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DIVISION ONE CUP
The line-up for the Division One Cup quarter-finals was completed on Saturday with the remaining first round clash finally taking place after a recent postponement. Forest Green were the visitors to Fairlop Oak to take on Melbourne Sports with a place in the quarter finals against Singh Sabha Barking the reward for the winner. Melbourne led 2-0 but saw Green fight back superbly to level at 2-2 during the second half before a late overhead kick won it 3-2 for the Mels.
DIVISION TWO CUP
In the Division Two Cup, the first of the semi finalists were confirmed over the weekend with regular finalists Custom House playing host to Lionside in Silvertown in the last eight. In a tightly contested match, it ended all square 2-2 at the end of ninety minutes with Michael Kane and Danny Cressey on target for the visitors, resulting in the dreaded penalty shootout to decide the winner. Lionside showed their prowess from the spot in beating the Dockers 4-2 to go just one performance away from a place at Dagenham & Redbridge in May.
DIVISION FOUR CUP
In Group A of the Division Four Cup, Avondale Rangers have shot to the top of the group with one game to play following a comfortable 5-1 win against Brook City on Saturday. The hat-trick hero was Paul Regan with a trio of goals adding to efforts from Luke Hibberd and Adam Friend to put their side on course for a semi-final berth in the coming weeks. They will need a win in their final game to make absolute sure of the place but you suspect a draw may also be enough.
In the Premier Division, Colebrook Royals have reopened their five point gap at the top of the table following Saturday’s results as they travelled to East Ham to face the out of form Jolof Sports. In a highly competitive match, just a single goal was yielded with Chris Stowe extending his goal tally to 24 for the season with the winner. With four league matches left to play, Royals will need to win all of them and hope on United London dropping points if they are to secure their maiden Premier Division crown.
West Essex Reserves have climbed the table to the dizzy heights of third place in the standings with an entertaining victory at home to Lopes Tavares London at a muddy Hainault over the weekend. Callum Bloss led the way with a hat-trick to help his side with further goals scored by Adam Norris, Izunna Ogedi-Uzokwe and Lloyd Renvoize to carry West Essex to a 6-2 victory.
In the day’s remaining Premier Division action, Blue Marlin have further enhanced their chances of staying in the Premier Division this season with a terrific away win at London Cranes in West Ham. Having been beaten by the same opponents just a month ago, they turned things around to secure a 2-0 victory that sees them out of the bottom two. Isaac Olaleye and Charlie Georgiou were the match winners with the Marlin goals.
In Division One, Docklands Albion made their return to league action on Saturday with a trip to Hainault to take on struggling Ferns Seniors in a top vs bottom clash. Despite the difference in positions in the table, there was little between the sides in truth as a Ferns’ endeavoured to make things difficult. Two moments separated the sides however as goals from Anthony Okadigbo and Kris Brown for Albion handed the league leaders a 2-0 victory.
Returning to second place in the table are East Ham Inter who were up against Cowley Community at the weekend knowing that victory was essential if they are to retain their hopes of a top two finish in the division. Inter made their home advantage count with a 4-2 victory with Amalraj Kakamanu once again inspiring his side with a hat-trick and Michael Kemp netting to complete the scoring.
In the division’s remaining match, there was a battle between the sides in eighth and ninth place respectively as the out of form Sporting Hackney Reserves side came head to head with Colebrook Royals Reserves with the clubs looking to reverse their recent misfortunes. In the end, the sides had to settle for a point apiece with the match ending level at 1-1, Chris Walling on target with the Royals’ effort.
There were goal aplenty down in Division Two over the weekend as the league leaders, ACD United, maintained their position at the top with a narrow victory at home to Inter Plaistow. With the visitors’ resurgent form put to the test against the title chasers, Izuchi Ijoma and Gianni Anderson got onto the scoresheet for Plaistow. But home goals from Scott Perkins, Shaun Allen and Harry Payne were just too much on the day as ACD won 3-2.
Their fellow title chasers, Rainham Working Mens Club, returned to winning form in their trip to Leyton to take on sixth placed Lymore Gardens. Goal scoring doubles were the order of the day as Ricardo Teixeira, Barry O’Donnell and Connor Kain all scored two each with Scott Meyers coming up one short with just a single as Rainham completed a resounding 7-0 victory.
The third side likely to be in the mix, Chingford Athletic Reserves, also completed a fairly comfortable win in their trip back to familiar territory to take on Forest Green Reserves. Kasharka Fyffe scored for Green but Chingford goals from Harry Miller, Sean Clarke, Umar Ali and a brace from Jack Knowles saw their side to a 5-1 victory, leaving them just five points off the leaders at the top of the table.
United London Reserves are starting to run out of games and their five league defeats could count against them in the final tally but they are sticking with the pack for now, aided by a victory on Saturday against St Francis in Romford. Connor Frost did the majority of the damage with a hat-trick with strikes from Tharshan Rasanayagam, Richard Wallace and Corley Ross completing the scoring in a 6-1 win.
In Division Three, Old Esthameians Reserves took full advantage of FC Baresi being out of league action this weekend as they hopped above them into second place in the league table. They made the short journey to Frenford A, coming away with a 3-1 win as Lee Vickers scored twice and Jack Smerdon once to cancel out an Asad Ali goal for the hosts. Old E’s have moved to within a point of leaders Chigwell with both sides fighting it out for the promotion places.
The day’s other Division Three action saw a “Redbridge” derby as fourth placed Kitroom played host to sixth placed Redbridge Development at Hainault Rec. Redbridge raced into an early lead before Kitroom pegged them back to level at 2-2 through goals from Hoxley Baron and Gavin Merrifield. But two further Redbridge goals gave them an important 4-2 win that keeps their outside hopes of promotion very much alive.
In Division Four, the top two sides in Hainault as the newly crowned league champions, Haver Town Reserves, took on their closest challengers this season in the form of Royal Forest. The title may well be sewn up but there are still promotion matters to be resolved with Forest remaining in the box seat in this regard. The leaders made it thirteen wins from fourteen matches as Ritchie Weeks, Zak Robinson, Jack Phillips, Michael Brown and Ronnie Coules goals were enough to secure a 5-2 win.
Brentwood United Reserves have not given up hope of being one of the promotion candidates this year as they moved up to fourth place, one of their highest placings of the season so far as they beat Dagenham United Reserves 3-0 at home. Alfie Mason scored twice for his side with Damien Donnelly getting the third to earn the victory.
And it goals are your thing, you couldn’t have gone far wrong with watching a classic on Saturday between Newham Royals and Debden Park were the attack certainly outweighed defence in a ten-goal thriller. Bradley Wyatt scored a hat-trick for Debden with Ross Denham and Adam Mead also scoring but Royals scored five goals of their own to make the final scoreline 5-5, taking home a share of the spoils.
It was quarter finals day in the London Junior Cup on Saturday with two of our clubs looking for progress in London’s premier competition for sides at this level. FC Baresi made the long journey to Merton to take on the Wimbledon League’s unbeaten Premier Division leaders Goldfingers. With the match level at the break, the visitors eventually succumbed in a 3-2 defeat to exit the competition, despite a brave effort.
The day’s other quarter final action in the competition saw a mouth-watering match between FC Hamlets, former winners of the competition on two previous occasions and now residing in the Essex Olympian League as they took on the EAL’s Premier Division title chasing United London at their old Hackney Marshes home. It a very tightly contested battle, just a single goal settled the affair, a late Hamlets winner sending United out of the competition after a great run to get to this stage.