Season Review 2019-20: Essex Olympian League Division One [EOFL SR 19/20 27.4.20]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the fifth piece of a mini-series of blog articles looking back at the ‘void’ Season 2019-20, as deemed by the FA.

In this edition, I look back at the EOFL Division One campaign, rounded out with an array of statistics compiled from the EOFL FA Full-Time website including top goal-scorers & top appearance makers in the League fixtures. I won’t shirk, I’ll get the apology in now that I didn’t see any EOFL Division One matches live, but I will try to treat it the same as the other divisions that I did see matches in (Premier, Div Two & Div Three) this season.

EOFL Division One  (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)

As with all the EOFL divisions, the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later. At the top of the standings at this point was Chingford Athletic, who continued their terrific progress up the EOFL divisions following promotion from Division Two last term. Dave Richbell’s side won fourteen of their 17 matches to end up on an impressive 43 points. In doing so, they had the best home record, winning eight of their ten matches at Town Mead [3G] and had the second-best goal-scoring record, striking the net 48 times (at a Goals per game average (Or GpG) of 2.82). The only sides to beat them this term were Old Chelmsfordians and Lakeside and the fact they had two entrants in the top five of the goal-scoring charts (see below) means they will again look for elevation next term you feel. All in all, another good campaign that chairman Lee Bowers can reflect on with pride.

In second spot were Old Chelmsfordians, six points further back on 37 points from their seventeen matches played. All season they have been a tough side to breakdown, having the fourth-best defence conceding twenty goals and are the top-scorers in the division, having plundered 54 goals (a GpG of 3.17) and to cap it off, the Chelmsford-based side also had the second-best home record, winning seven of their nine matches at Lawford Lane. Matthew Crick also topped the goal-scoring charts with 15 league goals this term. Ongar Town were third on 31 points from only eleven matches, having been blighted by weather and being in Cup action as well, particularly the Essex Premier Cup. Even so, they won ten of their matches, scoring 36 and conceding only nine times – the best in the division. They were unbeaten at their Fyfield Village Hall home as well, winning six of their seven matches there. Had the season continued, the East London side may well have caught the leaders though they can still be more than satisfied with a fine season.

Lakeside finished in fourth place, having accrued 29 points from their fifteen matches. Not bad going at all for the promoted side. It is one of those statistical quirks that six of their nine wins this season came away from their Lakeside Sports Ground 3G home. Plus, their goal-scoring and defensive records sit in mid-table, with them having the sixth-highest scoring record with 31 (GpG of 2.06) and having shelled 22 goals, the sixth-best in Division One. Highly-rated forward Drew Klessa-Smith was again their top league goal-scorer with eight goals and they can look forward to another good campaign next term. Another side in the Chelmsford area finished fifth, in Galleywood. They got 24 points from their fifteen outings, though they won six of those and only lost three times. In an interesting stat twist, they were the lowest scorers of anyone in the top seven sides (with 23 strikes this term), whilst also having the fifth-best defensive record with 20 goals conceded. Going from that, they are a tough side to defeat and will look to maintain that going into the next campaign.

A point further back in sixth were Rayleigh Town Reserves, under the leadership initially of Lee Bunn and Dan Williams before the latter’s departure meant Bunn took sole charge in the last couple of months or so. They improved on a bottom-two finish in 2018/19, having won seven of their 13 matches to end up on 23 points. They were not a dull side to follow, having struck the net thirty-five times (at a GpG of 3.18) but also shelled 30 goals themselves and it was perhaps the latter that hindered them from achieving a top-four finish, though it’s worth noting they did have matches in hand on most of their rivals. The Town second-side also were unbeaten in their last five matches so they will be optimistic that they will have a decent season again next time around. They were six points clear of Shoebury Town in seventh, who ended a mixed season to put it mildly with seventeen points from 18 matches. They only won three matches, though they did also draw a league-high of eight matches as well. The mixed theme continues as Shoebury struck 38 times this term (a GpG of 2.11), only to concede 49 goals at the other end, the third-worst in the division. On a better note, star forward Dominic Binns again was their highest goal-getter, grabbing eleven goals this season so congratulations to him. Plaudits also go to Mitchell Odd and Matthew Smith, the other two Town players in the top goal-scorers chart this term with six goals apiece.

Next in the standings were another club affected by weather and Cup action in FC Hamlets, who got 15 points from their eleven matches, after a three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player. On a happier note, Ashley King’s side had the second-best record defensively, only shelling twelve goals in their league season, as well as another fine in the London Junior Cup, which saw them make the Final once again. It is impossible to leave out a mention for the 2018-19 Division One Top goal-scorer Charlie Heatley, who added a further ten goals this term. Respect to you Charlie. I would also like to wish departing player-boss Ashley King well as social media reports indicate he will move on in the summer. Snaresbrook are two points behind their fellow East London side in ninth, having reached thirteen points from their ten matches, as the weather heavily impacted their fortunes. Their management will probably look to the point that they scored nineteen goals in their matches this term, the second-most goal-shy this term. Ramsden Scotia are a point further back in tenth spot, having been deducted two points as well. They finished fifth in the previous season though the Billiericay-based side had more problems going forward this term, scoring eighteen goals in their 15 games (GpG of 1.20) – the lowest in the division. Their top-scorer Jamie Auvache (6 goals) deserves a mention too for preventing a worse outcome there.

Into the bottom four now and Manford Way had another hard campaign following relegation from the Premier Division in 2018-19. They finished in eleventh spot with 11 points from their fifteen matches (after being deducted two points). Unfortunately, their biggest headache this term was at the back as they conceded forty-eight goals (average of 3.20 a match) which is the fourth highest this league term. Top-scorer Joe Lovell got six of the twenty-two league goals they did strike though they will look to improve next term. In twelfth place is Herongate Athletic, who gained three points as a result of an opposition error to end on eleven points from their15 matches. Goalscoring wasn’t a particular issue for them, having scored twenty-six goals (the highest number of all the bottom six clubs) though their troubles were in defence, having conceded fifty-three times which was the division’s joint-worst record this season. Two wins all campaign really lends itself to the feeling they will want to improve next term. Below them are Runwell Sports in 13th after a very hard campaign for outgoing manager Jason Emery, who will concentrate on being Chairman next season. Sports grabbed ten points from their 14 matches though in fairness, they did show glimpses of improving form both in the league and in Cups in the second part of the season. They may have got themselves higher in the standings given the big number of matches they had to play and in another anomaly, they only conceded 26 goals, the best defensive record of the bottom six sides.

Finally, Toby prop up the table in last place, having gained seven points in their 18 matches. One win all season (which was against rivals Herongate Athletic in early February) almost tells the tale sadly for the previous season’s Div Two runners-up which saw them promoted, and also conceding 53 goals did hamper their aspirations to evade the bottom two. Wish them well next campaign.

 

EOFL Division One – Top Goalscorers 2019-20 Season

    Club/s League Goals League Starts
         
1 Matthew Crick Old Chelmsfordians 15 16
2 Alex Gordon Chingford Athletic 14 15
         
=3 Aaron Blair Ongar Town 11 11
  Lee Lashley Chingford Athletic 11 10
  Dominic Binns Shoebury Town 11 (1 pen) 12
         
6 Charlie Heatley FC Hamlets 10 11
         
7 Rodney Wilson Rayleigh Town Res 9 10
         
=8  Max Johnson Old Chelmsfordians 8 14
  Drew Klessa-Smith Lakeside 8 14
         
10 Joshua Boxall Ongar Town 7 8
         
=11 Martin Mixture Old Chelmsfordians 6 4
  Mitchell Odd Shoebury Town 6 6
  Luke Quinton Lakeside 6 6
  Joe Lovell Manford Way 6 9
  Joe Lilly Ongar Town 6 9
  Jamie Auvache Ramsden Scotia 6 10
  Matthew Smith Shoebury Town 6 13
         

 

Finally, here’s the top page of the Leading Appearance Makers in Division One (focus on League Starts)

     

Appearances

    Club/s League Starts Bench Total
           
=1 Benjamin Britton Toby 17 0 17
  Matthew Crick Old Chelmsfordians 16 1 17
           
=3 Aaron Clark Shoebury Town 16 0 16
  Joe Peters Old Chelmsfordians 16 0 16
           
=5 Alex Gordon Chingford Athletic 15 0 15
  Sean O’Sullivan Toby 15 0 15
  Max Johnson Old Chelmsfordians 14 1 15
  Drew Klessa-Smith Lakeside 14 1 15
           
=9 Liam Aston Lakeside 14 0 14
  Ollie Pettit Lakeside 14 0 14
  Sam Pettit Lakeside 14 0 14
  Samuel Pollard Old Chelmsfordians 14 0 14
  Liam Saunders Old Chelmsfordians 14 0 14
  William Strutt Lakeside 14 0 14
           
=15 Charlie Adams Runwell Sports 13 0 13
           

Season Review 2019-20: Essex Olympian League Division Two [EOFL SR 19/20 26.4.20]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the third piece of a mini-series of blog articles looking back at the ‘void’ Season 2019-20, as deemed by the FA.

In this piece, I look back at a very competitive Essex Olympian League Division Two campaign, rounded out with an array of statistics compiled from the EOFL FA Full-Time website including top goal-scorers & top appearance makers in the League fixtures. I managed to watch a few Division Two matches this term so they may be mentioned here.

 

EOFL Division Two  (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)

As with all the EOFL divisions, the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later. Leigh Town were deservedly top of the standings at the cut-off point, as they garnered an impressive 43 points from 15 matches, in which they were not beaten. Unsurprisingly, they had a good defence, the second-best in the division (conceded on average less than a goal a game) whilst also being pretty handy in attack, scoring 44 goals (as an average of 2.93 goals per game or GpG). Jack Pearman’s side were also a good Cup side as I saw them defeat fellow Div Two side Corinthians in the Essex Premier Cup at John Burrows Recreation Ground at the start of February. It’s a credit to both teams that you wouldn’t have thought you were watching two third-tier Olympian sides, such was the passion, energy & physicality on display.

Back to the League, and in second spot was Beacon Hill Rovers, having racked up 36 points from their 15 matches. Rovers had the second-best record at home this term with six wins from their seven matches there, along with having the third-best defensive record, being breached seventeen times. Their two top-goalscorers in Adebolu Adeyemi and Stephen Bennett both hit ten goals as well so credit goes where it’s due. Both clubs will be aiming for another successful campaign next term and if they can keep their squads together, you wouldn’t bet against them doing it either. The next two sides are quite local to me. In third place are Old Southendian Reserves, under the management of Ben Manley. Ten wins in 17 matches isn’t bad going for a second-side that won the Division Three title the previous campaign. Factor in a very decent end to the season with six wins in their last eight matches and having the fourth-best defence this season and it is certainly one to look back on with some fondness. I also have to note the fine performance they put in to win at Corinthians, back in December. To call it ‘determined’ would be an understatement.

Just behind OS Ressies in fourth were Corinthians, who were promoted two divisions, having won Division Four in 2018/19. Chris Stoneham’s youthful, attack-minded side are a delight to watch when they are on-song, no two ways about that. They had ten wins from their fourteen matches to make it to 31 points in all, though could have got in the top three had the season continued. There are two stats that can’t be taken off them though, firstly that they were the divisional top-scorers with 54 goals (a GpG of 3.71 – some going in any league). Secondly, Nathan Dewberry ended up the division’s top goal-getter with 16 goals though to many in the local Non-League scene that won’t come as a surprise, given his pedigree. Even so, respect to you Nathan and to your team-mates on a good season.

Into mid-table now, and May & Baker Reserves ended up being in fifth place. Jimmy Donald’s side had a fine end to the campaign which pushed them up the mid-table places somewhat, and acquired 28 points from 17 matches (though they benefitted from getting three points as an opposition side had fielded an ineligible player in late August). The side certainly has its place in the club pathway, with the first team now competing in Step 6 (Eastern Senior League South) and they struck the net 48 times in all, the second-best in the division. They were also not a dull side to watch as they also conceded fourty-four times and the main downer on their season you have to say is that pourous defence. That being said, the main thing for this team is development you feel and they will look for another strong campaign in 2020/21 I believe.

Laindon Orient were two points behind them in sixth, despite only playing twelve matches due to being hindered by the incessant rain (remember that?) before the season’s premature end. Neil Blackburn’s side still won eight of their matches and can be proud of their defensive record, only letting in eleven goals all league season. They may be another side to watch out for next season. Epping Town finished in seventh spot after having a difficult end to the campaign. That has been well-publicised elsewhere and with a new set-up, they ensured they saw out the campaign with 20 points from their 16 matches. Even though in the early stages of the campaign they were in the top four and looking menacing, you also can’t help but feel that the best thing right now is that they have a new management team under ex-Bishop Stortford Swifts’ boss Stuart Hoskins and they exist to go again next term.

Wakering Sports are in eighth, a point behind on 19 points from their sixteen matches. Overall, Mitchell Gleeson’s side had a solid if unspectacular season though they can build on the record on scoring 37 goals this term (a GpG of 2.31) which was the sixth-best this term. They finished well-clear of the bottom four as Harold Wood Athletic Reserves were eight points adrift on 11 points in ninth spot, after navigating a tough campaign. Defensively-speaking, they were decent though their issues were at the offensive end, striking the net only 18 times, the divisions’ worst this term. It must be said that had the campaign continued, they may have gone up a place or two but they will look for a better campaign next time out.

In tenth place, Rochford Town had another campaign of strife, getting nine points from their 18 matches. Goal-scoring was an issue for John Smith & James Cooper’s side, making the net bulge 21 times though having seen them in February, they struck me as a hard-working, committed side under the captaincy of Freddie Pettitt. As was the case in recent seasons though, their defence is their undoing to an extent, with sixty goals conceded, a record only the two sides below them were worse at. Promoted AS Rawreth also struggled, finishing 11th (second-bottom) by virtue of an inferior goal difference, also on nine points from 16 games. They had the joint-weakest goal=scoring record with 20 goals, and hotshot Louis Hill got nine of those goals himself so plaudits to him. They will hope for a better campaign at the back, as they shelled 63 goals (average per game of 3.94) which arguably knackered their season right there. And finally, recent strugglers Ryan also had another very tough season, finishing bottom on one point from 18 matches. It’s worth noting that they lost five points during the season for fielding an ineligible player & being unable to play a fixture but even so, it’s been a sobering season for the East London side. They conceded sixty-five goals this term and they will hope the talent from their promising junior sides will one day play for the first-team.

EOFL Division Two – Top Goalscorers 2019-20 Season

  Club/s League Goals League Starts
   
1 Nathan Dewberry Corinthians 16 10
   
=2 Adebolu Adeyemi Beacon Hill Rovers 10 10
Stephen Bennett Beacon Hill Rovers 10 12
   
=4 Ashley Blackburn Laindon Orient 9 10
Max Jones Leigh Town 9 10
Louis Hill AS Rawreth 9 13
   
7 Jake Hodder Corinthians 8 11
   
=8 Alex Paraskeva Epping Town 7 8
Shane Cooper Leigh Town 7 10
Mohammed Sesay Wakering Sports 7 11
   
=11 Gabriel Odili May & Baker Res 6 2
Ben Franklin Old Southendian Res 6 8
John Bolton-Smith Corinthians 6 11
Leo Clarke Corinthians 6 12
Greg Molford Old Southendian Res 6 12
Glen Warwick Epping Town 6 12
Oliver Taton-Bennett Old Southendian Res 6 13
Ben Rowe Wakering Sports 6 16
   
   

 

Finally, here’s the top page of the Leading Appearance Makers in Division Two (focus on League Starts)

 

Appearances

  Club/s League Starts Bench Total
   
=1 Jacob Hubble Rochford Town 16 0 16
Freddie Pettitt Rochford Town 16 0 16
Ben Rowe Wakering Sports 16 0 16
   
=4 Danny Pallett Wakering Sports 15 1 16
Luke Stillwell Old Southendian Res 15 0 15
   
=6 Harry Ford Rochford Town 14 1 15
Ethan Bird AS Rawreth 14 0 14
Callum Burns-Green Wakering Sports 14 0 14
George Dugdale Old Southendian Res 14 0 14
Jack Power Rochford Town 14 0 14
Lewis Sherwood Beacon Hill Rovers 14 0 14
Adam Smith Leigh Town 14 0 14
   
=13 Mitchell Gleeson Wakering Sports 13 2 15
Akeem Matthews Ryan 13 1 14
Luke Owen Corinthians 13 1 14
Matt Welsh Rochford Town 13 1 14
   

 

Season Review 2019-20: Essex Olympian League Division Three [EOFL SR 19/20 23.4.20]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the second of a mini-series of blog articles looking back at the ‘void’ Season 2019-20, as deemed by the FA.

In this piece, I look back at Essex Olympian League Division Three, including an array of statistics compiled from the EOFL FA Full-Time website including top goalscorers & top appearance makers in the League fixtures. I was fortunate enough to attend a few Division Three matches this term so they may be referenced to as well here.

 

EOFL Division Three  (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)

As with all the EOFL divisions, the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later. At that point, ACD Utd held the top spot with 43 points from 18 matches. This record included thirteen wins and only the one loss, which was away at rivals Wakebury in late October. Michael Wade’s side were also the best side defensively in this division this term with only 19 goals conceded all league campaign, not bad for their first campaign as an Olympian League side. Fellow newcomers Wakebury were four points adrift in second place, with twelve wins from their 19 matches this term. Matt Cardy & Dan Blewett’s side were the most entertaining side this term with 56 goals scored, at an average of 2.95 Goals per game (GpG). The Shoebury-based side were not as proficient in defence and that may have cost them the top spot but both Wakebury & ACD have a lot to be proud of this season.

Another promoted side ended up being third in Corinthians Reserves. Terry Rose & Ben Adams’ team had an impressive twelve wins from their 15 matches, with only two losses, at home to Buckhurst Hill Ressies and away at Wakebury, which I was pleased to watch in-person. On a better note, they are the second-best goal-scorers this term with 51 goals (but in fewer matches than the Berries so the GpG is 3.40). A sturdy defence as well may have seen them climb into the top two, had the season continued. The next two sides ended in close formation in fourth & fifth respectively. Firstly, Toby Reserves were fourth on 29 points, with nine wins from their 18 matches. They were also fourth in the ‘Entertainers’ listing, with a substantial number of their 40 goals this season coming from forwards Marc ‘The Flea’ Porter-Brown and Luis Ruiz. In fifth place are Collier Row with 28 points from fourteen matches, which included an impressive nine wins for you guessed it, another promoted side (from Div Five in 2018/19). What is also noteworthy is that Row have the third-most miserly defence this term as well with 25 goals conceded, so plaudits to them on that.

Another side I saw this term in Hutton Reserves finished in sixth spot, having played the least amount of matches this term (13), ending up with 21 points. Matt Singh’s side grabbed seven wins this term, though as a caveat, six of those wins were at home. The other win was at White Ensign Reserves in mid-December, which happened to be the game I watched them in. Factor in an impressive goal-scoring record of 35 strikes (a GpG of 2.69) this season and again, they also have grounds for optimism next season. Leigh Town Reserves and Buckhurst Hill Reserves finished in seventh and eighth spot respectively. Leigh’s second-side, under the leadership of Robert Hutchings-Spiller ended up with 20 points from their 14 matches played. Unlike their first team in the division above, Town’s defence was breached 33 times this term as they won six and lost six of their matches this season. Hill’s second-team were two points behind them in eighth spot with 18 points from their fourteen games. Again, their defence was their ‘Achilles heel’, shipping 35 goals at an average of 2.50 per game.

Into the bottom four now, with Lakeside Reserves ending up ninth on 14 points from their 17 matches. All four of their wins this term came in their last nine matches as the latter half of the campaign saw them evade the dreaded bottom two. It was that poor start to the campaign (they didn’t win in their first ten matches) that contributed to them having the second-worst defensive record, conceding 48 times. Basildon Town Reserves finished tenth with 13 points from 15 matches. A difficult campaign at both ends of the pitch was highlighted by them having the third-weakest side in terms of goal-scoring, having scored 23 times and also conceding 41 goals, the fourth-worst in the division. Even so, their four wins this term matches the win count combined for the bottom two sides this term.

20191102_151847
Still from White Ensign Res v Hullbridge ‘A’ (2nd Nov 19)

White Ensign Reserves were 11th, with three wins chalking up the bulk of their ten points gained this term. Manager Jack Caten has had it hard this term, as his side conceded 53 times in their 18 matches, the worst in the division. That said, they continue the club’s tradition of playing at the Len Forge Centre [3G] which is good to see. Finally, another new side in Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ ended up propping up the table, with one win all season – away at rivals Lakeside Reserves. It was a rare great day for Jason Mole’s side, as they scored four points all season and conceded forty-six  goals in their 15 matches this term. I saw the bottom two duke out a 1 – draw in November (image above) at the Len Forge.

EOFL Division Three – Top Goalscorers 2019-20 Season

  Club/s League Goals League Starts
   
1 Max Hall Corinthians Res 18 14
2 Charlie Little Wakebury 17 10
3 Ed Hart Collier Row 16 13
   
=4 Sean O’Callaghan Hutton Res 15 9
Michael Wade ACD Utd 15 11
   
6 Marc Porter-Brown Toby Res 14 14
   
=7 Harry Davison Lakeside Res 9 10
Harry Kateley Wakebury 9 17
Luis Ruiz Toby Res 9 17
Ben Munday Wakebury 8 (+1 pen) 14
   
=11 Chris Pope Leigh Town Res 7 12
Alex Hubbard Leigh Town Res 7 14
   
=13 Tommy Fraine Buckhurst Hill Res 6 9
George Wickings Hutton Res 6 10
Grant Cumming Basildon Town Res 6 11
Landry Gogoa Buckhurst Hill Res 6 11
Luke Smith Corinthians Res 6 13
Samuel Payne ACD Utd 6 14
Ashley Webb Corinthians Res 6 14
   

Finally, here’s the top page of the Leading Appearance Makers in Division Three (focus on League Starts)

  Appearances
  Club/s League Starts Bench Total
   
1 Liam Jarrett Wakebury 19 0 19
   
=2 Jamie Alexandrou ACD Utd 17 1 18
Harry Kateley Wakebury 17 1 18
   
   
=4 Ben Perry Wakebury 17 0 17
Luis Ruiz Toby Res 17 0 17
Ollie Williams ACD Utd 17 0 17
   
=7 Daniel Buglione Wakebury 16 1 17
Dominic Cooper Toby Res 16 1 17
Chris Gore Wakebury 16 1 17
   
=10 Yaw Danso White Ensign Res 16 0 16
Archie Matthews White Ensign Res 16 0 16
Mason Oakley ACD Utd 16 0 16
Matthew Thompson Lakeside Res 16 0 16
   

 

Season Review 2019-20: Essex Olympian League Division Four [EOFL SR 19/20 22.4.20]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to the first of a mini-series of blog articles looking back at the ‘void’ Season 2019-20, as deemed by the FA. Sufficed to say, I felt it was important to mark what’s been another fascinating campaign in the Essex Olympian League, Essex Senior League & Eastern Senior League South (leagues I’ve watched mostly this season just gone).

Anyway, we begin the series with a look at Division Four, including an array of statistics compiled from the EOFL FA Full-Time website including top goalscorers & top appearance makers in the League fixtures. Thanks for reading.

 

EOFL Division Four  (as of season cut-off point of March 14th 2020)

As with all the EOFL divisions, the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later. At that point, Roydon took advantage of a fine run of six wins from their last eight matches to get themselves to the top of the standings, with 39 points from their 15 unbeaten matches played. Ten of those matches were at home and the North West Essex side won eight of them, drawing the other two. They also were the best ‘Entertainers’ in the division this term, scoring 67 goals at an average of 4.46 Goals per game (GpG).

Their nearest rivals in second spot were former leaders Chingford Athletic Development, who if I recall correctly were a new side in the EOFL this season, supporting the club to begin a pathway for the first team (who played in Senior One this term) for players. The Ath ‘second-side’ amassed 38 points from their 19 matches, scoring 61 goals in the process (the second best in the division) and having three entrants in the Top Goalscorers listing but more on that later.

Ongar Town Reserves finished in third spot after a mixed campaign, with 28 points from their 17 matches. Five of their nine wins came away from home interestingly though it is also worth noting that only six of those 17 games were at home. A leaky defence arguably stopped them from being nearer the top two at the cut-off point, though it is certainly a campaign to build on next term.

Next, three clubs all on 27 points with goal difference proving decisive in separating them. In fourth spot are Wakering Sports Reserves, having won eight of their 16 matches and having a better defence than their nearest rivals. Forest Glade also ended on 27 points though ended up fifth, because of inferior (and zero) goal difference. They won eight of their 19 matches in total, though had a better second half of the campaign as they rose up the mid-table spots. Catholic Utd’s Reserve side finished in sixth, also on 27 points though because a negative goal difference dragged them down. Continuing the mantra of the first team somewhat, the ‘second-side’ scored 52 goals and conceded 58, the second worst defence in the division. Also, five of their eight wins at their home pitch at the Len Forge Centre [3G].

There lays a gap of seven points before we reach the bottom half sides. Firstly, Galleywood Reserves are in seventh spot, having won six of their 14 matches to end on 20 points. A hard-earned quirk of their season is that they have the fourth best defensive record in the division, with 26 goals conceded. Only three of the top four sides are above them in terms of having a more miserly defensive record. Leytonstone Utd are a point behind them in eighth place, having grabbed six wins from their 15 matches which isn’t bad going when you factor in they were the second weakest in terms of scoring goals in Division Four in 2019-20. Laindon Orient Reserves are just behind in ninth spot, with six wins and nine losses from their 15 matches. Unfortunately, the O’s second-side do have that poorest goal-scoring record this term, along with the third-worst defence. Club Chairman Neil Blackburn will hope for better next term, you feel.

Rounding off the division are Old Chelmsfordians Reserves (10th, 17 points from 15 matches), Shenfield AFC Reserves (11th, 12 points from 16 games) and lastly, Canning Town Reserves who amassed two wins  from their 18 matches to end up with ten points, whilst also conceding sixty goals, the worst in the division.

 

EOFL Division Four – Top Goalscorers 2019-20 Season

 

Player Club/s League Goals League Starts
 
1 Franklin Craik Catholic Utd Res 19 13
2 Lewis Watson Roydon 17 12
3 Tom Vine Wakering Sports Res 16 12
4 Lewis Page Roydon 15 9
5 Frankie Goodhall Ongar Town Res 14 10
 
=6 Zak Robinson Galleywood Res 12 10
James Medlock Leytonstone Utd 12 15
 
=8 Luke Dimond Chingford Athletic Dev 11 7
Jack Zielinski Ongar Town Res 11 7
George Burton Chingford Athletic Dev 11 9
Scout Bown Roydon 11 11
 
12 Dean Peck Galleywood Res 10 7
 
=13 James Warder Catholic Utd Res 8 10
Matthew Gauci Forest Glade 8 16
 
15 Umar Ali Chingford Athletic Dev 7 12

 

Finally, here’s the top page of the Leading Appearance Makers in Division Four (focus on League Starts)

  Appearances
  Club/s League Starts Bench Total
 
1 Kian Burton Chingford Athletic Dev 18 1 19
 
=2 Joseph Edwards Forest Glade 17 0 17
Shaun Warren Forest Glade 17 0 17
 
 
=3 Nathan Ackie Chingford Athletic Dev 16 2 18
Patrick Clarke Chingford Athletic Dev 16 1 17
Billy Calder Shenfield AFC Res 16 0 16
Matthew Gauci Forest Glade 16 0 16
Charles Simpson Forest Glade 16 0 16
 
=8 Jayson De Araujo Canning Town Res 15 1 16
Harry Holt Ongar Town Res 15 1 16
Trevor Kabuchu Ongar Town Res 15 1 16
James Medlock Leytonstone Utd 15 0 15
Lee Pellin Laindon Orient Res 15 0 15
 

Preview: Essex Olympian League & Senior Cup (Sat 14 Mar) [EOFL 19/20 13.3.20]

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s preview of Essex Olympian League action on Saturday 14 March. Weather continues to pose a risk to fixtures, those denoted (TBC) are most liable to be moved in my view. Thanks for reading.

 

Essex Olympian League – Saturday 14 March (2.30pm KOs unless stated)

Premier Division

Basildon Town  v  Springfield   | Basildon Sports Club (TBC)

Bishop’s Stortford Swifts  v  Harold Wood Athletic   | Silver Leys

Buckhurst Hill  v  Old Southendian   | Roding Lane (TBC)

Leigh Ramblers  v  Kelvedon Hatch   | Belfairs Park

Shenfield AFC  v  Catholic Utd   | St Martins Sch [3G]

 

Senior Division One

Chingford Athletic  v  Runwell Sports  | Town Mead [3G]

Herongate Athletic  v  Lakeside   | Billericay Road
Manford Way  v  FC Hamlets   | London Marathon Sports Ground (TBC)

Shoebury Town  v  Ramsden Scotia | Cupid’s CC (TBC)

Snaresbrook  v  Galleywood | Nutters Field (TBC)

 

Anagram Records Trophy –  Sandridge Rovers  v  Hutton  (2pm KO)

 

Senior League Cup (2.15pm KO)

Rayleigh Town  v  Old Chelmsfordians   | London Road (TBC)

Essex Premier Cup: Semi-Final

Leigh Town  v  Ongar Town  | John Burrows Rec Ground

 

Senior Division Two

AS Rawreth  v  Rochford Town  | The Warren

Harold Wood Athletic Res  v  Corinthians | Moved to Frances Bardsley [3G] (3pm KO)

Laindon Orient  v  Beacon Hill Rovers  | Ford’s (Basildon) (TBC)

Ryan  v  Epping Town   | Wadham Lodge (Intermediate Grass Pitch)

Wakering Sports  v  May & Baker Res  | Cupid’s CC (TBC)

 

Senior Division Three

Buckhurst Hill Res  v  ACD Utd   | Roding Lane (pitch 2) (TBC)

Lakeside Res  v  Toby Res  | Lakeside Sports Ground [3G]

Leigh Town Res  v  Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ | Waterside Farm Leisure Centre [3G] (2.15 pm KO)

White Ensign Res  v  Collier Row   | Len Forge Centre [3G]

 

Senior Division Four

Galleywood Res  v  Roydon

Leytonstone Utd  v  Catholic Utd Res

 

Senior Division Five

Newbury Forest Res  v  Runwell Sports Res

Old Barkabbeyans  v  Wakering Sports Dev

Shoebury Town Res  v  Springfield Res

 

EOFL Reserve League Cup  (2.15pm KOs)

Collier Row Res  v  Rayleigh Town Res

Corinthians Res  v  Shenfield AFC Res

Hutton Res  v  Old Chelmsfordians Res | Moved to Billericay Sch 3G

 

Match Report: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town (Tues 10th Mar) [ILN 19/20 11.3.20]

Isthmian League Division North

Tuesday 10th March 2020 – 7.45pm KO

Venue: Len Salmon Stadium [3G]

Attendance: 70

2019-20 Season: Match 62

Hullbridge:  Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks

Deeham: Greeen Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

Dereham’s fast-paced attack grabs the points with win at Hullbridge 

Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town

Match Report & Photos by Scott W   [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

A ‘bonus’ match saw me travel to the Len Salmon Stadium to see last season’s Essex Senior champions Hullbridge Sports continue their Isthmian League North campaign with a ‘home’ match against Dereham Town. ‘Bridge had a mixed week with a heavy loss to Cambridge City a week ago being part-vanquished by a decent point at Bury Town last weekend. Darren Manning fielded an unchanged side from that draw at Bury Town, with Lewis Greene between the sticks and in front of him, a defence of full-backs Courtney Homans and skipper Matt Rose with Michael Agboola and Jamal Allen as centre-backs. Jamie Salmon and Emmanuel Okunja made up the central midfield with Daniel Gilchrist and Joe Wright leading the line. Forwards Dan Walker and Kieran Bishop were among the options from the bench. Dereham were in decent form coming into this match, having won 3 – 1 away to Brentwood Town last weekend.

Adam Gusterson’s Magpies side featured Elliot Pride in goal, with Shaun Wones among the centre-backs and in central midfield, George Quantrell and David Hinton were named with a front three of Nathan Stewart, Ryan Crisp and top-scorer Adam Hipperson. The added factor here was that this is my first visit to the Bowers & Pitsea’s Len Salmon Stadium since it went 3G and goodness, the good talk I’ve heard about it is more than accurate, so fair play to Rob Small’s side on that development.

Onto the match and in the early-going, Dereham started well with the lively Nathan Stewart being denied by a timely interception by Sports centre-back Michael Agboola on four minutes. Minutes later, a good run down the middle by the rapid Adam Hipperson fed Stewart with an unselfish pass though with the angle on goal declining with only home custodian Lewis Greene to beat, his strike was well-blocked by Greene getting down low. At this point, the Hullbridge goal was living a tad of a charmed life as a succession of corners heaped the pressure on as the nippy visiting front line gave the home backline enough to handle with mazy runs.

With eighteen minutes on the watch, Hullbridge ventured forward and box-to-box midfielder Emmanuel Okunja played in forward Daniel Gilchrist as he bared down on goal, though visiting goalkeeper Elliot Pride did well to deny his strike. Joe Wright followed up in the next attack with an attempted chip which lacked the finesse to bypass Pride. Midway through the half, a fine long ball sprayed in by experienced midfielder Jamie Salmon found Wright down the right channel and Wright’s cut-back only just escaped the run of onrushing winger Callum Thompson, who felt he was impeded.

The Magpies responded at the other end, taking advantage of a defensive lapse by the hosts as Stewart ghosted in, though with only Greene to beat, the advancing forward’s drive was well-blocked by Greene’s legs. As we entered the last few minutes before the interval, Agboola made a couple of good interceptions for the hosts though Stewart made a fine run down the left-side on the penalty box, evading Agboola in the process but unfortunately for Adam Gusterson’s side, his effort was tame and Greene could gratefully gather. ‘Bridge had periods in the half but ultimately their final ball was letting them down, plus Dereham showed their pace and passing game enough to make you feel this wasn’t going to stay a stalemate.

Half-time: Hullbridge 0 – 0 Dereham

Hullbridge changed their system just before the hour, with Kieran Bishop and Dan Walker replacing Gilchrist and midfielder Gregory Frederick who worked hard in breaking up the opposition attacks. Soon after coming on, Walker was played in by full-back Courtney Homans’ long-throw and his strike was well-saved by Pride in the Dereham goal. The deadlock was finally broken midway through the half as a free-kick from the half-line fell to Dereham skipper David Hinton after Sports were unable to clear their lines defensively and Hinton weaved away from a couple of defenders before striking low and calmly past Greene  to give the visitors a deserved lead.

To their credit, Hullbridge kept trying to get back on level terms showing passion and energy, though that crucial final pass continued to elude them and the frustration was starting to show. With eleven minutes remaining, another defensive mix-up allowed the tireless Ryan Crisp in on goal, though Allen got in first to pick his pocket before facing Greene one-on-one.

Then, in added-time, Crisp got his reward for holding on to a ‘lost cause’ down the left wing, before gliding impressively past three defenders and working the angle to slot past Greene from about five yards out. Not one for the home defence to remember perhaps, though Crisp’s ninth league goal this term sealed the points.

Full-Time: Hullbridge Sports 0 – 2 Dereham Town

In all fairness, it was the right result as Dereham had more than enough chances to score and win the game conclusively and they did play some really good stuff at times, though it is a credit to ‘Bridge that the Magpies didn’t look quite so assured in defence in the second half.

In my view, the stand-out performances for Dereham were tireless forward Ryan Crisp who typified his work rate with a well-taken goal in added-time. Playmaker David Hinton got his side going supporting the frontline and also took his goal well, with Nathan Stewart also having a lot of joy on the right flank with his pace and directness. Shaun Wones also stood out with an assured performance at centre-back. For Hullbridge, on a difficult evening, centre-back pairing Michael Agboola and Jamal Allen played their part to repel the fast-paced Magpies attacks, though goalkeeper Lewis Greene had a fine match with at least five good saves. Dan Gilchrist also did a fair wad of unselfish work up front down the channels for the Bridge Boys.

Finally, as ever I would like to say thank you to Hullbridge for their welcome & hospitality. Also, my thanks to the Webb family. Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season. Dereham went up into eighth place with this win, while Hullbridge remain in 16th, seven points clear of the relegation spot.

Teams

Hullbridge Sports  | Manager: Darren Manning  | Assistant Mgr: James Wakeling

1 Lewis Greene (GK), 2 Courtney Homans, 3 Matt Rose (Capt), 4 Jamal Allen, 5 Michael Agboola, 6 Gregory Frederick (10 Daniel Walker 54′), 7 Callum Thompson, 18 Jamie Salmon, 8 Emmanuel Okunja, 9 Daniel Gilchrist (16 Kieran Bishop 54′), 11 Joe Wright (12 Tim Monsheju 74′)

Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Rahman Fujah, Garrett-Douglas

Dereham Town    | Manager: Adam Gusterson | Assistant: Olly Willis

1 Elliot Pride (GK), 2 Thomas Matthews, 3 Owen Murphy, 4 Robbie Linford, 5 Tomas Snapkauskas, 6 Shaun Wones, 7 Nathan Stewart (12 Lagshan Sivakumar 90′ +1), 8 George Quantrell, 9 Ryan Crisp, 10 David Hinton (Capt), 11 Adam Hipperson

Goal-scorers: David Hinton [67′], Ryan Crisp [90′ +2]

Booked: None   | Subs Not Used: Willis, Smith

Referee: Jamie Pope
Assistant Referees:  Kennedy Kikulwe  & Andy Simmonds

Round-up: Essex Olympian League & Cups (Sat 7 Mar) [EOFL 19/20 8.3.20]

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Archive Image: Corinthians v Rochford Town in EOFL D2 last month 

Written by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to this week’s review of Essex Olympian League action on Saturday 7 March. The weather continued to blight fixtures though there were still a lot of big matches in League & Cups that took place. Thanks for reading.

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EOFL Crest

Essex Olympian League – Saturday 7 March

Premier Division

In the Premier Division, Sungate picked up a narrow 1 – 0 win at Rayleigh Town to extend their lead at the summit to six points. Buckhurst Hill can still catch them if they win five of the eight matches they have in hand on the ‘Gate. Rayleigh remain in seventh spot. Meanwhile, Kelvedon Hatch rose to fifth place after a 3 – 2 win over Harold Wood Athletic in a match moved to Frances Bardsley Academy 3G in Romford. Calvin Poku, Theo Ola and Joe Gregory all netted for Hatch, with Rob Whitnell and Jack Brown-Sykes scoring for Ath, who remain bottom, five points adrift of the top ten.

Shenfield AFC also secured a much-needed three points with a fine 5 – 2 win at mid-table Springfield. Ben Carroll grabbed a treble here, with Samuel Lock and Alex Tredgett also notching for AFC to send them up to 11th spot, four points clear of the bottom two.

Match OFF: Basildon Town  P – P  Leigh Ramblers   |

 

Senior Division One

In Senior One, FC Hamlets won 2 – 0 at bottom side Toby through goals from Charlie Heatley and Jack Patten to secure their fifth league win this term, having played only 11 matches, due to postponements & Cup ties. Ashley King’s side rise to seventh spot and still have an outside chance of securing a top-four finish.

Lakeside edged to a 1 – 0 success over Runwell Sports with Jody Reynolds getting the only goal to go five points clear in fourth. Runwell remain in the bottom three. Also, Galleywood also won away from home, 2 – 0 at Ramsden Scotia thanks to strikes by Matthew Buckingham and replacement Jamie Rick, which sent ‘Wood up to fifth. Ramsden have lost three on-the-spin and remain in tenth.

 

Matches OFF:
Manford Way  P – P Rayleigh Town Res   |

Shoebury Town P – P   Herongate Athletic |

Snaresbrook  P – P  Old Chelmsfordians |

 

Senior League Cup

In the one EOFL Senior Cup Quarter-Final tie, Catholic Utd edged to a 1 – 0 win over fellow Premier side Hutton at the Len Salmon Stadium. Jay Nash got the only goal to see the Super Hoops through to the last four.

Essex Premier Cup: Semi-Finals

In the one Essex Premier up Semi-Final that did take place at Roding Valley Sch 3G, Premier side Buckhurst Hill edged past impressive Senior One side Chingford Athletic on penalties after a pulsating 3 – 3 score-line after extra-time. Sam Sollosi netted twice for Mark Williams’ side in normal time, before Fenti Falola netted in extra time though Chingford showed their warrior spirit with Alex Gordon netting a double of his own which was added to by Gary Murray. Hill won the ensuing shoot-out 5 – 4 though this battle adds fuel to the thought that Dave Richbell’s side will be a Premier Division side next term. Congrats to both teams though it is Hill who make it through to the Final to defend their title at Billericay Town’s New Lodge on Wednesday April 11th.

Match OFF: Leigh Town  P – P  Ongar Town  | New Date: Sat March 14th

 

Senior Division Two

Two matches survived in Senior Two, as Beacon Hill Rovers went back up to second spot with a 3 – 1 home win over Wakering Sports in the early kick-off, moved to Plume Sch in Maldon. Nathan Ruggles, Ade Adeyemi and a late Stephen Bennett spot-kick saw Rovers to a fifth straight win and are seven points off leaders Leigh Town. Corinthians also endorsed their promotion chances with a 4 – 2 win at May & Baker Res. Alfie Knight, Ollie Brickwood, John Bolton-Smith and Dan Cooksley all netted for Chris Stoneham’s side who went above their opponents into fourth place. Ryan Leavens and Ricardo Teixeira struck for Jimmy Donald’s team though their own aspirations of elevation took a dent here as they have five matches left to play.

Match OFF: Laindon Orient  P – P  Epping Town

 

Senior Division Three

Finally for the round-up section in Senior Three, Wakebury failed to gain ground on leaders ACD Utd as they were held 0 – 0 by Toby Res at Shoebury Park. It looks increasingly likely that Corinthians Res are the biggest threat for the title though the Berries will still want to secure a top-two finish for the best chance of promotion. Elsewhere, Lakeside Res got their third win in their last five with an important 3 – 1 win at Collier Row. This win sent ‘Side up to ninth, four points clear of the bottom two and handed Row a setback in their focus for a top-three finish.

Also, Corinthians Res handed White Ensign Res another heavy loss as Terry Rose’s side won 6 – 0 at Stambridge Memorial Ground. It was an ensemble cast of scorers with Steve Solarin, Max Hall, Ashley Webb, Ryan Woodley, George Penfold and Taner Dagyaran all on target as the hosts remain third and cut the deficit to leaders ACD to six points with three matches in hand on them. Ensign’s second side have three matches left to get out of the bottom two, they sit second-bottom and are three points away from Basildon Town Ressies.

Matches OFF:

Buckhurst Hill Res  P – P  Hutton Res   |

Hullbridge Sports ‘A’  P – P Basildon Town Res |

 

Senior Division Four results

Canning Town Res  1 – 1  Roydon

Forest Glade  P – P  Catholic Utd Res

Galleywood Res   P – P  Wakering Sports Res

Old Chelmsfordians Res  2 – 4  Chingford Athletic Development

Ongar Town Res  P – P  Laindon Orient Res

Shenfield AFC Res  0 – 2  Leytonstone Utd

 

Senior Division Five results

Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res  4 – 0  Shoebury Town Res

Herongate Athletic Res  P – P  Collier Row Res

Roydon Res  2 – 2 Springfield Res

Runwell Sports Res  1 – 0  Newbury Forest Res