Season Review 2019-20: Essex Senior League (Part 1 – Top 10) [ESL SR 19/20 5.5.20]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the first 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 first part, I look back at the top ten sides in the division from the dry statistics perspective and my own thoughts on seeing them in action during the campaign, followed by the stats on ‘Clean Sheets’ this season. Thanks for reading.

 

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.

Saffron Walden Town

We start off the Top ten rundown at the summit, where Saffron Walden Town led having grabbed sixty-six points from their 29 matches. Jason Maher’s side had another very strong campaign, with a much-admired strike force featuring the likes of Charlie Cole, Nathan Scarborough and highly-rated prospect Tyger Smalls breaking into the team in the second part of the campaign. The ‘Bloods’ hit 69 goals this term (at a Goals per game (GpG) average of 2.38) and had the fourth-best defence in the division (marshalled by the likes of Scott Pethers and club stalwart Spike Bell), conceding twenty-eight times in the league. They have all the hallmarks of a top side, being gritty when they need to be but also having searing pace going forward and can score goals almost at will when I watched them in-person. I also must give a special mention to determined forward Gavin Cockman, who struck sixteen league goals to lead his side in attack and personally he had a superb campaign.

Hashtag United

In second place are Hashtag Utd, who memorably won the Eastern Senior League South in their debut campaign in 2018-19. It was another very positive season for Jay Devereux’s side, having accrued sixty-five points from their 26 matches prior to the season being halted. The ‘Tags’ were the most in-form side in March, with six wins from their most recent eight matches. Overall, they scored sixty-six times (a GpG of 2.54) and conceded 27 goals, the third-best defensive record in the division. Their home record was right up there but it was away from their temporary home of Chadfields that they excelled, winning eleven of their thirteen matches away from home. Striker George Smith was a superb addition to the team, firing home nineteen league goals, but canny signings during the season like centre-back Luke Wilson, goalkeeper Louis Hawes and midfielder Tom Anderson added to their momentum. I saw them in their opening ESL match where they surprisingly lost to Southend Manor, though after that they won their next ten matches on-the-reel. Then in January, an inspired spell after half-time saw them bypass Redbridge and at that point you knew they would take some stopping. For all the hype that follows them around, they are a very promising side and will expect to be right in the tussle for promotion again next season. They are on the move once again, having agreed to ground-share at Bowers & Pitsea’s Len Salmon Stadium next season, which will only add to the optimism going forward.

 

Walthamstow resided in third place, with new manager Max Mitchell taking the reins in late January. The East Londoners gained sixty-three points from their 26 games, winning twenty of them. They netted seventy-three times (a GpG of 2.81) and yes, Dwade James got 27 of those himself to end up the league’s top scorer for the second season in succession, you also have to applaud the stats at the other end of the pitch. Notably, they shelled only seventeen goals, the league’s best this term (a GpG of 0.65) and custodian James Bransgrove also gathered 16 clean sheets (see below), which speaks for itself. Previous gaffer Ryan Maxwell has to take some credit for assembling the team he did, and therefore was largely responsible for his side losing only one of their twelve away matches this term. I saw them since back in August where they just outshone Stansted and battle to a point at Ilford in late January though with Mitchell settling in well since his appointment, the ‘Waltham Rabble’ will be fired up once again next term for another good season at Wadham Lodge.

 

Next in the table were league newcomers Hadley in fourth. They garnered 57 points from their twenty-six matches and have the esteem of scoring the most goals this term, with eighty strikes (a GpG of 3.07) and letting in only twenty-four goals, the second-best record in the division this term. I saw them back on the opening day where they comfortably defeated Enfield though the best thing I recall about that day was the good atmosphere at the club, not forgetting the intriguing ‘Tennis Ball Challenge’ game which is a rather unique half-time spot of entertainment. I saw them again in October where they had to play well to win at Takeley. Forward Solomon Ofori was arguably their star player this term with eighteen league goals to his name, though I’d also mention Luke Jupp, Cameron Ferguson and Manny Hammond who also were right up there in the goal-scorers chart and for their importance to the team. I doubt I’m the only writer who hopes they remain with the league next season as they certainly played their part in it for the football they played and the good people at the club. They were the only side unbeaten at home, winning 13 of their fourteen matches at Brickfield Lane, with only Saffron Walden Town holding them to a draw in the ESL in January. Finally, who could forget the FA Cup run to the Third Qualifying Round where they lost out at National League South side Havant & Waterlooville in early October.

 

In fifth spot are Stansted, who got fifty points from their 27 matches this term. A mixed start to the campaign was swiftly nullified from the memory banks during mid-season as they achieved a new club record of twelve straight league wins which shot them up into the top six. They were in good nick towards the ‘end’ of the season as well. Having scored fifty-five goals in all this term (a GpG of 2.04) and their form at Hargrave Park was to be envied, with ten wins from their 14 matches at home. Paul Pittuck and John Watters’ side also made the last 64 of the FA Vase, and had a grand away day at Thurlow Nunn Premier high-flyers Stowmarket Town to show for it. Connor Hammond ended up their top scorer with eleven league goals, though in fairness the goals were well spread out this term. These two canny managers are known for having determined sides and that was certainly the case again this season. I saw them narrowly lose out at Walthamstow early-doors before besting Clapton in November. You wouldn’t be surprised if the Airportmen are competitive once again next season.

 

Takeley

Takeley were once again in the upper echelons of the table in sixth place, garnering forty-three points from their 24 matches, as the indecent weather in the winter heavily affected their fixtures. Interestingly, their form away from Station Road was slightly better than at home, as Marc Das’ side won seven of their 13 matches away, with only three losses. They struck 46 goals this term, whilst the familiar steely backline remained, conceding thirty-four goals (a GpG of 1.42) – the fifth-best record in the ESL. Bryn Thorpe deserves a mention for being top scorer with nine league goals (15 in all competitions) and stopper Matt Gill also racked up six clean sheets as well. When I saw them back in late October, they were beaten by the better side in Hadley and their form toward the season’s halt wasn’t super with two wins and three losses in their last eight matches though it is a testament to the reputation that Das & co have built that you can’t rule out his side from having a good season, even if they are not the most spectacular.

 

Hoddesdon TOwn

That thought remains with the next club in seventh which was filled by Hoddesdon Town, having won 41 points from their twenty-seven matches. The solid nature of the previous season was maintained, with the Lilywhites conceding 35 times (a GpG of 1.29) and notching a half-century of goals too. Isaac Marfo-Jacobs was their top goal-getter with twelve goals, prior to his departure for Isthmian North side Witham Town. Jordan Halls got six league goals as well to help cover during the latter part of the campaign. Goalkeepers Simon Dent and Aaron Bull got ten clean sheets between them as well and you would feel Simon Riddle’s side are well-placed for another top-half finish at least in 2020/21.

Redbridge are next in eighth spot, having recovered from a mid-season lull to notch thirty-eight points from their 25 games. Weather also affected the improving Oakside stadium, though the fact that they scored 57 league goals (a GpG of 2.28) says a lot for manager Micky Wetherall and his coaching staff. They also shelled 56 goals in defence which arguably held them back a bit but you also have to credit the manner of how they play. Their high-scoring draw at Sporting Bengal Utd in late September was one of my matches of the season, just for the attacking intent shown by both sides. Then in early October, they showed a more gritty side as they won at Southend Manor. Finally, a rare Friday night outing at Oakside in early November saw them just lose out to Woodford Town in another highly-competitive game. Incredibly, eight of their 12wins this came on-the-road and overall, I believe Micky will be happy enough with their campaign.

In ninth place were Woodford Town, after claiming thirty-four points from their 28 matches. Their season could ably be labelled as inconsistent though they did end up finishing well, with four wins from their last eight matches. Remaining at the Harlow Arena this term, they got six wins from their fourteen home games while having their struggles on away days, with four wins and nine losses from their fourteen matches away from home. I saw them lose out at West Essex in September before winning at Redbridge in early November. If they have a more settled squad next term, you would think they will finish higher next term, given they have some talented prospects in the young side. Finally for this part, in tenth spot are Cockfosters, another new side to the division. Ryan Wade’s team gathered thirty-four points also from their 26 matches and ended below Woodford on goals scored. Their Chalk Lane base saw them win six of their twelve matches and going forward, they are an enterprising side to watch, with Billy Healey and Ned Clarke among those impressing. I watched them narrowly defeat West Essex in late October and as some of my peers have said on radio this season, on that occasion they showed how much of a welcoming club they are and they should be congratulated for that. I also saw them make the most of a first-half blitz to win at Southend Manor in November before they ground out a win at Tower Hamlets in early December. All in all, they are a god side to watch and much like Hadley, I hope they remain in the ESL as they have added to the division this term.

 

Essex Senior League  – Goalkeepers’ Clean Sheets

(Source: essexseniorleague.co.uk)

    Club/s Clean Sheets
1 James Bransgrove Walthamstow 16
       
=2 Luke Ward Hadley 13
  Nicholas Eyre Saffron Walden Town 13
       
=4 Bradley Robinson Cockfosters 7
  Tim Pitman Hashtag Utd 7
       
       
=6 Matthew Gill Takeley 6
  Simon Dent Hoddesdon Town 6
  Alex Read Woodford Town 6
       
9 William Hunt Clapton 5
  Jack Coker West Essex 5
       
=11 Aaron Bull Hoddesdon Town 4
  Louis Hawes Hashtag Utd 4
  George Marsh Stansted 4
  Florent Gislette Redbridge 4
  Alex Jennings Enfield 4
       

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 15 Feb) [ESL 19/20 16.2.20]

ESL Badge

Written by Scott W 

Hello and a warm welcome to another of my semi-regular round-up pieces looking at this weekend’s Essex Senior League action, from Friday 14th January & Saturday 15th February.

Friday 14 January

Woodford Town 3 – 0  Stansted  | Harlow Arena [3G]  | Att: 78

Woodford got their second win inside four days as they defeated ten-man Stansted late on at the Harlow Arena. The Airportmen had a setback to contend with when playmaker Ashaan Siddik was sent off with 18 minutes remaining. The Towners soon took advantage as Yemi Adelani opened the scoring on 75 minutes, and got a second six minutes from time to give Joe Gadsdon & Roy Darbo’s team a comfortable lead. Eddy Mombanza made the points safe with a third for the hosts, two minutes from the end to see Woodford go up to 11th in the table. Stansted’s incredible 12-match winning run may be over though they are in 6th spot, level on points with Takeley just above them.

Saturday 15 February    –   Essex Senior

Enfield  2 – 2  Tower Hamlets  | Woodside  | Att: 71

The E’s were pegged back late on by a resilient Hamlets side at Woodside. Things started positively for Matt Hanning’s side as Rob Hodgson put Enfield ahead on 19 minutes. Ben Bradbury doubled that advantage with 52 minutes on the watch with a well-taken finish. Hamlets finished the stronger and halved their deficit thanks to replacement Suaibo Balde’s spot-kick from 12 yards with 15 minutes yet to play. Bishop Lutula then promptly levelled five minutes later to claim a hard-earned point for John Jatto’s side. In reality, the point does neither side much good, with Enfield second-bottom and Hamlets remaining a point above them in third-bottom, having played a game more.

Fellow Non-League writer Matt North was at the match & here is his report: mattnorthfootball.wordpress.com/2020/02/15/match-report-enfield-fc-2-2-tower-hamlets-esl-19-20-15-02-20/

Sporting Bengal Utd  3 – 4  Sawbridgeworth Town  | Mile End  | Att: 35

Sawbridgeworth got a big win at Mile End with victory over Sporting Bengal in what was an extraordinary match. Sawbridgeworth broke the deadlock through loanee Cabham Clarke, who was playing as a forward rather than his usual goalkeeping spot. Fair play Cabham. Bengal did level before half-time through hotshot Curtley McIntosh though the drama hardly ended there. Substitute Adil Haque put Imrul Gazi’s team ahead eight minutes into the second-half. Newcomer Leroy Hlabi equalised again for Sawbo, before Haque smashed in a 30+ yard free-kick to make it 3 – 2 to Bengal. Hlabi got his second to make it level-pegging again before the crucial winner for Town was struck by substitute Kasper Borowicz who reacted first after a penalty was saved by Bengal custodian Ataib Khan.

All in all, Sawbo ended a twelve-match winless run with this morale-boosting triumph whilst Bengal sit in 14th spot, four points above the top three.

 

Matches OFF:
Hadley  P – P  Walthamstow
Hashtag Utd  P – P  Hoddesdon Town
Redbridge  P – P Cockfosters

Takeley  P – P  West Essex

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Fri 8/Sat 9 Nov) [ESL 19/20 10.11.19]

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Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & Essex Senior Writer

Hello and welcome to this week’s round-up of the Essex Senior League action, which includes matches from the nine league matches on this Remembrance weekend of Saturday 9th November. Thanks for reading.

ESL Badge

Friday 8 November

Essex Senior League

 

Redbridge  1 – 2  Woodford Town   | Oakside | Att: 78

Woodford emerged from a tough battle with Redbridge at Oakside with all three points on Friday night. Andrea Montovani put the driven visitors ahead on 27 minutes. Town had more chances to go further ahead and they paid for those misses as Taylor Tombides [68’] levelled things up, though it was substitute Lance Ledgister who got a late winner for the Towners with three minutes to spare. I attended this match and if you’d like more, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/11/09/match-report-redbridge-1-2-woodford-town-fri-8th-nov-esl/

 

Saturday 9 November

 

Hadley  8 – 0  Clapton   | Brickfield Lane | Att: 45

Hadley maintained their brilliant home record as they crushed the Tons at Brickfield Lane. The Bricks were four goals up at half-time and had an ensemble cast of Alfie Bartram, Solomon Ofori, Cameron Ferguson, two from Luke Jupp plus Shaz Anwar and substitute Jason Rice to thank for this hugely dominant score-line. As a result, Hadley go into third after their sixth win in succession. Clapton’s fourth loss in their last five sees them remain second-bottom.

 

Hashtag Utd  5 – 2  Enfield   | Chadfields  | Att: 222

The Tags went through the gears to claim another big win, this time over out-of-form Enfield at Chadfields. Rapid winger Joshua Osude put Jay Devereux’s side ahead with 34 minutes gone, to which ex-West Essex forward Samraj Gill plundered a second with a great strike four minutes before the interval. Gill then teed up Jesse Waller-Lassen ten minutes after the restart. The E’s managed to get on the score-sheet thanks to skipper Ben Bradbury with twenty minutes remaining. The match had an entertaining finale as first, Harry Honesty made it 4 – 1 nine minutes from time, before Aundre Spencer got another one back for Matt Hanning’s side five minutes afterwards. Then at the death, Ross Gleed struck from 25 yards out in added-time to add a reminder of the threat Utd pose in the Essex Senior title race as they now extend their lead at the summit to six points, though all the rest of the top four have games in hand on them. Enfield’s third straight defeat sees them drop to 14th.

 

Ilford  0 – 2  St Margaretsbury   | Cricklefield | Att: 42

St Mags fought to a decent win over Ilford at Cricklefield. Ray Bartlett & Tony Wild’s side saw goal-hungry forward Kyle Roberts move to Ware this week, though had defender Dan Palmer to thank for putting them ahead here on eleven minutes. Ryan Reed then showed his ability once again with a fine free-kick two minutes from time. St Mags go back into the top ten while Ilford sit 16th.

 

Southend Manor  0 – 4  Cockfosters   | Southchurch Park | Att: 42

Cockfosters made the most of a superb start to claim the points over Southend Manor. Billy Healey put the visitors ahead after only three minutes, and continued to dazzle the slow-starting Manor side as Ned Clarke doubled that lead with six minutes played. Healey then got a third for Ryan Wade’s side with fourteen minutes gone and they were well on top. Despite Manor picking it up after the break, substitute George Beattie made it four five minutes from time after good work by fellow replacement Ceykan Karagozlu. I also attended this match, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2019/11/10/match-report-southend-manor-0-4-cockfosters-sat-9th-nov-esl/

 

 

Stansted  3 – 2  Hoddesdon Town | Hargrave Park | Att: 62

The Airportmen retained their recent good vein of form as they resisted late pressure by the Lilywhites to grab the points at Hargrave Park. Ashaan Siddik joined the club from Sporting Bengal this week and he got the opener with 26 minutes on the watch. Two goals either side of the break from Connor Hammond [40’] and Daniel Cheema [47’] put Messrs Pittuck and Watters’ side in control. Though as ever, Hoddesdon do not ‘throw in the towel’ and gave their hosts a nervy finish as strikes by Isaac Marfo-Jacobs [77’] and Sam Cross with four minutes to play showed their typical resilience. Stansted held on for their third straight win which saw them rise to 12th, while Hoddy drop to eighth.

 

Takeley  2 – 1  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Station Road | Att: 61

Takeley got anther three points as they edged this battle with Sporting Bengal at Station Road. George Powell netted on ten minutes to put Marc Das’ side ahead, before two minutes after the restart, Jason Todd made it two. Bobby Redwood responded for Bengal five minutes after that on the eve on manager Imrul Gazi’s birthday. The hosts held on to rise stay fifth.

 

Tower Hamlets  3 – 2  West Essex   | Mile End | Att: 35

Hamlets made a stirring comeback to deny West Essex a much-needed victory at Mile End. Suaibo Balde struck twice for Hamlets here, with Anthony Folkes also on the scorer’s sheet, while Hakim Medfai and Cameron Gray goals had put the Stags ahead. Hamlets rise to 11th while West’s blip continues as they drop to seventh.

 

Walthamstow  0 – 0  Saffron Walden Town  | Wadham Lodge |

Finally, ‘Stow were held by Walden in this top-of-the-table clash at Eadham Lodge. Both sides may be happy with a point given the difficult the conditions though Town remain second, six points adrift of leaders Hashtag with Walthamstow dropping to fourth though retain their unbeaten record after ten matches.

Match Report: Redbridge 1 – 2 Woodford Town (Fri 8th Nov) [ESL 19/20 9.11.19]

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Essex Senior League

Venue: Oakside

Attendance: 78

2019 – 20 Season: Match 37

Friday 8th November 2019 – 7.45pm KO

Redbridge : Royal Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Woodford: Yellow Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

 

 

 

 

 

Woodford strike late to grab win in entertaining battle at Oakside

Redbridge 1 – 2 Woodford Town

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

This Essex Senior weekend first saw me head to Oakside on Friday night to see Redbridge entertain Woodford Town in a battle of two mid-table sides. Redbridge fielded Jake Larkins between the posts, with centre-backs Dean Hall and recent acquisition Eamon Payne, and a front three of skipper Tom Harvey, Taylor Tombides and Tony Martin. Daniel Gilchrist, Rujorn Tuitt and James Barlow were all options from the bench. Woodford, now under the stewardship of boss Ross Weare, had Eli Benoit and Morgan Seaman as their full-backs with skipper Tola Odedoyin at centre-back alongside Joshua Steele and Lauric Diakiesse leading the line. The likes of Lance Ledgister, Chinua Archer and Tyler Fowles were options from the sideline.

Woodford certainly started the match on a strong footing, with forward Lauric Diakiesse powering a strike which flew back off a post with only four minutes gone. Minutes later, after a corner by skilful midfielder Andrea Mantovani, an initial effort by Diakiesse was blocked, which led to centre-back Joshua Steele hitting wide though the hosts would consider themselves warned at this point.  After 18 minutes, tricky winger Anis Mehmeti got in on the efforts on goal as he fizzed an effort wide too, while moments later, the Motormen’s first real sighter of goal saw forward Tony Martin blast a drive into the side-netting.

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Action Still with Redbridge manager Micky Wetherall looking on from the sidelines (Image: Scott W)

As the rain lashed down on the ground, Woodford were showing all of their energy, pace and passion and were testing the home backline, with anchor midfielder Harvey Brown making two good interceptions in the first half. Eventually though, Town would not be denied and they broke the stalemate short of the half-hour as Mantovani curled in a low drive into the right-side corner after an initial effort was repelled by the Redbridge defence. Unsurprisingly, the already fired-up Woodford fans were revved up by the opener and Town had the ball in the net nine minutes before the break, though it was chalked off for an off-side.

Half-Time: Redbridge 0 – 1 Woodford Town

The second-half began with Steele again getting up from the back for the visitors and drilling an effort wide. The likes of Mehmeti and rapid winger Dion Lewis-Kirwan was really adding to the home side’s headache as they were too fast for defenders to stick tight to. That said, the Motormen did break back into proceedings as the hour mark approached as Martin played in the ever-threatening Taylor Tombides though he failed to beat visiting custodian Alex Reed, who gathered his effort well. Woodford were also dealt a blow as Diakiesse was shown a second yellow for an apparent tussle in the opposition area just past the hour mark.

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Still image with Ross Weare watching on from Woodford Town dugout (Image: Scott W)

At the other end, home stopper Jake Larkins also denied Town superbly twice, with the latter occasion being from Steele, after being put in by Mehmeti. The amount of chances Town had to put the game away did cost them somewhat as midway through the second half, Martin unselfishly played in Tombides following a counter-attack, and the goal-hungry forward made no mistake from close range.  As we entered the last twenty minutes of the contest, it was the hosts’ turn to not make the most of chances as substitutes James Barlow and Dan Gilchrist were unable to bypass Reed in the Woodford goal. Redbridge substitute Rujorn Tuitt also had a strike deflected when well-placed in the latter stages though it was Town who ultimately got the points with three minutes remaining. A super run down the right channel ended with a pinpoint cross to substitute Lance Ledgister, who buried it in the corner past Larkins.

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Full-Time: Redbridge 1 – 2 Woodford Town

In the end, Woodford’s pace and energy made life hard for Redbridge who created several chances themselves though ultimately fell to that late winner by substitute Ledgister. Considering the tricky conditions, this was a good marker for two good attacking sides & therefore a good ‘advert’ for the Essex Senior.

In terms of stand-out performances, for victors Woodford I must pay a special mention to livewire wingers Anis Mehmeti and Dion Lewis-Kirwan. Mehmeti was a constant threat with his trickery, pace and directness. Lewis-Kirwan also had a really good game and you have to respect his persistence having recently returned after a long spell out injured. Fair play to you, Dion and your club. Creative midfielder Andrea Mantovani had a real influence on his side’s forward play while left-back Morgan Seaman also put in a good energetic shift as well tonight.

Finally, I’d like to wish both sides well for the remainder of the campaign and given that both teams are attack-minded; it was good to see both sides in action here.

 

Teams (with shirt numbers)

Redbridge  |  Manager: Micky Wetherall

1 Jake Larkins (GK), 2 Jordayne Henry, 3 Jack Blackledge, 4 Harvey Brown, 5 Dean Hall, 6 Eamon Payne, 7 Connor Okus (18 James Barlow 46’), 8 Darnell Bromfield (12 Daniel Gilchrist 57’), 9 Taylor Tombides, 10 Tom Harvey (Capt), 11 Tony Martin (15 Rujorn Tuitt 70’)

Goal-scorers: Taylor Tombides [68’]

Booked: Larkins | Subs Not Used: Edmunds, Raymond

 

Woodford Town   |  Manager: Ross Weare

1 Alex Reed (GK), 2 Eli Benoit, 3 Morgan Seaman, 4 Joshua Steele, 5 Tola Odedoyin (Capt), 6 Frankie Naidoo (8 Georges Kebi 74’), 18 Chris John, 11 Anis Mehmeti, 7 Dion Lewis-Kirwan (14 Lance Ledgister 64’), 10 Andrea Montovani, 9 Lauric Diakiesse

Goal-scorers: Andrea Montovani [27’], Lance Ledgister [87’]

Sent Off: Diakiesse (two bookings) | Subs Not Used: T Joseph, T Fowles, Archer

Referee: Jide Ogunba

Round-up: Essex Senior League (Sat 19 Oct) [ESL 19/20 20.10.19]

Image from Takeley v Hashtag Utd ESL 1910.19 [Image Credit: Matt North]
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Thanks to ESL reporter Matt North (Twitter: @MattNorth_) for image.

Hello and welcome to this weekend’s round-up of Essex Senior League action on Friday 18 & Saturday 19 October, here on my blog.  Thanks for reading.

ESL Badge

Friday 18th October

Woodford Town  3 – 1  Sawbridgeworth Town   | Harlow Arena [3G]  | Att: 87

Woodford came out on top as they defeated Sawbridgeworth at the Harlow Arena, in front of a decent crowd on Friday night. Lauric Diakiesse got the first home goal on the half-hour before adding another two on 35 minutes and eight minutes from time to complete his treble for his new side. Harry Bushell got the consolation for Lee Mackman’s team who battled hard though their extended winless run goes on.

 

Saturday 19th October

Enfield  1 – 0  Southend Manor   | Woodside | Att: 64

The E’s got a much-needed win over fellow lower-half side Southend Manor at Woodside. Daniel Chambers got the only goal after just six minutes and this result makes it one loss in their last five in the league as they rise to 14th. Manor’s fourth game without a win sees them drop to fourth-bottom.

 

Hadley  1 – 0  Hoddesdon Town  | Brickfield Lane | Att: 93

Hadley got back to form with a gritty win over Hoddesdon at Brickfield Lane. The only goal came from the penalty spot, on the hour from Alfie Bartram. The Bricks are ‘building the wall’ results-wise as their third win on-the-bounce means they rise to sixth. The Lilywhites drop to eighth, only a point behind their opposition here.

 

Saffron Walden Town  2 – 0  Cockfosters   | Catons Lane  | Att: 175

Saffron Walden got back to league action with a routine win over Cockfosters at Catons Lane. Two goals either side of the break were enough to win this one as an own goal gave Walden the lead three minutes before the interval. Ryan Fleming doubled that advantage on 48 minutes to see Jason Maher’s team to their fifth straight league success and keep the heat on leaders Hashtag Utd. ‘Fosters are in a bit of trough at present with this being their fifth loss in their last six league matches.

 

Stansted  4 – 0  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Hargrave Park | Att: 70

The Airportmen put in a fine performance to end a recent dreary run at Hargrave Park. Daniel Cheema sent the hosts ahead after just seven minutes, before strikes by John Clark [27’] and Jack Mitchell [34’] put Paul Pittuck & John Watters’ side comfortably ahead at the interval. Luke Hirst added a fourth goal for the hosts with 57 minutes on the watch to end a run of four back-to-back defeats. Bengal fell to their third consecutive loss here though they will have better days this term.

 

Takeley  0 – 1  Hashtag Utd | Station Road | Att: 235

In a match supporting Breast Cancer survivors at Station Road, Hashtag edged the contest in front of another bumper crowd to extend their winning run in the league to nine matches. Joshua Osude got the only goal on 72 minutes, to which the hosts couldn’t find a response and therefore saw their unbeaten mini-run end at four league matches. Hashtag remain a point clear at the summit, with Saffron Walden their nearest challengers.

 

 

Tower Hamlets  2 – 0  Clapton | Mile End Stadium | Att: 55

Hamlets got the better of the Tons at Mile End as they recorded their fourth win of the season. An OG plus one from Marcus Castano were enough to extend their visitors’ winless run to four matches now.

 

Walthamstow  2 – 1  Redbridge    | Wadham Lodge | Att:  46

In a match reversed to Wadham Lodge on Thursday, ‘Stow still got a stern test by improving Redbridge as the hosts won 2 – 1. You can barely keep Dwade James off the scorers’ sheet at present and he put Ryan Maxwell’s side ahead from the penalty spot nine minutes into the contest. That lead barely lasted a minute though before the visitors were awarded a spot-kick of their own, which Dan Gilchrist duly converted to level things up. Just when you felt a draw may have been on the radar, Ben Crilley’s strike ten minutes from time gave the hosts their fourth straight league triumph.

 

West Essex  0 – 0  St Margaretsbury  | Mayesbrook Park | Att: 28

West were held to a goalless stalemate by St Margaretsbury as both sides had a rare match without scoring. Interestingly though, it extends both teams recent records in that they have only lost one of their last six matches now.

 

 

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 18/Sat 19 Oct) [ESL 17.10.19]

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Archive: Sawridgeworth 0 – 3 W Essex in ESL last week (Image: Scott W)


Written by Scott W
[Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this weekend’s preview of Essex Senior League action on Saturday 19 October, as nine matches take place this coming weekend.

 

ESL Fixtures  –

Friday 18th October

Woodford Town  v  Sawbridgeworth Town   | Harlow Arena [3G]  |

The weekend’s action gets underway once again at the Harlow Arena as Woodford welcome Sawbridgeworth. The Towners were held last Friday night by Clapton after a late OG gave the Tons a point. Ross Weare’s side have got two wins in their last five but are adjusting after a influx of squad changes recently. Sawbridgeworth showed some spirit before going down at home to West Essex at home last weekend which extended their winless run. The results may start coming for Lee Mackman’s side soon though this is still a tough test on paper. Narrow home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 0

 

Saturday 19th October

Enfield  v  Southend Manor   | Woodside |

Saturday’s action starts with Manor’s trip to Enfield. The E’s have had a disappointing week, with a long away-day at Harborough Town resulting in their exit from the FA Vase last weekend, followed up by a loss at North Greenford Utd in the Middlesex County Cup in midweek. Southend’s Manor’s form is also mixed of late, with two losses in their last four matches, though new Michael Walther has brought in new players of late so it make time for his new-look squad to gel. Think there will be goals in this one. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Hadley  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Brickfield Lane |

The Bricks look to get their league campaign back on track as they welcome fellow high-flyers Hoddesdon. Hadley suffered a rare home loss to exit the FA Vase as Milton Keynes Robins won last weekend. In the ESL though, they have only conceded one goal in four home matches to date so that tells you something. Hoddesdon were involved in a corker of a match in their loss to Hashtag, having had a two-goal lead thus ultimately fell to a heavy defeat, their first loss since the opening day of the campaign. Therefore, manager Simon Riddle will want a reaction from his side, though piercing the second-best defence in the league will be tough. Narrow home win for the hosts for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Updated: Walthamstow v Redbridge | Wadham Lodge |

The Motormen’s match with ‘Stow has been switched to Wadham Lodge as Oakside is not sufficiently recovered from the week’s weather to host. Redbridge have had their last two league matches postponed, so you have to go back to October 5th for their last league game, a win at Southend Manor. Ryan Maxwell’s Walthamstow side are a different proposition though (with all respect to Manor) as they continued their FA Vase run into Round Two with a good win at Broadfields Utd last weekend,  and won well at St Margaretsbury the midweek before that. ‘Stow have a very stingy defence, the best in the league having only conceded one goal in their six matches so far. Micky Wetherall’s side are strong going forward though can be a tad leaky defensively and ‘Stow will know they need to win their games in hand on the top two. Hard to see anything but an a win for Walthamstow here

 

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

 

Saffron Walden Town  v  Cockfosters   | Catons Lane  |

Walden return to the league action after a hugely admirable win in their FA Vase Replay with Biggleswade Utd in midweek. They welcome Cockfosters to Catons Lane, looking to continue their unbeaten league run and keep tabs on leaders Hashtag Utd. Cockfosters were in action in midweek after being thwarted by the weather last weekend. The ‘Fosters won on penalties at Ilford to advance to the last four of the Gordon Brasted Trophy. Their away form does not favour them here, with one win in five matches and therefore, have to go with a win for the Bloods here.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Stansted  v  Sporting Bengal Utd  | Hargrave Park

The Airportmen welcome Bengal to Hargrave Park, with arguably both sides in need of a win. Paul Pittuck’s & John Watters’ side picked a morale-boosting win in the FA Vase last weekend over Aylesbury Vale Dynamos. Their league form recently though isn’t great as four straight defeats see them third-bottom at present. Bengal have been defeated in their last two home matches, to West Essex and most recently, St Margaretsbury. This could be a highlight match of the weekend. Draw for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Takeley  v  Hashtag Utd | Station Road

The ‘big match’ this weekend surely takes place at Station Road as Takeley welcome in-form Hashtag. Marc Das’ side exited the FA Vase last weekend with a narrow loss at Wellingborough Town, after being held by a spirited Southend Manor at home the midweek before. Hashtag are in prime form after a superb comeback win at Hoddesdon last week extended their winning run to eight matches. Goalkeeper Louis Hawes (formerly of Basildon Utd & Great Wakering) has also been added to the squad this week to compete with regular stopper Tim Pitman. The likes of George Smith and Ryan Adams will take some stopping at present and while Takeley are quite capable of producing a brilliant defensive showing, the Tags may well edge this one.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 3

 

Tower Hamlets  v  Clapton | Mile End Stadium

Hamlets welcome the Tons to Mile End. Both sides are finding wins hard to come by, though Hamlets did produce an impressive performance to win well at Southend Manor last weekend. That win was their first in five matches, while the Tons got a point at Woodford last weekend. They are winless in three matches though with both sides being unpredictable, I’m going head for a stalemate here.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 1

 

West Essex  v  St Margaretsbury  | Mayesbrook Park

Finally for this weekend, the Stags welcome a similarly in-form St Mags side to Mayesbrook. West made it four consecutive league wins with success at Sawbridgeworth last weekend, while Ray Bartlett & Tony Wild’s side win at Sporting Bengal made it one loss in their last six matches. This has the hallmarks of a bruising encounter with technical players in both sides. The crucial factor may be how the visitors’ defence deals with the likes of Taylor and Mignot. Expect this one to a very hard-fought match.

Scott’s Prediction:  2 – 1

That’s your Preview for this week, thanks for reading.

 

Round-up: Essex Senior League & FA Cup 2RQ (ESL Sides) (Sat 21 Sept) [ESL 19/20 23.9.19]

St M v Enfield (Image - MN 21.9.19 ESL).jpg
Still from St Margaretsbury v Enfield (Image Credit: Matt North)

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL Blogger

Image thanks to ESL Writer Matt North (Twitter: @MattNorth_)

Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Senior League round-up piece, with a look at all the ESL action this weekend with a mention of the FA Cup action involving ESL sides too. Thanks for reading.

 
Saturday 21 Sept

Cockfosters 0 – 1  Southend Manor  | Chalk Lane| Att: 56

The weekend’s action started with a rare away win for Manor at Chalk Lane over Cockfosters. New signing Ryan Imbert got the only goal as Manor got a win in new boss Michael Walther’s first game in charge, since his move from the Hullbridge Sports coaching team. The hosts fell to their third loss of the season as they fell into mid-table. The visitors here rise to fifth-bottom.

 

Ilford  1 – 2  Hashtag Utd  | Cricklefield  | Att: 124

Hashtag emerged with the points after a bruising battle at Cricklefield. Ross Gleed put Utd ahead eleven minutes into the contest, though that lead did not last until half-time as eight minutes prior to that, Tyson Talanya levelled for the Foxes. Recent acquisition Jeese Lassen got the winner for Jay Devereux’s team on 56 minutes as Hashtag rise to third after a fifth consecutive win. Ilf’s third straight loss sees them down into the bottom half.

Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 6 Hoddesdon Town    | Crofters |

Sawbo are still marooned to the foot of the table after a hefty loss to local rivals Hoddesdon at Crofters. Aaron Ramthor broke the deadlock for the visitors just seven minutes in, before Jordan Halls [31’] and another spot-kick fom Isaac Marfo-Jacobs six minutes after that put the Lilywhites three up at the break. It was four on 56 minutes through Harrison Cage’s strike and Simon Riddle’s side wrapped up a convincing win thanks to Halls’ second of the afternoon midway through the second half and a 78th-minute strike by substitute Cyrus Babaie. Hoddy sit second, above Hashtag thanks to a better goal difference.

St Margaretsbury  3 – 3  Enfield   | The Recreation Ground | Att: 20

St Mags clinched a late draw in a real see-saw encounter at the Rec. New signing Matt Frew characteristically powered home a header on 11 minutes to put the E’s ahead though Napier Brown levelled midway through the half for Tony Wild & Ray Bartlett’s side. The tide turned in favour of the hosts as Andy Greenslade stuck ten minutes after the interval. There was another turnaround in the offing though as two quick-fire goals from Tyler Fowles [81’] and Josh Woodcock [86’] saw Matt Hanning’s side lead again, though another new signing was to have the final say as Ryan Reed levelled on the 90 to extend St Mags’ unbeaten stretch to three league games and see the E’s search for a win go on.  Both sides remain in the bottom three with five points each.

Stansted  1 – 2 Woodford Town   |  Hargrave Park | Att: 45

Woodford got a much sought-after win at Stansted. Georges Kebi struck eight minutes in to open the scoring for Town, before Chris John doubled that lead just shy of the half-hour. The Airportmen halved their arrears on the stroke of half-time through Jack Mitchell though they couldn’t add to it meaning they stuttered to defeat. Woodford sit fourth in the table, five points off leaders Walden, though Town have scored the most goals in the division thus far with 21 (in seven matches). Stansted remain around the mid-table mark.

 

Tower Hamlets 2 – 3 Saffron Walden Town   | Mile End | Att: 45

Walden came out of a tricky tussle at Mile End for the second straight season with a hard-earned win over Hamlets. Ross Adams, Spike Bell and substitute Greg Strong netted for Jason Maher’s team, while Yoan Edoukou netted twice for Hamlets here. Walden retained their unbeaten run, and the leaders are one of only two sides that are without defeat, the others being fellow title contenders Walthamstow.

West Essex  1 – 2  Clapton  | Mayesbrook Park | Att: 35

Finally in League action, Clapton got their second win this term with a victory at West Essex. Mario Gjini netted ten minutes before the break to give the Tons the lead, before Baseer Ishanzadeh got the winner. Brad Russell got West’s strike with ten minutes left though Kwame Kwateng’s side fell to their league loss this term.

 

The FA Cup- Second Qualifying Round   (ESL sides)

Hadley  1 – 0  Ramsgate    | Brickfield Lane  | Att: 202

Hadley’s FA Cup run goes on as a solitary Tom Milton strike overcame Isthmian South East strugglers Ramsgate at Brickfield Lane. Anthony Clark’s side were rewarded with a trip to National League South side Havant & Waterlooville in the next round.

 

Walthamstow  1 – 1  Abbey Rangers   | Wadham Lodge | Att: 245

‘Stow are still in the hat following a hard-fought draw against fellow Step 5 side Abbey Rangers. Marcus Cousins had put Abbey ahead on 14 minutes, though Billy Jones’ cracker six minutes after the resumption put Ryan Maxwell’s side level. Rangers skipper Tom Bentley then got his marching orders though the visitors held on for a replay in midweek. It’s worth noting the crowd of nearly 250 which the club later noted could be their highest in twenty years – the Magic of the Cup and that perhaps…

 

 

Match Report: West Essex 3 – 2 Woodford Town  (Sat 7th Sept) [ESL 19/20 7.9.19]

ESL Badge

Essex Senior League

Venue: Mayesbrook Park

Attendance: 28

2019 – 20 Season: Match 21

Saturday 7th September 2019 – 3pm KO

W Essex: Yellow & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Woodford: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

 

 

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West edge a attacking, high-tempo battle back at Mayesbrook

West Essex 3 – 2 Woodford Town

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

This weekend’s match took me back to Mayesbrook Park, to see West Essex’s first home match of the season, as they took on Woodford Town in the Essex Senior League. The hosts named a strong side, with a back four of Sanchez Hardy, left-back Ben Leo plus centre-backs Tom MacLeod and Josh French with Brad Russell in central midfield and a front three of Hakim Medfai, Michael Mignot and Symeon Taylor. Callum Bloss, Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe and Greg Frederick were on the bench. Woodford have been hit by injuries of late after a busy fixture schedule though Alex Reed retained his place in goal, with Frankie Naidoo joining Josh Steele at centre-back. Temi Babalola and Vladut Sighiartau made up their front two, though they were restricted to three substitutes – Mohammed Al-Dani, Connor Leon & Redha Zekri were those options.

Some matches are quiet, ‘slow-burners’. Not so here, in more ways than one. Right from the first minute of this encounter, the ‘Woodford Cultras’ fan group started noisily chanting as they usually do – fair play. Unfortunately for them, it was West who got themselves ahead after just three minutes in as a telling pass by midfielder Brad Russell found forward Michael Mignot who broke free of the attentions of the visiting defence and the on-rushing goalkeeper Alex Reed before slotting home coolly. That lead was only five minutes old though before Town equalised as a well-taken strike by Town winger Samir Ali breezed past Stags custodian Jack Coker and high into the net.

During the next phase of a entertaining contest, it was the visitors who showed the intent with Ali the chief threat from the visiting side with his pace, crossing and trickery. Ali himself also headed wide just past the quarter-hour. Minutes later though, Town fell behind for the second time as a corner was angled in toward the near post and skipper Tom MacLeod powerfully headed home giving Reed no chance. Again though, the gutsy visitors levelled six minutes later as a dangerous cross from the left by midfielder Georges Kebi as skewed over the line by a West defender, and despite a sprawling dive, home stopper Jack Coker could not prevent it going over the line. Woodford attackers Vladut Sighiartau and Temi Balalola were also posing problems, with Sighiartau striking wide from an acute angle on the half-hour.

Nine minutes before the break, Mignot found space again before sending a well-struck curler towards goal though Reed did very well to tip it round the far post. Meanwhile at the other head, Town skipper Andrea Mantovani’s free-kick sailed wide before Reed denied Mignot with his feet with the forward poised for a tap-in.

Half-Time: West Essex  2 – 2 Woodford Town

Quite the entertaining half we had then and we weren’t lacking in chances after the break either. West came out strongly and Reed was called into action again to deny Mignot and another MacLeod header, which he tipped onto the crossbar. Woodford were conceding a few free-kicks in the early stages of this half though on the hour, Sighiartau’s lofted shot whistled just over the woodwork before Babalola was thwarted by a strong block by West right-back Sanchez Hardy. Another pinch point of this contest cropped up on 73 minutes as a great effort by Sighiartau cannoned off the woodwork though Coker did really well to deny Babalola’s rebound.

Moments after that, West substitute Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe was testing the strength and resolve of the Town back-line as he headed over. It was a prelude though to what was the winning goal as a searching pass by creative midfielder Joe Lefley found Mignot who again snuck in on goal and with only Reed to bypass, struck low to give the hosts the lead for the third time. The hosts could have made the points safe in the last few minutes though substitute Callum Bloss’ drive was palmed away by Reed before Mignot fired over. As we entered added-time, Woodford replacement Reidha Zekri did well to find Babalola though he was again denied by Coker as the Stags held on to claim another valuable three points.

Full-Time: West Essex  3 – 2  Woodford Town

In summary, West did deserve the win though you have to give credit to Woodford, who showed all the exuberant attacking spirit you expect from them, despite suffering with a number of players missing today. The Stags were no doubt buoyed by their win in the FA Vase in midweek and the spine of the side stood out for me today. Mignot showed again the value of a finisher, while recent returnee Brad Russell stood out with a number of good passes to the front-men, plus the gutsy skipper MacLeod at centre-back gives it everything and took his goal well. Target-man Ogedi-Uzokwe made an impact after coming on too.

For Woodford, goalkeeper Alex Reed had a fine match, making a fair few important saves in this match. Dynamic midfielder Georges Kebi also put in a very hard-working performance with surging runs through the middle and good passing. Not forgetting the energetic display of winger Samir Ali who was arguably the biggest threat for the visitors, particularly in the first half, as shown by his well-taken goal.

Finally, I’d like to thank West for the welcome they gave as ever, and wish Mihael the very best in his recovery following the serious injury he sustained in the original FA Vase tie eight days ago.

Teams

West Essex    |  Manager: Kwame Kwateng

Jack Coker (GK), Sanchez Hardy, Ben Leo, Tom MacLeod (Capt), Josh French, Emanuel Wazola, Brad Russell, Joe Lefley (Callum Bloss 80’), Michael Mignot, Hakim Medfai (Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe 68’), Symeon Taylor (Cameron Gray 68’)

Goal-scorers: Michael Mignot [3’ & 76’], Tom MacLeod [22’]

Booked: Lefley | Subs Not Used: Walk, Frederick

 

Woodford Town  |  Manager: Dee Safer

Alex Reed (GK), Morgan Seaman, Ellis Routledge, Chris John (Mohammad Al-Dani 55’), Frankie Naidoo, Josh Steele, Samir Ali, Georges Kebi, Temi Babalola, Vladut Sighiartau (Reidha Zekri 82’), Andrea Mantovani (Capt) (Connor Leon 74’)

Goal-scorers: Samir Ali [8’], OG [28’]

Booked: Leon | Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Endrit Malaveci

Preview: Essex Senior League (Fri 16/Sat 17 August) [ESL 19/20 15.8.19]

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Still from Hashtag Utd v S Manor on August 7th (Image: Scott W)

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

Hello all and welcome to another of my weekly Preview pieces for the 2019-20 Essex Senior League campaign. After a frenetic two weeks of ESL & FA Cup matches which involved replays for a few of our sides, the league programme to take centre stage, hot on the heels of the Replays that two of our sides had in midweek.

 

Friday 9th August – 7.45pm KO

 

Woodford Town v West Essex   | the Harlow Arena

The weekend kicks off with Woodford back in action just 48 hours after their battle with White Ensign in the FA Cup Extra Prelim Round Replay which went to extra-time on Wednesday night. They face a West Essex who also went out of the FA Cup this week so both teams may feel they have to ‘get back in the saddle’ with a league triumph. If both sides play near their best, this could be another corker of a match given both teams’ attacking nature. Have to go with my gut instinct which says a narrow West win, purely because they’ve had three more days to recover from their last match than their hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Saturday 10th August – 3pm KO

 

Enfield    v   Cockfosters  | Woodside

Our look at the Saturday action begins at Woodside as Enfield welcome Cockfosters. The E’s haven’t had the best week with a loss in their long trip to Fairford Town last weekend in the Cup before getting narrowly beaten by Hoddesdon in midweek, also at home. Their only win in their opening three has come at home though, ten days ago at home to Stansted so there are signs they could make their new home a fortress, which you sense boss Matt Hanning & co will want to do. Cockfosters may be ‘riding high’ after progression in the FA Cup with a win over Eastern Senior League South side Leyton Athletic last weekend, which was followed by a super comeback to draw at home to Ilford in midweek. Player-boss Ryan Wade scored twice in that latter match and I can see this one perhaps being a draw as well.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Hadley  v  Sporting Bengal Utd   | Brickfield Lane

The Bricks return to ‘home comforts’ after a good win over ESL side Redbridge in the FA Cup last weekend. Anthony Clark’s team have scored ten goals in their three matches in League & Cup thus far so that is a record they will want to keep adding to at this early stage of the season. Bengal were overpowered by Walthamstow in the Cup last weekend and will seek to avoid a repeat here. Imrul Gazi’s side are not one to under-estimate though in my view they will need to improve defensively to get anything out of this away-day. Home win for me.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

Ilford  v  Hoddesdon Town  | Cricklefield

Ilford are at home once again as they welcome the Lilywhites to Cricklefield. Morgan LaForce’s Foxes have had a mixed week at best. Last weekend wasn’t a happy one as they exited the FA Cup with a home loss to Eastern Senior League South side Harwich & Parkeston. That said, their midweek exploits was better as they battled to an entertaining draw at Cockfosters, which was their first points of the campaign. Hoddesdon have had a brighter week with a good win over Brantham Athletic in the FA Cup before a good away performance in the win at Enfield on Wednesday night. If Simon Riddle’s side keep stern in defence then it could be an away win.

Scott’s Prediction: 1 – 2

 

Redbridge   v   Hashtag Utd  | Oakside

The Motormen entertain Hashtag Utd at Oakside. Micky Wetherall’s side played their part in their recent two matches, before succumbing to successive defeats at Hadley and Takeley in the FA Cup and league respectively in the past week, despite four goals in those two games. Jay Devereux’s Hashtag outfit will be buoyed after a late five-goal flourish in a hefty win over Tower Hamlets in midweek at Chadfields. This is a tricky one to call as both sides have the firepower to score goals though will narrowly go with ‘the Tags’.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 3

 

Sawbridgeworth Town  v  Tower Hamlets  | Crofters

Sawbo welcome Hamlets to Crofters. These two sides had many battles last term though since then both have had rather extensive squad changes and their recent results suggest that those changes will take time to settle. Sawbridgeworth went out of the Cup with a home loss to Step 6 side Halstead Town last weekend though did score in that match. Hamlets did triumph in the Cup last weekend with a battling win over Selsey at Mile End though had a chastening end to their match at Hashtag in midweek. Manager Damien Briggs will want to get that out result out of his team’s systems. Instinct says a narrow win for the hosts.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 1

 

Takeley  v  Saffron Walden Town  | Station Road

Takeley face Saffron Walden in an early-season belter at Station Road. Marc Das’ side has started the season in a spritely fashion and backed that up in the last week with wins in League & Cup. First, a good victory at Crawley Green in the Cup last weekend was followed by a hard-fought win at Redbridge in the league in midweek. Forward Bryn Thorpe has notched five goals in all competitions already though this match represents arguably their toughest test yet. Walden also progressed in the FA Cup with a narrow win over Baldock Town last weekend and you do sense their forward line will click into goal-scoring touch sooner or later. Takeley powered to a good win in this fixture last season so Jason Maher’s team may have that in their minds too. Draw in my view.

Scott’s Prediction: 2 – 2

 

Walthamstow  v  Stansted       | Wadham Lodge Stadium

Finally this weekend, another potential corker awaits as ‘Stow entertain Stansted at Wadham Lodge. Ryan Maxwell’s side have started the season as they mean to go on, in regards to goal-scoring. They progressed in the Cup with a big win over Sporting Bengal last weekend though following that match, it was revealed that promising forward Samrai Gebrai has departed for Step 3 Canvey Island. Stansted had a hiccup last Sunday as they crashed out to Eastern Senior League South side Barkingside in the Cup as they seek to settle following minor squad changes recently. This may be closer than some think though hard to go against another home triumph.

Scott’s Prediction: 3 – 1

 

That’s all for this edition of the ESL preview blogs. Check back on Sunday/Monday  when I’ll have the round-up of what happened in this weekend’s matches of the 2019 – 20 Essex Senior League season. Thanks for reading.

Match Report: White Ensign 3 – 1 Woodford Town (Wed 14th Aug) [FAC 19/20 EPR 15.8.19]

The FA Cup 2019 -20: Extra Preliminary Round Replay

Venue: Burroughs Park

Attendance: TBA

2019 – 20 Season: Match 13

Wednesday 14th August 2019 – 7.45pm KO

W Ensign: Navy Blue & Red Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

Woodford :Yellow Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

 

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Ensign triumph in an enthralling FA Cup tie at Burroughs Park

White Ensign  3 – 1  Woodford Town

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

This year’s FA Cup Extra Prelim Round ended for me with a trip to Great Wakering’s Burroughs Park to see White Ensign face Woodford Town in this replay following an entertaining draw in Harlow the previous Friday night. It was widely reported that Ensign held their own in that match and are one of the sides talked about with regards to promotion from the Eastern Senior League South this term. Woodford Town reside in the Essex Senior League though before kick-off it was felt in the local Non-League scene that the hosts had a chance of progression here.

For this debut match in their new ‘home’, Ensign fielded a strong side with Elliot Vile and Andy George in central defence, midfielder & skipper Jack McWee with a front three of player-boss Brett Munyard, Connor Barnby and Dominic Locke. Forward Luke Skinner and midfielder John Hilliard were among the substitutes. Woodford, buoyed on by their travelling support ‘the Woodford Towners’ also named a well-recognised side with Morgan Seaman, Josh Steele, Tola Odedoyin and Ellis Routledge making up their back four, Andrea Mantovani as captain and a front two of the in-form Asher Modeste and a big prospect in Temi Babalola. Samir Ali, Connor Leon and Vlad Sighiartau were among the options on the bench.

The hosts started the game brightly, as on eight minutes forward Connor Barnby got his past his marker to face Town custodian Alex Reed one-on-one though his low drive was adrift of the target. Four minutes later, Ensign took the lead as from Munyard’s in-swinging corner, centre-back Elliot Vile powered home a header past Reed to really gee up the home crowd. Woodford took a little time to settle, particularly defensively and conceded another decent opportunity for the hosts though rapid forward Dominic Locke’s effort was tame and was easily gathered by Reed. As we passed the midway point in the first half, Town were getting their passing game going and had two half-chances of their own though forward Asher Modeste and midfielder Georges Kebi couldn’t trouble home stopper James Parkins.

That momentum continued for Town as the hosts were finding it increasingly difficult to break out of their own half, though the likes of midfielder Ensign Ben Austin were doing an admirable job of ‘dampening the tide’ as Town’s attacks gathered steam. With nine minutes to play until half-time, Locke did well to seize on a Town defensive error though couldn’t make the most of it. Woodford did level moments later as a ricochet off a home defender saw the ball fall kindly to the on-rushing Temi Babalola who made no mistake as he drilled low past Parkins to heighten the tension in this tie.

Half-Time: White Ensign 1 – 1  Woodford Town

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The tempo of the match was building as the second-half began as both sides traded openings. Six minutes into the half, a free-kick in a promising position saw visiting skipper Andrea Mantovani step up and his good strike was well parried away from danger by Parkins. At the other end, forward Brett Munyard was causing some trouble with his set-pieces and from his deep free-kick, energetic midfielder Harry Skinner headed over after being well picked out. On the hour, Ensign’s good passing continued as Munyard was well found though just as he was making his way in on goal to strike, Town centre-back Tola Odedoyin made a crucial interception to snuff out the opportunity.

The hosts had another good opening for Ensign minutes later as after forward Connor Barnby was denied by ‘keeper Reed, Munyard picked up the second ball though his drive was well-blocked on the goal-line. With ten minutes remaining on the watch, Town midfielder Georges Kebi did well showing neat touches before blasting over. The Ensign defence had to stay alert in the latter stages as Parkins superbly denied a firm header on goal.

After 90 Minutes: White Ensign 1 – 1 Woodford Town

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Extra-time it was then and somehow you felt that it was one of those ties that you felt was going to need that extra 30 minutes and that one single incident might have a bearing on who would win out. It was the hosts who had the first chance though after decent approach play, Locke found himself in goal but he couldn’t generate the power in his shot to beat Reed, who gathered comfortably. Kebi also headed over for Town in that first period of extra-time though more drama came on the other side of the extra thirty minutes.

Just three minutes into the second period of extra-time, Town defender Tola Odedoyin brought down substitute Luke Skinner and was promptly sent off, much to the dismay of the visiting side. Directly from the free-kick just outside ‘the D’, substitute John Hilliard (who has just come on for Munyard) sent over a crisp strike over the wall and curled in past Reed to give the hosts the lead once again. Ensign hammered home the advantage as with five minutes to play, midfielder Jake McWee made no mistake from close range to send the vocal home fans into raptures and give them a two-goal cushion to defend.

Not even a late second booking for Vile after a tussle with Babalola could dampen the spirits for Ensign who held out for arguably their most important win as a Senior club and complete one of the biggest results in their history.

 

Full-Time (AET): White Ensign  3 – 1  Woodford Town  

After the full-time whistle, the home side turned to their supporters to applaud them as the celebrations begun in earnest. Woodford will feel they had the chances to come away with a win though ultimately the energy levels and determination of the Ensign side could not be matched. As far as stand-out performances go, it is very hard to pick out one or two players. For Ensign, midfielder Harry Skinner typified the resolve of his side and shone, as did centre-half pairing Elliot Vile and Andy George who had to deal with the physicality of Babalola plus the skill of the likes of Modeste and substitute Sighiartau. Full-back Charlie Buffin also showed great willing and energy plus the pace of Dominic Locke really gave the hosts a good outlet on the right flank.

For Woodford, forward Temi Babalola was always an outlet going forward while centre-half pairing Josh Steele and Tola Odedoyin also stood firm under pressure. Skipper Mantovani also helped build his side’s attacks well and could’ve had a big say on the match with his delivery too.

Finally, I’d like to thank Ensign for their hospitality and regardless of the result, it was great to be there for a dramatic and highly-engrossing match. Brett Munyard’s side make the trip to ESL side Takeley in the Preliminary round of the FA Cup and whilst that is a different challenge, these two matches may well buoy them on for the season to come. Best wishes to Woodford as well for the rest of the campaign.

 

Teams

White Ensign    | Player-Manager: Brett Munyard | Assistant: Mark Healy

James Parkins (GK), Charlie Buffin, Elliot Vile, Andy George, David Limber, Harry Skinner, Jake McWee (Capt), Ben Austin (Luke Skinner 72’), Connor Barnby, Dominic Locke (Jack Maleary 113’), Brett Munyard (John Hilliard 106’)

Goal-scorers: Elliot Vile  [12’], John Hilliard [110’], Jake McWee [115’]

Booked: Locke | Sent Off: Vile (two bookings) | Sub Not Used: Ainslie

 

Woodford Town   | Manager: Dee Safer | Assistants: Neil Day & Ross Weare

Alex Reed (GK), Morgan Seaman, Ellis Routledge (Connor Leon 106′), Chris John (Alfie Anderson 74′), Josh Steele, Tola Odedoyin, Andrea Mantovani (Capt) (Mohammed Al-Dani 84′), Georges Kebi, Temi Babalola, Asher Modeste (Vlad Sighiartau 54′), Sharn Quinn

Goal-scorers: Temi Babalola [37’]

Booked: Routledge, Seaman, Babalola, Quinn | Sent Off: Odedoyin |Subs Not Used: Ali, Parrott

Referee: Lukas Wood