ESSEX PREMIER CUP – QUARTER FINAL.
ALRESFORD COLNE RANGERS FC: 3. BUCKHURST HILL FC: 4.
Date: Saturday 02nd February 2019. Venue: Ford Lane, Alresford.
Despite the winter weather taking its toll on a handful of matches in the ESBFL, I opted to make the short trip down the road to Alresford where Gary Bright’s, Alresford Colne Rangers FC are riding high, well fourth with games in hand, in the Premier Division but today all eyes were on a tough Essex Premier Cup, Quarter Final tie against last seasons winners, Buckhurst Hill FC. Currently, Buckhurst Hill FC, managed by Mark Williams, are top of the Prokit Essex Olympian League, Premier Division with a single defeat thus far this season and I also understand that they are the only Essex based Club that has applied to play in Step 6, in the Thurlow Nunn Division One South, next season, so good luck to them in that venture.
On a bright, sunny but cold afternoon, the ECFA appointed match official was Carl Pearse who would be ably assisted by Stuart Gillman and Rhys Collins, all of whom regularly officiate in the ESBFL and I was pleased that my fellow reporter, Spencer Hume, the one who has mastered Facebook and Twitter, was also present to video certain passages of play, so please look for his regular posts.
Alresford kicked off and played a long ball forward for Johnson to chase but a goal-kick followed, and this allowed Buckhurst Hill to create a swift passing move across a tricky, soft, but playable surface, Marangou was adjudged to have fouled Glock, to me it looked the other way, maybe the low sun masked a good view. Foster launched the free-kick forward and Addinall headed wide but with the danger not cleared Boxall was seemingly fouled but when prostrate on the ground attempted to clear the loose ball but only succeeded in kicking away the leg of Glock and a penalty kick was awarded. Zuhda lined up his spot-kick, struck the ball well, low, to the left of keeper, Daniels who produced a fantastic one-handed save at the expense of a corner, justice done, who knows, the video evidence might shed light on the foul, but a top save followed to keep the home side in the game at such an early stage. The corner was palmed away by keeper, Daniels and Dorin completed a long downfield clearance towards Johnson who raced past Foster to cross towards Lewis, who with no time to control the ball drove his low shot across the face of the goal where Addinall cleared, end-to-end, you bet, and more followed. When O’Brien fouled Glock, he was spoken too by the referee. As early as the tenth minute Buckhurst Hill had looked a young and lively team, pass and move but every ball was inch perfect, players knowing where the next pass would be played a major feature of their success over Catholic United in last seasons final, a match I watched at Thurrock.
Alresford defender, Dorin was already putting in some telling tackles, mainly on the lively, Glock and his commitment was beginning to rub off on his team colleagues. On seventeen minutes, Buckhurst Hill captain, Wells, was spoken too at length for a foul on Marangou right on the half-way line and a few minutes later Buckhurst Hill keeper, Blockley saved well from Lewis and when play changed to the other end Shilling dribbled through to find Glock, who was caught marginally off-side. Marangou almost capitalised on a mix-up between defenders Wells and Addinall to send Lewis through but keeper, Blockley was quickly out, at the other end keeper, Daniels saved from Glock also through on goal. A long clearance from Blockley set Sollosi (N) clear but despite having numbers in the penalty area he opted to drive his shot into the side netting. Marangou fouled Zuhda, twenty-five yards from goal, the free-kick taken by Sollosi (S) was cleared by the tall home defender, Wightman only for Johnson to needlessly foul Sollosi (S) an earn a caution, the first in a hard fought first thirty minutes.
A shot from Sollosi (S) was parried by keeper, Charles who caught the loose ball at the second attempt, defender Dorin defended well against Glock and Sollosi (N) when they threatened down the right side then another cross from Sollosi (N) found the head of Zuhda but Wightman intervened to head clear for a corner. When Jackson backed into Wells on the half-way line he gained a free-kick, taken by Osborne towards Daly and on thirty-six minutes Alresford took the lead, when a speculative cross by JACK JOHNSON from the right side seemed to confuse young keeper, Blockley who calmly palmed the ball behind him and into the back of the net, almost a case of the keeper jumping too soon for the under-hit ball, but a keeper error none-the-less. This game remained very open with play switching to each end, a header from Sollosi (S) flew to keeper, Daniels, and when Jackson chased through only the long stride of Addinall intervened but with the keeper picking up the ball, a back-pass decision was made, right on the edge of the penalty area. Lewis took the free-kick with the ball striking the five-man defensive wall and looping out for a corner kick, safely cleared by Addinall towards Sollosi (S) who was superbly tackled by Boxall before the same player hit a strong shot through a crowded penalty area to Charles who saved on his goal-line. As this entertaining half came to an end Dorin was injured when Zuhda fell heavily on top of him, requiring treatment and a short spell on the side-lines before returning to the field.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 0.
Buckhurst Hill re-started the second half with some real purpose attacking down he left side but spreading play across both wide channels trying to prize a chance at goal, however it was Alresford who not only weathered than early onslaught but took a two-goal lead. Jackson chased down the left-side and worked the ball wide into the six-yard box where defender Harris dithered with the ball at his feet which allowed RYAN LEWIS to steal in and poke the ball home. Buckhurst Hill, although not completely rattled but certainly unsettled gave the ball away too cheaply and Addinall was cautioned for a foul on Johnson just inside the centre-circle. On fifty minutes Buckhurst Hill replaced Glock with Townend, a like for like substitution up front and on looking back that might have helped sway the outcome of the game but what followed a minute later would certainly be the game changer. Jackson, who had already been cautioned decided to kick the ball away at a free-kick situation, the rule states, “delaying the restart” is a cautionable offence which meant the referee had little option but to issue a second yellow card followed by a red card and the home team faced almost forty minutes playing with ten men. Ten minutes into the second half the Buckhurst Hill fight-back started, Zuhda weaved his way through a crowded area, home defenders stood off not wishing to dive into a challenge and when the ball was played to JOSH ADDINALL he promptly scored from close range. Alresford replaced Cross with Mucaj after fifty-six minutes and minutes later keeper, Charles saved well from Foster.
With that goal giving Buckhurst Hill more confidence, they put together a flowing move through Moore., Zuhda and Townend which saw the ball reach Sollosi (S) who missed a golden opportunity flashing the ball across the six-yard box, the warning signs are there, you bet they were. On sixty-two minutes Alresford sent defender Ellis on for O’Brien but that did not stop the surge of the visitors who were awarded a stone-wall penalty when Wightman fouled Sollosi (S) running onto an astute pass from Townend and NATHAN SOLLOSI scored past the desperate dive of keeper, Charles and suddenly the scores were level. The introduction of Townend for Buckhurst Hill was clearly a masterstroke, his close control and running when in possession was proving a real problem for retreating defenders, a mix-up between Wightman and Dorin set up Townend for a shot which keeper, Charles saved low at the far post and that earlier dismissal was beginning to unravel the previous excellent work by Alresford. A shot from Zuhda hit keeper, Charles, again parrying the ball and clutching at the second attempt as Schilling raced in, then on seventy minutes Alresford regained the lead, ERMAL MUCAJ picked up a loose ball on the left side and after running across the penalty area struck a low hard shot that beat keeper, Blockley, striking the base of the right side upright before nestling in the back of the net, queue some jubilant scenes.
Once again, the pedigree of Buckhurst Hill was going to be tested, one goal, then goals down they had clawed their way back only to go behind once again but time was still on their side perhaps, visiting keeper, Blockley made a fine save to divert another low shot from Mucaj just wide for a corner kick which was firstly headed clear by Addinall and then Wells dived in to block a shot from Mucaj, just on the edge of the penalty area. With fifteen minutes of this absorbing match remaining, Sollosi (S) had the ball in the net when keeper, Charles parried a shot from Zuhda, but he was correctly flagged off-side, and with ten minutes remaining Dorin and Townend collided heavily and after treatment both players returned, in the meantime Buckhurst Hill had replaced Moore with Sacre and Alresford had made their third and final substitution with Daly being replaced by Newcombe. Townend worked his was past three defenders finding Zuhda whose low shot was turned over his cross-bar by Wightman standing six yards out.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, Buckhurst Hill replaced Foster with Gregory, keeper Charles volleyed the ball clear when under pressure but with an extra player the visitors controlled the ball and attacked again, a foul by Newcombe on Sollosi (S) just inside the half led to Wells launching the ball high towards the far post, Wightman and Addinall challenged for the ball and from the knock down SAM SOLLOSI scored from close range and the scores were level again. Boxall was floored by a heavy challenge from Addinall, in a central position just wide of a centre position from where Mucaj drove the ball wide of the right hand upright. A fine interception on the half-way line by Newcombe saw him bring the ball forward to find Mucaj who blasted another rising shot agonisingly wide and as we entered time added on, and there would be five minutes at least following injuries and other stoppages, it was the visitors who took the lead for the first time. Sollosi (S) broke down the right side, sending a cross into Zuhda who pushed the ball into the path of SONNY SHILLING who gleefully flicked the ball into the net with his trailing foot and boy did Buckhurst Hill celebrate as this was virtually the last action of a pulsating game.
FULL TIME: 3 – 4.
Well, did I pick the best game of the day to go and watch, well yes, I did, both teams played some excellent football and generally were a credit to their respective league competitions with both sets of players upholding their club principles. I don’t think any of the big crowd went home complaining about the fare served up, end to end, seven goals, excellent saves at both ends, a penalty miss, one penalty converted a dismissal plus another caution, this game had it all, just a shame the ESBFL team just failed to progress.
After the game, Wells, the Buckhurst Hill captain was very complimentary towards Alresford Colne Rangers and maybe felt the hosts deserved to win on some passages of open play, his team had certainly had to pull out all the stops to win, a feeling echoed later in the clubhouse by his manager, Mark Williams.
Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, as it was a cup match I’m going for one from each team, for Alresford despite a fine team effort I’m going for Brat Dorin, solid defending throughout, in fact I had him earmarked as early as half-time. For Buckhurst Hill, another team effort, you can see why they are favourites to win their league and make a move towards Step 7, again for me a Josh Addinall, a midfielder turned defender, stood out, good distribution, strong challenges, did not miss a header and scored the first goal in his teams fight-back.
I thoroughly enjoyed this match as did my reporting side-kick Spencer, his short video is now on Facebook, take a look and as always, the welcome and hospitality at Alresford Colne Rangers FC is first class, keep it up.
ALRESFORD COLNE RANGERS FC: Colours: Red & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Daniel Charles., Robert Wightman, James Osborn., Aiden O’Brien., Dan Cross., Brat Dorin., Daniel Boxall., Reife Marangou., Ryan Lewis (C)., Jack Johnson., Quentin Daly.
Joint Managers: Gary Bright and Andew Smith
Used Substitutes: Gavin Newcombe., Jordan Ellis., Ermal Mucaj
Unused Substitutes: Jordan Hyams.
BUCKHURST HILL FC: Colours: Blue & Black Shirts., Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.
Daniel Blockley., Liam Foster., Keaton Moore., Alfie Harris., William Wells (C)., Josh Addinall., Sam Sollosi., Frank Glock., Suleyman Zuhda., Nathan Sollosi.
Manager: Mark Williams.
Used Substitutes: James Sacre., Jonah Gregory., Seven Townend
Referee: Carl Pearse. (Colchester)
Assistant Referees: Stuart Gillman (Wivenhoe)
and Rhys Collins (Clacton-On-Sea)
Home Player-of-the-Match: Brat DORIN. (ALRESFORD COLNE RANGERS FC)
Away Player-of-the-Match: Josh ADDINALL. (BUCKHURST HILL FC)
Additional Reporting – FACEBOOK (x2) & TWITTER
This season the ESBFL is widening its match-day reporting coverage, in addition to a full report written by Brian Reed, the league has enlisted the help of a young volunteer, Spencer Hume, who will also attend games using Facebook and Twitter to communicate up-to-date information and replicate other match reports, please make him welcome.
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” ( http://full-time.thefa.com ) but would all Club / Fixture Secretaries please advise any agreed changes, as required, to Alison Willmore ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) especially for evening games and for those matches being played under floodlights etc.
KO is 2:30pm in: February
KO is 3:00pm from: March to end of season
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.
The web-site for the Essex & Suffolk Border Football League is: www.esblfootball.com
Clubs are reminded that the following documents are all available on this website under Clubs / Documents etc:
Player Registration Sheet,
Player “Signed-On-Match-Day” Form,
Player Transfer Form,
Match Postponement Form,
Referee – Low Mark Form Please report via “FA Full-Time”