Tower Hamlets 3 West Essex 0 (Premier Division)
Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14 & www.survivor16b.wordpress.com)
On a fairly calm night at Mile End Stadium, Tower Hamlets welcomed West Essex in a Friday night Essex Senior League encounter. Regarding the teams, Goalkeeper James Pellin made his debut for Hamlets after signing from Southend Manor while for West Essex, Dan Russell continued to deputise in goal for the injured Jack Coker.
The match didn’t start off that lively with few chances coming in the early-going. Fourteen minutes in, a West Essex free-kick by Joe Lefley found centre-back Maamoon Khan though he couldn’t get his shot away on goal. Six minutes later, we had the unusual sight of a fox traversing its way across the pitch. On 24 minutes, Hamlets forward O’Neal Rowe had a good shot saved by West Essex goalkeeper Dan Russell. The remainder of the half saw few real opportunities to break the deadlock though a minute before the break, visiting defender Kofi Appiah’s drive needed a decent save by Hamlets goalkeeper James Pellin to keep it goalless at the interval.
The hosts took a few minutes to settle after the break, though ten minutes after the re-start, striker Luke With hit a post from a decent position in the area. The visitors nearly responded a minute later though skipper Tom MacLeod’s header went over the bar from a free-kick.
Hamlets did openen the scoring on 59 minutes as hot-shot Curtis Pond made a good surging run and buried a low shot past Russell to give the hosts the lead. Hamlets were unsurprisingly buoyed by their goal and full-back Lamar Earle made another good run though blasted his shot over the bar.
The visitors were a man down as Dan Christey was dismissed for two bookable offences midway through the second half. With had another effort on goal saved by Russell’s legs with 66 minutes on the clock though three minutes later Pond was left in space and one-on-one with Russell, again placed a low drive into the corner. The hosts had the initiative now and nearly increased their lead as Rowe showed good pace and skill to get past Russell in the area though his goal-bound effort was well blocked on the goal-line.
Two minutes after coming on as a late substitute, forward Wale Odedoyin found space on the counter-attack and lobbed Russell well to seal the win for Ade Abayomi and AJ Ashinike’s side. To be honest, the visitors did tire after the break though Pellin still had to deny striker Michael Mignot and substitute Isaac Marfo late on.
All in all, the second-half showing from Hamlets won them this match and Curtis Pond laid down another marker in terms of his finishing with two goals though Luke With, O’Neal Rowe and defender John Watson also did well tonight. For West Essex, this won’t be a memorable match as they struggled to give the likes of Mignot and Woodbridge enough service up top. They will have better matches this season though there may be a concern about conceding goals.
Tower Hamlets : James Pellin (GK), Lamar Earle, John Watson, Mata Julio, Tola Odedoyin, Jerome Anthony, Curtis Pond (James Ross 84’), Frankie Sinclair (C), Luke With (Wale Odedoyin 81’), O’Neal Rowe, Kane Wilson (Chaka Barnett 71’)
Scorers – Curtis Pond [59’, 69’], Wale Odedoyin [83’]
West Essex: Dan Russell (GK), Josh Kane, Tom MacLeod (C), Nick Walk, Dan Christey, Michael Mignot, Tom Woodbridge (Isaac Marfo 81’), Joe Lefley, Kofi Appiah, Fatos Zeqiri (Cameron Gray 62’), Maamoon Khan