Hello and welcome to the first of th season’s round-ups of the Essex Alliance League, which continues on this blog under the “Guest Blog” strand. This shortened edition looks at the first-ever weekend of the new Step 7 (or Regional Feeder League) that took place n Saturday 21 August. 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 Senior Division – Saturday 21 August
Following what was the shortest summer break in league history, the new Essex Alliance League started for our Senior Division clubs on Saturday as the country’s newest Regional Feeder League commenced with five fixtures.
The early league leaders after the opening fixtures are promoted Woodford East who made their bow in the top flight with an impressive 5 – 0 away victory at Tower United at Mabley Green to move top. Callum Maltese scored twice for East with Frank Glock, Sonny Feltwell and Matthew Stacey goals rounding off a top draw performance.
Sitting second on goal difference are another of the promoted sides as Chadwell Heath Spartans made a spirited start to top flight football edging a tight contest against Blue Marlin 2 – 1. Michael Ramsey and Samir Aboulainaf got the all important goals to win the game on their competitive debut at their new home in Chigwell.
It’s merely alphabetical order separating the sides in third and fourth respectively as DT FC opened their new campaign as they finished the last with a victory in a close contest with CSM London, the two sides meeting for the first time. And it was just an own goal that was the difference between the sides, DT the beneficiaries of that key moment to win 1 – 0 at the Harlow Arena.
It was another good day for a promoted side as Leyton Royal became of the third such side to record an opening day victory as they made the trip to Noak Hill to face last season’s London Junior Cup finalists, FC Petrocub. Florin Porceanu was on target with the only goal as another close game ended 1 – 0.
The final fixture on Saturday came from Walthamstow where the division’s fourth promoted side, Kit Out London, made the journey to east London to take on Rapid Chingford who were themselves looking for a positive start to the campaign. There was little between the sides in the end with the game ending in a 1 – 1 draw, both sides earning a hard fought point.
Fixtures – EAL Senior Division
Mon 23rd August – FC Baresi v Lymore Gardens | at Mayesbrook Park 3G (8pm KO)
Saturday 28th August (2pm KO’s I understand)
Chadwell Heath Spartans v Chigwell Town | Chigwell Hall Spts Grd
CSM London v Jolof Sports | West Ham Community Grd 3G, Beckton
Kit Out London v DT FC | Noak Hill 3G
Leyton Royal v Lymore Gardens | Salisbury Hall Spts Grd
Written By Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EAL Writer
Hello and welcome to a ‘bonus’ instalment of ‘In-Focus’ blogs for Summer 2021. In this fourth article, I caught up with Essex Alliance League (EAL) side Dagenham Utd, who also competed in the group-only Essex Alliance League Cup since the resumption of Football in March this year.
The ‘Daggers’ have had a side in the EAL divisions since 2017, and although their first team are a more recent addition after coming over from the Olympian League.
In this article, I’m pleased to be joined by First Team player-boss (and Adult Section Chairman) Chris Mascall (CM) and First Team Secretary & Physio Jamie Mascall (JM) to give their thoughts on how the recent League Cup has been to compete in, the season as a whole, the inside track on the club and their thoughts on the change coming for the EAL next season. My thanks to them both for their time & Jamie for the Action images shown here.
SW: It’s fair to say that the 2020-21 campaign has been disrupted by the various lockdowns, but what positives would you all take from this campaign?
CM: “It’s a pleasure Scott, thanks for taking the time to talk to us also.”
“It has been a frustrating campaign again in terms of the stop start of lockdown etc., but we do take some positives from the last lockdown as it allowed a couple of our key players to return from substantial injuries they suffered at the start of the season which disrupted our season towards the Xmas period.
In terms of positives on the pitch this season, we had a strong showing in our league division, pushing at the top of the table for promotion for the majority of the season and picking up some very good results along the way. The restart of the league cup groups yielded some of our best results as we introduced a new system and style of play, which lead to us winning all of our cup group games bar one, narrowly missing out on silverware”
SW: What was the favourite match of the season and why?
CM: “There have been some great matches this season but for the neutral, there’s only one that can really spring to mind. We had a home game early on in the season (on October 3rd 2020 – Ed) vs Forest Green which ended 5 – 4 to us with a winner in the 88th min, an outrageous goal from our winger Rodeny Dos Santos Varela whom cut in on the edge of the box and curled one into the opposite corner lobbing the keeper and leaving him stranded, the absolutely scenes that followed were amazing as it was pure euphoria and a goal worthy of winning any game at any level! Our Reserve team were playing at home too that week and won their game also and so the joint celebrations that took place immediately after the games were fantastic with both teams coming together to enjoy the results in what was a great show of the real family feel we have at this club.”
SW: On or off-the-pitch, what was your most memorable moment/s from this season?
JM: “I would say it would have to be the game Chris just mentioned , the togetherness of the teams and the pure elation they both had for each other’s results was beautiful to see. It was a lovely day weather-wise, both teams winning in spectacular fashion and really felt like it was one of those moments that makes all the hard work running and organising these teams worth it. It was a real ‘this is why we do it’ moment.”
SW: I vaguely remember the club’s first team being among the sides competing in Essex Olympian League (EOFL). How has it been competing in the Alliance League (EAL) since you came over at Division Two level?
CM: “Yes that’s right, our first team used to compete in the Essex Olympian league and moved across to the Alliance League last season. After transferring to Dagenham, I started my journey as First Team Captain and then moved into a management role with the Reserve team whom were entered into the Essex Alliance League in 2016/17 season I believe it was. It was a real ‘start from scratch’ project. I then moved into the First Team Managers role and the Adult Section chairman position, setting out a five-year progression plan for the men’s teams to aim towards. This was when we entered First & Reserve teams into the Alliance, comprised of a few key players from the Reserve team and a lot of new additions whom were eager to join the exciting project and we haven’t looked back since as I enter my 5th season managing within the EAL.
In terms of abilities of the teams within the respective leagues, I genuinely don’t see much difference In quality, and the EAL have some great teams and players amongst the leagues.”
SW: You competed in Group D of the hastily-convened Essex Alliance League Cup finishing in third spot, two points behind leaders Cowley Community. How was it to return to playing after such a long lay-off?
CM: “To be fair, as I mentioned earlier, the break almost done us good in a sense that it allowed injured players to return, but of course you then loose the momentum of the team being together etc. What did really impress me however was that a large number of the first team especially took up 1-2-1 coaching with myself and really looked after themselves during the break, which was evident when we returned to action, where as I mentioned, we were unbeaten, bar one.”
“The final Cup table makes for a slightly distorted view of the way the cup unfolded. We were joint-top along with Unitey after 3 games, both sides winning three a piece going into our encounter with them. We proceeded to draw that game which opened the door to Cowley to sneak up the mini group. We went into the final game of the season against Cowley joint top but with 3 less goal difference then Unitey, meaning we either required Unitey to draw or for us to beat Cowley by a four-goal margin at least, should Unitey win for us to lift the title. I think this lack of clarity slightly affected us in the final fixture and we deviated from the way we had been playing so successfully since the restart, ultimately losing the final game 2-3 to Cowley, with Unitey drawing their final game a result that would have been ideal, meaning Cowley sneaked in and took the title.
Absolutely full credit to them for clinching the title as the ‘dark horses’ when it seemed like race between two sides, they are a nice bunch of lads who were simply better on the day, but we take pride in the fact we were so close to silverware and intend to make sure we get our hands on some ourselves next time around ha!”
SW: It was announced recently that the Senior Division of the Essex Alliance League has been given Step 7 status by the FA, putting it on par with the Premier Division of the Essex Olympian League. Is reaching that division an ambition of the club & what is your reaction to the news as an EAL club?
CM: “It’s fantastic news for the league and all those whom make it tick and fully deserved for all their hard work in getting to that level. On a personal note, Barry [Fitzgerald], Rob [Parker] and Alan Spike for example have been extremely supportive towards us as a team and me personally, and this is evident in the piece you did with Rob a couple of weeks ago, where he name-checked Dagenham United as being one of the big teams that are looking likely progress up the footballing ladder, which is a great compliment to read [Pleasure to assist! – Ed).
In terms of step 7 for us, absolutely, we’ve made no secret of hiding the fact that is very much the plan, to keep climbing up the footballing ladder and into the Non League system etc. We are delighted that we have gained promotion for the coming season to the Premier Division (next season’s EAL second-tier, below the Senior Division) from Div 2 and again feel it shows our progression as a club and our intent to wake what I feel is a sleeping giant of a club.”
SW: How important is it that the EAL matches are covered by Independent amateur media, particularly with the said focus elsewhere on other divisions higher up the Non-League pyramid?
CM: “I think it’s fantastic that people like yourselves are starting to shine a light on grassroots football and highlighting the hard work that goes into these teams and the quality that Is actually within these leagues that very often get missed. As you mention, coverage higher up the pyramid is strong, but at this level is few and far between, but what it does mean, is that when independent amateur media like yourself do take the time out of your days to cover and focus on teams, you have the chance to really build relationships and respect from the teams and leagues you are covering, which I think is a great thing on a personal level, as often in football, especially higher up, that personal touch element often gets missed and it becomes very business orientated.”
SW: In my research for this article, I saw you are one of a number of clubs now who film highlights of matches & then put them on your YouTube channel. How important do you feel doing things like that are to raise the profile of the club (and perhaps the League) as a whole?
CM: “I actually believe we were one of the first to really push the filming of fixtures, investing in a Veo Camera prior to pre-season to automatically record our games and create highlights of match days and other media content. The social media aspect is huge in today’s day and age and by far one of the easiest ways to attract interest in the club as it’s a physical representation of your team and whom you are and allows you to express your identity”
JM: “We not only use the filming of games to create highlight pieces etc, but use the footage for tactical analysis of games which has been crucial throughout the season in being able to Identify any areas of improvement whilst also highlighting the positives for individuals that many players often don’t have. Even at a good semi-pro standard, until recently very few games were recorded and so lots of players don’t have the opportunities to see themselves play and identify these areas to work on.”
CM: In terms of the league’s social media coverage, I genuinely believe they are by far one of the best at any level in terms of engagement with their teams and individuals in the divisions and are very supportive of the social media content put out by clubs. The filming of the games from the league can only be a positive and shows their desire to offer that extra ‘personal touch’ each week.
SW: What do you believe is the main difference between Intermediate/Grassroots Football and the top four steps of the Senior Non-League game?
CM: “Finances. Pure and simple in my honest opinion. Grassroots football has come under so much pressure with lack of help for funding, with costs rising exponentially each year for facilities especially, as quite simply there will always be more teams then there are good venues, meaning most places of hire can charge what they want, with very few teams owning or having leases to their own grounds at this level, every season you see the same story, teams folding left, right and centre, majority of the time simply down to lack of finances. I genuinely believe there are a lot of clubs out there, ourselves being one of them that have real potential to climb the footballing ladder, but football costs money and many are unfortunately ‘priced out’ of progression.”
JM: “I agree, finances play a huge part in the gap between the standards of the senior non league game and grassroots football. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of the financial strains get placed upon the managers of these teams to keep the teams afloat let alone progressing forward.
Thankfully, I’m fully supportive of Chris’s plans for the teams and the ambition he has to keep building the project, meaning the adult section have been fortunate enough to have the financial backing from ourselves to keep progressing. We take pride in the fact we can match what a lot of senior non-league teams can in terms of kits, equipment etc but that ultimately comes down to the passion and drive to want to be able to do this as-well, as we see the teams and the players as extended family and feel that is another of the key differences between the levels.”
SW: Looking on now to the 2021/22 season, what are the short-term aspirations of the club?
CM: “To get some silverware under our belt and ultimately to gain promotion to the Senior Division, after a positive year this season which culminated in a promotion from Div 2 to the Premier Division.
We would like to add some fresh faces to our current teams that believe in the project we have and can appreciate the progression we have made and to compliment the existing players we have. We have keen focus of developing young players and providing a pathway into men’s football as well, a luxury which is often not afforded. In our last game for example, we had four 17 year old players in the first team squad, with another 3 under 21’s and that is something we are committed to continue doing in the 21/22 season.”
SW: Finally, what other developments are on the way for the club in the future that you’d like to share?
CM: “As cliché as it sounds, We’ve got some really exciting plans in the pipeline that will elevate the club to another level. We have transferred to a 4G pitch for our men’s first team to ensure we have a better standard of playing surface to compliment the attractive football we play, whilst also securing a partnership which sees us gain the use of a clubhouse and bar for post-game socials, something we had been sorely missing in the last few seasons.”
“With our ambitions to progress into the Senior division and continue up the footballing pyramid, we are in positive talks to secure a stadium and pitch for the 2022/2023 season [Readers, Ground-grading is a factor in Step 7 divisions – Ed] and have a secure home base with the fantastic current owners whom we are building a good relationship with.”
If you’d like to catch up with the others article in this ‘In-Focus’ series relating to the Essex Alliance League, you can find them here
Written By Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello and welcome to the first of my Summer In-Focus articles (marking Five Years for me as a Non-League writer), speaking to various parties in Non-League about the season just gone or about the future. In this article, I’m delighted to welcome Essex Alliance League (EAL) Media & Registrations Secretary Rob Parker [RP] to talk about the Essex Alliance League & its future after being announced as a Step 7 (Regional NLS Feeder) League from the forthcoming 2021-22 season, joining the Olympian League & Essex & Suffolk Border League top-tiers at that level.
SW: Firstly, thank you very much for your time Rob. Many congratulations to you, the Essex Alliance League & all involved in achieving the new status for the forthcoming campaign. Could you tell us a little about the process that was required (Talking to the FA, your clubs etc) to gain this elevated status?
RP: “Talks around the idea began back in 2018 between the league’s Management Committee, our clubs and Essex County FA to discuss the issues that we felt were hindering the progression of clubs in our region. We put together a formal proposal which we presented to our member clubs in 2019, the result of which was resounding support of the proposal. Further talks then took place with Essex County FA before we lodged our application to the FA in December 2019 with all of the supporting documentation.
Following this application, we were then invited up to Wembley to put our proposal directly to the FA’s Leagues Committee, to discuss various aspects of the barriers our clubs face when trying to progress and also impact on football in the wider, regional context. The feedback we received was very promising and we were therefore hopeful we may be approved in time for 2020/21 season. But COVID then struck a matter of days later and, as we know, the season was voided across most levels of the NLS (National League System – the tiered approach in Non-League) which scuppered our short-term hopes. We weren’t deterred however and our application went in once again in November 2020 following which, after a long wait, we finally received the great news at the end of May this year.”
SW: It must be inspiring for clubs that have petitioned to be included within the Alliance League divisions, to see that one day they could have a chance to compete in Step 7, with a potential opportunity to battle for promotion into Senior Football. As a neutral, which clubs do you feel might find their way into your Senior Division in the next two-three years?
RP: “It certainly is a big draw for our league to have gained Regional Feeder League Status as it now enables us to provide a full pathway for our clubs, potentially starting out in our lower divisions as a brand new club, perhaps just a group of friends having a kick about in the park, to playing football within the National League System (NLS) in just a few seasons given the right sporting experience and structure in place. This is a progression route which we feel so passionately about and now avoids clubs having to venture well out of the area just to fulfil their ambitions of joining an NLS competition.
There are plenty of clubs who have the ambition to move up into Senior football. Almost every team we have interviewed this summer with a view to joining the league has been enthused about the opportunity ahead of them and it’s fair to say our existing clubs are equally looking forward to the challenge. When you have a look at our divisions beneath the Senior Division, there are some big, local clubs who are all chomping at the bit to move forward, sides such as Dagenham United, Frenford A, Barkingside A and plenty more will be joining us for the coming season. What is most exciting is the opportunity for all of our clubs to now recruit ambitious players who want to be part of the journey up the ladder.”
SW: In my view, Essex having three Step 7 Leagues (the Essex Olympian League & Essex & Suffolk Border League being the others) now does show the strength of Intermediate Football in the Essex & East London area. How do you see participation growing in the area in the medium term as we emerge from the Covid pandemic?
RP: “Essex is already one of the best represented counties in terms of number of teams and player participation across the whole country with a dense population in the Metropoilitan Essex and East London areas particularly. It’s perhaps for this reason alone, along with many others, that this proposal benefits football in the region as there will always be a proportionately higher number of clubs seeking progression. I think that it’s a real feather in Essex’s cap to be producing and sustaining such a strong quality of football in the county and long may that continue.
There are still plenty of challenges coming up, particularly those around increasing the availability of senior standard football facilities to remove that obstacle over time but also with the effects of upcoming ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) charges for travel in east London which is going to add additional costs for some participants, in a time of financial uncertainty for many. As partners at the upcoming Parsloes Park developments, we hope to alleviate part one of those concerns at least and the other key thing that we are doing is to offer the best football product that we can to continue to increase participation and interest within our sport. The effects of the pandemic have been felt very acutely within grassroots football but it is clear that there remains a very strong level of interest and we hope that the new season will be a real celebration after some difficult years.”
Regular round-ups of Alliance League action have been provided by Rob to radio shows like the Grassroots Football Show on East London Radio for some time now.
SW: As an Intermediate (or ‘Junior’) League, how important is it going forward for the EAL to be represented in Independent Media (ie Writers/Radio & Social Media feeds)?
RP: “We’ve always taken a proactive approach to media as it it provides a real outlet for showcasing our clubs and the league itself to the outside world. When we interview new clubs, almost all of them say that they’ve seen our website and follow our social media presence and were impressed enough to apply to bring their own team into the league which is great feedback. Alongside that, we make regular contributions to local newspapers, podcasts, radio shows and independent media which, although it takes a lot of time, ensures we reach to as wide an audience as possible.
I’ve always spoken quite strongly on this topic as I firmly believe that if you aren’t publicising your work to the world, it’s possible that you are going to miss out on many opportunities. That could be new clubs or perhaps sponsorship/partnership opportunities. While social media can be a real challenging arena at times, it still remains a hugely effective platform for delivering a message and a good Media Manager is now almost as important as any other Management Committee role.”
SW: I have to mention a word on the EAL’s history, could you take us through the journey from your beginnings from the merger of the Ilford & District League and the Essex Business Houses League in 2014, to the present day?
RP: “Back in 2013, the landscape of local football was vastly different and comprised of a number of local “district” leagues that were each facing their own battles with keeping clubs afloat and needing to find sufficient volunteers to run multiple leagues. At the time, I believe that the Ilford & District League was on the verge of being down to just two divisions and that the Essex Business Houses League was similarly looking at a one division set-up, neither of which were particularly thriving. While the leagues had very different backgrounds and therefore some different views, both shared some common objectives which proved to be fundamental when senior committee members of the two leagues got together to discuss the idea of a merger.
As 2014 was upon us, after a period of consultation, it was decided that the most appropriate way forward was for resources to be pooled and for a new league to be born, forming an alliance from the two predecessor competitions. With the two committees combined into one, roles allocated and buoyed on by many new clubs being excited enough by the idea to join, the Essex Alliance League was formed and things have really spiralled from there. From season to season, we’ve grown in membership to well over double the original size and football is once again thriving in the region. In a time of dificulty in finding volunteers to run leagues, it is perhaps a wise move for smaller competitions to work together to form new partnerships where resources can be pooled together.”
SW: I’ve heard that the new-look EAL Senior Division will likely be comprised of 14 clubs, what effect will that have on fixtures and when games will be played?
RP: “That’s right – Regional Feeder Leagues are required to have at least 14 teams within those divisions and that’s the number we are looking at for the first season to not overburden our clubs unnecessarily, taking into account other competitions that the clubs will also be involved with.
Midweek football will be an inevitability for our clubs, particularly those without access to floodlights who will need to make good use of the natural light when British Summer Time returns in April next year. We’d also expect a small smattering of midweek football throughout the season too as we do have almost half of our Senior Division clubs playing on venues with lights.
SW: When will the EAL divisions start in Season 2021-22?
RP: “Our Senior Division is planned to commence on Saturday 21st August given the extended length of the season in the division. The other divisions will begin on the first weekend of September as per usual.
SW: What other developments are on the way for the club in the future that you’d like to share?
RP: “Our greatest focus for the coming season is really to consolidate on what we have achieved in the past few months and ensure we work closely with our clubs to keep them in the best shape they can be post-pandemic. We are working hard to establish ourselves as an FA Charter Standard League in the coming seasons, soon to be known as England Football Accredited, and that will remain a focal point for development.
Additionally, as mentioned previously, we are a partner organisation for the new Parsloes Park development in Dagenham which is due to open in the final quarter of 2021 and we are very excited to be involved with that site going forward both for use as a key match venue but also as a site for our clubs to train, especially important given a real shortage of quality and affordable training facilities locally.”
SW: Finally, how do you see this new adventure going in the next 12 – 18 months?
RP: “We certainly hope that this development is a real watershed moment for football in Metropolitan Essex and East London, providing greater, local opportunities for clubs and participants alike to realise their potential within the non-league football pyramid. Only time will tell on whether the availability of suitable senior facilities locally means that we can offer sides a regular chance of promotion to Step 6 competitions but, if the ambitions of our clubs are anything to go by, we hope to see at least one or two of our clubs operating at that level in the next couple of seasons. Whatever happens, these are certainly exciting times for the Essex Alliance League and the region.”
Update (June 16) – Here are the constitutions for the EAL divisions in season 2021-22 (Credit: @EssexAllianceFL)
Again, I’d like to thank Rob for his time and you have to agree that it could be a really fascinating season in the history of the Essex Alliance League starting in August. I wish all the League Committee & EAL clubs well. You can follow them on Twitter @EssexAllianceFL or on the web at essexallianceleague.com
Next in the ‘In-Focus’ series will be an EAL club interestingly, as I catch up with the Hunwicks family who built their club – Chadwell Heath Spartans, who played in Division One in the curtailed League season just gone. Thank you as ever for reading.
Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the Essex Alliance League Cup groups on Saturday 8th May, My thanks to Rob Parker from the EAL. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with additional reporting by Scott W. Thanks for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
Essex Alliance League – Saturday 8 May
FC Petrocub have moved to within a point of securing the Group A title as they came out on the right side of a five-goal thriller at home against Lymore Gardens at the weekend. Karel Francis and Dylan Roberts both netted for Lymore but a brace from Valentin Siciov in reply plus a Ghenadie Moisei effort for the hosts gave them a crucial 3 – 2 win.
DTFC remain the only other side in contention and they warmed up for their showdown next Saturday with a home victory against Rapid Chingford, less than twenty four hours after their previous fixture (in the Essex Senior Len Cordell Cup Last 16). Jermaine Francis scored twice with Alex Paraskeva netting the other to help them to a 4 – 1 victory.
It remains very tight in Group B with two rounds of games left to go with Kit Out London sitting in pole position with a key game coming up this weekend. Darnell Kithambo scored twice for KOL with Sami Bessadi and Lewis Jacobs also on the scoresheet as they saw off Chadwell Heath Spartans, 4 – 2. Jordan Malick and Niru Hunwicks both grabbed consolation goals for the Spartans.
Woodford East will hope for results to go their way but ensured they remain in the mix following a big 9 – 2 win on Saturday against CSM London. Robleh Xasan and Plamedi Kinkela both netted for CSM but East braces from Jay Stavri and William Letchford, plus single goals from Kai Law, Matthew Stacey, Callum Maltese, Frank Glock and Jake Tibbitts were more than enough.
The Group C battle came to a conclusion over the weekend as we congratulate Frenford A on taking the title, securing the win they needed against London Park City to move into a winning position. Damilola Olaiya, Gouly Djikalou and Isima Iguisi netted the goals that confirmed the silverware, the Ilford side beating their local rivals 3- 0 on the day.
Kwanzas London Sport have moved into second place in a group dominated by draws and they added to their account in this respect, earning a 3 – 3 draw at home against Belfry. The in-form Antonio Semedo scored a hat-trick for Kwanzas with two Patrick Macdonald goals and a Sam Paterson effort ensuring a share of the spoils.
The Group D action came to an exhilarating conclusion on Saturday with the two group favourites both stalling in their efforts, allowing Cowley Community to sweep to a 3 – 2 victory at Dagenham United. Chris Wright scored twice once again with Mark Farinha netting the other to see their side put last season’s county cup knockback to the back of their minds by picking up this silverware.
That result was also made possible as Royal Forest earned a hard-fought point against Unitey to end the visitor’s own quest for the title. Nathan Lupumba scored a brace and Eddy Litambolo also netted for Unitey but their efforts weren’t quite enough as the game ended at 3 – 3.
The group’s remaining game came from Waltham Abbey where Chingord Athletic A hosted Barkingside A with both sides looking to finish their campaigns with some momentum. Chingford will be the happier of the sides in this regards after they completed a 5-2 home win with Eric Kelly scoring a hat-trick and Sam Matthew notching too.
Fairlop Rovers celebrated securing the Group E title last week with a hard fought win at Glendale on Saturday, racing into an early first half lead. Wesley Kangi and Mouhamed Gueye goals in the second half for the Dales kept things interesting but Rovers did enough to hold on to win 3 – 2, thanks to goals from Dylan Bruns, Harry Oliver and Logan Simmonds and pop the champagne corks at full time.
Loughton Lions ensured their runners-up spot in the group as they edged a tight contest away at Old Esthameians in Newbury Park. Lions were 2 – 1 winners on the day to end what has been another good season on a high for the Hainault-based side.
The race for the title in Group F went right to the wire with Royal Forest Reserves ending as champions at the weekend with a victory away at Chingford Harriers. Tom Alexander and Thomas Meggs goals were the difference as they came through 2 – 0 winners in Walthamstow to secure their first silverware as a team.
Custom House United will of course be disappointed having come through the group unbeaten but they will at least finish as runners-up, aided by a win by the odd goal in their clash away at Lymore Gardens Reserves. Lymore put up a good fight as Errol Dinnal-Treasure and Kye Austrie-Alexander both netted but the Dockers came through thanks to strikes by bobby Devlin, Jamie Wooster and Robbie Wooster to win 3-2.
Moving into a final third place finish, Emerson United Reserves ended their campaign on a high as they beat Eastern Avenue on the final day, 6 – 0. Joshua Gibbins was on fire in Loughton with a four-goal haul as Paul Brady and Harry Butler efforts completed a stunning victory for the Upminster-based side.
Together United’s title tilt will go down to the final fixture in the group after both of the top two sides won their clashes. Together were 4-2 victors away at Dagenham United Reserves over at Castle Green with Stanley Kweya grabbing a treble and Remel Green also notching and anything barring a very large defeat in the remaining fixture will assure them of title glory.
Collier Row A made sure of at least a second place finish with an away win at Brentwood United Reserves on Saturday. Row were on the right side of an eight-goal thriller, winning the tie 5 – 3 to move level on points with the leaders and hoping for a miraculous result in the final game. Collier had braces from Tommy Mottram and Connor Brown and one from Peter Adeleye to thank for their goals. Utd Ressies responded through a brace from Bradley Jackson and one from Joseph Cadman-Ithell but ultimately they fell to defeat in this one.
It was London Junior Cup day for one of our clubs as North East Lions made the trip south of the river to take on Wimbledon Casuals with a place in the last sixteen at stake for the winner. In a tight game, it was a Casuals victory as they scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 result.
Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the Essex Alliance League Cup groups on Saturday 1st May, My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with additional reporting by Scott W. Thanks for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
Essex Alliance League – Saturday 1 May
The race for the Group A silverware remains well poised with FC Petrocub holding a two point gap at the top, helped by a big 6 – 1 win on Saturday away at Rapid Chingford. Vasilica Ilie led the visitors on with a treble here, to which Nicolai Gutu added a brace. Ghenadie Moisei also chipped in with the other goal in this big win which saw the visitors make it three wins from three and in pole position in the group going into their two huge remaining fixtures.
One of those will be against second-placed Lymore Gardens next week and Lymore warmed up for the huge showdown with a comfortable win of their own, ending West Essex Reserves’ hopes of silverware with a 3 – 1 victory. Andre Rashford, Dylan Roberts and Tyrique Peters grabbed the winning goals.
With games in hand, DT FC still have both of the leading sides to play away from home and kept up their hopes with a big home win as they beat FC Baresi 5 – 0 at the Harlow Arena. Carlos Simao notched twice here, with Jermaine Francis, Ayrton Coley and Steve Domfeh also on target to give the hosts a first win in the competition and, with three games still to go, can they chase down the leading pack?
Group B was thrown wide open at the weekend after a huge result in Noak Hill saw Kit Out London keep their unbeaten record in tact by beating another previously unbeaten side, Woodford East. Jay Stavri scored for East but a Erik Rusnak brace in reply added to Sami Bessadi’s goal to make it 3 – 2 to the Kit side.
Chigwell Town returned to contention at the top end of the standings after an impressive 4 – 2 victory at home against Tower United to dent the latter’s hopes. Ross Chimes scored two with Mark Howe and Modestas Dainuskas netting the others to render Tower goals from Abdi Abdikarim and Abubakar Maxamed as just consolation.
And in the group’s remaining fixture, Chadwell Heath Spartans opened their wins account in the group as they picked up a huge 5 – 1 win against higher league opposition, CSM London. Antonio Azevedo scored for CSM but a Rashid Matabaro hat-trick and goals for Rob Hodgson and Miguel Martins rounded things off for Spartans.
Four sides will go into the final weekend of Group C fixtures with hopes of silverware but it’s unbeaten Frenford A who hold the advantage after their beat now second-placed North East Lions 5 – 3 on Saturday to go top. Lorenc Hoxha, Romelle Pile and Chad-Troy Payne goals proved not quite enough for the Lions. Among the scorers for the Frenford developmental side were Gabriel De Souza Dias, Daniel Francis, Isima Iguisi and Joel Opara.
London Park City and Kwanzas London Sport are the other two sides with an outside chance but will require a significant goal difference swing after they could only finish level at 1-1. Antonio Semedo scored the hosts goal but City scored one themselves to send them into a showdown with the leaders next weekend.
In the battle between the fifth and sixth placed sides, Belfry earned their first points of the group after they secured victory in Dagenham against Francis Luke. Jose Nelson Da Silva scored for Luke but three Belfry goals from Gabriel Ogunwomoju, Daniel Osborne and Louis Window were enough to earn a 3 – 1 win for the hosts.
Two sides remain locked at the top in Group D as Unitey and Dagenham United, both sides sporting unbeaten records, met in Loughton on Saturday. With both having won all three games, it was perhaps no surprise to see this one finish level. Brandon Fulton scored twice for Unitey with Sean Kettle and Charlie Fiander goals ensuring it ended 2 – 2 to see this group go to the wire.
Third-placed Cowley Community, a point back, remain poised to sweep up if results go their way and they ensured they will remain interested on the last day as Chris Wright and Mark Farinha efforts gave them a 2 – 1 win against Chingford Athletic A. Sam Matthews scored the Chingford goal in reply.
In Group E, the first silverware was mathematically confirmed with Fairlop Rovers confirmed as group winners after Loughton Lions could only pick up a point on the road at Old Barkabbeyans Reserves. The Lions had two goals from William Osmond and one from Jay Lutman to thank for keeping them in the contest but two Michael Ryder goals and a Josh Robinson strike help Old Barks pick up a first point as the game ended 3 – 3.
The group’s other action came from Newbury Park where the other side with outside hopes, Glendale, saw their hopes ended despite fighting back from conceding early against Old Esthameaians to lead through two Wesley Kanga goals. But goals from Neil Robinson and Danny Harris saw the tie finish at 2 – 2 on the day.
The drama in Group F will go to the final set of matches with three sides still in with a shout. Royal Forest Reserves are in pole position following a hard fought away win at Emerson United Reserves over the weekend as goals from Tom Alexander and Will Asenso carried their side to a 2 – 0 victory in Upminster.
Custom House United will hope for a Royal slip on the final day after they kept their hopes alive with a big 7 – 1 win at home against Eastern Avenue. Jamie Wooster was in fine form here with a hat-trick, with further goals arriving through Bobby Devlin, Paul Stringer, Robert Wooster and Tommy Douglas.
Chingford Harriers will require a lot of things to go their way to be putting hands on silverware but they will have a big say either way, coming through the Chingford derby contest against Lymore Gardens Reserves in a 3 – 0 scoreline. Paul Shawyer and Darnell Lamothe were on the scoresheet for the Harriers ahead of their showdown with the leaders next weekend.
In Group G, Collier Row A moved level on points with the top placed side in the group on the back of a big 7 – 1 Row victory against Dagenham United Reserves. Rahman Byjid scored for United but Tommy Mottram’s treble led an ensemble cast of scorers for Row which also included Joe Willson’s brace plus one each for Pete Adeleye and Jordan Reece-Peprah to leave them needing the leaders to drop points if they are to challenge.
Brentwood United Reserves have been creeping their way up the table in the last couple of weeks and could still have a big say in things, lying just two points off the leading teams. Their second win was secured as a double from Danny Walker and strikes from Alfie Wiseman and Tony Wyman assisted them to a 4 – 2 home win against Avondale Rangers on Saturday, a result which keeps them in touch.
LONDON JUNIOR CUP
Goals were the order of the day in the London Junior Cup where Jolof Sports’ chase for county cup glory continued with the visit of AFC Cubo Reserves to Dagenham on Saturday. An entertaining game saw Jolof run out 10 – 4 victors to become the third EAL club into the last sixteen where they face either West Fulham or Exeter Old Boys this month.
Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the five Essex Alliance League divisions on Saturday 31st October (the last weekend of action before the Lockdown-enforced break of all Grassroots action in England), along with the Olympian League action, it is good to have guest content on other Grassroots Leagues, thank you Rob. This updated round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with thanks. Thanks for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
Essex Alliance League – Saturday 31st October
The October action was rounded off this weekend amidst the speculation of an impending suspension of the sport. FC Baresi will go into the break as the leaders, extending their advantage to four points with a 3-1 home win against FC Petrocub. Zachery Leitch scored twice and Mark Matthews once to render Pavel Stirbu’s goal as consolation for the visitors.
After the disappointment of their first defeat last weekend, West Essex Reserves bounced back in positive fashion with a thumping 5-1 home win in Hainault against London Cranes. Callum Bloss scored twice adding to strikes from Josh Flood, Abiola Balogun and Adam Norris to keep them well in the frame in third spot. Shadrack Sibasa netted for Cranes who remain in the bottom two.
Moving up to fourth position were Lymore Gardens who picked up a fifth league win with victory at home in Loughton where they edged past Blue Marlin a 3-2 win. James Rufus and Tyreese Robinson got on the score-sheet for Marlin but two Dylan Roberts efforts plus an Andrew Rashford goal handed the points to Lymore.
Tower United will also have been pleased with their afternoon’s work as they met another of the division’s promoted outfits with a trip to Hainault to face All Prospects. Abdullah Jama scored twice and Abubakar Maxamed once to help their Tower side record a 3 – 0 win, their third victory of the campaign.
CSM London were also able to pick up a third league win of the season as they took on an in-form Rapid Chingford team in Beckton with the two sides keen to move clear of any relegation difficulties. CSM had to come from behind to edge the game 2-1 with Lewis McCarthy and debutant Joshua Izu goals seeing them to maximum points. Andrei Boga netted for Rapid who remain third-bottom.
In Division One, Leyton Royal’s first two months of the season have been productive as they moved into a seven-point lead at the top of the standings after they came through a close game against fellow promotion contenders, Woodford East, in their clash in Debden. Leyton were 2 – 1 winners on the day to remain the only unbeaten side in the second tier. Billy Barr struck for Woodford East in this match.
Kit Out London made ground on the promotion chasing sides as they defeated third placed Eastside which helped Kit Out move fourth in the standings. Goals from Darnell Kitambo, Erik Rusnak and debutant Aourid Ismael were enough to carry their side to a 3 – 1 victory, moving within a point of their opponents, who netted thanks to Johnathan Odutolu..
There was a hugely important result for one of the struggling sides at the bottom as Frenford A record their first points of the season with a terrific 4 – 1 win away at Chadwell Heath Spartans. Ricky Reid scored for Spartans but a Gouly Djikalou hat-trick plus a Malachi Hercules effort confirmed the win for Frenford, moving off the bottom in the process.
Sixth-placed Wapping sit on the cusp of the top half of the table with three wins from six so far this season which was aided by their 5-2 home win on Saturday against Kwanzas London Sport. Abderrahmane Berri scored a hat-trick for the hosts with Charlie Ayes and Yusuf Nasir rounding things off, rendering Antonio Semedo’s brace as just consolation.
Completing the weekend’s action in Division One, London Park City were able to pick up a third league win of their season as they made the trip to Hackney to take on Francis Luke at the Marshes. Paulo Luke scored for the hosts but City goals from George Montgomery and Meelad Hamdard got their side over the line in a 2-1 win.
There were plenty of goals in Division Two where the leaders, Belfry, made it seven wins from seven with a 6 – 2 victory at home against Chingford Athletic A in Dagenham. Eric Kelly scored twice for Athletic but goals from Sam Paterson (2), Aaron Rich, Jamie Redington, Mujib Ayoola and Patrick Macdonald were sufficient to extend their good start.
Remaining three points behind are Cowley Community who now have six wins from their opening eight matches this season and they took home all three points from their trip to Rainham Working Mens Club. Chris Wright grabbed his customary goal with Aiden Gentle’s effort rounding off a 2 – 1 victory. Cameron Shakes scored for the Workies in this one.
Third-placed Dagenham United got their season back on track with a really important win as they were paid a visit by fourth placed Newham Wanderers who were sitting just a point behind as the game began. United extended that lead to four points however with two goals from Jordan Akinpelu plus one each from Ruben Silva, Brandon Johnson and Rodeny Varela to win 5 – 2. Malam Injai and Marcelino Rodrigues grabbed the Newham goals in reply.
There was a massive result also at the other end of the table where promoted St Francis got their wins account underway for the season as they took on fellow strugglers Unitey at the Flats. Shaquille Mathurin scored twice and Jorginho Gomes once to earn the Saints a 3 – 0 win and a move off the bottom.
And there was just the nine goals in the final game in Division Two where the Forest Green hosted Old Esthameians at Leyton Sixth Form College, the E’s trailing their opponents by five points going into the game. This was slashed to just two by full time, coming out on the right side of a 5 – 4 thriller.
In Division Three, FHN Athletic have opened up a five point gap at the top after they returned home with all three points in their clash away at Old Barkabbeyans Reserves in Barking. Faraz Khan scored for the hosts but it proved not quite enough as FHN scored twice themselves to win it 2-1.
Fairlop Rovers are up to third in the standings, level on points with just four goals separating them from Melbourne Sports as they took home the points with a 2-0 win in the Forest Road derby. Jack Kibblewhite’s brace was the difference on the day as Rovers continued a great patch of form which has seen climb into promotion contention.
There was a second league win of the season for Lymore Gardens Reserves who made it seven points from six games with a 3-1 away victory in Harlow against Epping United. Stefan Willis scored two and Eugene Goumou once to pave the way for a Garden victory which moved them seventh in the standings.
The division’s two draw specialists completed the action in Division Three where ASA, with three draws in four, met Glendale with four draws in eight this season. The outcome was expectedly… a draw. Mithurn Vijayarajah opened the scoring for ASA but Paul Oriakhi’s leveller just a minute later made it 1 – 1 and the sides shared the spoils once again.
Weather curtailed much of the Division Four action but in the two remaining games, there were seventeen goals with Newham Royals’ home 7-4 win against Together United getting that started. The Royals had an ensemble cast of scorers, led by Anthony Adade’s hat-trick with Ronald Asante getting a brace plus one each for Philip Norman and Richard Smith ending the goal-scoring credits. On the back of a big defeat, that saw Royals move up to third in the standings while Together United remain sixth.
There were six goals in the final game of the day in Dagenham where Brentwood United Reserves were the visitors to face Dagenham United Reserves. Giovanni Morgan (2), and Diego Sotelo grabbed the Dagenham goals but Brentwood efforts from Bradley Jackson, Connor Goom and Christian Pankui levelled it up at 3-3 to share the points.
Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the five Essex Alliance League divisions on Saturday 24th October, along with the Olympian League action, it is good to have guest content on other Grassroots Leagues, thank you Rob. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with thanks. Thanks for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
Essex Alliance League – Saturday 24 October
It was a goal-filled weekend in the top flight with thirty-two goals scored across the six fixtures, ten of those coming in the clash between Chigwell Town and CSM London where Town ran out emphatic 9-1 victors. Mark Howe scored four of his sides goals, Ross Chimes got two and one each from Joe Creasey, Lewis Mcgillicuddy and Harry Burgess. Keifer Cole grabbed the CSM goal back in reply.
At the top end of the division it remains very tight with FC Baresi still leading the way by a point, aided by a narrow win over the weekend as they took home all three points against Tower United at Mabley Green. Recent signing Ashley Godwin made the difference with the only goal of the game to win it 1-0.
DTFC are just behind and with a game in hand as they continued their quest for the title with a trip to West Ham to take on London Cranes. Two goals from Billy Golledge were accompanied onto the score-sheet by efforts from Terry Olivo, Jermaine Francis, Jake Kissiedu and Jamiah Plentie which saw them to a comfortable 6-0 win.
West Essex Reserves saw their chances hit as Blue Marlin took maximum points in Newbury Park, edging the contest 4-3. Goals from Jordan Mills-Smith, Josh Morris, Nathan Desnoes and Tyreese Robinson proved just enough as they overcame the three goals scored by West to hand Blue Marlin their second league win of the season.
That result allowed Lymore Gardens to close the gap on the sides at the top of the table after they returned home from Hainault with all three points in a 4-0 victory at All Prospects. A goal apiece from Andre Rashford, Dylan Roberts, Dushane Powell and Karel Francis earned Lymore a fourth league win in seven as they moved fourth.
Completing the top flight action, it was a good afternoon for Rapid Chingford as they continued their much improved recent form and put a temporary dent in Jolof Sports’ title credentials, holding their opposition to a 2-2 draw in Chingford. Gabriel Prisecaru and Andrei Boga goals accounted for Rapid’s goals while Papa Ndiaye and Mamadou Sene struck for Jolof as Rapid moved up a place to eleventh in the standings.
There were some huge results at the top end of Division One as present leaders, Leyton Royal, missed the chance to extend their lead too much at the top as they were held to a draw against Chadwell Heath Spartans in the battle between the division’s two unbeaten sides. Defences were on top of this one with the game ending 0-0 to keep both sides undefeated.
Second placed Woodford East couldn’t capitalise on those sides dropping points as they fell to second successive defeat as third placed Eastside beat them 4-0 at the Marshes. Johnathan Odutulu scored twice with Lawrence Amadi and Michael Dager grabbing one each to take their side to a fourth league win in six, extending a very promising start to the season.
Kit Out London remain very well placed to stay in the mix as the fifth placed side made it three wins from four on Saturday as they hosted old rivals London Park City at Noak Hill. In a closely fought game, Amalraj Kakmanu and Kachi Yassine goals were the difference on the day to secure a 2-1 victory.
Francis Luke continue their improved form and moved away from the bottom of the table after taking all three points home from their trip to Ilford to face Frenford A. Jordan McLaughlin had got on the hosts’ score-sheet but his efforts were in vain as Francis Luke scored three goals themselves through Louison Kamba, Saico Djop and Saif Altamash to win it 3-1.
The remaining game in the division came from the Marshes were North East Lions were the hosts to take on Kwanzas London Sport. The two teams had to settle for a share of the points as Louis Blake’s goal for Lions was cancelled out by a Kwanzas strike to end this contest level at 1-1 on the day.
It was first versus second in the game of the day in Division Two as Cowley Community hosted Belfry at the Leyton County Ground, the sides meeting for the first time. As predicted, this game was a close contest but Jeremy Lynch once again got on the scoresheet, Jamie Redington netting the other to secure a crucial 2-0 win for Belfry in their battle for the title.
Chingford Athletic A closed the gap on the sides above them as they got the better of Rainham Working Mens Club at Town Mead. Nathan Wilson scored for the Workies but braces from Luke Primett and Eric Kelly in reply plus an Aaron French goal enabled Chingford to run out 5-1 victors.
Keeping chasing with Chingford are Newham Wanderers with only goals scored keeping Wanderers below them in fifth. Newham’s promotion push was kept up with a big away win as they picked up a 6-2 local derby victory away at Forest Green. Malam Injai scored twice adding to Bradley Harris, Macane Caleir, Robertson Morais and Shazib Miah efforts.
Unitey also scooped themselves a big win, their second in succession, as they picked up all three points from their home clash against Old Esthameians in Loughton. Brandon Fulton had a memorable debut scoring four of the Unitey goals, Eddy Litambolo scoring the other in a 5-1 success.
Also in Loughton, Royal Forest had a much improved afternoon as they picked up their first league win of the season with an important win against St Francis. Tom Osmond scored four of the goals in a sparkling performance, Joe Owers and Samuel Gregory netting the others to earn their side a 6-2 win.
There was also a first league win for Barkingside A at the second attempt and it was a huge win as they were up against third placed Dagenham United at Nutter Lane. They bounced back well from defeat last Saturday to earn all this points this time around, ending as 3-0 winners and will be hopeful of extending that form with games in hand.
The big result of the day in Division Three came from Barkingside where Fairlop Rovers made it two excellent wins in succession with a 4-1 victory against the league leaders, FHN Athletic. Cory Regisford scored for FHN but Rovers were in great form with Logan Simmonds netting two and one each from George Birch and Louis Goodman rounded it off.
That result allowed Melbourne Sports to close the gap on the leaders to just two points with a game in hand as the Mels’ good start continued with a 4-2 away win against Flyers Under 23s in Romford. That was Sports’ fourth win in six as they moved second while Flyers continue their quest for their maiden points this season.
Loughton Lions took advantage of results around them to go third and are another side likely to be in the chase, aided by their most recent victory, a 2-0 home win against ASA. That enabled them to also pick up a fourth league win and lie just a point off the promotion places going into the second quarter of the season.
Just through the hedge, there was a topsy-turvy game involving Glendale and Old Barkabbeyans Reserves where second half Dales goals from Mouhamed Gueye and Wesley Kangi looked to be sending them to victory. But late Old Barks goals from Klodian Meta and Kudzai Madziya earned them what had looked like an unlikely point in a 2-2 draw.
There was plenty of goal action in most of the Division Four games with Emerson United Reserves grabbing the result of the day with a big 8-1 victory against Newham Royals in Upminster. Archie Pitfield done most of the damage with a hat-trick with goals from Ross Braybrooke, Joshua Gibbins, Joe Reece, Harry Wilkins and Marcus Williams finishing things off.
Unbeaten Custom House United also made ground on the league leaders as the third placed side came out on the right side of a 5-2 win as they returned home with the points from their trip to Brentwood United Reserves. Jamie Wooster scored twice with Matthew Guy, Paul Wooster and Liam Sullivan efforts also making the scoresheet in their third league win.
There are always goals in Together United games and Saturday was no exception, combining with Avondale Rangers in a seven-goal thriller in Walthamstow. Chris Harper scored twice and Laurence Brady once for Rangers but their efforts proved just consolation as United got it together to score four themselves in a 4-3 win.
The form of Collier Row A hasn’t gone unnoticed as their recent form continued over the weekend, earning them a third league win in seven as they took maximum points from their clash at home to Dagenham United Reserves. Row edged the game by the odd goal in a 2-1 scoreline which sees them move up a place to fifth in the standings.
The day’s remaining game in the league involved the league leaders, Royal Forest Reserves, who were at home in Hainault against Chingford Harriers with the sides only having one defeat between them this season so far. You could have predicted a tight game therefore and so it proved with the matching ending in a rare goalless draw as defences reigned supreme.
Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the five Essex Alliance League divisions on Saturday 3rd October, along with the other Grassroots divisions, it is good to have guest content on these Leagues, thank you Rob. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with thanks. Thanks for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
Just a point separates the top three sides in the Senior Division with FC Baresi still leading the way, assisted by their enthralling victory over the weekend in a nine-goal thriller against Chigwell Town. Ali Shikeey scored twice and one apiece from Amais Khan, Marvin Smith and Denzel Conteh sent the hosts to a 5-4 win.
It’s as you were just behind the leaders with DTFC putting in a comprehensive performance against one of their rivals for the title as they saw off FC Petrocub 7-0 at the Harlow Arena. Jake Kissiedu’s hat-trick was accompanied by Billy Golledge and Kieran Hipgrave braces to extend their perfect record so far.
Another side sporting a perfect record so far are third placed West Essex Reserves who are also sporting four wins from four so far and maintained that start to the season with a hard fought 2-1 win away at Lymore Gardens in their contest in Loughton. Mitchell Arthur and Mason Iley netted the West goals as they returned home with the points.
Jolof Sports are the sitting fourth in the table, the last of the four unbeaten sides in the top flight after they made it three wins from three so far on the back of their most recent performance which saw them beat All Prospects 5-1 in East Ham. Mussa Jamanca scored twice with Abib Diop, Papa Ndiaye and Mamadou Sene also netting for Jolof. Prince Esanbor got the consolation for Prospects here.
Moving up the table are London Cranes who recorded their first victory of the new season on Saturday with a stunning 5-2 home win over Tower United in West Ham. Mohamed Hassan and Asad Yousef had netted for Tower but a home brace for Mathius Sendawula plus strikes from Fred Karyngo, Shadrack Sibasa and Valentine Djeikuyi gave victory to the hosts.
It was also a pleasing afternoon’s work for Blue Marlin who also picked up their first win of the campaign as they returned home from CSM London with the points. Radostin Danchev got on the scoresheet for the hosts but his efforts proved in vain as Marlin scored four goals of their own to earn a 4-1 victory, thanks largely to a Jordan Mills-Smith hat-trick and one for Tyreese Robinson.
The race for promotion in Division One continues to offer much promise with the top two sides separated by just goal difference. Woodford East stay top with a fourth win, courtesy of a 3-1 home victory against Frenford A. Ben Smith, Callum Maltese and Billy Barr all got on the score-sheet to help their side to a fourth consecutive win.
Leyton Royal trail in second place by just a few goals with games between those sides likely to be interesting. Leyton’s 2-1 home win on Saturday came at the expense of London Park City with Cosmin Capatina and Bogdan Toana efforts earning maximum points for the hosts to keep their winning record going.
There was an impressive victory for Kit Out London who made light work of their home fixture against Francis Luke, earning themselves a 7-1 win. Amalraj Kakmanu was in good form once again with a brace adding to goals from Olajide Akala, Lewis Jacobs, Darnell Kitambo, Massi Rahimi and debutant Erik Rusnack.
Moving up third place in the standings, Chadwell Heath Spartans recorded a second league victory and remain unbeaten after they were also 7-1 winners following their match with North East Lions. Ricky Reid scored twice and there were also efforts from Caleb Roberts, Rob Hodgson, Niru Hunwicks, Miguel Martins and Tom Callagher to round off an impressive performance.
Rounding off the action in the second tier, there was a seven goal thriller in Walthamstow as Kwanzas London Sport took on Eastside with the latter recording their first win of the season. They were victors by the odd goal in seven thanks to a double from Michael Dager plus strikes by Wenbi Ghenda and Lawrence Amadi in a result which saw them move up to seventh in the table.
There was just the one completed game in Division Two and it couldn’t have been a more exciting one with top of the table Dagenham United and Forest Green sharing nine goals between them. Rodeny Varela scored twice and one apiece from Brandon Johnson, Ola Ogunjobi and George Martin ended the game 5-4 in favour for United, a result which brought Green’s perfect start to an end.
The big game in Division Three came from Fairlop Oak where previously top of the table Melbourne Sports took on third placed FHN Athletic, both sides sporting excellent starts. Athletic ended the day having swapped places with the Mels as Dillon Ashford-Quaye, Oluwatunmida Adebayo, Ose Egbejale and Daniel Ohuruogu all netted to win it 4-2, rendering Ross Barker and Kinsley Tatham goals as just consolation for the Mels.
Old Barkabbeyans Reserves extended their unbeaten start to the season but did drop points for the first time as they were held to a rare goalless draw at home against Lymore Garden Reserves in Barking. That result saw them go second, two points off the new leaders, while Lymore move sixth.
Moving fourth in the standings are Glendale who, after two recent draws, tasted victory this weekend as they ended Loughton Lions’ perfect start in a closely fought 1-0 victory in the Hainault battle of the hedge. Mohammed Gueye came oft the bench to net in some style from distance to help his Dales side to the win.
There was also an important first victory of the season for Fairlop Rovers who took maximum points and moved away from the bottom of the table after a 4-0 win away at Flyers Under 23s. That result moves them seventh in the standings while Flyers will seek an upturn in form after a pointless start so far.
Avondale Rangers have cut the gap at the top of the table in Division Four as they moved third on Saturday following a 4-2 home win against Newham Royals in Loughton. Jake Clarke scored a hat-trick for Rangers with James Whitbread grabbing the other to move their side to within one point of the leaders.
There was an impressive performance from Dagenham United’s reserve side too where the previously winless side grabbed their first win of the season as they took down Together United at Castle Green. Hans Dodoo scored twice with Amran El-Kaouny grabbing the other to win it 3-1 and end the day as the happier of the sides.
Hello and welcome to this week’s fixture list, looking at the fixtures in the Essex Senior & FA Cup 2RQ involving ESL sides, Eastern Senior League South, Essex Olympian League & Cups, Essex Alliance League & Essex & Suffolk Border League Premier divisions this weekend – Friday – Sunday 2nd – 4th October.
The FA Cup – 2nd Qualifying Round (Essex Senior sides)
Saturday 3rd October
Hashtag Utd v Braintree Town | Len Salmon Stadium [3G]
Peterborough Sports v Stansted | Lincoln Road
Walthamstow v Hornchurch | Wadham Lodge
Essex Senior League
Friday 2nd October
West Essex v Southend Manor | Mayesbrook Park [3G]
Saturday 3rd October
Clapton v Woodford Town | Terry Mac
Hoddesdon Town v Hadley | Lowfield
Sawbridgeworth Town v Saffron Walden Town | Crofters
St Margaretsbury v Cockfosters | The Rec
Sun 4th Oct – Enfield v Ilford | Woodside
Eastern Senior League SouthFixtures
Friday 2nd October– Barkingside v May & Baker | Cricklefield
Saturday 3rd October
Burnham Ramblers v Athletic Newham | Leslie Field
Coggeshall Utdv Benfleet | West Street
Halstead Town v White Ensign | Millbank Stadium
Harwich & Parkeston v Newbury Forest | Royal Oak
Holland v Wormley Rovers | Dulwich Road
Little Oakley v Hackney Wick | Memorial Stadium
Wivenhoe Town v Frenford | MEC Stadium
Essex Olympian League Fixtures
Saturday 3rd October (2.30pm KO unless stated)
EOFL Premier Division
Catholic Utd v Leigh Ramblers | Len Forge Centre [3G]
EOFL Senior League Cup (2.15pm KOs unless stated)
ACD Utd v Sungate | Westlands Playing Fields
Beacon Hill Rovers v Wakebury | Wickham Bishops Sports Grd
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts v Old Southendian | Silver Leys
Buckhurst Hill v Leigh Town | Roding Lane
Collier Row v Roydon | Forest Row Centre (Pitch 1)
Epping Town v Old Chelmsfordians | Epping UC Rugby Club
Galleywood v Basildon Town | Clarkes Field
Harold Wood Athletic v Kelvedon Hatch | Harold Wood Park (Pitch 1)
Herongate Athletic v Runwell Sports | St Clere’s Sch [3G] (3pm KO)
Hutton v Springfield | Polo Fields
Lakeside Utd v Rayleigh Town | Lakeside Sports Ground [3G] (2.30pm KO)
Manford Way v Shenfield AFC | London Marathon Sports Ground
EOFL Reserve League Cup (2.15pm KOs)
Chingford Athletic Res v Manford Way Res | Town Mead [3G]
Old Southendian Res v Wakering Sports Dev | Garon Park [3G]
Rayleigh Town Res v Runwell Sports Res | London Road
Springfield Res v Shoebury Town Res | Arun Close
Sungate Res v Collier Row Res | Ilford Wanderers RFC
Essex Junior Cup – Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ v Wakering Sports Res | Lower Road (2pm KO)
EOFL Division One
Shoebury Town v Chingford Athletic | Cupid’s CC (Pitch 2)
Snaresbrook v Ramsden Scotia | Nutters Field
Toby v Ongar Town | Ford’s Sports Club (Newbury Park)
EOFL Division Two
Corinthians v AS Rawreth | Stambridge Memorial Ground
Laindon Orient v Ryan | Markhams Chase
Wakering Sports v Rochford Town | Cupid’s CC (Pitch 1)
EOFL Division Three
Basildon Town Res v Toby Res | Basildon Sports Club
Buckhurst Hill Res v Corinthians Res | Roding Lane (Pitch 2)
Leigh Town Res v Hutton Res | John Burrows Rec Ground
EOFL Division Four
Hashtag Utd Dev. v Galleywood Res
Old Chelmsfordians Res v Catholic Utd Res
Ongar Town Res v Leytonstone Utd
Shenfield AFC Res v Laindon Orient Res
EOFL Division Five
AS Rawreth Res v Herongate Athletic Res
Leigh Ramblers Res v Epping Town Res
Old Barkabbeyans v Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res
Essex & Suffolk Border League Fixtures
(Saturday 3 Oct) (3pm KOs unless stated)
ESBL Premier Division
Barnston v Felixstowe & Walton Utd Res | High Easter Road
Colne Athletic v Earls Colne | Strangers Corner Sports Complex
Dedham Old Boys v Alresford Colne Rangers | Duchy Field
Flitch Utd v Little Oakley Res | Alcott Playing Field
Hatfield Peverel v Lawford Lads | Keith Bigden Memorial Ground
Stanway Pegasus v Great Bentley | Stanway Sch (3.30pm KO)
Tiptree Heath v Gas Recreation | Tollesbury Road
West Bergholt v White Notley | Lorkin Daniell Field
Essex Alliance League Fixtures (Sat October 3rd) – 2pm KOs unless stated
CSM London v Blue Marlin | West Ham Community Ground [3G], Beckton
DT FC v FC Petrocub | the Harlow Arena [3G]
FC Baresi v Chigwell Town | Britannia Sports Ground, Walthamstow
Jolof Sports v All Prospects | Flanders Playing Fields, East Ham
London Cranes v Tower Utd | West Ham Memorial Park
West Essex Res v Lymore Gardens | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields
Chadwell Heath Spartans v North East Lions | Mayfield Leisure Centre, Goodmayes
Francis Luke v Kit Out London | Hackney Marshes
Kwanzas London Sport v Eastside | Beckton District Park (South), Stansfield Rd
Leyton Royal v London Park City | Salisbury Hall
Woodford East v Frenford ‘A’ | Debden Park Sch
Rest of the Fixtures are on website at essexallianceleague.com
Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the five Essex Alliance League divisions on Saturday 26th September, along with the Olympian League & ESBL action, it is good to have guest content on other Grassroots Leagues, thank you Rob. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with thanks. Thanks for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
Essex Alliance League – Saturday 26th September
There is another new leader at the top of the Senior Division this week with FC Baresi the latest custodians of that position following their third win in four on Saturday, beating London Cranes by the odd goal at West Ham Memorial Park. Ali Shikheey got that only goal of the game as Baresi were 1 – 0 victors.
Three sides sit just behind the leaders with a perfect record with DTFC winners once again this weekend following victory at the Harlow Arena against Chigwell Town. A goal apiece from Chris Smith, Billy Golledge and Kieran Hipgrave were enough to see their side over the line to a 3-1 win.
West Essex Reserves are hot on the trail too and they made it three wins from three on Saturday with a comfortable looking 4-1 away win at Tower United. Abdi Abdikarim scored for the hosts but a brace for West from Mason Iley added to further goals from Adam Norris and Hassan Sufi to give their side the points.
Another side with a 100% start to their season are Jolof Sports who made it a pair of narrow 1-0 wins on their return to the league. Blue Marlin were the side to suffer said reverse as Moustpha Kane’s strike proved the only goal of a close game down in Newbury Park, that result moving Jolof up to sixth in the standings.
Lymore Gardens’ good start to the season continued on Saturday as they moved to fifth place on the back of a 2-1 away win against Rapid Chingford at Salisbury Hall. Andrei Boga’s goal had given Rapid the lead but a pair of goals from Marcel Destouche and Ashley Godwin paved the way for a Garden win.
After an indifferent start, CSM London have climbed into mid-table as they secured a second league win of the season, defeating a presently winless All Prospects side 4-1 at Fairlop Oak. Keifer Cole’s hat-trick proved the main difference between the sides with Ramone Senior’s strike rounding off the win in some style.
In Division One, Leyton Royal took full advantage of the leaders being out of action to move level on points at the top of the table as they made it three wins from three with a hard fought 1-0 victory away at Eastside. Alin Cosma was the man on target with their solitary effort to give his side maximum points so far.
Wapping have moved up to fourth as they picked up a second league win of the season, taking home all three points from their trip to Frenford A. The visitors scored both of the goals in the game, running out 2-0 winners to help move their side up the table following an indifferent start.
Sitting fifth are Chadwell Heath Spartans who added a win to their opening draw to keep themselves unbeaten in their maiden campaign at this level. They brought London Park City’s perfect start to an end, winning 4-2 at Mayfield through a Janel Alexander double and single efforts from Rashid Matabaro and Courtney Holness.
Kit Out London started their maiden league campaign in positive fashion with an opening victory in their first fixture, returning home with all three points from their trip to face Kwanzas London Sport in Walthamstow. Amalraj Kakamanu scored twice and Olajide Akala once to edge their side to a 3-2 win.
It was also a memorable afternoon for North East Lions who tasted victory at the fourth attempt on Saturday after beating seventh-placed Francis Luke 2-0 at the Marshes. That win gave them a first victory in Saturday football and helped them move to within goal difference of their opponents.
There were plenty of goals in Division Two where Belfry continued their early form with another win, this time beating Unitey 3-0 at Roding Valley High School. A brace from Sam Paterson led the way with Jamie Redington scoring the other to make it a maximum points start for the new side.
Just behind the pacesetters on goal difference, Cowley Community’s solid start sees no end as they added another victory to their start, beating Newham Wanderers in a local derby match. Chris Wright was in some form, scoring all four of their goals in a 4-0 victory to keep his side well involved at the top end of the table.
Another side who have made a great start are Dagenham United who also made it three wins in four at the start of the new campaign as they returned home with all three points from their trip to Old Esthameians. Neil Robinson found the back of the net for Old E’s but United scored five in reply to make it a 5-1 winning score-line in their favour. Rodeny Varela got a hat-trick here, with Filipe Silva and Brandoon Johnson also netting for Utd here in their win.
Forest Green will be very pleased with their efforts in September having won all of their fixtures in the month to sit fourth in the placings going into October. They came through a real seven goal humdinger over the weekend, edging past Chingford Athletic A in a 4-3 scoreline to end the day as the happier of the two outfits.
The final game in the third tier came from Rainham Working Mens Club where the hosts were up against St Francis in this key battle between two sides having made indifferent starts so far. Joshua Shakes threw two goals into the Rainham mix but Saints stirred things up by scoring twice themselves to make it a 2-2 draw and sharing the spoils.
The Division Three leaders after the first month are Melbourne Sports who lead the way on goal difference having won both of their fixtures, their latest victims being Lymore Gardens Reserves. The Mels returned from Chingford with maximum points as they earned a 4-1 away victory to start the season in great style.
Moving up to third place are Bailey Football Academy who picked up their maiden league victory following a big 4-1 away win against Fairlop Rovers in Barkingside. Ross Basunda scored twice with Berdan Yelken and debutant Luke Deslandes goals helping their side to a memorably first win.
Completing the day’s action at this level, it was a case of de ja vu for Glendale as the Dales had to settle for a share of the points in a 2-2 draw against Epping United at Fairlop Oak. Valter Correia levelled up after an early Epping opener but the visitors got ahead once again which needed Mouhamed Gueye’s strike late on for the Dales to level things up.
It’s been a good start for Custom House United in Division Four as they made it two wins and a draw from their opening games with a 6-1 home win on Saturday against Dagenham United Reserves. Tim Mason scored four for the Dockers with Charlie Clarke and Kelvin Bartlett efforts finishing things off for the league leaders.
Royal Forest Reserves dropped their first points of the season but remain level with the leaders at the top following a 1-1 draw at Fairlop Oak against Newham Royals. Will Asenso scored for Forest but Royals were able to level up to maintain unbeaten starts for both of the sides thus far. It was a memorable Saturday afternoon for Collier Row A who secured their first competitive win following a 4-3 home victory against Avondale Rangers. Jake Clarke scored twice for Rangers but his efforts were in vain as Row picked up the points to move off of the bottom of the table.
Brentwood United Reserves also secured a first victory of the campaign as they returned home with all three points from their fixture against Chingford Harriers at Westlands. That win moved them up to eighth place in the table, just a point off of the sides placed in mid-table in a congested table so far.
Completing the days action, a six-goal thriller rounds things off in Division Four as Emerson United Reserves entertained Together United at Hall Lane. In a close game, the teams drew 3-3, sharing all six goals and consequently the points too as Ross Braybrooke, Jamie Fox and Sonny Scott helped Emerson move up to fourth in the standings, United just a single goal behind them.