ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
LONG MELFORD FC RESERVES: 5. HARWICH RANGERS FC: 0.
Date: Saturday 13th October 2018.
Venue: Stoneylands Stadium, New Road, Long Melford.
This week’s game featured the last two “new” teams in Division Two of the ESBFL, that I had yet to watch, Long Melford FC Reserves, who, after several seasons in the Thurlow Nunn Reserve Section had opted to return to the ESBFL and were placed in Division Two, , the home club are actually celebrating their one hundred & fiftieth anniversary this season, a remarkable legacy. Their opponents were Harwich Rangers FC, a relatively new club that had played its games in the Colchester & East Essex Football League, winning the Premier Division last season and by wanting to progress had applied and were accepted into the ESBFL, whether Division Two rather than a starting point of Division Three will be regretted will only be determined as the season progresses, it is still early days.
On a bright, sunny and surprising warm afternoon the referee, who would be assisted by club linesman was Matthew Webb and generally he did what he is there to do, apply the law of the game, speak to players when required and act accordingly when things get a bit heated, only one caution, this for persistent offending.
The Long Melford FC pitch looked in excellent condition, a legacy of a conscientious groundsman, these people tend to go un-noticed so well done to him and with both teams on the pitch it was the home team that kicked-off. Harwich Rangers won a throw-in off defender Lee, a late team-sheet change for Roy who was unable to start, a corner followed as Cuthbertson pressurised Carter down in the corner area, the same player took the corner and received the ball back from Salilu only to plant his deep cross behind the goal. When Lee hesitated Salilu picked off the loose ball and headed goal-wards with Sloots covering to clear then a long ball forward from the home defence set Howe racing away but as his cross came in Harwich Rangers defender Sayer intercepted to clear. It was good to see Howe playing again as in an game almost a year to the day, for Connaught Red Star last season at Bures he fell awkwardly and broke his collar-bone, probably missing most of the season thereafter. Salilu has pace as well and broke forward onto a pass from Eade, this following an error in midfield by Fisher, fortunately young keeper, Bett was equally as quick racing off his line to make a tackle outside of his penalty area to concede a throw-in. An under-hit goal kick from Harwich Rangers keeper, Kielczewski fell to McNicholas who passed to Day who forced a corner off Roots, taken by Newman, formerly of West Bergholt FC, with Hammett and Roots both trying to clear the same ball which struck the right hand upright and safety. The Harwich Rangers defence was being stretched especially the contest between Howe and player-manager Millen and they made slow progress when trying to go forward, perhaps lacking in confidence with a couple of regular players absent. A throw-in from Sayer led to Salilu being upended by Sloots wide on the left side, Eade curled the ball round the defensive wall and keeper, Bett gathered the ball at the foot of the near post.
Things changed on twelve minutes, WILL HOWE, gave chase to a long ball down the right side, when he turned inside Sayer he sent a fine curling effort goal-wards with keeper Kielczewski only able to help the ball towards the top left-hand corner of the net. A corner taken by Sayer for Harwich Rangers found the head of Millen at the far post but his direction was slightly out as the ball flew just wide and the visitors fell further behind when Howe out-paced the Harwich Rangers defence to step inside two challenges and lay the ball back to ANDREW FISHER who had the simple job of tapping home from six-yards out. To their credit Harwich Rangers pushed forward again through Cuthbertson who forced a corner off Carter, taken by Sayer but caught by keeper, Bett who rolled the ball out to Denson who lost out to Hammett whose high forward ball fell to Salilu, who having beaten one defender pushed the ball just too far ahead and keeper, Bett retrieved the situation for Long Melford. Two match balls cleared the high hedge on the far side in as many minutes, McNicholas took out Davies to receive a word of warning, Long Melford cleared the resultant free-kick with Howe and Millen having another battle with Howe, this time over-running the ball. Another long ball chase, this time by Newman down the right side saw the ball reach the unmarked Day, but despite hitting the ball firmly, keeper Kielczewski tipped the ball over for a corner kick, a purely instinctive, save that one. Newman took the corner and Kielczewski punched clear and the home team looked to score more goals but lost defender Carter, through injury on twenty-eight minutes to be replaced by Tricker.
On thirty minutes Harwich Rangers replaced Salilu with Freeman, and a break by Cuthbertson saw him skip past Tricker who chased back only to foul the winger with the free-kick taken by Cuthbertson himself only for the ball to drift wide of the target. When Eade fouled Day, he was spoken too again and cautioned for persistent offending then a corner from Newman found the head of Day whose knock-down fell to Denson who played in Newman only for his shot to find the side-netting. A snap shot out-of-the-blue by Fisher from fully forty yards tested keeper, Kielczewski who could only parry the ball back into play where Howe was adjudged to have been off-side from the initial goal attempt. A long throw-in by Freeman led to foul by Flynn on Denson inside the six-yard box and once again the long ball forward towards either Howe or Newman had the Harwich Rangers defence retreating. When Fisher broke through, keeper, Kielczewski saved with his feet to keep the score at two goals against, Davies was fouled by McNicholas, again, and Harwich Rangers needed the half-time whistle so that they could re-group as they appeared to have lost their way as the first half progressed!
HALF-TIME: 2 – 0.
Harwich Rangers kicked-off the second half, with Eade running forward against defender Lee however keeper Bett was quickly out to gather the ball, a corner from Cuthbertson found the head of Eade but flew straight to keeper, Bett. Millen, for Harwich Rangers, a no-nonsense defender, had two bites at Newman before being forced to receive treatment for a foot injury, returning soon after. Sloots almost put Newman through, the player being fouled by Sayer with Sloots sending a curling free-kick straight towards keeper, Kielczewski and once again the visitors were “under-the-cosh” as Long Melford found plenty of space in which to play. Davies fouled McNicholas level with the centre-circle, a throw-in from Tricker found Day whose shot was firm and true until Roots charged the ball down to concede a corner, taken by Newman, back to young Denson who confidently struck a thirty-yard shot that forced the keeper to save on his goal-line.
On sixty minutes Lee fouled Flynn after a throw-in by Cuthbertson but Howe again set Newman through with keeper, Kielczewski again saving low at the near post, more goals seem to be in the offing with the home team capitalising on errors made by Harwich Rangers players, hurried and aimless clearances, misplaced passes were all leading to pressure from the home team. On sixty-three minutes Roots limped off for Harwich Rangers with Girling (M) taking his place, a long ball from Sloots sent Howe away only for keeper, Kielczewski to deny the forward, saving with his feet at the expense of a corner. Newman took the corner, hard and low through a crowded six-yard box, with the unfortunate Millen guilty of handling the ball almost on the goal-line, not that he knew too much about the ball until it hit him, a penalty-kick was awarded allowing WILL HOWE to strike the ball home. On sixty-eight minutes, Long Melford replaced Newman with Harewood and from his first pass Willings was denied by keeper, Kielczewski pushing the ball wide for a corner. Two minutes later and Long Melford scored again, Day took a corner on the far left side, playing the ball back into an area mid-way into the visitors half, one touch was taken to control the ball before ANDREW FISHER rifled a spectacular shot past everyone with keeper, Kielczewski only getting his finger tips to the ball which crashed into the back of the net, great strike though!
Davies for Harwich Rangers kept buzzing around the midfield area, not always legally but you could not fault his commitment for his under-siege team, Eade, at times a gifted player but today trying to do too much on his own and after beating three players then tried to beat them all again, end-result, he lost the ball and a lot of frustration followed! Davies for Harwich Rangers tried a shot from thirty-five yards, Millen continued his robust defensive approach, a quickly taken free-kick by Lucitt found Girling whose pass into the stride of Eade almost led to a goal with the ball just curling narrowly wide to the home goal. A long cross-field pass from Fisher found Day who rounded Lucitt but crossed behind both Fisher and Howe with Millen sweeping up to clear. Tricker and Howe linked up down the right side with Lucitt clearing, Millen appeared to have fouled Howe inside the penalty area, looked a bit of a rash challenge, Howe went to ground with Millen who came away with the ball, nothing doing from the referee who was handily placed to make the decision. A long ball from Harewood set Day away but his shot found the side-netting, Lucitt cleared the danger when Denson and Day threatened. The fifth and final goal for Long Melford came on eighty-eight minutes, Fisher found Day who rode three tackles before rolling the ball across the six-yard box where defender CRAIG LEE tapped home. Long Melford wanted more and when Harewood broke forward his pass found Howe who struck a firm shot which keeper, Kielczewski parried back into the path of Howe whose next effort crashed against the cross-bar with Day skying the loose ball high and wide, game over.
FULL TIME: 5 – 0.
I’ll give Harwich Rangers FC some credit for perseverance against a well organised Long Melford FC Reserve team, granted, they were short of a couple of regular players, I hear that as an excuse from one or both of the teams most Saturday’s but having been in local football for so long I know it’s nearly always true, times are so different to when I played and yes that was in the last century!
Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, for Harwich Rangers FC, keeper Kielczewski was always in action, beaten five times but saving as many more, player manager Millen led and encouraged his team throughout, some of his play might be unorthodox but it was effective against a strong home forward line. Alongside him Roots played well until injury forced him off whilst Lucitt never gave up a chase and he did plenty of that, Davies and Cuthbertson also battled away without any joy and I felt sorry for Eade, certainly not his day as on another day he can be a match-winner. For the home team, dominant throughout, keeper Bett was a virtual spectator in the second half, defensively sound, a first clean sheet in the league this season, Denson looks a good prospect, Sloots prompted from the back, McNicholas, Newman, Willings, and Day ran midfield with Fisher whilst Howe did cause many problems with his strong running. Out of that summary, it was a close call, however, this week, with two goals and much more besides Fisher just edges out Howe, also the scorer of two goals.
LONG MELFORD FC RESERVES:
Colours: Black & White striped Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Michael Bett., Ryan Carter., Callum Denson., Ryan McNicholas., Craig Lee., Ashley Sloots., Perry Newman., Cory Willings., Will Howe., Andrew Fisher., George Day.
Manager: Stuart Malseed.
Used Substitutes: Stuart Tricker., Daniel Harewood.
Unused Substitutes: Deklan Roy., Shane Bethell., Stuart Malseed.
HARWICH RANGERS FC:
Colours: Red & White Shirts, Blue Shorts and Red Socks.
Paul Kielczewski., Shane Lucitt., James Sayer., Darren Roots., Andrew Hammett., Nicholas Millen., Azeez Salilu., Ricky Davies., Leroy Eade., Shane Flynn., Dale Cuthbertson.
Managers: Phil Marven and Nicholas Millen.
Used Substitutes: McAuley Girling., Lewis Freeman.
Referee: Matthew Webb (Colchester)
Player-of-the-Match: Andrew FISHER (LONG MELFORD 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” ( http://full-time.thefa.com ) but would all Club / Fixture Secretaries please advise any agreed changes, as required, to Alison Willmore ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) especially for evening games and for those matches being played under floodlights etc.
KO is 3:00pm from: 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
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.
The web-site for the Essex & Suffolk Border Football League is: www.esblfootball.com
Clubs are reminded that the following documents are all available on this website under Clubs / Documents etc:
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”