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The weekend’s results in the Senior Division have really made things cosy at the head of standings with three teams now level on points, just goal difference keeping them apart. FC Petrocub are the new leaders as a brace from Vasilica-Cristinel Ilie saw them over the line against Rapid Chingford in a 2-0 scoreline, moving to the summit by the virtue of two goal difference.
Chingford Athletic Reserves turned the form book on it’s head over the weekend as the tenth placed side took all three points in their home clash against the previous leaders, London Cranes. Warren Isoka and Sam Prince scored the crucial goals to overcome a Moses Makanga effort for Cranes in a 2-1 win for Athletic.
As comebacks go, you’d go a long way to beating Blue Marlin’s efforts in their away clash at FC Baresi, the latter having led 4-1 in the second half through two Tyler Kirby efforts and one apiece from Esat Saiti and Mamoon Khan. But Zac Leitch was on fire late on for Marlin with a hat-trick with Louis Nlebdum and James Rufus efforts rounding off a stupendous 5-4 win.
East Ham Inter are up to seventh in the league standings after they returned home from their trip to CSM London with all three points, earning a hard-fought 2-1 victory. Micail Koulibaly found the back of the net for CSM but his effort proved in vain as Inter netted twice themselves to pick up a third league victory of the campaign.
The division’s remaining game saw third placed Chigwell in action at home against Lymore Gardens who were sitting six points behind in seventh place prior to kick-off. In a close game, the two sides had to settle for a share of the spoils with the match ending 1-1, a result which saw both teams lose ground on the sides around them.
The closeness of the Senior Division race is only mirrored in the second tier where four teams at the top are presently kept apart by just a single point in a very open battle. Previous leaders, Tower United, slipped a place to second as they were beaten 3-1 at home by an in-form Chingford United outfit. Tamer-Andrei Bozgan, Cosmin Coanda and Roberto Lautaru were all on the scoresheet to overcome a Asad Yousef effort for Tower.
Tower Hamlets Reserves remain solidly positioned in mid-table after they picked their fourth league win of an indifferent campaign so far with a 4-2 victory away at local rivals, Sporting Hackney Development. Piango Kossa and Richard Balogun scored for Sporting but Tower responded with four goals to take the points back to Mabley Green.
The gap at the top of Division Two between the leading sides is now a massive two points, a considerable advantage when compared to the top two tiers above! Leaders Royal Forest had led 3-1 at the break against Rainham Working Mens Club but let that lead slip with Sean Tormey scoring a hat-trick for the Workies to go with Nick Tormey and Gabriel Ipanga efforts in an eventual 5-3 scoreline.
Chadwell Heath Spartans were comfortable victors on Saturday as they travelled to Hainault to face Glendale in a top of table battle. A tightly fought first hour was undone in favour of a hungry Spartan side with Jeffrey Nketia netting a brace, Ryan Sroka, Mark Stanbridge and Ricky Reid efforts rounding off an eventual 5-0 scoreline.
Remaining up with the pace, Newham Wanderers are now shaping up as the most significant threat to the leaders, backed by their 6-2 win away at Custom House United over the weekend. Bradley Routledge and Glenn Levy scored for the Dockers but Bradley Harris and Robertson Morais both scored twice in reply, Marcelino Rodrigues and Otto Bolton scoring the others for the Wanderers.
The remaining fixture in the division saw a mid-table battle as Avondale Rangers were hosts to an FC Galaxy side, the latter buoyed on by their recent big win. They made it two in row, coming out of an eight-goal thriller with all three points as Mihai Mareniuc scored a hat-trick, adding to efforts from Alexandru Demidov and Pogar Daniel in a 5-3 result.
Dagenham United Reserves have moved themselves back into the promotion places in Division Four but they had to overcome a struggling Flyers B side in order to take the points, eventually prevailing 3-2. Craig Rivers, Tom Whelan and Lee Green got the goals to secure an important win in their challenge for honours.
The promotion chase is hotting up and Fairlop Rovers remain well in the frame themselves, particularly on the back of an excellent 4-0 win on Saurday, taking the win against Chingford Harriers in Walthamstow. Logan Simmonds scored twice with Ellis Simmonds and Dylan Scutt goals completing a comfortable win.
Chasing on the coattails of the top four, Loughton Lions are prowling with intent in fifth place and completing a big win of their own on Saturday with a 7-1 thrashing of Brentwood United Reserves in their clash. The Lion have only lost the one game this term but converting draws to victories has been their achilleas heel but they remain well placed to challenge.
ESSEX SATURDAY JUNIOR TROPHY
Cowley Community’s excellent run in the Essex Junior Trophy continues after they put league form behind them to return home from their trip to south Essex with a comfortable victory. They were up against Wakebury Reserves from the Southend Borough & District Football Combination and put in a strong performance to head into the quarter finals of the competition in January where they face Writtle Reserves.
Photo credit: Chingford United