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23/02/2019 – REPORT – Kelvedon Social FC versus Wormingford Wanderers FC





KELVEDON SOCIAL FC:            2.                 WORMINGFORD WANDERERS FC:  3.


Date:               Saturday 23rd February 2019.           Venue:            The Chase, Kelvedon.


Back on Saturday duty again this week but there will be several more absences for me before the end of the season, what with a Stag Day, a well-earned holiday and then a daughter’s wedding at Easter, by then of course some teams may have already finished, in fact I think one Division One has already concluded their seasons fixtures! Today, a visit to Kelvedon Social FC, the only Premier Division team I had not watched so far, the home team sat twelfth and their visitors Wormingford Wanderers FC, thirteenth so I expected a close match even with the home team, undefeated in six games.


On a bright, sunny, but chilly afternoon the match official was Richard Oakes who would be assisted by John Watson and Andre Siqueira, an official, new to the ESBFL and whom I had not met before, and as is customary, the “Respect” handshake was conducted out on the pitch.


Kelvedon kicked off, kicking down the renowned slope but the first chance fell to Whybrow (Lu) who found the arms of keeper, Nial and from his clearance the first foul of the match, Gilbert with a push on Whybrow (Lu), he pleaded his innocence, but the referee was standing only yards away and it was so obvious! Curtis played the free-kick into the penalty area with Pitkin and Hope competing for the high ball, another free-kick followed when Haynes was fouled, again Curtis took the free-kick with Fisher clearing upfield. Young, always a danger for Kelvedon was caught off-side from a through ball from Catchpole and at the other end Fitzpatrick tried to play in Curtis, but he too was off-side. Fisher, for Kelvedon set Catchpole away to find Smith with defender Hope covering for Wormingford, at the expense of a throw-in taken by Fisher with Close heading out for another throw-in. Visiting keeper, O’Connor advanced to collect a high bouncing ball under pressure from Young who had given chase, and when the visitors pushed forward a poor clearance by Nial fell to Whybrow (Lu) who took a shot at goal with the ball hitting team-mate, Curtis who was flagged off-side. The midfield dual of the respective captains, Gilbert for Kelvedon and Close for Wormingford was already getting interesting, two honest and hard-working players in the thick of the action. Turner fouled Fowler inside the centre-circle and several players questioned the rationale behind some decisions given by the referee, who in my opinion was spot-on every-time, so why do players query basic and obvious infringements found in today’s game.

A high foot from Whybrow (Lu) against Fisher led to a foul and more explanations were given, players should just accept the foul and get on with the game, Smith took the free-kick, finding Catchpole whose knock-down found Pitkin whose toe-poke was gathered by keeper, O’Connor. This end to end game continued with Wormingford, through Fitzpatrick, then Close who set Haynes away down the right side but his cross was cleared by defender Whitwell. On twenty-two minutes Pannell set MARTIN YOUNG away down the left side running against Haynes and when the clubs leading scorer cut inside he hit a smart shot from the edge of the penalty area beating keeper, O’Connor with ease. Wormingford countered this set-back with a left-footed shot from Whybrow (Lu) striking Gilbert and bouncing away for a throw-in, and back down field a full-blooded volley from Young smashed into the face of Fowler who needed treatment. Buoyed by the opening goal, Kelvedon worked the ball well from defence through midfield to their front players however, Wormingford did likewise up the slope and play stopped when a high challenge by Catchpole on Lamb led to a free-kick inside the centre-circle.

Bracey tried to impede the elusive Young, but play, was allowed, to continue with the ball finding Smith who shot goal-wards with keeper, O’Connor opting to punch clear. On thirty-five minutes Pannell conceded a cheap corner, the first for Wormingford, taken by Curtis and finding the head of Close, a tall player whose heading prowess should not have gone un-noticed, this time the ball flew high and wide! A minute later and Gilbert won a heading dual with Close and the ball reached MARTIN YOUNG, once again his pace and control took him past Haynes to slot home past the advancing keeper. Curtis was shackled by Whitwell who conceded a corner, taken by Curtis with Gilbert heading strongly clear once again however the ball reached Curtis who sent in a delightful cross that was headed home by LIAM CLOSE, there you go, you were warned! Young went close again driving in from the left side to send the ball skimming across the six-yard box and just missing the goal at the far post, Lamb was adjudged to have handled the ball thirty-five yards out, but the free-kick taken by Whitwell only reached Lamb on the edge of the penalty area and he cleared and the half ended soon after, Kelvedon were one goal to the good but on the balance of chances could easily have been further ahead.


HALF-TIME:    2 – 1.  


Wormingford kicked-off down the slope but another opportunist strike, seemingly out of nothing by Young who was surrounded by three players, struck the cross-bar to be cleared and then there was a debate about handball, what is accidental and what is deliberate, hand to ball, ball to hand, old quotes yes, but players from both sides wanted to contest these, why, the decisions from the referee, in my opinion, were again correct. Gilbert, once again strong in midfield was leading his players into closing every conceivable chance down at the earliest opportunity, as a single goal lead was not a safe option to defend. Such over exuberance into a challenge led to Young chasing back and taking Pringle down from behind on the half-way line, a verbal warning followed as whilst this game was frenetic at times there had been no noticeable dissent or poor challenges from either team. Whybrow (Lu) worked the ball down the left side to gain a corner off Whitwell who was spoken too, don’t know why but Curtis took the corner kick, Close headed on and Hope just failed to connect properly at the far post, leading to a goal-kick. Curtis and Bracey worked the ball down the right side for the visitors and when the cross came in keeper, Nail punched clear and the game remained an open attacking affair.

Wormingford had raised their game this half, Haynes and Close worked he ball forward to Curtis whose knock-down found Lamb who fired over from closer range, then Haynes and Smith got tangled up with the ball falling to Curtis who set up Whybrow (Lu) for a free header but the direction was high over the cross-bar, those warning signs to Kelvedon, for an equaliser were appearing again! A run by Lamb saw the ball reach Curtis and following his run against Pannell the resulting cross was kneed away by defender Pitkin. A low driven corner from Curtis was met by Lamb with keeper, Nial saving low to his left side and Wormingford kept up the pressure with Close drawing a foul from Whitwell, taken by Curtis who found Whybrow (Lu) whose left foot shot was saved by keeper, Nial. At the other end a long free-kick from Whitwell bounced once before visiting keeper, O’Connor opted to tip the ball over the cross-bar for a corner. On seventy minutes the first substitution, Bracey for Kelvedon being replaced by Thurston but two minutes later that expected equaliser was scored, Whybrow (Lu) chased a ball down the left side and when his flicked pass inside found ELLIOT LAMB he looked up to chip the ball over keeper, Nail and despite a fine overhead attempt to keep the ball out of the net by Pannell the goal was signalled by the Assistant Referee. Wormingford regained possession almost from the kick-off, Whybrow (Lu), Fitzpatrick and Lamb set the ball up for Close who hooked the ball round and into the waiting arms of keeper, Nail.

On seventy-five minutes Kelvedon replaced Barnes with Adams but Wormingford had found a new gear this half and a run by Whybrow (Lu) saw the ball fall between Pannell and Curtis with keeper, Nail quickest to react and gather as Bracey ran through. A throw-in from Haynes found Curtis and from his right footed shot keeper, Nail saved at the near post and when play stopped Parker replaced Lamb for the visitors. This noisy game had been largely played out in midfield, I say noisy because of the number of incidences when either team called for a decision and then questioned it when it was given or not as the case was. On ninety minutes the home frustration became their undoing, Young was cautioned for dissent, by action, when aggressively throwing the ball down, the free-kick went deep into the Kelvedon penalty area, Close knocked the ball down and JAMIE PRINGLE swept the ball home at the second attempt for an unlikely winner in the ninety-first minute and there was no further play as the final whistle was blown.


FULL TIME:     2 – 3.


Another close game between two evenly matched teams, Wormingford move above Kelvedon following their first league victory since early January 2019. By strange coincidence I had watched Wormingford away at Barnston back in early December, that day in treacherous conditions they were two goals to one behind at half-time but ran out winners by three gaols to two, same as today, perhaps I should watch them more often, for Kelvedon it was a case of doing an England (rugby) snatching defeat from the jaws of victory or at least a point!


Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, this game was played out in midfield and having identified the two captains early on I’m not changing my mind now and I not going to separate them either so today its Gilbert for Kelvedon and Close for Wormingford.




KELVEDON SOCIAL FC:                      Colours:            Yellow & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.

Richard Nial., Dan Fisher., Jacob Pannell., Peter Gilbert (C)., Troy Pitkin., Peter Whitwell., Martin Young., Paul Barnes., Ben Turner., Ross Catchpole., Jaden Smith.


Joint Managers:             Matt Canavan & Jay Matthams

Used Substitutes:          Lewis Adams., Luke Thurston.

Unused Substitutes:      Matt Canavan., Jay Matthams.


WORMINGFORD WANDERERS FC:   Colours:            Blue Shirts., Blue Shorts and Blue Socks

Dillon O’Connor., Tom Haynes., Rob Fitzpatrick., Jamie Pringle (C)., Stephen Hope., Liam Close., Ben Fowler., Luke Whybrow., Elliot Lamb., Martin Curtis., Ben Bracey.


Manager:                      Lee Whybrow.

Used Substitutes:          Steven Parker.

Unused Substitutes:      Lee Whybrow., Karl Bloomfield.



Referee:                       Richard Oakes                           (Colchester)

Assistant Referees:       John Watson                             (Colchester)

and                              Andre Siqueira


Player-of-the-Match:            Peter GILBERT           (KELVEDON SOCIAL FC

and                  Liam CLOSE                (WORMINGFORD WANDERERS 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.





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KO is 3:00pm from:         March to end of season


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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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