Written by Scott W [@ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello & welcome to the latest Essex Olympian League column, looking at the action in all divisions & Cups from Saturday 15 April, as the weather again impacted events, but 15 matches did take place this week.
EOFL Premier Division
In the top-tier, we start with a rare Bank Holiday Monday match as Catholic Utd convincingly won 6 – 0 at relegation candidates Galleywood. Harrison Day netted a treble here, with Brad Vaighan, James Warder & Lucas Polyblank also scoring for Simon Thomas’ team. The win strengthened Utd’s hopes of a third-placed finish. Onto the weekend now, and Hutton remain seven points clear at the top after a 5 – 1 win over Shenfield AFC at Hannakins Farm 3G. Jude Keeling netted twice here, with Stephen Judge, Lewis Scott & replacement Freddie Miller all scoring for Matt Singh’s team here. Rayleigh Town had to battle to grab a 3 – 2 win at Catholic Utd, with Jack Long, Phil Anunwa & Harry Talbot all scoring for Paul Higgins’ team. James Warder was amo g the scorers for Utd.
Elsewhere, Kelvedon Hatch got a important 3 – 2 victory over Toby at New Hall. Drew Klessa-Smith, James Nottage & substitute James Burt got the goals for Darren Hunt’s team, which takes them out of the bottom three. Replacements Ethan Hardy & Oliver Dingli showed their impact by scoring a goal each but they still have a good chance of a top ten finish. Bishop’s Stortford Swifts drew 0 – 0 with Springfield, which leaves Swifts vulnerable to be caught by Galleywood in the relegation battle. Finally, Leigh Ramblers battled a 1 – 0 victory over Sungate at Belfairs Park, despite playing 45 minutes with ten men. Justin Hazell got the big goal there, which sees the Rams back up to fourth spot.
Essex Premier Cup Final
It was a pleasure to watch the Premier Cup Final for the third time, this time the all-EOFL contest saw Shenfield AFC take the trophy with a 3 – 1 win against a spirited Wakering Sports Res side at New Lodge 3G. Goals from Elliott Thompson, Alex Tredgett & replacement Frankie Fealty sealed a memorable occasion for Kevin & Luke Williamson’s side. George Penfold netted for Sports but they could not make the most of their chances. If you’d like more on this game, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2023/04/13/s22-23-match-report-shenfield-afc-3-1-wakering-sports-res-wed-12-apr-epc-final/
EOFL Divisions One & Two
Moving into Division One now, and Corinthians bagged an important 3 – 1 victory at Epping Town to stay in the promotion race. They have a hard road ahead, having to play Old Chelmsfordians and Manford Way in their next two games, so this was a key win.
In Division Two, Shoebury Town held Wakering Sports Res 2 – 2 to stay on course for the title. Jack Woodham & Mechack-Kisoka Ausuka got the goals for Town, who remain a point clear withan extra game to play compared to their rivals.
EOFL Divisions Three, Four & Five
Division Three saw Pitsea Athletic win 3 – 2 at Old Chelmsfordians Res, which takes them into second spot, having now completed their season. Old Chelms’ second-side have one game left but will finish eighth.
Now in Division Four, the big game at the summit saw Leigh Ramblers Res defeat rivals Roydon 2 – 1 at Belfairs Park. Goals from Luis Bracci & Charlie Batchelor were enough to outdo Kyle Stanley’s reply for the visitors & send Rams three points clear st the top, with three matches left. The positive for Roydon is that one more win from their last two games could be enough to seal promotion. Collier Row ended their campaign with a 3 – 2 victory at home to Ongar Town, with Arley Barker & an OG accounting for Ongar’s goals. Row remain third but two more wins for Herongate Res will see them claim that place. Lastly in D4, Leytonstone Utd got a huge 1 – 0 win at Shenfield AFC Res come off the bottom. They still need four points from their last three games to exit the relegation zone but it is still possible.
In Division Five, Wakebury Res ended their season with a 4 – 2 victory at Sungate Res. Arry Hardy netted a hat-trick for Joe Creak’s side, with Ross Barnes also netted his tenth league goal of the season to see them go back into third spot. Basildon Town A need a win in the last game of the division to overhaul them. Shoebury Town Res also drew 5 – 5 with bottom side AS Rawreth Res at the Ekco Sports Club. Rodang Ngesang netted twice for AS here, with Ramadhan Ramadhan & substitutes Samuel Hall and Joe Terrell also scoring for the visitors.
Before we close this article, just to mention that the last EOFL round-up of the season is set to be on May 15th. As ever, my thanks to all regular resds of this column.