Essex Senior League Round-Up
by Peter Dudley
Barkingside 3 Tower Hamlets 1
Hosts Barkingside came from behind to net a massive three points at Cricklefield against an out of form Tower Hamlets, however the evenings events were overshadowed by a serious injury to Hamlets defender Ndure, causing the game to be ended a few minutes early. Some early pressure from the visitors saw Susaki feed Bamba whose effort was deflected wide, and it was the visitors who went ahead midway through the half when Bamba managed to break free down the left, and his cross to the back post found an unmarked Jairette who slotted home. But the hosts found an instant repost when after the visitors keeper was closed down, the ball fell to Lemba who slotted home from the edge of the box, and then the hosts turned the game around when they netted a second goal as a Briggs free kick to the back post went into a sea of bodies before it was finally turned home by Lemba and the hosts had the lead at the break. Hamlets tried to net an early blow in the second period but saw Paliulus fire wide after the visitors had won a free kick, before a fine double save from Side keeper Breckenridge denied Bamba from equalising for the visitors. It was then the hosts turn to go close as after a corner was not dealt with by the keeper as he saw an attempted punch almost turned home at the far post, before several dangerous corners from the hosts caused the visitors alarm, however they manage to escape further damage and keep the Side lead to one. Barkingside continued to threaten a most likely clinching third and a free kick into the visitors box was headed just wide by Riches, before a scramble inside the box saw Side unable to apply the finishing touch, but with three minutes left they did seal the points when Ogboin latched onto a forward ball before shrugging off defenders, running into the box and just about forcing the ball home. However one of the Hamlets defenders, Ndure, seriously injured himself in an attempt to stop Ogboin scoring, and the referee decided to end the contest early due to the seriousness of the injury. It’s a huge win for the home side in their battle against the drop, however all this was overshadowed by events at the end. Let’s hope Ndure, who looked to have a nasty cut to the lips and some teeth knocked out, is ok and makes a full recovery. It most certainly soured what was a big Barkingside win although that pales into significance after Ndure was knocked out, resulting in an ambulance having to be called for the stricken defender, something you never want to see on a football field. It does mean that Side are now five clear of the bottom four in 14th place, whilst Hamlets remain in tenth ahead of the weekend fixtures. However all our thought’s for now are with Ndure.
Basildon United 2 FC Romania 0
Two Adlington strikes were enough for the hosts to record a big win over ten man FC Romania at the Hive. The hosts saw Adlington fire a couple of sighters well off target early on, before the same man had a great chance to open the scoring when he burst clear, but FCR keeper Darabant made a good save. Phillips then headed a Brinklow corner just off target as the Bees continued to press, before a couple of promising visiting moves were ended by offside, however the half endless goalless. It was the visitors who went close to opening the scoring first in the second period when Pop saw an effort deflect past the post, before the resultant corner was headed across goal by Dinu, but the hosts then broke the deadlock when Adlington slotted home to give the hosts a vital lead. And it was Adlington who doubled his and the Bees tally for the day with a low finish beyond Darabant and they almost killed the game off when Spooner headed back towards Adlington, although he was offside, and then James Brown struck an effort across the six yard box and wide of the visitors net. Adlington then volleyed over the visitors goal before FCR saw a Pop effort saved by Wheatley with the rebound from Circiumaru also being saved, before the Bees broke and saw Hassan find the side netting. Hassan again saw a weak effort kept out, before Barton got a head on a free kick however the FCR defence prevented a third, and then the visitors were reduced to ten men when Sighiartau was shown a straight red for an off the ball offence, summing up their day really. So the Bees get their title and promotion charge back on track whilst the visitors could of possibly seen their chances of the same accolade fade here today.
Burnham Ramblers 0 Great Wakering Rovers 4
League leaders Rovers increased their lead at the top to three points after they dismantled local rivals Burnham Ramblers at Leslie Field. The first half was goalless and it remained that way till beyond the hour mark but once the breakthrough came from an own goal the hosts capitulated and saw Nathan Dewberry add a second before Chris Bryan and Neil Richmond added two more goals in the final few minutes to cap another good day at the office for the Green and Whites. Ramblers remain in third bottom and two points from safety.
Enfield 1893 4 Hullbridge Sports 0
Hosts Enfield made it seven straight wins and are now just a win away from 8th spot after they defeated Hullbridge Sports at Barrows Farm. The visitors started well and in the ninth minute saw two blocks on the line by Thoma after keeper Hocking-Rising had denied Hullbridge, and then two minutes later a great save by Hocking-Rising after a near post header kept the visitors at bay. And then totally against the run of play Enfield netted the opener on the quarter hour mark when Crowie lofted a ball into the box and Odukoya glanced a header home and the hosts somehow lead 1-0. And with nine minutes of the half remaining it was somehow not 2-0 as Crowie again lofted a ball into the box and after a goalmouth scramble, Bridge managed to clear, but the hosts still held a slender lead at the break. And less than a minute into the second half Enfield doubled their lead when Odukoya played a one-two with Thomas before tapping home, and it was nearly three eight minutes later when Bradbury curled a free kick against the crossbar. Spencer was then denied at the Hullbridge near post before it was three in the 68th minute when Bradbury headed home, and then with ten minutes remaining it was four and the icing on the cake when Spencer converted from the penalty spot after Odukoya had been brought down. Hullbridge come back down to earth with a solid bump then after their nine points last week, however they remain five clear of the drop zone with another game chalked off.
Hackney Wick 2 Ilford 1
Wick made it back to back home wins after they came from behind to defeat Ilford at The Old Spotted Dog. The Foxes, who had lost four in a row in all competitions coming into this one, went in front when Albie Keith fired home however ex-Ilford striker Tony Cookey then levelled for the home side before Hassan Nalbant netted the winner to keep their slender survival hopes alive for another week at least. Ilford remain down in 9th place and only ahead of Tower Hamlets and Woodford Town (2017) on goal difference.
Redbridge 4 Waltham Forest 4
The Motormen conceded a stoppage time equaliser as they dropped two points at home to Waltham Forest in a remarkable afternoon at Oakside. Two Coxi-Sebastfao goals and a Calvin Poku strike just before half time had the hosts cruising at 3-0 up at the break, however Forest surged back in the second period thanks to a Christian Owusu double but then saw Phillip Browne Bamfpoe make it 4-2 to the hosts. Forest though pulled one back through Tony DaSilva with eight minutes to go and then three minutes into stoppage time Owusu completed his hat-trick and salvaged what could be a very important point for the visitors in their battle against the drop, whilst for Redbridge it could be a damaging goal in the battle for the title and promotion. However they do still hold a five point gap on 3rd placed FC Romania and an eight point gap on 4th placed Basildon United – so it’s in their hands still.
Southend Manor 3 Woodford Town (2017) 3
Manor managed to nick another important point towards being comfortable after showing good character to come back and earn a draw against a good young Woodford Town at Southchurch Park. It looked like the visitors would earn all three points after goals from De’Juane Taylor-Crossdale, Temi Babalola and Ola Ogunwamide saw them lead late on, only for the hosts to take a point after second half goals from Ethan Evison, Alfie Lindfield and a late goal from Ibrahim Kagbanda levelled up. Manor’s point sees them now eight clear of danger whilst Woodford stay in 11th, just a point off Sawbridgeworth Town in 8th.
Sporting Bengal United 2 Stansted 1
Hosts Bengal netted a huge win in the battle against the drop after Asaan Saddik’s penalty ten minutes from time saw them defeat Stansted at Mile End. The hosts took a third minute lead when Cody Cameron pounced on a defensive mix up but the visitors saw Paul Clayton level things up in the 14th minute. And the hosts managed to win this gritty contest thanks to that late penalty, and it means the hosts are now seven points ahead of the drop zone, whilst Stansted remain in it, two points from safety now.
Wadham Lodge 1 Clapton 1
The Tons came from behind to claim a point at Kitchener Road against Wadham Lodge and make it two games unbeaten after having lost six on the bounce before that. Lodge held the half time lead given to them by Danny Francis, this after both sides had created chances, but the visitors claimed a point thanks to a lovely finish from left back Yusuf Bello, and it means Lodge are another point closer to safety with games in hand and Clapton stay in 6th.
West Essex 2 Takeley 0
Second half goals from Isaac Marfo and Nick Walk saw West Essex take victory over Takeley at Mayesbrook Park, which leaves Takeley now having an even bigger mountain to climb to gain a top two finish and promotion. A poor goalless opening half, which saw the visitors have most of the play, made way for a second period which saw the hosts grab a 58th minute lead when Marfo poked home a Michael Mignot cross, and then things got harder for the visitors when Todd was dismissed for a second yellow with seventeen minutes remaining. And then just two minutes later the hosts sealed the points when Walk blasted home after Gray’s effort had come back off the bar, and it sees the hosts in a clear 7th place now, four points ahead of 8th-placed Sawbridgeworth Town.