Wadham Lodge travelled to The Harlow Town Arena on Monday evening to face Enfield 1893 FC in an Essex Senior League Second Round tie. It was a highly competitive encounter with some tough tackles going in from both sides. This was the third time they have played each other this season - Back in September Wadham won 3-1 in an FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round tie which was shortly followed by a league game in October which the East London side won 1-2 at The Arena and in February when Lodge had won 4-2 in their other league game.
Since the FA Vase game there has been change in the management of Wadham with Neil Day leaving the manager's position to be replaced by James Falaise who is now joint first team manager with ex 1893 boss Kevin Lucas who had been Day's assistant since he joined the club in the summer of 2016.
Taking a look at the line-ups of both sides compared to the September Vase game only James Briggs, Joel Dawes and Russell Harley remained in home team's starting XI with Bradley Gayer, Andrea Mantovani and Eliott Scott in the away team's starting XI. Jordan Meikle had swapped sides from 1893 to Wadham Lodge.
The star of the show was Wadham's powerful centre-forward Calvin Poku (formerly of Grays Athletic, Bowers & Pitsea and Barkingside) who put Wadham 0-1 up with a very impressive header from just inside the penalty box following a corner. I don't think you'll see a better headed effort for the rest of the season - Two Russell Harley's wouldn't of saved it! The keeper (who is dual registered with Ryman D1N Ware) did his best to reach it but had no chance.
Shortly after 1893 equalised via Alex Salmon who volleyed home after a header from a corner (it nearly caught me out on camera duties) rebounded off the cross bar.
There was a real talking point just prior to half time when Wadham were awarded a penalty kick for a home defender holding Poku and impeding his run in the box - if the red had allowed play to progress you'll see the striker finished well but the whistle had already been blown. Poku took the resulting spot kick which was well saved by Harley. The 1893 player was booked for the foul which he will regret as he received a second booking late in the game when he committed another foul on the edge of the box.
The second half saw Poku get his second goal with another header back across goal from a cross on the right had side. He could of got a third later in the game when through on goal but hit the post to keep the score at 1-2 which it ended.
Matt Hanning gathers his team after their exit from the League Cup at Barrows Farm
Forty-Four people were in attendance to see this game - Wadham will face a trip to Basildon United in the Quarter-Final. In 2017 1893 have a record of two wins, two draws and ten defeats - they will look to improve their from at home Sawbridgeworth Town on Saturday. Lodge's next game comes on Wednesday when title favourite's Barking visit them.