On a sun-bathed mid-May afternoon, I made my first visit proper to the Len Forge Centre to see EOFL Premier champions Catholic Utd finish the season at local rivals White Ensign.
In what ended up being a rather entertaining encounter, the hosts led after just five minutes with home skipper David Limber forcing the ball home to give his side the lead. A depleted Utd squad struggled to hold the enterprising attacking play of the hosts at times with Godwin-Green making a couple of important saves to keep his team in the match. Though three minutes before the interval, winger Lloyd Wilson struck to double the hosts’ lead. Though Utd responded only a minute later through centre-back Ellis Sands.
Half-Time: White Ensign 2 – 1 Catholic Utd
After the break, the match became even more open-ended as first, Limber struck again [50′] to restore the hosts’ two-goal cushion though again, the Super Hoops hit back through Dan Williams’ header.
Liam Sewell’s sweet strike thundered into the net to make it 4 – 2 on 65 minutes before another from Catholic defender Sands completed the scoring on a day where the hosts celebrated 4th place.
Hello & welcome to my last round-up of Olympian Lge action this term. In this week’s action, the dstination of the Premier Division title was confirmed, along with other crucial results across the top three-tiers.
Essex Olympian League Premier Division
In the lead match on Saturday, Catholic Utd knew a draw would be enough to seal another title for them and they edged a committed match 1 – 0 against Bishop’s Stortford Swifts in their fourth match of the week. Harley Kee got the only goal to seal the Super Hoops 15th win of the league season though the celebrations were tempered by the following news that co-managers James Paviour and Dan Trenkel will step down following this weekend’s match at White Ensign.
Elsewhere, Leigh Ramblers won at Basildon Town 2 – 1 to rise to 8th in the standings after the weekend’s action. Town suffered their 21st defeat in their 24 matches this term here and will surely look to have a better season next time out. Also, Kelvedon Hatch were held 2 – 2 by Harold Wood Athletic. Kelvedons goals came through James Burt and Ben Gibbons while Ath were grateful for Charlie Liddiard and Robert Whitnell strikes to claim the point which took them 3rd while the hosts were 6th after the weekend’s matches.
White Ensign remain 5th by virtue of a ‘Home Walkover’ victory over Manford Way who couldn’t field a side in their final match of the season, which saw them drop to 10th following a points deduction.
Into Olympian Senior One now and Sungate powered past relegated Harold Hill 5- 1 to rise to 5th in the standings following the weekend’s action. Hutton drew 1 – 1 with champions Buckhurst Hill and Old Southendian were held to the same scoreline by Snaresbrook.
Lastly for the Saturday action, in Senior Two, Newham Utd thumped Upminster 6 – 0 to leave the visitors sweating over their place in the division next season. Utd are 8th, with one match left. Also, Ramsden Scotia’s promotion hopes had a setback as they were held 0 – 0 by rivals Herongate Athletic, who ended their season here.
Moving onto the midweek action now and on Monday night in Senior One, Newbury Forest triumphed 4 – 3 over Great Baddow in an epic match to really put ‘a spanner in the works’ of Baddow’s promotion dreams. Baddow ended their season here, while Hutton need to beat Harold Hill this weekend to pip Baddow to promotion. Forest go up to 8th spot with this win.
On Tuesday night, in Olympian Premier, Springfield won 3 – 2 at May & Baker in what was both clubs’ last match of the season. Springfield finish 3rd while the hosts finish the season in 7th though a bright future awaits them. In Senior One, Sungate confirmed a top-four finish by holding Buckhurst Hill 3 – 3 at Ilford Wanderers Rugby Club.
In Senior Two, Ramsden Scotia kept their promotion dreams alive with a 2 – 0 home win over Rochford Town. Scotia’s 15th win of the season here means a win on May 26th at Newham will see them promoted. At the other end of the scale, Rochford’s 17th loss of the season meant they will drop back to Division Three next term, unless they get a repreieve, ala last term.
Also on Tuesday was the EOFL Senior Cup Final at Bishop’s Stortford FC’s Dunmow Road home, and Frenford won 4 – 2 against fellow Premier Division side Leigh Ramblers to claim the trophy. Ramblers led early through Tom Hollingsworth and Andrew Webster goals though a brace from Ashley Taylor-Forbes plus strikes from Charlie Fairhead and substitute Nick Hughes powered the top tier runners-up to glory.
And that’s all from this round-up and for the round-up’s this season. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and that you agree that it gives EOFL clubs the ‘limelight’ that they deserve.
Hello and welcome to what is likely to be my second-last round-up of Essex Olympian League action this term. As in previous weeks, I’ll begin with the weekend’s action then move on to the midweek action in the top three tiers.
Anagram Records Trophy Final
Despite a continuing heavy fixture pile-up, Catholic Utd defeated Broadfields 2 – 0 to claim another bit f silverware for the trophy cabinet. Goals from Harley Kee and Dan Williams ‘sealed the deal’ for the Super Hoops.
Essex Olympian League Premier Division
On a reduced day of fixtures, White Ensign continued their recent good patch with a 3 – 0 success at relegated Basildon Town. Luke Skinner, David Limber and Liam Sewell all found the net to keep Brett Munyard’s side 5th after the weekend’s action.
Elsewhere, Kelvedon Hatch won 2 – 1 at Bishop’s Stortford Swifts thanks to strikes from Lee Newton and substitute James Burt while Daniel Callaway hit back for Swifts. And in a clash of two of the top four sides, Harold Wood Athletic drew 2 – 2 with Springfield. Danny Gilliard and Robert Whitnell netted for Ath while Andrew Elgar and Joe Mayer replied for Springfield, who remain 3rd, ahead of Ath on goal difference alone.
EOFL Senior Division One
There were certainly goals aplenty in Senior One on Saturday. Great Baddow retained their hopes of promotion with a 5 – 2 triumph at Harold Hill. Goals from Ryan Baxter, Matthew Crick, Oliver Evans, Jack Mead and substitute Luke Perry secured Baddow their 16th win of the season.
Hutton also ‘did their bit’ with a 5 – 0 thrashing of out-of-form Snaresbrook. A brace from Dan Carpenter plus strikes from Robert Lorkins, Keelan O’Donovan and substitute George Nash meant the hosts grabbed their 15th win of the campaign and if they win both of their remaining games then they will be promoted.
In other action, Galleywood won 2 – 0 at Old Southendian, thanks to Jack Chatterway and substitute Matthew Buckingham strikes to rise to 10th after the weekend’s action. Also, Buckhurst Hill secured a well-earned promotion and the Senior One title with a 5 – 3 home win over mid-table FC Hamlets and Sungate found some form to defeat Shenfield AFC 4 – 2 to obtain their 10th success of the season.
In Senior Division Two, Rayleigh Town Reserves did local rivals Rochford a favour by handing Upminster another loss as they won 2 – 1. A Dillon Southgate brace was too much to overcome for the visitors, who replied through Louis Elwood’s goal. Also, Newham Utd ended Benfleet’s winning run as they drew 1 – 1. After the weekend’s action, Newham are 8th and Benfleet stay 4th.
Moving onto the midweek action now and in the Essex Premier Cup final held at Thurrock’s Ship Lane on Monday, Catholic Utd suffered a rare loss to Senior One champions Buckhurst Hill. Hill won it 2 – 0 though Utd’s Brad Wiliams suffered a serious injury during this match and we wish Brad a speedy recovery. Congratulations go to Buckhurst Hill who ‘rubber-stamped’ an excellent season for them here.
Onto Tuesday’s solitary match in the Premier Division now, where Canning Town edged to a 2 – 1 victory over May & Baker, which means Town will finish the season in 11th place.
On Wednesday night in Olympian Premier, Catholic Utd edged to a 1 – 0 win over in-form White Ensign at the Len Salmon Stadium. This vital win means they only need a single point from their two remaining matches to leapfrog Frenford and claim the Premier Division title. Ensign remain 5th in the standings.
Elsewhere, Kelvedon Hatch picked up another win, 6 – 2 at Manford Way to go above May & Baker into 6th spot thanks to win #10 of the season. Manford sit 8th.
In Senior One on Wednesday, FC Hamlets rose to 5th after a 3 – 0 victory over Old Southendian. Old Southendian slip below their opponents here into 6th. In a match held at Runwell Chase, Old Chelmsfordians narrowly defeated Runwell Sports 3 – 2 to stay 11th though also go level on points with Newbury Forest. Runwell’s season ended here and only three victories this term is perhaps a signal of why they finished bottom.
Also, Galleywood v Harold Hill ended in a “Home Walkover” as struggling Harold Hill couldn’t field a side. Hill will go down and may end up bottom if a likely further points deduction materialises. Galleywood end their season in 8th.
Hello all, i felt moved to share two special episodes of the Grassroots Football Show (which as most of you will know, I do a bit for.)
These shows are the “Mental Health in Non-League” special (which looks at the deep subject of MH, in the Non-League arena and the GFS “Extra” podcast – Essex Senior League “Squads of the Season where Pete D & myself take up the challenge of choosing an 18-man squad each.
Sawbridgeworth Town: Red & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Red Socks
Great Wakering: Green & White Striped Shirts, White Shorts and White Socks
Glorious day for the Capershotts pitch
Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a baking hot day, Waltham Abbey’s Capershotts ground hosted the Errington Challenge Cup Final between Sawbridgeworth Town and Great Wakering Rovers, who were gunning for the league and cup double. Sawbo named Aaron Thomas and Toby Cleaver in attack while the vastly experienced Matt Frew joined captain Louis Deamer at the heart of the defence with Daryl Doolan among the substitutes. For GWR, they named a very strong XI, though Kiah Froud stepped in for Jason Ring at right-back. Neil Richmond led the line after being rested in Wakering’s final league match on Saturday.
Before the match, the stadium fell silent for a minute’s silence to remember non-league stalwart and former AFC Hornchurch secretary Pete Butcher, who sadly died last week. I’d like to join the chorus of the Non-League community in sending my best wishes to Pete’s family and friends at this sad time.
As the match got underway in front of a very healthy crowd of over 200, Wakering’s leading scorer Neil Richmond was ‘in the mood’ early on though scuffed an effort wide while Sawbridgeworth captain Louis Deamer nodded wide with a back-post header moments later. Rovers found Sawbo goalkeeper James Mays in good form as he denied both full-back Aaron Russell and Richmond in the same attack. Sawbo were stretching the Rovers back-line meaning custodian Louis Hawes did have to ‘rush out’ a bit and twenty minutes in, Hawes just about denied forward Toby Cleaver though the match was a bit scrappy at times with clear-cut chances at somewhat of a premium.
As half-time approached, Wakering midfielder Ricky Evans powered an effort from distance that Mays gathered before at the other end, a good first-time cross from the right by full-back Mark Robinson, which couldn’t quite be turned home by forward Aaron Thomas who sent his effort wide.
Half-Time: Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 0 Great Wakering Rovers
After the interval, the heat was only going to add to the players’ fatigue though Richmond was once again posing problems for the Sawbridgeworth defence and eight minutes into the half, the evergreen striker’s strike cannoned off the post. That chance was a warning of things to come though as after being well-found by Butterworth, Richmond slotted home for his 31st goal of an impressive campaign.
Wakering continued to push forward though Mays denied Richmond twice further, the second of those occasions following a deft lofted pass from winger Stephen Butterworth’s free-kick. The Sawbridgeworth stopper was much the busier of the two goalkeepers in the second half and further earned a “Man of the Match” award by pulling off two more good saves to deny Rovers substitute Chris Bryan, either side of Sawbo substitute Ollie Cleaver’s header that was saved by Hawes and turned in but the goal was ruled out following a assistant referee’s flag being drawn.
In truth, while Sawbridgeworth did show some nice build-up play in their attacking moves, they couldn’t assert themselves going forward against a typically-stubborn Wakering defence. As we got into five minutes of added-time, Sawbo substitute Daryl Doolan’s strike was blocked by the alert Hawes as Wakering held out comfortably to secure a double that sees them leave the Essex Senior League as the first winners of the newly re-named Errington Challenge Cup!
Full-Time: Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 1 Great Wakering Rovers
James Mays (GK), Mark Robinson (Ollie Cleaver 71′) Louis Monk, Lewis Deamer (Capt), Matt Frew, Tom Jelliman, Danny Wickenden, George Pullen (Jack Cousins 84′), Aaron Thomas, Toby Cleaver, Zak Johnson (Daryl Doolan 56′)
Subs Not Used: Hunter, Wright | Booked: Robinson, T Cleaver
Great Wakering Rovers | Manager: Iain O’Connell
Louis Hawes (GK), Kiah Froud, Aaron Russell (Danny Hurford 46′), Scott Pethers (Capt), Aaron Waters, Sam Carter, Billy Johnson (Chris Bryan 59′), Ricky Evans, Neil Richmond, Jay Nash, Stephen Butterworth
Goal-scorer: Neil Richmond [58′]
Subs Not Used: Seaden, Dopson | Booked: Waters, Carter
Referee: Jamie Pope
Assistant Referees: Jamie Wood & Michael Wingate
Fourth Official: Brett Grant
Hello and welcome to my round-up of the Essex Olympian League action from the last week, from the Premier Division through to Senior Division Two, starting off with the weekend’s games then moving on to the midweek action…
Essex Olympian League Premier Division
In the Essex Olympian Premier Division on Saturday, Catholic Utd continued their title-chase with a good 3 – 1 win at Rayleigh Town. Brad Vaughan, Brad Williams and Max Kent all netted for the Super Hoops who jump above Springfield into 2nd, four points adrift of leaders Frenford so two wins will suffice from their four remaining matches to win the title. Aaron Pallett replied for Town.
Elsewhere, Harold Wood Athletic defeated Canning Town 3 – 1 with Charlie Liddiard, Joe Stevens and Matty Game all scoring. Kelvedon Hatch won 3 – 2 at out-of-form May & Baker thanks to George Saunders, Lee Newton and substitute Michael Daniels’ goals while Craig Hall and Dan Mackin responded for the hosts.
Manford Way also tasted success with a 2 – 0 triumph at relegated Basildon Town. Julian Edwards and Callum Ibe got the all-important goals there.
In Olympian Senior One, the ‘battle of the current top-two’ went the way of leaders Buckhurst Hill who kept up their march towards the title with a 3 – 2 victory over Great Baddow. A Steven Townsend hat-trick was ‘just the job’ for the Hill though Dane Nelson’s brace for the hosts made it tight. Meanwhile, Hutton won an entertaining match 5 – 3 at Harold Hill. Dan Carpenter’s treble plus goals from Justin Bardouleau and Chris Rowlatt were enough to claim the points.
Relegated Runwell Sports earned only their 3rd win of the season with a 2 – 0 victory at mid-table Sungate. James Driver and Chris Stokes strikes sealed a morale-boosting win for Sports. Shenfield AFC edged Newbury Forest 3 – 2 thanks chiefly to Ben Carroll’s brace. Thomas Oliver got the other goal while Jason Reynolds-Blanche and substitute Bobby Wise netted for Forest.
Also, Old Chelmsfordians bested Snaresbrook 3 – 2 thanks to goals from Hayden Brunt, Jamie Gray and Lee Ifield.
Finally for the Saturday action, in Olympian Senior Two, the two fixtures produced 17 goals! May & Baker Reserves clinched a 4 – 3 success at Newham Utd. Addean Gallimore, Lamar Obinkwo and Lisandro Tavares all netted for the hosts though Carl Patten grabbed another hat-trick and substitute Derek Hawtin completed the scoring for the visitors who secured their 15th win of the season here.
Meanwhile, Benfleet edged Rochford Town closer to the drop with a huge 8 – 2 win at the Rochford Rec. Ben Foord’s hat-trick, braces from Robert Lacy and Taylor Lawrence plus a Sam Dulieu goal secured the win for the Canvey-based side. Shane Holyland and Steven Sharpe replied for Town, who now must win their final match to have any chance of avoiding relegation.
Into the midweek action now and on Tuesday night in the Olympian Premier, Harold Wood edged Rayleigh Town 3 – 2 as Charlie Liddiard, Joe Stevens and substitute Rob Whitnell goals for the hosts outmatched Aaron Pallett’s brace for the visitors. Ath sit 4th, behind Springfield on goal difference. Rayleigh remain 12th.
White Ensign powered to a 4 – 1 victory over mid-table Kelvedon Hatch at the Len Forge. Doubles from David Limber and Liam Sewell did the damage though substitute Michael Daniels again struck for the visitors. Ensign went above May & Baker into 5th with this win while Kelvedon are 8th.
In Senior One on Tuesday, Shenfield AFC continued their fine end to the season with a 2 – 0 win at relegation-battling Harold Hill. Ben Absolon and Will Marlowe goals saw AFC up to 4th spot. Meanwhile at Polo Fields, Hutton put four past Newbury Forest in a 4 – 1 victory that strengthened their grip on 3rd spot. Another double by Dan Carpenter plus strikes from Jonathon Hilliard and Chris Rowlatt secured the win.
Moving onto the action in Olympian Senior Two on Tuesday and Ramsden Scotia kept their chances of promotion well & truly alive with a 2 – 1 success over May & Baker Reserves. Aaron Chambers struck for the visitors though goals from John Burdett and Kurt King sealed Scotia’s 14th win of the season and up to 3rd, five points behind their opponents here with two matches in hand.
Elsewhere in the Denny King U21 Cup, Buckhurst Hill U21’s defeated A1 Sports U21’s 4 – 1 so congratulations goes to the champions, who are having a successful league season in 5th (at present) in the U21 Division. A1 Sports side are 2nd in the same division.
In the one match in Senior Two on Wednesday, Ongar Town won 3 – 1 at home to Rayleigh Town Reserves to go above their opponents into 5th place in their final match of the campaign.
That’s all for this week, the Olympian League continues into May, as will the round-up’s.