Month: September 2021

Stortford Off

Along with several other Isthmian League clubs involved in tomorrow’s midweek programme, we requested a postponement of our fixture and can now announce the Bishop’s Stortford game is officially off.

The league advised clubs they could call off games this week because of problems related to the supply of fuel.

As many of our players, staff and supporters have to travel considerable distances and are experiencing difficulties in obtaining fuel we were among those to ask for a postponement and this has been approved, with a rescheduled date yet to be agreed.

The knock-on effect, of course, is that we can prepare fully for Saturday’s eagerly anticipated FA Cup third qualifying round fixture at Conference South side Chelmsford City.

Last-gasp Defeat

Margate 2 Enfield Town 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

The mood on the team bus back from Margate on Saturday was unsurprisingly sombre after a stoppage-time defeat that left the management team fuming.

Arguably the better side for the best part of an hour and having taken the lead, Town looked like at least ending up with a point, only to succumb to a 92nd-minute Gate winner with virtually the last kick of the game to send us down to sixth in the table.

With Lee Chappell missing through injury, the versatile Percy Kianenbeni was pushed into a more defensive role and quickly imposed himself with a driving run, only to scuff his finish.

In an entertaining first half of few clear-cut chances, Manny Maja flashed a 25-yard just wide and Mo Faal’s snapshot was saved by the legs of Pat Ohman.

But Margate played their part too, with good movement off the ball and several dangerous crosses, none of which were thankfully converted.

Margate haven’t lost at home this season and were keen to bounce back from their FA Cup defeat last Saturday. But  without regular striker Daniel Thompson they failed to turn their neat approach into too many scoring opportunities and there was little indication in a goalless first half that they would end up with all three points.

H-T 0-0

A home victory became even more unlikely when we took the lead on 55 minutes.  Shortly after a Sam Youngs turn and shot had brought a smart save from Ohman, Adam Cunnington’s flick-on found Faal whose goalbound effort deflected off a Gate defender and looped over the keeper.

That should have been the cue to go on and win the game. Instead three minutes later we were pegged back. Nathan McDonald did well to keep out Montel Agyemang’s shot but Ben Greenhalgh followed up to score with what looked like another deflection.

Suddenly Margate looked the more likely side, winning most of the second balls and spurred on by an eye-catching performance from the superb Agyemang, who joined the club in the summer from Welling United after bursting on to scene at Leyton Orient.

Agyemang’s strength and power through the centre of midfield constantly had us back-pedalling as he set up a series of Margate chances. From one of them, Vance Bola blasted just over, from another Greenhalgh saw his shot clip the crossbar and from a third Greenhalgh missed an open goal by skewing his shot inches wide.

We also continued to threaten at the other end and Sam Youngs could easily have restored our lead if he had better controlled a weakly struck chip.

But by now we were starting to tire, no doubt partly as a result of Tuesday night’s cup exertions.

Not even the introduction of a couple of subs helped out cause but just as it looked as if we would come away with a draw, Margate were disappointingly allowed to get behind our left flank and substitute Martial Godo stabbed home Ryan Palmer’s cross to spark wild celebrations among the home fans in the 451 crowd.

The games come thick and fast of course and we have an immediate chance to bounce back at Bishops Stortford on Tuesday – no easy task after their 7-0 demolition of Leatherhead on Saturday.

This report cannot be completed without referring to the disgraceful scenes behind one of the goals that greeted Margate’s winner. Police had to be called following the unsavoury disturbance and it is understood two Margate fans have now been banned by the club.


McDonald; Kiangenbeni, Bray, Gyebi, Smith; Youngs, Maja, Thomas, Taafe (Della Verde 73) ; Cunnington (Bricknell, 73), Faal

Chelmsford here we come

Report by Andrew Warshaw

It may not have been pretty but it’s all about the result and there is no doubting the excitement at Town progressing to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup after a hard-fought 2-1 win over plucky opponents Hadley in our 2nd round replay on Tuesday night.

Just as in the first game on Saturday, Hadley played way above their Step 5 status but a mixture of commitment, experience and canny tactics by the management team ensured an eagerly anticipated clash at Conference South Chelmsford on Oct 2.

Whilst we rode our luck at times, especially in a nail-biting last few minutes, every member of the team put in a shift to make sure we were not victims of a giantkilling by the Bricks who were unbeaten in all competitions prior to the game.

With Adam Cunnington injured, Matt Walsh was given the nod up front while Scott Thomas and Lewis Taafe returned to the starting line-up. Key, perhaps, to our victory was switching to three at back in order to nullify Hadley’s strengths and for a large part of the game it worked as we kept our shape and limited them to few clear-cut chances.

With a lucrative tie at Chelmsford at stake, nerves were always going to play a part but we got off to the best possible start. With virtually our first attack of the game, Mo Faal ran on to Taafe’s defence-splitting pass and finished in trademark style, going for placement rather than power.

The goal should have settled us down but after we failed to add to the score – a Taafe effort being blocked on the line — Hadley recovered from the early blow by coming more into the game,  the pacey Solomon Ofori again looking the part though not with same effectiveness as on Saturday.

The hosts finished the first half on the front foot but it was all about clearing our lines at first sign of danger.

Halftime 1-0

With their skipper Paul Wright marshalling things at the back, allied to slick passing in midfield, Hadley continued to pose a threat without creating too much in the final third. That was largely down to us keeping our concentration with such an important prize at stake.

 Ten minutes into the second half, the luckless injury-prone Taafe had to be replaced by Sam Youngs but on 74 minutes – ironically the same moment we equalised on Saturday – we doubled our lead. Rian Bray’s long freekick was met by the head of Jerry Gyebi (pictured) though Hadley will feel their keeper should have done more to keep it out.

That should have been that but Hadley were having none of it. Four minutes later, substitute Peter Rosemin took advantage of hesitancy in our box by halving the deficit.

It made for nerve-jangling finale as the hosts missed two golden chances to take the game to extra time. First both Ofori and Luke Alfano, four yards out, agonisingly failed to convert a right-wing cross with the goal at their mercy. Then Alfano somehow missed the target with Nathan McDonald wrong-footed.

Thankfully Town survived and no-one can fault us for determination, aggression and desire – much needed qualities especially in knockout fixtures.

 There was also the welcome sight of Billy Bricknell putting on a Towners shirt again for the last 15 minutes after having trained for just half an hour in the past 11 months.

Once fully fit, Billy will surely again be a huge asset to the squad. Conversely, it looks like Josh Urquhart could be out for months rather than weeks with his cruciate ligament injury and all the staff and fans wish him a speedy recovery.


McDonald; Smith, Gyebi, Bray; Chappell, Thomas, Maja, Kiangebeni, Taafe (youngs 55); Faal, Walsh (bricknell 75)

Cup Draw

We will be away to Chelmsford City of National League South in the FA Cup 3rd qualifying round should we win our replay at Hadley on Tuesday.

The date for the 3rd qualifying round is Oct 2 meaning that win or lose against Hadley, our scheduled home league fixture on that date against Bowers and Pitsea has had to be postponed since they are still in the cup having knocked out Bishops Stortford last Saturday.

The league game has thus been re-arranged for Nov 2.

Welcome Back Billy

We are delighted to announce that we have re-signed Billy Bricknell, a huge tonic for the squad, management staff and fans.

Billy has obviously missed a lot of training during his absence and will available for selection as soon as he is fit.

A real cup fright

Report by Andrew Warshaw

A bad day at the office resulted in us being held 1-1 by Step 5 Hadley in the FA Cup 2nd qualifying round on Saturday but the main thing is we are still in the hat.

Our visitors from Arkley in Barnet may have been two levels lower but they certainly didn’t play like that and had the best player on the pitch in Solomon Ofori who troubled us throughout with his pace and trickery.

After the euphoric last-gasp win over Haringey, it looked rather like a case of after the Lord mayor’s show as we huffed and puffed against opponents who are unbeaten in all competitions but who, on paper at least, we should have dealt with comfortably.

But cup football is full of surprises and as so often in the past, we struggled against a team from a lower division and will need to up our game in Tuesday’s replay to stay in the competition.

Unusually given our decent start to the season, our passing was sloppy both in our own half and in trying to break down the Bricks.

Too many of our players were off the pace. By contrast, Hadley, who knocked out our near-neighbours Enfield FC (formerly Enfield 1893) in the previous round, had nothing to lose.

Well organised and compact, they had had the best chance of the opening half when Nnamdi Harold-Egole bore down on goal but somehow blazed over.

The closest we came in the opening 45 minutes was when Adam Cunnington’s fierce volley cannoned off a defender for a corner but considerable praise has to go to Hadley keeper Luke Ward who dived bravely at the feet of our forward players whenever we got a sniff.

Halftime 0-0

Town needed a reaction after being too one-dimensional but it was Hadley who struck first.

Four minutes into the second period Ofori, showing fantastic control, pounced on a throw-in to give his team a shock lead.

Frustratingly for Cunnington, just when we most needed his aerial threat he had to be replaced having earlier been pole-axed by Ward, albeit fairly, when running on to a Lee Chappell pass.

We so nearly got back on level terms when Percy Kiangebeni struck the post, only to put the rebound agonisingly wide.

As the minutes ticked away and we looked like crashing out of the much-prized competition, the management team turned to the bench in an effort to save the day.

 And it was the last of those subs, the unlikely beanpole figure of the previously little used Matt Walsh who set up the equaliser with 16 minutes left of regular time.

Receiving the ball from Mo Faal, Walsh burst through on goal with virtually his first touch, bringing a superb stop from Ward. Fortunately for Town, Mo (pictured) was first on hand to lash home the rebound.

Instead of us taking the game by the throat, it was Hadley who posed the greater threat late on. Twice Ofori nearly won it for them, first thwarted by Nathan McDonald when one on one with our keeper, then seeing his chip go narrowly wide with Nathan caught off his line.

There was a collective sigh of relief from the majority of the 421-strong crowd at the final whistle – and no doubt among the players too.

Below-par performances happen to every team and we eagerly await Monday’s 3rd qualifying round draw, hoping for an improved display in the replay with Hadley 24 hours later.


McDonald; Chappell, Bray, Gyebi, Smith; Maja, Youngs, Kiangebeni (Walsh, 72), Coker (Della-Verde, 65); Cunnington (Taafe, 56), Faal

Town Youth in cup action

This Friday, 10th Town Youth travel to Aveley’s Parkside stadium for the first qualifying round of the FA Youth cup where they face the Millers youth side.

This follows their recent win against Brentwood Town in the last round.

Admission is:

Adults £4, U16’s £2.

The last round saw a hard fought 2-2 draw before the young Towners held their nerve to win the penalty shoot out. Why not get along and cheer them on.

Park Lane, Aveley, South Ockendon RM15 4PX

Coach Travel To Lewes: Update

This Saturday we make the trip to the Dripping Pan to play fellow supporters-owned club Lewes. Please note if travelling by Club Coach that the departure time from the QEII Stadium is 11AM, not 11:45 as previously stated elsewhere. To book a seat on the coach, call Les Gold on 07979 727563 or email

Lewes FC’s admissions prices are:

  • Adults – £12
  • Concessions – £7
  • Under 16s go free (Under 12s must be accompanied by an adult)

If you’re making your own way to the game the ground address is Mountfield Road, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2XA.

The ground is only a short walk from Lewes Station which can be reached by regular trains from Victoria.

The Dripping Pan is one of the most popular grounds in the Isthmian League for many and is always a popular away game for Town Supporters. Lewes have had a mixed start to the season with 5 points from four games and were knocked out of the FA Cup by the Metropolitan Police 1-2 at home last Saturday. Many still expect them to be play-off contenders come the end of the season.

FA Cup Update

We will host Barnet-based near neighbours Hadley FC in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round on Saturday 18 September.

Hadley won their first qualifying round replay at Enfield FC (formerly Enfield 1893) 3-2 after extra time on Wednesday evening.

Congratulations to the Bricks who play in Step 5 and will have nothing to lose when they visit us.

The fixture will replace our scheduled League fixture with Kingstonian. A new date will be found for that game.

Enfield v Enfield?

You could hardly make it up. A potentially mouth-watering local derby awaits Enfield Town following the draw today for the 2nd qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Provided they win their replay against Hadley, Enfield FC – originally known as Enfield 1893 —  will be our visitors on September 18.

The match provides us with a fantastic chance of progressing further in the tournament but the management team will be taking nothing for granted against which ever of the two Step 5 teams we play.

If Enfield FC are our opponents, we are likely to see the return to the QE11 of the much-travelled Jamie Cureton, now player-manager at the Essex Senior League club, as well as former Spurs defender Razor Ruddock who is also involved with our neighbours.

Should Hadley win the first qualifying round replay, the Spartan South Midlands League side will travel the short distance from their home in Arkley, Barnet.

Ticket information will follow in the build-up to the game.