Preview: Essex Olympian League Divisions Opening Weekend [EOFL 20-21 27.8.20]

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Archive Image – Leigh Town v Corinthians (Feb 2020 EPC Q-Final)

Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello everyone and welcome to a preview of the Opening Weekend of the 2020-21 Essex Olympian League season, taking in all of the fixtures across League & the Senior League Cup. Given that the EOFL Premier Division sits at Step 7 (or to quote the new FA buzzword – a ‘NLS Feeder League’ – I know I prefer the former phrase), it has got the go-ahead, subject to changes & guidelines, to begin on Saturday September 5th.

On the opening day, the Premier Division does take ‘centre stage’ with regards to the League action, with the bulk of Senior One to Three sides in Cup action. The intention at this stage is that I’ll continue with the EOFL round-ups most weeks (at least) on this blog this season though I do ask EOFL Clubs to pass on goal-scorers & results where possible. Also I have to mention that until further notice, matches at Step 7 (EOFL Premier Division) will be played Behind Closed Doors, as per FA directives issued on August 4th.

Finally, if there is any info that is inaccurate, could I ask clubs to DM me on Twitter and I will amend, thank you. Every effort has been made to keep it up to date.

 

Saturday 5th September 2020 (2.30pm KOs unless stated)

EOFL Premier Division

Buckhurst Hill  v  Kelvedon Hatch   | Roding Lane

Catholic Utd  v  Canning Town  | Len Forge Centre [3G]**

Hutton  v  Basildon Town    | Polo Fields

Old Southendian  v  Bishop’s Stortford Swifts   | Garon Park [3G]

Rayleigh Town  v  Harold Wood Athletic   | London Road

Springfield  v  Leigh Ramblers   |  Springfield Hall Park

Sungate  v  Shenfield AFC   | Ilford Wanderers RFC

 

** = Indicates Catholic Utd’s new home ground for 2020-21 Season

 

EOFL Division One

Old Chelmsfordians  v  Rayleigh Town Res  | Lawford Lane

 

EOFL Division Two

Beacon Hill Rovers  v  Old Southendian Res   | Wickham Bishops Spts Gound

Harold Wood Athletic Res v  Leigh Town   | Harold Wood Park [Pitch #1]

 

EOFL Division Three

Basildon Town Res  v  Buckhurst Hill Res   | Basildon Sports Club

Toby Res  v  Leigh Town Res   | Ford’s, Newbury Park [Toby pitch]

 

EOFL Division Four

Chingford Athletic Res  v  Galleywood Res   | Town Mead [3G]

Shenfield AFC Res  v  Old Chelmsfordians Res   | The Drive, Warley

 

EOFL Senior Five

Collier Row Res  v  Epping Town Res   | Forest Row Centre (Pitch #2)

Herongate Athletic Res  v  Shoebury Town Res   | Billericay Road, Herongate

Roydon  v  AS Rawreth Res   | Roydon Playing Fields

Runwell Sports Res  v  Springfield Res  | St Luke’s Park

 

 

EOFL Senior League Cup – Round 1 (2.15pm KOs unless stated)

 

Collier Row  v  Toby  | Forest Row Centre (Pitch #1)

Corinthians  v  Runwell Sports   | Stambridge Memorial Ground

Epping Town  v  Hullbridge Sports ‘A’   | Epping Rugby Club, Upland Rd**

Hashtag Utd Development  v  Manford Way   | Barleylands Road

 

Laindon Orient  v  Ongar Town  | Markhams Chase, Laindon Link

Lakeside Utd  v  Snaresbrook   | Lakeside Spts Grd [3G] | (2.30pm KO)

May & Baker Res  v  Newbury Forest Res   | May & Baker FC

Old Barkabbeyans  v  Galleywood   | Barking Abbey School, South Park Drive

Ramsden Scotia  v  FC Hamlets   | Nursery Sports Ground

 

Ryan  v  AS Rawreth  | Wadham Lodge Spts Grd [Inter. Grass Pitch]

Shoebury Town  v  ACD Utd   | Cupid’s CC (Pitch #2), Shoeburyness

Wakering Sports  v  Rochford Town   | Cupid’s CC (Pitch #1), Shoeburyness

 

** Denotes that Epping Town will play home games at Epping Rugby Club this season, leaving previous home Stonards Hill for 2020-21

Season 2020-21 Constitution: Essex Olympian League Divisions Preview [EOFL 30.7.20]

 

Compiled by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

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EOFL Crest

Hello everyone and welcome to the another of my articles previewing the 2020-21 season, ahead of the start of a very unique pre-season. In this piece we’ll have a look at the Constitutions for all six Essex Olympian League (EOFL) divisions (the Premier Division sits at Step 7 & is a ‘NLS Feeder League’). These listings could still be subject to alteration in due course, but is compiled from known information. Thanks to the EOFL for the info used, you can find out more on their website – eofl.co.uk

Finally, if there is any info that is inaccurate, could I ask clubs to DM me on Twitter and I will amend, thank you. Every effort has been made to keep it up to date.

Key

(NEW) = New Side for 2020/21 Season

* Taken Voluntary Relegation (one division lower)

^ = Name TBC (Given May & Baker have entered a side in the Essex Senior Reserve Division)

 

Premier Division – Senior Two (Top three Tiers of Olympian League) Constitution

EOFL Constit 20-21 Prem - D2 Image

Premier Division

The EOFL top-tier is a rarity in this it is untouched by club movements in 2020-21. Prior to the rapid shut-down caused by Covid-19, Sungate led the table, six points ahead of Leigh Ramblers. The Belfairs Park side saw manager Wayne Seal depart during the close season, I’d like to wish him well in his new role as a assistant boss to Dave Forbes at Frenford this term. Reigning champions Buckhurst Hill finished third last term but were denied the chance to play out their remaining twelve games to go for the title. Better news for Mark Williams’ side came this week as the club received permission by Epping Forest District Council to put in floodlights, a hundred-seater stand and a similar sized standing area at their Roding Lane ground, as they seek to finally get themselves up to Step 6 in the near future.

Elsewhere, managerial changes also took place at four other clubs with former Basildon Utd & Walthamstow forward Marcus Bowers returning to Basildon Town as player-manager. Also, ex-Southend Manor boss Stuart Marshall coming in at Catholic Utd who will also look to challenge at the higher reaches of what this writer believes will be a highly-charged and competitive division this term.  Harold Wood Athletic are also in a transition period as long-standing gaffer Kris Taylor stepped aside to a new role ‘Club Manager’. Also, Matt Singh has been appointed as first team boss at Hutton, after taking charge of the Reserves last season (in Division Three). I’d like to wish all four managers well in their new role.

It goes without saying that Basildon Town, Hutton & Harold Wood Athletic will all be looking for better campaigns than last as they all ended up in the bottom three back in March.

 

EOFL Senior One & Two

Senior One is largely unaltered from last term as well, with one notable exception. In what is an unusual turn of events, Lakeside (Firsts) decided to fold at the end of the season, despite a fourth-place finish. There will be more to come on that below in Senior Three. Two known changes also in the dugout for Senior One clubs as ex-Epping Town goalkeeper Trevor Grace was appointed as boss at Manford Way shortly after the season’s premature closing. Also, with former boss Jason Emery concentrating on his role as Chairman at Runwell Sports, Jason Plom has been appointed as his successor as manager. I’d like to wish both well in their new roles.

Staying with Runwell Sports, they are another club which has laid big plans for the future, with the opening of a new academy and work starting later this year on a new clubhouse, changing rooms and importantly, a new 3G playing surface, following the likes of Frenford, Bowers & Pitsea and Old Southendian who have all gone down that route.

Chingford Athletic, Old Chelmsfordians and Ongar Town will once again be looking to be in the top four though again, it could again be a hard-fought division. Into Senior Two, and whilst the clubs competing in it are unchanged, Leigh Town, Beacon Hill Rovers, Old Southendian Reserves and Corinthians will once again look to replicate their top-four finishes from last term. It was in a way a ‘surprise’ division, but in the sense of the quality of football being much better than you might have thought. Old Southendian Reserves will have a new gaffer as well, with Ben Manley stepping down, being replaced by last season’s skipper Oliver Tatton-Bennett as they begin their first full campaign on their 3G surface at Garon Park. Ryan and Rochford Town were fortunate perhaps to avoid the drop to Senior Three and will want a better campaign this term as well.

 

EOFL Senior Three – Five constitution

EOFL Constit 20-21 D3 - D5 Image

Round-up – EOFL Senior Three to Five

First, in Senior Three there are two new sides and one side exiting. The side that have withdrawn is White Ensign Reserves who have elected to move to the Essex Senior Reserve Division, following the lead of Frenford Reserves who departed for the same division the season previous. The new sides are a re-imagining of Lakeside Reserves from last term, being rebranded as Lakeside Utd who I understand will remain at the Lakeside Sports Ground 3G where they played last term. Also, Manford Way Reserves have returned after an inactive spell and will compete alongside last season’s top three of ACD Utd, Wakebury and Corinthians Reserves.

Next, in Senior Four, there are three new sides with Sungate Reserves who come up from the Essex Alliance League Division Two last term, but they have previously played in the EOFL in years gone by. The other new side is a re-brand of sorts as it was announced at the end of last season that Forest Glade, who finished fifth last term, would join the Hashtag Utd family of sides, and will compete under the moniker of Hashtag Utd Development this term.

Finally, in Senior Five, there are two sides who will face the likes of Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Reserves, Springfield Reserves and Collier Row’s second-side. AS Rawreth’s Reserve side is restored after a spell out and will compete in the sixth-tier from September. Epping Town also field a reserve side in the sixth-tier so we wish them well as the club continues its rebuilding at Stonards Hill. Lastly, in a cruel twist, last season’s Senior Four table-toppers Roydon have effectively dropped a division, due to their reserve side folding in the summer, who did compete in this division last season, earning a decent mid-table finish.

That’s all from this Preview piece, coming up soon will be a look at the draws for the EOFL Senior League Cup and Reserve League Cup which the Olympian League Committee will run this season. Thanks for reading.

Season Review 2019-20: Essex Olympian League Division Five [EOFL SR 19/20 30.4.20]

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EOFL Crest

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @SottMHC14]

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

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

 

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

As with all the EOFL divisions, the season was halted in mid-March 2020 before eventually being curtailed several weeks later. At the top of Division Five, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Reserves led the way with 39 points gained from their 18 matches. Danny Page’s side managed twelve wins from those games and in doing so were the joint-top scorers in the division with 51 goals (a Goals per game (or GpG) of 2.83) and also shared the best defensive record with the same side in Springfield Reserves, in shelling 22 goals this term. All in all, a really good season for the Swifts second-side so congrats to them. In second spot were the aforementioned Springfield Reserves who had only played 14 matches, resulting in twenty-eight points. They also notched 51 times this season and led the goal-scoring chart in the division by virtue of a better average (GpG of 3.64). Their top-scorer James Page struck sixteen of those goals himself so credit must go to him.

The chasing pack were pretty close behind, led by Collier Row Reserves who ended the term in third spot with twenty-five points from their 15 matches. The Romford-based side struck the net forty-seven times this term (a GpG of 3.13) though also conceded 32 times, giving them the fifth-best defensive record at this level. Roberto Carvalho also merits a mention with thirteen goals making him Row’s second-side’s top goal-getter. Herongate Athletic Reserves are next in fourth, having been deducted two points for failing to play a fixture in September, they ended up with 24 points from their seventeen games, with eight wins this term. They struck forty-eight goals this term (a GpG of 2.82) though it may frustrate them to have shelled 46 goals as well. One for Non-League fans to follow as fans don’t often like goal-less stalemates. On a better note, they also have two entrants in the leading goal-scorers chart (see below).

Also on twenty-four points were Newbury Forest Reserves in fifth spot. They played 15 matches, with no stalemates here, only eight wins and seven losses. One positive statistic for them was that their record at the back was thirty-one goals conceded, the fourth-best record in the division. Roydon Reserves are a point behind in sixth, having gathered twenty-three points from their 15 outings. Their miserly defence shelled twenty-five goals, the third-best record at this level but that good point is somewhat dampened by their goal-scoring, having made the net rustle thirty times and despite scoring on average two goals a game, it was still the fourth-worst in the division. The next two sides were both relegated from Division Four in 2018/19. First, Old Barkbbeyans ended in seventh, on twenty-one points from their sixteen games. Their goal difference saw them finish here, having won six matches this term. They scored thirty-nine goals this term and a mention has to go to top goal-scorer Michael Ryder who nabbed twenty-four of them to end as the division’s best marksman. Well done Michael. Leigh Ramblers Reserves are eighth woth 21 points also, having won seven of their twenty matches. They did complete their season before the season’s halt, and by the stats, it was a mixed one. They struck forty-four goals (a GpG of 2.20) but also shelled fifty-one times which was the second-worst record in defence this term. Ola James was their top goal-getter with twelve goals so congrats to him.

Into the bottom three now, and in ninth spot were Shoebury Town Reserves, having only played thirteen times due to weather issues earlier in the campaign. They still gained twenty points, thanks largely to their six wins this term. Goal-scoring was their main ‘Achilles heel’, gathering 28 goals (a GpG of 2.15) which in fairness still isn’t bad going. Runwell Sports Reserves finished tenth, with 16 points (after having two points taken away for being unable to fulfil a fixture in November) from their sixteen matches. They managed six league wins, though again it was the offensive side of the pitch which troubled them a bit, having scored 26 times (a GpG of 1.62) this term, the second-lowest goal-scoring side at this level. Finally, it was a season of development for bottom side Wakering Sports Development, who finished with eleven points from their 17 matches. Unfortunately, they scored only fourteen goals  this term and conceded a whopping sixty-eight times (or on average, four goals a game) though to be positive, their experience this season will hold them in good stead as they continue their transition into Adult Football.

 

EOFL Division Five – Top Goalscorers 2019-20 Season

    Club/s League Goals League Starts
1 Michael Ryder Old Barkabbeyans 24 14
2 James Page Springfield Res 16 13
3 Roberto Carvalho Collier Row Res 13 8
         
=4 Liam England Springfield Res 12 (+1 pen) 12
  Ola James Leigh Ramblers Res 12 14
         
6 Glen Jordan Herongate Athletic Res 11 9
         
=7 Valentine Lawrence Herongate Athletic Res 10 (+1 pen) 9
  Nicholas George Collier Row Res 10 11
  Josh Robinson Old Barkabbeyans 10 12
         
10 Jordan Handcomb Roydon Res/ Bishop’s Stortford Res 9 14
         

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

     

Appearances

    Club/s League Starts Bench Total
=1 Edward Foskett Leigh Ramblers Res 17 1 18
  Lewis Harvey Leigh Ramblers Res 17 1 18
           
=3 Joe Howson Leigh Ramblers Res 16 3 19
  Ben Wood Old Barkabbeyans 16 0 16
           
=5 Jake Fairman Leigh Ramblers Res 15 1 16
  Taylor Stewart Leigh Ramblers Res 15 1 16
  Archie Lambert Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res 15 0 15
  Khari Pobi Newbury Forest Res 15 0 15
           
=9 Jordan Handcomb Roydon Res/ Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res 14 2 16
  Luke Harradine Old Barkabbeyans 14 1 15
  Kyle Stanley Roydon Res 14 1 15
  Danny Adderson Roydon Res 14 0 14
  Ryan Blake Old Barkabbeyans 14 0 14
  Tony Carlton Herongate Athletic Res 14 0 14
  Oliver Gees-Howes Collier Row Res 14 0 14
  Ola James Leigh Ramblers Res 14 0 14
  Ewan Rockell Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res 14 0 14
  Michael Ryder Old Barkabbeyans 14 0 14
  Kai Wade Collier Row Res 14 0 14
  Lewis Kelsey Leigh Ramblers Res 14 0 14