Hello and welcome to the latest action from the Essex Alliance League, which continues on this blog this season under the “Guest Blog” strand. This edition looks at the action across the League divisions and action in the Fenton Cup on Saturday 11 December. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission. Also includes the Fixtures set for Saturday 18th December in the top two divisions, the last action of 2021 in the EAL before the Festive break. Thanks for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
With additional reporting by Scott W
Essex Alliance League Round-up- Sat 11 December
There was just the one cup tie played involving our clubs and it produced one of the shocks of the season as Division One’s Barkingside A overcame a two division deficit to send Senior side Chadwell Heath Spartans out of the competition. The teams couldn’t be separated during the game with the match finishing 0 – 0. It was ‘Side who then held their nerve from the spot to win the shootout 4 – 3, bagging a place in the quarter-finals.
The Senior Division has new leaders approaching the midway point in the season as DTFC’s unbeaten start continued with a 3 – 1 win on the road, beating Blue Marlin to move a point clear of the chasing pack. Billy Golledge scored twice to continue his form with Kieran Hipgrave netting the other to see the Harlow based side move top for the first time this season. Triston Foster responded for Marlin but they remain third-bottom. Lymore Gardens sit just two points behind the leaders, albeit from more games, and they made it a double this season over rivals FC Baresi, earning a 1 – 0 win at the County Ground on Saturday afternoon. Andre Rashford scored the only goal of a close game to earn an eighth win of a solid campaign thus far.
Moving up to fifth place are Leyton Royal who are in a rich vein of form themselves presently and made it six wins for the season from eleven, coming out 3 – 2 winners from their trip to Hackney to face Tower United. That result saw them remain healthily placed in the top half while Tower United remain five points adrift from safety at the foot of the table. That scoreline was reflected over in Noak Hill where CSM London were the visitors to take on FC Petrocub with the two teams starting the day just two points apart in the race to avoid the drop. By full-time however, FC Petrocub had picked up a fourth league victory, winning 3 – 2 despite a goal apiece from Achina Esekiel and Leon Barnard.
The two remaining games saw a pair of draws, firstly as Woodford East and Kit Out London shared the spoils in a 2 – 2 draw at the Marshes which saw East drop a spot in the race for the title. Frank Glock and Andrew Rowe netted for the hosts with Marlon Ortiz and Mario Iazaris striking in reply for Kit Out as they took a vital point. The final game came from Lakeside where Rapid Chingford were at home against Jolof Sports, six points separating those teams as they started the match. And that was how it remained by full time as neither side could find the back of the net in a rare 0 – 0 draw, a result which really doesn’t help either team’s respective causes.
In the Premier Division, there was no change at the top of the table where Frenford A made it to twenty five points for the season with a big 6 – 0 win on the day against mid-table Eastside over in Walthamstow. Frenford’s scorers were led by a treble for Keenan Gravillis alongside strikes by Damilola Olaiya, Rafay Khan and Wisley Baltazar. That was an eighth league win for the promotion hopefuls and kept them three points clear of the chasing pack. That pack is headed by Dagenham United who remain well in the mix after they picked up a hard fought 2 – 0 victory at home against London Park City at Castle Green to make it seven wins for the season. Fabio Cunha and David Olanipekun both netted for the hosts to ensure they kept apace at the top of the table.
Crookz United’s form has been very consistent and they sit fourth having only suffered a single reverse in the league so far this season and that record was extended with a home win on Saturday against London Cranes. Muhammad Mutesasira netted for the visitors but his efforts proved not quite enough as Anselmo Gomes, Khalid Madey and Luke Stewart goals handed United a 3 – 1 win. It was a good weekend for the Athletic Newham club as a whole and the Under 23s followed their first team’s lead in picking up an important win, running out 4 – 0 victors from their home game against North East Lions over at Flanders. Christopher Barbosa netted twice for the U23’s here, with further goals by James Runham and Leon Hasani which enabled Newham to jump up a place to seventh, moving above their opponents in the standings.
There were some big results in the race for the title in Division One which remains led by RCXI by two points after they edged a close game against Forest Green, eventually winning 2 – 1 at Belhus Park. Michael Temitayo and Abimbola Ojo both struck the back of the net to give their side a vital three points. The local derby fixture from the Flats saw fourth placed Wanstead take on previously second placed Cowley Community with both sides knowing that a win was vital to continue their quests. And it was the lower placed Wanstead side who ran out winners, sending Cowley to a 3-2 defeat as Zoltan Balogh scored twice and Jake Nicolas once.
And those results ensured that Belfry remain in pole position assuming they take advantage of their games in hand after they made it seven wins in seven to continue their perfect start in the league. They were 4-1 winners at home to Renegade in Dagenham to sit just two points behind the leaders with four games in hand. There was a tremendous performance by Ilford Reserves who closed the gap on the sides above after a terrific 6-1 win on the road on Saturday, defeating Newham Wanderers. Robertson Morais scored for Newham but two Abdul Cheratia goals plus strikes from Jack Newbury-Neale, Mario Lipetz, Joseph Sulola and Raymond Obe ensure the points headed Ilford’s way.
The division’s final game was a real six-pointer at the bottom end of the table as Francis Luke made the trip to Beckton to take on Kwanzas London Sport with both sides knowing the value of a victory. An entertaining game saw the sides combine for eight goals with Kwanzas walking away with a 5-3 win under their belts, Ramar Robert, Lemuel Da Silva and Kennerly Cassius striking the Luke consolation goals.
The big result in Division Two came from Loughton where Fairlop Rovers’ perfect start to the season came to an abrupt end as they were beaten by now second placed Unitey, the sides now level on points at the top. Mohammed Abaker, David Otley and Bubintende Masadi scored the Unitey goals to edge the clash in a 3-2 scoreline. Two of the mid-table sides met as fifth placed Rainham Working Mens Club entertained sixth placed Emerson & Upminster Reserves. The sides started level on points and it was therefore perhaps unsurprising that they could not be separated on the day with the game ending 1-1. Matt Humphreys scored the hosts with Ross Braybrooke notching the Emerson’s effort.
Two sides were able to move away from imminent danger firstly as Ryan Under 23s picked up all three points with a terrific home win against an in-form FHN Athletic side who suffered just a second league defeat. Ryan were 2-1 winners on the day to move level on the points with the side above and further away from relegation worries. There was also a big result for Loughton Lions who moved away from danger themselves with a vital home win against Redbridge Community, coming out on the right side of a 5-4 nine goal thriller. Tom Osmond was the hero with four goals, Owen McKelvey scoring the other to earn the win. Akiljo Balliu scored a hat-trick in reply and Melanijus Butkus one but their efforts proved in vain.
There’s no change at the top of the Division Three standings where FC Baresi Under 23s continue to lead the way by a couple of points after a solid 4-1 win away at their Flyers counterparts. Zach Aliane scored twice along with Mak Delkic and Hamza Hafesji also netting to render a Joshua Adu strike as just consolation for the hosts. With two games in hand, Royal Forest Reserves remain the likeliest threat to the present leaders and they made light work of their trip to ASA, returning home from their trip to Hackney with all three points in a 5-0 scoreline. That result game the Trees a seventh league win in eight this year, remaining unbeaten also heading towards the festive break.
Melbourne Sports’ resurgence in form in the last few weeks has positioned them just outside of the promotion places on goal difference and they extended their form with a 5-2 home victory on Saturday against Together United over at Fairlop Oak. That was the seventh Mels win of the campaign as they reached the twenty-two points mark. Sitting just a point further back, Old Barkabbeyans Reserves kept themselves in the mix with another win under their belts but they had a real battle on their hands as they edged a nine goal thriller against Harlow Inter. Michael Ryder scored a hat-trick with Klodian Meta and Jay Elliott goals rounding off an important 5-4 win for the visitors.
Glendale are up into seventh place, jumping up a couple of places after a third straight win, coming from behind to beat Terin 6 – 2 at Oaks Park High School. Suheil Shekh and Fahad Abdallah goals had given the strugglers a 2-0 early lead but Mouhamed Gueye was in great form with a hat-trick, alongside further Dales goals from Valter Correia, Maryis Shamku and Attila Szabo.
Dagenham United Reserves took advantage of results around them to cut the gap at the top of the table as they ran out 5-1 winners at home against Newham Royals at Castle Green. Cain Dash scored a hat-trick with Allim Jalloh and Mamdou Soumare efforts making up the remainder of the scoresheet to move United into the top two.
That outcome was made possible as Sporting Pillars made the trip to Chingford Harriers for their return fixture, both sides dropping points in their battles for promotion as they settled for a very rare 0-0 scoreline, both sides unable to breach the defences. That saw Chingford remain unbeaten in the league while Sporting extended their short winless run to three games.
The final game came from Loughton where an in-form Avondale Rangers side were looking to add to their points tally as they faced up to a West Essex Under 23s side. And West will have been the happier of the sides as four Javen Cole goals saw them win 5-3, leaping above Rangers in the process. James Whitbread and Phillip Heinen both struck for Avondale with their consolation efforts.
Fixtures – Saturday December 18th (top two tiers only)
EAL Senior Division
Chigwell Town P – P Chadwell Heath Spartans |
CSM London v Tower Utd | West Ham Community Ground 3G, Beckton
FC Baresi v FC Petrocub | Britannia Sports Ground, Walthamstow
Jolof Sports P – P DT FC |
Jolof Sports v Chadwell Heath Spartans | Flanders Playing Fields, East Ham
Kit Out London v Rapid Chingford | Noak Hill 3G
Leyton Royal v Woodford East | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields
EAL Premier Division
All Prospects v Dagenham Utd | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields
London Cranes v Oakside | Flanders Playing Fields
London Park City P – P Crookz Utd |