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04/09/2018 – REPORT – Brantham Athletic FC Reserves versus Lawford Lads FC





BRANTHAM ATHLETIC FC RESERVES:        1.                 LAWFORD LADS FC:     4.


Date:               Tuesday 4th September 2018.           Venue:            Brantham Leisure Centre.


Fifth placed Lawford Lads FC made the short journey over Cattawade, into Suffolk, for their local derby against rock bottom Brantham Athletic FC Reserves knowing that three points would take them to the top of the table. The home team have had a poor start to the season, with an enforced change of manager, and numerous players apparently finding the grass greener elsewhere, that said the pitch looked in very good condition before this floodlit game commenced with the teams walking out together for the mandatory “Respect” handshake. Lawford Lads FC had gained promotion, finishing second last season, and have started very well with pretty much the same squad of players, with three victories, two draws and a single defeat so far.


Tonight’s referee was Phil Molloy who would be assisted by Adrian Arnot and Philip Barham


With rain imminent, Lawford kicked off playing down the slight slope, a long throw-in from defender Spencer fell to Rowe who found Brothers whose soft shot trickled through to keeper, Thompson (J) and within minutes the rain had made its presence felt with the ball skidding across the surface. A poor back-pass to Thompson (J) almost put him in trouble as Brothers chased forward inside the penalty area, and a couple players voiced their opinion on the poor defensive start by the visitors. At the other end Lorimer vented his frustration tackling Spencer needlessly from behind as a Lawford attack faltered, however when Stocker played the ball forward to Mann, Lorimer raced forward with home keeper Watkins just reaching the ball first. A long ball from keeper, Watkins found Brothers whose control was good to set Hughes away to cross back to Brothers who shot narrowly wide with only the keeper to beat. Cole fouled Thompson (A) twenty-five yards from goal which Brantham defended only to break and gain a free-kick themselves when Stocker fouled Nightingale and by ten minutes we had the makings of an end-to-end match. A quick free-kick taken by Lorimer almost worked, this for a foul by Woods on Lorimer but Brantham woke up in time to clear with Jones conceding a corner, taken by Lorimer with the ball skimming off the head of Mann (O) then falling to Ainger who blasted well over the cross-bar. Another break by Ainger should have led to a goal for Lawford but his low cross was totally missed by the in-rushing Watson and gathered by keeper, Watkins.

Brantham struck the first blow and what a strike it was, as when the ball was headed clear by Primus it was met on the volley by DANIEL WOODS running towards goal, thirty yards out, maybe the keeper saw it late, but it was struck with sufficient power to beat the hands of the diving keeper. Thompson (A) fouled Brothers then a great cross from Spencer found Nightingale whose first effort was blocked before keeper Thompson (J) caught the second, weaker effort. Rowe cut inside for Brantham finding Brothers whose shot cannoned off Perry for a corner with his keeper, Thompson (J) already committed to diving the other way. The pace of Lorimer, if he can keep it up for the whole game might have a telling influence for the visitors and he won a corner off Spencer, taken by Lorimer, we all thought the ball struck the near upright and bounced back to Lorimer who technically played the ball twice for a free-kick was given, however further discussion later confirmed that the keeper had got a big fist to the ball in-front of the post so play should have continued! Watkins launched a long ball towards Rowe who knocked the ball off to Brothers who flicked the ball round Perry before volleying goal-wards where keeper, Thompson (J) made a fine diving save parrying the ball back into play. A fine direct run from Mann (O) from half-way should have led to the equaliser as his left footed cross was straight into the path of the unfortunate Thompson (A) who leant back before skying the ball over the cross-bar from less than six yards out, what a miss! Wood was spoken too for a poor challenge on Nightingale but Lawford kept up the pressure with a fine flowing move started by Stocker, to Lorimer and then Mann (O) who set up Bolingbroke who over-hit the ball when chasing forward with the ball going out a goal-kick.

That expected and deserved equaliser came after twenty-five minutes, Lorimer gave chase, playing the ball back to Stocker whose high looping cross from the right side was headed firmly home by OLIVER MANN at the near post, six yards out. Lorimer continued to be the main Lawford source of attack, good control, quick feet and direct running with the ball, then from a Lorimer throw-in, Stocker sent another cross towards Mann (O) whose header flashed wide of the right hand upright and the danger signs remained for the home team. A looping cross from Lorimer was fumbled by keeper, Watkins, right on the six-yard line, Mann (O) pounced but Watkins excelled by reacting to touch the rising ball over the cross-bar for a fine redeeming save. Brantham pushed forward themselves on forty minutes, Bennett found Brothers who laid the ball off towards Rowe who just failed to get a touch to the ball inside the penalty area but Lawford started again through defender Wood, finding Ainger who turned to run goal-wards only for Bennet and Jones to double up and break up the danger. With just minutes of the half remaining a direct run by Brothers led to a corner which was cleared out to Hughes who tested keeper Thompson (J) with a rasping drive and the half ended with Brantham on the attack.


HALF-TIME:    1 – 1.  


Just before the restart Brantham replaced Bennett with Mann (S) with Brothers sporting the number seventeen shirt for this half, Mann (S) immediately sent in a cross which was headed back to his keeper, Thompson (J) by Perry. A cross from Ainger was headed high and wide by Thompson (A) then Lorimer raced away onto a pass from Mann (O) with home keeper, Watkins forced to save low to his left side, whereas at the other end Lawford almost paid for some sloppy defending allowing Nightingale a free shot at goal, which missed the target, from a poor clearance. Five minutes into the half and Lawford took the lead when Stocker played the ball through to SEAN LORIMER who out-paced Spencer before drawing the keeper and expertly chipping the ball into the back of the net, despite the desperate efforts of Mann (S). Mann (O) fouled defender Brown, leaning all over his shoulders, but Mann (O), playing against a former team almost scored again but placed the ball into the side-netting. Home keeper, Watkins saved again from Mann (O) low to his right with the ball squirming out for a corner kick, taken by Lorimer and headed wide by Mann (O).

Just before the hour mark Lawford increased their lead, a more than predicted route perhaps, Lorimer burst through down the right side and from his low cross into the penalty area OLIVER MANN swooped to turn the ball home from close range, game over, I think so! Brantham substitute, Mann (S) pushed forward in a one-on-one with the Lawford keeper, Thompson (J) who somehow managed to miss his clearance but nothing materialised. Woods found Brothers who was fouled by Bolingbroke, a real terrier of a player, chasing and snapping at the heels of opposition players, but Cole blasted the free-kick well wide as Watson received some treatment for cramp. Mann (S) fouled Ainger then Brothers set off on a rangy run down the right channel and when he tried a shot at goal his own player, Mann (S) got in the way and Lawford broke towards the clubhouse end. Lorimer continued his threat by out-pacing Brown to chip the ball into the unmarked Mann (O) who sent a first time, left footed effort just wide of the far upright with keeper, Watkins well beaten.

With twenty minutes still to play, Lorimer and Ainger were thwarted by Mann (S) who put in a timely tackle just on the edge of the penalty area and not to be out-done, Nightingale tested keeper, Thompson (J) with a shot, smartly saving low down to his left side. Another attack by that reliable combination of Lorimer, also playing against a former club, and Mann (O) was stopped by Mann (S) who had put in a fair shift since coming on at half-time. The Lawford threat did not go away and when Woods fouled Watson, just left of a central position, twenty yards out, up stepped SEAN LORIMER to curl the ball around and over the defensive wall to give the keeper little chance to save, a fine free-kick. Lorimer was summarily cautioned for removing his shirt after scoring his second goal, why do players do that, another ten quid to ECFA! Ten minutes remained when Lawford replaced Watson with O’Brien who earnt a quick caution for delaying the restart of the game, it used to be called time wasting, and his team, were actually ahead by four goals to one! Hughes for Brantham made a fine run down the right side but Rowe just missed connecting with the ball which flashed across the penalty area and out for a throw-in. With four minutes remaining Lawford replaced Thompson (A) with Punchyard and Allam got a brief run out replacing Lorimer with just two minutes remining.


FULL TIME:     1 – 4.


So after only seven games, Lawford Lads FC sit top of the table, heady heights perhaps but on this thoroughly professional performance, they will be a match to many teams this season. Brantham Athletic FC Reserves will have to re-group and hope that player injuries improve along with a perceived lack of commitment from certain others when the going gets tough, as they say!


Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, not going to dwell too much on this one as with two goals apiece only Mann (O) and Lorimer are really in contention, the latter getting the nod, despite his needless caution, but Premier Division defences beware, ignore this attacking combination at your peril!





BRANTHAM ATHLETIC FC RESERVES:          Colours:            Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.

John Watkins., Callum Bennett., Ben Spencer., Daniel Woods (C)., Oliver Brown., Lloyd Jones., Samuel Nightingale., Sam Cole., Daniel Rowe., Michael Brothers., Finlay Hughes.


Manager:                      James Long.

Used Substitutes:          Simon Mann.

Unused Substitutes:      Matthew Carmichael., Jack Harris., Christopher Dines., Samuel Gooch.




Colours:                        White Shirts, Blue Shorts and Yellow Socks.

James Thompson (C)., Alex Stocker., Jack Wood., Nick Bolingbroke., Samuel Perry., Jerome Primus., Sean Lorimer., Macauley Watson., Oliver Mann., Adam Thompson., Nathan Ainger.


Manager:                      Andrew Young.

Used Substitutes:          Reagen O’Brien., Adam Punchyard., Jack Allam

Unused Substitutes:      Ben Upton



Referee:                       Philip Molloy                 (Colchester)

Assistants:                    Adrian Arnot                 (Colchester)

and                              Philip Barham               (Colchester)



Player-of-the-Match:            Sean LORIMER           (LAWFORD LADS 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” ( ) but would all Club / Fixture Secretaries please advise 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:         September 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.

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ESBFL “web-site”


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


ESBFL Handbook,

Player Registration Sheet,

Player “Signed-On-Match-Day” Form,

Player Transfer Form,

Match Postponement Form,

Referee – Low Mark Form

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