Essex Senior League Round-Up

By Peter Dudley

The opening weekend of the ESL Premier and Eastern Senior League South took place this weekend and so here is a round-up of the opening weekend’s results:-

Premier Division

Woodford Town 4 Leyton Athletic 1

Clapton 1 Tower Hamlets 0

Hullbridge Sports 0 Barkingside 0

Ilford 0 Stansted 3

Redbridge 1 Saffron Walden Town 1

Southend Manor 2 Enfield 0

Stanway Rovers 1 Takeley 5

Walthamstow 2 Hoddesdon Town 2

West Essex 2 Sawbridgeworth Town 3

The Premier Division began on Friday night at the Harlow Arena as Woodford Town thrashed Leyton Athletic.  Ola Ogunwamide put the hosts ahead before Chinua Phinn-Archer doubled his sides lead and when Ethan Kessel made it three just before the hour the game was done.  Ogunwamide did add a fourth for the hosts and although Leyton netted a consolation through Dwade James late on it was too little too late for the Walthamstow side.  Onto Saturday’s action and a stoppage time strike from Jeffrey Cobblah saw The Tons edge past Tower Hamlets at The Old Spotted Dog, whilst at Lower Road Hullbridge Sports and Barkingside played out a goalless draw in their opening game of the season.  Ex-Ilford striker Carl Mullings came back to haunt his old club, netting two first half goals for his current club Stansted as they took a 2-0 half time lead into the changing rooms, and Sam West netted a third in the second period to see the Airportmen leave with a opening day victory at Cricklefield.  Southend Manor defeated Enfield at Southchurch Park to get their season off to a good start, with the goals coming from Alfie Linfield and Charlie Burns in the final twenty minutes of that one.  At The Hawthorns Stuart Zanone struck a hat-trick as Takeley laid down an early marker by thrashing Stanway Rovers 5-1 with the other goals coming from Mitchell Das and Bryn Thorpe as the Station Road outfit went top of the table on goal difference, and at Kitchener Road Walthamstow were held by Hoddesdon Town.  James Peagram put the hosts ahead however Hoddesdon turned it around to lead 2-1 thanks to Scott Hayes and then another free touch from a corner, however the hosts did find a leveller through Christian Owusu to pick up a point in their opener.  And finally at Mayesbrook Park Sawbridgeworth Town claimed all three points after they won an entertaining encounter against West Essex.  Josh Knight had put the Robins ahead only for Greg Frederick to level, but Lewis Roberts then restored the visitors lead once again before Tom Macleod levelled for the hosts once again;  Roberts then added his second and Sawbo’s winner with just over twenty minutes remaining to give the visitors an enjoyable journey home.

Easter Senior South Division

Burnham Ramblers 2 Lopes Tavares London 2

Frenford 2 Newbury Forest 2

Halstead Town 2 May & Baker 2

Harwich & Parkeston 3 White Ensign 3

Holland 3 Braintree Town Reserves 0

Little Oakley 3 Hashtag United 2

Wivenhoe Town 1 Wormley Rovers 1


Burnham Ramblers came from two goals down at half time to salvage a draw against Lopes Tavares London at Leslie Field, whilst at Rosemary Lane Halstead blew a two goal lead to draw at home to May & Baker.  Jake Brown had given Halstead the lead on his 100th appearance and Jordan Pavett doubled their lead, but the visitors managed to comeback to earn a late draw.  Over at Royal Oak an entertaining encounter saw Harwich and Ensign share six goals, Locke put the hosts ahead early on before Heath levelled, only for Ensign to retake the lead through Sorrell after a defensive error.  And when Hillard gave the visitors a two goal cushion just before half time, you thought they were the side in control.  But there was time for Harwich to reduce the deficit before the break when Palmer struck home a low effort, and the hosts were only one goal behind at the break.  Ensign’s Barnby was then shown a red card in the second period, and the hosts took advantage to level the contest up when Richardson scored a brilliant long range effort, which meant the game ended all square in the end.  At Eastcliff Holland got their season off to a flyer with a 3-0 win over Braintree Town Reserves, and Little Oakley came from behind to defeat Hashtag United thanks to goals from Harry Mann, Stephen Polley and Sam Eldridge.  Hashtag had lead and had also missed a penalty prior to the hosts comeback but it’s a terrific win for the hosts that.  Finally Wivenhoe Town and Wormley Rovers played out a 1-1 draw, George Smith had put the hosts ahead with a low shot from outside the area but the visitors levelled thanks to a close range header.

Here are next week’s fixtures:-

Monday 6th August

Premier Division

Barkingside vs Sporting Bengal United

Enfield vs Redbridge

Tuesday 7th August

Premier Division

Clapton vs Ilford

Saffron Walden Town vs Stanway Rovers

Sawbridgeworth Town vs Hoddesdon Town

Takeley vs Stansted

West Essex vs Walthamstow

Woodford Town vs St Margaretsbury

South Division

Brightlingsea Regent vs Halstead Town

Coggeshall United vs Little Oakley

Harwich & Parkeston vs Holland

Hashtag United vs Hackney Wick

Newbury Forest vs Lopes Tavares London

White Ensign vs Burnham Ramblers

Wednesday 8th August

Premier Division

Leyton Athletic vs Tower Hamlets

Southend Manor vs Hullbridge Sports

South Division

Benfleet vs Frenford

Braintree Town Reserves vs Wivenhoe Town

Saturday 11th August

The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

Barkingside vs Leyton Athletic

Burnham Ramblers vs West Essex

Eastbourne United vs Hackney Wick

Hullbridge Sports vs Gorleston

Norwich United vs Takeley

Redbridge vs Long Melford

Southend Manor vs FC Romania

Sporting Bengal United vs Ilford

Walthamstow vs Walsham Le Willows

Wivenhoe Town vs Brantham Athletic

Wodson Park vs Hoddesdon Town

Woodbridge Town vs Clapton

Eastern Senior League South Division

Braintree Town Reserves vs Fire United Christian

Brightlingsea Regent vs Wormley Rovers

Frenford vs Coggeshall United

Halstead Town vs Benfleet

Holland vs Newbury Forest

Little Oakley vs Lopes Tavares London

May & Baker vs Harwich & Parkeston

White Ensign vs Hashtag United

Sunday 12th August

The Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

St Margaretsbury vs Enfield

Stansted vs Sawbridgeworth Town (at Bishops Stortford FC)

Tower Hamlets vs Stanway Rovers (at Stanway Rovers FC)


Woods Get Season Off To A Flyer

Woodford Town 4 Leyton Athletic 1

Essex Senior League

Friday 3rd August

Woodford Town got their season off to a flyer on Friday evening after they put in a dominating performance that simply blew Leyton Athletic away.

The Woods came out of the blocks and almost took the lead in the opening minute when Ola Ogunwamide nearly made it a dream debut with a blistering shot that needed James Scammell to pull off a fantastic save to tip the ball around the post. Moments later Samir Ali worked his way into the Leyton box before setting up Ogunwamide who was again denied by Scammell. Ogunwamide went on to have another shot blocked, this time by Dami Olaiya, but Ali pounced on the rebound and fired off a shot that was charged down by Mish Djemaili.

It took until the 11th minute before Leyton Athletic were able to muster an attack which ended with Djemaili heading an effort into the arms of Alex Reed. But the opening quarter of an hour had all been Woodford Town but it looked like they were starting to lack the firepower to put the finishing touches to their forward play as a wonderful through ball reached Ogunwamide, but he took a touch too many and in the end that gave Scammell enough time to set himself,  before eventually cutting out Ogunwamide’s eventual shot. A decent cross from Malaki Toussaint was headed clear by the Leyton defence which launched a counter-attack that saw Danny Francis cut inside the box before unloading a low shot that Reed parried; then the Woods ‘keeper was called on to cut out a Leyton cross. It was the first time in the game that Leyton had managed to put a bit of pressure on the Woods box.

But it was to be the hosts who were finally able to break the deadlock in the 23rd minute when Ogunwamide finally scored the goal that he had been threatening by latching onto a through ball before lofting it over Scammell.

The visitors were able to test Reed once more before the half was out as Danny Francis had a well-taken free kick saved by the Woods glovesman; but the hosts saw Ricardo Shaw, Connor Leon and Ogunwamide all go close, while a fabulous run by Ellis Routledge looked promising until Eli Benoit put in a solid tackle to end the danger. At half-time the visitors could count themselves lucky to still be in with a shout of getting something from the game.

The visitors made all three of their substitutions at the start of the second half which saw Dominic Foster and Jerome Ntumba take their places in the Leyton defence, with Dwade James coming off the bench to bolster the Leyton frontline. The visitors needed to steam Woodford’s attacking flow but the hosts were able to have a couple of early chances as Ali and Ogunwamide both had shots charged down. It was starting to look like the Woods were on course to have one of those games where their inability to turn chances into goals might end up haunting them. Certainly the chance that the Woods created in the 53th minute seemed to sum up the wastefulness as a great cross from the right sailed beyond Scammell but Shaw could only place his header the wrong side of the post.

All that was to change in the 55th minute when Chinua Phinn-Archer came off the subs bench and a minute later  ran onto a ball that had been over the top of the Leyton defence and struck a shot beyond Scammell to increase Woodford’s lead. Three minute later Woodford were coasting as they went into a 3-0 lead thanks to a long range howitzer from Ethan Kessel.

Having scored from distance, Kessel then let fly with another fierce shot that landed inches away from the target. Kieran Southgate dragged a Leyton effort wide, before James burst through the Woodford defence that required Reed to show great bravery to claim the ball from the feet of the on-rushing Leyton striker.

After such a great piece of individual play from James,  it was almost poetic justice that Ogunwamide then went on a defence-shredding run of his own,  which finished with the Woodford talisman slotting the ball past Scammell – applying further polish to the result.

The Woods went on to test Scammell twice more as Taku Mashingaidze and Ogunwamide both had low shoots blocked by the Leyton custodian; Ogunwamide nearly completing his hat-trick in the 88th minute when he rammed a shot just wide.

However Leyton were able to prevent Alex Reed picking up a clean sheet as a ball across the box in the final minute of the game was side-footed home by James. But it can no way take anything away from Woodford Town’s rampant performance, which sets them up nicely for the campaign ahead.

Woodford Town: Alex Reed, Leon Wildman, Ellis Routledge, Malaki Toussaint, Ricardo Shaw, Jack Grosvenor (Capt), Connor Leon (Chinua Phinn-Archer 55’), Andrea Mantovani (Oliver Palmer 82’), Samir Ali (Taku Mashingaidze 71’), Ethan Kessel, Ola Ogunwamide.

Scorers – Ola Ogunwamide (23’, 81’), Chinua Phinn-Archer (56’), Ethan Kessel (59’).

Leyton Athletic: James Scammell, Nico James (Jerome Ntumba 46’), Dami Olaiya (Dominic Foster 46’), Mish Djemaili, Eli Benoit (Capt), Cory Rider, Rujorn Tuitt, Nathan Muskitta, Kieran Southgate, Isaac Atugumya (Dwade James 46’), Danny Francis.

Scorer – Dwade James (90’)


Honours Even At Sunny Oakside

Redbridge 1 Saffron Walden Town 1

Essex Senior League

Saturday 4th August

Report by Scott Lanza

Redbridge missed out on promotion last season after conceding a late goal at Basildon United that saw the Bees secure their own move up the Pyramid. The Motormen go into this campaign once again one of the favoured teams and they almost made a perfect start to the new season as Calvin Poku nearly beat Neil O’Sullivan with an audacious lob within twenty seconds of the game starting. Saffron Walden, making their return in the ESL, replied in kind a minute later with a Thomas Lakin drive that just missed the target.

After such a blistering start it was no surprise when the deadlock was broken early on;  in the 11th minute to be precise, but in controversial circumstances as the referee adjudged that Lewis Greene had made contact with Daniel Trendall before the ball. The game is all about opinions, and in this case position,  but it did look contentious to me and Redbridge were understandably not too happy with the decision. Non-League legend Steve Portway, a former Redbridge manager returned to Oakside team  to see his son, who now leads the line for the Bloods. However he had to look away as Charlie stepped up  and despatched it with some aplomb into left hand corner, sending Greene the wrong way in the process. His dad would have been proud – had he only witnessed it!

Redbridge despite conceding in such a controversial way went back to testing the Bloods defence with Poku and Joey May, back from a long term injury and now likely to feature as a player as well as being co-manager with Ricky Eaton, both causing the Bloods defence a few concerns.

But it was Michael Ogboin, making his first competitive appearance since re-joining the Motormen in the close season, who fired home the equaliser in the 20th minute. A ball swirled into the box and Ogboin showed lovely skills to flip the ball up, before turning and volleying  past the desperate dive of O’Sullivan.

Portway dinked one over soon afterwards and Greene then had to show great goalkeeping prowess to tip away a Trendall shot. But the rest of the half looked to peter out as both defences stood firm and that meant chances dried up and so it was looking like there was going to be nothing else of note to report. Not so, as just before the break the Bloods had a penalty appeal when Trendall was hauled down in the box. It looked a stronger claim than the one they had been given earlier. On this occasion though the referee said no and then blew for half time a minute later.

It didn’t take the Motormen long to get into their attacking stride and within five minutes of the re-start Poku was able to prise open the Bloods defence, set-up DJ Adelekan whose shot was blocked. There was no respite for the visitors though as May pounced on the rebound but could only slam his shot wide.  Ogboin was only an inch away from giving Redbridge the lead on the hour and at that point it looked like it Redbridge were going to find a way to win it.

The Bloods may have been passing the ball nicely in midfield, but found the Redbridge defence stifling their forward play. That was until the 65th minute when Trendall let fly from twenty-five yards which dipped just too late and  cleared the crossbar. Jack Mead went even closer when he ghosted into the Redbridge box and unloaded a shot that hit the woodwork. After that little burst the Redbridge defence then shut up shop and the visitors were unable to test Greene unduly. At the other end the Bloods defence snuffed out any Redbridge forays meaning that the game petered out, with both teams having to be satisfied with a point from their opening day endeavours.

Redbridge: Lewis Greene, Terrell Miller, Marcus Carter, Liam Burgess, Tyron Thomas, Glody Nsama, Daniel Smith, DJ Adelekan (Adam Hunt 71’), Calvin Poku (Capt), Michael Ogboin, Joey May (Asher Modeste 75’).

Scorer – Michael Ogboin (20’).

Saffron Walden Town: Neil O’Sullivan, Spike Bell, Jamie Solkhon, Simon Parsons (Greg Strong 86’), Ryan Fleming (Capt), Jamie Riley, Jack Mead, Joseph Murphy, Thomas Lakin, Charlie Portway, Daniel Trendall ( Dillon Bradley (75’).

Scorer – Charlie Portway (11’p)

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