Hello and welcome to the latest action from the Essex Alliance League, which continues on this blog this season under the “Guest Blog” strand. This edition looks at the action across the League divisions and action in the respective Divisional Cups on Saturday 5 February. 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]
With additional reporting by Scott W
Essex Alliance League Round-up- Saturday 5 February
SENIOR DIVISION CUP
There was a shock in another of the Senior Division Cup first round clashes where bottom of the table Chigwell Town followed up their victory in the league last time out by sending Leyton Royal out of the cup. Ellis Morgan was the scorer of the game’s only goal, his effort sending Town through 1 – 0 to a quarter final away at Lymore Gardens.
In the Senior Division action, DT FC got themselves back on the winning trail, bouncing back from last week’s disappointment to record a narrow victory by the odd goal away at FC Petrocub. Goals from Lewis Evans, new recruit Robbie Farrell and the returning Jermaine Francis were enough to take home the points from Noak Hill in a 3 – 2 scoreline. Chadwell Heath Spartans remain at the head of the chasing pack with a four point deficit to make up but done their best to keep the title challenge ongoing with a big home win, defeating Kit Out London 5 – 2 in Chigwell. Marlon Ortiz scored twice for London but Spartan goals from Meer Ishanzadeh, Michael Ramsay, Harry Payne, Jordan Thomas and Rashid Matabaro were decisive.
Jolof Sports missed the chance to break into the top four as they could only take a point back with them from their visit to Walthamstow to face FC Baresi, the sides ending 2 – 2 at the Britannia. Ali Shikheey and Paul Benfield both struck for the hosts as they moved up a place to seventh and into the top half. Mussa Jamanca and Mamadou Sene responded for Jolof there. In a crucial battle at the bottom to avoid the drop, Blue Marlin played host to fellow relegation threatened CSM London, the latter looking to make up for the disappointment of their last trip to Hainault. CSM started the game a point clear of the drop zone but CSM had extended that to four by full time, winning 2 – 1 courtesy of key goals from Leon Barnard and Ramone Senior. Lindsey Marsh got the solitary reply for Marlin.
There were huge results affecting both ends of the Premier Division standings as second placed Dagenham United’s recent run of poor continued, going down to a 2 – 0 defeat against sixth placed Oakside. The victors kept up their push for the title thanks to a double from Kieren Huddart and they still have twelve games left in their season to complete the job, many more than that their closest rivals. That result also enabled Crookz United to move to within two points of the promotion places after they came through a tricky game away to Athletic Newham Under 23s. United were 3 – 2 winners at Flanders through a Stephane Trah brace and an Abdouaziz Jeng goal, taking their wins tally for the season to nine.
And there was a massive result for sides trying to avoid the drop as London Park City gave themselves a fighting chance as they scooped a first league win of the season, beating London Cranes 3-0 at Seven Kings High School, a result which moved them off of the bottom of the table though still eleven points adrift from safety.
Belfry’s stranglehold at the top of Division One continues for another week as they confirmed a tenth straight league victory to keep their perfect record, defeating promotion chasing RC XI 3 – 1 in Aveley. It was a family affair on the scoring front with Solomon Ogunwomoju netting twice and Gabriel Ogunwomoju striking the other to help their side take the win. Eugene Duah got the solitary reply for RC. Just a couple of points behind, Cowley Community’s own push for silverware was maintained as they put in a winning performance against Forest Green over in Newbury Park. Cowley were 5 – 2 winners on the day as Lekan Bakare struck twice with Chris Wright, Michael Taylor and Rotimi Balogun also getting on the scoresheet.
Ilford Reserves have shot up into the top five of the standings as they won both games of a double header against Barkingside A in Wanstead. They were 4 – 0 victors in the first game as Joseph Sulola and Rhys Clements both scored twice to help them cruise to victory. Game number two was tighter but the Foxes were winners once again as Denzel Essuah-Mensah and Rhys Clements netted to finish it 2 – 0. There was a big win for Something From Nothing as their local derby game against Wanstead went their way, running out 3 – 1 winners to sit sixth in the table. Nicola Rapacchiani scored for the hosts but his efforts proved in vain, missing the chance to go third as SFN scored three of their own to pick up a fifth league win of the season.
A nine-goal thriller was witnessed over at Hackney Marshes where Francis Luke and their co-tenants Renegade played their part in a goal filled contest. Luke’s Jahvarn Steward scored a hat-trick and Brighton Tutalamon one but those efforts were not quite enough as Nana Baah (2), Mundhir Omar, Nathaniel Williams and Prince Eze struck to win the game 5 – 4 in Renegade’s favour. The division’s remaining game was another from the Flats which saw Kwanzas London Sport the visitors to take on Newham Wanderers, both sides occupying mid-table berths and separated by three points. That gap remained by full-time with the teams settling for a 2 – 2 draw with Robertson Morais notching both efforts for Wanderers.
The top of the Division Two table couldn’t be tighter with one point separating the top four sides. Fairlop Rovers closed the gap on the leaders to just a point but had their work cut out, edging a nine-goal thriller at home to Redbridge Community over in Hainault. Rovers were 5 – 4 winners despite Redbridge goals from Opeyemi Salami, Melanijus Butkus, Frankie Francis and Dylan Broadley. Top of the table Old Esthameians slipped to a third league defeat of the season as Ryan Under 23s exacted revenge for a defeat earlier in the season to take home the points in a 3 – 1 win at Wadham Lodge. Their goals came from Pooya Karimi, Mekhi Charles-Armstrong and Jedd Coster. That was Ryan’s fifth win the competition this season while E’s missed the chance to extend their lead at the summit.
There was also a defeat for second placed Unitey who were on the road ono Saturday with a trip to Debden to take on Loughton Lions but returned empty handed with Lions’ recent form from the cup extending to the league as they picked up a 2 – 1 win. That was the host’s fourth league victory as they attempt to move clear of relegation difficulties. Another key result saw Royal Forest shoot up to seventh in the league standings as they took down fourth placed Emerson & Upminster Reserves in Loughton. Martin Cannon fired in two goals, Jonathan Hick and Joe Meader also netting. Ross Braybrooke and Archie Pitfield struck for Emerson in reply with their consolation efforts as Forest won the game 4 – 2.
The biggest winners in the division were Rainham Working Mens Club who managed to find the net with regularity during an 8 – 1 away win at Newbury East over at Oaks Park. Two goals apiece from Nick Tormey, Scott Gormer and Sean Tormey led the way with Cameron Shakes and Charlie Perry efforts finishing things off. Christian Autunno scored the East consolation goal in reply. Fifth placed FHN Athletic enhanced their promotion credentials as one of only two winning sides in the top five on Saturday, defeating eleventh placed St Francis with a 3 – 0 win in Hainault. That was the host’s eighth league win and, with games in hand, could climb to second in the coming weeks if they can convert those to victories.
The big result in Division Three came from Walthamstow on Saturday as Together United pulled off one of the biggest results of the season to end Royal Forest Reserves’ long unbeaten run in the league, defeating the title contenders 5 – 2. Tom Alexander scored twice for the Trees but those goals were not enough to get anything from the contest. Old Barkabbeyans Reserves took full advantage of that slip by a rival club to return to the top as they exacted some revenge for dropping points last time out against Buckhurst Way by beating them 5 – 0 this time around. Michael Ryder scored a hat-trick with Luke Harradine and Mitchell Day efforts giving the leaders an eleventh win of the season.
Just a point behind Old Barks are FC Baresi Under 23s who moved into second place following the weekend’s results, coming through a comfortable home victory against Terin at the Britannia. Leo Siki scored a hat-trick, Joshua Adu scored twice and one each from Zach Aliane and Kii Jean-Baptiste confirmed a 7 – 0 win for the host club. Sitting three points off the top three, Lymore Gardens Reserves will potentially still have some impact on who finishes in the promotion places and got back to winning ways this weekend with a 3 – 1 away win over ASA at Hackney Marshes. That result, Lymore’s ninth of the season moved their points tally onto twenty-eight.
Fifth placed Melbourne Sports are not too far back themselves after a difficult spell of form but they were in fine goal scoring form on Saturday, putting seven goals past Flyers Under 23s in a 7 – 1 win for the Mels. Ethan Sowonola scored for Flyers but his effort was not quite enough as the hosts walked away comfortable winners.
Matching the two divisions above for its closeness, it’s one point separating four in Division Four also where Fairlop Rovers Reserves cut the gap at the top to just goal difference on Chingford Harriers as they won 4 – 1 in Walthamstow. Nick Shawyer scored for Harriers but the leaders’ luck ran out as Rovers were victorious. That result means that Sporting Pillars are in pole position for the title and sit just a point off the lead, with a game in hand, following a big 7 – 1 win away at Newham & Havering Borough as they reigned supreme in Dagenham. A Rayan Allam hat-trick, Emanuel Jacob brace and efforts from Daniel Gutierrez and Ousmany Dibaga were more than enough, Andrew Elie striking Borough’s consolation.
Fourth placed Flyers Under 21s missed the chance to go top of the table after they were held to a rare goalless draw in their game away to ninth placed West Essex Under 23s. The teams were unable to breach each other’s defences, taking away a point apiece to put a dent in Flyers’ promotion push, that being West’s fourteen point this season. In fifth place, Dagenham United Reserves got back to winning ways as they closed the gap on the four sides above to three points, coming away winners from a closely fought home game against Avondale Rangers at Castle Green. Blaijan Kitufueni scored for Rangers but United goals from Lucas Pereira and Imad Khan confirmed a 2-1 win for their side.
The league will have it’s first representation in the semi finals of the BBC Essex Premier Cup as Woodford East returned home from their trip to Tiptree Heath with a dramatic 5-2 win. East fell behind in the first minute but battled back to hold a half-time lead then withstood a Heath fightback before scoring twice late on. They will now head on to face Clapton Community in the semi finals next month, one game away from the final.
Fixtures – Saturday 12 February
EAL Senior Division
Chadwell Heath Spartans v Lymore Gardens | Chigwell Hall
Chigwell Town v Woodford East | London Marathon Sports Ground
CSM London v FC Baresi | West Ham Community Ground [3G]
Leyton Royal v Kit Out London | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields, Hainault
Rapid Chingford v DT FC | Lakeside Sports Ground
EAL Premier Division
All Prospects v Athletic Newham U23 | Fairlop Oak
London Cranes v Oakside | Flanders Playing Fields
North East Lions v Frenford A | Peter May Centre, Walthamstow
Wapping v Dagenham Utd | Victoria Park, E9