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 26 February. This weekend saw big results and with a number of different competitions being played (the EOFL Senior Cup, Reserve League Cup, Ressie Trophy, Denny King Memorial Cup & Essex Junior Cup), our focus remains on the League action. This week, in addition to the usual top three tiers, we have sections on the Senior Lge Cup & Division Four.
Main Image is by Peter Dudley [@ped1980], used with permission & thanks. Many thanks for reading.
Essex Olympian Lge – Saturday 26 February
EOFL Premier Division, Divisions One & Two
In the Premier Division, Kelvedon Hatch maintained their excellent campaign with a tough 3 – 2 win against improving Springfield at Arun Park. Max Bradford, James Burt and Tom Johnson got the important strikes for Darren Hunt’s side, with Garjay Thompson and Roland Oteniya responding for Francesco Zabotti’s side. Kelvedon are now up to second and face Hutton away next weekend (see fixtures at article’s end) which will be a tough one for Hutton as they look to stay in the top two. Springfield remain in tenth but are vulnerable to be caught by two sides just below them (Stortford Swifts & Galleywood) who have matches in hand.
Elsewhere, Shenfield AFC got another good win away from home with a 4 – 0 triumph over Harold Wood Athletic at Robert Clack Sch 3G. A double from substitute Ross Riding was added to by strikes from Samuel Lock and Elliott Thompson to put them three points clear in ninth. Athletic remain bottom, seven points adrift of exiting the bottom two with nine matches left. Catholic Utd also got a narrow 1 – 0 success at Leigh Ramblers, with Jay Nash getting the only goal to see his side back up to sixth. The Rams have eight games to retain their status as a Step 7 side arguably.
Rounding the top-tier action, Old Southendian got a memorable 2 – 0 win at Rayleigh Town to shore up their own mid-table ambitions and also dent Rayleigh’s chances of the title. On that note, Ongar Town went back up to the top after a hard-fought 2 – 1 victory at Bishop’s Stortford Swifts. Archie Gerard gave Swifts a surprise lead but Ongar displayed their spirit once again as goals from Joe Lilly and Jack Zielinski turned the game and gave Richard Ponsford’s side another important three points.
Division One saw two matches that did not go ahead. Firstly, Epping Town were the first beneficiaries of a Home Walkover in their match with Chingford Athletic, as the Town Mead side have withdrawn their first team only from their remaining matches, in the division (Source: EOFL website) after boss Declan Murphy departed the club this week. I understand their Reserve team is not affected, but let’s hope Chingford Firsts return next season.
Also, Toby’s match with Old Chelmsfordians also ended up in a walkover in favour of the hosts. That result sends them into second spot on their own but with Wakering Sports having one more match to play, Mark Jones’ side will need to amass as many points as they can from their remaining three matches.
There was also one match in Division Two, and it was an important one. ACD Utd continued their leap towards Division One with a hard-fought 2 – 1 success over rivals Wakebury at Westlands. Michael Wade and Mason Oakley got the crucial goals for Greg Knock’s team to outweigh Jamie Bradbourn’s strike for the Berries. ACD go back to the summit, three points clear of rivals Harold Hill, with Wakebury’s destiny now not entirely in their own hands given they are four points behind Hill in second and Manford Way are five points behind them but with two further matches to play.
EOFL Divisions Four & Five
In Division Four, the top two did battle at Town Mead as Chingford Athletic Res drew 3 – 3 with Roydon. Luke Dimond, Cane Sullivan and replacement Benson Osejindu got the goals for the hosts but the visitors are having a good run and strikes by Nader Benzid, Halcyon Griffith and Rene Pivarnik claimed a point which means the gap between the two teams remains at four points, with both teams having five matches left.
Division Five Results
AS Rawreth Res 1 – 2 Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res | The Warren
Runwell Sports Res 1 – 1 Epping Town Res | St Luke’s Park
Wakebury Res A – W Collier Row Res | Away Walkover
EOFL Senior League Cup
Three matches were played in the Senior League Cup and two of them were surprises. Corinthians showed how strong they are at their best as late goals assisted them to a superb 5 – 0 win at Premier side Hutton. There were doubles for Bailey Moss and Jake Hodder for Chris Stoneham’s side, with Leo Clarke also on target. They face a trip to Sungate next, while Hutton will have ten league matches to focus on. Sungate went through 5 – 4 on penalties, after a 0 – 0 draw with Basildon Town. Both sides will have hectic conclusions to the season, including midweek league matches in April and May.
Finally for this part, Harold Hill also issued a reminder of their talents as they won 4 – 2 at Galleywood. Craig Skipper and Oliver Sadler got the goals for ‘Wood but Hill still progressed.
Essex Junior Cup Semi-Finals:
Belle View SC 3 – 2 Hashtag Utd Development
And Wormingford Wanderers 0 – 3 Catholic Utd Res
EJC Final: Belle View SC v Catholic Utd Res (set for Wednesday April 6th, at Concord Rangers FC)
EOFL Reserve League Cup Results
Buckhurst Hill U23 6 – 0 Galleywood Res | Roding Lane
Old Southendian Res 3 – 5 Wakering Sports Res | Garon Park 3G
EOFL Reserve Lge Trophy: Ongar Town Res 2 – 1 Leigh Ramblers Res
EOFL Denny King Memorial Cup
Old Barkabbeyans 2 – 4 Beacon Hill Rovers | Barking Abbey Sch 3G
Pitsea Athletic 2 – 6 Runwell Sports | Basildon Sports Village
Shoebury Town 2 – 2p Manford Way | Cupid’s (Pitch 2) | Manford won 4 – 3 on pens
For more on this game, fellow Non-League writer Pete Dudley was watching & his report Is here: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/02/shoebury-town-2-manford-way-2-manford.html
Season Run- in: Fixtures for March 5th (top two tiers only, stc)
EOFL Premier Division (2pm KO unless stated)
Hutton v Kelvedon Hatch | Polo Fields
Leigh Ramblers v Springfield | Belfairs Park
Rayleigh Town v Galleywood | London Road
Old Southendian v Basildon Town | Garon Park 3G (2.30pm KO)
Shenfield AFC v Bishop’s Stortford Swifts | St Martins Sch 3G (2.30pm KO)
One game in EOFL Division One:
Beacon Hill Rovers v Herongate Athletic | Wickham Bishops Sports Ground
Thanks again for reading.