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11/08/2018 – REPORT – Great Bentley FC versus Alresford Colne Rangers FC





GREAT BENTLEY FC:                1.       ALRESFORD COLNE RANGERS FC:          1.


Date:               Saturday 11th August 2018.              Venue:            The Green, Great Bentley.


Right, we are back, so soon you may ask, and there have been many changes for this season, the ESBFL welcome five new Clubs: AFC Sudbury “A”., Harwich Rangers FC., Stanway Pegasus FC., Shrub End United FC and Tavern FC., welcome back five Clubs: Cavendish FC., Long Melford FC Reserves., Elmden Rovers FC., Gosfield United FC and Harwich & Parkeston FC Reserves and welcome the addition of Reserve teams from Tiptree Engaine FC and Tiptree Heath FC with Tiptree Jobserve FC putting their “A” team into the league. As expected the ESBFL lost Coggeshall United FC and Harwich & Parkeston FC and the not expected loss of Brightlingsea Regent FC Reserves, all of whom have joined the Thurlow Nunn, First Division South, a revamped Step 6 League, we wish them all well.


A quick glance at current Club player strength clearly shows that many players have changed allegiance this season, some more than expected, others not so, but let us hope the players aspirations are fully met for their new teams, Managers have also changed, and certain Member Clubs have had their work cut out to replace Managers and often the whole squad of players. Changes to the “Whole Game System” (WGS) and “FA Full-Time” have given my Management colleagues an additional head-ache so if Member Clubs have any queries then please call a League Management member for help or advice.


A decent sized crowd had gathered on Great Bentley Green, now showing the return of the green bit after last weeks rain, I counted just over sixty spectators, assuming I didn’t double count and I don’t think they were disappointed for this local derby that ended, quite rightly, all square. Great Bentley FC, unbeaten last season as Division One Champions, have enlisted the services of local lad, Jack Murray, as First Team Manager to replace Jamie Meadows who has moved on the Wivenhoe Town FC, both will expect challenges this season none more so than Jack Murray who has plied his playing career, mostly with Gas Recreation FC, no more need be said! Alresford Colne Rangers FC still have Gary Bright at the helm and despite retaining most of last season’s players were several players short for this opener. On another note, I met up with one of many “ground-hoppers” who had travelled all the way by train from Birmingham, just to watch this local derby, that’s dedication!


The match referee was George Sleigh who would be assisted by Philip Barham and stalwart home Club Linesman and Club Sponsor, Peter Everett, and the game got underway in bright sunshine with the slight breeze heading across the pitch giving neither team any advantage.


Great Bentley FC kicked off with Brand getting down the right side to find the unmarked Baker who side-footed wide, Alresford Colne rangers FC responded with a positive attack from Mucaj whose looping cross was headed goal-wards by Lewis where keeper Waltham made an excellent one-handed save low to his left, to concede the first corner. An error in midfield by Durling, allowed Mucaj to break forward again to find Lewis but Stallan was on hand to defend and after only ten minutes this game looked an open affair. Great Bentley thought they were due a penalty when Dorin seemed to impede Flack, but referee Sleigh was not impressed, neither was I to be fair, more a stumble than an unfair challenge. On fifteen minutes Durling set Brand away down the right side and from his deep cross keeper, Charles called and caught the high cross to clear upfield.

Like Durling for the home side, Cross for the visitors was covering a lot of the pitch in both attacking and defending roles, a throw in by Daly fell to Yarwood whose tame lob was caught by keeper, Charles, standing on his goal-line. Next, Durling found Baker wide on the right side, Charles collected the cross which was deemed to have drifted out of play for a goal-kick, but the home team kept up the pressure with Burch lofting the ball forward to Daly who was dumped on the ground by Hughes over by the touch-line, taken by Daly himself with the ball curling around the defensive wall into the arms of keeper Charles. Durling continued to patrol midfield, holding the ball up well whilst support arrived and from another astute pass Baker tested Charles who made a decent save. Charles was definitely the busier, of the two keepers and clutched another cross to his chest, once again from Daly who used his pace to get around Hughes, who stuck to his task throughout.

On twenty-five minutes a break on the left side by Johnson for Alresford saw the ball played inside to Lewis who always has an eye for goals, this time his driven shot was blocked by defender Brough, then Juby set Johnson forward and when his deep cross landed the high bounce of the ball deceived Lewis who could not quite reach the ball. Dorin had to defend against Baker and showed some neat touches to work his way out of a tight spot inside his own penalty area, however Durling picked up the clearance, finding Brand whose cross, once again was field by Charles, in goal. Daly tormented Hughes again with ten minutes to half-time, cutting inside to force keeper, Charles to save at the near post. Baker held the ball up well to find Flack and Daly forced a corner off Hughes, taken by Daly, whose in-swinging corner found the head of the unmarked Baker at the far post, but his header flew agonisingly wide, great chance though.

Defender, Hammerton embarked down the left side to find Mucaj whose cross-cum-shot across goal curled into the arms of keeper, Waltham who, apart from an early fine save had been a spectator. At the other end, Brand won a corner off Juby, the corner taken by Bennett was palmed away by Charles for another corner taken by Daly but cleared by Wightman then a free-kick taken by Johnson was over-hit and half-time approached. With just three minutes to go, Great Bentley took the lead, Brand started the move deep in his own half, Baker picked the ball up through half-way and slipped the ball into the space behind the Alresford defence allowing QUENTIN DALY to use his pace to run through and beat the advancing keeper, something he had threatened to do all game. As the half ended, Johnson fouled Daly, right in front of the dug-outs, the home player reacted and was cautioned with Johnson maybe a bit lucky not to also be cautioned.


HALF-TIME:    1 – 0.


Alresford started the second half with more determination, with Mucaj firing high and wide almost from the kick-off, then a break by Johnson down the right side saw his right footed cross reach Hammerton running in from the left side and despite a good connection on the ball his shot hit the cross-bar then the far post before being cleared. Mucaj drove the ball wide after a pass from Johnson and with ten minutes gone a quickly taken free-kick Johnson got around Brand with Mucaj somehow scooping the ball over the cross-bar from four yards out, big miss perhaps, time will tell! After being the more dominant team in the first half, Great Bentley needed to raise their game as the visitors were now far more threatening with the home team struggling to get out of their own half. Mucaj clattered Durling who was trying to clear his defensive lines after a break by Johnson, Lewis then threatened but Stallan cleared up-field.

On the hour mark Alresford made two substitutions, Mucaj and Osborne were replaced by Newcombe and Hyams whilst changing their formation at the same time. Juby fouled Yarwood on the half-way line with the visitors defending the free-kick, then Juby found Hughes whose long ball forward found Johnson who forced Burch to concede a corner, taken by Hyams and headed clear by Brough. On sixty-eight minutes, more substitutions, Cross was replaced by Murray (Je) for Alresford with Great Bentley putting Holyman on for Yarwood. Another deep cross from Johnson was held high by keeper, Waltham as Alresford kept up the pressure with the home team forced to chase back and defend. With fifteen minutes remaining Great Bentley replaced Bennett with Murray (Ja) and Durling once again chased back to defend as Hyams threatened, however, any home team progress beyond the half-way line was limited. Hughes ran forward against Durling with Brand conceding a corner, taken by Johnson with baker heading clear and en minutes remained.

A rare mistaken pass by Hammerton let in Daly who raced away only to fire the ball wide of the goal, first chance of the half for the home team! A fine cross from Lewis was just too high for Hyams to get any good connection with and a goal-kick followed. Great Bentley replaced Brand with Jack, Burch found Baker who for a tall player turned well to shoot and force keeper, Charles to tip the ball over the cross-bar for a corner. Time appeared to be running out for Alresford, with four minutes remaining Juby found Lewis who beat three players to shoot goal-wards but Stallan made a last-ditch block to divert the ball out for a corner taken by Johnson and held under his cross-bar by keeper, Waltham. With three minutes to go, late drama, well an equalising goal and it was well worth the wait, Hughes lofted the ball forward towards the right side, Johnson flicked the ball on into the path of RYAN LEWIS who looked up before sending a fine dipping volley over the head of keeper Waltham who was given no chance, a fine goal.


FULL TIME:     1 – 1.


A creditable draw for both teams, the proverbial game of two halves but the right result, on this showing both committed teams should be safe in the ESBFL Premier Division, for the home team a season of consolidation, for the visitors an improvement perhaps on last season’s creditable fifth place.


Now, for my Man-of-the-Match choice, decent performances across both teams, for Alresford, Cross, Johnson and Lewis caught the eye as did Stallan, Brough, Daly and Flack for Great Bentley but in this match I thought young midfielder, Durling was instrumental throughout, shame he is going off to University!




GREAT BENTLEY FC:                          Colours:            White Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.

Greg Waltham., Adam Brand., Jack Burch., Charlie Durling., Scott Stallan., Peter Brough (C)., Tim Flack., Keiron Baker., Connor Bennett., Aran Yarwood., Quentin Daly.


Manager:                      Jack Murray.

Used Substitutes:          Tom Jack., Calum Holyman., Jack Murray.



ALRESFORD COLNE RANGERS FC:    Colours:            Red & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Red Socks.

Daniel Charles., Benjamin Hughes., James Osborne., Winston Juby., Danny Cross., Robert Wightman., Jack Johnson., Brat Dorin., Ryan Lewis (C)., Ermal Mucaj., Chay Hammerton.


Manager:                      Gary Bright.

Assistant Manager:       Andrew Smith.

Used Substitutes:          Gavin Newcombe., Jordan Hyams., Jerome Murray.

Unused Substitutes:      Christopher Morgan., Tyrone De Souza.



Referee:                       George Sleigh               (West Bergholt)

Assistants:                    Philip Barham               (Colchester)

and                              Peter Everett                (Club – Great Bentley FC)



Man of the Match:     Charlie DURLING       (GREAT BENTLEY 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.

On Saturday he covered the Division 2, match between Long Melford FC Reserves (0) and Stanway Pegasus FC (1) both new teams in the league this season, his match analysis is already on Facebook.





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:         August 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.

( )




ESBFL “web-site”


The web-site for the Essex & Suffolk Border Football League is:


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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