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09/02/2019 – REPORT – Oyster FC versus Great Bentley FC Reserves





OYSTER FC:           1.                           GREAT BENTLEY FC RESERVES:          1.


Date:               Saturday 09th February 2019.           Venue:            The Glebe, West Mersea.


So, I checked the tides at the Stroud before travelling over to the Glebe, at West Mersea, to watch Oyster FC play Great Bentley FC Reserves in this ESBFL, Division Three fixture, overnight rain had made the compact pitch, soft, but very much playable and a strong wind blowing across the open pitch was going to help the drying-out process. Home team, Oyster FC sat fourth at the start of play, their record indicated that they can score goals (54) but are perhaps equally guilty of conceding goals (44), whereas Great Bentley FC Reserves, sat sixth with games in hand, they on the other hand have not scored so freely but as one of the leagues draw specialists, seven to date, had conceded only thirteen goals in the league.


The appointed match official was James Parks and he would be assisted by home substitute, Aymen Hosni and the visitors more experienced campaigner, Peter Everitt, a former player, in my playing days and a club sponsor as well.


Oyster kicked off, but the youngsters of Great Bentley got possession and pushed forward through McMahon who found Bennett, but Birch cleared the danger and from the first, of many, free-kicks, Green sent the ball towards Pacey whose header was parried by keeper, Kirk with Taylor completing the clearance. From the corner, taken by Green, defender Gallant headed clear, and his team built an attack, once again from the back, this time down the left side. Birch fell under a challenge from Taylor, no foul was given, just as well, as the incident was inside the penalty area and as play continued a shot on the turn from Barker (S) flew high and wide. After seven minutes a foul by Wallis on Pacey, twenty-five yards from goal led to the free-kick taken by Green just dipping too late to find the net but a decent effort. When Bennett fouled Clements, the free-kick taken again by Green found Pacey whose goal-bound header was diverted wide by the head of Taylor for a corner. Green took the corner-kick, but Gallant intercepted to clear, however, Oyster kept up some pressure and Green, who had stayed forward, fell to the ground, inside the penalty area under a challenge by Donaldson, surely a penalty, no a caution for Green, for simulation, Oyster were adamant it had been a foul, the match official thought otherwise!

On fifteen minutes, the persistence of Pacey, with his close control and quick feet, drew a foul from Powell, but the free-kick from Green was cleared by Taylor, clearly the rock at the back for the visitors. Gray for Great Bentley was spoken too after a challenge on Scholes (Ben) then Pacey fouled Bennett and Byford and I think Green were spoken too for an off the ball incident behind the referees back. When Great Bentley were awarded a free-kick about twenty-five yards out, in a central position, DAVID GALLANT scored with a fine direct free-kick, top corner, keeper, Cowan had no chance of saving that strike. A rash challenge by Wallis, not even the exuberance of youth could be blamed this time, and with a warning earlier, received his caution but so far this half had been littered with numerous free-kicks, conceded by both teams.

A direct free-kick from the trusty left foot of Green led to keeper, Kirk, tipping the ball over the cross-bar, just under the angle of bar and upright for a corner and following the clearance from Taylor, Pacey was cautioned for placing his hand on the referee shoulder when questioning a decision. Defender Taylor upended Lamb for a free-kick, Green played the ball into the penalty area where Taylor headed away for a corner, taken by Green with Pacey toe-poking the loose ball just wide of the net. A free-kick from Gray flew straight to keeper, Cowan, then Green fouled Gray, the free-kick taken by Donaldson being cleared by Pacey to Birch who found Scholes (Ben) and the ball eventually found Scholes (Joe) whose cross was headed wide by Pacey, under pressure from Gallant and we had reached half-time with the visitors ahead.


HALF-TIME:    0 – 1.


With no changes to playing personnel from either team, Great Bentley restarted the second half but it was Oyster who started more positively, a corner from Pacey found the head of Scholes (Ben), two yards out, but keeper, Kirk reacted to hold the close-range effort on his goal-line. Taylor picked up a short goal-kick and threaded a fine through ball to Bennett who ran on unchallenged before opting to shoot, high and wide, a great break but a poor finish, that’s the inexperience of youth for you perhaps! Scholes (Joe) received a caution for dissent and when play resumed McMahon raced forward from deep defence, riding three challenges before forcing a corner off Scholes (Jack). Oyster were still pushing forward, Pacey being their main instigator from midfield and from his superb pass, which was missed by Taylor, his first and only error of the game when not cutting-out the pass, led to a fine strike from Scholes (Joe) which forced a great save from keeper, Kirk.

On sixty minutes another pass, from Pacey found Eden whose cut inside to send a left footed effort just dipping over the cross-bar, surely an equaliser is imminent for the home team! A foul by Gray on Eden led to a free-kick wide on the left side, Green drove the free-kick into the penalty area, a big shout for a handball was waved aside by the referee but the incident was in a crowd of players and play continued. On sixty-six minutes Great Bentley replaced Wallis with Burt and a minute later Scholes (Joe) was replaced by Barker (M). Oyster now had more of the ball possession, missed chances might be their downfall as Great Bentley continued to defend well, led by Gallant and Taylor and backed up by some sound goalkeeping from Kirk, a former defender converted to goalkeeper. A free-kick from Green found the unmarked Pacey whose solid header only picked out keeper, Kirk once again standing on his goal-line, then Bennett spoke out of turn when an advantage situation failed to materialise, thus earning his caution.

Oyster duly scored the threatened equaliser on seventy-five minutes, a throw-in from Eden was headed on by Pacey and with the visitors, defence standings still SAM BARKER stole in to divert the ball past keeper, Kirk. Great Bentley replaced Byford with Stephen with thirteen minutes to play and minutes later Oyster had another shout for a penalty which was turned aside when firstly Pacey was clattered in the build-up play and when play was allowed, to continue, Birch was upended inside the penalty area, not given this time but in other matches they have been. With five minutes remaining, Oyster replaced Lamb with Hosni and Hill was replaced by Scott for the visitors, Great Bentley then went looking for a winning goal, Powell played in Stephen who was denied by a fine save by keeper, Cowan and as we entered the final minute a cross from Bennett found the head of Donaldson but once again keeper, Cowan saved to keep the goals tally level.


FULL TIME:     1 – 1.


I suppose this was not the best of games to watch and report on, but I try to watch as many different teams as I can, so unlike last week’s epic Essex Premier Cup tie this was a mid-table Division Three match between two fairly-evenly matched sides and the draw was, in my opinion, the right result.


Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, both keepers made important saves, defences were to the fore as both midfields battled it out, Pacey for Oyster stood out, for Great Bentley it was team effort in midfield, up front both teams had chances, Barker scored for Oyster but others could not capitalise on them, a feature of the visitors season I was reliably informed. So, going back to defences, Green and Birch were solid for the home team and for Great Bentley, Gallant and Taylor did likewise, today my choice is Taylor, I liken him to a good, old style centre-half, strong in the air, strong in the tackle with no challenge shirked plus offering encouragement to his young team-mates.





Colours:            Blue & White striped Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.


Dan Cowan., Connor Eden., Jack Scholes., Joe Scholes., John Green., Alex Pacey (C)., Ben Scholes., Danny Clements., Tom Birch., Sam Barker., Robert Lamb.


Player Manager:             John Green.

Used Substitutes:          Aymen Hosni., Matt Barker.

Unused Substitutes:      Alex Washington.



Colours:            Red Shirts., Dark Blue Shorts and Red Socks.


Trevor Kirk., Ryan McMahon., Grant Donaldson., Daryl Wallis., Nathan Taylor., David Gallant (C)., Danny Hill., Chris Powell., Nathan Byford., Conner Bennett., Thomas Gray.


Joint Managers:            Richard Herbert & Gordon Lawrence.

Used Substitutes:          Mitchell Scott., Steven Burt., Michael Stephen.

Unused Substitutes:      Oliver Goodwin



Referee:                       James Parks.                 (Colchester)



Player-of-the-Match:    Nathan TAYLOR      (GREAT BENTLEY FC RESERVES)




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 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                                          Please report via “FA Full-Time”

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