Leyton Orient secured their first league victory of the season, with a comfortable 3-0 home victory over Stevenage at The Matchroom Stadium.
Orient gained an early a two goal cushion in the first half, through Gavin Massey’s strike for the advantage.
Dean Cox got the second with a superb header to dismantle a struggling Stevenage in the opening half.
Massey grabbed his brace for his third goal in three games in the second half, to deny Stevenage any chance of a revival as the O’s secured their first victory of the season.
Andy Hessenthaler made four changes to his side that were defeated 1-0 by Newport County at Brisbane Road on Saturday.
Ollie Palmer, Sean Clohessy and Captain Robert Weir all moved to the bench with Paul McCallum not in the squad due to a knee injury as Nigel Atangana, Nicky Hunt, Harry Cornick and Jay Simpson all started for the O’s.
The visitors nearly scored within the second minutes, as former O’s midfielder Jobi McAnuff was slotted in but for a firm hand down to his right by Alex Cisak.
After a mistake by the hosts, Matt Godden was played through on goal and he lifted it over the rushing Cisak which was hooked off the line by Hunt.
Massey burst down the left into the box to cross, after good work from Sandro Semedo for Cox who headed over the bar.
Orient took the lead 20 minutes in, with Cox to whip a daring low ball across the box for Jay Simpson who’s shot was saved by Jamie Jones. The rebound then came to Harry Cornick to head against the post, which then fell to Massey who struck home on the third attempt for his second goal of the season.
The visitors then had a chance to level, through Mcanuff but he unselfishly tried to square the ball across goal which almost fell to Tom Conlon, until Semedo slid in and cleared the danger at the far post.
The hosts doubled their lead eight minutes from the break, as Cornick’s cross on the touchline was met by Cox to power a header just inside the box which came off the inside of the post and in.
Orient nearly put the match beyond doubt, as Cornick’s over hit cross was spilled by Jones under no pressure, which was picked up by Massey to cut inside and his shot was desperately blocked by Stevenage to deny a third.
In the second half, Stevenage had a chance to get back into the match, as a high ball was won by Godden fell to Macnuff whose shot on the volley went wide of the target.
The O’s secured the three points with 15 minutes to go for Massey’s second of the evening, as substitute Jordan Bowery burst down the right to drill a low ball across goal, which found its way to Massey to fire in from close range.
Cisak held on to his clean sheet in the closing minutes, Stevenage substitute Dale Gorman shot was stopped as Orient now move up to mid table.
Leyton Orient Lineup: 1 Alex Cisak, 4 Liam Kelly ©, 6 Tom Parkes, 7 Dean Cox (66), 11 Gavin Massey, 15 Nigel Atangana (50), 16 Nicky Hunt, 20 Harry Cornick, 22 Sandro Semedo, 27 Jay Simpson (74), 37 Yvan Erichot
Substitutes: 2 Sean Clohessy, 3 Callum Kennedy, 8 Robert Weir (45), 9 Ollie Palmer (74), 21 Jordan Bowery (66), 24 Sam Sergeant, 45 Armand Gnanduillet
Stevenage Lineup: 1 Jamie Jones, 25 Ronnie Henry ©, 6 Luke Wilkinson, 5 Fraser Franks, 3 Andrew Fox, 32 Tom Conlon (66), 18 Michael Tonge, 22 Charlie Lee (45), 7 Jobi McAnuff, 24 Matthew Godden, 14 Ben Kennedy (45)
Substitutes: 16 Chis Day, 11 Tom Pett, 26 Shaun Donnellan, 20 Connor Hunte (66), 15 Jake Hyde, 9 Rowan Liburd (45), 17 Dale Gorman (45)
Attendance: 3,774 (304)
Leyton Orient open their home account with a disappointing 1-0 home to Newport County at the Matchroom Stadium.
Newport took the lead midway through the first half, as Jamie Turley poked it in from close range.
Andy Hessenthaler made five changes from his sides 3-2 midweek home defeat in the EFL League Cup to Fulham and three changes from his sides 1-1 away draw at Cheltenham.
With Nigel Atangana, Harry Cornick and Jordan Bowery benched after a knee injury last week as Dean Cox, new signing Liam Kelly and Paul McCallum slotted into the starting lineup.
Orient started brightly, as Dean Cox slotted into Gavin Massey out wide on the outside of the box to square the ball across goal but was cleared away by Newport.
Newport showed their attacking intent, as Sean Rigg nicked the ball off Sandro Semedo and his shot from the edge of the box went just wide with Alex Cisak at full stretch.
The visitors had another opportunity minutes later, as the ball fell inside the box to Rigg who rifled his shot over the bar.
Massey then got the O’s fans to their feet, as he skipped passed his man – cut the ball across the box to Ollie Palmer, whose shot on the turn was straight at Joe Day.
Jennison Myrie-Williams whipped the ball across the face of goal for Marlon Jackson’s diving header to be saved by Cisak but was penalised for a foul.
The game began to get scrappy without any clear-cut chances, until a corner from Newport was flicked on at the near post by Jackson to Turley who tucked the ball in at the back post, to stun the hosts.
In the second half, Orient looked to respond and almost did through Ollie Palmer out wide and his low cross was given to Kelly inside the box whose shot was blocked by Darren Jones.
Orient were pressing and were getting joy from their substitutes, as Harry Corwick burst through and selfishly shot from a tight angle which was saved by Day.
The hosts threatened form a set piece this time, as it was flicked on twice towards goal until Palmer headed over from inside the six-yard box.
Orient went on the break with seven minutes remaining and nearly equalised as Semedo cross was met by Palmer but he headed wide and was relieved when the offside flag was raised.
The home side again tried to break down the Newport defence down, as Kelly’s first time shot went narrowly wide, which was the last effort for the O’s as Newport took all three points.
Leyton Orient: 1 Alex Cisak, 2 Sean Clohessy, 4 Liam Kelly, 6 Tom Parkes, 7 Dean Cox (72), 8 Robbie Weir © (72), 9 Ollie Palmer, 10 Paul McCallum (60), 11 Gavin Massey, 22 Sandro Semedo, Yvan Erichot
Substitutes: 24 Sam Sergeant, 3 Callum Kennedy, 15 Nigel Atangana (72), 16 Nicky Hunt, 20 Harry Cornick (72), 21 Jordan Bowery (60), 45 Armand Gnanduillet
Newport County: 1 Joe Day, 3 Dan Butler, 4 Darren Jones, 5 Jamie Turley, 6 Joss Labadie, 8 Mark Randall (85), 11 Jennison Myrie-Williams (64), 13 Marlon Johnson, 15 Jordan Green (63), 17 Scott Bennett ©, 27 Sean Rigg
Substitutes: 30 James Bittner, 2 Jazzi Barnum-Bobb (63), 12 Ben Tozer (64), 14 Paul Bignot, 16 Josh Sheehan, 20 Tom Owen-Evans (85)
Attendance: 4,184 (306)
Brentwood Town ended their Ryman League Premier season with a 3-0 away defeat to Farnborough at the Cherrywood Stadium.
Already relegated Brentwood finished the season with a dreary defeat, which confirmed Farnborough’s safety for now in the Ryman Premier.
John Oyenuga opened the scoring in the first half for Farnborough with a strange goal to give the hosts the early lead.
The home side extended their advantage in the second half, as Dennis Oli tucked his close range shot away.
Freddie Grant sealed the three points late in the second half, as he was brought down and then stepped up to tuck away the spot kick.
Mike Flanagan made one change to his side that were beaten 3-1 away at Bognor Regis in the week, as Joshua Banton is preferred to Marcus Milner.
Brentwood had the first shot on target, as a cross dropped to Petrit Elbi just outside the box which he had to adjust his body to get a strong shot on goal that was well held by Melvin Minter.
‘The Blues’ had another opportunity through sloppy defending, as Alex Teniola slotted in Shad Ngandu, who looked to be offside but the linesman didn’t flag but Ngandu could not turn it past Minter.
The home side took the lead 21 minutes in, from Oyenuga out wide as his hopeful high ball caught Ollie Bowles off guard and found its way into the top corner.
Brentwood almost equalised shortly after, as Sam Cross’ free-kick was heading into the top right hand corner but for Minter who tipped it over the bar.
In the second half, tried to shake things up with two changes as Tom Richardson came on for Petrit Elbi and Simon Glover replaced the injured Ryan O’Rawe.
Farnborough doubled their advantage 11 minutes from the end, as Joshua Gallagher put a low cross into Oli who peeled away and struck his shot into the far corner.
‘The Borough’ nearly added insult to injury, as Grants free-kick was heading goalwards but for Bowles to direct it over the bar.
The hosts extended their lead with moments to go, as Glover brought down Grant inside the box, which left the referee no choice but to point to the spot. Grant then brushed himself down and sent Bowles the wrong way to finish the match off.
Farnborough Lineup: 1 Melvin Minter, 2 John Oyenuga, 3 Freddie Grant, 4 CJ Fearn, 5 Keith Emmerson, 6 Terrell Forbes, 7 Joshua Gallagher, 8 Charlie Allen (88), 9 Dennis Oli (85), 10 Oliver Bailey, 11 Jack Battie (68)
Substitutes: 12 Matt Ball (68), 14 Jack Barton (85), 15 Usman Adeniji, 16 Dean Joseph-Whittingham (88), 18 Harry Knight
Brentwood Town Lineup: 1 Ollie Bowles, 2 Joshua Banton, 3 Andrew Freeman, 4 Sam Cross, 5 Ryan O’Rawe © (45), 6 Mitch Hahn (88), 7 Petrit Elbi (68), 8 Connor Witherspoon, 9 Shad Ngandu, 10 Alex Teniola, 11 Sam Bantick
Substitutes: 12 Tom Richardson (68), 14 Simon Glover (45), 15 Kevin Watson (88), 17 James Scammell
Follow link for interview with Brentwood Town manager Mike Flanagan:
Concord Rangers won the Essex Senior Cup for the third successive season, after a hard fought 1-0 victory over Heybridge Swifts at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
The Beachboys are the first team to claim the Cup for the last three seasons since their existence in 1967.
Ben Greenhalgh scored the National League South side match winning goal early in the first half to claim the glory.
This was the first time the Ryman Division One North side had reached the final in their club history and did not disgrace themselves in the defeat.
Ben Greenhalgh had a tame shot for ‘The Beachboys’ just six minutes in but was comfortable for Danny Sambridge.
Concord opened the scoring 14 minutes in, as Sam Bantick had a shot just outside the box which was parried by Danny Sambridge but fell to Greenhalgh inside the six-yard box to bundle the ball home.
Heybridge almost responded with a set piece, as Captain Liam Thomas’ shot on the turn inside the box was straight at Ben McNamara.
Swifts then nearly got their searching equaliser, as George Doyle’s delivery from a set piece was almost fumbled by McNamara – who managed to clear it for a corner.
From the resulting break down of the corner, Concord broke on the counter-attack as Steve Cawley slipped in Bantick to get his shot on the stretch goal bound but came back off the near post.
Greenhalgh again caused trouble from a free-kick this time, which was whipped in and had to be palmed over by Sambridge.
Lamar Reynolds broke down the left for Heybridge six minutes before the break, he almost brought Swifts back on level terms, as his pull back was almost turned in by John Eaterford.
In the second half, Concord nearly grabbed their second, as Captain James White’s clearance put Cawley in on goal his shot was saved by Sambridge and Bantick miss-controlled the follow-up.
Tempers flared just after the hour mark, as Bantick was held by Lewis Dark, which caused the both to confront eachother – both players were cautioned for incident.
Heybridge almost got their equaliser, as a long searching ball found Reynolds he then burst goalwards and his shot was well stopped by McNamara.
Swifts had another opportunity with 13 minutes to go, through Reynolds as his cut back was miss-timed by the Heybridge forward and was turned goalwards by Jack Barham which was held on the line by McNamara.
Concord held on in the dying minutes to deny a late goal for Heybridge, to take the trophy for the third successive time.
Concord Rangers Lineup: 1 Ben McNamara, 2 Jay Dowie, 3 Tom Stephen, 4 Max Cornhill, 5 Steve King, 6 John Easterford, 7 Lewis Taaffe, 8 James White ©, 9 Ben Greenhalgh, 10 Steve Cawley, 11 Sam Bantick (86)
Substitutes: 12 James Hammond, 14 Bayley Newell, 15 Sam Collins (86), 16 Adam Topley, 17 Andy Young
Heybridge Swifts Lineup: 1 Danny Sambridge, 2 George Doyle, 3 Oliver Emsden, 4 Lewis Dark, 5 Liam Thomas ©, 6 Phil Anderson, 7 Matthew Pooley, 8 Lewis Godbold, 9 Jack Barham, 10 Tyrone Alleyne (82), 11 Lamar Reynolds
Substitutes: 12 Raphael Duyile (82), 14 Declan Hunt, 15 Lewis Riches, 16 Oliver Devenish, 21 Laurence Whymark
Follow the link for interviews with Concord Rangers midfielder Sam Bantick and manager Adam Flanagan
Mitchell Young evaluates his season so far and previews his chances in the final Short Mat Players Tour (SMPT) event coming up this weekend…
Currently sitting 22nd in the Order of Merit, which takes into account this seasons performances I want to end this 2015/16 season with my best performance yet.
Considering I missed the first two events due to being away on holiday, overall I don’t think it’s been a bad effort, even if I say so myself! However, the competitiveness in me is saying that’s good but not good enough.
Back in November I competed in my first European Masters over in Herentals, Belgium where I managed to reach the final 16, but eventually lost out to fellow Englishmen, Nigel Reed who in all fairness played me off the park.
In between the ranking events was the World Fours and Pairs, where I had my best weekend’s performance in the SMPT and made it through to the semi-finals in the Fours and collected a whopping £32.50 in prize money.
The Pairs was also a strong finish having reached the quarter-finals, with fellow Tour player, Dan Winmill.
Then on it was over to Stromstad in Sweden for the start of 2016. I was really getting used to this jet-set lifestyle. It was probably one of the best events I’d attended with great hospitality and facilities, but performance wise, I had a disappointing tournament – falling at the first knockout hurdle in the last 64.
Fast forward to the English Masters in February and I had a solid performance, reaching the last 16 for the second time this season, before being knocked out by Pauline Beattie – one half of the 2014 World Pairs Champions.
As we tee up for the final SMPT event of the season, The World Masters in Belfast, where 210 players will battle it out for one of the biggest prizes in Short Mat bowls.
Currently sitting 35th in the World Rankings, which takes into account ranking points from the last three seasons, I feel that this is a comfortable reflection of where I’m at, but I know I still have a lot more to give and achieve.
Pushing past the last 16 seems to be my nemesis at the moment – I haven’t been able to progress past this stage since the SMPT’s first year where I managed a quarter-final place, but with less players.
This year has not been my best in Short Mat bowls and if I’m honest probably one of my worst, however as the season comes to an end I still want to finish it as best I can.
So I’m going into this tournament my eyes firmly fixed on achieving a spot in the SMPT World Cup, where the top four highest ranked players in each country will represent their country in the World Cup – which will take place before the first event of the new season in August.
Although I need to have the best performance I have ever produced to get close to snatching a late spot (currently sitting 8th in England 109 points off a World Cup position).
A good preparation for the tournament is the 2 Bowl World Masters on Friday, which will get my arm in ready for the tournament at the Weekend.
Wish me luck!
For more information and updates on how I get on at the Short Mat Players Tour then check out the http://shortmatplayerstour.com/
Brentwood Town keep their survival hopes alive with a superb 4-1 home victory over Hendon at the Brentwood Arena.
Brentwood opened their account for the evening in the first half with a header from Alex Teniola, which he then got his brace with a volley early in the second half.
Ben Pattie then immediately pulled it back for the visitors, as he tucked away a smart finish.
The Concord Rangers loanee Sam Bantick then scored on his return to Brentwood, which maintain their two goal cushion.
Teniola capped off Brentwood’s first win at home in five games with his hat-trick and the match ball for his fourth goal in two games.
Mike Flanagan made three changes to his side that were beaten heavily at Hampton and Richmond at the weekend as Leon Gordon and Shad Ngandu shifted to the bench.
Joshua Banton and former Blue Bantick were preferred, who returns to Brentwood for the remainder of the season. Tom Richardson also returned from injury and played ahead of the missing Robbie Rees.
Bantick on his return was at the forefront of Brentwood’s early pressure, as he found some space just outside the box to get a shot off but was tame despite Joe Wright making a hash of the collection which nearly found its way through his legs.
Brentwood started with intent due to the current position they’re in and almost broke the deadlock through a Hendon mistake, as Casey Maclaren collided with the Hendon keeper Wright which allowed Richardson to get a shot off but lifted it just wide.
‘The Blues’ took the lead 20 minutes in, after a corner from Bantick was whipped in and nodded back across goal by Richardson for Teniola to nod in from the six-yard box.
The home side then went in search of a second and nearly got it, as Bantick on the left this time managed to find room for a shot which hit the bar.
Hendon finished the half stronger and could have levelled just before the break, as Sam Murphy volleyed a ball into the box for Ben Pattie to head goalwards but Ollie Bowles had it covered.
In the second half, the hosts scored just two minutes in as Banton did went down the left to whip a ball in which was cleared only for Teniola to cannon into the tope corner on the volley.
Hendon then responded from the kick-off, as Pattie went down the left and slotted in from a tight angle – which gave the away side an immediate response.
‘The Blues’ almost grabbed their third, as the ball broke to Freeman and he lifted it over the keeper but hit the underside of the upright and was cleared.
Brentwood then went and restored their two goal lead, as Richardson was given a ball to chase he then cut inside and smashed a shot which was well-saved by Wright but only for Bantick to convert to follow up.
The home side then held-off any late onslaught from a youthful Hendon, as Brentwood finished the night with their fourth in injury time. Richardson played a great high through ball for Teniola to hunt down and control past the keeper – to seal the three points and their first win since early March.
Brentwood Town Lineup: 21 Ollie Bowles, 2 Joshua Banton, 3 Sam Cross, 4 Martyn Stokes ©, 5 Ryan O’Rawe, 20 Simon Glover, 7 Sam Bantick, 8 Connor Witherspoon, 9 Tom Richardson, 10 Alex Teniola, 11 Andrew Freeman
Substitutes: 12 Mitch Hahn, 14 Shad Ngandu, 15 Marcus Milner, 16 Leon Gordon, 17 Kevin Watson
Hendon Lineup: 1 Joe Wright, 2 Sam Flegg, 3 Oliver Sprague, 4 Dave Diedhiou, 5 Casey Maclaren (70), 6 Oliver Achille, 7 Sam Murphy, 8 Keagan Cole, 9 Kenzie Ibe (45), 10 Ben Pattie (70), 11 Nyv Bogaire
Substitutes: 12 Mahrez Bettache (45), 13 Brandon Adams (70), 14 Luke Tingey (70), 15 Jordan Spearman, 16 Kieran Warren
Follow link for interview with Brentwood Town manager Mike Flanagan:
Brentwood Town’s chances of survival in the Ryman Premier look to be slipping away, after a 2-1 defeat to promotion pushing Enfield Town at the Brentwood Arena.
Enfield opened up their lead late in the first half, as Harry Ottaway tucked away his close range shot.
Brentwood equalised early in the second half, as Marcus Milner fired home to give ‘The Blues’ a chance.
The visitors then scored their second shortly after, as Harold Joseph’s strike restored Enfield’s advantage – to sink Brnetwood to their third straight defeat at home.
Mike Flanagan made four changes to his side that drew 1-1 away at Hendon 48 hours ago, as Leon Gordon and Shad Ngandu move to the bench, for Joshua Banton and Mitch Hahn to step in. Simon Glover and Alex Teniola were also not involved as Petrit Elbi starts along with Marcus Milner.
Enfield had a great opportunity for the lead 21 minutes in, as Corey Whitley was through on goal after Banton slipped he then cut inside and bent his shot towards the far post which Ollie Bowles tipped round the post.
Brentwood had a chance to open the scoring, as Andrew Freeman whipped it in for Robbie Rees but he could not get a decent connection on it inside the six-yard box.
The away side broke the deadlock 37 minutes in, as Whitley caused havoc down the left flank he then cut inside for the shot which was saved by Bowles but only into the path of Ottaway to slot in. Despite Bowles’ best efforts to deny the ball crossing the line but the linesman flagged to signal the ball had crossed the line.
Enfield almost extended their advantage, as the ball fell to Imedd Kartita inside the box but his shot went narrowly wide of the post.
Brentwood levelled five minutes into the second half, as a ball down the left by Rees left Freeman to chase which he drilled the ball across goal for Milner to smash home.
‘The Blues’ equaliser lasted just 15 minutes, as a free-kick was held up and laid-off to Whitley to strike which was saved by Bowles but came out to Joseph to lash in – to regain the lead.
Enfield had the chance to secure the three points eight minutes from time, as the ball fell to Whitley just inside the box but his shot was fired well over the bar.
Brentwood were close to a late equaliser three minutes from time, as a long throw by Hahn was flicked goalwards by Freeman but went just wide of the post – which leaves Brentwood still seven points off safety.
Brentwood Town Lineup: 1 Ollie Bowles, 2 Joshua Banton, 3 Sam Cross, 4 Martyn Stokes ©, 5 Ryan O’Rawe, 6 Connor Witherspoon (90), 7 Marcus Milner (83), 8 Mitch Hahn, 9 Petrit Elbi (28), 10 Robbie Rees, 11 Andrew Freeman
Substitutes: 12 Alex Teniola (83), 14 Shad Ngandu (28), 15 Leon Gordon (90)
Enfield Town Lineup: 1 Nathan McDonald, 2 Jordan Lockie, 3 Harold Joseph, 4 Stanley Muguo (61), 5 Mark Kirby, 6 Mickey Parcell, 7 Billy Crook, 8 Samir Bihmountine, 9 Imedd Kartia (82), 10 Harry Ottaway, 11 Corey Whitley
Substitutes: 12 Claudiu Vilcu (61), Nathan Livings (82) 17 Tyler Campbell (62)
Follow link for interview with Brentwood Town manager Mike Flanagan: