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 22 April, as more key games influenced the respective promotion & relegation races in all divisions.
EOFL Premier Division
We start with the top-tier action in midweek, and Catholic Utd showed their credentials for next season as they won 1 – 0 at Hutton. Franklin Craik’s early goal was enough to see Utd to victory and Simon Thomas’ side are not out of the running for second spot. Also, Springfield notched a 2 – 1 victory at Galleywood on Wednesday night. Former Wakebury duo Will Wheeler & Harry Kateley got the goals for Matt Cardy’s team here. Freddie Bartram responded for ‘Wood but they ended the game with ten players & are now most likely to be the side to be playing in Division One in August. The other match saw a depleted Rayleigh Town side being held 1 – 1 by Sungate. Harry Talbot got the Town goal & Solomon Asomah replied for the resolute ‘Gate side.
At the weekend, Hutton pulled eight points clear at the summit after a 4 – 1 win at Kelvedon Hatch. Jude Keeling’s hat-trick saw him reach ten league goals for the Reds, plus David Johnson also netted. Charlie Bott netted for Kelvedon here but they also finished with ten men & remain third-bottom. Springfield got arguably the result of the day, with a 4 – 1 triumph over Rayleigh Town. Will Wheeler scored another brace here, with Flynn Monk & Harry Kateley also on target. Harry Talbot’s 14th league goal was scant consolation for Town, who have two games coming in midweek, which are must-win for them.
Elsewhere, Catholic Utd went into second spot after a 3 – 0 victory at Bishop’s Stortford Swifts. Franklin Craik scored two more goals alongside Liam Oliver’s strike. Old Southendian ended their campaign with a 3 – 1 success over Sungate at Garon Park. Nick Henesy scored two goals for Altan Ali’s side & Jack Lelliott also scored as OS went back up to fourth. ‘Gate remain seventh. Shenfield AFC are eighth after a 3 – 0 success over Galleywood. Harvey Clarke, Alfie MacKay & Harvey Cadd all scored for Kevin Williamson’s side. Runwell Sports held Leigh Ramblers 3 – 3 at St Luke’s, with over 100 spectators in attendance. Andrew Webster scored twice for Rams, with Matt Brinklow also scoring here. Leigh have two games left to graft for a fine top-four finish. Runwell have four matches remaining & are also in that race for top-four finish. Lastly, Toby are back up to tenth after a 1 – 0 win over Canning Town. Rhys Willson’s solitary goal saw Mark Jones’ side to the win.
EOFL Divisions One & Two & Three
Moving into Division One now, and Manford Way ended their season on the best possible note, after a fine 2 – 0 win at Corinthians. Siddy Clarkson netted both goals to see Manford up to second. In the other key game, Old Chelmsfordians wrestled the impetus away from Harold Wood Athletic in the promotion race after OC’s won 3 – 1 at Lawford Lane. James Pottle netted for Ath but substitute Liam Landers scored twice & fellow replacement Matthew Crick also netted. Old Chelmsfordians also face Corinthians next weekend at home, in a game both sides need to win.
In Division Two, Wakering Sports Res temporarily went top by two points after a comprehensive 8 – 2 victory at Hutton Res, in their second to last game. Connor Fardyga once again led the scorers with a a treble here, with replacement Leo Pearce netting twice, and there were also goals for Ashley Sexton, Charlie Smith & Oliver Greene. Rivals Shoebury still likely need to win of their three games left to seal the title.
In midweek in Division Three, Chingford Athletic Res battled to a 1 – 0 victory at Buckhurst Hill U23. Substitute Benson Osejindu nabbed the crucial goal which sent them up to fourth. Buckhurst ended their season here & will finish fifth, a creditable achievement for Darren Gosnell & his team.
In Division Four, Leigh Ramblers Res finally achieved promotion after a 1 – 1 draw with Herongate Athletic Res. Habeeb Apatira netted for Herongate, but substitute Alex Goodson’s strike sealed a significant point for Terry Johnson’s side. Roydon were held 3 – 3 at strugglers Galleywood Res with Darren Brooker netting twice for the visitors & Nader Benzid’s 10th league goal this term being cancelled out by strikes by Alfie Hooper, Diogo Viveiros & Jodh Lapidus keeping their side in contention to avoid a bottom-two finish. Shenfield AFC Res won 4 – 0 at Wakering Sports A to fortify seventh spot. The cast of Ross Riding, Paul Constable, Elliott Fraser & Kyle Constable all netted for the visitors there. Finally, Leytonstone Utd battled to a 2 – 2 draw with Pitsea Athletic Res. Paul Gunn & replacement Owen Layzell netted for Ath’s second side here, as they remain in 8th.
Lastly this week, in Division Five, Basildon Town A secured a fine promotion after a 2 – 0 victory over Canning Town Res. Luke Soley and Donnel Kujinga’s 24th league goal of the campaign saw them to a top-two finish and pipped Runwell Res by a single point, in what was the final game of the Division Five season.
The midweek tie in the Reserve Cup saw Basildon Town A win 2 – 1 at Galleywood Res, to reach the last four. Oliver White and replacement Dylan Busby goals for Bas outdid Aryan Tathgar’s strike for the hosts to seal their progress. At the weekend in the Reserve Trophy, Runwell Sports Res made the Final on May 2nd against Manford Way Res, after the Runwell side defeated Harold Wood Athletic Res 4 – 2. Matt Harris & Thomas Butler scored for Ath but their opponents would not be denied here.
On Friday night, Manford Way Res gathered their first piece of silverware this term after sealing a 1 – 0 win over Felsted Rovers in the Essex Junior Trophy Final. Luke Bennett’s strike was crucial at this side prevailed at Heybridge’s Scraley Road. Congrats to them.
On Saturday, the Denny King Cup Semi-Finals saw ACD Utd progress with a 3 – 2 win over Shoebury Town. Jacob Dingli, Shaun Goddard and Warren Taylor goals saw Michael Wade’s team through, despite goals from Mechack-Kisoka Asuka & Luke Jackson for Shoebury, who will now focus on the Division One title. In the other Semi-Final, Hullbridge Sports Res won 4 – 2 at AS Rawreth.