Written by Scott W [@ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello & welcome to another edition of the Essex Olympian League round-up. This week, we look at the action in all divisions & Cups from Saturday 4 February, as the weekend’s action in all six divisions was bolstered by Cup ties.
EOFL Premier Division
In the top-tier, Hutton continue to bolster their chances of the Premier title & promotion, as they defeated Toby 2 – 0 at Chadfields. Stephen Judge & substitute Kyle Linzell goals were enough to see the Reds to 40 points in just 14 matches. Old Southendian are up to second spot after a 3 – 0 win at Leigh Ramblers, securing their third straight League win. Catholic Utd are up third place after securing a comeback 3 – 1 victory over Runwell Sports at the Len Forge. Gianni Frankis’ goal had put Runwell ahead but strikes from Liam Oliver, Aaron Baldwin (on his 100th appearance for the club) & Tom Elliott sealled the win, ahead of a very hectic last three months of the campaign (which sees them still have 15 league games left, starting with a trip Old Southendian in midweek). Shenfield AFC’s decent season continues after they defeated Canning Town 1 – 0 at St Martins 3G. Sam Lock got the only goal there to send them up to eighth spot, while Galleywood battled to a 1 – 1 draw at Kelvedon Hatch. Freddie Bartram got the ‘Wood goal, with Charlie Nichols replying for Darren Hunt’s team. Galleywood still need at least two wins from their upcoming games to draw other teams into the relegation battle.
EOFL Divisions One & Two
Division One saw some potentially big results. First, a mention for strugglers Wakering Sports who battled to their maiden victory this term, as they defeated Manford Way 1- 0, with Nathan Roche scoring the only goal there. Epping Town held promotion rivals Harold Wood Athletic 1 – 1 at home, with Joe Rickett netting for Town & Ben Woolven doing so for Ath, who remain four points clear at the top. Beacon Hill Rovers got an important 2 – 0 success over Corinthians, which sends Hill up to 8th, and dampens the Stambridge-based side’s promotion aspirations, as they stay fourth. Finally, Herongate Athletic are only two points adrift of fourth spot, following a 3 – 0 win at home to Harold Hill. Alfie Yeend, Thomas Lambourne & George Godfrey goals made the most of their chances & notch a fine three points.
Into Division Two, Wakering Sports Res reduced the deficit to leaders Shoebury to four points after a 5 – 2 triumph at Rayleigh Town Res. Substitute Ciaran Sweeney netted twice, with Connor Fardyga, Charlie Smith & Steven Valente also on target for the enterprising Sports side. May & Baker are up to third after a fine 5 – 0 win at AS Rawreth, with Alfie Horan & Kane Messenger notching doubles each, with Jack O’Connor’s fine strike confirming the points. Hutton Res got a battling 1 – 0 victory at Hashtag Utd Development, with Jack Greenwood’s goal enough to push them up to ninth place, a point clear of the bottom two. Lastly, Old Southendian Res drew 1 – 1 with Catholic Utd Res. Both teams are some way off the top six, following that result.
EOFL Divisions Three, Four & Five
Moving now to Division Three, the top two were not in action but Buckhurst Hill U23 gained ground on them with a superb 7 – 1 success over Corinthians Res at Roding Lane. Ayomide Ademokun netted a treble, with Harvey Woods adding a brace, plus Jacob Richards & replacement Bailey Allen also netted for Darren Gosnell’s side, who are well-set in third. Pitsea Athletic are only a point below them in fourth after they defeated Chingford Athletic Res 5 – 0. Both of these teams have the most matches to play in the division remaining, at eight each.
In Division Four, Roydon put themselves back in pole position for the title with a 2 – 1 victory over rivals Collier Row. Connor Presland & Ross Bourke both scored for the hosts who went a point clear at the summit, with three matches in hand on nearest rivals Row. Leigh Ramblers Res are also in the promotion shake-up after a fine 4 – 0 win at Shenfield AFC Res. Jacob Meads netted twice for the Rams, with Dominic North & substitute Taylor Stewart also on target at Warley Fields in a win which keeps them third. Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res had a real battle before coming away with a 4 – 3 victory at Galleywood Res. The hosts got goals through Ebenezer Fasoranti, Aryan Tathgar and Ashley Merritt but they were outdone by Matthew Allen’s brace for Swifts, compiled with strikes from Archie Gerard & Jordan Trott to give the visitors another three points and they remain fourth.
Lastly in this division, a big day for Leytonstone Utd as they notched their first win of a tough campaign, winning 3 – 2 against Ongar Town at Forest Row. The trio of James Medlock, Billy Wallace & George Welsh got the crucial Leytonstone goals. Ongar got goals from Jude Collins, and replacement James McLean but it wasn’t enough to prevent Utd from finally savouring a win – they are only four points behind Wakering Sports A & Galleywood Res directly above them.
In Division Five, Basildon Town A edged to a 3 – 2 victory over Collier Row Res at Basildon Sports Club. Donnel Kujinga netted yet another double to further endorse his good season, while Alex Smith got the other goal, the win takes them up to fourth place. Also, Runwell Sports Res are into second place after a resounding 8 – 0 victory at home to AS Rawreth Res.
We start the Cup action with mentions of the two Senior Cup games. First, Sungate ended Rayleigh Town’s run in the competition as the ‘Gate had a Arif Mustapha goal to thank in their 1 – 0 win. Also, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts were given a stern test before coming through 4 – 3 on spot-kicks, after a 0 – 0 draw at Silver Leys, In the Denny King Cup, ACD Utd progressed with a narrow 1 – 0 victory over Basildon Town Res, with Jamie Alexandrou getting the only goal there.
Moving on into the Reserve Cup, and Herongate Athletic Res triumphed with a 5 – 1 win at Springfield Res. Kemston Allen got a super treble, added to very well by Habeeb Apatira’s double to see the visitors through. Finally, in the Reserve Trophy, Old Chelmsfordians Res progressed with a 3 – 0 victory at home to Pitsea Athletic Res and Harold Wood Athletic Res sailed through with a 4 – 1 success at Wakering Sports A. Max London netted twice for Wood, with Thomas Butler & Kieron Moynihan also on target for them. Carl Sutton replied for Wakering, but their attention focuses now on remaining in Division Four.