There were plenty of goals and action throughout the six-divisions at the weekend to restart the 2020/21 season. Have a read about all the action that painted the picture for the first weekend of football in 3-months.
There were no slip ups from the two-title chasers as Basildon Town and Buckhurst Hill both picked up wins on their return to football. Goals for Keith King, Marcus Bowers and Graham Harrison were on target for Basildon as they kept up with league-leaders Buckhurst Hill, who scored two very late goals through Suleyman Zuhdu and Jonah Gregory to beat Springfield.
In other games, Hutton also picked up a win to remain within four-points of the two top sides as they beat Old Southendian 2-1 with goals coming from Aron Gordon and Tony Shaw. Billy Cove’s Swifts close the gap on their opponents Sungate to a single point as they won 4-2 at Silver Leys while Catholic United failed to keep up with Hutton as they were defeated 2-1 at home as Josh Steel and Christopher Denham scored for the Woods. Leigh Ramblers instead moved above Catholic as they thrashed Canning Town 4-0 with goals coming from Justin Hazell, Barv Waiwaiku, George Moxon and Richard Alabaster whilst the only draw in the Premier Division saw Rayleigh Town being held by Kelvedon Hatch, preventing them moving up the table.
Basildon Town 3-1 Shenfield AFC
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts 4-2 Sungate
Catholic United 1-2 Harold Wood Athletic
Hutton 2-1 Old Southendian
Kelvedon Hatch 3-3 Rayleigh Town
Leigh Ramblers 4-0 Canning Town
Springfield 1-2 Buckhurst Hill
With Ongar Town not playing on Saturday, teams below managed to close the gap on the league leaders. Galleywood closed the gap to 2-points after they defeated Herongate Athletic as a brace from Craig Skipper and a goal from Freddie Bartram were enough for the win while Old Chelmsfordians and Manford Way closed the gap on Runwell Sports who failed to go level on points with Ongar. Old Chelmsfordians defeated Runwell Sports on the road while goals from Liam Burgess and Connor Hammond were enough for Manford Way to defeat Toby, putting them in a good position with games in-hand.
Elsewhere, Chingford Athletic rose to 9th in the table with a 2-0 win over Rayleigh Town Reserves, who were pushed down alongside Herongate and Snaresbrook leap-frogged Ramsden Scotia and Toby with a 4-2 win over bottom-side Shoebury Town, who missed the opportunity themselves to go level on points with the sides above.
Galleywood 3-2 Herongate Athletic
Manford Way 2-0 Toby FC
Rayleigh Town Reserves 0-2 Chingford Athletic
Runwell Sports 2-3 Old Chelmsfordians
Snaresbrook 4-2 Shoebury Town
Leigh Town continued on their unbeaten run, extending it to 8-games without a loss, and closed the gap on Beacon Hill Rovers as they beat Corinthians with a goal from Sam Irvine. The league leaders, Beacon Hill, failed to extend their gap over Leigh Town as they were defeated by Laindon Orient. At the same time, Orient also closed the gap to Beacon Hill Rovers to a single point, making it an interesting title-race.
Epping Town rose to 5th in the table after they defeated bottom-side AS Rawreth as Peter Paoletti, Sam Law and Graeme Turner scored for the hosts and the Old Southendian Reserves moved onto 12-points with a game in-hand on the sides above, putting them in a good position going into the run-in. Both Ryan FC and Wakering Sports failed to win as they were held by opponents below. A goal from Wood Athletics Warren Taylor was enough for a point while Wakering’s Ben Rowe’s goal wasn’t enough for the victory.
Corinthians 0-1 Leigh Town
Epping Town 3-1 As Rawreth
Laindon Orient 3-2 Beacon Hill Rovers
Old Southendian Reserves 2-1 May & Baker ‘A’
Rochford 1-1 Wakering Sports
Ryan FC 1-1 Harold Wood Athletic Reserves
ACD United were defeated for the first time this season as they faced defeat to 2nd-place Manford Way Reserves, closing the gap to 2-points. The hosts had been reduced to 10-men after 1-1 with Ollie Williams scoring for United but that goal wasn’t enough as Gideon Sengulay-Thomas, Sid Clarkson and David Hornsby scored for the Reserves. Collier Row and Wakebury also used the opportunity to close the gap on the league-leaders. Collier Row edged Leigh Town Reserves to prevent the visitors getting their first points of the season and go level on points with Manford Way Reserves while Wakebury edged a 10-goal thriller (overseen by Peter Dudley) to rise to 4th and go within 3-points off 2nd and 3rd-place. The hosts had taken a 3-0 lead with goals from Will Wheeler, Danny Buglione and Charlie Little. Corinthians had pulled a goal back through Like Smith before the 3-goal cushion was restored as Adam Topley found the back of the net before the visitors had another one, this time Shaun Lewis fumbled in a miskicked spot-kick. Charlie Marden brought Corinthian closer before Billy Bonham-Dare and Rob Norris made is 6-3. Jamie Milbourn grabbed a fourth for Corinthians but it wasn’t enough for a draw.
In other games, Hutton Reserves rose to 7th in the table and close the gap on their opponents as they defeated 10-man Lakeside United. A brace from Harry Davison and a goal from George Meany wasn’t enough as a brace from Jack Shaw as well as goals from Carl Dutton and Matthew Price sealed the win for the visitors. Toby Reserves won an important game against Buckhurst Hill Reserves as they rose above them by a point, knowing their opponents have a game in-hand. There was also a draw as Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ were held by Basildon Town Reserves. Goals from Joshua Boswell and Joseph Darby weren’t enough for the hosts to go 4th as Michael Clark and Jamie Simpkins ensured Basildon held onto a point.
ACD United 1-3 Manford Way Reserves
Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ 2-2 Basildon Town Reserves
Lakeside United 3-4 Hutton Reserves
Leigh Town Reserves 0-1 Collier Row
Toby FC Reserves 3-2 Buckhurst Hill Reserves
Wakebury 6-4 Corinthian Reserves (Match report by @ped1980: https://t.co/NoNtqTw3k3?amp=1)
Hashtag United Development close the gap to Catholic United Reserves to two-points by beating them on Saturday. The 10-men of Hashtag weren’t fazed by the challenge as Samuel Pratt and Kia Warren scored for the visitors. Just behind those, Chingford Athletic Reserves and Sungate Reserves also won to move them up the table. Chingford won 2-0 with goals coming from Harley Hillman and Sam May-Parrott as the hosts failed to score any goals while Sungate Reserves scored 6 to Ongar Town Reserves 2.
Elsewhere, Leytonstone United picked up a huge win over Laindon Orient Reserves to close the gap on their opponents. Leytonstone scored 5 to Laindon’s One. Luke Damrill’s goals for Shenfield AFC Reserves weren’t enough for a win as they drew with Canning Town Reserves with the draw benefitting neither sides as they both sat towards the bottom of the table. Wakering Sports Reserves were level with Galleywood Reserves but the match was abandoned due to a player breaking their leg.
Canning Town Reserves 2-2 Shenfield AFC Reserves
Catholic United Reserves 2-3 Hashtag United Development
Leytonstone United 5-1 Laindon Orient Reserves
Old Chelmsfordians Reserves 0-2 Chingford Athletic Reserves
Ongar Town Reserves 2-6 Sungate Reserves
Wakering Sports Reserves A-A Galleywood Reserves (Abandoned due to broken leg to play after 20 minutes. Score 1-1)
Collier Row Reserves missed the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the league as they were handed a heavy defeat to Newbury Forest Reserves. Newbury scored 10 at Fairlop Oak Playing Fields to Collier Row’s 2, seeing the hosts rise to 9th in the table. Springfield Reserves, Wakering Sports ‘A’ and Roydon used the opportunity to close the gap on the league leaders with two-games in-hand each. A single goal for Mohamed Benzid was enough for Roydon to claim a 1-0 victory over Runwell Sports Reserves while the 9-men of Shoebury Town Reserves were beaten 3-1 by Wakering Sports ‘A’ and a goal from Joe Burgess also wasn’t enough as Herongate Athletic Reserves were beaten by the same scoreline to Springfield Reserves.
Elsewhere, AS Rawreth Reserves missed the opportunity to go level on points with Epping Town Reserves and instead found them 6-points adrift as they lost to Epping on Saturday. Rawreth Reserves had scored through Bradley Pike but it was merely a consolation to Epping’s three goals as Gavin Simpson scored a brace and Myles Menkenrick also added a goal. Old Barkabbeyans could have gone 2nd with a win over Leigh Ramblers Reserves but instead were held to a 3-3 draw. The hosts scored three through Michael Ryder, Murad Miah and Jordan Mullings while the visitors had three through Edward Foskett, Cameron Jarvis and Andrew Webster.
AS Rawreth Reserves 1-3 Epping Town Reserves
Herongate Athletic Reserves 1-3 Springfield Reserves
Newbury Forest Reserves 10-2 Collier Row Reserves
Old Barkabbeyans 3-3 Leigh Ramblers Reserves
Roydon 1-0 Runwell Sports Reserves
Wakering Sports ‘A’ 3-1 Shoebury Town Reserves