Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption

12/01/2019 – REPORT – Shrub End United FC versus Barnston AFC Reserves





SHRUB END UNITED FC:                    7.                 BARNSTON AFC:             3.


Date:               Saturday 12th January 2019.           

Venue:            Shrub End Recreation Ground, Colchester.


Another cold and windy afternoon was forecast, so I wrapped up warm once again for the short trip to Shrub End where the eighth placed, home team, Shrub End United FC, a new ESBFL team this season were to play tenth placed, Barnston AFC Reserves, a team I had not watched for many seasons. I expected goals, not this many though, as defensive errors or frailties took their toll at both ends and the game was perhaps marred by a late injury to Fisher, the Shrub End United FC, keeper who left the field with a severely gashed hand that would need hospital treatment.


The appointed match official whom I had not met before was Steven Tymms, a relatively new referee officiating in the ESBFL so I trust he enjoys games this level or above in the future as well.


Barnston kicked-off on a bumpy pitch, Shrub End gained early possession and from a right wing, cross from Amass, Knill-Jones placed the ball over the cross-bar with a deflection off Byrne for a corner taken by Curtis finding Amass who headed high over the cross-bar. Shrub End continued their bright attacking start with Amass finding Harrington whose defence splitting pass found Knill-jones who was correctly adjudged to be off-side. A long wind assisted clearance from keeper, Fisher fell to Knill-Jones who was fouled by Johnson (K) with Curtis driving the resultant free-kick narrowly wide. After five minutes, Barnston had yet to have any meaningful possession of the ball, treating it like a hot potato, as Shrub End dominated proceedings. An extremely long throw-in from defender Spurgeon found Knill-Jones with keeper Coomber quickly off his goal-line to block and the keeper reacted quickest from the next long throw-in from Spurgeon which he intercepted before Croxton made the final clearance. A through ball from Curtis fell to Amass who could only find the side-netting and with the Barnston defence under constant pressure a goal would only be a matter of time in coming. Mid-fielder Harrington played the ball wide to Urwin and from his forward pass the over-exuberance of Knill-Jones found him off-side once again

On fifteen minutes Barnston put a decent attack together, James found McLaughlin who gained a throw-in off Blowers, Dawkins sent in a long throw-in, there’s two exponents of this art on the pitch today, and McLaughlin met the ball with his head only for keeper, Fisher to save at the near post and from his long clearance Amass challenged for the ball with keeper, Coomber, who won this duel. That first goal duly arrived on seventeen minutes, Amass, held the ball up before laying the ball back to MASON HARRINGTON who struck a sweet left-footed shot through a crowd of players and past the dive of the keeper. Barnston hit back with an attack from Johnson (R) with McLaughlin in support to gain a throw-in, once again Dawkins launched the ball goal-wards, McLaughlin headed the ball towards the goal where keeper, Fisher reacted well but could only punch the ball instinctively upwards and this allowed RYAN JOHNSON to head home from almost on the goal-line for an equaliser. Just as Barnston had got back on terms within two minutes of going behind then Shrub End went ahead within a minute of the re-start, Amass, headed the ball onwards and SAMUEL KNILL-JONES raced through to score, so where was the Barnston defence! At the other end another Dawkins throw-in again found Johnson (R) and once again keeper, Fisher had to be alert, to tip the ball over the cross-bar. On twenty-six minutes Shrub End struck again, Knill-Jones fed the ball through to KIEAN DANIELS whose goal-bound shot took a deflection off a defender to beat the keeper, who probably had the initial shot covered, judging by his diving action.

Maybe it was now damage limitation time for the visitors but no they kept pushing forward whenever allowed to do so, so when Johnson (R) and McLaughlin got forward against lone defender Blowers they perhaps should have capitalised due to hesitation between defender and keeper, only a lucky bounce of the ball and Blowers, the taller of the three, thwarted their plans with a firm header away. However, Shrub End looked likely to score again as another long throw-in from Spurgeon was hooked away by James for a corner. A long kick from keeper, Fisher fell to Urwin, running clear from half-way, keeper Coomber advanced, forcing Urwin wide and the keeper chased the ball with Urwin to concede a corner kick. On thirty-four minutes goal number four arrived, Curtis found Knill-Jones who set RYAN AMASS through and he duly scored. Three minutes later and goal number five hit the back of the Barnston net, Amass, played in Knill-Jones but despite keeper, Coomber making a fine save the loose ball was swept home by JACK URWIN. A further goal was a close call when Knill-Jones chased a ball down the right side, looking up he sent a fine first-time cross towards the far post where Amass could only manage to drag his first time shot high and wide. With five minutes to half-time the persistence of Johnson (R) was rewarded when he chased down a long ball forward, Spurgeon thought keeper, Fisher would come and collect on the edge of the penalty area whilst the keeper thought Spurgeon would clear into “Row Z”, neither happened and RYAN JOHNSON stroked the loose ball home.


HALF-TIME:    5 – 1.


It was Shrub End who were to re-start the second half and they wasted no time in getting the ball forward to Amass running down the right side channel to latch onto a cross-field pass from Knill-Jones and his driven shot was probably just curling wide of the far post when keeper, Coomber launched himself to push the ball further away from the goal. Curtis took the resultant corner kick, the Barnston defence failed to move, the ball bounced once inside the six-yard box, and the unmarked SAM LEE stooped to head home from close range. The long throw-ins from Dawkins had caused problems all game and keeper, Fisher failed to hold the ball at the first attempt under the cross-bar from Johnson (R) with the keeper pouncing on the loose ball inside the packed six-yard box. A fine strike of the ball from Archer, for Barnston, beat keeper, Fisher, all ends up with the ball crashing against the cross-bar, bouncing down before being cleared, then Fisher had to advance to block Johnson (R) when he found space but insufficient time to shoot. Johnson (R) was again to threaten when he rounded Blowers to shoot at goal where keeper, Fisher saved firstly with his knees and seconds later a dribble and shot saw the ball graze the keepers knuckles and fly clear. A fast attack from Knill-Jones down the right saw his fine cross reach Amass, who with his back to goal attempted an overhead kick which flew narrowly wide.

An out of character tackle at least for this match, by Westall, on Urwin, who got up and shook the perpetrators hand, led to the first caution of the match, Curtis took the free-kick and keeper, Coomber, expertly tipped the goal-bound ball over the cross-bar. On sixty-three minutes Croxton lost the ball in a tackle on Knill-Jones who ran off goal-wards, Croxton eventually made up the ground only to proceed to foul Knill-Jones, earn a caution and concede a penalty kick, smashed home by ALEX CURTIS. On sixty-five minutes with the game stopped for a foul on Dawkins, Barnston replaced James with Deamer and Shrub End replaced Bell with Smith however the free-kick taken by Dawkins was straight to Urwin who set the home side forward again. Then when Knill-Jones chased down a pass towards keeper, Coomber the two players collided on the edge of the penalty area, with Coomber falling heavily over Knill-Jones who lay prostrate on the ground and despite the keepers plea to stop the game, play continued with Amass, for Shrub End, running down the left side, cutting in, to run along the goal-line before setting the ball back to the unmarked Harrington who contrived to miss the open goal, one of the misses of the season, for me, in any level of football! With play stopped, Johnson (R) ran thirty yards back towards the referee who proceeded to caution him for dissent and then keeper, Coomber for his verbal volley after the game had not been stopped for a player injury, a difficult situation to judge, yes there was a foul and a clear injury, but play continued with the offended team in possession, still can’t account for that miss though! On seventy-two minutes the stricken Knill-Jones left the field holding his neck and Ellis took his place up-front.

With fifteen minutes remaining the goals had seemingly dried up but chances to score still arrived at both ends, keeper, Coomber saved well from Amass who latched onto a through ball from Urwin who then set up Amass for shot which flew into the side netting. On eighty-two minutes there was another goal, this time for Barnston and out of nothing really, as a speculative high cross from the right wing by FRANK ARCHER had keeper Fisher back-pedalling but he was unable to stop the ball hitting the inside of the far post and enter the net. Unfortunately, keeper, Fisher suffered a bad injury to his hand as upon handing his left hand struck the frame of the goal, splitting his gloved hand inflicting a deep cut across the palm, I’ve since learnt that after a trip to Colchester General Hospital A&E he has been refered to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford due to some tendon damage, we wish him a speedy recovery. Amass, a player for all positions, took over in goal punching clear a cross from McLaughlin but he was powerless when Johnson (R) rifled the ball against the post with just a few seconds remaining.


FULL TIME:     7 – 3.


Yes, a high scoring match, owed in part to some poor defensive play but also to some good attacking football served up primarily by Shrub End United FC but Barnston AFC Reserves should take heart from a creditable performance where they did not give up trying, they were just beaten by a more clinical team.


Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, Barnston AFC Reserves keeper, Coomber defied the home team on countless occasions, he did throw his toys out of the pram before his caution, but it showed his passion in this young team. Elsewhere the over-worked defence keep going as did the midfield with a goal from Archer and Johnson (R) with two goals, and the odd assist from McLaughlin were not enough on the day. For Shrub End United FC, this was very much a team effort urged on by captain Blowers, to me, Fisher is an unorthodox keeper, but he did his job and made some good saves but sadly picked up a horrible injury just before the end. Elsewhere, goals rained in from seven different players, there could have been more, the pace and legitimate aggression of Knill-Jones and Urwin, the more cultured approach from Lee, Curtis, Harrington and Daniels, all of whom scored whilst player/manager Amass led the front line well, scored a goal himself, he could have had more, but he set up countless chances for his team mates, so I’ll opt for his performance as just shading those others mentioned earlier.




SHRUB END UNITED FC:       Colours:            Navy-Blue Shirts, Navy-Blue Shorts and Navy-Blue Socks.

Oliver Fisher., Ryan Amass., Liam Bell., Lee Blowers (C)., Kiean Daniels., James Spurgeon., Sam Lee., Mason Harrington., Sam Knill-Jones., Alex Curtis., Jack Urwin.


Player Manager:             Ryan Amass.

Used Substitutes:          Henry Ellis., Bradley Smith.

Unused Substitutes:      Jack Tyrer.


BARNSTON AFC RESERVES:              Colours:            Green Shirts., Black Shorts and Black Socks.

Edward Coomber., Alex James., Tyler Byrne., Frank Archer., Laurence Croxton., Kyle Johnson., Christopher Atkinson., Chay Westall., Ricky Dawkins., Ryan Johnson., Jamie McLaughlin.


Manager:                      Gary Johnson.

Used Substitutes:          John Deamer.

Unused Substitutes:      Steven Rowley., Gary Johnson



Referee:                       Stephen Tymms.                       (Clacton-On-Sea)



Player-of-the-Match:            Ryan AMASS              (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:              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                                          Please report via “FA Full-Time”

Leave a Reply