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12/05/2018 – REPORT – Hatfield Peverel FC versus Gas Recreation FC



HATFIELD PEVEREL FC:           1.       GAS RECREATION FC:    3.


Date:               Saturday 12th May 2018.      

Venue:            The Keith Bigden Memorial Ground, Hatfield Peverel.


There were four scheduled Premier Division matches to be played on Saturday, thus bringing closure on this long and interesting season as after last Saturdays top of the table clash between Gas Recreation FC and Coggeshall United FC who won by three goals to nil, it left Gas Recreation FC top, on equal points but a better goal difference. However, on Wednesday evening Coggeshall United FC followed up this victory with another, this time by four goals to nil over Little Oakley FC Reserves enabling them to go top by three points and a goal difference of two. So, what did that mean for Saturday, well Gas needed to win by two clear goals to win the Premier Division championship “by having scored more goals”, as goal difference would still be the same.


A decent sized crowd had gathered with a slight hint of rain in the air as the players lined up for the “Respect” handshake overseen by Match Official, Phil Molloy who was assisted by Matthew Jarvis and M/s Amy Purser, a new young lady official now officiating in the ESBFL, so good luck to her in the future, and I mean that sincerely folks!


Gas kicked off in a changed strip and two early free-kicks were awarded to both teams in quick succession, but it was Curtis, for Hatfield who chipped the ball over the Gas defence and set Hale through but heading wide on the right side but with the pace of the ball he could only send in a low cross, rather than a shot at goal with the ball fizzing across the open six-yard box, a decent start by the home team whom I was reliably informed had turned up to compete and make life difficult for the visitors. When play switched to the clubhouse end Leeder fouled Firkens (A), then Marangou was late diving into a challenge on Knight to earn the first rebuke from the referee, Turner played the free-kick long to Harrington who set Hale running through with keeper Morrison well positioned to intercept and clear up-field. Dillon flicked the ball up against Harrington, handball was given, looked like his chest to me and from this free-kick Dadds sent in a looping free-kick which Curtis headed away. Hatfield, through lone striker, Hale broke away down the right side and from his cross Dadds headed away to Curtis whose shot flew straight to keeper, Morrison. Taylor (L) curled a free-kick just over the cross-bar for Gas and Knight shot over for Hatfield after Hale played in Curtis whose pass reached the over-lapping defender. Mouser fouled Dillon with Dadds trying to find the head of Marangou who missed the ball completely which almost wrong-footed keeper Dawson who reacted quickly to tip the bouncing ball over the cross-bar for a corner. Gas had been quite so far but just before the fifteen-minute they mark upped the tempo and Marangou crossed to Taylor (R) who beat keeper, Dawson only for Knight to head clear off the goal-line.

A deep curling corner taken by Dillon clipped the top of the cross-bar and from the goal-kick Curtis hit the ball long to Hale who turned Minter to cross goal-wards where West pushed the ball out for a corner kick. Knight took the corner kick finding Hale who, before he could control the ball was dispossessed by Taylor (L) who cleared, but only to Mouser who, with Knight, got forward to find Hale but his control was poor and another decent Hatfield attack broke down. On twenty minutes Marangou slide in again on Knight, should be a caution I thought, but no, another verbal warning and play restarted with Hatfield moving forward. A cross from Cook was headed clear by Turner to Curtis with Hale taking over, Dillon tried to impede the forward as he crossed the half-way line and it was left to last defender West to make a recovering tackle. Hatfield had been looking to use the long ball forward to play in Hale who to be fair had looked dangerous, but it’s all about finishing at this level but there was plenty of time remaining! Gas seemed happy to play the ball forward and wait for the right moment, Knight was caught out by a run from Cook who ran on to cross with his left foot, but only onto the roof of the net. Another long free-kick from Dadds was headed clear by Curtis which was followed by a goalmouth scramble leading to a corner from which another scramble inside the six-yard box was ended when keeper, Dawson dived on the loose ball. A break out of defence by Mouser led to Hale receiving the ball mid-half and but for the timely intervention of Dadds, he might have been through on goal.

Minter played the ball forward to Dillon, Leeder made a fine tackle to dispossess Dillon then a low cross from Firkens (A) was cleared by Mouser but back to Firkens (A) whose second cross was headed up and over by West with only keeper, Dawson to beat. A fine break clear, from the half-way line, by Leeder should have seen the opening goal, perhaps, but keeper, Morrison advanced to make a fine save near the edge of his penalty area, a great chance for the home team. Home captain, Turner launched a long ball forward to Hale, who despite looking off-side, was, allowed to continue his run forward until West got back to defend. A free-kick taken by Knight on the right side was cleared to Niall whose first-time cross was caught by keeper, Morrison albeit at the second attempt along his goal-line. An error by Mouser let in Cook who found Dillon but his shot was hurried and sailed well wide from outside the penalty area. With Marangou dropping deeper into midfield, it allowed Dillon to push forward more with the game suddenly a bit disjointed until Cook got down the left wing to find Taylor (R) whose first-time effort was blocked at point-blank range by keeper, Dawson. On thirty-eight minutes, a goal, RYAN TAYLOR had drifted wide to the right side but whether it was a cross or a shot the ball cleared keeper, Dawson to nestle in the far side of the net to queue some celebrations, only one goal was now needed but maybe there was a twist around the corner! Firkens (A) drifted in from the right side, Turner blocked his progress and set Mouser away, finding Hale whilst Mouser kept going to force another fine save out of keeper, Morrison. Hatfield kept up the pressure with free-kick from Knight forcing keeper, Morrison to punch the ball clear allowing Gas to break through Taylor (L) who found Firkens (A) who passed to Dillon but the shot was well wide once again. As the half-time whistle blew, Mouser was cautioned, not sure why, but I suspect a bit of dissent was involved as the first half had been lively but almost incident free, excepting the goal between two fairly evenly matched teams.


HALF-TIME:        0 – 1.


Right, game on, forty-five minutes remained to settle both the Premier Division title, and the runners-up spot, Hatfield kicked-off, a throw-in from Knight found Hale who headed straight to keeper, Morrison, then Mouser set up Niall but Morrison saved. Cook was caught off-side from a cross-field ball from Taylor (L) who himself had pushed forward for the Gas. Gas were still looking for their wide players, Cook and Firkens (A) to prize open the home defence with Cook winning a corner off Knight. When Hale held the ball up inside the Gas half, Niall lent support to find Irvine who forced keeper, Morrison to save near the penalty spot with both Stoneman and keeper Morrison requiring treatment after being injured in this latest home attack. Marangou and Dillon worked the ball forward with Turner clearing with a no-nonsense piece of defending, back came Gas through Firkens (A) with Dillon heading over the cross-bar and when play switched, as it did regularly, Hale played in Mouser who lofted the ball over the cross-bar. Taylor (L) found Dillon with a long raking ball but the eventual shot at goal found the arms of keeper, Dawson. Mouser and Dillon tussled for the ball inside the centre-circle with the home mid-fielder getting the ball away to Hale, who was still running and chasing as the lone striker, in fact, his team were not out of this game by any means as chances were being created.

Stoneman, for Gas sent in a left side cross to find Taylor (L) but after two attempts to control the bouncing ball he turned to shoot over the cross-bar, then at last something for the home team supporters to applaud. Irvine started the flowing move finding Mouser who played in LAURENCE HALE who burst forward, drew the keeper, then placed the ball under his body for a deserved equaliser. It’s all gone quiet over there, the Gas, technical are, that is, but fear not because within one minute, Cook, broke clear and found LUKE TAYLOR, with his back to goal and when turning he smashed the ball high into the net from six-yards out, game-on again. With their tails up, once again, Firkens (A) for Gas galloped clear to find Taylor (R) but keeper, Dawson made a fine save at the foot of the post. With twenty minutes remaining Irvine found Harrington with Hale forcing a corner off Dadds allowing Gas to replace Taylor (R) with Willoughby, sporting a distinctive white bandage around his head! Knight took the corner kick, Morrison tipped the ball over the cross-bar and from the second corner, again taken by Knight, Mouser headed wide.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Gas scored a crucial goal, Willoughby found, leading scorer, ASTEN FIRKENS down the left side and after getting around Knight he fired home from close range to set up some wild celebrations on and off the pitch, just need to keep this lead and win the title. Once things had quietened down play resumed, Cook was fouled by Turner who was spoken too, Willoughby took the free-kick only for keeper, Dawson to make a fine save. On eighty minutes Hatfield replaced Knight with O’Brien, Minter found Taylor (L) only for Turner to commit a foul, with Curtis sending a back-header to his own keeper who just managed to react and punch the ball over the cross-bar. Firkens (A) and the fresh legs of Willoughby almost paid dividends for the Gas until Roll intervened with a timely challenge. Hatfield replaced Curtis with Lloyd and Gas replaced Cook with Hewes and just five minutes remained. In the last minute of normal time Gas made their final change bringing on Bulmer for Firkens (A) giving him six minutes of time “added-on”.


FULL TIME:         1 – 3.


At the final whistle a relieved Gas Recreation team celebrated as only they know how as this was the twelve time that the club have lifted the ESBFL Premier Division title and on the day won the match without players of the calibre of Craig, Girling, Gregory and Braddon. That said, compliments should also go to a valiant Hatfield Peverel FC, they had a game plan, stuck manfully to the task and could quite easily have spoilt the party, on another day they might have deserved at least a point. So, Gas have won the title, again, with Coggeshall United FC becoming “runners-up” not on points {72}, not on goal difference {79} but by scoring more goals ({113) than Coggeshall {101}, it’s all about narrow margins, so what about next season, well the saying goes, if you finish above “The Gas” then you have probably won the title, let’s see which team can step up to the mark.

It was also my pleasure to present the ESBFL Premier Division winners trophy to both Glen Morrison and Luke Taylor, of Gas Recreation FC, making a sharp exit when the frothy stuff was introduced to the wild celebrations.

Now, for my Man-of-the-Match choice, both goal-keepers made crucial saves, especially Morrison who kept his team in the game on two occasions, defenders Roll and Turner for Hatfield and West and Dadds for Gas played important parts when under pressure, in midfield Irvine and Mouser played their part against Marangou and Taylor (L), Cook and Firkens (A) as the Gas wide players always looked dangerous which leaves the forwards, Taylor (R) scored a goal with a “shot” which was probably a cross, only he knows what he intended, but for me Hale, the lone Hatfield striker played his part, holding the ball up, chasing anything hit long and with some good control and an eye for goal he scored a well taken goal to set up a fine second half, in fact he might possibly have scored more but for some good defending by Gas players.




HATFIELD PEVEREL FC:                                     Colours: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.

Keith Dawson., Matthew Knight., John Leeder., Anthony Roll., Luke Turner (C)., James Irvine., Lewis Niall., Elliot Mouser., Laurence Hale., Luca Curtis., Sam Harrington.


Manager:                        Steve Pretty.

Used Substitutes:             Tony Lloyd., Grady O’Brien.

Unused Substitutes:          George Garland., Scott Fitzgerald., James Fitzgerald.



GAS RECREATION FC:                                       Colours: Light Blue & White Shirts, Red Shorts and White Socks.

Glen Morrison (C)., Craig Minter., Jack Stoneman., Liam Dadds., Luke Taylor., Dean West., Charley Cook., Reife Marangou., Ryan Taylor., Josh Dillon., Asten Firkens.


Manager:                        Simon Hayward.

Assistant Manager:           Calvin Firkens.

Used Substitutes:             Harry Willoughby., Jon Bulmer., Harry Hewes.

Unused Substitutes:          Calvin Firkens., Jack Murray.



Referee:                         Phil Molloy                      (Colchester)

Assistants:                      Matthew Jarvis                (Maldon)

An0d                             M/s Amy Purser               (Hatfield Peverel)



Man of the Match:           Laurence HALE                 (HATFIELD PEVEREL FC)

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