Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League writer
Hello & welcome to the return of the Essex Olympian League round-up articles for the 2022-23 season. I will endeavour to compile these as often as I can during the season, though just as an advance notice that they may not be done weekly. This week, we look the action in all six divisions, as the new EOFL season began in earnest.
EOFL Premier Division
As usual we begin with the top-tier, and in a season of change which includes two new names to the division (Toby & Runwell Sports) and a few clubs moving into ground-shares at Senior grounds, we start with Hutton‘s 2 – 1 victory over Rayleigh Town at Tilbury’s Chadfields. Stalwarts Will Marlowe and Stephen Judge got the important goals there as Matt Singh’s side began their new era well. Catholic Utd also began their new season well with an impressive 5 – 1 success at newcomers Toby. Aaron Baldwin started his season with a treble, with substitutes Harrison Day and Liam Oliver also notching at Toby’s new venue – the Nursery Sports Ground in Ramsden Heath.
Elsewhhere, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts grabbed a 2 – 0 triumph over Sungate at Silver Leys. Jamie Dicker and William Morris secured the points for the home team there. Old Southendian also started with a win as they defeated Springfield 2 – 1 at Garon Park 3G. Nico Dubouchet and Jack Lelliott scored one goal each for Altan Ali’s team to overturn Arinze Ossai’s goal for Francesco Zabotti’s team. Other results on the day were Runwell Sports’ 1 – 1 draw with Galleywood and Canning Town‘s 3 – 1 success over Shenfield AFC.
EOFL Division One
In Division One, Harold Wood Athletic began life in the second-tier with a fine 4 – 0 victory over Old Chelmsfordians. Matt Donovan, Billy Gray, Zach Holding and Max Shepherd were the ensemble cast of scorers to give John Field’s new side the points. Harold Hill also began their season under new management with a win, as they defeated Leigh Town 2 – 0 at Noak Hill. James Odhiamba and Troy Tizard-Cleghorn got the goals for Billy Cove’s new team.
In the match I watched live this weekend to mark the new Intermediate season, Corinthians were made to work hard before earning a 3 – 1 victory over divisional newcomers ACD Utd at Stambridge. Bailey Moss netted twice and Bill Wilton added the other goal for Chris Stoneham’s team, after Samuel Payne had earlier given ACD the advantage. If you’d like more on this game, my full report is available here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/08/13/s22-23-match-report-corinthians-3-1-acd-utd-sat-13-aug
Finally in this division, Epping Town started their campaign strongly with a 5 – 2 victory at Beacon Hill Rovers. Sacha Canning and Jack Walker got the goals for Rovers but ultimately, Stuart Hoskins’ side were too strong on the day.
EOFL Divisions Two & Three
Moving into Division Two now and in the two games that took place, both were won by the visiting side. Wakebury began their season with a gutsy 2 – 1 triumph at Wakering Sports Res at Cupid’s. Ben Rowe and Will Wheeler got the telling goals to give Matt Cardy’s side the points. Harold Wood Athletic Res got a narrow 1 – 0 success at newcomers Hashtag Utd Development, with Thomas Butler getting the only goal on the half-hour.
Only one match began the term in Division Three, and it ended in a draw. Basildon Town Res fought hard but were held 2 – 2 by Old Chelmsfordians Res at Basildon Sports Club. Rodney Wilson and Joshua Hales got the goals for the hosts there.
EOFL Divisions Four & Five
Roydon began their new season in Division Four with a superb 4 – 1 victory at Wakering Sports A on the second pitch at Cupid’s. Connor Riddoch scored twice here, with Max Pike and Connor Presland also netting for the visitors. In the other game, Collier Row began life in the fifth-tier with a comfortable 3 – 0 win against visitors Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res.
Just the one match in Division Five this week, which saw Collier Row Res launch their season with an excellent 7 – 1 win over newcomers Manford Way Res at Forest Row Centre.