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It was a busy second weekend in the Essex Alliance League as eleven league fixtures took place as well as a charity cup quarter final tie.
In the Premier Division, champions Chingford Athletic opened their defence of the title with a rarely seen 0-0 draw against local rivals Chingford Town. Last season’s Division One champions, Blue Marlin, made their Premier Division debut and opened the campaign with a good draw away at May & Baker EC A with the game finishing 2-2. Simon Ryan and James Toppin were on target for Marlin with Alec Simm and Kane Messenger responding for Baker. The only side who secured maximum points in the division this week were Jolof Sports who hosted Melbourne Sports and came away 2-1 winners despite a Greg Justham strike for Mels. This win moves Jolof to the top of the table with two wins from their opening two fixtures so far.
There were plenty of goals in Division One where new sides, Flyers and Kitgum Boys, met for their maiden league fixtures with the former running out 3-2 winners courtesy of a Lee Hattam brace and a strike from Ben Walker. The biggest winners of the afternoon in this division were St Johns Deaf who beat Forest Green 4-1 with goals from Kevin Oladimeji, Matthew Byfield, Marios Costi and Huseyin Er. Also recording a win in their first competitive outing of the season were Grove United, last season’s promoted Division 2 champions, who secured a 3-1 win over Cowley Community with Neil Matthews scoring a brace and Harry Chalk picking up where he left off last year with his first of this campaign. The early leaders in Division One are Three Colts who made it two wins from two games with a 2-1 home win against West Essex Reserves courtesy of goals from Tom Jakob and Jason Fox while Otis Gatehouse netted West Essex's consolation.
Singh Sabha Barking recorded an emphatic 7-0 win over Chingford Athletic Reserves to move up to second place in Division Two on four points. Leyton Green bounced back from an opening date defeat to win 2-0 away at Custom House. London APSA are the early leaders in Division Two having followed up their first week victory with a second win, this time at home to new boys Inter Plaistow. APSA recorded a 3-1 win Samuel Garrett netting the consolation goal for Inter. A Shaun Harding goal was enough to earn Newham Royals their first point of the season against St Francis Reserves in the final game in the division.
The East Ham Memorial Hospital Charity Cup quarter final clash between Northend and Glendale was settled two minutes from time from the penalty spot with the tie ending 1-0 to Northend confirming a semi final place.
Next weekend, four of our sides are in county cup action with Forest Green travelling to Tooting Bec Reserves and May & Baker EC A hosting West Bromley Albion in London Junior Cup action. In the AFA Intermediate Cup, Leyton Green travel to Old Pegasonians while Jolof Sports Club host Old Madalenians.