Bishop’s Stortford 2-0 Chester Match Report

Bishop’s Stortford 2-0 Chester Match Report 5/8/23

Hamish Arnold


Isthmian League Premier Division champions Bishop’s Stortford began their return to Step Two with a 2-0 win at home to Chester in the Vanarama National League North. Ryan Charles – celebrating his 28th birthday – popped up with two second-half goals as the Blues stunned last season’s third-place finishers. The season opener also marked Steve Smith’s 200th match in charge of the Blues, it could scarcely have been a better way to mark the milestone.


Chester were first to settle into the game, with both sides slow out of the blocks, a dangerous corner from the left wing was headed goalwards by Harrison Burke, but captain Ryan Henshaw headed clear. Jack Morrell’s low cross from the left was met on the volley by Darren Foxley, but at full stretch he couldn’t keep the ball down and on target. Burke headed wide from Iwan Murray’s right wing corner, before a superb double block on the goal line from Tosin Olufemi. Charlie Caton’s near post header from a corner was flicked goalwards before the rebound by Burke, both blocked by the Blues right-back. Coming in off the right wing, Charles got a low left footed shot away that was blocked into the path of Zain Walker, but he fouled Matty Williams in the process. On the stroke of half-time, Ayo Shogbeni closed down the space in Kole Hall in the box, and put in a crucial block when he turned and shot at goal.

HT 0-0

Walker picked up the ball in the box when Chester failed to clear a Stortford corner, but he fired wide with his right foot. The game became broken up with fouls and long injury stoppages before the introduction of Ola Ogunwamide, who returned the impetus to the Blues attack, and was a repeated threat on the right wing. His first touch was a curling effort which wasn’t far away from finding the top left corner of the goal from Foxley’s pass, and from the next attack he pounced on a defensive error by Chester but could only poke the ball wide. Charles passed across the edge of the box to Ogunwamide, his low shot was saved by the legs of Stanway. Foxley’s inswinging free kick from the right was met by the head of Charles who rose highest, Stanway had come to punch and the ball sailed into the empty net. He completed his brace seven minutes later, flicking Jack Thomas’ cross with the outside of his left foot high into the net. Foxley nearly added his name to the scoresheet, from a direct free kick but he missed the top right corner.

FT 2-0


Bishop’s Stortford XI

1 Jack Giddens

3 Jack Morrell

4 Jack Thomas

6 Ryan Henshaw (c) (Yellow card 38’)

10 Darren Foxley (Yellow card 45+2’)

11 Tosin Olufemi (Yellow card 90+6’)

12 George Sykes

15 Ryan Charles (Goal 80’ 87’) (Jones 90+6’)

16 Zain Walker (Yellow card 52’) (Ogunwamide 69’)

18 Ollie Peters (Yellow card 88’) (Howard 90’)


7 Ola Ogunwamide

19 Billy Cracknell

23 Archie Jones

24 Rob Howard

27 Mark Haines

Chester XI

1 Wyll Stanway

3 Joel Taylor

4 Declan Weeks (c)

5 Harrison Burke (Yellow card 19’)

6 Matty Williams (Earl 64’)

9 Charlie Caton (Yellow card 78’)

10 Elliott Whitehouse (Yellow card 15’)

20 Iwan Murray (Burton 69’)

21 Kole Hall (Yellow card 61’)

23 Kieran Coates

49 Liam Edwards


7 Zak Goodson

17 Lewis Earl

19 Reece Daly

22 Ollie Heywood

27 Jake Burton

Attendance 740