Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of my round-up articles, looking at the action in third week of the ‘mini-season’ in the Essex Olympian League divisions on Saturday 17th April. As ever, our focus here is on the top four divisions but myself and fellow writers were out watching Olympian League matches this week. Thank you for reading.
EOFL Premier Division
As ever we start in the Premier Division and in a crucial match between the top two, Buckhurst Hill emerged with a 3 – 0 win at Basildon Town. Talisman Suleyman Zuhdu notched another two goals to make it to 19 goals already this term. Recent recruit Callum Ibe had earlier put Mark Williams’ side ahead with a good piece of opportunism. Hill have now won all six of their home matches and extend their lead at the summit to five points. Catholic Utd could yet challenge the leaders as well after they emerged from a bruising encounter with a 5 – 3 win over Sungate at the Len Forge Centre. Rhys Fatt notched a brace here for Stuart Marshall’s side, with Michael Sammut, Aaron Baldwin & Brad Rowland also netted to overpower goals for the visitors from Petrit Elbi, Jamie Doyle and George Johnson. Utd remain third, seven points away from Buckhurst, while Sungate remain in 8th and even with matches in hand on the sides above them, it’ll take quite a run to break into the top three I feel.
Meanwhile, Rayleigh Town picked up an important 2 – 0 win over Canning Town at London Road which pushes them up to 9th spot and drops their opponents to the foot of the table. Old Southendian rose off the bottom despite being held 1 – 1 by Kelvedon Hatch at Garon Park. Ryan Scott netted for the visitors who drop to eleventh place. That was because Shenfield AFC grabbed only their second away win this term, defeating Harold Wood Athletic 2 – 1 at Harold Wood Park. Josh Steel netted again for the home side, but strikes by Ben Absolon and Joe Heath ensured the victory which sees them rise to tenth. It’s also worth noting that the bottom six are separated by just three points.
Springfield fell to third bottom after sharing a 2 – 2 draw with Bishop’s Stortford Swifts. The hosts were two goals to the good at half-time but late goals from Kurt Smith and Chris Gibbs meant it was Billy Cove’s side who left the happier of the two sides.
Finally, in the lunchtime kick-off, Leigh Ramblers had a fight hard for a 4 – 3 victory over fellow top five side Hutton at Belfairs Park. Justin Hazell nabbed a brilliant treble, which was added to goal-scoring centre-back Harry Haysom. Matt Singh’s side fought back through a double from Will Marlowe and Mason Hall from the penalty spot. Ramblers replace Hutton in fourth spot but both sides will be looking to surprise the top three in the remaining weeks of the campaign.
EOFL Division One
There were mixed fortunes for the top four in Division One this weekend. Leaders Ongar Town retained their unbeaten record with a 3 – 0 win at second-placed Runwell Sports with Frankie Goodall, Harry Rawlins and Aaron Blair all on target for Richard Ponsford’s side. Ongar extend the lead at the summit to six points now. Manford Way also picked up a great 2 – 0 win at rivals Old Chelmsfordians, with Connor Hammond netting both goals there for Trevor Grace’s side. Manford rise to fourth in the standings while the OC’s first loss in six matches sees them lose ground on leaders Ongar.
Elsewhere, Chingford Athletic continued their rise in the form book with an emphatic 11 – 0 win over struggling Shoebury Town at Town Mead. Michael Mignot again showed the art of finishing by notching five times here, with Sam Coe netting three times also, plus substitute Lee Lashley struck twice and George Miller added the other goal. Chingford remain ninth but are only six points away from the top four now. Shoebury remain bottom after another hard loss for them this weekend.
In the other action this weekend, in the lunchtime kick-off, Ramsden Scotia nabbed a narrow 1 – 0 win over Galleywood in the match reversed to Clarkes Field. The win keeps Ramsden in eighth while ‘Wood drop to fifth. Rayleigh Town Res got their third win of the season and go up to ninth spot after a 2 – 1 success at Snaresbrook. And Toby had a Rhys Willson goal to thank for a 1 – 0 triumph over second-bottom Herongate Athletic at Ford’s Sports Club in Newbury Park, which takes them up to sixth spot. Fellow Non-League writer Aaron Moore was watching and his report is available here: https://footballreview.net/match-report-toby-1-0-herongate-athletic/
EOFL Division Two
Moving into Division Two now and Laindon Orient arguably got the result of the weekend with a 5 – 0 victory over Rochford Town at Markhams Chase. Ashley Blackburn led the way with a brace to take his tally to nine goals so far this term. The other scorers were Anthony Hill, Jason Purewal and a well-known name in Non-League circles in Shomari Barnwell. Neil Blackburn’s side go up to second, level on points with leaders Leigh Town. Rochford dop to ninth spot.
The other contender for result of the week was Epping Town’s 2 – 1 win over Leigh Town which ended Town’s hugely impressive 30+ match undefeated streak. Callum Turner got both goals for Stuart Hoskins’ side while Kieran Craine netted for Jack Pearman’s side. Epping go up to fourth in the standings and cannot be discounted in the race for promotion.
Another side who may have a say in the promotion race are fifth-placed Corinthians who were held to a 3 – 3 draw by Old Southendian Reserves at Stambridge Memorial Ground, which I was fortunate to watch first-hand. This was a brilliant, see-saw, end-to-end dramatic encounter filled with attacking football. Jordan Stoneham, Leo Clarke & Damian Siemienczuk all scored for Chris Stoneham’s side. Nico Dubouchet’s brace and a tap-in from Thomas Margerison made sure Josh Bambury’s side left with a deserved point. My in-depth report on this pulsating match is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/04/17/s-20-21-match-report-corinthians-3-3-old-southendian-res-sat-17-april/
Meanwhile, Beacon Hill Rovers are yet to win since the season restarted after they were held 1 – 1 by Harold Wood Athletic Res. Adam Farley got the goal for the Athletic second-side as they fortified ninth spot. Rovers drop to third and are vulnerable to being caught by Epping & Corinthians as the latter two sides have games in hand on Stephen Bennett’s side. Also in this division, Ryan emerged with a 3 – 2 win at home to AS Rawreth which sent Declan Murphy’s side up to eighth place in the table.
EOFL Division Three
In Division Three, Manford Way Res remain in second place after a comprehensive 5 – 0 win at Buckhurst Hill Res at Roding Lane. Jack Barraclough’s superb hat-trick led the way though David Hornsby stuck for the third successive match to add further gloss to the score-line. The East London side are three points clear of Wakebury in third who clinched a 4 – 1 win away at Leigh Town Reserves. Daniel Buglione scored another double here for Matt Cardy’s side to take his tally to seven goals in the last three matches alone. Harry Kateley and Charlie Little also chipped in to give the Berries a three-point cushion over nearest rivals Collier Row. Row lost 1 – 0 at Basildon Town Res with Nathan Fisher getting the decisive goal for Richard Bennett’s side there for their third win in their last five games and they remain seventh.
ACD Utd were not in action as they got the points, courtesy of home walkover in their match with Corinthians Res, who were unable to field a side. Elsewhere, Lakeside Utd got their first win since the restart with a 3 – 1 home triumph over Hullbridge Sports ‘A’. David Alele notched twice here with Mohamed Bouzeryouh grabbing the other goal to keep them comfortably in eighth spot.
Finally in this division, Hutton Res made it two wins in four days, firstly with a midweek 1 – 0 win over Basildon Town Res at Polo Fields with Keelan O’Donovan getting the goal of that game, watched by myself and Non-League colleague Pete Dudley – his report on that game is here: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2021/04/hutton-reserves-1-basildon-town.html
The Hutton second-side followed that up on Saturday with a 2 – 0 win against Toby Res, also at Polo Fields. Conor O’Regan got both goals in that match, which sees them remain in sixth place but are only six points adrift of the top three.
Finally for this division, some news this week. Leigh Town Reserves boss Robert Hutchings-Spiller has elected to step down at the end of the season, after four years in charge. I’d like to wish ‘Hutch’ well in his future in the game.
EOFL Division Four Results
Canning Town Res 2 – 5 Old Chelmsfordians Res | Jo Richardson Sch
Catholic Utd Res H – W Laindon Orient Res | Home Walkover
Galleywood Res 2 – 2 Hashtag Utd Dev | Clarkes Field
Leytonstone Utd 1 – 9 Chingford Athletic Res | Forest Row Centre
Shenfield AFC Res 1 – 3 Ongar Town Res | The Drive, Warley
Sungate Res A – W Wakering Sports Res | Away Walkover
EOFL Senior Five Results
AS Rawreth Res A – W Newbury Forest Res | Away Walkover
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res 4 – 2 Old Barkabbeyans | Silver Leys |
Roydon 3 – 0 Springfield Res | Roydon Playing Fields |
Shoebury Town Res 4 – 0 Runwell Sports Res | Cupid’s CC (pitch 4) |
Wakering Sports ‘A’ 5 – 0 Leigh Ramblers Res | Cupid’s CC (pitch 2) |