Non-league enthusiast, Peter Dudley, takes a look back at the midweek ESL action.
Essex Senior League Challenge Cup Semi-Final
Sawbridgeworth Town 0 Ilford 2
Two Sipho Mtyanda goals sent Ilford into the final of the Essex Senior League Challenge Cup Final at the start of May at the expense of Sawbridgeworth Town at Crofters. The opening twenty minutes saw the visitors have the better of the chances, although not clear-cut ones, although the hosts were battling well, however, it was the Foxes who did break the deadlock just past the half hour mark when Carl Mullings found Sipho Mtyanda who duly smashed home and it proved the difference in the opening half in what was a deserved lead for Allan Fenn’s side at the break. Two minutes into the second period the visitors almost doubled their lead when Mtyanda lashed over a decent chance and the hosts first chance came just past the hour mark but saw Daryl Doolan miss his kick after Isaac Nkosi had let a Gavin Cockman ball go. As the game reached the final fifteen minutes Sawbo were seeing more of the ball as a tense period awaited both sides but any nerves from the visitors were finally ended when Mtyanda rifled home his and Ilford’s second with three minutes remaining and seal their passage into the Challenge Cup Final.
Takeley 4 West Essex 1
Another Charlie Cole hat-trick helped Takeley pull away from West Essex in the second period at Station Road to take all three points. Cole broke the deadlock after a great run down the right by Reece Barrett saw him set up the forward, however, the visitors levelled when skipper Tom Macleod headed home a corner and see the teams go into the break level in what had been a pretty even contest up till that point. Takeley though retook the lead from the spot through Cole after a foul on hosts skipper Jason Todd and then Todd himself got on the scoresheet, sending a terrific strike beyond Jack Francis after a corner had broke to him on the edge of the area, to give the hosts breathing space. And it was no surprise when Cole did complete his treble when tapping home although the scoreline was harsh on the visitors who more than played their part in this one. However, Takeley, and especially Cole, were too good in the end.
League Challenge Cup Quarter Final
Basildon United 1 Wadham Lodge 1 (Basildon United won 4-1 on penalties)
The Bees are through to the semi-final of the League Challenge Cup after thru edged out Wadham Lodge on penalties after the sides could not be separated after ninety minutes. Basildon now travels to take on Takeley at Station Road next week, as for Wadham their season is over for the campaign after completing their league fixtures earlier this month.