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Saturday’s fixture list centred around the Fenton Cup competition once again with a number of sides in action in the pursuit of a place in the quarter finals of the competition. In one of those ties, there was a cracking contest between the sides top of the Senior and Division One tables as ACD United made the trip to FC Baresi. It took just a single Greg Knock goal to separate these well matched outfits, perhaps giving a glimpse to a potential title race next season, with ACD the beneficiaries of that effort to go through 1-0.
Over in Highams Park, there was another big clash between sides from the top two tiers as Senior Division title chasing Jolof Sports faced one the league’s cup specialist sides in the shape of Three Colts. Jolof netted early and then again midway through the half to take a 2-0 lead into the break. Colts bounced back to score on the hour but Jolof scored twice more to seemingly end the contest at 4-1. But Colts never gave up and further strikes in the last ten minutes brought it back to 4-3 with James Carter, Jason Fox and James Kane all netting, setting up a nervy finale. Alas they couldn’t quite fashion a leveller and it was Jolof going through to the quarters.
The Division One sides certainly did themselves proud on the day and Forest Green could well have been another side causing a surprise as the second tier side faced up to Senior Division’s East Ham Inter in Leyton. Karel Francis and Krishan Singh both got on the Green scoresheet as they held Inter to a 2-2 draw at full-time to take the game to a shootout. Ultimately, the top flight side held their nerve from the spot to win it 3-1 and send East Ham Inter into the last eight.
There was a local derby in the day’s other completed Fenton Cup clash as two of the league’s top flight sides met in Newbury Park where London Park City were the visitors to face Blue Marlin with both sides looking to keep their cup hopes alive. In the end, it was Blue Marlin who will have been happier with their day’s efforts as they ran in five goals and earned a 5-2 victory to send themselves through to a quarter final away at ACD United. Tyreece Robinson scored twice with Nathan Desnoes, Abyszkin Stanislaw and Wilson Diogo also striking for Marlin.
DIVISION 3 CUP
There was also cup action in the Division Three Cup competition on Saturday as the first round action came to a conclusion with perhaps the tie of the round as title challengers, Royal Forest and Haver Town Reserves, met in Hainault with a home quarter final on offer for the winners. Haver Town put in a stunning eight-goal performance to win the tie 8-1 with Ryan Kelland scoring a hat-trick, a brace each for Reece Simpson and Billy Biggs and a Lee Harris effort completing the scoring, rendering a Kirk Hodgskin goal as just consolation for Forest.
In the day’s only top flight game of the day due to the cup commitments, West Essex Reserves returned to action with a home clash against London Cranes with the sides separated by six points prior to kick off. West have cut that deficit to just three points as they cruised to a 3-0 victory, moving them up a place to sixth in the standings and breathing down the neck of their opponents in fifth.
In Division One, Wapping continued their recent revival in form as they tackled a side four places above them in the form of Lymore Gardens. Wapping made it a run of three wins on the spin in all competitions as Hamza Hanif netted twice and one each from Yusuf Khan, Mohammad Rafe and Mohammed Hussain seeing them through to a 5-2 win on the day. Dushane Powell was the main target with both of the Lymore goals.
The day’s other action from the second tier saw relegation threatened Melbourne Sports take on mid-table side, Rapid Chingford, with both sides keen to improve on their respective points records this campaign. There was ultimately only a single goal that could pull these teams apart with Rapid scoring it via a Cosmin Corbeanu effort to win the contest 1-0.
One of the biggest results of the day came in Division Two on Saturday where Old Esthameians hit their straps to stick nine goals past Flyers in Newbury Park. Thomas Boomsma was the hero as he scored four of E’s efforts with Ashley Joseph, Chris Booker, Danny Harris, Joe Coffey and Lee Vickers all finding the back of the net in the 9-0 romp.
It was also a big afternoon for CSM London who closed the gap on the promotion places to just a single point following their solid win from their trip down to Rainham Working Mens Club. Sean Tormey scored for the Workies but CSM responded through efforts from Micail Koulibaly, Keifer Cole and Rodrique Beya once again to win 3-1, their eleventh victory of the campaign.
Remaining top of the division are Chingford Athletic Development who maintained their four point gap at the top with a victory away at Puma Kings. Jordan Mills-Smith scored twice for Puma and Alfie Hatch once but their efforts were in vain as the Devs scored seven goals of their own to come out of the contest with a 7-3 win to their name.
The promotion race in this division will certainly be heading deep into the season with the other side well in the mix for honours, Eastside, completing a trio of wins for the top three side at the weekend after they earned a big 8-2 win away at Upshire Forest. Leighton Hughes-Franklin scored twice for Upshire but that wasn’t enough in the end.
South Marsh United have kept alive their slim hopes of avoiding the dreaded drop after they picked up just a second league win of the season on Saturday at home against third from bottom side, FC BKT. Doubles from both Ryan Smith and Joel Young saw South Marsh cruise to a 4-1 victory which keeps them bottom but closing the gap on the sides above them crucially.
With the sides just below them not in league action, Custom House United have extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points following a big home win against Chingford Harriers. The Dockers overcame a Nick Shawyer goal for the Harriers with two strikes from Glenn Levy and one each from Charlie Clarke, Jamie Wooster and Matthew Guy to earn a 5-1 win.
Fourth placed Frenford A saw their promotion credentials take a massive hit as they went down to a shock defeat at previously bottom of the table St Francis in Ilford. Callum Alexander and Olayinka Sanusi both scored for Frenford but Saints goals from Henderson Browne, Omar Abdulaziz and Tiago Lopes were enough for the visitors to win 3-2 and earn themselves a third league win of the season in the process.
Another side who took a big hit to their hopes were Brook City who had a tough battle on their hands as they saw the visit of Tower Hamlets Reserves to Woodford with both sides still harbouring hopes of some glory. Owen Rice got on the scoresheet for Brook bus his efforts were in vain as Hamlet won through in a 2-1 scoreline to further close the gap on the sides above them, setting up a potentially late charge for promotion.
A week can be a long time in football as New Star Soccer found out on Saturday. After the heights of reaching the cup semi finals last weekend, their league form continued to show inconsistency as they were beaten away at Forest Green Reserves. Lheureux Menga’s form in front of goal continued with another goal to his name but it wasn’t quite enough as Green edged this tight contest in a 2-1 win.
In Division Four, Sungate Reserves have secured promotion for themselves at least this season as they romped to a stunning 9-0 victory at home to Loughton Lions on Saturday in Chadwell Heath. Substitute John Watson came on to score a hat-trick, adding to braces from Sam Harold and debutant Eden Nelson plus singles from Sam Cooper and Danny Downer.
The race for the title will go on and is seemingly heading for a showdown between the top two sides as Avondale Rangers bounced back from defeat last time out to record a narrow win at home to Chigwell Mens Club in a 3-2 scoreline. That cictory by the odd goal in five was just enough to keep the race in their own hands with a key match at home to leaders Sungate still to come in the next few weeks.
After the heights of a big league win last Saturday for third placed Debden Park which saw them beat title chasing Avondale, they were upset themselves this week as they slipped to a defeat away at Soul Youth in Hackney. Soul goals from Saddik Azizur and Nasim Regragui were enough to earn a 2-0 home win and set themselves up nicely for their big Fenton Cup tie next weekend.
The action for the weekend came to an end down at Castle Green in Dagenham where Dagenham United Reserves saw their recent positive spurt in form come to a grinding halt against Newham Royals. The visitors were big 8-1 winners, maintaining their position of fifth in the table with four games of their season still to play.