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 23 March, from the top tier to the results from Division Four as promotion & relegation issues continue to be sorted as we enter the last six weeks of the campaign.
EOFL Premier Dvivision
In Olympian Premier, the top-two faced off at Roding Lane. Buckhurst Hill defeated Kelvedon Hatch 3 – 0 with former May & Baker striker Reece Tranter getting all three goals to grant them their 10th straight win and extend Hill’s cushion to nine points at the top. Ten points from their last eight matches will be enough to seal the title and crown off a dominant season.
Springfield went up to 11th after a 3 – 0 win at Manford Way – a result which will see Manford relegated, unless off-pitch issues elsewhere see them be granted a reprieve. Rayleigh Town continued their good form with a 2 – 1 win at Old Southendian. Luke Stillwell netted for OS though Harry Talbot and Bailey Moss strikes overcame the hosts and increase Town’s hopes of getting a top-six finish.
Sungate also tasted triumph, with a 3 – 2 over Hutton. Rory McKenzie struck twice for the home side with Alan Brown also finding the ‘onion bag’. Will Marlowe and John Hilliard hit back for Hutton but they stay 8th while ‘Gate go 10th. Finally, Bishop Stortford Swifts’ quest for a top-three finish gained momentum after a 3 – 2 win over Leigh Ramblers at Silver Leys. Steve Moore, Gavin Cockman and substitute Ashley Taylor-Forbes were the Swifts marksmen though Ramblers hit back through Seb Allen and Dan Martin goals. Swifts and Catholic Utd are the sides likely to battle ‘to the wire’ for that 3rd spot.
EOFL Senior One
Shenfield AFC won the top-four clash with Ramsden Scotia 5 – 3 with an ensemble cast on the score-sheet. Alex Broadbridge, Mitchell Day, Harry Hatt, Ronnie Hobbrough and substitute George Cunningham all netted to send AFC six points clear at the summit after their fourth straight league win. Basildon Town are among the challengers as they came from behind to win 2 – 1 at Ongar Town. Alfie Phillips and substitute Ross Giles both netted to keep the gap to 11 points though they have five matches in hand on the leaders. Lee Perry had put Ongar ahead though their mixed end to the season continues.
Rayleigh Town Res also had a forgettable afternoon as they lost 4 – 2 at home to Galleywood. Jack Chatterway hit another brace with Luke Osborne and Lewis Rose the other scorers for ‘Wood. Eight straight losses for Town mean they need at least three points to avert the drop, though they have five games to get those points in.
Herongate Athletic had a fine day to remember with a 7 – 1 demolition of basement side May & Baker Res. Ben Warren grabbed three goals, with Lee Atkinson and Ben Lambert both nabbing braces each to give Ath their ninth win of the season. Also, FC Hamlets were held 1 – 1 at home by fellow mid-table side Old Chelmsfordians. Jordan Boden struck for OC’s who are unbeaten in their last six matches while Darren Serrano-Griffiths netted to ensure FC took a point to keep above their opposition here.
EOFL Senior Two
There were no fixtures in Division Two this weekend – another reminder that the end of the season Is approaching.
EOFL Senior Three
Into Senior Three now, with the most significant result being Basildon Town Reserves 6 – 3 home win over relegated Old Chelmsfordians Res. Player-boss Alex Shields got a double, and he was joined in the ‘brace club’ by none other than the Essex Senior League’s top scorer from last season in Marcus Bowers. Jake Bridgeman and Tommy Green were also on target as Town’s second side secured their Division Three status for another season. The same relief couldn’t be said for Roydon who lost 3 – 2 at Hutton Res in their final match of the season. Micky Coppin and Lewis Watson both struck for the visitors though Hutton got the win thanks to Tom Biddiss, Ben Trigg and Dan Grennell strikes. Six defeats on-the-roll for Roydon has been very costly as they will likely join OC’s in Div Four next term.
Meanwhile, Laindon Orient won 2 – 0 at home to mid-table Leigh Town to endorse their chances of a top-four finish. A James Shadwell spot-kick was added to by Samuel Lake as Orient got their fourth consecutive success to go third on goal difference.
EOFL Senior Four
Finally, in Senior Four, Toby Res enhanced their chances of avoid the drop as they won 3 – 1 at mid-table Galleywood Res.
Buckhurst Hill Res strengthened their grip on fifth spot with a 2 – 1 win over Lakeside Res. That result means that a point in Dagenham Utd’s final match will mean Utd will finish third this term.
Also, Epping Town defeated Old Barkabbeyans 6 – 0 in Ilford. Glen Warwick led the charge with a treble, while Alex Paraskeva, Chris Lockwood and Daniel Garfinkle were also on target as Billy Cove’s side went five points clear at the summit, although Corinthians have three matches in hand. That result also meant that Old Barks will succumb to relegation next month after only three wins this term.