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 ten of the ‘mini-season’ in the Essex Olympian League divisions on Saturday 22nd May, plus a mention of the action in midweek as the champions were confirmed in the Premier Division. As ever, the focus is on the top four divisions despite several matches being uncontested this week.
EOFL Premier Division
In the Premier Division, Basildon Town secured second place after a 3 – 1 triumph at home to Old Southendian. Strikes from player-boss Marcus Bowers, Grant Cumming and replacement Michael Clark were enough to earn a good tangible reward for the change of fortunes under Bowers this term. Basildon Town have also announced this week that they will ground-share at Gardiners Close with Step 4 side Basildon Utd next season, ahead of the heavily-rumoured new ground that Utd will build in the near future. Os will likely finish the season bottom but with relegation looking most unlikely, they will have some room to re-build ahead of what will be a tough division next term.
Elsewhere, Springfield got their second win in their last four with a 2 – 1 success at Rayleigh Town. A Shaun Gittleson power strike was not enough for the hosts to avoid defeat here. Dan Williams’ visiting side have secured a tenth-placed finish after this win. That is the case as Shenfield AFC lost their final game of the season, as Harold Wood Athletic won 2 – 1 at St Martins Sch 3G. Strikes from Max Shepherd and Tom Ward secured a second consecutive away win for Alex Goldstone’s team and a win in their final match next weekend could see them sneak into the top six.
Also, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts came from behind to draw 1 – 1 with Catholic Utd at Silver Leys. Aaron Baldwin put the visitors ahead on the hour, but substitute Gabriel Odili’s third league goal in his spell at the club ensured the points were shared. The Hoops have finished their season now and they remain third, but the form Billy Cove’s side has shown since the restart continues – they are nine league games unbeaten now.
Sungate’s match with Kelvedon Hatch was uncontested and the ‘Gate got the points, with Hatch also unable to compete next week too.
Finally, Buckhurst Hill were given a scare before securing a 4 – 3 success at Hutton. A brace from Max Nicholson plus goals by Tyler Dolan and Jack Griggs were enough to give Mark Williams’ side the points but the hosts responded through Josh Brocklebank and a brace from substitute Ben Stanton made it a nervy end for the Champions, who were presented with the Trophy shortly after the match, which I had a chance to see first-hand as I was at this match & my in-depth report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2021/05/22/s-20-21-match-report-hutton-3-4-buckhurst-hill-sat-22-may/
Hill can pass the fifty-point mark with a win at Sungate next weekend, whereas Hutton need to defeat Springfield to at least secure fifth spot.
EOFL Division One
Moving now into Division One, with two matches uncontested (see listing at end of this section), the action was restricted to two matches this weekend. Firstly, Toby got a fine 2 – 0 win at Chingford Athletic to go up to fifth in the table after their third win in a row. Chingford drop to ninth and a rebuilding job awaits in the summer though full respect to Chairman Lee Bowers who has stepped in as manager for the last several weeks. Also, Manford Way defeated Herongate Athletic 4 – 0 at Jo Richardson Sch to give them hope of overhauling rivals Galleywood to secure the runners-up spot next weekend. Charlie Heatley scored twice here after coming off the bench, with James Clarke and Tyrone Scarlett also netting for Trevor Grace’s side. Fellow Non-League writer Aaron Moore was there & here’s his look at the game: https://footballreview.net/match-report-manford-way-4-0-herongate-athletic/
Next weekend, Manford have to win in the reverse match at Herongate whilst Galleywood have to win at champions Ongar Town. Intriguingly poised I’m sure you’ll agree.
Ramsden Scotia H – W Snaresbrook | Home Walkover
Ongar Tn H – W Rayleigh Tn Res | Home Walkover
EOFL Division Two
Division Two is also not all ‘said & done’ either in terms of the promotion spots. That being said, Champions Leigh Town endorsed their growing reputation with a 5 – 1 win away at Ryan in Leigh’s farewell match of the season. Jack Pearman’s side remain third in the conventional table, though have won the title thanks to their superior PPG ratio. Ryan have two matches left and maximum points from those matches will see them pinch eighth spot.
Elsewhere, Harold Wood Athletic Res gathered a third win in succession with a 1 – 0 triumph at Laindon Orient. James Pottle got the only goal from twelve yards as their campaign ended on a high at Markhams Chase. Laindon must win next weekend to have any chance of pinching fifth spot but all in all, it’s been a decent season for Neil Blackburn’s side.
Beacon Hill Rovers are still in the box seat for the crucial runners-up position in the division after a nerve-jangling 4 – 3 win over May & Baker A at Wickham Bishops Sports Ground. Strikes from Bradley Morgan, Josh Perry, George Davis and player-boss Stephen Bennett were enough to secure a fourth win in five matches. Their job next week is simple, win against Wakering Sports and the job is done. Bakers were in the game for long periods through a brace from Tolouwa Dada and one from Jeese Martin ultimately wasn’t enough and they need four points from their last two matches to have any chance of a top-ten finish.
Finally, Wakering Sports secured a top-five finish with a 2 – 0 win over AS Rawreth at Cupid’s. Aaron Clark and Ben Rowe goals made it six wins in their last seven matches for Mitchell Gleeson’s side. This result also makes sure Rawreth will finish bottom of the standings.
As far the promotion picture stands, Epping Town have a chance of overhauling Beacon Hill if the latter fail to win, but Stuart Hoskins’ side also have to defeat Corinthians at home on the final day after they got another three points without playing, as did the Stambridge side.
Corinthians H – W Rochford Town | Home Walkover
Epping Tn H – W Old Southendian Res | Home Walkover
EOFL Division Three
Finally for this week, in Division Three ACD Utd cemented their position as Champions with a walkover win against Toby Res. The race for second is somewhat more complex, as Hutton Res played twice this week again. Firstly, on Thursday night they edged to a 4 – 3 win over Hullbridge A at a very windy Lower Road. Matthew Price struck twice for Bill Stratford’s side here, with Thomas Price and Jack Shaw also on target to make Joe Ives’ fine treble for Hullbridge semi-redundant with regards to the points.
Then on Saturday, the Hutton second-side were held 4 – 4 by Basildon Town Ressies at Basildon Sports Club in the late kick-off. Jack Shaw struck another treble to take his tally to nineteen league goals this term, with James Gardner also netting. But Town responded through the ensemble cast of Keith King, Garron Leatherbarrow, Tom Clayton and replacement Jamie Simpkins to gain a point which means they will finish at least sixth.
The knock-on effect of the above now means that Manford Way Res can secure the runners-up spot with another win next weekend after they won 2 – 1 at Lakeside Utd in the lunchtime kick-off this weekend. David Hornsby took his tally to 24 this term with another brace here, in a match that Aaron also watched – his report is here: https://footballreview.net/match-report-lakeside-united-1-2-manford-way-reserves/
Daniel Stokes responded for Lakeside but this defeat means they will finish the season in eighth spot. In the other matches, Hullbridge A defeated Collier Row 2 – 1 while Wakebury secured a top-four finish with a 3 – 1 success at Buckhurst Hill Res, with Charlie Little’s 15th league goal of the campaign plus Jack Smith and Billy Bonham-Dare goals were enough for Matt Cardy’s team to secure the win
EOFL Division Four Results
Laindon Orient Res 0 – 3 Shenfield AFC Res | Peagsus Club
Wakering Sports Res 1 – 1 Galleywood Res | Cupid’s CC (Pitch 1)
Sungate Res H – W Leytonstone Utd | Home Walkover
EOFL Division Five Results
AS Rawreth Res 0 – 10 Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res | The Warren
Springfield Res 1 – 0 Leigh Ramblers Res | Arun Park
Epping Town Res H – W Shoebury Town Res | Home Walkover
Herongate Athletic Res A – W Roydon | Away Walkover
Runwell Sports Res A – W Collier Row Res | Away Walkover
Wakering Sports A H – W Newbury Forest Res | Home Walkover
Thank you for reading, the final edition of this season’s EOFL Round-up will be available in about ten days time to round out the campaign. It’s been a pleasure to write about the Essex Olympian League this term once again and my thanks to all the clubs, managers & players that have assisted these articles this season.