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The third round action in the Fenton Cup came to a conclusion on Saturday with Wapping making the difficult looking trip to Waltham Abbey to face fellow Division One side, high-flying Chingford Athletic Reserves. And it was the visitors, Wapping, who caused somewhat of a surprise as they dismissed Chingford in a 3-1 scoreline. Mohammad Rafe and Mohammed Hussain scored the goals to render Lashian Xavier-Johnson’s effort for the hosts as just consolation, booking a place in the fourth round at home to local rivals, Soul Youth.
SENIOR DIVISION CUP
Into the Senior Division Cup, the weekend’s action revolved around two first round clashes with the first of those seeing a local derby as league leaders, ACD United, were up against Grove United with a quarter final place at stake. Michael Wade scored twice for ACD and Liam Porter scored a third as they helped their side cruise into the last eight with a 3-0 victory under their belts.
And in the day’s other action in this competition, there was another first round match between two rivals as Singh Sabha Barking made the journey to Noak Hill to face East Ham Inter with both sides eager to commence a good cup run. In a tightly fought contest, there was little to split between the sides with Adam Bessadi netting the Inter goal but Barking levelling it at 1-1 to take it to a shootout which Inter won in a 3-2 scoreline.
DIVISION 1 CUP
The Division One Cup threw up a real surprise as tenth placed Melbourne Sports travelled to Leyton to face sixth placed Lymore Gardens with fourteen points separating the sides in the league. But the Mels stirred up their best performance of a largely forgettable season, defeating Lymore 2-1 on the day to confirm their place in the semi finals of the competition.
Joining Melbourne Sports in that very semi final will be Three Colts, the holders of the competition, who will be hoping to make it three cup titles on the trot this season should they win it again. They were away at Chingford United on Saturday but cruised to a 6-0 win with Callum Kennedy scoring a hat-trick and further Colts goals arriving from James Kane, Jack Luck and John Pride to win it.
DIVISION 2 CUP
In the Division Two Cup, the first round action reached it’s conclusion with Old Esthameians the hosts in their match up with visiting Rainham Working Mens Club. An exciting contest saw those sides finish level at the end of ninety minutes at 3-3 with a Neil Robinson brace and Thomas Boomsma effort account for the E’s goals and Liam Tormey responding for Rainham with two goals of his own plus a Calli Barnard effort. In the shootout, Rainham edged the contest 4-3 to secure their passage to a quarter final tie away at FC BKT.
DIVISION 3 CUP
Two of the promotion chasing outfits in Division Three went head-to-head in the cup over the weekend with Frenford A making the trip to Woodford to take on Brook City in the first round of the competition. A tight game saw Jordan Riches net for Frenford but City also scored to end the game at 1-1 at full time meaning yet another shootout on the day. An incredible shootout was eventually won 10-9 by Frenford who go into the last eight of the competition against Tower Hamlets Reserves.
DIVISION 4 CUP
There was a big shock in the Division Four Cup as struggling Dagenham United Reserves overcame a thirteen point deficit in the league to see off third placed Brentwood United Reserves to book a place in the semi final of the competition. Jeffrey Nketia demonstrated how the magic of the cup is still alive in the EAL at least scoring twice and accompanying Daggers goals from Chris Mascall and Rodang Ngesang into the scoresheet in a terrific 4-1 win.
The weekend’s other tie in this competition took place over in Chadwell Heath where Newham Royals were the hosts in their quarter final against a visiting Debden Park side. Fourth placed Debden Park will be the side happiest with their efforts as they earned themselves a 5-2 win to go through to the quarter finals of the competition.
It was a massive day of county cup football for two of our clubs with quarter final action for them both in their respective competitions. In the Essex Junior Cup, Jolof Sports were up against it as they faced unbeaten Olympian outfit, Westhamians, down in East Ham. Jolof led into the break and indeed right up until the last ten minutes but Westhamians summonsed renewed spirit to level it up and then steal a winner in the dying moments to break Jolof hearts, finishing it up at 2-1. Much credit must go to Jolof for some wonderful performances in this competition this year.
A little further east into the county, Chigwell were the other league side in county action as they travelled up to Writtle Reserves to take part in their Essex Junior Trophy quarter final. Chigwell went into the game in some really good form and will be extremely happy with their performance as they defeated Writtle in a 2-0 scoreline to book a place in the semi finals at home to Harold Hill Reserves on Saturday 2nd March. Congratulations to the Chigwell boys on their great progress in the competition this year!
In the Senior Division action, there were two matches at the weekend with Blue Marlin causing a real stir following a shock win against London Cranes. Marlin ran in five goals against fifth placed Cranes with the visitors netting just once in reply to win 5-1 and earn a fifth win of the season of the season, moving further clear of any relegation fears.
Also giving themselves a bit of a buffer against fears of the drop were West Essex Reserves who made the trip to Seven Kings to face London Park City, returning home with all three points in a big 7-1 win to their name. That victory, their fifth of the season, was enough to keep them seventh placed in the table and eight points clear of the drop zone going into the last quarter of the season.
The race for the title is extremely well poised in Division One this season with four sides well in the frame and very little to pick between them. FC Baresi returned back to the top of the table as they took advantage of Chigwell being in cup action to secure a narrow 3-2 win away at Forest Green. Tashan Benjamin, Marvin Smith and Ali Shikheey got the goals to earn them maximum points to go top by a point.
In Division Two, there was an emphatic win for the league leaders, Chingford Athletic Development, as they cruised to a crushing 14-1 win on their travels away at FC BKT. Luke Dimond was on fire with five goals adding to a William Woods hat-trick, two goals from William Swain and one each from Sam Jarvis, Patrick Clarke, Adam Priest and Ahmed Sahnine – a day that BKT will want to consign to history quite quickly.
Remaining a point behind the leaders, Eastside will still believe they have a strong say in the destination of the crown this season and they continued their fight with a 3-1 win away at fifth placed Puma Kings on Saturday. Abdisamad Mohamed scored twice for their side and Joe Falzon once as ‘Side won their eleventh match in fifteen so far.
Cowley Community are also retaining hope of being one of the sides to go up this year and they remain third in the standings despite having to battle hard for their win at the weekend with a difficult 2-1 win away at South Marsh United. That tenth win for Cowley sees them placed two points off the promotion places with five league games still to be played this season.
Making it a quartet of sides with strong promotion ambitions, CSM London are perhaps the best placed side on a points per game basis with games in hand that could send them into the top two. The fourth placed side hosted Upshire Forest on Saturday with Leighton Hughes-Franklin’s effort for Forest proving in vain as Michael Knights and Rodrique Beya goals confirmed a close fought 2-1 win for CSM.
In Division Three, game of the day came in Hackney where Tower Hamlets Reserves looked to continue their fight for promotion against an equally ambitious Royal Forest side who were third placed in the standings going into the game. And it was Forest who ended that particular contest the happier of the sides, earning a 2-1 win through goals from Joe Owers and George Taylor to keep their ambitions very much alive.
The league is led still by Custom House United who overcame a difficult test away at Glendale. Glenn Levy netted on the cusp of half time to hand the Dockers a narrow lead which was doubled just after the break with Robert Wooster finishing off a set piece move. But Mohamed Ahmed’s header for the Dales started a frantic last twenty minutes but they were just unable to get a leveller on the day in a 2-1 scoreline.
Haver Town Reserves are second in the standings and have a number of games in hand which mark them as the title favourites presently. Their latest victory came at the hands of Chingford Harriers as they made the journey up to Walthamstow. Haver cruised to a comfortable looking 5-0 win, their tenth in the league so far this year, keeping them just two points off top spot with eight games to play.
Moving up to sixth place and the top half of the table were Flyers Reserves who saw off New Star Soccer in Romford, winning 7-1 in exciting fashion to keep their hopes of a top half finish alive this season. Rohan Francis scored four of the goals with Dymon Labonne getting three of his own to earn their side a big win while rendering Lheureux Menga’s goal as just a consolation.
It was a big afternoon for St Francis as well as the bottom of the table side recorded just a second league win of the season, beating fellow relegation threatened Forest Green Reserves 4-2 in Leyton to keep their hopes of avoiding the drop alive. Marlon Opigo and Mikael Martin got the goals for Green but they were not quite enough.
We’re all set for a barnstorming last few games of the season in Division Four with Avondale Rangers going hammer and tong with Sungate Reserves for the title. Sungate remain top of the pile by five points, aided by their most recent victory, a 4-1 home win against Old Barkabbeyans Reserves. Sam Cooper, Mujib Ayoola, Glenn Bransgrove and Danny Downer all netted for Sungate with Klodan Meta getting the Barks’ goal in response.
With two games in hand, it’s still very much in the hands of Avondale Rangers who were helped in their quest for the league title with a big 6-0 home win over cup specialists, Soul Youth, on Saturday. Thomas Jackson-Lyall scored four for his side with Paul Regan and Adam Friend scoring the others in a 6-0 win, their tenth of a hugely improved season.
It was a big afternoon for Chigwell Mens Club on Saturday as the previously bottom of the table outfit jumped off the bottom and up to the dizzy heights of seventh in the standings with a thumping 5-0 win away at Loughton Lions. Chigwell goals from Billy Barr, Sean Bellamy, David Blacketer and James Collier confirmed the victory and keeps them in touch with the mid-table placed sides above them.