Brentwood Town are promoted to the Ryman Premier for the first time in their recent history after an emphatic 5-0 victory in the Ryman League North play-off final over 10-man Thurrock at the Brentwood Arena.
Alex Akrofi grabbed his first non-league hat-trick of his career to send Brentwood on their way to promotion, along with goals from Robbie Rees and Sherwin Stanley.
Joint-manager Danny Dafter capped off his final match for Brentwood with one of the highlights of his career in front of 763 fans, Brentwood’s biggest competitive attendance.
Brentwood had a half chance 10 minutes in as a whipped in corner by Sam Bantick had to be palmed away by Rhys Madden for Thurrock with pressure from Tom Richardson.
Ross Wall peeled off deep and chipped the ball for Jordan Clark as Martyn Stokes slipped but his shot was tame.
‘The Blues’ had a great chance 22 minutes in after a bursting run from Robbie Rees to the edge of the box cut the ball across the outside of the box for Bantick to slice his shot just wide.
The home side created an opportunity from a goal kick as it was flicked on and Akrofi made something from nothing as he hit the side netting from a tight angle.
Sloppy defending by Thurrock allowed Bantick to pounce, dart passed a couple of players but struck a tame shot which went just wide from the edge of the box.
Thurrock almost caught Brentwood unaware as a whipped in ball was flicked goalwards by Lewwis Spence but went just over the bar.
‘The Fleet’ had an opportunity just before the break as Steve Carvel was slotted in but just as he was about to pull the trigger was tackled by a great last ditch defending by Jack Gardner.
Brentwood took the lead five minutes into the second half, as Bantick lifted the ball over the defence for Akrofi with his blistering pace to fire passed Madden, to give the hosts an all-important lead.
‘The Blues’ extended their lead nine minutes later, with a similar second goal as Bantick’s ball over the top was chased down by Akrofi his first shot was saved but tapped in the rebound into an empty net.
Shortly after the restart Clark was in on goal but fell over Bowles as the referee gave a yellow for simulation.
Akrofi was brought down for Brentwood 62 minutes in, as he hunted another ball down over the defence after getting goal side of Aaron Waters. He was sent to the stands for being the last man and Akrofi stepped up and tucked away the penalty from the spot to claim the match ball.
Brentwood extended their lead further as Rees dribbled to the edge of the box and bent a shot into the bottom, with Madden motionless.
Thurrock tried to grab a goal back as Wall’s shot on the turn was expertly saved by Bowles to maintain his clean sheet.
Brentwood grabbed a fifth as substitute Sherwin Stanley beat the offside trap and coolly slotted it passed Madden, to spark the celebrations.
Brentwood Town Lineup: Ollie Bowles, Jack Gardner, Andrew Freeman, Martyn Stokes ©, Ryan O’Rawe, James Love, Sam Bantick, Danny Dafter, Alex Akrofi (79), Tom Richardson (45), Robbie Rees (67)
Substitutes: Louis Baucutt (79), Jason Dobbs (45), Sam Cole, Christian Mbulu, Sherwin Stanley (67)
Thurrock Lineup: Rhys Madden, Gareth Madden, Lewis Clark, Aaron Waters, Remi Sutton, James Goode, Steven Carvell (67), Lewwis Spence, Joe Christou, Ross Wall, Jordan Clark (69)
Substitutes: Brad Warner (67), Robert Clark (69), Lee Rome, Leon Smith, Jordan Warren
The Lakeside Vortex Hammers suffer a second straight defeat after a hard fought meeting as they lost 42-47 against The Coventry Bees at Arena Essex.
‘The Hammers’ had once again gave away a four point lead with two races remaining, failing to hold on after two reverse maximums to the league leaders as they took three away points back to the midlands.
Lakeside still had riders out injured, as Wolves number one rider Fredrik Lindgren guested in place of Andreas Jonsson – Marc Owen made his first hammers debut in for Steve Boxall.
The home side had a dream start with a 5-1 maximum as Kim Nilsson sped to victory and supported by guest Lindgren.
Coventry found their feet in the reserve race as Jason Garrity won with Adam Ellis in second. Daryl Ritchings tool third to take a 4-2 reverse.
Edward Kennett burst out the blocks in heat three to victory with the quickest time of the night. Mikkel Bech looked to have secured third but overcooked the last bend to allow Joonas Kylmakorpi through, for a split heat.
Last season’s Hammer regular Daniel King had a superb heat four win, as he passed both Richard Lawson and Adam Ellis on lap one at the third bend but ‘The Hammers’ held an even heat.
Nilsson grabbed his second race victory as Stuart Robson followed closely behind for ‘The Bees’ for a third split heat, as Lakeside held a slender lead 16-14.
Lawson won heat six after gating first, Lakeside were on for a maximum but on lap two Hans Anderson took advantage of an opportunity to pass Bech off lap three bend four, to settle for a 4-2 and extend their lead to four points.
Coventry reversed the previous race as King claimed his second victory after a great battle with Kennett, as Kylmakorpi grabbed third.
Heat eight was a second race win for Lawson as both sides split the race, with the scores at 25-23.
The visitors’ were level after the next heat as Garrity got his double race victory with King in third to take a 4-2 heat win.
Kennett had a gutsy ride in heat 10 as he came from third after the first bend to overtake Robson and then Anderson on lap 3 to snatch a split heat.
‘The Hammers’ replicated the first heat with a second maximum through Nilsson’s victory followed by Lindgren in second, to open up a four point lead at 38-34.
The second reserve race was tense, as Garrity won his second race of the night. Adam Ellis came second and Owen claimed a crucial point in third to maintain their four point lead.
Kennett made it a hat-trick of wins in heat 13 but Chris Harris and Andersen kept out Lindgren for a seventh split heat.
Bech was excluded in race 14 for crashing and in the re-run Lawson gated first and lead for two laps until his engine blew, which gave Coventry a 5-0 heat and one point advantage into the final race.
In the final nominated heat Kennett burst to the first bend but was edged out just by King. The Coventry pairing of Harris and King held off ‘The Hammers’ to take three away points and maintain top spot.
Heat 01: Nilsson, Lindgren, Robson, Andersen 58.7 – 5-1
Heat 02: Garrity, Ellis, Ritchings, Owen 58.9 – 2-4; 7-5
Heat 03: Kennett, Kylmakorpi, Harris, Bech 58.5 – 3-3; 10-8
Heat 04: King, Lawson, Ellis, Ritchings 59.3 – 3-3; 13-11
Heat 05: Nilsson, Robson, Garrity, Ellis 58.8 – 3-3; 16-14
Heat 06: Lawson, Harris, Bech, Andersen 59.0 – 4-2; 20-16
Heat 07: King, Kennett, Kylmakorpi, Lindgren 59.1 – 2-4; 22-20
Heat 08: Lawson, Robson, Garrity, Owen 59.3 – 3-3; 25-23
Heat 09: Garrity, Nilsson, King, Ellis 59.2 – 2-4; 27-27
Heat 10: Kennett, Andersen, Robson, Bech 58.9 – 3-3; 30-30
Heat 11: Nilsson, Lindgren, Kylmakorpi, Harris 59.1 – 5-1; 35-31
Heat 12: Garrity, Ellis, Owen, Ritchings (R) 59.9 – 3-3; 38-34
Heat 13: Kennett, Harris, Andersen, Lindgren 58.6 – 3-3; 41-37
Heat 14: King, Kylmakporpi, Lawson (R), Bech (FX) 60.8 – 0-5; 41-42
Heat 15: King, Harris, Lindgren, Kennett 59.1 – 1-5; 42-47
Brentwood Town are through to the Ryman League North playoff final after a dramatic 4-1 penalty shootout victory away to AFC Sudbury at Wardale Williams Stadium.
Neither side could be separated within 120 minutes despite Brentwood being down to 10-men, which was decided by captain Martyn Stokes penultimate penalty.
Ollie Bowles was the standout player for Brentwood keeping them in the contest throughout the match and in the shootout saved two vital penalties to put Brentwood through.
Brentwood will now face local side Thurrock at The Brentwood Arena, in the playoff final on Sunday.
AFC Sudbury almost scored within 23 seconds as Luke Callander pounced on Brentwood’s defensive lapse and his shot on the edge of the box was well held by Ollie Bowles.
Kris Newby had a free-kick for the home side 25 yards out, which deflected off the wall and had to be parried by Bowles away down at his bottom left post.
From the resulting corner a goal mouth scramble was created as the ball was knocked to the far post and the ball fell to Craig Parker on the half volley but came back off the crossbar.
A short corner taken by Sudbury, fell to Parker to shoot which was deflected- in the box off James Love and Bowles had to re-adjust and claw out a superb save to palm it away for a corner.
Just five minutes into the second half, Sherwin Stanley clipped a ball across field for Sam Bantick who cut inside to shoot but was saved down low at the near post by Marcus Garnham.
Callander made it past Stokes to break the Brentwood defence but Bowles was quick off his line and blocked the shot with his leg.
The home side had another chance as Newby ran at Gardner, cut inside and his shot was held by Bowles.
Stanley battled in the middle of the park and burst forward, to slot in Love who turned the last defender but his shot was scuffed into the hands of Garnham.
Callander again dangerous and gained a yard on Stokes to shoot but was saved again by Bowles with his outstretched leg.
In injury time, Bantick whipped in a cross for substitute Tom Richardson to head goalwards which went just wide.
Early in extra-time Stokes headed the ball off the line for Brentwood as the Sudbury striker beat Bowles to the ball in the air, but was cleared away by the captain.
In the second half of extra time, Shad Ngandu was given a second yellow for a late tackle on Clarke and was sent to the stands.
Brentwood had a great opportunity with nine minutes to play, as a long ball by Love put Richardson in one on one but his shot was saved away for a corner by Garnham.
With moments remaining Clarke was in on goal after Sudbury won the knockdown but his shot on the edge of the box went over.
Into penalties and Richardson stepped up first for Brentwood which he sent the keeper the wrong way to gain an early lead.
James Baker made the long walk to the spot and Bowles again excelled himself with a great save down to his right, to give Brentwood the upper hand.
Substitute Jason Dobbs was next to take a spot kick and his shot was just powerful enough, despite a strong glove from Garnham – to squeeze in the top corner, to give Brentwood a two goal lead.
Parker put Sudbury on the board as he slotted in. Love kept Brentwood’s two goal advantage as he tucked it passed Garnham.
Newby was up next for Sudbury and his shot at Bowles was saved by his leg as he dived left.
Captain Stokes stepped up with the crucial penalty which he coolly slotted into the bottom right corner as Garnham went the wrong way, to book their place in the playoff final.
AFC Sudbury Lineup: 1 Mark Garnham, 2 Ben Robinson, 3 Scott Mitchell, 4 Ollie Berquez (90), 5 Ryan Henshaw, 6 James Baker, 7 Kris Newby, 8 Sam Clarke, 9 Luke Callander, 10 Craig Parker, 11 Jordan Blackwell (89)
Substitutes: 12 Terry Rymer (89), 14 Ayrton Coley, 15 Josh Kerridge (90), 16 Tyler Kemp, 17 Louis Johnson
Brentwood Town Lineup: Ollie Bowles, Jack Gardner, Louis Baucutt (81), Martyn Stokes ©, Ryan O’Rawe, James Love, Sam Bantick, Danny Dafter (91), Sherwin Stanley (74), Shad Ngandu, Andrew Freeman
Substitutes: Tom Richardson (74), Jason Dobbs (91), Daryl Robson (81), Christian Mbulu, Sam Cole
Brentwood Town finish their final Ryman League North match with a 2-0 away loss to Heybridge Swifts at Scraley Road.
Despite Heybridge ruing an early second half chance from the spot as Sam West’s penalty was saved.
A three minute Billy Hunt brace separated the sides, as Brentwood made five changes ahead of their now confirmed away play-off semi-final against AFC Sudbury on Wednesday evening.
Heybridge had the first chance 12 minutes in as a corner was headed out to the edge of the box, as Shamido Pedulu lashed a shot which rocketed off the crossbar.
Brentwood had their first opportunity, from a long throw which came off a Heybridge player to put Conor Hogan in down the left- he cut inside and his shot at the near post was saved by Danny Sambridge.
Heybridge almost scored from a free-kick as it was whipped in to Sam West whose unmarked header was straight at Sam Cole.
With a goal mouth scramble in the Heybridge box, Brentwood nearly scored as Tom Richardson rose and beat the keeper in the air, but was cleared off the line by the defender and away from danger.
Heybridge were in on goal six minutes before the break as Pedulu lobbed Sam Cole and as he went to tuck the ball in Louis Baucutt was back to head it away for a corner.
The home side got a penalty seven minutes into the second half as Christian Mbulu pulled Billy Hunt’s judged by the referee. West stepped up and Brentwood keeper Cole guessed the right way to save low down to his left.
From the resulting corner Cole went to punch the ball clear but went down injured, play continued and the Heybridge player’s shot hit Cole on the floor and was eventually cleared so Cole could receive treatment.
Brentwood won a free-kick out wide on the edge of the box, Louis Baucutt stepped up and whipped it in near post which had to be parried by Sambridge.
Heybridge took the lead 72 minutes as Tyler Hayes slotted in Hunt down the left, running away from goal- on the turn rifled a left foot shot into the top corner at the near post.
The host doubled their lead three minutes later, after a long ball up to Jack West to hold the ball up and laid it off for Hunt to strike just outside the box and caught Cole off guard.
Heybridge held off any Brentwood pressure to claim three points and finish off the last league game of the season, with a respectable 12th league finish.
Heybridge Swifts Lineup: Danny Sambridge, Bradley James (79), Tyler Hayes, Daniel Barber ©, Damien Green, Sam West, Shamido Pedulu, Sam Ashford, Jack West (77), George Cocklin, Billy Hunt (88)
Substitutes: Aaron Gayle (77), Louis Monk (79), Dominic Rowe, Conor Perkins, Thomas Cocklin (88)
Brentwood Town Lineup: Sam Cole, Christian Mbulu, Louis Baucutt, Adam Rooke, Ryan O’Rawe (45), Tommy Oliver, Jason Dobbs, Daryl Robson (45), Connor Hogan (75), Tom Richardson, Michael Osei
Substitutes: Danny Dafter (45), Danny Aldwinckle (45), Jack Gardner, Shad Ngandu (75), Ollie Bowles
The Lakeside Vortex Hammers fell to their first home defeat of the season as Wolverhampton Wolves take home three away points, after a late surge to take a 46-44 victory.
Wolves have now picked up six points from ‘The Hammers’ in five days with their earlier home victory on Monday.
Lakeside were not at full strength as captain Andreas Jonsson (Injured), Richard Lawson (Riding for Glasgow) and Steve Boxall (Injured) were unavailable.
The three guests were Jason Doyle in for Jonsson, adopted hammer Rory Schlein stepped in for Lawson and reserve rider James Wright slotted in for Boxall.
The first heat needed a re-run and Ricky Wells was excluded for causing the original stoppage as Lindgren won followed by the two hammers Kim Nilsson and Doyle to split heat one.
Wolves took an early maximum in heat two as Lewis Blackbird gated first and won and Josh Bates made it past Adam Ellis on lap two, to take an early 8-4 lead.
‘The Hammers’ bounced straight back with a 5-1 reverse as guest Schlein sped to victory followed up by Danish star Mikkel Bech.
The visitors’ sneaked back in front as former hammer Peter Karlsson showed his track experience with victory, despite pressure from Edward Kennett as Blackbird took third for a 4-2 to lead 13-11.
The home side split race five as Nilsson won, in heat six ‘The Hammers’ turned up the heat as Kennett burst out the gate and was supported by Bech for a second race maximum to lead 19-17.
Lakeside claimed back to back maximums through the guesting Aussie duo as Doyle won and Schlein fended off Karlsson, to extend their lead to six points.
Kennett claimed his second race victory in heat eight after passing both Blackbird and Wells on bend three of lap one but Wright could not support him to split the heat.
Karlsson got his double victory in heat 10 and brought Wolves back into contention to within four points after a 4-2 heat win, with the scores at 29-25.
Lindgren got his second heat victory but ‘The Hammers’ split the race with Schlein and Bech in second and third to maintain their lead.
In heat 11 replacement Blackbird collided with teammate Tobias Musielak and was excluded from the re-run. Lakeside took their fourth maximum as Nilsson took his second race victory from good teamwork with Doyle, to open up an eight point lead at 37-29.
Wolves pulled back two point in the next race as Blackbird won, Wright snatched an important second as Ellis fell.
Heat 13 was split as Schlein gated first and sped to victory but Doyle could not find a way round Lindgren and Blackbird.
The away side hit Lakeside with a surprising maximum to pull themselves right back into the meeting as Karlsson made it a hat-trick of race victories followed by Musielak, as just two points separate the sides at 43-41.
In the final heat, Wolves did not settle for an away point as Karlsson showed his class to take his fourth race win of the night, followed by Lindgren to snatch a late victory and stun ‘The Hammers’.
Conference South club Concord Rangers retained the Essex Senior Cup with a convincing 5-0 victory over nine-man Billericay Town at Victoria Road.
Joe Gardner gave Concord an early lead before Billericay were reduced to 10 men after captain Richard Halle was given a straight red for tripping Tony Stokes as the last man.
The Beachboys grabbed a second shortly after the sending off as Stokes slotted in from close range and Gardner rounded off some great team play to put Concord 3-0 up at half-time.
Danny Glozier scored Rangers’ fourth from the spot before Billericay went down to nine after Ricky Sappleton was sent off for violent conduct.
Substitute Lewis Taaffe completed the scoring as Concord became the first team to retain the cup in 10 years.
Both teams narrowly missed out on the play-offs in their respective league campaigns, so they were keen to end the season with cup success.
Both teams started well but Concord were first to score just four minutes in. Taylor Miles’ through ball cut the Town defence in half and Gardner tucked it coolly past Kitteridge.
Billericay were reduced to 10 men with just 11 minutes on the clock as a long ball was lifted over the defence for Stokes who was in on goal but he was hauled down by skipper Halle and the referee had no choice but to send him off as the last man.
Concord extended their lead three minutes later as Miles – again the supplier – knocked the ball over the top for Stokes in the box and his shot slotted underneath the keeper.
Danny Cowley’s side grabbed a third just after the half hour mark as Stokes flicked the ball into the box for Gardner to stab it past Kitteridge.
Gardner almost grabbed his hat-trick three minutes before half-time following a Concord break, but his shot was palmed away around the post.
Billericay made a lively start to the second half with Afolabi Obafemi rifling a shot off the crossbar, however any hopes of a comeback were put to bed when Concord were awarded a penalty just before the hour mark after Ryan Melaugh brought down Gardner just inside the box.
Glozier stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to slot home Concord’s fourth.
Billericay went down to nine men 14 minutes from time as Sappleton was given a straight red after some deliberation for leading with his arm into a challenge with Gary Ogilvie.
Concord rounded off a professional performance with a fifth as Steve King knocked the ball down for substitute Taaffe to bundle the ball in from a yard out.
Billericay Lineup: 1 Ross Kitteridge, 2 Ola Williams, 3 Ryan Melaugh, 4 Jack Edwards, 5 Richard Halle ©, 6 Steve Sheehan, 7 Cyrus Mahler (71), 8 Glenn Poole, 9 Ricky Sappleton, 10 Rowan Liburd (77), 11 Afolabi Obafemi (81)
Substitutes: 12 George Beavan (77), 14 Seedy Njie, 15 Shafeek Farrell (81), 16 Harry Baker (71), 17 Callum Dunne
Concord Rangers Lineup: 1 Josh Vickers, 2 Jeremy Walker, 3 Danny Glozier, 4 Alex Woodyard, 5 Steve King ©, 6 Matt Fry, 7 Taylor Miles, 8 James White, 9 Joe Gardner (66), 10 Gary Ogilivie (82), 11 Tony Stokes (67)
Substitutes: 12 Jack Lampe, 14 Jay Dowie, 15 Sam Collins (82), 16 Steve Cawley (66), 17 Lewis Taafe (67)
Brentwood Town secured a playoff place with a game to play, after a tense 2-2 draw against Chatham Town at the Brentwood Arena.
Sherwin Stanley took the lead for ‘The Blues’ in the first half, but Chatham equalised from kick off in the second half through George Humber.
The away side went infront midway through the second half with a free-kick from Joe Bingham. Substitute Sam Bantick was brought down with 9 minutes to go and Stanley stepped up to claim his brace as he converted from the spot, to secure a playoff spot after other results.
Brentwood Town got off to an immediate start 36 seconds in as Andrew Freeman’s cross was helped on by Robbie Rees but came back off the crossbar and away from danger.
‘The Blues’ had another opportunity as Rees’ cross was deflected to the far post for captain Martyn Stokes but his shot went over the bar.
The home side gained the lead 21 minutes in as a high clearance by James Love was chased down by Stanley to beat the last defender, nick the ball off the keeper and score into an empty net.
Chatham Town had a great chance to equalise, after a poor clearance by Ollie Bowles the Chatham striker attempted the shot which was deflected by Stokes but bounced just over the bar.
The visitors equalised 37 seconds into the second half as Connor French turned Stokes and slotted in Humber to tuck past Bowles.
Brentwood almost restored the lead after great play by Brentwood, Daryl Robson laid the ball off to Love whose long range shot had to be tipped over by Ryan Nicholls.
Chatham took the lead 66 minutes in as Joe Bingham’s free-kick was whipped across goal, Humber ran across Bowles which distracted him as the ball went straight in.
Brentwood were awarded a penalty with 9 minutes to go after a flick on from substitute Tom Richardson for substitute Sam Bantick, to beat the keeper to the ball but was brought down in the box by Nicholls and the referee pointed to the spot. Stanley stepped up and tucked it into the bottom right corner to equalise.
In injury-time Brentwood nearly nicked it as Bantick’s corner was helped on by substitute Christian Mbulu and Stokes on the turn shot just over the bar, to settle for a point.
Brentwood Town Lineup: Ollie Bowles, Jack Gardner, Andrew Freeman, Martyn Stokes ©, Danny Dafter (59), James Love, Jason Dobbs (72), Daryl Robson, Sherwin Stanley, Shad Ngandu, Robbie Rees (72)
Substitutes: Tom Richardson (72), Christian Mbulu (59), Louis Baucutt, Sam Bantick (72)
Chatham Town Lineup: Ryan Nicholls, Greg Benbow, Laurence Collins, Joe Loft, Liam Hickey, Lewis Knight ©, George Humber, Corey Holder, Connor French (83), joe Bingham, Kieran McCann
Substitutes: Austin Edwards (83), Jack Steventon, Jamie Taylor, Peter Hawkins, Kevin Watson