Saturday 21st April 2018
I spent my day in the sunshine at Oakside, Redbridge FC and Newbury Forest FC, as it was ‘Kick It Out’ day in the Essex Senior League. I was there for Sporting Bengal United Vs Redbridge although this was at Oakside after they switched from Mile End as that ground is now being used for athletics.
This was one of three ESL games (the other two were FC Romania Vs Tower Hamlets at Theobalds Lane, Cheshunt and West Essex Vs Wadham Lodge at Mayesbrook Park, Barking) that were running the Kick It Out initiative. Here is a brief explanation of what the day is about:-
The Essex Senior League will be recognising the work of Kick It Out on Saturday 21 April by hosting three games that will show support to the key messages of equality and inclusion.
The Step 5 division will be following up its activity from last season by wearing the famous Kick It Out t-shirts alongside a number of activities that will be displaying the clubs’ commitment to promoting an inclusive environment in the league.
The Essex Senior League was formed in 1971 with nine member clubs and has grown in 47 years to currently host 21 member clubs, providing a platform for promotion into the Bostik League Division One North.
The three games recognising Kick It Out are as follows:
Sporting Bengal United v Redbridge
West Essex v Wadham Lodge
FC Romania v Tower Hamlets
Speaking about the dedicated fixtures this weekend, Imrul Gazi, Grassroots Advisor for the organisation, said: “I am really pleased Kick It Out are supporting the Essex Senior League for the second year with this brilliant initiative. The league officials, Michelle and Rob, have been very forthcoming with what they feel is a very important message that they wish to portray.
“As the league has teams from across East London and Essex it’s vital that they work to highlight the importance of creating a fully-inclusive environment for all.
“As the Grassroots Advisor for London I was excited at the opportunity for Kick It Out to be involved and really pleased that our Grassroots Activity Fund is helping events such as this to raise awareness of the work we’re doing across communities to encourage inclusion, diversity & battle racism at Kick it Out.”
The day also gets kids in the local community involved, and before the game the Sporting coaches warmed up three kids, two brothers and a sister, before they joined some local Redbridge youngsters in walking out with the teams prior to kick off as well as a big group photo before the game got underway. Here are some photos:-
Then it was down to business and the important issue of the match in hand, the midday kick off between Sporting Bengal United and Redbridge, here is what happened:-
Sporting Bengal United 2 Redbridge 1
Skipper Freddy Tandon struck with just over fifteen minutes to go to see Sporting Bengal United grab victory over promotion chasing Redbridge at a sunny Oakside and in doing so break their record points total for a season.
The Motormen started on the front foot and saw Browne-Bampoe almost flick an effort over the keeper, before down the other end Redwood saw a shot deflect wide, before Carvell saw an effort blocked by a Redbridge defender.
Redbridge then had a huge shout for handball after a cross hit the outstretched arm of a Sporting defender, but in the 17th minute it was disaster for Redbridge as keeper Green thumped a clearance straight into Redwood who was trying to block it, and it came off the Sporting striker and into the net to give the hosts for the day the lead.
Carvell then saw a long range effort dip just over, before Parkinson fired just wide from the edge of the box as Sporting threatened a second, and then Cameron saw a header go off target as the Mile End club continued to threaten.
However Redbridge should really have levelled when Duggan broke down the left but struck well over, and then down the other end Carvell somehow missed from close range, before Cameron headed wide of the Motormen goal.
Parkinson then tried another shot from the edge of Redbridge’s box, but his low effort was saved by Green, but Redbridge should have levelled after that when Duggan squared to Go-Go who blazed over the bar from twelve yards out, it was a poor miss, and soon after Worrell curled a free kick wide of the Sporting post.
Sporting then spurned another chance when Cameron’s cross was blazed over at the back post by Redmond, and it looked like they would pay for these missed chances when Redbridge netted an equaliser four minutes before the break when Worrell’s pin point free kick found Moses who glanced home a header and The Motormen were level.
Turner then fired a good curling effort at the Sporting goal, but it was straight at the keeper, before a Redbridge corner was headed wide by Mbamaran, meaning the sides went into the break all square in what was a decent contest.
Half Time Sporting Bengal United 1 Redbridge 1
Redbridge had a positive start to the second half as a Turner knock down for Moses saw the latter fire wide, however Sporting saw a low shot go wide soon after. Worrell then volleyed just past the Sporting post as both sides looked to regain the upper hand in this one.
Then after a drinks break in the 68th minute due to the hot weather, Sporting passed up another glorious chance when a terrific through ball by Carvell released Redwood, however the striker could only put his effort wide after beating the onrushing Green to the ball.
But in the 74th minute the hosts for the day managed to go back in front when good work on the left by Carvell saw his cross find its way through to Tandon, and the centre half fired an effort into the roof of the net and Redbridge had just over fifteen minutes to find their way back into this one again.
Then a moment which caused a lot of talking from both sides when Sporting broke upfield and Carvell set up substitute Vaughan who went past Green and went to ground, however the referee booked Vaughan for diving, which lets just say the Sporting bench didn’t agree with.
Redbridge then went close to an equaliser when a long throw found Moses and along with Worrell saw the ball go just wide, before Sporting almost sealed the deal but saw a last ditch tackle thwart them, and then Vaughan fired an effort just past the post.
Redbridge then did have the ball in the net, but it was offside, and then Sporting missed another chance to seal it when Vaughan set up Redwood, who saw a fine save from Green deny him. However it mattered not as Sporting held on for a terrific victory and strike a major blow to Redbridge’s promotion hopes.
Full Time Sporting Bengal United 2 Redbridge 1
Here are some photos from the game:-
Anyway after all that I had the bonus of having another game at Oakside as Newbury Forest were hosting Old Chelmsfordians in a huge six pointer at the bottom of the Essex Olympian Senior One at 3.30pm. Here is how that game went:-
Newbury Forest 2 Old Chemsfordians 2
A late equaliser saw hosts Newbury Forest grab a draw at home to Old Chelmsfordians at Oakside in their big bottom of the table clash in the Olympian Senior One.
The sides went into this one second bottom and third bottom respectively and tied on 17 points each, and the opening few minutes saw the hosts lob over and then see an effort fly across goal, before the visitors then whistled one over and then saw the hosts strike another effort over the bar.
And then in the 17th minute the visitors found the net when a left footed effort from the edge of the box found it’s way into the net despite the keeper getting a hand to it, and no doubt the keeper would of felt he could have done better.
The visitors then nearly got in down the right but saw a great tackle thwart them, then down the other end the hosts fired an effort straight at the keeper and then tried to lob the keeper with their next attack but the OC stopper was equal to it.
On the half hour mark a good run from the visitors ended with an effort going past the post, and then moments later an OC cross was tipped onto the bar by the hosts keeper, who duly punched the corner clear of danger.
But in the 33rd minute Forest levelled as a ball over the top of the OC defence saw Jason Reynolds-Blanche run onto it, take aim and fire emphatically into the far corner, meaning the sides went into the break all square.
Half Time Newbury Forest 1 Old Chelmsfordians 1
Both sides had a half chance each early in the half, before the visitors forced the keeper into a decent stop, however six minutes into the half OC regained the lead as the hosts allowed a free kick to go to the back post where it was fired into the top corner on the stretch to give the visitors the advantage once again.
Forest almost made an instant response, but glanced a header wide, and then just past the hour mark OC forced the hosts keeper into another save, as the hosts were working hard however getting frustrated with how the contest was going.
The visitors saw another effort beaten away, whilst up the other end the OC defence were remaining solid against any Forest threat. With around twenty minutes to go the visiting keeper had to be smart to keep out two long range efforts though, and then from a corner the hosts somehow headed against the post from point blank range, and OC had kept their lead in tact, just.
With eleven minutes left the visitors almost netted a spectacular lob from range after seeing the keeper off his line, but the ball went over, but it looked like the visitors may hold out for an important win.
But in the 89th minute the hosts managed to find a leveller when a ball deflected across goal went straight into the path of Adam Hunt who slid home the equaliser.
And in stoppage time Forest should of won it, as saw two efforts brilliantly saved, meaning the game did end all square and a point a piece for both sides. Both are now just a point above the drop zone on 18 points each.
Full Time Newbury Forest 2 Old Chelmsfordians 2
Here are some photos from the game:-
And thus ended my day in the sun, a very enjoyable day indeed, and two decent games of football, lovely stuff.