Author Archives: Chris Hood

Sport in the World of New Media



Listen again as Chris Hood is joined by digital, content and social media expert Julian Goode to discuss the role that new media plays in the world of sport.

Julian has been working for 30 years in journalism and the digital industry, so who better to talk on this topic.

Julian is available to help clients improve their digital offering at

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Amateur Football Alliance 1-3 Essex (South East Counties Under 16s Championship)


Chris Evans reports…

Amateur Football Alliance 1-3 Essex, Thursday 9th November 2017, Kick-Off 7:00pm, Wadham Lodge Sports Ground, South East Counties Under 16s Championship

Essex Under 16s grabbed their first South East Counties Championship win as they came from behind to seal a fine 3-1 win against reigning champions Amateur Football Alliance at Waltham Forest FC.

Essex trailed through Avonia Brown’s 17th-minute strike, but weathered some pressure before levelling through Reggie Hubbard. Then two goals from Owen Young won the tie for the side coached by Carl Papworth and Liam Saxton.

There was an edgy start to the contest, but an early half-chance for Essex’s Hubbard, who scored both his county’s goals in their 2-2 draw with Kent a fortnight earlier, saw the Billericay Town front man fire just wide on the turn. But the deadlock was broken by the Amateur Alliance as Brown worked himself into space inside the penalty area and fired past Essex goalkeeper Kaya Ali from twelve yards.

The hosts went on to enjoy a positive spell, with Rigbert Rama heading just wide at the far post from a fine, swinging, right-flank cross before Bailey Stevenson lifted the ball over Ali, but Essex’s Young hacked the ball off the goal line, scuppering the hosts as they probed for a second goal. Essex took advantage and levelled on 35 minutes.Hubbard used his strength to shrug off a defender and hammer home to level the contest.

Eight minutes after the restart, Essex were ahead. Defender Young’s free kick on the left wing curled into the area, evaded everyone and dropped into the far bottom corner. The win was then wrapped up on 55 minutes as the visitors added a third. Young nodded home his second following Jack Martin’s set-piece.

The Amateur Alliance fought hard to find a way back into the contest but, as Essex stood firm, the only opening the hosts could muster was through Stevenson, who slid a drive inches past the post as the visitors sealed their first three points of the campaign.

Essex: Kaya Ali (Harlow Town), Donnell Ofori (Palmer Catholic Academy), Jack Martin (Braintree Town/Maldon & Tiptree), Jack Renwick (Brentwood Town), Owen Young (Concord Rangers), Bailey Hossack (AFC Hornchurch), Toki Hassan (Chelmsford City), Byron Humbles (Billericay Town), Reggie Hubbard (Billericay Town), Frederick King (Maldon & Tiptree), Kakha Gogshelidze (Brentwood Town). Substitutes (repeated): Jack Hauser (Billericay Town), Josh Okpa (Kingsford School), Tayeeb Elugushi (St Edward’s School), Thomas Duffy (Billericay Town), Tyler Caverner (Billericay Town).

Amateur Football Alliance: Harry Hauserman (Wingate & Finchley), Ryan Murphy (Cockfosters), Ben Bellman (Cockfosters), Bradav Badjenga (Enfield Town), David Ola (Wingate & Finchley), Avonia Brown (Wingate & Finchley), Rigbert Rama (Wingate & Finchley), Billy Norton (Norseman), Bailey Stevenson (Cockfosters), Liam Mulligan (Wingate & Finchley), Justin Dumfeh (Wingate & Finchley). Substitutes (repeated): Kaan Onay (Bishop’s Stortford), Giorgi Kereneski (Enfield Town), Ahmed Sharif (Norseman), Ylli Elei (Cockfosters), Dario Sesay de Luca (Clapton).

Referee: Christopher Beament (Loughton).

Assistant Referees: Jason Kilby (Loughton) and Terry Dawkins (London).


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Leopards Look for Home Comforts

Essex Leopards v East London All Stars, 15 Oct 2017; John Shodipo

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards will be hoping for home comforts when they host Ipswich at the Brentwood Centre on Saturday, tip-off 7pm.

The Big Cats have lost all three games since they last played on their main court – including a 93-79 defeat at Thames Valley Cavaliers on Saturday – and they badly need to return to winning ways if they are to mount a successful promotion challenge.

Thomas Baker’s team have already travelled to Suffolk to face Ipswich this season, cruising to an 87-58 win in the Patrons Cup.

That loss effectively eliminated Ipswich from the competition, and they went out of the National Cup at the third round stage with a loss at Division One side Hemel Storm.

Their start to the league campaign has been more successful with four wins from their opening six games, making them one of four sides tied in second spot. Leopards are sixth, with two games in hand over the bunch immediately above them.

There is the normal pre-game coaching session at the Brentwood Centre on Saturday with youngsters having the chance to be taught the game by Leopards’ players. Call 07828 470015 for more details or see

Coach Baker will certainly be looking for his side to make a better start than they did against Cavaliers.

The home side raced into a 26-10 lead late in the first period, and Baker admitted that his team failed to perform early in the game:

“We just didn’t play in the first quarter” he said. “We were sluggish and looked scared of them. The disappointing thing was we looked better than them for most of the rest of the game.”

To add to the Big Cats’ woes, guard Will Ashby was ejected in the fourth period for his second intentional foul as the referees appeared to have a different interpretation of the rules to any other game Leopards have played this season.

A trey and a dunk from Oaklands youngster Jordan George finally got Leopards moving as they closed the first period on a 5-0 run to trail by 11, and they continued that form as six straight John Shodipo points capped a 10-2 run to open the second period.

From there on it was nip and tuck as Leopards ended the half 44-37 down as a couple of poor decisions down the stretch cost them, but Laine’s jump shot brought them within a point of the hosts going into the final two minutes of the third period.

That was as good as it got for the visitors as a series of calls went against them, and when Ashby left the game seven minutes from time with Leopards trailing by eight the hosts took control to see out the win.

Shodipo led the way for the Big Cats, finishing with nine rebounds to go with his double-double, while captain Dougie Bennett added 14 points. Debutant Jerrel Laine and Korry Callum came off the bench to finish with 12 and 11 points respectively, the latter adding five rebounds. Ashby had a team high five assists to go with his seven points before his early departure.


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Essex Senior Cup Fourth Round Draw


Chris Evans reports…


Brentwood Town Welcome Colchester United for Last-16 Clash

Brentwood Town will host Sky Bet Football League club Colchester United in the Essex Senior Cup Fourth Round after the sides were picked together during the draw on Wednesday.

The Bostik League North team required a penalty shootout after a dramatic 3-3 stalemate to edge past Essex Senior League opponents West Essex on the same night at Mayesbrook Park, but their reward is a last-16 tie against professional opposition as The U’s head to the Brentwood Centre Arena on a date before 9th December.

Vanarama National League side Dagenham & Redbridge travel to Grays Athletic, while three Vanarama South outfits face Bostik League opposition. East Thurrock United meet Waltham Abbey and Concord Rangers travel to AveleyChelmsford City will visit the winners of the Heybridge Swifts and Bowers & Pitsea clash on Tuesday 14th November.

Two guests assisted with the draw as the remaining clubs aim to reach a prestige final at Colchester United FC’s Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday 20th March. Basildon United Chairman Lee Connor was one, and he was excited by his team’s pairing against Billericay Town away.

“I can’t believe it, to be fair,” said Connor, whose team are top of the Essex Senior League. I said this morning that I’d like Billericay Town at home, but obviously away is still going to be a great game. It’s in a new stadium and they’re drawing a good crowd and hopefully we can get a good crowd over there ourselves as well. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Essex Senior Cup Fourth Round (by 9th December)

East Thurrock United vs Waltham Abbey

Heybridge Swifts or Bowers & Pitsea vs Chelmsford City

Harlow Town vs Southend Manor

Billericay Town vs Basildon United

Grays Athletic vs Dagenham & Redbridge

Brentwood Town vs Colchester United

Canvey Island vs Romford

Aveley vs Concord Rangers


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Local Matches Pause for Two Minutes of Silence


Chris Evans reports…


Remembrance in Grassroots Essex Football

On Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th November, football fixtures across Essex will pause before kick-off for two minutes of quiet reflection and Remembrance of fallen British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

With deep submission and reverence, the Essex County FA recognises the heroism of its members who were involved for the benefit of others. The Association have, therefore, issued their annual polite request for clubs to observe the silence and commemorate the contribution of the heroes who made the supreme sacrifice.

During World War One, a statement from the Executive Council in the 1914/15 County Handbook stated that they were “gratified to learn that a large number of players and officials from Essex Clubs have volunteered in one capacity or another for service for the Nation” and plans were laid for the suspension of the Senior and Junior Cups for three months.

Clubs were asked to inform them by 9th December if they wished to enter. The Council intimated that, as of 9th September,  they wouldn’t interfere with any clubs wishing to arrange matches during “the grave National crisis” were they able and willing to, though a ‘Roll of Honour’ would be instituted for players and officials who enlisted.

To help the distressed, £40 was donated to the Prince of Wales National Relief Fund, £5 to the Belgian Relief Fund and £5 to the British Red Cross Society. In 1919, the Association were in a position to report back on their progress since WW1 began, an era they described as “a cataclysm the like of which the world has never seen.”

There was practically no football from April 1914 until just after the Armistice, other than that played by Service teams and a munition workers’ league in Colchester.

There was an intention to “keep the flag flying” with a small deficit balance in their account. Seven Essex vs Army matches were played to generate £1,000 for War Charities and clubs all over the county arranged their own to boost the overall figure to well over £3,000. Every Urban and Borough Council was approached to discuss the future of the football facilities available and how to restore many of them. Numerous clubs were restarted.

The outbreak of World War Two, naturally, brought major disruption to the local football scene. With that season’s County Handbook already in print, President JB Slade arranged for an addendum slip to be included in each where he spoke of his hope for “an early termination of the struggle, and in the near future to see our members return to the game which we all have so much at heart.” Upon the eventual resumption of peace, a statement was published.

It read: “To Those Who Served: The Members of the Essex County Football Association hereby express their sense of pride at so many of their number having taken part, and earned distinction in the World War, and desire to thank them for having shown the value of the Spirit of True Sport to the Nation; as in Peace, so also in War. Heroes All.”

To make a donation to the Royal British Legion, visit

Essex Senior League ‘Groundhop Weekend’

The Essex Senior League is holding a ‘Groundhop Weekend’ to coincide with Remembrance Sunday and the Poppy Appeal, with a game on Friday 10th November followed by three on Saturday 11th which have staggered kick-off times.

Friday evening sees Barkingside entertain Clapton. Admission will be £5, which includes a special programme. The club will also be collecting food for a local homeless charity. The first game on Saturday is Redbridge vs Burnham Ramblers at 12:00pm. Programmes and poppies will be sold together, with the money raised going to the Poppy Appeal.

At 2:30pm, Waltham Forest entertain Woodford Town with a full-colour commemorative programme being produced. The final game is at 5:30pm, when Hackney Wick host Wadham Lodge. Another special programme will be issued, with a penalty shootout before the game and other activities being planned.


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Essex 4-0 Oxfordshire (English Schools FA Under 14s PlayStation Inter-County Trophy)


Chris Evans reports…

Essex 4-0 Oxfordshire, Saturday 5th November 2017, Kick-Off 11:00am, London Marathon Playing Fields Society Ground, English Schools FA Under 14s PlayStation Inter-County Trophy.

Essex Schools made a winning start to the 2017/18 season as they booked their place in the Second Round of the English Schools FA Under 14s PlayStation Inter-County Trophy with a 4-0 victory over Oxfordshire.

Essex will now host Surrey as they seek to repeat the achievement of the 2014 vintage, who are the only previous squad to have won the national competition. Tobias Braney was Essex’s only first-half goalscorer, but Rhian Fowler, Damani Hunter and Oscar Thorn were all on-target after the break to hand Matt Double’s side a comfortable victory.

“I thought we were a bit disjointed in the first half, but that was to be expected with the squad only meeting-up for the first time this morning,” explained Double. “In the second half we were a lot better. We started putting some good moves together and, at times, it was almost too comfortable.”

Chingford Foundation School pupil Hunter had the first opportunity of the match inside the opening minute when his strong shot was well held by Timmy Mungall in the Oxfordshire goal, but the visitors responded well as home custodian Callum McEvoy grabbed a low strike by Latham Hawkins.

At the other end, Tobias Braney drew a smart stop from Mungall from a Fowler through ball, but he was soon celebrating as an 8th-minute finish put Essex in front. Hunter chased down a long ball and, when Mungall pushed his shot out, Braney brilliantly steered home from 15 yards out to make it 1-0.

Oxfordshire’s strike partners combined immediately to attempt to source an equaliser, but McEvoy sprung quickly off his line to grab the ball off Hawkins’ toecaps. Seconds later, Connor Duggan was put clear, only for the forward to volley straight into McEvoy’s grateful gloves.

The visitors had enjoyed the better of the opening quarter of an hour, despite the scoreline, but Essex improved as the first half progressed and Hunter looped inches over from a Callum Glanville pass before Joe Redfearn’s emphatic header following a Glanville corner was directed inches over.

On the half-hour, Fowler’s free kick bounced up invitingly for Alfie Smith to hook marginally wide from the edge of the penalty area, and the opening period ended with Fowler dinking a shot narrowly wide from Braney’s threaded pass.

Essex were perhaps a little fortunate to be leading at the break but, after the restart, they were a much more clinical outfit, even if it took 13 minutes for them to double their advantage. During that time substitute Oxfordshire shot-stopper James Callan superbly turned Rashaun Mathurin’s 20-yard attempt around the post and Hunter stabbed wide from Tyreece Cyrus’ knock down.

The second goal arrived after a sublime pass by skipper Joseph Ling, who set Fowler through down the inside-right channel. The Sanders Draper schoolboy entered the penalty area and steadied himself before gently lifting the ball beyond Callan.

The introduction of Mathurin shortly before half time had given Essex added impetus, and he could have scored himself in the 51st minute, although his attempts to try and reach an Andre Anderson centre were unsuccessful. Within seconds, Ling had drawn another fine save from Callan, who parried a fierce strike to safety.

With 15 minutes remaining, another Anderson cross was side-footed wide by Oscar Thorn at the far post, and Hunter then whipped a Thorn through ball off-target, butHunter finally found the target on the hour mark to make it 3-0. It was a simple task for the fast forward to tap in from Anderson’s excellent right-wing cross.

The victory was already assured when Essex added a fourth goal with just three minutes remaining. Again the goal came following a move down the right-hand side, with Fowler this time supplying the pass and Braney, from Ormiston Rivers Academy, angling in a precise finish from twelve yards out.

Essex: Callum McEvoy (West Hatch), Rhian Fowler (Sanders Draper), Callum Granville (West Hatch), Joe Redfearn (William de Ferrers), Tyreece Cyrus (Heathcote), Alfie Smith (Harris Academy Chafford Hundred), Dennis Rusevicius (All Saints), Joseph Ling (Woodbridge), Damani Hunter (Chingford), Oscar Thorn (King John), Tobias Braney (Ormiston Rivers Academy). Substitutes (repeated): Kacy Parish (Shenfield), Andre Anderson (Lammas), Segun Famakin (Emerson Park), Tola Taiwo (All Saints), Charlie Tremayne (West Hatch), Rashaun Mathurin (Wanstead).

Oxfordshire (from): Timmy Mungall (Wheatley Park), Jack Pember (Lord Williams), Auzzie Pervaiz (Wheatley Park), Mac Spence (Cheney), Carrick Dunbar (Icknield), Clinton Nosakhare (Cheney), Oskar Lambert (Wallingford), AJ Fuller (Chipping Norton), Connor Duggan (Heyford Park), Kieran Day (Burford), Will Price (Bartholomew), William Morgan (Heyford Park), James Callan (Lord Williams), Ryan Jones (St Birinus), George Christian (St Gregory the Great), Latham Hawkins (St Birinus).

Bookings: None.

Referee: Ken Richbell (Chigwell).

Assistant Referees: Rob Ward (Waltham Abbey) and Harry Gilham (Hornchurch).


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Baker Looks for Bounceback-ability

tom v west (1)

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards’ coach Thomas Baker is looking for his team to bounce back after two heavy defeats last week as they face a key trip to Thames Valley Cavaliers on Saturday.

The Big Cats were without a game following their League loss at Sussex and Cup defeat against the Cavaliers, and Baker believes they have used the time constructively:

“It’s been a week of reflection for everyone in the team” he said. “We have identified the things we want to put right and have had a great week in practice re-establishing behaviours we need to demonstrate every time we step on the floor.

“The guys remain invested in our long term aim for promotion back to Division One but we understand that we must take it one step at a time and go out and earn the victories needed for promotion.”

Despite a pair of home defeats to open the season, Cavaliers remain one of the sides likely to challenge Leopards for promotion and, as well as reaching the National Cup quarter-final, Saturday’s 99-87 win at Westminster was their third straight League win and moved them up to joint second in the table.

The Big Cats sit fourth in Division Two with games in hand over the top three and return to the Brentwood Centre for a rare Saturday’s night home game on November 18, 7pm.

There is another chance for youngsters to train with the Leopards that evening, with more details at or call 07828 470015.

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