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 29 April, plus we have the midweek action across all divisions. Please note that the last article of the season will likely be on Monday 15 May.
We begin this week with the five matches across all divisions. On Tuesday night in the Premier, Leigh Ramblers defeated Rayleigh Town 1 – 0, with Andrew Webster’s 15th league goal of the season saw the Rams back up to fourth & put another dent in Rayleigh’s title hopes. In Division Four, Pitsea Athletic Res won 2 – 1 at bottom side Galleywood Res. Alfie Hooper netted for the hosts but ‘Wood have to win their last game to have any hope of avoiding relegation. Wednesday’s match in the Premier Division saw Toby defeat Kelvedon Hatch 3 – 1 at the Nursery Sports Ground. Ben Picton, Jake Jones & replacement Dominic Poulley got the goals which saw Toby up to eighth. Kelvedon’s goal came from James Nottage & they remain 11th. The Division Two game saw an emphatic win for Shoebury Town as they defeated Rayleigh Town 11 – 0 at London Road. There were trebles for Mechack-Kisoka Asuka & Jack Woodham here, plus two goals for Luke Jackson and strikes also from Callum Merenda & Izaih Antoine plus an OG took Garry Johnson & John Galley’s side to the brink of the Division 2 title at that point.
If you’d like more on this match, I attended this game & my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2023/04/27/s22-23-match-report-rayleigh-town-res-0-11-shoebury-town-wed-26-apr-eofl/
The solitary Thursday match in the Premier saw me venture out to watch Runwell Sports‘ 5 – 1 win over Rayleigh Town, which all but ended the latter’s title hopes. A quick-fire treble by Luca Frankis & a double from Gianni Frankis outdid Phil Anunwa’s early goal for Town. If you’d like more on this one, my report is here: https://survivor16b.wordpress.com/2023/04/28/s22-23-match-report-runwell-sports-5-1-rayleigh-town-thurs-27-apr-eofl/
EOFL Premier Division
In the top-tier, Hutton finally got the points to seal what has been a truly memorable season for Matt Singh’s side as they won 4 – 0 at Toby to be crowned as Premier Division champions, and with it promotion to Eastern Senior League South. Big congratulations to all the players, manager Matt Singh, assistants Bill Stratford & Dan Williams and all at the club. Springfield’s super end-of-season form continued with a 2 – 1 victory over Galleywood at Arun Park. Two goals from Lewis Chapman outdid a goal by Sean Barry to see Matt Cardy’s side up to seventh. Galleywood will be relegated to Division One next term, I’d like to wish them well for next term.
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts all but secured their spot in the division next term with a narrow 1 – 0 victory at Shenfield AFC. Matthew Allen got the crucial goal here. Runwell Sports are unbeaten in ten matches now following their 3 – 1 victory at home to Sungate. The points see them up to fifth, in what has been another fine season from Rob Hodgson’s team. Meanwhile, Rayleigh Town ended their frenetic week with a fine effort as they were held 3 – 3 by Catholic Utd at Thames Road. A double from Harry Talbot & one from Philip Anunwa gave Paul Higgins’ side a three-goal lead at the break, but a double for Aaron Baldwin & a late goal by Kofi Goodrum earned a point for Simon Thomas’ side, who are also set to play at Sungate on Monday.
EOFL Divisions One & Two
Moving into Division One now, and Old Chelmsfordians defeated promotion rivals Corinthians 3 – 0 at Lawford Lane. This win seals promotion & the Division One title and Scott Fleming’s side return to the top division after an absence of 17 years so big congratulations to all at the club. The Stambridge side now have to win both their remaining games to have any chance of overhauling Harold Wood, who have to defeat ACD Utd in their game on May 13th. The other match this weekend saw Harold Hill draw 1 – 1 with ACD, with Samuel Payne the goal-scorer for Utd, but both teams will likely finish in the bottom half.
In Division Two, Shoebury Town secured the Division Two title with a 4 – 0 triumph over Harold Wood Athletic Res at Ekco Sports Club. Jack Woodham’s brace, compiled with goals for Mechack-Kisoka Asuka & Alfie Fossett meant that they return to the second-tier after two seasons away. Congratulations to Garry Johnson & John Galley’s team on their fine season.
No action in Division Three, Division Five has now been completed.
EOFL Division Four
In the fifth-tier, Leigh Ramblers Res defeated Pitsea Athletic Res 5 – 0 in the midday game at Chase Sch 3G to seal the Division Four title. Congrats to Terry Johnson’s team, as the Reserves have added to the First team’s fine season.
Roydon confirmed second place with a conclusive 6 – 0 victory at home to Wakering Sports A. Connor Presland netted twice here, with the support cast of Darren Brooker, Nader Benzid, Mike Hayes & Connor Riddoch all on target as well to seal another promotion for Nigel Jordon’s team, congratulations to them as well. Wakering’s third side are still not entirely safe from relegation, having ended their season here. Elsewhere, Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res won 2 – 1 at Shenfield AFC Res to secure fifth spot at least. Henry Harnack & Jose Pinto got the goals for Swifts there. Ongar Town sealed sixth spot with a huge 7 – 0 win against relegation-threatened Leytonstone Utd. Finlay Cook netted four times himself here, with Matt Bovill, Ethan Hook & replacement Jude Collins added to a memorable last day of the league season for Town.
EOFL Reserve League Cup
In the Ressie Cup semi-finals, Catholic Utd Res won 2 – 1 at Herongate Athletic Res to match their First team in reaching a Cup final this term. Zachary Wing & Finlay Grant got the goals for the Utd side there. Plus, defending champions Wakering Sports Res made the final once again after a superb 7 – 3 success over Basildon Town A at Cupid’s.