ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
WEST BERGHOLT FC: 2. GAS RECREATION FC: 4.
Date: Saturday 02nd March 2019. Venue: Lorkin Daniel Field, West Bergholt.
Two heavyweight teams from the ESBFL Premier Division clashed on Saturday at Lorkin Daniel Field, home of West Bergholt FC who sat third in the table whilst visitors Gas Recreation FC sat top with nine games to play and are once again odd’s-on favourites to retain the title. Contests between these two clubs has historically provided drama, incidents, goals and plenty of other talking points!
The very early morning rain had subsided so on a bright, sunny, but chilly afternoon the match official was Carl Pearce who would be assisted by Philip Barham and Keith Succamore. Today, I was joined by my fellow reporter, Spencer Hume and he duly recorded the events of the match, look out or the recordings on “facebook”.
Gas kicked off in a very bright yellow strip, more likened to “high-viz” in colour so no difficulty picking out their players, that said, both teams had numerous notable absentees, the respective team sheets will attest to that, but everyone knows that whatever teams are put out, those players will battle all the way for the three points at stake. The early play was with Gas playing away from the clubhouse, then an early goal-kick from Bethell found Bloomfield who gave chase with Taylor (L), winning a corner taken by Bloomfield and headed clear by Taylor (L) for a throw-in on the far side. The Gas response was immediate down the left side through Machin, Firkens (A) and Hewes and from the very start play was cagey, plenty of effort and end to end. Townrow had a shot charged down by Gregory and Brand had a dipping cross held under his cross-bar by keeper, Mahoney. Ogunsayna swung over a teasing cross which Taylor (R) attacked with keeper, Bethell who punched clear to Hewes whose snap shot was expertly turned away by keeper, Bethell for a corner. West Bergholt were now forced to defend again and keeper, Bethell made another fine save to deny Taylor (R) this time latching onto a deep cross from Bulmer, the corner taken by Firkens (A) was cleared by Brown but only for another corner on the other side, this time taken by Hewes with Farthing heading clear to Firkens (A) who crossed to Dale who headed against keeper, Bethell for another corner. A long clearance from keeper, Bethell was headed back to his own keeper, Mahoney by Jones and a close contest was developing between defender Munson and midfielder Ogunsayna and against the general run of play West Bergholt scored. On thirteen minutes Bloomfield picked up the ball from a throw-in moved forward and clipped an excellent cross, picking out the unmarked LEE TOWNROW at the far post and he slotted home from close range. A minute later and an excellent cross from Hewes was sent crashing against the home cross-bar by the head of Ogunsayna and clearly Gas were looking for an equaliser as their attacking play improved as a high arm from Farthing brushed across the face of Dale who was clearly not-impressed as the referee deemed it accidental!
A corner from Bloomfield was too long for Townrow drifting in at the far post and when he retrieved the ball keeper, Mahoney clutched the cross inside the six-yard box, clearing towards Taylor (R) who was fouled by Munson with Bulmer sending in a high looping free-kick only for Brand to head clear. The foul count was mounting, a usual occurrence in this fixture, and Davison (Co) was pulled up for a foul on Taylor (R), again Bulmer sent in the free-kick with keeper, Bethell collecting, throwing the ball out to Kiley who moved the ball forward to Brand and then Townrow whose final ball found Bloomfield just the wrong side of a high defence. Keeper, Mahoney sent a long high ball downfield with Gibson falling through injury when someone appeared to stand on his foot as he back-pedalled, an injury which required dressing off the pitch. Kiley set the next attack going attempting to find Bloomfield who had drifted beyond defender Jones, but Bloomfield just failed to connect with the ball at the far post. Ogunsayna, for Gas, was proving a difficult player to shift off the ball and drew numerous fouls when receiving too much attention and on twenty-five minutes, when Munson fouled him wide on the right side, Bulmer sent in a high floated cross towards the far post where central defender LUKE TAYLOR headed home off the left hand upright, whereupon the injured Gibson re-entered the game, effectively a dependable central defender off the field at a crucial time.
A high bouncing attempt by Bloomfield needed the finger tips, of keeper, Mahoney to divert the ball over the cross-bar for a corner, played short to Townrow and back to Brand whose curling cross was missed by Bloomfield only for Farthing to blast he ball over the cross-bar with the goal at his mercy, a crucial miss! The injured Gibson failed to clear a pass properly and he breathed a sigh of relief when Hewes fluffed a chance to score from inside the six-yard box and a goal-kick followed. When the ball next went out of play players from both teams were vying for position before the throw-in could be taken, the referee particularly warning Townrow and Machin before the throw-in was taken. However, when Kiley shaped to take the throw, Machin darted in front of Townrow and proceeded to place a back-header into the face of Townrow and both players fell to the ground clutching their faces, the referee who like me, had a clear view of proceedings waited for the players to pick themselves up then dismissed Machin for violent conduct, a spot-on decision. So how would Gas react at the loss of a player, well from the resulting free-kick Davison (Co) sent in an arching free-kick, keeper, Mahoney advanced and appeared to come too far, having to stretch to retrieve the ball and was fortunate to have been fouled in the same incident as Bloomfield had netted the loose ball. A pass from Brand fell to Bloomfield who sent in a rising left footed shot that skimmed the cross-bar and out for a goal-kick. With five minutes to half-time a long clearance from keeper, Mahoney fell to Bulmer who was fouled by Farthing however the home defence failed to effectively clear the ball, you either head firmly away from the danger area of put the ball into Row Z” so when the ball landed at the feet of LUKE TAYLOR a move to his left opened up the chance for a shot and he duly scored. From the restart Townrow controlled the ball to find Bloomfield but Dale, now playing in defence cleared for a corner, taken by Bloomfield and Gas cleared long to Firkens, who set Dale away to gain a corner off Kiley. Hewes took the corner, long, beyond the far post where Taylor (L) rose to head back across goal and just wide and the eventful half ended.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 2.
From the second-half restart Gas replaced Taylor (R) with Radford and the home team got proceedings underway with all to play for, Munson found Bloomfield who whipped in a great cross that was just too high for Townrow running in at the far post. Both teams embarked on a phase of giving the ball away too easily and play became dis-jointed much to the annoyance of the respective management teams and the numerous watching supporters, a decent crowd had gathered for what is always a keenly contested match. On fifty minutes Davison (Co) was guilty of a poor challenge on Bulmer leading to his caution with Taylor (L) blasting his free-kick well-wide after being ordered to take the ball back several yards. Jones for Gas shielded Bloomfield out of play and gained a goal-kick, youth against experience there, then Taylor (L) caught Keeble with a wayward leg and was duly cautioned, Davison (Co) took the free-kick finding Taylor (L) whose header cannoned back off Keeble to keeper, Mahoney. A mix-up in the West Bergholt defence almost set Radford clear but he missed the target for a goal-kick.
On sixty minutes the limping Gibson was replaced by White and Gas raised their game again leading to a foul near the half-way line from which the free-kick taken by Taylor (L) eluded everyone, especially Munson who was wrong-footed as JONATHAN OGUNSAYNA capped a fine game by scoring, driving the ball across goal into the far side of the net. On sixty-four minutes West Bergholt replaced Brand with Thurston, whether this change was forced or otherwise but almost immediately West Bergholt scored their second, Munson drifted along he left side to find Bloomfield and when he passed Dale his left-footed cross flashed across the six-yard box to LEE TOWNROW who stroked the ball home for his second goal of the match, probably the best goal of the match so far. Another goal followed, Ogunsayna persisted against the attention of Munson with the referee eventually giving a free-kick down by the intersection of the penalty box and goal-line and from the direct free-kick, HARRY HEWES curled in a fine left-footed free-kick which struck the far post and nestled in the back of the net, leaving the home team arguing about the initial decision, but having been awarded it was once again poorly defended! White, for West Bergholt was spoken too when he chased forward with the ball, lost control to Jones whom he promptly fouled, Munson fouled Bulmer and from the free-kick taken by Firkens, White headed clear for a corner, taken by Hewes but struck far too long to be of any danger.
With fifteen minutes Gas replaced Bulmer with Willoughby who promptly chased every player anywhere near the ball and voiced his opinion on every decision, welcome back and normal service is resumed after a broken ankle! West Bergholt put together another decent move, Davison (Co) to Townrow then White sent a shot in to keeper, Mahoney, the quieter of the two keepers this afternoon, who elected to punch clear. Gas replaced Jones with a few minutes remaining with Davison (Ch) entering the match to play against his brother, but the match finished soon after with Gas Recreation FC deserved winners.
FULL TIME: 2 – 4.
Given the form of these two teams going into this match, an away win was probably the obvious expected result, both teams were hampered by having players missing, not necessarily an excuse, but an observation that showed that clubs come to rely on certain players who become noticeable by their absence!
Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, West Bergholt were under the cosh defectively from an early stage, so Gibson and Farthing saw the brunt of the action, midfield battled away but were over-run on occasions which meant that Townrow had little service, despite scoring twice, but Bloomfield did show that he is a good prospect for the future. True to form, Gas Recreation stifled every home attack, did concede two well-taken goals and despite being rightly reduced to ten men after thirty minutes buckled down to grind out a victory. Defensively they were solid throughout, in midfield they dominated, Ogunsayna impressed, such a difficult player to play against and a goal, Hewes looked lively, scoring a fine free-kick, Firkens and Gregory had quite games, Dale and Bulmer put in a typical performances, free-kicks from the latter always looked dangerous to defend against and Gas captain Taylor (L) capitalised twice to score and also set up the goal for Ogunsayna, so all bets are off, even West Bergholt die-hards agreed with my choice.
WEST BERGHOLT FC: Colours: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.
Luke Bethell., Jack Kiley., Ryan Munson., Gareth Gibson., Nicholas Farthing., Connor Davison (C)., Alex Brand., Ryan Brown., Dan Keeble., Lee Townrow., Luke Bloomfield.
Acting Managers: Mark Farthing & Anthony White
Used Substitutes: Jack Thurston., Anthony White.
Unused Substitutes: Sam Walker., Jonny Murrells.
GAS RECREATION FC: Colours: Yellow Shirts., Yellow Shorts and Yellow Socks
Lee Mahoney., Nicky Jones., Gary Machin., Luke Taylor (C)., Jack Gregory., Jonathan Ogunsayna., Harry Hewes. Ryan Dale., Ryan Taylor., John Bulmer., Asten Firkens.
Manager: Simon Hayward.
Used Substitutes: Christopher Davison., Harry Willoughby., Kieran Radford.
Unused Substitutes: Jake Mitchell., Calvin Firkens
Referee: Carl Pearce (Colchester)
Assistant Referees: Philip Barham
and Keith Succamore
Player-of-the-Match: Luke TAYLOR (GAS RECREATION 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 ( email@example.com ) especially for evening games and for those matches being played under floodlights etc.
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.
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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”