Tower Hamlets 1 Burnham Ramblers 0 (Premier Division)
On a fairly chilly and damp afternoon, I made my way to Mile End Stadium as Tower Hamlets welcomed Burnham Ramblers in an Essex Senior League encounter. The hosts were missing a few players including Kane Wilson and the injured Lee McKnight and Wale Odedoyin though new signings Jerome Martelli and Elias Tackie made the starting eleven and substitute’s bench respectively. Burnham were missing the likes of forward Bradley Morgan and Luke Maloney though Charlee Hughes led the line for Lee Hughes’ side.
The pitch had to pass a morning pitch inspection and as things got underway, it was evident that while the pitch was OK, it was still boggy and that did mean players slipped a bit. Hamlets forward Curtis Pond nearly opened the scoring in the first minute after being played in by strike partner Luke With though he couldn’t find the target. Tola Odedoyin won a few good headers at centre-back though after a decent initial spell, the hosts had to deal with a few Burnham attacks, midfielder Bobby Barker and forward Hughes couldn’t test home goalkeeper James Pellin. Pond and winger Martelli blasted shots wide, the latter having a great chance whilst one-on-one with visiting custodian Joshua Strizovic. Hughes hit the post for Burnham on 26 minutes having beaten Pellin. Tola Odedoyin done his side a favour by making a good last-ditch tackle on Hughes when the Burnham forward was in a good position to pull the trigger just shy of the balf-hour mark.
The hosts may have had more of the chances though Burnham could have snuck ahead in the opening half having had some good moments themselves. Hamlets joint-manager AJ Ashinike was firing out instructions from near the stand to keep his side going though as we made our way past the half-way point in the second half, the hosts pushed forward to find that so far elusive goal. Substitute O’Neal Rowe twice tested Strizovic though Burnham thought they’d broken the deadlock 14 minutes from time though Hughes’s goal was ruled out for off-side, much to the consternation of the Burnham dug-out. That frustration was amplified soon after as Hamlets took the lead with nine minutes remaining.
Substitutes Elias Tackie and Rowe combined, with Rowe laying the ball off for Tackie to power his strike into the right corner. Burnham nearly grabbed a last-minute leveller as a free-kick was well-directed though was just over Hughes’ head at the back stick. Hamlets may have just edged this one on chances created though I really don’t think there was much between the sides. I think it also serves as another pointer that both these sides have improved compared to last season. Hamlets sit seventh in the table while battling Burnham continue their quest to rise up the table but are now seventeenth.
Tower Hamlets: James Pellin (GK), Lamar Earle, John Watson (Inesh Sumithran 67′), Mata Julio, Tola Odedoyin, Jerome Martelli (O’Neal Rowe 67′), Frankie Sinclair (C), Curtis Pond, Antonio Montiero (Elias Tackie 67′), Luke With, Igor Furtado.
Scorer – Elias Tackie (81′)
Burnham Ramblers: Joshua Strizovic (GK), Luke Caston, Grant Webb, Ben Burgess, Alex Karkoski, Bobby Barker, William Howard, Ryan Stillwell (C), Charlee Hughes, Robert Bagnall (George Kuderovitch 84′), Samuel Warwick (Edison Tereziu 73′).
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14 & www.survivor16b.wordpress.com)