Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 17 – Sat 11 Dec) [EAL 21-22 13.11.21]

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 Fenton Cup on Saturday 11 December. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission. Also includes the Fixtures set for Saturday 18th December in the top two divisions, the last action of 2021 in the EAL before the Festive break. 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- Sat 11 December

FENTON CUP

There was just the one cup tie played involving our clubs and it produced one of the shocks of the season as Division One’s Barkingside A overcame a two division deficit to send Senior side Chadwell Heath Spartans out of the competition. The teams couldn’t be separated during the game with the match finishing 0 – 0. It was ‘Side who then held their nerve from the spot to win the shootout 4 – 3, bagging a place in the quarter-finals.

SENIOR DIVISION

The Senior Division has new leaders approaching the midway point in the season as DTFC’s unbeaten start continued with a 3 – 1 win on the road, beating Blue Marlin to move a point clear of the chasing pack. Billy Golledge scored twice to continue his form with Kieran Hipgrave netting the other to see the Harlow based side move top for the first time this season. Triston Foster responded for Marlin but they remain third-bottom. Lymore Gardens sit just two points behind the leaders, albeit from more games, and they made it a double this season over rivals FC Baresi, earning a 1 – 0 win at the County Ground on Saturday afternoon. Andre Rashford scored the only goal of a close game to earn an eighth win of a solid campaign thus far.

Moving up to fifth place are Leyton Royal who are in a rich vein of form themselves presently and made it six wins for the season from eleven, coming out 3 – 2 winners from their trip to Hackney to face Tower United. That result saw them remain healthily placed in the top half while Tower United remain five points adrift from safety at the foot of the table. That scoreline was reflected over in Noak Hill where CSM London were the visitors to take on FC Petrocub with the two teams starting the day just two points apart in the race to avoid the drop. By full-time however, FC Petrocub had picked up a fourth league victory, winning 3 – 2 despite a goal apiece from Achina Esekiel and Leon Barnard.

The two remaining games saw a pair of draws, firstly as Woodford East and Kit Out London shared the spoils in a 2 – 2 draw at the Marshes which saw East drop a spot in the race for the title. Frank Glock and Andrew Rowe netted for the hosts with Marlon Ortiz and Mario Iazaris striking in reply for Kit Out as they took a vital point. The final game came from Lakeside where Rapid Chingford were at home against Jolof Sports, six points separating those teams as they started the match. And that was how it remained by full time as neither side could find the back of the net in a rare 0 – 0 draw, a result which really doesn’t help either team’s respective causes.

PREMIER DIVISION

In the Premier Division, there was no change at the top of the table where Frenford A made it to twenty five points for the season with a big 6 – 0 win on the day against mid-table Eastside over in Walthamstow. Frenford’s scorers were led by a treble for Keenan Gravillis alongside strikes by Damilola Olaiya, Rafay Khan and Wisley Baltazar. That was an eighth league win for the promotion hopefuls and kept them three points clear of the chasing pack. That pack is headed by Dagenham United who remain well in the mix after they picked up a hard fought 2 – 0 victory at home against London Park City at Castle Green to make it seven wins for the season. Fabio Cunha and David Olanipekun both netted for the hosts to ensure they kept apace at the top of the table.

Crookz United’s form has been very consistent and they sit fourth having only suffered a single reverse in the league so far this season and that record was extended with a home win on Saturday against London Cranes. Muhammad Mutesasira netted for the visitors but his efforts proved not quite enough as Anselmo Gomes, Khalid Madey and Luke Stewart goals handed United a 3 – 1 win. It was a good weekend for the Athletic Newham club as a whole and the Under 23s followed their first team’s lead in picking up an important win, running out 4 – 0 victors from their home game against North East Lions over at Flanders. Christopher Barbosa netted twice for the U23’s here, with further goals by James Runham and Leon Hasani which enabled Newham to jump up a place to seventh, moving above their opponents in the standings.


DIVISION ONE

There were some big results in the race for the title in Division One which remains led by RCXI by two points after they edged a close game against Forest Green, eventually winning 2 – 1 at Belhus Park. Michael Temitayo and Abimbola Ojo both struck the back of the net to give their side a vital three points. The local derby fixture from the Flats saw fourth placed Wanstead take on previously second placed Cowley Community with both sides knowing that a win was vital to continue their quests. And it was the lower placed Wanstead side who ran out winners, sending Cowley to a 3-2 defeat as Zoltan Balogh scored twice and Jake Nicolas once.

And those results ensured that Belfry remain in pole position assuming they take advantage of their games in hand after they made it seven wins in seven to continue their perfect start in the league. They were 4-1 winners at home to Renegade in Dagenham to sit just two points behind the leaders with four games in hand. There was a tremendous performance by Ilford Reserves who closed the gap on the sides above after a terrific 6-1 win on the road on Saturday, defeating Newham Wanderers. Robertson Morais scored for Newham but two Abdul Cheratia goals plus strikes from Jack Newbury-Neale, Mario Lipetz, Joseph Sulola and Raymond Obe ensure the points headed Ilford’s way.

The division’s final game was a real six-pointer at the bottom end of the table as Francis Luke made the trip to Beckton to take on Kwanzas London Sport with both sides knowing the value of a victory. An entertaining game saw the sides combine for eight goals with Kwanzas walking away with a 5-3 win under their belts, Ramar Robert, Lemuel Da Silva and Kennerly Cassius striking the Luke consolation goals.

DIVISION TWO

The big result in Division Two came from Loughton where Fairlop Rovers’ perfect start to the season came to an abrupt end as they were beaten by now second placed Unitey, the sides now level on points at the top. Mohammed Abaker, David Otley and Bubintende Masadi scored the Unitey goals to edge the clash in a 3-2 scoreline. Two of the mid-table sides met as fifth placed Rainham Working Mens Club entertained sixth placed Emerson & Upminster Reserves. The sides started level on points and it was therefore perhaps unsurprising that they could not be separated on the day with the game ending 1-1. Matt Humphreys scored the hosts with Ross Braybrooke notching the Emerson’s effort.

Two sides were able to move away from imminent danger firstly as Ryan Under 23s picked up all three points with a terrific home win against an in-form FHN Athletic side who suffered just a second league defeat.  Ryan were 2-1 winners on the day to move level on the points with the side above and further away from relegation worries. There was also a big result for Loughton Lions who moved away from danger themselves with a vital home win against Redbridge Community, coming out on the right side of a 5-4 nine goal thriller. Tom Osmond was the hero with four goals, Owen McKelvey scoring the other to earn the win. Akiljo Balliu scored a hat-trick in reply and Melanijus Butkus one but their efforts proved in vain.


DIVISION THREE

There’s no change at the top of the Division Three standings where FC Baresi Under 23s continue to lead the way by a couple of points after a solid 4-1 win away at their Flyers counterparts. Zach Aliane scored twice along with Mak Delkic and Hamza Hafesji also netting to render a Joshua Adu strike as just consolation for the hosts. With two games in hand, Royal Forest Reserves remain the likeliest threat to the present leaders and they made light work of their trip to ASA, returning home from their trip to Hackney with all three points in a 5-0 scoreline. That result game the Trees a seventh league win in eight this year, remaining unbeaten also heading towards the festive break.

Melbourne Sports’ resurgence in form in the last few weeks has positioned them just outside of the promotion places on goal difference and they extended their form with a 5-2 home victory on Saturday against Together United over at Fairlop Oak. That was the seventh Mels win of the campaign as they reached the twenty-two points mark. Sitting just a point further back, Old Barkabbeyans Reserves kept themselves in the mix with another win under their belts but they had a real battle on their hands as they edged a nine goal thriller against Harlow Inter. Michael Ryder scored a hat-trick with Klodian Meta and Jay Elliott goals rounding off an important 5-4 win for the visitors.

Glendale are up into seventh place, jumping up a couple of places after a third straight win, coming from behind to beat Terin 6 – 2 at Oaks Park High School. Suheil Shekh and Fahad Abdallah goals had given the strugglers a 2-0 early lead but Mouhamed Gueye was in great form with a hat-trick, alongside further Dales goals from Valter Correia, Maryis Shamku and Attila Szabo.


DIVISION FOUR

Dagenham United Reserves took advantage of results around them to cut the gap at the top of the table as they ran out 5-1 winners at home against Newham Royals at Castle Green. Cain Dash scored a hat-trick with Allim Jalloh and Mamdou Soumare efforts making up the remainder of the scoresheet to move United into the top two.

That outcome was made possible as Sporting Pillars made the trip to Chingford Harriers for their return fixture, both sides dropping points in their battles for promotion as they settled for a very rare 0-0 scoreline, both sides unable to breach the defences. That saw Chingford remain unbeaten in the league while Sporting extended their short winless run to three games.

The final game came from Loughton where an in-form Avondale Rangers side were looking to add to their points tally as they faced up to a West Essex Under 23s side. And West will have been the happier of the sides as four Javen Cole goals saw them win 5-3, leaping above Rangers in the process. James Whitbread and Phillip Heinen both struck for Avondale with their consolation efforts.


Fixtures  – Saturday December 18th   (top two tiers only)

EAL Senior Division

Chigwell Town  P – P  Chadwell Heath Spartans  |

CSM London  v  Tower Utd  | West Ham Community Ground 3G, Beckton

FC Baresi  v  FC Petrocub  | Britannia Sports Ground, Walthamstow

Jolof Sports  P – P DT FC  |

Jolof Sports v Chadwell Heath Spartans | Flanders Playing Fields, East Ham

Kit Out London  v  Rapid Chingford  | Noak Hill 3G

Leyton Royal  v  Woodford East  | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields


EAL Premier Division

All Prospects  v  Dagenham Utd | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields

London Cranes  v  Oakside  | Flanders Playing Fields

London Park City  P – P  Crookz Utd  |

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 11 – Sat 30 Oct) [EAL 21-22 1.11.21]


Emergency ‘keeper (& player-boss) Aaron Hunwicks pulls off good save for Spartans in Fenton Cup this weekend

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 Fenton Cup & Fenton Trophy on an rain-affected day of action on Saturday 30 October. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission with additional reporting by Scott W. Thanks for reading.

Image by Chadwell Heath Spartans FC (@CH_SpartansFC)


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

Essex Alliance League Round-up- Sat 30 October

FENTON CUP

Despite the incessant rainfall on Saturday morning, most football survived at the weekend with the day’s only Fenton Cup action seeing Chadwell Heath Spartans make the trip over to Hainault to take on Blue Marlin in first round action. A hard fought game saw Spartans edge through, winning 2 – 1 thanks to goals from Harry Amoah and Thomas Callagher.

FENTON TROPHY

There was also one Fenton Trophy tie too over the weekend as Royal Forest hosted FHN Athletic over at Roding Valley High School as the two sides fought for a place in round two. Tom Osmond is a regular feature on the Forest scoresheet and he scored four for his team which, combined with Joe Owers’ brace, was enough for Royal Forest to win the tie 6 – 2.


SENIOR DIVISION

It was a busy afternoon in the Senior Division which has new joint leaders after Woodford East moved top of the table following their solid home win, defeating CSM London 3 – 0 to go clear on goal difference. Adam Tabbani scored twice and Lucio Uare grabbed the other to keep them well in contention though the chasing teams do have a game in hand. One of those also well in contention is DTFC who trail by just goal difference on East and remain one of only two unbeaten sides in the division after they came through a tough test at home against Lymore Gardens. Jake Kissiedu and Billy Golledge goals proved the difference in the end to win the match 2 – 0, continuing their unbeaten run.

It was a good afternoon for Kit Out London who were made to work hard for their latest win with FC Baresi the visitors to Noak Hill, the sides starting level on points before the game. Mark Matthews and Hadi Osman both got on the Baresi scoresheet but three Kit Out goals from Amalraj Kakumanu, Alex Solomon and Yasin Zougui saw them take the points late on in a 3 – 2 victory. There were two big results at the other end of the table where Rapid Chingford picked up just their second league win of the campaign, edging a close game with relegation threatened Tower United, winning 2 – 1. Abubakar Maxamed’s goal had given Tower a chance in the game but the two Rapid goals saw them over the line, shifting them up to ninth place.

It was a similarly big result for Rapid’s rivals, Leyton Royal, who had a trip to Chigwell Town to contend with as the sides met over at Fairlop Oak. Mark Howe struck for Town but Royal goals from Muresan Razvan and Vlad Farcas were the difference to help their team record a narrow 2 – 1 win, their third success of the campaign.


PREMIER DIVISION

It was the battle of the top two sides in the Premier Division over the weekend with Frenford A making the trip to Castle Green to take on Dagenham United, both sides going into the game sporting unbeaten records. Shaquille Mathurin grabbed a United goal but his efforts proved in vain as Frenford recorded an important 4 – 2 win that saw them move nine points clear of the rest. It’s been a season of mixed successes for Eastside so far but they had a day to remember on Saturday with a huge win against All Prospects to move themselves clear of danger. Five goal performances from Joshua Duyile and Michael Morgan set the tone, Abid Haque and Ifeanyi Umeh netted twice each with Junior Mandeng-Fotabong and Johnathan Odutulu goals completing a 16 – 0 win.

Oakside moved up a number of places, taking advantage of results around them to gain territory on the sides above following an emphatic 5 – 0 home win against one of the other promotion chasing sides in the division, North East Lions. Mussa Jamanca scored twice while Freddie Anderson, Demi Elegushi and Luke Caston all struck to take ‘Side to the win. The division’s other fixture saw Athletic Newham Under 23s seeking to improve their indifferent start to the season as they were paid a visit by promotion chasing Wapping in East Ham. Athletic struck through Rodney Botuli and Christopher Barbosa goals but two Wapping efforts off the bench from debutant Josh Morris saw the game end level at 2 – 2.


DIVISION ONE

Division One has new leaders this week as Cowley Community made the most of others being out of action to move two points clear at the top, taking maximum points in a 3 – 0 home win against Renegade. Chris Wright, Michael Taylor and Lekan Bakare efforts took them to victory in Newbury Park, their fifth success of the season. There was also a shift up the table for RCXI who moved up to second as they came away victorious from their trip to Kwanzas London Sport, edging the game 3 – 2. Michael Temitayo scored twice and Ayo Matthews also netted to give their side an important win, taking their points tally to thirteen for the campaign.


DIVISION TWO

Division Two was a goal-fest at the weekend with some big scorelines with one of the most important results coming from Debden where tenth placed Loughton Lions had a tough looking game against Rainham Working Mens Club who had won every game this season. But football proved it can throw up a few surprises and the Lions roared to an incredible 4 – 0 win.

If that performance was miraculous enough, you’d go far to beat an incredible Ryan Under 23s comeback on Saturday which had seen them trail 6 – 2 to Redbridge Community with Akiljo Balliu (3), Frankie Francis (2) and Tevini French all striking for the visitors. But that wasn’t the end of the game by any means as a stirring fightback thanks to a four-goal haul by William Amoah plus one goal each for Ryan Washington, Luke Hillier and Leon Humphrey then win it for Ryan 7 – 6. Incredible.

With their rivals dropping points, Fairlop Rovers had the chance to give themselves a bit of daylight at the top and they duly obliged with a stunning win away at Old Esthameians, scoring nine in a 9 – 2 victory in Newbury Park. Jack Kibblewhite scored a hat-trick, Harry Oliver netted twice and one apiece from Logan Simmonds, Dylan Scutt, Harry Rouse and Bailey White finished things off.  The remaining game in the division came from Loughton where Emerson & Upminster Reserves were the visitors to face Unitey, the sides locked on nine points each going into the game. Emerson will be pleased with their efforts on the day though as they came through 2 – 0 with goals from Ross Brabrooke and Reece Martin.


DIVISION THREE

Old Barkabbeyans Reserves are up to fifth in the table in Division Three as they closed the gap on sides above with a solid 7 – 3 home win against Flyers Under 23s. Robbie Osborne scored a hat-trick with further efforts from Kacper Kasprzycki, Alex Donkor and Mehdi Ahorbi. Two debut goals from Joshua Adu and an Ethan Sowonola effort accounted for the Flyers efforts in reply.

It was also a seven-goal day for ASA over at the Marshes where Terin were the visitors and looking to open their points account for the season. Miran Miran and Fahad Abdallah both got on the Terin scoresheet but an ASA hat-trick for Mithurn Vijayarajah, two from Atif Haider and singles from David Rigby and Irfan Bahadur made it a comfortable 7 – 2 win for their side. There was also victory for now sixth placed Melbourne Sports as they saw the visit of high-flying Buckhurst Way to Hainault on Saturday. The Mels were in fine form however and turned the tables on their head with a good performance to win 4 – 0, picking up a third league win and move to nine points in the process.

There was plenty of entertainment in the division’s remaining game where Glendale were the visitors to Lymore Gardens Reserves and led early through a Wesley Kangi strike. But Lymore battled hard and were 3 – 1 up at the break and well in control. A stirring fightback from the Dales earned a point however as Wesley Kangi struck again and Was Lawal’s close range effort finished it 3 – 3.

DIVISION FOUR

Chingford Harriers remain top of Division Four but have seen their lead cut in recent weeks, including a disappointing draw against strugglers Newham & Havering Borough on Saturday. Nick Shawyer struck twice and in-form Darlington Ojo once but three Borough goals led to this one finishing 3 – 3 in the end. It will feel like an important milestone for Flyers Under 21s who opened their points account for the season on Saturday with a terrific win against fourth placed West Essex Under 23s down at King George’s Park. They were 2 – 0 winners on the day to ensure they closed the gaps on the sides above, though they remain bottom for now.

The early season form for Sporting Pillars suggests they will be there or thereabouts by the end of the season and they maintained their unbeaten run in the league with a 2 – 0 win against Emerson & Upminster A. Emanuel Jacob scored twice off the bench for this side and proved the difference between the two teams in the end. Meanwhile, Dagenham United Reserves joined the six point club in Division Four as they record a second win of the season with a 2-0 home victory against Collier Row A, closing the gap on their opponents to just goal difference. Cain Dash and substitute Mamadou Soumare were the men on the scoresheet to complete United’s victory.

COUNTY CUP

It was a mostly disappointing afternoon the London Junior Cup although last year’s finalists, FC Petrocub, did continue their run in the competition with a win against their semi final opponents last season, Jolof Sports. Petrocub were 3 – 1 winners on Saturday to see them through into the next round. There was a narrow defeat for Together United who faced a trip to south London to take on Standard Ballers in a nine-goal thriller. That contest was edged by Ballers who netted late on to take a 5 – 4 win.


Fixtures  – Saturday November 6th   (top two tiers only)

EAL Senior Division

CSM London  v  FC Petrocub  | West Ham Community Ground 3G, Beckton

DT FC  v  Blue Marlin   | Harlow Arena 3G

FC Baresi  v  Chigwell Town  | Britannia Sports Ground

Jolof Sports  v  Leyton Royal  |  Flanders Playing Fields, East Ham

Kit Out London  v  Woodford East  | Noak Hill 3G

Rapid Chingford  v  Lymore Gardens  | Lakeside Spts Grd  (2.30pm KO)

Tower Utd  v  Chadwell Heath Spartans  | Mabley Green 3G


EAL Premier Division

All Prospects  v  London Park City  | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields, Hainault

London Cranes  v  Eastside  | Flanders Playing Fields

North East Lions  v  Athletic Newham U23 | Peter May Centre

Wapping  v  Oakside  | Victoria Park, E9

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 5 – Sat 18 Sept) [EAL 21-22 20.9.21]

Penalty for CH Spartans tests FC Pretrocub ‘keeper (Image by @ABridgeTooFar16)

Hello and welcome to the latest action from the Essex Alliance League, which continues on this blog under the “Guest Blog” strand.  This edition looks at the action across the divisions and the inter-divisional Cup competitions (Essex Premier Cup, Essex Junior Cup, Essex Junior Trophy) from Saturday 18 September. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission with additional reporting by Scott W. Lead image by @ABridgeTooFar16 , used with thanks. Thanks for reading.

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

Essex Alliance League Round-up- Saturday 18 September

SENIOR DIVISION

With county cup action involving a number of our clubs this weekend, a limited Senior Division schedule saw league leaders, Chadwell Heath Spartans, on the road with a trip down the A12 to take on FC Petrocub at Noak Hill. Trailing by a goal at the break, Spartans fought back and took all three points with Courtney Holness and an own goal contributing to a 2 – 1 victory.  Second placed Woodford East took advantage of sides around them being out of action as they climbed up into the top two with a big away win in Hainault against Blue Marlin. Billy Barr has been in good form and added another four goals to his tally here, with Lucio Uare netted twice and  Adam Tabbani and Jack Haspineall also netting in an 8 – 1 win.

Completing the top-flight action, there was a key battle at the other end of the table as winless Tower United were at home to CSM London on Saturday in Mabley Green seeking to open their points account. And that was exactly what they did as Abubakar Maxamed struck four goals to counter a CSM fight-back from Joel Palmer, Lukman Hasan and Oscar-Ikye Williams in a 4 – 3 scoreline.  


PREMIER DIVISION 

It’s three from three now for the Premier Division leaders after Frenford A extended their winning run with a hard fought victory away at Crookz United on Saturday. Both sides went into the fixture unbeaten but it was the leaders who will have come away the happier of the two teams, recording a 2 – 1 win to move four points clear at the top with Damilola Olaiya and Nesar Torkamani scoring for the visitors. Crookz Utd responded through John Afrane-Kesey. Sitting second are Marcelona who also kept their unbeaten record running for another week as they secured a second draw to go alongside their solitary win, as they were involved in a incredible 4 – 4 draw away at Oakside who made their competition debut. There proved to be little between the sides as they settled for a share of the spoils. Oakside’s goals came from a brace from Moustapha Kane, plus strikes by Luke Caston and Jack Swaby.

Another side making their league debut were Athletic Newham Under 23s who finally got underway at the weekend as they hosted All Prospects in East Ham. Daniel Devey scored for the visitors, making their return to this level, but that effort proved not quite enough as Newham scored five of their own to win it 5 – 1. 

There’s little to separate the sides in fifth and sixth where Eastside presently sit in the former on the back of a win and a defeat in their opening two games. London Park City were their opponents this weekend with Alexandru Gheorghe and Wais Heshemy efforts finding the target for their side. But substitute Ifeanyi Umeh’s hat-trick plus a Michael Morgan goal gave ‘Side the 4 – 2 win. 

Sixth-placed Wapping trail by just goals scored and opened their points account for the new season with a closely fought 1 – 0 home win against North East Lions courtesy of Meeshaq Malone’s goal. That result saw the hosts bounce back well from their opening defeat to take maximum points in Hackney to move into the top half of the table. 


DIVISION ONE 

In Division One, two sides are fighting hard at the top of the early standings where Cowley Community presently hold sway at the top on goal difference following a second consecutive win, recording a 3 – 2 win at home against Something From Nothing in a five goal thriller. That man Chris Wright netted once again with James Allen and Kyle Cargill strikes edging the contest. 

Renegade are up to third in the table as they completed the full set of results, adding a win to their draw and defeat, the victory coming at the hands of Wanstead at the Flats. Vincent Follea, Deon Thwala, Nana Baah and Daekwon King-Douglas all struck to give the Hackney based side their maiden win in a 4-2 score-line. Also at the Flats, Newham Wanderers bounced back well from their defeat last time out in the opening round of games to reign supreme as they welcomed Francis Luke. Wanderers goals from Admir Cassama, Robertson Morais and Joao Cruz were crucial to separate the sides with Saico Djop’s effort in reply proving insufficient as the hosts won 3 – 1. 

Barkingside A opened their new season in some style with a solid 4 – 2 victory as they hosted Forest Green at Nutter Lane, the visitors remaining winless after their opening two games in the competition. The hosts had a double from Josh Rowe plus goals from Umaru Kabia and Harry Nicholson to thank for this success. That win sees ‘Side move up to fifth and gives them much hope for the campaign ahead. 

It was also a good afternoon’s work for Belfry who got their own campaign off to the best of starts as they took maximum points in a 1 – 0 score-line, scoring in the dying embers of the game to defeat Ilford Reserves at May & Baker, a game which looked well fought between two well equipped sides. 


DIVISION TWO 

It’s Rainham Working Mens Club setting the early pace in the fourth tier this season after they got a third win of the campaign already following a solid away victory at Ryan Under 23s in Walthamstow. Workies goals from Matthew Humphreys, Nick Tormey, Connor Kain, Odo Osei-Tutu & Sean Tormey were enough in the end to round off a 5 – 1 win. William Amoah netted the solitary goal for the Ryan side here. Three further sides sport a perfect record in the division where FHN Athletic presently lead the chasing pack on the back of a second win of the campaign, sending Emerson & Upminster Reserves to a 4 – 1 defeat in Hainault. Dan Lane struck for the visitors but Joseph O’Hare, Michael Barek, Terron Fordjoe and Amos Agyei goals handed their FHN side the points. 

Fairlop Rovers are the third side with a 100% start so far in the division but had to do things the hard way as they came from behind against a solid Royal Forest side to record a 4 – 2 win on the road in Loughton. Joe Owers and Martin Cannon blasted onto the Royal score-sheet but two Dylan Scutt goals in reply plus efforts from Toby Stephens and Harry Oliver did just enough to rescue the points. 

There was a nine-goal thriller served up in Loughton’s other match offering as Unitey hosted Redbridge Community at Roding Valley High School. Brandon Fulton certainly knows where the goal is and he scored a hat-trick for Unitey here, adding to Jordan Vib and Ahmed Dousa goals. Two Frankie Francis consolations and goals from Harvir Bhangal and Alibacar Dabo netted in reply for Redbridge. 


DIVISION THREE 

It’s Old Barkabbeyans Reserves presently setting the pace in Division Three as they exploded in front of goal on Saturday, winning 13 – 1 away at Terin to go top of the pile. Mehdi Ahorbi’s five-goal haul set the side on their way with Chris Plummer, Callum Elliott, Alex Donkor Junior, Kacper Kasprzycki, Robbie Osborne, Okey Obialo, Jason Cassama and Ryan Lindfield efforts making it a memorable day. 

Royal Forest Reserves made their bow in the fifth tier on Saturday as they made the short trip of a few yards to face Melbourne Sports at Fairlop Oak. Two goals apiece from Tom Alexander and Will Asenso were the difference between the sides in the end as Forest firmly laid their roots in the division with an excellent 4 – 1 win.  Also back in action for the first time this season, ASA made a good start with an opening victory in Hackney Marshes as they faced Glendale. Trailing at the break to a Khari Pobi strike for the Dales, second half ASA goals from Mithurn Vijayarajah, Jubayed Miah and Saranth Veersasingam changed the context of the game, Wesley Kangi netting another for the Dales late on as ASA won 3 – 2. 

Lymore Gardens Reserves responded well to their opening defeat of the campaign as they returned home from Chigwell with all three points after sending Harlow Inter to a 5 – 2 defeat. Macauley Harrington and Ashton Livermore-Rose both scored for Inter but those efforts proved not quite enough with Lymore doing enough to take the spoils.  It was also a great day for Buckhurst Way as they also reversed their fortunes from their opening game in the competition to take home the points with them from their match at Flyers Under 23s. Muhammed Waqas got on the hosts’ score-sheet but Way edged the contest with two of their own to win it 2 – 1.


DIVISION FOUR 

Fairlop Rovers Reserves stay top of Division Four on the back of a third consecutive win to make it a good afternoon for the club. Jake Atherton’s goal for Flyers Under 21s made this a real contest but Rovers done just enough to edge it 2 – 1 and maintain a three point gap at the top. Elsewhere, Chingford Harriers are up to second in the table taking a goal difference advantage over the other sides level on points aided by a big win on the road as they defeated Collier Row A, 8 – 0. Jake Kemp was in fine fettle with a hat-trick, Edwin Jabbari and Darnell Lamothe both scored twice with Jesse Middleweek’s effort rounding things off. 

In third, Emerson & Upminster A keep themselves in contention at the top as they made it two wins from three so far this term, returning home from Loughton with all the points against Avondale Rangers. Bryn Compton-Lowe led the way with two goals, Tyler Huggett and Robert Spratley striking with the other goals in a 4 – 0 win. 

Also on six points, Newham Royals came out on the right side of the “Newham” derby as they defeated Newham & Havering Borough, oddly, quite a long way from Newham! Rainham was the host venue for this five goal thriller which saw Ashley Evett, Andre Peters and Billy Grainger goals separate the sides in a 3 – 2 Royal win. 


COUNTY CUPS 

It was BBC Essex Premier Cup day for a few of our sides with mixed fortunes. DT FC came from two goals down at the break against Walthamstow Reserves to advance into round two, turning things around in the second period thanks to goals from Billy Golledge (2), Lewis Evans, Stanley Green and Kieran Hipgrave to run out 5 -2 winners to set up a clash at home to Holland Reserves. Leyton Royal perhaps picked up the result of the day for our sides with the longest of trips, almost the entire length of the A12 as they headed to the north of the county to take on Lawford Lads. A terrific performance saw them win 3 – 1 and book a return trip up the A12 where they now head to Tiptree Heath in round two. 

It wasn’t such a great day for two of our other representatives who both slipped to narrow 2 – 1 reverses. Chigwell Town were up against Essex Senior League Reserve Division side May & Baker Reserves and were edged out in a close game thanks to goals from Brandon Johnson and Tolu Dina goals for M & B.  Over in Leyton, Epping Town were the first visitors at Lymore Gardens’ new home at the County Ground. Another closely fought game saw our side edged out with Epping the beneficiaries with a 2 – 1 victory to book their place in Round Two. 

Both Dagenham United sides were also in county cup action where the first team saw their Essex Junior Cup campaign come to a halt in the opening round with a big 5 – 0 defeat against local rivals, Barking Under 23s who hail from the Isthmian Development League.  Things were a little more plain sailing for Dagenham United Reserves who faced fellow Essex Alliance League opposition with West Essex Under 23s the visitors to Castle Green in their Essex Junior Trophy clash. Dagenham came through by the odd goal in seven, winning it 4 – 3 to go through to Round Two. 


Fixtures (Top 3 tiers only) – Saturday 25th September (2pm KO unless stated)

EAL Senior Division

Chigwell Town  v  Lymore Gardens
   |

CSM London  v  FC Petrocub   | West Ham Community Grd 3G, Beckton

FC Baresi  v  Tower Utd   | Britannia Sports Grd, W’stow

Kit Out London  v  Chadwell Heath Spartans   | Noak Hill 3G

Leyton Royal  v  Rapid Chingford  | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields

Woodford East  v  Blue Marlin  | Lakeside Sports Ground 3G (2.30pm KO)


EAL Premier Division

Frenford A  v  Marcelona  | Jack Carter Centre

North East Lions  v  Eastside  | Peter May Sports Centre



EAL Division One

Francis Luke  v  Renegade  | Leyton County Ground

RC XI  v  Cowley Community  | Belhus Park, Aveley

Something from Nothing  v  Belfry  | Wanstead Flats


Fenton Cup – Round One

DT FC  v  Dagenham Utd  | The Harlow Arena 3G

Full fixture list available at essexallianceleague.com

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Round-up (Wk 2 – Sat 28 August) [EAL 21-22 30.8.21]

Hello and welcome to the latest action from the Essex Alliance League, which continues on this blog under the “Guest Blog” strand. This shortened edition looks at the second weekend of the Regional Feeder League that took place on Saturday 28 August. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with additional reporting by Scott W. Thanks for reading.

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

Essex Alliance League Senior Division – Saturday 28 August

The early leaders in the Senior Division are promoted Chadwell Heath Spartans who have followed up a narrow success in week one with a thumping victory the second time around, beating Chigwell Town in a 6 – 0 scoreline. Miguel Martins and Niru Hunwicks both bagged braces with Samir Aboulainaf and Jonathan Evans goals ensuring the points when home with Spartans. 

Lymore Gardens sit just a couple of points back at the head of the chasing pack as they followed up their emphatic win on Monday night with a point against unbeaten Leyton Royal. Ahmed Faisal had given Gardens the lead but a Royal equaliser by Bogdan Octavian Toana saw them take a share of the points in an eventual 1 – 1 draw, the sides seperated just by goal difference at this stage. 

Sandwiched between the two “L” sides sit a DTFC outfit who remain unbeaten themselves and picked up a point from their trip to Noak Hill to face Kit Out London. Kit Out were ahead but DT fought back to level and then lead themselves thanks to goals from Bill Golledge and Lewis Page before a late strike from distance rescued a point for the hosts for whom Marlon Ortiz and Badr Chiboub were on target in a 2 – 2 draw. 

Jolof Sports got themselves off of the mark in their first game of the new campaign as they made a short trip to fellow Newham-based CSM London at the West Ham Community Ground in Beckton. Jolof goals from Bogdan Ursica, Joshua Kewifio-Okai and Papa Ndiaye were more than enough to earn a 3 – 0 win, keeping CSM winless after their opening two fixtures. 


Fixtures – Saturday 4 September (top three tiers only, full list on the EAL website)

Senior Division

DT FC  v  Woodford East    | the Harlow Arena 3G

FC Petrocub  v  FC Baresi    | Noak Hill 3G

Lymore Gardens  v  Blue Marlin   | Lakeside 3G (2.30pm KO)

Rapid Chingford  v  Chadwell Heath Spartans  | Salisbury Hall SG (3pm KO)

Tower Utd  v Jolof Sports   | Mabley Green 3G


Premier Division

Dagenham Utd  v  Crookz Utd   | Castle Green Leisure Centre

Eastside  v  Frenford A   | Hackney Marshes

Marcelona  v  North East Lions   | Paringdon Sports Club, Great Parndon


Division One

Renegade  v  RCXI    | Hackney Marshes

2021 In-Focus – Cordell Cup Competitions: The Writer’s View [LCC May 2021]

Still from Great Wakering Rovers v White Ensign [Group Stages, Cordell Cup – Image by Scott W]

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome a to a special one-off article looking at the Cordell Cup competitions (in advance of Cordell Finals Weekend), which were invitational tournaments run by the Essex Senior, ahead of the full resumption of League action In August 2021.

I’m really pleased to add that Jack Newman (JN) from the Non-League Chronicles Team, Essex Senior Media official Scott Lanza (SL)  and respected Non-League writer Peter Dudley (PD) join me (SW) in giving our views on the competitions, from the writer’s perspective. Thank you for reading.

Firstly, thank you all for your time. Despite the majority of the tournaments being played ‘behind closed doors’ to spectators, what has it been like to get back to watching Non-League Football again (as Media)?

Peter: It was such a relief to get back to covering football once again, watching it on TV had become rather mundane, boring and it cannot replicate the atmosphere of a live game, and I also feel blessed I was given the chance to cover games that the normal public could not, so I was very thankful for that. It was also a big help with my well-being too and was another step to some sort of normality, which certainly helps.

Scott L: It’s been great as non-league football is part of my life, and so getting a chance to get back watching games live has been wonderful. The ‘behind closed doors’ part of the experience hasn’t been so good, as the lockdown made me realise that part of the reason I like lower league football is because of the many friends I have there. It was good to see some of them at the games, but others were not allowed to enter, which was a shame but inevitable considering the government restrictions.

Jack (NLC): I think it’s fair to say that all the contributors to The Non-League Chronicles have loved the opportunity that we’ve been afforded by the competition organisers (the Essex Senior  – Ed). It’s been magnificent to be back watching live football.


What have been your favourite matches to watch in the Cordell Cup or Cordell Trophy?

JN: Certainly in terms of favourite matches the games we’ve seen involving Athletic Newham & Woodford Town have all been enjoyable high scoring end-to-end affairs which is always good. Woodford’s big win at Aveley over Great Wakering Rovers being of particular note.

PD: The first one of the tournament between Hackney Wick and West Essex was one of the best games I have seen for some time, eight goals, high tempo, and two sides who went for it, so that was very entertaining. I also would say the derby between Holland and FC Clacton which had just about everything, five goals, feisty clashes, red card, a missed penalty which was retaken, and then we almost saw a comeback, so that was an enjoyable day on a sunny day on the North Essex coast.

SL: I didn’t cover too many games due to the restrictions in place regarding who could attend. However, the opening game I saw was Woodford Town v Barkingside which was a very good game, and if I am honest better than I thought I would be seeing bearing in mind the lockdown has played havoc with teams with match fitness being lost due to the enforced break. This was not in evidence here, and the West Essex v Stansted game was another one which saw 90 minutes of flowing end-to-end football being served up.

Still from White Ensign v Barkingside [Cordell Cup Last 16 – Image by Scott W]

Which teams have impressed you (That you’ve watched live)?

PD: Was quite impressed with Clapton and their organisation at the back, bar their two defeats to Redbridge they did not concede a goal and put in some impressive displays, also impressed with Hackney Wick too who have a side where all but two of the squad were U23, they look very dangerous and will cause teams problems next season if they can keep them together. Those two sides would be the ones I’d pick out mainly because I didn’t expect or didn’t know what to expect from them, and they surprised me slightly at how well they played.

SW: For me, White Ensign do deserve credit for the way they have approached the competition and for their form, particularly in the group stages where they won three out of three. It will be fascinating to see if they bring players in to improve the squad or keep faith with this group of players as they take on the Essex Senior League for the first time in their history from August.

Also, I do feel honourable mentions have to go to Barkingside, who really gave Ensign a scare in their Quarter-Final and also to Athletic Newham who deserve a lot of praise for their attacking style of play and could also be one to watch next term in the Essex Senior.

JN: We’ve really been impressed with the quality shown by the teams throughout and White Ensign, Redbridge & Cockfosters have all looked in good nick – especially the former who we all think will be an excellent addition to the Essex Senior League next season.

SL: Redbridge impressed me as they seemed to be taking the tournament seriously straight from the off.  I was also impressed with Stansted, and Athletic Newham certainly looked a strong outfit when I saw them in the Quarter Final at Redbridge. They were strong, physical, and fast going forward. And although I didn’t get to see them play live, you have to be impressed with Step 6 outfits White Ensign and Holland, who got some very good results in the bag against teams higher up the pyramid, with Holland of course going all the way to the Len Cordell Memorial Cup Final.

Peter, you’ve been one of the lead commentators on the Live-streamed matches. How has that been as an experience? 

PD: I have always wanted to try my hand at commentary and after getting over the first match nerves I really enjoyed it, and led the commentary at all the games I did after the first one, ended up doing four games in total and it was a very good experience, even if two of those games we had to share one microphone between two people, but we muddled through as they say!

Still from Redbridge v Athletic Newham {Cordell Cup QF – Image by Scott W]

All in all, do you feel these competitions (Cordell Cup/Trophy & Plate) have truly honoured the late Len Cordell’s contribution to Redbridge FC (formerly Ford Utd) and Non-League Football as a whole?

SL: The fact a number of teams outside the ESL entered shows you how well Len was thought of in Essex Non-League circles. The fact that so many of the teams took the competition seriously shows you again how well Len was respected. The ESL have honoured Len Cordell by naming a cup competition after him, but the clubs also honoured him by taking part and then playing their games in a competitive spirit – which is what Len would have wanted as this man truly lived and breathed non-league football.

PD: I am sure Len would have appreciated the Essex Senior organising such a brilliant competition and all the teams that have taken part deserve praise for entering and helping to honour the great man, there have been some terrific games and plenty of goals and drama along the way, I am sure Len is looking down on us all and smiling at what he has seen.

SW: I agree that Len would have enjoyed some of the fast, flowing Football that we have seen in the competitions, which have rightly honoured someone who has contributed so much to Non-League during his time.

In your neutral opinion, which teams have endorsed their reputations in these competitions?

SL: Holland without question, alongside White Ensign and Barkingside – all Step 6 clubs that mixed it with clubs higher up the football pyramid. Clapton for me have in a way redeemed themselves. Struggling at the foot of the table when the League season was curtailed, the Tons went on to have a very good Len Cordell Cup campaign which could launch them onto a better time next season when league football resumes. I have to mention Barking, who really took the tournament seriously, and made it to the Semi-Finals before exiting at the hands of Holland, in what was shock result. 

PD: White Ensign put in some decent performances, especially in the group stages by winning all three of their group games, Cockfosters too put in some decent performances to back up their decent league campaign up until the shutdown, I think Barking’s youngsters deserve some praise in reaching the Quarter Finals, and I think it’s marvellous that Redbridge, the team Len did so much work for, have ended up in the final and have a chance of winning it, that would certainly be some story indeed.

SW: With regards to the Cordell Trophy, both Harlow Town Reserves & Barkingside Res have had excellent competitions and this will aid them going on to next season and crucially for Reserve sides, have aided player development having being involved in tournament Football. Talking about the Cordell Cup, I will have to add the two sides in the North East side of the county in FC Clacton and Holland. Both sides have had their moments in the competition and for Holland to make the Final is a great achievement in itself.

JN: In terms of teams to watch going forwards Redbridge will certainly worth keeping an eye on – they’ve been very strong throughout and look like real contenders for the title next season if they can keep their momentum going.

END

Who’s Who?

Jack is a member of the Non-League Chronicles, a growing team of writers covering Non-League matches across London & Essex. You can find them on Facebook at “The Non League Chronicles” or via Twitter – @NLChronicles

Scott Lanza is the current Media official of the Essex Senior League, where he also edits the CentreSpot bulletin every week including links, match reports & more on Essex Senior & related news. To view Centrespot editions, head here: https://essexseniorleague.co.uk/centrespot/

Pete Dudley hardly needs any introduction, but the prolific writer has seen matches in the Essex Senior, Eastern Senior League South, Essex Olympian League & more this season and also was former Fixtures Secretary at local side Southend Manor. You can find him on Twitter at @ped1980  or on his blog: http://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/

As for me, I’m Scott W and I’m also a Non-League writer on Essex Senior League & Essex Olympian League divisions. I also mostly write reports on matches I head out and watch.

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Cup Round-up (Wk 5 – Sat 8 May) [EAL 20-21 12.5.21]

Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the Essex Alliance League Cup groups on Saturday 8th May, My thanks to Rob Parker from the EAL. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with additional reporting by Scott W. Thanks for reading.

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

Essex Alliance League – Saturday 8 May

GROUP A

FC Petrocub have moved to within a point of securing the Group A title as they came out on the right side of a five-goal thriller at home against Lymore Gardens at the weekend. Karel Francis and Dylan Roberts both netted for Lymore but a brace from Valentin Siciov in reply plus a Ghenadie Moisei effort for the hosts gave them a crucial 3 – 2 win.

DTFC remain the only other side in contention and they warmed up for their showdown next Saturday with a home victory against Rapid Chingford, less than twenty four hours after their previous fixture (in the Essex Senior Len Cordell Cup Last 16). Jermaine Francis scored twice with Alex Paraskeva netting the other to help them to a 4 – 1 victory.

GROUP B

It remains very tight in Group B with two rounds of games left to go with Kit Out London sitting in pole position with a key game coming up this weekend. Darnell Kithambo scored twice for KOL with Sami Bessadi and Lewis Jacobs also on the scoresheet as they saw off Chadwell Heath Spartans, 4 – 2. Jordan Malick and Niru Hunwicks both grabbed consolation goals for the Spartans.

Woodford East will hope for results to go their way but ensured they remain in the mix following a big 9 – 2 win on Saturday against CSM London. Robleh Xasan and Plamedi Kinkela both netted for CSM but East braces from Jay Stavri and William Letchford, plus single goals from Kai Law, Matthew Stacey, Callum Maltese, Frank Glock and Jake Tibbitts were more than enough.

GROUP C

The Group C battle came to a conclusion over the weekend as we congratulate Frenford A on taking the title, securing the win they needed against London Park City to move into a winning position. Damilola Olaiya, Gouly Djikalou and Isima Iguisi netted the goals that confirmed the silverware, the Ilford side beating their local rivals 3- 0 on the day.

Kwanzas London Sport have moved into second place in a group dominated by draws and they added to their account in this respect, earning a 3 – 3 draw at home against Belfry. The in-form Antonio Semedo scored a hat-trick for Kwanzas with two Patrick Macdonald goals and a Sam Paterson effort ensuring a share of the spoils.

GROUP D

The Group D action came to an exhilarating conclusion on Saturday with the two group favourites both stalling in their efforts, allowing Cowley Community to sweep to a 3 – 2 victory at Dagenham United. Chris Wright scored twice once again with Mark Farinha netting the other to see their side put last season’s county cup knockback to the back of their minds by picking up this silverware.

That result was also made possible as Royal Forest earned a hard-fought point against Unitey to end the visitor’s own quest for the title. Nathan Lupumba scored a brace and Eddy Litambolo also netted for Unitey but their efforts weren’t quite enough as the game ended at 3 – 3.

The group’s remaining game came from Waltham Abbey where Chingord Athletic A hosted Barkingside A with both sides looking to finish their campaigns with some momentum. Chingford will be the happier of the sides in this regards after they completed a 5-2 home win with Eric Kelly scoring a hat-trick and Sam Matthew notching too.

GROUP E

Fairlop Rovers celebrated securing the Group E title last week with a hard fought win at Glendale on Saturday, racing into an early first half lead. Wesley Kangi and Mouhamed Gueye goals in the second half for the Dales kept things interesting but Rovers did enough to hold on to win 3 – 2, thanks to goals from Dylan Bruns, Harry Oliver and Logan Simmonds and pop the champagne corks at full time.

Loughton Lions ensured their runners-up spot in the group as they edged a tight contest away at Old Esthameians in Newbury Park. Lions were 2 – 1 winners on the day to end what has been another good season on a high for the Hainault-based side.

GROUP F

The race for the title in Group F went right to the wire with Royal Forest Reserves ending as champions at the weekend with a victory away at Chingford Harriers. Tom Alexander and Thomas Meggs goals were the difference as they came through 2 – 0 winners in Walthamstow to secure their first silverware as a team.

Custom House United will of course be disappointed having come through the group unbeaten but they will at least finish as runners-up, aided by a win by the odd goal in their clash away at Lymore Gardens Reserves. Lymore put up a good fight as Errol Dinnal-Treasure and Kye Austrie-Alexander both netted but the Dockers came through thanks to strikes by bobby Devlin, Jamie Wooster and Robbie Wooster to win 3-2.

Moving into a final third place finish, Emerson United Reserves ended their campaign on a high as they beat Eastern Avenue on the final day, 6 – 0. Joshua Gibbins was on fire in Loughton with a four-goal haul as Paul Brady and Harry Butler efforts completed a stunning victory for the Upminster-based side.

GROUP G

Together United’s title tilt will go down to the final fixture in the group after both of the top two sides won their clashes. Together were 4-2 victors away at Dagenham United Reserves over at Castle Green with Stanley Kweya grabbing a treble and Remel Green also notching and anything barring a very large defeat in the remaining fixture will assure them of title glory.

Collier Row A made sure of at least a second place finish with an away win at Brentwood United Reserves on Saturday. Row were on the right side of an eight-goal thriller, winning the tie 5 – 3 to move level on points with the leaders and hoping for a miraculous result in the final game. Collier had braces from Tommy Mottram and Connor Brown and one from Peter Adeleye to thank for their goals. Utd Ressies responded through a brace from Bradley Jackson and one from Joseph Cadman-Ithell but ultimately they fell to defeat in this one.

COUNTY CUP

It was London Junior Cup day for one of our clubs as North East Lions made the trip south of the river to take on Wimbledon Casuals with a place in the last sixteen at stake for the winner. In a tight game, it was a Casuals victory as they scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 result.

Guest Blog: Essex Alliance League Cup Round-up (Wk 4 – Sat 1 May) [EAL 20-21 4.5.21]

Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the Essex Alliance League Cup groups on Saturday 1st May, My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with additional reporting by Scott W. Thanks for reading.

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

Essex Alliance League – Saturday 1 May

 
GROUP A

The race for the Group A silverware remains well poised with FC Petrocub holding a two point gap at the top, helped by a big 6 – 1 win on Saturday away at Rapid Chingford. Vasilica Ilie led the visitors on with a treble here, to which Nicolai Gutu added a brace. Ghenadie Moisei also chipped in with the other goal in this big win which saw the visitors make it three wins from three and in pole position in the group going into their two huge remaining fixtures.

One of those will be against second-placed Lymore Gardens next week and Lymore warmed up for the huge showdown with a comfortable win of their own, ending West Essex Reserves’ hopes of silverware with a 3 – 1 victory. Andre Rashford, Dylan Roberts and Tyrique Peters grabbed the winning goals.

With games in hand, DT FC still have both of the leading sides to play away from home and kept up their hopes with a big home win as they beat FC Baresi 5 – 0 at the Harlow Arena. Carlos Simao notched twice here, with Jermaine Francis, Ayrton Coley and Steve Domfeh also on target to give the hosts a first win in the competition and, with three games still to go, can they chase down the leading pack?

GROUP B

Group B was thrown wide open at the weekend after a huge result in Noak Hill saw Kit Out London keep their unbeaten record in tact by beating another previously unbeaten side, Woodford East. Jay Stavri scored for East but a Erik Rusnak brace in reply added to Sami Bessadi’s goal to make it 3 – 2 to the Kit side.

Chigwell Town returned to contention at the top end of the standings after an impressive 4 – 2 victory at home against Tower United to dent the latter’s hopes. Ross Chimes scored two with Mark Howe and Modestas Dainuskas netting the others to render Tower goals from Abdi Abdikarim and Abubakar Maxamed as just consolation.

And in the group’s remaining fixture, Chadwell Heath Spartans opened their wins account in the group as they picked up a huge 5 – 1 win against higher league opposition, CSM London. Antonio Azevedo scored for CSM but a Rashid Matabaro hat-trick and goals for Rob Hodgson and Miguel Martins rounded things off for Spartans.

GROUP C

Four sides will go into the final weekend of Group C fixtures with hopes of silverware but it’s unbeaten Frenford A who hold the advantage after their beat now second-placed North East Lions 5 – 3 on Saturday to go top. Lorenc Hoxha, Romelle Pile and Chad-Troy Payne goals proved not quite enough for the Lions. Among the scorers for the Frenford developmental side were Gabriel De Souza Dias, Daniel Francis, Isima Iguisi and Joel Opara.

London Park City and Kwanzas London Sport are the other two sides with an outside chance but will require a significant goal difference swing after they could only finish level at 1-1. Antonio Semedo scored the hosts goal but City scored one themselves to send them into a showdown with the leaders next weekend.

In the battle between the fifth and sixth placed sides, Belfry earned their first points of the group after they secured victory in Dagenham against Francis Luke. Jose Nelson Da Silva scored for Luke but three Belfry goals from Gabriel Ogunwomoju, Daniel Osborne and Louis Window were enough to earn a 3 – 1 win for the hosts.

GROUP D

Two sides remain locked at the top in Group D as Unitey and Dagenham United, both sides sporting unbeaten records, met in Loughton on Saturday. With both having won all three games, it was perhaps no surprise to see this one finish level. Brandon Fulton scored twice for Unitey with Sean Kettle and Charlie Fiander goals ensuring it ended 2 – 2 to see this group go to the wire.

Third-placed Cowley Community, a point back, remain poised to sweep up if results go their way and they ensured they will remain interested on the last day as Chris Wright and Mark Farinha efforts gave them a 2 – 1 win against Chingford Athletic A. Sam Matthews scored the Chingford goal in reply.

GROUP E

In Group E, the first silverware was mathematically confirmed with Fairlop Rovers confirmed as group winners after Loughton Lions could only pick up a point on the road at Old Barkabbeyans Reserves. The Lions had two goals from William Osmond and one from Jay Lutman to thank for keeping them in the contest but two Michael Ryder goals and a Josh Robinson strike help Old Barks pick up a first point as the game ended 3 – 3.

The group’s other action came from Newbury Park where the other side with outside hopes, Glendale, saw their hopes ended despite fighting back from conceding early  against Old Esthameaians to lead through two Wesley Kanga goals. But goals from Neil Robinson and Danny Harris saw the tie finish at 2 – 2 on the day.

GROUP F

The drama in Group F will go to the final set of matches with three sides still in with a shout. Royal Forest Reserves are in pole position following a hard fought away win at Emerson United Reserves over the weekend as goals from Tom Alexander and Will Asenso carried their side to a 2 – 0 victory in Upminster.

Custom House United will hope for a Royal slip on the final day after they kept their hopes alive with a big 7 – 1 win at home against Eastern Avenue. Jamie Wooster was in fine form here with a hat-trick, with further goals arriving through Bobby Devlin, Paul Stringer, Robert Wooster and Tommy Douglas.

Chingford Harriers will require a lot of things to go their way to be putting hands on silverware but they will have a big say either way, coming through the Chingford derby contest against Lymore Gardens Reserves in a 3 – 0 scoreline. Paul Shawyer and Darnell Lamothe were on the scoresheet for the Harriers ahead of their showdown with the leaders next weekend.

GROUP G

In Group G, Collier Row A moved level on points with the top placed side in the group on the back of a big 7 – 1 Row victory against Dagenham United Reserves. Rahman Byjid scored for United but Tommy Mottram’s treble led an ensemble cast of scorers for Row which also included Joe Willson’s brace plus one each for Pete Adeleye and Jordan Reece-Peprah to leave them needing the leaders to drop points if they are to challenge.

Brentwood United Reserves have been creeping their way up the table in the last couple of weeks and could still have a big say in things, lying just two points off the leading teams. Their second win was secured as a double from Danny Walker and strikes from Alfie Wiseman and Tony Wyman assisted them to a 4 – 2 home win against Avondale Rangers on Saturday, a result which keeps them in touch.

LONDON JUNIOR CUP

Goals were the order of the day in the London Junior Cup where Jolof Sports’ chase for county cup glory continued with the visit of AFC Cubo Reserves to Dagenham on Saturday. An entertaining game saw Jolof run out 10 – 4 victors to become the third EAL club into the last sixteen where they face either West Fulham or Exeter Old Boys this month.

Season 2020-21 So Far: Essex Senior League [ESL 20/21 23.11.20]

ESL crest

Written By Scott W  [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]

Hello and welcome to an article looking back at the Essex Senior League 2020-21 season so far, as part of my content during this enforced break of November 2020.

In this article, we look at the Essex Senior table in general and experiences of watching the division in the opening two months or so pre-break. Also in a new feature, I’ll be joined by an expert reporting panel of fellow Non-League writers to pass on our views on the ESL. They are Matt North [MN]  (@MattNorth_) and Aaron Moore [AM] (@aaron_moore25). My thanks to them both for their time & contributions in this article.

First up, we have the full table at the time the enforced break came in (on November 5th) which will be followed by our panel looking at how their tips pre-season are doing so far and respective experiences of the Essex Senior as well.

Essex Senior table (as of Wed November 4th – Lockdown)

Panel insight regarding Season 2020-21 So Far:

Key: Scott = SW, Matt = MN & Aaron = AM

Which clubs did you tip to be in each of the following areas of the table in August & have those clubs started the campaign in the vein you felt they would and why? (a) Top Six (b) Mid-table (c) Bottom Six

AM: (a) Top Six – “I think we are all in agreement of who will be the winner as Hashtag seem to find a way to win regardless of how they play. The other five will be a fight and tough to predict. Stansted because of the start they’ve made and they look very good. Saffron Walden have built a strong team, Hadley have games in hand and are one of the toughest teams to beat as are Walthamstow as I think bringing players back has boosted them!

(b) Mid-table – I think ‘Fosters, Hoddesdon and West Essex will be at the top of the mid table sides based on their starts and the teams they are beating. Takeley had a poor start so will struggle, I don’t think Manor can keep up with their form throughout the season and Redbridge and Sawbo win some but also lose important games.

(c) Bottom Six – I think the bottom six will pretty much stay the same to what is it now. Woodford have made it hard for themselves already and will find it tough to recover, Clapton & St Margaretsbury find it hard to get wins and I think too many draws will cost them, Ilford and Enfield have decent teams but again they are so inconsistent and I think they will struggle after their start and Sporting Bengal will get limited wins again and I think they will be in the bottom six.”

SW: (a – Top Six) “Before the season began, I thought the likes of Walthamstow, Hashtag Utd and Saffron Walden Town would be up there given all three sides’ keenness to progress up the Non-League ladder and their consistency last season, which the FA might have voided officially but for writers and fans etc, it is anything but meaningless. The way that the Tags have started tells you they mean business but their levels of experience, their management team led by Jay Devereux and their togetherness are all good reasons why they could be the team to beat. Saffron Walden have started to find their rhythm after a tricky start sitting in fourth spot while Walthamstow have made strides to further improve their squad, enticing back two-time winner of the Essex Senior ‘Golden Boot’ Dwade James after a brief spell at Hendon. Their management team led by player-boss Max Mitchell and Terry Spillane also have nous & vast experience.

(b – Mid-table) Going back to last season and the way they play, I would not have ruled out Hadley, Cockfosters, Stansted, Hoddesdon, Takeley and West Essex from being mid-table sides this term, if not better given how they all can ‘trouble the scorers’. Stansted and Cockfosters have started well and are again tough sides to beat with ‘Fosters goalkeeper Brad Robinson among the best custodians in the division.

With regards to the bottom of the table, I was intrigued how the likes of Sawbridgeworth, Enfield and Southend Manor would improve on last season’s tough respective campaigns. Manor in particular have shown grit and form at Southchurch Park in patches this term but they also have shelled a few in some damaging defeats thus far too.”

MN: (a – Top Six)  “Before the season even started, I knew that Hashtag United were going to be competing at the top and are certainly clear favourites for the title. I expected it to be the same four sides as last season in the title race in Hashtag, Saffron Walden, Walthamstow and Hadley purely because of how strong those sides are. Although the majority aren’t right up there at the moment, I can still see those four being up there when the season resumes. I did think Stansted would be around the top six positions and have been in a much better position than I thought. From watching them a lot this season, I feel as though Stansted will be another side to challenge for the title. As for 6th place, I thought that position would be very open in my eyes with the likes of Takeley and Hoddesdon being around there. Hoddesdon are currently sitting 5th so I may be spot on with that whilst Takeley are 8th so I them being around that area of the table as well.

In the mid-table places (7th-12th), I expected sides such as Cockfosters, West Essex and Redbridge to be occupying those positions. However, Cockfosters have had a much better start, sitting 2nd and look like challenging towards the top. However, Redbridge and West Essex are in a similar position to what I expected whilst I would have backed Woodford to be in mid-table but they sit bottom with just one win out of 11 games. Finally, St Margaretsbury was a side I thought would be sitting towards the bottom part of mid-table but are in 16th having made a poor start.

The sides I thought would be sitting around the bottom six are currently occupying those positions. Sawbridgeworth, Enfield, Ilford and Clapton were the four sides I thought would be near the bottom considering how those four got on last season. Sawbridgeworth had a very poor season last time out but this campaign they are in a much better position this time round and look unlikely to be right at the bottom. The other two sides I expect to be near the bottom but aren’t there this season are Southend Manor and Sporting Bengal, who both sit comfortably in mid-table territory. Manor are in 9th and doing much better than I thought whilst Bengal are 12th so they could still slip into the bottom six. Apart from that, I have been near enough spot on with my predictions for the bottom six at this early stage.”

Image from Southend Manor 0 – 1 Cockfosters (in FA Vase, Credit: Scott W)

2. Which clubs have surprised you with their start to the season and why? 

SW: As I mentioned earlier, Cockfosters have to be mentioned given the strides they’ve made to improve their defence as well as their attacking options. Saffron Walden and Hoddesdon have been buoyed by their recent form too and cannot be underestimated. Finally, Southend Manor and Redbridge have had an upturn to their form in general, with the latter really finding their feet since the appointment of George Christou in terms of wins.

In the bottom half of the standings, Sawbridgeworth Town already have four more points than they got by the end of the shortened season in March. That being said, their goal difference is the second worst in the division at this point so that may count against them as the season goes on. Finally, Woodford Town are bottom of the standings, having played the vast majority of their games thus far away from home, as they have had to wait for their new home at Ashton’s to be ready. I’ve seen them a couple of times at the start of the campaign and I wouldn’t be that surprised if they get a few wins to evade the bottom three by February, but again they do leak a few goals.

MN: Cockfosters have surprised me with their brilliant start to the season, which I think many others would have said as well. Considering they were around mid-table last season, Ryan Wade’s side have really stepped up this season and have become serious title challengers this early on in the season. However, time will tell to see if they can continue to keep up this form but for now, they are looking good. Stansted have slightly surprised me too as I didn’t expect them to be as high as they are now in 2nd but I feel as though have put themselves in a very good position. Meanwhile, Southend Manor have made a good start to their campaign and sit comfortably in 9th and picked up some great results whereas other people have tipped them to be near the bottom. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Saffron Walden and Walthamstow have both had difficult starts to the season and many would have seen them to be competing with Hashtag at this early stage. However, with that being said, we are only around 1/4 of the way through the season so there is still plenty of time for those two sides to get a good run of form going.

AM: I think Cockfosters surprised everyone with their start to the season. It was superb from them and put them in a good position for the rest of the season. Southend Manor was another surprise with the win over Stow and drawing with Hashtag. Woodford Town, Saffron Walden Town and Enfield are probably the other end of the scale. No one expected the Woods to be bottom nor did they expect Walden to have only won five out of their thirteen games this season and Enfield brought in a better calibre of players but are still struggling.

All things being good, if the season resumes in December, which sides do you believe are well-placed to go further up the standings and why?

AM: Walthamstow and Hadley will certainly rise up the table with the games in hand they have on the top five.

MN: I believe that Hadley can easily go further up the standings considering all their games in hand on other sides around them. The Bricks have won six out of their seven games this term but sit 6th so if they keep that run going, I see them competing with Hashtag United at the top. Meanwhile, at the bottom, I feel as though Enfield are well placed to get further up the table judging by their form since Jamie Cureton became player-manager. The E’s are only five or so points off the top half so the ball is very much in their court. Finally, another side who look likely to rise up the table is Redbridge. Before the start of the second lockdown, the Motormen had won four on the bounce and with games in hand on sides around them; I wouldn’t put it past them to push towards the top 6 places.

SW: I have to make it “three from three” and say Hadley will be in and around the top three. If they can make Brickfield Lane a fortress again this season and get a few wins on the road, they may still have a say in who gets the title. Takeley may also move up a few places if they can keep their impressive goal-scoring (currently on 34 goals from their eleven games) going.

Image from Saffron Walden 1 – 1 Enfield (September 14th, Image by Matt North)

What have been your favourite matches to watch live this term and why?

MN: One of my favourite matches to watch this season has to be Stansted’s 2 – 1 derby win over Saffron Walden. A huge crowd, an entertaining match along with a last minute winner for the Airportmen which sent the supporters going wild! Other noticeable matches were Hashtag United defeating Sawbridgeworth 4 – 2 and Takeley 3 – 1. However, the majority of matches I have visited so far this season have been entertaining.

AM: I really enjoyed watching the 6 – 0 win for West Essex over Southend Manor as they attacking play was superb. It was great from a neutrals point of view but also the Hashtag vs Sawbo game as it could have gone either way.

SW: I enjoyed the dramatic midweek match in early October where Southend Manor roared back from behind to pinch a 3 – 2 over Ilford. Both sides had the energy and had some class finishing to go with it. Also, on the opening day in September, Hadley started the season as they did a year previous with a strong 4 – 0 win over Woodford Town. That was a long-awaited return to the beautiful Non-League game competitively after six months out.

As a neutral, what grounds do you like visiting as a fan?

SW: I have to nominate Cockfosters’ Chalk Lane first for this. Yes, the ground is comparatively small but it has its own character and the committee also give you a really good, kind welcome. Also, St Margaretsbury’s Recreation Ground is a bit of a ‘hidden gem’ as well. Same goes for Hadley’s Brickfield Lane, though the club have catered well for visiting fans with their seated stand & a covered terrace on the other side.

AM: I’d say Lowfield (Hoddesdon Town). It is a very nice ground which some superb hospitality.

MN: Personally, when it comes to the quality of the ground, I really enjoy visiting Catons Lane, home of Saffron Walden. It’s a very welcoming club with some excellent facilities and the overall visit is an enjoyable one. I also like going to Hargrave Park which is generally down to the friendly committee and supporters and a club I am quite close to.

How different has it been watching Essex Senior matches so far this season, with all the COVID-enforced restrictions?  Has it altered the atmosphere on match day at all?

AM: I don’t think it had hampered atmosphere because it’s what the fans make it. That being said, it’s still strange having to follow the procedures, especially if you forget a mask. It’s hard knowing whether you’ll get into a game with the limited attendance (Usually 300 at this level)

MN: I have seen a difference this season but only in a positive way. Due to the COVID restrictions, no one can visit elite level matches such as the Premier League so opt to visit games in leagues further down the Non-League ladder such as the Essex Senior instead. A lot more supporters have been attracted to games this campaign in comparison to last season which I find brilliant! Of course you have a limit to the amount of supporters allowed in but I feel there is a much better atmosphere to the games now. For example, my brother started going to a few Stansted games and now he has been going on a more regular basis. I feel as though clubs have done very well to follow the COVID guidelines in place.

SW: I think the biggest difference is all the Distancing regulations, it does feel a bit eerie. That being said, it is brilliant to see fans of professional clubs visit their local Non-League sides during the stadia closure in the Premier League & the EFL. If anything, I also believe the fans that have stuck with Non-League for years have savoured matches a little more this year and the fact that it is reflected in attendances for many Essex Senior clubs is a good thing and long may that continue.

End

My thanks to Aaron & Matt for their valued contributions to this article and here’s a few snippets of info on them.


Matt North is a Non-League writer focused mainly on the Essex Senior League and also is an avid fan of Chelsea. He’s on Twitter – @MattNorth_ and his blog is at https://mattnorthfootball.wordpress.com/ 

Aaron Moore is also a Non-League writer, mainly for Walthamstow FC in the Essex Senior League and also is part of the media team of Harlow Town Ladies. He can be found on Twitter – @aaron_moore25 and his blog is at http://footballreview.net/ 

S20-21 Round-ups: Essex Alliance League (Wk 8 – Sat 24 Oct) [EAL 20-21 26.9.20]

Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the five Essex Alliance League divisions on Saturday 24th October, along with the Olympian League action, it is good to have guest content on other Grassroots Leagues, thank you Rob. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with thanks. Thanks for reading.

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

Essex Alliance League – Saturday 24 October

SENIOR DIVISION

It was a goal-filled weekend in the top flight with thirty-two goals scored across the six fixtures, ten of those coming in the clash between Chigwell Town and CSM London where Town ran out emphatic 9-1 victors. Mark Howe scored four of his sides goals, Ross Chimes got two and one each from Joe Creasey, Lewis Mcgillicuddy and Harry Burgess. Keifer Cole grabbed the CSM goal back in reply.

At the top end of the division it remains very tight with FC Baresi still leading the way by a point, aided by a narrow win over the weekend as they took home all three points against Tower United at Mabley Green. Recent signing Ashley Godwin made the difference with the only goal of the game to win it 1-0.

DTFC are just behind and with a game in hand as they continued their quest for the title with a trip to West Ham to take on London Cranes. Two goals from Billy Golledge were accompanied onto the score-sheet by efforts from Terry Olivo, Jermaine Francis, Jake Kissiedu and Jamiah Plentie which saw them to a comfortable 6-0 win.

West Essex Reserves saw their chances hit as Blue Marlin took maximum points in Newbury Park, edging the contest 4-3. Goals from Jordan Mills-Smith, Josh Morris, Nathan Desnoes and Tyreese Robinson proved just enough as they overcame the three goals scored by West to hand Blue Marlin their second league win of the season.

That result allowed Lymore Gardens to close the gap on the sides at the top of the table after they returned home from Hainault with all three points in a 4-0 victory at All Prospects. A goal apiece from Andre Rashford, Dylan Roberts, Dushane Powell and Karel Francis earned Lymore a fourth league win in seven as they moved fourth.

Completing the top flight action, it was a good afternoon for Rapid Chingford as they continued their much improved recent form and put a temporary dent in Jolof Sports’ title credentials, holding their opposition to a 2-2 draw in Chingford. Gabriel Prisecaru and Andrei Boga goals accounted for Rapid’s goals while Papa Ndiaye and Mamadou Sene struck for Jolof as Rapid moved up a place to eleventh in the standings.

DIVISION ONE

There were some huge results at the top end of Division One as present leaders, Leyton Royal, missed the chance to extend their lead too much at the top as they were held to a draw against Chadwell Heath Spartans in the battle between the division’s two unbeaten sides. Defences were on top of this one with the game ending 0-0 to keep both sides undefeated.

Second placed Woodford East couldn’t capitalise on those sides dropping points as they fell to second successive defeat as third placed Eastside beat them 4-0 at the Marshes. Johnathan Odutulu scored twice with Lawrence Amadi and Michael Dager grabbing one each to take their side to a fourth league win in six, extending a very promising start to the season.

Kit Out London remain very well placed to stay in the mix as the fifth placed side made it three wins from four on Saturday as they hosted old rivals London Park City at Noak Hill. In a closely fought game, Amalraj Kakmanu and Kachi Yassine goals were the difference on the day to secure a 2-1 victory.

Francis Luke continue their improved form and moved away from the bottom of the table after taking all three points home from their trip to Ilford to face Frenford A. Jordan McLaughlin had got on the hosts’ score-sheet but his efforts were in vain as Francis Luke scored three goals themselves through Louison Kamba, Saico Djop and Saif Altamash to win it 3-1.

The remaining game in the division came from the Marshes were North East Lions were the hosts to take on Kwanzas London Sport. The two teams had to settle for a share of the points as Louis Blake’s goal for Lions was cancelled out by a Kwanzas strike to end this contest level at 1-1 on the day.

DIVISION TWO

It was first versus second in the game of the day in Division Two as Cowley Community hosted Belfry at the Leyton County Ground, the sides meeting for the first time. As predicted, this game was a close contest but Jeremy Lynch once again got on the scoresheet, Jamie Redington netting the other to secure a crucial 2-0 win for Belfry in their battle for the title.

Chingford Athletic A closed the gap on the sides above them as they got the better of Rainham Working Mens Club at Town Mead. Nathan Wilson scored for the Workies but braces from Luke Primett and Eric Kelly in reply plus an Aaron French goal enabled Chingford to run out 5-1 victors.

Keeping chasing with Chingford are Newham Wanderers with only goals scored keeping Wanderers below them in fifth. Newham’s promotion push was kept up with a big away win as they picked up a 6-2 local derby victory away at Forest Green. Malam Injai scored twice adding to Bradley Harris, Macane Caleir, Robertson Morais and Shazib Miah efforts.

Unitey also scooped themselves a big win, their second in succession, as they picked up all three points from their home clash against Old Esthameians in Loughton. Brandon Fulton had a memorable debut scoring four of the Unitey goals, Eddy Litambolo scoring the other in a 5-1 success.

Also in Loughton, Royal Forest had a much improved afternoon as they picked up their first league win of the season with an important win against St Francis. Tom Osmond scored four of the goals in a sparkling performance, Joe Owers and Samuel Gregory netting the others to earn their side a 6-2 win.

There was also a first league win for Barkingside A at the second attempt and it was a huge win as they were up against third placed Dagenham United at Nutter Lane. They bounced back well from defeat last Saturday to earn all this points this time around, ending as 3-0 winners and will be hopeful of extending that form with games in hand.

DIVISION THREE

The big result of the day in Division Three came from Barkingside where Fairlop Rovers made it two excellent wins in succession with a 4-1 victory against the league leaders, FHN Athletic. Cory Regisford scored for FHN but Rovers were in great form with Logan Simmonds netting two and one each from George Birch and Louis Goodman rounded it off.

That result allowed Melbourne Sports to close the gap on the leaders to just two points with a game in hand as the Mels’ good start continued with a 4-2 away win against Flyers Under 23s in Romford. That was Sports’ fourth win in six as they moved second while Flyers continue their quest for their maiden points this season.

Loughton Lions took advantage of results around them to go third and are another side likely to be in the chase, aided by their most recent victory, a 2-0 home win against ASA. That enabled them to also pick up a fourth league win and lie just a point off the promotion places going into the second quarter of the season.

Just through the hedge, there was a topsy-turvy game involving Glendale and Old Barkabbeyans Reserves where second half Dales goals from Mouhamed Gueye and Wesley Kangi looked to be sending them to victory. But late Old Barks goals from Klodian Meta and Kudzai Madziya earned them what had looked like an unlikely point in a 2-2 draw.

DIVISION FOUR

There was plenty of goal action in most of the Division Four games with Emerson United Reserves grabbing the result of the day with a big 8-1 victory against Newham Royals in Upminster. Archie Pitfield done most of the damage with a hat-trick with goals from Ross Braybrooke, Joshua Gibbins, Joe Reece, Harry Wilkins and Marcus Williams finishing things off.

Unbeaten Custom House United also made ground on the league leaders as the third placed side came out on the right side of a 5-2 win as they returned home with the points from their trip to Brentwood United Reserves. Jamie Wooster scored twice with Matthew Guy, Paul Wooster and Liam Sullivan efforts also making the scoresheet in their third league win.

There are always goals in Together United games and Saturday was no exception, combining with Avondale Rangers in a seven-goal thriller in Walthamstow. Chris Harper scored twice and Laurence Brady once for Rangers but their efforts proved just consolation as United got it together to score four themselves in a 4-3 win.

The form of Collier Row A hasn’t gone unnoticed as their recent form continued over the weekend, earning them a third league win in seven as they took maximum points from their clash at home to Dagenham United Reserves. Row edged the game by the odd goal in a 2-1 scoreline which sees them move up a place to fifth in the standings.

The day’s remaining game in the league involved the league leaders, Royal Forest Reserves, who were at home in Hainault against Chingford Harriers with the sides only having one defeat between them this season so far. You could have predicted a tight game therefore and so it proved with the matching ending in a rare goalless draw as defences reigned supreme.

S20-21 Round-ups: Essex Alliance Lge (Wk 5 – Sat 3 Oct) [EAL 5.10.20]

Hello and welcome to a guest blog, going through the action in the five Essex Alliance League divisions on Saturday 3rd October, along with the other Grassroots divisions, it is good to have guest content on these Leagues, thank you Rob. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission, with thanks. Thanks for reading.

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

SENIOR DIVISION

Just a point separates the top three sides in the Senior Division with FC Baresi still leading the way, assisted by their enthralling victory over the weekend in a nine-goal thriller against Chigwell Town. Ali Shikeey scored twice and one apiece from Amais Khan, Marvin Smith and Denzel Conteh sent the hosts to a 5-4 win.

It’s as you were just behind the leaders with DTFC putting in a comprehensive performance against one of their rivals for the title as they saw off FC Petrocub 7-0 at the Harlow Arena. Jake Kissiedu’s hat-trick was accompanied by Billy Golledge and Kieran Hipgrave braces to extend their perfect record so far.

Another side sporting a perfect record so far are third placed West Essex Reserves who are also sporting four wins from four so far and maintained that start to the season with a hard fought 2-1 win away at Lymore Gardens in their contest in Loughton. Mitchell Arthur and Mason Iley netted the West goals as they returned home with the points.

Jolof Sports are the sitting fourth in the table, the last of the four unbeaten sides in the top flight after they made it three wins from three so far on the back of their most recent performance which saw them beat All Prospects 5-1 in East Ham. Mussa Jamanca scored twice with Abib Diop, Papa Ndiaye and Mamadou Sene also netting for Jolof. Prince Esanbor got the consolation for Prospects here.

Moving up the table are London Cranes who recorded their first victory of the new season on Saturday with a stunning 5-2 home win over Tower United in West Ham. Mohamed Hassan and Asad Yousef had netted for Tower but a home brace for Mathius Sendawula plus strikes from Fred Karyngo, Shadrack Sibasa and Valentine Djeikuyi gave victory to the hosts.

It was also a pleasing afternoon’s work for Blue Marlin who also picked up their first win of the campaign as they returned home from CSM London with the points. Radostin Danchev got on the scoresheet for the hosts but his efforts proved in vain as Marlin scored four goals of their own to earn a 4-1 victory, thanks largely to a Jordan Mills-Smith hat-trick and one for Tyreese Robinson.

DIVISION ONE

The race for promotion in Division One continues to offer much promise with the top two sides separated by just goal difference. Woodford East stay top with a fourth win, courtesy of a 3-1 home victory against Frenford A. Ben Smith, Callum Maltese and Billy Barr all got on the score-sheet to help their side to a fourth consecutive win.

Leyton Royal trail in second place by just a few goals with games between those sides likely to be interesting. Leyton’s 2-1 home win on Saturday came at the expense of London Park City with Cosmin Capatina and Bogdan Toana efforts earning maximum points for the hosts to keep their winning record going.

There was an impressive victory for Kit Out London who made light work of their home fixture against Francis Luke, earning themselves a 7-1 win. Amalraj Kakmanu was in good form once again with a brace adding to goals from Olajide Akala, Lewis Jacobs, Darnell Kitambo, Massi Rahimi and debutant Erik Rusnack.

Moving up third place in the standings, Chadwell Heath Spartans recorded a second league victory and remain unbeaten after they were also 7-1 winners following their match with North East Lions. Ricky Reid scored twice and there were also efforts from Caleb Roberts, Rob Hodgson, Niru Hunwicks, Miguel Martins and Tom Callagher to round off an impressive performance.

Rounding off the action in the second tier, there was a seven goal thriller in Walthamstow as Kwanzas London Sport took on Eastside with the latter recording their first win of the season. They were victors by the odd goal in seven thanks to a double from Michael Dager plus strikes by Wenbi Ghenda and Lawrence Amadi in a result which saw them move up to seventh in the table.

DIVISION TWO

There was just the one completed game in Division Two and it couldn’t have been a more exciting one with top of the table Dagenham United and Forest Green sharing nine goals between them. Rodeny Varela scored twice and one apiece from Brandon Johnson, Ola Ogunjobi and George Martin ended the game 5-4 in favour for United, a result which brought Green’s perfect start to an end.

DIVISION THREE

The big game in Division Three came from Fairlop Oak where previously top of the table Melbourne Sports took on third placed FHN Athletic, both sides sporting excellent starts. Athletic ended the day having swapped places with the Mels as Dillon Ashford-Quaye, Oluwatunmida Adebayo, Ose Egbejale and Daniel Ohuruogu all netted to win it 4-2, rendering Ross Barker and Kinsley Tatham goals as just consolation for the Mels.

Old Barkabbeyans Reserves extended their unbeaten start to the season but did drop points for the first time as they were held to a rare goalless draw at home against Lymore Garden Reserves in Barking. That result saw them go second, two points off the new leaders, while Lymore move sixth.

Moving fourth in the standings are Glendale who, after two recent draws, tasted victory this weekend as they ended Loughton Lions’ perfect start in a closely fought 1-0 victory in the Hainault battle of the hedge. Mohammed Gueye came oft the bench to net in some style from distance to help his Dales side to the win.

There was also an important first victory of the season for Fairlop Rovers who took maximum points and moved away from the bottom of the table after a 4-0 win away at Flyers Under 23s. That result moves them seventh in the standings while Flyers will seek an upturn in form after a pointless start so far.

DIVISION FOUR

Avondale Rangers have cut the gap at the top of the table in Division Four as they moved third on Saturday following a 4-2 home win against Newham Royals in Loughton. Jake Clarke scored a hat-trick for Rangers with James Whitbread grabbing the other to move their side to within one point of the leaders.

There was an impressive performance from Dagenham United’s reserve side too where the previously winless side grabbed their first win of the season as they took down Together United at Castle Green. Hans Dodoo scored twice with Amran El-Kaouny grabbing the other to win it 3-1 and end the day as the happier of the sides.

End