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15/08/2017 – REPORT – A.V. Lee Trophy – Gas Recreation FC versus Hatfield Peverel FC





GAS RECREATION FC:              5        HATFIELD PEVEREL FC:           2


Date:   Tuesday 15th August 2017.                           Venue: Brantham Leisure Centre.


Historically the ESBFL season is opened with the holding of the Albert Lee Service Memorial Trophy and after two seasons without a competition the League Management decided to invite last season’s Premier Division Runners-Up, Gas Recreation FC to play the Knock-Out Cup Runners-Up, Hatfield Peverel FC in a game staged at Brantham Athletic FC.


The designated Match Officials were Philip Molloy, Jack Willmore, Graham Austin with Lewis Farthing acting as the fourth Official.


Hatfield Peverel FC kick-off against a much strengthened Gas Recreation FC squad who almost immediately signalled their direct and positive attacking approach with Cook finding Firkens who took on defender Hale before flicking the ball to keeper Hirst. The Gas kept up the pressure, closing down any Hatfield Peverel player in possession of the ball and a cross from Cook found the head of Craig but Hirst gathered safely, then a free-kick from Taylor (L) fell to Girling but Hirst was out to smother the ball which ran loose to Firkens with Hirst saving low to his left, but an attacking pattern had been set. A long free-kick taken by Mouser was headed away by Taylor (L) and the Gas broke forward and in a midfield clash between Craig and Irvine led to the Gas player losing a tooth, but that would not stop him playing though! A cross from Firkens flashed across the six yard box and from a long clearance by Hale (D) the ball bounced once as Hale (L) held off West to get his shot away with the ball drifting wide to strike the left hand upright and rebound to keeper Ringe. Wilkinson jumped into Firkens to concede a cheap free-kick, taken by Cook with Brewster heading clear.

With the Gas keeper appearing hesitant to advance to long forward balls his defence kept a deep defensive position to clear any danger, Dillon embarked on a trademark marauding run using his strength to beat three players but when over-running the ball crashed into Irvine and receive a verbal warning. A mazy run by Craig through midfield ended with a shot way off target, Bulmer did likewise after being set up by Craig whose close control near the penalty spot set up the decent chance. Another Mouser free-kick was punched clear by Ringe to Hull then Hale (D) passed to Mouser whose shot on the run forced keeper Ringe to save low to the left hand side. When Hatfield Peverel lost the ball too easily, Craig and Cook worked another approach to lay the ball off to Bulmer whose rising shot crashed against the right hand post, however the striker had been flagged for off-side, a let-off for Hatfield Peverel.

On twenty-five minutes the persistence of the Gas led the first goal, Craig won the ball in midfield finding Bulmer then Cook who ran at the retreating defence before finding ELDON CRAIG who swept the ball home from six yards, the same players combined for the next attack, Craig flicked the ball on to Cook but when he passed towards Bulmer he was off-side. Taylor (L) played a low pass forward to Cook who lost out to Hunt who attempted to get Hill away by West got back to cover the danger but concede a corner from which Hale (L) was adjudged to have fouled Craig and their next chance fell to Mouser who almost capitalised on some slack play by the Gas defence. Craig though he should have had a penalty when he chased a through ball from Bulmer but the well placed official was not interested and gave a goal-kick. On thirty five minutes Gas increased their lead, Bulmer forced his way forward against Wilkinson and when his goal bound effort rolled past the keeper it was left to BEN GIRLING to finish off the move and score at the far post despite a determined effort by Hale (D) to keep the ball out of the net. Another run at pace down the right by Firkens saw him ride two challenges, retain the ball and keep going before Mouser got the better of his progress to such an exent that his ball forward found Hill and he set Hale (L) through only for keeper Ringe to save with his legs and keep his teams two goal advantage intact at half-time


HALF-TIME:       2 – 0


There were no changes to playing personal after the half-time break but Firkens kept up his attacking role with a shot that Hirst comfortably collected, Firkens was then caught off-side from a pass by Cook and Dillon collided heavily into Hull to earn the first caution of this competitive match with the free-kick taken by Roll only finding keeper, Ringe. Three minutes into the half and Gas virtually put the result to bed, when a deep cross from Girling found the head of Bulmer rising high at the far post and when  the ball struck the cross-bar ASTON FIRKENS was first to react and turn the ball into the unguarded net. The response from Hatfield Peverel saw Hull find Hill whose cross-cum-shot dip agonisingly over the cross-bar. Gas replaced Cook with Minter on fifty minutes and Hatfield created another chance when Hale (L) swept the ball over from a cross by Hunt.

On fifty-five  minutes we then had an extraordinary incident, keeper Hirst launched a long ball forward but cried out in pain whilst everyone watched the ball be controlled by LUKE TAYLOR whose movement forward and first time shot found the back of the empty net whilst Hirst was till prostrate on the ground and clearly in discomfort. Should the game have been stopped, given the plight of the keeper, difficult call for the match officials but it led to Leeder joining the game with Mouser taking over the keepers jersey and gloves with the stricken Hirst helped from the field of play, looked a bit like a hamstring injury but a lengthy lay-off non-the-less. Gas took the opportunity to replace Bulmer with Taylor (R), Irvine received a caution for a foul on Taylor (R), Gas made their final change replacing Girling with Hewes and Hatfield made their second change when Roll was replaced by Stanley.

A poor clearance by Mouser fell to Craig who found Hewes in space but his shot was wide then Hunt found Hill but his first time control let him down and West cleared to Firkens whose pace sent him past Wilkinson to find Taylor (R) but his left foot shot was also wide of the goal. With fifteen minutes remaining Gas scored their fifth goal, substitute keeper Mouser was caught in two minds right on the edge of this penalty area, should he catch of kick but in doing neither allowed ASTON FIRKENS to score his second goal. Hatfield replaced Hunt with Simioni and his first involvement, was to send Stanley through only for his fierce shot to cannon back off the right hand upright and with twelve minutes remaining Gas were reduce to ten men. Taylor (R) picked up a loose ball on the right side, worked his way across the penalty area, opting not to shoot on two occasions but when losing control of the ball he dived into a challenge, both feet were off the ground and when colliding with defender Hale (D) the referee had little option but to dismiss Taylor (R) for the reckless challenge.

As the final minutes of the game approached Hatfield, stirred themselves and after good approach play by Hill he set up MARTIN STANLEY who beat keeper Ringe with a shot across goal. A second consolation goal followed when Brewster showed some late aggression to set up Hill who played in LAWRENCE HALE who beat the advancing keeper and almost the final action saw a caution for Stanley for a rash challenge on Gregory.


FULL TIME:        5 – 2


So the first silver-ware of the season has gone to Gas Recreation FC, personally I feel they will be challenging for a lot more as the season progresses and the old adage is, if you finish above the Gas then you have probably won the league, cup games can be a lottery but on this performance they have set down an early marker of their intentions! Commiserations go to a gallant Hatfield Peverel team who showed more promise late on by which time the game was already lost, losing their keeper might create a problem as other players become available after the summer recess


For my Man-of-the-Match selection I’m going for Aston Firkens of Gas Recreation FC, scorer of two goals and a constant threat with his quick running and intelligent passing, he reminds me a bit of being a wasp, no matter how hard you try to stop him he keeps coming back for more, defenders you have been warned.


Finally, a big thank you to Brantham Athletic FC for staging this match and providing refreshments for the players and officials after the match.





GAS RECREATION FC:                            Colours: Red & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.

Elliot Ringe., Liam Dadds., Ben Girling., Jack Gregory., Luke Taylor (C)., Dean West., Eldon Craig., Josh Dillon., Charley Cook., John Bulmer., Aston Firkens.


Manager:                        Simon Hayward.

Used Substitutes:             Craig Minter., Ryan Taylor., Harry Hewes.

Unused Substitutes:         Ryan Dale.


HATFIELD PEVEREL FC:                         Colours: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.

Graham Hirst., Douglas Hale., Elliot Mouser., Patrick Wilkinson., Anthony Roll., Michael Brewster., James Irvine., Ben Hull., Danny Hunt., Christopher Hill., Lawrence Hale.


Manager:                        Steve Pretty.

Used Substitutes:             Martin Stanley., John Leeder., Christian Simioni

Unused Substitutes:         Matt Knight., Sam Harrington.


Referee:                        Philip Molloy                    (Colchester).

Assistant Referee’s:          Jack Willmore                  (Clacton-on-sea).

and       Graham Austin                 (Kirby-Le-Soken).


Man of the Match:          Aston FIRKENS                (GAS RECREATION FC)





Reminder to Club / Fixture Secretaries


Once again this season the fixtures, results, referees and “kick-off” times will be shown automatically on “The FA Full-Time / The Whole Game System” ( ) but would all Club / Fixture Secretaries please advice any agreed changes, as required, to Alison Willmore ( ) especially for evening games and for those matches being played under floodlights etc.


KO is 3:00pm from:        August to October

KO is 2:00pm in:             November, December & January

KO is 2:30pm in:             February

KO is 3:00pm from:        March to end of season


Cup Matches:

Kick-Off times for ESBFL cup matches, are generally 30 minutes earlier than those shown above but check competition rules beforehand.


Kick-Off times for Essex County Football Association cup matches are published on the ECFA web-site.

( )




ESBFL “web-site”


The web-site for the Essex & Suffolk Border Football League is:    


Clubs are reminded that the following documents are all available on this website under Clubs / Documents etc :


ESBFL Handbook,

Player Registration Form,

Player Transfer Form,

Match Postponement Form,

Referee – Low Mark Form.

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