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 19 March. This weekend saw a promotion all but confirmed in Divisions Two & Four. The focus remains on the League action and we will have additional sections on Divisions Four & Five. Thank you for reading.
Essex Olympian Lge – Saturday 26 March
EOFL Premier Division, Divisions One & Two
In the Premier Division, Basildon Town gained ground on leaders Ongar Town (who were not in action this weekend) by claiming a narrow 2 – 1 victory at Sungate, with Rhys Fatt grabbing both goals for Marcus Bowers’ team. They are four points behind Ongar with two matches in hand. Rayleigh Town were held 1 – 1 by battling Leigh Ramblers at Belfairs, with Ryan Lowe netting for the Rams, and George Vile equalised from twelve yards for Town. Rayleigh remain second, but are three points adrift of the leaders, while the Rams rise one place to twelfth, but are one of four sides still in relegation danger. Another match with ramifications at both ends of the table saw Hutton emerge with a 4 – 1 triumph at Harold Wood Athletic, in another game played at Robert Clack 3G. Luke Ricketts struck twice for Matt Singh’s side, with James Gardner and replacement Abraham Eze also on target as they stayed fourth but in the title hunt with matches in hand. Harold Wood remain bottom, six points adrift of the third-bottom Galleywood.
Elsewhere, Old Southendian won their local derby with Catholic Utd 3 – 2, with Callum Ludlaim scoring two goals at Garon Park 3G, and Nick Henesy also netting as they went up to seventh spot with six matches remaining. Utd got their goals via Jack Thompson and player-boss Simon Thomas and stay ahead of their opponents by goal difference only, in sixth. Also, Springfield drew 2 – 2 with Canning Town in the early kick-off at Arun Park. Ryan Kelland and Reece Simpson scored for the hosts but Canning responded to claim a precious point and stay in touch with their rivals. Finally, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts drew 0 – 0 with Kelvedon Hatch, which means Swifts stay tenth and Kelvedon remain in fifth, twelve points clear of Catholic Utd and Old Southendian.
In Division One, the solitary match saw Toby grab a 3 – 0 win against strugglers Leigh Town in Newbury Park. The trio of Harry Barham, Albert Perry and Ben Picton all netted again for Mark Jones’ side to ensure the win which means a point in their last game next month will ensure a top-two finish, but a win would give them the title.
Moving into Division Two now, and ACD Utd took a big step towards the title after a narrow 1 – 0 win against May & Baker A at Westlands. Michael Wade’s 23rd league goal this term ensured the win which takes them five points clear at the summit, needing only five points to mathematically seal the league championship. That was because Harold Hill were held 3 – 3 at Shoebury Town. Player manager Garry Johnson, Kyle McAlindon and Cassidy Day all scored for Shoebury who rose to fifth with this decent result. AS Rawreth also got a vital win to aid their battle against relegation as they won 3 – 2 at home to Wakebury. Harry Kateley and Shaun Lewis-Evans replied for the Berries but their chances of a top-two finish took a dent here. Rawreth climb one spot to second-bottom after this victory.
Finally, Hutton Res were held 2 – 2 by Harold Wood Athletic Res at Polo Fields. Josh Portway got both strikes for the visitors there, who will probably be safe provided they grab one more win in their last three matches. The Hutton side will need as many points as possible as Rawreth behind them have an extra match left to play.
EOFL Divisions Three, Four & Five
Into Division Three, and Wakering Sports Res have moved right into contention for a top-two finish after a brilliant 6 – 2 victory at leaders Catholic Utd Res. Scott Clark took his season’s goal tally to fourteen with a double here, with Ashley Sexton also netting two along with one goal each for the division’s top-scorer Connor Fardyga and Ciaran Sweeney. Daniel Williams got both goals for Utd’s second side as they will likely need to win their last three games to stay in contention. Third-placed Hashtag Utd Dev were held 3 – 3 at a spirited Basildon Town Res. Jack Main got two goals for Bas, with Nathan Fisher also on the score-sheet. Matthew Gauci, Tommy Green and Samuel Pratt’s 16th league goal this term meant that Denis Simpson’s side claimed a point which importantly keeps them only two points away from the top two and have one game in hand on both of them. Town will finish fourth after playing their last league game here and have a 12-point lead on their nearest challengers Pitsea Athletic.
Speaking of the newcomers, Buckhurst Hill U23 continued their fine form by defeating Pitsea Athletic 3 – 1 at Roding Lane, which meant Darren Gosnell’s side rise up to sixth spot, with three matches left to play. Also, Collier Row ended their campaign with a fine 2 – 1 win at Leigh Town Res. Despite this result, they will finish in the bottom two and will likely face relegation.
Now into Division Four, and Chingford Athletic Res sealed the title (for all intents & purposes) in style with a 7 – 2 win at nearest challengers Roydon. Nader Benzid and substitute Jack Bayley-Etheridge got the goals for Roydon here. The Ath second-side will be in Division Three next term and Springfield Res might yet join them there after a 5 – 2 triumph over Canning Town Res in the late kick-off meant they went level on points with Roydon but stay third. The ensemble cast of scorers included Liam England, Jordan Denyer, William Roe, substitute Reece Simpson and fellow replacement Thomas Bloomfield. The Town side look set for a demotion as they will be unable to avoid finishing bottom.
Elsewhere, Leytonstone Utd had a James Medlock goal to thank for a 1 – 0 success at home to Galleywood Res. The result means they have a decent chance of avoiding a bottom two finish but their rivals have matches in hand. Also, Ongar Town Res defeated Wakering Sports A 2 – 1 to go up to fourth in the table.
In the sixth tier, the season is rapidly approaching its conclusion, and leaders Leigh Ramblers Res ended their campaign with a narrow 1 – 0 victory at Runwell Sports Res. Alex Goodson’s seventh league goal gave them the win which for now keeps them at the summit, although they could yet be overhauled. One of those sides in prime position to do that is Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res, who won 3 – 0 at Wakebury Res. Callum Blair Park, Henry Harnack and Lewis Wake got the goals here which means one more win for the Swifts second-side will secure them the Division Five title. The Wakebury side will finish bottom as they completed their campaign here and after the game, Reece Upcraft stood down from his role as Wakebury Res boss, I’d like to wish him well for the future, he will be replaced next season by Joe Creak (Source: Wakebury’s Twitter).
Elsewhere, Herongate Athletic Res got a terrific 7 – 2 win against Collier Row Res at Billericay Road. Lee Glynn scored twice here, with the array of other scorers being Jack Sparrow, Kurt Smith, Thomas Northwood, Jonathan Packer and substitute Benjamin Clarke. Ath went up to fourth spot with this win and still have a chance of a top-three finish as they have three matches left. Emmanuel Akinte and Mark Lee scored for the Row side here. Also, Snaresbrook Res defeated AS Rawreth Res 5 – 0 at Nutters Lane to go up to sixth in the standings, while Epping Town Res got a walkover win against Old Barkabbeyans, meaning they will finish ninth as this was their last game of the term as well.
EOFL Denny King Cup Result
Old Chelmsfordians 1 – 2 Manford Way
Thanks again for reading.