Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello all and welcome to my round-up of the action in the Essex Olympian League, on Saturday 19 February. This week, the league action takes the central focus, with a few matches also in several Cup competitions (the Senior Cup does have a short round-up section). This week, because of a number of Cup matches there was no league action in Division Three, Four or Five.
Essex Olympian League Round-up – Saturday 19 February
EOFL Premier Division & Division One
In the top-tier, with their rivals not in league action, Ongar Town kept their title hunt going with a fine 3 – 0 victory over Basildon Town at Lakeside Sports Ground 3G. Jack Zielinski continued his fine scoring run with a double here, which was added to by George Hayes. Richard Ponsford’s side lead the table, having played the most of the top three sides. Basildon temporarily dropped to fifth spot but have eleven matches remaining, in what will be a hectic last three months for Marcus Bowers & Lee Bunn’s side. Kelvedon Hatch rose to fourth spot after a battling 2 – 1 victory over Leigh Ramblers at Belfairs Park in the match I attended. Drew Klessa-Smith’s 15th league goal of the season and skipper Wayne Semanshia’s goal was enough for Darren Hunt’s side here. Tom Franks had levelled for the Rams soon after they fell behind. If you’d like to see more on this match, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/02/19/s21-22-match-report-leigh-ramblers-1-2-kelvedon-hatch-sat-19-feb-eofl/
Elsewhere, Old Southendian went up to eighth spot after a 3 – 1 success over Sungate at a very windy Garon Park 3G. Ruari McIntyre’s double and a Callum Ludlaim strike ensured an important win for Altar Ali’s team. Sungate have the most games to play in the entire division, with 13 matches left and they will be looking to to get into the top five at least. Springfield took another good step towards safety with a huge 6 – 0 victory over bottom side Harold Wood Athletic. The trio of Joe Kiff, Tristan Ofori-Sampong and substitute Reece Simpson all got two goals each here as Francesco Zabotti’s side rose to tenth spot, six points clear of the bottom three. Ath are four points adrift at the bottom with ten matches left after Canning Town defeated Shenfield AFC 2 – 0 in Beckton. AFC fell one to ninth spot.
In Division One, Runwell Sports got the win they needed in their penultimate league match of the season, as they defeated Corinthians 2 – 1 at a wet St Luke’s Park. A brace from James Cox was enough to outdo Bailey Moss’ penalty for the visitors, whose quest for promotion will go to the wire and isn’t entirely in their own hands. Wakering Sports got a narrow 1 – 0 win over Herongate Athletic at Cupid’s, with Alex Jenkins getting a crucial goal to get the win they required. Herongate have one match left this term and seventh is the best they can finish. I would also like to give a mention to the character that is Nick Wilson, who has been Ath’s goalkeeper for most of this season.
Elsewhere, Old Chelmsfordians were held 2 – 2 by Leigh Town, with Daniel Driscoll and Aaron Tyler netting for Town, who still need points to avoid finishing in the bottom two.
EOFL Senior League Cup
In the Senior Cup, Toby progressed after a narrow 3 – 2 victory over fellow Division One side Chingford Athletic. Goals from Harry Barham, Albert Perry and Callum Mann were enough to see Mark Jones’ side progress. Catholic Utd also went through after staging a good comeback in defeating Rayleigh Town 3 – 2 at the Len Forge 3G. Aaron Baldwin, Alfie Whiteaker and replacement Jay Nash got the goals to render strikes by Paul Morris and skipper George Vile as not enough for the visitors as Utd went through.
Galleywood P – P Harold Hill (Rescheduled for next weekend)
EOFL Reserve League Cup
Chingford Athletic Res 3 – 2 Springfield Res | Town Mead 3G
Harold Wood Athletic Res 2 – 4 Collier Row Res | Moved to Robert Clack Sch 3G
Rayleigh Town Res 2 – 0 Old Chelmsfordians Res | London Road
Wakebury Res 0 – 4 Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res | Nursery Sports Ground
Wakering Sports ‘A’ A – W Hashtag Utd Dev (Visitors progress via away walkover)
EOFL Reserve Lge Trophy
Corinthians Res 3 – 2 Runwell Sports Res | Stambridge Memorial Ground
Epping Town A – W Snaresbrook Res (Away Walkover, Snaresbrook progress)
and Herongate Athletic Res 2 – 4 Shenfield AFC Res | Billericay Road
EOFL Division Two
Returning to the League action now, starting in Division Two. With the top two of ACD Utd and Harold Hill not in league action, Wakebury needed a big result to maintain their good chances of leapfrogging them for the title. Hutton Res had other ideas though as they edged to a 4 – 3 triumph at Hannakins Farm Community Centre 3G. The cast of goalscorers were Jack Shaw, Thomas Price plus substitutes Jude Keeling and Benjamin Rose for the hosts, though the Berries showed their spirit again through a brace from Daniel Buglione and one from Max Hall but ultimately they lost out and their match against ACD Utd at Westlands next weekend could be pivotal for them.
Also, May & Baker A continued their fine recent form with a 7 – 4 victory over Shoebury Town. A double for Daniel Brooker plus one each for player-boss Garry Johnson and Kyle McAlindon was insufficient for the ten-man Town side as Bakers took the points thanks to the ensemble cast of goalscorers led by Alagi Juwara and Ryan Stowell but also included Ryan Mugera, Nuno Espadaneira, Adnan Malik, Jack Howard and Michael Begg.
EOFL Denny King Memorial Cup
AS Rawreth 3 – 0 Leytonstone Utd | The Warren
Rochford Town 1 – 3 Collier Row | Rochford Recreation Ground
Southend Manor Dev P – P Snaresbrook