Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello all and welcome to my round-up of the action in the Essex Olympian League, on Saturday 9 April. The focus this week is on the League action and the additional sections on Divisions Four & Five remain in place with their campaigns coming to a conclusion. Thank you for reading.
Essex Olympian Lge – Saturday 9 April
EOFL Premier Division, Divisions One & Two
In the Premier Division, Leigh Ramblers got a key 2 – 1 win over relegation rivals Canning Town to keep them four points clear of the bottom three. Nathan Dewberry got both goals for Mark Hunter’s team. The Rams open the midweek matches in the EOFL this week with the visit of Springfield to Belfairs. Kelvedon Hatch deepened Harold Wood Athletic’s concerns of the drop as Hatch won 4 – 1 at New Hall. Drew Klessa-Smith got another two goals to take his tally to 17 this term, which was allied with strikes by substitutes Tom Johnson & Darren Jiro to give Darren Hunt’s side the points. Tim Hinds-Addow also got a goal for Ath after coming off the bench. Galleywood are still requiring points after they lost to Hutton 2- 1 at Slades Lane. The ever-dependable duo of Brad Freeman and Will Marlowe both netted for Matt Singh’s side as they kept pace with the top three above them. Matthew Crick replied for ‘Wood though they have seven matches to overhaul Leigh Ramblers and Springfield directly above them.
At the summit, Basildon Town got a 2 – 0 triumph over Catholic Utd with Jamie Bradbourn and Ryan Scougall’s fine free-kick proving enough to give Marcus Bowers’ side the points and reduce the gap to the top two to just one point with at least one match more to play. Utd remain sixth with Sungate their main rivals for that spot after they comfortably defeated Springfield 6 – 0 in NE London. Finally, Rayleigh Town maintained their good form with a 4 – 0 away win at Shenfield AFC. Harry Talbot is the division’s top-scorer now with 19 goals this term after a double here. Liam Oliver and Jack Long also netted for Paul Higgins’ team as they for the moment went top, above Ongar on goal difference, having played a game more.
News: It was announced this week that Basildon Town are leaving their current tenancy at Basildon Utd, with Marcus Bowers’ side having agreed to ground-share at Step 3 team East Thurrock Utd next season.
In Division One, there was a shift in the dynamics in the promotion race as Epping Town defeated second-placed Toby 4 – 3 at Epping UC Rugby Club. Stuart Hoskins’ side put in a big display to ensure a mid-table finish thanks to Joe Rickett’s 10th league goal this term, plus strikes from Callum Turner, Chris Gormley and Conor Corrigan. Mark Jones’ team replied through goals from Albert Perry, Nick Walk and Jake Jones but they ended their season here in the knowledge that if Wakering Sports win by six goals in their last game, the latter side will be promoted.
Toby’s loss also confirmed Runwell Sports as Champions of the Division, so again congrats to Rob Hodgson, all his management team and the squad. Wakering Sports did their part on Saturday as they had three second-half goals to thank for a 3 – 0 victory at Corinthians. The substitutes made the difference here as two goals for Mohammed Sesay and one from Callum Burns-Green were enough to claim the win. Finally, Leigh Town drew 2 – 2 with Beacon Hill Rovers at John Burrows Rec, which means both sides will likely need to avoid defeat in their last game to avoid a bottom-two finish.
Moving into Division Two now, leaders ACD Utd fell to only their third loss of the season as Manford Way won 1 – 0 at Westlands. James Dobson got the vital goal for Manford as they stayed three points adrift of second-placed Harold Hill. ACD need four points from their last two games to complete the job with yet another title. Harold Hill stay second after a 3 – 0 triumph over Old Southendian Res at Noak Hill – it is most likely that one win in their last two matches will confirm promotion as they have a superior goal difference to the teams below them.
Elsewhere, Harold Wood Athletic Res held Wakebury to a 3 – 3 draw at Harold Wood Park. Ben Rowe got two goals here while Josh Portway also scored for Steve Hubbard’s team, who are pretty much safe from the bottom two now. Harry Kateley, Kofi Gyamfi and Ibrahim Kagbanda all scored in reply for Matt Cardy’s side but it seems most likely they will finish fourth after a fine debut campaign at this level.
Also, Shoebury Town ended their season with a positive 3 – 1 win over Rochford Town at Cupid’s. Garry Johnson’s side sit fifth with aspirations of a better season next term with their youthful squad. Rochford will likely finish bottom, with only one match left to play later this month – at Wakebury. Finally, Rayleigh Town Res defeated Hutton Res 3 – 1 at London Road, which means Town could finish seventh and Hutton’s second-side still needing points from their remaining two games to avoid a bottom-two finish.
EOFL Divisions Three, Four & Five
Into Division Three, Toby Res went up to sixth after a 2 – 0 victory over Hullbridge Res in the early kick-off in Newbury Park. Oliver Dingli went joint-top in the lead goal-scorers charts with 23 league goals after a brace here for the hosts, congrats to Ollie on another fine season. ‘Bridge will finish no better than eighth this season after this loss. In the other result, Wakering Sports Res got a hard-fought 3 – 2 win at Leigh Town Res which takes them top of the table, in a tight promotion race.
Moving into Division Four, Springfield Res had a super 7 – 0 success at home to Sungate Dev to put them five points clear in second spot. The Sungate side need at least five points from their last five matches to avoid a bottom-two finish. Also in the relegation battle are Leytonstone Utd, who ended their campaign with a 2 – 2 draw with Shenfield AFC Res. The draw means that Utd will have to await other results as both Galleywood Res & Sungate Development have several matches left to play.
In Division Five, Collier Row Res ended their season with a fine 3 – 1 win at Snaresbrook Res, with Nicholas George, Harry Potts and Raheem Bravo all on target to ensure they will finish the campaign no worse than seventh. Snaresbrook have one match left to play and can finish sixth with a win. Also, Herongate Athletic Res drew 0 – 0 with Pitsea Athletic Res at Billericay Road, which means that the PItsea side will finish third and Herongate fourth, as they both have one match remaining.
EOFL Reserve Lge Cup
Hashtag Utd Dev 2 – 3 Buckhurst Hill U23
EOFL Res Lge Trophy
Ongar Town Res p2 – 2 Catholic Utd Res (Ongar won 5 – 4 on pens)
Thanks again for reading.