English in Action: March 2016

The main talking points from last month…

New beginnings
March saw several leagues across the globe begin their 2016 seasons. Two of those leagues were MLS and J1 League in America and Japan respectively.

Firstly, Jay Bothroyd has made a dream start in Japan’s top tier. After finishing as the J2 top scorer last season, the former Cardiff City man has made the step-up with newly-promoted Júbilo Iwata look easy. In his first three matches of the season, the 33-year has already notched four goals. His early season goal-scoring exploits have made him an early leader in the goalscoring charts.

Over in the US, no fewer than eleven Englishmen have already featured in the first four weeks of MLS this year.

Dom Dwyer has been carrying on what he does best and was a stand-out performer against Vancouver Whitecaps were he bagged a brace to secure a 2-1 win for Sporting Kansas City.

Elsewhere there have been MLS debuts for DC United’s Rob Vincent and England legend Ashley Cole for LA Galaxy.

America’s third tier, the USL, also commenced this month with former Tottenham Hotspur forward Cameron Lancaster already on the score-sheet for Louisville City this year.

Hungarian adventure
Not many Englishmen have featured in Hungarian football. When Craig Short took over as manager of Hungary’s most prestigious club, Ferencváros, in 2009, he was joined by four compatriots. Sam Wedgbury, Paul Shaw, James Ashmore and Mathew Lowton all featured in Hungary during Short’s stint at the club.

However, since then there has not been an Englishmen to feature in the league (don’t quote me on that), until Nathan Eccleston made the move to Békéscsaba at the end of February.

Since then, the former Liverpool forward who is now 25, has scored one goal in five appearances as his new side battles relegation in Hungary’s top tier.

Romanian jackpot
The past two months have seen Romania become a serious attraction for English footballers as three have made the move to the eastern European country in recent months.

At the end of February, 25-year-old midfielder Ross Jenkins left Crawley Town to join ACS Poli Timişoara, the former club of fellow Englishman Wilson Kneeshaw. Former Watford midfielder Jenkins has made three appearances from the bench since his move east.

Elsewhere, winger Jeffrey Monakana who had a spell with League Two club Bristol Rovers at the start of this season, joined fellow Romanian top tier side Voluntari, although he is yet to make an appearance.

In the country’s second tier, Moses Makinde, who featured for Auerbach in Germany last season, has featured for Metalul Reşiţa. The 23-year-old has made four appearances so far.

Fresh start in Malaysia
After five seasons in the A-League for three different sides but only 27 appearances, defender Brent Griffiths swapped the Central Coast for Pulau Pinang in Malaysia.

The 26-year-old defender has struggled for game time in the past year but has since made three starts for his new side, lasting the entire match in all three.

After five games in the 2016 season, Pulau Pinang sit in mid-table, with one win and two draws.

Third country lucky
After spells in Spain and India failed to yield goal, Jermaine Pennant finally has a goal on foreign soil (he failed to score in European competitions too) for Singapore side Tampines Rovers.

Since the move to Singapore, Pennant has been a key player for Tampines, firing two goals in six games, which has led Tampines to second in the league after four games.

One of his strikes was a sumptuous free-kick, which can be seen in the video below.

April
April is another big month for new beginnings as football begins in Finland, Norway, Sweden and America’s second-tier, the NASL.

 

English in action: 9th December

India: Kerala Blasters 1-0 Pune City (Indian Super League)

Michael Chopra.

Two Englishmen shared seven minutes on the pitch as Kerala Blasters took on Pune City in the final group stage match of the Indian Super League.

Former Stoke City winger Jermaine Pennant started for Pune City but could not prevent his side from going a goal down in the 23rd minute.

He was joined on the field by compatriot forward Michael Chopra, who came on in the 71st minute for Kerala.

Pennant was then replaced seven minutes later as the game finished 1-0 to the Blasters.

The result means David James’ Kerala side make it into the playoffs but Pennant’s Pune are eliminated after finishing outside the top four.

English in action: 6th December

Belgium: Dessel Sport 1-1 OH Leuven (Second Division)

John Bostock.

John Bostock‘s first goal in four games ensured OH Leuven secured a point as they drew 1-1 with Dessel Sport.

The hosts were in the bottom two before the match and took the lead in the seventh minute. The equaliser came half an hour later, when Bostock fired home his sixth of the season. The six goals scored by the English midfielder this season by far ranks as his best for the number of goals in a single season, with his previous best being just two.

The visitors had a man sent off in the second half but managed to hold on for the draw.

Cyprus: AEL 1-1 Nea Salamis (1. Division)
English goalkeeper Corrin Brooks-Meade started in goal for Nea Salamis in Cyprus’ top division, as his side travelled to AEL for a match which saw just three domestically-born players start.

In a match with a high proportion of foreigners, it was two Africans who got themselves on the score-sheet.

First, Brooks-Meade’s side took the lead through Nigerian forward Eze Vincent Okeuhie but in the second half, AEL hit back through Mauritanian midfielder Diallo Guidilèye.

The former Fulham goalkeeper picked up a booking in the match, as his side remain 8th in the league.

Germany: Chemnitzer 0-2 Hallescher (3. Liga)
5,603 people watched on as Chemnitzer took on Hallescher in Germany’s third tier.

English forward Osayaman Osawe was on the bench for the visitors and his side had victory wrapped up when he was introduced to match in the 91st minute.

Two first half goals from Hallescher meant Osawe’s 13th substitute appearance of the season ended in a 2-0 win.

Germany: Alemannia Aachen 3-0 Wattenscheid (Regionalliga)
English defender Kris Thackray played the whole match as his side Alemannia Aachen cruised to a 3-0 home win over Wattenscheid in Germany’s fourth tier.

Thackray helped his side keep a clean sheet as they win took them top of the Regionalliga West.

Germany: Kray 0-0 Rödinghausen (Regionalliga)
Also in the Regionalliga West, English forward Francis Williams played the full ninety for Rödinghausen as they drew 0-0 away to Kray.

The result leaves the two sides 13th and 12th respectively.

Greece: Veria 2-0 Platanias (Super League)
Having come on as a substitute on Wednesday evening, English forward Walter Figueira was given his first league start of the season as his Platanias side headed to Veria.

It turned out to be a match to forget for the former Chelsea player as he was replaced after 50 minutes with his side already one goal down.

Veria went on to score once more as they ran out 2-0 winners and moved up to 4th in the table. Platanias slip to 13th, in a league which contains 18 teams.

India: Pune City 0-1 Delhi Dynamos (Indian Super League)
Pune City suffered a late defeat against Delhi Dynamos, as the visitors scored an 88th minute winner to take all three points in the Indian Super League.

English winger Jermaine Pennant continues to have a less than exciting time in India, as he played the whole match for Pune City.

Pune have won just one match that the former Stoke winger has featured in.

Italy: Pro Patria 1-1 Renate (Lega Pro)
English defender Myles Anderson was the only non-Italian player to start as his side Pro Patria hosted Renate in the country’s third tier.

Anderson’s side took the lead in the first half but had to settle for a draw after Renate equalised in the second half.

The draw means Pro Patria remain in the league’s bottom three.

Malta: Valletta 4-1 Floriana (Premier League)

Lateef Elford-Alliyu in action earlier in the season.

English forward Lateef Elford-Alliyu was the hero as his grabbed a hat-trick to help Valletta to a 4-1 win over Floriana.

The former West Brom man scored after just two minutes to give his side an early lead and followed that up with two more strikes, wrapping up his hat-trick was a penalty in the 60th minute.

The hat-trick means Elford-Alliyu has five goals in his last matches, and eight overall in the league this season.

Portugal: Benfica 3-0 Belenenses (Primeira Liga)
English goalkeeper Matt Jones faced the unenviable task of starting between the sticks for Belenenses as they took on top-of-the-league Benfica in front of 46,000 spectators.

Jones was one of only two non-domestic players to start for the away side, whereas Benfica lined-up with just one Portuguese player.

Jones and his Belenenses team-mates remained solid for over a hour, before three goals in final half an hour from Benfica consigned the visitors to just their third loss of the season.

On the bench
Ashley Cole was an unused sub as his Roma side drew 2-2 at home to Sassuolo.

English in action: 3rd December

Belgium: Zulte Waregem 2-1 (AET) Lierse (Belgian Cup)

Aneke celebrating his goal.


Both Zulte-Waregem and Lierse are in the bottom three of Belgium’s Pro League so the last 16 of the national cup offered a welcome distraction for both sides.

Starting for the hosts was former Arsenal attacking-midfielder Chuks Aneke, and he gave his side the perfect start with a goal in the fourth minute. It was the Englishman’s third goal of the season.

The 21-year-old was later substituted in the 86th minute as the game headed into extra time. Waregem managed to secure passage into the next round of the cup with a goal in the second half of extra time.

Greece: Panthrakikos 1-0 Platanias (Super League)
To Greece, where two Englishmen faced each other in the country’s top tier.

Both Panathrakikos’ Hakeem Araba and Platanias’ Walter Figueira started on the bench for their respective sides.

The hosts took the lead in the 17th minute and the scoreline was unchanged when the English duo entered the action. First, Araba made his way onto the pitch in the 79th minute and then four minutes later, former Chelsea forward Figueira joined him.

Neither of the pair managed to stamp their mark on the match as it ended 1-0.

India: Pune City 2-0 Mumbai City (Indian Super League)

Jermaine Pennant in action in this year’s Indian Super League.

Jermaine Pennant was once again in his side’s starting line-up as Pune City hosted Mumbai City in the Indian Super League.

A second half brace from Nigerian forward Dudu was enough to secure victory for Pennant’s Pune, as the English winger was substituted in the 70th minute. The former Stoke City man has now only completed 90 minutes in one of his five starts.

Portugal: Chaves 3-0 Beira-Mar (Segunda Liga)

After four substitute appearances, English defender Peter Gregory made his first start for Portuguese side Beira-Mer as they travelled to Chaves for a Segunda Liga clash.

The 22-year-old, who featured for Portsmouth in the Championship four years ago, played 76 minutes before being replaced, with his side already two goals down.

With Gregory off the pitch, his side conceded another goal as they lost 3-0.

English in action: 29th November

In a busy Saturday, fifteen Englishmen made appearances for their overseas sides.

Belgium: Waasland-Beveren 2-1 Mouscron-Péruwelz (Pro League)
English midfielder Jonny Rowell played the full ninety minutes as his side Waasland-Beveren defeated Mouscron-Péruwelz 2-1 in the Belgian Pro League..

The result means Rowell’s side move up to 13th in the league table, one spot above compatriot Chuks Aneke’s side, Zulte-Waregem.

Belgium: OH Leuven 3-0 Racing Mechelen (Second Division)
Another English midfielder in Belgian also saw his side his side win. John Bostock played the full match as his Leuven team strolled to a comfortable 3-0 win over Racing Mechelen.

The result means Bostock’s side remain in sixth place in the Belgian Second Division.

Cyprus: Ayia Napa 1-1 Nea Salamis (1. Division)
Two English players lined up against each other in this Cyprus top tier match.

Defender Michael Felgate and goalkeeper Corrin Brooks-Meade started for Ayia Napa and Nea Salamis respectively.

In the end, the points were shared between the two expatriates as a goal in each half saw the game end 1-1.

Germany: Hallescher 2-1 Osnabruck (3. Liga)
English forward Osayamen Osawe came on for his 12th substitute appearance of the season as his side Hallescher shocked Osnabruck by winning 2-1.

Osawe came on in the 91st minute, as the hosts looked to see out the final moments of the game by bringing on the former Blackburn Rovers forward.

Germany: Carl Zeiss Jena 4-0 Auerbach (Regionalliga)
13th place Auerbach travelled to 4th place Carl Zeiss Jena with two Englishmen in their squad.

Defender Korede Aiyegbusi started for Auerbach with his compatriot midfielder Moses Makinde on the bench.

However, the match turned out to be one to forget for the two expatriates, as even though Makinde came on in the 69th minute, Auerbach fell to heavy 4-0 loss.

Francis Williams.

Germany: Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 3-1 Rödinghausen (Regionalliga)
Two Englishmen played against each other as Rhys Tyler‘s Rot-Weiß Oberhausen hosted Francis William‘s Rödinghausen in Germany’s fourth tier.

Tyler started the game on the bench but Williams started up top for the visitors.

The game turned out to be bitter-sweet experience for Williams as the forward scored his first goal of the season, in his twelfth appearance, but could not prevent his side from losing 3-1.

Tyler came on as an 88th minute substitute for the hosts, with his side already 3-1 up.

India: Pune City 1-1 Atlético de Kolkata (Indian Super League)
Jermaine Pennant made his fourth start for Pune City as they hosted Atlético de Kolkata in the Indian Super League.

The English winger was subbed in the 84th minute with the match at 1-1, and that was how it finished.

Malta: Tarxien Rainbows 0-6 Valletta (Premier League)

Lateef Elford-Alliyu grabbed a brace

Valletta made it two comfortable wins in a row, as they defeated Tarxien Rainbows 6-0. The result meant Valletta have now scored 11 goals and conceded none in their last two games.

Lateef Elford-Alliyu was on the score-sheet once again as he bagged his fourth & fifth league goals of the season when he scored Valletta’s third and fifth goals of the match.

Portugal: Belenenses 0-0 Arouca (Primeira Liga)
English goalkeeper Matt Jones started for Belenenses as they looked to move into the Primeira Liga’s top three with a win.

The three points didn’t come though as, although Jones did his job by keeping a clean sheet, his outfield team-mates did not manage to get a goal, as the game ended 0-0.

USA: New England Revolution 2-2 New York Red Bulls (MLS Playoffs)
Two Englishmen did start for New York Red Bulls in their MLS Eastern Conference Playoff final second-leg but all the talk was about the English striker that didn’t start.

MLS top-scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips missed New York’s biggest game of the season through suspension.

The two Englishmen who did start though were Richard Eckersley and Lloyd Sam. The pair played the full ninety as the game ended 2-2, meaning New England went through on aggregate after a 2-1 win in the first leg.

English in action: 22nd November

Top flight domestic football was back yesterday, as players returned from their international breaks. Nine Englishmen were involved yesterday.

Belgium: Club Brugge 4-2 Waasland-Beveren (Pro League)

English midfielder Jonny Rowell and his Waasland-Beveren team-mates faced the unenviable task of an away trip to top of the table Club Brugge.

Rowell played for Hartlepool United in England before making the move to Belgium in 2010, where he has been ever since. He has featured in the country’s top three tiers since the move and he currently plays in the top division with Waasland, the Pro League.

The Englishman started the match and his side held their own in the first half, going into the break level at 1-1.

However, Brugge were just too strong in the second half and ran out eventual 4-2 winners. Rowell played 88 minutes before being replaced with a few minutes to go.

Belgium: OH Leuven 0-0 Eendracht Aalst (Second Division)
Dropping down a division, another English midfielder started in Belgium. John Bostock was in the starting line-up as his side OH Leuven hosted Eedracht Aalst, who sat four places lower in the table in 10th place.

Despite having scored five goals in his first ten games for Leuven, Bostock was unable to score for a second game in succession as the game ended goalless. The 22-year-old did pick up a booking though.

Belgium: Dender 0-1 Gullegem (Third Division)
Adam Burnaby-Atkins made it a hat-trick of English midfielders who started in Belgium. The 18-year-old featured for Dender as they hosted Gullegem in the Belgian third tier.

Burnaby-Atkins had previously featured in DC United’s academy in America but is now in his first season of senior football in Belgium. This match marked his tenth appearance of the season but unfortunately for him, he was substituted at half time as his side lost 1-0 and remained in the bottom two.

Cyprus: Othellos 2-1 Ayia Napa (1. Division)
More renowned as hotspot for English tourists, Ayia Napa is also home to a top tier football club and their English defender Michael Felgate. He started for Ayia Napa as they travelled Othellos.

The 23-year-old was making his seventh start of the season and is a regular once again in the Ayia Napa line-up, having been in the side in the 2012/13 season as well.

It looked like it was going to be a clean sheet for defender Felgate but with just four minutes remaining, Brazilian striker Thiago Santos bagged a brace to secure victory for Othellos and condemn Ayia Napa to defeat.

Italy: Atalanta 1-2 AS Roma (Serie A)

Arguably the most high profile of all the English players abroad is former England international Ashley Cole. He started in defence for Roma as they travelled to Atalanta.

Despite Roma’s defence being breached in the very first minute of the match, Cole and co. managed to keep it tight at the back for the rest of the match as Roma secured victory with two first half goals.

Cole played the full ninety in his eighth league start of the season for Roma.

India: FC Goa 2-0 Pune City (Indian Super League)
Jermaine Pennant continued to have a miserable time in the Indian Super League as his his side Pune City lost again.

The English winger was starting his third consecutive game but it resulted in a third consecutive loss.

Goa took the lead in the 6th minute and wrapped up the victory with a second in second half stoppage time. By that point, Pennant was off the pitch, having been replaced by former French international David Trezeguet in the 83rd minute.

New Zealand: WaiBOP 3-1 Wanderers (ASB Premiership)
Yesterday saw the ASB Premiership’s bottom two clubs play each other, both looking of whom were looking for their first points of the season.

English midfielder Jerahl Hughes started for WaiBOP. The former Yeovil Town player, who made one appearance in League One in 2007, was making his debut for the New Zealand side, having joined them in the summer from Conference side Whitehawk.

Hughes saw his side go 3-0 up before Wanderers pulled one back but by which point, it was too late and WaiBOP had their first win of the year. The 25-year-old Englishmen played 74 minutes before being replaced.

Portugal: Trofense 0-5 Belenenses (Taça de Portugal)

English goalkeeper Matt Jones is enjoying a brilliant season between the sticks for Belenenses. His side are currently fourth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and have now secured passed to the last 16 of the cup with an emphatic 5-0 win over Trofense.

Jones kept a clean sheet as his side ran rampant against their lower division rivals. Trofense are currently bottom of Portugal’s second tier and the cup offered them no escape as they were put to the side by Belenenses.

Slovakia: Trencin 3-1 Senica (Super Liga)
Trencin’s English defender James Lawrence continued to impress as he remained solid in defence to help his side defeat Senica 3-1.

Lawrence started in defence as his team hosted Senica in a 2nd versus 3rd battle. He played the full 90 minutes as they won to keep the pressure on MSK Zilina who are currently top of the Slovakian Super Liga.

English in action: 15th November

There were several English players who featured overseas yesterday, taking centre stage with many leagues having a rest week due to the international break.

Belgium: Woluwe-Zaventem 0-3 OH Leuven (Belgian Second Division)

John Bostock was once one of the most highly rated English players on the scene when he made his debut for Crystal Palace at the age of 15.

Now seven years on, the midfielder is playing for second division Belgian side OH Leuven and is slowly, but surely, rebuilding his reputation. After being a regular for Antwerp in the same division last year, Bostock made the move to Leuven for the 2014/15 season.

It would seem a smart career move with his new club currently sitting in 6th place, with his old Antwerp languishing in 12th.

Yesterday, Bostock played the full ninety as his side cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win over bottom-of-the-table side Woluwe Zaventem. The only surprise was that the former Tottenham player didn’t score. He has five goals already this season, having only managed one all last season.

Belgium: Bocholter VV 3-1 KVK Tienen (Belgian Third Division)
Staying in Belgium, but a division lower in the pyramid, English defender Amardeep Singh started for KVK Tienen as they travelled to Bocholter VV for a Belgian Third Division match.

Singh has been at Tienen since 2008 but his appearances have been sporadic. After his debut in 2008, the defender waited three years before featuring for the side again, who at the time where in the Second Division.

The 2012/13 saw him become a regular at the back for Tienen and he has returned to the side again this season, where he has missed just one game this year.

Yesterday though, was not a good match for Singh and his team-mates. Having taken the lead early on, Bocholter hit back with three second half goals to secure a 3-1 victory. Singh played the full game though, with his side now 12th in the league.

India: Northeast United 0-0 Pune City (Indian Super League)

Pennant on the ball

After watching two matches from the bench, Jermaine Pennant finally got to make his long awaited debut for Indian Super League franchise Pune City.

In the end, 31-year-old failed to have the impact he would have hoped as he was substituted in the 79th minute with the game heading for a dull goalless draw.

The winger will be hoping his side can improve their form so that they can make the playoffs, with Pune currently sitting in 5th, one spot out side the playoffs.

New Zealand: Southern United 2-1  Waitakere United (ASB Premiership)
18-year-old Derice Richards‘ first ever senior goal was not enough to secure victory for Waitakere United as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat away to Southern United.

The young striker was making just his second appearance for Waitakere since joining the side from Stoke City this summer. The English forward made 10 appearances for Stoke’s under 21 side last term, scoring two goals.

Richards’ goal in the 59th minute equalised for Waitakere but Southern hit back with a goal seven minutes later to secure victory and condemn the away side to a second consecutive loss.

English forward Adam Dickinson also featured for Waitakere in the loss.

Spain: Mallorca 1-1 Alcorcón (Segunda Division)
Alcorcón recorded a solid draw away to Mallorca, in a match which included three red cards and one English defender.

Charlie I’Anson played the full 90 minutes in defence as he guided his team to a draw, despite his side playing with just 9 men for the last seven minutes.

I’Anson is on loan at second-tier side Alcorcón from Elche, having made two appearances in La Liga last year for his parent club – and over 30 for Elche’s second team in the third tier.

Yesterday was his seventh start of the season but he saw his side goal 1-0 down after just four minutes. However, they hit back through Verdés on the stroke of half time to secure a 1-1 draw.

I’Anson also avoided being caught up in the ill-tempered affair as he did not receive any cautions in a match which saw seven players booked, two straight red cards and another player sent off for receiving two yellow cards.

Spain: Marino 0-0 Tenerife B (Tercera Division)

Dropping down two divisions in Spain, Jordan McCourt started for Tenerife B as they travelled to top-of-the-table Marino in the Tercera Division.

Jordan, the single name he is known by in Spain, joined Segunda Division side Tenerife from Marino in the summer but was featuring for the club’s second team in the fourth tier yesterday.

He lined up against his former team in an important clash in the Tercera Division Group 12 as it was first against third.

In the end, the two sides cancelled each other out as they battled out a goalless draw, with 22-year-old midfielder Jordan securing a vital point for his side.

Germany: Regionalliga round-up
Three Englishmen were involved in Regionalliga match day squads, with two of the players featuring in matches.

Kris Thackray

The one player to start was Kris Thackray. The Newcastle-born defender is in his second year of German football, having also enjoyed spells in Malta and Italy. He played for the full ninety, keeping a clean sheet, for second place Alemannia Aachen in a 0-0 away draw to Verl.

Francis Williams was another expatriate to feature. The 30-year-old forward came on as a substitute at half time with his Rödinghausen 2-0 down at home to Bochum II. However, he was unable to help his team come back, as they fell to a an eventual 2-1 loss.

Finally, English defener Rhys Tyler, who is in his fifth year of German football, was an unused substitute as his side Rot-Weiss Oberhausen defeated Viktoria Koln 2-1.

Tomorrow’s update has the chance of including updates from Germany, Italy and Portugal, depending on whether players feature or not.