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The last weekend of EAL football for 2017 saw a reduced fixture list with many a side taking the opportunity for a well-deserved extended break or a trip to a local shopping centre instead. Despite the shortage of matches, there was certainly no shortage of drama amongst the weekend’s fixture list.
In the Fenton Cup, the last of the second round ties was played on Saturday with Division Two’s title chasing Chingford Athletic Reserves outfit playing host to Division Four’s Dagenham United Reserves in Waltham Abbey. The two division difference proved too much on the day for the Daggers as Chingford ran out emphatic 11-1 winners. James Powell found the back of the net for United however both James Lee-Legan and Alexander Abela netted hat-tricks, braces were scored by Archie Stojic and Billy Harding, with Michael Hay’s strike completing the home side’s scoring. They now face Premier Division Jolof Sports in the third round of the competition in the new year.
In the Premier Division, there was plenty of festive drama in both of the matches. Down in East Ham, West Essex Reserves came from behind to secure a late victory against London APSA. Adam Norris was the hero for his side with both of the goals as they confirmed a 2-1 win, moving up to fourth in the table in the process.
And in the West Ham Memorial Park derby match, Lopes Tavares London took on co-tenants London Cranes with both defences proving quite generous in gifting each other three goals in a six-goal thriller. The sides had to settle for a point each as the match ended 3-3, seeing both sides remain in seventh and sixth places respectively going into the new year.
In Division One, there were some shock results at the top end of the table as both the previously second and third placed sides slipped to defeat, handing a massive advantage to the league leaders. Second placed Wapping took on Melbourne Sports in a match switched to the Mels’ Hainault home ground with home advantage proving advantageous as they completed a 3-1 victory.
Down in Seven Kings, Sporting Hackney Reserves were the visitors at East Ham Inter with both sides keen to end their year on a high note having had decent first halves of the campaign. A Sofyan Khalfi strike gave Inter a slender first half lead in a competitive match before they blew away their opposition in the second period as Khalfi doubled his tally, adding to strikes from Amalraj Kakumanu and Gurdeep Mudha to complete a 4-0 win The victory moved Inter above the opponents and into second place in the process.
The division’s remaining match saw bottom of the table Forest Green play host to Ryan Reserves in Leyton with the hosts keen to not be bottom going into 2018. The resultant performance will be one they look to replicate in the new year as they defeated Ryan 3-1, moving them off the bottom of the table in the process.
There were plenty of important matches on the last weekend of the year in Division Two with four of the top five sides all in action with crucial points at stake. Top of the table United London Reserves were beaten 2-1 at home against Flyers in a closely fought encounter. Jack Swaby scored twice for the visitors to cancel out an Ali Abdalla goal for the visitors.
That result paved the way for Rainham Working Mens Club to close the gap at the top and they did just that, seeing off the efforts of Newham United Reserves in Rainham, winning 3-0. Matt Humphreys, Billy Maynard and Alex Gayle got the goals that mattered to end their year on a positive note with a crunch clash against United London to come early in January.
Lymore Gardens have jumped up to fifth place in the table and still very much with promotion ambitions intact as they won their rescheduled match down at Custom House. A goal apiece from Alex Osbourne, Dushane Powell, Andre Graham, Eugene Goumou did the damage as the cup holders cruised to a 4-0 win.
There was just the one match in Division Three over the weekend with a Redbridge derby match seeing Frenford A travel to Hainault to take on Kitroom at the Rec. Paul Iseghohi scored the visitor’s goal but two from Tyrell Imbert and another Justin Cummins effort completed a 3-1 victory for the home side.
The final match of the day saw a goal glut in Division Four, a day that Wanstead Warriors will not want to remember for too long. Haver Town Reserves were the beneficiaries of a 22-0 result with Michael Brown scoring an incredible eight goals and Zak Robinson netting five of his own. Jack Phillips scooped himself a hat-trick with two goals arriving through Ditmir Doci. Single goals from Ricky Rodgers, Marcus Hippolyte-Newman, Ronnie Coules and Nathan Registe completed the resounding win to put them just three wins away from the league title.