S21-22 Match Report: DT FC 0 – 1 Rapid Chingford (Mon 23 May) [EAL Fenton Cup Final 24.5.22]

Essex Alliance League – Fenton Cup Final

Venue: Brisbane Road

Attendance: 400+

2021-22 Season: Match 87

Monday 23 May 2022 – 7.30pm KO

DT: Red Shirts, White Shorts & Red Socks

Rapid: Yellow Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Yellow Socks



Rapid put in hard-working defensive display to win the Fenton Cup

DT FC 0 – 1 Rapid Chingford

(Short) Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The last week of the Non-League season began with a return visit to Brisbane Road to see an interesting Fenton Cup Final between Essex Alliance League champions DT FC (soon to be renamed Cannons Wood ahead of next term) and Rapid Chingford, who finished eighth after a mixed league campaign. Rapid were buoyed by their travelling support, who had turned up in numbers and sang throughout this match.

The match began with DT looking to assert themselves in possession and build through the thirds, showing god build-up play. Stanley Green headed wide of the woodwork in the early phase of the match, but Rapid showed they were up for this Final with some good defending and some good moments on the counter-attack as well, looking to break quickly. Rapid did have the ball in the net around the twenty minute mark as a fine header by Catalin Anghel found the left corner, but the assistant’s flag was raised.



Rapid still admirably continued to press forward after their goal was disallowed, but DT were also showing why they had got past so many defences this season on their way to the League title, and the impressive Jermaine Francis struck a good effort on goal but DT’s principal problem was their final pass could not breach the Rapid backline often enough.

Rapid were growing in confidence as well and after an adjudged push in the penalty area, forward Andrei Boga stepped up to calmly convert the resulting spot-kick into the right-side corner to give them that crucial, if slender advantage at the interval. Just before the interval, DT skipper Chris Smith’s free-kick was straight at Popescu which signified his side’s frustration and inability to test the Rapid Chingford custodian.

Half-Time: DT 0 – 1 Rapid


The second half continued in a similar vein for DT, as Rapid continued to rebuff their attacking moves with diligent defending. Rapid were also still a threat on the counter too, with Daniel Tita making good runs down the right channel as well as fizzing in some good curling loss passes to the forwards. Seven minutes into the second half, Tita’s powerful strike was only narrowly over DT goalkeeper Alex Jennings’ woodwork.

Billy Cove’s team were also a threat from set-pieces, and midway through the half an in-swinging corner need Popescu to palm the ball away from immediate danger, and Popescu also gathered well from Smith’s decent strike, following-up on the volley. DT showed no lack of effort or spirit, much to their credit but were still finding chances hard to come by. DT forward Robbie Farrell also fired a long-range effort off-target. The minutes continued to ebb away and Rapid’s firm resistance continued and after the final whistle blew, the unadulterated joy started, which would continue long after the post-match Trophy presentation was complete.

DT push forward in the second half

Full-Time:  DT FC 0 – 1 Rapid Chingford

To summarise this gritty but fairly good match, Rapid Chingford got the advantage that they needed and defended well against a DT side that couldn’t quite find their final pass into the forwards to really create too many chances on Popescu’s goal. Rapid also showed some good technical skills and were inspired by their exuberant travelling support, who really added to the occasion, waving their flags & singing their songs proudly. Popescu himself shows good handling skills in the Rapid goal and bolstered the confidence of his defence in front of him. DT showed good approach play and were decent in defence themselves, showcasing enough to suggest why they won the League title, but to use a common phrase in Sport, it just wasn’t their day here. Congratulations to Rapid Chingford on their triumph here, they did deserve their win here.

There were some good performances in this match. Beginning with victors Rapid, Andrei Boga not only converted the important penalty well but also showed good movement to keep the DT defence alert, while advanced midfielder Daniel Tita showed good technical skills, always looking up to find his forward line to start another counter-attack. Captain Bogdan Ivancia was the stalwart of the Rapid backline and typified his team’s defensive efforts, while goalkeeper Daniel Popescu also looked assured and snuffed out potential chances for the goal-hungry opposition forwards.

For DT, Jermaine Francis had a good game, breaking forward well and showing good passing and high work rate, with Stanley Green also doing well to get down the channels to set up crossing oppurtunities. Centre-back Ashley Campbell did well in defence to keep a lively Chingford forward line at bay, and skipper Chris Smith really drove his team on, particularly in the second half and show good work rate in both attack and defence.


Here are your winners, Rapid Chingford!


Teams

DT FC     |  Manager: Billy Cove  | Assistant: Nick Jennings

Starting XI: 1 Alex Jennings (GK), 2 Adam Palmer, 15 Ashley Campbell, 17 Tremayne Coley, 21 Jacob Melford, 25 Cory Ugbonah, 29 Chris Smith (Capt), 7 Stanley Green, 22 Jermaine Francis, 18 Izaih Antoine, 11 Robbie Farrell

| Substitutes: 4 Mickey Mesmin, 14 Jake Kissiedu, 31 Sebastian Barford, 33 Steve Opoku-Domfeh

Booked: Farrell, Francis, Opoku-Domfeh


Rapid Chingford  |  Player-Manager: Florin Florea | Assistants: Bobaru Mircea & Bodgan Galan

Starting XI: 99 Daniel Popescu (GK), 20 Vlad Bucur, 4 Bogdan Ivancia (Capt), 11 Florin Ivancia, 6 Catalin Manea, 7 Dragos Aenasoaie, 8 Daniel Tita, 29 Sorin Tudose, 22 Catalin Anghel, 10 Andrei Boga, 17 Darwin Romero

Goal-scorer: Andrei Boga [pen 36′]

 | Substitutes: 13 Claudiu Florea, 31 Ionut Labunt, 27 Zoltan Mihaly, 9 Bogdan Galan, 14 Federico Ardei

Booked: Tudose, Tita, Aenasoaie, Galan


Referee: Tony King
Assistants: Albert Forbes & Kyle Robertson

Fourth Official: Paul Roberts

S21-22 Match Report: Rainham WMC 2 – 2 Unitey* (Sat 21 May) [EAL D2 Cup Final 21.5.22)

Essex Alliance League – Division Two Cup Final

Venue: Victoria Road

Attendance: 280 (Est)

2021-22 Season: Match 86

Saturday 21 May 2022 – 2pm KO

RWMC: Claret Shirts, Claret Shorts & Socks

Unitey: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks

Victoria Road pitch pre-match

Unitey earn the Division Two Cup on spot-kicks at Victoria Road

Rainham Working Men’s Club 2 – 2 Unitey (Unitey won 3 – 2 on penalty kicks)

(Short) Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The ‘Cup Finals’ fortnight continued this weekend and I made a welcome return to Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Road to see an interesting Essex Alliance League Division Two Cup Final. Rainham finished 2nd in the league while Unitey were not far behind them in 3rd. I was seeing both teams for the first time here but going by the league form, it was a battle between Rainham WMC’s defence and Unitey’s forward line.

The match got underway with a flourish for Paul Tormey’s Rainham team having most of the ball time, but they also couldn’t create lots of chances to test Atu Ngoy in the Unitey goal. Charlie Perry had their best opening but his effort went wide of the left-side post. Unitey sensed they had to respond and with their first big chance, they scored. Substitute Romario Christian threaded through a superb pass through the middle, finding the run of forward Ahmed Dousa who evaded his marker, before firing home past WMC custodian Owen Ryley.

Unitey launch a free-kick up field early on

It got even better for Vincent Ndodi’s team four minutes later as Dousa was again causing problems for the Rainham backline, turning well from the far side of the penalty area, got past his marker and got his strike on target – unfortunately Ryley couldn’t keep hold of the ball and it trickled into the corner of the net, which was a real blow for Rainham after their impressive start.

As we approached the interval, Connor Kain’s setpiece was cleared off the goal-line before Rainham midfielder Cameron Shakes had a decent effort denied by Ngoy at his near post but at this point Rainham really needed to find another gear or two & get the next goal. The team-talk would have been interesting to hear, that’s for sure.

Rainham’s Ndukwe (18) makes a run down left flank

Half-Time: Rainham 0 – 2 Unitey

After the break, Rainham did find their rhythm as Unitey were pushed back. The ‘home’ side did get the next crucial goal, from a set-piece. Nathan Wilson’s firm header found the net well, past Ngoy to finally give Rainham a chance of a comeback. Unitey were stuttering in possession and they were finding it harder to clear their lines, as a defensive error gave Shakes the chance to turn and get past two defenders and strike home confidently.

Unitey burst forward through the midfield

Unitey had to re-focus in what was becoming an increasingly tetchy match, with several free-kicks being conceded. Both sides had the chances to get that priceless winning goal, with Rainham having two good chances in the last ten minutes. Firstly, Wilson had a header go wide at the far post from yards out. Soon after, Cameron Shakes then knocked the ball on to replacement Scott Gormer skewed his shot wide, much to Ngoy’s relief.


Unitey were decent in their passing in midfield in the latter stages but they couldn’t quite breach the high off-side line of the Rainham backline often enough, leaving Dousa and winger Mohammed Abaker frustrated as they were looking a threat for the tiring Rainham defenders. After seven minutes of added time, referee Alan Steward blew up for the end of 90 minutes, and penalties would be required to settle this absorbing match, played in front of over 275 spectators which is another boost to the Essex Alliance League.


Full-Time (After 90 mins): Rainham WMC 2 – 2 Unitey

So, the nerve-racking shoot-out was called upon to decide the destination of the EAL Division Two Cup. After several missed spot-kicks both by sides, It had to be Unitey’s goal-scoring hero Ahmed Dousa who converting the winning penalty to ensure his team took the Cup, 3 – 2 on penalties.

To sum up this fiesty and sometimes fiery match, Unitey really battled back well after Rainham had put in a fine first 15 minutes, even if they could not make the most of their build-up play. Unitey went two goals up to really punish their lack of finishing and it could’ve been more. Credit has to go to Rainham though for the manner of their comeback and it was Unitey’s turn to battle hard. Both teams tgen had chances to win in a tense finale but ultimately, the lottery of spot-kicks decided the contest.

There were some good performances from both sides here. For victors Unitey, forward Ahmed Dousa led the line well and aside from his two goals, his movement and dribbling were a threat for a hard-working Rainham defence. Centre-back  Nathan Lupumba also had a really strong match in my view, really limiting the opposition forwards and made timely jnterceptions to keep his team in it early on. Winger Mohammed Abaker also had a good game, showing high work rate and good intent with his crosses from the left side. And finally, a word for substitute Romario Christian who produced a superb through ball for Dousa’s first goal and all in all, put in a good shift for his team too.

For Rainham Working Men’s Club, playmaker Connor Kain put in a hard-working performance to try & lift his side back into the contest after going behind and still put in some telling passes. Centre-back Tyrell Phillips had a really good game as well, marshalling his defence well and clearing the ball from danger with good effect. Forwards Cameron Shakes and Charlie Perry also put in good performances as well, testing the Unitey backline at times, with Shakes taking his goal well to crucially level the tie midway into the second half.

Congratulations to Unitey who played some neat football at times, and commiserations to Rainham who fought back well to give themselves a chance after their mixed first half display.


Teams

Rainham Working Men’s Club |  Manager:  Paul Tormey  | 

Starting XI: 1 Owen Ryley (GK), 2 Josh Perry, 12 Matty Humphreys, 6 Tyrell Phillips (Capt), 5 Nicky Tormey, 18 Gozie Ndukwe, 10 Nathan Wilson, 7 Cameron Shakes, 8 Connor Kain, 9 Charlie Perry, 11 Sean Tormey

Goal-scorers: Nathan Wilson [56′], Cameron Shakes [68′]

Subs ON [Time]: 28 Dillon Anderson [68′], 14 Scott Gormer [84′], 3 Joe McGivney [90’+5]

Subs Not Used: Brady, Obeney


Unitey  |  Manager: Vincent Ndodi | 

Starting XI: 1 Atu Ngoy (GK & Capt), 2 Matthew Surry, 16 Peter Spencer, 4 Nathan Lupumba, 5 Renal Stewart, 6 Matthew Pitchford, 7 Devantae Young, 8 Ishwar Ravi, 9 Bubintende Masadi, 10 Ahmed Dousa, 11 Mohammed Abaker

Goal-scorers: Ahmed Dousa [24′ & 28′]

 | Subs ON: 13 Romario Christian [13′], 14 Remy Beckford [69′], 17 David Blessing [74′], 3 Ameer Bursal [89′], 15 Eddy Litambolo [90’+1]

Subs Not Used: None

Referee: Alan Steward
Assistants: Robert Watson & Jeff Mattheou

Fourth Official: Dave Rivett

S21-22 Match Report: Fairlop Rovers 3 – 1 Old Esthameians (Mon 16 May) [EAL 17.5.22]

Essex Alliance League – Fenton Trophy Final

Venue: Brisbane Road

Attendance: 400+

2021-22 Season: Match 84

Monday 16 May 2022 – 7.30pm KO

Fairlop: Green & Black Shirts,  Black Shorts & Socks

Old E’s: White Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Red Socks

A glimpse of the Brisbane Road ground at pitch level pre-match

Good Finishing gives Rovers the EAL Fenton Trophy at Orient

Fairlop Rovers 3 – 1 Old Esthamieans

(Short) Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The ‘Cup Finals’ fortnight began with a welcome first visit to Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road for my first of the series of Essex Alliance League Cup Finals, in this first-ever Fenton Trophy Final between Division Two champions Fairlop Rovers & mid-table D2 side Old Esthameians. Fairlop had James Crowe in goal here, with skipper Ellis Simmonds in central defence, allied with the forward line of Jake Kibblewhite, Dylan Scutt & Harry Oliver. Old Esthameians named Johnny Clayton between the posts, Les Moyo & Bradley Harris in central midfield & the trio of David Watson, Nelson Goncalves & Neil Robinson.

The match really found its rhythm early on as Fairlop broke the deadlock after just three minutes. Fairlop took advantage of some hesitant defending by Old E’s, which allowed forward Harry Oliver to head home into the corner from about six yards out with opposition stopper Johnny Clayton stranded. You may have thought that Old Esthamieans may take some time to recover their rhythm, but much to their credit, they responded in a fine and rapid manner. Their forward line of quick & tricky forward Nelson Goncalves and central forwards Dave Watson & Neil Robinson did pose problems for the Fairlop defence, marshalled well by Rovers skipper Ellis Simmonds. In fairness, both teams were showing good build-up play to support their respective forward lines.


Watson himself had a header off target for Old E’s just short of the quarter-hour but they retained the impetus and had a good chance on 18 minutes as good link-up play from Goncalves and Robinson ended with the latter’s effort lacked the power to get past Fairlop custodian James Crowe. That was a warning as to things to follow as more decent build-up ended with a leveller for Old E’s on twenty-four minutes as Les Moyo showed good athleticism to strike past Crowe from about seven yards out.

With the half-hour approaching, Crowe was called into action again as Robinson’s low drive was again denied as the Old E’s were edging their way ahead at this point, in terms of ball time. As you’d expect, the League champions responded in a big way on the half-hour, with Oliver again finding space in behind the opposition backline but his strike was well-stopped by Clayton.

Half-Time: Fairlop Rovers 1 – 1 Old Esthameians


The match was an entertaining one in the first half but again you felt Fairlop needed to make the most of their chances. In the early stages of the second period, they certainly showed that. Eight minutes after the break, referee Nathan Buckle took a moment before pointing to the penalty spot after a foul in the Old E’s penalty area. Oliver duly stepped up to emphatically strike home the resulting spot-kick and celebrated in front of both teams’ fans, which were part of impressive attendance of over 400 here tonight.

Crucially though, Fairlop maintained the pressure after that second goal and Clayton made an unorthodox save with his legs moments later to deny Rovers midfielder George Birch’s powerful effort. The third goal did materalise though for Fairlop on the hour as forward Jake Kibblewhite smashed in a superb, skilful strike into the left-side corner to really put the pressure on the Old E’s to recover.

Dylan Bruns (28) on the ball for Fairlop in first-half

Again, credit goes to Old Esthameians for keeping on going and robust defending from Fairlop stifled their attempts to grab a goal back and that would have made for a heck of a nervy end to the match. As it happened, Robinson was sent off late on adjudged simulation but it was too late for Fairlop to make the most of their numerical advantage. The clock did wind down and after six minutes of stoppage time, Fairlop could at last celebrate what has been a truly memorable campaign for them as they celebrated a Trophy triumph to go with their league honours. Congratulations to them on their fantastic season but also a big well done for Old Esthameians who also showed why they are a decent side as well in a match which was a good advert for the EAL and for Division Two specifically.


Full-Time:  Fairlop Rovers 3 – 1 Old Esthameians

To summarise this good all-round Final, Fairlop taking the early lead did really spur Old E”s to a fine comeback which saw them level and they threatened to wrestle the impetus back as well, buoyed by a decent supporting contingent. However, Rovers hit hard in the early part of the second half and crucially got a two-goal lead, which their opponents could not ultimately battle back from.

There were some good performances from both sides here. For victors Fairlop, Harry Oliver had a fine game, scoring two goals and also providing a constant threat in attack against a decent Old E’s backline. Centre-back & captain Ellis Simmonds also made a number of important interceptions to rebuff some decent build-up play by their opponents, who certainly threatened to take the game away from the League Division Two champions before the break. Finally, forward Jake Kibblewhite deserves a mention for his terrific goal on the hour, while he also put in a good shift for Andrew Moffat’s team.

For Old Esthameians, forward Nelson Goncalves had a really strong game, showing good skill and passing to aid his side’s first-half comeback and kept the Fairlop defenders occupied. Midfielder Les Moyo also took his goal well & made some good tackles to stifle the Fairlop forward line. Finally, goalkeeper Johnny Clayton also pulled off some decent saves after conceding early on.

Thanks to the Essex Alliance League for having us & also congratulations again to both Finalists.


Teams

Fairlop Rovers     |  Manager: Andrew Moffat  |

Starting XI: 1 James Crowe (GK), 12 Harrison McDonagh, 88 Ellis Simmonds (Capt), 6 Lewis Crowe, 28 Dylan Bruns, 32 Ben Harris, 8 George Birch, 21 Aodan Downer, 9 Jack Kibblewhite, 27 Harry Oliver, 37 Dylan Scutt

Goal-scorers: Harry Oliver [3′] & [pen 53′], Jake Kibblewhite [60′]

 | Substitutes: Kian Burton, Michael Colgan, Toby Stephens, Logan Simmonds, Sam Beaman


Old Esthameians  |  Player-Manager: Danny Harris |

Starting XI: 1 Johnny Clayton (GK & Capt), 16 Henry Gray, 3 George Coffey, 6 Bartosz Bak, 14 Tavershima Yongo, 11 Shaun Vickers, 8 Les Moyo, 10 Bradley Harris, 5 David Watson, 7 Nelson Goncalves, 9 Neil Robinson

Goal-scorer: Les Moyo [24′] | Sent Off: Robinson

 | Substitutes: Danny Harris, Jack Smerdon, Harland Taylor, 13 Dave Seed, 17 Josh Mitsu


Referee: Nathan Buckle
Assistants: Robert Watson & Tyriq Spencer

Fourth Official: Imran Patel

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 36 – Sat 7 May) [EAL 21-22 10.5.22]

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 on Saturday 7 May. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up also includes a mention of Monday night’s solitary match in Senior Divsion. 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 7 May

PREMIER DIVISION CUP

The full line-up for this season’s Premier Division Cup is now known as the second semi-final was completed on Saturday where London Park City were in action once again, taking on London Cranes in Seven Kings. A close game saw the sides finish level at 1-1 at full-time, sending the game to another shootout. After a penalties victory last weekend, it was London Park City who once again prevailed, winning 3 – 2 to send their side to a maiden final, facing Wapping later in the month.

DIVISION THREE CUP

In the Division Three Cup, the first of the semi-finals took place which saw ASA attempting to stand in the way of champions FC Baresi Under 23s as the latter sought the opportunity of a league and cup double. A terrific game saw ASA lead through strikes by Mithurn Vijayarajah & Panushanth Kulenthiran before a Baresi fightback led by goals from Maamoon Khan and Zach Aliane took the game to penalties. In the shootout, it was the champions who progressed to their first final, winning 4 – 2 to send their side to Dagenham & Redbridge!


SENIOR DIVISION

Some huge games in the Senior Division took place over the weekend which saw Chigwell Town, a side who had been in the relegation zone almost the entirety of the season, pull off a massive win, defeating Tower United 3 – 2 to stay in the league. Harry Tew-Robinson was the hero with a hat-trick which ensured his side stayed up by the narrowest of margins. Abdullah Jama’s double was not enough for Tower who finished bottom & will most likely be relegated.

It was also a great day for Blue Marlin who knew they had to get a win against London Cup finalists FC Petrocub in order to give themselves a chance of beating the drop. And a win was exactly what Blue Marlin delivered, beating their mid-table opponents in a 2 – 0 scoreline, thanks to strikes by Macauley Harrington & Ni Acquaye and moved out of the relegation zone and confirm their senior status for another season.

Over in Beckton, those results meant that CSM London had no choice but to win their game to stay in the league but were facing a Woodford East side with just as much in the game for them as they strove for runners-up spot. Eli Brown scored for CSM but East goals from Billy Barr, Andrew Rowe, Ben Smith and Reece Beaumont meant their side took the honours in a 4 – 1 win, keeping their hopes of top two alive going into Monday’s match.

Cup finalists, Rapid Chingford, warmed up for their huge occasion in the coming fortnight with a terrific win in their last game of the season, defeating Jolof Sports in a 1 – 0 scoreline over at Mayfield Leisure Centre. A single Tita Daniel goal was enough for the Fenton Cup finalists to take the points, confirming an eighth placed finish in the process.

On Monday night, Jolof Sports recovered from their narrow loss 48 hours earlier by recording a superb 5 – 0 victory over Woodford East in their match, held at Mayesbrook Park 3G. This result means that East finish the league campaign in third spot but Halil Hassan’s side are still involved in two Cup competitions so they have a chance of endoing their first season at Step 7 in a memorable way. 

PREMIER DIVISION

The penultimate game of the Premier Division season saw Frenford A the hosts to fifth placed Wapping, the latter looking for a confidence boost ahead of their own cup final in a couple of weeks time. A closely fought battle eventually went in favour of the champions as Frenford won the game 4 – 2 to ensure they completed a terrific campaign in some style ahead of their debut top flight season. Joel Opara and Wisley Baltazar both netted two goals each to confirm a memorable day.

DIVISION ONE

Division One’s action was wrapped up on Saturday as Belfry went out knowing that three points would see them achieve something quite special. But standing in their way were a side who will have been pleased with their own efforts this year and RCXI raced into a 3 – 0 lead through goals two goals from Ayo Matthews and a Sammy Anjorin goal. Two Kieran James responses wasn’t enough as RCXI sent the champions to just their first defeat, in the very last game of the season.

All eyes were then on the big game at the Marshes where Cowley Community went into their battle against Francis Luke knowing they needed the points to ensure themselves of the runners-up position. They delivered exactly what they needed, winning the game 3 – 1 as two Elias Tackie strikes and a Michael Taylor goal promoted their club into the Premier Division for next season!

DIVISION TWO

It’s congratulations to Fairlop Rovers who were confirmed as Division Two champions on Saturday as their opponents could not raise a side for the remaining fixture. A tremendous achievement for the club as they continue their rise through the divisions. Well done to Dylan and all of the Rovers players on their success!

Following that outcome, the battle was then on for the runners-up spot which saw Rainham Working Mens Club needing to secure a win against Royal Forest to take second place. And that was exactly what they managed to do as Connor Kain scored twice and Sean Tormey once to give the Workies a 3 – 2 win, confirming promotion to Division One. Well done to everyone involved!

In the battle to avoid the drop in Division Two, a key six pointer saw St Francis taking on Loughton Lions at Robert Clack, the Saints knowing they needed to secure a win to keep things in their favour. But the Lions were able to secure a valuable point for their side in a 3 – 3 draw, despite two Omar Hafid goals and a Peter Luvualu effort for Saints. Lions now need just two points to beat the drop.

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 33 – Sat 16 Apr) [EAL 21-22 19.4.22]

Action Still from Woodford East 0 – 2 Sungate in EPC Final on Wed 13 April [Image by Scott W]

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 16 April. 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 16 April

COUNTY CUP

Wednesday night saw the much-anticipated conclusion of the BBC Essex Saturday Premier Cup competition where Woodford East were representing the league in the final against Sungate at Billericay Town’s New Lodge ground. Woodford had the best of the first half chances, shading the half. Sungate were much improved in the second period and took a lead with a great strike on the hour mark by George Johnson, holding onto their lead well and then netting a deserved second thanks to substitute Arif Mustapha just before the end as ‘Gate won 2-0 to lift the cup. East can hold their heads high after a wonderful run in the competition and not looking out of place in the final.

If you’ like more on this match, NonLeague writers Scott W & Pete Dudley were both in attendance, here are their reports

Scott: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/04/14/s21-22-match-report-woodford-east-0-2-sungate-epc-final-wed-13-apr/

Pete: https://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/04/sungate-2-woodford-east-0.html


SENIOR DIVISION CUP

There was further midweek action on Wednesday night as Lymore Gardens took on Chigwell Town in the quarter finals of the cup at Cricklefields. Lymore were in fine form and secured their place in the last four with a 4 – 0 winning performance, Richie Dorcas, Dylan Roberts and Alex Coster all getting on the score-sheet as they await the winner from the other last eight tie.

DIVISION ONE CUP

It was semi-final Saturday in the Division One Cup competition over the weekend as both games took place simultaneously, the first seeing Barkingside A looking to overcome indifferent league form in a local derby game against Wanstead. A seven goal thriller saw Ali Rajim score two and James Blewitt one for ‘Side but their efforts proved not quite enough as Wanstead responded through a Edson Lami treble & one from Segio Lourenco to win 4 – 3 and take their place in the final.

In the other semi-final, over in Dagenham, it was a battle between league champions Belfry and RCXI for the right to take on Wanstead in the final in May and this one also so a close game. But Belfry goals from Solomon Ogunwomoju and Daniel Osborne were the difference in the end between the sides as the hosts won 2 – 0 to keep hopes alive of a league and cup double.


SENIOR DIVISION

A huge week in the Senior Division title race has seen DTFC put one hand on the coveted silverware after they produced a winning performance in a crucial trip to Chadwell Heath Spartans. A late, late goal was the only difference between the sides as Kazim Bishop netted that all important effort to win the game 1 – 0, moving them four points clear of the chasing pack. A win this Wednesday evening will be enough to see DT lift the crown.

The importance of that goal was emphasised even further as news came in from Noak Hill where Woodford East were in town to take on FC Petrocub, the Essex and London cup finalists meeting in a crucial league encounter. Connor Brathwaite found the back of the net for Woodford but Petrocub were in fine form ahead of their big occasion and netted twice to win the game 2 – 1, putting a huge dent in the title race.

Jolof Sports have moved up to fourth spot in the table with four games to go, leaping above Lymore Gardens following a hard fought 2 – 1 win away at Chigwell Town on Saturday afternoon. Joshua Kweifio-Okai and Papa Ndiaye both struck for Jolof with Ryan Gurry scoring the Town goal in reply as the hosts walked away with the points.

An important point was earned by Tower United in their battle to avoid the drop into the Premier Division as they took a share of the spoils in an exciting 3 – 3 draw away at Rapid Chingford over at Lakeside. Abdullah Jama scored a hat-trick in a fine performance but Sorin Tudose, Andrei Boga and Vlad Bucur goals ensured the hosts took a share of the spoils.

PREMIER DIVISION

The race for promotion into the National League System continues to hot up in the Premier Division with a key game on Saturday seeing Oakside taking on Crookz United in Collier Row. With games in hand, both sides still retain hopes of a top three finish but had to settle for a point each as the game finished in a 1 – 1 draw, keeping them fourth and fifth respectively.

DIVISION ONE

In Division One, there was just the one game also as Cowley Community made the trip to east London to take on Kwanzas London Sport, the former knowing they still remain favourites for the runners-up position. But they didn’t get everything their own way and had to settle for a 1 – 1 draw with Anthony Conteh scoring for Cowley. They sit just a point outside of the promotion places with two games in hand.


DIVISION TWO

The title race is reaching a conclusion in Division Two as Fairlop Rovers moved to the cusp of silverware following a solid victory over the weekend, beating Newbury East 5 – 1 in Hainault. Sehraan Hussain struck for the visitors but Rovers scored five of their own, meaning they can win the league with a double header success next weekend. That outcome was made possible following an exhilarating game in Rainham where Redbridge Community secured a terrific three point haul with a 5 – 3 win against cup finalists, Rainham Working Mens Club. Sean Tormey scored twice and Cameron Shakes once but their efforts were not enough as Redbridge ran in five goals of their own to take the points.

There was another huge result at the bottom of the table where St Francis moved out of the relegation zone for the first time this season, picking up a fifth league win following a 3 – 0 away win at Fords against Old Esthameians.  Skye Salmon, Martin Valkov and Abdullah Azizi were the Saints scorers for a vital points haul.

The division’s other game was another goal-filled encounter as Loughton Lions and Royal Forest met in Debden for a local derby game between two sides who know each other well. The sides shared six goals with the game ending in a 3 – 3 scoreline with Joe Meader netting twice for Forest & Joe Owers got the other goal. Lions moved to eleventh with four games left in their campaign while Royal Forest look comfortable in ninth.


DIVISION THREE

The huge game in Division Three saw FC Baresi Under 23s and Old Barkabbeyans Reserves battle it out for pole position in the race for the title. Old Barks started their final game with a four point advantage but an FC Baresi 6 – 4 success saw the latter put one hand on the trophy, now needing one victory from their last three games. Jay Elliott scored a hat-trick and Michael Ryder one for Old Barks with Joshua Adu (2), Maamoon Khan, Harrez Aliane, Zach Aliane and Hamza Shire all netting in reply.

Fourth placed Lymore Gardens Reserves gave themselves a great opportunity of holding on to that position come the end of the season as their second to last game of the campaign saw them secure a 4 – 1 win at Royal Forest Reserves in Hainault. Richard Grove scored for the hosts but four Garden goals courtesy of Warren Isoka, Rob Small, Tafari Miller and Raheem Sinclair were more than enough to take the points.

Together United are another side in with a shout of a top four finish this season as their penultimate league game saw them pick up all three points with an away success against Flyers Under 23s at King Georges. A 4-0 win was enough to add win number ten to their solid record this campaign and move to within two points of fourth spot.

S21-22 Match Report: Woodford East 0 – 2 Sungate (EPC Final – Wed 13 April) [14.4.22]

BBC Essex Premier Cup – Final

Venue: New Lodge 3G

2021-22 Season: Match 71

Attendance: 448

Wednesday 13th April 2022 – 7.45pm KO

Woodford East: Yellow Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks

Sungate: Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Blue Socks


Sungate celebrate their triumph with the Trophy, with refereeing team (left) looking on [Image by Essex County FA]

Sungate secure Cup glory with enterprising win over East at New Lodge

Woodford East  0 – 2   Sungate

Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
and additional photos by Essex County FA [Twitter: @EssexCountyFA) and Essex Alliance Lge/Rob P [@EssexAllianceFL] (used with thanks)


The main midweek match was a welcome return to New Lodge for this season’s Essex Premier Cup Final, which saw EAL Senior newcomers Woodford East take on established EOFL side Sungate in the Intermedicate competition. I’d like to note that the occasion was well-run by the Essex County FA and the match had a terrific attendance. Woodford East were looking to mark their first season as a Step 7 side with silverware and fielded Alfie Watts between the posts, with Ben Smith, captain Frank Glock and Will Letchford in midfield. Connor Brathwaite and Callum Maltese led the forward line, with support from Adam Tabbani. Their substitutes included defenders Kieran Bruns and John Gilley plus forward Billy Barr.

Sungate had Stefan Lemacq in goal and a back four of Sam Elwood, Will Halford plus experienced centre-backs Daniel Callaway and William Wells. Stalwart Scott Truman skippered the side, with a forward line comprised of Ciaran Kelly, Lee Samways and George Johnson. Options on the bench included the forward-minded  Kyran Chiedozie, Thomas Drayton,  Arif Mustapha and Jake Willis.

Adam Tabbani (5) and Kai Law (3) look to re-engerize East’s forward moves in 1st half [Image by Scott W]

There was a well-held view that this game would be an entertaining match to watch and it certainly did not disappoint on that front. The first good chance arrived with only two minutes played, as the rapid James Smith made one of several excellent darting runs down right flank, his cross found the advancing Scott Truman who struck narrowly wide of Alfie Watts’ right-sided post. East responded at the other end with centre-back Matt Stacey’s well-directed header which was narrowly off-target two minutes later.

As the first half progressed, it was more evident that Sungate were the more cohesive passing side, with James Smith and Sam Elwood in particular joining up well down the right flank. East did have their moments, but were stifled by resolute defending by the Essex Olympian Premier side. That resoluteness was displayed as Bobby Port’s side made a fine last-ditch interception to deny Callum Maltese a big chance at Stefan Lemacq’s goal. The only thing that prevented the Olympian side taking the lead was a missed spot-kick by the impressive James Smith, as his penalty was skewed wide of the left-side post.


Sungate full-back Elwood (2 – far right) launches another good run down the flank [Image by Scott W]

Frustratingly for the big contigent of supporters backing Woodford East, they couldn’t conjure up many chances, with forward Callum Maltese curling a fine strike from outside the penalty area narrowly wide of left-side post, much to Lemacq’s relief. Smith was again in the action for Sungate, as his good pass found substitute Jake Willis but his effort couldn’t find the target. We got to the break with the no goals perhaps, but plenty of intrigue with Sungate edging it due to their stronger passing and creating more chances.


Half-Time: Woodford East 0 – 0 Sungate

Two captains in view, Glock makes a run for East, shadowed by Sungate skipper Truman [Image by Rob P/EAL]

After the break, the match resumed at a searing pace. Centre-back William Wells sent a fine header narrowly off-target from a set-piece and you felt that the ‘Gate were the side more likely to open the scoring. That being said, Connor Brathwaite timed his run well and nearly lobbed Lemacq after getting in behind the Sungate backline.

As it turned out, Sungate did break the stalemate on 63 minutes with a superb team move. A fast passing exchange between Smith and Lee Samways ended with the latter finding George Johnson on the left edge of the penalty area before sending in a fine curling strike beyond Watts, much to the delight of their fans. Willis had fired a fierce drive wide of Watts’ goal but Sungate did get that crucial gsecond goal with seven minutes remaining. Substitute Thomas Drayton’s strike was well crowded out by two East defenders but the ball was recycled well and fellow replacement Arif Mustapha slotted home from close range.

James Smith (7) in possession for Sungate [Image by Rob P/EAL]

East clear to deny Smith (7) another oppurtunity down right flank [Image by Scott W]

The last few minutes saw both sides looking to add further goals, but two goals was enough to see Sungate to a fine win and take home the cherished Trophy, continuing the recent dominance of Olympian League sides in this competition.

Full-Time: Woodford East  0 – 2  Sungate

In summary, Sungate looked the more assured of the two sides, created more chances and played at an impressive tempo to claim their first-ever Essex Premier Cup. Bobby Port’s team also defended resolutely when needed while East couldn’t create enough chances to continually threaten the ‘Gate defence. They can be very proud of their run to the Final though and their league aspirations continue.

There were a number of excellent performances in this Final. For victors Sungate, winger James Smith had an outstanding display. Showcasing a huge array of pace, work rate, passing and crossing ability – Smith undoubtedly had a fine influence on his team’s attacks. Next, centre-back Daniel Callaway exuded his team’s attitude to resolute defending, making several important challenges. Lastly, full-back Sam Elwood showed good energy and linked up well with Smith on the right flank, plus forward George Johnson had good movement and took his goal really well.

For Woodford East, forward Connor Brathwaite did keep the opposition defence alert making good runs and utilising good passing. While he did spurn East’s best chance, Brathwaite was well stopped by the ‘Gate backline. Will Letchford also had a good game, making good runs from deep which were hard to track. Forward Callum Maltese also showcased his pace and trickery at times while centre-back Matt Stacey made a number of good interceptions to keep his side in the match.

Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign. 


Teams

Woodford East  | Manager: Halil Hassan | Assistant: Gary Wotton

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Alfie Watts (GK), 3 Kai Law (2 John Gilley 88′), 21 Sonny Feltwell, 4 Matt Stacey, 7 Eren Mehmet (6 Kieran Bruns 66′), 10 Ben Smith (18 Frankie Lane 64′), 14 Will Letchford (20 Liam Evans 90′), 15 Frank Glock (Capt), 5 Adam Tabbani (9 Billy Barr 59′), 12 Callum Maltese, 23 Connor Brathwaite

Booked: Stacey, Brathwaite, Gilley, Bruns | Subs Not Used: None


Sungate | Manager: Bobby Port  | Assistant: David Deller

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Stefan Lemacq (GK), 2 Sam Elwood, 3 Will Halford, 5 Daniel Callaway, 6 William Wells, 4 Scott Truman (Capt), 8 Josh Addinall, 7 James Smith (14 Arif Mustapha 75′), 15 Ciaran Kelly (9 Jake Willis 25′), 10 Lee Samways (16 Thomas Drayton 81′), 11 George Johnson (18 Josh Steel 87′)

Goal-scorers: George Johnson [63′], Arif Mustapha [83′]

Booked: Smith, Johnson, Wells, Elwood  | Sub Not Used: Chiedozie


Referee: Alexander Kyriacou
Assistant: Craig Wood & Benjamin Ridge
Fourth Official: Ryan Smith

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 32 – Sat 9 Apr) [EAL 21-22 11.4.22]

Image from Woodford East v Chadwell Heath Spartans [Image by Scott W]

Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL  [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]

With additional reporting by Scott W

Essex Alliance League Round-up- Saturday 9 April

DIVISION TWO CUP

The first half of the line-up for the Division Two Cup Final is now confirmed after the weekend’s action as Rainham Working Mens Club made up for their other semi defeat to go through to this final with a 1 – 0 win away at Loughton Lions at Debden Park. The only goal of the game was scored by Charlie Perry whose goal took Rainham through to their fourth final with the competition.

DIVISION THREE CUP

In the Division Three Cup quarter-final, the third of four semi-finalists was confirmed in as two of the division’s top sides, Royal Forest Reserves and FC Baresi Under 23s, met in Hainault for a place in the last four. The visitors, Baresi, were in good form once again as they rattled in a 5 – 1 victory with Joshua Adu scoring three alongside Harrez Aliane and Kii Jean-Baptiste scoring one apiece, overcoming a Will Asenso goal from the hosts.

DIVISION FOUR CUP

It was semi-final day for two clubs in the Division Four Cup competition where Chingford Harriers were the hosts to an Emerson & Upminster A side with both sides keen on a cup final appearance. A close game finished 1 – 1 with Darnell Lamothe netting for Harriers and Carl Holroyd for Emerson in reply. A dreaded shootout was needed to separate the sides and it was Harriers who won that 4 – 3 to take their place in the final next month.

SENIOR DIVISION

The last week has seen some big results in the Senior Division with Wednesday night’s action having seen Woodford East secure all three points from a trip to Cricklefields where they were facing Lymore Gardens. Adam Tabbani and Connor Brathwaite both scored twice for East with Gracia Muhemba and Teriq Roberts goals accounting for the Garden consolations in a 4 – 2 East success. NonLeague writer Peter Dudley was among those in attendance and here’s his report: https://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/04/lymore-gardens-2-woodford-east-4.html

On Saturday, the leadership of the division changed hands once again with DT FC taking advantage of results around them to go a point clear with a game in hand, coming out 4 – 1 winners away at Tower United. Alex Paraskeva scored twice with Izaih Antoine and Robbie Farrell grabbing the other goals to move back to the summit with three games to play. Just a few hundred yards away at the Marshes, another huge game saw Chadwell Heath Spartans in town to face hosts Woodford East. First-half Woodford goals from Callum Maltese and Connor Brathwaite proved pivotal in a 2 – 1 victory for them, despite an Aaron Hunwicks effort for Spartans, as East brought themselves very much into an intriguing three-way title race.

The Non-League writing duo of Scott W and Pete Dudley were both at this match, you can view their respective reports on the game here:

Scott W: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2022/04/09/s21-22-match-report-woodford-east-2-1-chadwell-heath-spartans-sat-9-apr-eal/

Peter D: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/04/woodford-east-2-chadwell-heath-spartans.html

Elsewhere in the Senior division, Blue Marlin’s late’s charge to safety is underway as they pulled off a terrific 3 – 1 success at home to fourth placed Lymore Gardens to give them a great chance of beating the drop. Macauley Harrington, Ni Acquaye and Scott Campbell all found the back of the net to help their side pick up some vital points, moving three clear of the side beneath them.

CSM London’s penultimate game of the season saw them take on FC Baresi, the game switched to Beckton. Bradley Soares’ effort had appeared to be enough to hand CSM a vital points haul of their own but for a late FC Baresi leveller to take the gloss off the performance somewhat, earning them a point in a 1 – 1 draw. CSM now sit five points above the relegation places with one last fixture to come.

In Hainault, Chigwell Town were in action against Rapid Chingford knowing that they desperately needed points on the board to move closer to safety but ended up on the wrong end of a five goal thriller as Rapid took all three points in a 3 – 2 success. Joe Creasey and Harry Tew-Robinson struck for Town but two Darwin Romero goals and a Tita Daniel goal sent the points home with the visitors. The division’s remaining game saw two sides comfortably in mid-table meet with seventh placed Kit Out London travelling to East Ham to take on fifth placed Jolof Sports. Papa Ndiaye scored twice for Jolof, a feat matched by Marlon Ortiz of Kit Out as the teams finished level at 2 – 2 to add a further point to each other’s tallies, Jolof remaining eleven points clear of their opponents.

PREMIER DIVISION

Following their recent confirmation of promotion, it’s now fully party time for Frenford A who wrapped up the league title outright with a 2 – 1 away success in their penultimate game of the season. London Cranes were the side on the wrong end of the result, Wisley Baltazar scoring both of the goals to put the gloss on a very fine season for the Ilford based side who will move up to Step 7 with confidence.

DIVISION ONE

Ilford Reserves’ late promotion charge continued on Saturday as they were able to take maximum points against Cowley Community, though the latter do still have plenty of games in hand to change that situation. The Foxes secured a 5 – 2 win as Luke Newbury-Neale scored two and one each from Rhys Clements, Rio Clements and Joseph Sulola, Chris Wright bagging both goals in reply for Cowley. Fifth placed Wanstead ensured they stayed in touch with the promotion matters with two games left to play, picking up all three points in their game against Renegades at the weekend, the latter’s final game of the campaign. A 4 – 2 success for Wanstead thanks to strikes from Zoltan Balogh, Jake Nicolas, Suhaib Abeid and Dan Gardner as they consolidated a top half finish with their tenth win of  the campaign while Renegades must now wait to see if they can avoid the drop.

Something From Nothing also sit in a top half position with a couple of games to go as they won a local derby fixture against Forest Green in a 5 – 3 scoreline. That confirmed SFN’s eighth league success of their maiden season in Saturday football and know that one more win will be enough to finish sixth. Forest Green’s season is now over as they also keep an eye on events below them. Third placed RC XI will go into their last two games knowing that promotion is still a possibility but lost the chance to take full advantage of slips around them as they were only able to take a point from their twentieth game of the season, held by seventh placed Newham Wanderers. The sides went into the game with an eleven point gap but that remained the same as the game finished 2 – 2. Stephen Duberry and Michael Temitayo both scored for RC in this one.

A much improved campaign for Kwanzas London Sport is reaching a conclusion and the seventh placed side were up against relegation threatened Barkingside A at the weekend. ‘Side goals from Ebenezer Gyamerah and Jeffrey Osei kept them in the game but Kwanzas edged it by full-time to take a 3 – 2 win meaning they can finish no lower than eighth now.

DIVISION TWO

The race to avoid the drop in Division Two is really hotting up after the weekend’s results as St Francis had a day to remember, taking maximum points from a double header against third placed Emerson & Upminster Reserves. They edged the first contest 4 – 3, overcoming a Tobi Onafeko hat-trick with two from Abdullah Azizi and one each for Martin Valkov and Soumen Nandi. Game two saw Saints record an emphatic 6 – 1 success with Theo Jacobs-Aaron netting a hat-trick, Skye Salmon scoring two and Soumen Nandi rounding off a great day. They now sit just two points from safety with five games to play.

Over in Loughton, second placed Unitey were another leading side to drop points against lower opposition as they were held to a 2 – 2 draw against Ryan Under 23s who continued their late season charge with a point in their final game of the campaign. Bubintende Masadi scored both of the Unitey goals to keep his side in with a chance of a top two finish with one game to go.

DIVISION THREE

Old Barkabbeyans Reserves are the first side to confirm promotion from Division Three this season as they collected the points they needed from their penultimate game, defeating Together United in a comprehensive 8 – 2 scoreline. Michael Ryder scored a hat-trick, Geovany Cruz and Jay Elliott both scored two with Mitchell Day finishing it off ahead of a possible title play-off game next weekend. The day’s other game was of equal entertainment as an in-form Buckhurst Way saw the visit of Terin to Bancrofts on Saturday. The hosts trailed 4-2 going into the latter stages of the game through Terin doubles from Alex Thomas and Jabir Malik, along with a Fahad Abdallah single. But they found a “Way” to take a point with the game finishing 5 – 5 incredibly.

DIVISION FOUR

In Division Four, the final game in the division this season saw Sporting Pillars go into their clash at Avondale Rangers knowing that a point or more would be enough to seal the title. Jake Clarke and Phillip Heinan netted for Rangers but those efforts were not enough to prevent Sporting winning the game 6 – 2, sealing the league title in the process. Congratulations to all involved with the team on their achievement!

End

S21-22 Match Report: Woodford East  2 – 1 Chadwell Heath Spartans (Sat 9 Apr) [EAL 21-22 9.4.22]

EAL logo

Essex Alliance League – Senior Division

Venue: Hackney Marshes (Show Pitch)

Attendance: 15 [Est]

2021-22 Season: Match 69

Saturday 9th April 2022 -2pm KO

Woodford E: Navy Blue Shirts, White Shorts, Navy Blue Socks

CH Spartans: Grey Shirts, Grey Shorts, Black Socks  

Action still from the match [Image by Scott W]

Woodford East put in diligent performance to claim big win over Spartans

Woodford East  2 – 1  Chadwell Heath Spartans

Match Report & Photos by Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

The weekend match was a rare match in the Essex Alliance League Senior Division and a first visit to Hackney Marshes for this top-of-the-table clash between Woodford East and Chadwell Heath Spartans. The matches are unrelenting for Halil Hassan’s side just now and they fielded Callum Drummond in goal, with Billy Barr and Matt Stacey in central defence, Frank Glock skippering the side alongside Eren Mehmet in central midfield and the forward line was led by Callum Maltese and Connor Brathwaite. Spartans started the day at the summit but needed points to stay there, and fielded the highly-rated Lewis Edwards in goal, with a defence of Joe Robb, Meer Ishanzadeh, player-boss Aaron Hunwicks and Janel Alexander, who also captained the side. James Odukoya and Harry Payne led the attack, with Tom Callagher among those in support.  


The match began in the swirling wind of East London, though the chances were relatively few in coming early-doors. Spartans had the only clear chance whch saw forward James Odukoya one-on-one with East stopper Callum Drummond, unfortunately for the visitors, Odukoya’s strike was straight at the goalkeeper. Woodford East responded tellingly soon after as on thirteen minutes, visiting skipper Janel Alexander was caught in possession by rapid forward Callum Maltese on the edge of his own 18-yard area and Maltese ran through on goal and placed a fine finish past Sans goalkeeper Lewis Edwards and into the right-sided corner.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hosts were spurred on by that opening goal and they showed no lack of energy or good passing as they kept the pressure on their opponents’ backline. Midfielder Eren Mehmet’s strike was deflected and well-tipped over by Edwards as it was dipping into the net. Spartans were finding it difficult to maintain the momentum in attack, though Harry Payne did strike wide of Drummond’s goal frame as we headed towards the half-hour mark.

Tom Callagher [#8] jostles with East’s Connor Brathwaite [#23] as Spartans look to push forward [Image by Scott W]

That half-hour was heralded by arguably the best move of the match, which saw East exchange three or four fast passes before finding forward Connor Brathwaite who struck a fine low finish into the corner of the net, adding to the visitors’ headache. Being fair, the hosts did not concede possession easily and when they lost it, they hurried the Spartans midfield well.

Half-Time: Woodford East  2 – 0  Chadwell Heath Spartans

After a quick break, the match resumed with Woodford East looking for that important third goal to really put themselves in a commanding position. They had two good chances early in the half, with Brathwaite firstly well denied by Edwards from close range. Soon afterwards, the East forward was well-placed again from barely six yards out but somehow Brathwaite headed narrowly over the upright. You felt that Spartans had used up a fair bit of fortune by not conceding a third goal there but to their credit, they were up for the battle in the second period.

The visitors did have more ball time in the last half hour, as they sought to jostle their way back into the match. Their approach play was decent but if you was to be critical, you’d have to also say they couldn’t create many chances. Alexander and Aaron Hunwicks both had chances from set-pieces but late on, the Spartans did ensure a nervy last five minutes for East. Direct from a corner, Hunwicks sent in an in-swinging corner which got caught up in the wind and managed to find its way past Drummond into the net.

Spartans did push on to try and force a leveller but in fairness, East did do enough to claim a narrow but nonetheless important triumph to fortify third spot with two games in hand on new leaders DT FC, who won 4 – 1 at Tower Utd today.

Full-Time: Woodford East  2 – 1 Chadwell Heath Spartans

In summary, Woodford East did the damage in an energetic first-half display which showed their credentials as a really good side at this level here, but found it a rather harder battle in the second period, where Spartans showed more of what they are about, showing guile, work rate and dedication. Unfortunately for Aaron Hunwicks’ side, they couldn’t quite create enough chances to test East stopper Callum Drummond.

There were several fine performances from both sides in this match. Firstly for victors Woodford East, plaudits have to go to tricky forward Callum Maltese for an excellent display of energy, pace and passing. Fellow forward Callum Brathwaite also took his goal well to cap a terrific team move and could have had at least one more goal today, showing good movement. Rounding out the mentions are full-back Kai Law who showed good work rate, passing and concentration plus centre-back Billy Barr who also put in a good display to restrict the Spartans forward line.

For Chadwell Heath Spartans, skipper Janel Alexander had another good game at centre-back, recovering from a uncharacteristic error to make several good interceptions in the match. Tom Callagher again showed good energy making darting runs from midfield to assist his forward line. Goalkeeper Lewis Edwards also made two good saves to keep his team in it in the first half when they did concede several chances at his goal. Lastly, forward James Odukoya also worked hard to bypass a robust East defence, alongside strike partner Harry Payne who also put in a lot of effort today.

Best wishes to both sides for the remainder of the season.

Callagher about to take a free-kick in a dangerous position for Spartans [Image by Scott W]

Teams (up to 5 substitutes allowed)

Woodford East  | Manager: Halil Hassan  |

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Callum Drummond (GK), 3 Kai Law, 9 Billy Barr, 4 Matt Stacey, 19 Eren Mehmet (68 Liam Adams 74’), 14 Will Letchford, 15 Frank Glock (Capt), 21 Sonny Feltwell (6 Kieran Bruns 59’), 5 Adam Tabbani, 23 Connor Brathwaite, 12 Callum Maltese

Goal-scorers: Callum Maltese [13’], Connor Brathwaite [30’]

Subs Not Used: Beaumont, Tibbitts, Gilley | Booked: Mehmet, Tabbani


Chadwell Heath Spartans  | Player-Manager: Aaron Hunwicks

Starting XI (Subs): 1 Lewis Edwards (GK), 2 Joe Robb, 3 Meer Ishanzadeh, 5 Janel Alexander (Capt), 6 Aaron Hunwicks, 4 Leon Kasozi, 14 Rashid Matabaro (17 Samir Aboulainaf 79’), 7 Raymond Hunwicks (15 Harry Goodwin 57’), 8 Thomas Callagher (11 David Amire 77’), 9 James Odukoya (10 Tommy Harrison 68’), 16 Harry Payne

Goal-scorer: Aaron Hunwicks [84’]

Subs Not Used: None | Booked: Robb, Kasozi | Sin-Bin: Alexander [87’]


Referee: Nathan Buckle

Assistants: Daniel Rowan & Dylan Connolly

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 31 – Sat 2 Apr) [EAL 21-22 4.4.22]

Chadwell Heath Spartans about to grab another goal this weekend [Image Credit: CH Spartans/ @ABridgeTooFar16]

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 2 April. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission. Thanks for reading. Image used is thanks to CH Spartans / @ABridgeTooFar16, Used with thanks.

Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL  [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]

With additional reporting by Scott W


Essex Alliance League Round-up- Saturday 2 April

COUNTY CUP FINAL

The Essex Saturday Junior Trophy reached its conclusion on Friday evening at Heybridge Swifts where Cowley Community represented the league against Mid Essex side, Haver Town Reserves. Cowley started strongly but failed to convert early chances, enabling Haver to get a foothold in the game and took a solid 3 – 0 lead into the break, thanks to goals from Harry Andreetti (2) and Luke Dallison’s opener. Cowley started strongly again in the second half and cut the deficit down to just one with efforts from Wright and Taylor, leaving around twenty minutes to go. But Haver responded well to those setbacks and comfortably held on to win the game 3 – 2, despite the valiant efforts of Cowley.

DIVISION TWO CUP

The line-up for the Division Two Cup semi-finals was completed on Saturday afternoon as Emerson & Upminster Reserves took their place in the last four after winning 4 – 1 at Old Esthameians. Billy Biggs was in great form, netting a hat-trick for his side, while Tobi Onafeko also struck to put the Upminster side just ninety minutes away from a possible final. They now face Unitey in the semi-final.

DIVISION THREE CUP

There were two ties in the Division Three Cup where a shock was seen in the first round game between hosts Melbourne Sports and Buckhurst Way in Hainault. Despite an eight point gap in between the sides in the table, it was Way who progressed on to the quarter-finals, winning 6 – 1 to book a trip to Old Barkabbeyans Reserves in the last eight. There was also a big shock in the quarter-final tie completed over the weekend as sixth placed Together United were eliminated from the competition on the back of a defeat to ninth placed ASA, despite the latter being fourteen points and three places behind their opponents. A 0 – 0 draw saw the sides finish level at ninety minutes before ASA held their nerve to win the shootout 7-6.

SENIOR DIVISION

There were big wins for all of the top ranked Senior clubs ahead of a crucial run of games for all sides, Chadwell Heath Spartans remaining top of the standings by two points as they put seven goals past FC Petrocub in Chigwell. Elie Fanga scored twice coupled with further strikes from Tom Callagher, Harry Payne, Samir Aboulainaf and manager Aaron Hunwicks to complete that 7 – 0 success. DT FC sit just behind Spartans with a game in hand as they completed a solid victory of their own with a 5 – 0 home win against Chigwell Town at the Harlow Arena. Billy Jones, Cory Ugbomah, Alex Paraskeva, Izaih Antoine and Jacob Melford all found the back of the net for the hosts to ensure they remain the side with everything in their hands.

Third placed Lymore Gardens also racked up another win, making it twelve for the season with a 3 – 0 home success at the County Ground against CSM London. Dylan Roberts, Andre Rashford and Gracia Muhemba were the men to notch for Garden to keep them well in the mix at the business end of the league table. Sitting just a point further back from Garden are Woodford East who can still make a major impact on the title race with a busy April ahead and they started their month with a 5 – 0 win against Rapid Chingford at Lakeside. Two Connor Brathwaite goals plus one each from Matthew Stacey, Adam Tabbani and Jack Smith helped East to a comfortable winning scoreline with seven league games still to go.

Jolof Sports still sit fifth and made it ten league wins for the season on Saturday as they ran out 3 – 1 home winners against bottom of the table Tower United at Flanders. A goal apiece from Joshua Kweifio-Okai, Khadim Mbacke and Papa Ndiaye were enough for the hosts to take the points home with them and keep Tower trailing safety by three points. A huge game in the context of the relegation fight took place at Fairlop Oak where eleventh placed Blue Marlin were in home action against eighth placed Kit Out London knowing how vital points are for both clubs. A five goal thriller saw Kit Out edge the game 3 – 2, Lewis Jacobs scoring twice and Yasin Zougui once to all but seal their place in the top flight one again while Marlin’s place remains in the balance.

PREMIER DIVISION

Top of the table Frenford A will be celebrating as they confirmed promotion to the Senior Division on Saturday with results going their way and their own success earning a 3 – 0 home win against local rivals London Park City. Isima Iguisi scored a brace and Joel Opara netted the other to confirm their ascent to the top flight while a win in their next game will ensure they go up as champions. Oakside are now the only side that can catch the leaders mathematically and they faced a tough London Cranes side at Fairlop Oak in the sunshine on Saturday knowing they had to win to keep up the pressure. And a win was what they walked away with, defeating Cranes 1 – 0 to make it nine victories for the season, with four games left to play in their chase for promotion.

An entertaining game at Peter May rounds off the Premier Division action where Athletic Newham Under 23s were the visitors to Walthamstow to take on a promotion chasing Crookz United side, the latter knowing that victory was vital if they were to challenge for top spot. But the sides had to settle for a point apiece as the game ended in a 3 – 3 draw.

DIVISION ONE

It was a glorious afternoon for Belfry who took the Division One title in dramatic fashion on Saturday coming from 3-1 down in their first game against Newham Wanderers to win it 4 – 3 late on, sealing the title. Solomon Ogunwomoju struck twice with Lewis Warren and Kieran James scoring the others to seal the points they needed. In game two, a rather more sedate affair saw a narrow win once again as Ryan O’Connell scored the only goal of the game for Belfry to win 1 – 0.

The focus now turns to the race for promotion where Ilford Reserves saw their quest put in doubt, going down to a 2 – 1 away defeat against Something From Nothing at the Flats. The Foxes remain second with two games to go but games in hand for others may well cost them while SFN were able to move into the top half on the back of that result and others around them.RC XI have thrown themselves back into the promotion mix, moving up to third at the weekend as they defeated eighth placed Kwanzas London Sport over at Belhus Park. Tobi Alabi, Michael Temitayo and Tosin Blacky goals were enough to seal the points in a 3 – 0 win, the hosts’ eleventh success of their maiden season.

Wanstead have all but assured themselves of a top half finish in their first season as a club after they recorded a solid 2 – 0 home win in their game against Forest Green at the Flats on Saturday. Their ninth of the season while taking their points tally to thirty-one for the season. Eleventh placed Barkingside A have given themselves the best chance of avoid the drop this season as they took a vital three points against fellow relegation threatened Renegades in Wanstead. Side were 3 – 1 winners at Nutter Lane, recording win number four and moving to within six points of their opponents with five games in hand.

DIVISION TWO

It’s Fairlop Rovers who remain top of the pile in Division Two entering the penultimate month of the season and they will have been pleased with their efforts on Saturday, defeating rivals Loughton Lions in a 5 – 1 scoreline in Hainault. Sam Beaman opened the scoring, setting the platform for Harry Oliver and Logan Simmonds to both score twice in a big victory. Second placed Unitey remain the closest to Rovers but with just two games to go, following a thumping 6 – 0 away win in Hainault on Saturday, defeating FHN Athletic. Unitey goals from Matthew Surry, Nathan Lupumba, Romario Christian, Matthew Pitchford, Mohammed Abaker and Ahmed Dousa were plenty enough to earn their side the points.

An incredible game at Wanstead Flats saw St Francis and Ryan Under 23s combined for an eleven-goal thriller with attacks certainly dominating an open game. It was the visitors who ultimately prevailed in this incredible game, Ryan winning it 6 – 5 to move into the top half of the table for the first time this season, in their penultimate game of the campaign. Michael Bryan and Kemar Bello both netted twice for Ryan here, with Mekhi Charles-Armstrong & Adam Sodimu also scoring. Skye Salmon got two goals for St Francis, with their other scorers being Omar Hafid, Peter Luvualu and Theo Jacobs-Aaron.

The goals were also flying in down at Roding Valley where hosts Royal Forest were in home action against Newbury East. While not yet mathematically certain of survival, Forest have all but done enough now you feel to stave off the drop as they won the game 4 – 0 to record win number eight for the season.

DIVISION FOUR

The penultimate game of the Division Four season took place over the weekend where Avondale Rangers were the hosts to a Dagenham United Reserves side in Loughton with Rangers holding a vital say in the title race. Chris Harper scored for Rangers with Josh Michaels netting for Dagenham in a 1 – 1 draw, with next week’s fixture between Rangers and Sporting Pillars deciding the destination of the league title.

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 30 – Sat 26 Mar) [EAL 21-22 28.3.22]

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 26 March. 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 26 March

PREMIER DIVISION CUP

The last weekend of GMT brought the first of the Premier Division Cup semi-finals as an east London derby saw Wapping taking on Crookz United at Victoria Park. Jordon Mills-Smith netted off the bench for Wapping but his efforts were not quite enough as Crookz scored three of their own in the game and record a 3 – 1 triumph to see them book their maiden cup final with the league.

DIVISION THREE CUP

In the day’s only other cup tie, in the Division Three Cup competition, hosts FC Baresi Under 23s were in action with a first round tie against Terin at the Britannia. The hosts continued their excellent form to book a last eight tie with a thumping 5 – 0 win as Joshua Adu and Maamoon Khan both scored twice, along with a Marco Perkola effort.

SENIOR DIVISION

Chadwell Heath Spartans have moved two points clear at the top of the Senior Division with four games to go as they came away with all three points from their trip to Hainault defeating Blue Marlin 4 – 0. Harry Payne was the difference between the sides, netting a hat-trick, along with an Elie Fanga goal which saw their side move top on the back of other results around them. That switch at the top came on the back of a draw between the sides placed second and third now as Lymore Gardens took a point as they drew 1 – 1 against DT FC at the County Ground. Tyrique Peters struck for Gardens with their goal but DTFC ensured they took a point which, with their game in hand still, retains their position as the favourites.

Woodford East are continuing to lurk in the background and with games in hand, could still present a huge threat for the silverware, aided by a terrific 5 – 2 victory at the Marshes against Tower United in the Hackney derby. Connor Brathwaite bagged a hat-trick for his side with Callum Maltese and Billy Barr also on the scoresheet with another crucial three point haul.  Abdi Jama and Ousman Bangura replied for Tower in that game. At the other end of the table, what a fortnight it’s been for Chigwell Town who put in a huge performance at home to FC Baresi on Saturday to put the quest for safety in their own hands, moving level with eleventh placed Blue Marlin with a 2 – 1 victory. John Lye and Ellis Morgan both got on the score-sheet to keep their hopes of survival well and truly alive.

Over at Noak Hill, Rapid Chingford’s own quest for survival was all but assured at the weekend as they moved up to eighth, eight points clear of the drop zone with plenty still to play after they defeated London Cup finalists, FC Petrocub, in a 2 – 1 scoreline. Andrei Boga and Darwin Romero both scored for Rapid as they returned home with the points. The division’s remaining game was an East Ham derby fixture as Jolof Sports saw the visit of CSM London to their old stomping round of Flanders Playing Fields. A close game was settled by just the single goal and it was Jolof who took the accolades following the reappointment of Danny Brissett in the hot seat, Jolof winning 1 – 0 to maintain their hold of fifth spot.


PREMIER DIVISION

There was an exhilarating game between two of the promotion contenders in the Premier Division where Oakside hosted leaders, Frenford A, over at Fairlop Oak with ‘Side knowing the importance of getting something from the game. The match ended in a six-goal thriller, 3 – 3, with Joel Opara netting two and Isima Iguisi once for Frenford as the teams settled for a point each. In the other game, London Cranes have moved up a place to seventh in the standings after they came away 1 – 0 victors in their home clash against London Park City. Moses Kazibwe was the man to score with that only goal of the game, netting to give his Cranes side their seventh league success of the campaign.


DIVISION ONE

In Division One, Belfry made sure of at least a promotion place on Saturday with a double header success against Barkingside A over in Dagenham. A 4 – 0 victory in game one saw Kieron James net twice along with efforts from Gabriel and Solomon Ogunwomoju to net their first points. They then followed that up with a narrow 1 – 0 success in the second fixture with Gabriel Ogunwomoju once again on target with the only goal of that game. Success next weekend will see the title heading to Belfry. The goals were flying in over Newbury Park where Cowley Community’s last game before their huge county final saw them take part in a ten-goal thriller against Wanstead. An entertaining game saw Cowley goals from James Allen, George Anthony, Joel McEwan, Michael Taylor and Chris Wright account for their goals but the visitors were on form themselves with five goals to see this finish 5 – 5.

That results enabled Ilford Reserves to take their place in the top two as they came through a close game against fellow promotion hopefuls, RCXI, in their game in Hainault. Joseph Sulola scored twice for the Foxes with RCXI only able to respond with one goal of their own, going down 2 – 1 as Ilford racked up win number twelve. Forest Green have given themselves the best chance of avoiding the drop as they confirmed an important victory against bottom of the table Francis Luke. Green were 6 – 4 winners to move ninth, despite a Jahvarn Steward hat-trick and a Kennerly Cassius effort for the hosts for whom time is running out to beat the drop. The afternoon’s mid-table battle saw Kwanzas London Sport go into their game against Something From Nothing, two points behind their opponents in the race to finish in the top half. But by full-time they had leapt above SFN as they won 4 – 2 to pick up win number seven, moving to twenty-four points, a point clear of their rivals.


DIVISION TWO

In Division Two, Fairlop Rovers have returned to the top of the standings after a few weeks away as they made it a six point Saturday with a double header success against FHN Athletic in the Hainault Derby, They were 2 – 1 winners in game one with Jack Kibblewhite and Logan Simmonds scoring, cancelling out an Aldo Vani strike for the visitors. In game two, another close game was edged by the odd goal with Rovers winning 3 – 2, Kibblewhite scoring twice this time and Sam Beaman once. Terron Fordjoe and Kieran McKoy grabbed the FHN goals in consolation.

Emerson & Upminster Reserves stay in the promotion hunt, sitting second, after they took home three points on Saturday with a 4 – 2 win at Hall Lane against Loughton Lions. Owen McKelvey and Will Osmond both scored for Lions but two Billy Biggs efforts plus goals from Tobi Onafeko and Reece Martin ensured it was their Emerson side taking the spoils. Owen McKelvey and William Osmond got the goals in reply for Loughton in that one. Fifth placed Old Esthameians lost ground on the promotion chase a little as they were held to a 3 – 3 away draw against Newbury East as the two Newbury Park based sides met at Oaks Park High School. Habeeb Gayle scored a hat-trick for an improving East side who took their points tally to five as they will seek further improvement next season. Neil Robinson got two goals in reply for Old E’s plus Nelson Goncalves also netted.

It was a good afternoon for Redbridge Community who took their place in the top half of the table with a double header success in both fixtures against St Francis on Saturday. Redbridge were 3 – 1 winners in the first fixture before following that up with a 5 – 2 success in game two to take their wins tally to eight for the campaign.


DIVISION THREE

Old Barkabbeyans Reserves took their place once again at the top of the Division Three standings after an empathetic winning performance at home against ASA, winning 11 – 2. Jay Elliott scored four, Michael Ryder three and one each from Alex Donkor Junior, Josh Robinson, Jerome Morris and Simeon Peter completed a profitable day for them. It was also a good day for Lymore Gardens Reserves who moved up into fourth place in the table as they overtook opponents Melbourne Sports with a 3 – 1 win at Fairlop Oak. Kevin Monteiro, Warren Isoka and Omani Green were the men who found the back of the net with their efforts seeing Lymore record win number ten this season.

Tenth placed Flyers Under 23s made it three wins for the season in their penultimate game as they came from behind to take home the points with a terrific second half performance against Glendale. Josh Adeojo’s solo effort had given the Dales a 1-0 half time lead but capitulation in the second half, coupled with a vastly improved Flyers performance saw the visitors win the game 4 – 2, despite Attila Szabo also netting for the hosts.

On an adjacent pitch, promotion chasing Royal Forest Reserves saw their title hopes all but extinguished as they were held to a 1 – 1 draw against Together United. Together led through Fifi Banin’s strike but a Josh Trainor leveller in stoppage time rescued a point that, mathematically, does keep them in the race but now out of their hands.


DIVISION FOUR

Both of the leading sides in Division Four were in action over the weekend with Sporting Pillars travelling to Romford to face a Flyers Under 21s side who had ended their cup hopes earlier in the month. It was a league clash this time but, once again, there will be disappointment in the visitors camp as Max Wellard’s goal for Flyers meant they took a point, Rayan Allam striking the Sporting goal in a 1 – 1 draw. That result could have been terminal for their league hopes but Chingford Harriers, presently sitting top, had a battle of their own at Peter May with Emerson & Upminster A the visitors ahead of their own cup tie. Neither side was able to find the back of the net as a 0 – 0 draw was recorded at full-time, Harriers therefore maintaining a one point lead with one game to go for both of the top two sides.