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Saturday saw the opening action of the new 2018/19 season as a host of teams got campaigns underway with renewed optimism.
In the Senior Division, ACD United will be pleased with their first game at this level as the promoted outfit saw off the efforts of new boys, London Park City, in a 4-0 opening day win to top the table. Tommy Pidgeon scored twice with Mike Dunn and Michael Wade efforts completing the win.
The cup holders, West Essex Reserves, also made an emphatic start to their season as they made the journey to West Ham to take on Lopes Tavares London Reserves. They followed up a strong finish to the last campaign with a 4-1 victory here to earn maximum points and move second in the early standings.
Completing the day’s action in the top flight, the two of the promoted sides from last season’s Division One met in Newbury Park with Singh Sabha Barking hosting one of the title favourites this season in the shape of Docklands Albion. But a 2-0 win for the hosts, Singh Sabha, showed why they should also be considered as a side to watch this year.
The Division One action saw many of the last season’s promoted sides in action with FC Baresi excelling after their rise to this level, earning an opening day 7-1 victory over debutants, Rapid Chingford, in a local derby. Braces from Alfie Hatch and Mark Matthews set them on their way with Errol Ozkumru, Marvin Smith and Delano Lloyd completing the goal scoring. Danut Mihalache scored the first ever competitive goal for Rapid.
Another side picking up a solid win following promotion were Chigwell who took on last season’s Division Two champions, Chingford Athletic Reserves, up in Waltham Abbey. Ralph McBaiden got on the Chingford scoresheet but Chigwell goals from Ross Chimes, Jonathan Lye and Lindsey Marsh completed a 3-1 win on the day.
Another of the Chingford based teams and new side to the league this season, Chingford United, got their debut campaign off to a solid start with a hard fought win by the odd goal over Melbourne Sports. Ryan Lincoln scored twice for the Mels but a Dragos Aenasoaie double and goal for Bogdan Aenasoaie carried United to a 3-2 win and three points.
It was another good day for a promoted side in the division’s final match as Lymore Gardens ran out 4-2 winners in the fixture against Sporting Hackney Under 23s at Hackney Marsh. That victory sees them move second in the table after the first round of matches in Week 1.
Two more of the league’s debutants this season came face-to-face in Division Two as Eastside met Puma Kings in Hackney on Saturday with both sides eager to make a positive start to the season. Eastside will have gone home the happier of the teams with Abraham Monae scoring a hat-trick and strikes from Idris Shittu and Joe Falzon earning their side a 5-0 win.
There were also plenty of the goals in the clash between Inter Plaistow and Flyers, two of the sides who finished in mid-table last season. Matyas Svaton scored for Inter but a Patrick Okoji brace and goals from Desmond Anyanwu and Reggie O’Donoghue paved the way to a 4-1 Flyers victory.
The division’s remaining action saw two of the promoted sides meet in Newbury Park as Old Esthameians took on the rebranded CSM London. The visitors will have ended the match in a positive mindset as they took all three points through goals from Rodrique Beya, Omar Wilson and Keifer Cole as CSM won 3-1.
The early leaders in Division Three are promoted Brooks City who opened their new season with a stunning 5-1 victory at home to Glendale. City goals from Owen Rice, Matthew Pemberton, Zak Robinson, Danny Rising and William Mills-Wade overcame an Ashley Lockhart effort for the Dales to cruise to the win.
There were goals galore between two of the other promoted sides as last season’s runaway Division Four champions, Haver Town Reserves, were held to an entertaining 4-4 draw at home to Royal Forest. Ashley Warren, Bobby White, Courtney Waller and Ben Wilkinson each got on the scoresheet to pick up a point for Haver.
In the other match, Frenford A came from behind to beat Custom House United in their clash at the Jack Carter Centre. They overcame Dockers’ goals from Sinclair Manyo-Plange and Glenn Levy with a Jordan Riches brace and singles from Paul Iseghohi and Louis Reece to earn a 4-2 win on the opening day.
The Division Four action saw a glut of goals with twenty in just three matches. There were nine of those goals in the Loughton derby where Debden Park secured maximum points, winning by the odd goal against new side Loughton Lions. Jamie Wood and Will Osmond both scored twice for the Lions but were undone by the four-goal haul of Park’s Ross Densham who carried his side to a 5-4 win.
There were seven goals in another thriller as Dagenham United Reserves opened their season with a 4-3 win at home to Soul Youth. Jeffrey Nketia scored twice to open his account for another season, adding to goals from Craig Rivers and Rashid Matabaro. Soul goals from Najul Kamal, Eroll Saljija and Ashaan Siddik proved not quite on the day but will be encouraged by their opening day performance.
The early Division Four leaders are Brentwood United Reserves who got their campaign off to the perfect start with a hard fought win away at Chigwell Mens Club. Ben Roseberry got Chigwell’s maiden competitive goal but Brentwood scored three of their own to win 3-1 and move top after the first round of matches.