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 9 March, from the top tier to the results from Division Four as some promotion & relegation issues are closer to being answered. Thanks for reading.
EOFL Premier Division
As always we begin in the Premier Division on what coud be a week with lasting consequences. On-the-pitch, Springfield got a huge win, 3 – 1 at Sungate to extend their cushion over nearest rivals Manford Way to eleven points. Manford were held 2 – 2 by Canning Town, who played their final game of their season. Alfie Walker got both of Manford’s goals though Suliaman Massaquoi’s 8th league goal of the season and Ricardo Texeria replied for Town who sit 11th at present. Manford’s survival chances have to ated as ‘unlikely’ given they have to win all four remaining matches by a hefty margin to have a chance of staying in the division next term.
Old Southendian’s match with Leigh Ramblers had to be abandoned due to a serious injury to the Rams’ Jack Deasy. We wish him well in his recovery.
Finally, there was also some sad news of another sort this week as Great Baddow announced they were unable to commit to playing their remaining fixtures and have resigned from the division. We wish the club well and hope, along with the other sides who have withdrawn this season, they return in some form next term.
Essex Premier Cup: Semi-Finals
The Essex Premier Cup semi-finals took place this weekend. First, Catholic Utd had a Tom Hollingsworth brace to thank for a 2 – 1 victory at Hutton. In the other match, Buckhurst Hill made the final with an impressive 4 – 0 success at Kelvedon Hatch. Steve Townsend opened the scoring for Hill, before a late hat-trick from Nathan Sollosi ensured they will face the ‘Super Hoops’ at Billericay Town’s New Lodge on Wednesday 10th April.
EOFL Senior One
In Senior One, Shenfield AFC smashed Rayleigh Town Res 7 – 2 at St Martins’ School’s 3G pitch, with Mitchell Day leading the way with a hat-trick. James Bigmore and Ronnie Hobbrough got doubles each as well as AFC extended their unbeaten run to seven matches whilst retaining their three point lead at the summit, although they only have two games left to play.
Snaresbrook also won, 5 – 0 at stuttering Ongar Town. Scott Hill powered a treble, with John Blount and Ryan Barker-Francis also netting to give ‘Brook a five-point cushion in second. FC Hamlets returned to form as well with a hefty away win of their own, 7 – 1 at mid-table Herongate Athletic. Charlie Heatley continued his fine form in front of goal with another treble, while Ishmael Carter also struck a hat-trick and Darren Sarrano-Ishmael also netted to keep FC in the hunt due to still having seven matches to play. Ben Warren got a fleeting consolation for Ath, they sit 8th with two games remaining.
Meanwhile, Galleywood defeated May & Baker Reserves 2 – 0, which confirmed the latter’s relegation after a winless season thus far. Luke Osborne and Sam Donn strikes saw ‘Wood to their fourth straight triumph in the league.
Finally, Ramsden Scotia gave their slim promotion chances ‘a shot in the arm’ with a fine 4 – 2 victory over fellow contenders Basildon Town. Town finished the match with ten men after Scott Keys was dismissed. Brodie Horne and Sener Suavi got their goals.
EOFL Senior Two
In Senior Two, leaders Toby ended their campaign with four wins on-the-trot, after a 2 – 0 win in their top-two clash with Runwell Sports. David Major and James Coleman got the all-important goals to extend their lead to six points, although Sports have three matches yet to play.
Chingford Athletic are the only other side who can challenge the top-two now for promotion, after their 2 – 1 success at mid-table Beacon Hill Rovers. Alex Gordon and Will Gleeson got the goals in a match which was delayed for an hour, due to a player injury.
Also, Ryan secured their Division Two status by edging a spectacular home match, 5 – 4 over Shoebury Town, whose promotion hopes ended with this result. The ramifications of this also mean that after reprieves in the last two seasons, Rochford Town will join May & Baker ‘A’ in the relegation places this term.
EOFL Senior Three
In Senior Three, Laindon Orient are finishing the campaign strongly as they won 6 – 1 at relegated Old Chelmsfordians Res. Samuel Lake bagged a hat-trick, while Jason Purewal struck twice and Michael Bottone also chipped in. Old Southendian Ressies maintained their shot at elevation with a fine 4 – 2 at leaders Westhamians. Ben Jones got both goals for the hosts though David Stubbs got a brace of his own for OS, with Ben Franklin and Greg Smith also on target here. Westhamians need three wins to make sure of the title at this point.
Lastly for Senior Three, Wakering Sports edged to a 1 – 0 win at local rivals Leigh Town to remain in the ‘box seat’ for promotion.
EOFL Senior Four
Finally, in Senior Four, with leaders Corinthians not in action, Epping Town knew a win would put them in a very strong state for promotion. They made no error, recording a 6 – 0 success at home to Canning Town Res. Alex Paraskeva passed the 20-goal mark this season with a hat-trick here and Jack Leachman grabbed two while Eamon Payne got his 5th goal this term as well here. Billy Cove’s side need only to avoid defeat at Lakeside Res next weekend to ‘seal the deal’.
That is the situation as Lakeside Res won 3 – 1 at Leigh Ramblers Res. Lewis Kelsey got the Rams goal though strikes from Ben Christie, Daniel Damain and Ifedayo Kayode ensured the visitors left with the points. Ramblers ended their season here and have an anxious wait to see if their rivals overhaul them in the last weeks of the campaign and sent them down.
Finally, Dagenham Utd are doing their best to secure a top-three finish as they won 4 – 1 at basement side Old Barkabbeyans. Ashley Retter and Michael Frostick opened the scoring for Utd before Jacob Dingli got back on the score-sheet with a brace to seal the win. Old Barks need to win at least three of their last four matches you feel to avoid the drop themselves and pull other teams back into the drop-zone at the same time.