Written by Scott W [@ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello & welcome to another edition of the Essex Olympian League round-up. This week on Saturday 26 November, we look at the action in all divisions, plus an extra section on the various Cup competitions this weekend.
EOFL Senior Cup
This week we again start with the League Senior Cup. Shenfield AFC progressed with a 4 – 0 victory at local rivals Kelvedon Hatch. Jack Panons struck twice for AFC here, plus Alex Tredgett & Ben Absolon also scored at New Hall. Old Chelmsfordians joined them there after a comprehensive 6 – 1 victory over Beacon Hill Rovers at Lawford Lane.
EOFL Premier Division
In the top-tier this week, Hutton‘s incredible lead at the summit now stands at twelve points after a battling 1 – 0 success at home to Springfield. Luke Ricketts got the only goal for Matt Singh’s side at Chadfields. Rayleigh Town lost ground on the top two after they drew 3 – 3 with Runwell Sports at London Road. Jack Long’s fine treble was not enough to provide the win as strikes by Charlie Little, Oliver Williamson and an OG meant Runwell claimed a point, which keeps them eighth. Leigh Ramblers made it two home wins in consecutive weeks, without conceding a goal after a 3 – 0 victory over Canning Town, who remain second. Strikes by Andrew Webster, Tom Franks & Jamie Skinner meant Mark Hunter’s team rose to fourth spot. The other game saw Old Southendian defeat Bishop’s Stortford Swifts 2 – 1 at Garon Park 3G. Mitchell Ali’s double took them to four straight wins & up to sixth spot. Joe Holt got the reply for Neil Bell’s team.
EOFL Divisions One & Two
Herongate Athletic are up to seventh in the second-tier, after a 2 – 1 home win against Manford Way. Thomas Lambourne & Robbie Allen’s penalty secured the points for Joe Nightingill’s side. In the other game, Corinthians got a major win, as they won 4 – 2 at ACD Utd, which took Chris Stoneham’s team up to third.
In Division Two, Shoebury Town’s lead at the summit fell to five points after a 2 – 2 draw with Catholic Utd Res at Ekco Sports Club. Jack Woodham & Alex Jenkins got the goals for the hosts, but strikes by Daniel Williams & Thomas Elliott meant Utd left with a point, which takes them up to ninth. May & Baker EOFL are five points clear in sixth spot after a 1 – 0 success at home to Hutton Res, with George Stanbrook again on target for Josh Lowbridge’s team. Finally in this division, Hashtag Utd Development are up to second place after a conclusive 9 – 0 triumph against AS Rawreth at Barleylands. Samuel Pratt & Jay Knight both netted doubles for Denis Simpson’s team, with a further ensemble cast of Matthew Gauci, Charlie Simpson, Tony Stevens, Thomas Matthew & substitute Jake Smith all also adding further goals for the Tags’ side.
EOFL Divisions Three, Four & Five
In the fourth-tier, the top two faced each other at Basildon Sports Club, with leaders Basildon Town Res extending their lead to five points after defeating Hullbridge Sports Res 3 – 1. Keith King netted two goals for Bas, with Harry Cowlbeck getting the other. Substitute George Mole netted for the visitors. Third-placed Leigh Town Res are now level on points with Hullbridge after they won 3 – 2 against Buckhurst Hill U23 at John Burrows Rec. Callum Stone got a double for Josh Burrage’s side, with Chris Pope also scoring. Stefanos Ladoukakis & Harvey Woods goals for Hill made it tight but they remain in mid-table. Old Chelmsfordians Res convincingly won 9 – 1 at Corinthians Res to rise to seventh. Lastly, Pitsea Athletic are up to fourth after a 4 – 0 triumph at Springfield Res. Reece Stone scored a double for Trevor Wickens’s team, with Kwadwo Asante and Liam Jeffrey also netting.
Into Division Four now, and Ongar Town went up to seventh after a 2 – 1 victory at Shenfield AFC Res. Ethan Hook & replacement James McLean both scored for Tony West’s team. Paul Constable’s goal accounted for AFC’s reply. Leaders Roydon are still three points clear after a 3 – 1 victory at home to Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res. Samuel Broen netted for the visitors but a double for Connor Presland plus a goal for replacement Ezra Fields. Collier Row are still second after a 5 – 0 win at Pitsea Athletic Res, while Wakering Sports A are out of the bottom two after a 3 – 0 success over Galleywood Res at Cupid’s.
In Division Five, Wakebury Res continued their decent form with a 5 – 0 triumph over AS Rawreth Res. There were doubles here for Charlie Kernott and Tommy Wolfe, with Jamie Oates also on target for Joe Creak’s side. The other game saw Canning Town Res win 3 – 1 at Sungate Res to go up to sixth.
Anagram Records Trophy Results
Codicote p3-3 Sungate (7-6 on pens)
Galleywood 0 – 5 Belstone
Toby 2 – 6 AFC Walcountians
Essex Junior Trophy R’s
Chadwell Heath Spartans Res 1 – 3 Basildon Town A
Manford Way Res 2 – 1 Sandon Royals Res
Shoebury Town p4 – 4 Hutton Development (4-2 on pens)
EOFL Reserve Lge Cup Result: Wakering Sports Res 6 – 0 Rayleigh Town Res
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & ESL Writer
Hello & welcome to the latest of my occasional series, rounding-up the full Essex Senior League programme that took place on the weekend of Saturday 26 November. We also include the Reserve Shield action & the solitary Ressie league match in Division Two.
Essex Senior League – Saturday 26 November
The weekend’s action starts with an important win for Barking as they powered past Stanway Rovers 5 – 1 at Mayesbrook Park 3G. Charlie Heatley’s first hat-trick inside the first hour led the way for Charlie MacDonald’s side, while Ahmed Abdulla and George Fairhead added further pain to Danny Slatter’s team, who replied through Will Crisell’s goal. At the Terry Mac, Clapton got another big three points as they fought back to defeat Romford 4 – 3. Khyreece Smith-Reid’s fifth league goal this term plus goals from Leon Wildman, Sharn Quinn’s spot-kick & an OG enabled Ross Weare’s side to move eight points clear of bottom side Southend Manor. Romford responded through strikes from Emmanuel Ogunrinde, Adalberto Pinto and Shomari Barnwell’s goal in stoppage time but they are now five points adrift of landlords Barking in tenth.
Takeley continued their recent good form, with a 4 – 0 victory at Southend Manor. Charlie Allum and George Frodsham goals inside the first ten minutes led the way for Marc Das’ side, then Jayden Gipson & Jordan Westcott goals added more anguish for Alex O’Leary’s side. At the summit, Enfield stay at the top on goal difference after a 3 – 0 victory at managerless Saffron Walden Town. Danny Norton, Louie Johnson’s penalty & a Usman Adeniji goal sealed the points for Jamie Cureton in front of 330 spectators at Catons Lane. Redbridge are second on the same points total (36) after a gritty 1 – 0 win at West Essex. Ibrahim Kehinde got the only goal there for George Christou’s side at Wadham Lodge. FC Clacton are now five points clear in third spot after a 2 – 1 success at White Ensign. Jake Clowsley & the league’s top scorer Mekhi McKenzie got the goals for Tom Austin’s side there, while Teddy Rumsby got the goal back for Aaron Bloxham’s team.
Elsewhere, Stansted remain in sixth after a 4 – 0 win at Halstead Town. The quartet of Ashaan Siddik, George O’Connor, Michael Mignot and Andre Embalo all netted for the Airportmen to add more concern for the Humbugs, who stay 16th. Buckhurst Hill got an important victory after the loss of two big players this week, as they won 4 – 1 over Sawbridgeworth Town at Roding Lane. Jake Knight had given Kieran Amos & Ben Taylor’s side an early lead, but Ezekiel Bademosi levelled the match just before the interval before a double from Hassan Nalbant and a late goal by replacement Jake Moss sealed the win for Mark Williams’ side, who reside in eighth. Athletic Newham are ninth after a 3 – 1 victory at Ilford, with Daniel Izekor notching another double and Abdul Shobowale also on target for Chris Davis’ team. Jack Zielinski got the reply for the Foxes there. Lastly in the top-tier, Woodford Town bagged a 1 – 0 away win at Little Oakley, thanks to Wale Odedoyin’s goal to spoil new manager James Good’s first league game in charge, after the resignation of Matt Carmichael this week – I’d like to pass on my best wishes to Matt & his family at this tough time.
Now into the Reserve Shield action, Barkingside Res edged through on Friday night, defeating White Ensgn Res 2 – 1 at Lakeside Sports Ground. Junior Mandeng-Fotabeng netted for the Ensign side, but strikes by Emmanuel Banahene & Kolade Oshun secured the hosts’ progression. Woodford Town Res joined them there after a 3 – 1 victory at Athletic Newham Res. David Avram, Albert James & replacement Izac Clarke all scored for Town in that game. The other two games needed spot-kicks to determine the victor and Billericay Town Res drew 1 – 1 with Frenford Res, before winning 4 – 3 on penalties. Redbridge Res also drew, 2 – 2 with West Essex Development but it was the Stags side who won 3 – 1 on penalties in that one.
Finally, there’s one result in Ressie League Division Two, which saw Barking U23 go back to the summit after a thumping 7 – 0 victory at May & Baker Res.
Hello and welcome to the round-up of the action in the Essex Alliance League, from Saturday 17 September which includes the EAL action & representatives in the Essex Premier Cup.
My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. Thank you for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
Essex Alliance League Round-up – Saturday 24 September
The final week of September action saw a busy schedule which began in midweek with two big results affecting matters in the top half. Woodford East were in good form as they secured all three points with a home success against Chadwell Heath Spartans at The Hive. Billy Barr, Frank Glock, Matthew Stacey, Harry Robinson and Lucio Uare all netted to cancel out Spartan goals from Peter Adeleye and Joseph Butcher in a 5 – 2 East victory. Up at Wormley Playing Fields, Brimsdown were action with a home clash against visitors Oakside with four points separating the sides going into the game under the lights. A closely fought game was settled by one moment in the game Olalekan Ayeketi fired in a strike from distance to hand his Brimsdown side a crucial 1-0 success to keep them in touch.
The Friday night action was an exhilarating affair as Blue Marlin shocked league high fliers, Lymore Gardens, by racing into a 3-0 lead on the night. Garden then fought back to level but Blue Marlin scored a fourth to lead once again before the hosts incredibly netted twice to eventually win a thriller 5 – 4. George Dwobeng scored two with Gaston Mendy, Andre Rashford and Adam Tebbani also on the scoresheet for Lymore, a result which saw them move clear at the top. That lead was short lived however as FC Baresi moved back level on points and top on goal difference as they picked up a superb win in a local derby contest against Walthamstow Reserves at Wadham Lodge. Paul Benfield has been in good form and he struck four goals on the day, adding to efforts from Raymond Poku and Tyreece Robertson in a comprehensive 6 – 0 success.
Jolof Sports’ start to the season has seen them climb to fourth after six games, despite a slightly indifferent start. They now sit three points off the leaders after a solid victory at fellow contenders, Brimsdown in Wormley. Goals from Bogdan Ursica and from substitute Ahma Seye were enough on the day for the east London based side to record a 2-1 win. The hosts responded through Napier Brown’s goal here. It’s now five games unbeaten for Sporting Hackney following their lateral move this season and they put another 4 -1 success on the board this weekend, repeating last week’s feat, this time seeing off the efforts of May & Baker EC Reserves at Barking & Dagenham College. Tyler Springer, Karim Bukleb, Liam O’Hara and Ross Murphy were on the scoresheet to render Aaron Blake’s goal as just consolation.
FC Petrocub’s first win of the calendar month saw them move to four wins for the season on Saturday as they entertained Dagenham United at Noak Hill. The hosts bounced back well from a heavy defeat in their last outing to win the game 2-0, moving up to fifth place and just four points off the pace at the top. After three winless games at the start of the campaign, Frenford Development have reversed their fortunes with three successive wins now as they returned home from Lakeside once again with all three points, defeating Chadwell Heath Spartans 3 – 1. Elie Fanga struck for Spartans but that proved insufficient as Tiwa Osifuwa, Carlos Barahona and Joel Opara goals proved enough for Frenford.
Following Frenford up the table are Kit Out London who made the trip to Walthamstow on Saturday to take on Crookz United at Peter May, three points between the sides going into the game. That was extended to six by full time however as Huge Amaral, Alex Solomon, Mirko Zanco and David Rista goals carried Kit Out through to a 4 – 2 win and home with all three points. Over in Hainault, two of the sides in action from midweek continued their respective fortunes with visitors Woodford East following up their big win in midweek with another this time out against Oakside. Lorrell Dawkins scored twice off the bench with William Letchford, Harry Robinson, Callum Maltese and Lucio Uare goals seeing their East side win comfortably 6 – 0.
PREMIER DIVISION (WEST)
It’s been a terrific start for AEK London in the second tier as they made it three wins from three so far in the league but they did face a stern task on Saturday, edging a close game against G7 to secure maximum points. AEK were the scorers of the only goal of the game, winning 1 – 0 to stay clear at the top by a couple of points. Fellow new side, Priory Park Rangers, are the side giving chase at the moment and sit second edging a very close game against third placed North East Lions. Shane Thomas and Nester Boansi netted for the Lions but an unbeaten Priory Park side had just enough to scored three of their own to win this top of the table battle 3-2.
After defeat in their opening game, Leyton City bounced back in terrific fashion with a Jahvarn Steward inspired performance as he netted six goals in a 10-3 success against Tower United. Adam Rowe scored twice with Benjamin Matengulu and Mateus Furieri netting the others to overcome two Abdi Mohamed goals and an Abdullah Jama goal. In the East Ham derby game, co-tenants Athletic Newham Under 23s and London Cranes renewed their battles from last season in a closely fought contest at Flanders on Saturday afternoon. It was just a single goal to separate these sides and Oscar Innocent was guilty of that important moment, netting for London Cranes to make it two wins from three for the visitors.
Newham Wanderers are Division One’s early leaders in the third tier as they picked up win number two at the weekend, returning from Parmiters with all three points following a 3 – 2 success against Atholl. Goals from Ismail Assoufi, Robertson Morais and Mahein Zaman were the difference to edge the game and continue their perfect start. Over in Newbury Park, Old Esthameians reversed their fortunes from their opening day defeat to pick up a first win of the season, defeating Renegade 4-2 to move into the top half. Deimar Cardoso scored twice in his first appearance for the visitors but those goals were in vain as Old E’s four goal haul took them to the win.
In Division Two, it’s Snaresbrook who are setting the pace at the top and made it three wins on the bounce on Saturday though faced a challenge from a winless Barking Potters side so far. ‘Brook were 4-1 winners though as Scott Hill, George Bacon, Sean Ashman and Emile Kwame goals put them on the road to success once again. Old Barkabbeyans were on cloud nine following a huge 9 – 1 away win against Lymore Gardens Reserves, coming out on top following a terrific performance. Michael Ryder’s early season goal form saw him add a hat-trick, Josh Robinson and Dre Ferlisi both scoring twice with Fabio Balde and Robbie Osborne netting the others to earn maximum points for their side, moving third in the process. Warren Isoka’s goal was little consolation as the Lymore second-side was well-beaten.
It was a day for bounce back wins as another of the division’s sides, FC Baresi Under 23s, improved from their opening travails to beat Royal Forest in a 4-3 scoreline on Saturday. Hamza Hafesji scored twice with Junior Ouattara and Joshua Adu both netting to help last season’s double winners to their first win of the new campaign. Forest’s goals came via Joe Meader’s double and Frank Carver. And it was a similar storyline for Woodford East Reserves who produced a terrific performance to end Rainham Phoenix’s perfect start so far, winning 3 – 1 at the Marshes. Sam Springall scored for Rainham but his goal proved just consolation as Harry Carter, Owen McKelvey and Will Osmond all found the back of the net for the Peacocks to earn a first victory of the season.
Things are tight at the top of Division Three where Newbury East hold a single point lead over the chasing pack following a very close game against Romford Under 21s. A Junior Milla hat-trick set them on their way with Mohammed Hussain and Sehraan Hussain goals taking them to a 5 – 3 win against a Romford side making their debut in the competition. It’s two wins from two for promoted Chingford Harriers this season, another impressive outing, particularly in the second half, seeing them take maximum points in a 4-0 win at home to Melbourne Sports. Daniel Taylor, Grant Coy, Seun Lasile and Gerard O’Hara all scored for Harriers to continue their perfect start to the season.
Just outside of the promotion places on goal difference are Jolof Sports Reserves who took their winning record to two from two themselves, beating Buckhurst Way in a 5-2 home success. Derek Adu and Ronald Asante both scored twice with Noah Chesmain notching the other to give their Jolof side the best possible start. Despite an opening defeat, Frenford A have got their first points on the board after a good win at home on Saturday against Dagenham United Reserves at The Drive. Ricky Brown and Isa Khan both notched for United but those efforts were superseded by Frenford goals from Reece Morley, Isima Iguisi, Adam Andrade and Kishawn James in a 5-2 win.
Flyers Under 21s are also on the board with a first success following promotion to Division Three, bouncing back well from their initial reverse to secure a win this time out, beating Football Club of Riverside 1-0 over at King George’s. That result saw them shootout up to the cusp of the top half while their opposition remain in search of their first points.
Three sides share top spot in Division Four where present leaders, Collier Row Wheels, suffered a first reverse of the season at the hands of Inter London, themselves picking up a first win of the season to go against the form guide. Fahad Abdullah scored twice and Okey Obialo once to set Inter on their way, overcoming two Luke Woodgate goals in the process in a 3 – 2 scoreline. That result enabled West Essex Under 23s to go level, trailing just by goal difference, after they made it two wins from two with a high scoring success against Avondale Rangers. Javen Cole scored a hat-trick with Gabriel Morlova and Franky Okoko also notching in a 5-3 win, overcoming Rangers goals from Jake Clarke, Joe Powell and Phillip Heinen.
London APSA Under 23s have also accrued six points from their opening fixtures and that was aided by a terrific 5-2 home win on Saturday against Romford Under 19s in Barkingside. Reda El Ghaibouz continued his scoring form with a four goal haul, David Gokou-Siakouri netting the other to hand APSA all three points. Emerson & Upminster Reserves put their first three point haul on the board, responding well to defeat in their first game to take a win this time away at Newham & Havering Borough. Courtney Linton netted for Borough but Emerson goals from Gordon Archie, Tyler Huggett and Billy Warner saw the points head back with the visitors in a 3-1 scoreline.
The league was completed over at Fairlop Oak where the reserves of Fairlop Rovers and Old Esthameians met with the hosts producing a strong performance in their first outing of the year. Fairlop were 6 – 1 winners on the day to shoot straight into the top half of the table, sitting fourth, while Old E’s continue their quest for points.
There were some great results for EAL clubs in the county cup competitions over the weekend with Division One side Ilford Reserves producing a cup shock to knock out Premier Division’s Freetown from the Essex Junior Cup. The young Foxes were 7-0 winners to take their place in the next round where they now face Collier Row. Waltham Abbey A also produced a solid display as they took out Mid Essex League top flight opposition in the form of Blackmore to make the second round. The Abbotts were 3-1 winners on their travels, booking a trip up to Sheering in the next round of the competition.
There was also a cup shock at Wanstead Flats where Division One side Something From Nothing were up against it with the visit of last season’s double winners, Belfry. A close game saw SFN produce a terrific display and ultimately came out on the right side of a 3-2 win to knock out their higher league opposition. It was also a good for Aveley Under 23s who started their cup quest with a home fixture against Emerson & Upminster, coming through that local derby with a win under their belts, the Millers winning 4-2 to set up a home clash against Unitey next month.
Cowley Community, last season’s Trophy finalists, kept their county cup form in good shape following elevation to the Cup and came through narrow winners in an all-EAL derby fixture, beating London Park City 2 – 1 at Fords to progress to a home tie against Leytonstone United.
Another all-EAL tie at Fords saw hosts RC XI up against fellow Premier Division level side CSM London. It was a triumph for the “West” side in the game as CSM London completed a 3 – 1 win and will now face a local derby in the next round with a trip to London Cranes. Barkingside Under 23s complete the action in the first round and it will be a day they might want to forget as their participation came to an end at home against EOFL side Collier Row at Nutter Lane. Row were solid 6 – 0 winners to end ‘Side participation and progress forwards themselves.
In the day’s only Essex Junior Trophy action, Collier Row Reserves completed a Row double against EAL sides as they ended Glendale’s participation in the competition for another season, defeating the Dales in a 4-0 win at Fairlop Oak.
The London Junior Cup action saw a clean sweep for our league sides with Unitey producing a cup giant killing as the Division One side hosted and defeated an out of sorts Wapping side to put them name into the hat for the next round, winning 5 – 2 on the day. Soul are into the hat for the second round but had to overcome a tough battle with fellow east London side Adamant to secure their place, coming through in a shootout victory after the game had ended 3-3 at full-time.
It was a similar story for Rapid Chingford as the Senior Division side were taken all the way by Premier Division Wanstead with that game also ending in a 3-3 scoreline. Rapid held their nerve to book their place in the next round, winning the penalty shootout. The final game of the day saw a win for Division One’s Forest Green in yet another all-EAL fixture, the hosts seeing off St Francis from Division Two over in Leyton to make their own progress through, 5-2 the winning scoreline for Green on the day.
Written by Scott W [@ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello & welcome to the round-up from the action in the Essex Olympian League. This week on Saturday 24 September, we look at the action in all six divisions, plus an extra section featuring the various Cup competitions.
EOFL – Saturday 24 September
EOFL Premier Division & Division One
In the top-tier, Catholic Utd remain in second after a 4 – 1 win at Kelvedon Hatch. Liam Oliver grabbed a fine treble to lead the way for Simon Thomas’ side, with Harrison Day also notching at New Hall. Sungate also got a super win, 5 – 1 at home to Springfield with Josh Addinall and Solomon Asomah both netting twice here, alongside substitute Jake Willis’ strike. Rayleigh Town remain in the early promotion race after a 2 – 0 win at Canning Town. Sonny Woodward and Philip Anunwa strikes were enough to see Paul Higgins’ side to the win, despite goalkeeper Mark Brown being sent off.
In the other results this week, Runwell Sports won 4 – 0 at Bishop’s Stortford Swifts and Leigh Ramblers were held 1 – 1 at home by Toby. Scott Clark’s goal for the Rams were cancelled out by another goal for Oliver Dingli.
In Division One, Harold Wood Athletic‘s fine start continued as they powered past Harold Hill 6 – 1 in their local derby. James Pottle netted twice, with the supporting cast of Ben Woolven, Billy Gray, Max Shepherd & Dan Spittle all also on target for John Field’s team. Herongate Athletic were held 3 – 3 by Old Chelmsfordians at St Clere’s Sch 3G. Matthew Keiller, George Godfrey and Benjamin Clarke’s spot-kick accounted for the hosts’ goals, but a brace from Joe Murphy and one from Shane Pritchardmean the OC’s left with a point. The other result this week was ACD Utd’s 1 – 1 draw with Manford Way.
EOFL Divisions Two & Three
In the Division Two matches of the week, Shoebury Town got their second consecutive victory with a hard-fought 4 – 3 win at Catholic Utd Res. Enoch Gyimah scored twice for Town, with Aaron Marshall & Takondwa Maosa also on the score-sheet. Hutton Res stayed third after a 2 – 2 draw with Rayleigh Town Res at Polo Fields. David Johnson scored both goals for the hosts, with John Hanrahan & substitute Jack Taylor levelling things up for Dave Barker’s side. May & Baker‘s EOFL side got their first win with a 3 – 0 victory at Wakebury. Darren Seymour, Jack O’Connor & an OG were enough to deny the Berries a chance to climb into the top three.
The other results were leaders Wakering Sports Res winning 2 – 0 at home to Hashtag Utd Dev at Cupid’s and AS Rawreth’s 3 – 2 success over Harold Wood Athletic Res, which sent the hosts into mid-table.
In Division Three, Buckhurst Hill U23 emerged with a 4 – 3 victory at Chingford Athletic Res at Town Mead. Bradley Croft scored a fine treble for the visitors there, with Enis Demirbala adding the other Buckhurst goal. Despite having Jack Barnes sent off and Luke Dimond bagging yet anotyer hat-trick for the hosts, the Hill development side held on to stay third in the table. Leigh Town Res also kept up their decent start with a 3 – 2 success at Corinthians Res. Tehm Vapiwala, Callum Keys and Steve Birnie all netted for Josh Burrage’s side, who ended the game with ten men after Patrick Szabo’s dismissal.
Elsewhere, Hullbridge Sports Res were denied going joint-top on goal difference as they were held 1 – 1 at strugglers Old Chelmsfordians Res. George Prentice got the important goal for the hosts at Lawford Lane, while Joe Ives replied for Hullbridge, who stay second. The other game saw Toby Res held 0 – 0 by leaders Pitsea Athletic. Both of the top two sides are still unbeaten.
EOFL Divisions Four & Five
In the solitary Division Four match, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res got a decent 2 – 0 victory at Ongar Town. Goals from Lewis Wake and David Falzon meant the visitors leapt into mid-table.
In Division Five, Manford Way Res went up to fourth spot after a 2 – 1 home victory over Wakebury Res. Luke Bennett notched two goals here to outdo Luke Abbott’s reply for Joe Creak’s side. Epping Town Res got their first win of the season afs they defeated AS Rawreth Res 3 – 2 at Roding Valley Sch 3G. Joe Bothwell scored twice for the hosts, which Paranveer Sethi added a third for Epping. Lucas Winzar kept up his decent scoring record by scoring both goals for the Rawreth second-side. The other result saw Canning Town Res win 3 – 0 at home against Shoebury Town Res.
Essex Premier Cup R1
So the EPC had one more fixture this week with Shenfield AFC winning 3 – 1 at Basildon Town Res. Jack Shaw, Aaron Lang and Alfie MacKay all netted here for the visitors as they progressed.
Essex Junior Cup
In the Junior Cup, Roydon put up a strong fight but are out after a 4 – 3 loss at Sheering after extra time. Connor Presland scored twice for the EOFL side, with Nicholas Costagliola adding the other strike but a double for Matt Coe, plus goals from Jordan King & Dan Bryant saw the hosts through. Galleywood Res are also through after a 2 – 0 triumph at South Woodham Ferrers Utd. Diogo Viveiros & Ashley Merritt both netting there.
Late winner gives Town the points over impressive Leigh Ramblers in epic battle
Rayleigh Town 4 – 3 Leigh Ramblers
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The Saturday outing this week was a return to the Essex Olympian League and this well-poised derby between old rivals Rayleigh Town and Leigh Ramblers in the Premier Division. Albeit played at Concord Rangers’ Thames Road ground, which really added something good into the mix. Rayleigh have started their season strongly as their aspirations would demand and Paul Higgins named Mark Brown in goal, with a three-man central defence of Jack Long, Will Baldry and Sonny Coutts. Skipper George Vile was in central midfield as ever, along with Frank Hession-Harris while the forward line was comprised of hot-shot Harry Talbot, Sonny Woodward and Alfie Larkin. Ramblers also had a strong side with Dylan Skinner in goal, a defensive four of Patrick Cannon, Thomas Franks, skipper Ryan Lowe and Scott Keys. Jack Gardner was their hard-working central midfielder alongside George Moxon and Ole Hunter, with Andrew Webster leading their front line with support from Scott Clark and Callum Morris.
There was an entertaining start to this match, as Town set their stall out early to grab the initative, with midfielder Frank Hession-Harris sending a lob over the goal frame after an errant clearance from Rams custodian Dylan Skinner and soon after Skinner did well to deny goal-hungry Rayleigh forward Harry Tabot when he only had the goalie to beat. However, the concerns for the hosts were uncharacteristically in defence as they could not clear their lines with much haste. The visitors took full advantage of this as forward Andrew Webster got some space between defenders and snuck in a low drive at the near post despite defender Jack Long’s attempted clearance. Town responded quickly but Talbot’s day wasn’t starting so well as first his decent curling strike fizzed narrowly wide and then on 18 minutes fellow forward Sonny Woodward’s crisp strike was blocked by his own player (Talbot)!
The pain got worse for Rayleigh as Ramblers took advantage of another defensive error on 24 minutes as Webster got in front of advancing stopper Mark Brown before lobbing him superbly and too quickly for the retreating Town defence to get back to have a chance to clear. Midfielder Ole Hunter sent a strike from about 10 yards out as Town’s defensive struggles continued. The frantic pace of this game continued just after the half-hour as Town defender Will Baldry powered a header against the crossbar from a well-directed set-piece.
Still, Town would be back level minutes later thanks to two goals in three minutes. Firstly on 37 minutes, a good run in the penalty area by Hession-Harris ended with a good low finish and then just two minutes later, Baldry got in the action again from a corner and this time his header was not able to be stopped by the Rams defenders on the goal-line.
Soon afterward, Woodward’s opportunistic effort caught Skinner unaware initially but Town’s claims that Skinner had pawed it over the goal-line fell on deaf ears. There was still time just before the break for a superb goal which saw Rams re-take the lead. Town thought they had cleared their lines well enough but they didn’t bank on forward Scott Clark receiving the ball and firing home an unstoppable curling drive from at least 25 yards out, right in the top corner. Credit where it is due for a fabulous strike and it also might have had an influence of the comparative team-talks at the interval.
Half-Time: Rayleigh 2 – 3 Leigh Rams
After a much-needed break for me to draw breath after such an entertaining first half, you may have thought there’d be a prolonged lull in the second half. I cannot really subscribe to that theory in this game, as Rayleigh poured forward in search of another equaliser. Ramblers did well to reduce the chances which Town’s enterprising play had created though half-time substitute William Vile’s low drive brought a good save out of Skinner before skipper George Vile and Ben Baxter had efforts which were off-target.
That man Talbot was still a threat as well as he finally got his goal with 14 minutes to play. Skinner had done well to get low down to deny his initial shot on goal but Talbot was alert to the rebound and slotted home coolly. Unsurprisingly, this encouraged Paul Higgins’ team as they maintained the pressure on a tiring Leigh Ramblers backline.
As the minutes ebbed away, Clark was denied on the goal-line which would have given Rams another slender lead, and at the other end, another well-directed Baldry header found the woodwork for Town and you would not have begrudged both sides taking a point from this enthralling match. But there was a winner – four minutes into added time, the chorus of pressure Rayleigh put on finally told and substitute Philip Anunwa was played in, stayed on-side on the shoulder of the last defender before firing home a fine low finish past Skinner, much to the delight of the home dug-out.
The final whistle blew soon after but alongside a papable sense of relief from the Rayleigh players, I think there was a respect of how hard they had been pushed by their opponents, who were understandably disconsolate. Either way, it was another really good spectatcle for Step 7, which I would encourage readers to watch a few games of during the season if you have not already.
Full-Time: Rayleigh Town 4 – 3 Leigh Ramblers
To summarise this epic match of drama, goals, defensive errors and missed chances, the Rams were clinical in the way they punished the hosts’ stuttering defence early on to give them that two-goal advantage. However, the torrent of chances before & just after the break saw their lead get pegged back and having expended so much energy in defending well, Rayleigh did showgood finishing of their own to pinch it deep into added-time. And you have to mention Scott Clark’s stunning 25-yarder for Mark Hunter’s Leigh Ramblers side just before half-time which altered the team-talk for Paul Higgins’ team.
The stand-out performances here were hard to choose. For victors Rayleigh, forward Harry Talbot was a constant threat throughout to the visiting backline and whilst fortune was not on his side in first half, the perseverance on display was there and he took his goal well after Skinner’s initial save. George Vile is the heartbeat of the Town side and despite being frustrated for large periods of the match, the work rate he shows is commendable. Frank Hession-Harris also had a good game in midfield and made good runs from deep as well as taking his goal well while defender Will Baldry was the pick of the Town backline, making several important aerial interceptions.
For Rams, Andrew Webster shone with his well-taken two goals and once again was an important physical presence leading their attack. Callum Morris was also a good outlet down the channels to stretch the Town defence as well as making good passes. Scott Clark had a strong game also and continued his good start to the season, with a stunning goal and good movement and pace too. Finally, a word for skipper Ryan Lowe who put in another high-level defensive showing, making a number of good clearances and showing good positional play.
Rayleigh Town | Manager: Paul Higgins | Assistant: Del Lamon
Starting XI: 1 Mark Brown (GK), 2 Charlie Seaden, 12 Ben Baxter, 5 Will Baldry, 6 Sonny Coutts, 16 Jack Long, 8 George Vile (Capt), 17 Frank Hession-Harris, 4 Alfie Larkin, 10 Sonny Woodward, 7 Harry Talbot
Goal-scorers: Frank Hession-Harris [37′], Will Baldry [39′], Harry Talbot [76′], Philip Anunwa [90’+4]
Subs On (Time): 11 William Vile [46′ replaced Coutts], 15 George Aston [57′ replaced Woodward], 9 Philip Anunwa [81′ replaced Larkin]
Booked: None | Sub Not Used: Chatterway
Leigh Ramblers | Manager: Mark Hunter | Assistants: Nathan Dewberry & Paul Cannon
Starting XI: 1 Dylan Skinner (GK), 2 Patrick Cannon, 3 Thomas Franks, 5 Ryan Lowe (Capt), 6 Scott Keys, 8 Jack Gardner, 7 George Moxon, 17 Ole Hunter, 9 Andrew Webster, 10 Scott Clark, 11 Callum Morris
Goal-scorers: Andrew Webster [12′ & 24′], Scott Clark [45’+3]
Subs On (Time): 12 Matt Allum [46′], 14 Barv Waiwaiku [57′], 4 Jamie Skinner [67′ replaced Franks]
Booked: Moxon | Sent Off: Keys (two yellows) | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Kevin Nicholson Assistants: Nnaemeka Ukah & Adam Miller
Hello and welcome to the third week season in the Essex Alliance League, as the Senior Division continued last weekend, with the other divisions due to start next month. My thanks in advance to the EAL’s Rob Parker, as ever.. Thank you for reading
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
With Introduction & additional reporting by Scott W
Essex Alliance League Round-up- Wednesday 25 – Saturday 27 August
Another busy week in the Essex Alliance League saw three fixtures in midweek where, firstly, FC Baresi moved to the top of the standings on Wednesday night as they took on fellow unbeaten side Oakside in their game at Wodson Park. Jahvid Irish struck for ‘Side but a quintet of goals from Tyreece Robertson, Edson Lami, Munnir Saad, Paul Benfield and Raymond Poku gave Baresi a 5 – 1 success.
On Friday night, it was a great night for Lymore Gardens under the lights of Coles Park as they peppered the Kit Out London goal to record an 8 – 0 success and remain unbeaten. Tyrique Peters, Andre Rashford and Adam Tebbani all scored twice each with Inarhu Martin and George Dwobeng goals giving their side the points in comprehensive fashion.
Saturday’s action saw FC Petrocub go top of the table after four games as they took maximum points from their home game against Oakside in Noak Hill. The hosts were 4 – 0 winners on the day to make it three wins from four from their solid start to the season. Just behind the leaders, by a single point, Brimsdown sit second after their opening four games, remaining unbeaten too as they recorded an opening 2 – 0 victory against Crookz United in their first competitive home match at Wormley Playing Fields. Jacob Wint scored twice, netting both of this sides’ goals as they recorded win number two this season.
Walthamstow Reserves also remain unbeaten after three games as their second win of the season was wrapped up with a hard fought 3 – 2 win at Wadham Lodge, defeating winless Rapid Chingford in the process. Dragos Aenasoaie scored both of the Rapid goals but his efforts were in vain as ‘Stow goals from Elijah Grant (2) & Callum Malcolm saw them prevail.
After a difficult start, Jolof Sports have recorded their first win of the new season as they came through in a 1 – 0 success in their away trip to Lakeside for Chadwell Heath Spartans’ first outing at their new home ground. Abdou Sow netted the only goal of the game during the second half to secure three points for his side. Over at Barking & Dagenham College, the division’s two draw specialists so far, Dagenham United and Sporting Hackney, ended their clash level at 2 – 2 with Cain Dash’s brace equalled by Parrots’ strikes from Richard Balogun and Ross Murphy. That confirmed United’s fourth successive draw and their opponent’s second.
Written by Scott W [@ScottMHC14] – Non-League Writer
Hello & welcome to the round-up from the third week of action in the Essex Olympian League season. This week on Saturday 27 August, we look at the action in all six divisions, as some teams began their campaigns here. Photo taken by Pete Dudley [@ped1980], used with thanks.
EOFL Premier Division
In the top-tier, Hutton lead the table after a 2 – 0 victory at Bishop’s Stortford Swifts. The Reds have only conceded one goal in their three matches so far, of which they have all won. Galleywood were held 1 – 1 by Kelvedon Hatch at Melbourne Park 3G. Bradley Taylor netted for the hosts, but Chris Denham replied for Hatch as they took a point. Both teams are in mid-table, having yet to win so far this term.
At Chelmer Valley High School, Springfield also drew 1 – 1, with Leigh Ramblers. Replacement Antony Connor got the goal for Franco Zabotti’s team. Other results in the division were Canning Town‘s 2 – 1 win over Sungate in Beckton and Toby got a massive win in their new surroundings in Ramsden Heath, as they prevailed 6 – 2 against Runwell Sports.
EOFL Division One
In Division One, ACD Utd got their first win of the new term with a 3 – 1 success at Herongate Athletic. Frankie Markham netted a super treble in this comeback victory for Michael Wade’s team. Harold Wood Athletic made it three wins from as many games after they defeated Manford Way 1 – 0 at Harold Wood Rec. Sam Tampkins got the decisive goal that saw Ath go top of the early table.
In tbe other games, Old Chelmsfordians had an away day to remember as they won 6 – 1 at Beacon Hill Rovers. Substitutes had a big part to play in the win for OC’s with Billy Duke netting a hat-trick after coming off the bench. Jordan Boden also scored twice and replacement Jonny Waskett also netted for Scott Fleming’s team. Bertie Whymark got the consolation goal for Rovers. And Wakering Sports drew 0 – 0 at home to Leigh Town at Cupid’s, which means both teams are yet to win so far this term.
EOFL Divisions Two & Three
In Division Two, Wakebury leapt to the top of the table with an impressive 7 – 2 success over Old Southendian Res, at their new home of Cupid’s in Shoebury. Harry Kateley netted four goals here for the Berries, with Will Wheeler, Mo Sesay and Tommy Pinkerton all adding further pain on the visitors. Fellow Non-League writer Peter Dudley was there, here is his take on the game: https://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/08/wakebury-7-old-southendian-reserves-2.html
Elsewhere, Hutton Res defeated May & Baker EOFL 3 – 1 at Polo Fields. David Johnson struck twice for the Hutton second-side in that game. Replacement Benjamin Rose got the other goal too for the hosts. Also, Catholic Utd Res got their first win of 2022-23 as they defeated Rayleigh Town Res 3 – 0 at London Road. Franklin Craik netted twice for the visitors with Ben Burrows also on target there to secure the win.
Moving onto the only game in Division Three, Corinthians Res were held 1 – 1 by Buckhurst Hill U23 at Stambridge. Cameron Lyttle scored again for Darren Gosnell’s team, but Matt Lee’s reply meant that Alan Frost’s team took a point.
EOFL Divisions Four & Five
There were three games each in Divisions Four and Five this week. Firstly, in Division Four there was one big win for Herongate Athletic Res as they won 4 – 0 at Wakering Sports A. Kai Redmond scored two goals for Ath, with Makenna Brooke & Dan Webb joining him on the score-sheet.
Elsewhere, Pitsea Athletic Res achieved a narrow 1 – 0 win over visitors Galleywood Res at Basildon Sports Club, with Rinor Zeqiri getting the crucial goal. Finally, Collier Row were held to a goal-less draw by Roydon at the Forest Row Centre.
In Division Five, Wakebury Res began their campaign with some style with a 7 – 1 victory at AS Rawreth Res. Arry Hardy scored four goaks for Joe Creak’s team at the Warren. Tommy Wolfe added two more goals for the Berries’ second-team, plus Charlie Kernott also got on the score-sheet for the visitors.
Collier Row Res are the leaders of the division after a 3 – 1 triumph over Sungate Res. George Coker, Jordan Lee & Raheem Bravo all netted for the Romford side to secure the points. And finally, Runwell Sports Res drew 3 – 3 with Canning Town Res at St Luke’s Park.
Corinthians: Sky Blue & White Shirts, Black Shorts & Black Socks
ACD: Purple Shirts, Purple Shorts, Purple Socks
Late comeback sees Corinthians to good win over ACD at Stambridge
Corinthians 3 – 1 ACD Utd
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The new Intermediate season began this weekend and it ended up that to mark said opening, I went to Stambridge to see two attack-minded sides duel in Corinthians and ACD Utd. The visitors were last term’s Division Two champions while Chris Stoneham’s team were keen to improve on last season’s fourth place in the Division One. The home side had Nathan Warren in goal, with a three-man central defence of Connor Summerhill, Brad Read and new recruit Daniel Frimley, captain Matt Burrell in central midfield, with a forward line of Bailey Moss and Jake Hodder, supported by Leo Clarke and Jordan Stoneham. ACD have a new boss in former goal-scoring wizard Michael Wade and he fielded Danny Mulrooney between the posts, with Brad Falco and Billy Rungay in central defence, full-backs Ollie Williams and skipper Mason Oakley and a forward line of Samuel Payne, Shaun Goddard and Scott Perkins.
The game got underway in what felt like 30 degree heat, and understandably this took its toll on the pace of the game in the early stages. Even so though, it was quite open as both teams looked to get down the channels to evade each other’s defences. Forward Jake Hodder and full-back Billy Wilton made early threatening downs down the flanks for the hosts, while forward Scott Perkins made one good left-wing run early on for ACD, who also had the first real chance of note when fellow forward Shaun Goddard struck off-target.
As the half-hour approached, it was a tale of two big moments. First on 26 minutes, a fine cross by Hodder found forward Bailey Moss and his powerful header was superbly clawed over by an acrobatic save from ACD stopper Danny Mulrooney. Immediately afterward, ACD countered quickly and forward Samuel Payne was well-found and struck low to fine left corner, beyond the grasp of home custodian Nathan Warren. ACD were enjoying their best phase of the game thus far and on 31 minutes Payne played in Goddard who sent in a lofted effort which cannoned off Warren’s crossbar.
The hosts had two further chances with Mulrooney gathering Moss’ 25-yard low strike and Mulrooney also did well to deny Wilton’s strike from close range. ACD’s stubborn defending held out and the hosts’ pasing was not at its condusive best as ACD went into the interval with a slender advantage.
Half-Time: Corinthians 0 – 1 ACD Utd
ACD maintained that resolve as the second half began as four minutes into it, Payne’s struike from 20 yards was well parried away by Warren. Slowly though, Corinthians did start to go through the gears and find their passing and forward Leo Clarke started to get on the ball more and test the Utd backline. Hodder’s strike off-target around the hour did serve as a warning but his side were level with 75 minutes on the watch.
Again, Hodder was involved as his astute pass found forward Bailey Moss who took it well before firing a powerful curling strike into left side of the net, giving Mulrooney little chance. In fairness, it was what Corinthians deserved on chances created but they still need to find another gear to stave off an enterprising ACD counter-attacking side. Warren was needed moments later as ACD responded with a low strike at the near post, only for Warren to get down well and deny them.
This seemed to spur the hosts on again and they did break the stalemate with three minutes left, with Hodder’s good low ball going all the way across goal to find Wilton who struck it over the goal-line. That was a little tough on ACD but the third goal in added time really did hammer home their misfortune. Mulrooney couldn’t get his clearance away with Moss closing him down quickly after a scramble, Moss was there to prod the ball home from a yard out.
Full-Time: Corinthians 3 – 1 ACD Utd
To sum up this entertaining but bruising battle in the considerable heat, ACD really made it hard for their hosts to maintain momentum, making several good interceptions and also countering well, which gave the home defence little time to recoup their positioning. However, in the latter stages they couldn’t keep the ball as well as they had done earlier. Despite that, they didn’t deserve to lose in the manner that they did. All credit to Corinthians though, they stepped up the work rate in the second half and they got their rewards for it.
There were several very good performances today. First for victors Corinthians, a word for energetic forward Leo Clarke who really drove his side on in the second half, showing good pace and passing at times. Full-back Bill Wilton also played his part with some neat passes, good energy levels and added a goal late on too. Forward Bailey Moss scored a fine leveller and brought out two good saves from ACD stopper Mulrooney as well as his usual aerial presence. Lastly, a mention for Jake Hodder who put in two assists and generally looked a threat down the right-side channel. Centre-back Daniel Frimley put a good display also on his competitive debut.
For ACD, there was plenty of positives to take. Goalkeeper Danny Mulrooney will be disappointed by manner of the third goal conceded here but that should not detract from an otherwise superb performance, making three very good sabes to deny Moss & Wilton during the game. Full-back Ollie Williams was a good outlet as well, from the left side and from set-pieces too. Forward Sam Payne took his goal well and had a good all-round game whilst centre-backs Brad Falco & Billy Rungay really made it tough for the hosts’ forward line with good aerial clearances and interceptions for much of the game.
Best wishes to both teams and I have little doubt they will both have good campaigns.
Teams (Rolling Subs used in EOFL matches)
Corinthians | Manager: Chris Stoneham | Assistants: Graham Owen & Les Moss
Starting XI: 1 Nathan Warren (GK), 2 Charlie Marden, 3 Bill Wilton, 6 Daniel Frimley, 17 Brad Read, 5 Connor Summerhill , 8 Matt Burrell (Capt), 7 Jordan Stoneham, 9 Jake Hodder, 20 Bailey Moss, 10 Leo Clarke
Goal-scorers: Bailey Moss [75′ & 90′ +2], Bill Wilton [87′]
Subs ON : 19 Luke Owen [46′], 12 Maxwell Sharpe [46′], 16 John Bolton-Smith [71′], 18 Brad Smith [82′], 14 Ethan Lemmon [87′]
ACD Utd | Manager: Michael Wade |
Starting XI: 1 Danny Mulrooney (GK), 2 Mason Oakley (Capt), 6 Billy Rungay, 35 Brad Falco, 4 Jamie Alexandrou, 3 Ollie Williams, 14 Jake Noble, 19 Warren Taylor, 7 Samuel Payne, 17 Shaun Goddard, 12 Scott Perkins
Goal-scorer: Samuel Payne [27′]
Subs ON: 21 Frank Markham [43′] | Sub Not Used: Knock
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.
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!
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
Unitey: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Rainham Working Men’s Club | Manager: Paul Tormey |