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Division Two was once again the focus of attention this Easter weekend as Grove United secured the points they needed to be confirmed Division Two champions in just their first season. Five goals from Tom Blackmur, a double from John Hughes and single from Jamie Pooley were enough to secure an 8-0 win against Singh Sabha Barking and, with it, the league title. Congratulations to John Hughes and his Grove United side on their achievement. Of course, they also remain firmly interested in securing a cup final place in the coming weeks too so the season is far from over. Elsewhere in Division Two, Dagenham United warmed up for their big cup semi-final in a fortnight with a 2-0 win against Northend Res and promoted West Essex Res saw their season out with a closely fought 2-1 win at Cowley Community.
The Fenton Cup quarter-finals saw two sides confirm semi-final places by the narrowest margins possible. Division Two’s Custom House have not been adverse to the odd cup shock this season already seeing off Eastside Rangers and Northend in earlier rounds from the penalty spot. Their quarter final against Premier Division side Chingford Town was another cracking match as the sides shared six goals with Chetin Ali’s double and a single from James Webster for Town cancelled out by Joshua Thompson’s hat-trick for Custom House. With the scores locked, Town saw off Custom House 4-3 in the penalty shootout to confirm a semi-final place against Chingford Athletic later this month. In the other quarter final, it was another David vs Goliath fixture as Division One side, Three Colts, travelled to West Ham to face Premier Division side Cranes United for a place in the last 4. Another eggcellent close match saw a Cranes United win by the odd goal in five as they secured a 3-2 win and a semi-final place against either Melbourne Sports or Grove United.
In the Premier Division, Chingford Athletic moved to within six points of top spot with a 3-1 away win at Newham Res with Michael Mignot’s double combined with a strike from Matt Thompson confirming the points heading back to E4. Melbourne Sports have moved up to fifth in the table with a haul of four points from their double header with Eastside Rangers. With the first game ending goalless, the return match was won 3-1 by the Mels to take them level on points with fourth placed Newham Res. AAH Romford’s final game of the season was a 3-2 away win at St Francis, a result which places them sixth, temporarily at least, but equally well clear of relegation worries. Jolof Sports Club’s ninth league win of the season on Saturday against Chingford Harriers sees them back up to third place. Dan Peirera was on target with the Harriers consolation goal.
The race for promotion in Division One continues to boil up nicely as both sides in pole position picked up important wins. Northend were 2-1 winners at home to Chingford Town Res as Ryan Leddra’s brace secured all the points despite Jack Lustig’s goal for Town. In the other match, Lord Nelson were holding St Johns Deaf 2-2 at the break but missed a clutch of chances early in the second period and were punished by St Johns who ran out 7-3 winners, astonishingly their first league win in 2015. Abdul Benameur and Memnos Costi both bagged braces for St Johns with the other goals arriving through Ross Edwards, Huseyin Er and Davod Jarchlou.
Next weekend we look forward to three fantastic looking cup semi-finals as the road to Dagenham & Redbridge in May really does hot up. Good luck to all of the sides involved in the semi-final ties in the coming weeks.