Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
Hello & welcome to this week’s Essex Olympian League round-up, looking at the action from Saturday 20th April from the top-tier to Division Four as the games start to trickle in as the end of the season is nigh. Even so, this weekend was big for two sides who has cause to celebrate.
EOFL Premier Division
In the top-tier, two matches saw two wins for the home sides. First, Springfield belied their poor league position with a 3 – 0 win over champions Buckhurst Hill. Andrew Elgar struck twice for the hosts, with Ross Lamb getting the other goal. Hill lost only their second match this term here and ended a run of 14 straight league wins. Springfield’s fifth win in their last nine matches sees them finish in 10th spot.
Meanwhile, Rayleigh Town handed Kelvedon Hatch a 2 – 0 loss with Harry Talnbot and Bailey Moss the scorers to give Town their fifth win in their last six. Hatch’s 5th loss in their last seven sees them needing two points from their last two matches to finish second in the standings.
Senior League Cup: Semi-Final
In the outstanding Semi-Final in the Senior Cup, a barn-storming match between Basildon Town of D1 and Premier side Bishop’s Stortford Swifts ended 3 – 3 after extra time. Keith King, Barv Walkuaika and substitute Levi Harbour struck for Town, while Gavin Cockman struck twice for Swifts and Charles Brown also netted. Swifts saw out the battle of nerves as they won 5 – 4 on spot-kicks to make their first appearance in this final for 16 years.
EOFL Senior One
In Senior One, two matches took place with implications at both ends of the table. FC Hamlets were held 0 – 0 by rivals Snaresbrook. FC extend their unbeaten stretch to six matches while ‘Brook drew their third straight match and have now ended their campaign. Hamlets need to win both of their remaining matches you feel to deny Basildon Town who have four matches yet to play, and they are only a point behind them.
At the other end of the table, Galleywood defeated struggling Rayleigh Town Reserves 1 – 0 with Sam Donn getting the decisive goal. Town have the small matter of Ramsden Scotia and Basildon Town to play in their last two matches, needing one win to avoid the drop. The Scotia match is in midweek.
EOFL Senior Two
In the only match in Senior Two, Harold Wood Athletic Reserves were heavily beaten at home to in-form Chingford Athletic. Ath won 4 – 0 with Gary Murray, Archie Stojic, Louis Ballard on target, plus an OG which means Chingford are promoted to Senior One after another superb season so congratulations to them. They can still win the title with a win over bottom side May & Baker ‘A’ next weekend.
EOFL Senior Three
In a match I attended at Garon Park, two title hopefuls faced off in Old Southendian Reserves and Westhamians. Old Southendian’s second side won a physical battle on a hard pitch 3 – 0 with Dave Stubbs getting another brace to crown off a strong performance. A late penalty by Oliver Tatton-Bennett sealed the win which confirmed the Old Boys as champions of the division & promoted to Senior Two, which in turn led to exhuberant celebrations post-match. Many congrats to them on a fine campagn.
Westhamians’ stuttering form continued as they have not won in their last four matches now, though they did have chances here that they couldn’t make the most of. They also need to win their last game in three weeks time at Basildon Town Ressies to pip Laindon Orient to the second promotion spot.
EOFL Senior Four
In Senior Four, Corinthians kept the title race alive until the last day with a fine 5 – 0 win at Galleywood Reserves. John Bolton-Smith struck a double, with Jake Lang, Bill Wilton & Luke Owen also all finding the net.
Toby Reserves also won well, 4 – 1 at Buckhurst Hill Reserves with James Coleman getting a hat-trick and Ryan Morgan getting the other goal. The crucial game happens next week as Corinthians need to beat the Toby outfit to pip Epping to the title in the last league match of the season.
That’s all for this week, thanks for reading.