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10/11/2018 – REPORT – Dedham Old Boys FC Reserves versus Shrub End United FC





Date:               Saturday 10th November 2018.        Venue: The Drift, Southfields, Dedham.


A bright autumn afternoon welcomed league newcomers Shrub End United FC to The Drift, otherwise known as Southfields, over at Dedham for a Division Three encounter against the home Reserve team. At the start of play Dedham, with games in hand, sat in sixth place, four points behind third placed Shrub End who are a new club, a new team and for me a new squad of players of whom I’ve only seen two or three, play before today.


This match was refereed by Jack Luckman who observed an impeccable two-minute silence and generally had a good game with good positional sense and sound decision making, two cautions only, one apiece after a player from both sides kicked the ball away, when will they learn!


An early throw-in to Dedham saw Williams throw the ball short towards Randall who returned the ball to Williams whose cross was punched clear by keeper, Fisher and Dedham followed up with a corner, taken by Brown but cleared by Harrington with another corner taken by Tarling hitting the top of the cross-bar and safety. It took Shrub End five minutes to wake up and with the ball worked forward to Murphy his quick turn and shot was wayward but gave notice that the visitors were here to compete. Murphy then tangled with Williams, a free-kick was awarded, and Brown sent the ball deep into the penalty area where keeper, Fisher again opted to punch clear. The pace of the game had quickened with Shrub End trying to stay equal to the home team, Knill-Jones and Murphy were guilty of mis-timed challenges and play was accordingly brought back by the on-the-spot referee who spoke to each player. On eight minutes Shrub End attacked, Dunne fed Murphy who played the ball wide to Blank who was unceremoniously dumped on the ground by Parsons who was also spoken too. Blank took the free-kick and an overhead attempt by Taylor bounced once before being collected by keeper, Bentley, from his clearance Rush was high in a challenge on Harrington then Parsons and Blank accidentally collided heads from a left-wing cross for the visitors. Williams for Dedham was running their midfield covering acres of space, breaking up moves then setting up those for his own team.

Up until fifteen minutes, Blank and Knill-Jones were looking for the breaks for Shrub End and kept Baister and Bell (D) on their toes then a period of petty fouls disrupted the game as both teams tried to dominate with some heavier but fair tackles interspersed as well, nothing like commitment though, Knill-Jones was hurt in one incident, he received treatment, came off, went back on but clearly struggled thereafter. Parsons sent a long ball forward for Rush to chase alongside Harrington and with the cross coming over towards Randall, keeper, Fisher juggled the ball before firmly holding it, then a quick snap-shot from Brown flew well wide for a throw-in! On twenty-five minutes Dedham took the lead, route one, keeper, Bentley launched a long high ball forward, I was standing in line with Rush who was off-side, but with the linesman behind play, play continued with Rush just edging out Harrington, keeper, Fisher stopped the first shot with an outstretched foot but he was powerless to stop the follow up from JAMIE RUSH as the ball trickled across goal into the bottom corner. The next attack came through Williams and Rush with Harrington using his pace to get into a good defensive position, with Blank helping to clear the ball whilst at the other end keeper, Bentley was just quick enough to take the ball off the head of Murphy after a break from Knill-Jones.

Knill-Jones who had been injured earlier was then replaced by Smith, Murphy was fouled wide on the right-side, but the free-kick taken by Blank was poor, then a long throw-in by Blowers found Taylor but keeper, Bentley was on hand to catch the ball. On thirty-five minutes a poor clearance from Bentley rolled to Urwin, standing mid-way in the Dedham half, a quick shimmy sent him past Parsons and when the low cross came in Smith, standing six yards out should have scored but only managed to scoop the ball into the hands of keeper Bentley, who had now played his get-out-of-jail card. Urwin was at it again, this time on the other side, beating Pearce, good to see him playing again, but the cross was behind the goal, Taylor dragged another effort wide from a left-wing break and the final first half flurry of action came when Williams bull-dozed through four players only to send a weak shot towards keeper, Fisher.


HALF-TIME:    1 – 0.  


I was still downing my half-time tea when the second half-kicked off with Shrub End attacking, it remained competitive Blowers fouled Williams, two committed players for their teams, Brown took the free-kick, Bell (D) rose but headed high and wide at the far post. A break by Urwin saw his ross find Smith but he missed the target completely then the same player turned to shoot but keeper, Bentley was equal, too it, saving low down. Tarling cleared the ball off his goal line, this after a corner taken by Urwin was headed goal-wards by Smith and momentarily the visitors were on top. Harington for Shrub End had led his defensive colleagues well and the timing of his clearances was an example to others, calculated and decisive, nothing rash nor kicked anywhere and on one occasion he won an aerial challenge, ran forward beating three home players before Williams stepped in to block any further progress. Williams charged into  Bell (L) to concede a free-kick, a long chase forward by Blank set Murphy through until Baister matched the pace of Murphy to take the ball cleanly off his toes and concede a corner, taken by Urwin, good corners these, with Williams bringing the ball away for Dedham, only for Murphy to chase back and commit a foul. Shrub End had shown much more commitment already this half, they deserved to be level, if nothing else, just needed to be more clinical in front of goal with Murphy and Urwin being the danger players. Taylor found Bell (L) whose cross hit Tarling and went out for a throw-in, whereupon Dedham replaced Pearce with Fowler then Smith was fouled by Baister outside the penalty area but inside the “D” but the dipping free-kick from Blank cleared the cross-bar. It was Baister again who impeded the progress of Shrub End this time committing a foul on Murphy, Bell (L) took the free-kick smashing the ball into the defensive wall before lifting the next ball into the penalty area where two players were caught off-side.

On sixty-two minutes Brown was replaced by Windsor, a snap-shot from Peters flew straight to keeper, Fisher, at the other end Urwin drifted into the penalty area only to be blocked off by Baister and Bell (D) which was followed by a cracker of a shot from Murphy which flew wide. Five minutes later and Rush gave chase only for Harrington to get back and make a fine intercepting challenge and clear to a colleague. A free-kick from Tarling wide on the left side was cleared by Dunne who chased upfield only to be blocked by a timely challenge from Windsor then a pass from Peters found Tarling whose shot cleared the goal and Dedham made their last change with Pike replacing Rush with twenty minutes remaining. A deep free-kick from Harrington found Smith then when Murphy turned to shoot, Bell (D) turned the ball out for a corner kick. There had been plenty of friendly “banter” from the touch-line dug-out, side, nothing nasty and this epitomised the spirit in which the game had been played, commendable stuff. Shrub End, if anything, had over-played the ball at times, Urwin stuck to his task down the flanks, took an and beat Williams for pace only to be stopped, unfairly by Windsor. Windsor was then adjudged to have raised a high foot to Blank, probably the smallest player on the pitch, and when kicking the ball away was cautioned. The free-kick from Bell (L) was too long and with play stopped Shrub End replaced both Dunne and Blank with Lee and Nicholson on seventy-eight minutes.

With ten minutes to go, Dedham were awarded a penalty, Peters had drifted wide to the right side but when he beat Bell his progress was stopped by a rash challenge by Harrington, probably his only error of the match, no question, no argument, a penalty and LAYTON WINDSOR placed the ball, left footed into the right side of the goal net, excellent penalty, not many keepers would have saved that. When Dunne fouled Tarling, he stupidly kicked the ball away and received the appropriate caution then a fine shot from Murphy tested keeper, Randall who saved at full stretch and the final flurries came through Williams forcing keeper, Fisher to save then Murphy, in space, received a fine pass from Dunne over-lapping down the left side, shoot, came the cry from the touch-line but before he could Dedham had surrounded him and the chance went by, good defending though.


FULL TIME:     2 – 0.


Despite what some critics might say about teams and the standard of football in the lower leagues of the ESBFL there can at times be some excellent matches, today was one of those, I thoroughly enjoyed this game and both sides deserve credit, Dedham may just have done enough to end victorious but Shrub End should hold their heads up high for a battling display where on another day they probably deserved a point.


Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, Dedham were served well by Bell and particularly Baister in defence, Williams dominated their midfield with Peters and Tarling also doing a lot of running and the early running of Rush whose hold up play was also good enabled the home team to emerge as winners. Now turning to Shrub End, most players were new to me but those who impressed were Blowers, effective for a big player, Spurgeon and Harrington did little wrong defensively whilst the live wire midfielders of Blank, Taylor, and Jones kept forward Knill-Jones, Urwin and Murphy well supplied, however with a fine defensive display spoilt only by a late rash challenge for the penalty my choice for this match is Harrington.


Don’t forget, kick-off time throughout November to the end of January are now 2pm with cup-matches half-an-hour earlier, please check FA Full-Time for full details.




DEDHAM OLD BOYS FC RESERVES:              Colours:            Blue Shirts, Black Shorts and Blue Socks.

Ryan Bentley., John Pearce., Ryan Parsons., Simon Baister., Daniel Bell (C)., Liam Peters., Alex Williams., Darren Tarling., Jamie Rush., Mathew Randall., Keir Brown.


Manager:                      Jay Hall

Used Substitutes:          Shane Pike., Matthew Fowler., Layton Windsor.


SHRUB END UNITED FC:                   Colours:            Red Shirts, Dark Blue Shorts and Dark Blue Socks.

Oliver Fisher., Daniel Dunne., Liam Bell., Lee Blowers (C)., Mason Harrington., James Spurgeon., Sam Blank., Robert Taylor., Samuel Knill- Jones., Ben Murphy., Jack Urwin.


Manager:                      Ryan Amass.

Substitutes:                  Sam Lee., Bradley Smith., Scott Nicholson.

Unused Substitute:       Daniel O’Gorman.


Referee:                       Jack Luckman               (Colchester)




Player-of-the-Match:            Mason HARRINGTON            (SHRUB END UNITED 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 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                                          Please report via “FA Full-Time”

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