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In the Trophyland Cup this weekend, an in-form May & Baker EC side were in home action with a second round tie against Mansfield Rangers, Bakers starting the game trailing by six points. But it was the hosts who progressed on, winning 3-0, as Billy Norris, Billy Biggs and Ross Riding netted the goals to put them into the quarter-finals.
The day's sole Endeavour Cup action saw Brymans Park taking on Chingford Athletic in Newbury Park, the sides meeting for second time in the month after Chingford's win earlier. But this time it was Brymans who walked away winners as Tom Sharpe scored a hat-trick, John Clarke, Shane Taylor and Daniel Munroe each scoring twice in a 9-0 victory.
Things couldn't be much tighter at the top of the Senior Division where three teams sit level on points at the summit, Baiteze Squad presently leading the way on goal difference along after a strong 6-0 away victory against Total Football in Loughton. Ruben Junior and Brandy Makuendi both scored twice with Steve Carvell and Imedd Kartita also on target.
Sharing top spot are Brook Athletic who also have eleven points, sitting second on goal difference following a 5-1 away victory against Club 1017 down in east London. Jayden Hocking-Rising struck with two goals, adding to efforts from Eamon Payne, Harry Carter and Tyrell Holder, extending the visitors' unbeaten record in the league so far with three wins and two draws.
Over in Hainault, last season's runners-up in the league, Flyhouse Athletic, earned their second league victory this term, taking all three points in the Forest Road derby, defeating Critics 5-0 at Fairlop Oak. That result saw them shift up two places in the standings to fifth, taking advantage of other results and inactivity around them.
After a slow start to the season, St Augustines have shown a resurgence in form in recent weeks to now sit third in the Division One standings, taking on previously third placed Benchviews in Newbury Park and leaping above them following a 3-1 home success. That saw them complete a fourth league win this season, moving to within two points of the promotion spots.
Over in Dagenham, it was a memorable morning for Wanstead who earned their first league victory in Sunday football, having started the day ten points behind Barking & Dagenham Wanderers in the table. But visitor goals from Remy Barnard, Yunus Mussa and Leon Lewis were the difference between the sides, Dwayne Francis-Riley scoring the Wanderers effort as the game ended 3-1.
Goals were the order of the day in Division Two where a hat-trick of Lika goals for Daglanta earned the east London side a 4-2 home win on Sunday, defeating Higham Hill at the Flats. Andi, Erik and Gersi Lika each struck with goals, Humoud Majid the other scorer on target for the hosts, that being their fourth league win this term from six games.
An in-form Ainslie side travelled to Dagenham on Sunday to take on FC Galaxy, just four points between the sides as they headed into that clash. But it was Galaxy who walked away the happier of the sides from an eight-goal thriller, the hosts winning 5-3 as Mihai Mareniuc scored a hat-trick, Ruben Costache and Mihalache Dumitru netting the others to counter Ainslie goals from Eric Kelly, Jack Daniels and Tom Carter.
Seven was the theme in Division Three, beginning with Singh Sabha Barking who put that figure past United Amateurs on Sunday to reaffirm their intentions of a promotion push this season. The experienced Reece Hewitt struck with a hat-trick while Jordan Hamilton, Matthew Steadman, Omari Williams and Sebastian Osei-Obengo, helping SS win 7-1, Jack Chawner scoring the United goal in reply.
Also scoring seven in the division were South Ilford Catholics who produced one of their best performances to see off Barking at Mayesbrook Park, the visitors winning 7-3 to pick up their third win of the season and move them further clear of relegation worries. Keiva King struck twice and Daniel Jaricha-Cummins once for the Blues but those efforts proved in vain in the end.
Ahead of next weekend's big top of the table battle, it was wins for the top three sides on Sunday, beginning with Colebrook Royals Reserves who earned their seventh win so far to remain unbeaten, defeating Kit Out London 3-1 at the Flats. Brandon Richmond, Djean Holland and Jamie Meakin all found the back of the net for the visitors to keep their momentum going.
Second placed Woodford Town also kept their strong form going with a big 6-0 home win at Whitbreads, the hosts seeing off Cardinals Athletic. Luke Dimond and Ben Smith both struck twice for Town, Sonny Clarke and Courtney Cooke also on the scoresheet to help their side to win number seven, trailing the leaders by two points with a game in hand.
Third placed Warren Senior hold a very big say in the promotion race and were aided by another league win under their belts, defeating Eastern Avenue in a 6-1 scoreline in Westlands to record win number six. Daniel Ross and Brady Jones both scored twice for Warren, Harry Glenister and Anthony Cooke with the others to secure all three points.
Fourth placed Prospect Protege have hit a sticky spell in recent weeks and saw their promotion hopes hit further as they fell to a 2-0 home defeat against Horse & Well in Hainault, despite Well starting the day with a five point deficit. But goals from Chris Chettleburgh and Joe Powell were the difference between the sides to make the the mid-table area even more congested.
In Division Five, Coppice Row moved into a three point lead at the top of the standings following a successful away trip to Ace Athletics. Row were 4-2 winners with Mark Tyrie, Michael Barton, Afolabi Olugbile and Mergim Marku scoring the goals, Alex Mason acoring both of the Ace efforts in reply though both proved just consolation.
Third placed Manford Way still have a big say on the outcome of the title race and used one of their games in hand to good effect on Sunday as they defeated local rivals Hainault Athletic in a 5-0 scoreline. Jake Li scored a hat-trick for Manford and that proved decisive, Tommy Vaughan and Herman Mwanza netting the other goals.
In Dagenham, Lonsdale were up against a struggling Young Royals side with Royals trailing their opponents by nine points they headed into the game. But that was slashed to just six by full-time as Royals earned a first league win of the season to move them onto four points, despite a couple of Lonsdale goals from Kalium Fletcher who extended his scoring record.
Ahead of the battle of the top two next weekend, there is now just goal difference seperating the sides as Woodford Town Reserves moved top on Sunday following a big 8-3 away win against Barking Colts at the Rec. Shakil Khan, Emmanuel Fowowe and Ryan Jones all netted for Colts but those goals proved in vain as Town record win number nine this season.
Third placed Valence United Reserves sit eight points further back but with a game in hand, their sixth win of the season secured on Sunday following a 5-2 victory against Mayfield Kings at Hainault Rec. Alex Vallance and Younes Ferhani struck for Kings but two Kevin Bangura goals and strikes from Krystus Coleman, Eligijus Dapukus and Ayomide Ibuola were enough to earn United the win.
Over in Loughton, it was fourth versus sixth as Epping Royals made the journey down to Roding Valley to face London Legacy with only one point between the teams before the game commenced. But it was Royals who ended the day the happier of the teams as scored both goals in the game to win 2-0, Joseph Bothwell finding the back of the net with one of those.
Just a point seperates the top three sides in Division Seven where Ridgeway Rovers lead the way on goal difference, their most recent success being a 2-0 home win at Peter May on Sunday as Harley Hillman scored both goals to defeat Emerson & Upminster. That was Rovers' eighth win of the season while Emerson remain sixth at the half-way point of their season.
Debden Sports A remain well engaged with the title and promotion race, scoring eight goals on Sunday against Zone 4 Athletic to leave them trailing the leaders by just a single point. Chris Gunning scored two and Teraun Davis once for Zone but those goals were not quite enough as the game ended in an eventual 8-4 win to the hosts.
Second placed Colebrook Royals A produced an impressive performance to keep them level with the leaders on goal difference, sending Warren United to just a third defeat this season as Royals won 4-2 at Hainault Rec. Lenny Hunt, James Deaney, WIlfred Sills and James Caine all struck with goals for the visitors as they made it eight league wins this season.
Despite a difficult start to the season, it's been a much better spell of performances more recently for FC Leytonstone Reserves who racked up their third league win on Sunday, defeating Epping Forest Falcons at Leyton County Ground in a 2-1 scoreline. Nidal Berri and Aminur Rahman struck with the hosts' goals to earn them all three points.
It was a clean sweep for Corinthian clubs in the county competitions, beginning with a big scalp for JK Silvertown in the Essex Sunday Premier Cup who travelled down to Southend to face top flight side Leigh United from the Southend and Basildon Sunday League, defeating them 3-2 to make the quarter-finals.
Also through, albeit requiring extra-time, Hatch Lane also confirmed their place in the quarter-finals with a home victory against Parsloe Athletic, eventually prevailing in a 5-3 scoreline to set up a last eight berth at home to either FLY or Herongate Athletic who face off this weekend.
A terrific game in the London Sunday Challenge Cup saw London All Stars end a strongly fancied Highgate Albion's involvement in the competition as the Corinthian side come from behind four times to finish 5-5 before winning their resulting shootout 5-4 to somehow find a place in the next round!
In the Essex Sunday Junior Cup, Valence United from Division Three almost pulled off a big scalp as they went up against Belfry from Division Two at the weekend, an extra thirty minutes being needed to seperate the sides. But it was Belfry who booked their place in the fourth round in the new year.
The London Sunday Trophy provided another set of great results as one of lowest ranked sides still involved, East London Ballers, put themselves through to the quarter-finals of the competition, returning home from north London with a 9-5 win under their belts, defeating North London Colts in the process.
In a repeat of last season's semi-final AC Milano were on the road to Walthamstow on Sunday afternoon to take on Yeni Bogazici Dogan Sport, the hosts certainly looking to exact some revenge. But AC proved to be too strong on the day, winning 3-0 to put themselves two games away from a repeat of last year.
Also joining those sides in the last eight will be top flight side, FLY, who made safe progress themselves, backing up their Essex Cup win last weekend with a victory in the London version this time around, beating New World 5-2 to await the draw.
In the West Essex Charity competitions, an all-Corinthian match-up saw Colebrook Royals Seniors taking on local rivals Cloud 9 in Chigwell with a place in the quarter-finals on offer for the winners. But Royals' form of recent times came out on top, the hosts winning 2-1 to head on through.
The Trophy action on Sunday came from Dagenham where Titans United were up against higher league opposition with Division Five's Alpha making the trip east to battle for a place in the last eight. It was Alpha who made their higher ranking pay, winning 5-1 to head into the next round.