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Good evening and welcome to Cheshunt Stadium for this third round tie of the Velocity Trophy where a place in the quarter finals awaits the winners. We would particularly like to welcome the players, officials and supporters of our opponents Brentwood Town and wish them an enjoyable stay.
The Blues last visit to Theobalds Lane was in October 2018, which was also in the League Cup, though in the second round, when two goals from Yvan Jourdan put us into the last sixteen.
With the recent spate of postponements, supporters are urged to check the club website for news of rearranged fixtures.
Enjoy the game
Please note Cheshunt FC operates a No Dogs policy. (except Assistance Dogs)
You are responsible for your own children on the site, unless they are participating in an organised event at the site with qualified staff.
Welcome back to Theobalds Lane for tonight’s Velocity Cup match. Tonight we extend a warm welcome to the players, officials and supporters of Brentwood.
It seems an age ago that we last kicked a ball. That too was a cup game, where we enjoyed a great weekend in Stockport. We travelled north in hope more than expectation, but I actually felt quite down after the game, a sign of how well we played and how close we came. It was a fantastic effort from Craig and the team, who did themselves and the club proud.
I was also proud of the support for the team too. Thank you to all of you who travelled the long distance to cheer on the team. It was great to see so many travelling supporters who did not stop singing from the first to the last whistle. Our wonderful support didn’t go unnoticed on social media, neither did our dancing mascot who has become somewhat of a cult hero in Stockport! I really do hope that we can maintain that level of support and build on it moving forward.
I would also like to say how good it was to be made to feel so welcome by Stockport County. We were treated to great pre and post-match hospitality and they were very complimentary to us about our club, team and supporters. Its days like these that make all the effort worthwhile, and it’s given me a taste of what we are hoping to deliver in the future here at Cheshunt.
First though is an extremely tough match against Brentwood. We reached the semi-final of this competition two seasons ago when Covid struck, and we hope we can go one step further this time round.
Please give the lads your wonderful support as always.
The Ambers’ record breaking 21/22 FA Trophy campaign came to an end with a single-goal defeat against Stockport County Leaders of the Vanarama National Division, Monday’s draw for the Quarter-finals sees County have to visit former Cheshunt adversaries Needham Market FC, whose second half penalty was enough to see them past Dartford FC.
Cheshunt & Stockport County are separated by a couple of non-league tiers, but for large parts of the game this difference was not apparent. Former Stevenage player Myles Hippolyte registered his first goal as a Hatter on the hour, enough to see County into the last eight – despite having keeper Ethan Ross sent off late in the game.
The teams took to the field on a wet and windy afternoon, with the home side naming nine players who had featured in the top of the table clash in midweek against Chesterfield.
With under two minutes gone, County went close through Ollie Crankshaw, whose half-volley, following good work on the right by Minihan and Alex Reid, was deflected just beyond the near post. The ‘Ambers’, competing in the Trophy’s Fifth Round for the first time, had their first opportunity a couple of minutes later, when Rowan Liburd was played through on goal by Taylor Miles, Liburd held off the attention of centre half Liam Hogan but was stretching as he loosed off a shot – only to see his effort blocked by Ross and put behind for a corner. Liburd had another attempt on goal minutes later when a defensive error saw the Ambers striker played in by a loose County pass, with time to control and pick his spot the surprise opportunity saw Liburd rather snatch an attempt first time that keeper Ethan Ross saved comfortably.
On the quarter-hour mark and with his back to goal, Miles Hippolyte had his first attempt on goal unleashing an overhead kick that just cleared the crossbar. Not to be outdone the Ambers forced County keeper Ross into action at the other end – parrying another shot from Liburd.
Stockport County pressed as the first half approached its midway point, and Connor Jennings struck the left upright, and Reid headed over from a Sam Minihan delivery on the right, then Ollie Crankshaw cut in from the right to force Ambers goalkeeper George Marsh into making his first save of the day. This success steadied the Ambers keeper and he began to appear more confident, his skills were soon required again, as he parried around the right post a low shot from Jennings. As half-time approached, Hippolyte was denied twice in quick succession, seeing his first well-struck shot headed clear and his second, a minute or so later, kept out by Marsh with a point blank save followed up by Alex Reid poking the rebound wide when it seemed easier to score. Reece Beckles Richards closed out the half for the Ambers cutting across the County back line & working a shooting opportunity which keeper Ethan Ross was equal to.
HALF-TIME: County 0, Cheshunt 0.
Ben Whitfield was introduced upon the resumption for a return for County after a three month injury lay off – and within three minutes he had a snap-shot over the Railway End bar, before unleashing another effort half a dozen minutes later that stung the hands of Marsh.
With the hour drawing near, Alex Reid thought he had scored when Mark Kitching took the ball to the Ambers byline ( was it out of play when he cut it back?) and passed to the striker only to see his goal-bound shot cleared off the line by Adam Crowther.
Hippolyte did hit the target on the hour mark to break the deadlock firing past Marsh from 12 yards out, latching onto a flick on by Whitfield.
Daniel Ojo was moved further forward when Chevron Maclean replaced Beckles Richards for the Ambers & weaved his way to the edge of the box and unleashed a shot that swerved just wide. Connor Jennings for Stockport had the ball in the net after chipping Marsh, but the goal was ruled out for offside. The introduction of Zack Newton gave the Ambers some pace to threaten the back line and he served notice when forcing Ross off his line & out of his area to head clear a clever chip beyond the home defence, he repeated his run onto a through ball giving the defence a head start 2 minutes later , this time the keeper came beyond his area again but this time with Newton bearing down on him the keeper had to handle deliberately, beyond his area & saw straight red for his indiscretion. Alas for the Ambers County had named a regular keeper on the bench for the first time in a number of games, and it happened to be their first choice custodian Ben Hinchcliffe, Ollie Crankshaw was sacrificed to get him on the pitch. Rowan Liburd put the resulting free kick just over the bar. Referee Lewis Smith gave the Ambers a brief hope they might take the tie to penalties when he declared an additional six minutes to be played, but ten man Stockport managed the game out, running into the corners at every opportunity to run the clock down.
The Cheshunt team can hold their heads high, they defended well, built attacks with quick passing moves and pressed the senior side at every opportunity for ninety minutes, perhaps surprising some of the home support with their quality & fitness. The support from the Amber Army was like having a twelfth man, and inspired by mascot Amber the Lion they made sure the home support knew they were there
Good Evening , Welcome to Rod and his Brentwood squad, our visitors club officials , and of course our match officials for this evening.
The Stockport match has been well documented in the local press and on the internet, I was so pleased we gave the leaders of the Vanarama National League a good match, and although Stockport were on top for periods in the game, we had multiple chances to initially take the lead, then in the second half draw level & go to penalties. I was proud of the players, & especially proud of the fans ( Stockport County officials were impressed) The players kept the tempo up for all of the match & the Amber Army certainly matched them. It was a great experience to travel up the day before, train in the evening and be welcomed to a well run & organised Stockport County ground, a great experience. Thank you to the club, and Isthmian League for making this happen
With both the Hornchurch match and the trip to Bognor Regis falling to the weather it will be good to get back into action post Stockport, and I am sure this Brentwood side will prove a good match for us, given they have successfully maintained a position at the business end of the Isthmian North since we last met in the FA Cup in September last.
We have moved to update our squad since Rowan Liburd’s loan spell ended. Rowan has been recalled by Billericay despite wanting to stay with us. We tried to extend his loan but it wasn’t possible He has been a revelation on and off the pitch and we’d like to say a big thank you for his considerable contributions. Hopefully he’ll be back in Amber for the new season.
We have moved to sign 23 year old Kayne Diedrick-Roberts from Bognor Regis. Kayne is a pacy, skilful, goalscoring left winger. He was a youth team player with Manchester United. He actually had a game for us a couple of seasons back in an electrifying debut before signing a professional deal in Sweden. He is available for a second debut.
We are delighted to bring back 24year old Sam Alderson. Sam has been with me at three different clubs including a brief spell in my first season at Cheshunt, before like Kayne he signed a professional deal in Sweden where he has been for the past three seasons. Sam is a specialist dead ball taker and a free scoring midfielder. Unfortunately Sam tweaked a hamstring in his first session with us and may need a couple of weeks recovery time.
Enjoy The Match
CHESHUNT 2-0 HARLOW TOWN
Athenian League Division One
Saturday 28th October 1967
This evening we look back 54 years when Cheshunt welcomed near-neighbours Harlow Town to Theobalds Lane on the most miserable of days.
Torrential icy rain blew across the ground for the entire afternoon as the second-placed Ambers looked to continue their good start to their Athenian Division one campaign against the second-to-bottom Essex new-towners. Player-coach Les Picking gave his new signing from St Albans Roger Quinton his debut at left back, along with 18-year old Ron Smith’s first start of the season at right-half.
Quinton, then a Teacher at Brookland School on Elm Drive, was an old team mate of Pickings when they both played for Barnet and would go onto make 82 appearances for the Ambers before leaving early in the 1969-70 season. Smith however, having played once the previous year, would never play for Cheshunt again despite showing “great promise” according to the Waltham Telegraphs match report.
Eddie Sedgwick got the 150-strong crowd roaring soon after kick off when he let fly a 25-yard ‘daisy-cutter’ what went narrowly wide. Dave Sharkey then headed a Picking free kick off the crossbar followed by a Dave Gigg effort turned around the post by Harlow’s long-serving keeper, Norman Gladwin. With so much pressure, Harlow finally cracked in the 23rd minute when Nigel Lock slammed in a low cross which Gigg steered into the net. Gigg then was brought down in the area three minutes before the interval with Ray Kingsland making it 2-0 from the penalty spot. The second half was ‘uninspiring’ but at least the Ambers had both points to keep pace with leaders Carshalton.
Cheshunt would go top of the table over Christmas whilst at the same time recording then all-time low attendance’s (under 100) which exasperated Club President Roy Stewardson. Picking’s side stayed top and clinched the title with a 1-0 win at second-placed Wembley on the last day of the season. That brought promotion to the Premier Division of the Athenian league (where Cheshunt would stay until joining the newly formed Isthmian Second Division in 1978) and caused Stewardson to spend £2,000 on a new 70-foot long, 20-feet deep covered terrace opposite the main stand to encourage more spectators to the ground.
His good intentions failed as attendances rarely rose above 150 for most of the 1970s and 80s and, by the 90’s and early 2000’s were regularly double-figures. It is only now, in the 2020’s, that average gates are finally exceeding those of half a century ago
What A Day: What A Journey!!!
I wrote in a previous programme that the Cheshunt support was on a journey that was incredibly exciting and one that was going to provide them with memories that would last them forever.
Well if you’re reading this and you weren’t at Stockport on Saturday, I really do offer you my most sincere sympathies. Saturday was one of those days that only come along once in very long while and I’m sure most of us who were there are still buzzing from the experience. It was simply the sort of day that you dream of as a football fan, it had everything but the win.
The Cheshunt fans travelling had different experiences of getting there. Some travelled up with the team and stayed over on the Friday night, some came up on the train and stayed over Saturday, some went up and back on the coaches on the day and I presume a few drove up on their own steam. What’s for certain is however you travelled up to Edgeley Park you must have left the ground extremely proud to be a fan of Cheshunt FC.
I’d been offered the opportunity to sit in the director’s box but had opted for a seat amongst the away supporters, a choice I’m extremely pleased to have made. To say the Amber Army were on form would have to be the understatement of the year. They were magnificent from the moment the arrived to the moment they left. They were just outstanding.
The Stockport fans have been generous and gushing in their praise of our efforts, and on the day were saying we were the most vociferous crowd they’d seen all season. All over social media they sung our praises. I can say for certain that I’ve never been with 250 supporters who made that sort of noise and who continued to make it long after the final whistle had gone.
The game itself was always going to be a challenge and in truth one that I thought would probably be beyond us. I genuinely feared we would struggle to hold our own; well how wrong was I?
We competed for everything, we made chances and we gave Stockport a proper cup tie. There wasn’t one of their players who didn’t know they’d been in a game and there wasn’t one of them who didn’t have the Cheshunt fans songs ringing in their ears. Something I suspect they would never have even considered as they arrived for what they thought would be a simple fixture to get through.
As the final whistle went, you’d have sworn that Stockport had lost. The ground was emptying fast of home fans but despite the 1-0 defeat the noise continued to tumble down from the Amber Army as the players and fans embraced in a show of solidarity and adoration. There were no losers in Amber, only winners.
Days like this define a club, and shape what’s possible. The fans are on a journey that will see their numbers double and treble, and the players are gaining a solidarity and belief that will see them get stronger and stronger. This is a journey that’s barely started and it will only get better.
Craig Edwards speaking to me afterwards was naturally disappointed that the performance hadn’t yielded a win but he was full of pride for his team and so he should be. He was enormously proud of the supporters as well and they of him.
It was in the players bar after the match when the supporters and players were mixed in together that I really saw how special the day had been and how the connection between them has grown into something remarkable. The players and coaches walked into the bar to standing ovations and congratulations from supporters who felt nothing but pride. They were as one and I felt privileged to be part of it.
The Amber Army of Cheshunt are gaining in reputation and it’s so good. They support their team with enthusiasm and with a passion others are envious of. One can only hope that more people in Cheshunt begin to realise that Craig Edwards and his team, and these wonderful supporters are involved in something that’s fantastic, and that as local people they need to get involved with.
I sincerely hope they come soon, because if they do I’m sure they’ll enjoy the ride.
Come On You Ambers!!!!
Football in the town of Brentwood has a long and colourful history going back to the 19th century when the original Brentwood FC reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup in 1886, where they were beaten 3-1 by the eventual winners Blackburn Rovers.
In the 1950s and 1960s the town had a successful amateur club, Brentwood & Warley, who were three times winners of the Delphian League. In 1965 they turned “professional”, becoming Brentwood Town and rapidly rose to the heights of non-league football. Brentwood Town became a force in the Southern League Premier Division and produced some heroic performances in the FA Cup, reaching the third round proper in 1969-70. However, at the end of that season the club effectively folded and amalgamated with another Southern League club, Chelmsford City.
The current Brentwood Football club was founded in 1954 under the name of Manor Athletic and the first ground was at King George’s Playing Fields (Hartswood). In 1957 they moved to Larkin’s Playing Field where they played in the Romford and District League, the Southern Essex Combination and the London and Essex Border League before joining the Essex Olympian League in 1967. Here they won the League Cup in 1968 and were then runners-up four years in a row.
Following the demise of Brentwood Town in 1970, Manor found themselves the most senior club in the district and adopted the town name, changing from Manor Athletic to Brentwood Athletic, and then becoming Brentwood FC in 1972. In 1974 they joined the Essex Senior League. For many years there was a question mark against the club’s senior status and in 1976/77, although they were allowed to stay in the Essex Senior League, they were deprived of their senior status for a year. In that season Brentwood created history by winning the Essex Intermediate Cup in the same season as the Reserves won the Essex Junior Cup. In 1992 Larkin’s finally lost its senior status and the Club had to enter a ground sharing arrangement with East Thurrock in order to continue in the Essex Senior League. With the help of the local council Brentwood at last found a new home at The Brentwood Centre and the first game there was played on October 9th 1993.
The most famous player ever to have played for Brentwood was Jimmy Greaves who played his first match on 27th December 1975 but failed to keep his record of scoring on every debut as Brentwood lost 2-0 to Witham Town.
Brentwood finally won the Essex Senior league for the first time in season 2000-01. They had previously been runners-up on no less than four occasions. The Essex Senior League Cup was won on four occasions in 1976, 1979, 1991 and 2007, and they were cup runners-up in 1984.
Derrick Stittle holds the record as the league’s longest serving manager having been in charge from 1978 to 1999, one of the longest reigns in the history of English non-league football. In 1995/96, in their second season in the F.A. Vase, Brentwood reached the third round, further than any other Essex Senior League club. They also won the Harry Fisher Cup after a penalty shoot out with Fords at Barking F.C.
1996/97 saw the launch of an Under 18 side and the club now runs six youth teams from the U13 age group through to U18 in the Eastern Junior Alliance. The youth teams have been particularly successful in cup competitions and in 2014 the Under-18s reached the final of the Essex County Cup for the third season running.
The start of the 1999/2000 season saw the most significant changes since the move to the Brentwood Centre in 1993, with the installation of the club’s first floodlights and the appointment of Paul Delea as first team manager following the retirement of Derrick Stittle. The floodlights meant a return to the FA Vase after a two-season absence and entry into the FA Cup and FA Youth Cup for the first time ever.
2004 saw the club celebrating its 50th anniversary and there was also a change of club name, to Brentwood Town.
There was some success in 2005/06 as Brentwood reached the final of the Essex Senior League Cup, losing 2-0 to Hornchurch in a closely fought battle, but 2006/07 season saw a remarkable upturn in the club’s fortune. In the most successful season in the club’s history Brentwood Town won the Essex Senior League treble of league title and both league cup competitions. The title was won by six points and Barkingside were beaten 4-0 in the final of the Gordon Brasted Trophy, while Romford were finally beaten in a penalty shoot out in the Essex Senior League Cup final. This success was matched off the field where a tremendous effort saw the facilities at the Brentwood Centre improved to enable the club to successfully apply for promotion to the Ryman Isthmian League.
The management team of Steve Witherspoon and Amin Levitt led the team to more success 2007/08. There were good runs in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy but, despite amassing an impressive 77 league points, they finished sixth in the Ryman Division One North and just missed out on a play-off place.
Owing to family commitments, Steve Witherspoon stood down at the end of the 2007/08 season, and new manager Carl Griffiths and assistant Scott Canham had to rebuild the squad after a number of that successful team moved on. Despite this, the team made a tremendous start to the Ryman League season, remaining unbeaten until mid-November, and eventually finished in third place, but were beaten by Waltham Abbey in the playoff semi-final.
The start of 2009/10 season saw another change of management with the experienced Les Whitton taking over. A season of consolidation ended with a mid-table position but in January 2011 Les stood down and Steve Witherspoon once more took over and he led the team on a remarkable run that only ended with an extra time defeat in the Ryman North play-off final at Wingate & Finchley. The next two seasons saw a mid-table finish and for the 2013/14 season, Les Whitton returned as 1st team manager until he stood down in November. Adam Flanagan and Danny Dafter were then appointed as joint managers and the team made good progress, picking up enough points to move them comfortably clear of the Ryman North relegation zone by the end of the season.
In 2014/15, with much of the same squad from the previous season, including ten players that had progressed through the youth setup, they exceeded all expectations by finishing fourth to reach the Ryman North play-offs. The season then had a perfect ending with a penalty shoot-out win over AFC Sudbury in the semi-final and an amazing second half performance resulting in a 5-0 win against Thurrock in the play-off final, meaning promotion to the Ryman Premier for the first time.
The two managers, Flanagan and Dafter, both moved on after this success and the Club appointed Dean Holdsworth as their new manager. Dean played for Wimbledon and Bolton Wanderers and had previously managed at Redbridge, Newport County, Aldershot Town and Chelmsford City. But in November 2015, Dean stood aside due to increased business commitments and the experienced George Borg was appointed as his successor. However, George also had business commitments and was quickly succeeded by Mike Flanagan assisted by Chris Smith. However, the team were relegated from the Ryman Premier Division at the end of the season.
As the Club began a new era in Ryman North, former Wadham Lodge manager Tony Ievoli was appointed for the 2016/17 campaign. Tony stood down in March 2017 and Craig Shipman took over as manager and steered the team away from relegation for next two season, followed by a mid-table finish in 2018/19.
The 2019/20 season saw a new committee and a new manager in Ryan O’Rawe, a former Brentwood player who returned in a player/manager role. But the Club parted company with Ryan in February 2020, with Adam Flanagan returning for a second spell as manager until October 2021 when Rod Stringer was appointed with the aim of taking the club up to the Isthmian Premier again.
Rod Stringer – Manager, Rod was appointed in October 2021 and has previously achieved success wherever he has been, starting at Barkingside and Aveley, then moving on to Braintree, Bishop’s Stortford and Chelmsford City.
Larry Bayford – Assistant manager. Larry a UEFA B coach spent nearly ten years at Chelmsford City where he worked closely with Rod Stringer and also managed their FA Youth Cup and reserve teams. Larry also had a brief spell coaching Tilbury first team.
Glen Alzapiedi – First Team coach, Glen has a wealth of experience and as an A-License coach is a great addition to Rod Stringer’s management team. Glen has coached and managed at Canvey Island, Concord Rangers, St Albans City, Ware and Waltham Abbey.
Danny Alzapiedi – Danny, a B-License coach joins the Club as assistant coach. Danny was recently coaching and managing the Concord Rangers Under-23s.
Ollie Bowles – Goalkeeper Ollie made his debut for Blues away to Waltham Forest in November 2013, whilst on loan from Concord Rangers. He played a big part in our success of 2015 when we won promotion via the play-offs. He has since played for Brightlingsea Regent and returned to The Arena in the Summer of 2020.
Carlos Simeon – Goalkeeper signed from Romford in January 2022, Carlos is a Seychelles international and has played for Portuguese club Maritimo.
Jake Anderson – Goalkeeper Jake is one of the youngest in the squad having joined Brentwood last season and has had some1st team experience.
Manny Idem – Goalkeeper currently on loan from League Two Swindon Town. He is a former Academy player at Aston Villa and Stoke City and was with Derby County before moving to Swindon in October 2021.
Andy Freeman – Midfielder Andy came through the youth and under-21 teams and established himself in the 1st team by the end of the 2014/15 season, winning the player of the year award in 2015/16. Andy moved to National South club Concord Rangers during the 2017/18 season and spent 2018/19 with Aveley before returning to the Arena for the start of the 2019/20 season.
Connor Hogan – midfielder who came through the club youth system and has also played for Hornchurch, Aveley, Brightlingsea Regent, VCD Athletic and East Thurrock United before returning to Blues in summer 2019.
Jack Dickinson – midfielder who has come through the club youth teams and now a regular in the first team squad.
Jay Bacon – Young fullback signed from Romford in February 2020, Jay had previously played for Dartford.
Matt Cripps – Defender Matt spent the last few seasons playing in the Isthmian Premier with Brightlingsea Regent. He was captain of the side and was a key component when they were crowned champions of the Isthmian North division. Matt was duly selected within the league team of the year.
Joe Heath – Central defender Joe had a great season playing for our Essex rivals Great Wakering Rovers where they had one of the best defensive records in the league. Joe then played for Blues in 20/21 and re-joined Brentwood Town in February 2022 after a brief spell with East Thurrock United.
Jake Gould – A versatile defender who is comfortable playing many defensive positions, Jake has been playing the last few seasons in the league above for Brightlingsea Regent, where he played more than 420 games, and played a significant part of their title winning team.
Josh Gray – A ball-playing central defender with bags of pace and excellent heading ability, Josh comes from Billericay and was playing for Billericay Town in the Eastern Junior Alliance when he was scouted by Tottenham. After two years of learning his trade with the north London club, he was awarded a scholarship with Cambridge United where he captained the Youth Team and played in the U23s. Josh has also played for Ipswich Town and West Ham.
James Love – A product of our successful youth system, James made a welcome return to Brentwood for the 2020/21 season. He was an integral part of the club’s successful play-off winning squad in 2015. He subsequently went to play for Chelmsford City in the National League South before playing for Aveley. Over the years he has won player of the year awards at numerous clubs and been a fans’ favourite for the tireless effort he puts into his performances.
Rob Harvey – Rob started his career at Brightlingsea Regent, making his debut as the age of sixteen. He was part of the Regent squad that won promotion and subsequently moved to Championship side Millwall. On coming back into non-League, he has subsequently played and scored for Braintree Town and Leiston. His direct style, blistering pace and hardworking approach will endear him very quickly to the Brentwood faithful at the Arena this season.
Daniel Ogunleye – Forward, Daniel returned to the club last season after academy spells at Southampton and Forest Green, he has also been a regular member of the 1st team this season contributing a number of goals in the first half of the season.
Tom Richardson – Forward, a player who knows how to win promotion out of this league. In his first spell at the club Tom was part of the play-off winning team. He then joined Brightlingsea Regent and played a key role in their Championship win and has subsequently played at Conference South level for East Thurrock United and Braintree Town.
George Craddock – Experienced midfielder who started his career at Northampton Town. He has also represented Welling United, Margate and East Thurrock at Conference South level. The last few seasons saw George at Heybridge Swifts where he was club captain.
Jack Humphrey – Central defender signed from Heybridge Swifts and made his debut against Maldon & Tiptree in October 2021.
Sam Park – One of the longest serving players in this squad, Sam has been a regular member of the 1st team squad this season. Sam progressed through the youth section and Reserves and has pretty much played everywhere on the pitch at some point.
Haziz Kone –Haziz is a former Biggleswade Town and Harlow Town midfielder who signed for Blues in October 2021.
Freddie Gard – Midfielder Freddie was a youth player at Southend United and then played at Brightlingsea United and Grays Athletic. He spent the last few seasons at Aveley before moving to Brentwood Town in October 2021, scoring on his debut against Basildon United.
Ashley Nzala – Forward Ashley signed from league rivals Great Wakering Rovers in November 2021 and scored on each of his first two starts for the Blues. Ashley has also played for Hayes & Yeading, Hanwell Town and Cheshunt.
Jai Reason – Midfielder Jai signed for Brentwood Town in February 2022 bringing a wealth of experience to the squad having played previously at Cambridge Utd, Eastleigh, Dover Athletic, Billericay Town and most recently Cray Wanderers.
Manager Craig Edwards
Reece Beckles Richards
Kayne Diedrick Roberts
Manager Rod Stringer
Referee Mr Richard Wharton
Asst Referees Mr Charlie Roberts Mr Michael Iddenden Smith
Observer Mr Paul Clarke
The NLP’s Fan’s Forum letters page gets all sorts of weird, wonderful – and sometimes unprintable – contributions from readers.
From debates about the Non-League Pyramid structure, printed programmes, officials, friendly clubs or nostalgic trips down memory lane, we get the full spectrum of letters and emails.
Often a reader will spark a great debate. This week, Ray Ellis from Tonbridge is that man with a question that has had our inbox flooded.
Tonbridge Angels’ Sonny Miles recently claimed the club’s record number of appearances with 377. Who, Ray asks, is the record holder at one club across the whole of Non-League?
Well, it certainly resonated.
A reader from Grays flagged 673 games played by Phil Sammons and there was a shout for Gerry Keegan of South Liverpool, who played 544 times for the famous club.
Gloucester City fans have been on touch on their legendary midfielder Tom Webb, who made 718 appearances for the Tigers before retiring age 34.
Regular contributor to our letters page, Marine superfan Barry Lenton, suggests Peter Smith with 957, while we also had shouts from Bognor Regis Town and Hampton & Richmond Borough.
The nature of Non-League football means it may be hard to come up with a definitive answer.
Earlier in the season, we spoke to Terry Buss at Hanworth Villa as the one-club man celebrated 800 official appearances for the Step 5 outfit – although he wondered if it was even more than that.
The 35-year-old keeper made his debut when he was 16 – illustrating just how long it takes to rack up these numbers – and he was eyeing 1,000.
“I’ll go as long as my body lets me, it’s starting to ache now!” he told The NLP. “Now that the 800 is up, the magic 1,000 is in sight. It would be another three or four years without missing a game but I’ve not missed many over the last 19 years so, fingers crossed, I can have a good go.
“My son, Jimmy, is 12, I’m hoping when he gets to 16 he’s good enough to come in and take over from me!”
We’ll print some of the letters in Sunday’s paper. If you think your club has a player that could crack the top 10, then please drop us a line –firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent past meetings with Brentwood Town
|2008-2009||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||1-3||Edwards|
|2009-2010||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||2-1||Dearie, Harrison|
|2010-11||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||1-3||Salt|
|2011-12||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||0-5|
|2012-13||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||1-0||Whitely|
|2013-14||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||0-0|
|2014-15||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||2-3||Bolle 2|
|2016-17||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||1-0||Hallett|
|A||3-1||Hallett 2, Jones|
|2017-18||Isthmian Div 1 North||H||2-0||Hallett 2|
|Isthmian League Cup 2nd Round
FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Cheshunt v Brentwood Town
Football is the most popular sport worldwide, and there are so many children who do not have the same opportunities to safely play the game that they are so passionate about.
In the UK, children are often buying new pairs of football boots every season, as they so quickly outgrow their old pairs. This means that their used football boots are often left in near-perfect condition.
Our goal is to give these football boots a second chance and to bring joy to children who don’t have the same opportunity.
Cheshunt FC teams are collecting boots for this very worthwhile charity, please check your cupboards for any boots you may be able to bring along to the club and donate.
“The Isthmian Football League strongly supports the FA statement that there should be a zero-tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse whether it by reason of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, sex and sexual orientation or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association.” (The FA 0800 085 0508 / Kick it Out 020 7253 0162).The Isthmian League and all Member Clubs in the League are committed to promoting equality by treating people fairly and with respect, by recognising that inequalities may exist, by taking steps to address them and providing access and opportunities for all members of the community.”