Guest Blog written by Rob Parker for EAL [EAL Twitter: @EssexAllianceFL]
With additional reporting by Scott W
Essex Alliance League Round-up- Saturday 9 April
DIVISION TWO CUP
The first half of the line-up for the Division Two Cup Final is now confirmed after the weekend’s action as Rainham Working Mens Club made up for their other semi defeat to go through to this final with a 1 – 0 win away at Loughton Lions at Debden Park. The only goal of the game was scored by Charlie Perry whose goal took Rainham through to their fourth final with the competition.
DIVISION THREE CUP
In the Division Three Cup quarter-final, the third of four semi-finalists was confirmed in as two of the division’s top sides, Royal Forest Reserves and FC Baresi Under 23s, met in Hainault for a place in the last four. The visitors, Baresi, were in good form once again as they rattled in a 5 – 1 victory with Joshua Adu scoring three alongside Harrez Aliane and Kii Jean-Baptiste scoring one apiece, overcoming a Will Asenso goal from the hosts.
DIVISION FOUR CUP
It was semi-final day for two clubs in the Division Four Cup competition where Chingford Harriers were the hosts to an Emerson & Upminster A side with both sides keen on a cup final appearance. A close game finished 1 – 1 with Darnell Lamothe netting for Harriers and Carl Holroyd for Emerson in reply. A dreaded shootout was needed to separate the sides and it was Harriers who won that 4 – 3 to take their place in the final next month.
The last week has seen some big results in the Senior Division with Wednesday night’s action having seen Woodford East secure all three points from a trip to Cricklefields where they were facing Lymore Gardens. Adam Tabbani and Connor Brathwaite both scored twice for East with Gracia Muhemba and Teriq Roberts goals accounting for the Garden consolations in a 4 – 2 East success. NonLeague writer Peter Dudley was among those in attendance and here’s his report: https://pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.com/2022/04/lymore-gardens-2-woodford-east-4.html
On Saturday, the leadership of the division changed hands once again with DT FC taking advantage of results around them to go a point clear with a game in hand, coming out 4 – 1 winners away at Tower United. Alex Paraskeva scored twice with Izaih Antoine and Robbie Farrell grabbing the other goals to move back to the summit with three games to play. Just a few hundred yards away at the Marshes, another huge game saw Chadwell Heath Spartans in town to face hosts Woodford East. First-half Woodford goals from Callum Maltese and Connor Brathwaite proved pivotal in a 2 – 1 victory for them, despite an Aaron Hunwicks effort for Spartans, as East brought themselves very much into an intriguing three-way title race.
The Non-League writing duo of Scott W and Pete Dudley were both at this match, you can view their respective reports on the game here:
Elsewhere in the Senior division, Blue Marlin’s late’s charge to safety is underway as they pulled off a terrific 3 – 1 success at home to fourth placed Lymore Gardens to give them a great chance of beating the drop. Macauley Harrington, Ni Acquaye and Scott Campbell all found the back of the net to help their side pick up some vital points, moving three clear of the side beneath them.
CSM London’s penultimate game of the season saw them take on FC Baresi, the game switched to Beckton. Bradley Soares’ effort had appeared to be enough to hand CSM a vital points haul of their own but for a late FC Baresi leveller to take the gloss off the performance somewhat, earning them a point in a 1 – 1 draw. CSM now sit five points above the relegation places with one last fixture to come.
In Hainault, Chigwell Town were in action against Rapid Chingford knowing that they desperately needed points on the board to move closer to safety but ended up on the wrong end of a five goal thriller as Rapid took all three points in a 3 – 2 success. Joe Creasey and Harry Tew-Robinson struck for Town but two Darwin Romero goals and a Tita Daniel goal sent the points home with the visitors. The division’s remaining game saw two sides comfortably in mid-table meet with seventh placed Kit Out London travelling to East Ham to take on fifth placed Jolof Sports. Papa Ndiaye scored twice for Jolof, a feat matched by Marlon Ortiz of Kit Out as the teams finished level at 2 – 2 to add a further point to each other’s tallies, Jolof remaining eleven points clear of their opponents.
Following their recent confirmation of promotion, it’s now fully party time for Frenford A who wrapped up the league title outright with a 2 – 1 away success in their penultimate game of the season. London Cranes were the side on the wrong end of the result, Wisley Baltazar scoring both of the goals to put the gloss on a very fine season for the Ilford based side who will move up to Step 7 with confidence.
Ilford Reserves’ late promotion charge continued on Saturday as they were able to take maximum points against Cowley Community, though the latter do still have plenty of games in hand to change that situation. The Foxes secured a 5 – 2 win as Luke Newbury-Neale scored two and one each from Rhys Clements, Rio Clements and Joseph Sulola, Chris Wright bagging both goals in reply for Cowley. Fifth placed Wanstead ensured they stayed in touch with the promotion matters with two games left to play, picking up all three points in their game against Renegades at the weekend, the latter’s final game of the campaign. A 4 – 2 success for Wanstead thanks to strikes from Zoltan Balogh, Jake Nicolas, Suhaib Abeid and Dan Gardner as they consolidated a top half finish with their tenth win of the campaign while Renegades must now wait to see if they can avoid the drop.
Something From Nothing also sit in a top half position with a couple of games to go as they won a local derby fixture against Forest Green in a 5 – 3 scoreline. That confirmed SFN’s eighth league success of their maiden season in Saturday football and know that one more win will be enough to finish sixth. Forest Green’s season is now over as they also keep an eye on events below them. Third placed RC XI will go into their last two games knowing that promotion is still a possibility but lost the chance to take full advantage of slips around them as they were only able to take a point from their twentieth game of the season, held by seventh placed Newham Wanderers. The sides went into the game with an eleven point gap but that remained the same as the game finished 2 – 2. Stephen Duberry and Michael Temitayo both scored for RC in this one.
A much improved campaign for Kwanzas London Sport is reaching a conclusion and the seventh placed side were up against relegation threatened Barkingside A at the weekend. ‘Side goals from Ebenezer Gyamerah and Jeffrey Osei kept them in the game but Kwanzas edged it by full-time to take a 3 – 2 win meaning they can finish no lower than eighth now.
The race to avoid the drop in Division Two is really hotting up after the weekend’s results as St Francis had a day to remember, taking maximum points from a double header against third placed Emerson & Upminster Reserves. They edged the first contest 4 – 3, overcoming a Tobi Onafeko hat-trick with two from Abdullah Azizi and one each for Martin Valkov and Soumen Nandi. Game two saw Saints record an emphatic 6 – 1 success with Theo Jacobs-Aaron netting a hat-trick, Skye Salmon scoring two and Soumen Nandi rounding off a great day. They now sit just two points from safety with five games to play.
Over in Loughton, second placed Unitey were another leading side to drop points against lower opposition as they were held to a 2 – 2 draw against Ryan Under 23s who continued their late season charge with a point in their final game of the campaign. Bubintende Masadi scored both of the Unitey goals to keep his side in with a chance of a top two finish with one game to go.
Old Barkabbeyans Reserves are the first side to confirm promotion from Division Three this season as they collected the points they needed from their penultimate game, defeating Together United in a comprehensive 8 – 2 scoreline. Michael Ryder scored a hat-trick, Geovany Cruz and Jay Elliott both scored two with Mitchell Day finishing it off ahead of a possible title play-off game next weekend. The day’s other game was of equal entertainment as an in-form Buckhurst Way saw the visit of Terin to Bancrofts on Saturday. The hosts trailed 4-2 going into the latter stages of the game through Terin doubles from Alex Thomas and Jabir Malik, along with a Fahad Abdallah single. But they found a “Way” to take a point with the game finishing 5 – 5 incredibly.
In Division Four, the final game in the division this season saw Sporting Pillars go into their clash at Avondale Rangers knowing that a point or more would be enough to seal the title. Jake Clarke and Phillip Heinan netted for Rangers but those efforts were not enough to prevent Sporting winning the game 6 – 2, sealing the league title in the process. Congratulations to all involved with the team on their achievement!