Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello everyone and welcome back to my round-up articles on the Essex Olympian League divisions, which return looking at all the action on Saturday 3rd April, from the top-tier all the way to mentions of Divisions Four & Five. All six divisions were involved in ‘resumption day’ and there were some surprise results, some well-known names turning out for new clubs and plenty of goals!
Thank you for reading. Thanks also to Pete Dudley (@ped1980 on Twitter) for the main image)
EOFL Premier Division
So as ever, we begin with the top division and Basildon Town kept the heat on leaders Buckhurst Hill with a comfortable 3 – 1 triumph over Shenfield AFC at Basildon Sports Club. Player-boss Marcus Bowers opened the scoring for the hosts, with Keith King and Graham Harrison adding to the team’s account after the interval. Alex Tredgett scored the solitary response for Shenfield in this one. The hosts have now scored the second-highest goal tally in the division following this performance. Shenfield remain in 11th place. Buckhurst Hill overcame a scare to grab a hard-fought 2 – 1 win at Springfield to stay ahead of Basildon on goal difference. David Knight put the Chelmsford-based side ahead, but late goals from talisman Suleyman Zuhdu and Jonah Gregory turned the game and sealed another win for Mark Williams’ side.
One bit of club news with Springfield this week, which is that long-time former Enfield boss Matt Hanning has joined Dan Williams’ management team. I would just like to add that I wish Matt well at his new club, it’s nice to see him return in the Olympian League.
Elsewhere, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts returned to action in some style with a 4 – 2 home success over Sungate at Silver Leys. Carlos Flood got the first goal for Billy Cove’s side, which was soon added to by Brett Munyard (more known for his goal-grabbing exploits at White Ensign) plus substitutes Kieran Southgate and Harry Bushell. After this result, Swifts remain eighth but they have reduced the gap to the top six to a mere point. Harold Wood Athletic also produced a surprise as they won 2 – 1 at Catholic Utd, with Josh Steel and Chris Denham the goal-scoring heroes for Alex Goldstone’s team, who remain seventh but are only behind Sungate on goal difference. The ‘Super Hoops’ fell to fifth as other results went against them.
Meanwhile at Belfairs Park, Leigh Ramblers overcame Canning Town 4 – 0 with the ensemble cast of Justin Hazell, Barv Waiwaiku, George Moxon and Rick Alabaster all scoring to see to it that the Rams rise to fourth place in the standings. Canning drop to twelfth spot. Rayleigh Town were held 3 – 3 at Kelvedon Hatch, with Ollie Hanlon netting twice for Paul Higgins’ side, either side of a fine Jack Long strike. Kelvedon’s scorers were Joe Gregory, Joseph Newson and replacement Lewis Young. Rayleigh go up to tenth place in the table, with Kelvedon remaining second-bottom and two points above bottom side Old Southendian.
The latter side mentioned there made the trip to Polo Fields to take on Hutton. Matt Singh’s side started as they left off back in December as they defeated Old Southendian 2 – 1 with goals from Aron Gordon and Tony Shaw enough to push them up to third place, only four points adrift of the top two.
Before we move on, here’s a glimpse of the updated Premier Division table (Source: FA Full-Time)
EOFL Division One
Division One returned with a more than spritely twenty goals in the five games played. With Ongar Town unable to play due to a postponement, the chasing pack took centre stage this weekend. Galleywood rose to second spot after a hard-fought 3 – 2 success against Herongate Athletic. Craig Skipper notched twice here for the home side, with Freddie Bartram also on target as ‘Wood cut the deficit to Ongar to just two points. Herongate responded through strikes from Corley Ross and Jonathan Packer. Old Chelmsfordians came away well from their clash with rivals Runwell Sports as they sealed a 3 – 2 triumph at St Luke’s Park. Jared Chambers, Martin Mixture and substitute Dane Nelson all struck for Damien Frost’s side here, while Joe Olley and Daniel Okah struck for Jason Plom’s team. The OC’s remain in fourth place but are only a point away from their opponents today, who drop to third spot.
In other action, Manford Way were made to work hard in a 2 – 0 win over Toby at the London Marathon Sports Ground. Strikes from Liam Burgess and Connor Hammond were enough to see Trevor Grace’s side to their fifth win of the season and close the gap to the top three to just two points. Toby drop one place to eighth. Fellow Non-League writer Aaron Moore (@aaron_moore25 on Twitter) was at the game & here is his take on it: https://footballreview.net/match-report-manford-way-2-0-toby-fc/
Meanwhile, Snaresbrook started their mini-season off with a fine 4 – 2 victory over bottom side Shoebury Town at Nutters Field. And lastly for the second-tier, Chingford Athletic emerged from their trip to Rayleigh Town Res with a 2 – 0 win, thanks to goals from returning star Michael Mignot and Tom Kavanagh which gave them their second win of the season and saw them rise to 9th spot. Town’s second-side drop one place to second-bottom.
Here’s a glimpse of the updated Division One table:
EOFL Division Two
Moving into Division Two now, and Laindon Orient pulled off a fine 3 – 2 victory over leaders Beacon Hill Rovers at Markhams Chase. Goalkeeper Jack Scott opened the scoring for Neil Blackburn’s side from long range, before Ashley Blackburn and Matthew Gibson goals ended up securing a sixth win in ten matches which keeps them in third spot. Leigh Town made the trip to local rivals Corinthians and ground out a 1 – 0 win, thanks to Sam Irvine’s goal. This result keeps Jack Pearman’s side second, only a point behind Beacon Hill with two crucial games in hand. Corinthians lost ground on the top three but remain fourth.
Epping Town are a point further back in fifth spot after a hard-fought 3 – 1 win over strugglers AS Rawreth at Epping Under Clapton Rugby Club. Peter Paoletti, Sam Law and Graeme Turner got the goals for Stuart Hoskins’ side as they kept up their decent form from before the break. Wakering Sports were held 1 – 1 at Rochford Town with Ben Rowe equalising for Mitchell Gleeson’s side but remain in sixth place. Ryan were also held 1 – 1, by Harold Wood Athletic Res at Wadham Lodge, with Warren Taylor the scorer for the visitors in that match, which was enough to elevate them up to tenth in the standings.
Finally in this division, Old Southendian Res emerged from a battle to defeat May & Baker ‘A 2 – 1 at Garon Park. Thomas Adams and Nico Dubouchet goals for Oliver Tatton-Bennett’s side were enough to gain the win which sees them stay seventh but are only four points off the top four at present.
Here’s a glimpse of the updated Division Two table:
EOFL Division Three
In Division Three, the small matter of thirty-one goals were scored in just six matches this weekend. Manford Way Res kept up the pressure at the top as they defeated previously unbeaten leaders ACD Utd 3 – 1 at Westlands. Ollie Williams netted for Utd, who had to see out large parts of the game with ten men, and Manford’s second-side made the most of it with Gideon Sengulay-Thomas, David Hornsby & Siddy Clarkson all finding the net to reduce their arrears to ACD to two points. Collier Row remain third on goal difference after a narrow 1 – 0 win at winless Leigh Town Res with Daniel Reeve’s spot-kick the only difference in this one. Meanwhile, Toby Res got only their second win this term with a 3 – 2 triumph at home to Buckhurst Hill Res. Buttrint Lecaj and Arber Durmishi goals were not enough to prevent Hill from succumbing to defeat here & they fell below their opponents here to second-bottom.
Wakebury returned to action with a flourish as they defeated Corinthians Res 6 – 4 at Shoebury Park. Will Wheeler, Daniel Buglione, Charlie Little, loanee Adam Topley, Billy Bonham-Dare and former Southend Manor star Robbie Norris all scored for Matt Cardy’s side here. Corinthians’ second-side made it a pulsating match with Luke Smith, Sonny Woodward’s spot-kick, Charlie Marden and Jamie Milbourn all responding with goals for them. This victory takes the Berries up to fourth, three points away from the top three. My Non-League colleague Peter Dudley was at this match & his report is available here: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2021/04/wakebury-6-corinthians-reserves-4.html
Elsewhere, Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ dropped to fifth spot after being held 2 – 2 by Basildon Town Res at Lower Road. Joseph Darby and substitute Josh Boswell netted for the hosts, but strikes by Michael Clark and Jamie Simpkins were enough to claim a point for Richard Bennett’s new side. Finally, Hutton Res rose to seventh in the table after a fine 4 – 3 win at Lakeside Utd. Jack Shaw nabbed a brace for the visitors, with Carl Dutton and Matt Price also on target here. Lakeside remain in sixth, one place and two points better off than their opposition here.
Here’s a glimpse of the updated Division Three table:
EOFL Division Four Results
Canning Town Res 2 – 2 Shenfield AFC Res
Catholic Utd Res 2 – 3 Hashtag Utd Development
Leytonstone Utd 5 – 1 Laindon Orient Res
Old Chelmsfordians Res 0 – 2 Chingford Athletic Res
Ongar Town Res 2 – 6 Sungate Res
Wakering Sports Res A – A Galleywood Res
EOFL Senior Five Results
AS Rawreth Res 1 – 3 Epping Town Res
Herongate Athletic Res 1 – 3 Springfield Res
Newbury Forest Res 10 – 2 Collier Row Res
Old Barkabbeyans 3 – 3 Leigh Ramblers Res (played at Belfairs Park)
Roydon 1 – 0 Runwell Sports Res
Wakering Sports ‘A’ 3 – 1 Shoebury Town Res
That’s all for this week’s round-up, check back next week for the latest action from the Essex Olympian League divisions.