Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Hello & welcome to another of my round-up pieces, this time looking at the Essex Olympian League action on Saturday 9th February, with an in-depth look at the action in the Premier Division, all the way to Senior Division Four plus this week, the remaining Essex Premier Cup Quarter-Finals.
EOFL Premier Division
Two matches survived in the Premier with ramifications mostly for the bottom five. Manford Way edged to a 1 – 0 triumph over mid-table Leigh Ramblers with Lee Lashley coming up trumps again to send Manford off the bottom. Also, Sungate won 2 – 1 at Canning Town. James Smith and Jake Clarke strikes outdone Sulaiman Massaquoi’s goal for the hosts as Sungate closed the gap to Old Southendian in tenth to three points.
Essex Premier Cup
The Essex Premier Cup Semi-Finals will be comprised entirely of EOFL sides this term, as Catholic Utd defeated Essex & Suffolk Border League side Tiptree Heath 2 – 0 with Aaron Baldwin and Tom Hollingsworth goals sending the 2017 winners through.
Hutton joined them in the last four only after a titanic battle with fellow Premier side Rayleigh Town. It finished 4 – 4 after extra time with Brad Freeman, Lewis Smith, Tom Stephens & an OG providing their goals. Town battled back through George Dansie’s brace plus goals from Paul Morris and Bailey Moss to send it to the dreaded spot-kicks. Hutton won the shoot-out 6 – 5 as they advanced to the Semis. Kelvedon Hatch came from behind to win 2 – 1 at Senior One side Galleywood, Harry Bond put the hosts ahead though strikes by ex-Barking FC pair Theo Ola and Steve Willis turned the tables and sent Hatch through.
EOFL Senior One
Now heading into Senior One, Basildon Town got the win of the day as they won 6 – 0 away at bottom side May & Baker Ressies. All the goals came in the second-half as braces from Alfie Phillips and substitute Levi Harbour were added to by strikes from Alex Smith and Keith King. Town have several games in hand on the top three and rise to 4th spot. It’s looking very likely now that M & B Ressies will finish the season at the foot of the table, still winless in 16 games.
It wasn’t a good day for two of the said top three. Herongate Athletic won 3 – 0 at home to Snaresbrook as a brace from Glen Jordan and one from Jack Wilson-Jones saw them fortify sixth spot. ‘Brook stay second as strugglers Old Chelmsfordians beat Ramsden Scotia 2 – 1 through strikes by Martin Mixture and George Williams. Ryan Leddra got the Scotia goal though the promotion race could well go on until May in this division. OC’s rise to tenth spot, with Rayleigh Town Res replacing them in the bottom-two.
Frenford Res were held 3 – 3 by FC Hamlets in what was remarkably their penultimate league game of the season. If they succumb to defeat next week to rivals Old Chelmsfordians, then they may well face the drop due to OCs & Rayleigh Ressies having at least seven games more to play.
EOFL Senior Two
In Division Two, Shoebury Town roared back into title contention with an 8 – 1 triumph at Rochford Town. Dominic Binns struck four goals to take his tally for the season to 35 goals, while Scott Clark nabbed a hat-trick and substitute Omar Mahmood rounded out the scoring for Shoebury who go back up to fourth spot.
Meanwhile, Chingford Athletic continued their fine form with a 5 – 0 success at home to Lakeside. Will Gleeson led the way with a brace here though Eric Kelly, Alex Gordon and Louis Ballard all also netted as Ath rise to 2nd on goals difference and crucially have three matches in hand on Toby, who lead the division by three points. Lakeside drop to 6th.
Finally, Ryan picked up their fourth win of the season with a 3 – 1 success over mid-table Beacon Hill Rovers to rise above Rochford to 8th place.
EOFL Senior Three
In Division Three, only a single match was able to be played. Hutton Reserves defeated Roydon 3 – 2 to give their hosts their third straight home loss. Ben Rose, Noah Tye and Harry Lane all struck for the visitors to overcome home goals from Charlie Rider and Micky Copping. Hutton go above their opponents into 8th spot.
EOFL Senior Four
Finally for this week, three matches survived the weather in Senior Division Four. First at the Len Forge Centre, Leigh Ramblers Reserves defeated Catholic Utd Ressies 2 – 1, thanks to strikes by Seb Allen and Max Richards. The Rams extende the gap over bottom side Old Barkabbeyans to five points with this win. Utd stay 9th.
Epping Town continued their good campaign with a 5 – 0 triumph over Shenfield AFC Res at Stonards Hill. Alex Paraskeva got another brace here while Daniel Garfinkle, Harrison Grant and Eamon Payne were also on the score-sheet here. Billy Cove’s side remain third though are four points adrift of leaders Corinthians with both teams having seven matches left to play.
Lakeside Ressies also were among the victors this weekend with a 2 – 1 home win over Dagenham Utd. Jacob Dingli’s 30th goal of the season wasn’t enough for Utd as goals from Brandon Booty and Carl Prendergast saw the hosts to victory and up to fourth spot. Utd’s chances of the title look slim as they are two points behind with only three matches remaining.