it into the left corner to surely put the game beyond doubt.
To be fair to West, they did show more attacking promise in the last twenty-five minutes, as Demetris Frangeskides came on to replace Ajibade. With 73 minutes on the watch, a rare defensive error allowed Frangeskides to slot home past Soutar with a low strike to make it 2 – 4. The tiring Takeley defence did maintain their focus well as the Stags really pushed forward in numbers. Energetic full-back Michael Morris made a fine late run into the box and was only denied a chance to bypass Soutar one-on-one by a well-timed tackle by teenage midfielder Charlie Dobinson.
Long skewed another chance wide of goal in thew last few minutes but it was without doubt his day anyway as Takeley held on well to claim a very good win here, which takes them up to 12th, while West drop down to tenth.
Full-Time: West Essex 2 – 4 Takeley
In summary, this match showed that you can’t have a poor start to the match as West did in the opening half-hour, which Takeley took advantage of to give them a two-goal advantage at the interval. West did threaten a comeback soon after the in
In a match of some quality as this was, I’ll start with the victors. Elliott Long continued his fine season with a fine treble, and he harried the home defence well, giving them little respite, particularly in the first half with his pace, energy and finishing. Strike partner George Frodsham also played his part in that effort too, and was unselfish in playing in Long for the opening goal early on. I also felt right-back James Darvill had an excellent match, both in defence and going forward, making several important tackles and contributing to his team’s counter-attacks well. Finally, skipper Glenn O’Hanlon put in a fine display in central midfield which unsettled the hosts’ rhythm at times. For West, skipper Cameron Gray put in a tireless performance and kept going well showing decent movement and dribbling, deserving his goal at the start of the second half. Centre-back Emmanuel Oluwole put in a good display to stop Takeley ending the match as a contest before the interval, making several good interceptions and showing good positioning. Mohamud Kaudeer also had a good game, looking to build his side’s attacking moves and made a few dangerous runs and telling passes. Finally, Emmanuel Wazola merits a mention for a good performance to assist his defence and build forward moves as well.
Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng | Assistant: George Karsa
Starting XI (Subs): 13 Dan Russell (GK), 15 Michael Morris, 5 Emmanuel Oluwole, 23 Nick Walk, 4 Sam McNally (10 Callum Bloss 78′), 6 Oliseh Okganu, 17 Emmanuel Wazola, 21 Mohamud Kaudeer, 11 Cameron Gray (Capt), 9 Symeon Taylor (20 David Bell 79′), 18 Moyo Ajibade (7 Demitris Frangeskides 67′)
Takeley | Interim Manager: Kevin Riley | Interim Assistant: Steven Pridmore
Starting XI: 1 Sam Soutar (GK), 2 James Darvill, 3 Andre Humphrey, 4 Charlie Dobinson, 5 George Powell, 6 Tom Jelliman (15 Theo Campbell 61′), 7 Freddie Burrell (14 George Wappett 66′), 8 Glenn O’Hanlon (Capt), 9 George Frodsham, 10 Elliott Long, 11 Kieran Southgate (16 Charlie Allum 69′)
Goal-scorers: Elliott Long [5′, 36′, (pen) 62′], Freddie Burrell [49′]
Booked: Campbell | Subs Not Used: L Powell
Referee: Matt Rowling Assistants: Martin Quinn & Muzackir Hussain
S Manor: Yellow & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
West E: White Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
West outplay Manor to grab a deserved win at Southchurch
Southend Manor 0 – 3 West Essex
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
This weekend’s match was a short trip to Southchurch Park to see West Essex visit Southend Manor in another Essex Senior League match. Craig Waters’ home team were missing several players including the influential Jordan Chambers, defender James Hegarty and forwards Luca Frankis and Ethan Evison. Josh Harrison was the choice in goal, with a defence of full-backs Ben Sargent and Kiah Froud with the central defence being led by skipper Joe Elliott with Alex Jenkins alongside him. Teddy Rumsby and Josh Devlin were the wingers in support of forwards Harry Rogers and Conor Cobb, with defender Jean Paul Moke, and young forwards Jordan Russell and Kia Cody all options from the bench.
The Stags were also missing several important players such as goalkeeper Jack Coker, captain Reece Clarke and forwards Callum Bloss and Demetris Frangeskides all unavailable for Kwame Kwateng’s team. Dan Russell deputised in goal, with club stalwart Sanchez Hardy skippering the side, alongside Emmanuel Oluwole in central defence. Michael Morris and Joel Lamb were wing-backs here, assisting the forward line of Moyo Ajibade and Jon Ogunsanya. Their depleted substitutes bench was comprised of forwards Symeon Taylor and Mohamud Kaudeer.
The visitors looked to get their rhythm going early in the match here, with wing-backs Michael Morris and Joel Lamb and winger Samraj Gill looking good in possession as they looked to assist their side ‘s forward moves. For the hosts, Teddy Rumsby had a half-chance blocked by the visiting defence. On the whole though, it was West who really had the impetus and nearly broke the deadlock on twelve minutes as a good move down the left side ended with Gill sending in a good cross from the left flank, which was just over the head of advancing forward Jon Ogunsanya at the back post. The Stags were finding their passing range on the quarter-hour with central midfielder Sam McNally starting a fine move involving Morris and Gill, only for full-back Kiah Froud to intervene and clear away for a corner.
On a decent counter-attack, Manor forward Conor Cobb got into the eighteen-yard box before being tackled well by centre-back Sanchez Hardy. From the corner that resulted, Manor defender Alex Jenkins had a decent header blocked as West strived to clear the ball away. Manor did have one or two more set-pieces which didn’t quite find their targets but West responded with another driving forward move at the other end, with pacey forward Moyo Ajibade sending in a good centre which support forward David Bell could only blaze over the goal frame. It was another warning though for the home defence but West Essex did not have to wait long for a goal. With 29 minutes played, a good long clearance by custodian Dan Russell down the right side started the move, with Ajibade and Ogunsanya both involved and found Bell one-on-one with Manor stopper Josh Harrison and this time Bell planted a good finish into the opposite corner to give the visitors the advantage.
West doubled their lead on the counter-attack only four minutes later as Morris was involved once again showing good passing and composure with the ball finding Ogunsanya who evaded his marker before firing a low strike from about eighteen yards into the left-sided corner, just evading the grasp of Harrison. Manor were just not able to retain possession for long periods to build their attacks and went into the break needing to step up their own tempo.
Half-Time: Southend Manor 0 – 2 West Essex
Soon after the break, Manor did have a free-kick which Jordan Faulkner sent a header off-target. Bell had another decent curling strike for West travel over the crossbar but in a match of few positives for Manor at this point, they did have more ball retention with the likes of Rumsby, central midfielder Jack Frost, winger Josh Devlin and Jordan Faulkner, who was pushed up to lead the forward line at half-time showing their intent to get their side back in the match. In fairness, West were having to defend a bit more but they were keen to show that they were more than up to the challenge, with Hardy, Morris and centre-back Emmanuel Oluwole doing well to intercept the hosts’ attacks, with custodian Dan Russell not having to make a significant save.
West were still showing their promise going forward as well as with 71 minutes on the watch, another fine pass by Gill found Ogunsanya although his well-struck strike was straight at Harrison. Substitute Jean Paul Moke also did well for the hosts at centre-back since the interval but a deeply regrettable moment transpired with five minutes of normal time remaining. The referee had heard brought play to a stop with West in position to launch another promising forward move, and very soon after that the red card was out for defender Kiah Froud for what ref Edwards described directly as foul & abusive language. The incident certainly caused the West players to understandably react strongly and the situation needed both management teams to intervene and after several minutes, play resumed.
West did get a third goal at the beginning of an extended added-time period as substitute Symeon Taylor powered a fine finish high into the net with only Harrison to bypass. However, the Manor goalkeeper responded well to deny strikes by Taylor and Ogunsanya as the visitors finished the match well and more than earned the win here.
Full-Time: Southend Manor 0 – 3 West Essex
In summary, West were the better side, particularly in the first half and fully deserved the points that their fast, enterprising play had given them. The home side simply could not match the pace, incisive passing and finishing that Kwame Kwateng’s side showed here. The events late on did irrevocably alter the atmosphere and referee Kirk Edwards did not hesitate to deal with the situation. Fact is you cannot condone language like that either.
There were a number of good performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for West, I felt right wing-back Michael Morris had a terrific match, showing excellent pace, composure and work rate throughout in both defence and going forward. Forward Jon Ogunsanya was also constantly involved in his side’s forward moves and took his goal well. Tricky winger Samraj Gill had another influential match, giving the hosts a tough afternoon with his passing, pace and dribbling. Finally, a mention for club stalwart Sanchez Hardy who led his team well from central defence and made several important interceptions.
For Manor, central midfielder Jack Frost had a good game as the home side’s midfield struggled to stifle the pace of the Stags’ counter-attacks. Joe Elliott again led the team well and made a number of good interceptions from centre-back. Jordan Faulkner was utilised as a stand-in forward after the interval and did keep the visiting defence alert. Finally, winger Teddy Rumsby also had some good moments on the right flank showing pace and energy on what was a tough day for them.
Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Josh Harrison (GK), 2 Ben Sargent, 3 Kiah Froud, 4 Alex Jenkins (13 Kia Cody 75’), 5 Joe Elliott (Capt), 6 Jordan Faulkner, 7 Teddy Rumsby, 8 Jack Frost, 9 Harry Rogers (12 Jean-Paul Moke 46’), 10 Conor Cobb (14 Jordan Russell 46’), 11 Josh Devlin
Booked: Devlin, Elliott | Sent Off: Froud
Subs Not Used: Waters
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng | Assistant: George Karsa
1 Daniel Russell (GK), 15 Michael Morris, 2 Sanchez Hardy (Capt), 5 Emmanuel Oluwole, 3 Joel Lamb, 4 Sam McNally, 10 Emmanuel Wazola, 18 Moyo Ajibade (9 Symeon Taylor 77’), 20 David Bell (21 Mohamud Kaudeer 61’), 19 Jon Ogunsanya, 22 Samraj Gill
Goal-scorers: David Bell [29’], Jon Ogunsanya [33’], Symeon Taylor [90’+1]
West Essex: White Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
Sporting Bengal: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Awesome West hit eight in dominant win over Sporting
West Essex 8 – 1 Sporting Bengal Utd
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s match saw me return to Wadham Lodge to see new tenants West Essex face Sporting Bengal. I had a feeling that we would have goals in this match but the match itself was played at a very high tempo. Onto the line-ups then and West named Dan Russell in goal with regular stopper Jack Coker still suspended. The back four was comprised of full-backs Michael Morris and Joel Lamb alongside centre-backs Emmanuel Oluwole and skipper Reece Clarke. The presence going forward has altered in the close season but Symeon Taylor, Cameron Gray and Samraj Gill were the forward three here, supported by the classy Callum Bloss. On the bench were club stalwart Sanchez Hardy alongside recent recruits in Frangeskides, Bell and Ogunsanya. Bengal were also missing several of their key players, with George Parkin between the goalposts, a defence of Lennox Forster, Raul Gazi & centre-backs Jerry Sheehan and Salam Amoako. Skipper Tanvir Ahmed faced his old club in a driving central midfield role, with Samir Ali, Bradley McDonald and Terry Amoafo leading the line. From the sidelines, nanager Imrul Gazi’s options included Abu Bakar, Isaiah Anjorin, Abid Haque & Ousman Ndure.
The hosts started the match in a lively way, with both Callum Bloss and full-back Joel Lamb looking to make telling runs to get in good positions to strike and cross the ball respectively. Bengal had an early warning four minutes in as a good ball in found forward Cameron Gray, but his header lacked the power to bypass visiting custodian George Parkin, who gathered. Kwame Kwateng’s re-modelled side did not have to wait long though to break the deadlock. On 13 minutes, a neat passing move involving Bloss and Gray ended up with the centre finding fellow forward Samraj Gill who struck home with a smart, composed finish past Parkin. From that point on, the Stags sensed that they could get themselves into a commanding position. Only four minutes later, it was a two-goal lead for the hosts as a fine low finish by Callum Bloss into the left-side corner. Before Bengal could really recover, it was a three-goal deficit they had to face as Bloss again found enough space to fire accurately into the net on nineteen minutes.
The visitors needed a spell of ball retention themselves to build attacks and a rare foray forward saw a good cross from the right by winger Munir Hadi find forward Samir Ali but good positioning by right-back Michael Morris saw him block the attempted chance well at the near post. Before the half-hour, West stormed forward again with purpose though a fierce strike by left-back Joel Lamb was well parried away by Parkin. And wiith half-time approaching, West spurned a chance to be further ahead again with midfielder Oliseh Okuganu starting a move, finding Lamb before the latter crossed in to Bloss who could only fire over the goal-frame.
It really wasnt going Bengal’s way at all on this day as they had to bring on two substitutes before the break with Abu Bakar replacing winger Munir Hadi before the half-hour and Abid Haque coming on for Bradley McDonald before the break. Add to that the half-time change of forward Samir Ali having to go off, replaced by Isaiah Anjorin and you could understand boss Imrul Gazi’s frustration.
Half-Time: West Essex 3 – 0 Sporting Bengal Utd
After the break, you could’ve understood if the hosts wanted to protect their lead. As it happened, that particular instruction was not amongst Kwateng’s half-time team talk. Any doubt over the hosts’ intent was answered barely a minute into the second period as a well-directed free-kick by centre-back Reece Clarke found Bloss who was able to shrug off his marker and fire home to complete his treble and surely put the result beyond doubt. Bengal showed willingness to run and battle for each other but they were made to look very ordinary by free-flowing, rapid West forward breaks. Just short of the hour, West got their fifth goal as a fine ball in by Morris found forward Symeon Taylor who struck a fine low finish past the helpless Parkin. It was at this point that you were concerned for the visitors as to how many they would concede.
Parkin in the Bengal goal was called into action again on the hour to deny a decent strike by Samraj Gill but the visiting backline had further pain to endure yet. Moments later, it was six for the home side as substitute Demetris Frangeskides (who had just come on for Jewers) started yet another quick forward move, with the ball falling to Gill who powred another strike past Parkin, to grab his second of the match.
By this stage, West Essex were absolutely in their rhythm and made it seven on sixty-eight minutes as another fizzing goal-bound strike by Lamb was spilled by the unfortunate Parkin, which allowed Gray to finally get on the score-sheet having missed a good chance or two earlier. To their credit though, Bengal did start to have more possession in the latter fifteen minutes, with another driving run by skipper Tanvir Ahmed finding forward Terry Amoafo but his strike lacked the power required to defeat West custodian Dan Russell, who calmly took hold of the ball.
West were still not done with their goal-scoring exploits though as they nabbed an eighth goal with twelve minutes left. Substitute David Bell did well to nick the ball off a Bengal defender before finding Gray who finished very well to grab his second goal on what was a memorable afternoon for his side.
Moments after Parkin did well to deny substitute Jon Ogunsanya’s effort on goal, Bengal did get on the score-sheet. The ball was played in to the advancing Terry Amoafo and his superb 20-yard power strike beat Russell’s desparing dive and went high into the net off the woodwork.
All in all, this was a really strong match of attacking football. You do have to wonder what the ability level is of this developing West side and if they can keep this form up, they may well again surprise a few in the top-half of the Essex Senior this season. My thanks to both teams & to the hosts for their kind hospitality.
Full-Time: West Essex 8 – 1 Sporting Bengal Utd
In summary, this was one of the best performances West have put on for some time and not many teams in the Essex Senior League would’ve been able to cope with it. Sometimes you see teams with a hefty advantage drop a couple of gears in the latter stages but Kwame Kwateng’s side were relentless until perhaps the last ten minutes. Bengal were simply unable to match the energy levels, passing ability and finishing and they did deserve something for keeping on going in the latter stages and Amoafo’s goal late on was high-quality.
In a performance of such sustained quality, it’s hard to pick out players but support forward Callum Bloss had a terrific match for the hosts, grabbing a treble and assisting his side’s many attacking moves here. Full-back Michael Morris also had a good game, making the most of the chance to get forward to support his team’s attacks, as did forward Samraj Gill who scored two goals and was a pivotal figure in his team’s forward line. Fellow forward Symeon Taylor also made a number of good runs down the left channel and deserved his well-taken goal.
Bengal had goalkeeper George Parkin to thank for four good saves today and understandably was frustrated with his defenders. Skipper Tanvir Ahmed made a number of surging runs through the middle from midfield to raise his side, while full-back Lennox Forster made number of good interceptions.
Finally, I’d like to wish both teams a good campaign. I doubt there will be many better matches than this one for rest of the season across the Leagues I see.
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng | Assistant: Josh Rogers
Starting XI: 13 Dan Russell (GK), 15 Michael Morris, 3 Joel Lamb, 12 Reece Clarke (Capt), 5 Emmanuel Oluwole, 6 Oliseh Okuganu, 8 James Jewers (7 Demetris Frangeskides 63′), 9 Symeon Taylor (20 David Bell 70′), 10 Callum Bloss (19 Jon Ogunsanya 72′), 11 Cameron Gray, 22 Samraj Gill
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello and welcome to my round-up of the opening weekend of the Len Cordell Cup action, an invitational competition run by the Essex Senior to remember a pillar of the Non-League Family in Len Cordell, who was associated with Redbridge FC for many years.
The twenty teams competing in this competition have been split into five groups. Unfortunately, with spectators still barred from attending these matches until mid-May, these matches were largely played “behind closed doors”, with the notable exception of at least two matches, more on that as we go.
Before we recap the action, below is a snapshot on who is in which group.
Len Cordell Cup – Friday 9 April
Hackney Wick 3 – 5 West Essex | Mayesbrook Park [3G] | Group D
The Cordell Cup got off to a corker of a start as West had to dig deep to claim an important win at Mayesbrook Park. Callum Bloss put Kwame Kwateng’s side ahead after only three minutes with a fine finish after being played in by forward Symeon Taylor. That lead lasted all of two minutes before Mohammed Razza levelled things up for Wick, who are also playing their matches at Mayesbrook in this competition. Lewis Danquah fired Wick into the lead just after the twenty minute mark but again, that lead barely existed before Cameron Gray levelled things again for the Stags.
Bloss added another two goals, the second from the spot to claim a first-half treble and give the attack-minded West side a 4 – 2 lead at the interval. Razza netted again nine minutes after the resumption to keep Wick in it before a powerful strike from Emmanuel Shoderu on the 90 minute mark finally sealed the points for West Essex, after one heck of an enthralling battle.
DT FC 2 – 2 Cockfosters | the Harlow Arena [3G] | Group A
In what was a first for the Essex Senior, this match was streamed live over the virtual screens and it took a last-minute leveller to deny newcomers DT a commendable victory at the Harlow Arena. Ned Clarke added to his reputation at the ‘Fosters by putting them ahead seven minutes before the break. DT held firm though and the Essex Alliance League Senior Division side levelled things up midway through the second-half through Kieron Hipgrave’s strike. It got even better for the hosts as ex-Ilford & Epping Town forward Alex Paraskeva put them ahead with twelve minutes remaining. That wasn’t the end of the drama though as defender Marcus Crowther snatched a point for Ryan Wade’s side in added time.
St Margaretsbury 1 – 1 Hoddesdon Town | The Rec | Group A
In the other match in Group A, these two old rivals resumed their rivalry at the Rec. Cyrus Babaie put Hoddy ahead before Dominic Wynter-Stephens ensured that Ray Bartlett’s side secured a point and leave the group wide open with two matches for all to play.
Redbridge 1 – 0 Clapton | Oakside | Group B
The Motormen began their Cordell Cup campaign with a narrow win over the Tons at Oakside. Tony Martin got the only goal of the game for George Christou’s side on 50 minutes, with Redbridge undoubtedly looking to get deep into the Cup that bears the name of their long-serving former Secretary. Non-League writer Pete Dudley was also at this game & here’s his report: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2021/04/redbridge-1-clapton-0.html
Woodford Town 3 – 4 Barkingside (4pm KO) | Coles Park [3G] | Group B
In the late kick-off of the day, Barkingside staved off a late fightback by Woodford to claim all three points at Coles Park. Steven Le Sage’s side started strongly, with Joe Gent [11’] and Reece Simpson [13’] goals giving them a two-goal cushion before the quarter-hour. Jaydon Charles halved the deficit for the hosts from 12 yards just before the break. ‘Side responded in great fashion after the interval, with strikes from Jack Gibbons six minutes into the second-half and Jacob Dingli [65’] giving them an impressive 4 – 1 lead. There was more drama in the latter stages as Charles’ second of the afternoon and Ridwan Hussein goal on the 90 minute mark made it a nervy end for ‘Side but they held on.
Billericay U23 3 – 0 Holland | New Lodge [3G]| Group C
In this clash at New Lodge which the hosts also streamed live via YouTube, Billericay U23s grabbed an impressive win with Marlon Stratford opening the scoring on 11 minutes. Second-half goals from Max Gnandi [47’] and Nyan Mesuria twenty minutes from time sealed maximum points for the Essex Senior Reserve Division side.
FC Clacton 2 – 1 Stansted | Rush Green Bowl| Group C
The Airportmen made the long trip to North East Essex but ultimately came away empty-handed. Jordan Lartey and Kevin Coyle got the goals for the Eastern Counties League Premier Division side, with Ryan Ramsay getting the solitary reply for Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side.
Frenford 1 – 1 Barking | The Drive [3G]| Group D
These two local rivals faced each other at The Drive, with both sides claiming a point. Owen James got the equaliser for the home side, after Isaac Westendorf had put the Blues ahead just short of the half-hour.
Athletic Newham 1 – 1 Brimsdown | Terry Mac | Group E
This match of the two Eastern Senior League South sides took a while to get going though it was Brimsdown who took the lead through an OG a minute after the interval. Newham did grab a point through as forward Richard Kone levelled in added time. You feel that both these sides need one win in their remaining two matches in the Group to progress.
Great Wakering Rovers 1 – 4 White Ensign | Lower Road | Group E – Featured Match
These two sides usually ground-share at Burroughs Park but on this occasion, they faced off about ten miles away at Hullbridge’s Lower Road. After a promising start by Wakering, it was Ensign who took the lead thanks to impressive winger Dominic Locke on 18 minutes. The visitors took that lead into the second half and pretty much sealed the contest either side of the hour, through well-taken strikes by Connor Barnby [55’] and Locke [64’] to accrue his second of the afternoon. Jake Gordon pulled one back for Rovers with eleven minutes to go but in truth, it was not their day. Locke then turned provider for Luke Skinner to slot home a fourth for Ensign six minutes from time.
Hello and welcome to run-down of the mid-week action from the Essex Senior, which saw some thirty-seven goals scored in the following matches, which included some surprise results too. Thanks for reading.
Essex Senior Results – Tuesday 15th September
Cockfosters 8 – 1 Clapton | Moved to Chalk Lane
Moving directly onto the midweek action now and in the Essex Senior, Cockfosters thumped the Tons as they emerged with an 8 – 1 win. The hosts were 5-1 up at the break through a treble from player-boss Ryan Wade and one each for Marcus Crowther [15’] and Reece Mosanya six minutes after that goal. Daniel Emovon netted for Clapton but the momentum continued for Wade’s side as Kaidyn Michael made it six 20 minutes from time and Ned Clarke also netted a late brace in this huge win.
Hoddesdon Town 1 – 3 West Essex | Lowfield
West Essex continued their strong league start with a 3 – 1 win at Hoddesdon. Michael MIgnot, skippering the Stags side here, put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half-time, before Callum Bloss’ free-kick made it two six minutes after the restart. Town pulled one back from 12 yards thanks to Jack Gibbs with about 20 minutes left but a unfortunate OG compounded the frustrations for Simon Riddle’s side late on as West got a fine win.
Redbridge 2 – 3 Sporting Bengal Utd | Oakside
Sporting Bengal got a late, late victory over managerless Redbridge at Oakside. James Barlow and substitute Terry Amoafo’s goals put Redbridge in command but Joel Ramos’ first of the evening gave Imrul Gazi’s side hope. The Motormen utterly stalled in added time though as Ramos got through to add another double to complete his treble and also grab the three points for Bengal, their first win this term.
Saffron Walden Town 5 – 0 St Margaretsbury | Catons Lane
No such drama at Catons Lane as Walden comprehensively defeated St Mags 5 – 0. Craig Calver opened his account after just two minutes and went on to grab a hat-trick with further goals on 17 and 49 minutes. The Bloods added further gloss to the score-sheet and secured their first win of the league season through goals from Alfie Hilton and Dimitri Hatzimouratis in the dying moments of the match.
Sawbridgeworth Town 3 – 2 Woodford Town | Crofters
Sawbridgeworth pulled off another good result, winning 3 – 2 again Woodford at Crofters. Cabham Clarke put Sawbo ahead after just six minutes, but Woodford levelled ten minutes later through Jeremiah Luwero. Kieran Amos’ speculative shot put the hosts back in front moments later. Conor Clarke’s spot-kick made it three for Sawbo six minutes before the break. Marcus Painter reduced the deficit to one with a calm finish on 52 minutes but Town finished the match with nine men as Sawbo held on to claim the win.
Takeley 1 – 3 Hashtag Utd | Station Road
Hashtag secured their third straight league win after a hard-fought 3 – 1 triumph at Station Road. Tom Jelliman gave the hosts a good start with the opening goal just before the half-hour. The Tags responded strongly after the break though as Joshua Osude was brought down in the area and the resulting spot-kick was taken by George Smith and he made no mistake on 64 minutes to level it up at 1 – 1. Osude capped a terrific solo performance to add a brace [89’ & 90’+4] to seal another important three points for Jay Devereux’s team.
Tuesday’s action left us with one more surprise as Manor emerged with a fine 3 – 2 victory over Walthamstow at Wadham Lodge. A see-saw encounter ended up with Darnell Bromfield getting the winner for Manor from the penalty spot midway through the second-half. Jon Clements and James Hammond got the goals for ‘Stow.
Wednesday – Enfield 0 – 1 Stansted | Woodside
In the only Wednesday match this week, Stansted won 1 – 0 at Enfield, courtesy of a Ryan Ramsay goal on 23 minutes, being in the right place at the right time to slot home after a goalkeeping error. The Airportmen remain unbeaten in three league matches, while the E’s have yet to pick up a win.
Written by Scott W [Twitter: :@ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello all and welcome to the new season of blogs here, you’ll find blogs on the Essex Senior, Essex Olympian League divisions & maybe a little more besides during the course of the season too.
This initial blog is looking at the local sides that were in action this week, which saw eleven Essex Senior sides progress and one Eastern Senior South side. Thanks for reading.
Monday 31 August
Woodford Town 3 – 1 London Colney | The Harlow Arena | Attendance: 247
Woodford Town opened the round’s action with a fine comeback victory over London Colney at the Harlow Arena. Scott Knight had given Colney an early advantage though Luke Parrott levelled matters on the half-hour for Town. Rigert Rama then turned the tide in favour of the hosts as the match approached the hour mark, tapping home following a goalkeeping error before sealing the contest thanks to a fine strike by Parrott to seal his brace and cue wild celebrations from the excited Towners faithful. Woodford are rewarded with a trip to Capershotts to face Waltham Abbey in the Prelim Round.
The ‘Fosters made a miraculous comeback with ten men to overcome Eastern Counties Premier side Stanway at Chalk Lane. Stanway started well and took the lead after four minutes through debutant Dan Gilchrist’s strike. The ESL side responded through George Beattie’s 20th-minute goal but had a double set-back around the half-hour mark as combative midfielder Matt Thomson was dismissed and soon after, Rovers made the most of the man advantage as Harry Thomas bundled the ball over the line after a set-piece. The drama only escalated after the break though as three goals in 15 minutes swung the tie in favour of the hosts. First, new signing Carl Mullings levelled midway through the half after a defensive howler, then player-boss Ryan Wade powered home a spot-kick mere minutes later. Substitute Rueben Campbell provided the telling fourth goal with eleven minutes left to eventually seal a terrific victory.
Cockfosters will face Walthamstow in the next round as ‘Stow fought back to deny London Lions progression into the Prelim Round. Max Kyte broke the deadlock for the Lions in the early stages on the contest and although ‘Stow got more threatening in front of goal, it took until after the break for them to level through substitute Michael Osei’s curling drive. Kyle nabbed his second for the visitors soon afterward, but goals from Connor Scully and Charncey Dash [for Peter: Dash! Dash!] sealed the win in front of Walthamstow’s biggest crowd since 1996.
Another bumper crowd at Lower Road saw Hadley shock higher league opposition again with a fine win at Isthmian North side Hullbridge. Second-half strikes by that man Solomon Ofori and a Sam Edwards free-kick handed the impetus to the Bricks. ‘Bridge also had a penalty saved by Hadley ‘keeper Luke Ward which added to a frustrating evening for them on-the-pitch. Hadley will face FC Clacton away on Saturday week.
Stansted 3 – 2 Takeley | Hargrave Park | Att: 143
Stansted also had to fight back to secure their passage with a hard-fought win over local rivals Takeley at Hargrave Park. Luckless home skipper Billy Coyne headed into his own net five minutes in, but Jack Mitchell converted a spot-kick on 26 minutes to level things up. Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side then took the ascendency on the score-sheet after the break as Mitchell struck again ten minutes after the break. Ash Siddik notched the Airportmen’s third in the last few minutes to effectively seal the tie. Substitute Samson Adelaja netted for Marc Das’ side deep into added-time but their focus turns now to the league opener at West Essex on Friday night. Meanwhile, the ‘Blue Brazil’ welcome Basildon Utd to Hargrave in the next round of the Cup.
Saffron Walden Town 4 – 2 Little Oakley | Catons Lane | Att: 286
Saffron Walden also progressed to the next round with victory over Eastern Senior League South side Little Oakley in another pulsating tie at Catons Lane. Oakley took the lead through Harry Mann before new signing Alfie Hilton levelled the match for the hosts. Oakley were not to be denied a second through as Jordan Heath made it 2 – 1 to Matt Carmichael’s team. More drama though was in the offing as Lewis Francis made his presence felt on his return to the Bloods in a big way. The forward came off the bench and struck a hat-trick to turn the match in favour of Jason Maher’s side and see them into the next round, in front of another hefty crowd. They face the trip to Welwyn Garden City.
Sawbridgeworth pulled off one of the surprises of the round by knocking out Isthmian North side Romford at Crofters. Goals from Conor Clarke and Kieran Amos did the job on a terrific night for Lee Mackman’s side. Malaki Toussaint got one back for Romford midway through the 2nd half but Sawbo went through welcome fellow ESL side St Margaretsbury In the Prelim Round.
Clapton 2 – 2 Sporting Bengal Utd (Bengal won 6 – 5 on pens)
| Terrence MacMillan Stadium
Sporting Bengal edged to the next round on spot-kicks after a two-two draw with Clapton at the Terry Mac. David Tarawali netted to give Imrul Gazi’s side the lead, before Conor Okus equalised for his new club. Bengal re-took the lead soon afterward with Carlos Siegal Hubner slotting home smartly. The Tons forced a penalty shoot-out late on though as Shaun Gittleson once again levelled the match with minutes remaining. It was Bengal who held their nerve in the shoot-out, winning 6 – 5 on spot-kicks here and will travel to Harlow Town in the next round.
Wednesday 2nd Sept
Park View 1 – 2 Hashtag Utd | New River Sports Ground
On Wednesday, Hashtag made their debut in the competition at Park View & came from behind to progress. Kleon James had given the hosts a surprise lead, before George Smith equalised with a well-struck penalty. After the interval, recent addition Toby Aromolaran netted from close range to win the match and they will face Felixstowe & Walton Utd from the Isthmian North in the next round.
West Essex 6 – 3 Crawley Green | Oakside | Att: 147
Finally in our focused ten matches, West Essex progressed in a richly entertaining tie as they powered past Spartan South Midlands Premier side Crawley Green at Oakside. Michael Mignot blasted a hat-trick inside the first 30 minutes before Phil Draycott pulled one back for the visitors six minutes before the break. West extended their lead and sealed the tie through Mignot’s fourth soon after the break. Symeon Taylor and Tom Woodbridge then added further strikes as the Stags saw out a big night for them. To their credit, Danny Watson and Tyler Ingham added late goals for Crawley Green but there was no mistaking the performance by Kwame Kwateng’s side, who are rewarded with a trip to New Salamis in the Prelim Round.
Other Results (ESL & EaSL South Sides) – Tues 1 Sept
Brantham Athletic 1 – 1 Benfleet (Brantham won 3 – 2 on Pens)
Hello and welcome to the second of a two-part blog looking back at the Essex Senior League 2019-20 season, as part of my Non-League ‘Season Review’ series.
In this concluding part, I look back at the sides in the bottom half of the division from the dry statistics perspective and my own thoughts on seeing them in action during the campaign, followed by the stats on Top Goal-scorers this season.
Essex Senior League (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)
As with most Football at or below Step 3 (Isthmian Premier Division in the local area), the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later.
West Essex crest
Image from Sawbo v W Essex (ESL 12.10.19)
Beginning the bottom half in 11th are West Essex. The Stags had a season of transition with thirty-one points being gathered in their 24 matches. Their campaign was also blighted by weather-affected postponements though they still struck fifty-one goals (a goals per game average (GpG) of 2.125) and also shelled fifty-one in defence. They won five of their 12 matches away from their Mayesbrook Park home and their strong team ethos spread to their goal-scorers with Michael Mignot (10 league goals), Brad Russell (8) and Hakim Medfai (6) leading the way on that front. It is also notable that they have continued to encourage young talent into the first team this term. I saw them in action defeat Woodford in September, win well at Sawbridgeworth Town and narrowly lose at Cockfosters, the latter two matches both in October. Their attacking pace has continued from last term though I think for most of the season they have been that bit stronger defensively, despite suffering a few heavy losses this term. It may be that their counter-attacking style favours playing away from home, but I believe it is also about longer-term brick-building you feel for the club as they seek to strengthen the youth side of the club to build pathways through to Senior football.
Still from Stansted v Clapton (ESL 23.11.19)
Still from Stansted v Clapton ESL 23.11.19
In 12th place were Clapton. The Tons had a very strong ‘end’ to the campaign to record thirty-one points also from their 27 matches. Five of their nine wins this term came in their last eight matches and Julian Charles’ side were nomads, playing at Parkside before finishing the campaign at Southchurch Park. They scored forty goals and conceded 59 in total, though their ten losses from seventeen away matches also impeded them. I saw them twice back in November where they lost at Stansted after a decent start and then gave Saffron Walden Town a test before falling to a loss at home to the Bloods. They struck me as a decent side on-the-pitch though their concentration did let down at times. Deimar Queni led the goal-scoring charts with six league goals so well done Deimar.
Ilford club crest
Still from Ilford v W’stow (ESL 29.1.20)
In 13th place are Ilford, with Jonny Fowell’s side gaining thirty points from their twenty-eight games. Stats will show that they scored only 31 league goals (a GpG of 1.11) which is the third-lowest in the division this term, though they did concede fifty times at the other end, which on balance is second-best of all the bottom-half sides. Cricklefield was their ‘fortress’ with all league eight wins this season coming from their 15 home games, with only five points coming away from home. Being positive, I have little doubt that Fowell and his strong coaching team will be aiming for a better season next time out. I saw them narrowly best Tower Hamlets at home back in August before giving it their all in a draw with Walthamstow in late January. I found them to be a determined outfit with some talented players who will improve with coaching & experience.
St Margaretsbury club logo
Still from S Manor v St Margaretsbury (ESL 4.1.20)
Still from S Manor v St Mags (ESL 4.1.20)
St Margaretsbury ended up in 14th spot with twenty-six points from their 28 games, after a tough end to the season which saw them gain one win in their last ten matches. Tony Wild & Ray Bartlett’s team had issues finding the net, as they scored 36 goals (a GpG of 1.28) whilst shelling forty-eight goals at the other end. Forward Kyle Roberts snared eleven league goals to lessen the threat of being caught in the bottom four. In one of those quirks, I saw them twice against Southend Manor this term. Firstly, in early September where they just edged to a win at home in a real helter-skelter high-scoring battle before Manor returned the favour at Southchurch Park in early January. When I saw them they played quite an open, attacking style and benefitted by having the likes of Ryan Reed on set-pieces too. But in defence, they could be got at, much the same as their rivals in that bottom half. It was announced post-season that Tony Wild has moved across to lead the Youth section next term, with Bartlett taking sole charge of the first team, I’d like to wish both well in their respective roles next season.
Sporting Bengal crest
Still from S Bengal v Redbridge (ESL 28.9.19)
Still from S Bengal v Redbridge ESL 28.9.19)
A point behind St Mags were Sporting Bengal Utd in 15th, having gathered twenty-five points from their 26 matches, after being deducted three points early on in the campaign. Imrul Gazi’s side have played a attractive style of football for several seasons now, though this term they were that bit more vulnerable defensively, having conceded 62 goals (a GpG of 2.38) this term. Curtley McIntosh led the way in attack with a very respectable twelve league goals, with support from Bobby Redwood who got seven. As mentioned in the previous part of this article, Bengal contributed hugely to a fine match in their draw with Redbridge at Mile End in late September and reminds us that they have a very capable side, even if the consistency isn’t quite there.
Into the bottom four now, starting with Enfield in 16th spot. Matt Hanning’s side had twenty-four points on the board from their 26 matches, thanks in part to a decent run of two wins and three draws in their last eight matches. Defensively they conceded sixty-six goals – the second-worst in the division but to their credit, in the last few matches they did tighten up at the back and had the season continued, they may have ended the season in a better position. One plus for them as well was their new home of Woodside (Bishop’s Stortford) and they got some fine results there, winning five of their 14 matches there this season. In 17th spot was Southend Manor who endured a tough season it has to be said. They gained twenty-three points from their 26 matches, with four of their six league wins coming at Southchurch Park. The principal issue for them was scoring goals, as they scored twenty-eight times during the entire season – the lowest in the division (a GpG of 1.07). When I saw them live though, they did have their moments (particularly in the midway point of the season as they held Sawbridgeworth in November and edged to victory of St Margaretsbury in early January) but earlier in the campaign, lapses of concentration & confidence showed in home losses to Redbridge and Cockfosters.
Image from S Manor v Cockfosters ESL 9.11.19
Still from S Manor v St Mags (ESL 4.1.20)
Still from T Hamlets v Cockfosters ESL 2.12.19
Moving into the bottom two, and in 18th place were Tower Hamlets. They were a point adrift of Manor on 22 points from their 27 games played. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Hamlets had one of the youngest squads to play in the division, certainly this season if not going further back into the league’s history. One for the historians that is. On their day, their pace and exuberance was tough to stifle, but on the other end of that scale is that their inexperience cost them, defensively in particular. They shipped sixty-five goals (a GpG of 2.41) and they didn’t win any of their last ten league matches which did put them in the position that they finished, but ran the top-of-the-table sides close which did earn John Jatto’s side respect. Finally, bottom of the standings were Sawbridgeworth Town who won eight points from their 28 matches. Two league wins all season kind of sets the tone though what really leaps off the page was the unfortunate defensive record, conceding ninety-nine goals this term (a GpG of 3.53). Their league wins came against Cockfosters at home in mid-November and at Sporting Bengal in mid-February. I saw them lose out at home to West Essex in mid-October where they had promising parts of the game but not enough end product. When I saw next saw them battle hard for a point at Manor at the end of November, there were signs they were tightening up and their attacking promise was evident too. Ultimately though, you’re forced to concede that it was a very harsh campaign for Sawbo and one they can scarcely afford to see again.
Sawbridgeworth club badge
Still from S Manor v Sawbo ESL 30.11.19
Finally, here’s the Leading Goal-scorers in the Essex Senior League 2019/20
The round-up this weekend starts with a stalemate at Mile End, as Hamlets were held by relegation rivals Southend Manor. Grant Frances netted for Manor just shy of the half-hour though Hamlets restored parity before half-time through Enock Seganile and neither side could find a winner. Hamlets remain fourth-bottom on 20 points, still a point ahead & a place ahead of Manor in 17th.
In front a hefty crowd at the Harlow Arena, Hashag cemented their top-three position with another treasured three points. Tom Anderson got the opener with only two minutes on the clock. Woodford showed their battling qualities by levelling things on the half-hour through Reece Antione-DaCosta’s strike. The Tags grasped back the lead just before the interval as George Smith netted his 14th league goal of the season. The match was only settled in added-time as Smith netted from the spot after rapid winger Joshua Osude was felled in the area. Jay Devereux’s side have won their last four matches and go into second spot, five points adrift of leaders Saffron Walden with three matches more to play than the Bloods. Woodford drop to 12th but showed enough to suggest that their form will improve in short order.
Saturday 25 January
Enfield 1 – 2 Redbridge | Woodside | Att: 81
This tense battle at Woodside came alive after the interval. Redbridge took the lead through a James Barlow strike on 71 minutes. Two late goals from Prince Adeyemi for the E’s and one from Taylor Tombides for the Motormen meant that Micky Wetherall’s side got the ‘W’ in his 400th match as a manager. Keep on going, Micky. Enfield’s relentless dearth of luck continues as it’s ten matches without a win as they remain second-bottom, though they do have games in hand on all the rival sides immediately above them. The Motormen rise to eighth now, only two points behind Stansted in sixth.
Cockfosters were denied a narrow win late on at Hoddesdon showed their battling qualities on-the-pitch again at Lowfield. Ned Clarke put Ryan Wade’s side ahead three minutes after the restart though it wasn’t enough to carry them to the win. Adam Bushell’s injury-time goal kept Simon Riddle’s team from defeat though they still slipped to ninth. The ‘Fosters have lost only one of their last five games and stay seventh.
The Tons overcame a gutsy Sawbridgeworth side to claim a fourth win in their last six matches at Crofters. Jaydon Charles put the visitors ahead on 25 minutes, though they were pegged back ten minutes later as Kacper Borowicz struck for Lee Mackman’s team. Christian Londono restored the Tons’ lead on the hour though again the plucky hosts pushed for a leveller at got one, as Ethan Barton netted with 66 minutes on the watch to make it 2 – 2.
However, two goals in the ten minutes broke the home resistance as substitute Asher Modeste [68’] and Nana Boakye-Yiadom [75’] put the visitors in a strong position, and rounded out the scoring with five minutes to play through Diemar Queni to elevate themselves up to 11th, eight points clear of the bottom two and heighten Sawbo’s relegation worries at the same time. Seven straight losses for Sawbo now means that they need wins, and quickly to evade the danger-zone.
Sporting Bengal Utd 0 – 3 Saffron Walden Town | Mile End | Att: 54
Saffron Walden continued their irrepressible recent form with a victory over Bengal at Mile End. The hosts made it tough though Jack Isherwood put the Bloods ahead in first-half added-time. Jason Maher’s side did eventually confirm the points as a late double from one of the stars of the season in Gavin Cockman [87’ & 90’+5] made it ten wins in their last 12 matches for the Bloods, who lead by five points at the top. Bengal’s third loss in their last four sees them drop to 14th and are only three points clear of the bottom three.
Stansted P – P Hadley | Match postponed due to a waterlogged pitch
Takeley 3 – 2 St Margaretsbury | Station Road | Att: 76
Takeley celebrated their return to Station Road with a comeback win over out-of-form St Margaretsbury. Kyle Roberts put the visitors in a strong early position with a brace, first from twelve yards with six minutes played and then with an 18th-minute strike. Charncey Dash halved the arrears for the hosts, seven minutes before the break. Dash then levelled the match a 63rd minute penalty of his own to make it two for him and his team before Elliott Long got the winner, ten minutes from time to give the hosts their 13th win this term and cut the deficit to Hadley in 4th to two points. St Mags’ dry run continues as they drop to 13th.
West Essex 1 – 0 Ilford | Mayesbrook Park | Att: 33
West ended a tough week with a tight win over fellow mid-table side Ilford at Mayesbrook. Michael Mignot was once again the hero for the hosts getting the only goal six minutes before half-time to elevate the Stags up to tenth in the table. The Foxes drop to 15th after an altogether frustrating afternoon for them.