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 and Cup competitions as well from the first matchday of the New Year on Saturday 8 January 2022. My thanks to the EAL’s Rob Parker. This round-up is posted with the author’s permission. for reading.
Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
With additional reporting by Scott W
Essex Alliance League Round-up- Saturday 8 January 2022
DIVISION ONE CUP
The heavy lunchtime rain over the weekend put paid to a number of fixtures but many did survive as the first divisional cup action of the season took place, Renegade the visitors to Newham Wanderers seeking a place in the quarter finals. A five goal thriller was won by Newham as Otto Bolton, Admir Cassama and Manuel Sanuo scored the goals to win the tie 3 – 2.
In the Senior Division, DTFC retain their slender lead at the top of the table as they earned another hard fought win against one of their rivals for the title, beating Jolof Sports 2 – 1 at the Harlow Arena. Cory Ugbomah and Kieran Hipgrave goals proved enough for the unbeaten hosts to make it ten wins from twelve so far this campaign.
Lymore Gardens sit just behind the leaders by two points with the Leyton based side picking up a 4 – 0 victory from their home game against Leyton Royal. Andre Rashford scored twice in the game with Ryo Brown and Tyrique Peters also netting to help their side move into the top two ahead of a crucial period of the season. FC Petrocub also had a great afternoon as they came through a seven goal thriller to beat Tower United 4 – 3 at Mabley Green, earning themselves a move up to fifth in the standings as a result. Abdi Jama, Mustafa Ali and Kayis Mohamed scored the Tower goals but they proved just consolation with their side remaining in the bottom three, eight points adrift of safety.
Another side on the move were Rapid Chingford who took their points tally to seventeen for the season with a solid home win against Chigwell Town over at Lakeside. Constantin Banu scored twice off the bench with Darwin Romero netting the other to secure the points in a 3 – 0 victory, lifting them a couple of places to ninth.
Game of the day in the second tier surely has to have been the nine goal thriller in East Ham which saw Dagenham United snatch top spot in the table with a late winner against Athletic Newham Under 23s. Two Shaquille Mathurin efforts plus one each from Jay Fenton, Dante Vincent and Charlie Fiander proved just enough for the visitors to win an entertaining game 5 – 4. The cast of goalscorers for Newham were Derrick Mintah, Rodney Botuli, Bryan Henry and Ciaran Innis. Crookz United were also on the move and made their ascent to third place with a strong home win against the side they were replacing, Wapping. Stephane Trah’s brace along with singles from Steven Tshiamala and Abdouaziz Jeng gave the hosts a 4 – 1 win over in Walthamstow to complete a sixth league win of the season. Jordon Mills-Smith scored the Wapping goal in consolation.
North East Lions profited from results around them to move back into the top half of the standings after they picked up a crucial victory at home against struggling All Prospects at the Peter May Centre. Jonas Borges grabbed the solo Prospects effort but Joseph Goodall scored twice off the bench for Lions with Mikael Martin netting the other to see their side win 3 – 1.
The weather impacted hard in Division One but two games did survive with Forest Green picking up a vital win in a six-pointer against fellow relegation threatened Francis Luke. The sides started the day level at the bottom on six points but Green moved out of the relegation zone by full-time, winning 4-1 despite a Kennerly Cassius goal for Luke. Promotion chasing Wanstead dropped vital points on their return to action in 2022, the fourth placed side being held to a draw by eighth placed Kwanzas London Sport, the sides combining for an entertaining 3-3 draw. Edson Lami scored two and Zoltan Balogh continued their respective scoring streaks from the last calendar year but their efforts could only secure a point for Wanstead.
Division Two has new leaders following the weekend’s results as Unitey took their place at the head of the standings having come through a six goal contest in the Roding Valley derby match, defeating co-tenants Royal Forest in a 4-2 scoreline. Bubintende Masadi has been in great scoring form this season and he netted a hat-trick, David Otley grabbing the other to render Royal goals from Charlie Palline and Huai-Ginn Oliver as just consolation.
Also up a couple of places are Emerson & Upminster Reserves who continued their good form to go second after they came away from Ryan Under 23s with maximum points in a 4-2 win over at Wadham Lodge. Tobi Onafeko scored a hat-trick which combined with an Alex Pizzey strike to take all three points back to Upminster.
Rainham Working Mens Club secured a seventh league win of the season on Saturday with a home win against St Francis, taking them up into the top five of the standings. Cameron Shakes was on target along with Odo Osei-Tutu to earn a solid 2-1 home win against the Saints, the latter remaining six appoints adrift of safety with four games in hand on the side above. The division’s remaining game saw promotion chasing Old Esthameians travel to Loughton Lions in search of further points in their respective chases. The game ended in a 2 – 2 draw with Lions taking a vital point thanks to strikes by William Osmond and Alex Nicoll to move up a place to ninth, steering them clear of imminent danger for the time being.
There are new leaders in Division Three where Old Barkabbeyans Reserves now sit top of the table after picking up their first win of the new calendar year, as they defeated Glendale 4 – 1 at home. They rode out the early storm to take all three points with Robbie Osborne (2), Klodian Meta and Alex Donkor Junior all netting. Maryis Shamku scored the Dales consolation in the second half.
The division’s other game saw a real belter of a game with Flyers Under 23s and ASA combining for ten goals in their clash at King Georges. Deren Kale scored four for Flyers with Mohammad Miah and Kai Eaton efforts accounting for their other efforts in a critical 6 – 4 home win. That result moved them level with the side above with just goal difference keeping them in the bottom two. ASA got their goals courtesy of a double for Ramanan Selvarasa and a goal apiece for Mithurn Vijayarajah and David Rigby.
Chingford Harriers started the new year in positive fashion, recording a thumping 8 – 1 win at home against struggling Newham Royals to maintain their eight point gap at the summit. Edwin Jabbari was in fine form scoring a hat-trick with Jemel Richards scoring two and one each from Nick Shawyer, Darnell Lamothe and Jake Kemp completing the scoresheet. The race for the runners-up spot is really hotting up with five clubs separated by just two points. Flyers Under 21s presently hold that position and continued their run with a 4 – 1 home win against Emerson & Upminster A at the weekend, earned through a pair of braces from Charlie Portlock and Sam Maydell. Tyler Huggett scored the Emerson goal in reply.
Newham & Havering Borough have pushed themselves up the table with two wins in five days, following up their bank holiday victory with a further win on Saturday as they defeated fellow promotion challengers Dagenham United Reserves. Jack Wood scored twice and Owen Rice once to help Borough win the game 4 – 0. Also sitting on seventeen points are Sporting Pillars who had a top of the table battle of their own as they faced up to previously third placed Fairlop Rovers Reserves at Drapers Field. Sporting were in good form however, improving on their performances of late 2021 with a winning one this time. Rayan Allam and Emanuel Jacob both scored twice to secure a 4-2 victory for the hosts.
Fixtures – Saturday 15 January (Top Two tiers of League & Cups only)
EAL Senior Division
Chigwell Town v Kit Out London | London Marathon Sports Ground, Hainault
CSM London v Chadwell Heath Spartans | West Ham Community Ground 3G, Beckton
FC Petrocub v Tower Utd | Noak Hill 3G
Jolof Sports v FC Baresi | Flanders Playing Fields, East Ham
Leyton Royal v DT FC | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields, Hainault
Rapid Chingford v Blue Marlin | Lakeside Sports Ground, RM16
EAL Premier Division
All Prospects v Crookz Utd | Fairlop Oak Playing Fields
London Cranes v Dagenham Utd | Flanders Playing Fields
London Park City v Frenford A | Seven Kings Sch 3G
North East Lions v Oakside | Peter May Centre, Walthamstow
Wapping v Athletic Newham U23 | Victoria Park, E9
Essex Premier Cup R4 – Dunmow Town v Woodford East | Cressing Road (Braintree Town FC)
Division One Cup
Francis Luke v Barkingside A | Hackney Marshes
Ilford Res v Forest Green | London Marathon Spts Grd
Kwanzas London Sport v Belfry | Beckton District Park Sth, E6