Non-league enthusiast, Peter Dudley, takes a look back at the weekends ESL action
Friday, September 4
West Essex 1-1 Takeley
The opening game of the ESL season finished all square. Reece Barrett’s delicate finish three minutes before the break gave Takeley the lead, but Symeon Taylor cut in from the left before bending one into the top corner just before the hour mark to gain a point for the home side.
Saturday, September 5
Cockfosters 3-1 Hoddesdon Town
Fosters got their league campaign off to a winning start after victory over Hoddesdon Town at Chalk Lane. The hosts went in front on the quarter-hour mark after Reuben Campbell turned home a cross before doubling their lead when Ryan Wade curled home a free-kick to see his side grab a two-goal lead in the opening twenty-five minutes. Hoddy pulled one back with seven minutes of the first half remaining after Harrison Rookard headed home, but nine minutes into the second half Fosters increased the lead to two again after a pass from Wade allowed Carl Mullins to score and earn the home side all three points.
Enfield 0-0 St Margeretsbury
Neither side could break the deadlock at Woodside Park as Enfield and St Margaretsbury drew a blank in their opening league game of the season meaning they pick up a point each.
Hadley 4-0 Woodford Town
Hadley got their league campaign off to a great start after defeating Woodford Town 4-0 at Brickfield Lane. The hosts got themselves ahead when good work from Solomon Ofori set up Luke Alfano to smash home, and then moments later Ofori himself doubled the hosts lead after controlling a long ball and smashing it home. And the hosts made it three just before the hour mark when Ofori grabbed his second by lobbing Scannell before they added a late fourth to cap a fine opening day as Jordan Edwards netted
Hashtag United 4-0 Ilford
Hashtag United netted four as they defeated Ilford in their opening league fixture of the season. The hosts edged in front in the 25th minute when George Smooth converted from the spot after Jesse Waller Lassen had been brought down inside the box, and they doubled their lead after Toby Aromolaran bent a twenty-five-yard effort into the top corner ten minutes into the second half. And with six minutes to go Hashtag made it three when a Harry Honesty cross was deflected into the path of Lee Hursit who made no mistake before the hosts added another before the end after Ross Gleed pounced following a long-range effort from Kris Newby had come off a couple of players into the path of the attacker and seal a good opening day win
Redbridge 2-3 Saffron Walden Town
Tom Pullen came off the bench to net a late leveller and salvage a point for Walden in their opening day encounter at Oakside against Redbridge. The hosts had the chance to take the lead on the half-hour mark but saw Tom Harvey miss from the spot, but seven minutes into the second period they did grab the lead thanks to James Barlow. Walden though responded after Lewis Francis brought them level on the hour mark, but The Motormen retook the lead with eight minutes remaining when Barlow netted again. Walden was not to be denied a point though as they levelled late on after Pullen, who had been brought on a minute into stoppage time, netted a 93rd-minute equaliser to deny the hosts all three points.
Southend Manor 2-5 Sawbridgeworth Town
Kieran Amos netted a stunning hat-trick as Sawbo hit five at Southchurch Park against Southend Manor. Manor took the lead from a corner which saw Luka Frankis head home in the 20th minute before an absolute screamer from Amos brought the visitors level, and then Amos added another to give his side the lead at the break.
Frankis though grabbed his second of the game for the hosts when heading home a leveller five minutes into the second period, however sleepy defending allowed Sawbo to retake the lead through Cav Clarke ten minutes into the second period. And with five minutes left Sawbo sealed victory after an irresistible effort from Horace before Amos completed his hat-trick with a brilliant free-kick and back up Tuesday’s win over Romford in the Cup with an excellent start to their league campaign here.
Sporting Bengal United 1-3 Walthamstow
Walthamstow grabbed all three points after victory over Sporting Bengal United at Mile End. Stow grabbed the lead early in the second period when after Charncey Dash had been pushed over in the box, he picked himself up to roll the penalty home, and Dash then turned provider to hook over to Clements whose shot was too powerful for the keeper to double the visitors lead. And the visitors added a late third when superb work from Aiken saw him help it to Osei who cut back to Jeremiah to tap home. Sporting did deny Stow a clean sheet after a superb free-kick right at the death from Joel Ramos, but it is three points to the visitors to start their league campaign on the right foot.
Stansted 2-2 Clapton
Clapton fought back from two goals down at the break to earn a terrific point against Stansted at Hargrave Park. Moses Carvalho headed home an early Billy Coyne’s set-piece to give the hosts the lead, and three minutes before the break The Airportmen doubled their advantage when Coyne’s delivery was headed home by Nick Reynolds for his first goal for the Hargrave Park outfit. Clapton though pulled one back three minutes into the second period when a ball played into Shawn Gittleson saw him lob Monk brilliantly, and incredibly the visitors levelled seven minutes later when after Gittleson was fouled inside the box, Ruben Kennedy dispatched the spot-kick. It meant both sides picked up a point on the opening weekend of the league campaign