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 respective Divisional Cups on Saturday 19 March. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission. Thanks for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
Essex Alliance League Round-up- Saturday 19 March
It was another great afternoon in outside competitions for our clubs as FC Petrocub returned to the London Junior Cup final for the second time in successive seasons with a 2 – 1 win away at Yorxeter on Saturday. Many congratulations to Adrian and his team who, I’m sure, will want to go one better than last year and lift the trophy. They take on London Hibernian in the showpiece final on Friday 29th April at Haringey Borough FC.
Another side just a game away from a showpiece final of their own is Frenford A who have made the draw for the semi-final of the Fenton Cup with a terrific away victory, defeating Crookz United 4 – 1 to book their place. Goals from Callum Alexander, Tiwa Owifuwa, Isima Iguisi and Omotola Oyerokun were enough to confirm a home semi final against top flight side, Rapid Chingford in coming weeks.
SENIOR DIVISION CUP
The Senior Division Cup action also continued at the weekend with Tower United looking to cause a surprise as they entertained leaders DTFC at Mabley Green. In an extremely close game, it took just a single goal to separate the sides and that moment went to Bailey Hossack of DTFC who netted to put his side through 1 – 0 into the semi-finals.
DIVISION ONE CUP
A similarly close Division One Cup quarter-final was witnessed over in Wanstead where a local derby game saw Something From Nothing make the short trip to Barkingside A with both sides looking to continue cup quests. A tight game ended 2 – 2 with Josh Rowe and Sebastian Ramirez scoring for the hosts meaning a dreaded shootout was required and it was hosts ‘Side held their nerve in that, going through 7 – 6 to now face Wanstead in the last four.
DIVISION TWO CUP
Three out of four semi-final places are now secured in the Division Two Cup where Rainham Working Mens Club booked themselves into another semi-final after a solid 3 – 1 victory away at Redbridge Community at Castle Green. Nathan Wilson scored twice and Josh Perry grabbed the other to put their side into a last four place against Loughton Lions.
It was a tense affair in the other quarter final where Unitey were the visitors to Hainault to take on Fairlop Rovers with the sides combining to produce a 1 – 1 draw at full-time as Harry Rouse netted for Rovers and Peter Spencer struck for Unitey. Despite a recent shootout success for Rovers, it was Unitey this time who held their nerve to win it 3 – 2 and progress on.
DIVISION FOUR CUP
It was quarter finals day for two of Division Four’s leading clubs as Chingford Harriers took on Fairlop Rovers Reserves at Peter May, going in search of a semi-final spot against Emerson & Upminster A. With the sides finishing locked at 1 – 1 at full-time, Gerard O’Hara netting for the hosts, a third shootout of the day was required and Harriers held their nerve to win it 4 – 3 from the spot to put them into the semi-finals.
There were some big results affecting both ends of the Senior Division table, firstly as Jolof Sports lost ground on the sides above as they fell to defeat against third placed Lymore Gardens in their clash in Leyton. Ryo Brown and Tyrique Peters both struck for Lymore to see them walk away 2 – 1 victors and move third in the standings. At the other end of the table, Chigwell Town’s late quest to avoid the drop got a massive boost with an away victory against fellow strugglers Blue Marlin in the Hainault derby match. A goal apiece from Phorell Brooke and Harry Tew-Robinson were enough to edge them to a 2 – 1 win, taking them off of the bottom for the first time in a while and just three points adrift of safety with seven games to go.
The other top flight game also saw plenty of entertainment as FC Baresi and Kit Out London combined for a nine goal thriller at the Britannia, the hosts coming out 5 – 4 winners by full-time. Bashir Ali struck a hat-trick and Ali Shikheey scored twice with Marlon Ortiz netting a hat-trick in reply for Kit Out and Rio Mudhar-Hedley once, those efforts proving in vain in the end.
Wapping missed the chance to go top of the table at the weekend as they were held to a 1 – 1 draw away at Oakside to keep them sitting second in the standings with a game to go. Andy Adomakoh struck for the hosts but Wapping were able to score one of their own as the sides settled for a share of the spoils by full-time. The other game came from East Ham where London Cranes were the hosts and up against a North East Lions side playing their final league game of the campaign. Cranes started the day six points adrift of their opponents but they had cut that to three by full-time as Mathius Sendawula scored to help his side win 2 – 1, despite a Taylor Mitchell goal for the visitors.
The headline game in Division One came from Newbury Park where the top two, Cowley Community and Belfry, faced off once again, the former knowing that a win was the only outcome that would put significant pressure on the leaders. But a dramatic last few minutes put paid to their efforts as Belfry scored late on to win it 3 – 1 with Gabriel Ogunwomoju and Kieran James netting. That result enabled a couple of sides to close the gap on the promotion places with Ilford Reserves surge up the table continuing on the back of a solid victory away at Kwanzas London Sport where they were 3 – 0 winners. Rhys Clements, Abdul Cheraitia and Joseph Sulola all got on the scoresheet to keep their side placed for a promotion push.
Fourth placed RCXI are similarly well placed to pounce on any slip ups by sides above as they made no mistake with their win against Forest Green, winning 6 – 0 on the road to take the points home with them. Daniel Williams and Michael Temitayo both scored twice with Tosin Blacky and Oluwaseun Koya also finding the back of the net. Over at the Marshes, a close game between Francis Luke and Newham Wanderers saw the sides separated by just a single goal, despite Wanderers holding an eighteen point advantage over their opponents. But it was Wanderers who strolled away with three points with Mahein Zaman netting that only goal to win it 1 – 0.
The Division Two matches both saw goal-filled contests with Ryan Under 23s adding to their points tally with a three-point haul in Hainault against FHN Athletic. Ryan were 4 – 2 winners on the day, completing an eighth league win of the season and moving level on points with their opponents in the process too. The other game in the division saw a combined seven goals as Loughton Lions were the visitors to Royal Forest for a local IG10 derby fixture. The two teams started the day just three points apart but that was increased to six by full-time as Royal Forest won the game 5 – 2 to pick up win number seven this season.
FC Baresi Under 23s have returned to the top of the table in Division Three as they took full advantage of the previous leaders being out of action to move top themselves, with a game in hand, after a 5 – 3 win at home against Melbourne Sports. Zach Aliane was in fine form, striking a hat-trick with Joshua Adu and Tayyab Mahmood also on target to keep them in pole position.
It’s as you were in the middle of the table as Together United remained fifth with a 4 – 1 home win at the weekend as they beat ASA at Peter May. That victory puts them just a point behind the Mels with a game in hand, that being Together’s ninth league success of the season following elevation over the summer. Lymore Gardens Reserves remain level on points with Together but with an inferior goal difference though they did boost that somewhat with a solid win against second bottom Flyers Under 23s on Saturday, winning 5 – 2 at King George’s in Romford to confirm a ninth win of their own.
Over in Hainault, bottom of the table Terin will be pleased with their efforts as they secured just their second ever win, defeating Glendale at Fairlop Oak with a late goal. The Dales will rue a host of missed chances before being punished to the fullest extent, Okey Obialo following up on a defensive error to net the only goal of the game in a 1-0 scoreline.
There was a huge twist in the race for the title in Division Four on Saturday as Dagenham United Reserves pulled off a huge win, defeating second placed Sporting Pillars 3 – 2 at Castle Green to put the race back into Harrier hands. Dagenham’s win was their eighth of the season which leaves Sporting a point off the top with two games left to play in what is sure to be a dramatic conclusion. Cup finalists, Flyers Under 21s, kept their strong momentum push going with a 2-1 away win against Newham & Havering Borough at the weekend, retaining their hold on fourth spot going into the last couple of fixtures. Jake Atherton and Luke Foster both came off the bench to score with Alexander Gerada striking the Borough goal in reply.