The Premier Division of the Essex Olympian Football League returns this weekend as Basildon Town and Buckhurst Hill continue their title-chase while Old Southendian, Kelvedon Hatch and Rayleigh Town fight to stay in the top division. Have a read of each fixture preview below;
Basildon Town vs Shenfield AFC – Saturday 3rd April, 2.30pm
Basildon Town hope to continue their impressive title chase as they welcome Shenfield to the Basildon Sports & Leisure Club. The hosts find themselves 2nd after 8-games, having won 7 and lost 1. They had found themselves unbeaten in their opening 7-games before facing defeat to Hutton in their last game before the lockdown. Shenfield sit towards the other end of the table, finding themselves 11th after 9-games. Their record of won 2, drew 1 and lost 6, puts them 4-points ahead of the bottom of the table. The visitors last victory came at their last home game, back in October before facing 3-defeats on the bounce in 3-consecutive away games.
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts vs Sungate – Saturday 3rd April, 2.30pm
Billy Cove’s Bishop’s Stortford Swifts will welcome Sungate to Silver Leys on Saturday. The Swifts were 8th when the season was paused, having won 3 and lost 6 of their 9-games. The hosts won their last game before the season was halted with a strong home victory off the back of two defeats. Their opponents, Sungate, sit 6th and 4-points ahead of the Swifts having played 6-games, with a record of won 4, drew 1 and lost 1. The visitors remained 5-games unbeaten including a 3-0 win over Saturday’s opponents before they faced their first defeat, a narrow defeat to Rayleigh Town on the road.
Catholic United vs Harold Wood Athletic – Saturday 3rd April, 2.30pm
Catholic United will face Harold Wood Athletic at the Len Forge Centre on Saturday Afternoon. Catholic United found themselves 3rd after 9-games, having won 5, drew 2 and lost 2. Their record sees them 4-points behind the leaders having played a game more. After a 5-0 defeat to Buckhurst Hill in October, United went on a 3-game winning run, scoring 12-goals and conceding just one with wins over Kelvedon Hatch, Rayleigh Town and Springfield. Harold Wood Athletic sit 7th after 8-games, having won 3, drew 1 and lost 1. Athletics’ last game saw them get a win over Canning Town back in December.
Hutton vs Old Southendian – Saturday 3rd April, 2.30pm
Hutton will welcome Old Southendian to Polo Fields upon their return. The hosts sat 4th when the season was halted, having won 5, drew 2 and lost 1. Their record sees them sit level on points with Catholic United and 4-points off the leaders. Hutton had responded well to their last defeat to Basildon Town by going on 7-game unbeaten run, including a 5-game game winning run. Old Southendian find themselves bottom of the league, having picked up 3-points in their opening 7-games. Out of those games, the Southendian had only won once and lost the remaining 6-games. Their only win came back in September before they faced four defeats on the spin.
Kelvedon Hatch vs Rayleigh Town – Saturday 3rd April, 2.30pm
Kelvedon Hatch will welcome Rayleigh Town to New Hall. Kelvedon found themselves 13th after 7-games, having won 1, drew 1 and lost 5. Their only win of the season so far came against Canning Town in their last game before the season was halted. Their opponents, Rayleigh, sit 2-points ahead of Hatch after 6-games. Their record of 2 wins and 4 losses puts them in a good position to rise up the table with 1-3 games in-hands on the sides above. Rayleigh’s last 3-games came in October with Town beating Sungate but facing defeats to Hutton and Catholic United.
Leigh Ramblers vs Canning Town – Saturday 3rd April, 2.30pm
Leigh Ramblers will face Canning Town at Belfairs Park on Saturday Afternoon. Leigh Ramblers sat 5th after 9-games, having won 5, drew 1 and lost 3. The hosts won their last two-games before the season was paused and their position in the league puts them 5-points off the leaders. Canning Town were 10th when the season was halted, having played 8-games. Their record of won 2, drew 1 and lost 5 puts them 4-points ahead of Old Southendian, having played a game more.
Springfield vs Buckhurst Hill – Saturday 3rd April, 2.30pm
Springfield will welcome face title chasers Buckhurst Hill to Springfield Hall Park on Saturday. Springfield sit 9th after 8-games, having won 2, drew 2 and lost 4. Their last game was a heavy defeat to Catholic United on the back of a two-game unbeaten run. Buckhurst Hill sit top-of-the-league after 8-games, giving them a lead of 2 goals as they have the same record of won 7 and lost 1. Buckhurst Hill remained unbeaten with 5 consecutive wins before they faced their first defeat against Canning Town. Their last game returned to winning ways against Harold Wood Athletic but couldn’t build on it with the paused season.