Great Wakering Rovers 7 Burnham Ramblers 0
Saturday 27th January
On a cold, rainy afternoon at Burroughs Park, Great Wakering Rovers welcomed Burnham Ramblers, looking to keep the heat on the top four, two of which (Basildon & Takeley) were not in action this weekend. Rovers were missing the likes of Jimmy Cook and Aaron Russell though winger Billy Johnson was in the starting eleven, alongside the front three of Jay Nash, Nathan Dewberry and Chris Bryan.
Burnham started life without key forward Charlee Hughes here after he left to join Bostik North promotion hopefuls Bowers & Pitsea this week. Lee Hughes’ side was somewhat depleted as Ryan Stillwell and Bradley Morgan were both unavailable. Karl Swanborough led the line with support from Samuel Warwick and Robert Bagnall.
The match began on what was a heavy pitch with the hosts ‘on the front foot’ as five minutes in, GWR forward Nathan Dewberry’s cross was initally blocked by Burnham centre-half Scott Plom, Wakering skipper Scott Pethers blasted a shot over the bar (and into the car park). Dewberry himself blasted a shot over from a good position shortly afterwards. Wakering did break the deadlock ten minutes in a crowded penalty area, the ball fell to forward Chris Bryan and his crisp strike found the left corner.
The hosts continued to press and visiting goalkeeper Joshua Strizovic was called into action to deny winger Billy Johnson’s tame effort and a moment later pulled off a good save to deny Dewberry’s shot. Dewberry did extend the hosts lead midway through the first half though, slotting past Strizovic when one-on-one with the ‘keeper. In a rare Burnham attack, forward Karl Swanborough shot wide to warn the hosts not to ‘step off the gas’.
Rovers forward Jay Nash also twice couldn’t find the target as half-time approached though the hosts did increase their advantage a minute before the break as full-back Danny Hurford’s pass fed Dewberry who blasted an effort past Strizovic.
After the interval, Burnham brought midfielder Leon Lewis on in place of Ryan Willsmer as the re-jigged their defence. Six minutes into the half, Strizovic was in the action again to deny Bryan’s header and then in the same attack, Dewberry’s effort on goal. Despite a few more chances that went astray, Dewberry slotted home to claim his hat-trick just past the hour after substitute Neil Richmond’s unselfish pass. On 65 minutes, Richmond was felled in the area by Burnham defender Plom, Richmond himself stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick and duly converted it.
Richmond later had a goal ruled out for off-side though the experienced forward did grab a second with 13 minutes remaining, slotting home from close range after centre-back Oliver Woodhouse did well surging forward in the build-up. Swanborough did force a save from Wakering stopper Louis Hawes on what was a quiet afternoon for the home custodian. Rovers’ Dewberry wasn’t finished either as he netted his fourth with a drive that crept past Strizovic into the net. The torrent of Wakering attacks didn’t end there as late on, Richmond blazed a strike over the bar and Dewberry and substitute Stephen Butterworth were both denied by the ever-impressive Strizovic.
This was a big win for the hosts, though in truth if it wasn’t for the combination of wasteful finishing and good goalkeeping, it could well have been more to be honest. Burnham struggled to find any fluency going forward as Swanborough didn’t get a huge degree of service while defensively they also struggled with the quick passing of the Rovers forward line. Difficult to watch in a way really and Burnham arguably still require points to secure their place in the ESL next season. Rovers’ third win on-the-spin sees them into 4th place….
Great Wakering Rovers: Louis Hawes , Jason Ring, Danny Hurford, Scott Pethers (Capt), Oliver Woodhouse, Sam Carter, Billy Johnson (Neil Richmond 54′), Ricky Evans, Jay Nash (Finley Dopson 65′), Nathan Dewberry, Chris Bryan (Stephen Butterworth 54′)
Scorers- Chris Bryan [10′], Nathan Dewberry [25′, 44′, 62′, 82′], Neil Richmond [pen 65′, 77′]
Burnham Ramblers: Joshua Strizovic, Ryan Willsmer (Leon Lewis 46′), Edison Tereziu (Jake Megran 58′), Kyle Musson (Capt), Tomiwa Adebayo-Bella, Scott Plom, William Howard, Alfie Vinton, Karl Swanborough, Robert Bagnall, Samuel Warwick (Jed Bowman 72′)
Report/Photo by Scott W @ScottMHC14