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After the enforced extended lay off this summer, we are pleased to report that football in the Essex Alliance League made it’s long awaited return for many of our clubs over the weekend.
There were some emphatic performances in the Senior Division with three sides setting out their stall early with huge wins. West Essex Reserves were big victors in the day’s early kick off in Loughton as they saw off the threat of promoted All Prospects with an 11-1 victory, a result which they might have hoped would see them top.
But new club, DTFC, had other ideas and set about trumping that with their own big victory, winning 11-0 at Harlow Arena against one of last season’s strugglers, Rapid Chingford. Jermaine Francis was on fire with a four goal haul, going one better than Jake Kissiedu who scored a hat-trick. Christopher Smith, Kazim Bishop, Ashley Wackers and Billy Golledge grabbed the other goals.
Another of last season’s title chasers were FC Petrocub and they will hope to be in the mix once again and started the new campaign with a big 7-2 home win over against London Cranes in Noak Hill. Valentin Siciov scored twice with the rest of the goals accurued through strikes from Vitalii Chiriac, Nicolai Gutu, Ghenadie Moisei, Dorin Pascaru and Maxim Volosin.
A new name to the league are Chigwell Town, albeit with a familiar feel to the squad and management from last year’s Chigwell side in the top flight. They will look to progress on again after a good run last season and started that process with an opening day 4-0 win away at Blue Marlin as the sides met in Newbury Park.
It was also a big day for one of last season’s impressive sides in Division One as Tower United made the step up into the Senior Division for the first time and will have been pleased to complete a 3-0 away win in week one with a win against newly relocated CSM London who now play their games at the West Ham Community Ground in Beckton. Sayid Abdi, Kayis Mohamed and Abdullah Jama were the men on target for United.
Completing the opening day action from the top flight was a battle two of the division’s well established sides as FC Baresi took on Lymore Gardens in the Waltham Forest derby match, played in Hackney! Marcel Destouche and Ashley Godwin were both on target for Garden but Stanley Green and Denzel Conteh goals for Baresi saw the sides share the spoils in a 2-2 draw.
The early leaders in Division One are the returning Wapping who go straight to the top of the table off the back of a big 7-1 home win on Saturday, seeing off another of the league’s new boys in the shape of Francis Luke who will be looking to improve on their showing in the next fixture.
Not far behind Wapping on goal difference are the promoted Woodford East who, having made the step up of three divisions over the summer, clearly showed they are adept at this level with a 5-0 opening day win at home against new boys North East Lions. James Collier scored a brace with Billy Barr, Sean Bellamy and Ben Smith efforts completing the win.
There were plenty of goals in Division Two where league new boys, Belfry, impressed going forward in netting eleven goals in an 11-4 win over Royal Forest in Loughton. Harry Killick, Thomas Osmond and Samuel Gregory were all on target for Forest but Sam Patterson netted a hat-trick in reply for Belfry, Jamie Redington and Daniel Osbourne both scored twice, and Ryan Bourne, Patrick Macdonald, Luke Macdonald and Mujib Ayoola finished it off.
Last year’s county cup finalists, Cowley Community, got over the disappointment of not having the opportunity to finish that job to win on return to league business against Dagenham United. Brandon Johnson scored the United goal but Cowley goals from Chris Wright and Andrew Mooney in reply were enough to settle this close battle 2-1 in their favour.
An opening day victory also went the way of Chingford Athletic A as they played host to Unitey over in Waltham Abbey. Glody Blessing was the man to find the back of the net for the visitors but his efforts were in vain as three Chingford goals saw them to a 3-2 win in their opening runout.
There was a five goal thriller over in Rainham where Rainham Working Mens Club were up against another of the division’s well established outfits as Old Esthameians made the trip down. New signing Kadeem Francis scored twice for Rainham but Old E’s will be the happier of the sides as they edged the game 3-2 to take maximum points.
The early leaders in Division Three are FHN Athletic as they made their competitive debut on Saturday with a game against Glendale in Loughton. The Dales led 1-0 at the break through a Valter Correia finish but FHN grew in confidence in the second period and ran out 4-1 winners in front of a big crowd.
Just behind the leaders are the returning Old Barkabbeyans Reserves who took on another of the league’s new recruits with a home fixture against Bailey Football Academy in Barking. Michael Ryder scored both of Old Barks goals as they won 2-0 to get their season underway in a positive fashion.
There were lots of goals across the two Division Four fixtures with Emerson United Reserves opening up with a thumping 8-0 win against another of the league’s debutants, Collier Row A. Joe Reece scored a hat-trick for United, Archie Pitfield a brace and singles from Sonny Scott and Marcus Williams rounded things off.
The final game of the day was an entertaining one as Dagenham United’s reserve side took on Chingford Harriers at Castle Green in their opening game. Michael Whitelock and Agbor Sobeh both netted for United but Jake Kemp scored twice for the Harriers as both sides settled for an opening day point in a 2-2 draw.