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Football in the Essex Alliance League returned on Saturday for the new year with the Fenton competitions taking centre stage. Premier Division side Chingford Athletic, a club with a lot of history in this competition, produced a cup shock defeating top flight side Chadwell Heath Spartans at Town Mead. Dylan Scutt scored two, Billy Woods and Harry Rouse netting the others to win the tie 4-2 and reach the quarter finals. Elie Fanga and Peter Adeleye scored the Spartan goals in reply.
The other Cup tie played in the competition saw Fairlop Rovers in action at home against fellow Premier Division side, Waltham Abbey A, both sides having enjoyed a decent first half of the campaign. But it was Rovers’ day on this occasion as George Birch, Ellis Morgan and Jean-Pierre Alexander scored the goals to win the game 3-0.
There were a number of shocks in the Trophy competition as Division Four’s Romford Under 19s added to their great first half of the season in the league by taking down their Flyers Under 21s counterparts from Division Three at Westlands. Romford were 4-2 victors on the day, Sergio Rusu and Stephen Toussaint scored a brace each to put their side through to the next round.
There was another huge result for lower league opposition in Goodmayes where Division Two’s FC Baresi Under 23s were the visitors to Redbridge Community, a side doing well in Division One this term. But it was a good trip for the away side, Baresi, who won through to the next round in solid fashion, goals from Zach Aliane and Joshua Adu handing them a 2-1 success.
In the day’s all Division One clash from Chingford, hosts Atholl produced an excellent performance to overcome an eight point deficit on Unitey and send them out of the competition in a 4-0 scoreline. Charlie Thompson scored twice with Mitchell Edmonds and Nicolas Kypri also on the scoresheet to put their side through into the quarter finals.
Division Three’s league leaders, Newbury East, are through into round two of the Trophy as they returned home victorious from their trip to Hainault, defeating Melbourne Sports 3-1 at Fairlop Oak. Junior Milla scored twice for the in-form side with Chaka Barnett also adding his name to the scoresheet to begin the new year in positive fashion.
The competition’s final game of the day was a five goal thriller between two rival sides as Snaresbrook faced a Royal Forest side eager to make amends for past results between the sides in the cup. And there was little between the sides but for a couple of Alex Gordon goals and a Harry Prince effort for ‘Brook who edged the tie 3-2.
There was a big shift in the table in the Senior Division over the weekend as Jolof Sports moved top of the standings, aided by results around them, coming out winners from their trip to Noak Hill where they were facing eleventh placed Kit Out London. A couple of unanswered goals were enough on the day, Jolof winners in a 2-0 scoreline to move top by a point.
Just a point behind the leaders are Brimsdown who were in sparkling form on their return to action in 2023 as they made their way to Thurrock to take on Rapid Chingford at Lakeside on Saturday. The visitors were 9-0 comprehensive winners in the game with a four goal performance from Jake Casey off the bench, a hat-trick from Jason Rice and one each for Giovanni Boffa and Eric Gbio.
FC Baresi have dropped down to third in the table as Walthamstow Reserves produced a terrific derby win by the odd goal, moving up to tenth in the standings on the back of a 3-2 success up at Wodson Park. Noyan Tajbakhsh and Yannick Kamanan both struck for Baresi but those efforts were not quite enough in the end as Stow took home some important points.
With two games in hand on some of the sides above and just a two point deficit to make up, the Parrots of Sporting Hackney could be chirping very soon and they kept themselves well in the mix over the weekend with a 2-0 home victory against Frenford Development. Percy Winter and Henry Gallagher were the players to make the difference, each scoring a goal to confirm the points.
It was a great start to the new year for Lymore Gardens who after a difficult second quarter of the campaign produced a stunning victory on Saturday, taking home all three points from a game against fellow promotion contenders, Woodford East. Garden were 2-0 winners at Mabley Green to keep themselves in touch with matters just above them in the table.
Seventh placed FC Petrocub also had a great start to football in 2023 as they were in seventh heaven with a 7-0 away win against bottom of the table Blue Marlin at Fairlop Oak. The visitors were in great form, producing their seventh win of the campaign so far and keeping them well placed to affect matters above them in the table as things progress.
Another side who are very well positioned to do just that are May & Baker EC Reserves who have a number of games in hand on sides above them and could move into the top five were they to win them all, aided by a narrow victory on Saturday, defeating Oakside 3-2 in Dagenham. Aaron Blake, Tolu Dina and Brandon Johnson scored the Baker goals to take the points.
The division’s final action came from Barking & Dagenham College where Dagenham United were in home action with a game against an improving Crookz United side who showed some better form in the latter part of last year. The three point gap between the sides pre-match remained by full-time, the teams finishing level at 1-1, Diego Panessar netting the Dagenham goal.
PREMIER DIVISION EAST
There was a big result in the East division on Saturday as Wapping produced what must be their best performance of the season as the previously ninth placed side defeated second placed RCXI in Newbury Park to record just a second league win of the season. Ali Aziz was the hero with a hat-trick, Dillon Southgate scoring twice also to hand their visitors a 5-1 win.
PREMIER DIVISION WEST
Priory Park Rangers have moved into a four point lead at the top of the West division as they overcame a tough test in their trip to East Ham where they came away 3-1 winners against third placed London Cranes. Rangers overcame a man deficit to take the points and set up an important few weeks ahead for the league new boys.
Second placed AEK London are one of at least two other sides who will seeking to chase down the Rangers at the season unfolds but they missed the chance to cut the gap as they were held to a 1-1 away draw in their visit to Soul on Saturday over in Dagenham. That point saw AEK move to twenty five points while an improved Soul remain in sixth and seeking to make up ground on the side above.
Leyton City were the biggest winners in the division as they put a second league success on the board for this season with a thumping 7-2 away win at Wanstead. Jahvarn Steward scored a hat-trick, accompanying Idriss Bamba, Liam Kennedy and Joseph Andrews onto the scoresheet as they moved to within two points of the side above.
Perhaps saving the best for last in what must have been one of the most entertaining games of the season, hosts G7 and Athletic Newham Under 23s combined for a twelve goal stunner over the weekend with the game eventually ending 6-6 in east London. For Newham, the game saw them double their scoring tally for the whole season in ninety minutes as they seek to improve this year.
Over in Hainault, the division’s sole fixture saw hosts Chadwell Heath Spartans Reserves start the game trailing Rainham Phoenix by three points in a congested middle area of the table. By full-time, nothing had changed in that regard as the sides finished level at 1-1 on the day with a Sean Tormey penalty for Rainham and Ibrahim Basri’s goal levelling for Spartans.
Jolof Sports Reserves resumed action in the new year in great form as they cut the gap on the promotion places to just two points after a solid home win against Romford Under 21s at Flanders Playing Fields. Jolof scored early but it took some time to further break down an improving Romford side before eventually coming through with late goals in a 4-0 success.
The division’s other game came from Castle Green in Dagenham where Chingford Harriers were the visitors to Dagenham United Reserves seeking to make progress towards a promotion place themselves. But Dagenham were in solid form themselves and, despite a twelve point deficit, managed to take a point as the game ended in a 0-0 scoreless draw.
There were plenty of goals in Division Four, starting over at Forest Row where Collier Row Wheels continued their push for promotion with a 7-0 home victory against sixth placed Avondale Rangers. Jack Stockdale was in terrific form with five of his sides’ goals, a game which also saw Harry Gilham and Cody Harris get on the Wheels scoresheet too.
There were just the ten goals in another of the division’s contests where Old Esthameians Reserves were the visitors to face Emerson & Upminster Reserves at Hall Lane, starting the game just three points apart. But Old E’s were in fine goal scoring form on Saturday and rattled nine past the hosts to run out 9-1 winners, their fourth league success of the season.
Fairlop Rovers Reserves remain second in the standings and with promotion in their own hands as they returned home from their trip to Walthamstow to play West Essex Under 23s with all three points, coming away 2-0 winners. Dylan Bruns and Chuinedu Oduah both got on the scoresheet with those crucial Rover goals.
After a number of postponements, CSM London finally got to make their trip up the A12 on Saturday as they headed to Thorpe Athletic in the fourth round of the Essex Junior Cup. And it proved to be a fruitful trip as CSM returned home with a place in the quarter finals under their belts, edging the game by the odd goal in five in a 3-2 success.