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PREMIER DIVISION CUP
The first of this season’s Premier Division Cup tie’s took place this weekend with the first side booking their place in the semi finals in a few weeks time. London APSA were the hosts making their debut in this competition with Lopes Tavares London looking to extend their league form into the cup competition. After an enthralling match which finished level at 3-3, a penalty shootout was necessary to separate the sides, the second in consecutive weeks that APSA have been part of. The hosts’ luck was once again out as they were beaten 7-6 by Lopes to exit the competition.
DIVISION ONE CUP
There were also two ties played in the Division One Cup on Saturday with two quarter final matches starting the Road to Dagenham for our sides. Current cup holders Three Colts began their defence of the trophy with a trip to their final opponents last year in the shape of Sporting Hackney Reserves. In a might more tightly contested battle, Colts edged this one by the odd goal as Jason Fox and Jack Luck struck to carry the side to a 2-1 win.
In the day’s other quarter-final, Ferns Seniors were on the road away to Cowley Community with both sides keen to maintain their chances of some silverware in an otherwise difficult campaign so far. Falling behind, Ferns Seniors fought back once again to level the game before being edged out late on with a killer to lose 3-2. Sean Howe and Liam Coney got on the scoresheet but Cowley strikes from Conor Harrington, Ryan Thompson-Cobham and Robert Cooper won them the game to book a semi-final against Three Colts.
DIVISION FOUR CUP
In the Division Four Cup, the first semi-finalists were confirmed as Royal Forest confirmed their place in the last four of the competition with a stunning 5-1 home victory against Brentwood United Reserves at the weekend. That win carries them to an insurmountable points tally of six, guaranteeing them a place in the last four but with a home or away tie still to play for in the remaining match.
The chase for the Premier Division title continues to show no shortage of competition with United London having cashed in one of their matches in hand on Saturday with a home clash against Old Esthameians. The match was close at 2-2 but United eventually pulled away to win 5-3, closing the gap on leaders Colebrook Royals to just two points with another game in hand. Two goals from Harry Chalk and one apiece from Billy Teixeira, Emmanuel Wazola and Ali Abdalla completed the win.
Jolof Sports’ time as champions is coming to an end as the reigning champions slipped to another defeat at the weekend, going down 2-1 away at struggling Blue Marlin in a result which really shakes up the relegation matters at the foot of the table. The result leaves Blue Marlin now just a point off safety with four games to play as they strive to avoid the dreaded drop.
In Division One, the incredibly congested top six places in the table showed no abating as the previously sixth placed Singh Sabha Barking took on fourth placed Wapping down in Newbury Park on Saturday. The hosts will have come away the happier of the two clubs with a thumping 7-1 victory confirming a move up to fourth place for Singh Sabha. They now look like favourites amongst the promotion chasing pack to bag the second place but there is still a lot of football still to happen.
There are new leaders in Division Two as points dropped for each of the top two sides saw ACD United take over at the head of the table. The Chadwell Heath based outfit faced a difficult trip to second-placed Rainham Working Mens Club and they didn’t disappoint their travelling support with a well fought 3-0 victory that takes them top by the virtue of their superior goal difference so far. Michael Wade, Robert Clark and Harry Payne scored the goals that mattered to make them favourites for the title based on current form.
ACD’s title hopes were enhanced further as previously top of the table Flyers took a hit to their own challenge as they dropped a couple of points at home to Lymore Gardens. Goals from Ashley Godwin and Dushane Powell for the visitors proved enough for them to secure a 2-2 draw following a tough period in recent times, keeping them well involved with the promotion picture themselves for the closing weeks of the season.
A side who having been biding their time and building up their matches in hand are Chingford Athletic Reserves who, with their current record of just a single defeat, could yet pose the biggest title threat of the chasing pack. Their hopes were built upon with a solid win against Custom House on Saturday. Abraham Jairette, Mabz Rahman and Jack Field got on the scoresheet for the Dockers but Umar Ali and Gary Murray doubles plus goals from Joseph Cloake, Ralph McBaiden, Sean Clarke and Jack Knowles confirmed an eventual 8-3 victory for Chingford.
The Inter Plaistow roller-coaster continued it’s ascent over the weekend as they took their points total to 21 with a seventh league win of the season. Forest Green Reserves were the visitors to West Ham Memorial Park, a side in urgent need of recording some victories as they battle the drop. In a match consisting of ten goals, Amoz Abraham, Christopher Buck, Adam Meragan and Joshua Kibuuka might have thought their goals for Green would have been enough but Plaistow braces from Matyas Svatom and Joshua Hall plus singles from Torian Hamilton and Samuel Garrett made it 6-4 to their side.
FC Baresi have closed the gap on the leaders, Chigwell, at the top of Division Three to just two points following a ninth league victory of the season at home on Saturday. Glendale were the visitors to the Britannia Playing Fields and the hosts took advantage of their under-strength opponents to record a thumping 7-0 win. Andre Whyte was a hat-trick hero with Delano Lloyd scoring twice and Jayden Fraser and Tyler Kirby one apiece to complete the scoring.
The day’s other league match action in Division Three saw a dress rehearsal for the upcoming Division Three Cup quarter final between New Star Soccer and Custom House Community down in Seven Kings. Ricardo Khan scored twice with one apiece from Marvin Sterling and Samson Ogunwole to help New Star overcome a Sameer Carrim effort from the visitors in a hotly contested battle which ended up as 4-2 to New Star Soccer.
There was just a single game down in Division Four on Saturday which saw a top half of the table clash between Newham Royals and Dagenham United Reserves in Chadwell Heath. United will be kicking themselves as they missed the chance to close the gap on the promotion places, going down 2-1 to the Royals. Jeffrey Nketia got himself on the scoresheet once again but it wasn’t enough to get anything from the match as the two sides swap places in the standings.