Woodford Town 4 Leyton Athletic 1
Essex Senior League
Friday 3rd August
Woodford Town got their season off to a flyer on Friday evening after they put in a dominating performance that simply blew Leyton Athletic away.
The Woods came out of the blocks and almost took the lead in the opening minute when Ola Ogunwamide nearly made it a dream debut with a blistering shot that needed James Scammell to pull off a fantastic save to tip the ball around the post. Moments later Samir Ali worked his way into the Leyton box before setting up Ogunwamide who was again denied by Scammell. Ogunwamide went on to have another shot blocked, this time by Dami Olaiya, but Ali pounced on the rebound and fired off a shot that was charged down by Mish Djemaili.
It took until the 11th minute before Leyton Athletic were able to muster an attack which ended with Djemaili heading an effort into the arms of Alex Reed. But the opening quarter of an hour had all been Woodford Town but it looked like they were starting to lack the firepower to put the finishing touches to their forward play as a wonderful through ball reached Ogunwamide, but he took a touch too many and in the end that gave Scammell enough time to set himself, before eventually cutting out Ogunwamide’s eventual shot. A decent cross from Malaki Toussaint was headed clear by the Leyton defence which launched a counter-attack that saw Danny Francis cut inside the box before unloading a low shot that Reed parried; then the Woods ‘keeper was called on to cut out a Leyton cross. It was the first time in the game that Leyton had managed to put a bit of pressure on the Woods box.
But it was to be the hosts who were finally able to break the deadlock in the 23rd minute when Ogunwamide finally scored the goal that he had been threatening by latching onto a through ball before lofting it over Scammell.
The visitors were able to test Reed once more before the half was out as Danny Francis had a well-taken free kick saved by the Woods glovesman; but the hosts saw Ricardo Shaw, Connor Leon and Ogunwamide all go close, while a fabulous run by Ellis Routledge looked promising until Eli Benoit put in a solid tackle to end the danger. At half-time the visitors could count themselves lucky to still be in with a shout of getting something from the game.
The visitors made all three of their substitutions at the start of the second half which saw Dominic Foster and Jerome Ntumba take their places in the Leyton defence, with Dwade James coming off the bench to bolster the Leyton frontline. The visitors needed to steam Woodford’s attacking flow but the hosts were able to have a couple of early chances as Ali and Ogunwamide both had shots charged down. It was starting to look like the Woods were on course to have one of those games where their inability to turn chances into goals might end up haunting them. Certainly the chance that the Woods created in the 53th minute seemed to sum up the wastefulness as a great cross from the right sailed beyond Scammell but Shaw could only place his header the wrong side of the post.
All that was to change in the 55th minute when Chinua Phinn-Archer came off the subs bench and a minute later ran onto a ball that had been over the top of the Leyton defence and struck a shot beyond Scammell to increase Woodford’s lead. Three minute later Woodford were coasting as they went into a 3-0 lead thanks to a long range howitzer from Ethan Kessel.
Having scored from distance, Kessel then let fly with another fierce shot that landed inches away from the target. Kieran Southgate dragged a Leyton effort wide, before James burst through the Woodford defence that required Reed to show great bravery to claim the ball from the feet of the on-rushing Leyton striker.
After such a great piece of individual play from James, it was almost poetic justice that Ogunwamide then went on a defence-shredding run of his own, which finished with the Woodford talisman slotting the ball past Scammell – applying further polish to the result.
The Woods went on to test Scammell twice more as Taku Mashingaidze and Ogunwamide both had low shoots blocked by the Leyton custodian; Ogunwamide nearly completing his hat-trick in the 88th minute when he rammed a shot just wide.
However Leyton were able to prevent Alex Reed picking up a clean sheet as a ball across the box in the final minute of the game was side-footed home by James. But it can no way take anything away from Woodford Town’s rampant performance, which sets them up nicely for the campaign ahead.
Woodford Town: Alex Reed, Leon Wildman, Ellis Routledge, Malaki Toussaint, Ricardo Shaw, Jack Grosvenor (Capt), Connor Leon (Chinua Phinn-Archer 55’), Andrea Mantovani (Oliver Palmer 82’), Samir Ali (Taku Mashingaidze 71’), Ethan Kessel, Ola Ogunwamide.
Scorers – Ola Ogunwamide (23’, 81’), Chinua Phinn-Archer (56’), Ethan Kessel (59’).
Leyton Athletic: James Scammell, Nico James (Jerome Ntumba 46’), Dami Olaiya (Dominic Foster 46’), Mish Djemaili, Eli Benoit (Capt), Cory Rider, Rujorn Tuitt, Nathan Muskitta, Kieran Southgate, Isaac Atugumya (Dwade James 46’), Danny Francis.
Scorer – Dwade James (90’)