Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – EOFL Blogger
Hello and a warm welcome to the last of my mini-series of articles previewing the upcoming 2019-2020 Essex Olympian League season, division-by-division. We continue with Senior Three now which will have 13 sides competing in this division with sides getting promoted from both EOFL Senior Four and Senior Five, plus other sides have moved across from the now-defunct Under-21 division and it’s a progressive new era for two clubs making their way into the EOFL family this term. This is partly due to the number of clubs being promoted from this level to the divisions above.
With May & Baker ‘A’ folding in the close-season, there are no teams relegated from Senior Two, though that does not mean the division doesn’t have a ‘new look’ about it – it does. Here’s how it shapes up…
EOFL Senior Three Constitution (2019-20)
- ACD Utd (NEW)
- Basildon Town Res
- Buckhurst Hill Res (P)
- Collier Row (P)
- Corinthians Res (P)
- Dagenham Utd (P)
- Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ (NEW)
- Hutton Res
- Lakeside Res (P)
- Leigh Town Res (NEW)
- Toby Res (P)
- Wakebury (NEW)
- White Ensign Res
Starting with the sides remaining from last season, Hutton Res were the highest finishers in 7th, with White Ensign Res and Basildon Town Res immediately below them. Given that two sides (Roydon & Old Chelmsfordians Res) were relegated to Senior Four, these three sides are the only survivors from last year and are out-numbered by the five teams promoted from Senior Four & Five. The teams finishing 3rd to 6th in Senior Four are elevated so Dagenham Utd, Lakeside Res, Toby Res and Buckhurst Hill Res respectively will face the step up.
Dagenham and Lakeside’s second-string both had very respectable campaigns last time out, and although Toby and Hill’s Ressies finished a smattering of points behind them, both clubs’ first teams are in the top two divisions (Hill in the Premier and Toby in Senior One) so they could adapt well to the climb.
Factor in the elevation of the top-two from Senior Five as well and you could have a tough division. Corinthians Reserves won Senior Five last term to complete a league-winning double for the First team (Senior Four) and the Reserves. Also, it’s good to see a name from the past return in Collier Row who got the runners-up spot in Senior Five in April. Hullbridge Sports have also entered an ‘A’ team in this division this term so it will be interesting how effectively their ‘third team’ will do here though it is a pathway up to the Reserve team I suspect.
Three sides have joined from other leagues as well. First, former Essex Alliance League (EAL) outfit ACD Utd are placed here and the Romford-based side will be looking to follow on well from finishing 2nd in the EAL’s top-tier last term.
Also there are two sides joining from the Southend Borough Combination Premier Division. Leigh Town Res finished third in that division last term and although the side currently play in neighbouring Hadleigh, Robert Hutchings-Spiller’s side will enjoy the journey this term after their upward progression. Joining them are Shoebury-based outfit Wakebury. They managed a very respectable fourth-place in the Southend Boro Combination Premier, finishing 13 points off league winners Shoebury Town Res, who interestingly will compete in Senior Five of the Olympian League this term.
To all the clubs, managers, players and many others who support them, have a good season everyone. I look forward to keeping tabs on the action and I hope that round-ups on Senior Three will join the sections from the top three tiers of the Essex Olympian League this term. Best, Scott
Fixtures for First Two Weekends of EOFL Senior Three (subject to change)
Saturday 24th August – 2.30pm
Corinthians Res v Dagenham Utd | Stambridge Memorial Ground
Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ v Buckhurst Hill Res | Lower Road
Lakeside Res v Basildon Town Res | Lakeside Sports Ground (3G)
Toby Res v Leigh Town Res | Ford’s Sports Club, Newbury Park
Saturday 31st August – 2.30pm
Basildon Town Res v Leigh Town Res | Basildon Sports Club
Buckhurst Hill Res v Collier Row | Roding Lane (Pitch 2)
Dagenham Utd v Lakeside Res | Ford’s Sports Club, Newbury Park
Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ v Toby Res | Lower Road
Hutton Res v ACD Utd | Polo Fields
White Ensign Res v Corinthians Res | Len Forge Centre (3G)