Vanarama National League South
Concord Rangers got their league campaign off to a flying start with a 1-0 victory over much-fancied Dorking Wanderers at the Aspect Arena.
Temi Babalola slotted home the only goal of the game from the penalty spot midway through the second half, while Beach Boys goalkeeper Myles Roberts saved a stoppage-time spot-kick from Jason Prior. The visitors also lost Josh Taylor late on to a red card in a lively encounter at the Canvey clubs’ home.
Ten-man Braintree Town earned a share of the spoils against Oxford City at Cressing Road.
Alfie Payne gave the Iron the lead. However, after Femi Akinwande was brandished a second yellow card, Dan Matsuzaka nodded an equaliser from the visitors six minutes from time.
It was a tough start for Billericay Town who went down by three goals to nil at Bath City. Mo Touray, Cody Cooke and Alex Fletcher netting in front of a bumper crowd at Twerton Park.
Chelmsford City also got off to a frustrating start to the campaign. Tom Derry’s goal giving hosts Slough Town all three points at Arbour Park
Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division
Hornchurch were 2-0 winners at Horsham thanks to a first-half brace from Liam Nash. And it was the same outcome at the Taydal Stadium where Jake Clowsley and Lewis Byrne-Hewitt ensured the three points for Brightlingsea Regent against Merstham.
However, East Thurrock United endured a miserable afternoon, going down 3-0 at Cheshunt – Theo Osinfolarin, Reece Beckles Richards and Ken Charles registering for the home side. Bowers & Pitsea also found themselves on the receiving end. Bradley Sach scored twice from the spot for the home side. Alexander Sami’s hat-trick earned Leatherhead a 3-2 win at the Len Salmon Stadium.
Haringey Borough were beaten at Kingstonian. Gus Sow’s penalty midway through the first half proved sufficient to settle the contest.
Pitching In Isthmian League North
Maldon & Tiptree top the table following a 7-0 demolition of Romford at Mayesbrook Park.
Brian Ifeanyi bagged a hat-trick, while Scott Kemp, Charlee Hughes), John Gilbert and Malachi Napa completed the rout.
Barking are second following a 4-0 win at Hullbridge. Former Southend United striker Charlie MacDonald scored twice, while James Folkes and George Purcell were also on target.
Chinedu Osadebe netted twice, after Ben Search’s opener as Witham Town leapt into third with a 3-2 victory over Great Wakering Rovers at Burroughs Park – Mitchell Gilbey and Martin Tuohy on target for the villagers. Grays Athletic also got off to a winning start. First-half goals from Joe Paxman and Ryan Sammons was enough to sink Bury Town at Parkside.
Tom Richardson hit the only goal of the game as Brentwood Town stunned Tilbury at Chadfields. Meanwhile, Basildon United had to be content with a share of the spoils at Felixstowe & Walton United. Samuel Jeremiah had given the Bees the lead from the penalty spot – Zak Brown swiftly responded for the home side.
Canvey Island also started with a draw. Evans Kouassi and Matthew Price scored the goals as the Gulls were twice pegged back in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Stowmarket Town.
Essex Senior League
Three decades after the closure of Snakes Lane, Woodford Town opened their brand new Ashton’s Stadium with a curious crowd of 822 turning up to see the hosts entertain Stansted on Friday evening.
Reynolds gave the Airportmen a 53rd-minute advantage with the first senior goal scored at the ground. However, Mills restored parity from the penalty spot, much to the delight of the majority amongst the sizable audience.
But Stansted were to record their third victory on the spin. Hammond grabbed the all-important goal to secure a 2-1 success. Local football enthusiasts have another opportunity to visit the ESL’s newest venue on Wednesday, August 18 when Town host West Essex (7:45pm).
West Essex were the big winners of the weekend, thrashing Sporting Bengal United by eight goals to one. Meanwhile, Little Oakley were 5-1 winners at Sawbridgeworth Town in another one-sided contest.
Saffron Walden Town won an entertaining clash with Southend Manor by four goals to two at Catons Lane. Another hard-fought encounter saw Cockfosters edge out Takeley by the odd goal in three at Station Road.
Walthamstow recorded a derby success over Redbridge at the Oakside Stadium – 2-0 the final outcome. And it was the same scoreline at the ProKit Stadium where Enfield took the points from Stanway Rovers.
Clapton went down 2-1 to St Margaretsbury – Darnell Kithambo on target for the East Londoners. Hoddesdon Town also claimed three points on the road. A single goal was enough to sink FC Clacton.
Essex Olympian League
Craig Patton and Sam Adcock netted for Old Southendian in their 2-1 win over Canning Town at Garon Park. Ongar Town saw off Leigh Ramblers by four goals to one, while a Stephen Judge strike earned Hutton a single-goal success over Catholic United.
A thrilling encounter at Gardiners Close saw Basildon Town edge out Rayleigh Town by four goals to three – Marcus Bowers and Rhys Fatts both scoring twice for the home side. Sungate were 2-1 winners at AFC Shenfield, while Kelvedon hatch squeezed a five-goal thriller at Galleywood – Matthew Buckingham and Jamie Lockwood netting for the beaten hosts.
Another high-scoring encounter saw Harold Wood Athletic and Springfield share the spoils following a 3-3 draw, Jordan Sargeant scoring twice and Charlie Nichols bagging another for the visitors.
Selected highlights from Division One saw Toby FC record 4-0 drubbing of Epping Town, while Wakering Sports thrashed Old Chelmsfordians 5-1 at Cupids – Connor Burrows (2), Ben Burrows, Matthew Catlin and Aaron Clark scoring for the home side.
Steven Sharpe scored twice for Shoebury Town in their 4-1 win over Harold Wood Athletic Reserves at Cupids. Daniel Brooker and Alfie Noaks also found the net for Town – Ben Rowe responding for the visitors.
Wakering Sports Reserves were the big winners in Division Three, hitting nine without reply past Buckhurst Hill’s under 23 side. Pitsea Athletic also got off to a decent start, seeing off Leigh Town Reserves by three unanswered goals.
Ongar Town Reserves hammered their Shenfield AFC counterparts by seven goals to one. Meanwhile, Southend Manor’s development side took the points following a 2-0 win over Roydon at Southchurch Park.
Pitse Athletic Reserves recorded an emphatic 6-2 success over Wakebury’s second string. Elsewhere, Herongate Athletic Reserves won by five goals to nil at Collier Row Reserves.
(More to follow…)