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Football returned in the Essex Alliance League on Saturday after the long break and the Senior Division title race was slashed to just a point as DTFC collected all three points in their 6-2 win against Blue Marlin. A hat-trick from Kieran Hipgrave led the way with Chris Smith also scoring twice and Jermaine Francis once with George Bunce and Charlie Georghiou grabbing the Marlin goals in reply.
West Essex Reserves continue to impress this term and maintained their push for a title tilt, picking up a sixth league win of the season in eight with a big 5-1 win away at FC Petrocub. Connor Brathwaite netted two for West with the other goals coming from the boots of James Brice, Thomas Davie and Mason Iley to wrap up the win for their side.
The return to action for fourth placed Lymore Gardens saw another win added to their account as they secured maximum points from their away trip to Mabley Green to take on Tower United. Abdisamad Mohamed scored for United but Gardens goals in reply from Carl Prince, Ryo Brown and Michael Romeo gave them a 3-1 victory to take home.
There are still three unbeaten sides in the division with Jolof Sports amongst that group of clubs but they had it all to do on Saturday with a trip to Hainault to take on Chigwell Town. Des Heaney scored for the hosts but his efforts proved not quite enough as Jolof scored three goals of their own in wrapping up a 3-1 win, keeping them in fifth place in the table.
In business at the lower end of the table, it was an important afternoon for Rapid Chingford in their quest to avoid the drop as they took all three points against fellow strugglers CSM London in a 2-1 win at Salisbury Hall. Bogdan Ivancia and Catalin Anghel scored the goals for Rapid which gave them a second league win and moved them up to tenth in the process.
And completing the action in the top flight, there was another six-pointer as All Prospects were visited by London Cranes with both sides in need of a turn-up in form as they enter the festive period of the season. In a game of plentiful goals, All Prospects edged it 4-3 in the end as they picked up their very first win at this level, moving level with Cranes at the foot of the table.
The lead at the top of Division One was cut at the weekend as Woodford East took advantage of results around them to move within four points of the leaders after an 8-2 win away at North East Lions. Tashan Benjamin scored twice for Lions but a Callum Maltese hat-trick plus efforts from Billy Barr, Frank Glock, Frankie Lane, William Letchford and Ben Smith saw the points head East.
That outcome was made all the more important after struggling Frenford pulled off another huge result sending the leaders, Leyton Royal, to their first defeat of the campaign. After Frenford pulled off a similarly impressive result pre-lockdown against Spartans, they were 2-0 winners this time at home to Royal to move out of the relegation zone.
Two further sides who will have looked on in some interest at that result were Chadwell Heath Spartans and Eastside who met for their clash at Mayfield School, both have made decent starts. In a tight game, it was eventually edged by the Spartans 3-2 with Niru Hunwicks, Rashid Matabaro and Ricky Reid efforts accounting for the all important goals.
In the day’s mid-table action from Hackney, London Park City were the visitors to face Wapping with the sides beginning level on points before kick-off. By the end however, Wapping had moved three points clear as Yusuf Khan scored twice to help his side edge a five-goal thriller by the odd goal, 3-2.
In Division Two, Belfry’s pre-lockdown dominance of the third tier resumed after the Dagenham-based side picked up all three points in their win against Rainham Working Mens Club. Jamie Redington scored twice with Gabriel Ogunwomoju and Luke Macdonald goals accounting for the other strikes in a 4-0 victory.
Second placed Cowley Community will certainly not give up the fight you would think but did drop a couple of points in their own push for the title and promotion as they were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday against Royal Forest. Chris Wright was once again on the scoresheet with his obligatory goal but Forest held on to take a point, moving them up a place to ninth.
The biggest winners of the day were Newham Wanderers who clearly had their Weetabix at the weekend, putting eight goals past Unitey at Wanstead Flats in an 8-1 scoreline. Bradley Harris scored five of his side’s goals, Robertson Morais hit a brace and Hamido Jalo the other to render Romario Christian’s goal for the visitors as just consolation.
Forest Green got back to winning ways in the east London derby as St Francis were the visitors to Leyton Sixth Form, both sides looking resume their seasons in a positive fashion. In a close game, Green will have been the happier of the sides as they won 2-1 to pick up a fourth league win and safely in the top half of the table entering December.
The goals flooded in through Division Three’s fixtures as Fairlop Rovers cut the lead at the top to just two points following the resumption, the in-form outfit grabbing a 7-2 home win against Epping United on Saturday. A brace apiece from George Birch and Ellis Simmonds set the tone with Aodan Downer and Brandon Dillon efforts completing the win.
Sitting just behind the top two sides are Loughton Lions who picked up a fifth league win in six at Hainault Rec in their derby clash against Melbourne Sports. Lions were 2-0 winners on the day to apply some real pressure on the sides above, lying just one point off the promotion places with two games in hand on those sides.
Old Barkabbeyans Reserves got their season back underway in impressive fashion with a big 8-2 win away at Lymore Gardens Reserves in Chingford, a result which moved them fourth. Berkay Colak and Akil Roberts scored for Lymore but their efforts were not quite enough as Michael Ryder’s hat-trick, Mehdi Ahorbi’s brace and singles from Jerome Morris, Robert Bedwell and Faraz Khan picked up the points for Old Barks.
It was a great day to an ASA follower as they picked up their first league win of their short existence so far and what a way to do it as they won 7-2 away at Flyers Under 23s. Millensebas Montford scored a hat-trick while Irfan Bahadur, Raj Vijay, Arun Jeyashankar and Sarankan Skandamoorthy scored the others to end a memorable day for their club.
Goals continued to rain down in Hainault where Glendale led 2-0 early on through strikes from Mouhamed Gueye and Wesley Kangi. But opponents, Bailey Football Academy, responded in stunning fashion with a surge of goals, eventually winning it 8-3. Ayo Dosunmu scored four, Luke Deslandes and Darnell Luke with two each to see their side over the line to a second league win.
Royal Forest Reserves have extended their lead at the top of Division Four and remain unbeaten as they picked up maximum points from their win at home against Together United. Will Asenso scored four of the goals with Josh Trainor and Thomas Colliss completing the tally in a 6-2 win.
Staying in second are the free-scoring Emerson United Reserves who picked up a fourth league win of the season in Upminster as they beat Dagenham United Reserves 5-1. Joe Reece scored twice with Alex Pizzey, Ross Braybrooke and Samuel Higgins efforts helping United to another win in their quest for promotion.
It’s been an interesting season for Collier Row A so far and, following a poor start, now find themselves up in third with four wins under their belts. They were up against Brentwood United Reserves at Westlands where strikes from Peter Adeleye, Rivaldo Vinda, Joe Willson and Razvan Schiopu proved enough for Row to win 4-2 and move up to third.
Undefeated Custom House United missed the chance to stay in the top three themselves as they had to come from behind to lead but then saw that slip against Avondale Rangers, the game ending 3-3 in the end. The Woosters were in the thick of the action with Robert scoring twice and Jamie with the other.
The division’s best defensive record is held by Chingford Harriers and that was put to the test by Newham Royals on Saturday as the former started three points behind Royals. But by full-time, they were level on eleven points apiece as two goals from Billy Beech plus one apiece from Stephen Duberry and Abdul Cardoso helped Harriers win it 4-1.