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The football action got back underway on Saturday but with the weather taking it’s toll on a number of fixtures. In the Premier Division, Colebrook Royals remain as the leaders and have extended their lead at the top with a 2-0 victory on the road at Blue Marlin on Saturday. Goals from Robert Davies and Chris Stowe handed them maximum points in their continued quest for the title.
In the day’s other Premier Division action, there was an entertaining match down in West Ham where Lopes Tavares London faced Old Esthameians in a mid-table derby. After a recent slump in form prior to the Christmas break, Old E’s were determined to get back to winning ways and done so, running out eventual 4-2 victors on the day.
There were some big movers in Division One this week as sides took advantage of results around them to progress up the table. Three Colts are up to third in the standings following their home match against Cowley Community at the weekend. Colts strikes from James Kane and Matthew Daley edged a tight encounter by the odd goal in a 2-1 scoreline moving them to a point behind second position. Matthew Watts grabbed the Cowley consolation goal in reply.
Also moving up the table are Melbourne Sports who continued a rich vein of form with a sixth league win of the campaign on Saturday, beating Sporting Hackney Reserves 4-3. A rare goalscoring double from Gary Williamson paved the way to victory with a Marcus Dadson effort also on target as the Mels jump to fourth position in the table.
In the day’s remaining game in the division, two of this season’s promoted sides came head to head as Ryan Reserves travelled to Hackney face Wapping. Two goals were enough to settle this clash with Ryan grabbing both of them in a 2-0 victory. That win sees Ryan move up to seventh in the standings and very much in touch with the sides above them.
In Division Two, Lionside were the biggest winners of the day as they rattled seven goals past Newham United Reserves in their clash in Chadwell Heath. Martyn Rifat proved to be a hot-shot once again in front of goal scoring four of his side’s goals with a Michael Kane brace and a Jamie Cullen completing the scoring in a 7-4 victory.
There was also a great match in Romford where the top two sides came head to head with United London Reserves playing host to the unbeaten Rainham Working Mens Club. Rainham stormed into an early 2-0 lead through a brace from Connor Kain but a second half turnaround saw United Level through goals from Robert Grattan and Sam Paterson only for Tony Maynard to score a Rainham third to seemingly win it. But in the dying moments, United London equalised once again to complete an entertaining 3-3 draw.
Down at Wanstead Flats, the newly sponsored Custom House who have partnered with with Lamo the Lion Photography saw off a spirited performance from St Francis as Glenn Levy’s hat-trick helped the Dockers secure a seventh league win of the season. Charlie Clarke also got on the scoresheet as Custom House completed a 4-2 win that moves them up two places into sixth position in the table.
In Division Three, FC Baresi have narrowed the gap at the top of the table on leaders Chigwell to five points following an opening victory in 2018 which saw them beat Kitroom in Hainault, 2-0. A goal apiece from Andre Whyte and Delano Lloyd proved enough to secure the points. With four games in hand on the leaders, you wouldn’t back against Baresi’s title aspirations this season.
In the day’s other Division Three football action, there was a terrific win for the vastly improved Frenford A outfit who made it three wins from their last four league matches as they defeated Redbridge Development 2-0 in Ilford. Joel Opara scored both of the game’s goals to put his side in touch with the sides above them.
In Division Four, Dagenham United Reserves made an emphatic start to 2018 with a ten goal haul at home to Wanstead Warriors at Manor Road. Jeffrey Nketia made a statement for an assault on the golden boot award with a five-goal performance with Lee Green, Nana Agyekum, Luke Sargent, Chris Mascall and Dave Jackson goals completing a 10-1 win to move their side third in the table.
The day’s other game was an equally important result affecting the top end of the table as Avondale Rangers made the trip to Hainault to face Royal Forest. Paul Regan scored twice for his Rangers side with further goals arriving courtesy of efforts from Luke Hibberd, Graham Lerner and Adam Friend to confirm a massively important 5-1 win. With that result, Haver Town can now all but wrap up the league title with two more victories given their goal difference advantage.
DIVISION FOUR CUP – GROUP
The Road to Dagenham very much got underway on Saturday for Division Four’s clubs as the opening match of the Division Four Cup saw Newham Royals travel to local rivals, Brentwood United Reserves, in the competition’s opening match. Brentwood cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory to send them top of the group B standings.
It was a day of mixed fortunes in the Essex county cup competitions as three of our sides took to the field in the hunt for quarter final places with five more sides in county action over the next week. Lymore Gardens were victorious this weekend in the Essex Junior Trophy as they played host to Pitsea Athletic who travelled up to Leyton from south of the county. The game ended locked at 3-3 at the end of ninety minutes before two Lymore goals in extra time completed a 5-3 victory and a place in Wednesday’s quarter-final draw.
Without quite the same fortune were Chingford Athletic Reserves who hosted Essex Olympian outfit, A1 Sports Under 21s, in Waltham Abbey with both sides eager to secure progress into the quarter finals. And it was the Olympian side who took the honours on the day with a 4-2 win against Chingford.
In the day’s final action, Ferns Seniors saw their participation in the competition ended on Saturday as they were beaten by their old rivals, Mid Essex League based Brentwood United, a side still unbeaten this season. They eventually went down 4-1 to end a good run in the competition.