Category Archives: Local sport

Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

PROMOTER Jon Cook cut a frustrated figure as ill fortune and a lack of firepower from the lower order proved costly in Lakeside’s 45-44 loss at Kent.

The Vortex Hammers were never more than five points behind in Sittingbourne and took the lead with two races to run before falling narrowly short in a last-Heat decider.

Captain Ben Morley’s fourth of five race wins gave Lakeside the edge in Heat 13 but his efforts in the final showdown were always going to be in vain after guest number one Steve Boxall’s exclusion.

A mechanical issue led to the Plymouth Devils charger walloping the back straight fence, causing rival Jack Thomas to fall.

However, Cook was quick to recognise that the meagre 10 points contributed from outside the top three positions had been just as significant as any bad luck.

“It was frustrating,” said Cook. “We should have taken full advantage of Kent’s problems but the luck certainly evened itself out with Steve Boxall’s bike packing up in Heat 15.

“We got another point out of it, one that could be very useful in our bid to qualify for the play-offs but there was a win in the offing.

“We have to look at the fact we are very top heavy. It is a problem that has been there all season and not one that is unique to us but it certainly bit us on the backside on this occasion.

“There are four more away matches to come and we need a win from at least one of them to make sure we are in that top four. It would have been nice to get that but it was not to be and all we can do is move on to the next meeting.”

KENT 45: Jack Thomas 14, George Hunter 11+2, Ben Hopwood 10+2, Anders Rowe 8+2, Adam Roynon 1+1, Bradley Andrews 1+1, Nathan Stoneman R/R.
LAKESIDE 44: Ben Morley 15, Steve Boxall 10, Paul Hurry 9+1, Alfie Bowtell 6+1, Jamie Couzins 2, Nick Laurence 1, Connor Locke 1.

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Bowers spoil the Parkside party

Aveley v Bowers

Aveley 1 Bowers & Pitsea 3

Bostik North

 

Three hundred and fifty-four people attended Aveley’s first competitive fixture on Saturday. Sadly the Millers were not able to baptise their new Parkside Stadium with a win and looking slightly overawed by the occasion, they only showed flashes of what they are capable of.

 

It looked bright for the hosts when Jordan Peart went on an amazing run, picking the ball up in his own half and then putting his foot down and accelerating towards the Bowers penalty box; he was disposed by Tom Hine just before he could fire off a shot, but it had been an early bit of excitement. Jack West nearly connected with a deep cross from the left, while Rhys Madden, making his debut in goal for Aveley, had to rush off his line to and remove a ball that was heading towards his penalty area.

 

After a reasonably bright opening the chances then dried up as both defences kept a tight guard. Jack Barry, another debutant, marshalled the Blues defence and headed clear a Bowers ball that was launched towards Lewis Manor. It was no surprise he has been made the club’s Captain this season as his tackling was often very solid, and he was dependable throughout. Martyn Stokes, the Bowers Captain was meanwhile commanding his defence which as much gusto, which starved the Aveley frontline of supply.

 

Christy O’Donoghue was able to carve out an Aveley opening after Ben Sartain dithered on the ball, allowing the Millers player to put in a tackle to steal the ball, lay it off to Peart, who quickly  fed it on to Gleed, whose shot was blazed over.

Aveley continued to press and a nice passing manoeuvre set-up Jake Gordon whose effort was stopped by Callum Chafer. Bowers called for penalty in the 35th minute when James Thomas went down after a challenge from Harry Gibbs; the referee however waved the claims away, rightly in my opinion, as Thomas had gone down very lightly and was perhaps luckily not to have been booked for stimulation.  A Jamie Salmon free kick for Bowers, after Jake Gordon had upended James Thomas didn’t cause Madden to much trouble as it was straight at him.

 

With the half coming to an end, a half-chance fell to O’Donoghue just before the break. The ball pinged about the box; fell kindly to the Aveley forward and his thumping shot was deflected by Martyn Stokes. The resulting corner was rifled over by Tommy Spillane.

 

Aveley had a shout for a penalty themselves early in the half, after an alleged handball in the box. The referee turned down the claims and play continued.

 

Bowers took the lead in the 56th minute when a precision ball from James Thomas by the left touchline fell into the path of Fahad Nyanja, who smashed it past Madden.

 

Stokes and Nyanja both chased down a ball over the top that Madden had to come and claim; the goal had lifted Bowers and taken the wind out of the Millers sails as they started to sit back and allow the visitors to pass it around. A Gibb shot in the 65th minute crashed into the side-netting, announcing to Bowers that maybe they were still looking to get back into it, but a minute later it was 2-0 to Bowers when Lewis Manor rose above his marker to head past Madden.

 

The Millers pulled one back four minutes later when a ball across the box was knocked back into the middle by Paul Preston, landing at the feet of Peart, who smashed it past Chafer.

 

Adam Bolle went close with a header. A long ball into the Bowers box from the foot of Gibbs nearly met the head of Adalberto Pinto; the Blues were now awake again and looking to get themselves back in the game.

 

However the visitors then went and restored their two-goal advantage in the 81st minute when Lewis Manor scored his second goal of the afternoon, once again a towering header that flew past Madden and effectively winning the game for Bowers.

 

Aveley: Rhys Madden, Harry Gibbs, George Woodward, Tommy Spillane, Jack Barry (Capt), Adalberto Pinto, Jake Gordon (Paul Preston 46’), Ross Gleed (Max Mitchell 65’), Jack West (Adam Bolle 65’), Christy O’Donoghue, Jordan Peart.

Scorer – Jordan Peart (70’)

 

Bowers & Pitsea: Callum Chafer, Tom Hine, Fahad Nyanja (Harry Cook 76’), Martyn Stokes (Capt), Lewis Clark, Callum Leahy, James Thomas, Jamie Salmon, Lewis Manor (Vlad Sighiartau 88’), Ben Satain, Tony Stokes (Jamie Brown 80’)

Scorers – Fahad Nyanja (56’), Lewis Manor (66’, 81’)

 

 

 

 

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Essex Senior League Round-up

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Essex Senior League – Saturday 11th August

Burnham Ramblers took the lead twice against FC Romania, but the Wolves were unleashed by Ion Vintila as his side went on to win the game 8-2. William Howard fired Ramblers into a 3rd minute lead; Sergiu Pitaru then equalised in the 18th minute, before Charlee Hughes restored Burnham’s lead in the 21st minute. Cosmin Anton levelled up in the 28th minute and then after that it was a goal spree from the hosts. Florin Pop bagged a hat-trick after scoring in the 45th, 47th and 50th minutes, Toby Cleaver scored a brace, as did Anton who bagged his second in the 77th minute. The win now sees FC Romania top on goal difference.

 

Takeley continued their good start to the campaign with a 2-0 home win over Redbridge. Jason Todd and Mitchell Das both hit the target in the first half and the win sees them sit second in the table.

 

James Peagram was the other hat-trick hero of the day as he scored all the Ilford goals in a 3-0 win at Enfield 1893. It took only until the 3rd minute for Peagram to open his account and he then completed his goal scoring feat by scoring twice more in the second half.

 

Jeffrey Idemudia’s goal for Hackney Wick was cancelled out by Gavin Cockman and Lewis Francis who both scored braces. The 4-1 win for the Robin is their first of the season and moves them up to seventh.

Basildon Town left it late against Wadham Lodge as Jack Renew captured all the points by scoring the winner in the 90th minute.  Shamrez Darr had equalised for Wadham Lodge in the 86th minute, while Basildon’s other goal was claimed by Tommy Barton who put his name on the score sheet in the 66th minute. The 116 in attendance was the biggest ESL attendance of the day and at the moment things are looking rosy in the Basildon United camp.

 

Michael Mignot scored his fourth goal of the season in West Essex’s 2-0 win over Waltham Forest. Victory was secured in the 83rd minute via an own goal.

 

Southend Manor took the lead in the 15th minute against Great Wakering Rovers through Michael Hopkins. But Great Wakering pulled level in the 40th minute via a sublime Neil Richmond free kick. It was as tight as derby games go and in the end both teams have to settle from a point apiece.

 

Barkingside eked out a 1-0 win over Stansted with Michael Ogboin towering above the Airportmen’s defence to place a header beyond the keeper.

 

Oscar Mendez’s 1st minute goal for Sporting Bengal United wasn’t cancelled out by Hullbridge Sports until deep into first half stoppage time. Angus Poole was the provider and then the visitors took the lead via an own goal in the 48th minute. Cody Cameron equalised for Sporting Bengal in the 52nd minute, but Tommy Cox then scored the winning goal in 80th minute which secured a 3-2 away victory.

 

Clapton’s indifferent start to the season continued after they were held to a goalless draw by Woodford Town (2017).

Barkingside v Stansted

Barkingside may have been bombed out of the FA Cup but they have now won their opening two league fixtures. (Pic by Pete Dudley)

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Lakeside Speedway – MONDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE head to Kent on Monday in what could prove to be a crucial showdown as the play-off race hots up (6.30pm).

The Vortex Hammers currently occupy one of those spots as they sit third in the Travel Plus National League table.

But the Kings gave their outside chances a major boost as they ended Mildenhall’s home run on Saturday with an impressive 46-43 win at West Row.

But the Hammers can take confidence from the fact they have already won once at Central Park this season when they claimed a three point triumph over Kent in the Tunnel Trophy Challenge.

And Lakeside star Alfie Bowtell says they are more than capable of adding to their league tally, despite recognising the challenge ahead.

“Kent are on a good run at the minute and with the wins they’ve been getting you’d imagine their confidence is quite high right now,” Bowtell said.

“But our team spirit at Lakeside is really good this season too and we go into every meeting thinking that we can win it.

“It’s getting tight in the league now so every point is going to be really important.

“Kent will be a tough meeting but we want to win or at least get a point.”

The Hammers have booked former Kent man Steve Boxall to deputise for injured No.1 Zach Wajtknecht while the hosts have drafted in Adam Roynon for Luke Bowen.

KENT: Adam Roynon, Anders Rowe, Ben Hopwood, Nathan Stoneman R/R, Jack Thomas, Bradley Andrews, George Hunter.
LAKESIDE: Steve Boxall, Nick Laurence, Paul Hurry, Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley, Connor Locke, Jamie Couzins.

 

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National League: Leyton Orient 2 Maidstone United 0

Leyton Orient made it back-to-back home victories after a 2-0 win against Maidstone United, at The Matchroom Stadium.

A David Mooney header grabbed the O’s lead early in the second half and his second for the season.

Orient then secured the points in injury-time through substitute Romauld Boco for his first of the season, as Orient move up to fourth.

Steve Davis named an unchanged lineup after their 3-1 home victory midweek over Solihull Moors. Whereas the visitors made two changes one forced as Stuart Lewis serves his three match ban for Tuesdays red card and Alex Finney are replaced by Jack Paxman and Alex Wynter.

Orient had a lively start and threatened just four minutes in, as Joe Widdowson was played in at the by-line by Jobi McAnuff, Widdowson’s low ball across goal could not be steered goalwards by Macauley Bonne.

Delano Sam-Yorke had the ball in the back of the net for Maidstone, as the ball was hung up to the far post for him to guide in but he impeded O’s keeper Charlie Grainger in the process and Orient breathed a sign of relief.

Bonne picked the pocket of the Maidstone defender and went to strike just outside the box but mistimed his shot and was collected by Captain Lee Worgan.

Maidstone nearly took the lead, as Sam-Yorke’s clever ball over the Orient defence found Joe Pigott whose shot through on goal was smartly saved by Grainger and Tom Wraight fired the rebound over.

Orient again looked threatening but just missing the final ball, as David Mooney slotted a ball for James Dayton to chase who could not quite get there ahead of Worgan.

McAnuff worked an opportunity just before the break on the edge of the box and hit his shot which was well stopped down low to Worgan’s right.

In the second half, Bonne burst Orient forward from his own half and went to strike but dragged his shot wide of the target.

Maidstone had a half chance, through the right back who clipped the ball to the far post for Wraight who guided his header well off target.

Orient took the lead on the hour mark, as Jake Caprice cut the ball back for Dayton who whipped the ball in for Mooney to guide into the bottom corner.

The hosts’ almost doubled their lead, as Caprice’s low ball across the goalmouth was just beyond Bonne’s stretched leg and could not guide the ball into the net.

Maidstone thought they had equalised, as Pigott’s snap shot was well-saved by Grainger and fired in on the follow-up by Sam-Yorke but the linesman raised his flag to Orient’s rescue.

The O’s then broke, through Charlie Lee in injury time who slotted in substitute Boco to slide his shot passed Worgan to double their lead and secure the points.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Charlie Grainger, 2 Jake Caprice, 18 Josh Coulson, 5 George Elokobi, 3 Joe Widdowson, 4 Alex Lawless, 8 Charlie Lee (C), 27 James Dayton (86), 7 Jobi McAnuff (79), 10 David Mooney (79), 9 Macauley Bonne

Substitutes: 12 Sam Sargeant, 16 Michael Clark, 23 Craig Clay (79), 11 Romauld Boco (86), 19 Josh Koroma (79)

Maidstone United Lineup: 1 Lee Worgan (C), 2 Josh Hare, 4 Reece Prestedge (74), 5 Alex Wynter, 9 Delano Sam-Yorke, 10 Jack Paxman, 11 Tom Wraight (80), 13 Joe Anderson, 14 Jai Reason, 16 Seth Nana Twumasi, 32 Joe Pigott

Substitutes: 20 Tommy Taylor, 6 Magnus Okuonghae, 17 Harley Willard (74), 21 Harry Phipps, 23 Jack Richards (80)

Attendance: 5,085 (595)
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Kelly Links Up with Leopards

Essex Leopards v Leicester Warriors 12 Mar 2017; Leopards new coach Tom Baker;

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards’ coach Thomas Baker has continued to rebuild his roster ahead of the NBL season with the addition of forward Durrell Kelly.

The former Plymouth Raiders’ player spent last season with Leicester Warriors – helping his side to a double against the Leopards – and he is delighted to joining up with the Big Cats:

“I’m really excited to be joining the Leopards organisation” he said. “Playing against and hearing from ex players that you have an amazing community and fan base so when the coaching staff spoke with me about their vision for the programme I completely bought in!

“My main aim this season is to help build and set values for a winning culture getting back into Division One and proving we can compete on that level again.

“Looking forward to the season and bright future for the club!”

Baker is pleased with his latest addition: “Signing someone of Durrell’s quality and experience is a display of real intent by the club” he said.

“In the sessions we have had with Durrell in, he has added to the quality we have already signed and he fits in extremely well with how we want to play this season.

“As he has said, the culture we are looking to set this year is what will set us apart from the other teams in Division Two, I’m pleased that Durrell buys in to the how important this is for us to be successful.”

The Big Cats are already in training, and will open their pre-season programme with a pair of games against Team USA Select on Friday September 1 (at Oaklands) and at Brentwood two days later. There are still some places on the pre-game camp for kids at Brentwood, see www.leopardsbasketball.co.uk for details.

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Barkingside slide out the FA Cup

Barkingside 0 Stowmarket Town 4

FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

 

Barkingside crashed out of the FA Cup on a sunny afternoon to a well-drilled and organised Stowmarket Town who dominated large parts of the game and thoroughly deserved their victory.

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Michael Ogboin provided Barkingside with the first chance of the game, when with barely two minutes on the clock he was played in but lashed his effort over the bar. Stowmarket, who had won the Thurlow Nunn First Division last season showed what they were capable of with some attacking play that ended with Jack Baker stinging Will Hunt’s hands with a shot from outside the box and then Phil Weavers got his head on a Stowmarket corner that the Side stopper had to cut out. Paul Shave and Michael Bottone had to put their bodies on the line to block a number of balls that ended up in the Side area.

Dan Cunningham floated a wonderful free kick midway through the half that Hunt kept out with a full-stretch save to tip away. Then Cunningham beat his marker, raced to the by-line and centred for Andrew Wood whose shot was saved at point-blank range by Hunt. The young Side keeper also had to pull off further heroics to parry a Weaver header. Side were under the cosh at this point and apart from an Ogboin foray into the Stowmarket box, which ended in the ball being cleared before the Side talisman could fire off a shot, the action was all in the Side half.

 

Hunt had to cut out a few more crosses but was finally beaten in the 39th minute when Ethan Clarke sped past Bottone, centred to Wood who slotted the ball past Hunt. The visitors didn’t rest on their laurels either and when Clarke sent over another deep cross from the left it needed a block from Euan Taylor-Reid to knock away. Side did end the half on the attack with Joe Newbold knocking the ball out to the right wing where Aundre Spencer delivered a searching cross to the back post that needed Weavers to head away. It was a nice move from the hosts but they simply had not done enough in the first half to test the Stowmarket defence and saw out the half having to stand up against a succession of free kicks and corners.

 

The visitors started the second half on the attack and Wood reeled off a header in the opening seconds that Hunt smothered. Side then mounted a rare attack when Ogboin won the ball and passed it to Jerome Martelli whose shot was knocked away for a corner. Craig Brand punched the corner away and that ended the Stowmarket keeper’s  involvement in the game as he had little to do for the remainder of the half.

Stowmarket should have gone two up in the 52nd minute when Wood pounced on a defensive error but couldn’t keep his shot down. Then another Ethan Clarke cross whistled towards the back post towards his brother Anton, but he couldn’t get his header on target.

On the hour Stowmarket finally doubled their lead when a ball made its way towards George Bugg at the near post and he made no mistake from close range. Stowmarket were not going to let the chance of a home tie with Romford, not to mention the £1500 prize money, slip from their grasp and they almost extended their lead in the 79th minute when Billy Clarke pounced on a loose ball in the six yard box but somehow Side managed to keep it out.

Further Stowmarket polish was added in the 85th minute Ethan Clarke fired into the bottom right hand corner of the net and then two minutes later was upended by Shave; Wood slammed the penalty home to complete a comprehensive 4-0 victory to the Suffolk side.

 

Barkingside: Will Hunt, Michael Bottone, Mike Sherwood, Euan Taylor-Reid, Paul Shaves, Jamie Pooley (Reece Hewitt 54’), Aundre Spencer, Bradley Joseph, Michael Ogboin (Jason Fontaine 75’), Jerome Martelli (Matteus Santos 55’), Joe Newbold.

 

Stowmarket Town: Craig Brand, Ollie Brown, Anton Clarke, Ethan Clarke, Phil Weavers, Jemel Fox, Dan Cunningham, Jack Baker (Angelo Harrop 65’) , Andrew Wood, George Bugg (Ryan Yallop 82’), Remi Garrett (Billy Clarke 75’).

Scorers – Andrew Wood (39’, 87’), George Bugg (60’) Ethan Clarke (85’).

 

 

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Valiant Wickers bow out of the FA Cup

Hackney Wick 0 Long Melford 1

Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

 

Hackney Wick certainly gave it a go in their maiden FA Cup voyage but despite a bombardment of Long Melford’s goal in the second half it was a solitary goal scored by Josh Hodgson that was enough to edge them out.

 

Hodgson had shown his attacking intent very early on when he burst into the box and fired off a shot that Martin Arnauchkov tipped away for a corner. Anthony Waugh also test the Wick keeper as the Thurlow Nunn side looked to try and get an early foothold.

 

The Wickers almost took the lead when Jeffrey Idemuda just failed to get on the end of Tobi Adesina’s weighted pass but then found themselves trailing after 15 minutes when Hodgson’s glancing header somehow wormed its way past Arnauchkov and into the net.

 

Wick however went on the attack with Idemudia using strength and speed to tear up the Long Melford defence, cracking off a shot that whizzed past the far post. Chuks Onwugbonu was also looking lively but Moyes had only one real save to make, from an Adegoke Adetunji free kick.

 

Arnauchkov ended the half having to tip away two Hodgson headers to ensure Wick only went in a goal behind at the break.

 

Junior Decker tested Moyes in the opening seconds of the second half and it set the stall for the remainder of the half. The Wick continued to press and Moyes had to pull off a superb save to deny Onwugbona and then Saico Djop showed some flashy touches to get the ball under his control and then hit a powerful shot that was only inches too high. And it looked like Wick had an equaliser when Ibrahim Camara played in a diagonal pass into the box that Djop latched onto; outpacing the Long Melford defence, but his shot was only just off target.

 

As the half wore on, and with the ball almost permanently camped in the Long Melford half, meant it looked only a matter of time before the deserved equaliser came. Sadly for the hosts it never did arrive as Adetunji and Kareem Richardson both saw well placed shots superbly saved by Moyes and then when Idemudia was able to beat the Long Melford keeper his shot was hooked off the line by Steve Adams. In the end the Thurlow Nunn Premier outfit were able to hold on and eke out the slenderest of victories in front of 267 people.

 

Hackney Wick: Martin Arnauchkov, Magnus Orelaja, Herve Mwamba, Adegoke Adetunji, Simpson Mpalampa, Ibrahim Camara, Junior Decker, Blessing Adomah (Kareem Richardson 60’), Tobi Adesina (Saico Djop 45’), Chuks Onwugbonu (Benjamin Oni 83’), Jeffrey Idemudia.

 

Long Melford: Darren Moyes, Sam Bayliss (Callum Hemson 66’), Josh Collins, Jake Johnson (Thomas Le Page 60’), Steve Adams, Anthony Waugh, Hassan Ally, Dan Swain, Josh Hodgson, Scott Sloots (Will Wingfield 80’), Michael Schofield.

Scorer – Josh Hodgson (15’)

 

 

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FA Cup: Southend Manor 1-0 Wroxham

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Andy Wilkins reports…

Saturday 5th August 2017 – Southchurch Park, Southend

My first ever FA Cup Extra-Preliminary round tie saw me visit Southchurch Park for the first time in 10 days to see Southend Manor vs Wroxham.

Manor came into this game off a 1-0 win away against Hullbridge Sports in their opening league match whilst Wroxham are yet to start their league campaign this season.

The two sides haven’t met before so this is their first encounter with Wroxham relegated last season from the Isthmian League North.

It was the Eastern Counties side that started off the better with a lot of good passing on display. Shaun Taylor was the first player to go in and make an attempt when 2 minutes in, he managed to dribble into the Manor half and went past multiple players before being given a free kick in response to a tackle being made. That free kick subsequently went wide.

A few minutes later and Manor had their first opportunity at goal when a strike went across goal before a retaliation from Wroxham came a few minutes afterwards in the 12th minute when they had a clear chance on goal, before one of their attackers was brought down in the penalty area, even though it looked like they had dribbled the ball off before falling onto the pitch. They pleaded with the referee to give a penalty but he had none of it.

Manor’s best opportunity of the half came in the 21st minute when Joe Skeels took a curling free kick which was saved by the Wroxham keeper Will Viner only for it to come back out for Southend Manor’s Callum Jex to regain possession and then make a low-footed effort at a short-range distance at the Wroxham goal. Again, this was deflected by Viner who got the Wroxham defence to cancel out the goal threat again.

Wroxham proceeded to have two good chances in consecutive minutes. The first following a good overhead pass when deep in the Manor box, Joe Manning smashed it wide from just the border of the penalty area, and then having their best chance of the game when Adam Smith dribbled the ball into the Manor half who then placed it into the possession of Robbie Sweeney who dribbled on the left to cross it into Ross Gilfedder who headered the ball just wide.

After that opportunity, the rest of the first half calmed down entirely with both teams displaying good defensive football despite the odd challenge going in every now and again. At half time, Wroxham just about had the edge in the game.

The second half continued how the first had ended with a quiet start and it generally wasn’t until the 60thminute when the first major opportunity came to Joe Skeels, who drilled a shot in the Wroxham half from 30 yards out into the palms of Viner again.

In repetitive fashion, Wroxham retaliated with another attack and Manor goalkeeper Klinton Makayabo was in good form throughout the whole of the half. In the 72nd minute, they appealed for a penalty again following a 3 on 1 battle with the ball going out alongside Sweeney.

A few minutes later and Manor still weren’t out of the dark as Wroxham made a fantastic advance with 2 shots hitting the post alongside Sweeney missing the target from a close-range shot. Manor scuffed the ball away and were very lucky.

A few minutes later and Harley Black managed a shot this time for Wroxham which hit the post from 25 years with Makayabo putting a little touch to put it onto the post. It did look destined to go in from where I was standing.

12 minutes later saw the decisive moment.  A massive long ball from Jex came into the reach of Concord Rangers loanee Bayley Newell who slotted the ball home from a close-range into the bottom left corner. That was the golden goal for Manor and it secured the game for them with 2 minutes plus added time to play.

Wroxham did try to quickly work their way back to getting an equaliser, but Manor were having none of it as they cleared the ball throughout the final few minutes of the game.

The final whistle went and it was met with cheers by the fans of Manor knowing this is their 2nd FA Cup win in 5 years, whilst this was Wroxham’s first ever defeat at this stage of the competition at the 23rd attempt. Manor will play Eastern Counties League side Gorleston in the Preliminary Round in 2 weeks time at Southchurch Park after they defeated Stanway Rovers 4-2 away on the same day.

Stuart Marshall’s side now go again next weekend when they return to life in the Essex Senior League making the short trip up to Burroughs Park to take on Iain O’Connell’s Great Wakering Rovers in what will be my first league game of the season at Burroughs Park, whilst Wroxham host Great Yarmouth Town on Tuesday night in their first league game of the season.

Many thanks to Southend Manor for their fantastic hospitality as always and I wish both teams all the best for the season.

 

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

BOSS Kelvin Tatum hailed the burgeoning partnership between Ben Morley and Paul Hurry after Lakeside toppled leaders Eastbourne 49-41.

The Vortex Hammers pair produced a maximum in heat 15 to maintain the side’s perfect record after eight home league meetings and become the first team to deny the Eagles any kind of yield from a National League clash this season.

With four points the difference, visiting guest Danny Ayres made the gate but Morley passed the Cradley charger by the end of lap one with Hurry’s relentless pursuit paying dividends on the back straight of the final circuit.

It meant that captain Morley won each of his five races with Hurry dropping just one point to an opponent from the same number of outings.

“Ben has been fabulous,” said Tatum. “He really held the team together and played a proper captain’s role in the same way he did against Birmingham.

“Paul Hurry weighed in very nicely in heat 15 too, it was a terrific finish to deny Eastbourne a league point. Those two really have clicked recently and we needed that at the back end of the meeting.

“It was always going to be quite close, particularly with us being short of Zach Wajtknecht. Jack (Parkinson-Blackburn, guest) did his best but found things tough.

“We started strongly but to their credit, Eastbourne came back at us quite well. They’re not an easy team to get the better of so I was delighted to remain unbeaten at home and send away a rival with nothing.”

Hammers return to action on Monday, August 14 with a trip to Kent Kings (6.30pm).

LAKESIDE 49: Ben Morley 15, Paul Hurry 10+4, Alfie Bowtell 9, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 6+1, Connor Locke 6, Nick Laurence 2, Jamie Couzins 1+1.
EASTBOURNE 41: Matt Bates 13+3, Tom Brennan 10+1, Danny Ayres 9+1, Jake Knight 5, Georgie Wood 4, Macauley Leek 0, Charley Powell r/r.

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Lakeside Speedway – SUNDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

TEENAGE ace Jack Parkinson-Blackburn is looking forward to linking up with Lakeside team manager Kelvin Tatum when he guests for the Hammers on Sunday.

The 16-year-old stands in for injured No.1 Zach Wajtknecht in the big Travel Plus National League fixture at home to rivals Eastbourne (3pm).

And after racing for Birmingham at The Arena-Essex Raceway last week, Parkinson-Blackburn is relishing the chance to be back so soon.

He said: “To score 9+1 in my first meeting wasn’t too bad in the end but it was definitely a good night for learning.

“I’m happy to be back so soon and hopefully I can show I’m a quick learner by scoring some points for Lakeside – and hopefully getting at least one race win!

“Kelvin was at the Speedway Grand Prix Academy at Cardiff that I was involved in the other weekend.

“He was great with all of the riders and it was good to hear a few pieces of advice and get a few tips from someone like him.

I’m sure I’ll learn even more from him while I’m one of his riders for the day and I’m looking forward to it.”

LAKESIDE: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, Nick Laurence, Paul Hurry, Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley, Jamie Couzins, Connor Locke.
EASTBOURNE: Jake Knight, Charley Powell R/R, Mark Baseby, Tom Brennan, Georgie Wood, Macauley Leek, Matt Bates.

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Billy Texeira talks United London FC

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Listen as Billy Texeira, the Club Captain of United London FC, talks about the World’s first managerless football club.  The club gives the opportunity for fans to live a real life Football Manager game.

Billy talks about the project and about his background at Shenfield and with the Budweiser Open Trials.

You can find out more at @UnitedLondonFC on Twitter and @unitedlondonfc on Facebook.

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National League: Sutton United 2 Leyton Orient 0

Leyton Orient open their National League campaign with a disappointing 2-0 away defeat to Sutton United at Gander Green Lane.

Jamie Collins gave Sutton the lead from the spot, before Dean Beckwith slid in a second from close range, to give the hosts a dream start to the 2017/18 season.

Under new ownership and new man at the helm for the O’s Steve Davis, started ten of Orient’s 14 summer signings including club returns for both Jobi McAnuff and David Mooney ahead of their new campaign. With a further two newbies on the bench.

James Dayton had Orient’s first half chance in the opening ten minutes, as he was played through out wide and whipped a ball to the far post which had to be dealt with by Nicky Bailey for an O’s corner.

The O’s found themselves behind early on, as Joe Widdowson could not deal with a long ball over the top and clumsily brought down Craig Dundas. Which gave the referee no option but to point to the spot. Collins then stepped up and tucked it away as he sent Charlie Grainger the wrong way.

Orient reacted, as Captain Charlie Lee’s long throw was sent up high, Mooney challenged Jamie Butler but was penalised for a foul on the keeper as the ball nestled in the back of the net.

Sutton double their lead just after the half hour mark, after a great early cross from Ross Lafayette for Beckwith to tuck underneath Grainger and extend their advantage.

Just for the break the O’s had their first real opportunity, as McAnuff’s free-kick was met by George Elokobi but his header went over the bar.

In the second half, a diagonal set piece fell to Lafayette to strike for Sutton but fired wide of the target.

Orient pressed for a way back into the match, as substitute Romuald Boco delivered a ball in for centre back Josh Coulson but steered his header over the bar.

Boco again involved as his corner was flicked on by Coulson but Widdowson at the far post could not guide it on target and was penalised for a foul on the Sutton defender.

Sutton managed the game out to pick up the opening victory, as Orient move on to Tuesday for their first home game against Solihull Moors.

Sutton United Lineup: 26 Jamie Butler, 17 Dan Spence, 6 Jamie Collins, 4 Dean Beckwith, 3 Aswad Thomas, 16 Nicky Bailey (87), 8 Kenny Davis, 15 Craig Eastmond, 11 Kieran Cadogan, 14 Craig Dundas, 9 Ross Lafayette

Substitutes: 5 Louis John, 19 Jeffrey Monakana, 20 Tommy Wright (87), 21 Moses Emmanuel, 23 Josh Taylor

Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Charlie Grainger, 2 Jake Caprice, 18 Josh Coulson, 5 George Elokobi, 3 Joe Widdowson, 4 Alex Lawless, 8 Charlie Lee (C) (80), 27 James Dayton (84), 7 Jobi McAnuff (69), 10 David Mooney, 9 Macauley Bonne

Substitutes: 12 Sam Sargeant, 16 Michael Clark, 23 Craig Clay (80), 11 Romuald Boco (84), 19 Josh Koroma (69)

Attendance: 3,198

 

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Lakeside Speedway – SUNDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE are gearing up for arguably their biggest Travel Plus National League fixture of the season as they host rivals Eastbourne on Sunday (3pm).

The Vortex Hammers are currently four points behind the Eagles as the pair continue battling for an all important play-off spot.

And team manager Kelvin Tatum is hoping his side can take confidence from last week’s home win over reigning Champions Birmingham.

“The boys stepped up to the plate, Ben (Morley) and Paul (Hurry) were magnificent leading the charge but the rest of the boys did their job and I drove away feeling very pleased with that,” Tatum said.

“They will need to do the same again on Sunday because Eastbourne are a good side and they will come here looking for an away win.

“If we’re to book our place in the play-offs we must continue to win our home meetings.”

The Hammers have booked Birmingham captain and former British Youth Champion Jack Parkinson-Blackburn to guest at No.1 in place of injured star Zach Wajtknecht.

LAKESIDE: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, Nick Laurence, Paul Hurry, Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley, Jamie Couzins, Connor Locke.
EASTBOURNE: Jake Knight, Charley Powell R/R, Mark Baseby, Tom Brennan, Georgie Wood, Macauley Leek, Matt Bates.

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Basildon Utd 2-0 Clapton

BAS 310717

Saturday 29th July 2017 – The Stuart Bingham Stadium, Basildon

Andy Wilkins reports…

My first Essex Senior League game saw me visit The Stuart Bingham Stadium aka Gardiners Close for the first time to see Basildon United vs Clapton.

The two sides previously met last season back on 3rd January this year with a 4-0 win for Clapton which took place at Clapton’s The Old Spotted Dog ground.

Both teams have had changes since they last played each other last season. An example is that Basildon have seen the arrival of Marc Harrison and Liam Wallace from Essex Olympian League side Basildon Town following the departure of Aaron Bloxham as Manager, whilst Clapton have seen a number of additions being made to the squad that finished 2nd last season. They’ve also managed to keep hold of their management duo of Jon Fowell and Andre Thomas.

The game started in good spirits and it was Basildon who took the early chances in the first few minutes with plenty of possession. It was evident that Basildon preferred the high long ball whilst Clapton preferred to play the ball low on the wet pitch in a bid to break down their host’s defence in this game.

Basildon’s first main attack came after 14 minutes when a high ball came through and was swept across the face of the goal with a header just going wide of the goal, before 13 minutes later saw the Bees get their deserved lead with a goal from Tommy Barton following a high corner where he headed the ball into the top right corner which was met by various cheers from the Basildon fans.

After that goal, Clapton slowly tried to get themselves back into the game with their low-ball tactic being used, however they didn’t appear to be a massive threat at the Basildon goal at all given the solid defence from the hosts proving to be far too great for the away attackers.

Basildon continued to push on over the next few minutes from their one-goal lead with midfielder Charlie Kendall breaking from the Clapton defence where he went 1 on 1 with the Clapton keeper before curling a shot over which then hit the crossbar, only for the Clapton defence to scramble the ball away from their penalty area. Clapton had been spared again.

It also feels best to mention that throughout the game, the Clapton Ultras were in superb form in terms of creating noise. If anything, the prospect of them having brought a coach load of fans to the ground just showed how much this game meant to them and how much supporting their team means to them.

The second-half was a much livelier affair off the pitch and in the stands with Basildon fans creating an equal amount of noise to their travelling counterparts from London whilst, in the early moments, the hosts were trying to create a few good long crosses which didn’t get met by their attackers at first. In fact the first attempt of these was in the 52nd minute.

2 minutes later and after a scrappy attack by Basildon, Marcus Bowers, who had impressed during pre-season for the Bees, scored a close-range goal which was forced through the Clapton defence. It gave Basildon the breathing space required to extend their lead further and pretty much, seal off the game completely and secure the 3 points.

Clapton continued to improve following the 2nd goal where they played some good passive football but they were not unfortunately close to starting a revival at any point of the 2nd half.

Basildon kept up the good play throughout the second half and it appeared they wanted to even make it 3-0 at points throughout the half but it became very apparent after that second goal that the game started to lose its tone and pace that we had seen in the first half.

It wasn’t until the final few minutes of the game came along when Basildon nearly made it 3-0, when a low header was crossed in and was met by a light save by the Clapton goalkeeper who subsequently put it out for a corner. That following corner proved to be of no importance.

The final whistle went a few moments later which was met by the cheers from the few Basildon fans who had seen Marc Harrison’s reign as Basildon manager start off well whilst the Clapton Ultras congratulated Basildon on their win which was very well deserved.

This was the lift that Basildon needed following their pre-season schedule and they finished the day in 4th place. It appears to me that new Chairman Lee Connor has really laid some fantastic foundations that are worth visiting to see alongside the hard work that Marc and his assistant Liam have also done over pre-season.

As for Clapton, they showed during the game that they have got that quality from last season still even after this game. They will be hoping to bounce back on Wednesday night when they go down the road to Cricklefield to take on local rivals Ilford FC who won 5-0 against Woodford Town in their opening fixture.

 

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Lakeside Speedway – WAJTKNECHT UPDATE

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

SPECIALISTS have made the decision to try and save Zach Wajtknecht’s torn spleen suffered last week.

Wajtknecht, 19, has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to the internal damage suffered in his crash for Swindon against Poole.

It was a bitter blow for the popular youngster, who has been in fine form so far this season, but he has received some positive news with doctors opting not to remove his torn spleen.

In the meantime, Lakeside will be back in action as they host Eastbourne at the Arena-Essex Raceway next Sunday (3pm).

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Two Leopards Better Than One

Jamie Hayes in action for Leopards

Jamie Hayes in action for Leopards

Dave Ryan reports…

Thomas Baker’s rebuilding of the Levett Essex Leopards’ roster has continued with the return of Jamie Hayes and the addition of fellow big man Jamie Rodwell.

6’8″ forward Rodwell played against Leopards for both Hemel Storm and the Welsh national team last season, helping Storm overcome a slow start to reach the play-offs.

Coach Baker is delighted with his new addition: “Signing Jamie is another great step along this journey we are on this off-season” he said.

“He adds length and presence under the basket that will help us both ends of the floor and he can also play out on the perimeter too.

Jamie is keen to continue to develop as a player and I’m excited to work with him this upcoming season. With the season getting closer and closer we will continue to make signings that allow us to achieve promotion back to Division One, and I’m pleased Jamie is a part of that.”

Rodwell is excited to be linking up with his new team: “It was a difficult decision to leave Hemel but after speaking with Tom and some returning players, Leopards are the right fit for me to continue to develop as a player” he said.

“It’s clear that everyone shares the same mind-set about this season in that it’s all about getting back into Division One and I’m excited to go out and prove that’s where we belong.”

Meanwhile Hayes, who lives in the Brentwood area, is back for a third season with the Big Cats having nailed down a starting spot in the closing stages of the 2016/17 campaign and his performances were enough for him to win the club’s Most Improved Player award in April.

Hayes is keen to help Leopards make an immediate return to NBL Division One: “After what was a very frustrating season last year with Leopards I felt I needed to return to help put things right and put us back where we belong; in Division One and winning again” he said.

“It is my intention to help the Big Cats to a championship season, along with winning all the respective cups and trophies on offer, getting us back in Division One in style.”

Coach Baker is pleased to bring Hayes back to the club: “Bringing Jamie back was one of my main objectives” he said.

“His unwavering commitment when things were tough last year and his willingness to give his all when the season wasn’t going well is credit to the type of player and person Jamie is.

“I feel his ability to play inside and outside adds to the style we want to play next season and his willingness to do whatever it takes for his team to win is exactly what I am looking for.

“In such a short space of time with me, Jamie proved that he is the kind of player I want to have around and I am looking forward to working with him again this season.”

 

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Essex Senior League Saturday 27th July Round Up

untitledEssex Senior League Round Up

Clapton’s fans fancied a trip to a place called Bas Vegas on Saturday but the team otherwise known as Basildon United made sure they returned to E7 with no more than memories of a good day out – as the points remained in Basildon. Tommy Barton opened the scoring for the Bees in the 27th minute before Marcus Bowers notched the other in the 55th minute to seal a 2-0 win. A crowd of 281 witnessed last year’s runners-up come unstuck on the opening day.

Iain O’Connell told the Southend Evening Echo in midweek that he was unconcerned about the favourites tag but he must have been happy to see his Great Wakering Rovers team open their latest Essex Senior League saga with a 2-0 home success over Stansted. Bradley Nobbs rifled home a penalty on the hour before Aaron Russell made sure of victory by adding a second in the 82nd minute.

Newboys Hackney Wick posted three points to the board after a 3-1 win at Burnham Ramblers. The hosts took the lead through Adam Brotherton but then had a man sent off before Magnus Orelaja scored a peach of an equaliser. The Wickers then scored twice in the second half via Matteo King in the 53rd minute and Jeffrey Idemuda who put his name down on the score sheet in the 66th. The Wickers even managed to miss a penalty along the way.

West Essex started their campaign with a 3-1 win at Sawbridgeworth Town but they had to come back from behind to achieve it. George Pullen fired the Robins into the lead in the 10th minute but they held onto that lead for only two minutes, with Joe Lefley levelling up. Cameron Gray and Issac Marfo banged home goals in the 82nd and 85th minute respectively to win it for the visitors.

It didn’t take long for Stuart Zanone to open his 2017/18 goal account; his 3rd minute penalty was his, Takeley’s and the ESL’s first goal of the season. Mitchell Das notched a further goal in the 15th minute in the 2-0 home win over Sporting Bengal United.

FC Romania left it late at Wadham Lodge with both goals coming in the final ten minutes. Cosmic Anton finally broke the deadlock in the 84th minute before George Taban doubled the lead in the 87th minute; and with it the points.

Ilford put their troubled close season behind them with a comprehensive 5-0 away win at Woodford Town 2017. Khadean Campbell scored twice, in the 22nd and 68th minutes, as did James Peagram in the 75th and 79th. Josh Coulson notched the other goal in the 61st minute to put the Foxes 2-0 up but by then the hosts had been reduced to nine men following two red cards.

Saturday 29th July 2017

Premier Division

Basildon United 2 (Tommy Barton 27, Marcus Bowers 55)

Clapton 0

Att.281

Burnham Ramblers 1 (Adam Brotherton 17)

Hackney Wick 3 (Magnus Orelaja 44, Matteo King 53, Jeffrey Idemudia 66

Att. 19

Great Wakering Rovers 2 (Bradley Nobbs 60p, Aaron Russell 82)

Stansted 0

Att. 83

Hullbridge Sports 2 (Luca Frankis 8, 50)

Waltham Forest 2 (Mohammed Sagaf 9, Nana Yiadom 57

Att.47

Redbridge 2 (Calvin Poku 88, Eljay Worrell 90)

Tower Hamlets 1 (Hasan Mustafa 34)

Att.51

Sawbridgeworth Town 1 (George Pullen 10)

West Essex 3 (Joe Lefley 12, Cameron Gray 82, Issac Marfo 85)

Att.40

Takeley 2 (Stuart Zanone 3p, Mitchell Das 15)

Sporting Bengal United 0

Att. 65

Wadham Lodge 0

FC Romania 2 (Cosmic Anton 84, George Tahan 87)

Att.30

Woodford Town 2017 0

Ilford 5 (Khadean Campbell 22, 68, Josh Coulson 61, James Peagram 75, 79)

Att. 30

 

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Last grasp Motormen snatch points from Tower Hamlets

Redbridge tore straight into Tower Hamlets right from the first whistle, fell behind to a first half Hasan Mustafa effort – but ended up snatching victory a few seconds before the final one when Eljay Worrell fired home from close range, taking all the points only two minutes after Calvin Poku had brought the hosts level.

Poku fired Redbridge’s first effort over the bar early in the opening period and then tore up the Hamlets defence along with Lindisipho Mtyanda, both exchanging passes that created  a shooting opportunity but the two forwards got in each other’s way and Poku’s shot ended up being blocked by his team mate. Brian Moses was also causing the Hamlets defence problems and he worked his way into the box in the 23rd minute but was halted by Charlie Clarke and then a minute later was upended by Jerome Anthony. Eljay Worrell took the resulting free kick that was well saved by Kieran Bennett. Another ball played into the box ended up with Worrell and Bennett colliding as they both went for the ball which resulted in the keeper needing treatment and  Worrell receiving a yellow card.

Hamlets however dug in and started stemming the Motormen’s flow although Patrick Duggan did go close for Redbridge with a long range daisy cutter just on the half hour. The visitors then went up the other end and took the lead in the 34th minute when a sweeping ball from the left flank was slammed home from close range by Hasan Mustafa. Hamlets had to clear their lines on a couple of occasions after taking the lead but almost extended it on the stroke of half time when a superb Alhousman Ndure header forced Lewis Greene into pulling off an equally impressive piece of goalkeeping to tip away.

 

Redbridge opened the second half pressing for an equaliser and it was Brian Moses who almost provided it. The rangy forward latched onto a through ball and his low shot required a full-stretch save from Bennett to tip past the post. Tower Hamlets came out of their shell though and Wade Odedoyin was able to win a corner after chasing down a long ball that Greene had to deflect away for a corner. And Greene had to also get down low to stop a long range drive from Naamen Gordon.

The hosts continued passing the ball around looking to create openings but the Hamlet defence put their bodies on the line to keep the Motormen at bay and looked to catch their opponents on the counter. Wale Odeboyin was only inches too high with a looping header and then Chaka Barnett was able to use his pace to get himself into space but was only able to rifle off a weak shot that Greene saved easily.

With time ticking away Redbridge went all out to get back on terms and Worrell twisted and turned his way through the Hamlets defence before firing a shot that was only inches wide. Hamlets then rode their luck as Poku had one shot hit the post and then another powerful strike rattle the crossbar. Poku however made it third time lucky in the 88th minute when he drilled the equaliser past Bennett after being set up by Bradley Gates.

The Motormen then captured the points in the 90th minute when Leon Thomas delivered a cross from the right that Worrell rifled home from close range.

Redbride: Lewis Greene, Frankie Naidoo, Eljay Worrell, Remi Nelson, Liam Thomas, Jonathan Mbamarah, Patrick Duggan, Malaki Toussaint, Brian Moses, Calvin Poku, Lindisipho Mtyanda.

Scorers – Calvin Poku (88’), Eljay Worrell (90’)

Tower Hamlets: Kieran Bennett, Inesh Sumithran, John Watson, Naaman Gordon, Jerome Anthony, Charlie Clarke, Nathan Ackie (Chaka Barnett 54’), Alhousman Ndure, Wale Odedoyin, Antonio Montiero (Serkan Bunyat 71’) , Hasan Mustafa (Lamar Earle 54’).

Scorer – Hasan Mustafa (33’)

 

 Redbridge v Tower Hamlets

Eljay Worrell celebrates his late winner at Oakside (Photo by Philip Lindhurst @themotormen)

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Pre-season friendly: Billericay Town 1 Leyton Orient 2

Pre-season friendly

BILLERICAY TOWN 1 LEYTON ORIENT 2

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from the AGP Arena

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Billericay Town were narrowly beaten by the odd goal in this warm up match against a Leyton Orient side preparing for their first National League campaign.

The Blues took to the field without ex-Tottenham man Jamie O’Hara, who had a hamstring issue, but Ricay’s latest star signing Jermaine Pennant was in the starting line up.

The O’s grabbed an early lead after 6 minutes, striker Macauley Bonne heading home from a cross to the right from Romauld Boco’s cross. From that point, other than a couple more Orient chances there was nothing much to report until the 27 minute, a decent 1-2 between attacking right back Jake Caprice and Boco provided a great chance, which set up Caprice who fired a great effort in off the left post to make it 2-0 to the visitors.

In the 36th minute the Blues were awarded a free kick outside the penalty area, and former Arsenal and Liverpool man Pennant gave his new side their first real chance of the game, with a fine effort which was well saved by Orient keeper Charlie Grainger. But shortly afterwards the home side his side got back into the game, with new signing from Ebbsfleet United Sam Deering heading home from close range from Pennant’s near post ball.

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After the break Billericay pushed forward and had a few chances, including a low effort from Deering. Some vital saves from Grainger kept Orient in the game , including a stop from Joe Ellul and two more efforts from the impressive Deering. Then Louie Theophanous came close in the 74th minute, but the former Chelmsford striker failed to find an equaliser with his headed effort going off the inside of the post.

Striker Jake Robinson then came close for the Blues but his header, in spite of getting past Grainger was thwarted by the post.

With 12 minutes from time Orient came close to adding a third, but a superb clearance from former West Ham and England full back Paul Konchesky – putting in a characteristically solid performance at the back for the Blues – stopped the visitors from adding to their lead. Then at the other end Ricay came close with an effort that was well saved by the stretching figure of Grainger in the Orient goal, and Robinson was twice denied an equaliser late on.

Billericay Town: Julian, Payne (Urquhart 45), Konchesky, Ellul, Swaine, Deering (Cunnington 76), Davies, Bricknell (Robinson 62), Theophanous (Walker 74), Chambers, Pennant.

Leyton Orient: Grainger, Caprice, Coulson, Elokobi, Widdowson, Lawless, Clay, Boco (Trialist B 62), McAnuff, Mooney, Bonne.

After the game Billericay Town assistant manager Harry Wheeler said “We showed that we can compete….we expected them to be in front of us (early on) as their season starts a week earlier than hours, so we expected them to be….after the first 20 minutes when we got used to the pace – and they’re the best side we’ve played so far (pre-season) – we settled in and showed we can compete.”

“I thought in the second half we were the better side”.

I asked Wheeler how he thought pre-season had gone so far, and he replied, “Very good….the sessions have been really good, and the main thing is the rapport the lads have had which has been really impressive…we’re going to incorporate different kinds of training this week, and by the start on the 12th (August) we’ll be good to go”. He also praised the contribution of Jermaine Pennant, saying “Jermaine’s contribution was very good today….his defensive game is as good as his attacking game”.

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Jermaine Pennant then told me he hasn’t yet signed a deal to join Billericay on a permanent basis, and has also had offers from elsewhere, so has yet to decide whether he will actually join the club.

“An offer has been put forward…nothing’s been signed…I’ll speak to my family and make a decision this week”, he said.

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LEADING light Paul Hurry dedicated Lakeside’s comprehensive 52-37 victory over play-off rivals Birmingham to injured star Zach Wajtknecht.

Number one Hurry posted 17 points from six rides, including a win in heat four when he stood in for former-Brummie Wajtknecht, as the Vortex Hammers stretched their lead throughout a meeting that survived the steadily-increasing rain.

The reserve heat set the tone as Connor Locke and Jamie Couzins rode around unchallenged following exclusions for Lewis Whitmore and Taylor Hampshire in the first two attempts.

Visitor Tom Bacon followed suit in the third, collecting Hammers Alfie Bowtell and Ben Morley with the latter briefly attended to for a shoulder problem before winning the re-run.

From there, Lakeside were imperious with Hurry leading the way and Morley going on to win four out of six races.

Fittingly, it was the top two scorers who recorded the home side’s second maximum of the night to rubber stamp victory in heat 13, leaving Hurry with a sense of accomplishment.

“It was not a bad win, Birmingham kept us on our toes but it was a good end to what was a difficult night without Zach around,” said Hurry.

“I did that one for Zach with a bit more focus and concentration. I’m his main help as such and it feels strange not to have him here. Hopefully he will get better and be back as quickly as he can.

“The track was pretty slick because they could not water it with the threat of rain but once we all got rolling, we did okay.”

Meanwhile, Hurry believes a return to weekly meetings throughout August after a barren July will help Lakeside, who climbed to third above the Brummies in the chase for the Travel Plus National League crown, to hit top form at the business end of the season.

“The breaks we are having between meetings isn’t helping us,” he added. “The lads aren’t riding enough to stay on top of their game like they should be.

“With a few more meetings coming up, we should hopefully get on a roll and start banging in the points, though.

“Every meeting is important. Being the club that dropped down from the Elite League you have a reputation to maintain, you always have that expectation to do well.

“It is all about bringing on the youngsters and when you have the likes of Connor Locke, Jamie Couzins and Nick Laurence coming on leaps and bounds and enjoying their speedway, it is really good.”

LAKESIDE 52: Paul Hurry 17, Ben Morley 15+1, Alfie Bowtell 8, Connor Locke 5, Jamie Couzins 4+2, Nick Laurence 3+1, Zach Wajtknecht r/r.
BIRMINGHAM 37: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 9+1, Layne Cupitt 7+1, David Mason 7+1, Liam Carr 7, Tom Bacons 6+1, Taylor Hampshire 1, Lewis Whitmore 0.

 

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Lakeside Speedway – HAMMERS DEALT MASSIVE BLOW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE have been dealt a huge blow ahead of tonight’s home fixture with Birmingham (8pm).

In-form ace Zach Wajtknecht damaged his spleen after falling off whilst on Premiership duty with Swindon on Thursday and is set to miss the rest of the season.

He spent the night in hospital where observations took place. He is now facing treatment over the next few days before a decision is made whether or not he will require an operation.

Everyone at The Vortex Lakeside Hammers would like to send our best wishes to Zach and wish him a speedy recovery.

Rider replacement will operate for Wajtknecht in tonight’s Travel Plus National League fixture against the reigning Champions.

The action gets underway at 8pm with six junior races taking place from 7.30 approx.

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Lakeside Speedway – FRIDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE are gearing up for an important Travel Plus National League showdown with fellow play-off contenders Birmingham at The Arena Essex Raceway on Friday (8pm).

The Vortex Hammers currently sit one point behind their opponents in the league table and know another home win would be enough to move them back into the play-off positions.

Lakeside No.1 Paul Hurry is anticipating one of the meetings of the season so far against the Brummies and believes the Hammers have got what it takes to build momentum and go on another run between now and the end of the season.

Said Hurry: “Birmingham are a strong team and when you’ve won the league for the last two years, you get a winning mentality drilled into you.”

“It’s certainly not going to be easy and they will do everything that they can to push us, but I feel like we’re growing as a team all the time and that’s important.

“I think the bunch of riders we’ve got here this year work really well together and we’ve got the potential to make this a memorable season.”

After missing the last home meeting against Buxton, the Hammers welcome back Alfie Bowtell as well as new British Under-19 Champion Zach Wajtknecht.

LAKESIDE: Paul Hurry, Nick Laurence, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell, Zach Wajtknecht, Jamie Couzins, Connor Locke
BIRMINGHAM: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, Layne Cupitt, David Mason, Tom Bacon, Liam Carr, Lewis Whitmore, Taylor Hampshire

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Done Deals! 24/07/17

The latest done deals in the world of football.

So far this transfer window has been filled with drama. From Man City spending £125.7 Million on 3 full backs in the past week and a half to Wayne Rooney returning to Everton after 13 years! A lot has happened already but there is still time for even more football movements to come as Deadline Day is still over a month away!

Benjamin Mendy (Monaco to Man City) £49.2m

Benjamin completed his transfer today after undergoing a medical in LA. The 23 year old Frenchmen has been City’s first choice LB target this window and finally the deal has been completed. It has to be said Monaco are losing a lot of key players this Transfer Window we saw City Snatch Bernando Silva as well earlier this Summer for a huge £43m. Mendy enjoyed a superb 2015/16 season with Monaco. He enjoyed 5 MOTM performances and gathered up 8 assists in competitions such as Ligue 1 and the Champions League. £49.2m does seem pricey for a 23 year old full-back, but with City also spending £50m on 27 year old full-back Kyle Walker who only managed 5 assists last season it seems reasonable!

Marko Arnautovic (Stoke to West Ham) £25m

The Austrian International completed his move to the London Stadium on the 22nd of July. Marko enjoyed 4 years at Stoke making 145 appearances for the club scoring 26 times before joining up with the Hammers. Arnautovic is the 3rd new signing this transfer window for West Ham with the club already signing two ex Man City players being Goal Keeper Joe Hart and Right Back Zabaleta, it seems like West Ham are signing players with good experience in the English game in their hopes for a top 6 finish next season. The former Champion league winner with Inter is looking likely to start against his former boss Mourinho in the opening weekend of the season as West Ham face Man Utd on Sunday the 13th!

Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid to Chelsea) £60m

With Diego Costa’s relationship with his current boss Antonio Conte only getting worst by the day, Chelsea have a new Spanish International up top! Morata completed his move to the Blues by signing a mega 5 year contract. The new number 9 at Chelsea has said “It’s an incredible emotion to be part of this big club”. With Morata being linked with both Ac Milan and Man Utd its interesting to see the saga end with this move to Chelsea. With Morata only starting 14 games in La Liga last year you can see why Morata wanted the move. Scoring 14 goals from 18 starts in all competitions Morata could be a contender for the golden boot come the end of the season!

Here are some other noticeable transfers from the past week! ⚽️⚽️⚽️

Danilo [Real Madrid – Manchester City] £26.5m

Darren Randolph [West Ham – Middlesbrough] £5m

Aleksandar Kolarov [Manchester City – Roma] £4.5m

Andrew Robertson [Hull – Liverpool] £8m up to £10m

Javier Manquillo [Atletico Madrid – Newcastle] Undisclosed

Kurt Zouma [Chelsea – Stoke] Loan

Jacob Murphy [Norwich – Newcastle] Undisclosed (reported £12m)

Britt Assombalonga [Nottingham Forest – Middlesbrough] £15m

Wojciech Szczesny [Arsenal – Juventus] £10m

Thanks for reading!

I’m on Phoenix Fm 1 till 3pm Saturday, discussing everything sport with Steve Robertson on Between the Lines! Tune in 👍

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Spanish Signing for Leopards

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Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards have announced their third signing of the summer with the addition of Spanish guard Ruben Saiz Colon.

The 30-year-old Barcelona-born player joins up with the Big Cats having spent all of his career except a brief spell at Oaklands Academy, in his home country, and coach Thomas Baker is delighted with his new signing: “Ruben is a great addition to the team, he’s a versatile, pass-first combo guard with a high basketball IQ” he said.

“Having seen him play over the years I know he will make players around him better. He will bring experience of playing overseas and I am confident he will fit in well with the other players. From the first time I met Ruben I had a good feeling about what he would bring to this club and I’m really looking forward to start working with him.”

The 6’1″ Spaniard can play both guard spots and started his senior career in 2005-2006 when he played for Menorca-based CB Jovent D’Alaior, and since then he has played for CB Lleida, CB Tarrega, CB Pardinyes and CB Alpicat.

The Big Cats’ newest recruit is excited about joining up with his new team: “I’m really happy to play basketball in the UK. I am excited to see what it like is playing here and I am really looking forward to working with coach Baker and Essex Leopards” he said.

“I have a great feeling about this club and I am thrilled to be joining a club with ambitions. As an experienced player I am confident I can help the club get back to Division 1. By talking to coach Baker it is clear to see what he wants to achieve with the club and I am grateful to be a part of it.”

 

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Scott Lanza Previews the ESL and EOFL Seasons

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Listen as Publicity Officer for the Essex Senior League and the Essex Olympian League, Scott Lanza looks ahead to the two football competitions starting.

Scott talks about who to watch out for in the EOFL, Ilford and the importance of volunteers at all levels of Essex non league.

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Six of the best! Bishop’s Stortford 2 Billericay Town 6

A strong performance from the Blues saw them easily defeat their Southern League Premier opponents in this rainy pre-season friendly.

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Billericay had a few chances in the first half hour and took the lead after 31 minutes when Casey converted into his own goal after a Waldren free kick.

Ellul thumped home a header ten minutes later to give the Blues a 2-0 lead at half time.

Bishop’s Stortford brought on Spriggs and Richefond for Gledhill and Hickford during the break. Billericay made more wholesale changes with Julian, Urquhart, O’Hara, Konchesky, Bricknell, Theophanous, Deering, Robinson, Davis and Modeste all coming on. Danny Waldren was the only player to stay on the pitch.

The changes benefitted the home team more as Tapley pulled it back to 2-1 from a corner.

On 55 minutes Sam Deering extended the lead, curling in a shot past goalkeeper Voss.

Deering followed it up with a second goal 10 minutes later with another powerful shot into the bottom corner.

Jamie O’Hara limped off after the goal and was replaced by Walker.

Modeste was fouled by Danquaa after 68 minutes and a penalty was awarded to Billericay, which Bricknell duly converted.

The Blues made it 6-1 with Theopaneous shooting home after some pinball in the Bishop’s Stortford box.

The home team pulled back another goal on 83 minutes with Richefond converting after good work from Calvin Ekpiteta, and the score finished 6-2 to Billericay.

Billericay Town will be high on confidence going into their next friendly, away to Heybridge Swifts on Tuesday at 7.45pm.

Bishop’s Stortford: Voss, Casey, Tumwa, Hickford (c), Gledhill, M Ekpiteta, C Ekpiteta, Livings, Owusu, Tapley, Foxley.
Subs: Spriggs, King, Danquaa, Richefond, Azzopardi, Palmer.

Billericay Town: Giddens, Ocram, Ellul, Paine, Sprague, Chema, Waldren, Evans, Lawrence, Cole, Cunnington.
Subs: Julian, Urquhart, Konchesky, Modeste, O’Hara, Theophanous, Bricknell, Robinson, Davies, Deering, Swaine.

Attendance: 204

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Snetterton Race Report

15 year old Fiesta Junior Championship hopeful Lochlan Bearman endured yet another weekend of appalling luck which has effectively ended any hope of winning the Championship or even finishing in the Top 3 this season.

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The Debden schoolboy said ‘it’s been very frustrating. The first 2 rounds we were down on power, I was taken out by a competitor at Brands. At Cadwell we were still down on power but scored two 3rd place finishes. We then went to Silverstone where the power issue had been solved an qualified 2nd, and I was running in 2nd when the gearbox failed. In Race 2, I came from last to second showing that with the car working well I can produce the performances. That gave me hope for Rockingham where a good result would have put me back into the battle for 2nd and 3rd but again we were down on power. This time because the catalytic converter had collapsed which was impacting power output by around 15 bhp. I also got taken out by a team mate in Race 2.

And so to Snetterton, with the car running well again. Practise went well and the plan was to run our proposed qualifying set-up in the final practise session. However, that was cut short by a nasty looking accident on lap 1 which resulted in the session being cancelled so I never got to try the set-up.

We went into qualifying not knowing how the car would be and qualified 5th. This was just 2 tenths off 2nd place and I knew I’d lost 4 tenths through a mistake so in reality I was closer than it appeared.

Race 1 started with a frenzy in the first few corners, and I’d dropped to 6th. I managed to re-take 5th and build up a gap. It was looking like a 5th place finish and I entered the last lap about 10 car lengths behind 4th and about the same margin back to 6th and 7th when the motor just stopped. A wire for the fuel pump inside the fuel tank and broken and this meant I did not finish.

For race two Phoenix FM driver Bearman was hoping for greasy/wet conditions as he excels in them and that is exactly what greeted the drivers as they were waiting in the assembly area. Following frantic activity by the mechanics the cars were fitted with the wet tyres just in time and the cars streamed out onto the circuit for the green flag lap ahead of the start.

As the lights went out Bearman got off the line well but the driver in front had stalled and with the driver on the left coming across Bearman had no choice but to try to stop and get between the stalled car and the pit wall. There wasn’t enough room and Bearman suffered suspension damage in the resulting smash and had to stop and retire at the end of lap 1.

It’s motor racing and I will come back stronger said the Epping youngster. It’s really hard to take and so frustrating that I cannot show my speed. We only entered this Championship to win it so we now need to make a decision on whether or not we continue or pull out of the Championship and focus on next season.

Watch this space

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Busy times at Billericay Town

Click here to listen to the interview:

We caught up with Billericay Town FC owner and manager Glenn Tamplin amidst all the building work at the AGP Arena today.

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Glenn updates us on all the work going on, including:

– developing younger players including new signings Daniel Cheema, Charlie Cole and Brendan Ocran
– dispelling the myths about high wages
– thoughts about the club’s 3-2 win against St Albans last weekend
– changes in personnel at Director of Football and assistant coach levels
– updates on the building works at the ground
– the details on the club’s impressive new mural
– the big test of the first club’s home match against Leyton Orient
– Billericay Town in the community, including visits to schools and the latest news on Harry Parker

The Blues have two away friendlies coming up, against Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday 22 July and Heybridge Swifts on Tuesday 25 July.

The first home game at the rebuilt stadium is against Leyton Orient on Saturday 29 July. This is followed by two more home friendlies against St James’s Swifts on Saturday 5 August and a West Ham XI on Tuesday 8 August.

The Bostik League kicks off on Saturday 12 August with anothe home match against Kingstonian. Ticket information can be found on the club’s official website at http://www.billericaytownfc.co.uk/

Here’s how the ground is looking today:

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

BEN Morley struck a stunning 18 point maximum as Lakeside beat Buxton 51-38 at the Arena-Essex Raceway.

The Vortex Hammers picked up where they left off after a lengthy lay off to maintain their perfect home record.

Morley was in magnificent form throughout going through the card against a powerful Hitmen side.

There were also impressive displays from Connor Locke and Nick Laurence, whilst Paul Hurry and guest Adam Roynon claimed two race wins apiece.

Team boss Kelvin Tatum was delighted with his side after earning three more Travel Plus National League points.

Tatum said: “It wasn’t always easy for us because some of our big hitters weren’t quite at their best tonight. But it was a fantastic performance from Ben Morley, backed up superbly by Connor Locke and Nick Laurence.

“We were delighted to keep the home record going and it was a good way to shake off the rust after a bit of a break.”

The Hammers will be back in action when they host Birmingham on Friday, July 28 (8pm).

LAKESIDE 51: Ben Morley 18, Connor Locke 8+1, Nick Laurence 7+1, Adam Roynon 7, Paul Hurry 6, Jamie Couzins 5, Alfie Bowtell r/r.
BUXTON 38: Matt Williamson 13, Jake Knight 7+2, Tom Woolley 6, Jamie Halder 3+1, Lee Geary 3+1, Ben Woodhull 3+1, Ryan Kinsley 3.

National League points: Lakeside 3 Buxton 0

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Lakeside Speedway – FRIDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE team manager Kelvin Tatum believes they are well equipped as they aim to maintain their unbeaten home record in the Travel Plus National League against Buxton on Friday (8pm).

The Vortex Hammers have won all five of their league fixtures at The Arena-Essex Raceway this season and currently sit in fourth place.

And despite being without newly crowned British Under-19 Champion Zach Wajtknecht and in-form star Alfie Bowtell due to racing commitments in the higher two tiers, Tatum is confident his side can add another three league points to their tally.

“Of course the two absences are frustrating but there’s not a lot we can do about it apart from making sure the rest of the team get their heads down and get the job done,” said Tatum.

“We’ve booked Adam Roynon to guest for Zach. Adam’s confidence is growing with every meeting he does for Plymouth in the National League and he’s a top quality performer at this level.

“We feel we can match the points of Alfie with rider replacement but at the same time we know we’re going to have to work hard.

“Buxton have a got a good couple of riders who will contribute to some entertaining racing and it should be a good night of speedway that will hopefully end with another win for the Hammers.

“I think we’re in a handy position right now. We are nicely placed at the halfway stage of the season to sustain a play-off push and that’s ultimately where we want to be in September / October.”

A change in the averages sees Paul Hurry move into the No.1 racejacket for the Hammers and he’ll go head-to-head with Buxton’s Matt Williamson who is enjoying his best season to date.

LAKESIDE: Paul Hurry, Nick Laurence, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell R/R, Adam Roynon, Jamie Couzins, Connor Locke.
BUXTON: Matt Williamson, Jamie Halder, Tom Woolley, Ryan Kinsley, Jake Knight, Lee Geary, Ben Woodhull.

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Lakeside Speedway – LAURENCE EAGER FOR RETURN

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

NICK Laurence admits he can’t wait to get back on a bike when Lakeside host Buxton at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Friday (8pm).

The Vortex Hammers return to action for the first time in almost three weeks as they aim to continue their push up the Travel Plus National League standings.

After five wins from their last six meetings, the Purfleet outfit are full of confidence and Laurence is hoping he can play his part in another home success.

“I’m loving life at Lakeside this year to be honest,” Laurence said.

“I’m learning all the time and I feel like I’m making some steady progress.

“It will be good to get back on the bike after a few weeks off and I’m sure we can carry on where we left off.”

With newly crowned British Under-19 Champion Zach Wajtknecht on SGB Premiership duty with Swindon, the Hammers have secured the services of experienced campaigner Adam Roynon who has been in terrific third tier form since joining Plymouth.

The Hammers will operate rider replacement for Alfie Bowtell who is required by Newcastle in the SGB Championship; Ben Morley, Nick Laurence, Connor Locke and Jamie Couzins can take his rides.

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Amazing progress at Billericay Town FC

Bostik Premier League team Billericay Town are working hard to transform their ground in time for the new season – and the progress is amazing.

I was there on 17 April with nearly 2,000 other fans to watch the Blues turn over local rivals Canvey Island 3-1 in their last home game of the season.

I arrived at 8.30am this morning to find dozens of people at work on all areas of the ground. Three of the new stands are in place, along with about 500 seats. New bars and toilet blocks are being constructed on the corners, and the clubhouse is being completely refurbished, with foundations in place for new buildings adjacent to it.

The pitch looks stunning under a rare summer sky filled with cirrocumulus clouds.

The back of the main stand will be home to a new mural depicting the history of the club, and that is also taking great shape, with the Mayflower connections and the three FA Vase victories already in place.

Glenn Tamplin promised the fans major changes in two fan forums held last season – and it looks like he is set to deliver in time for the new season.

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WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page Talks with Phoenix FM

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Note that the Mixcloud link may not work for those outside the UK.  In which case, the interview has been reproduced in full below.

 

Listen as WWE Hall of Famer, 3 time WCW World Heavyweight Champion and Founder of DDP Yoga, Diamond Dallas Page talks with Phoenix FM about his career.

DDP talks about running a Rock ‘n’ Roll bar, starting late in Pro Wrestling, injuries and how DDP Yoga helped him and others recover and take control of their lives.

Also hear how DDP played second fiddle to a car at Wrestlemania VI.

Find out more about DDP at www.diamonddallaspage.com.

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The King of Connecticut Holds Court

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Note: The Mixcloud link may not work for those outside the UK.  In which case the interview is reproduced in full below.

 

Listen again as The King of Connecticut, The Suntan Superman Matt Granahan chats about his life in MMA and Pro Wrestling.

From wrestling in the 7th grade, Matt went on to found the American Combat Association with UFC and ONE Championship star Kamal “Prince of Persia” Shalorus, putting on the first MMA show in South Carolina.

Matt was also instrumental in the branding for Bellator MMA as it went to Spike TV and has written books about the history of MMA and Pro Wrestling and recently how he’s Too Handsome for Hollywood.

Matt and Chris also discuss podcast The King’s Court and where The King of Connecticut comes from.

 

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE broke the 60-point barrier for the first time this season with a crushing victory over the Isle of Wight at the Arena-Essex Raceway.

The Vortex Hammers ran out 63-27 winners with a truly dominant display to maintain their perfect home record.

Their top four dropped just four points with Zach Wajtknecht, Paul Hurry and Ben Morley all going unbeaten by an opposing rider whilst Alfie Bowtell suffered just one defeat.

With Connor Locke and Nick Laurence also claiming a race win apiece it was an exceptional team display from the Purfleet side.

And co-promoter Jon Cook was delighted to see them continue their momentum with another eye-catching display against the struggling Warriors.

Said Cook: “You can only beat what’s in front of you, and I think it’s fair to say the Isle of Wight weren’t at the same level as the other teams we’ve faced so far.

“I thought we showed impressive form, all the riders were looking confident and quick, so things look encouraging for when we face tougher tests.

“It was nice to see Connor Locke get amongst the points at home, he’s done a couple of home meetings now and is getting better all the time.

“We’re pleased with how things are going at the moment, so long may it continue.”

The Hammers will be back in action away at Buxton on Sunday, July 2 (3pm) before returning to the Arena-Essex Raceway for the return fixture with the Hitmen on Friday, July 14 (8pm).

TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE
LAKESIDE 63: Paul Hurry 13+2, Alfie Bowtell 12+1, Zach Wajtknecht 12, Ben Morley 11+1, Connor Locke 6+1, Nick Laurence 6, Jamie Couzins 3.
ISLE OF WIGHT 27: James Cockle 7, Connor Coles 6, Ben Wilson 5, Alex Spooner 5, Chris Widman 3, Kelsey Dugard 1+1, Jamie Sealey 0.

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Brentwood CC Take On The England Masters

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Listen again as Paul Webb, Chairman of Brentwood Cricket Club, looks ahead to a massive week of cricket at The Old County Ground as the MCC and PCA England Masters pay a visit in July.

Paul also spoke about Brentwood’s season so far and a good season for cricket in Essex.

 

To find out more about Brentwood CC visit http://brentwoodcc.clubbuzz.co.uk/.

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JJ Birden on Seizing Life’s Opportunities

JJ Birden NFL Player, Speaker, Bestselling Author

This week I spoke with JJ Birden.  JJ was 9 years a star of the NFL and now spends his time as an opportunity trainer and author.  But it was nearly so different for the Portland-born Wide Receiver who was destined for a Track and Field career.

Listen again as we talk about JJ’s life, the lessons he learnt from Joe Montana and the day he added five to his family.

PART 1

 

PART 2

 

Find out more about JJ Birden at jjbirden.com.

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Bearman’s Championship hopes rocked at Rockingham

Lochlan Bearman went in last weekend’s Fiesta Junior race meeting in 4th place in the Championship just 4 points off third spot and off the back of a mixed meeting at Silverstone where he showed his speed but suffered transmission failure in Race 1 and came from last to 2nd in Race 2.

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Having had work undertaken on his car prior to Silverstone the PhoenixFM driver finally felt he could demonstrate his ability and was highly confident going into Rockingham. Despite being in the leading drivers during practise Bearman felt that all was not right with the car. It felt really down on power coming out of the slow corners and that compromised me along the straights. This was borne out in qualifying when Bearman could only manage a lowly 10th and 1.5 seconds off pole.

The team worked tirelessly to solve the problem and overnight night changed many ancillaries. Going into Race 1 the 15 year old did not know if the changes had fixed the issue. At the start Bearman got away well and was able to pass 5 cars on the sprint from the start line through the banked corner, and along the straight to the hairpin and crossed the lines in 5th position at the end of lap 1.

He was running in 5th but it was evident that he still had the problem as he dropped back and came under pressure from 6th place. They had a fantastic battle for 3 laps with Bearman losing out on the straights but getting 5th position back under braking or in the corners. Eventually though he was passed on the straight and could not keep in the slipstream and finished the race in 6th position. “Finishing 6th was lucky as 3 cars in front had dropped out and I was so far off the pace that I was surprised I didn’t finish last”

Ahead of Race 2 the team tried replacing more parts. Bearman lined up 6th again not knowing if the car would work. Making a good start he was in 5th as the cars headed along the straight. Then another driver made an ill judged manoeuvre and ran into the Bearmans’s rear corner pitching the Epping youngster sideways at 95 mph. “It was a heart stopping moment but I stopped the car from spinning, and despite a trip onto the grass managed not to hit anything”. Sadly this let the while field pass and with the power problem still present it was a lonely drive home to 9th positon.

It’s been a terrible weekend. The only positives are that the data showed I was driving well and extracting all there was from the car. It’s imperative we score highly at Snetterton next month to put us back in contention in the championship as we have now reached the halfway stage. Bearman is now 5th in the Championship.

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Lakeside Speedway – ZACH SET TO FLY

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

IN-FORM Lakeside No.1 Zach Wajtknecht has been flying of late – and that’s also how he’ll be getting to Sunday’s home meeting against the Isle of Wight (3pm).

The 19-year-old is competing in a longtrack and beach race meeting in Guernsey on Saturday and had been trying to find an alternative way to ensure he’d be at Purfleet in time for the clash against the Warriors.

But he has now solved that problem and will taking to the air to speed up his journey.

Wajtknecht is on a stunning run which has seen him score four maximums in his last five meetings, one for the Swindon Sprockets in the National Trophy, dropping just a single point to an opponent in the process.

“I’m loving every minute of my racing at the minute and I think that always makes a difference,” Wajtknecht said.

“That’s another reason why I was so desperate to be there for the Hammers on Sunday too.

“I’ve done this beach meeting in Guernsey for a few years now and that’s another one that’s good fun.

“But I had to make sure I could get back to Lakeside and flying was the only real option.

“They could have got a guest in but we’re riding well as a team and I didn’t want to miss it if it could be helped.

“We may have lost at Birmingham on Wednesday, but it was still a good, important point.

“We’re confident every time we race at Lakeside and we’re confident we can get another win over the Isle of Wight. But we won’t be going into it too confident; they’ve got some decent riders at the top end of their team so we’ll all need to be on it again like we have been at home all season so far.”

The Vortex Lakeside Hammers will be at full strength as they aim to continue their unbeaten home run in the third tier.

The Warriors include experienced campaigners Ben Wilson and James Cockle as well as recent recruit Connor Coles.

LAKEISDE: Zach Wajtknecht, Nick Laurence, Paul Hurry, Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley, Jamie Couzins, Connor Locke.
ISLE OF WIGHT: Ben Wilson, Kelsey Dugard, James Cockle, Chris Widman, Connor Coles, Jamie Sealey, TBC.

 

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE No.1 Zach Wajtknecht stormed his way to another 15 point maximum as the Vortex Hammers secured a consolation National League point from their 46-44 defeat at Birmingham.

The Bristol based racer was in breathtaking form against his old club as he sealed a third unbeaten display from his last four fixtures.

While the Hammers were never able to get their noses in front, they were always within touching distance of the reigning Champions.

And even when they fell eight points behind with three races to go, the Hammers were once again able to call on Wajtknecht and club captain Ben Morley for two 5-1s to secure a last gasp point.

Said Wajtknecht: “I feel so good right now and I’m just over the moon to be scoring how I am for Lakeside.

“Me and Ben were able to pull it off again in the big heats but we pushed Birmingham all the way right from heat one.

“Birmingham is a tough place to come to so we’ve got to be happy with a point – but it could have been more.

“Paul (Hurry) slid off a couple of times, a few other things here and there didn’t go our way, so we maybe could have sneaked the win but we’ll still go home pretty happy.”

The result ended the Vortex Hammers’ run of four consecutive wins, but the league point picked up sees them close the gap on the third tier’s top two.

Racing returns to Purfleet this Sunday afternoon (3pm) when the Isle of Wight Warriors are the visitors.

BIRMINGHAM 46: Tom Bacon 12, Taylor Hampshire 9+1, Liam Carr 9, David Mason 6+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 5, Layne Cupitt 3+2, Alex Spooner 1.
LAKESIDE 44: Zach Wajtknecht 15, Ben Morley 11+2, Alfie Bowtell 6+1, Connor Locke 5+1, Paul Hurry 5, Jamie Couzins 2, Nick Laurence 0.

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Lakeside Speedway – WEDNESDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE co-promoter Jon Cook is relishing the challenge of taking on the reigning National League Champions as they head to Birmingham on Wednesday (7.30pm).

The Vortex Hammers head to Perry Barr high on confidence after a promising start to life in the third tier.

After four straight wins, Cook believes his side are beginning to hit top form as they aim to challenge for top honours.

And he hopes they will rise to the occasion of taking on one of the top sides in the Travel Plus National League to add to their points tally.

Said Cook: “Obviously it’s one of the tracks the boys will be more than familiar with, and it’s somewhere we’re used to racing at a higher level.

“It’s nice to go to the stronger venues in the National League, it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to and hopefully the boys can rise to it.

“We feel like we’re starting to kick-on a bit now, so hopefully we can be in the mix and get a good result on Wednesday.”

The Vortex Hammers will be at full strength whilst Birmingham hand a debut to former Lakeside man David Mason and have Alex Spooner and Taylor Hampshire guesting at reserve.

BIRMINGHAM: Jack Parkinson-Blackburn, Layne Cupitt, David Mason, Tom Bacon, Liam Carr, Alex Spooner, Taylor Hampshire.
LAKESIDE: Zach Wajtknecht, Nick Laurence, Paul Hurry, Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley, Jamie Couzins, Connor Locke.

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Billericay Blog: so much work has taken place

Anyone who hasn’t seen the ground since the end of last season won’t recognise it. So much work has taken place, new stands, new facilities and new grass pitch, Glenn Tamplin has done everything possible within the guidelines set for possible future development. Those facilities will I believe include a sweet shop, a new club shop, two inside bars and 6 outside bars.

BTFC

The new players have been signed and together with those retained players ensures the club have an experienced and talented squad, a squad capable of winning the Ryman League. Training will commence soon and everything is targeted towards winning the league.

The first home fixture is a friendly on 29th July v Leyton Orient, a date for your diary to come along and see for yourselves what has happened at the club. This is followed by a friendly against a West Ham XI in early August. Tickets are available for both these games as big crowds are expected to attend. The league season starts on Saturday 12th August and fixtures for the season will be available on the 15th July.

Without doubt it’s going to be an exciting season following the team. The last home match attracted an attendance of 1,970 and the facilities now available can cope with a lot more than that. It would be brilliant if we could smash one of the league’s biggest attendance at Havant which was 3,455.

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Double American Test for Leopards

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Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards have announced their first two pre-season games as they start preparations for the 2017/18 National Basketball League season.

The Big Cats will host Team USA Select at Oaklands College on Friday September 1 (7.30pm) before the touring side visit the Brentwood Centre on Sunday September 3, tip-off 4pm.

There are two pre-game camps before the September 3 game at the Brentwood Centre with youngsters getting the chance to practice and play games with Leopards’ coach Thomas Baker and several of the first team. Full details on www.leopardsbasketball.co.uk.

Team USA Select bring around 40 players over from the States, and Leopards will face different teams on each date. The squad consists of players who have finished their college careers in the States and are looking for pro jobs in Europe. Several have gone on to successful careers in England including former Leopards’ big man Greg Hernandez who helped the Big Cats win the National Trophy in 2013.

The Big Cats have been regular opponents for the Americans over the years, playing them at Brentwood, Capital City Academy and Crystal Palace as well as training games in east London.

The teams last met a year ago and a big crowd at the Brentwood Centre saw Leopards edged out 81-77. Sean Killmartin’s side also visited the Brentwood Centre in September 2015 as Steve Ogunjimi made a winning start to his career as Leopards’ coach with a 76-67 victory. The sides also met in a closed-door scrimmage game just before the start of that season with Leopards winning a thriller 84-83.

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE raced to their biggest win of the season with a 55-35 success over Plymouth at the Arena-Essex Raceway.

The Vortex Hammers delivered 12 race wins with a dominant display as Zach Wajtknecht and Ben Morley both went unbeaten.

With Paul Hurry and Alfie Bowtell also putting in impressive showings it was a powerful performance from the Purfleet side.

And co-promoter Jon Cook was delighted to see them step things up a notch with a professional display.

Said Cook: “It was a big win for us, and it’s great to keep our good run of home form going.
“It was quite tough early doors, and Adam Roynon in particular gave the top boys a few top races, but the top end were all superb.

“Obviously you’ve got to take into the account the absence of Steve Boxall weakened Plymouth, but you can only race what’s in front of you.

“The team has a nice flow to it, and I think there are signs that we can have a very successful season if we keep this going.”

Although their top end firepower led them to victory, Nick Laurence, Connor Locke and Jamie Couzins did chip in with a handful of useful points.

They will be back in action at Birmingham on Wednesday (7.30) before hosting Isle of Wight at the Arena-Essex Raceway next Sunday (3pm).

LAKESIDE 55: Zach Wajtknecht 15, Ben Morley 13+2, Paul Hurry 11, Alfie Bowtell 8+3, Nick Laurence 4, Connor Locke 2+1, Jamie Couzins 2.
PLYMOUTH 35: Adam Roynon 11, Richard Andrews 6+2, Callum Walker 6+2, Benji Compton 6+1, Henry Atkins 6, Rob Parker 0, Steve Boxall r/r.

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Jonathan Buffong Talks MMARAP

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I was delighted to be joined in the studio this afternoon by Jonathan Buffong, the Founder and CEO of Mixed Martial Arts for Reform and Progression (MMARAP).

MMARAP is a Community Interest Company based out of Islington which offers MMA as a way to improve the life of London’s young people, including ex-offenders and the disabled community.

Jonathan spoke at length about his journey and his involvement in MMA and you can listen again above.

If you want to find out more about MMARAP visit their website here.

 

 

 

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Lakeside Speedway – SATURDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE No.1 Zach Wajtknecht says his side can’t take anything for granted ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Plymouth at the Arena-Essex Raceway (7.30pm).

Plymouth currently sit in 10th place in the Travel Plus National League – but secured their first three points against Stoke last weekend.

The visitors have been boosted by the recent signing of former top flight star Adam Roynon and are hopeful Steve Boxall will be fit to take his place at No.1 after receiving daily treatment on a back injury sustained last week.

For the Hammers though, Wajtknecht is aiming to continue his stunning run of form with another double figure contribution – but says he personally could be in for one of his tougher nights of the season.

“They’ve got some top heat-leaders in their side,” said Wajtknecht. “Adam coming in has made them a lot stronger and he’s won a lot of his races for them already.

“I know Steve has been struggling but if he rides, he’s also been getting some big scores this season so he’ll be another one to watch.

“They’ve got a few other capable riders too so we know we still need to be at our best.

“My confidence is pretty high right now though and it would be another great night for me if I could get double figures again.

“I can’t really ask for much more with my scores for Lakeside and these are the sorts of scores I want to be getting right through until the end of the season – but I know I’m going to have to carry on working hard.”

LAKESIDE: Zach Wajtknecht, Nick Laurence, Paul Hurry, Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley, Jamie Couzins, Connor Locke.
PLYMOUTH: Steve Boxall, Richard Andrews, Benji Compton, Henry Atkins, Adam Roynon, Robert Parker, Callum Walker.

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Bennett Returns for Leopards

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Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards have announced the second member of their 2017/18 roster with the re-signing of guard Dougie Bennett.

It’s a key signing for Coach Thomas Baker as the Brentwood-based player won the club’s Most Improved Player award in 2015/16 but went one better last season as the club’s supporters voted for him as Player of the Year.

Bennett also stepped up to become Captain when Mike Martin was out injured, and Coach Baker is delighted to have him back in the squad for the forthcoming campaign:

“Re-signing Dougie was one of my main priorities for this season. Having already re-signed AJ (Roberts), Dougie adds stability and leadership that is much needed for the squad. Dougie is a great team mate and he is a great to have around, he helps us both on and off the court.

Dougie has shown time and time again the ability he has at this level, and I am confident he will help us get promotion back to Division One.

Dougie Bennett recieves Most Improved Player award from coach Stephen Ogunjimi;

“I’m looking forward to continuing to build this roster and I am glad that Dougie has agreed to re-sign for us.”

Bennett is hoping to help Leopards’ promotion push: “I’m really happy to have been re-signed by Leopards for the upcoming 2017-18 season.

“I feel coming back was the best thing for me to do following an unsuccessful season last year. Some would call it unfinished business but I prefer redemption!

“Everyone in and around the club have been so supportive of me for the last two years and I am just looking forward to being able to get back on the court and prove we belong back in Division One!”

 

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

ZACH Wajtknecht clambered off his sickbed to help Lakeside power to a 52-38 victory that left derby rivals Kent Kings as sick as a parrot.

The Hammers found themselves level after eight heats but veteran Paul Hurry completed a five-ride full maximum with fellow big-hitters Wajtknecht, still feeling the effects of a stomach bug, and Ben Morley registering double figures to take matters away from the visitors.

Kent made life tough early on with Alfie Bowtell harshly excluded in a shared Heat Three that marked Hurry’s first win of the night.

Away team-mates Jack Thomas and Nathan Stoneman collided in Heat Seven but were granted permission to take part in the re-run because the incident had followed an unsatisfactory start. Stoneman later withdrew from the meeting.

Thomas led Anders Rowe in a Kent 5-1 that restored parity but Wajtknecht and Hurry took three chequered flags out of the next four before a thrilling Heat 13 virtually guaranteed the win.

Kings number one Luke Bowen led the way but Morley passed around the outside on lap one with Wajtknecht getting by on the final circuit for a Hammers maximum.

Hurry and Morley gated on a 5-1 in Heat 15 and despite the outcome being done and dusted, captain Morley battled back to pinch second place on the line having been passed by Bowen.

“The meeting was close but we handed it over to the big guns and while I felt all of the lads played their part with crucial points, the top three were fantastic,” said promoter Jon Cook.

“Zach had been under the weather all week and the way he passed Luke Bowen and Jack Thomas was out of this world. Full credit to Paul Hurry for his full maximum and young Connor Locke performed well, he didn’t get the points his riding warranted.

“It was a derby that could compare to any other in speedway with a lot of feeling on both sides and plenty of incident. To be fair to Kent, they played their part in an exceptional meeting in which the quality defied the level.”

LAKESIDE 52: Paul Hurry 15, Ben Morley 13+1, Zach Wajtknecht 10+1, Alfie Bowtell 6+2, Nick Laurence 3+1, Jamie Couzins 3+1, Connor Locke 2.
KENT 38: Jack Thomas 12, Luke Bowen 8, Anders Rowe 7+2, Bradley Andrews 5+1, Ben Hopwood 5, Nathan Stoneman 1+1, Alex Spooner 0, Luke Clifton R/R.

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Laura Try Sets Sail

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On Wednesday I was delighted to be joined by local girl Laura Try ahead of her round Britain row which set sail today.

Over the space of 8 weeks, Laura (along with three other crew members) will row 1,800 miles on a two hour on, two hour off rotation day and night, stopping eight times to rotate crew.

Laura is one of the few crew members rowing all of the legs and talks sleep, fundraising and toilets!

If you want to follow her journey, Laura will be providing updates on Youtube and on the website of her sponsor eMoov.

The journey will be raising money for Centrepoint and you can donate to the cause here.

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Hilz Brings the Curtain Down

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Listen again to a fascinating chat with local boxer Paul Hilz as he brings the curtain down on his in-ring career.

Never shying away from a challenge, Paul competed in three different weight divisions at pro level and picked up the International Challenge Belt at Super-Middleweight in addition to lifting two Cruiserweight Titles in the unlicensed ranks.

Paul talks candidly about his final fight against unbeaten prospect Tom Stokes and the motivations behind retirement.

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Lakeside Speedway – Hammers Make New Signing

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE have swooped to sign Connor Locke to fill the gap in their side.

The Vortex Hammers were forced to make two changes when Paul Hurry’s average was increased last week and the club are grateful to Alex Spooner for standing in on a temporary basis at the weekend.

Now they have signed Locke as a replacement for George Hunter to after he became available when King’s Lynn Young Stars pulled out of the league.

Vortex Hammers co-boss Jon Cook said: “Connor’s a rider we had in our sights during the winter and we are delighted to be able to bring him to the club now.

“We’ve had a great weekend on track with wins against Stoke and Cradley and beating a couple of our play-off rivals for Connor completes an excellent few days for the Hammers.”

Locke will make his debut in the local derby against Kent which is the next Raceway fixture on Friday June 9.

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Lakeside Speedway – Hammers Make it a Weekend Double

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

STAR man Zach Wajtknecht struck a perfect 15-point maximum to lead Lakeside to a 49-41 win over Cradley at the Arena-Essex Raceway.

The Vortex Hammers prevailed in another close meeting to continue their perfect home record and leave the highly-rated Heathens heading back to the West Midlands empty handed.

Top end firepower made all the difference for the revamped Purfleet outfit, with Paul Hurry also notching a paid maximum from his four programmed rides whilst Ben Morley bagged double figures.

Perhaps the most crucial contribution, however, came from Alfie Bowtell as he claimed two race wins and eight points to give vital support to their powerhouse top three.

Although the Heathens won the lower order battle, Kelvin Tatum’s side did enough to come out on top.

“It was a good win,” Tatum said. “Cradley pushed us hard and we probably made hard work of it at times because we were pretty much reliant on four riders.

“Fair play to Cradley, they came here and gave a good account of themselves but we just about had enough.

“That’s two good wins in two days for us which is very pleasing, and if we can get the lower order firing then hopefully we still have more to come.”

LAKESIDE 49: Zach Wajtknecht 15, Paul Hurry 11+1, Ben Morley 11, Alfie Bowtell 8, Jamie Couzins 2, Nick Laurence 2, Alex Spooner 0.
CRADLEY 41: Tom Perry 10, Conor Dwyer 8+2, Dan Greenwood 7, Danny Ayres 6, Joe Lawlor 5+3, Luke Harris 4+2, Ryan Burton 1+1.

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT AND SUNDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE pulled off an impressive 46-42 away win against Stoke at Loomer Road on Saturday night.

The Vortex Hammers prevailed in a tight meeting thanks to a determined display from their new-look septet.

Their top three led them to victory, as Zach Wajtknecht, Ben Morley and new signing Paul Hurry all bagged double figures.

It was an excellent debut for Hurry as he notched 10+1 – and he was delighted with their success in his first competitive appearance.

Said Hurry: “We got off to a bit of a slow start, because the track was a bit different to what the boys are used to at Lakeside.

“But once everyone got dialled in we performed well, and it was a really good result.
“It was a great effort from anyone, any away win is a good result and we’re pleased to come away with three points.”

Although their top order delivered vital race wins, reserve Nick Laurence also chipped in with a pivotal 8+1 point haul at reserve.

Jamie Couzins also contributed a hard-fought paid four, and although Alfie Bowtell and guest Alex Spooner struggled the visitors came out on top.

STOKE 42: Luke Priest 9+1, Mitchell Davey 9, Ryan Terry-Daley 7+1, Shaun Tedham 7, Ben Woodhull 6+1, Tony Atkin 4+2, David Speight 0.
LAKESIDE 46: Zach Wajtknecht 13, Ben Morley 11+1, Paul Hurry 10, Nick Laurence 8+1, Jamie Couzins 3+1, Alfie Bowtell 1+1, Alex Spooner 0.

Lakeside are gearing up for another tough test on home shale as they host Cradley at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Sunday (3pm).

They will now aim to continue their perfect home record against the historic Heathens.

Experienced performer Paul Hurry is hopeful they can pick up where they left off – but he knows they must work hard to defeat their talented opposition.

“We should be feeling confident after the win at Stoke, so we’ll be looking for another home win,” said Hurry.

“It will be a tough test, but if the young lads are happy then they should ride well and get results at home.”

Lakeside will be at full strength, with Alex Spooner again stepping in as a guest to accommodate the inclusion of Hurry.

Meanwhile, Cradley include big names Danny Ayres and Tom Perry in their star-studded side.

LAKESIDE: Zach Wajtknecht, Alex Spooner (Guest), Paul Hurry, Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley, Jamie Couzins, Nick Laurence.
CRADLEY: Danny Ayres, Ryan Burton, Dan Greenwood, Luke Harris, Tom Perry, Conor Dwyer, Joe Lawlor.

 

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More big changes at Billericay Town

More signficant changes at the AGP Arena! Billericay Town owner Glenn Tamplin has revealed changes to the team kit and backroom staff along with seven summer signings, with possibly more one on the way.

Speaking to the Sun, Glenn announced the seven new players to be:

Robbie Evans, 21 – Wrexham midfielder who captained the team to the FA Trophy in 2013
Matt Paine – 28 – ex-Colchester Utd trainee and Boreham Wood defender
Ricky Modeste – 29, ex-Chelmsford City winger signed from Dover
Danny Waldren, 27 – Welling midfielder
Dan Walker, 27 – Welling forward
Josh Urquhart, 26 – Wealdstone defender and former West Ham and Northampton Town youth player
Louie Theophanus, 25 – Chelmsford striker who has not only scored dozens of goals over the last three seasons but has also worked as a body double for Cristiano Ronaldo!

He also announced ex-Leyton Orient and Barnet boss Ian Hendon is to join the team as the new Director of Football and MMA heavyweight champion Neil “Goliath” Grove is to become the new Head of Nutrition.

Glenn also tweeted a picture of a kit redesign, which shows a new graduated darker blue hoop motif as opposed to a plain royal blue. Billericay solicitors Paul Robinson are to remain kit sponsor for 2017/18.

Billericay Town new kit

In the same tweet Glenn also suggested the new squad numbers for next season.

1 Alan Julian or Jack Giddings
2 Matt Paine
3 Paul Konchesky
4 Joe Ewell
5 Rob Swaine
6 “to be agreed”
7 Ricky Modeste
8 Jamie O’Hara
9 Billy Bricknell
10 Louie Theophanus
11 Jake Robinson
14 Adam Cunnington
15 Robbie Evans
16 Josh Urquhart
17 Bryon Lawrence
19 Dan Walker
21 Danny Waldren
22 Olly Sprague

The new players are formidable additions to a team that ended 2016/17 on top of the form table, with Billy Bricknell and Jake Robinson scoring goals for fun.

Keep tuned to Phoenix FM for more news on the blues throughout the year.

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Phoenix FM talks with Royce Gracie

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On Wednesday 24th May I was delighted to attend an amazing evening with UFC Hall of Famer and Bellator MMA Brand Ambassador Royce Gracie.

Royce was in Southend at TSGMMA’s gym to deliver a seminar to a packed audience of fighters young and not-so-young.

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TSGMMA was founded by one of Royce Gracie’s first Black Belts Daniel Burzotta who passes on his vast knowledge to the next generation of fighters and is also co-founder of promotion UWC – Ultimate Warrior Challenge.

It was an inspiring evening seeing the fighters in awe of Royce Gracie and also hearing about the great work that the gym does in the local community.

We later decamped to Il Pescatore, the Burzotta family restaurant where we were able to grab a quick chat with the MMA legend.

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Lakeside Speedway – Hammers Defiant over Hurry

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The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE will go ahead and include Paul Hurry in their team this weekend – despite objections from rival National League clubs.

Hurry’s average was established at 7.44 by league officials but this is set to rise in a dramatic twist to the saga.

But Vortex Hammers co-promoter Jon Cook insists the club will stick by their plan and include Hurry for Saturday’s trip to Stoke and the crunch home clash with Cradley on Sunday (3pm).

“Despite the best efforts of the rest of the league, Paul Hurry will be included in our team this weekend,” he said.

“I find it entirely regrettable and very disappointing that his average will now be adjusted after we established his figure with league officials even before the season started when we considered him for inclusion.”

Hurry will take his place as planned with Alex Spooner coming in as a replacement for injury victim George Hunter.

“We are confident Paul will do a good job for the team,” said Cook.

“Naturally we would love to get something on the road at Stoke but Sunday is huge for us.

“We are looking to beat Cradley, but equally as important will be the response at the turnstiles.

“It’s a Bank Holiday weekend and we have a Sunday afternoon fixture at the Raceway. It’s all set up perfectly.”

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Lakeside Speedway – Hammers in a Hurry

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The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

PAUL Hurry is on the comeback trail – after joining Lakeside.

The former Great Britain world cup racer, 42, will make his National League bow in the trip to Stoke on Saturday before Sunday’s home meeting with Cradley Heath.

He replaces David Mason in the Vortex Hammers side after impressing in the early-season challenge match with Kent when he notched 11+1.

It’s a remarkable return for Hurry who has had several seasons on the sidelines with a catalogue of injuries which appeared to have ended his career.

Now he will form a powerful triple spearhead with Ben Morley and Zach Wajtknecht in the Vortex Hammers side.

He said: “It’s been a tough start to the season for David and they just wanted even more strength at the top end of the team.

“I felt good in the challenge meeting I did so I’m sure it won’t take me too long at all to get back into the groove.

“I need to get my equipment back up to scratch and once I’ve done that I’m confident I can score some points for the team because I’ll be going out there and enjoying myself but I’m also looking forward to helping a few of the lads progress on and off the track as well.”

Lakeside Hammers would like to welcome Paul into the side and offer sincere thanks to David for his efforts this season and wish him well for the future.

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Billericay Town stars to take part in unusual friendly match

Billericay Town players Paul Konchesky and Jamie O’Hara will be taking part in an unusual friendly match this summer – playing all of Redwing FC’s under 8s!

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Billericay Town Colts U8 playing at FC Redwing’s annual tournament in July 2010

The Billericay-based youth team, based in Barleylands, will be taking on Konchesky and O’Hara in a special 2 v 40-a-side at their annual summer tournament on Saturday 1 July.

Billericay Town’s film crew Matchday Media will be filming the match.

In a statement on their website, FC Redwing are inviting all players, coaches, parents and friends to come and watch the game and support the boys.

They also gave thanks to Billericay Town FC owner/manager Glenn Tamplin for helping organise this game, and Paul and Jamie for agreeing to play.

For more information on this special game please contact Head of Academy Mark Gordon at markjgordon@gmail.com.

EDIT: sadly the match was cancelled.

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Lakeside Speedway – MEETING POSTPONED

Arena Essex

An update from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office

LAKESIDE have pulled the plug on tonight’s league clash with Mildenhall at the Arena-Essex Raceway.

Heavy rain has already left the track waterlogged and further heavy downpours are expected throughout the day.

Vortex Hammers co-boss Jon Cook said: “This is an early decision in the best interests of all parties concerned.

“It minimises inconvenience for fans, riders and officials although we are naturally always disappointed when having to make a call like this.”

The next home meeting is now on Sunday week, May 28, when Cradley Heath visit in more Travel Plus National League action.

“That’s a big meeting for us,” said Cook. “We are trying Sunday racing at the Raceway and the response from supporters in terms of numbers will be important.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone for what promises to be a super meeting with some of the top riders in the league doing battle.”

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Hilz Hangs Up his Gloves

Paul Hilz International Challenge Belt

Tim Rickson reports…

  • Basildon boxer calls time on a remarkable pro career
  • Competed in three different weight divisions, dropping down each time
  • Took an eight-rounder in just his third pro fight
  • International Challenge Belt winner at Super-Middleweight
  • Three title fights in six contests

When a 28-year-old Paul Hilz walked into Southend Boxing Club, he wouldn’t have guessed that seven years later he would be retiring from a remarkable professional boxing career.

He also wouldn’t have believed that he would experience 14 unlicensed fights, losing just one, and lifting two Cruiserweight titles before going on to signing a professional contract and competing in three title fights.

It was after a second-round stoppage defeat to Birmingham’s unbeaten Middleweight prospect Tom Stokes on May 12th that prompted the decision to close the curtains on an unbelievable career.

The father of four from Romford travelled to Birmingham on May 12th to fight in the away corner against top prospect Stokes (9-0).

It was Hilz’s first bout at middleweight and first fight away from home, up against the youngest and best fighter he had ever faced. Ultimately, it resulted in the first stoppage loss in his career, also.

Post-fight, Hilz called time on an extraordinary boxing career that saw him have 20 fights in total, winning 15 bouts and collecting three belts along the way.

What’s most astonishing of all is that Hilz first stepped foot in a boxing gym when he was eight-years-old and a bloody nose put him off for life. It ended up not quite being for life as, 20 years later, he went back again and the rest is history.

After a successful stint in the thriving Essex unlicensed boxing scene, Hilz signed pro contracts with promoter Carl Greaves and, when first up in front of the British Boxing Board of Control, he was initially refused a boxing license but wouldn’t give up and finally made his long-awaited debut in November 2014.

30 months on, Hilz explained his reasons for walking away, “These boys coming up are always younger so I’m going against the grain and the pro game is all about levels, it really is, it’s all being well having plenty of fight in there but when someone comes at you throwing shots that are a third quicker and sharper than yours.

“Stokes was the youngest boy I ever fought and I felt it. It’s all being well trying to catch them with that one big shot but he’s quick with good reactions and he’s not gonna want to get caught.

“There’s nothing else I can do in my career, I’ve already exceeded my expectations. I can’t better myself in any way so anything I do will only be a backwards step; I’ve pretty much done all I can do.

“I couldn’t go out as an away fighter and just stay safe, it’s not me, I’ve got too much pride and I just couldn’t do it.

“I know I can’t cut it with these rising prospects and I’m not going to be a stepping stone for these young lads.

“I’d be living the life but not living the dream.”

Hilz could easily return to the Grays Civic Hall – a fortress to his army of boxing fans – where he had five of his six professional fights but that’s something that he also doesn’t wish to do anymore.

He enlightened, “My manager Carl Greaves could have got me a half-decent opponent to fight against at home but I never wanted to be a boxer that takes people’s money to pump up my ego.

“I’m gutted, devastated, could sob my heart out for days but it’s not worth risking my health. It’s not right. I’ve only got one brain, one set of eyes.”

The reaction to Hilz’s defeat and subsequent departure has caused a flood of incoming messages from family, friends and fans.

“Lots of people have messaged me and said I’m an inspiration to them and it’s been overwhelming,” he said. “To think they look at me and get some form of inspiration is something else.”

Looking back on a career that spanned four years in the unlicensed and two-and-a-half years in the pros, Hilz listed his personal highlights, “I know it sounds silly but when I look back at my boxing career, my highlight would be the experience that I just had – fighting away in Birmingham.

“Obviously, there’s the things that look good on paper like winning the International Challenge belt but that experience was great, the whole set up was just something else – massive changing room, headlining the show and treated like a star, and it just felt big and professional.

“The weigh-in was at the Barclaycard Arena along with the Sky Sports show and the headliner Kal Yafai comes up and gives me a big man-hug with his world title on his shoulder and wished me luck.

“It just felt crazy weighing in at Barclaycard Arena with World champions and Sky Sports there.”

Hilz may be retiring from competing in professional boxing but he has no immediate plans to walk away from the sport that he loves.

“Because I’ve got a gym, nutrition and recovery all backing me, I’m keeping them all on as sponsors and going to set up a programme where I can train fighters. I’m gonna get my seconds license as well so I can help Kev in the corner whenever he needs it.

“I’ve come down from 18st 4lbs and fought in three different weight divisions. I can teach people how to get conditioned. I’m very headstrong and believe in mind over matter so I think I can help with the mental side of things as well.”

Hilz came into boxing at an advanced age but still manage to achieve the impossible during the short time he had and, fortunately, his inspiration will continue to live on from the other side of the ropes.

 

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Lakeside Speedway – FRIDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE boss Kelvin Tatum hopes a return to home comforts can help them get back to winning ways against Mildenhall on Friday (8pm).

The Vortex Hammers will be back in action at the Arena-Essex Raceway looking to bounce back from two straight away defeats.

They claimed a hard-fought win over Belle Vue in their last Purfleet outing and will be on the lookout for three more Travel Plus National League points.

Talented teenager Tom Brennan has been booked to guest for Zach Wajtknecht, who is in top flight action for Swindon.

But with David Mason back from his lay-off, Tatum is backing them to overcome the Fen Tigers.
Said Tatum: “Last week was a tough week, but we’re unbeaten at home and desperately want to keep that going against Mildenhall on Friday.

“We know how important it is to keep winning our home meetings, and although we’re without Zach Wajtknecht we’re looking for three more points.

“We’ve got David Mason back, he says he’s raring to go, and Tom Brennan is flying at the moment and comes in as a guest.”

Mildenhall have drafted in Alex Spooner to cover for Jordan Jenkins, who is missing due to school exams.

There will be three heats of junior racing taking place at 7.30pm before the main meeting gets underway.

LAKESIDE: Tom Brennan, George Hunter, David Mason, Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley, Jamie Couzins, Nick Laurence.
MILDENHALL: Connor Mountain, Luke Ruddick, Jon Armstrong, Danno Verge, Dan Halsey, Sam Woods, Alex Spooner.

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Stokes Proves Too Much for Hilz

Hilz v Stokes right hand

Tim Rickson reports…

West Bromwich’s Middleweight prospect Tom Stokes (9-0) overwhelmed Basildon’s Paul Hilz (3-3) with a second-round stoppage win on May 12th in Birmingham to lift the British Challenge belt.

It was the first knockout recorded for the 22-year-old after notching up eight points victories since 2013.

The tattooed Hilz ducked and dived and looked to target the body with long-reaching punches. The younger fighter deployed a good variety of punches and backed his opponent up, who swung out with hooks whenever possible in an attempt to catch the prospect out with one big shot.

In the second round, a right hook to the head put Hilz on the seat of his pants. Sensing blood, Stokes went in for the kill and a barrage of unanswered shots saw referee Shaun Messer jump in to stop the contest with 17 seconds of the round remaining.

Stokes moves on to bigger honours whereas 35-year-old Hilz has hung up his gloves.

The former Wednesbury ABC fighter said, “I was the fittest I’ve ever been and getting the stoppage was the best thing I could have hoped for.

“Full credit to my opponent, he came to have a fight but don’t know if it was the age or what but I was just sharper on the night.

“I’m looking at the Midlands title next, it’s vacant at the moment and been mentioned for September.”

It was always going to be an uphill task for Hilz in his first fight at Middleweight away from home against the best opponent he had ever faced.

The underdog reflected on the fight, “Stokes was the youngest boy I ever fought and I felt it.

“It’s all being well trying to catch them with that one big shot but he’s quick with good reactions and he’s not looking to get caught.

“I got up too quick from my knockdown and Kevin [Lilley] was screaming at me from the corner to take a knee. I was dazed on my feet and another shot brought me back round again so I started to throw back but the ref stopped it.

“Everyone said I was stopped too early but I said I weren’t and if you was all standing around my hospital bed right now you’d be saying it was stopped too late!

I’ve gone home safe to my babies so the referee was right and done his job.”

Hilz has since called time on his remarkable career that he saw him involved in three Challenge belt contests.

He commented on his decision to walk away, “There’s nothing else I can do in my career, I’ve already exceeded my expectations. I can’t better myself in any way so anything I do from here will only be a backwards step; I’ve pretty much done all I can do.

“I couldn’t go out as an away fighter and just stay safe, it’s not me, I’ve got too much pride and I just couldn’t do it and I’m not going to be a stepping stone for these young prospects.”

Hilz walked into Southend Boxing Club aged 28 and went on to win 12 of 14 unlicensed fights and claimed the International Challenge belt as a pro.

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‘The Next Step’

Errol Johnson’s show, billed as ‘The Next Step’, saw wins for all three Black Country Boxing Promotions boxers – brothers Tom and Josh Stokes of West Bromwich and Leon Gower of Burton-on-Trent.

The headliner’s brother Josh secured a 40-36 points victory over Middleton’s Curtis Gargano whilst Leon Gower stopped Jack Summers in the fifth-round of their scheduled eight-round contest for the British Challenge Featherweight Belt.

The event included an auction and after dinner guest speaker – former IBF World Cruiserweight Champion – Glenn McCrory.

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Lakeside Speedway – FRIDAY COUNTDOWN

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE are back at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Friday in a vital Travel Plus National League clash with Mildenhall.

And the headline team news is the addition of teenage sensation Tom Brennan as a guest replacement for the unavailable Zach Wajtknecht.

Wajtknecht is riding for Premiership club Swindon at Belle Vue and the Vortex Hammers have moved to book the Eastbourne racer.

TEAMS:

Lakeside
1. Ben MORLEY C 7.40
2. George HUNTER 3.53
3. David MASON 6.54
4. Alfie BOWTELL 6.00
5. Tom BRENNAN G 8.59
6. Jamie COUZINS 3.00
7. Nick LAURENCE 3.00
Manager: Kelvin TATUM

Mildenhall
1. Connor MOUNTAIN 8.73
2. Luke RUDDICK 3.10
3. Jon ARMSTRONG C 7.82
4. Danno VERGE 4.43
5. Dan HALSEY 8.64
6. Sam WOODS 3.00
7. Alex SPOONER 3.00
Manager: Rob HENRY

 

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Linton Vassell Talks Bellator 179

 

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Listen again as MMA star Linton “The Swarm” Vassell joins me on Phoenix Sport to discuss starting out, Bellator 179 and Pro Wrestling.

Linton Vassell co-headlines Bellator 179 at Wembley Arena on 19 May as he takes on fellow Englishman Liam McGeary, with the winner becoming No 1 contender for Phil Davis’ Lightheavyweight Title.

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Glenn Tamplin talks about Billericay Town’s progress on and off the field

“We will sign more players that will win this league, who are used to winning leagues two leagues up. Some serious signings are definitely going to made this week.”

Click here to listen to the interview:

 
Owner and joint manager GLENN TAMPLIN met up with us to update our listeners on the club’s progress on and off the field.

Glenn talks about the improvements currently taking place at the ground, his recent talks with Basildon Borough Council, news about a fly-on-the-wall TV series, and his hopes on the quality of the squad he is assembling.

He also revealed that he will be writing a regular column about Billericay Town and non-league football for a famous national newspaper!

Contrary to reports elsewhere, Glenn confirmed that his friend Mark Wright did not take up a 20% stake in Billericay Town. Glenn is keen to only undertake media deals which help to grow the club.

The club has a number of pre-season friendlies confirmed, including:

Sat 15 Jul – St Albans (A)
Tue 25 Jul – Heybridge Swifts (A)
Sat 29 Jul – Concord Rangers (A)
Sat 5 Aug – Waltham Abbey (H)
Tue 8 Aug – West Ham XI (H)

Season tickets for 2017/18 are currently available at a reduced rate until 31 May. For more details visit http://www.billericaytownfc.co.uk/

Some photos of the progress being made at the ground:

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Press Office…

LAKESIDE suffered last-gasp heartache as they were beaten 49-41 at the Isle of Wight on Thursday night.

The Vortex Hammers were denied a consolation point in a heat 15 decider as Ben Morley fell whilst looking to split Warriors’ duo Liam Carr and James Cockle.

It meant the visitors left Smallbrook empty handed – and team boss Kelvin Tatum admitted they were frustrated not to earn any Travel Plus National League points to show for their efforts.

Said Tatum: “To go down to the last race four points down and end up not getting anything is quite frustrating.

“Unfortunately there was a big advantage on gates one and three because of the track being slippery, and as hard as our two boys tried in the last race it was very hard to overtake. It was always going to be about the start and their two riders made it out of the gate.

“We put up a brave fight and there were plenty of positives, but it’s a shame we couldn’t come away with at least a point.”

Zach Wajtknecht top scored for the Hammers with a 14-point haul, whilst Alfie Bowtell also impressed to notch double figures.

No.2 George Hunter put in a strong showing, whilst Morley and reserve duo Nick Laurence and Jamie Couzins fought hard to contribute useful points.

But they eventually fell just short of a point in the absence of David Mason, who was ruled out once again with a head injury suffered last month.

The Vortex Hammers will be back in action on home shale when they welcome Mildenhall to the Arena-Essex Raceway next Friday, May 19 (8pm).

ISLE OF WIGHT 49: Liam Carr 14, James Cockle 13+1, Ben Wilson 9, Jamie Sealey 6+2, Chris Widman 6+1, Alex Spooner 1, Tyler Govier r/r.
LAKESIDE 41: Zach Wajtknecht 14, Alfie Bowtell 10+1, George Hunter 7+2, Ben Morley 5+1, Jamie Couzins 3+1, Nick Laurence 2, David Mason r/r.

National League points: Isle of Wight 3 Lakeside 0

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT & PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Press Office…

BELLE VUE 60 HAMMERS 30
LAKESIDE boss Kelvin Tatum admitted they were simply beaten by a better team after going down 60-30 at Belle Vue on Wednesday.

An impressive display from Zach Wajtknecht was not enough to prevent the Vortex Hammers from suffering a heavy defeat at the National Speedway Stadium.

The visitors managed just four race wins and ran 14 last places against the table-topping Colts.
Ben Morley and George Hunter delivered a race win apiece whilst Alfie Bowtell was in the thick of the action throughout.

But reserve duo Nick Laurence and Jamie Couzins struggled to make an impact against the powerhouse Colts.

Said Tatum: “It was always going to be a tough meeting, and so it proved unfortunately.
“They’re a strong side who are all dialled in around there, and they just had too much for us in the end.

“They were a better team, although we never threw in the towel and we kept battling until the end which was encouraging.”

BELLE VUE 60: Dan Bewley 14, Kyle Bickley 11+2, Lee Payne 10, Rob Shuttleworth 8, Jack Smith 7+3, Luke Woodhull 5+2, Andy Mellish 5+1.
LAKESIDE 30: Zach Wajtknecht 14, George Hunter 6, Alfie Bowtell 5, Ben Morley 4, Jamie Couzins 1, Nick Laurence 0, David Mason R/R.

Boss Kelvin Tatum is looking for an instant response from his side as they travel to the Isle of Wight on Thursday (7pm).

Said Tatum: “In some ways it’s ideal to have another meeting straight away after the tough night at Belle Vue.

“We’ve got a chance to put that one behind us and get back on track at the Isle of Wight, and I certainly think we’re capable of doing that.

“We’ll be looking to come back with something and put in a good performance, so hopefully it turns out to be an improved evening.”

The Hammers will be at full strength as they head to the Island, with David Mason set to return from his head injury in the engine room of the side.

Meanwhile, the Warriors will utilise rider replacement to cover for the injured Tyler Govier at No.2 whilst Liam Carr has been booked to guest at No.5 after Nathan Greaves left the club to join Ipswich.

ISLE OF WIGHT: Ben Wilson, Tyler Govier R/R, James Cockle, Chris Widman, Liam Carr, Jamie Sealey, Alex Spooner, Jamie Bursill (No.8).
LAKESIDE: Ben Morley, George Hunter, David Mason, Alfie Bowtell, Zach Wajtknecht, Jamie Couzins, Nick Laurence.

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Two podiums for Lochlan at Cadwell Park

Last weekend 15 year old schoolboy Lochlan Bearman competed in Rounds 3 & 4 of the Ford Fiesta Junior Championship at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.

Lochlan Bearman 3 - Cadwell Park - May 2017

Cadwell is known as the mini Nurburgring said Bearman as it’s fast, twisty, narrow and if you come off you are going to have a big accident. It’s exhilarating to drive and through the section called the ‘Mountain’ the car gets airborne said the PhoenixFM driver.

Having been disappointed with his results of 9th and 5th at Brands Bearman was looking for a good result to get his Championship bid back on target. Practise went very well and saw him constantly in the top 4. In final practise we learnt that new tyres were worth about 2 seconds a lap and as I was closer than that on old rubber I felt confident going into qualifying.

“It’s important to time your runs in qualifying”, said Bearman, “as the tyres effectively have a 3 lap ‘window’ where they offer optimum performance and then they even out. In qualifying my plan was to get some space and put in 3 fast laps. Unfortunately as I started my first hot lap there was an accident which brought out the red flag stopping the session. When it was restarted I then encountered traffic which cost me time and ultimately the chance to go quicker on the new tyres. The end result was 5th on the grid 3 tenths off pole.”

In Race 1 Bearman made good start going around the outside of the long sweeping uphill Coppice corner and onto the back straight. As they came up to the braking zone for Park corner at over 100mph he made a move for 3rd but was blocked off. He held his position and began to slowly pull up to second place man when the Code 60 flag was deployed. This means there has been an incident and all drivers must slow to 60 KPH. At the restart the field had closed up and as Bearman worked to close the gap to second place he came under pressure from 4th. Now having to defend Bearman finally crossed the line in 3rd just 3/1000 ahead of 4th. I thought I’d catch second place but had to start taking more defensive lines which slowed me up and that’s as close a finish as I’ve ever been in.

In Race 2 he would start from 3rd on the grid. The 4th placed man made an incredible start and was leading by the time the cars turned into the left hand Coppice corner demoting Bearman to 4th. Bearman then gradually caught 3rd place but on the thin Cadwell Park track found 3rd position was being firmly defended. Eventually the PhoenixFM driver got through having planned his move and setting it up 3 corners in advance. I had to be close through the first 2 turns and onto the straight. I knew he would defend but as he moved back across to take the racing line I out braked him down the inside. Bearman was now looking safe in 3rd but as the race continued he suffered understeer in his car. The tyres had passed their best and I knew those around me were on good rubber said Bearman. The 4th placed man caught him on the last lap and Bearman had to use all his karting experience to keep him behind. At the very last corner the 4th placed driver dived up the inside but Bearman was ready. I knew he’d come in too hot so as he passed I undercut him and retook 3rd before the line – another close finish!

Lochlan said, “After Brands it was good to come away with a solid performance and 2 podiums. We’ve a few areas of the car to improve on and if I can find some money hopefully we can have those on the car for Silverstone at the end of May. Great to be back on the podium!”

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Billericay Blog: Friendlies announced and more news

The new league season starts on the 12th August, and the club have announced details of confirmed friendlies.

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Tue 11th July – St Albans (Away)
Tue 25th July – Heybridge Swifts (Away)
Sat 29th July – Concord (Away)
Sat 5th August – Waltham Abbey (Home)
Tue 8th August – West Ham XI (Home)

Details of new players are due to be announced this week and earlybird season tickets are available on the club’s website (www.billericaytownfc.co.uk)

The club have also announced that plans are already in with council for stage 1 ground improvements and stage 2 plans were submitted in last few days. Big improvements and serious facilities as promised for BTFC.

The club’s principle sponsor will be AGPSTEEL and New Lodge is now going to be reopened as the AGP Arena! Paul Robinson Solicitors will remain as shirt sponsor.

The new season is going to be exciting, with promotion the target.

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National League South Play-off Semi-Final 2nd leg DARTFORD 1 CHELMSFORD CITY 2 (Chelmsford win 2-1 on aggregate)

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Princes Park

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Chelmsford City are now potentially only 90 minutes away from a long coveted place in the National League as they saw off their old rivals Dartford, the first leg of the semi-final at Melbourne Stadium last Wednesday having been a 0-0 draw.

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Clarets manager Rod Stringer had to go into this leg without the services of his captain Anthony Church, who was suffering from an ankle injury. Shaun Jeffers took his place in the starting line up. Darts boss Tony Burman made two changes to his starting eleven from Wednesday’s goalless first leg at Melbourne Stadium, striker Andy Pugh replacing Lee Noble and Danny Harris coming in at right back for Keaton Wood.

The home side were the ones creating the first couple of chances in the opening minutes of the match, which was played in a tremendous atmosphere as both sets of supporters in a packed Princes Park got behind their teams. Then with 14 minutes on the clock, Dartford were awarded a free kick after Luke Daley was adjudged to have fouled Ryan Hayes by referee Gary Parsons, but Hayes’ effort went wide of the post. Chelmsford strikers Chris Dickson and Louie Theophanous both had chances as City attempted to get the ball forward, and in the 25th minute some promising work from the visitors ended with a shot from Robbie Willmott, but it was well over the bar.

The Darts came very close to breaking the deadlock after 34 minutes, when another Hayes free kick hit the post before Harris headed the rebound, but again the ball smacked against the post before being scrambled away. The Clarets then won a free kick with 7 minutes of the first half left. Willmott hit a superb goal bound strike which was only just palmed away by the alert Darts keeper Deren Ibrahim. Theophanous fired an effort only just over the crossbar, as the game drifted towards half time with both sides having shown far more in terms of goalscoring opportunities than in the entire 90 minutes of the first leg.

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For the second half, City boss Stringer decided on a more attacking formation as he replaced left back Daley with attacking midfielder Bagasan Graham, who returned after 6 weeks’ absence. The Clarets immediately began to apply pressure and with 53 minutes gone, Chris Bush had a great chance with a low shot which smacked the post, then Bush turned provider as his long throw found Dickson, whose header touched the bar before going over. Dartford responded with an effort from Pugh going just wide of the post, then with two subsequent efforts from skipper Elliot Bradbrook but still neither team had broken the deadlock.

That all changed as the game moved into the 70th minute and it was Chelmsford who grabbed the lead. Dickson’s perfectly placed cross found Theophanous who drove the ball past Ibrahim and into the back of the net, sparking jubilant celebrations from the sizeable contingent of City fans who had made the short journey across the water from Essex. Then with 6 minutes remaining, they had even more reason to celebrate as Dickson broke down the left flank, running unchallenged all the way from the halfway line before smashing a superb left footed strike past Ibrahim to make it 2-0 to the Clarets.

Referee Parsons added four minutes of injury time, and just as it looked as though the Darts could not find a way back striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong popped up with a goal for them almost at the death. But it was too little, too late for the home team as Chelmsford held on to claim their place in Saturday’s final when they will face a trip to Ebbsfleet United, who were 4-2 aggregate winners over Hampton & Richmond in the other semi-final.

Dartford: Ibrahim, Harris, Wynter, Bonner, Vint, Brown (Noble 55), Hayes, Bradbrook, Ofori-Acheampong, Pugh (Pavey 75), Wanadio (Murphy 75).

Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Hill, Daley (Graham 45), Porter, Bush, Haines, Willmott, Rees, Theophanous (Haysman 85), Dickson, Jeffers

Attendance: 2622

After the final whistle Chelmsford manager Rod Stringer said: I’m delighted…..it was a tough game….the first half was pretty even Stevens but in the second half, we hit them (Dartford) on the counter with a couple of great finishes. Dicko’s (Chris Dickson) first one that he assisted was quality at the highest level, and then he’s gone through and finished the game off. We needed that second (goal), I’m disappointed to have conceded a goal, I thought we got sloppy…. but if that’s all I’m moaning about here today that tells you what type of performance we’ve had.”

“Ebbsfleet are a top side but we don’t fear them, they don’t fear us….we’ve already been to Kent and got a result and on Saturday we’ll try and do it all over again.”

Stringer also paid tribute to the City supporters, saying “This club has been suffering for a long time….these people are there week in week out….as a manager I’m only as good as my football club and these people are making it what it is”.

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

STAR man Ben Morley struck a stunning 15-point maximum as Lakeside edged a 49-41 victory over Belle Vue at the Arena Essex Raceway.

Morley went unbeaten from five rides and played the last heat hero as the Vortex Hammers battled to a hard-fought triumph.

It was a night to remember for the Purfleet outfit in their first home meeting in the Travel Plus National League.

And team boss Kelvin Tatum was delighted with the performance of his side.
Said Tatum: “We were under no illusions that they’d be a good side and that proved to be the case.

“Fortunately we managed to come out on top in a last heat decider, and that was a great result for us.

“It was a tough meeting but we managed to get the job done, and we’ll look forward to our next meeting now.”

Heat leader Zach Wajtknecht suffered just one defeat for the hosts as their top two powered them to victory.

David Mason and Alfie Bowtell delivered solid scores in the engine room of the side, whilst Nick Laurence also provided a race win.

And although George Hunter and Jamie Couzins struggled to make a major impact, they contributed a couple of points apiece to see their side over the line in a tight encounter.

LAKESIDE 49: Ben Morley 15, Zach Wajtknecht 12+1, Alfie Bowtell 7, David Mason 6+2, Nick Laurence 5, George Hunter 2, Jamie Couzins 2.
BELLE VUE 41: Kyle Bickley 12+1, Ben Hopwood 11, Dan Bewley 6, Jack Smith 4+3, Andy Mellish 4+1, Lee Payne 4+1, Luke Woodhull 0.

National League points: Lakeside 3 Belle Vue 0

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Lakeside Speedway – FRIDAY NIGHT PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE entertain Belle Vue Colts at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Friday in a mouthwatering SGB National League clash (8pm).

The Vortex Hammers secured a consolation point in their league opener at Cradley on Monday and are looking to build on that in front of home fans.

However, they face a stern test against an in-form Colts side who have won both of their fixtures so far.

Hammers team boss Kelvin Tatum said: “We hope we can make our home advantage count on Friday – but it won’t be easy!

“Belle Vue have got off to a flyer this season and with the likes of Dan Bewley, Jack Smith, Lee Payne, Kyle Bickley and co they’ve got one of the strongest teams in the league.

“This could well be one of the meetings of the season at the Raceway and the fans should be in for a thrilling night of Speedway!”

The Hammers welcome back Zach Wajtknecht who missed Monday’s meeting due to SGB Premiership commitments.

Prior to the National League fixture, six junior races will also be taking place from approximately 7.30pm.

LAKESIDE: Ben Morley, George Hunter, David Mason, Alfie Bowtell, Zach Wajtknecht, Jamie Couzins, Nick Laurence.
BELLE VUE: Dan Bewley, Andy Mellish, Ben Hopwood (guest), Jack Smith, Lee Payne, Kyle Bickley, Luke Woodhull.

 

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National League South Play-off semi final 1st leg CHELMSFORD CITY 0 DARTFORD 0

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from the Melbourne Community Stadium

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A much anticipated fifth meeting of the season between these two old rivals proved to be a somewhat disappointing encounter, as Chelmsford City failed to claim home advantage over Dartford in the battle to claim a place in the National League.

Clarets manager Rod Stringer made just one change to the side that started their final league game at Hungerford on Saturday, Max Porter replacing Max Cornhill who dropped to the bench. Darts boss Tony Burman, having seen his team pip City to 3rd place with a 3-2 win at Poole brought striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong into his starting eleven, ahead of Andy Pugh.

In a very tight opening period it was Chelmsford who went close after 10 minutes, a shot from Max Porter going just wide of the post. Then in the 17th minute, a cross from captain Anthony Church found striker Louie Theophanous, whose close range back heeled effort was superbly tipped over the bar by Darts goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim. The remainder of the first half saw plenty of tussling for possession by both teams, but little in the way of flowing football or clear cut chances although Theophanous again went close in the 38th minute, following a corner.

Just after the restart the lively Theophanous again went close for City, a shot from the right just rolling wide of the post. In the 63rd minute his strike partner Chris Dickson latched onto a pass to unleash a thunderbolt of an effort, but it was too high and went sailing over the bar. Dartford’s only effort of vague note came in the 78th minute from Ryan Hayes, following a corner but his shot was easily caught by Clarets keeper Ross Fitzsimons.

Chelmsford boss Stringer threw on substitute Shaun Jeffers in the closing minutes in an effort to change the game, and within a couple of minutes it nearly paid dividends with right back Josh Hill going close for the home side. The game went into the four minutes added on by referee Savvas Yianni, and City were still pushing for a goal but could not break the deadlock. So both sides will meet again in the second leg at Princes Park on Sunday, in what will hopefully be a more entertaining 90 minutes than this first leg proved to be.

Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Hill, Daley, Porter, Bush, Haines, Willmott, Church, Theophanous (Jeffers 83), Dickson, Rees

Dartford: Ibrahim, Wood (Harris 77), Wynter, Bonner, Vint, Brown, Hayes, Bradbrook, Ofori-Acheampong, Noble. Wanadio (Murphy 78).

Attendance: 1653

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Lakeside Speedway – MATCH REPORT

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE picked up a fully deserved consolation league point from their 48-42 defeat at Cradley on Monday.

The Vortex Hammers kept it relatively close throughout at Monmore Green before falling ten points behind with just four races to spare.

However, two crucial heat advantages from club No.1 Ben Morley and guest Nathan Greaves in those final four races saw the Hammers leave the Midlands with something to show for their efforts.

Team manager Kelvin Tatum said: “The riders should be very proud of their efforts tonight and it’s yet another encouraging sign from the team.

“After keeping them very honest in the first half of the meeting, they began to pull away from us a bit.

“But we gathered round, got things back on track and I think we really piled the pressure on them towards the end.

“Who knows, if it hadn’t been for a few falls or a few little errors, it could have been even more, but we’d have certainly taken a point before the meeting so we’ve got to be happy.”

Morley and Greaves sealed five race wins between them while David Mason scored seven points, despite a nasty looking fall in heat ten.

Jamie Couzins impressed once again at reserve while Alfie Bowtell produced a steady showing.

Nick Laurence plugged away in his three rides while George Hunter endured a night to forget against the Heathens.

The Hammers are back in action this Friday (May 5) when they host an in-form Belle Vue Colts side at the Arena-Essex Raceway.

CRADLEY 48: Danny Ayres 11, Tom Perry 9, Ryan Burton 8+2, Luke Harris 7+2, Dan Greenwood 7, Conor Dwyer 5, Joe Lawlor 1.
LAKESIDE 42: Ben Morley 13, Nathan Greaves 9+1, David Mason 7, Jamie Couzins 6+1, Alfie Bowtell 5+1, Nick Laurence 2+1, George Hunter 0.

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Lakeside Speedway – BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

BUOYANT captain Ben Morley reckons Lakeside’s pre-season challenges on smaller tracks will help to hit Cradley hard at Monmore Green on Monday (approx 7.45pm).

The Hammers kick off their National League season against a side that has had mixed fortunes so far, thrashing King’s Lynn Young Stars and beating double champions Birmingham before disappointments against Mildenhall and at Eastbourne.

And Morley believes going for the jugular is the best option as the skipper looks to inspire a winning start.

“You have to look to hit them hard early,” said Morley. “We have a few meetings under our belts now and I feel we have been in good form.

“We have done a fair bit on smaller tracks, at places like Eastbourne and at home, so the preparation has been ideal. Hopefully, we can dial in straight away.

“If we can keep performing like we have in the past few meetings, there is every reason to think we can come away with a win.

“It has been good so far. Whenever anyone has had a duff ride someone has been there to pull one out of the bag, Alfie (Bowtell) has stepped up a few times.

“People are generally scoring points all the way through and it gives you confidence when you know that’s the case.”

Lakeside have secured the services of Nathan Greaves for the meeting.

It means the Vortex Hammers will now have a full 1-7 with Greaves standing in for Zach Wajtknecht who is on SGB Premiership duty with Swindon.

Greaves won the National League title with the Heathens in 2013 and 2014 and also rides for Wolverhampton in this year’s top flight.

Cradley are at full strength for a meeting that follows Wolverhampton’s Premiership clash with King’s Lynn (6pm).

Fans can take advantage of one fixed admission price for the double header. Supporters who only want to watch the Heathens meeting can enter through a separate turnstile, which opens at around 7.15pm, where normal Cradley admission prices apply.

Wolverhampton and Cradley will be selling their own programmes containing racecards for both meetings.

CRADLEY: Tom Perry, Conor Dwyer, Dan Greenwood, Luke Harris, Danny Ayres, Ryan Burton, Joe Lawlor.
LAKESIDE: Ben Morley, George Hunter, David Mason, Alfie Bowtell, Nathan Greaves, Jamie Couzins, Nick Laurence.

WOLVERHAMPTON admission prices to include both meetings
Adults – £18
Concessions* – £13
*Students/Senior Citizens (over 60)/Registered Disabled
Junior (age 13 to 18 incl) – £7
Child (age 6 to 12 incl) – £1
Children 5 and under admitted – FREE

HEATHENS admission prices from 7.15 approx:
Adults – £12
Concessions/Students – £10*
Juniors 13-18 – £5
Children – £2
*Start aged 60 and also include the disabled.

 

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Colchester United 3

Leyton Orient end their final home game of the season with a 3-1 defeat to Colchester United at the Matchroom Stadium after the remaining eight minutes were played behind closed doors.

Colchester took the lead midway through the half, as Tariq Fosu headed in from close range.

The O’s equalised early in the second half, with a superb individual strike from Sandro Semedo.

The visitors restored their advantage late in the match, as captain Chris Porter tapped in from close range and the game was wrapped up with a third minutes later through substitute Macauley Bonne.

The match was then stopped after Orient supporters invaded the pitch and the final minutes were finished behind closed doors.

Omer Riza made three changes to the O’s side that were relegated after a 3-0 away defeat to Crewe Alexandra last weekend, as Callum Kennedy, Paul McCallum and Jense Jans start ahead of Teddy Mezague, Henry Ochieng and Victor Adeboyejo who shift to the bench.

Colchester had the opening oppertunity, as George Elokobi’s cross field ball to Richard Brindley was cut back to Tom Eastman whose shot was blocked by Aron Pollock.

From the resulting corner, Sean Murray’s whipped in ball was met by Elokobi but his header was weak and straight into the hands of Sam Sargeant.

Orient made their first threat on goal, through Steven Alzate as he threaded the ball into Tristan Abrahams on the edge of the box and hit his shot on the turn which trickled wide of the target.

Colchester then had a dangerous free-kick 25 minutes in, as Brindley whipped in ball fizzed just over the Orient bar.

The visitors’ then grabbed the opener shortly after, as Eastman’s cross was met by Fosu at the far past who guided it past Sargeant.

Orient nearly responded, as Abrahams turned on the edge of the box and curled his shot which went just over the bar.

Just before the break Orient had their best chance of the half, as Kennedy’s early cross for McCallum was stopped by Sam Walker.

In the second half, Orient responded seven minutes into the half as Semedo burst forward and hit a rocket of a strike from Semedo for the equaliser.

Colchester almost restored their lead as Matt Briggs’ hit on the half volley deflected off the Orient defender and looped just over the bar.

Fosu again caused the O’s problems, as he went passed three Orient defenders inside the box but his shot from close range was tame and straight at Sargeant.

Colchester then regained the lead from poor defending by Orient, as Pollock’s pass back was short to Sargeant and Fosu ran on to the loose ball went around Sargeant and cut it back for Porter to tap into an empty net.

The visitors then extended their advamtage, as substitue Bonne wrapped it up with a shot which found the far bottom corner.

The game was then stopped with less than ten minutes remaining after Orient supporters invaded the pitch.

the game restarted two hours after the invasion behind closed doors where the match peated out as Freddie Moncur replaced Michael Collins.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 24 Sam Sargeant, 3 Callum Kennedy, 6 Tom Parkes, 7 Michael Collins (C), 10 Paul McCallum (67), 22 Sandro Semedo, 25 Aron Pollock, 31 Steven Alzate, 34 Michael Clark, 35 Tristan Abrahams, 46 Jens Janse (79)

Substitutes: 39 Arthur Janata, 18 Ulrich Nnomo, 19 Teddy Mezague, 23 Teddy Moncur, 26 Victor Adeboyejo (67), 28 Josh Koroma (79), 32 Henry Ochieng

Colchester United Lineup: 1 Sam Walker, 2 Richard Brindley, 3 Matt Briggs (70), 4 Tom Lapslie, 7 Drey Wirght, 9 Chris Porter (C), 14 Alex Wynter, 15 George Elokobi, 18 Tom Eastman, 23 Sean Murray (74), 31 Tariq Fosu

Substitutes: 29 Dean Brill, 8 Doug Loft (74), 12 Kane Vincent-Young, 19 Macauley Bonne (70), 27 Rekeil Pyke, 32 Tommy O’Sullivan, 33 Lewis Kinsella

Attendance: 6,854 (1,257)

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Billericay Town FC: Glenn Tamplin announces plans for next season

Billericay Town FC owner and joint manager Glenn Tamplin has highlighted his plans for the 2017/18 season

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Speaking to Billericay Fan TV, Glenn said:

“We’ve already spoken to five National Conference players – they’re all coming. We’re speaking to two others, so we’ll have at least seven new players that are better than the seven I’m releasing.

“I believe the side we have next year will be disgustingly good. ”

Glenn also said that by the start of next season there will be two new pitches and three new stands at the club.

The club have lined up pre-season friendly matches against West Ham United, Southend United, QPR (possibly), Ilford and Waltham Abbey.

The club have also announced new Season Ticket prices for the 2017-18 season.

Fans buying a season ticket before 31 May 2017 will receive an early bird discount.

Prices
Adults: £200 (£180 before 31st May)
Over 65’s & Students: £143 (£129)
Under 18’s: £59 (£38)
Under 12’s: £38 (£25)

To apply visit www.billericaytownfc.co.uk/2017-18-season-tickets/.

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Lakeside Speedway – HAMMERS TAKE TROPHY

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE rounded off their challenge fixtures as they beat Kent 47-43 at The Arena Essex Raceway.

It wrapped up a 93-86 aggregate triumph against the Kings as the Vortex Hammers sealed the Tunnel Trophy.

It means Lakeside have won three out of their four matches and Team Manager Kelvin Tatum has described the meetings as “very beneficial” ahead of their National League opener away to Cradley at Wolves on Bank Holiday Monday (May 1).

Said Tatum: “Tonight was another good meeting for us and it certainly had everyone in the stadium on tenterhooks for its duration. Kent kept us very honest and kept us on our toes but the 4-2 in Heat 14 from Alfie Bowtell and Jamie Couzins was very timely indeed.”

“It’s three wins out of four altogether and two out of two on home shale so we couldn’t ask for much more overall! These four challenge fixtures have been very useful for everyone involved with the club this year.

You always learn the true facts about individuals when they’re in a true racing scenario and a competitive environment. Everyone will learn with every ride and every meeting they do and that’s part of the excitement in this league. There are plenty of positives to take from these four meetings – now bring on the Heathens at Monmore Green at the start of next month!”

Hammers No.1 Ben Morley continued his super early season form while club favourite Paul Hurry performed like he’s never been away, scoring double figures and recording two race wins on his first appearance in the claret and blue for seven years.

David Mason contributed four, solid second places while Alfie Bowtell and George Hunter both put in improved, encouraging displays.

Jamie Couzins again did his job at reserve while it was another night of learning for Nick Laurence.

TUNNEL TROPHY, 2nd leg
LAKESIDE 47 (Paul Hurry 11+1, Ben Morley 11+1, David Mason 8, Alfie Bowtell 6+3, George Hunter 6+2, Jamie Couzins 4, Nick Laurence 1+1
KENT 43:   Luke Bowen 15, Ben Hopwood 10, Alex Spooner 7, Jack Thomas 4+2, Bradley Andrews 4+1, Nathan Stoneman 3, Luke Clifton 0

Lakeside win 93-86 on aggregate

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Billericay Blog: season nearly over

The season is nearly over, just 1 game remaining away at Needham Market, the team won they last home game of the season, beating Canvey 3-1 in front of a record league crowd of 1970. They will finish the season just outside the playoff places which was disappointing, although they did win the Ryman League Cup for the first time.

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Glenn Tamplin has indicated that a number of changes will be made to squad, players are being released and several new players have been identified from the National Conference League but they have not been named. Although there were several good results in the second half of the season, there were also a number of poor ones, this was a particular point of concern, the team’s lack of consistency. Glenn has stated he wants to win the league next season and that’s why he has decided to change the squad.

He has also stated that players will train 3 times a week instead of 2 and during the pre season period they will be training 4 times a week. Glenn stated he expected players to show passion and desire every game, he wasn’t prepared to accept anything less than that. Some friendlies have been arranged against West Ham, Southend and hopefully QPR. Details will be announced in the summer.

A new 4G top of the range (£700k) pitch will be replacing the current grass one and a 4G pitch will also be used as the training pitch. Three new stands will be built during the summer, behind both goals and along one side, the club are awaiting planning permission to the build along the clubhouse side. New floodlights will be erected also during the summer.

Attendances increased during the last few matches, the last 4 home matches all being over 1200+, average attendances increased from less than 300 in December to 565 at the end of the season.

There is a lot to look forward to for season 2017/18, the owner has done everything he said he would plus a lot more in just 5 months. Having achieved the record attendance of 1970 against Canvey it is hoped the team will start the new season with similar support.

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Lakeside Speedway – FRIDAY PREVIEW

Arena Essex

The latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

FANS favourite Paul Hurry will be back in Hammers colours on Friday – seven years after he last rode for the club (8pm).
Lakeside host Kent at The Arena Essex Raceway in the second leg of the Tunnel Trophy – in which they hold a 46-43 aggregate lead after Monday’s victory at Central Park.

With Zach Wajtknecht on SGB Premiership duty with Swindon, the Vortex Lakeside Hammers have opted to use 42-year-old Hurry in the No.5 position.

He said: “It’s going to be a great occasion and I really cannot wait! I’ve been through a hell of a lot but I’ve always stayed pretty close to the sport. I’m definitely no stranger to the raceway and I’ve been getting a few laps in.”
“Kent are a pretty solid side so it should be a great meeting for the fans to come and watch. I’m just going to enjoy the night – but of course I’d love to get a good score and help the team win as well!”
The Hammers look set to welcome back George Hunter after sitting out of Monday’s first leg.

They will also hand Jamie Couzins another opportunity to impress at reserve after a solid showing in the away fixture earlier this week.

Kent include experienced campaigners Luke Bowen and Ben Hopwood as well as 2017 British Under-21 finalist Nathan Stoneman.

There will also be six junior races prior to the start of the main event, with the youngsters expected to take to the track around 7.30.

LAKESIDE: Ben Morley, George Hunter, David Mason, Alfie Bowtell, Paul Hurry, Jamie Couzins, Nick Laurence.
KENT: Luke Bowen, Luke Clifton, Ben Hopwood, Jack Thomas, Nathan Stoneman, Bradley Andrews, Alex Spooner.

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Lakeside Speedway – Hammers Win Tunnel Trophy First Leg

Arena Essex

Latest from the Lakeside Speedway Press Office…

LAKESIDE co-promoter Jon Cook heaped praise on his side after they edged a 46-43 away win at Kent on Monday.
The Vortex Hammers continued their encouraging start to life at National League level with a hard-fought victory over the Kings in the first leg of their Tunnel Trophy tie.

Top two Ben Morley and Zach Wajtknecht both starred but it was a superb all-around team effort from the Purfleet outfit.

They will now carry a narrow lead into the second leg at the Arena-Essex Raceway on Friday (8pm) – and Cook has been delighted with a positive start to their new era.

Said Cook: “It was lovely to get an away win so early in the season, and it was a great effort from the team.

“It was a real team effort from the six riders, and it’ll hopefully be a feature of the season that Ben Morley and Zach Wajtknecht can get the job done in the big heats at the end.

“Alfie Bowtell in particular has been impressive and a bit of an unsung hero in our first three fixtures, but I think we’ve got off to a really positive start.

“Obviously Kent will come to our place wanting to turn us over on Friday, but we’re looking forward to an exciting match.

“In the meantime we can bask in the glory of a great away win and hopefully take that momentum into the second leg.”

KENT 43: Luke Bowen 15, Ben Hopwood 9+1, Luke Clifton 6+1, Jack Thomas 6+1, Alex Spooner 3+1, Bradley Andrews 3, Nathan Stoneman 1.
LAKESIDE 46: Zach Wajtknecht 12, Ben Morley 10+2, Alfie Bowtell 8+1, David Mason 8, Jamie Couzins 6+3, Nick Laurence 2, George Hunter r/r.

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Essex Senior League Kick It Out

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Scott Lanza reports…

The Essex Senior League has partnered with Kick It Out to hold a Kick It Out of football anti- racism and discrimination day at each of the following games on Saturday 22nd April 2017:-

Basildon United v FC Romania

Southend Manor v Barking

Clapton v Burnham Ramblers

A number of local children have been invited along to have mini training sessions before the matches and enjoy the games.  At half time the kids will have a mini football match in front of the crowds. The players will greet the children and they will be treated like ‘little mascots’ for the day!

A league representative will be present at each venue to oversee the smooth running of the event. The event is being held to encourage the local communities to come together against all forms of discrimination and to have ‘FUN in and with FOOTBALL’ locally.

The children will receive a small goodie bag as a thank you for taking part. It’s hoped that they all have such a good time that they will want to come and be part of the home club’s setup by either playing for them, getting involved with their local team or by supporting them in the future.

Each home club has devised special reduced entrance rates for adults attending with a participating child.

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Match report: Billericay Town 3 Canvey Island 1

The biggest home attendance in years – 1,970 – watched the Blues win a hard-fought game 3-1 against local rivals Canvey Island.

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Billericay dominated the early stages, with Jake Robinson, Danny Fitzsimons and Billy Bricknell all going close.

A clumsy push on Bricknell after 25 minutes led to a penalty, which the Blues’ top scorer duly converted.

Both sides had chances but the score remained 1-0 at half time. Players from Billericay Town’s various Colts teams had an opportunity to play on the pitch at the break.

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The Gulls had more chances in the second half with George Sykes finishing well on 55 minutes to equalise.

Bricknell restored the lead 12 minutes later after being fed through by Fitzsimons.

Canvey defended stoutly but Robinson broke clear in the 90th minute and lobbed the keeper, Conor Gough, from 20 yards to seal a 3-1 win.

Other results confirmed that Billericay Town would not reach this season’s play-offs but the club look in good form and will be early favourites for next season’s Ryman League. The Blues climb to 9th and will finish higher with victory at Needham Market in the last game of the season on Saturday.

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Ryman League Premier Division BILLERICAY TOWN 3 CANVEY ISLAND 1

Ryman League Premier Division

BILLERICAY TOWN 3 CANVEY ISLAND 1

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from New Lodge

Billericay Town ended their home campaign on a high with a 3-1 victory over relegation threatened Canvey Island, in front of the club’s biggest ever home league crowd of nearly 2000.

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Following Saturday’s away defeat at struggling Leatherhead – a result which all but ended his club’s hopes of a play-off place – Blues owner/caretaker manager Glenn Tamplin, who had been quoted as saying many of his players would be ‘on trial’ in this match rang a couple of changes, with Kreshnic Krasniqi coming in at right back for Tambeson Eyong (who missed out due to an eye infection) and Lewis Taafe replacing striker Adam Cunnington in the starting line up, the former Bromley man starting on the bench.

Although Ricay had the majority of the play in the opening stages, the visitors came close in the 11th minute when a close range effort by Callum Ibe was parried away by Alan Julian in the Town goal. A minute later Billy Bricknell – last week’s hat-trick hero in the Ryman League Cup final – went close for the home side, his strike being tipped over by Gulls keeper Conor Gough. Then in the 25 minute Billericay were awarded a penalty when Bricknell was pushed down by Canvey’s John Mbamarah on the edge of the area. The former Chelmsford City forward stepped up to take the kick and made no mistake, slotting the ball to Gough’s right to put his side in the lead.

Further opportunities were created by the Blues, Bricknell having a great chance which went skyward and just before half time a perfectly placed Paul Konchesky cross met Taafe at the far post, but his effort went just wide.

Home boss Tamplin clearly wanted more firepower going into the second half, so Cunnington replaced Krasniqi and also goalkeeper Julian, having taken a knock in the opening 45 minutes was replaced by Jack Giddens. But 10 minutes after the restart it was Canvey who made their way back into the game, George Sykes nodding the ball past Giddens at close range after being set up by ex-Billericay player Steve Sheehan. But Ricay went back in front on 66 minutes and Bricknell was again on hand to tap the ball past Gough.

In the final quarter of an hour the home side pushed hard for a third goal and the chance to make sure of three points, record signing Jake Robinson going close 12 minutes from time when his effort was pushed over the bar by Gough. Just after that the action moved to the opposite end as Sykes attempted to add to his tally, but Giddens saved his effort. Then with only 2 minutes left Mbamarah had an effort cleared off the line, as the Gulls desperately attempted to grab an equaliser.

But the Blues made sure of bragging rights in the final minute of normal time when Robinson found the net in spite of appearing to be offside, but referee Peter Cruise allowed the goal to stand. So Billericay ended their home campaign on a high, leaving Canvey still having to ensure Ryman Premier League survival which is now out of their hands.

After the final whistle I spoke exclusively to Glenn Tamplin, as shown below. He revealed to me that he and coach Harry Wheeler will be joint managers of the club next season.

Billericay: Julian (Giddens 45), Krasniqi (Cunnington 45), Lawrence (McLeod 59), Konchesky, Fitzsimons, Ellul, O’Hara, Johnson, Robinson, Bricknell, Taafe.

Canvey: Gough, Pitty, Dumas, Merrifield, Mbamarah, Sheehan, Gilbey, Blackman, Sykes, Curran (Thomas 45), Ibe.

Attendance : 1970

After the final whistle I spoke exclusively to Glenn Tamplin, as shown below. He revealed to me that he and coach Harry Wheeler will be joint managers of the club next season.

Talking about the performance, Tamplin praised his players’ response in this game, but also had a few tough words and revealed how he approached them pre-match.

“The plan was always to build this year and get promoted next year….(but) every time we got close we let ourselves down, we let the fans down, and it was very frustrating. I’ve done everything I can and more for the players and the club, the fans have reacted and done as much as they can….and it was the players constantly letting us down.”

“There was no team talk today. They (the players) got put in the away changing room, all mud and litter were left in there, threw their kit in the middle of the floor, no kit man, no physio…..I put the team on the wall, and said there’s your team, go and perform, if you want to perform like a Sunday outfit you’ll be treated like a Sunday outfit….you need to perform today if you want to stay on this train. And that was the team talk!”

“I’m not going to fail the fans of this football club….players won’t let me do that.”

But Tamplin did go on to say that he thought the team responded very well against Canvey: “I’m not blown away by the players, but I’m happy with the reaction I got”.

When I asked the owner about appointing a new manager in the close season, he revealed: “We’ve appointed a new joint manager alongside me, me and Harry (Wheeler, current first team coach) are going to be joint managers next season…..I’m good for doing what I do and Harry is very good technically, he knows the non-leagues, he will bring in 6 or 7 players and we will be a serious serious side next year.”

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Lakeside Speedway – HAMMERS DUO SHINE IN TROPHY DEFEAT

Friday’s meeting was in memory of one of the club’s all-time great riders, Lee Richardson, who also raced for Eastbourn. The fifth anniversary of his passing following a crash in Poland is fast approaching.

Friday’s meeting was in memory of one of the club’s all-time great riders, Lee Richardson, who also raced for Eastbourne. The fifth anniversary of his passing following a crash in Poland is fast approaching.

The latest news from Lakeside Speedway…

Brilliant British youngster Zach Wajtknecht has already formed a formidable partnership with Ben Morley at Lakeside.

Bristol-based Wajtknecht, who is also racing for Premiership side Swindon this season, dropped just one point to an opposing rider over two meetings with Eastbourne on Good Friday.

Sadly for the Vortex Hammers, they didn’t have enough strength in depth to win the Lee Richardson Memorial Trophy despite a home win in the opening meeting of the season at the Arena-Essex Raceway which pulled in a bumper crowd.

The leading duo piled up a total of 58-points over the two meetings but Hammers missed out to a stronger lower Eagles order.

Said Wajtknecht: “For me to drop only one point over two meetings is very, very pleasing.

“Ben was brilliant too, we scored a lot of points between us for the team and it’s a great way for me to start the National League season.

“I’m fairly happy with my start to the season overall, now I have to keep it going.”

Hammers go to Kent in more challenge action on Monday (3pm) before the return at Arena-Essex next Friday at 8pm.

LEE RICHARDSON MEMORIAL TROPHY, 1st leg
LAKESIDE 48: Ben Morley 15, Zach Wajtknecht 13+2, David Mason 11, Nick Laurence 3, Ryan MacDonald 2+1, Alfie Bowtell 2+1, George Hunter 2.
EASTBOURNE 42: Tom Brennan 9+2, Matt Bates 9, Georgie Wood 8, Mark Baseby 7, Connor Coles 4+4, Charley Powell 3+1, Kelsey Dugard 2+1.

LEE RICHARDSON MEMORIAL TROPHY, 2nd leg
EASTBOURNE 51: Tom Brennan 10+1, Georgie Wood 9, Connor Coles 8+2, Mark Baseby 7, Charley Powell 6+3, Matt Bates 6+1, Kelsey Dugard 5+2.
LAKESIDE 39: Zach Wajtknecht 14, Ben Morley 12+2, Alfie Bowtell 7, George Hunter 2+1, David Mason 2+1, Nick Laurence 2, Ryan MacDonald 0.

Eastbourne win 93-87 on aggregate

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Billericay blog: 3 more games to go

The season is nearly over, only 3 league games left unless we make the playoffs. What a fantastic season it has been since Glenn took over in December, if anyone doubted his commitment to the club, I believe they can’t any longer. He continually displays his passion and commitment from the team bench and it was great to see him rewarded last night with the winning of the Ryman League Cup, beating Tonbridge 8-3. Glenn has made so many changes in the few months it has been difficult to keep up with them.

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Everyone is talking about Billericay Town FC and their new owner, the atmosphere in the ground has completely changed, there is a real buzz and enthusiasm about the future, I feel winning last nights cup final is just the start. The last 3 home attendances have been over 1000+, we have gone from averages of under 300 to 500+, and its going to get a lot better.

On Saturday BTFC are away at Leatherhead and on Monday 17th April they are at home to Canvey Island, it would be great to finish the home matches with the biggest attendance of the season, anything over 1500 would be fantastic. If you want entertaining football come along and give it a try, we have a team capable of scoring lots of goals.

Although we still have an outside chance of the playoffs it will be very difficult, it would be good to finish the season with 3 wins. Whatever happens next season is going to be something to look forward to, Glenn has done everything he said he would and without doubt has a lot more planned for the club going into the future.

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Lakeside Speedway – Friday Preview

A bumper crowd is expected for Friday’s meeting in memory of one of the club’s all-time great riders. Lee Richardson also raced for Eastbourne and the fifth anniversary of his passing following a crash in Poland is fast approaching.

A bumper crowd is expected for Friday’s meeting in memory of one of the club’s all-time great riders. Lee Richardson also raced for Eastbourne and the fifth anniversary of his passing following a crash in Poland is fast approaching.

The latest news courtesy of Lakeside Speedway…

Lakeside boss Kelvin Tatum admits they have been counting down the days to their blockbuster season-opener against Eastbourne on Good Friday.
The Vortex Hammers will renew their old rivalry with the Eagles as they do battle twice over the course of the day.

The two sides will meet at the Arena-Essex Raceway at 1pm before heading down to Arlington for the second leg at 7.30.

With the Lee Richardson Memorial Trophy up for grabs, supporters are set to be in for some exciting action.

And Tatum says they can’t wait to finally get a new era for the club underway on a busy day of action.

“We’ve been looking forward to this weekend for some time,” Tatum said. “It’s a great way to kick-off the season, against the old enemy, and it’s looking like being a fantastic day.

“We don’t have any real idea of where we stand at the moment, so we should come out of Friday with a better idea of how we stack up in the scheme of things.

“The weather forecast is looking clear, and with both teams battling for the Lee Richardson Memorial Trophy I’m sure we’ll get two very entertaining meetings.”

Meanwhile, the Hammers will hand Ryan MacDonald their No.7 race jacket after the Scottish youngster impressed at their press and practice day on Thursday.

Tatum commented: “Ryan showed good pace, and he improved with every lap at a tricky circuit which was new to him.

“His pace was very encouraging, and the fact he’s made the effort to come all the way from Glasgow shows how much he wants to ride for the club.

“We’ll give him the No.7 race jacket for this weekend against Eastbourne, and then we’ll take things from there.”

LAKESIDE: Ben Morley, George Hunter, David Mason, Alfie Bowtell, Zach Wajtknecht, Nick Laurence, Ryan MacDonald.

EASTBOURNE: Mark Baseby, Kelsey Dugard, Connor Coles, Mattie Bates, Georgie Wood, Charley Powell, Tom Brennan.

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Match report: Ryman League Cup final

BILLERICAY TOWN 8 TONBRIDGE ANGELS 3 (played at Carshalton Athletic F.C.)

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Colston Avenue

Billericay Town lifted the Alan Turvey Trophy after what was probably the most extraordinary final in the competition’s history, an 11-goal thriller against fellow Ryman Premier League play-off hopefuls Tonbridge Angels with Glenn Tamplin’s side finding the net 8 times.

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Blues were without left back Oliver Sprague (cup tied) and captain Rob Swaine, who sustained an injury in Saturday’s home defeat against Enfield Town. Former first choice goalkeeper Jack Giddens returned in goal for the first time since new number 1 Alan Julian was recruited from Bromley in February.

Billericay had the first chances in the very early stages, an early effort from Adam Cunnington going over the bar and a shot from Jake Robinson being stopped by Jon Henly in the Tonbridge goal. But it was the Kent side who took the lead in the 5th minute. Luke Blewden’s shot was sparried away by Jack Giddens – back in the Billericay goal since the arrival of new number 1 Alan Julian – but Andre McCollin netted from the rebound. Billericay equalised 7 minutes later through midfielder Jake Robinson, who powered a shot past Henly to bring the tie level.

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The frantic pace of the first 15 minutes tailed off as the game settled. Ricay’s Billy Bricknell – scorer of 4 goals in the 3 previous rounds of this competition – latched onto a long pass, but the number 9 fired his shot wide. Bricknell made up for it just before the half hour mark with a superb strike to put his side back in the lead. He again went close on 33 minutes when his head connected with a Jamie O’Hara free kick, but this time the ball went over the bar.

Ricay made it 3-1 with 36 minutes on the clock when Bricknell, who had been causing the Tonbridge defence all manner of problems fired a superb right footed drive past Henly to double his tally for the evening. Then just before half time, Bricknell completed his hat-trick after being set up by Robinson, who had latched onto a long clearance from the defence, to make it 4-1. Billericay were now dominanting the match and went in at the break full of confidence.

Once the second half had commenced, the Essex side continued where they had left off at the interval, Cunnington finding the net a few minutes after the restart and it was becoming a case of how many Glenn Tamplin’s men would score. But Tonbridge scored a second in bizarre circumstances, as substitute Alex Akrofi’s cross was turned into his own net by – of all people – Paul Konchesky, the former West Ham and England man who put in an otherwise classy display at the heart of his side’s defence.

On 55 minutes yet another Ricay attack saw left back Byron Lawrence power into the penalty box and fire a shot past Henly to make it 6-2. Then Cunnington scored his second and Town’s seventh in the 61st, with a right footed strike into the top right corner.

Billericay showed no sign of letting up against a shellshocked Angels side, and were totally in control by this stage although Nick Wheeler went close for Tonbridge on one occasion, and his fellow substitutes Akrofi and Allen had close efforts as the Kent side gamely battled on. But there was really only one team in this final, and the rout was complete when Henly, in spite of making an heroic double save was unable to stop the third effort from substitute Kresh Krasniqi going past him to make it 8-2 to Billericay. But Tonbridge to their credit never gave up and grabbed a consolation third late on through McCollin.

So it was a memorable night for Billericay, who have spent all but one of the last 38 seasons in the Isthmian League but who had never won this competition before. Owner and caretaker manager Glenn Tamplin (pictured below saluting the fans after the presentation of the trophy) and his players celebrated with the Blues supporters after the final whistle, in what was another extraordinary chapter in the recent story of this ambitious club.

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Billericay: Giddens, Eyong, Lawrence (Taafe 87), Konchesky, Fitzsimmons, Ellul (Krasniqi 60), O’Hara, Johnson, Bricknell, Cunnington, Robinson (Assombalonga 66).

Tonbridge: Henly, Udoji, Partner, Scannell (Allen 63), Miles, Nelson, Blewden, Phipp, Elder (Akrofi 45), McCollin, Fortnan-Tomlinson (Wheeler 45).

Attendance : 653

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Lochlan Bearman kicks off the new season at Brands Hatch

15 year old Phoenix FM-sponsored driver Lochlan Bearman kicked off his 2017 race campaign at the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

Lochlan Apr 2017

Running with the established Jamsport team for the first time, Bearman was consistently one of the fastest in every practice session. “The car was working very well, and I was using old tyres so I knew there was more to come”, said Bearman.

In qualifying the top 5 were covered by 0.1 second, with Bearman in 4th place. Coming into Race 1 Bearman was confident of being able to compete for the win and got a good start completing lap 1 in 4th place but in a train of the first 5 cars. However all was not well. From lap 2 I was struggling to get the car off the corners as I had too much grip. Gradually the front 3 began to pull away and Bearman eventually succumbed to 5th place and was running in 5th. I was trying to cool the front tyres and hope that I could mount a challenge in the second half of the race but 6th place was keeping the pressure. Unfortunately the 6th place driver made an optimistic move going into Clearways corners and collected Bearman spinning them both out and taking himself out on the spot. Bearman recovered and eventually finished in 9th position.

Finishing 9th meant Bearman in the No36 car would start Race 2 from 9th on the grid. The team worked hard to repair the damage and get him to the grid on time. Again Bearman made a good start making 1 position before the first corner and another at Druids corner. He then had a battle with 6th place who was defending hard and eventually made a clever pass by using the undercut to pass into Druids. Bearman then set about catching 5th position. For a few laps the gain was small but then as his car began to work better he caught the car in front. They then had a multi lap battle that had the crowd and commentator thrilled as the two drivers ran side by side through corners lap after lap. Eventually Bearman made a brave and determined move braking super late and passing down the inside at Paddock bend. Once past Bearman in the Phoenix FM car pulled away and although his pace was faster than those in front the battle for 5th had slowed them down too much to be able to mount a challenge for 4th.

Lochlan said, “To be honest I’m disappointed. I really came expecting to compete for the win and be on the podium. If we had started race 2 from 5th then I think that would have been achievable. However, we shown we can be fast so I will take the positives and now focus on the next race at Cadwell Park on the 7th of May.”

For more information visit www.lochlanbearman.com

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Bennett Wins Leopards Award

Dougie Bennett receives the 2016/17 MVP award from Paul Levett;

Dougie Bennett receives the 2016/17 MVP award from Paul Levett;

Dave Ryan reports…

Dougie Bennett collected an award for the second successive season as he was voted Levett Essex Leopards Most Valuable player for the 2016/17 season.

The Brentwood-based guard won the club’s Most Improved Player award in 2015/16 but went one better this season as the club’s supporters voted for him as player of the year.

Despite missing most of the second half of the season, veteran forward Mike Martin finished second with American guard AJ Roberts finishing third.

General manager Dave Ryan had praise for Bennett: “Dougie’s really improved over the last two years, and with Mike out injured he stepped up and took on the responsibility of being captain. I’m really pleased that our fans have recognised that.”

Forward Jamie Hayes collected the Most Improved Player trophy – which was decided by former coach Steve Ogunjimi and assistant Roger Malpass – after a season that saw him gain a regular spot in the starting line-up.

Bennett obviously has the taste for silverware as he picked up the Levett Challenge Cup following Sunday’s 81-60 victory against Oaklands Wolves at the Brentwood Centre.

Led by game MVP Shaq Lewis, the Big Cats never trailed in the game but the young Oaklands players – several of whom are likely to be in contention for a place on Leopards’ bench next season – never gave up and provided an entertaining game for another big crowd at Brentwood.

 

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Church Lands British Challenge Belt Fight

DC

Tim Rickson reports…

June 10th at London’s York Hall will see Essex light-heavyweight prospect ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church (4-1-1) in a bid to win his first professional title – the British Challenge light-heavyweight belt.

The eight-round contest will take place on the undercard of the eagerly-awaited Southern Area title clash between promising lightweights Jamie Arlain and Adam Dingsdale at the renowned East End venue.

A father of one and a business owner, Church previously struggled to balance training with work and withdrew from fights due to illnesses and injuries brought on by exhaustion.

He slipped to a loss against Angelo Crowe (2-6) in 2015 after initially kicking off his pro career with two straight wins when previously signed to Carl Greaves Promotions.

Inactive spells spanning over 10 months were at blame for the defeat and a subsequent draw on his peppered record but Church has recently reeled off two wins in under four months since being signed to Goodwin Promotions.

The 27-year-old from Witham was desperate to stay active following the lengthy spells of inactivity and unexpected blemishes upon his record, and, with the help of full-time sponsors MB Surfacing, has now managed to secure his third fight in six months.

Back to back wins in December and April have helped to set up his first fight with a belt on the line on the 23rd weekend of the year.

Church, trained by Mark Massow, commented on the forthcoming opportunity, “I’m over the moon to finally fight for a title in the professional ranks!

“I’ve put so much into the game, I’ve made so many sacrifices and it’s now come down to this, to get my hands on a belt.

“I’m going to be in with a very tough opponent and it’s going to be an absolute cracker!”

Colossus

The packed show, aptly titled ‘Colossus’, features 11 unbeaten prospects, the final of The Fight Cup between cruiserweights Danny Couzens (8-10-2) and Ossie Jervier (4-2), and will be headlined by the mouth-watering, eagerly-awaited Southern Area title fight between promising prospect Jamie Arlain (5-0) and former Area champion Adam Dingsdale (16-3).

For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962

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Middleweights Stokes and Hilz to Clash for British Challenge Belt

The Next Step

Tim Rickson reports…

Middleweights Tom Stokes (8-0) and Paul Hilz (3-2) will face off on May 12th for the British Challenge belt at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham.

The pair will meet at 160lbs over eight three-minute rounds on the Black Country Boxing Promotions event titled, ‘The Next Step’.

Both fighters have won different versions of the Challenge belt already – Essex boxer Hilz triumphed over Lewis van Poetsch (4-46) on points to claim the International Challenge belt at super-middleweight last September and West Bromwich’s Stokes defeated Cristian Hoskin-Gomez (5-20-3), also on points, at the Holiday Inn in December.

The aforementioned Lewis Van Poetsch represents a shared opponent – Stokes won all four rounds in his points victory over the journeyman last July at Walsall Town Hall.

This will provide Hilz, 35-years-old from Basildon, with his first fight at middleweight having started his career at light-heavyweight, then competing for the last few years at super-middle.

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Stokes, 22-years-old, is used to mixing it with heavier fighters, having experienced many rounds of sparring with super-middleweight Lennox Clarke from nearby Halesowen.

A former Wednesbury ABC fighter, young Stokes has been relatively pleased with the start he has made in the paid ranks but is looking to push on in the coming months, he said, “I was hoping for the Midlands Area title fight next but it wasn’t to be so I’ll be looking for that later this year.

“I just want to get that Midlands Area title round my waist to get my name out there then hopefully jump on one of these big shows around Birmingham soon.”

Paul Hilz International Challenge Belt

Hilz joined boxing late but took to the sport quickly, enjoying a successful stint in the thriving unlicensed boxing scene in Essex, winning 12 of his 14 fights and collecting the IBA British and European cruiserweight titles along the way.

The 35-year-old father of four is trained by Kevin Lilley and managed by Carl Greaves.

He commented on the forthcoming fight, “My team have had a few phone calls with offers so I’ve been staying ready for the right opportunity.

“Basically, I chose this fight because it’s for another title and I believe I’ll be the winner.

“On paper, Tommy looks a better boxer than me but I’m confident and I’m coming to win with the best mind-set.

“My fitness is always great as I’d hate to be in there asking for it. In all my years in boxing I’ve learnt that if you’ve got nothing there but your fitness then the battle is half won.”

Hilz has the advantage of living close by to the Matchroom Gym in Hainault and benefits from top level sparring there.

“This week I’ve sparred with English title contender Joe Mullender and his workrate and tank is something else!” he confirmed. “I’ve already sparred with the likes of John Ryder and Craig Richards and I’ll actually be going away for a mini-camp to hit the roads and really get my head down.”

The Next Step will showcase a crop of unbeaten prospects in Josh Stokes (1-0); Leon Gower (3-0); and Lauren ‘Black Widow’ Johnson (1-0).

Former IBF World cruiserweight champion Glen McCrory will be in attendance as a guest speaker at the show.
For tickets to the next show please call 07956 723 636

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Darrel Church Improves Record with Points Win

DC 6th pro fight

Tim Rickson reports…

Light-heavyweight prospect ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church (4-1-1) recorded his fourth win from six professional bouts with a points victory over larger opponent Josef Obeslo (6-33-3) at the Skylark Hotel in Southend on April 1st.

The 27-year-old from Witham improved his record and further increased his ranking in the competitive 175-pound division on the Warrior Boxing Promotions event.

Obeslo, 28-years-old from Hradec Kralove, weighed in over six-pounds above the agreed limit, giving the European a big advantage on the night.

Church was disappointed at the weight difference but had no intention of withdrawing from the fight despite his heftier opponent recording four first-round knockouts during his six-year-long career and his last win taking just 35 seconds to deliver.

He said, “He weighed in over six pounds heavier than me, which is almost half a stone, and I was angry about it at first, but I’d fight anyone so I accepted it like a professional and moved on.

“Full credit to my opponent as he was right up for it and desperately wanted to win.”

Church out-jabbed his opponent and couldn’t fail to land his counter left hook all night, although Obeslo made it a hard fight by constantly pressing forward and throwing punches.

The victor commented on his performance, “I’ve had nothing but good feedback from every person I’ve spoken to.  Most said that it was the best they’ve seen me fight.

“It was a very small ring, not the size that I am used to but everything went right for me in there on the night. I had to do a bit of everything – I boxed, went toe to toe when I had to and stuck it on him a bit.

“I got the job done, my record has improved and my ranking has increased higher, so it’s onwards and upwards.”

DC and Josef Obeslo

Church, trained by respected coach Mark Massow, now looks ahead to June 10th for his next fight on the undercard of the eagerly-awaited Southern Area title clash between promising lightweights Jamie Arlain and Adam Dingsdale at the famed York Hall.

“My next fight is June 10th back at York Hall again,” Church confirmed. “It’ll be my last four rounder before I move up to bigger fights.

“I’ve had this week off from training but I’m back in the gym next week which gives me a nine-week training camp.”

A father of one and a business owner, Church previously struggled to balance training with work and slipped to a loss against Angelo Crowe (2-6) in 2015 after initially kicking off his pro career with two straight wins when previously signed to Carl Greaves Promotions.

Inactive spells spanning over 10 months were to blame for the defeat and subsequent draw on his peppered record but has recently reeled off two wins in under four months since being signed to Goodwin Promotions.

“I’ve got a meeting with my manager Steve Goodwin coming up and we’ll be looking at a few options that are available to me at the moment, so it’s an exciting time.

“The British Challenge belt fight could be on the cards soon; I set myself the goal of fighting for that belt at the start of the year and I’ve already received an offer, so I’m exceeding expectations already.”

For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962

 

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Main Objective to Make Presence Felt in Division 1

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Local media descended on The Cloudfm County Ground today as Essex CCC launched their County season, ahead of Friday’s opening game against Lancashire.

The team were promoted to Division 1 last season and face a tough challenge to stay up, but Head Coach Chris Silverwood is simply looking to make the team’s presence felt.

 

Club Captain Ryan ten Doeschate wouldn’t be drawn on survival either, and equally remained coy on who would take the wicketkeeper’s gloves.

 

England’s Alastair Cook is available for the beginning of the County Summer, but unfortunately will be missing Friday’s fixture through injury.

 

There are also a number of new faces around the team this season, including New Zealand seamer Neil Wagner, who could face his former County on Friday.

 

Essex kick off the season in County Championship action on Friday, as they play host to Lancashire at Chelmsford.  Play starts at 11am on all 4 days.

 

 

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Billericay Town 2 Leiston 0

Ryman League Premier Division

BILLERICAY TOWN 2 LEISTON 0

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from New Lodge

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Billericay Town continued their push for a play-off spot with a win over fellow promotion chasers Leiston, in front of a bumper home crowd.

Blues’ owner/caretaker manager Glenn Tamplin was clearly upset by Tuesday’s defeat at home to Dulwich Hamlet, just 3 days after seeing his side gain a 3-0 victory against the same team at their Champion Hill ground. He responded by halving the ticket prices for this match, and made a full page apology to the supporters in the match programme.

Tamplin made one change to his starting line up, former Ipswich and Colchester midfielder Bryon Lawrence coming in for recent big name signing Jamie O’Hara, who dropped to the bench. Leiston manager Glenn Driver included ex-Billericay midfielder Conor Hubble in his side.

The first effort of any note came on 8 minutes, when Blues’ right back Tambeson Eyong fired a right foot shot wide. Then 6 minutes later, a great strike from Matty Johnson was saved superbly by Leiston goalkeeper Ashlee Jones, but the resulting corner provided the first goal of the afternoon when Jake Robinson fired the ball home to score his second Billericay goal since his arrival from Hemel Hempstead Town.

On 18 minutes Ricay nearly doubled their lead, when a header from Joe Ellul was superbly turned over by Jones. The corner that followed saw Billy Bricknell find the net, but referee Joshua Few spotted an infringement and the goal was not allowed to stand. The home side were creating all the chances in the opening third of the game, Lawrence going close with a free kick in the 27th minute.

Leiston’s first real chance came with 33 minutes on the clock, when an effort from Matt Blake – who has scored 40 goals for the Suffolk side this season and was reported to have been a recent Billericay target – was stopped by Alan Julian. And it was Blake who provided another effort 3 minutes before half time, but this went over the bar. But then Blues left back Oliver Sprague doubled Ricay’s lead seconds later, with an excellent effort to make it 2-0 to the home side.

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In the second half the visitors were still finding it difficult to break down a resilient home side. Right back Ollie Brown had an effort on goal but Julian comfortably saved it. The Blues were struggling to add to their lead though, as Leiston were defending well.

With 15 minutes left the away team came close to getting back into the match when former Ipswich defender Jack Ainsley set up Seb Dunbar, whose effort sailed across the face of the goal before being cleared to safety. But Billericay finished the match with a clean sheet, and more importantly three more valuable points to continue their quest for a top 5 finish.

Billericay: Julian, Eyong, Sprague (O’Hara 45), Konchesky, Swaine, Ellul, Lawrence, Johnson, Bricknell (Fitzsimons75), Cunnington, Robinson (Assombalonga 45).

Leiston: Jones, Dunbar, Brown, Ainsley, Jefford, Hutchings, Hubble (Blades 70), Heath, Blake, Muir, Francis (Pelling 62).

Attendance: 1453

After the game I spoke to Glenn Tamplin and asked him for his thoughts on the game. He replied, “After Tuesday’s game we had a conscience meeting and a lot of home truths were said…..today was just the response I wanted”.

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Baker Confirmed as Leopards’ Coach

Essex Leopards v Leicester Warriors 12 Mar 2017; Leopards new coach Tom Baker;

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards are delighted to announce that Thomas Baker will remain as the club’s coach for the 2017/18 season.

The 27-year-old play-caller was thrown in at the deep end when he took over the job with four games remaining, and although three heart-wrenching defeats in four games – along with a thrilling double overtime win at Worthing – saw the Big Cats suffer relegation, Leopards’ board of directors had no hesitation in handing him the job for next season:

“We’ve been really impressed with how Tom handled a difficult situation” said general manager Dave Ryan.

“To come in with four games to go when we were a terrible losing streak and make such a positive difference left us in no doubt that he was the right man for the job.

“He commanded respect from the players but also gave them a chance to express themselves. The team spirit in those last few games was greatly improved and they showed a lot of guts to get the win at Worthing after the heartbreak of relegation in Lancashire.

“We now have a long summer ahead of us to build a team that will bounce straight back and bring silverware to the Leopards.

“Tom’s appointment strengthens our links with Oaklands Academy and shows the benefits of the two organisations working together.”

Baker played basketball at East Durham College before moving into coaching in 2009, and joined Oaklands Basketball Academy as Performance Analyst/Academy Coach in 2012. He graduated from University of Hertfordshire in 2012 and was Performance Analyst of England under-18 women’s team between 2012-2015. He has also been regional East under-15 and under-17 Head Coach since 2013.
Michael Ball, Oaklands’ Director of Basketball, is delighted that Baker will coach the Leopards during 2017/18: “I could see that Thomas truly enjoyed the last four games of this season and that the players and fans responded positively to his approach. I know that he is going to be looking at an exciting mix of young talent together with some experienced players.

“It is really positive that a young English coach is getting this opportunity and that more of our performance players at Oaklands College basketball academy are going to get the chance to be part of the future of the Leopards.”

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Baker is raring to go in his new job: “It’s a great feeling for me right now,” he said “I thoroughly enjoyed the four games I had at the end of this season with Leopards, and I felt like even though we didn’t get the results we needed that we are still capable of competing at the Division One level.

“It was a great experience to see what basketball is like in Division One and having been involved in national teams previously I was no stranger to scouting and the detail that must go into preparation before these games. The feeling at the end of the season was we all wanted more games together so to know that I will be coming back next year is great.
“Preparation for next season starts now. It is important we are all aware of the task ahead and whilst I feel we can get promoted straight away back to Division One, no one is going to come out and roll over next season, so we must have a good off-season and hit the ground running in pre-season and be ready to come together and compete in every single game.

“Players must be ready to be held accountable to the decisions they make and also we must all work together collectively to continue to improve each and every game.
“The team behind the scenes at Leopards have done an outstanding job building a fantastic team and matchday environment over a number of years now and being a highly ambitious coach I can’t wait to carry on that work. it is going to be a pleasure to lead the team during next year in Division Two and I am confident we will be back where we belong in no time.

“I want to help the club bring back performances that will excite the fans and continue to raise the profile of what is already a well established club in the British game.”

There’s one more chance to watch Leopards under their new coach when Oaklands Wolves are the visitors to the Brentwood  Centre on Sunday April 9. There are still a few places left on the pre-game coaching clinic (2.00-3.30pm), so book today!

 

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Reflections on the Dulwich game

Billericay Dulwich

It’s never dull supporting BTFC, last Saturday they had a tremendous victory at Dulwich winning 3-0, but last night we were outplayed by Dulwich in the return fixture losing 2-0. Although it’s still possible to end the season in the playoffs it is now going to be very difficult, there are only 5 games remaining.

Next match is home on Saturday 1st April v Leiston another one of the playoff contenders, they also have games in hand. It looks as though Bognor & Havant have either booked automatic promotion or a playoff spot, Dulwich + Leiston are likely to finish in the playoffs as they have games in hand. There remains one place to fight for between, Needham, Tonbridge, Enfield & Wingate, we still have to play Enfield as well as Needham which is our last game of the season. It’s still going to be an interesting and exciting end of season.

Even if we don’t make it this season, it should be remembered Glenn’s promise/ambition was promotion in 18months, the season 2017/18 was targeted. So much has happened since December, there will be setbacks while the team develops and establishes itself.

The team are receiving considerable publicity and support, on Saturday 2,805 were in attendance at Dulwich, last night Billericay had their biggest attendance since 2011 when they played Chelmsford, 1,302. It is hoped that there will be a good crowd in attendance on Saturday when we play Leiston, the atmosphere in the ground has been great for the last few home matches, it’s anticipated the team will come out fighting on Saturday and put last nights poor game behind them.

New floodlights have arrived as promised, it won’t be long before we are using them. Changes continue on a weekly basis, Glenn is definitely investing in the club, it would be good to see he continues to receive the local support his efforts deserve.

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Match report: Chelmsford City 1 East Thurrock United 0

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from the Weston Homes Community Stadium

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Chelmsford City won the Essex Senior Cup with a hard fought victory in Colchester over an East Thurrock United side, who made Rod Stringer’s side work hard for their prize.

The Chelmsford manager made a handful of changes from the side that beat Gosport Borough 5-1 in the league on Saturday, with Louie Theophanous (ineligible) and Bagasan Graham (hamstring injury) unable to take part. East Thurrock boss John Coventry, who had said prior to the final that he had known his team for this game for ‘a long time’ was forced to omit first team regulars Marvin Ekpiteta, Scott Heard and Femi Akinwande, all of whom were cup-tied for their club’s first ever Essex Senior Cup final appearance.

Both sides started brightly but it was Chelmsford had the best of the early chances in the 4th minute, Kane Haysman – scorer of a brace against Gosport on Saturday – firing a great effort just wide of the left hand post. East Thurrock were taking a direct approach, getting the ball forward to the front pairing of Sam Higgins and George Craddock at the earliest opportunity and both sides contributed to a frantic first ten minutes.

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Once the game had begun to settle in terms of pace, a scrappy period ensued as few genuine chances were created by either team, with lots of niggly fouls and stoppages. City’s Chris Dickson had a great chance in the 34th minute, when he narrowly failed to connect with a Haysman cross. Then the deadlock was broken just before half time, and it was Dickson who was on hand to slam home his 10th goal since arriving at the club, from Robbie Willmott’s cross.

So it was the Clarets who entered the second half with their noses in front. Just after the restart Haysman went on a tremendous run, riding past 3 Rocks defenders then firing the ball just to the right of Lukas Lidakevicius in the East Thurrock goal. Then on 50 minutes another Willmott cross found Shaun Jeffers, who almost made it 2-0 but his effort bounced off the post.

On 54, just after Haysman had once again gone close for City Rocks had a chance at the other end, former Chelmsford forward Higgins firing just wide. United went close again four minutes later, Ross Fitzsimons pulling off a brilliant save from a long range effort by Ryan Sammons. Tom Wraight sent a scissor kick over the bar from the resulting corner, as Chelmsford endured a spell of pressure.

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Elliot Buchanan replaced Jeffers for City and had a good chance in the 66th minute, when Anthony Church set him up for with a right foot shot that was pushed away by Lidakevicius. Wraight twice came close for Rocks with around 20 minutes left on the clock. The match was looking more like a proper cup final by this stage, with challenges and tackles flying in from both sides.

In the closing minutes East Thurrock desperately tried to get the ball forward as much as they could to try and get an equaliser, but Chelmsford held firm and could have grabbed a second when Bush’s effort was saved by Lidakevicius. Then in injury time, Rocks pushed everybody forward and nearly equalised through former City man Ben Marlow’s right foot volley, which sailed just over the woodwork. But the Clarets held on and took the Senior Cup back to Melbourne Stadium for the first time since 2009.

Chelmsford City boss Rod Stringer, speaking to Phoenix FM, said, “It was a tough game. I didn’t think we played well in the first half and we needed something to unlock them (East Thurrock). Fortunately Dicko got the goal….it was fine margins but we’ve shown a lot out there tonight…now we have another 5 or 6 cup finals”.

Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Miller, Blanchett (Porter 69), Rees, Bush, Hill, Willmott, Church, Jeffers (Buchanan 62), Dickson, Haysman (Daley 82).

East Thurrock: Lisakevicius, Sammons (Osifuwa 77), Ruel (Honesty 77), Peddie, Burns, Wood (Freiter 85), Harris, Marlow, Higgins, Craddock, Wraight.

Attendance: 1672

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Match report: Billericay Town 0 Dulwich Hamlet 2

Billericay Dulwich

Dulwich avenged their 3-0 home defeat at the weekend by coming away with all three points in this crucial clash at the New Lodge.

A massive crowd of 1,302 – the highest at Billericay for 12 years – weren’t able to watch the Blues climb into the playoff places for the first time this season.

Billericay enjoyed some early chances with O’Hara firing over and Ellul’s header going wide.

However it was Dulwich who took the lead with Ibra Sekajja’s header after 21 minutes.

The Blues continued to press with Bricknell having a goal disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper, and Swaine going close with a header.

Dulwich doubled their lead on 33 minutes from an Ashley Carew free kick which took a deflection before going in.

Both teams had chances in the second half, with Ellul having another good chance and Swaine hitting the bar for Billericay, but they were unable to claw their way back into the game.

Dulwich now climb into the final playoff slot with two games in hand on most of their rivals, with Billericay four points adrift.

With five games to go, including matches against promotion rivals Leiston and Enfield, the Blues’ promotion push is far from over.

Teams:

Billericay Town: Julian, Eyong, Lawrence, Konchesky, Swaine, Ellul, O’Hara, Johnson, Bricknell, Cunnington, Robinson.

Subs: Sprague, Krasniqi, Fitzsimons, McLeod, Taaffe

Dulwich Hamlet: Edwards, Weatherstone, Green, Kargbo, Drage, Chambers, Ming, Beaney, Tomlin, Carew, Sekajja.

Subs: Clunis, Akinyemi, Erskine, Dumaka, Taylor

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Lochlan Bearman – Ready for the New Racing Season

Phoenix FM’s teenage racing driver Lochlan Bearman is counting down the days to the start of the 2017 season opener at Brands Hatch on April 9th.

The 5 times karting Champion made the step into the Ford Fiesta Junior Championship as the youngest driver on the grid when he was 14 last season and despite some poor luck finished 4th in the Championship.

Ready for the 2017 Championship

Fiesta Junior Driver Lochlan Bearman

“at the start of the season my objective was a top 10 finish but I realised after the first round at Silverstone that I could do well if we could get the car set-up optimally, however having been running 3rd and closing on 2nd towards the end of the season it was disappointing that the final 2 rounds went so wrong with an electrical fault and being put into the barriers respectively ruining both meetings” said the Essex based youngster.

This season he has been signed by the leading Jamsport Team and pre season testing has gone very well with Bearman topping the timesheets. It’s a massive change going into a big team with all of the support, knowledge and know-how they have. I immediately felt at home and I’m learning more all the time.

Lochlan is Ready for the Forthcoming Season

Lochlan is Ready for the Forthcoming Season

Testing went very well for me but we will know exactly where we are when the racing starts at Brands and I just cannot wait. I really want to win the Championship this year and feel that I’m in the right team to do this, there are still things that would support my challenge such as more testing and some car improvements but currently I don’t have the budget for that. I am very excited and feel positive for the season.

Bearman’s Championship quest kicks off with Rounds 1 and 2 at Brands Hatch on April 9th.

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Phoenix FM 10th birthday: Laura Try

You can hear the interview again here:


Atlantic-rower-in-training Laura Try came down to Phoenix FM’s 10th birthday broadcast at the Holiday Inn in Brentwood to talk about her amazing plans to complete not one but two rowing marathons this year!

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Laura explained how she felt her life was too stressful and materialistic and started a series of events which will be taking her on two challenges:

  • To row 1,800 miles around the coast of Great Britain with Rannoch Adventure in June 2017
  • To row across the Atlantic ocean in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in December 2017

You can sponsor Laura and keep an eye on her progress at her official website.

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Laura’s also all over social media and you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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Billericay Town Fans’ Forum – new signings, new badge

Phoenix FM are at tonight’s Billericay Town fans forum.

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There’s a bumper turnout tonight for the second forum since Glenn Tamplin took over the club at the end of last year, with over 200 fans in attendance.

New signings

Owner Glenn Tamplin confirmed the signing of Jamie O’Hara and Jake Robinson, the latter from Hemel Hempstead where he has socred 27 goals this season.

Jamie came out briefly to greet the fans to a big cheer!

GT announced to another big cheer that as a result of this, Billericay Town were trending in the top 5 on Twitter today!

Ground improvements

The club has submitted plans to the council for a full size astroturf pitch and gym/bar area behind the main ground, which will have seating on all sides.

Billericay Town’s wages are up to £20K per week and the club is aiming to have 1,500+ people per week to sustain this.

One of the stands would accommodate disabled supporters and GT said it may be named after Harry Parker, a young disabled fan who the club has been supporting.

GT promised that the club would not be “another Micky Woodward”.

Website

The official website has been redesigned by the club’s unofficial website designer James who talked through the new features, and fielded a lot of questions from fans about possible new features for the site.

New club badge

GT introduced the three new potential badge designs and asked for a show of hands from the fans to see which one would be adopted as the new club badge.

After a show of hands badge #2 was chosen as the winner. And here it is:

Billericay Town badge

The Ladies and Colts team will also adopt this badge, rather than have their own one.

Dulwich Hamlet match

GT feels ays that this Saturday’s match at Dulwich Hamlet will decide the club’s fate for this season. He says they will have 3,000 fans there and he wants as many fans as possible to get behind the team.

Volunteers

The club is looking for volunteers to help with stewarding, marketing, looking after the pitch. If anyone wants to help the club and its community GT says it will be very greatly appreciated.

Questions from fans

1. Is the club comfortable that they have the right team going forward?

GT: the team winning the Conference South is on £8K a week and Billericay Town FC, as stated earlier, is on £20K. If the current team can’t win the National League South then there is something wrong. The club may need 2 or 3 more players to strengthen.

2. Will the club need to move with the proposed development of the ground?

GT: I want to get this done in the close season, to blitz it. Basildon Borough Council have said approval won’t be given until 8-10 weeks at the earliest, so I hope we can get the astroturf development done in the summer and then deal with the ground after that.

The new stands will probably go up at the end of next season.

The club has 7 years left on its lease and is aiming to get another 30 years added to this.

3. How much parking will there be?

GT: The new plans are allowing for 150 cars.

4. There has been a lot of rumours about Mark Wright getting involved.

GT: We are teetering on the edge about Billericay Town being a PR stunt. Mark Wright wants 20% of the club, but doesn’t want to inject any cash – he will bring enhanced media attention instead.

I will bring Mark in if he brings something tangible to the club.

5. What will happen about the floodlights?

GT: We have bought floodlights from Arsenal’s training ground at Hale End and we have taken on West Ham’s groundsman. They will arrive tomorrow and be fitted next week.

The substation will be upgraded.

6. Have you considered making the main pitch 4G?

GT: As a businessman I would like to get both pitches 3G as they can be hired out all year round, but I love football so I am going to keep the main pitch grass. (This got a loud round of applause).

GT then wrapped up the meeting with a free bar for the next hour!

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Jamie O’Hara signs for Billericay Town

Jamie O’Hara has signed a deal with Ryman League Premier side Billericay Town.

jamie ohara

Credit: Nicky Hayes Photos/Billericay Town FC

30-year-old Jamie, who played in the Premier League for Tottenham and was a £5million signing for Wolves, has followed Paul Konchesky in joining the blues.

Owner/manager Glenn Tamplin is continuing to steal the headlines in his attempt to bring the team to the Football League.

jamie ohara 2

Credit: Nicky Hayes Photos/Billericay Town FC

Jamie explained to TalkSport that he was persuaded by Tamplin’s friend Mark Wright, who is reported to be investing in the club.

The news was officially announced at the club’s Fans Forums which took place at the ground at Blunts Wall Road.

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Match report: East Thurrock United 1 Chelmsford City 2

John spoke to Rod Stringer after the match:

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Rookery Hill

East Thurrock

Chelmsford City kept themselves in contention for a National League South play-off place in Corringham on Tuesday night, edging out Essex rivals East Thurrock United with a 2-1 victory.

Home boss John Coventry, having had the satisfaction of seeing his players consolidate a comfortable mid-table position in their first season at this level made 6 changes to his starting line up from the team that beat Oxford City 2-1 at Rookery Hill on Saturday, with former Chelmsford striker Sam Higgins coming back into his team. Visiting manager Rod Stringer, having seen his side draw 1-1 at Wealdstone at the weekend made just one change, Kane Haysman coming in for Max Cornhill.

The Clarets, backed by a sizeable following of supporters who had made the short trip south had the bulk of the early chances, and they got their reward with 9 minutes on the clock. A characteristic Robbie Willmott cross found Josh Hill, who powered a header past Rocks goalkeeper Lucas Lidakevicius to make it 1-0 to City.

11 minutes later the visitors thought they had made it 2-0, Chris Dickson finding the back of the net after being put through by Haysman but the former Charlton Athletic striker was deemed to have been offside, so his effort was disallowed. Unfortunately for Dickson he had a second effort ruled out on 23 minutes, due to a foul on Lidakevicius. Despite further chances, the Clarets went in a half time with the score still at 1-0.

After the break East Thurrock fought back almost immediately, scoring an equaliser in the 47th minute when along range effort by Michael Freiter was turned into the net by striker Harry Honesty. But the Clarets went back in front with 13 minutes remaining. Substitute Elliot Buchanan, who had only been on the field for 3 minutes after replacing Haysman fired a thunderbolt of a volley into the net to back it 2-1 to Chelmsford.

Reece Harris had a late chance for the Rocks, but City held on and in terms of the number of chances created deserved to take the 3 points. The win keeps them in 4th place 6 points above 6th placed Hungerford Town, who had beaten Weston-Super-Mare 2-1 the previous evening.

East Thurrock: Lisakevicius, Osifuwa, Ekpiteta, Peddie, Ekpiteta, Freiter (Wraight 74), Heard, Craddock (Marlow 74), Higgins (Harris 65), Akinwande, Honesty.

Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Haines, Graham, Porter, Bush, Hill, Willmott, Rees, Theophanous (Cornhill 89), Dickson (Jeffers 63), Haysman (Buchanan 74).

Attendance: 478

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Darrel Church’s Next Opponent Confirmed as Josef Obeslo

Chuch v Obeslo

Tim Rickson reports…

Essex light-heavyweight prospect Darrel Church’s (3-1-1) next opponent has been confirmed as Czech boxer Josef Obeslo (6-32-3).

The 175-pounder from Witham will face the European puncher on April 1st in Southend on a Warrior Boxing Promotions event.

Despite his losing record, the 28-year-old from Hradec Kralove has four first-round knockouts on his ledger, taking the unbeaten record of one of his victims in Denmark in 2013, and his last win in February 2015 took just 35 seconds to deliver.

Church’s teammate Sam Stokes defeated Obeslo on his pro debut back in July 2014 at the Camden Centre in Kings Cross, so is on hand to offer any advice.

“My teammate Sam Stokes fought him on his debut and he said to me that he always comes to win,” said Church. “That’s exactly what I want in an opponent, someone to come looking for a win, who’s confident and throwing shots at me.”

Church was due to face Richard Harrison (2-13) at London’s York Hall on March 11th but fell ill in the days preceding the event titled ‘Knuckle 2 Knuckle’ that saw underdog Chris Hobbs (6-1-1) defeat favourite Jordan Joseph (6-1-1) on points to win the Southern Area light-heavyweight title.

The 27-year-old Essex boxer was initially devastated at his situation after an eight-week training camp but manager Steve Goodwin came up trumps immediately by landing his light-heavyweight charge with a new fight date just three week’s later at the local show in Southend.

“I’m going away to Portugal this week to train hard in the heat to finish off my training camp,” Church confirmed. “It’s been a long camp, having had my fight moved from March to April, but I couldn’t be happier with how it’s all gone.

“It’s nice and local for everyone to get to at The Skylark Hotel in Southend so, hopefully, everyone will get behind me and I’ll get another win on my record and push on to bigger and better fights next.

“I’m looking finish the year with a British Challenge belt.”

It’ll be Church’s sixth fight in his two-and-a-half year-long professional career, back in his home county of Essex where he originally began his prize-fighting journey following an unbeaten stint in the unlicensed scene.

The Witham resident, trained by Mark Massow, first debuted back in 2014 at the Grays Civic Hall when signed to Carl Greaves Promotions and ended his inaugural year undefeated with two wins on his ledger.

Those bouts were just four months apart but, since then, he has endured inactive spells spanning over 10 months and only managed to fight once during 2015, suffering a shock defeat to Angelo Crowe (2-6).

A long-awaited reappearance came in April 2016 at the York Hall against Mitch Mitchell (7-54-3), ending in a hard-fought draw.

The Essex boxer, who counts Anthony Yarde as a sparring partner, then got back to winning ways against Croatian Toni Bilic (1-6) on December 3rd at the same East End venue.

Church plans to move up to six-rounds after his April 1st fight before aiming for a British Challenge belt towards the end of the year.

April 1st

The five-fight card promoted by Warrior Boxing Promotions will also feature highly-rated unbeaten welterweight prospect Kian Thomas (7-0) in a six-round contest.

The 25-year-old from Kentish Town will complete his second year in the pro ranks on April 1st with his eighth paid contest and looks set to challenge for silverware in 2017.

Super-welterweight Davis Pagan (3-1) is back in his fifth pro fight after avenging his sole career loss in his last outing.

The 26-year-old from Basildon defeated his former conqueror Sonny Whiting on points in February to right the wrong on his record. This will be his first fight away from the York Hall in London.

Debutant Sam Mason makes his pro bow in a four-round super-lightweight contest.

For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962

 

 

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Ryan: “We’ll Bounce Straight Back”

tomandroger

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards general manager Dave Ryan has vowed that the Big Cats will immediately bounce back after a heart-breaking weekend saw them relegated from NBL Division One.

Saturday saw Leopards lead for 39 of the 40 minutes in regulation time at London Lituanica before losing 88-83 in double overtime before a buzzer beater saw them go down 83-82 at Lancashire Spinners.

The Big Cats now face their first season in Division Two in their 13 year history, but Ryan is determined that his side will make a swift return to the top flight:

“It’s absolutely shattering” he admitted. “I can’t fault the players for their effort in the last three games since we had to change coach, they gave everything but we came up just short both times.

“The atmosphere in the locker room afterwards was unbelievable, it’s easy to exaggerate things but it was like someone died. To see the ball go through the hoop with nothing left on the clock was heart-breaking. I’ve been a supporter of football and basketball since I was a kid – and I’ve certainly cried before –  but nothing has ever felt that bad.

“But we have no right to stay up, we have no right to win games. What we have to do now is regroup, get better and make sure we bounce back immediately – no excuses, we just have to come straight back.

“We’d already spent a lot of time building for next season, making changes we felt were necessary and trying to improve things on the court.

Essex Leopards v Leicester Warriors 12 Mar 2017; Leopards new coach Tom Baker;

“It’s not arrogant to say we have had the best game-day experience in Division One this season, all the work a lot of people have put in has paid off in that respect with the biggest crowds in the league and reaching the point we had to turn kids away from the pre-game coaching because there was too many of them to fit on the court.

“Now we have to make sure that not only do we have the best club in Division Two but we also have the best team and come straight back with silverware to show for our efforts.

“AJ [Roberts – Leopards’ American guard] said after the game ‘I’m not going out like that, I’m coming back to get us back where we belong’ – that’s the attitude we have to have.”

Ryan had praise for new coach Thomas Baker who stepped in after Leopards and Steve Ogunjimi agreed to part company a fortnight ago: “Tom’s been great. Talk about being chucked in the deep end without armbands, but he’s been up to the challenge.

“Ultimately three season-ending injuries to players who would’ve been starting killed us.

“We’ll sit down and talk with Oaklands about next season, our partnership with them is vital to our club and will only make us better, but I hope he’s going to continue to be part of Leopards next season.”

The Big Cats wrap up their season with a trip to Worthing on Saturday.

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Doncaster Rovers 4

Leyton Orient’s remain bottom of the table, after a heavy 4-1 home defeat to top of the table Doncaster Rovers at The Matchroom Stadium.

League leaders Doncaster took the lead near the end of the first half with a superb low strike from Tommy Rowe.

The O’s equalised just before the break through an unlikely source, as Tom Parkes slotted home to level the match up.

Former O’s striker John Marquis regained the advantage for the visitors with another clinical low strike, after an Orient mistake.

He grabbed his second late on to slot in from close range. Another former Orient player also got on the scoresheet Mathieu Baudry completed the rout shortly after with a great volley to secure all three points.

Danny Webb made five changes to his side they were defeated 5-0 away to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday, as Alex Cisak returns to the side between the sticks ahead of Charlie Grainger. Along with Liam Kelly, Aron Pollock, Nigel Atangana and Michael Clark who replaced the injured Nicky Hunt (Knee) and Callum Kennedy (Groin), with Freddy Moncur and Sam Dalby dropping to the bench repectivly.

Orient were the first to have a threat on goal, as Sandro Semedo’s corner was not totally cleared by Doncaster and Clark header from the clearance went just over the bar from inside the box.

Doncaster nearly took the lead 22 minutes in, when a looping cross into the box found John Marquis to head goalwards which was palmed away by Cisak at full stretch.

The visitors started to assert their pressure on Orient, as full-back Matty Blair whipped in the ball for Rowe to meet but was straight at Cisak.

Doncaster broke the deadlock nine minutes before the break, as Orient did not clear their lines properly and Rowe picked the ball up on the edge of the box and struck his shot low into the bottom corner beyond Cisak.

Orient equalised on the stroke of half-time, as Parkes carried on his run from his own box laid it off to Gavin Massey who fended off his man went passed another Doncaster defender and slotted in the unmarked Parkes who coolly tucked it passed Ian Lawlor – to go in at the break level.

In the second half, Doncaster almost regained the lead as the ball found its way into the six-yard box to Marquis who looked certain to hit the target but for a superb block by Parkes.

The away side did retake the lead, after a bad pass from Pollock straight into the path of Marquis whose shot went in off the post – out of the reach of Cisak.

Doncaster missed a great chance for their third, as Judd’s half clearance fell to Alfie May inside the box but he dragged his shot well wide of the target.

The away side spared another glorious chance, as they broke from an Orient corner and substitute Andy Williams was played in on goal but hit his shot well over.

Williams again was played through Orient’s own wrong doing and burst to the edge of the box but blazed his shot well over.

Doncaster grabbed their third with eight minutes to play, as Williams again broke free of the defence this time he squared the ball across goal for Marquis to fire past Cisak.

The away side got their fourth with four minutes remaining, as the cross came in and Baudry’s first time fierce volley flew into the bottom corner – to see off the O’s and take all three points.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Alex Cisak, 4 Liam Kelly (C), 6 Tom Parkes, 7 Michael Collins, 11 Gavin Massey, 15 Nigel Atangana (88), 22 Sandro Semedo, 25 Aaron Pollock, 28 Josh Koroma (77), 29 Myles Judd, 34 Michael Clark,

Substitutes: 24 Sam Sargeant, 19 Teddy Mezague, 20 Rowan Liburd, 23 Freddy Moncur, 30 Sam Dalby (77), 31 Steven Alzate (88), 38 Dan Happe

Doncaster Lineup: 38 Ian Lawlor (45), 2 Craig Alcock, 5 Mathiey Baudry, 6 Andy Butler, 9 John Marquis, 10 Tommy Rowe, 17 Matty Blair, 24 Niall Mason, 25 Conor Grant, 26 James Coppinger (78), 39 Alfie May (72)

Substitutes: 13 Marko Marosi (45), 7 Gary McSheffrey (78), 11 Andy Williams (72), 12 Mitchell Lund, 14 Harry Middleton, 19 Liam Mandwville, 27 Cedric Evina

Attendance: 4,791 (816)

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Match preview: Kingstonian v Billericay Town

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Last Saturday Billericay Town FC beat Burgess Hill 4-0 and kept up the pressure on the top teams for a playoff place.

Tomorrow the team travel to Kingstonian for an away game – a win and 3 points is required.

There are eight games left. Billericay’s form is better than those we are chasing, Leiston, Tonbridge, Wingate, Dulwich and Needham, but positive results are required for our remaining games

Work has continued during the week improving the ground facilities as well as the pitch. The new owner, Glenn Tamplin continues to do what he promised at the Fans Forum in December 2016. The next Fans Forum is due to take place on the 23rd March – everyone is welcome.

Billericay will play Tonbridge in the Ryman League Cup Final on the 12th April. Billericay’s next home match is on the 28th March v Dulwich, one of the playoff contenders.

Two new players have been added to the squad this week, Byron Lawrence, midfielder signed from Leiston and Sam Alderson on loan from Leyton Orient. Isaac Layne has been released by the club.

It would be good to see a big crowd at the away match tomorrow supporting the team, there are only eight games left and hopefully the playoff matches too.

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Massive Weekend for Leopards

Essex Leopards v Leicester Warriors 12 Mar 2017; Dougie Bennett;

Dave Ryan reports…

It’s now or never for Levett Essex Leopards as they face a pair of games on the road over the weekend.

The Big Cats travel to UEL Sports Dock on Saturday (5pm) to face London Lituanica before moving on to Lancashire Spinners on Sunday afternoon (3pm).

Following Sunday’s 68-66 home defeat against Leicester Warriors, the Big Cats are staring relegation in the face and go into their final three games – all away from home – knowing that they may need to win them all to avoid the drop.

The Lithuanians have struggled with player availability, taking only five players  to Solent last weekend, but they managed to bring a full team to Harlow Leisurezone in December and they finished strongly to win 74-70. The sides also met in the National Trophy group stage, with the Big Cats winning a thriller 68-67.

History may be on Leopards’ side as they will look to continue a run of games between the clubs that has seen the visiting team take the victory in the eight match-ups between them.

Essex Leopards v Leicester Warriors 12 Mar 2017; Shaq Lewis drives

Sunday’s game is absolutely crucial as Leopards face a team who are two places above them in 11th place having won six of their 22 games.

The Big Cats had another one-point win against Spinners when they met at Brentwood just before Christmas, and a win at Myerscough College would give them the head-to-head tiebreaker if they finished level with the Lancashire side.

Essex Leopards v Leicester Warriors 12 Mar 2017; Caleb Tabenar

While they’ve won their share of close games, Sunday’s loss against Leicester proved to be a heartbreaker as a key call with 41 seconds remaining on the clock saw AJ Roberts foul out on an offensive call, and the visitors held on for the win.

In front of another big crowd at Brentwood, the home side trailed 16-14 at the first break, and although a  Roberts trey put his side up by one at the start of the second period, the visitors reeled off 11 straight points to take a commanding 29-17 lead

But a trey from Caleb Tabiner launched a 14-1 run and seven straight points from Roberts sent his side into the locker room with a 31-30 half-time lead.

Justin Hitchman opened the second half scoring before a four minute drought saw Warriors score 12 unanswered points to open a nine point lead.

Perry Lawson ended the run with a trey, and with Dougie Bennett scoring five points and Roberts also scoring from long range, Leopards closed out the period on a 15-7 run to only trail by one at the final break.

A Shaq Lewis free-throw saw Leopards regain the lead early in the fourth period and Hitchman again take a one point lead going into the last minute before Warriors finished strongly, and with Roberts fouling out, Lawson’s late trey was too late to prevent an 11th straight loss.

Roberts led his side with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Lewis had 12 points and four boards in probably his best performance of the season.

Bennett added 11 points while Hayes finished with ten points and seven rebounds.

 

 

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Darrel Church Fight Date Switched to April 1

DC v AC1 (1)

Tim Rickson reports…

A last-minute withdrawal has seen light-heavyweight prospect Darrel Church’s (3-1-1) next fight switched to April 1st in Southend.

‘Dazzling’ was due to face Richard Harrison (2-13) at London’s York Hall on March 11th but fell ill in the days preceding the event titled ‘Knuckle 2 Knuckle’ that saw underdog Chris Hobbs (6-1-1) defeat favourite Jordan Joseph (6-1-1) on points to win the Southern Area light-heavyweight title.

The 27-year-old Essex boxer was initially devastated at his situation after an eight-week training camp but manager Steve Goodwin came up trumps by landing his light-heavyweight charge with a new fight date just three week’s later at a local show in Southend.

The 175-pounder from Witham will now fight on a Warrior Boxing Promotions show at the Skylark Hotel in Southend on April Fool’s Day.

He said, “It’s all turned out alright in the end! I woke up last Friday in a terrible state, I felt horrendous and I just couldn’t believe it but I was too ill to do anything.

“All over the weekend I felt terrible but, luckily, it couldn’t have worked out any better, in the end. I’m now fighting on a local Essex show on April 1st instead, so I’m actually quite happy after all.

“My manager Steve Goodwin jumped straight on it for me so I was really happy with how quick he responded.”

It’ll be Church’s sixth fight in his two-and-a-half year-long professional career, back in his home county of Essex where he originally began his prize-fighting journey following an unbeaten stint in the unlicensed scene.

The Witham resident first debuted back in 2014 at the Grays Civic Hall when signed to Carl Greaves and ended his inaugural year undefeated with two wins on his ledger.

Those bouts were just four months apart but, since then, he has endured inactive spells spanning over 10 months and only managed to fight once during 2015, suffering a shock defeat to Angelo Crowe (2-6).

A long-awaited reappearance came in April 2016 at the York Hall against Mitch Mitchell (7-54-3), the pair sharing the honours in a hard-fought draw.

The Essex boxer then got back to winning ways to secure his third win in his fifth pro bout against Croatian Toni Bilic (1-6) on December 3rd at the same East End venue.

“People say that things happen for a reason and, on this occasion, I actually think that’s right,” he continued to say. “It’s not the famous York Hall but it’s local and I’m really looking forward to it!

“My opponent will be different to Richard Harrison, who I was previously due to face, so my team are looking for another at the moment, but I’m not fussed who it is – I’ll fight anyone.”

The former unlicensed star benefits from top sparring at a nearby army barracks in Colchester due to trainer Mark Massow’s connections as an ex-Paratrooper. He also frequents the Peacock Gym to spar with Frank Warren’s undefeated prospect Anthony Yarde.

Church plans to move up to six-rounds after his April 1st fight before aiming for a British Challenge belt towards the end of the year.

April 1st

The five-fight card promoted by Warrior Boxing Promotions will also feature highly-rated unbeaten welterweight prospect Kian Thomas (7-0) in a six-round contest.

The 25-year-old from Kentish Town will complete his second year in the pro ranks on April 1st with his eighth paid contest.

In his last outing, he knocked out Central Area contender Ryan Hardy in the sixth and final round with that powerful right hand of his.

Rocketing up the rankings with a few six-rounders under his belt, Thomas looks set to challenge for silverware in 2017.

Super-welterweight Davis Pagan (3-1) is back in his fifth pro fight after avenging his sole career loss in his last outing.

The 26-year-old from Basildon defeated his former conqueror Sonny Whiting on points in February to right the wrong on his record. This will be his first fight away from the York Hall in London.

Debutant Sam Mason makes his pro bow in a four-round super-lightweight contest.

For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962

 

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Lochlan Bearman prepares for new season

With the start of the Formula 1 season it marks the start of the 2017 UK National racing season and Phoenix FM’s driver Lochlan Bearman is completing his preparations for the 2017 Ford Fiesta Racing Series.

lochlan-bearman-sep-2016

After a disappointing end to last season where Bearman narrowly missed out on 3rd place in the Championship in his rookie season, Lochlan has been signed by the Jamsport Team who have run the Championship winning drivers for the past few seasons.

They have been working on Lochlan’s car and have been super impressed with him after 2 test sessions with the team where he has been the fastest car on the circuit both times.

“The car has felt great with the Jamsport set-up and I’ve been really impressed by the professionalism in the team. I feel that with Jamsport I have all the support I need to mount a challenge for the 2017 Championship”, said 15 year old Bearman.

“It felt as if I’d been out of the car for such a long time but within a couple of laps I was back into the groove. This season will be different as I will have 3 team mates with whom to share data, access to a data engineer so that we can analyse any areas where I could gain more time and also a driver coach which is something I’ve never had before. From karting I know how important it is to get feedback and data from multiple drivers as it helps you reach set-up decisions faster.

Getting back into the car also revealed that Bearman has grown 5 or 6 inches in height since October last year. “Obviously I knew I had grown as I had to have a new race suit but to not fit into my cae was strange. It was quickly sorted before my first time back out on track at Rockingham.

“We are going to some great circuits this season and I just can’t wait to start.”

Bearman currently has funding for the first half of the season and anyone wishing to get involved or help can contact him through www.lochlanbearman.com.

2017 Ford Fiesta Junior Championship Calendar
Rounds 1 & 2 – 8/9 April Brands Hatch
Rounds 3 & 4 – 6/7 May Cadwell Park
Rounds 5 & 6 – 27/28 May Silverstone National
Rounds 7 & 8 – 17/18 June Rockingham
Rounds 9 & 10 – 15/16 July Snetterton 300
Rounds 11 & 12 – 19/20 August Silverstone National
Rounds 13 & 14 – 16/17 September Croft

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 0 Grimsby Town 3

Leyton Orient suffered a further blow to their League Two survival, as they slip six points adrift of safety after a 3-0 home defeat to Grimsby Town at The Matchroom Stadium.

Grimsby took an early lead through Sam Jones’ header to shock the hosts.

The away side then doubled their lead in the second half, through an own goal by Callum Kennedy and capped off the three points with a third through substitute Scott Vernon.

Leyton Orient nearly conceded in the opening minute, as Charlie Grainger was charged down by Callum Dyson but the block was eventually pounced on by Charlie Grainger.

Danny Webb named an unchanged eleven after their enthatic 4-0 away victory at bottom of the table Newport County last week. Although Michael Clark, Nigel Atangana and Rowan Liburd returned to the bench, as Paul McCallum and Sammy Moore were out with knee injuries.

The visitors took the lead to stun the O’s just six minutes in, as Danny Andrew’s was allowed to whip a ball in for Jones to head in at the far post.

Michael Collins’ almost threaded a great ball through for Josh Koroma but his run was just too early, as he was given offside.

In injury time of the first half Dominic Vose, went for goal from a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the box which bounced up infront of Grainger who pushed it passed the post.

In the second half, Grimsby again looked threatening when inside the Orient half. This time a cross was half cleared to Jones who went for an audacious overhead kick which went wide of the target.

Grimbsy burst through the vacant Orient defence, as Jones attacked the box cut inside Myles Judd but Hunt’s last minute challenge denied the away side an almost certain second goal.

The vistors nearly extended their advantage, as Andrew was slotted into the box but he fired over.

Grimsby doubled their lead shortly after, as Jones close range shot from inside the six-yard box was superbly saved initially by Grainger but rebounded back off Kennedy into the net.

Orient nearly got themselves back into the game, as Koroma found some space on the edge of the box and hit a snap shot which went just over the bar.

Koroma again went on his own when he picked the ball up outside the box and wriggled around the defence but his shot hit the side netting.

Grimsby then rounded off the match with two minutes of time, as the ball was lifted over the O’s defence for substitute Vernon to guide his volley into the top corner and seal the three points for the away side.

Kennedy almost got a late consolation in injury time for the O’s, as his strike on the break rattled the post – as the O’s remain second from bottom.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 12 Charlie Grainger, 29 Myles Judd, 16 Nicky Hunt (C), 6 Tom Parkes, 3 Callum Kennedy, 23 Freddy Moncur, 7 Michael Collins, 31 Steven Alzate, 28 Josh Koroma, 22 Sandro Semedo, 30 Sam Dalby (70)

Substitutes: 24 Sam Sargeant, 34 Michael Clark, 19 Teddy Mezague, 32 Henry Ochieng, 15 Nigel Atangana, 35 Tristan Abrahams (70), 20 Rowan Liburd

Grimsby Lineup: 1 James McKeown, 5 Shaun Pearson, 22 Danny Collins, 3 Danny Andrew, 12 Zac Mills, 18 Tom Bolarinwa (56), 8 Craig Disley, 26 Brandon Comley, 10 Dominic Vose, 35 Sam Jones (82), 29 Callum Dyson (65)

Substitutes: 2 Ben Davies, 20 Andrew Boyce, 21 Scott Vernon (82), 27 Adi Yussuf, 32 Jamie Osbourne (56), 33 Akwasi Asante (65), 34 Luke Maxwell

Attendance: 5,688 (1,086)

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Billericay Town FC v Burgess Hill – Saturday 11th March

A look ahead from Billericay Town supporter Mike Joyce

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It’s been another exciting and disappointing week. On Saturday the team won at Harlow, a game they dominated playing attacking football.

That good result was followed by a 1-0 defeat on Tuesday night at Hendon. With so much talent in the squad goalscoring chances were limited.

The match officials were poor again but that shouldn’t be used as an excuse – we need to create more goal scoring chances and take advantage of them.

Although it will be difficult a playoff place is still a possibility; with 9 games left there are still 27points available. BTFC are on 54 points – in previous seasons 81 points has ensured a playoff place.

A big finish is required and we cannot afford many more setbacks such as the Hendon result. We need more goals from the forwards and strong solid defence. Joe Ellul is available Saturday and Paul Konchesky will be making his home debut.

It’s a big game Saturday 11th March v Burgess Hill, and it requires a big result and importantly a big crowd supporting the team.

The push promotion could continue on Saturday dependant upon the result, playoffs this season would be a big bonus. It was stated in November when the new owner took over that he wanted promotion within 18 months.

Off the field supporters will anticipate continued development of the club, Glenn Tamplin hasn’t been slow in his promises of improving not only the team but also the clubs facilities.

An exciting, attacking game is expected, it would be good to beat the best attendance of the season, that was 561 on the 23rd February. The future appears very good for Billericay’s town football club, come along and see for yourself.

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Match report: Chelmsford City 0 Maidenhead United 1

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Melbourne Stadium

Chelmsford City suffered their first home defeat of the season in the Vanarama National League South, as they slipped to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of fellow promotion hopefuls Maidenhead United.

Chelmsford City 06 03 2017

Clarets manager Rod Stringer made 2 changes from the side that started the 2-2 draw at Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday, courtesy of a brilliant injury time equaliser by striker Chris Dickson. Anthony Church – who captained the side – and Liam Enver-Marum came in for Kane Haysman, who dropped to the subs bench, and Shaun Jeffers.

Visitors Maidenhead, in 2nd place at the start of play and managed by former West Ham and England midfielder Alan Devonshire came into this game on the back of a frustrating goalless draw at home to Hampton & Richmond at the weekend. The ex-Braintree boss dropped Sam Barratt and Ryan Peters to the bench from the eleven who started that game, Remy Clerima and James Mulley coming into his side.

Chances were few and far between for either side in what was a scrappy first quarter, with neither side demonstrating much in the way if flowing football. but the game sprang into life after 23 minutes when Maidenhead had the first real chances of the game. The league’s top scorer Dave Tarpey fired in a shot which Clarets right-back Joshua Hill heroically cleared off the line, and when Tarpey had a second effort from the rebound Josh Rees was there to defect the danger.

After that, both sides cancelled each other out for the remainder of what was a largely uneventful first 45 minutes, until just before the stroke of half time when Maidenhead were awarded a penalty for an apparent handball by Hill inside the box. Tarpey stepped up to take the spot kick and made no mistake, firing a thunderbolt of a penalty past Ross Fitzsimons in the Chelmsford goal to put his side 1-0 up at the interval, and score his 33rd league goal of the season in the process.

After the break the first real chance fell to City in the 51st minute, Willmott’s corner resulting in a chance which Liam Enver-Marum narrowly sent over the bar. Chris Dickson had chance on 54 when he connected with Max Porter’s cross, but his header was saved by United keeper Carl Pentney.

The Clarets came agonisingly close to an equaliser in the 59th minute, when Pentney dropped a shot from Dickson and Rees had a shot blocked on the line. Then on the hour they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after Willmott was fouled, one of referee Lee Venamore’s less dubious decisions of the match. Willmott fired the kick straight at goal but Harry Pritchard cleared the danger for the visitors. Then on 72 Fitzsimons was alert enough to save a Maidenhead free kick, following a foul on Tarpey. The same player had a chance for Maidenhead on the break in the 76th minute, but his effort was superbly saved by Fitzsimons.

The visitors had another couple of great chances just before the game entered the final 10 minutes, both of which went just wide of the the right hand post. Chelmsford kept trying to break down the visitors’ stubborn defence, but it proved to no avail although late substitute Max Cornhill came agonisingly close to an equaliser a minute from time, almost meeting a cross with his head.

So Maidenhead returned to the top of the league and it was a happy trip back to Berkshire for the small band of visiting supporters. Stringer was left scratching his head at some of the refereeing decisions, but with a lot of positives to take from a performance that – especially in the second half – could easily have resulted in a different outcome.

Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Hill, Graham, Porter (Cornhill 88), Bush, Spillane, Willmott, Church, Enver-Marum, Dickson, Rees (Buchanan 75).

Maidenhead: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Parkinson, Massey, Inman, Tarpey (Barratt 78), Comley, Marks, Mulley, Pritchard.

Attendance: 847

Chelmsford manager Rod Stringer, speaking to Phoenix FM just after the final whistle was clearly unhappy with some of the refereeing decisions during the match, describing he penalty as ‘a bit of a harsh decision’ but was pleased with many aspects of his team’s performance, particularly in the second half:

“I thought we worked hard, I thought we battled hard….in the second half I thought we absolutely slaughtered them (Maidenhead) but unfortunately that goal at half time (the penalty) killed us a little bit….I thought a lot of the decisions tonight were strange decisions…..but I’ve got to say to my boys, that’s a moral victory”, said the Clarets boss.

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Leopards Look for Home Comforts

Essex Leopards v Hemel Storm 05 Mar 2017; Mike Martin;

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards will look to round off their home campaign with a win when they host Leicester Warriors at the Brentwood Centre on Sunday, tip-off 4pm.

The Big Cats are desperately in need of a win after another disappointing weekend and with four games remaining know that a victory is crucial if they are to avoid relegation for the first time in their history.

They are now second-from-bottom in Division One and one win behind fellow strugglers Worthing Thunder and Lancashire Spinners, both of whom they travel to in their final two games of the season.

Leicester will arrive at Brentwood on the back of a 90-87 victory against high-flying Solent Kestrels which secured them a place in Division One next season and are tenth in the table with an 8-14 record. Among those eight wins was an 85-71 victory against the Big Cats in November in a game that saw point guard Perry Lawson ejected.

Warriors’ National Cup hopes were ended at the last 16 stage by eventual winners Team Northumbria while in the National Trophy a win against Loughborough wasn’t enough as they were eliminated at the group stage by old rivals Derby Trailblazers.

dougie v hemel

Leopards’ relegation worried intensified over the weekend as they went down 85-78 at Bradford Dragons on Saturday before the following afternoon saw a humiliating 89-63 home loss against Hemel Storm at a packed Brentwood Centre.

A strong second half at Bradford wasn’t enough for a Leopards’ side who trailed 49-34 at half-time. A basket from Dougie Bennett capped an 8-0 run from the visitors and made it a three point game with 22 seconds remaining, but the home side wrapped up the win from the foul line.

Bennett led the way for the Big Cats with three three-pointers in his 19 points, while AJ Roberts added 18 points. Jamie Hayes finished with 14 points and six rebounds, with Justin Hitchman adding 12 points and eight boards.

After than encouraging second half performance and with captain Mike Martin returning from injury, the large crowd at Brentwood could have expected a strong performance against Storm, but a terrible second period saw Leopards crash to a tenth straight league loss.

They matched the visitors in the opening period, trailing only 20-18 at the first break but the offence completely dried up in the second quarter as they were outscored 24-6 to effectively end the game as a contest.

Martin marked his return with a game-high 20 points and three rebounds while Bennett completed a good personal weekend with 14 points, but the Big Cats converting just five of their 26 three-points proved to be their Achilles heel.

 

 

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – March 3rd 2017

Still on sabbatical, Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (March 4th ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

West Ham Utd  v  Chelsea  – Monday 6th March –  KO 7.45pm  (Premier League)

Venue: The London Stadium

Ipswich Town 1  – 1  Brentford    (EFL Championship)

The Tractor Boys were held by fellow mid-table side Brentford at Portman Road. On-loan midfielder Emyr Huws gave the home side the lead, before Nico Yennaris levelled just before the break. This was Ipswich’s fourth league 1-1 draw in a row, they drop to 15th place. Brentford are now unbeaten in three league matches, residing in 14th place.

Southend Utd  1  – 1    Port Vale      (EFL League One)

The Shrimpers came from behind to hold the Valiants at Roots Hall. Much-travelled midfielder Chris Eagles put the visitors ahead with just 12 minutes left. Though Anthony Wordsworth levelled for Phil Brown’s men with five minutes remaining. Southend remain 7th in the table, just four points behind the top six. Port Vale remain in the bottom four, sitting 22nd & four points from safety, having failed to win in nine league matches now.

Cambridge Utd  1 –  1  Colchester Utd        (EFL League Two)

Colchester grabbed a point late-on at the Abbey Stadium. Gerry McDonagh put Cambridge ahead on 20 minutes. With time ticking away, substitute Sammie Szmodics levelled for John McGreal’s men. Cambridge drop to 12th place. Colchester remain in 9th spot, three points away from the play-off spots.

Newport County  0  –  4  Leyton Orient     (EFL League Two)

The O’s recorded a very important win at Valley Parade in the battle of the bottom two sides. Steven Alzate put the visitors ahead after just eight minutes. Josh Koroma then grabbed a first-half brace to give Danny Webb’s side a commanding lead at half-time, in front of 395 travelling Orient supporters. Koroma completed his hat-trick from the spot mid-way through the second-half. Newport remain bottom, but crucially now 11 points from safety after extending their winless run to seven league matches. Orient’s woes have eased a little, though they remain 23rd and are five points from safety.

Braintree Town 1   –  2  Wrexham    (National League Premier)

The Iron were defeated by a resurgent Wrexham at Cressing Road. Michael Cheek gave the hosts the lead with just moments on the clock, though just minutes later Ntumba Massanka levelled for Dean Keates’ men. On the hour, Ollie Shenton grabbed all three points for the visitors. Braintree drop to 18th spot, six points ahead of the bottom four. Wrexham, who’ve now won six of their last nine league matches, remain in 10th place, eight points off the play-off spots.

Gateshead  1  –  0   Dag & Red           (National League Premier)

The Heed narrowly defeated the Daggers at the Gateshead International Stadium. Danny Johnson’s goal early in the second-half was enough to give Neil Aspin’s side their 5th league win in-a-row. They reside in 7th place, just two points away from the play-off spots.

Concord Rangers  0   –  0  Margate  (National League South)

Concord were held in a inglorious stalemate by bottom side Margate at the Aspect Arena. Adam Flanagan’s men fall to 17th spot. Margate pick up their first point in ten league matches, though remain bottom, 13 points from safety.

Ebbsfleet Utd  6  –  1   East Thurrock Utd  (National League South)

The Rocks endured a bruising afternoon at Stonebridge Road. It started well for John Coventry’s side as a early penalty from Reece Harris gave them the lead. Though leaders Ebbsfleet showed their mettle as goals from Anthony Cook (2) and Andy Drury meant they lead 3-1 at half-time. Drury’s second of the afternoon, coupled with late goals from Jack Powell and Darren McQueen added some gloss to a great afternoon for Daryl McMahon’s side. Ebbsfleet’s 9th win in their last ten league matches sees them go top, two points clear of Maidenhead Utd. East Thurrock remain 13th, firmly mid-table.

Hemel Hempstead Town  2   – 2  Chelmsford City        (National League South)

The Clarets fought back to grab a point at Vauxhall Road. A Jordan Parkes penalty put the hosts ahead just past the hour. Moments later, Chris Dickson levelled for the visitors. Parkes grabbed his brace with eight minutes left as Hemel re-took the lead. Though in added-time, Dickson completed a brace of his own to give Rod Stringer’s men a share of the spoils. Hemel remain in 9th place, 11 points off the play-off positions. Chelmsford remain 4th.

Harlow Town 0  –  2  Billericay Town      (Ryman League Premier Division)

Billericay, under the caretaker charge of owner Glenn Tamplin following Craig Edwards’ resignation earlier in the week, grabbed a important win at the Harlow Arena. Goals from Adam Cunnington and Billy Bricknell either side of the break grabbed all three points for ‘Ricay. Their play-off charge is well & truly on as they rise to 9th place, six points away from the play-off positions.

Bowers & Pitsea    5   –   0   Ware              (Ryman League Division North)

Bowers thumped Ware at the Len Salmon Stadium. Goals from Martyn Stokes, Brad Warner and David Knight saw Rob Small’s men go 3-0 up within the first ten minutes. Knight completed his hat-trick with goals either side of the break to give play-off chasing Bowers & Pitsea a big win. Bowers remain in 5th spot, a point clear of Cheshunt in 6th. Ware’s 5th league defeat in-a-row leaves them in 20th spot, four points clear of the bottom three.

Tilbury   2  –  0   Brentwood Town      (Ryman League Division North)

Brentwood stuttered to a disappointing defeat to mid-table Tilbury at Chadfields. Lewis Jaggs put the Dockers ahead just before the break. Late on, Aaron Waters made the points safe for Gary Henty’s men. Tilbury rise to 12th spot, after their first win in eight league matches. Brentwood remain 22nd, two points from safety.

For post-match reaction from manager Tony Ievoli follow this link – www.phoenixfm.com/2017/03/04/tilbury-2-0-brentwood-town-tony-ievoli-reacts/

Romford 2  – 1   Great Wakering Rovers    (Ryman League Division North)

Wakering suffered more heart-break at Ship Lane. Iain O’Connell’s side took the lead thanks to Stephen Butterworth 8 minutes before the break. Though after the break, Chris Taylor levelled for Romford, four minutes into the second half. Taylor popped up again with just minutes remaining to grab all three points for Boro’. Romford remain 16th, now 14 points clear of the bottom three. Wakering by stark contrast are 12 points away from safety, remaining in 23rd spot.

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Thank you for reading. After a three-week break, my local Round-up’s will return on Saturday April 1st. Have a good month in March!

In the meantime, check out my blog – survivor16b.wordpress.com for Match Reports on all the matches I watch, mainly in Essex Senior League, though some are from Ryman Leagues too, and other articles.

If you fancy it, here is the report of the match I went to see today (Sat 4.3.17)  – Rochford Town v Lakeside in the Essex Olympian League Division Two:  survivor16b.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/rochford-town-1-3-lakeside/

 

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Konchesky in, Edwards out

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The big news this week is the signing of Paul Konchesky, the ex-premiership and international player, someone with a wealth of experience, it doesn’t get much bigger than that in the Ryman League.

The other big story is Craig Edwards who has been the clubs manager for 7yrs has decided to leave the club. Craig has been successful in his time with BTFC taking them to the title in 2011/12 as well as winning a cup. He was a good manager and worked well with limited resources during his tenure. It doesn’t appear there will be time to sign a new manager before the end of the season so Glenn Tamplin will take over with the assistance of senior professionals at the club.

On Tuesday 28th February BTFC drew 2-2 at Enfield, it was another hard fought game, we were leading 2-0 when we suffered another unfortunate sending off of Alex Stephenson. There were some very good performances, new goal keeper Alan Julian, Matt Johnson, Adam Cunnington & new signing Mekhi McLeod. We now move forward to the away fixture at Harlow Town on Saturday which should include Paul Konchesky making his club debut.

With 11 league games left 29 points is still a possibility, teams in previous seasons have reached the playoffs with 80+ points, so the dream is still a possibility, to gain a playoff spot. The next home game is Saturday 11th March v Burgess Hill, I think we can anticipate a big crowd to see Paul make his home debut, but can we beat the season’s highest (561), I hope so.

So much is happening at the club, but I think this weeks events have been the biggest so far, I wonder what next week has in store for our club.

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Former England International joins the Blues

Click here to listen to Paul Konchesky and Glenn Tamplin:

 
Former West Ham, Liverpool and England defender Paul Konchesky has signed for Billericay Town.

Paul Konchesky

35-year-old Konchesky, who has two England caps, has roots in the area, playing for Great Danes in Brentwood as a junior. He has signed a year contract with an option for a second team.

Konchesky went on to play 621 games for a variety of league clubs, including the 2006 FA Cup final and the 2010 Europa League final with Fulham.

He told us why he’d decided to drop down four divisions and what his hopes and expectations are for the future.

Billericay Town FC Glenn Tamplin also spoke to us about Paul’s arrival, and the departure of Billericay Town manager Craig Edwards, which was also announced this evening.

You can hear the interview at the audio link at the top of this page.

Billericay’s next game is away to Harlow on Saturday; they are currently 10th in the Ryman League Premier, nine points from a play off place.

Paul Konchesky will be in the Phoenix FM studio for the next edition of the West Ham Way, on Wednesday 8 March at 7pm.

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Leopards Look to Quieten Storm

justin v ww

Dave Ryan reports…

It’s crunch time for Levett Essex Leopards as they prepare to host Hemel Storm at the Brentwood Centre on Sunday (4pm).

The Big Cats’ relegation fears intensified over the weekend as a pitiful display saw them lose 64-58 against basement side Westminster Warriors on Saturday, and although they produced a much improved performance – at least for the first three quarters – they went down 82-65 at Solent Kestrels.

Steve Ogunjimi’s team are now joint 12th with Worthing Thunder, and as they face a weekend which also sees a trip to Bradford Dragons, they desperately need to end a run of eight straight league losses.

Hemel will arrive at Brentwood on a four game winning streak which has seen them move up to eighth spot with a 9-11 record with the signing of American forward Khapri Alston proving key for the Herts team.

Leopards and Hemel have met twice this season, with both games going down to the wire. The early season National Trophy meeting at Brentwood saw Storm score a last second trey to take the win – although both side subsequently exited the competition at the group stage – while it was only three weeks ago that Storm prevailed in overtime in a game which will be remembered for a season-ending injury to new signing Alex Scotland-Williamson.

Saturday’s trip to Bradford will see Leopards face a Dragons’ side who are seventh in the table with an 11-10 record. Having gone out of the Trophy at the group stage, they reached the National Cup quarter-final before losing to eventual winners Team Northumbria.

Darrell Bethune led the way with 21 points when the sides met at Brentwood in November as the Big Cats won a thriller 83-79.

Essex Leopards v Westminster Warriors 25 Feb 2017; AJ Roberts

Ogunjimi will certainly be looking for a better performance than the dismal display at Harlow on Saturday as they lost to a Westminster side who had gone into the game with an 0-17 record.

A tight game had seen the hosts lead 25-19 at half-time and took their lead out to 11 points at the midway stage of the third period before Warriors closed the quarter on a 14-2 run to lead 41-40 at the final break.

The game was tied heading into the final 35 seconds but AJ Roberts saw a shot rim out and Jon Johnson hit a dagger trey before Bethune missed a triple and the visitors wrapped up the win at the foul line.

Bethune and Justin Hitchman each finished with 13 points, adding eight and five rebounds respectively, while Roberts finished with ten points.

The following day’s trip to Solent saw a much better display before fatigue set in during the final period and the visitors managed just three points.

A knee injury to Bethune clearly hampered the Big Cats and he looks to be a doubt for the rest of the season.

The Big Cats started well with a Bethune trey capping a 10-2 opening run, and they went into the first break with a 23-21 lead. Although the hosts led by as many as six in the second quarter, Jamie Hayes scored from downtown to cut the deficit to 47-44 at half-time.

Dougie Better hit a triple to put his side up by two four minutes into the second half and Tosin Oyelese scored a tip-in to keep his side ahead going into the last minute of the third period before Solent hit seven unanswered points to set up what proved to be a dominant final quarter.

Roberts led the way with 21 points, eight boards and three assists with Perry Lawson adding nine points, six assists and as many rebounds.

 

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Billericay Town 4 Hendon 1

Another very entertaining match to watch and a good win Saturday against Hendon (4-1). The game had plenty of goalmouth action, BTFC were winning 3-0 at HT and dominated the 1st half, the 2nd half was more evenly balanced but there was no doubt about the result.

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It was Billericay’s biggest crowd of the season (561) and this helped to create a fantastic atmosphere. It feels now as things are really happening at the club under the ownership of Glenn Tamplin. New fencing has been erected around the entire pitch, this has smartened up the ground, work is/has taken place in the clubhouse and new floodlights are to be installed soon.

In December Glenn promised fans there would be changes and I can confirm things are starting to happen. The next fans forum is planned to take place at the club on Thursday 23rd March, everyone is welcome.

The team are now 7pts off the league playoff positions with 12 league matches to go, there is still an outside chance of reaching them. The next 3 matches are away, first to Enfield on the 28th February followed by Harlow and Hendon. The next home fixture is Saturday 11th March v Burgess Hill.

It would be good to increase our supporter base, perhaps that can happen on the 11th March with a crowd bigger than 561. Spread the word if you want entertaining, exciting football at an ambitious, caring club, Billericay Town FC is the team to support.

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – February 25th 2017

Although on sabbatical from the Sports show itself, Scott W still manages to report with a round-up of all of today’s results (Feb 25th ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

Watford  1 – 1  West Ham Utd    (Premier League)

Watford held the Hammers at Vicarage Road. An early Troy Deeney penalty put the Hornets ahead. After the break, substitute Andre Ayew secured a point for Slaven Bilic’s men with 20 minutes left. West Ham finished the match with ten men as Michail Antonio saw red for two bookable offences.  Watford stay in 12th spot, ten points clear of the bottom three. West Ham remain 9th.

Norwich City   v  Ipswich Town – Sunday  12pm KO  (EFL Championship)

Venue: Carrow Road

Gillingham 2 – 1  Southend Utd    (EFL League One)

The Shrimpers were defeated by the Gills at Priestfield. A brace from Josh Wright, the first a penalty, just before half-time did the damage. Blues defender Ryan Inniss also saw red just before half-time. Substitute Nile Ranger got a late consolation for Phil Brown’s side. Gillingham rise to 17th place, five points clear of the bottom four after their first win in ten league matches. Southend drop to 6th spot, a point clear of Millwall.

Colchester Utd  2  –  1  Hartlepool Utd      (EFL League Two)

The U’s picked up their 7th win in their last nine home league matches at the Colchester Community Stadium. After a quiet first period, Kurtis Guthrie put the hosts ahead just past the hour. A penalty from Chris Porter doubled the advantage late-on, before Nathan Thomas got a consolation for Dave Jones’ side soon afterwards. Colchester stay 7th, eight points off the promotion places. Hartlepool remain 22nd, nervously looking over their shoulder at the bottom two, they are three points clear of Leyton Orient in 23rd.

Leyton Orient 0   –  1  Cheltenham Town    (EFL League Two)

Speaking of Orient, they once again endured a difficult afternoon, narrowly losing out to Cheltenham at Brisbane Road. A first-half goal from Carl Winchester was enough to grab all three points for Gary Johnson’s men. Orient remain 23rd, three points from safety after their 20th defeat of a miserable campaign. As for the Robins, they rise to 19th spot, six points ahead of the bottom two.

Braintree Town  0 – 0  Maidstone Utd    (National League Premier)

A crowd of 1,002 witnessed a stalemate at Cressing Road. The Iron fall to 17th spot, four points clear of the bottom four after their 8th draw of the campaign. Maidstone remain in that bottom four, sitting 21st, though are level on points with Woking (just above them).

Dag & Red not in action today            (National League Premier)

Chelmsford City  4   –  3  Concord Rangers      (National League South)

The Clarets edged a cracker at Melbourne Park. On-loan Dion Semble-Ferris put Concord ahead after 25 minutes. Though Chelmsford levelled through Josh Rees five minutes before the break. A quick-fire brace by Shaun Jeffers (the second a spot-kick) mid-way through the second-period gave the hosts the lead, before Steve Cawley equalised for the Beach Boys with 20 minutes left. Michael Spillane restored the hosts’ two-goal lead with ten minutes remaining, before Lyle Della-Verde grabbed a late third for the visitors. The Clarets rise to 5th place, a point clear of Hungerford Town in 6th. Concord drop to 18th, though are seven points clear of the bottom three & a much superior goal difference.

East Thurrock Utd 1  –  2 Poole Town  (National League South)

The Rocks narrowly lost to Poole Town at Rookery Hill. A Steve Devlin penalty put the Dolphins ahead just before the break. Late on, James Walker levelled for the home side, though just three minutes later Marvin Brooks grabbed all three points for the visitors. East Thurrock drop to 11th place, comfortably mid-table. Poole though remain 4th, eight points off leaders Ebbsfleet.

Billericay Town  4   –  1  Hendon      (Ryman League Premier Division)

Billericay’s good recent run continued with a comfortable win at New Lodge. Rob Swaine gave the home side the lead early on, before a brace from Billy Bricknell mid-way through the first-half pretty much gave Craig Edwards’ side the win. Adam Cunnington added a fourth mid-way through the second-half. Marcel Barrington got a consolation for Hendon two minutes later. The Blues’ 5th win in their last seven league matches helps them rise to 10th spot, seven points off the top five. Hendon remain 23rd, four points from safety.

Fri Result: Thurrock  3 – 1  Bowers & Pitsea  (Ryman League Division North)

On Friday night, Mark Stimson’s side grabbed another important win at fortress Ship Lane. Goals from Mark Onyemah and Joe Christou in the first ten minutes put them ahead. After the break, Bowers were reduced to ten men as recent signing Luke Wilson saw red. Thurrock made sure of the win, thanks to Ronnie Winn’s goal with 15 minutes or so remaining. Ben Sartain got a late consolation for Bowers though it wasn’t their night. Thurrock’s 8th home league win in-a-row sees them remain 4th, 9 points off leaders Brightlingsea Regent. Bowers’ first defeat in six league matches leaves them in 7th place after Saturday’s matches, two points away from the top five.

Brentwood Town  3 –  0 Norwich Utd    (Ryman League Division North)

Brentwood powered to a excellent win over play-off chasing Norwich Utd at the Brentwood Arena. Second-half goals from Ife Ogunbayo, Brendan Cavalier and Lamar Reynolds sealed the points. Tony Ievoli’s men have now won three of their last four home league matches now & remain 22nd though crucially are just two points from safety. Norwich Utd’s first loss in seven league matches leaves them in 8th place, three points away from the top five.

Listen again to Tony Ievoli’s post-match reaction here: www.phoenixfm.com/2017/02/25/brentwood-town-3-0-norwich-united-tony-ievoli-reacts/

Great Wakering Rovers 2 – 2  Soham Town Rangers  (Ryman League Division North)

On the first Saturday of my sabbatical from Phoenix Sport, I attended this match. My match report from the game is here: www.survivor16b.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/match-report-gw-rovers-2-2-soham-tr/

The result means Wakering are 12 points from safety in 23rd spot, whilst Soham are still in ‘the thick of it’ in 21st, just two points clear of Brentwood in 22nd. Both teams haven’t won in ten league matches now.

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Big Fights Coming Up for the McCarthy Brothers

Kyle (left) and Matt (right) fight on 11th and 17th March respectively

Kyle (left) and Matt (right) fight on 11th and 17th March respectively

Listen again as local boxers Matt and Kyle McCarthy talk with Chris Hood about their upcoming fights.

Kyle’s debut bout is on March 11 at York Hall, while Matt fights at The Brentwood Centre on March 17th, tickets are still available by contacting both fighters on social media.

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Preview: Billericay Town v Hendon

It’s back to league action tomorrow at home to Hendon. Hopefully another exciting and entertaining game following the team’s 4-3 midweek win in the Ryman League Cup Semi Final.

Despite the minor setback at Grays last Saturday, Billericay Town FC have won 4 of their last 5 league games and are one of the league’s in-form teams.

There have also been the league cup victories which included a 7-0 win at Worthing.

We need another win tomorrow to keep up pressure on the top 5 teams in the league as the playoffs are still an outside possibility.

Alex Stephenson has been recalled from his loan period at Bishops Stortford in order to add strength to the squad. Joe Ellul is suspended for 3 games and there are injury doubts about Rob Swaine.

Your support would be appreciated by everyone at the club; fans are returning and the atmosphere has become so much better.

Facilities at the club are also changing for the better, so the assurances the new owner, Glenn Tamplin gave at the fans forum in December are starting to take place. A date has also been given for the next fans forum which takes place on Thursday 23rd March.

The push for the playoffs starts Saturday, come and join us!

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The West Ham Way – show 31 (featuring Sammy McNess)

Click here to listen to the show again:

Welcome to the latest edition of The West Ham Way, Phoenix FM’s weekly round up of all things West Ham!

The show is presented every week by Dave Walker and Kev Slade from West Ham website Sex Drugs & Carlton Cole with help from the mysterious @exwhuemployee, founder of The West Ham Way website.

Sammy NcNess 1

On this week’s show Dave, Kev and Ex were joined by unbeaten professional boxer – and fellow West Ham supporter – Sammy McNess.

The West Ham Way will be back next week on Wednesday at 7pm. #COYI

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Match report: Billericay Town 4 South Park 3

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from New Lodge

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Billericay Town made their way into the Ryman League cup final on Tuesday night with what should have been a comfortable victory over Surrey outfit South Park, but it transpired to be a close affair which the Blues ended up contesting with ten men.

Craig Edwards’ side were obviously keen to bounce back from their shock 1-0 defeat away to the Ryman League Premier Division’s bottom side Grays Athletic on Saturday, which ended their run of 4 straight league victories. Goalkeeper Alan Julian, recently recruited from National League side Bromley and who has football league experience with Brentford, Gillingham and Stevenage made his New Lodge bow after making his Billericay debut at the weekend. Blues’ Reigate based visitors currently lie mid-table in Division 1 South of the same league, and Edwards made 3 changes to the starting line up of the Billericay side that played on Saturday.

Billericay, as was the case last week when they hammered Needham Market 6-0 made the best possible start to the game. After just 2 minutes they won a corner, which Billy Bricknell flicked home to give the Blues an early 1-0 lead and they came close to doubling that lead 3 minutes later, when Lewis Taafe crossed to Bricknell whose effort went agonisingly wide of the post. Luke Moore went close with 9 minutes on the clock, but saw his effort saved by South Park goalkeeper Callum Thomas.

Bricknell continued to trouble the visitors, his 11th minute strike just going wide of the woodwork. Recent signing Adam Cunnington, who like Julian arrived from Bromley also had a 20th minute effort punched away by Thomas. But with 22 minutes gone it was captain from the night Matty Johnson who doubled Ricay’s lead, firing an impressive right footed drive from the edge of the box into the corner of the net.

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South Park tried their best to break down the home defence, but it was to no avail and it seemed as if the game would be more or less over after only 28 minutes, Taafe sidefooting the ball into the net to make it 3-0 after being set up by Tambeson Eyong.

South Park managed a goal back 5 minutes before half time with centre half Dylan Merchant firing home, which seemed to spur the home side back into action as just a minute later Cunnington replied for the Blues at the other end to make it 4-1. South Park had another rare effort close to half time with a shot from Joe Jackson, but it was well over the bar.

In the second half Blues centre half Joe Ellul was sent off for a what referee Ryan Whittaker considered an over-physical challenge, resulting in a straight red card. The subsequent free kick saw Merchant head in his and his side’s second to make it 4-2. Jackson had a chance to bring the tie even closer a few minutes later, but with only Julian to beat the Billericay keeper saved fairly comfortably.

This was not the case after 62 minutes, Jackson this time making no mistake and bringing the scoreline back to 4-3. South Park were showing an improvement and starting to frustrate their hosts, who struggled to get some fluent moves together in what was a scrappy second period. But Billericay held on and go through to the final where they will face the winners of the other semi-final between Tonbridge Angels and Dulwich Hamlet, which is due to be played on 14 March.

Billericay: Julian, Diallo, Fitzsimons, Eyong, Farquharsen, Ellul, Taaffe, Johnson, Bricknell (Assombalonga 70), Cunnington, Moore (Krashniqi 80).

South Park: Thomas, Lovegrove. Elliott, Nicholls, Merchant (King 90), Stafford (Laverty 45), Burgess (Ayling 45), Gill, Quartey, Moody, Jackson.

Attendance: 275

Mike Joyce adds:

Another exciting match at New Lodge – 10 goals scored in the last two games. This was a game of two halves; BTFC dominated the first half and were leading 4-1 at half time. The second half though was dominated by South Park FC.

Billericay’s Joe Ellul was sent off and the home team were hanging on at the end, but without doubt it was an entertaining game.

Billericay will now play Dulwich or Tonbridge in the final which is a great achievement for the team as well as for Glenn Tamplin, who took over ownership of the club in November 2016.

Every time you visit the ground, changes have taken place improving the facilities and infrastructure. It’s certainly a positive time for the club, players and supporters.

On Saturday 25th February Billericay are at home again v Hendon FC. The club deserves increased support – come along, support the team and see the changes taking place.

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Leopards Host Warriors at Harlow

darrell v drag

Dave Ryan reports…

After a weekend off, Levett Essex Leopards return to action with two key fixtures in under 24 hours as they look to secure their place in Division One.

The Big Cats host Westminster Warriors at Harlow Leisurezone on Saturday (7.30pm) before travelling to Eastleigh the following afternoon to face Solent Kestrels.

With eight league games remaining, Steve Ogunjimi’s side probably need four wins to ensure a 14th consecutive season of top flight Division One basketball but as they face all the teams in the bottom half of the table during that run, they have their destiny in their own hands.

Westminster will arrive for the final game at Harlow this season still looking for their first victory of the campaign, sitting bottom of the table with an 0-17 record.

Among those 17 losses was a 90-57 hammering by the Big Cats at Capital City Academy in November where a 25-10 third period proved key, but the early season meeting between the teams in the National Trophy was much closer as Leopards escaped with a 69-64 victory.

Tickets for the game are available on the door or can be booked at www.leopardsbasketball.co.uk.

There’s no respite for Big Cats as they then move on to Solent on Sunday for a 2.30pm tip-off.

The South Coast side have made a good start to life in Division One, currently sitting sixth with an 11-7 record, and also reached the National Cup final.

When the teams met at Harlow in November the fans were treated to a thriller as the Big Cats won 98-93 in overtime thanks partly to a 34 point performance from Mike Martin.

Leopards are still hopeful that Martin will return from a heal injury before the season ends but it seems unlikely that the former England international will be fit in time for this weekend’s games,

The Big Cats return to the Brentwood Centre with a pair of home games on Sunday March 5th and 12th before completing the season with four straight away games.

 

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – February 18th 2017

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Feb 18th ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

In the main, it was a disappointing day for our local sides.

West Ham Utd were not in action today.    (Premier League)

Ipswich Town  1 – 1    Leeds Utd  (EFL Championship)

The Tractor Boys were held by Garry Monk’s side at Portman Road. Freddie Sears put the hosts ahead early on, before Stuart Dallas levelled for the Whites just before the break. Ipswich stay 13th with this result, whilst Leeds stay 5th.

Southend Utd  2 – 2 Northampton Town  (EFL League One)

The Shrimpers were twice pegged back by the Cobblers at Roots Hall. Jermaine McGlashan put the home side ahead on twenty minutes, though Marc Richards levelled ten minutes later. Though Phil Brown’s side re-took the lead just two minutes later courtesy of forward Simon Cox. Ex-Colchester midfielder John-Joe O’Toole drew the visitors’ level just before half-time. Southend remain 6th in the table, ten points away from the promotion places. Northampton remain in 14th spot.

Accrington Stanley   2 – 1   Colchester Utd  (EFL League Two)

Stanley held on to gain a important win at the Crown Ground. Billy Kee put John Coleman’s side ahead on 18 minutes, before Matty Pearson doubled their advantage just past the half-hour. The home side were reduced to ten men just before the break as Omar Beckles received a straight red card. Substitute Chris Porter pulled one back for the U’s with a late penalty. Stanley rise to 19th with this win, whilst Colchester drop to 11th place, three points away from the play-off places.

Leyton Orient  2 – 3  Notts County   (EFL League Two)

Orient suffered another agonising afternoon at Brisbane Road as Kevin Nolan returned to haunt his former club. Jorge Grant put the visitors ahead with ten minutes of the first half remaining, before early in the second-half Jon Stead doubled their lead. Orient pulled one back through Paul McCallum just moments later. Late on, Teddy Megazue pulled Danny Webb’s side level and Orient did look set for a point. Not to be however, as Stead popped up five minutes from time to grab all three points for the Magpies. Orient have lost their last four home league matches now, and remain 23rd, three points from safety. Notts County rise to 20th in the table, four points clear of today’s opponents.

Dagenham & Redbridge  1 – 2  Guiseley           (National League Premier)

John Still’s men suffered a setback to their promotion-hunt at Victoria Road. The Lions took the lead early on through Jordan Preston. Things got worse for the Daggers as striker Corey Whitely was set off after just 15 minutes. Preston doubled the visitors’ lead ten minutes into the second period. Oliver Hawkins grabbed a late consolation for the hosts. Guiseley jump out of the bottom four with this win, into 19th spot, two points clear of the bottom four. Dagenham stay 2nd, though are three points off leaders Lincoln, who also have two games in hand.

Macclesfield Town  2 – 0   Braintree Town  (National League Premier)

The Silkmen recorded a important win to keep their play-off hopes going at Moss Rose. Two goals in three minutes deep into the second-half from Connor Jennings and Chris Holroyd were enough to give John Askey’s side the points. Macclesfield remain 9th in the table, six points behind the top five. Braintree remain 16th, four points clear of the bottom four.

Dartford   0 – 1   Chelmsford City  (National League South)

The Clarets grabbed a big win at in-form Dartford. A solitary goal from Anthony Church with twenty minutes remaining was enough for the win. Dartford remain 3rd in the table, four points away from joint-leaders Ebbsfleet and Maidenhead (who are level on points & goal difference). Chelmsford rise to 6th place, just a point away from the top five.

East Thurrock Utd  2 – 1  Hampton & Richmond Borough  (National League South)

A goal in each half for the Rocks was enough for the win at Rookery Hill. Reece Harris put John Coventry’s side ahead early-on. After the break, Duncan Colley levelled for the Beavers. Though with just minutes remaining, Tom Wraight’s winner grabbed all three points for the home side. East Thurrock stay 11th, whilst Hampton fall to 7th place.

Truro City   1 – 2    Concord Rangers  (National League South)

Concord’s first away league win in five matches boosted their fight against the drop at Treyew Road. Ex-Plymouth forward Tyler Harvey put the hosts ahead on the quarter-hour, before Lyle Della-Verde levelled for Adam Flanagan’s side just before the half-hour. Steve Cawley then put Concord ahead six minues before the break. Truro, who have now only won one of their eight league matches, remain in 18th spot – three points clear of the bottom three. Concord rise to 15th place, now eight points clear of the bottom three.

Grays Athletic    1 – 0   Billericay Town  (Ryman League Premier Division)

Grays battled to a hard-fought win at Mill Field, courtesy of a cracking free-kick by Kwabena Osei with moments remaining. Billericay stay 11th, whilst Grays remain bottom though gain ground on the rest of the bottom four, though they are seven points from safety.

Fri Result: Bowers & Pitsea  4  –  0  Tilbury  (Ryman League Division North)

On Friday night, in front of a crowd of over 250 fans, Bowers produced to display to match, comfortably defeating Tilbury at the Len Salmon. David Knight puts the hosts ahead just past the quarter-hour, before second half goals from Martyn Stokes, Knight and Brad Warner sealed the points. Bowers are now unbeaten in five league matches, though sit in 6th place, two points away from the top five. Tilbury are now winless in six league matches, and are in 12th place.

Waltham Abbey    1 – 0    Brentwood Town   (Ryman League Division North)

The Abbotts won their 4th league match on-the-trot, narrowly defeating Tony Ievoli’s side at Capershotts. Michael Spencer got the only goal of the match, just on the half-hour mark. Abbey rise to 16th place, eleven points clear of the bottom three. Brentwood remain 22nd, four points from safety.

Cheshunt   3 – 1    Great Wakering Rovers  (Ryman League Division North)

The Ambers won their 6th league match on-the-spin at Theobalds Lane. Thoug Wakering took the lead through Jake Gordon’s spot-kick six minutes before the break. Cheshunt equalised on the strike of half-time through Liam Hope. Wakering’s afternoon got tougher after Eliot Warren was dismissed for two bookings mid-way through the second period. The home side made them pay late on as goals from James Thomas and Jason Hallett sealed the win. Cheshunt go back into 5th, leap-frogging Bowers after their win the previous evening. As for Wakering, their winless streak in the league stretches to ten matches, and they remain bottom, 12 points from safety.

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Billericay Town – the first three months of an exciting new era

In November 2016 Glenn Tamplin became the new owner of Billericay Town FC. At a well attended fans forum in December, he promised an exciting new era for the club both on and off the pitch.

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Although several new players were signed the wins everyone craved for didn’t happen immediately, it was obvious the team needed time to bond. Some of those early signings are no longer with the club but a number of significant signings have been made in the last couple of months; these included the return of supporters’ favourites Billy Bricknell and Rob Swaine.

The team have now won their last four league matches and are playing exciting attacking football as well as defending well. On Wednesday evening they beat Needham Market – second in the league – 6-0, and recent wins have seen them gradually climb back up the league. Although it will be a big ask it’s still possible for the club to reach the league playoffs. One of Glenn’s targets was to achieve the first promotion within 18 months, and with the team he has assembled there is no reason why this can’t be achieved.

Although supporters are starting to return it would be good to see Glenn rewarded for his efforts with an increased fan base.

So much has changed at the club in the last 3 months and Glenn’s actions certainly show that he wants the club to be successful. Apart from signing new players, big changes are also taking place to the clubs facilities.

The next home matches are on Tuesday 21st February v South Park in the Ryman League Cup Semi Final followed by a home league match v Hendon on Saturday 25th February. It would be great to see you there, you will be surprised at all the changes taking place, everyone is welcome.

If you can make it your support would be appreciated on Saturday BTFC are away to local rivals Grays FC.

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Match report: Billericay Town 6 Needham Market 0

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from New Lodge

Billericay Town were on top form on Wednesday night as they demolished promotion-chasing Needham Market, who currently lie 2nd in the Ryman Premier League.
Craig Edwards’ men dominated the match pretty much from the kick off, and the Suffolk side’s shellshocked manager Mark Morsley admitted after the match that the Blues could easily have taken the scoreline into double figures.

Billericay Needham

Abs Seymour set the tone for the evening when he opened the scoring for Billericay after just 3 minutes, his left foot strike from the edge of the penalty area beating the Marketmen’s goalkeeper Danny Gay. Lewis Taafe, one of many outstanding performers on the night came close to scoring a couple of times, but it was not until the 34th minute that the home side found the net again, captain Rob Swaine firing a right footed drive into the left corner of the goal to make it 2-0.

The floodgates opened from that point. In the 39th minute, just after Billy Bricknell headed just wide of the post his strike partner Adam Cunnington headed in his first goal for the club from a cross to make it 3-0. Morsley was becoming visibly frustrated and was spoken to by referee Stephen Bates, following an inappropriate touchline comment.

As half time approached the prolific Bricknell made it 4-0, firing a right foot shot into the left corner of the net after being set up by the excellent Seymour.

Following the restart, Billericay were fully in command and goalkeeper Jack Giddens was a virtual spectator as Needham Market were unable to break down the home team. Bricknell came close to adding to his tally a couple of times but it was Cunnington who made it 5-0 with 72 minutes on the clock, heading home from a free kick to leave Gay stranded once more. With 3 minutes of normal time left Needham Market’s misery was complete as substitute Isaac Layne made it 6-0, beating four outfield players in the process before slotting the ball past Gay.

A magnificent win then for the Blues, who received a well earned standing ovation from the home supporters at the final whistle and following 4 league wins on the bounce, they are now just 8 points away from the play-off spots. Billericay fans must now be thinking that a late season surge for the top 5 is a realistic possibility.

Billericay: Giddens, Eyong, Fitzsimons, Seymour, Swaine, Ellul, Taaffe (Diallo 82), Johnson, Cunnington, Bricknell (Assombalonga 73), Krasniqi (Layne 73).

Needham Market: Gay, Dye, Wight, Fenn, Miller, Morphew, Ingram, Holland, Dobson, Clarke, Coakley (Sands 60).

Attendance: 401

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Match Report: Chelmsford City 4 Heybridge Swifts 0

Essex Senior Cup Semi-Final

CHELMSFORD CITY 4 HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS 0

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Melbourne Stadium

Chelmsford City eased their way to the final of the Essex Senior Cup with what was ultimately a comfortable 4-0 victory over near neighbours Heybridge Swifts.

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Chelmsford manager Rod Stringer made 6 changes from the side that started Saturday’s 1-1 draw with St. Albans City in the National League South, a performance that had left the Clarets boss ‘absolutely fuming’ at his side’s failure to take all 3 points. They faced a Swifts side managed by Jody Brown, who currently occupy the bottom half of the the Ryman League Division 1 North, but who went into this tie on the back of a solid 2-0 victory away to Soham Town Rangers on Saturday.

A predominantly uneventful first half saw the visitors have the first goalscoring chance in the 2nd minute, centre forward Adam Yusuff firing a shot over the bar. The busy Luke Daley had a few chances for the home side as the half went on, but two of them were off target and the other was saved by Heybridge goalkeeper Danny Sambridge. Chelmsford striker Chris Dickson had a couple of shots on goal as the half hour mark approached, both of which were just wide of the mark.

Swifts then had another chance after 35 minutes, their pacy captain George Cole beating City full back Matt Young, but his effort was fired straight at Clarets goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons who made no mistake. Chelmsford’s Kane Haysman had a chance from a free kick but this was fired over the bar, so the match remained goalless as both teams went in at the interval.

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The game finally sprang into life 7 minutes after the restart, Haysman heading home from Daley’s cross to put the home side 1-0 in front, with what was the former Crystal Palace youngster’s first goal in Chelmsford City colours. The Clarets started to take control from this point. Dickson headed over in the 55th minute, but he finally found the target a minute later as Haysman – this time turning provider – breezed past Swifts left back Guillem Ramon, then provided an excellent cross from the right which the former Charlton man tapped into the net to double City’s lead.

In the 73rd minute another header made it 3-0 to Chelmsford, this time from Max Cornhill who met another fine Haysman cross and nodded the ball past Sambridge. The Clarets’ fourth came 10 minutes later in calamitous circumstances. Heybridge defender Philip Anderson passed the ball back to Sambridge, who completely lost his footing and could only look on in horror as the ball rolled into the net.

Although the tie was way beyond their reach by this stage, Swifts to their credit didn’t give up and substitute Reece Grant had a shot saved by Fitzsimons once the game had entered injury time. But City won convincingly in the end, and go through to their first Essex Senior Cup final since 2009 where they will face fellow National League South outfit East Thurrock United, victors over Tilbury in the other semi-final. The date and venue of the match are yet to be arranged.

Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Young (Bush 72), Graham, Cornhill, Spillane, Hill, Daley, Rees, Dickson (Buchanan 79), Roberts (Enver-Marum 63), Haysman.

Heybridge: Sambridge, Andrews, Ramon, Smith (Grant 61), Njie, Anderson, Dark, Godbold, Yusuff, Bolle, Cole (Brown 78).

Attendance: 309

“(In the) first half the intensity wasn’t there, the quality wasn’t there….we needed to get the ball wide and win that midfield battle, and once we did that…Kane (Haysman) had a great second half, Josh Rees managed to get on the ball and play, and we managed to get the wide players in to score goals.”

“It’s been a good night….I’m really pleased for the club and the supporters”. –
Chelmsford City manager Rod Stringer talking after the match

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Gloom for Leopards

justin v derby

Dave Ryan reports…

Any lingering play-off hopes Levett Leopards held were ended by a 74-61 defeat by Derby Trailblazers at Harlow Leisurezone on Saturday, and the Big Cats now find themselves in a full-blown relegation battle.

For the second successive Saturday Steve Ogunjimi’s side produced an abject first half performance – scoring just 22 points on 19 percent shooting – and although they pulled within five points in the second half, once again they found the hole they had dug themselves too deep to get out of.

For all their injury problems, and without guard Dougie Bennett due to work commitments, the home side were architects of their own downfall against a Derby side who also struggled to find the basket in the first and third periods.

Having suffered a shoulder injury during Friday’s practice session, Darrell Bethune came off the bench to finish with 28 points and three rebounds. But Justin Hitchman was the only other Big Cat in double figures with ten points , adding six rebounds.

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Derby won the tip and opened up a 6-0 lead in the first four minutes before Hitchman finally put the hosts on the scoreboard with 5:15 on the clock.

A Jamie Hayes free-throw made it a one point game but that proved to be as close as Leopards came as M Ward-Hibbert converted a three-point play, and the lead grew to 16-7 before Shaq Lewis cut the deficit to 16-9 at the first break.

That proved to be only a brief respite for the home side as Derby opened the second period with a 10-0 run to lead 26-9 before Hayes drained from downtown to end the drought, and although Bethune scored from the Land of Plenty to help Leopards match the visitors during the rest of the half, they went into the locker room trailing 40-22.

That deficit grew to 22 after two second half minutes before Bethune finally sparked the Big Cats into life with ten points – including a pair of triples – in a 13-2 run, and six straight Hitchman points followed by a Bethune score saw the gap closed to 52-45 at the final break with Leopards having outscored the visitors 23-12 in the period.

B Amabilino-Perez hit a trey to make it a ten point game with the opening score of the fourth quarter but scores from AJ Roberts, Tosin Oyelese and Perry Lawson kept Leopards in touch and a four point play from Bethune made it 60-55 with four minutes remaining.

A Roberts ley-up kept the deficit at six heading into the final three minutes but back-to-back turnovers from the hosts followed by a Maxwell Morrison dunk effectively ended the game as a contest.

With no game this coming weekend Leopards will look for a good weekend in practice before Westminster Warriors are the visitors to Harlow on February 25 for a must-win game.

 

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – February 11th 2017

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Feb 11th ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

West Ham Utd 2  – 2   West Brom    (Premier League)

The Hammers were held by the in-form Baggies at the London Stadium. The visitors took the lead early-on through Nacer Chadli. After going into half-time a goal down, Slaven Bilic’s side levelled through Sofiane Feghouli just past the hour. Manuel Lanzini put the home side ahead late-on before at the death, Gareth McAuley got the final touch to grab a point for Tony Pulis’ men.  West Ham have now only lost three of their last ten league matches, dropping to 10th place. West Brom stay 8th.

Aston Villa   0  –  1   Ipswich Town       (EFL Championship)

The Tractor Boys struck late-on to grab all three points at Villa Park. On-loan Emyr Huws got the winner for Mick McCarthy’s side. Villa are now winless in seven league matches, falling to 16th in the table. Ipswich by contrast, rise to 13th spot, ten points above the bottom three.

Millwall 1  –  0  Southend Utd             (EFL League One)

The Blues suffered a rare blip on-the-road as they narrowly lost to the Lions at the New Den. The visitors were reduced to ten men when Will Atkinson received a straight red card just past the half-hour mark. After the break, Fred Onyedinma grabbed the only goal of the game to give play-off chasing Millwall all three points. The Lions move up to 6th place in the table, and are now unbeaten in nine league matches. Phil Brown’s men fall to 8th place, only one point behind today’s opponents.

Colchester Utd  2  –  1 Barnet               (EFL League Two)

The U’s picked up another important win at the Colchester Community Stadium. The home side went ahead courtesy of Kurtis Guthrie’s goal on 18 minutes. Just before the break, Brennan Dickenson doubled their advantage. The visitors could only add a consolation late-on through John Akinde as John McGreal’s side held on to take all three points. The U’s have now won their last five home league matches, and sit in 9th spot, just two points away from the play-off places. Barnet lost ground on the top seven today, they’re in 12th spot.

Yeovil Town  1  –  1  Leyton Orient    (EFL League Two)

The O’s struck late on to grab a muchly-needed point at Huish Park. Just before half-time, Francois Zoko gave the Glovers the lead. With only minutes remaining, Gavin Massey levelled to give Danny Webb’s side a share of the spoils. Yeovil have now only won one of their last ten league matches and rise to 16th spot. Orient have ended a six-match losing streak with this result, though remain 23rd, three points from safety.

Braintree Town  1  –  0   North Ferriby Utd   (National League Premier)

The Iron grabbed a morale-boosting win at Cressing Road against the Villagers after being dumped out of the FA Trophy in mid-week. Substitute Reece-Hall Johnson grabbed the solitary goal late-on. Braintree stay in 18th spot, though are now four points ahead of the bottom four. North Ferriby remain bottom, now three points from safety.

Southport  1   –  4    Dagenham & Redbridge    (National League Premier)

Dagenham came back from an early setback to grab an important win at Southport. The Sandgrounders took the lead through a Jamie Allen penalty mid-way through the first-half. Just past the half-hour, the Daggers drew level thanks to Jordan Maguire-Drew. John Still’s men went ahead through an OG from Robbie Cundy. Fejiri Okenabirhie extended the visitors’ advantage just before the break. A late Corey Whitely penalty sealed the points. Dagenham stay 2nd after their 5th league win in-a-row. Southport fall into the bottom four on goal difference, in 21st spot.

Chelmsford City  1  –  1  St Albans City    (National League South)

The Clarets were held by the Saints in a battle of two play-off chasing sides at Melbourne Park. Elliott Buchanan put the hosts’ in-front early on, before Louie Theophanous grabbed a late equaliser. Chelmsford are now unbeaten in their last ten home league matches, they drop to 7th spot, four points off the top five. St Albans are level on points with today’s opponents, they fall to 8th place.

Concord Rangers  3  –  1 Eastbourne Borough   (National League South)

Concord picked up an important win at the Aspect Arena. Tony Stokes put the hosts ahead early-on, before Lyle Della-Verde doubled the lead on the half-hour. Elliott Romain pulled one back for the visitors ten minutes before the break. Steve King made the points safe with his goal late-on. The Beach Boys rise to 16th place, six points clear of the bottom three. Eastbourne stay in 12th place.

Welling Utd  2  –  0  East Thurrock Utd    (National League South)

The Wings defeated the out-of-form Rocks at Park View Road. Second-half goals from Adam Coombes and Dan Walker earned the win. Welling rise to 15th spot, whilst East Thurrock stay 11th.

Billericay Town  2  –  1 Harrow Borough    (Ryman League Premier Division)

Craig Edwards’ side grabbed another important win at New Lodge. A first half brace from Billy Bricknell put the home side in the ‘driver’s seat’ at the break. Josh Webb scored a late penalty to reduce Boro’s arrears though the home side held firm. ‘Ricay rise to 11th place, whilst Harrow fall to 19th place, just two points clear of the bottom four.

Aveley  1   –  1  Bowers & Pitsea         (Ryman League Division North)

Aveley came from behind to hold Bowers at the Mill Field. Ross Adams put the visitors ahead on the half-hour. Just four minutes later, Mason Bloomfield levelled for the Millers. Aveley drop to 9th place, six points away from the top five. Bowers drop to 6th place with Cheshunt leapfrogging them after a big win at Haringey Borough.

Brentwood Town  0  – 1   Ware             (Ryman League Division North)

Ware picked up a narrow win at the Brentwood Arena. Evandro Delgado’s  second-half winner sealed all three points for Anwar Uddin’s side. Brentwood stay 22nd in the table, four points from safety. Ware rise to 18th spot, seven points clear of the bottom three.

Great Wakering Rovers 2   – 5   AFC Hornchurch   (Ryman League Division North)

Wakering endured another hard afternoon at Burroughs Park. Ross Wall put the visitors ahead early-on, before Jake Gordon equalised for Rovers mid-way through the first half. Hornchurch roared clear after the break as Abs Thompson and a hat-trick from hot-shot Leon McKenzie (including one from the spot) sealed the points for the Urchins. Wakering are now winless in their last ten league matches, remaining bottom of the pile, 12 points from safety. Hornchurch rise to 3rd spot, six points behind leaders Maldon & Tiptree.

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Match report: Chelmsford City 1 Tranmere Rovers 4

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Melbourne Stadium

Chelmsford City’s interest in this season’s FA Trophy came to an abrupt end on a very cold Wednesday evening, as they were comprehensively beaten by Vanarama National League opponents Tranmere. The Clarets had performed heroics on Saturday to come away from Prenton Park with an impressive 1-1 draw to force this replay, but on this occasion the club from the Wirral were comprehensive winners.

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The home side’s preparation for the match was not helped by horrendous traffic delays on the A12, following a serious accident near Witham. This undoubtedly impacted on the match attendance, which was expected to be higher and resulted in some players only arriving at Melbourne Stadium just minutes before the kick off. This caused much frustration for City boss Rod Stringer, who had to include late arrival Chris Dickson among the substitutes with Phil Roberts taking his place in the starting line-up, which was otherwise unchanged from Saturday’s tie.

Stringer’s opposite number Micky Mellon, with half an eye on his team’s big league encounter with Bromley this Saturday made a total of seven changes from the eleven that began at the weekend.

Chelmsford had the first real chance of the game as early as the 4th minute. Robbie Willmott, the Clarets’ goalscoring hero in Saturday’s draw took a free kick which almost connected with the head of Chris Bush in the penalty area. The first oppurtunity at the opposite end came a minute later, when Tranmere’s Adam Buxton had a free kick saved by City keeper Ross Fitzsimons. Then later in the half, Rovers midfielder Jake Kirby was fouled just outside the area, and Buxton once again took a free kick which he fired just wide of the post.

Just before the half hour mark, City nearly had a stroke of luck when a poor clearance by Tranmere keeper Scott Davies fell to the feet of City forward Shaun Jeffers, but Davies atoned for his error by scrambling the ball to safety. The deadlock was then broken in the 30th minute when Kirby rounded Fitzsimons to put the Merseysiders 1-0 up. Worse was to come for the home side 4 minutes later, when Chelmsford’s Mark Haines met a Tranmere cross only to head the ball past his own keeper.

The Clarets attempted to bounce back, Bagasan Graham having a long range effort on target but this was saved by Davies. After further chances at both ends the visitors scored again in the 43rd minute, the influential Buxton’s free kick being met by Rovers centre half Ritchie Sutton who made sure his side went in 3 goals to the good at the interval by heading the ball past Fitzsimons into the net.

City boss Stringer reacted by making a change when the teams came out for the 2nd half, with Daniel Blanchett replacing Max Porter and the Clarets looked a rejuvenated side after the break. Willmott continued to cause problems for Rovers with his efforts at set pieces, and his persistence paid off in the 62nd minute when his corner found substitute Elliott Buchanan – who had only come on in place of Roberts 4 minutes previously – who fired a 12 yard left foot shot past Davies to put the home side deservedly back in the game.

Chelmsford v Tranmere Phoenix FM 02

The goal proved to be a false dawn for Chelmsford though, and Tranmere caught them on the break in the 70th minute. Buchanan had just come close to doubling his and City’s tally when the action quickly moved to the other end. The impressive Kirby rounded Fitzsimons and scored to make it 4-1 to the away side, much to the delight of the contingent of fans who had made the long trip from the North West.

The Clarets gamely battled on, but the tie was well beyond their reach by this stage and so their opponents go through to the 4th round with a home tie against fellow National League side Barrow. Chelmsford fans still have much to look forward to though, with a rearranged Essex Senior Cup semi-final against Heybridge Swifts on Monday and the National League South play-offs still looking a realistic target, especially if they can bag another 3 points at the weekend with Saturday’s home game against St. Albans City.

Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Miller (Young 86), Graham, Porter (Blanchett 45), Bush, Haines, Willmott, Church, Jeffers, Roberts (Buchanan 58), Rees.

Tranmere: Davies, Maynard, Mangan, Harris, Buxton, Sutton, Kirby, Jennings, Stockton, Vaughan, Ihiekwe.

Attendance: 923.

Post-match quotes:

‘We were outstanding on Saturday and had to try and produce that again tonight….its been tough for us tonight in more ways than one. We’ve conceded four goals which we probably haven’t done for a while, and to be fair to Tranmere they’ve picked us off on a few occasions….they’re quite clinical and that was the difference in the game’. – Chelmsford manager Rod Stringer

‘We know that we have quality in the group and that if we get enough opportunities in good areas we will score goals. (On) Saturday we lacked that in vital areas….(tonight) the conditions were as tough as we’ve played in this season…but we did what we had to do and found a way’. – Tranmere manager Micky Mellon

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 0 Morecambe 1

Leyton Orient suffered a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Morecambe, as their task to remain in the Football League gets that much tougher as they remain in the relegation zone.

A Paul Mullin’s second half effort from range was the only goal of the match that sealed all three points for the visitors and extend their unbeaten run to five games now.

 

Danny Webb made two changes to his sides that lost 2-1 at home to high-flying Carlisle at the weekend, as Yvan Erichot replaces Callum Kennedy and Victor Adeboyjo got the nod for his first league start ahead of new signing Rowan Liburd.

Gavin Massey got the crowd off their feet early with an opperutnity four minutes in, as his low cross found Nigel Atangana but he could not make the right connection as it trickled through to Barry Roche.

Morecombe threatened after Orient’s early pressure, as the ball came to the far post for Kevin Ellisons’ to strike but was headed away by Tom Parkes.

Erichot made a huge crossfield pass to turn defence into attack, which found Sandro Semedo – he burst into the box and hit his low cross which was stopped by Roche and out for a corner.

Orient worked a great chance and were almost rewarded with a goal on the half hour mark, as Collins slotted in Massey whose shot with the outside of his boot was pushed around the post by Roche.

From the resulting corner, the ball fell to Collins inside the box and his snap shot went just the wrong side of the post.

The O’s heaped even more pressure on the Morecombe defence, as Semedo’s corner was met by Parkes at the back post but headed straight into the arms of Roche.

The hosts almost broke the deadlock just before the break, as Massey flashed a low ball acorss the six-yard box just out of the reach of Sam Dalby and Adeboyejo.

In the second half, Orient again were the dominant side and set the pace with Myles Judd advancing on the edge of the area clipped the ball back to Semedo whose shot was tame.

Morecombe so nearly got the opener, as Ellison was played through one-on-one and his shot was superbly stopped by Sam Sargeant to deny the away side the lead.

Orient used the same cobination again form the corner kick, as Semedo’s whipped in ball was headed just over the bar by Parkes.

Morecambe still showed their threat on the counter attack, as Paul Mullin early ball into the box was turned just over the bar by substitute Rhys Turner.

The visitors struck 72 minutes in, as Mullin had the ball on the edge of the area and whipped his shot into the top corner, to stun the O’s.

Orient pushed for the equaliser but struggled to create a clear cut chance, as they remain in the bottom two.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 24 Sam Saregant, 6 Tom Parkes, 7 Michael Collins (89), 11 Gavin Massey, 15 Nigel Atangana, 16 Nicky Hunt (C), 22 Sandro Semedo, 26 Victor Adeboyejo (90), 29 Myles Judd, 30 Sam Dalby (77), 37 Yvan Erichot

Substitutes: 12 Charlie Grainger, 4 Liam Kelly (89), 14 Sammy Moore, 19 Teddy Mezague, 20 Rowan Liburd (77), 28 Josh Koroma (90), 34 Michael Clark

Morecombe Lineup: 1 Barry Roche, 5 Ryan Edwards, 6 Dean Winnard, 7 Paul Mulin (81), 8 Peter Murphy (C), 10 Lee Molyneux (65), 11 Kevin Ellison, 15 Aaron Wildig, 16 Alex Whitmore, 19 Michael Duckworth, 24 Michael Rose (75)

Substitutes: 12 Dan Nizic, 2 Liam Wakefield, 3 Aaron McGowan (81), 4 Alex Kenyon (75), 14 Luke Conlan, 18 Rhys Turner (65), 21 Antony Evans

Attendance: 2,660 (58)
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Hutton FC meet Theo the Wyvern

Children from Hutton FC’s Under 9s team were treated to a free day out, courtesy of Leyton Orient FC and Phoenix FM’s The Orient Hour.

Orient school 1

The young players were in E10 to watch the O’s latest game against Carlisle. They received free entry, refreshments, souvenirs and use of the club’s private Hub Room. They also got to meet some of the players, collect autographs and have their photo taken with Leyton Orient’s mascot Theo the Wyvern!

Orient school 2

Phoenix FM’s Steve Roach said, “Leyton Orient is a great place to discover affordable football and get close up to the action, something that is increasingly rare in the Premier League.

“It’s something that The Orient Hour team was very pleased to organise and we’d like to thank the club’s Community Liaison Officer, Howard Gould, for making it such an enjoyable day”.

Hutton’s U9 manager Alex Yip said, “The experience of the day was excellent. The boys were really excited and just couldn’t help themselves trying to get some of the players signature! But I think it was the private room really blow the parents away!”

Phoenix FM and Leyton Orient will be working together in the future to bring more teams to the Brisbane Road ground.

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Ogunjimi Looks for Continued Improvement

alex@hemel

Dave Ryan reports…

Despite a pair of heart-breaking defeats Levett Essex Leopards’ coach Steve Ogunjimi is looking for his side to continue the form they showed for the majority of the weekend  when they host Derby Trailblazers at Harlow Leisurezone on Saturday (7.30pm).

The Big Cats trailed by as many as 19 before losing in overtime at Hemel Storm on Saturday before going down 91-90 in a thriller at reigning champions Manchester Magic the following afternoon.

“If we play like we did in the second half at Hemel and throughout the Manchester game, we’ll be okay” said Ogunjimi. “We just can’t play as poorly as we did in the first half against Storm. We can’t have 25 point halves and expect to dig our way out of trouble.

“We showed on Sunday that we are more than capable of competing with anyone in this league despite our injury problems, and I was so disappointed for the guys that we didn’t get the win we deserved.”

Derby will arrive at Leisurezone occupying fourth place in Division One with ten wins from 15 games but the loss of a couple of key players has seen them lose three straight league games as well as losing at Manchester in the National Trophy semi-final. They also reached the semi-final of the National Cup but were unable to match Leopards’ BBL Trophy giant-killing with a 33-point home loss against Newcastle Eagles.

Leopards’ suffered an 83-70 loss when they travelled to the Midlands in November, but both of last season’s meetings proved to be thrillers that went down to the final play before the home team won on each occasion.

alexroger@hemel

With captain Mike Martin still out of action with a foot injury, Leopards’ suffered another crushing blow during an 88-83 overtime loss at Hemel as Alex Scotland-Williamson suffered a season-ending injury, tearing his quad muscle and damaging his knee as he fell badly while collecting a pass from AJ Roberts.

With the score tied at 77, the game looked likely to be abandoned as the English big man waited from an ambulance on the basket, but he managed to slide off the court allowing the game to continue.

The long delay clearly disrupted a Leopards side who had dominated after the half-time break and Storm were able to close out a key win.

A terrible first half saw Scotland-Williamson, playing only his second game after joining last week, open the scoring before the home side set the tone with a 13-2 run.

Things didn’t get any better during the rest of the period as they went into the first break 21-8 down and they went scoreless during the first two minutes of the second period to trail 27-8 before Dougie Bennett finally got the visitors going, but they were unable to make much impression on the deficit. Despite Bennett’s shot late in the half, they went into the locker room 40-25 behind.

Scores from Roberts and Darrell Bethune saw Leopards open the second half strongly, and they slowly whittled the deficit down before Roberts’ free-throw sent them into the fourth period trailing only 57-51.

A Bennett and-one halved that deficit with the opening play of the final quarter and a similar play from Roberts tied the game with two minutes gone before Justin Hitchman gave them the lead with 6:54 on the clock.

The rest of the period was nip and tuck, and Hemel went into the final minute 77-75 ahead but Roberts hit a jump shot to tie the game with 43 seconds remaining, and during a frantic last few seconds the American guard had two chances to snatch the win before the buzzer went to send the game into overtime.

With the loss of Scotland-Williamson early in the extra period, the Big Cats fell behind shortly after the injury, allowing the hosts to open a five point lead and despite a big trey from Roberts, Storm held on for the victory.

Roberts finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists, with Bennett and Bethune adding 12 points apiece and Scott-Williamson pulling down eight rebounds before his premature exit from the game,

Hemel Storm v Levett Essex Leopards 04 Feb 2017; AJ Roberts;

The following day at Manchester saw a depleted and clearly tired Leopards team match their high-flying opponents throughout the game and had a chance to take the win in the dying seconds with Hitchman’s shot rimming out and Roberts attempted tip-in being blocked.

Ultimately the Big Cats were beaten by an incredible performance from Magic guard Stefan Gill who hit six threes on the way to a 24-point game and proved to be unguardable at time before scoring the winning basket with 21 seconds on the clock.

Jamie Hayes opened the scoring with a dunk, and Leopards led throughout the first period before Caleb Tabiner sent them into the first break with a 25-18 lead.

A pair of Tabiner baskets saw that lead grow to nine early in the second period and Leopards’ lead peaked at ten with 81 seconds of the half remaining on a Shaq Lewis lay-up.

Magic finished the half strongly to cut Leopards’ to 48-43 and the hosts continued that run as they hit the first five points of the second half to tie the game and there was little to choose between the sides as they went into the final break tied at 62.

Bethune opened the fourth period with a long jump shot, but the lead continued to repeatedly change hands before a three-point play from Hayes put his side 85-83 ahead going into the final 100 seconds.

But a massive trey from Gill put his side ahead, only to see Hitchman hit a pair at foul line and Roberts put them 89-86 ahead with 50 seconds remaining.

But it was clearly Gill’s night as he hit a seemingly impossible three off the dribble, and although Roberts put his side ahead by one with a free-throw with 30 seconds remaining only to see Gill drive from the left to hit the game winner.

Bethune finished with 19 points, with Roberts hitting 14 points and added seven assists and six rebounds. Hitchman recorded a season-high 13 points, with Bennett adding ten points and Perry Lawson eight as all nine Leopards’ players got on the scoresheet.

 

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Football: Premier League – February 4th 2017

Phoenix Sport’s Scott W reports with a bonus piece rounding-up all the Premier League action today (Feb 4th ’17).

Chelsea  3 – 1 Arsenal

Chelsea continued their imperious recent form by defeating the Gunners at Stamford Bridge. Marcos Alonso put the Blues ahead early-on. Second-half goals from Eden Hazard and substitute Cesc Fabregas sealed the win for Antonio Conte’s men. Substitute Oliver Giroud got a late consolation for Arsenal. Chelsea stay top, nine points clear of Spurs, having won 8 of their last ten league matches. The Gunners stay in 3rd spot, now 12 points behind today’s opponents.

Crystal Palace  0 – 4  Sunderland

The Black Cats recorded a big win at Selhurst Park. David Moyes’ men did all the damage in the first period. Lamine Kone put the visitors ahead early-on, before a blistering three-goal salvo in five minutes ended the contest. Didier Ndong and a brace from hot-shot Jermaine Defoe sealed the points and Sunderland’s first win in seven league matches. They stay bottom though are only two points from safety now. Palace fall to 19th spot, level on points with today’s opponents.

Everton  6 – 3 Bournemouth

Certainly for the neutral, this must be a ‘match of the season’ contender as Everton secured a handsome win at Goodison Park. The Toffees opened the scoring in the opening minute through Romelu Lukaku. James McCarthy doubled the lead mid-way through the first half. Lukaku grabbed his second of the afternoon on the half-hour as the home side led 3-0 at the break. Bournemouth rallied in the second period and reduced their arrears through a brace from Josh King. There was simply no stopping Lukaku though as he bagged two more in the last ten minutes, to take his tally for the afternoon to four. Harry Arter grabbed a late goal for the Cherries just before Ross Barkley added a sixth for Everton, though it clearly wasn’t an afternoon to be a defender! Ronald Koeman’s side are now unbeaten in seven league matches, staying 7th in the table. As for Eddie Howe’s men, they stay 14th, six points above the drop zone.

Hull City  2 – 0 Liverpool

The Tigers continued their mini-revival under new manager Mauro Silva with an impressive win over stuttering Liverpool at the KC Stadium. Goals in each half from debutant loan signing Alfred N’Diaye and fellow loanee Omar Niasse sealed the win. Hull rise to 18th place, just a point from safety. Liverpool stay 4th, though lose ground on the top two.

Southampton  1 – 3  West Ham Utd     

Slaven Bilic’s men gained another good away win, this time at St Mary’s. The Saints took the lead through new signing Manolo Gabbiadini early on. The Hammers hot-shot Andy Carroll levelled just minutes later. Pedro Obiang gave West Ham the lead two minutes before the break. Shortly after the interval, an OG from Steven Davis sealed the win for the visitors. The Saints have lost six of their last seven league matches now, residing in 13th spot. As for West Ham, they rise to 9th place.

Tottenham Hotspur  1 –  0 Middlesbrough

A second-half penalty from Harry Kane was enough to give Spurs the win at White Hart Lane. Spurs are now unbeaten in nine league matches, going outright 2nd and they keep Chelsea’s lead at the top to nine points. ‘Boro stay 15th, though are only a point clear of the bottom three.

Watford  2 – 1 Burnley

The Hornets grabbed an important home-win over fellow mid-table side Burnley at Vicarage Road. Burnley were down to ten men in the opening 10 minutes as Jeff Hendrick saw red. Captain Troy Deeney gave his side the lead early-on before recent loan signing M’Baye Niang doubled the lead just before half-time. Burnley fought back after the break, and a late penalty from Ashley Barnes reduced their arrears. Watford are now unbeaten in four league matches, and rise to 10th place. Burnley fall to 12th spot.

West Brom  1 – 0 Stoke City

An early goal from James Morrison was enough to grab all three points for Tony Pulis’ men at the Hawthorns. The Baggies have now won 8 of their last 10 home matches, residing in 8th place, just six points behind Man Utd in 6th. Stoke fall to 11th spot.

Sunday’s matches  (5th Feb ’17)

Man City v Swansea City     V: Eithad Stadium    KO: 1.30pm

Leicester City v Man Utd      V: King Power Stadium  KO: 4pm

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – February 4th 2017

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Feb 4th ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

Southampton  1 – 3  West Ham Utd      (Premier League)

Slaven Bilic’s men gained another good away win, this time at St Mary’s. The Saints took the lead through new signing Manolo Gabbiadini early on. The Hammers hot-shot Andy Carroll levelled just minutes later. Pedro Obiang gave West Ham the lead two minutes before the break. Shortly after the interval, An OG from Steven Davis sealed the win for the visitors. The Saints have lost six of their last seven league matches now, residing in 13th spot. As for West Ham, they rise to 9th place.

Ipswich Town  2 – 2   Reading       (EFL Championship)

Ipswich twice took the lead as they were held at Portman Road by Jaap Stam’s high-flying Reading. Tom Lawrence got both goals for Town either side of the break, whilst second-half goals from new loan signing Jordan Mutch and Jordan Obita grabbed a point for the Royals. The Tractor Boys rise to 16th place, whilst Reading stay 3rd, four points away from the top two.

Southend Utd  3 – 1   Scunthorpe Utd  (League One)

The Blues continued their good home form, defeating promotion-chasing Scunthorpe at Roots Hall. Murray Wallace opened the scoring for the Iron early on, though Marc-Antoine Fortune levelled before half-time for the Blues. Phil Brown’s side then sealed the points late on through goals from Simon Cox and Ryan Leonard. Scunthorpe’s day was compounded as Neal Bishop was sent off late on. The Shrimpers rise to the play-off spots in 6th, whilst Scunthorpe fall to 2nd spot, behind new leaders Sheffield Utd by two points.

Blackpool   1 – 1     Colchester Utd    (League Two)

The in-form U’s picked up a useful point at Bloomfield Road. The Seasiders took the lead early-doors through Jamille Matt. A matter of minutes later, Kurtis Guthrie levelled for John McGreal’s men and grabbed a point. The visitors finished the match with ten men as substitute Sean Murray saw red late on. Blackpool stay in 14th place, eight points off the play-off spots. Colchester rise to 9th spot, four points off the top seven.

Leyton Orient  1 – 2   Carlisle Utd    (League Two)

The Cumbrians came from behind to defeat the O’s at Brisbane Road, in new manager Danny Webb’s first match in charge. It started well for the home side as Gavin Massey gave them the lead mid-way through the first period. Only ten minutes later though, Carlisle levelled courtesy of a Gary Liddle goal. New loan signing Jamie Proctor grabbed all three points with his goal mid-way through the second-half. Orient now haven’t won in six league matches and stay 23rd, a point from safety. Carlisle stay 3rd , after their first win in six league matches.

Dag & Red    3 – 2   Chester   (National League Premier)

Dagenham won a real see-saw encounter at Victoria Road. Jake Sheppard gave the Daggers the lead just before half-time. Though after the break, Chester hit two quick-fire goals through Luke George and Tom Shaw to lead 2-1. A pivotal moment in the match came five minutes from time though as Johnny Hunt saw red for hand-ball on the goal-line. Corey Whitely scored the resulting spot-kick to level the match. And with moments left, substitute Jordan Maguire-Drew grabbed all three points for promotion-chasing Dagenham. John Still’s men have now won their last four league matches and rise to 2nd place, three points off leaders Lincoln, who have a game in hand. Chester fall to 12th place.

Braintree Town  0 – 0  Dulwich Hamlet  (FA Trophy 3rd Round)

A crowd of more than 600 saw this stalemate at Cressing Road. The Iron were not at their best, so Hakan Heyrettin’s men will have to travel to Dulwich for a replay though they stay in the hat for the FA Trophy Quarter-Finals.

Tranmere Rovers 1  – 1  Chelmsford City  (FA Trophy 3rd Round)

The Clarets held their more illustrious opponents at Prenton Park. Robbie Wilmott opened the scoring for the visitors on the half-hour. Tranmere levelled twenty minutes from time through Cole Stockton’s goal. The Super White Army will travel to Melbourne Park to settle this tie in a replay.

East Thurrock Utd  2 – 3  Hemel Hempstead Town   (National League South)

The Rocks were edged out late on by fellow mid-table side Hemel at Rookery Hill. Jake Robinson gave the visitors an early lead, before Michael Clark equalised mid-way into the second period. Just minutes later, Tom Wraight put East Thurrock ahead, before late goals from Charlie Sheringham and Jordan Parkes grabbed all three points for the Tudors. East Thurrock fall to 11th spot, whilst Hemel Hempstead rise above today’s opponents into 10th place.

Ebbsfleet Utd    4 – 0  Concord Rangers      (National League South)

Fleet comfortably swept aside lowly Concord at Stonebridge Road. Kenny Clark put Daryl McMahon’s side ahead early-on. Bradley Bubb doubled the lead just before the break. Ex-Dagenham youngster Sean Shields made it three just past the hour, before Bubb grabbed his second five minutes from time. Fleet have now won five league matches on-the-trot and stay 2nd, three points behind leaders Maidenhead. Concord stay 18th, four points ahead of the bottom three.

Havant & Waterlooville  1 – 2   Billericay Town   (Ryman Premier Division)

Billericay picked up a big win at West Leigh Park. Just before the half-time whistle sounded, Christian Assombalonga put the Blues ahead. Lewis Taafe doubled the lead twenty minutes from time, before Jason Prior reduced the Hawks’ arrears. Havant stay 3rd, though are now five points behind leaders Bognor Regis. Craig Edwards’ men rise to 12th spot.

Brentwood Town did not play today (Ryman Division North)

Norwich Utd   1 – 1   Great Wakering Rovers   (Ryman Division North)

Keith Wilson’s Wakering picked up a creditable point on-the-road at Plantation Park. Jamie Guy put the visitors ahead just past the hour, though ten minutes later, Liam Jackson equalised for in-form Norwich Utd. The Planters rise to 9th place, six points off the play-offs. Rovers stay bottom, ten points from safety.

Bowers & Pitsea  P-P   VCD Athletic    (Ryman Division North)

This match was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Check back next week (11th February) for the next ‘Local Sides’ round-up.

 

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Anthony Upton Back in the Ring on March 3rd in Belfast

Anto Upton English title (3)

Tim Rickson reports…

Former English super-lightweight champion Anthony Upton (13-1) is back in the ring on March 3rd at the Devenish Complex in Belfast on an MTK Promotions show.

Anto will take part in a six three-minute rounds contest at the 140lbs weight limit with an opponent yet to be confirmed.

The 25-year-old will be the first of the Upton Clan, which includes brothers Sonny and Pauly, to fight this year, although it’ll be almost eight months since his last bout when he steps back through those ropes on the first weekend in March.

He said, “It’s been a while since I’ve been out, my last fight was in July for the English title.

“The show is just around the corner from my house in the Devenish Complex, so I can’t wait to get back in there.”

All three brothers have a strong connection to the Emerald Isle having lived and fought there throughout most of their amateur careers. Anto won over a dozen Irish amateur titles and older brother Pauly is the current Irish super-welterweight champion.

Anto won the English super-lightweight title in his last fight over six months ago with a stunning ninth-round knockout over Luke Paddock (15-2) in Cannock, shortly before splitting with former trainer Ricky Hatton and relocating back to Romford with his brothers.

“I’ve had a good bit of time off over Christmas after the split with Ricky Hatton, but I’m ready to get back in there again,” said Upton.

Since leaving Hatton’s Gym in Manchester, the brothers are now settled with their new team consisting of Barry Smith, Harry Andrews and former English champion Tommy Martin in their West Ham Gym.

Anto, a father of one, plans to shake off the ring rust in the next fight with the aim to get used to his new outfit in the corner, he confirmed, “Just a six-rounder next just so I can get used to my new trainers in the corner. It should be the first time for Tommy Martin being in a corner.”

The West Ham Gym is thriving under Barry Smith and attracting the attention of many talented boxers from around the capital.

“You can’t beat good sparring,” the 140-pounder declared. “Got Philip Bowes here, Bradley Smith, Larry Ekundayo… its world class sparring in your own gym so don’t have to go anywhere else looking for it.”

Anto vacated his English championship when Joe Hughes was presented as his mandatory challenger in December last year, publicly stating that he wouldn’t defend the title without experiencing a couple of warm up fights with his new team first.

Upton’s solitary career loss was at the hands of Hughes in December 2015 on his first crack at the English crown. He has openly stated his ambition to fight his one and only conqueror at some point down the line in their respective careers, ideally for a bigger title.

Hughes regained his English championship with a points win over Andy Keates (12-5) last December, after previously vacating to fight Jack Catterall for the WBO Inter-Continental super-lightweight belt (Hughes lost on points), and next challenges Tyrone Nurse on April 22nd for his British belt.

Like Hughes, Anto is also keen to experience bigger title fights.

“I spoke with my managers and had a good chat,” said the 25-year-old from Essex. “The plan for this year is all good; first to get this six-rounder out the way, then to push on for titles.

“I’m 25 now so I want to be in the mix soon. I want titles this year, at least one, if not, two.”

Anto is managed by Spanish-based promotional outfit MTK, formerly known as MGM, headed by two-time World title challenger Matt Macklin and partner Daniel Kinahan.

The March 3rd show will be co-promoted by MTK and Mark Ginley, a former professional boxer from Belfast.

“It’s the first show for Mark Ginley,” confirmed Anto. “He used to be a pro so fair play to him for getting involved in promoting and starting from the bottom, and best of luck to him. It’ll be mostly MTK fighters on the show.”

The rest of the card is yet to be announced.

For tickets to the show, please contact 07951 318 081

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Clarets Upbeat Going Into Trophy Clash

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Melbourne Stadium

Chelmsford City manager Rod Stringer said he was ‘really pleased’ with the way his players responded to a rare National League South defeat in their previous fixture at Ebbsfleet United, with a 2-0 victory over Truro City last Saturday which keeps the Clarets in the promotion hunt.

Chelmsford City FC

‘I thought the boys were outstanding on Saturday’, said the ex-Aveley, Braintree and Bishops Stortford boss. ‘I thought the system we started with wasn’t really working, so after 15-20 minutes we changed it and managed to get a foothold straight away.

‘Everybody picked up their jobs and we thoroughly deserved the 2-0 win.’

Table toppers Maidenhead returned from Gosport with a 2-0 victory, and are 5 points clear of nearest challengers Ebbsfleet. Asked whether he felt Alan Devonshire’s side could be caught Stringer replied, ‘ I wouldn’t think Maidenhead feel the league’s won, because there’s still a long way to go. Maybe for the teams like ourselves (in 4th place on 48 points) Maidenhead have got enough on them, but the likes of Dartford or Ebbsfleet (both of whom are on 50+ points) maybe will feel that they can be caught.’

Asked whether he now has a squad of players capable of doing what he wants to achieve this season, or whether he still wants to strengthen his squad, the City manager said ‘I think we’ve got good depth. We have a squad of around 20 players….looking at the number of games coming up we need to have those type of numbers around us’.

‘If someone came along who would give us extra strength it’s certainly something I’d look at….but I’m not going to sign someone just for the sake of signing them. If I did bring someone in I’d possibly have to let 1 or 2 go, and at the moment I don’t see that we need to do that’.

This Saturday Chelmsford have a massive game as they travel to Tranmere Rovers in the 3rd round of the FA Trophy. Faced with a tie against a side currently lying 4th in the National League, and the prospect of playing in front of a larger crowd than usual against an ambitious club, Stringer felt that the ‘underdog’ tag can sometimes work in that situation. ‘We’re not going there to make the numbers up’, he said, describing the match as a ‘marquee game’. ‘We want to go there and make a good account of ourselves’.

Then on Wednesday City face Heybridge Swifts at Melbourne Stadium in an Essex Senior Cup quarter-final. Stringer indicated that he may make changes for this game but stressed that ‘whatever side I put out, I’ve got faith in all these players’.

Chelmsford players Chris Dickson and Christopher Bush were similarly upbeat going into the match at Tranmere. ‘It’s the year of the underdog at the moment isn’t it?’ Said Dickson, citing Lincoln City and his former club Sutton United as examples.

‘There’s no reason why we can’t take a big scalp like Tranmere, but we’ve got to be focused, we’ve got to be disciplined and we’ve definitely got to have passion for the game’, added the ex-Charlton Athletic striker.

Centre-half Bush added similar sentiments. ‘We want it to be a proper game….we want to show good character, good spirit and give a good account of ourselves’, said the City captain.

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Billericay Town FC rallies community to support club renovation

Billericay Town FC is calling on fans and people living in the local area to support its bid to revamp the club’s facilities with the help of builders’ merchant, Buildbase.

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The club has applied to the Buildbase Club Renovation Programme, which launched this year and is open to teams entering The Buildbase FA Trophy and Vase competitions. Up to £100,000 worth of building materials, electrical products and hire equipment is available to two football clubs in 2017.

Daniel Groves, club chairman, said: “After taking over the club and asking the fans what they wanted, we’re investing in a new stadium, re-developing the clubhouse and creating a second training pitch facility.”

Billericay Town FC is now rallying the local community to support its application online with the number of people supporting a bid forming part of the judging criteria.

To help the club stand a better chance of being awarded Buildbase’s product bursary, fans can register their support at http://www.buildbase.co.uk/pitch-in-your-support and also Tweet using #BuildbaseRenovation.

Local Buildbase branches – such as Buildbase Basildon – will be supporting the clubs by providing information and advice about the building products required for a renovation project.

Kate Tinsley, CEO of Buildbase said: “Our branch teams are already an integral part of their local communities so it’s brilliant to be able to extend their support with an investment that will renovate football club facilities for the benefit of all. All clubs taking part in the competitions can apply and in partnership with The FA we will select the most worthy causes.”

In February, six shortlisted finalists, consisting of three Buildbase FA Trophy and three Buildbase FA Vase clubs, will be invited to pitch their project to a panel of judges from The FA and Buildbase at a “Dragon’s Den”-style event at Wembley. Two winners will be announced at The Buildbase FA Trophy and Vase semi finals on 11 March 2017. They will receive an award presentation for their building products on finals day on 21 May 2017, ready to start renovations over the summer.

The Buildbase Club Renovation Programme is a £200,000 product bursary running throughout 2017 and 2018.

Mark Bullingham, FA Commercial Director said: “This scheme could be a real boon for clubs wanting to expand, attract more supporters and become a real hub of their local community. It will be both the non-league community and local fans that become the beneficiaries too, which can only be a good thing.”

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Big Weekend for Leopards

NGCsports.com

NGCsports.com

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards head into a weekend on the road knowing that they need to start picking up some wins to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle.

The Big Cats travel to Hemel Storm on Saturday evening before moving on to Manchester Magic on Sunday, and the first game is a must-win for Steve Ogunjimi’s side.

While Westminster Warriors look certain to go down with 14 straight losses to open the league season, Leopards and Storm are in a five team pack who are desperate to avoid the second relegation spot.

Both sides have five wins, with Leopards sitting in tenth place with ten defeats, and Hemel in 11th with a 5-11 record. It will be the first league meeting of the campaign between the rivals, with the return at the Brentwood Centre in March, but Storm did win the National Trophy match-up between the sides as a last second three-pointer sealed a 69-68 victory.

That was the Storm’s fourth straight win against Leopards after the Big Cats had recorded an incredible 22-game winning streak against the club who started life as West Herts Warriors.

Sunday’s trip to Manchester will see Leopards face a team who continue to dominate Division One.

Although they lost their grip on the National Cup Magic again reached the Trophy final with an 84-69 win against Derby Trailblazers on Sunday, and are joint second in the table with an 11-3 record and two games in hand over leaders Team Northumbria.

The meeting between the teams at the Brentwood Centre in October saw Leopards fail to recover from a terrible first period as they went down 80-60.

NGCsports.com

NGCsports.com

Sunday’s trip to high-flying Reading started well for the Big Cats, but with captain Mike Martin missing with a leg injury they were unable to build on that good beginning and allowed the Rockets to record a tenth straight league win with an 89-74 victory.

AJ Roberts opened the scoring with a three-pointer, and that set the tone for a good day for the American guard who finished with 29 points, six rebounds and four assists.

A Jamie Hayes jump shot off Roberts’ assist put Leopards 11-7 up at the mid-stage of the first period and although the hosts briefly took a 16-15 lead, a score from new signing Alex Scotland-Williamson sent the Big Cats into opening break with a 21-17 lead,

Perry Lawson drained a trey to open the second period and make it a five point game but an 11-2 run from the hosts saw them regain the lead and despite a massive dunk from Scotland-Williamson to wrap up the half, it was Rockets who took a 42-35 lead.

Scores from Roberts and Darrell Bethune saw the Big Cats open the second half strongly but as the foul count continued to grow they were unable to get any closer than four points and it took a buzzer-beating lay-up from Bethune to cut the deficit to 65-55 at the final break.

A Justin Hitchman and-one made it an eight point game with six minutes remaining but when Scotland-Williamson reacted angrily to a foul call and fouled out on a technical the game was effectively over for the Big Cats as they slipped to a third straight league loss.

 

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – January 28th 2017

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Jan 28th ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

The sides that were not in action today was due to their respective exits from the FA Cup.

West Ham Utd didn’t play today.      (Premier League)

Preston North End  1 – 1   Ipswich Town    (EFL Championship)

The Tractor Boys were denied a morale-boosting win by Simon Grayson’s Lilywhites at Deepdale. Tom Lawrence put the visitors ahead just after the quarter-hour mark. That looked to be enough until late on Jordan Hugill, ironically a transfer target for Ipswich – levelled for his current side. Preston sit in 10th place. Ipswich are 14th.

Fleetwood Town 1  – 1 Southend Utd  (League One)

Fleetwood grabbed a last-minute equaliser against Phil Brown’s Shrimpers in a battle of two in-form sides at Highbury Stadium. Anthony Wordsworth put the visitors ahead seven minutes before the break. Uwe Rosler’s side levelled through David Ball. The Cod Army reside in 4th spot, seven points off the top two, unbeaten in their last ten league matches. Southend stay 7th, two points shy of the top six.

Mansfield Town  2  –  0  Leyton Orient  (League Two)

Two second-half goals from Ben Whiteman & Danny Rose were enough for the Stags to claim the three points against out-of-form Orient at Field Mill. Mansfield rise to 10th place, now unbeaten in six league matches. The O’s fall back into the bottom two on goal difference, sitting 23rd.

Colchester Utd didn’t play today.    (League Two)

Tranmere Rovers 0  –  2  Dag & Red   (National League)

John Still’s Daggers picked up a big win at rivals Tranmere’s Prenton Park. Goals in each half from Corey Whitely and Oliver Hawkins were enough for all three points. The Super White Army drop to 4th place in the table. Dagenham leapfrog today’s opponents into 3rd place, just three points off leaders Lincoln City.

Braintree Town didn’t play today.   (National League)

Chelmsford City  2  –  0  Truro City  (National League South)

Rod Stringer’s men picked up an important win at fortress Melbourne Park. Second-half goals from Elliott Buchanan and Shaun Jeffers saw the Clarets keep up their impressive recent record at home, now unbeaten in ten league matches there. Chelmsford rise to 4th spot. The White Tigers fall to 17th place after their fifth loss in six league matches.

Concord Rangers  3  –  2  St Albans City  (National League South)

Adam Flanagan’s men picked up a vital win at the Aspect Arena. Steve King and Dion Sembie-Ferris put Concord two-up at the break. The Saints roared back after the break as Shaun Lucien and Ben Herd put the visitors level with minutes remaining. Sembie -Ferris popped up again though to grab all three points for Concord, for their first win in seven league matches. The Beach Boys are 18th, four points clear of the bottom three.

Hungerford Utd 3  – 0  East Thurrock Utd  (National League South)

The Crusaders comfortably defeated the Rocks at Bulpit Lane. Louie Soares put the hosts ahead ten minutes before the break. In the last 20 minutes, Stefan Brown and Rhys Tyler made the points safe. Bobby Wilkinson’s side rise to 5th place & are now unbeaten in ten league matches. John Coventry’s men drop to 10th place.

Billericay Town 1  –  0  Staines Town    (Ryman Premier Division)

Billy Bricknell scored the only goal eight minutes before half-time to claim a much-needed win for Craig Edwards’ men at New Lodge. Billericay rise to 14th spot, still ten points off the top five. Staines stay 13th.

Brentwood Town 2  – 1  Thurrock   (Ryman Division North)

Tony Ievoli’s side picked up a big win against high-flying Thurrock at the Brentwood Arena. Harrison Georgiou put the Blues ahead on the quarter-hour. Fleet levelled five minutes into the second half through David Cowley. The home side wouldn’t be denied though as hot-shot Lamar Reynolds grabbed the winner to take the hosts out of the bottom three. Brentwood now sit 21st, unbeaten in three league matches. Thurrock fall to 3rd place, now nine points off leaders Maldon & Tiptree after their first loss in ten league matches.

Listen to manager Tony Ievoli’s reaction to the win here: www.phoenixfm.com/2017/01/28/brentwood-town-2-1-thurrock-tony-ievoli-reacts/

Great Wakering Rovers 1   –  2  Brightlingsea Regent   (Ryman Division North)

Regent kept up their excellent recent form with victory at Burroughs Park. A Dylan Skinner OG and a goal from hot-shot Aaron Condon put the visitors’ two-up at the break. Late on, Jake Gordon pulled one back for Wakering though they succumbed to their seventh straight home league defeat. Wakering stay bottom, now nine points from safety. The R’s rise to 2nd place, now six points behind leaders Maldon & Tiptree, having lost only one of their last ten league matches.

Maldon & Tiptree  2  – 3  Bowers & Pitsea   (Ryman Division North)

Bowers won a titanic battle against leaders Maldon at the Wallace Binder Stadium. The visitors took the lead through Lewis Clark on the half-hour. Hot-shot Liam Nash levelled for Kevin Horlock’s men just six minutes later. Maldon then went in-front through Tyler Brampton on the hour. Just moments later, Ben Sartain saw red for two bookable offences. Straight after that, Brad Warner levelled for Rob Small’s men. Then only two minutes after that, a penalty from Warner was enough to grab all three points and end Maldon’s brilliant run at home so far this season. Maldon stay top though their lead is cut to six points. Bowers first win in five league matches sees them stay 5th on goal difference.

Check back next week (4th February) for the next ‘Local Sides’ round-up.

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Leopards Look to Get Back on Track

jamie v ply

Dave Ryan reports…

After back-to-back league defeats, Levett Essex Leopards will look to get their league season back on track when they travel to old rivals Reading Rockets, on Sunday.

The Rockets are the only club to have played the Big Cats in all 13 of their Division One seasons with many close games, including two four-point wins for Steve Ogunjimi’s side last season.

After going out of the National Cup in the quarter-finals and failing to progress past the Trophy group stage, Rockets have reeled off nine straight wins to move up to third place with a 10-3 record.

The first of those victories came at the Brentwood Centre where a dominant fourth period against a short-handed Leopards team who were also without coach Steve  Ogunjimi saw them win 90-73.

With only four of Leopards’ remaining 12 games at home and sitting in tenth spot with a 5-9 record, the Big Cats badly need to start picking up some victories if they are going to qualify for the end-of-the-season play-offs, while the log-jam at the bottom half of the table means that they could also be sucked into a relegation battle.

aj v ply

Leopards’ hopes of a second BBL Trophy giant-killing were ended by an impressive Plymouth Raiders side at a packed Brentwood Centre on Sunday as the West Country side recorded a 93-64 victory.

The loss of Mike Martin with an Achilles injury in the second quarter proved crucial as the Big Cats had matched the visitors until that point but the home side still put on a decent display, with AJ Roberts leading the way for them.

The American guard had a couple of huge dunks as he won the game MVP trophy presented by Brentwood Leisure Trust CEO Roger Davinson, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Jamie Hayes opened the scoring with a lay-up off Roberts’ assist and treys for Darrell Bethune and Roberts saw the hosts lead 10-6 after four minutes.

That proved to be as good as it got for the hosts despite Bethune putting them 15-14 ahead with three minutes on the clock, and it took a Martin basket to cut the deficit to 20-19 at the first break.

Roberts kept his side in touch with a tip-in early in the second period and Hayes tied the score at 24 as he converted a triple but the visitors answered with a 12-0 run as Leopards were held scoreless for more than six minutes.

Bethune broke the run from downtown and Hayes hit a jump shot to cut the deficit to 39-29 at half-time.

With Martin out of action the second half proved to be a long one for the home side as Peter Hooley took control of the game, hitting three triples in a 17-4 to open the third period, effectively killing off the game, and despite treys from Bethune and Hayes the visitors had the game effectively sewn up at 77-50 going into the final break.

Hooley hit his eighth trey of the game to open the fourth period but coach Ogunjimi was able to give some valuable court time to youngster Dom Scott-Robinson and Shaq Lewis while Justin Hitchman hit four points as he continued his comeback from injury.

Bethune finished with 14 points and five boards, with Hayes adding 12 points and nine rebounds. Hooley had a season-high 33 points for Raiders.

Essex Leopards v Plymouth Raiders 22 Jan 2017; Darrell Bethune;

The previous day saw a disappointing 63-53 loss at Loughborough Riders. With the Big Cats again short-handed, captain Martin and Tosin Oyelese both missing, it was another poor result for the Essex side.

Roberts led the way again with a massive 18 point, 15 rebound double-double, adding five rebounds, but Dougie Bennett – captaining the side for the first time – was the only other visiting player in double figures with 11 points and three assists.

A painful start to the game saw only Bethune score a field goal as the Big Cats trailed 15-4 going into the final minute of the opening period before Hayes and Bennett hit free-throws to cut the deficit to 15-7 at the first break.

Bennett converted from downtown to open what proved to be a good second period for the Big Cats, and a 10-3 run launched by Hitchman saw them tie the score at 22 midway through the quarter.

Bennett gave the Big Cats their first lead of the game with a pair of free-throws but the offensive woes returned as Riders closed out the half on a 5-0 run to lead 27-24 at half-time.

Roberts opened the third period scoring for Leopards but they trailed by at least four points throughout the stanza and despite the American converting a lay-up, the visitors trailed 45-34 at the final break.

The home side extended that lead to 17 after four fourth period minutes but the visitors showed they wouldn’t go down quietly as Roberts and Bethune chipped away at the deficit.

Roberts made it a ten point game heading into the final two minutes but an offence that lasted 35 seconds and saw three shots didn’t produce any points, and Riders closed out the win.

 

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – January 21st 2017

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Jan 21st ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town. How did your team do today?

Today’s action was heavily affected by the frosty weather of the last few days.

Middlesborough 1   –  3 West Ham Utd        (Premier League)

The Hammers picked up another important win, this time against ‘Boro at the Riverside Stadium. A first-half brace from in-form Andy Carroll put Slaven Bilic’s side ahead twice, after Cristhian Stuani had levelled for the home side. A late Jonathan Calleri goal sealed the points. ‘Boro sit 16th after this defeat, four points ahead of the bottom three, whilst the Hammers have now won five of their last seven league matches, and rise to 10th place.

Huddersfield Town 2  –  0  Ipswich Town    (EFL Championship)

David Wagner’s side defeated the Tractor Boys at the Galpharm Stadium. Goals from Izzy Brown & Chris Schindler either side of the break got the win against Mick McCarthy’s side. The Terriers rise to 3rd place having lost only one of their last eight league matches now. Ipswich remain 14th.

Southend Utd  P – P  Bolton Wanderers    (EFL League One)

This game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Leyton Orient  P  –  P Morecambe   (EFL League Two)

This game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Exeter City  3  – 0  Colchester Utd     (EFL League Two)

In-form Exeter pulled off a good win against John McGreal’s U’s side at St James Park. Reuben Reid gave the Grecians the lead midway into the first-half. Then late on, goals from David Wheeler and Liam McAlinden sealed the points for Paul Tisdale’s men. Exeter have now unbeaten in nine league matches, rising to 9th in the table. Colchester remain 7th.

Dag & Red P  –  P  Bromley    (National League Premier)

This game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Forest Green Rovers  1 –  1   Braintree Town      (National League Premier)

Out-of-form Rovers held the Iron at New Lawn, having come from behind. Hakan Heyrettin’s side took the lead through Michael Cheek around the quarter-hour mark. On the hour, Charlie Clough equalised for Mark Cooper’s men. Forest Green stay 2nd, though lost ground on leaders Lincoln City. Braintree rise to 17th spot, three points clear of the bottom four.

Bishop’s Stortford 1  –  0  Concord Rangers    (National League South)

In a bottom-of-the-table clash, Concord narrowly lost to the Bishops at the ProKit Stadium. Greg Cundle’s winner late on grabbed all three points for Mark Hawkes’ side. This was Stortford’s second home win in their last ten home league matches. Stortford remain 21st, though gain ground on those above them, now only three points off Concord, who are 19th, just above the drop zone by a point.

East Thurrock Utd P  – P   Margate       (National League South)

This game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Ebbsfleet Utd  2  – 0    Chelmsford City   (National League South)

In-form Fleet defeated the Clarets at fortress Stonebridge Road. Ex-Claret Kenny Clark put the hosts in-front just before the break. Substitute Bradley Bubb sealed the win late on for Daryl McMahon’s men. Ebbsfleet remain 2nd, five points behind leaders Maidenhead Utd. Chelmsford remain 5th, inside the play-off positions on goal difference.

Billericay Town P  –  P Dulwich Hamlet     (Ryman Premier Division)

This game was postponed due to an unfit pitch, as deemed by the match referee.

Brightlingsea Regent  2  – 2   Brentwood Town   (Ryman Division North)

Tony Ievoli’s men produced a stirring comeback late on to deny in-form Brightlingsea at North Road. Josh Gould put Regent ahead just 12 minutes in, Leon Gordon levelled for the Blues midway through the first-half. Ex-Blue Tom Richardson put James Webster’s side back ahead soon after. Though late on, Andy Freeman sealed a point for his side. Regent stay 3rd. Brentwood stay 22nd, two points from safety.

Maldon & Tiptree  2  – 0   Great Wakering Rovers     (Ryman Division North)

The Jammers got the win against struggling Wakering at the Wallace Binder Stadium. First-half goals from hot-shot Liam Nash and Eoin McKeown ensured the league leaders triumphed again, their 5th league win in a row. Maldon are top, nine points clear now though Thurrock & Brightlingsea have at least one game in hand on them. Wakering slip to the foot of the table, eight points from safety.

Bowers & Pitsea P  – P  Norwich Utd      (Ryman Division North)

This game was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Check back next week (28st January) for the next ‘Local Sides’ round-up.

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Match Report: Chelmsford City 2 Braintree Town 0

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from Melbourne Park

Chelmsford City progressed to the semi-finals of the Essex Senior Cup on Monday night with a victory over Vanarama National League neighbours Braintree Town, thanks to two second half goals.

chelmsfordcity

Both sides entered this tie on the back of weekend cup success, having both been involved in Saturday’s FA Trophy 2nd round ties. The Clarets returned from Kent with a tremendous 1-0 victory over their high-flying National League South rivals Dartford to earn a 3rd round trip to Tranmere Rovers, whilst just across the Thames Estuary the Iron visited East Thurrock United and secured a 5-2 win.

Braintree fielded a second string line up for this contest, with none of the players involved in their weekend victory making an appearance. It seems Chelmsford manager Rod Stringer was keener to progress in this competition, with all but two of the players in the 16-man squad having been involved in Saturday’s victory although five of the players who started at Dartford – including matchwinning debutant Chris Dickson – were on the bench for this encounter. Michael Spillane and Kane Haysman were the two players drafted into the side.

A predominantly uneventful first half saw both sides largely cancel each other out. Both defences were on top, with some good challenges being made and little in the way of clear cut opportunities. The Iron had an early chance from a 4th minute corner, which was headed wide by Danny Rumens.

The home side had their first real chance in the 19th minute, when Spillane’s long range but powerful free kick was turned over by Braintree keeper Ben McNamara. Six minutes later Daniel Blanchett picked out Clarets centre forward Shaun Jeffers with a long through ball, but once again McNamara was wise to the danger and Jeffers’ effort was saved.

Braintree midfield man Jake Thompson tested City keeper Ross Fitzsimons from outside the area, Clarets skipper Christopher Bush – who put in an impressive display at the back – had a free kick saved on the half hour and Kane Haysman had a right footed shot stopped by McNamara, but neither team was able to the break the deadlock by half time so the scoreline remained 0-0 at the interval.

The Iron had the first couple of goalscoring chances after the restart, with a dangerous looking cross headed behind the goal to safety by Blanchett in the 56th minute. This was followed soon after by a Thompson header for Braintree sailing just over the bar. Come the hour mark Bush’s long throw resulted in a bout of head tennis in the Braintree penalty area. Spillane was the City player to head on target, but McNamara pulled off another fine save.

Chelmsford took the lead in the 66th minute. The Clarets won a corner which was met in the box by Max Porter. His powerful header was too much for Iron keeper McNamara, who was finally beaten after making some fine saves.

City’s goal seemed to spark the game into life, with Braintree coming close to an equaliser just 2 minutes later. Matt Baxter laid the ball on for Rumens, who found himself one on one with Fitzsimons but his shot was stopped by the Clarets’ custodian.

There then followed a spell of sustained pressure from Chelmsford. Bush twice went close with free kicks, Haysman had a shot turned over by McNamara and Blanchett fired wide in the 81st minute. Then with 6 minutes from the end, Jeffers was clearly fouled inside the box and referee Rob Whitton had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Jeffers rose to his feet to take the penalty and made no mistake, his well struck spot kick thundering past McNamara and into the net, much to the delight of the home fans. Braintree nearly pulled one back a minute later, when Craig Barrett’s shot was cleared off the line by Bush. Chelmsford held on though, and go into the hat for Wednesday’s semi-final draw along with East Thurrock, Tilbury and Heybridge Swifts.

Chelmsford: Fitzsimons, Young, Blanchett, Porter, Bush, Spillane, Daley, Rees, Jeffers, Roberts, Haysman.
Braintree: McNamara, Houtfouakin, Williams, Rumens, Ashton, Baxter, Mallet, Thompson (Hayls 70), Kabeye (Manley 83), Dias, Barrett.
Attendance: 558

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Leopards Look to Make History

mike v TN

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards will look to make history when the host Plymouth Raiders in the BBL Trophy quarter final at the Brentwood Centre on Sunday (4pm).

Having become only the fourth EBL side to defeat a BBL club in the 29-year history of the competition when they won a thriller against Manchester Giants, Steve Ogunjimi’s team will aim to repeat the trick and become the first Division One side to reach the semi-final.

It will be a massive test for the Big Cats as they face a side sitting sixth in the fully professional British League having won nine of their first 15 games and with a roster stacked with talent.

“It’s a big game for us” said coach Ogunjimi. “We showed in the last round we can compete with a BBL side and we’ll look to repeat that, but to be honest I’m more concerned about getting our league campaign back on track at Loughborough on Saturday.”

The sides met in the first round of the competition last season with Raiders blowing Leopards out by 40 points in a bad-tempered game while the only other meeting between the clubs saw the original Leopards travel to Plymouth and win by 33.

The Big Cats are expecting a big crowd for the game, which is sponsored by Brentwood Leisure Trust, with tickets available on www.leopardsbasketball.co.uk.

Places are also available for the pre-game coaching session run by Leopards’ players Tosin Oyelese and AJ Roberts, details available online.

Essex Leopards v Team Northumbria, 15 Jan 2017; Dougie Bennett;

Leopards are also in action on Saturday as they travel to the midlands to face Loughborough Riders where they will look for revenge for October’s 59-52 loss at Harlow LeisureZone.

The Riders sit three places ahead of the Big Cats in seventh spot with a 7-7 record having recovered from a poor start to life in Division One which saw them finish bottom of their National Trophy group and exit the National Cup at the hands of Derby Trailblazers.

A depleted Leopards side saw their play-off hopes take a hit on Sunday as they went down 80-72 against league leaders Team Northumbria, at the Brentwood Centre.

With Ogunjimi suspended following his ejection in the pre-Christmas win against Lancashire, Roger Malpass took over as coach, and his side were missing starting point guard Perry Lawson and back-up forward Caleb Tabanar.

The Big Cats started well as AJ Roberts hit a triple to launch a 9-2 start but that was as good as it got for Malpass’ team and despite Jamie Hayes also scoring from downtown, they trailed 20-18 at the first break.

Dougie Bennett and Darrell Bethune both hit a pair of threes in the second period as they kept in touch before a pair of free-throws from Blaine Freckleton sent the visitors into the locker room with a 39-36 lead.

Essex Leopards v Team Northumbria, 15 Jan 2017; AJ Roberts

The visitors opened the second half with a 7-2 run but three points apiece from Hayes and Mike Martin in an 8-0 run saw Leopards tie the game at 46 and Bennett sunk a trey to put the home side 49-48 ahead with three third period minutes remaining.

But the visitors replied with a 13-6 run to take a 61-55 lead into the final break and M Smith made it an eight point game before Martin kept his side in the game with six straight points.

Bennett hit his fourth treble of the game to cut the deficit to 68-64 with just under five minutes remaining but that was as close as it got as the visitors showed why they’re top of the league as they comfortably closed out the win.

Martin again led the Big Cats with a 21 point, 11 rebound double-double, with Bennett adding 16 points. Roberts, who in Lawson’s absence played all 40 minutes, finished 13 points, ten assists and seven rebounds. Smith led the visitors with a 20 point, 11 rebound double as the North-East side dominated on the boards.

 

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – January 14th 2017

Scott W once again reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Jan 14th ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

West Ham Utd 3 – 0 Crystal Palace (Premier League)

The Hammers picked up a morale-boosting win against ex-boss Sam Allardyce’s new club at the London Stadium. Three goals in a 20 minute spell from Sofiane Feghouli, Andy Carroll & Manuel Lanzini sealed the points for Slaven Bilic’s side. West Ham rise to 12th place in the EPL table, whilst Palace sit 17th, outside the bottom three on goal difference, having failed to win in seven league matches now.

Ipswich Town 3 – 2 Blackburn Rovers (EFL Championship)

The Tractor Boys won a hard-fought game at Portman Road. Tom Lawrence put Mick McCarthy’s side ahead five minutes before the break, though Hope Akpan levelled just before the interval. Christophe Berra & another from hot-shot Lawrence put the home side two goals clear, though a penalty from Danny Graham reduced the arrears. Town held on though for all three points.  Ipswich rise to 14th spot, whilst Blackburn remain 22nd, a point from safety, having won only one of their last eight league matches.

Southend Utd 2 – 1 Rochdale (EFL League One)

The Blues defeated in-form Rochdale at Roots Hall. Mac-Antoine Fortune put Phil Brown’s side ahead on the quarter-hour mark. Dale lost Keith Keane to a straight red card just 21 minutes in, though the referee levelled that out soon after as Jermaine McGlashan was off for two bookings soon after the half hour. Keith Hill’s side took advantage mid-way through the break through Calvin Andrew though Simon Cox’s late winner grabbed all three points for the Shrimpers. Southend are 7th in the League 1 table, a point off the top six. Dale stay 5th, though lose ground on the top two.

Newport County 1 – 1 Colchester Utd (EFL League Two)

The U’s came from behind to hold bottom side Newport at Rodney Parade. Josh Sheehan put Graham Westley’s side ahead midway through the first period. A penalty from Chris Porter grabbed a point for the visitors ten minutes before the break. The Exiles are six points from safety, having not won in nine league matches now. By contrast, Colchester are now unbeaten in nine league matches, and sit 7th, seven points behind the promotion places.

Portsmouth 2 – 1 Leyton Orient (EFL League Two)

Pompey continued their decent home form, defeating the O’s at Fratton Park. Conor Chaplin got both the home side’s goals, while Gavin Massey grabbed the Orient goal. Portsmouth reside in 4th spot, just two points off the promotion places, while Orient remain 20th, just two points clear of the bottom two.

Dag & Red did not play today.

Dartford 0  –  1 Chelmsford City     (FA Trophy Second Round)

The Clarets defeated the Darts in an all-National League South tie at Princes Park. A solitary goal from recent signing Chris Dickson twenty minutes from time was enough to see Rod Stringer’s side advance to the next round.

East Thurrock Utd 2 – 5 Braintree Town (FA Trophy Second Round)

An all-action match at Rookery Hill saw the Iron advance to Round Three. A quick-fire hat-trick from Michael Cheek saw Hakan Heyrettin’s men three up just after the break. Prolific scorer Sam Higgins converted a penalty soon afterwards to give the Rocks some hope though goals from Jack Midson and Lee Barnard ended those hopes. Higgins grabbed a second late on.

Concord Rangers  3 – 3  Oxford City (National League South)

Concord showed no little amount of battling spirit to hold mid-table Oxford City at the Aspect Arena. Michael Fandop put the visitors ahead 25 minutes in, though the Beach Boys levelled soon after through Lyle Della-Verde. Matt Peake-Pijnen put City back ahead soon after the break. Though Steve Cawley’s penalty just seven minutes later made it 2-2. Justin Merritt’s men re-took the lead through Stephane Ngamvoulou just part the hour mark. Concord wouldn’t be denied though as another spot-kick from Cawley ensured honours were even. Concord rise to 19th spot, a point clear of the bottom three. Oxford City stay 14th.

Leiston 4 – 1 Billericay Town (Ryman Premier Division)

High-flying Leiston showed their mettle against Billericay at Victory Road. It started well for the visitors as new signing Christian Assombalonga netted just five minutes into his debut for Craig Edwards’ side. Though the home side roared back through a Matt Blake brace to lead at the break. Goals from Niko Muir-Merchant and Oliver Brown late on, sealed the win. Glenn Driver’s men rise to 4th in the table, six points off leaders Bognor Regis. Billericay stay 15th, 12 points off the play-off spots.

Brentwood Town P – P Wroxham (Ryman Division North)

This match was postponed on Friday evening due to the inclement weather this week.

Great Wakering Rovers 0 – 5 Dereham Town (Ryman Division North)

Wakering suffered another painful defeat at Burroughs Park, this time to mid-table Dereham Town. A brace from Daniel Beaumont put the Magpies two up. Further goals from Joe Gatting (2), Nikki Beale (OG) completed a handsome win for Matt Henman’s side. Wakering remain 23rd, eight points from safety. Dereham remain 15th.

Heybridge Swifts 2 – 2 Bowers & Pitsea (Ryman Division North)

Bowers were held by a late comeback from lowly Heybridge at Scraley Road. A double from Brad Warner in each half (one a penalty) put Rob Small’s men two up, though two penalties by substitute Reece Grant, late on sealed a point for Swifts. Jody Brown’s side are unbeaten in three league matches now, residing in 20th place, eight points ahead of the bottom three. Bowers, by contrast haven’t won in four league matches, sit 5th, in the top five on goal difference.

Check back next week (21st January) for the next ‘Local Sides’ round-up.

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Rumour Round Up 5 14/1/16

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We are now almost half way through the winter transfer window. Today I will discuss 4 transfer rumours and also giving them a rating out of ten on the likelihood of them happening. This week saw Morgan Schneiderlin move to Everton for a fee of £22 million and also Crystal Palace sign Leicester’s Left back Shlupp for £12.5 million!

Diego Costa – Chelsea To Tianjin Quanjian (£80 Million) * Reported fee

Chelsea’s top scorer Diego Costa could be China bound! Chelsea Manager reportedly stated “Go to China!” after an argument about the players fitness due to this Diego Costa was left out of the squad that will face champions Leicester City half five this afternoon. There are reportedly a number of Chinese clubs linked to Costa, but Tianjin Quanjian have placed a huge £80 Million bid for the striker sources state. Diego Costa agent Jorge Mendes has also met up with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Quanjian Chairmen Shu Yuhui potentially discussing a deal for the inform striker. With Costa reportedly offered £570,000-a-week wage maybe he willl go for the money! With Costa being Chelsea’s top scorer would a move away from the Bridge open up the title race?

Rumour Rating 6/10 

Gaston Ramirez – Middlesbrough to Leicester (£15 million

Reports suggest that Leicester City are after Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez. The attacking midfielder who Joined Middlesbrough for free has a release clause of £15 million and Leicester are interested in triggering the clause this window sources suggest. In reports it looks as if Ramirez has agreed a deal with Leicester but Middlesbourgh seem want to keep hold of Gaston or at least make Leicester pay up for the 26 year old. It seems all is well currently at Middlesbourgh this term as he has already made 17 appearances! But you never know with the transfer window!

Rumour Rating 6/10

Saido Berahino – West Brom to Stoke City (£12 million) *reported fee

There is not a transfer window in recent times without Saido Berahino being linked elsewhere. Saido even tweeted “i can officially say i will never play Jeremy Pearce” back in 2015. This was after a move was blocked by West Brom when Spurs tried to sign the striker for £23 million on deadline day, Saido did play for West Brom again. The former U21 England striker has not played first team for West Brom since September but the West Brom’s striker scored twice in an U23 match against Aston Villa so is match fit. The fee that has been reported is £12 million although a lot less than the £23 million Spurs once offered. West Brom may want to accept as Saido is out of contract come the summer so they could lose him for nothing!

Rumour Rating 5/10

Dimitri Payet – West Ham to Marseille (£40 Million) 

So It seems as if Payet’s impressive time at the Hammers is coming to an end as Payet is “on Strike” as he is refusing to play for the club, some reports even suggesting he would fake an injury to get out of playing. Former club Marseille have reportedly agreed wages with Payet but with a £20 million bid West Ham rejected. Reports are suggesting  that West Ham would hold out for a £40 million offer. With Payet current situation West Ham have been linked to Swansea’s playmaker Gylfi Sigurðsson so the hammers may be holding out for £40 Million to fund the Gylfi deal! Chelsea have also been linked to Dimitri but i’m sure West Ham would rather send him aboard rather than bitter rivals Chelsea.

Rumour rating 8/10

 If you have an interest in sports be sure to listen to all the sport shows on Phoenix Fm in the coming week!

•Between the Lines – Saturday 13:00 – 15:00 with Steve Robertson and Myself

•Phoenix Sports – Saturday 15:00 – 18:00 with Chris Hood and Scott W

•The Orient Hour – Sunday 18:00 – 19:00 with Chris Hood

•The West Ham Way – Wednesday 19:00 – 20:00 with Sex, Drugs & Carlton Cole and @exwhuemployee

Thanks for reading! 

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Opponent Announced for Darrel Church’s Next Fight on March 11

Harrison v Church

Richard Harrison (1-12) has been announced this week as the opponent to face Steve Goodwin’s light-heavyweight prospect ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church (3-1-1) at London’s York Hall on March 11th.

The 175-pounders will meet over four three-minute rounds on the Kevin Campion promoted show titled ‘Knuckle 2 Knuckle’.

31-years-old from Chessington, Harrison is a busy journeyman that can move well, has a good technique, and can throw a variety of shots in numbers.

Harrison debuted back in December 2015 and crammed in all 13 of his pro fights in his first year punching for pay. Of his 12 losses he has only been stopped twice, and the approaching fight with Church will be his fifth appearance at the York Hall.

Both fighters will be looking to kick off 2017 with a win.

27-year-old Church said of his forthcoming foe, “I’ve watched quite a few fights of his and he has a decent technique and throws good combinations. He comes forward to fight and to have a go, and he lets his hands go well.”

Darrel debuted back in July 2014 at Grays Civic Hall when originally signed to Carl Greaves Promotions and ended the inaugural year undefeated with two wins on his fledgling record.

In 2015, he suffered a shock defeat to Angelo Crowe (2-6), which, as a result of injuries and illnesses, turned out to be his only fight of the year.

Church returned to the ring in April 2016 at the York Hall against Mitch Mitchell (7-54-3), sharing the honours in a hard-fought draw.

The Essex boxer then secured his third win in his fifth pro bout against Croatian Toni Bilic (1-6) on December 3rd at the same East End venue to finally get back to winning ways.

Church is now backed by a full-time sponsor in MB Surfacing, allowing him to train around the clock.

“I’ll be fighting Harrison at 12st 12lbs,” explained Church. “I know he has fought up and down the weights but I’ll concentrate on me and my training, and just carry on doing what I’m doing.

“I haven’t put on much weight since my last fight so haven’t got a lot to lose. It makes everything far more easier, in fact, I’ve never been this low in weight at this stage of a camp ever before!”

After just five fights in two-and-a-half years, the six-footer plans to have four fights this year with ambitions to finish 2017 with a title, “I’d like to start doing six-rounders next and end 2017 with a Challenge Belt,” he explained. “I want a big fight by the end of the year because I want to push on now in my career, I want to be in the mix for big titles soon.”

Knuckle 2 Kunckle

Knuckle 2 Knuckle

Topping the bill is the Southern Area light-heavyweight title clash between Jordan Joseph (6-0-1) and Chris Hobbs (5-1-1) – an evenly-matched bout, each fighter with just a single loss in seven fights.

Someone’s ‘O’ has got to go in the exciting match-up between unbeaten lightweights Jimmy Cooper (4-0-1) and Jamie Arlain (5-0). Both lightweights are admirably putting their winning records on the line so early on in their career.

Two Fight Cup semi-finals take place on the show with Ossie Jervier (3-2) and hard-hitting Jose Lopes (7-0) in the first; and current champion Ryan Crawford (2-2-1) against Portsmouth’s Danny Couzens (8-10-2) in the other.

Derby’s Arfan Iqbal (11-0); Aylesbury’s Adi Burden (2-0); Essex’s Adrian Martin (3-0); Mitcham’s Jumanne Canero; and Peterborough’s Sam Barron (4-0) all look to continue their respective unbeaten runs.

For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962

 

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Match Report: Billericay Town 1 Tilbury 1 (Tilbury win 4-2 on pens)

Essex Senior Cup Quarter-final
BILLERICAY TOWN 1 TILBURY 1
(score after 90 minutes – Tilbury won 4-2 on penalties)

Phoenix FM’s JOHN CHUBB reporting from New Lodge

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Billericay Town were surprisingly knocked out of the Essex Senior Cup by Ryman League Division One North opponents Tilbury, having lead by a goal to nil for almost the entire 90 minutes and having created the bulk of opportunities in the match.

Prior to the tie, Blues manager Craig Edwards had spoken of wanting a positive response after Saturday’s disappointing Ryman Premier League defeat at table topping Bognor Regis Town, a game in which Edwards felt his side were “robbed” thanks to some dubious decisions by the officials. Meanwhile Tilbury – managed by ex-Billericay player Gary Henty and who are currently 3 points off the play-off spots in the Ryman League Division One North – were looking for an upset against the ambitious Premier Division club.

The Blues were without prolific striker Billy Bricknell, who had represented his previous club Chelmsford City in the competition earlier this season before moving to Billericay. Abs Seymour and Jimmy Shepherd were similarly cup-tied.

The home side took an early lead. Lewis Taafe’s 6th minute cross found striker Goldy Capela, who fired home his 9th goal of the season for the Blues in all competitions.

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Blues fans could have been forgiven for thinking Capela’s strike was the first of many, but it was not to prove the case in a game where there were few clear cut chances and plenty of wild shots off target. Ricay seemed to be dictating the play from long periods though, and manager Craig Edwards’ frustration at his side’s inability to kill off the tie became increasingly apparent as the 90 minutes progressed.

Tilbury found the back of the net in the 25th minute, Joe Nightingill having one of the Dockers’ few efforts on target during the 90 minutes, but it was ruled out for offside. Capela had a chance to double his tally when Kam Guthny laid the ball on for him, Conor Hubble had a couple of efforts on target and Kresh Krasniqi had an effort punched away by Tilbury’s former Leyton Orient goalkeeper Lee Butcher, but the teams went in at the interval with just the one early goal separating them.

In the second half Ricay came close to making it 2-0 in the 62nd minute, but Butcher managed to parry away Blues left back Oliver Sprague’s corner. A minute later the home side were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, which was met by centre half Danny Fitzsimons who glanced the ball just wide with his head.

In the 84th minute, just after Capela had another effort saved by Butcher – this time a header from Blues substitute Quentin Monville’s cross – Tilbury scored something of a surprise equaliser. Reece Hewitt, one of the Dockers’ three second half substitutes spotted Ricay keeper Jack Giddens off his line, and lobbed the ball over his head from outside the edge of the penalty area and into the back of the net to make the tie level.

Both sides pushed for a winner in the closing stages but it was 1-1 at the end of normal time, so the match was then decided via a penalty shootout. Krasniqi and Luke Moore both scored for Ricay but Guthmy’s rather tame sidefooted effort was saved by Butcher, and Taafe fired his effort wide. Meanwhile Tilbury scored all four of their spot kicks with Lewis Francis, Jack Carlile, Danny Smith and Hewitt securing their side a place in the semi-finals.

Billericay return to Ryman Premier League action this Saturday, and will look to restore some positivity with a potentially tough trip to Suffolk to face 5th placed Leiston.

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Leopards Look to Build on Perfect Start

mikevthunder

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Leopards will look to build on a perfect start to the New Year when they host Division One leaders Team Northumbria at the Brentwood Centre, on Sunday (4pm).

Having opened 2017 with a victory against Wales, the Big Cats sensationally knocked Manchester Giants out of the BBL Trophy on Friday before defeating Worthing Thunder on Sunday to maintain their play-off push.

Northumbria suffered only their second loss of the league campaign on Sunday when they lost 84-74 at Derby Trailblazers, and will arrive at Brentwood with a 12-2 record. However 11 of their remaining 12 fixtures are away from home, so Mark Steutal’s side look to have a tough challenge to win the title for the first time.

The two sides opened the league season with a meeting at Sport Central and the home side set the bar for the season with an 81-67 victory. They have also reached the National Cup final, starting their campaign with an 86 point(!) win against neighbours Tees Valley Mohawks before defeating Division One rivals Leicester Warriors, Bradford Dragons and Derby , and they will now face Team Solent Kestrels in Sheffield in the title game. Last season saw the teams split their two league meetings, but in a tight finish to the season Northumbria edged Leopards into sixth place as four teams finished tied on 16-10 records.

Leopards are offering their normal pre-game coaching session for young players, full details on www.leopardsbasketball.co.uk

darrell-v-giants

The Big Cats will certainly go into the game on a high as Giants were beaten 86-84 at the Brentwood Centre. The win was the first in the BBL Trophy for the new Big Cats and they became only the fourth EBL side in the competition’s 29-year history to beat a side from Britain’s top league.

Steve Ogunjimi’s team will now host Plymouth Raiders in the quarter-finals with the game provisionally arranged for Sunday January 22 at the Brentwood Centre.

Darrell Bethune led the home side with five three pointers in his 32-point haul, adding five rebounds and three assists for the Big Cats in his best performance since signing in early November.

But it was veteran Mike Martin who stole the show as he played through the pain barrier to lead his side to victory. The former England international looked to be out of the game when he was carried off early in the second half with a knee injury, but as his side looked to have lost the momentum midway through the fourth period he dosed himself up with pain killers, ripped off the strapping and limped back onto the court to steady the ship and help secure a famous win – finishing with 20 points and seven boards.

American guard AJ Roberts continued his good run of form with 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, while Dougie Bennett added ten points and three rebounds.

After an even start, a 17-0 run wrapped around the first break put Leopards in charge and they went into the locker room with a 49-38 lead.

But Giants steadily chipped away at the lead following Martin’s injury and closed the gap to 65-62 at the final break before taking the lead early in the fourth period.

Bethune again found the basket from the Land of Plenty to put Leopards up by one and it was nip and tuck down the stretch as the hosts went into the final minute trailing 84-82.

It was Bethune who hit the go-ahead trey, converting off Roberts’ assist with 44 seconds on the clock before grabbing the rebound from Creppy’s miss 18 seconds later.

With six second remaining Bethune was harshly adjudged to have fouled Callum Jones, giving him the chance the put his side back ahead. But the pressure showed on the English guard as he rimmed both shots, leaving Perry Lawson to grab the rebound.

Lawson was fouled, but he too missed both free-throws only for Martin to grab the rebound and pass to Roberts, who was predictably fouled. The American guard missed the first shot before sinking the second and the Big Cats played some good defence in the remaining 2.5 seconds to seal a famous win.

aj-v-thunder

Sunday’s 86-71 win against Thunder proved to be more straightforward, with the Big Cats never trailing after Shaq Lewis’ basket sent them into the first break with a 14-13 lead.

A pair of Bethune treys helped that lead grow to 41-33 at half-time, and Tosin Oyelese extended that lead to 63-52 at the final break.

Bethune hit another triple to open the fourth period, and an 11-4 run midway through the quarter wrapped things up, allowing Ogunjimi to give his younger players some court time down the stretch.

Martin finished with a game-high 26 points, six assists and as many rebounds, while Bethune adding 24 points and seven boards. Roberts had nine rebounds and seven assists to go with his 17 points.

Thunder had arrived on the back of a win against Hemel Storm thanks to 40 points from Division One’s leading scorer Lyonell Gaines, but he was held to a season-low 19 points on nine-from-23 shooting.

 

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – January 7th 2017

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Jan 7th ‘17) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

West Ham Utd 0  –  5 Man City   (Fri R – FA Cup Third Round)

The Citizens blasted the Hammers out of the FA Cup with a dominant performance at the London Stadium. First-half goals by Yaya Toure (pen), Raheem Sterling and David Silva put the visitors almost out of sight by half-time. Sergio Aguero and John Stones made their side’s progression more than safe.

Ipswich Town 2 – 2 Lincoln City  (FA Cup Third Round)

Ipswich were held at Portman Road by National League visitors Lincoln City, managed by ex-Braintree boss Danny Cowley. Lincoln took a surprise early lead through Theo Robinson, before Tom Lawrence levelled for the Tractor Boys just five minutes later. Midway through the second period, Robinson put the Imps back ahead. Though with just minutes remaining, Lawrence struck again to deny a cup upset though Ipswich will have to play a replay at Sincil Bank for the right to passage into Round 4.

Southend Utd 2  – 4  Sheffield Utd      (EFL League One)

Southend’s unbeaten recent run was ended by division leaders Sheffield Utd at Roots Hall. Ethan Ebanks-Landell put the Blades in front just three minutes in, though Simon Cox levelled for the Shrimpers. Jack O’Connell once again put the visitors in front before half-time, then made the game safe with two goals in five minutes from Caolan Lavery and Kieron Freeman. Jermaine McGlashan got a late consolation for Phil Brown’s men. Southend stay in 7th place in the league table, whilst Chris Wilder’s men stay four points clear at the top, having won their sixth league match on-the-trot.

Colchester Utd 4  –  1 Carlisle Utd  (EFL League Two)

Colchester continued their good recent run, defeating Keith Curle’s men at the Colchester Community Stadium. Chris Porter put the U’s in front early on, before Shaun Brisley levelled for the Cumbrians. Kurtis Guthrie put his side back ahead before the break, before adding two more in the second half to complete his hat-trick and the win for John McGreal’s side, their fifth league win in a row. They rise into 6th spot, seven points off the promotion spots. Carlisle stay third.

Leyton Orient 1  –  3 Barnet    (EFL League Two)

The O’s indifferent recent form continued as the Bees claimed the win at Brisbane Road. Recent signing Ricardo Santos’ brace mid-way into the second half put the visitors 2-0 up. Paul McCallum  pulled one back for Orient with ten minutes left, then Curtis Weston sealed the win late-on for Barnet. Orient are in 21st place, four points ahead of the bottom two, whilst the Bees rise to 7th spot, having won six of their last eight league matches.

Braintree Town 1 –  2 Chester  (National League Premier)

The Iron fell to Chester at Cressing Road. Jack Midson put Town in front on the half-hour, though a James Alabi second-half brace grabbed all three points for the Seals. Braintree are in 18th spot, just two points clear of the bottom four. Chester rise to 9th spot, seven points away from the top five , having only lost two of their last ten league matches.

North Ferriby Utd  0 – 4 Dagenham & Redbridge    (National League Premier)

The Daggers comfortably defeated National League newcomers North Ferriby at Grange Lane. Feijiri Okenabirhie and Oliver Hawkins put John Still’s men two-up in the first 15 minutes. On the half-hour, Luke Guttridge added a third before Hawkins netted again just after the hour mark to increase the Villagers’ pain. North Ferriby have lost 7 of their last 10 home league matches now, and fall to 23rd place, two points from safety. As for the Daggers, they sit 4th, three points off leaders Lincoln, who have two games in hand.

Chelmsford City  1 –  0 Whitehawk      (National League South)

Chelmsford narrowly defeated the out-of-form Hawks at Melbourne Park. Max Cornhill scored the only goal to give Rod Stringer’s side the win. The Clarets rise to 3rd spot, whilst Whitehawk slip to 19th place, only out of the bottom three on goal difference.

Concord Rangers 1 –  3 Weston-super-Mare     (National League South)

Concord slipped to defeat against fellow strugglers Weston-super-Mare at the Aspect Arena. The Seagulls were three-up at the break through goals from Bradley Ash, Jamie Chamberlain and Gethyn Hill. The Beach Boys pulled one back with twenty minutes left through Steve Cawley but it wasn’t to be. Concord are now in the bottom 3 in 20th spot, whilst Weston rise to 16th place, three points clear of today’s opponents.

Dartford 6  – 1 East Thurrock Utd   (National League South)

The Rocks were hammered by the Darts at Princes Park. Tom Bonner, Alex Brown, Tom Murphy and Andy Pugh made the win safe before half-time. Ryan Hayes and Elliot Bradbrook (pen) added to John Coventry’s side’s off-day, though Tom Wraight got the Rocks’ consolation. Dartford rise to 5th place, having only lost one of their last ten league matches at home. East Thurrock are in 9th spot, now 11 points away from the top 5.

Bognor Regis Town  2 –  1 Billericay Town     (Ryman Premier Division)

‘Ricay were defeated late-on by leaders Bognor at Nyewood Lane. Chad Field put Bognor in front just past the hour mark, though Craig Edwards’ men levelled through Lewis Taafe with seven minutes left. A late penalty from James Fraser pinched the win for Jamie Howell’s side, who are now undefeated in six league matches. They stay top, a point ahead of Needham Market. Town are in 14th spot.

Great Wakering Rovers 0  – 5  Ware               (Ryman League Division North)

Ware, under the tutelage of ex-Daggers legend Anwar Uddin for the first time, romped to a big win at Burroughs Park. The visitors were 4-0 up at half-time, Dean Mason, Gareth Price and Josh Oyibo getting the first three inside the first ten minutes. Price added his second before half-time before Oyibo grabbed his brace after the hour-mark to complete the rout. Ware rise to 18th spot, eight points clear of the bottom three. Wakering are 23rd, now eight points from safety.

Haringey Borough 3  – 2  Brentwood Town       (Ryman League Division North)

Tony Ievoli’s Brentwood side once again were edged out late-on, this time by mid-table Haringey at Coles Park. Dean Fenton put the hosts ahead, before Andy Freeman levelled on-the-hour mark for Town. Two goals in a four-minute spell did for the visitors though, as Anthony MacDonald and Ralston Gabriel put Tom Loizou’s men 3-1 ahead. Returning hot-shot Lamar Reynolds got another back for the visitors late-on. How they need his goals at this point in time. Brentwood stay in 22nd place, six points from safety. Haringey stay 11th, just four points off the top five, having won their 7th consecutive home match here.

Thamesmead Town  2  –  1 Bowers & Pitsea       (Ryman League Division North)

Thamesmead came from behind to defeat Rob Small’s men at Bayliss Avenue. David Knight had put the visitors ahead six minutes before the break, but goals from Alex Teniola and Bode Anidugbe after the hour mark sealed the win for Tommy Warrilow’s side. Thamesmead rise to 14th place with this, their 8th win in their last ten league matches. Bowers fall two places to 5th.

 

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Barnet 3

Leyton Orient had their three home game unbeaten run ended, after a 3-1 defeat to Barnet at the Matchroom Stadium.

Ricardo Santos grabbed two quick-fire second half goals from close range inside the box.

Paul McCallum grabbed one back for the O’s with a header for his 10th goal of the season, to give the hosts a glimmer of hope.

However, Curtis Weston put the final nail in Orients coffin, as he secured the points for the visitors with a strike from inside the box.

Andy Edwards made two changes to his side that were beaten 1-0 away to Exeter City last weekend, Josh Koroma gets his first league start for the O’s and Teddy Mezague returns from a groin injury, as Sandro Semedo and Sam Dalby are both side-lined with injury.

Barnet almost found the opening goal just two minutes in, as Curtis Weston’s ball into the box was not gambled on by Mauro Vilhete or John Akinde.

Orient responded with a strike from range by Koroma which had to be parried by Jamie Stephens in the Barnet goal but Nigel Atangana could not get to the loose ball at the rebound.

Collins took a long range shot from around 25 yards, which whistled just past the post and out for a corner, after a deflection from the Barnet defence.

The visitors nearly took the lead, as Simeon Akinola was played in with a clipped ball over the top which his shot on the volley was palmed away by Alex Cisak for a corner.

The away side again threatened on the counter-attack, as Akinde powered passed Tom Parkes burst into the box and poked his shot goalwards but was stopped and the feet of Cisak.

Barnet were gifted a great oppertunity, as they intercepted a Orient throw went down the other end and Akinde went passed Erichot and with just Cisak to beat put his shot over the bar.

Cisak denied Barnet once again, as Vilhete wriggled through the defence from out wide and his shot from six-yards out was parried just around the post down low to Cisak’s right.

In the second half, Barnet had the first opportunity of the half as Akinde clipped the ball into the box for Akinola to meet but his header looped over the bar.

Barnet took the lead just after the hour mark, as a cross by Vilhete was headed by Akinde goalwards and Cisak was unable to hold on to the header which the ball then came back off the post and was tucked in by Santos.

The visitors doubled their lead, just two minutes later from the same man with Akinde’s low ball into the box, which was slotted smartly by Santos past Cisak.

Orient searched for a way back into the match, as Atangana battled to win the ball inside the Barnet penalty area and laid it off for substitute Ollie Palmer to shoot but his shot was blocked and away for a corner.

From the resulting corner Orient got their lifeline back into the match, as Callum Kennedy’s set piece was met by McCallum, to set up an entertaining final ten minutes.

Barnet sealed the three points in the second minute of injury time, as the visitors broke after Orient had committed men forward and substitute Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s shot came back off the crossbar and Weston was in the right place to put the ball into an empty net.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Alex Cisak, 3 Callum Kennedy, 19 Teddy Mezague (67), 6 Tom Parkes, 16 Nicky Hunt (C), 11 Gavin Massey, 7 Michael Collins, 15 Nigel Atangana, 28 Josh Koroma (73), 10 Paul McCallum, 37 Yvan Erichot

Substitutes: 24 Sam Sargeant, 18 Ulrich Nnomo (73), 23 Freddy Moncur, 25 Aron Pollock, 29 Myles Judd, 21 Jordan Bowery, 9 Ollie Palmer (67)

Barnet Lineup: 1 Jamie Stephens (9), 3 Elliot Johnson, 5 Ricardo Santos, 6 Michael Nelson, 8 Curtis Weston, 9 John Akinde, 14 Simeon Akinola (61), 16 Harry Taylor, 18 Nana Kyei (70), 28 Jack Taylor, 32 Mauro Vilhete

Substitutes: 12 Josh Vickers (9), 11 Luke Gambin, 13 Jamal Campbell-Ryce (61), 17 Sam Muggleton, 20 Tom Champion (70), 23 ALex Nicholls, 40 David Tutonda

Attendance: 4,642 (730)

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Football – Done Deals This Week – January Transfer Window (w.e 6.1.17)

(Focus on EFL Championship, League 1 & League 2)

Phoenix Sport’s Scott W reports on some of the latest deals that transpired this week (w.e Jan 6th ’17), the first full week of the January Transfer Window. Who have your club signed?

Luke Murphy   [Leeds – Burton]  Loan

Midfielder Murphy has joined Nigel Clough’s Brewers on loan unil the end of the season, having struggled for games this season under Garry Monk. Murphy, 27, has already made more than 100 appearances for the Elland Road side since his move from Crewe three-and-a-half years ago.

Reece Brown   [Sheffield Utd – Bury] Free Transfer

Defender Brown has re-joined Bury until the end of the current season, having recently left high-flyers Sheffield Utd. Brown, 25,  also spent last season at the JD Stadium.

The Shakers have also signed defender Australian youth international Cameron Burgess on loan from Fulham until the end of the season. England youth international Taylor Moore has also joined the Shakers , on loan from Bristol City until the end of the current campaign.

Lawson D’Ath    [Northampton – Luton]   Undisclosed

Midfielder D’Ath joins the Hatters on an 18-month contract, having struggled for playing time so far this season at Sixfields under Rob Page. D’Ath also began his career at Reading, whilst also having productive loan spells at Dagenham & Redbridge and Yeovil earlier in his career.

Kevin Foley   [Charlton – Coventry]  Free Transfer

Experienced defender Foley, 32 joins Russell Slade’s men from Slade’s former club Charlton on a deal until the end of the current season. Foley, who also used to play for Wolves & Luton, joins the Sky Blues’ dogfight to avoid the drop into League 2.

Greg Halford   [Rotherham – Cardiff]  Undisclosed

Utility man Halford, 32,  joins Cardiff on an 18-month contract, once again playing for a side managed by Neil Warnock, after having played for him at Rotherham last season.

In other news at Cardiff, forward Lex Immers has been let go by the club, just seven months after he joined the club, and has returned to the Netherlands. Also, non-league striker Ibrahim Meite, 20,  has joined the club from Ryman Premier Division club Harrow Borough.

Shaun Harrad    [Wrexham   –   Torquay]   Free Transfer

Striker Harrad has re-joined Torquay after a spell at rivals Wrexham earlier this season. Torquay, who at this moment are six points clear of the bottom four in the National League, will hope to utilise Harrad’s considerable experience to lift them up the table. In other news at Torquay, Exeter forward Jamie Reid has extended his loan spell at Plainmoor until the end of the season.

Nathan Blissett  [Torquay  –  Plymouth]  £15,000

Striker Blissett joins the Pilgrims’ chase for promotion from League Two on a undisclosed-length contract. Blissett, whose uncle Luther famously played for Watford, Bournemouth and AC Milan, will certainly hope to assist his new side in reaching League One.

Jake Forster-Caskey [Brighton – Charlton]   Undisclosed

Midfielder Forster-Caskey joins the Addicks on two-and-half year deal. Forster-Caskey played for current Addicks boss Karl Robinson when he was at MK Dons during two loan spells there last season. Forster-Caskey, who made his debut at Brighton at just 16, will surely look to push on with regular football at the Valley.

Gavin Gunning   [Greenock Morton (Scotland) – Grimsby Town] Free Transfer

Defender Gunning joins Marcus Bignot’s League Two side after a short spell at SPFL Championship side Greenock Morton earlier this season. Gunning, 25, who has turned out for Blackburn, Rotherham and Dundee Utd earlier in his career, will be looking to keep the Mariners in mid-table.

Freddie Ladapo   [Crystal Palace  –  Shewsbury]  Loan

Nomadic striker Ladapo also joins the Shrews’ dogfight against relegation, after signing on loan for the remainder of the season. Ladapo, who arguably had his best spells at Margate and Grays Athletic in Non-League earlier in his career, will perhaps try to settle at New Meadow. He had a loan spell at Shrewbury’s rivals Oldham earlier this season.

Alex Rodman    [Notts County – Shrewsbury]   Undisclosed

Winger Rodman joins League One Shewsbury from League Two strugglers Notts County on an 18-month contract. Rodman, who counts Tamworth, Grimsby & Gateshead among his former clubs, will look to assist Shewsbury’s own fight against the drop into League Two this season.

Ademola Lookman      [Charlton  –  Everton]   £11m

Ronald Koeman’s side have also spent big on promising talent, signing Lookman from League One Charlton Athletic. He joins on a contract until the summer of 2021. He becomes the most expensive signing from a EFL League One club.

Wilfred Ndidi    [Genk (Belgium) – Leicester City]    Reportedly £15m

Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes have invested heavily in this promising anchor midfielder, who has signed a deal until the summer of 2022. Foxes fans will not want reminding that since losing N’Golo Kante to Chelsea in the summer, their midfield probably hasn’t been the same.

Rudy Gestede  [Aston Villa –  Middlesbrough]  – Undisclosed

Benin international striker Gestede joins Aitor Karanka’s men on a three-and-a-half-year contract for a fee of at least £6 million. Ex-Blackburn forward Gestede has largely been over-looked by current Villa boss Steve Bruce, though ‘Boro will hope he can assist loan star Alvaro Negredo up front.

Lee Grant     [Derby  – Stoke ]   £1.3m

Goalkeeper Grant has signed for the Potters on a permanent basis, after a successful loan spell which saw him deputise for the injured Jack Butland. Grant, 33,  has signed a deal until the summer of 2019. With Butland thought to be out for a considerable period, Grant may continue to have a run in the team.

Jens Hegeler     [Hertha Berlin (Germany)  –   Bristol City]  Undisclosed

Midfielder Hegeler has also been added to the Robins’ squad as they also seek to survive in the EFL Championship this season. Hegeler, who also counts Bayer Leverkusen among his former clubs and played in the Champions’ League during his six-year tenure there. His has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Ashton Gate.

Milan Djuric      [Cesena (Italy)  –  Bristol City]    Undisclosed

Bosnia striker Djuric joins from Serie B side Cesena on a contract until the summer of 2019. He has represented his country 14 times, scoring seven goals. This is his first taste of English football.

Alex Reid       [Rushall Olympic    –  Fleetwood Town]   Undisclosed

Ex-Aston Villa trainee Reid has joined League One Fleetwood Town for an undisclosed fee. Reid, who has been blasting home the goals for Evo-Stik Premier Division leaders Rushall, will now be hoping to make the most of his chance to make it in the EFL.

Luke Varney    [Ipswich Town – Burton]   Free Transfer

Experienced striker Varney has joined Nigel Clough’s Brewers on a deal until summer 2018, after having the remaining days of his Ipswich contract cancelled. Varney, who previously played Charlton, Leeds and Blackburn, will look to add to Burton’s striking options as they attempt to survive in the Championship this season.

Samir Carruthers   [MK Dons  – Sheffield Utd]  Undisclosed

Promotion-chasing Sheffield Utd boosted their ranks with the signing of attacking midfielder Carruthers on a deal which takes him through until the summer of 2020. Samir, 23, who began his career at Aston Villa, made nearly 100 league appearances for the Dons.

Keith Keane      [Cambridge  – Rochdale]   Free Transfer

Midfielder Keane left League Two side Cambridge Utd by ‘mutual consent’ which allowed him to sign for Rochdale on an 18-month deal, following a loan spell with Keith Hill’s men.

Joey Barton     [Unattached – Burnley]  Free Transfer

Despite the lingering possibility of a FA ban relating to betting, Barton, now 34 has re-signed for Sean Dyche’s side until the end of the current campaign. It seems a while ago now though ex-Newcastle & QPR midfielder was a member of Burnley’s Championship-winning side last season.

 

 

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Rumour Round Up 4 06/12/17

img_3696So in the first Rumour Round up of the new year we have 4 rumours to discuss. With the Winter Window now being open done deals are flying in an example Everton signing teenage winger Ademola Lookman for £11 million from Charlton.

Kostas Manolas – Roma to Manchester United (£32.5 Million Reported fee*)

With the Victor Lindelof rumour seeming more unlikely by the day new rumours of Centre backs coming to the red side of Manchester gather. It has been reported that Mourinho has made a £32.5M bid for the Greek international. Reports suggest this interest in Manolas started back in the summer when Mourinho first took charge of Man united, Mourinho also showed an interest in Manolas team mate right back Florenzi in the summer. The 25 year old defender seems to stay composed in pressurising situation at the back as he has a 87.8% pass completion rate so he should be a good fit at Manchester United. I feel with the Lindelof deal lacking in progress and also a reported bid this deal may just happen! Will have to wait and see through.

Rumour Rating 6/10

Paul George Ntep – Stade Rennais to Crystal Palace (£8 Million *reported fee)

Sam Allardyce will face hard completion to land French winger Ntep but the club does seem interested as they reportedly enquired the price of the Stade Rennais starter. With the winger reportedly favouring a move to surprisingly 13th place in the Bundesliga Wolfsburg it seems in a way unlikely. Although Palace are set to make multiple signings in Sam Allardyce first transfer window in charge at the club. Chairmen Steve Parish was speaking to a radio station he stated “We’re lacking in a few areas, so we need to try and fix that”. So with the Chairmen seemingly willing to spend only time will time. Will we see the winger at Selhurst Park in January?

Rumour Rating 5/10

Tiago Ilori – Liverpool to Reading (£3.75m Reportedly Accepted fee)

The 23 year old defender Ilori is reportedly on his way to join Jaap Stam’s Reading who currently sit 3rd in the championship. So Tiago Ilori could be joining a potential battle for promotion with Reading. Since the youngster joined from Sporting Lisbon he hasn’t quite reached the heights he would have wanted to at Liverpool as he has been to three different clubs on loan so it was hard for him to make an impact. Sources tell us that Reading have accepted a fee of £3.75m plus add-ons for the centre back. I believe this transfer will go through as an offer has reportedly been accepted also reportedly Liverpool have agreed a 25% sell-on clause for the young defender so if he does in the future go for a large price Liverpool will receive some cash to.

Rumour Rating 8/10

Moussa Dembele – Celtic to West Ham (£20 Million reported fee*) 

It seems as if West Ham have given up on signing Jermain Defoe as they have already reportedly have had two bids rejected from Sunderland. So one of Celtic’s key men have been linked to the Hammers. Celtic will almost definitely want to keep the Frenchmen as he has scored 19 in 20 games for Celtic this season. The sum West Ham are thinking of paying reportedly is £20 million and this fee is too low according to assistant manager Chris Davies, so if West Ham stand a chance they will have to well over £20 million in my opinion. I feel Dembele would be a good signing for the Hammers because of his goal scoring threat but in all honesty I don’t see this one crossing the line this winter transfer window.

Rumour Rating 4/10

If you have an interest in sports be sure to listen to all the sport shows on PhoenixFm in the coming week!

•Between the Lines – Saturday 13:00 – 15:00 with Steve Robertson and Myself

•Phoenix Sports – Saturday 15:00 – 18:00 with Chris Hood and Scott W

•The Orient Hour – Sunday 18:00 – 19:00 with Chris Hood

•The West Ham Way – Wednesday 19:00 – 20:00 with Sex, Drugs & Carlton Cole and @exwhuemployee

 

 

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Leopards Hammer Wales

darrell-v-wales

Levett Leopards opened the New Year in style with a 97-62 victory against the Welsh national team on Monday.

A capacity crowd at Oaklands College in St Albans saw the Big Cats dominate against a Wales team who were using the game as part of their preparations for the Commonwealth Games qualifying tournament.

Coach Steve Ogunjimi was able to give all 11 players in his squad at least 14 minutes of playing time in an extended, NBA length, game, with ten of them getting on the scoresheet.

Essex Leopards v Welsh National Team 02 Jan 2017; Mike Martin

Darrell Bethune led the way for Leopards with 21 points and six assists, while Mike Martin finished with a 17 point, 12 rebound double-double. Dougie Bennett added 16 points against a Welsh side he had played against for Scotland before, while AJ Roberts was two assists shy of a second successive triple double with ten points and as many boards, and Tosin Oyelese had eight points to go with his 14 rebounds.

Having seen their 25-16 first period lead shaved to 46-38 at half-time as Wales finished the half strongly, the hosts blew the visitors away in the second half with a 25-6 third period before outscoring them 26-18 in the fourth period as Leopards comfortably wrapped up the win.

Essex Leopards v Welsh National Team 02 Jan 2017; Shaq Lewis;

The game was won on the boards as Leopards out-rebounded the visitors 81-47 ,with the discrepancy allowing them to take an incredible 104 field goal attempts.

Asa Wait led the 14-deep Welsh side with 12 points, with Daniel Welsh adding 11 and Jamie Rodwell recording a 12 rebound, ten point double-double.

 

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Leopards Look for Giant Killing

Essex Leopards v Manchester Magic, 23 Oct 2016; Team tactics

Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards’ coach Steve Ogunjimi is looking for his side to start the New Year strongly as they face a pair of home games at the Brentwood Centre this weekend.

The Big Cats host Manchester Giants in the BBL Trophy on Friday evening (8pm) before Worthing Thunder are the visitors for a Division One game on Sunday (4pm).

“It’s an important weekend for us” said Ogunjimi. “The Giants’ game gives us the chance to test ourselves against BBL opposition, and it’s a game we’re capable of winning if we play to the best of our ability.

“The visit of Thunder is the key game, though, we need to start moving up the table.

They’ve got some good players, but there can be no excuses, it’s time to start consistently winning in the league.”

Leopards have regularly been invited into the BBL Trophy, which is the knockout competition of the fully professional British League, and the Big Cats are still looking for their first victory in it.

Giants will arrive at Brentwood looking to snap a six game losing streak that has seen them drop to the bottom of the BBL table with a 3-12record.

After losing their first six league games, Yorick Williams’ team looked to have turned the corner with three straight wins but despite going agonisingly close to upsetting high-flying Newcastle Eagles at the weekend they’ve remained winless since.

Williams was a key player in the original Leopards’ final season in the BBL, playing alongside Ogunjimi, and the Big Cats’ play-caller is looking forward to coaching against his former team-mate:

“It’s be good to see Yorick again” he said. “We’re both in our second year coaching and it’s a steep learning curve but it should be fun to coach against him.”

Sunday’s opponents Thunder are also struggling, and head into the New Year in 13th place a 3-9 record but have reached the National Trophy semi-final where they will meet London Lituanica.

Despite a disappointing start to their league campaign, the south coast club have Division One’s leading scorer, with American forward Lyonell Gaines capable of scoring 30 plus on any given night.

Leopards won both league meetings between the teams last season, hammering their hosts 89-57 in the opening Division One game of the campaign before beating them 75-62 at Brentwood in the return.

Leopards are offering pre-game coaching for under-16s on Sunday as well as a special weekend ticket for fans who attend both games. Details on www.leopardsbasketball.co.uk

 

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – December 31st 2016 (New Year’s Eve)

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Dec 31st ’16) & a look at the games involving the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

Leicester City 1  –  0 West Ham Utd    (Premier League)

Islam Slimani’s first-half goal meant the Foxes finished 2016 on a high, having of course won the Premier League last season. West Ham sit in 13th place in the EPL table, eight points above the bottom three. Leicester pull a little further clear of the bottom three, sitting in 15th spot.

Ipswich Town 2 – 1 Bristol City  (EFL Championship – Fri R)

Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich side led twice in this Championship encounter at Portman Road. Kevin Bru put the Tractor Boys in front before half-time, on-loan Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham levelled for the Robins seven minutes after the re-start. Ex-City forward Brett Pitman denied his old club though with a late winner to grab a precious win for Town. Ipswich are in 14th spot, whilst Bristol City are in 17th place, six points clear of the bottom three.

Southend Utd  1 – 1 Charlton Athletic  (EFL League One)

Southend were held by Karl Robinson’s new side in front of more than 10,000 fans at Roots Hall. Simon Cox put the Shimpers in front midway through the first half, though Andrew Crofts’ late equaliser meant the points were shared. Phil Brown’s men are now unbeaten in ten league matches, sitting in 6th place. Charlton are 12th, six points off today’s opponents.

Stevenage 2 – 4  Colchester Utd    (EFL League Two)

The U’s triumphed in a topsy-turvy match at Broadhall Way. Colchester started well, with goals from Brennan Dickenson and a Kurtis Guthrie penalty putting them 2-0 up inside twenty minutes. Boro’ pulled it back though, with Ben Kennedy and Matt Godden netting for the home side. The U’s finished the match strongly as late goals from substitutes Chris Porter and Tarique Fosu grabbing the win for Jon McGreal’s in-form side. Stevenage are in 14th spot , whilst Colchester are unbeaten in six league matches, sitting 9th in the table.

Leyton Orient 1 – 1 Cambridge Utd  (EFL League Two)

The O’s came from behind against in-form Cambridge at Brisbane Road. Cambridge took the lead through Harrison Dunk midway through the first half. Though, substitute Ollie Palmer grabbed a late equaliser to salvage a point. Orient are in 20th position, just four points clear of the bottom two. Shaun Derry’s Cambridge are unbeaten in six league matches now, residing in 7th place.

Billericay Town  P – P Needham Market   (Ryman Premier Division – Fri R)

Much to both clubs’ frustration, this match fell foul of the weather, with heavy fog postponing this match.

Brentwood Town 0 – 1 AFC Hornchurch    (Ryman League Division North)

Brentwood Town endured a frustrating afternoon, as a Leon McKenzie penalty was enough to grab the win for the Urchins. Sam Owusu saw red as well for dissent following the penalty decision. Unfortunately for Tony Ievoli’s men, Brentwood have lost nine out of their last ten league matches now, and sit 22nd in the table. Hornchurch go back into the top five with this win, unbeaten in their last ten league matches.

Cheshunt 0  – 1 Bowers & Pitsea   (Ryman League Division North)

Bowers maintained their imperious end to 2016 with a narrow win at Theobalds Lane. An early David Knight goal was enough to complete their 9th consecutive league win. Rob Small’s men go back into 3rd place in the table. Cheshunt fall to 8th place.

Thurrock 3 – 0 Great Wakering Rovers  (Ryman League Division North)

Mark Stimson’s Thurrock swept aside struggling Wakering at Ship Lane. Goals from Jordan Clark (pen), Joe Christou and Perry Dunn sealed the Fleet’s 8th consecutive league win. Thurrock stay 2nd in the table, whilst Wakering are 23rd, five points from safety.

Upcoming matches:

Dagenham & Redbridge v Braintree Town   (National League – Mon 2.1.17 KO: 7.45pm)

Bishop’s Stortford v Chelmsford City     [National League South – New Year’s Day KO: 3pm]

East Thurrock Utd v Concord Rangers   [National League South – New Year’s Day KO: 3pm]

Happy New Year to all my readers..

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Cambridge United 1

Leyton Orient grabbed an injury time equaliser, to continue their recent home form of unbeaten in three as they drew 1-1 with in form Cambridge United at The Matchroom Stadium.

Luke Berry took the lead for the visitors midway through the first half with a close range effort.

Ollie Palmer got the all important stoppage-time leveller for the O’s to send the crowd into ecstasy with his last minute half volley, as Orient now take seven points from their last nine at home.

Andy Edwards named an unchanged eleven that overcome Crawley Town 3-2 last week, with added team news that Callum Kennedy returned to the bench after his recovery from a groin injury.

Cambridge had the first real opportunity of the match, as Luke Berry’s dangerous cross could not be turned in by Uche Ikpeazu inside the box and the cross went just passed the post.

Orient had their first chance in front of goal, as the ball came out to Captain and defender Nicky Hunt to hit a fierce strike from long range just wide.

The hosts created a great chance for the lead, as Gavin Massey slotted it into Paul McCallum who laid the ball off to Sandro Semedo to strike just inside the box but his shot was straight at Will Norris.

Cambridge took the lead against the run of play, as the ball found its way into the box and was scrambled to Harrison Dunk who rode Judd’s challenge and slipped his shot past Alex Cisak.

In the second half, Cambridge threatened to extend their advantage through Ikepeazu, as he pounced on a blocked clearance inside the box but his strike was straight at Cisak.

Orient had a great chance from a Michael Collins corner, as McCallum met the ball with his head but fell straight to Norris.

Cambridge had the ball in the net, as Ikepeazu diverted a shot in – to the relief of the Orient players the linesman raised his flag for offside.

The away side should have doubled their lead, as Brad Halliday burst forward and his cross found Dunk at the far post to head onto the bar.

Collins’ free-kick found McCallum head which looked to be heading in but for his header to be diverted out for a corner.

Orient grabbed a late equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time, as the ball was clipped into McCallum who was bundled over and the ball dropped to substitute Palmer to strike his half volley which squirmed underneath Norris, to snatch a late point at the death.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Alex Cisak, 29 Myles Judd, 19 Teddy Mezague (33), 6 Tom Parkes, 16 Nicky Hunt (C), 11 Gavin Massey, 7 Michael Collins, 15 Nigel Atangana, 22 Sandro Semedo (67), 10 Paul McCallum, 30 Sam Dalby (52)

Substitutes: 24 Sam Sargeant, 37 Yvan Erichot (33), 3 Callum Kennedy, 8 Robbie Weir, 28 Josh Koroma (67), 21 Jordan Bowery, 9 Ollie Palmer (52)

Cambridge United Lineup: 1 Will Norris, 28 Brad Halliday, 6 Leon Legge, 5 Mark Roberts, 2 Greg Taylor, 7 Piero Mingoia, 4 James Dunne, 24 Conor Newton (62), 8 Luke Berry, 11 Harrison Dunk (86), 26 Uche Ikpeazu (94)

Substitutes: 13 David Gregory, 3 Blair Adams, 10 Ben Williamson (86), 15 Sean Long, 16 Tom Dallison, 20 Max Clark (62), 23 Joe Pigott (94)

Attendance: 5,897 (1,391)

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Rumour Round Up 3 30/12/16

img_3668

With it being New Years Eve tomorrow the winter window is just a day away! This week I will be going through 4 transfer rumours as per usual, as well as 5 done deals thanks to Scott W.

Steven N’Zonzi – Sevilla To Man City (£25 Million reported fee*) 

So start of the season favourites Manchester City are chasing down ex Stoke City player N’Zonzi. Steven’s current club Sevilla have confirmed to a source that they expect to lose the defensive midfielder. It’s not surprising Man City are pursuing interest in N’Zonzi due to his impressive form so far this term. Another factor that adds to this rumour is the fact Man City will most likely miss out on Gündogan for the rest of the season due to cruciate Ligament damage. With N’Zonzi’s playing style being compared to Guardiola favourite Busquets this deal seems likely. N’Zonzi is hot stuff at the moment in the world of rumours with the Frenchmen being linked to many Premier league clubs so it will be interesting to see if a move in January does happen!

Rumour Rating 7/10

Kasper Schmeichel – Leicester City To Liverpool (£30 Million reported fee*) 

Leicester City’s title winning shot stopper Schmeichel has been linked to a move to Merseyside. With Liverpool keepers this year having a fairly rough start Klopp may want a new solid option between the sticks. Claudio Ranieri has already said these rumours to be nonsense about a Schmeichel departure the sports personality coach of the year said “we won’t sell him under any circumstances. Not even big money”. So this rumour seems unlikely but Liverpool may have a new keeper top of their Transfer list, as so far this season Mignolet and Karius have only kept 5 clean sheets in 18 league games. In my opinion it’s unlikely for the champions to sell their number 1 between the sticks hence the low score.

Rumour Rating 4/10 

Isco – Real Madrid To Spurs 

If this rumour happens it will most likely be the biggest deal of the winter. So Real Madrid attacking midfielder Isco has been linked to a move to London more specifically Spurs. Sources suggest that Spurs manager Pochettino is a big fan of the spainish midfielder so he may try bring him in at Spurs. With the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen already good options in this position I’m not sure if they really need him. Isco is out of contract at the Bernabéu 2018 so he will need to sign a new deal or find a new club sooner or later so this rumour has got potential but I don’t see him leaving just yet from Spain.

Rumour Rating 5/10 

Marcos Rojo – Manchester United To Valencia

The sharp tackling Argentinian Marcos Rojo is rumoured to leave Old Trafford in the winter transfer window. Reportedly the Spainish club Valencia have placed a bid for the defender. Rojo has become a regular starter under Mourinho as he has started the last 8 games at the back for the Red Devil’s so it wouldn’t be ideal for Rojo to leave at this stage. Rojo joined Manchester United back in 2014 for £16 million so I would predict if he was to go it would be for £20 million plus.

Rumour Rating 5/10

Now Phoenix sports co-presenter Scott W has gathered up some of the done deals in the football league. 

Completed Transfers – Football League (EFL Championship, League 1 & League 2)
[To go through in the next few days at the start of the January transfer window]

Yoann Arquin – [Syrianska [Sweden] – Mansfield Town] Free Transfer
The 28-year old striker joins Steve Evans’ League Two side on a undisclosed-length contract. Arquin previously had spells had with Notts County and Scottish sides Ross County and St Mirren.

Callum McManaman [West Brom – Sheffield Wednesday] Loan
Ex-Wigan winger McManaman, 25, joins the Owls on a five-month loan deal, having struggled to get a game for his parent club this season. McManaman was a part of the FA Cup-winning Wigan side back in 2013.

Dan Sweeney [Maidstone Utd – Barnet] Undisclosed fee
The 22-year-old midfielder joins League Two Barnet after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee. Sweeney, an England ‘C’ International, will replace recently-departed Sam Togwell, who left to join National League Premier side Eastleigh.
Lukas Jutkiewicz [Burnley – Birmingham City] £1million
The 27-year-old ex-Coventry and Middlesbrough striker joins the Blues on a full-time basis on a three & a half-year contract following a loan spell at the club. Birmingham will no doubt hope he can help spearhead a play-off challenge in the EFL Championship this season.
Jamal Lowe (Hampton & Richmond Borough – Portsmouth] Undisclosed fee
In another good story from Non-League, 22-year-old striker Jamal Lowe joins Paul Cook’s promotion-chasing Pompey side on an 18-month contract, having already hit 15 league goals for the Beavers this season in National League South.

Thanks to all my readers! Hope you all have a great New Year! 

 

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‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church scheduled for March return

dc-v-tb-bw

Tim Rickson reports…

March 11th can’t come soon enough for light-heavyweight prospect ‘Dazzling’ Darrel Church (3-1-1) as he returns to the ring for his sixth pro fight at London’s York Hall.

The 27-year-old from Witham got his third win in his fifth pro bout on December 3rd at the same East End venue and plans to fight four times in 2017 after receiving the backing of a full-time sponsor.

“March 11th date is perfect for me,” Church said. “It was originally meant to be April but I didn’t want to wait that long, I just wanted get back in there as soon as possible.”

The six-footer also has ambitions to cap off the year with a title, “I’d like to start doing six-rounders soon and end 2017 with a Challenge Belt,” he explained. “I want a big fight by the end of the year because I want to push on now in my career, I want to be in the mix for big titles soon.”

Darrel debuted back in July 2014 at Grays Civic Hall when originally signed to Carl Greaves Promotions and ended the inaugural year undefeated with two wins on his fledgling record.

Then, in 2015, he suffered a shock defeat to Angelo Crowe (2-6), which, as a result of injuries and illnesses, turned out to be his only fight of the year.

Church picked himself back up and returned to the ring in April this year at the York Hall against Mitch Mitchell, sharing the honours in a hard-fought draw.

“I was just glad to shake off the ring rust and get out again, to be honest,” he reported. “But it was hard because I didn’t end up fighting until midnight, in the end, so I was exhausted!”

Trained by Mark Massow, Church then signed with Goodwin Boxing and got his first win in 24 months against Croatian Toni Bilic (1-6) in his fifth pro fight in December after receiving a boost from sponsors MB Surfacing, allowing the former unlicensed star to train around the clock.

It was a confident and assured display from the Essex boxer and proved his potential to progress on in a talent-laden light-heavyweight division.

“It’s just tickets really, you have to sell enough to keep fighting,” he said. “I want to fight four times this year, I’d even fight five or more if it wasn’t for ticket sales.

“I’d even be happy to go away as an opponent on a big TV show as it’s worth taking the risk in boxing.”

The March show in Bethnal Green will be promoted by Good Boxing – the card yet to be announced.

For tickets to the show contact Team Church on 07938 878 962

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 3 Crawley Town 2

Leyton Orient held on to their 3-0 lead to claim back-to-back home victories for the first time this season, as they won 3-2 against Crawley Town at the Matchroom Stadium.

Sam Dalby grabbed the early goal for Orient for his first senior goal for the club with a shot from close range.

Paul McCallum double the O’s advantage shortly after, with another effort from inside the box – found the back of the net and just before the break converted from the spot this time for his brace.

Andy Edwards made four changes to his side that were defeated 1-0 away at Wycombe Wanderers last weekend. With a debut for 17 year old defender Teddy Mezague who replaced the injured Callum Kennedy. Dalby, Sandro Semedo and Michael Collins all return to the side as Robbie Weir, Jordan Bowery and Jay Simpson all shuffle to the bench.

Before the match both sides respectfully had a minutes silence for those that were lost throughout the year from both clubs.

Orient took the lead just five minutes in, as Nigel Atangana intercepted the Crawley defender slotted it into Gavin Massey who burst out wide into space gave it back to Atanagana to square it across goal for Dalby’s first senior goal for the club.

Massey was threatening again from the right flank, as his deep cross was met by McCallum who headed it back across goal but went just wide.

The O’s doubled their lead within 12 minutes, as a quick free-kick from Orient by Collins to Massey and his low cross found Paul McCallum sliding in to turn it under Glenn Morris.

Crawley had their first shot on goal just after the half hour mark, as James Collins rifled a shot that was straight at Alex Cisak.

In added time of the first half, the O’s got their third. Myles Judd worked hard down the right to feed Massey into the box who was brought down by Jordan Roberts and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot. McCallum stepped up and sent Morris the wrong way to get his second of the day.

In the second half, Crawley got a goal back just eight minutes in as a dangerous ball across goal was headed beyond Cisak at the far post by Mezague.

McCallum was in search of his hat-trick, as Massey’s cross was headed wide by McCallum to deny him the match ball.

Orient then broke on the counter-attack, as substitute Jordan Bowery cut the ball to Massey who went down inside the box but the referee was unmoved.

The vistors found themsleves back in game with their second, as Boldewijn broke through the defence went round Cisak and neatly tucked it in from a tight angle.

Josh Payne for Crawley had a shot from a freekick but Cisak tipped it over the bar to deny the away side.

Orient held on in injury time to claim a vital three points points and move up to 19th.
Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Alex Cisak, 6 Tom Parkes, 7 Michael Collins, 10 Paul McCallum, 11 Gavin Massey, 15 Nigel Atangana, 16 Nicky Hunt (C), 19 Teddy Mezague, 22 Sandro Semedo, 29 Myles Judd, 30 Sam Dalby (58)

Substitutes: 24 Sam Sargeant, 8 Robbie Weir, 9 Ollie Palmer, 21 Jordan Bowery (58), 27 Jay Simpson, Josh Koroma, 37 Yvan Erichot

Crawley Town Lineup: 12 Glenn Mrris, 2 Lewis Young, 4 Josh Payne, 6 Mark Connolly, 8 Jimmy Smith (C), 11 Jordan Roberts (74), 14 Andre Blackman (45), 15 Josh Jorwerth, 18 Billy Clifford, 19 James Collins

Substitutes: 13 Yusuf Mersin, 17 Bobson Bawling (73), 20 Aryan Tajbakhsh, 22 Joe McNerney (45), 24 Kaby Djalo, 33 Sanchez Watt, 44 Connor Henderson

Attendance: 4,486 (295)
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Rumour Round Up 2 23/12/16

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We will start today’s Rumour Roundup with a done deal! Oscar has completed his move to Shanghai SIPG a rumour that I discussed last week. I gave this rumour 5/10 didn’t really see it going through but there you go the fee is reportedly £60million! He is also reportedly on £500k a week! Crazy money.

Victor Lindelof – Benfica To Manchester United (£38 million) *Reported Amount

Reports broke on Tuesday morning that Manchester United were in talks with Benfica about a possible transfer for Swedish international defender Victor Lindelof. Sources in Portugal have confirmed that Manchester United have started talks with Benfica president Luis Filipe Viera about a transfer so this rumour has strength to it! With Manchester United defender Bailey off to the African cup of nations Manchester United could do with some reinforcement In the defensive sector of the pitch. With Lindelof being described as the Swedish Rio Ferdinand by ex red devil Jesper Blomqvist I’m sure the fans would welcome him as well. This transfer rumour has loads of potential and I believe it will go through hence the high rating.

Rumour Rating 8/10

Jermain Defoe – Sunderland To West Ham (£6 Million Reported fee)

Slaven Bilic could make a drastic bid to bring Jermain Defoe back to where his professional career began 12 years ago. Reports suggest Sunderland owner Ellis Short is looking to sell the club so the sale of star man Defoe might be a good move for Short as it would lower the clubs pay roll. Some West Ham fans may hold a slight grudge against Defoe as back in 2004 he refused a contract and signed for London rivals Spurs. At the moment West Ham could do with a goal scorer up front as so far this season West Ham’s strikers have only scored 2 goals in the Premier league compared to Defoe’s 8 goals. With West Ham also being linked to Ac Milan’s forward Carlos Bacca, Defoe could well be one of a few options for the Hammers to go for in January.

Rumour Rating 6/10

Morgan Schniderlin – Manchester United to West Brom (£16 Million reported fee)

The out of favour Frenchmen at Man United could be on his way out in January due to lack of play time under Mourinho’s reign at the Red Devil’s, he has not featured since November 19th. Reportedly West Brom have made an offer of £18M to take the midfielder away from Old Trafford. It seems Man united would not mind letting Morgan leave as in the pre Christmas press conference Mourinho stated “if the offer is right” and “I would not stop him going” regarding Schniderlin situation at the club. This suggests that he will probably exit this window the question is whether it will be West Brom or Everton as Everton have also shown an interest in the midfielder.

Rumour Rating 7/10

Jordan Pickford – Sunderland to Arsenal

Arsense Wenger is reportedly keeping an eye on Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford as an long term replacement for Petr Cech. Sources reported that Arsenal will try and buy Pickford in January then loan him back to Sunderland for the rest of the season. You can see why Arsenal are interested as the Young keeper has had an impressive season at the Stadium of Light this season making 67 saves that’s 2nd highest in the league this year, safe to say Pickford has a load of potential!

Rumour Rating 6/10

I would like to wish readers a brilliant Christmas and New Year! 

If you have an interest in sports be sure to listen to all the sport shows on PhoenixFm in the coming week!

•Between the Lines – Saturday 13:00 – 15:00 with Steve Robertson and Myself

•Phoenix Sports – Saturday 15:00 – 18:00 with Chris Hood and Scott W

•The Orient Hour – Sunday 18:00 – 19:00 with Chris Hood

•The West Ham Way – Wednesday 19:00 – 20:00 with Sex, Drugs & Carlton Cole and @exwhuemployee

 

 

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Billericay Town Fans’ Forum – as it happened

LIVE UPDATES: We’re at the Billericay Town Fans’ Forum at the New Lodge, Blunts Wall Road, Billericay.

Manager Craig Edwards, new owner Glenn Tamplin and new chairman Danny Groves will be chatting with fans about their plans for the club.

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There are well over 100 people in attendance – standing room only in the bar!

Glenn Tamplin has started by welcoming everyone present and said that Craig Edwards will answer questions too, including when he will get his first three points under the new ownership, which raised a big cheer!

GT explains he played for CE 20 years ago at Barkingside and he knows what it feels like to kick a football around with passion and be in a winning environment.

He says that the most important thing he can input into the club is not money but more a desire to build the club up at all levels.

GT says the new players haven’t gelled yet and every one needs to be patient.

The Colts (Youth team) and Ladies teams are very important to the new ethos of the club.

GT hopes to get 1,000 fans at matches every week and hopes to support all areas of the club and that they’ll support the club in return.

GT says that the club needs to be able to fund and pay for itself – so he is setting the club up to run as a business, and not reliant on his money.

GT went on to talk about his experiences in football and how he would run the club. He wants to make Billericay Town to be somewhere that the fans want to come.

He hopes to offer free admission to local schools and get local schoolchildren involved as mascots each week. He says that the club will dedicate a lot of time to disabled supporters – there will be charity fundraisers at the club in aid of disabled charities.

GT wants to get more youngsters through the doors.

He talked about his experience in business – said he has learned a lot.

A question from the ground – the ground isn’t very disabled-friendly at the moment, and will this be improved?

Danny says that a topographical survey is taking place next week to find out where improvements can be made.

GT said there will be major changes to the ground and access for the disabled will be improved. Drawings are being made at the moment.

Another comment from the fans – is the club doing more to publicise the games through the town?

GT mentioned that Phoenix FM is giving the club more publicity and the Echo is now increasing coverage. DG said that all marketing opportunities are being looked at.

GT said that more leaflets will be produced and asked if the fans can help to distribute them to help publicise the games.

A question from the fans – has the new ownership had any discussions with Basildon Borough Council?

GT says that there is only six months left on the lease at the ground and he will be visiting the council to talk about his plans to see what they will and won’t be happy with.

Another fan mentioned that a former chairman, Rod Moore, put in plans for a new stadium 20 years ago but they were rejected. GT says he will be thinking positively and will be constructive with the Council.

GT was asked if it would be possible to turn the whole pitch round. He said that they have already looked at this but the cost was prohibitive.

GT went on to talk about his strengths and weaknesses. He says he won’t take unnecessary risks. Money has already gone on new players and patience is needed. He stressed that he wants to make the club a community and a family.

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GT explained why he chose Billericay. The first reason was because Dagenham and Redbridge turned down his offer. He’d also spoken to Bishops Stortford but the deal wasn’t right for him. So there was an element of luck, but he is very happy at the set up at Billericay and feels fortunate that other offers did not go through.

GT then went on to outline his plans for the club.

GT says that clubs are definitely trying harder against Billericay now they have brought new players. However he says the club can still get in the playoffs and be the best side at the end of the season. He also hoped for a cup final this season too!

GT says that if plans go through, it will take 2 1/2 years to build the stadium he wants. He doesn’t see any reason why Billericay can’t be in the National League in 5 years and have a 6,000 seater stadium. He will open up facilities to attract new corporate sponsors too, which he feels Dagenham and Redbridge does well.

GT’s vision is 3 promotions in 5 years. He says it’s a lot to ask for but he wants to excel where the club has failed before. He repeated that at the end of that time the club has to run without GT and his wallet.

A question from the fans – will the club be building a 4G pitch as previously mentioned on Phoenix FM? GT said yes, he wants a pitch behind the ground, with new changing room and bar areas which the Colts and Ladies can use along with local schools. It could hopefully bring in more income.

GT says he will be looking for at least 40 more parking spaces with the new facilities.

Another fan asked the club thinks it could get 6,000 people to fill a stadium? GT says he believes the club can come up to 1,500 people a week. He says that he can build a bigger stadium due to his knowledge and resources in his existing steel business.

GT then asked the fans if he wants standing areas behind the goals to remain. The fans in the room were very strong in their support of keeping this.

GT asked if the food and drink should be improved? One fan asked if cards could be taken behind the bar – GT said this would be arranged. Another fan asked if lunches could be served on match days too, and GT said they would look at trialling this.

Another fan asked if Steve and Sharon Kent were still going to be involved in the club. GT said that they are welcome to continue their involvement at a different level if they want to be.

Another fan asked if floodlight bulbs could be purchased! DG said that this is in hand.

A fan asked if the TVs could be improved in the bar area with the introduction of Sky Sports. DG said that improvements will be made and would look into getting Sky back to keep them in the bar longer.

GT then spoke about what is currently under development.

– A new website, to include a forum and other developments to benefit the club

– A new Billericay Town FC logo, which would keep the old heritage but modernising the style. The Mayflower motif would stay. The fans would be presented with the old badge and four new designs by the end of January and fans would vote on their favourite

– A new slogan, to help the club and the fans be as one and get behind the community, players and supporters

– A mascot – which will involve supporters’ suggestions

Fans were asked for suggestions to the website and a number of fans were very complimentary of the unofficial site at btfcunofficial.wixsite.com/1880.

One fan asked if the New Crawdaddy Club would continue and GT said that events would remain an important part of the community feel of the club.

Some fans talked about the number of official and unofficial sites, Twitter accounts and so on. GT said he wants to unite the club and wants to talk to any fans who have issues with this regard.

GT wrapped up by asking for feedback at the following web address: www.billericaytownfc.co.uk/feedback

He said, “I look forward to this exciting challenge which I intend to make my ultimate goal for my family, colleagues, and those of this amazing club.”

GT then handed the floor to manager Craig Edwards.

He was immediately asked if he was confident that the players would succeed on the pitch.

CE said that the club has had a lot of new players come in recently. The club has also has its worst injury crisis in his time as manager, losing several key players to injury.

New players had to come in quickly as the squad was getting short. This coincided with GT’s introduction to the club – if GT had not come in, lower league players would have been recruited instead.

CE was very confident on Saturday but the club just had a bad day. He said it would settle down.

CE says that every year the club has to build a new side, and this wouldn’t happen in future as he hoped to keep the core of the club.

The cups are very important and the club aims to “win the league in the second half of the season” which would put BTFC in the playoffs.

One fan asked if the injured players would be part of the club’s plans and CE said the sooner the players come back, the better.

Another fan asked if the passion and commitment from players would continue and CE said he wants all players, no matter what level, continue to give everything they’ve got on the pitch.

CE was asked about player recruitment. He said that all of the players who had come in were good lads and the challenge was keeping players motivated who had dropped down a level to play at BTFC.

One fan asked if the side was settled now. CE said that if players didn’t have the desire to play at BTFC he has to let them go.

CE said he felt it was exciting times for the whole club. The club was on a dip in form but the team has quality players who want to play well and he expects them to bounce back.

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Leopards Win Thriller

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Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards head into the Christmas break on a high after a thrilling 87-86 victory against Lancashire Spinners, on Sunday.

The Brentwood crowd went through the full range of emotions as their depleted line-up trailed by 12 at half-time before a stunning second half comeback saw them lead by seven with just over two minutes remaining. But the visitors replied with an 8-0 run and appeared to have won the game as they had a one-point lead with 3.2 seconds on the clock only for Tosin Oyelese to hit a buzzer-beating jump shot to spark some wild celebrations.

The odds were certainly stacked against the Big Cats as they went into the game with only seven fit players, a squad that included coach Steve Ogunjimi who played his first number of meaningful minutes for two years.

However Ogunjimi’s appearance only last 12 minutes of court time as he was controversially ejected midway through the second period for what appeared to be nothing more than talking to the referee.

With Justin Hitchman and Dougie Bennett injured, Caleb Tabanar and Dominic Scott-Robinson unavailable, and Perry Lawson suspended following his ejection at Leicester, the remaining Leopards were forced to step up and they were led by a triple-double from American guard AJ Roberts who finished with a 24 point, 12 rebound and 12 assist triple-double.

Darrell Bethune added 25 points, four assists and four boards while Mike Martin had 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists in a full 40-minute performance, and Jamie Hayes added 11 points.

The Big Cats had overcome a slow start to cut an early ten-point deficit to trail only 24-21 at the first break but the ejection of Ogunjimi clearly disrupted the home side and they were 50-38 down at half-time.

The visitors made it a 15-point game with the opening score of the second half and there was little sign of the comeback that was to follow until three minutes before the end of the third period when Roberts launched a 10-2 run, and a Bethune lay-up cut the deficit to 67-65 at the final break.

Bethune drained a three to open the final stanza as they took their first lead of the game, and Martin put the hosts 75-69 ahead with 6:31 on the clock.

The lead grew to eight with four minutes remaining as Martin converted a Bethune assist, and Roberts made it 82-75 with 2:19 remaining.

As the Big Cats struggled at the foul line, Spinners chipped away at the lead and Mark Rangely cut the lead to 85-84 with 23 seconds left and a poorly executed play saw the ball turned over as Rangeley put his team ahead by one going into the final play.

A timeout from stand-in coach Roger Malpass saw Roberts inbound the ball to Martin who found Oyelese just inside the foul line and he sunk his shot to seal the win.

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Leopards will open 2017 with an intriguing friendly against the Welsh national team on Monday January 2, tip-off 3.30pm at Oaklands Academy in St Albans.

The Welsh side will use the game as part of their build-up for the 2018 Commonwealth Games qualifiers, while for the Big Cats it will be a chance to get the Christmas break out of their system before a big weekend which sees them at Brentwood against Manchester Giants in the BBL Trophy on Friday January 6 and Worthing Thunder two days later.

Wales finished seventh in this summer’s FIBA Europe Small Nations Championship in Moldova, beating Gibraltar 67-40 in their final game to avoid the wooden spoon. Since then they have undergone a change of coach, with Kings Lynn Fury play-caller James Bamfield taking over, and Leopards were pleased to help their former Division One rival.

“It should be a great game for us and a chance to get rid of the Christmas cobwebs” said general manage Dave Ryan. “It’s a fantastic venue at Oaklands, and they’ve staged junior international games and camps before.

“We’re hoping for a big crowd as it’s the end of a long break, and it’s the chance to see something a bit different.”

The game will be played with NBA length quarters of 12 – rather than the normal ten — minutes in each period.

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – December 17th 2016

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Dec 17th ’16) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

West Ham Utd 1 – 0 Hull City   (Premier League)

A late penalty by captain Mark Noble was enough to get the win for the Hammers against strugglers Hull City at the London Stadium. West Ham are now unbeaten in their last three league matches and rise to 13th in the EPL table. Hull on the other hand, have the worst run of form in the division, having amassed two points from their last six EPL matches, slipping to bottom in the table.

Wigan Athletic 2 – 3 Ipswich Town  (EFL Championship)

Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich side recovered from twice going behind to record their first win in four league matches. Yanic Wildschut twice put Wigan ahead at the DW Stadium, though a brace from Brett Pitman and a late winner from substitute David McGoldrick grabbed all three points for the Tractor Boys. Wigan have lost their last four league matches and sit 23rd in the table. Ipswich rise to 15th spot.

Oldham Athletic  0 – 2 Southend Utd   (EFL League One)

Southend produced a determined display to extend their unbeaten run to ten matches in League One. Goals from Nile Ranger and substitute Jermaine McGlashan gave the Shrimpers the win at Boundary Park. Oldham have failed to win in their last six league matches and sit at the foot of the table, whereas Southend rise to 7th spot, just a point off the play-off spots.

Colchester Utd  2 – 1 Notts County    (EFL League Two)

The U’s recovered from going behind to continue their decent recent league run at the Weston Homes Community Stadium. Elliot Hewitt put Notts in front, though Colchester soon equalised through Kurtis Guthrie and a Richard Duffy OG granted the U’s the three points. Notts County haven’t won in seven league matches now, sitting in 20th spot. Colchester rise to 13th spot in the table, only four points off the top seven.

Wycombe Wanderers 1 – 0 Leyton Orient (EFL League Two)

Scott Kashket returned to haunt his former club as his goal gave Wycombe all three points at Adams Park. Wycombe are unbeaten in seven league matches and are in 6th spot. Andy Edwards’ Orient are in 21st spot, though are only outside the bottom two on goal difference.

Dagenham & Redbridge 4 – 4 Solihull Moors   (National League Premier)

What a match to sum up. Solihull Moors’ early blitz saw them go three goals up in the first half hour at Victoria Road. Harry White, Omari Sterling & Jack Bryne goals saw to that, though the Daggers were up for the fight, pulling two goals back through captain Scott Doe and Tyrique Hyde, who scored his first goal for the club. Solihull extended their lead to 4-2 through Sterling’s second of the afternoon. Though, Dag & Red would not be denied as late goals from Oliver Hawkins & Corey Whitely meant the points were shared. Amazingly, only Lincoln City won of all the sides in the top six do John Still’s men stay 4th, six points off top spot. Solihull are in 16th spot, six points ahead of the bottom four.

Gateshead 1 – 1 Braintree Town    (National League Premier)

Braintree were denied a good away win by a late ‘Heed equaliser. Jack Midson had put the visitors in front just after the hour. Patrick McLaughlin’s penalty meant the points were shared. Gateshead haven’t won in six league matches though and reside in 11th place, whilst Braintree are in 21st spot.

East Thurrock Utd 5 – 1 Truro City     (National League South)

The Rocks hit another goal glut to come from behind and defeat the White Tigers at Rookery Hill. Andrew Neal had put Truro ahead before the half hour, though a Tom Wraight double had put the hosts in front at half-time. East Thurrock hammered home the advantage in the second period as goals from Kane Ferdinand, Wraight (who completed his hat-trick) and Ben Marlow saw them grab the three points. The Rocks have a fortress at home, being undefeated in ten league matches at Rookery Hill. Truro City fall to 16th in the table, whilst East Thurrock rise to 9th place, seven points off the top five.

Welling Utd 3 – 1 Concord Rangers   (National League South)

A hat-trick from Adam Coombes secured an important win for Jamie Day’s Welling Utd at Park View Road. Jordan Chiedozie had put Concord in front early on but couldn’t respond. Adam Flanagan’s men reside in 18th place in the table, whilst Welling climb out of the bottom three, now in 19th spot.

Weston-super-Mare 0 – 0 Chelmsford City      (National League South)

Chelmsford City gained a useful point away from home in this dead-locked match at Woodspring Stadium. Rod Stringer’s men sit in 6th place, having drawn six of their last seven league matches. The Seagulls fall into the bottom three, into 20th spot.

 Billericay Town  0 – 2 Kingstonian   (Ryman Premier Division)

The K’s emerged victorious at New Lodge as goals from Sam Page and Ryan Moss were enough to take all the points. Billericay are now winless in eight league matches, falling to 15th place. Kingstonian go up to 9th spot in the table, five points off the top five.

Brentwood Town  1 – 2 Maldon & Tiptree     (Ryman League Division North)

Maldon & Tiptree rallied from a goal down to defeat Tony Ievoli’s Brentwood at the Brentwood Arena. Andy Freeman put the hosts ahead before half-time which stood until the last ten minutes before a double-salvo from the Jammers’ Gavin Greenfield and hot-shot Liam Nash jammed any chance of a positive result for the hosts. Brentwood sit in 22nd spot in Ryman North. Kevin Horlock’s side are sitting pretty at the summit, seven points clear of Thurrock in 2nd.

Waltham Abbey 1 – 4  Bowers & Pitsea   (Ryman League Division North)

Bowers won their seventh league match on-the-trot as they racked up an impressive win at Capershotts. Goals from Ben Sartain, Brad Warner, Lewis Manor & David Knight sealed the points, though Tremayne Coley grabbed a late consolation for the Abbotts. Bowers reside in 4th spot, whilst Waltham Abbey are in 20th place, just two points above the bottom three.

 

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Rumour Round up! 1 16/12/16

 

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As the Winter transfer window approaches fast! The rumours come in quicker! In this new weekly blog update I will be covering all the big footballing transfer rumours around the world and giving them a rating out of 10 on how likely I see them happening.

Oscar – Chelsea To Shanghai SiPG (£52 million)*Reported amount 

So to kick things off we start with the Brazils attacking midfielder Oscar. Under new manger Antonio Conte it seemed Oscar’s place at Chelsea was safe as he started his first 5 games of the season but since then only playing 4 since September. I believe this is a strong rumour which has a lot of credentials to go through with Conte not denying a possible Oscar departure when asked about it in the post match Conference for the game against Sunderland. Although saying that Oscar has come out and said that he would like to stay at Chelsea and fight for his place rather than move to China. Could Chelsea star Oscar be reunited with Ex Chelsea boss Andre Villas Boas in China come February?

5/10 Rumour Rating

Callum Wilson – Bourmouth To Everton (£20M+) *reported 

With Everton boss Ronald Koeman Identifying Wilson as a target there may be a chance of this transfer. Toffees boss Koeman seems keen to bring in support for Lukaku up top some sources suggest. Callum Wilson is signed on at Bourmouth until 2020 as he recently signed a deal in July this is a reason why the toffees would be looking at a price £20mil + for the 24 year old. With West Ham also reported interested this could get interesting come January.

6/10 Rumour Rating 

Andre Silva – Porto to Arsenal 

The young Portuguese striker from Porto has reportedly been the target of a scout sent out by Arsenal. So far this season Silva has been impressive for club and country scoring 12 goals this season so far for Porto 2 of them goals against English Champions Leicester, also scoring 4 in 5 for Portugal. Safe to say the scout would’ve been impressed by the youngster. For me his release clause takes away the real poetenial in this transfer as it stands at a mighty £60 million fee that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal would not throw up lightly, altough it has been reported a lower fee could be neogotiated.

5/10 Rumour Rating 

Ederson Moraes – Benfica To Man City (£20m) *reported fee  

Ederson Moraes is Brazils number 1 keeper and one of Pep Guardiola January targets. If this rumour goes through this could spell the end for Joe Hart career at Man City. The 23 year old shot stopper was a target of Man City last summer before Pep signed Bravo. Moraes would most likely be a back up keeper at the Etihad and some reports suggest he would not be able to move until the summer. It has been said by some sources that Guardiola has sent Scouts to watch the young keeper who is keeping out the experienced keeper Julio César. With Bravo up and down form and the past interest I can see City going in for Moraes in January if not in the summer!

Rumour Rating: 8/10  

If you have an interest in sports be sure to listen to all the sport shows on PhoenixFm in the coming week!

•Between the Lines – Saturday 13:00 – 15:00 with Steve Robertson and Myself

•Phoenix Sports – Saturday 15:00 – 18:00 with Chris Hood and Scott W

•The Orient Hour – Sunday 18:00 – 19:00 with Chris Hood

•The West Ham Way – Wednesday 19:00 – 20:00 with Sex, Drugs & Carlton Cole and @exwhuemployee

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Leopards Back at Brentwood

 

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Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards will look to wrap up 2016 with a victory when they host Lancashire Spinners at the Brentwood Centre on Sunday December 18, tip-off 4pm.

Spinners will arrive at Brentwood sitting three places above Leopards in eighth with four wins from ten games. That is a considerable improvement after a disappointing Trophy campaign saw them lose all three games, while in the National Cup they annihilated Liverpool 119-50 in the third round before losing 114-109 in an overtime thriller at Bradford Dragons.

The two teams were certainly evenly-matched last season with both games resulting in 12-point wins for the hosts, and we finished level with 16-10 records as Leopards edged Spinners into seventh place due to over-all points difference.

Essex Leopards v London Lituanica 10 Dec 2016; Shaq Lewis

The Big Cats will be aiming to bounce back after their depleted line-up went down 74-70 against London Lituanica in another Harlow Leisurezone thriller.

With both Mike Martin and Dominic Scott-Robinson unwell and Justin Hitchman still suffering from a foot injury, the Big Cats had just eight fit players forcing coach Steve Ogunjimi to kit up, although he didn’t get on the court.

The Big Cats led for most of the second half, but eventually came up short as the Lithuanians scored seven of the final eight points to gain revenge for Leopards’ early-season Trophy victory.

Darrell Bethune led the way for the Leopards with 16 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while AJ Roberts added 14 points and Jamie Hayes 12 points and nine rebounds. Tosin Oyelese had his best game for a while, finishing with nine points and as many rebounds as all eight Leopards got on the scoreboard.

Bethune opened the scoring with a trey but the visiting side led for most of the first period before triples from Perry Lawson and Hayes cut the deficit to 24-22 at the first break.

Lituanica were 34-28 ahead midway through the second period before a Hayes put-back launched a 13-3 run to close out the half. Roberts, Bethune and Shaq Lewis all added to the score before baskets from Lewis and Bethune sent them into the locker room with a 43-37 lead.

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A foul-strewn third period saw the Big Cats called for nine infringements while the physical Lithuanians committed just three foul as they went to the charity stripe 14 times  but with Roberts hitting a pair of threes in his ten point haul in the quarter, the hosts maintained their six-point lead at 58-52 going into the final break.

Oyelese opened the fourth quarter scoring, but a pair of threes from the visitors saw them take the lead at 64-61 only for Leopards to respond with six straight points to lead by three heading into the final two minutes.

Inevitably the game was decided at the foul line as the home side were called four times down the stretch with the visitors scoring six of their eight free-throws, and despite Hayes keeping them ahead in the final minute, a Guzys jump shot with 15 seconds on the clock sealed the win for Lituanica.

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – December 10th 2016

Scott W reports with a round-up of all of today’s results (Dec 10th ’16) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport, from West Ham Utd all the way to Bowers & Pitsea & Brentwood Town.

West Ham Utd play Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday – KO 4.30pm

Ipswich Town  1 – 1  Cardiff City  (EFL Championship)

Ipswich were held to a draw by Neil Warnock’s battling Cardiff City outfit. Aron Gunnarsson put the Bluebirds in front before half-time. Ipswich responded through Luke Varney seven minutes into the second period. The visitors lost defender Sol Bamba to a straight red card with 20-odd minutes to play but held on for a point. Ipswich sit in 17th place in the Championship table, whilst Cardiff are 22nd, level on points with Blackburn Rovers.

Southend Utd 3 – 1 Coventry City      (EFL League One)

Southend comfortably beat struggling Coventry City at Roots Hall. Goals from Anthony Wordsworth, Anton Ferdinand & Stephen McLaughlin helped the Shrimpers on the way, whilst Daniel Agyei scored a late consolation for the visitors. Southend are now unbeaten in six league matches (3 wins & 3 draws) and sit in 8th spot, just a point off the top six. By contrast, Coventry have lost five out of the last six league matches and reside in 21st place.

Leyton Orient 1 – 0 Accrington Stanley    (EFL League Two)

A solitary goal from Jay Simpson was enough to grab three vital points for the O’s at the Matchroom Stadium. Accrington’s afternoon got more difficult as they lost captain Sean McConville to a straight red before the half hour mark. Orient today won their first match in four and are 21st in the table, over-taking their opponents today. Accrington have lost five out of the last six league matches; sit in 22nd spot, three points clear of the bottom two.

Mansfield Town 0 – 0 Colchester Utd      (EFL League Two)

Colchester battled to a goalless draw at Field Mill & in the process notched up their third clean sheet in a row. Steve Evans’ Mansfield side are 13th in League Two, whilst the U’s sit in 16th spot, six points clear of the bottom two.

Braintree Town 2 – 0 Torquay Utd      (The FA Trophy First Round)

A quick-fire second-half brace from Jack Midson saw Braintree progress to the next round at a damp Cressing Road. The Gulls had chances of their own but couldn’t capitalise on them in a disappointing afternoon for Kevin Nicholson’s men.

Chelmsford City 1 – 0 Hitchin Town      (The FA Trophy First Round)

Shaun Jeffers’ 15th goal of the season was enough for the Clarets to go through to the next round, defeating Evo-Stik Southern Premier side Hitchin Town at Melbourne Park.  

Dagenham & Redbridge 1 – 2 Worthing    (The FA Trophy First Round)

The Daggers continued their indifferent form of late with a home defeat to Ryman Premier side Worthing at Victoria Road. Dagenham striker Paul Benson put his side ahead before half-time though the Rebels responded well after the break, with goals from Will Hendon & Lloyd Dawes securing a big win for the visitors. Congratulations to them.

East Thurrock Utd 1 – 1 Aldershot Town     (The FA Trophy First Round)

The Rocks held that National League opponents Aldershot to a creditable draw at Rookery Hill. Talismanic striker Sam Higgins put the hosts in front, before the Shot’s Bernard Mensah equalised five minutes later. East Thurrock had goalkeeper Lukas Lidakevicius produced a great display as they forced a replay which will be this Monday night (Dec 12th) at Aldershot’s Recreation Ground.

Concord Rangers did not play this weekend. They are next in action next Saturday (Dec 17th), away to Welling Utd in National League South.

Burgess Hill Town 2 – 1 Billericay Town     (Ryman Premier Division)

Burgess Hill narrowly defeated Craig Edwards’ men at Leylands Park. A Dan Pearse penalty and a tap-in from Jack Brivio put the Hillians two up at the break. Billericay responded with another penalty through Billy Bricknell, nine minutes into the second half. The hosts held out for the win though, in what was ex-Leyton Orient man Dean Cox’s final match of his short spell at the club. The Hillians rise to 17th in the table, only three points ahead of the bottom four. Billericay are in 13th spot, having failed to win in six league matches now.

Bowers & Pitsea 3 – 1 Phoenix Sports    (Ryman League Division North)

Bowers continued their sparkling recent form in Ryman North with a fine win against fellow high-flyers Phoenix Sports at the Len Salmon Stadium. A brace from striker David Knight and a Brad Warner goal sent Rob Small’s men well on their way to victory. Joshua Jackson got a consolation for the visitors 20 minutes from time. Bowers have now won 6 league matches in a row and sit in 5th spot, displacing Cheshunt. Phoenix Sports fall to 9th spot in the table, only two points off the top five.

Dereham Town  1 – 3 Brentwood Town       (Ryman League Division North)

Tony Ievoli’s Brentwood side made light of their recent woes by picking up a fine win at Dereham’s Aldiss Park. Ife Ogunbayo put the visitors in front before the break. Things got better for the Blues as ex-Redbridge forward Kieran English scored a penalty on his debut for the club. Joe Gatting netted a late consolation for the Magpies before substitute Chris Cordara-Soares sealed the win with Brentwood’s third shortly before the end. Dereham are 15th in the table, whereas Brentwood sit 21st, a point clear of the bottom three after this morale-boosting win.

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Billericay Town FC – sale complete, fans forum coming

You can hear Glenn talking to Phoenix FM here:


GLENN TAMPLIN has completed the purchase of Billericay Town FC.

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Photo credit: BTFC Unofficial

In a statement on Billericay Town’s official website, former owner and chairman Steve Kent said: “Recently, many people have made enquiries about ownership, but none have demonstrated the same desire and passion as Glenn. I have said many times that if the right person came along I would step aside. I think Glenn IS that person.

“Even before we completed he brought in new players and has improved the pitch, that kind of passion is just what Billericay Town Fc deserve and need. Welcome Glenn … and enjoy.”

Glenn spoke to Paul Golder today about plans on the field, including more new signings, some planned, some already completed.

Off the field, he also spoke about the Fans Forum, which will take at Blunts Wall Road, Billericay CM11 9SA on Monday 19th December at 7pm. It’s a chance for all fans to have their say and help build the direction of the club going forward.

For more information keep an eye on the club’s website at www.billericaytownfc.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @btfc.

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Lithuanian Test for Leopards

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Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards will look to bounce back from their loss at Leicester Warriors when they host London Lituanica at Harlow Leisurezone, on Saturday.

The action starts at 7.30pm and will see the Big Cats face a side they have already beaten 68-61 on the road in the National Trophy.

If the game is as good as the last time Steve Ogunjimi’s side were in action at Harlow, the fans are in for a treat as Solent Kestrels were beaten 96-93 in overtime.  

Lituanica will arrive at Leisurezone with a 3-4 record, but have had one win deducted after they conceded their game at Manchester Magic, and sit just above the relegation zone in 12th place.

Leopards will look to end a run of three  games between the clubs that has seen the visiting team take the victory.

Last season saw Leopards become the first team in Lituanica’s four-year history – during which time they moved up the NBL – to win on their east London court with an 89-68 victory but produced a lacklustre performance in the return at Brentwood with a 51-48 loss. There was also a three-point margin when the sides met at Brentwood in the Trophy last season, with the Big Cats winning 71-68.

That Trophy loss against Leopards didn’t prevent Lituanica reaching the Trophy semi-final where they will meet Worthing, but like Leopards they went out of the National Cup at the hands of second division Kent Crusaders, with their 52-point loss the biggest margin of defeat for a top flight team against lower division opposition in over 30 years.

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After three straight wins with their new-look line-up, Leopards were brought back to earth on Saturday as they went down 85-71 in the midlands.

To complete a miserable day for the Big Cats, they had former GB guard Perry Lawson ejected for throwing the ball at Warriors’ Carl Pearson.

The visitors never recovered from a disappointing start as they trailed 15-6 after six minutes – Darrell Bethune having scored four of those points against his old team – and they went into the first break trailing 24-13.

That deficit grew to as many as 18 early in the second period before  Mike Martin sparked a comeback to reduce the margin to 40-32 before Warriors finished the half strongly to lead 48-37 at half-time.

The visitors failed to trouble the scorers in the first six minutes of the second half as Warriors effectively wrapped the game up at 56-37 before AJ Roberts broke the drought, but Leopards trailed 62-45 at the final break and never looked likely to stage a comeback in the fourth period.

Martin led the way for the visitors with another massive double-double, finishing with 16 points and as many rebounds, while Roberts finished with 16 points. Dougie Bennett came off the bench to hit four of his seven three point attempts on the way to a 15-point game, with Bethune adding 11 points.

“We lacked intensity” admitted coach Ogunjimi. “We had it in spurts, but you can’t let a team like Leicester start well, and not following the game-plan we worked on in practice really hurt us.”

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Football: Local Sides Round-up (Through the Divisions) – Dec 3rd 2016

Scott W Reporting – Phoenix FM Sport

Here’s a round-up of all of today’s results (Dec 3rd ’16) from the local sides we look out for on Phoenix Sport. (Image: Scott W)

West Ham Utd 1 – 5 Arsenal    (Premier League)

Another star turn from Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez secured a big win for Arsenal at the London Stadium. Alexis, who grabbed a 15-minute hat-trick in the second half plus goals from Ozil and Oxlade-Chamberlain sends the Gunners into 2nd spot in the table. Substitute Andy Carroll got a late consolation for the Hammers, who haven’t won a league match in nearly six weeks.

Bristol City 2 – 0 Ipswich Town        (EFL Championship)

The hosts got their first win in four matches with a good win over Ipswich Town at Ashton Gate. Goals from Lee Tomlin (pen) and a cracking 25-yard volley from Luke Freeman were enough for City, who sit in 11th spot. Ipswich sit in 16th place.

Dover Athletic 1 – 2 Dagenham & Redbridge   (National League)

Dag & Red recovered from their poor recent form to record a good win against in-form Dover at the Crabble Stadium. A super free-kick from on-loan forward Jordan Maguire-Drew & a headed goal by Daggers legend Paul Benson, his first since re-signing for the club, were enough to grab the points. Dag & Red rise to 4th, back in the play-off places, replacing today’s opponents who now sit 6th.

Chelmsford City 3 – 3 Hungerford Town    (National League South)

A topsy-turvy game at Melbourne Park saw both sides take a share of the points. Chelmsford took the lead through Anthony Church, Hungerford responded through Ian Herring , Nat Jarvis and Nicholas Bignall to lead 3-1 before a Shaun Jeffers brace retrieved a point for City. Chelmsford are in 6th place in the table, two points off the play-off positions. Hungerford are in 8th spot, six points behind City.

Concord Rangers 2 – 1 Hampton & Richmond Borough   (National League South)

The Beach Boys continued their good run of form, defeating the high-flying Beavers at the Aspect Arena. A Tom Jelley OG and a goal from striker Jordan Chiezodie, who signed a new contract this week was enough for the win. Portsmouth-bound striker Jamal Lowe got a consolation for the visitors. Concord are in 18th spot, five points clear of the bottom three whereas Hampton fall to fifth as all the other teams in the play-off positions (St Albans City, Ebbsfleet Utd & Dartford) won today.

Wealdstone 1 – 0 East Thurrock Utd      (National League South)

Liam Goulding’s goal was enough for the Stones to defeat East Thurrock Utd at Grosvenor Vale. The home side rise to 10th in the table. The Rocks are in 9th spot, ahead of Wealdstone on goal difference.

Worthing 2 – 2 Billericay Town     (Ryman Premier Division)

The Blues were held to a draw at Woodside Road, having initially taken the lead through Jerome Sobers. Lloyd Dawes equalised from the penalty spot for the Rebels before half-time. Billy Bricknell put Billericay in front once again, though Zack Newton secured a point with his goal late on. Worthing now sit in 16th spot, whereas Craig Edwards’ men sit in 12th, only five points behind the play-off positions.

Bury Town 3 – 1 Brentwood Town       (Ryman League Division North)

The home side comfortably saw off Brentwood at Ram Meadow. Ollie Hughes put Bury Town in front, though Andy Greenslade equalised for Town before the break. Remi Garrett and Ryan Jolland goals though secured the points for the hosts. Brentwood’s pain was compounded when striker Shad Ngandu saw red late on as Brentwood have now unfortunately lost their last six matches. Bury Town sit in 6th place, just outside the play-offs on goal difference. Tony Ievoli’s men are in 20th position, aided by the fact that of the sides around them, only Thamesmead Town & Waltham Abbey won today.

Wroxham 0 – 3 Bowers & Pitsea     (Ryman League Division North)

Bowers & Pitsea continued their excellent recent form to defeat Wroxham at Trafford Park. Goals from Lewis Manor, Alfie Hilton and Brad Warner wrapped up all three points for Rob Small’s men. Wroxham remain bottom of the Ryman North table, four points from safety. In contrast, Bowers rise to 7th position, two points outside the play-off positions having won their last five matches now.

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Match-Report: Billericay Town 2 – 3 AFC Sudbury (Ryman Premier Division)

Billericay Town 2  – 3 AFC Sudbury (Ryman Premier Division)

Match Report by Scott W – Phoenix FM Sport

On Tuesday night, I made my first visit to Billericay Town’s New Lodge stadium as they took on AFC Sudbury in a Ryman Premier Division encounter.

The home side started the match well in the freezing conditions, and opened the scoring though midfielder Matt Johnson’s strike. Moments later, the hosts nearly doubled their advantage through striker Luke Moore but his effort was cleared off the line by the Sudbury backline.

This in turn stirred up the visitors who had multiple chances to level, winger Sam Bantick in particular being a threat with his pace & trickery. Sudbury drew level five minutes before the break through midfielder Dylan Williams’ strike, following good play by Bantick. Sudbury took advantage of a defensive lapse from the hosts’ just three minutes later, striker Luke Callander making no mistake from close range.

Half-Time: Billericay Town 1 – 2 AFC Sudbury

Billericay manager Craig Edwards rung the changes at the start of the second half, with two substitutes (defender Adelowo & Hubble in midfield) being brought on.

Sudbury made the points safe on the hour mark as captain Sam Clarke blasted his strike into top corner, although there were suspicions of off-side. Billericay did struggle to find their rhythm going forward, though for the most part they defended OK, centre-back Jerome Sobers being good in the air and sub Gabby Adelowo looked decent at right-back. Striker Billy Bricknell got a consolation late on for the hosts, having earlier had a goal chalked off for off-side. Sudbury held on though in the second half to take the three points back to Suffolk.

Full-Time: Billericay Town 2 – 3 AFC Sudbury

Billericay Town have brought in a number of new signings recently since new owner Glenn Tamplin’s arrival and to be fair, the team will need time to settle and gel, all in a competitive Ryman Premier Division campaign. AFC Sudbury rise to 15th place with this win, Billericay Town remain in 10th place, level on points with Harlow Town and Lowestoft Town.

Teams:

Billericay Town: Giddens (GK & C), Vancooten (Adelowo 46’), Stephenson, Johnson, Sobers, Wilson, Monville, Krasniqi (Hubble 46’), Bricknell, Moore (Capela 74’) & Taaffe

Subs Not Used: Bakare & Cojocarel

AFC Sudbury: Garnham (GK), Carroll, Austin (Newman 74’), Williams, Henshaw, Tann, Bantick (Wales 83’), Clarke (C), Callander, Parker & Eagle (French 56’)

Subs Not Used: Dunlop & Robinson

Booked: Clarke

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Don’t forget the Billericay Town FC Fans Forum at New Lodge, CM11 9SA on Monday 19th December at 7pm.

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Billericay Town Fans Forum – have your say!

Billericay Town FC will be staging a Fans Forum on Monday 19th December at 7pm.

The forum, to take place at Blunts Wall Road, Billericay CM11 9SA, is organised by the club’s prospective new owner Glenn Tamplin and is a change for all fans to have their say and help build the direction of the club going forward.

For more information keep an eye on the club’s website at www.billericaytownfc.co.uk or follow them on Twitter @btfc.

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Double Success for Leopards

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Dave Ryan reports…

Levett Essex Leopards will travel to Leicester Warriors on Saturday looking for a fourth straight victory following two thrilling home wins over the weekend.

Solent Kestrels were beaten 98-93 in an overtime epic at Harlow Leisurezone on Saturday evening, and just over 18 hours later the Big Cat collected their first win of the campaign at the Brentwood Centre as Bradford Dragons were beaten 83-79.

The changes the Big Cats made to their roster in early November seem to have paid dividends and they are now up to eighth in the Division One table as they continue to look for a top four finish and home court advantage in the play-offs.

Steve Ogunjimi’s side will face a Warriors team who are 12th in the table with a 2-7 record but with a pair of American import players they have showed that they can match any team on their day with wins against Solent and Westminster as well as an early-season Trophy victory against high-flying Loughborough.

The Big Cats had narrow victories in both games against Karl Brown’s team last season although it took overtime at the Brentwood Centre before they wrapped up a 78-74 victory.

Following Saturday’s trip to the midlands Leopards wrap up 2017 with the visits of London Lituanica to Harlow on Saturday December 10 and Lancashire Spinners to Brentwood on Sunday December 18.

Essex Leopards v Bradford Dragons, 27 Nov 2016; Mike Martin with the slam

On Saturday, former England international Mike Martin rolled back the years with a massive 34 point, ten rebound double-double as Ogunjimi’s team picked up a league victory from an excellent advert for Division One basketball.

The new-look Big Cats allowed a seven point lead with three minutes of regulation time slip away but took control in the extra period for their first home league win of the campaign.

Darrell Bethune marked his home debut with 21 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while AJ Roberts added 16 points, five boards and five assists. Dougie Bennett finished with 12 points while another home debutant, Perry Lawson, had seven assists.

The Big Cats overcame a slow start before five straight Bethune points tied the game at 22 going into the first break and they looked likely to only trail by one at half-time before R Williams hit a triple on the buzzer to give Solent a 50-46 lead going into the locker room.

The game remained tight in the third period but a trey from Bethune and a three point play by Martin helped the home side go into the fourth period with a 69-62 lead.

Leopards never trailed in the fourth quarter and Martin’s basket with three minutes left looked to have sealed it, only for Solent to reply with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 82 to force an extra period.

Tosin Oyelese opened the overtime period with a lay-up off Bethune’s assist and Leopards led throughout with three-pointers from Martin and Roberts helping them take control and wrap up the win.

Essex Leopards v Bradford Dragons, 27 Nov 2016; AJ Roberts;

It wasn’t any less nerve-shredding at Brentwood the following day as Dragons were eventually slain in another tense game. The Big Cats never trailed after the mid-stage of the opening period but Bradford produced a fighting performance to take the game to the wire.

Bethune and Martin again led the way with 21 and 19 points respectively and collecting nine assists apiece, with Martin also chipping in with four assists. Roberts finished with his best numbers of the season with a 16 point, ten rebound double-double, adding five assists, with Oyelese adding nine points and Hayes eight.

After the previous night’s exertions, Leopards predictably started slowly despite a Roberts triple, but a Bethune trey launched a 9-0 run open a 14-8 lead with seven minutes gone, and the hosts never trailed again.

Bradford replied with five points but the home side closed out the period with six unanswered points to lead 20-13 at the first break.

That lead evaporated as Dragons opened the second period with a 9-2 run to tie the game only to see Bethune hit seven straight points and Oyelese five as Leopards replied with a 12-2 tear, and they went into the locker room with a 38-33 lead.

Six straight Hayes points kept the Big Cats ahead early in the second half and with Lawson draining from long range the home side went into the final break with a 63-58 lead.

Only Martin’s four points troubled the scorers for Leopards in the opening five minutes of the fourth period and Matt Gooding hit three straight triples to tie the game at 67.

Bethune broke the drought with a pair of lay-ups, and Dragons never got closer than two points again before Roberts wrapped up the win at the foul line.

 

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Billericay Town FC – new owner urges the town to get behind the club

Billericay Town’s new owner Glenn Tamplin is urging the town to get behind his club as he aims to take them from the Ryamn League to the Football League over the coming seasons.

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Completion of the purchase of the club will take place in the next few days but Glenn has already injected funds into the team, having signed eight new players in the last 10 days.

Speaking to Phoenix FM this morning, Glenn says that he has a strong vision for the club but needs support in helping the club to progress.

Glenn said:

“I am bringing money, drive, passion, desire, commitment and unity to the club. We’ve got very high hopes that our new players will make an impact.

“We want our fans to be on the journey from the start. These are exciting times for Billercay Town and its supporters.”

The Blues are currently 11th in the Ryman Premier but only 5 points from the play-off places with games in hand.

Their next home match is against the Metropolitan Police tomorrow (Saturday) at 3pm, followed by another home game against AFC Sudbury on Tuesday at 7.45pm.

You can follow Billericay Town on Twitter @BTFC and the new owner is also now on Twitter @GlennTamplin.

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 0 Exeter City 1

Leyton Orient sink to their eighth successive home league defeat, after a 1-0 loss to Exeter City at The Matchroom Stadium.

Ollie Watkins got the only goal of the night for Exeter in the first half with a close range strike to take them off the bottom of the table, as Orient flirt just above the relegation zone.

Alberto Cavasin made two changes to his side that lost 2-1 at home to Blackpool, as Myles Judd got his first league start for the club with Yvan Erichot out injured. Paul McCallum’s late impact on Saturday earned his call up to the starting eleven, ahead of Ollie Palmer who moved to the bench.

Exeter took the lead 25 minutes in, on the break as Liam McAlinden long deep cross found David Wheeler, who put the ball across goal for Watkins to slot into the far corner.

Orient almost struck straight back, after a sloppy back pass by Exeter played Jay Simpson in down the left flank but held the ball up, as Christy Pym rushed out and the opportunity closed with his pass going astray and was cleared.

Gavin Massey was brought down just outside the box, as Nicky Hunt stepped up and fired the set piece just over the bar.

Exeter thought they had grabbed a second, as McAlinden whipped in a ball on a plate for Watkins unmarked inside the box but his header went wide from six-yards out – despite the offside flag.

Orient’s Alex Cisak came to collect a high ball which he miss-timed, with Wheeler waiting to poach he lifted the ball across the box which was half cleared by Hunt and the danger eventually cleared.

In added time of the first half, Michael Collins burst into box for the O’s and cut across a teasing ball but Exeter Captain Jordan Moore-Taylor did enough flick it away for a corner.

In the second half, Orient made a double substitution as Callum Kennedy and Captain Robbie Weir were replaced by Sandro Semedo and Alan Dunne.

Exeter nearly extended their advantage, as Watkins was in space just inside the box and slotted it into McAlinden who turned his shot goal wards but was saved at the feet of Cisak.

Orient should have equalised 67 minutes in, as Massey’s low ball across goal was slotted towards goal by Nigel Atangana but stopped by Pym. Atangana got to the second ball and his shot rebounded back off the defender and fell to Simpson from close range whose shot was blocked and went over the bar.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Alex Cisak, 16 Nicky Hunt, 29 Myles Judd, 6 Tom Parkes, 3 Callum Kennedy (45), 11 Gavin Massey, 8 Robbie Weir © (45), 15 Nigel Atangana, 7 Michael Collins, 10 Paul McCallum (59), 27 Jay Simpson

Substitutes: 24 Sam Sargeant, 25 Aron Pollock, 5 Alan Dunne (45), 32 Henry Ochieng, 22 Sandro Semedo (45), 30 Sam Dalby, 9 Ollie Palmer

Exeter City Lineup: 30 Christy Pym, 3 Craig Woodman, 4 Lloyd James, 11 David Wheeler (66), 14 Ollie Watkins (88), 15 Jordan Moore-Taylor ©, 19 Liam McAlinden, 25 Jake Taylor, 29 Luke Croll, 31 Pierce Sweeney, 33 Reuben Reid (66)

Substitutes: 1 Bobby Olejnik, 8 Robbie Simpson (88), 12 Joel Grant, 16 Matt Oakley (65), 28 Jack Stacey (66), 39 Troy Brown, 20 Matt Jay

Attendance: 2,926

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Leopards Look for Home Double

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Dave Ryan reports…

Having collected their first league win of the season, Levett Leopards will be looking to move up the Division One table with a pair of home games this weekend.

Newly promoted Solent Kestrels are the visitors to Harlow Leisurezone on Saturday (7.30pm) while Bradford Dragons are the visitors to the Brentwood Centre the following afternoon (4pm) and both sides should provide tough tests for Steve Ogunjimi’s side.

After losing their two National Trophy games, Kestrels have strengthened their side and are currently joint sixth in the table with a 3-3 record having won their last two games. They have also reached the National Cup semi-final.

Meanwhile Bradford are fifth in the table with five wins from eight games and will be looking to bounce back after a National Cup exit at the hands of league leaders Team Northumbria.

While Leopards have never met Solent – although their predecessors Solent Stars were regular opponents when the Big Cats reformed in 2004 – Dragons have been regular opponents over the last few years and last season’s games saw both sides make the long trip home with a victory under their belts.

Leopards are offering a cheap ticket deal for fans who want to watch them in action at both their home venues this weekend as well as their popular pre-game training session for children. Details are on www.leopardsbasketball.co.uk

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The Big Cats chalked up their first league win of the campaign with an emphatic 90-57 victory at Westminster Warriors, on Saturday evening.

The Big Cats led from tip-to-buzzer as they snapped a five game losing streak in Division One to move up to 11th place.

Darrell Bethune marked his debut with 19 points, five assists and four rebounds (and a technical foul) but it was a good all-round team effort with six players scoring in double figures and all nine available players logging at least 13 minutes of action.

Jamie Hayes finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and another bang on the head, with Dougie Bennett and Shaq Lewis adding 14 points apiece.Roberts chipped in with ten points, six rebounds and four assists, while Mike Martin was a rebound short of a double-double with ten points and four assists.

A Leopards side who were without Justin Hitchman (foot injury) and Dominic Scott-Robinson (ill) dominated on the board, out-rebounding the hosts 44-33 and built on good starts to both halves as they won at Capital City Academy for the second time this season.

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Bethune hit a trey to open the scoring and a pair of jump-shots from Hayes saw Leopards rush into an 8-0 lead and a score on the break from debutant Perry Lawson saw the Big Cats go into the first break 18-12 ahead.

Lewis converted a lay-up off Martin’s third assist of the game to open the second period, and both Martin and Bethune took the lead out to nine points as the visitors remained in control.

Bethune made it a 12-point game with 44 seconds remaining in the first half before Johnson cut the lead to 37-27 going into the locker room.

While that was a comfortable first half lead, it was the start to the third period which effectively wrapped up the win.

A massive alley-oop by Martin off Hayes’ assist opened the half before Bennett sunk a trey before a pair of Martin scores and another Bennett basket made it 48-29.

Bethune and Oyelese wrapped up the 15-2 run to make it a 23-point game before Bethune drained from the Land of Plenty to send his side into the final break with a 62-37 lead having outscored hosts 25-10 in the period.

Bethune opened the final quarter with another triple before Bennett made it a 30 point game on the break and the lead never dipped below 26 before Lewis wrapped things up with a dunk on the break to send Leopards home happy.

 

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EFL League Two: Leyton Orient 1 Blackpool 2

Leyton Orient continue to struggle at home, after a 2-1 defeat to Blackpool at The Matchroom Stadium.

Jemille Matt for Blackpool gave the visitors the lead with a first half strike inside the box.

Tom Aldred doubled Blackpool’s advantage with the header to move them up to seventh in the league just outside the playoffs, to cancel out a late Paul McCallum header.

Alberto Cavasin named an unchanged lineup that won 3-0 away at Colchester last week.

Blackpool had the first chance of the match, as Brad Potts ran on to a cross field ball inside the box but his shot was denied by Alex Cisak.

Gavin Massey for Orient burst away on the counter-attack from a Blackpool attack, as he played in Jay Simpson who returned it to Massey but his shot was saved and was also given offside.

The visitors struggled in the early stages to find their shooting boots, as the ball dropped to Colin Daniel ball on the edge of the box but blazed his volley well over the bar.

Blackpool took the lead on the half hour mark, as Matt outwrestled Yvan Erichot out wide and cut back inside the box to lash his shot into the roof of the net at the near post.

Orient were in possession in Blackpool’s final third, where Massey went for goal 25-yards out and let rip, as he rattled the post – to deny Orient an instant reply.

The away side had a dangerous free-kick, as Andy Taylor’s low free-kick bent around the wall and was palmed away by Cisak.

Orient had the ball in the net, after Nicky Hunt’s cross was met by Collins who tucked it past Sam Slocombe but the offside flag went up.

The hosts again threatened with the leveller, as Michael Collins volley inside the box from the corner went just over the bar.

Blackpool still looked dangerous, as Daniel squeezed through the Orient defence but Tom Parkes tackle delayed the shot as Daniel was forced wide and his shot was then dealt with by Cisak.

In the second half Blackpool almost grabbed their second, as Kyle Vassell went past Hunt and his strike was saved by Cisak at his near post.

From the resulting corner Blackpool did extend their advantage, as Aldred met the Jack Payne corner at the near post to catch Cisak unaware, despite Orient claims for hand ball waved away by the referee.

Potts nearly got Blackpool’s third, as he lifted the ball over Cisak inside the box but Parkes denied the goal by shepherding the ball away from goal.

Orient substitute Sandro Semedo went for a shot from range but went just wide of the post, as he looked to get the O’s back in the game.

The hosts were given a lifeline with a couples of minutes to play, as both substitutes combined with Alan Dunne’s cross met by McCallum to head into the far corner.

Orient nearly got the equaliser three minutes into injury, as Hunt clipped a high ball into McCallum which was nodded into the path of the Captain Robbie Weir whose shot was blocked by the Blackpool defender – as the sea siders took home all three points.

Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Alex Cisak, 16 Nicky Hunt, 37 Yvan Erichot (52), 6 Tom Parkes, 3 Callum Kennedy, 11 Gavin Massey, 8 Robbie Weir ©, 15 Nigel Atangana, 7 Michael Collins (66), 9 Ollie Palmer (75), 27 Jay Simpson

Substitutes: 24 Sam Sargeant, 25 Aron Pollock, 5 Alan Dunne (52), 32 Henry Ochieng, 22 Sandro Semedo (66), 26 Victor Adeboyejo, 10 Paul McCallum (75)

Blackpool Lineup: 1 Sam Slocombe, 2 Kelvin Mellor, 15 Tom Aldred, 5 Clark Robertson, 3 Andy Taylor, 8 Brad Potts, 22 Danny Pugh, 28 Jack Payne, 23 Colin Daniel (82), 19 Jamille Matt (85), 7 Kyle Vassell (93)

Substitutes: 25 Myles Boney, 16 Eddie Nolan, 4 Jim McAlister (82), 21 Bright Osayi-Samuel, 9 Mark Cullen, 18 Danny Philliskirk (93), 31 Armand Gnanduillet (85)

Attendance: 4,376

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