Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello everyone and welcome to a preview of the opening weekend of the resumption of the 2020-21 Essex Olympian League Division One season, looking at the first fixture weekend taking place on the 3rd April, plus a look at who is in the running for the Division One title this season.
As a spectator and writer on Non-League Football, Saturdays in the last four months have been something to adapt to, just another caveat of a thoroughly troubling year.
We begin with a look of the current Division One table, courtesy of the re-modelled FA Full-time site. Then we’ll move on to who is in the running for the title & the first three fixtures those runners have to restart their campaign.
So who could win the Division One title?
As you can see from the table above, leaders Ongar Town have had a superb start, remaining unbeaten and well, their goal-scoring record of 31 goals in eight matches (averaging nearly four goals a game) speaks for itself. But that doesn’t mean there are not potential challengers, as to describe Division One as a dull division would be doing a disservice to the sides around them.
Runwell Sports and Galleywood are the nearest challengers and are close enough to take advantage if Ongar have a uncharacteristically poor start this month. And it would be unwise to rule out the goal-scoring firepower of Old Chelmsfordians and the improving Manford Way side under Trevor Grace, who also have games in hand on all the top four.
Leaders Ongar will have to wait to return to League action as their fixture this weekend has been postponed, but they are due to welcome Shoebury Town to the Lakeside Sports Ground on April 10th before making the trip to St Luke’s Park to take on rivals Runwell Sports a week later..
Second-placed Runwell Sports themselves are fortunate to begin with three home matches, starting with the small matter (not) of Old Chelmsfordians this weekend, followed by Rayleigh Town Reserves and leaders Ongar on April 17th.
Galleywood in third have two home matches to begin their ‘mini-season’ with their first game against Herongate Athletic at Clarkes Field, before visiting Toby a week later. Following that, in a reversed fixture, they are set to welcome Ramsden Scotia in what will be a lunchtime kick-off on April 17th (It will be fascinating to see if that draws in the spectators & ground-hoppers as it may be OK for them to attend then)
Fourth-placed Old Chelmsfordians have the second-best goal-scoring record in the division thus far, but that will be tested as they travel to Runwell first up, followed by a trip to mid-table Ramsden Scotia a week later and then a fascinating encounter with rivals Manford Way at Lawford Lane on April 17th.
Finally, Manford Way possess the second-best defensive record in the division and they welcome mid-table sides Toby and Snaresbrook in the next two weekends, followed by the trip to Old Chelmsfordians mentioned a paragraph ago.
The following fixtures this weekend are subject to Covid protocols (ie. they could be postponed at short notice) & a reminder that spectators are still barred until at least April 12th.
Saturday 3rd April (2.30pm KOs unless stated)
EOFL Division One
Galleywood v Herongate Athletic | Clarkes Field
Manford Way v Toby | London Marathon Sports Ground
Rayleigh Town Res v Chingford Athletic | London Road
Runwell Sports v Old Chelmsfordians | St Luke’s Park
Snaresbrook v Shoebury Town | Nutters Field
Postponed: Ramsden Scotia v Ongar Town (Covid reasons)
That’s all for this article, thank you for reading & I hope to be able to bring back my round-ups of Olympian League action early next week. I wish each team well.