Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello all and welcome to another edition of my round-up articles, looking the action in week seven of the ‘mini-season’ in the Essex Olympian League divisions on Saturday 8th May. As ever, our focus here is on the top four tiers, with results from Divisions Four & Five. Thank you for reading.
EOFL Premier Division
In the Premier Division, Springfield got arguably the result of the weekend, as they won 1 – 0 at Basildon Town. It may not have been pretty for Dan Williams’ side, given that their goal was an OG from a set-piece but that won’t worry the Springfield management team. The win sees them rise up to eleventh spot and Basildon needing points to secure their second place. Bas have a swift chance to exact some payback though – they visit Arun Park next weekend! Bas’ chief challengers could well be Bishop’s Stortford Swifts who made it seven league matches unbeaten with a 2 – 1 success at Kelvedon Hatch. Kurt Smith and Ryan Blackman goals got Billy Cove’s side another win and it sees them go fourth, level on points with Leigh Ramblers just above them. Lee Hamill’s strike for Kelvedon couldn’t prevent their second loss in their last five games, and they fell to twelfth place.
In other action, Buckhurst Hill can win the Premier Division title in midweek after they were made to work hard to defeat Canning Town 3 – 1 at Roding Lane. Alfie Harris’ double and Suleyman Zuhdu’s 20th league goal of the campaign secured Hill’s 13th win in fourteen matches. Canning’s defeat sees them drop back to second-bottom. Sungate were held 2 – 2 by Old Southendian in East London, with Craig Paton and Jamie Oates scoring for player-boss Connor Lane’s side. OS are two bottom, two points adrift of Canning Town but it was another gutsy point on the road. The ‘Gate remain sixth and they will aim for a top-four finish I feel given all their remaining three games are at home.
Elsewhere, Rayleigh Town got an important 2 – 1 triumph over Harold Wood Athletic at London Road. Strikes from George Vile and Bailey Moss were enough to see Paul Higgins’ side keep a three-point cushion in ninth spot. Robert Whitnell’s strike from the penalty spot had brought Alex Goldstone’s side level but they fell to defeat, which sees them stay eighth. I was watching this match & my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/09/s20-21-match-report-rayleigh-town-2-1-harold-wood-athletic-sat-8-may-eofl/
In the other action in this division, Catholic Utd travelled to Polo Fields and drew 2 – 2 with Hutton. Brad Rowland and Max O’Leary got the goals for Simon Thomas’ visiting side, but Joshua Seal and Alfie Curelli responded for Matt Singh’s team. Hutton remain sixth, while the Hoops drop to fifth after this result. Finally, Shenfield AFC got an eye-catching 3 – 2 win over Leigh Ramblers at St Martins Sch 3G. The win takes them up to tenth spot and Ramblers will have to hope victory in their last match next weekend at Hutton is enough to keep them in the top four at the end of May.
EOFL Division One
In the second tier, Galleywood completed a terrific 5 – 3 win at home to Snaresbrook, played at Moulsham Sch 3G. Mark O’Sullivan’s side finished the match with ten men but a treble from Thomas Watling (who made it eight league goals in twelve starts this term) plus strikes by Jack Chatterway and Jack Hayes secured the win which kept them in second spot. Drew Barbier’s double (one from 12 yards) and one from Daniel Walsh kept ‘Brook in the match but they drop to eighth spot in this increasingly competitive division.
The hunt for the second-placed finish is also getting tighter. Runwell Sports are a point behind Galleywood in second after a 2 – 0 win at Ramsden Scotia. This was their third win in their last five matches for Jason Plom’s side. They are a point clear of Manford Way who got a important 1 – 0 win at Chingford Athletic with Charlie Heatley getting the only goal of the game for Trevor Grace’s side. Fellow Non-League writer Aaron Moore (Twitter: @aaron_moore25) was there & here’s his take on the match: https://footballreview.net/match-report-chingford-afc-0-1-manford-way/
Elsewhere, Shoebury Town got their first win in eight league matches with a fine 5 – 3 win at Rayleigh Town Res. Garry Johnson’s treble plus strikes by Billy Cottrill and a Kirk Hudson penalty was enough for Lee Boosey’s new side. Goals from Harry Barham, Matt Atoo and Matthew Bampus were not quite enough to recover any points for Dave Barker’s side in an entertaining match at London Road which I also attended. Here’s my report: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/09/s20-21-match-report-rayleigh-town-res-3-5-shoebury-town-sat-8-may-eofl/
Also, Toby got a good 3 – 2 win at Herongate Athletic, with Rhys Willson, Chris Rowland and Louis Hill all on target for Mark Jones’ side. This result takes them up to sixth spot and they will have a say in how the top five shapes up, given they have to play Old Chelmsfordians & Runwell Sports in the next three weeks. Herongate remain second-bottom.
Meanwhile, Ongar Town garnering the points without needing to navigate a tricky tie with Old Chelmsfordians because the latter were unable to field an XI. It means that nearest challengers Galleywood have to defeat Chingford Athletic in midweek to stave off the party for champions-elect Town for another week.
EOFL Division Two
We have our first confirmed champions in the Olympian divisions as Leigh Town battled to a 3 – 2 win at Laindon Orient at Markhams Chase. Strikes from Max Jones, Brodie Horne and James Roberts finally secured elevation for Jack Pearman’s side here. Shomari Barnwell’s brace had put Neil Blackburn’s side in strong position earlier in the game but Leigh would not be denied and they get deserved recognition for the form they’ve showed in the last couple of seasons. I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Jack and the whole squad on a great achievement. Laindon remain in sixth, ready to pounce if the sides above them falter as they will be looking for a top-four finish.
Elsewhere, Beacon Hill Rovers gained another big three points with a 3 – 1 victory over promotion rivals Corinthians at Wickham Bishops Sports Ground. The former Burnham Ramblers pair of Karl Swanborough (2) and Bradley Morgan combined to overpower Chris Stoneham’s side and stay a point clear in second spot. Ted Turnham netted a late consolation for the visitors but this result means they are not in charge of their own destiny. That is chiefly because Epping Town moved above them into third spot after a thumping 5 – 1 win at AS Rawreth. Joe Rickett notched four times in this one to take his tally to 14 league goals this term. Peter Paoletti had opened the scoring for the visitors here and Stuart Hoskins’ side are two points clear of the Stambridge side with both teams having three matches remaining. Oh, and they face each other on the last day of the Olympian season in Epping. Rawreth remain bottom, five points off their nearest rival May & Baker A, who lost 3 – 1 at Harold Wood Athletic Res. Darren Wettner, Warren Taylor and Adam Farley got the goals to give Wood’s second side the win which takes them up to ninth spot, whereas the visitors stay second-bottom.
Elsewhere in the division, Old Southendian Res put a spanner in the works of Wakering Sports‘ promotion aspirations as the OS side won 2 – 1 at Cupid’s. Nico Dubouchet’s ninth league goal this term and one from Jack Cripps were enough to overturn substitute Mohammed Sesay’s strike and go five points clear in seventh, with one match remaining on May 22nd – a trip to Epping Town. Sports stay fifth but their chances of a top-two finish appear slim, despite having three matches remaining – and they welcome Corinthians to Cupid’s next weekend.
Finally, Rochford Town drew 1 – 1 with Ryan, with Freddie Pettitt getting the goal for Town. Ryan have four matches remaining, two of those against the top two sides so realistically, the best they can hope for is a seventh-placed finish which would be creditable for Declan Murphy’s team.
EOFL Division Three
This was quite a day in Division Three. Firstly, Hutton Res gave the title race added impetus as they fought back to win 3 – 2 at leaders ACD Utd. An OG and a Jamie Alexandrou strike put Michael Wade’s team in command but Bill Stratford’s side turned it around through strikes from Jim Gardner, Mike Cason and Jack Shaw and made it seven straight league wins as well. The visitors stay third, but are only two points away from the leaders, who have three matches remaining.
Manford Way Res are also right in the chase for elevation, after a 4 – 0 win over Toby Res at Ford’s Social Club in Newbury Park. David Hornsby took his goal tally past twenty for the league season with a treble here, with Jake Muller also on target. Manford’s second side are a point behind the leaders in second spot, with two matches remaining. It’s worth noting that Points Per Game (PPG) might also be a factor in which sides get promoted in the close season. Hullbridge Sports A picked up a hard-fought 1 – 0 win at Collier Row, which all but ends Row’s chances of a top-two finish. William Bray got the only goal to reduce the deficit between the sides to one point. The youthful Sports side in 7th and Row are in sixth.
Elsewhere, Basildon Town Reserves are three points clear now in fifth after a 3 – 0 success against Leigh Town Res at Basildon Sports Club. Jamie Simpkins’ brace and one from replacement Shaun Watkins were enough to give Richard Bennett’s side the points. Wakebury are also still in contention for that top-two finish as they battled to a 4 – 1 victory at Buckhurst Hill Res. A brace from Charlie Little plus goals from Billy Bonham-Dare and Harry Kateley made sure Matt Cardy’s side picked up the win against a side which certainly earned the visiting manager’s respect. Jason Gomes got the sole goal for the home side. The Berries stay fourth and realistically need at least two of the three sides above them to slip up but they have still had a great campaign to date, regardless of the outcome.
Also, Corinthians Res held Lakeside Utd to a creditable 2 – 2 draw in Stambridge. Utd remain in eighth place after their first draw this term. The hosts remain in tenth after a difficult campaign.
EOFL Division Four Results
Hashtag Utd Dev 0 – 1 Catholic Utd Res | Barleylands Road
Laindon Orient Res 3 – 3 Leytonstone Utd | Pegasus Club, Corringham
Sungate Res A – W Canning Town Res | Away Walkover
Wakering Sports Res H – W Old Chelmsfordians Res | Home Walkover
EOFL Senior Five Results
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res 3 – 2 Newbury Forest Res | Silver Leys
Runwell Sports Res 0 – 5 Old Barkabbeyans | St Luke’s Park
Wakering Sports A 4 – 1 Roydon | Cupid’s CC (Pitch 2)
Collier Row Res H – W Herongate Athletic Res | Home Walkover
Epping Town Res H – W AS Rawreth Res | Home Walkover
Springfield Res H – W Shoebury Town Res | Home Walkover