Friday 8th December
Redbridge 2 Woodford Town (2017) 0
Redbridge pulled out a five point lead over their rivals ahead of Saturday’s fixtures with a home win over Woodford Town. The breakthrough came nine minutes before half time when Brian Moses near post header from skipper Eljay Worrell’s corner found the net but the visitors had more than held their own and had certainly kept the hosts backline alert in what was a tight first period. Things got tougher for the visitors when Dion Lewis-Kirwan was sent off six minutes into the second half after receiving a second booking for a foul on Worrell, but Redbridge didn’t seal the win until the 92nd minute when Moses grabbed his second of the contest, curling an effort into the empty net, finally seeing off a battling Woodford outfit, who remain twelfth.
Saturday 9th December
Basildon United 1 Takeley 0
A second half goal from Charlie Kendall saw The Bees defeat promotion and Championship rivals Takeley at The Hive. There was unsurprisingly very little to choose between the two sides but the deadlock was finally broken when a corner swung in saw a powerful header from Kendall that Takeley keeper Ronnie Yates got his hand to – but see it go through his grasp, and despite a defender’s attempt to keep it out, the linesman said the ball had crossed the line and the Bees led. And it ended up settling a very tight top of the table clash at the Hive, meaning Takeley lose more ground on leaders Redbridge whilst Basildon leapfrog Great Wakering Rovers in to third.
Burnham Ramblers 2 West Essex 5
Braces from Fatos Zeqiri and Michael Mignot helped West Essex crush Burnham Ramblers at Leslie Field, ending the home sides recent unbeaten run. Zeqiri’s 17th minute strike got past Strizovic to give the Stags the lead but the hosts levelled just past the half hour mark when Swanborough followed-up an initial attack & blasted home from close range. However they were level for just four minutes as the visitors went back in front when after Gray’s effort was blocked on the line, Joe Lefley followed up to restore their lead. And a minute after the break they increased that led when Mignot was fed by a great long pass and rounded the ‘keeper and slotted home, before it was four in the 53rd minute when Zeqiri wrong-footed Strizovic before blasting home for his second of the afternoon. With just over twenty minutes remaining Swanborough converted a spot-kick for his second of the game to give the hosts a glimmer of hope here, but with nine minutes left hopes of a comeback were ended when Mignot slots home his second of the game from a narrow angle to seal the game for the visitors, taking then up to eighth in the table. Ramblers defeat sees them stay in thirteenth.
Enfield 1893 2 Wadham Lodge 2
The points were shared at Barrows Farm as Enfield and Wadham Lodge shared a draw. Lodge led in the 13th minute when a delightful ball whipped in from the right was swept past Corderoy by Brian Simpson but the hosts were level four minutes later when Thoma lifted a ball forward and Hocking-Rising scored from just outside the box in off the post. And in the 19th minute the hosts led as Thomas fierce low cross was put into the net by Hocking-Rising. Wadham rallied though and levelled in the 67th minute, with Dwayde James calmly rolling a spot kick into the bottom right corner, and making sure his side grabbed a point in this one. Enfield are now fifteenth whilst Lodge are one place above in fourteenth.
Hackney Wick 1 FC Romania 6
FCR continued to charge on as they went second after hitting Hackney Wick for six at the Old Spotted Dog. Florin Pop opened the account in the 20th minute. The lead was doubled six minutes later when Mihai Botosan scored his first of the afternoon and a three goal cushion was secured before half-time due to an Adrian Balsanu strike. Pop and Botosan bagged braces within one minute of each other in the second half with Cosmin Sandu scoring FCR’s sixth in the 83rd minute. Andrea Mantovani scored the Hackey Wick goal and they remain second from bottom only on goal difference, which took a battering today.
Southend Manor 3 Clapton 3
Manor and Clapton shared six goals in a high scoring draw at Southchurch Park. The hosts took the lead when Rhys Fatt pounced on a scuffed clearance but Steven Sardinha levelled from a penalty that went in off the post. The Tons then took the lead via Jay Morris, only for the hosts to level the match up once again when Fatt scored his second. The visitors were then reduced to ten men; however despite this a looping shot into the top corner from Jeff Cobblah restored Clapton’s lead. But deep into stoppage time the hosts snatched a point and salvaged a draw from the contest when Bayley Newell popped up to score a late equaliser. . The Tons stay sixth whilst Manor are tenth.
Tower Hamlets 1 Sporting Bengal United 0
Kayode Tobun’s first half strike saw Hamlets defeat rivals Sporting Bengal United in the Mile End derby to end the visitors unbeaten run. The hosts remain seventy whilst Sporting remain 11th.
Report by Peter Dudley @ped1980