Hello and welcome to the round-up of the action in the Essex Alliance League, as all divisions outside the top-tier began in earnest.
My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. Thank you for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
With Introduction & additional reporting by Scott W
Essex Alliance League Round-up – Saturday 3 September
The week’s Senior action began on Wednesday night where Woodford East put a second win of the season on the board with a home success against Blue Marlin at Gardiners Close, edging the game by the odd goal. Connor Brathwaite and Will Osmond both found the net, overcoming a Troy Morris goal in response from Blue Marlin in a 2 – 1 scoreline.
The Friday night action came from Mayesbrook Park as May & Baker EC Reserves made the short trip to face Jolof Sports in a local derby. But it was Jolof who raced into a first half lead and, despite a Baker fightback through goals from Oliver Beadle and Brandon Johnson, Jolof held on to win the game 3 – 2, handing their opponents a first defeat of the season.
Things couldn’t be much tighter at the top of the Senior Division after the first month of action with three sides sitting level on points. It’s FC Baresi who sit top on goal difference as their 3 – 0 away win at Dagenham United on Saturday was assured through goals from Edson Lami, Paul Benfield and Tyreece Robertson, extending their unbeaten start.
Sitting second are Lymore Gardens and they had a tough task ahead of them with the visit of Chadwell Heath Spartans to Coles Park, the sides combining for a five goal contest. Aaron Hunwicks and Samir Aboulainaf both struck for Spartans but Gardens goals from Gaston Mendy, Andre Rashford and Bradley Williams meant that the points went the way of the hosts in a 3 – 2 success.
Walthamstow Reserves make up the trio of sides just edging ahead at present as they made it three wins and a draw from four fixtures with a terrific 8 – 0 win against Rapid Chingford at Lakeside. Mekhi Charles-Armstrong led the scorers with a treble, Matthew Walsh got two goals along with Michael Osei, Taylan Gul and Pooya Karami adding one each. That win backed up their previous success in a dramatic late win last weekend, moving them third with ten points so far.
Moving into the top half, Sporting Hackney’s unbeaten start to the campaign has continued as they picked up their first win of the season, defeating Woodford East 4 – 2 at Wadham Lodge. A pair of braces from Joel Akuwudike and Richard Balogun proved enough to cancel out East goals from Billy Barr and Harry Robinson.
Frenford Development will be pleased with their weekend’s efforts as they secured their first points of the season with a hard fought win away at Kit Out London in Noak Hill. Alex Solomon and Krishan Singh strikes were not quite enough to Kit Out with Damilola Olaiya scoring twice for Frenford and Kyron Chiedozie and Gabriel Alves netting the others in a 4 – 2 win.
PREMIER DIVISION EAST
The opening Premier Division action of the season saw two games in the newly restructured East division and Chingford Athletic top the division on their return to the competition, defeating London Park City 3 – 1. Josh Flood, Jack Newbury-Neale and Dylan Scutt goals were the difference in the game as Chingford took all three points.
Over in Newbury Park, Cowley Community’s elevation to the second tier saw them pick up a good win in their first outing, defeating last season’s league cup finalists, Wapping, in a 2-0 success. It was a ‘Taylor made’ win for the hosts as Sean and Michael Taylor both struck one apiece to give their side the win.
PREMIER DIVISION WEST
The action from the West division also got underway with a glut of goals, starting with the early season leaders, AEK London, who got their participation in the competition underway with a 4-1 success at home against London Cranes. Paulo Machado scored a hat-trick with Marlon Nascimento notching the other to render Moses Kazibwe’s effort as just consolation.
There was also a strong win for North East Lions who got their season started with a 3 – 0 success against promoted Wanstead over at Wadham Lodge in the Walthamstow derby match. Charles Akingbade, Ibrahim Gakou and Shane Thomas all found the back of the net for the visitors to give Lions their opening points of the season.
CSM London made winning start in the second tier following their drop over the summer and will have the experienced Fahad Nyanja to thank for their opening day win as he notched twice to help his side to a 3 – 2 win over league debutants, G7. Musa Manneh also found the back of the net for the hosts to help them over the line.
The division’s final game came from Castle Green where Soul’s return to the league saw them up against another new side, Priory Park Rangers. A closely fought battle saw the scores finish level at 1-1 at full-time which meant both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils on the opening day of action.
Division One’s sole surviving game came from Hackney Marshes where Renegade entertained another new entrant to the competition with Atholl in action for the first time. Another close contest saw Mitchell Edmonds net the first Atholl goal in the league but Renegade were also able to net and meant that the teams took home a point each in a 1-1 draw.
The goals were flying in Division Two, beginning with an incredible twelve goal contest at the Marshes where Woodford East Reserves met their reserve counterparts from Chadwell Heath Spartans. Tom Osmond’s hat-trick and single efforts from Tyla Fenlon and Taylor McLaughlin would ordinarily been enough to win but Spartan goals from Leon Kasozi (2), David Johnson, Mehdi Ahorbi, Abraham Ladoja, Thamindi Kahatadeniya and Ibrahim Basri gave their side a 7 – 5 success.
It was also a winning opening day for Rainham Phoenix whose rise from the ashes began in positive fashion with victory against last season’s promoted Division Three champions, FC Baresi Under 23s. Oliver Barracks got himself on the visitor’s scoresheet but Rainham goals in reply from Cameron Shakes, Grant Obeney and Sean Tormey gave their side a 3 – 1 win.
Snaresbrook’s first outing in the competition was certainly a positive one too as they travelled to Loughton to take on Royal Forest in their opening game of the season. The visitors were comfortable 6 – 1 winners on the day to give themselves the early bragging rights at the top of the table.
Promoted Chingford Harriers lead the way after week one of the season in Division Three as they came away from one of the bookies early season favourites, Buckhurst Way, with all three points in a 3 – 1 win. Andrew Bowring, Darnell Lamothe and Grant Coy were all on the scoresheet on the day to ensure Harriers opened their season with maximum points.
The division’s other game came from Dagenham where hosts, Dagenham United Reserves saw their first game in fifth tier as Newbury East headed to Castle Green. The vastly experienced Chaka Barnett struck with both of the East goals but Dagenham were up to the task and ensured they took a point with Jordan Akinpelu and Isa Khan goals earning a 2-2 draw.
Division Four’s sole action on the opening day came from Dagenham where Collier Row Wheels and London APSA Under 23s were both in action in their first fixtures in the league. It was hosts Row who ended up the happier of the two sides with the substitutes having great effect, Luke Woodgate coming off the bench to score twice, Max Hodgson, Hamoud, Lewis Deacon and Farhaan Korimbocus netting the others in a 6 – 2 win.