After a couple of weeks where surprises were the order of the day there was a feeling in Week 5 that the old way of doing things was returning.
In the Prem the top three all won and indeed won convincingly. Ascot United set the tone with an impressive 7-2 triumph at Kew Park Rangers. Kew certainly kept at it and with the score at 4-2 with 20 minutes left the game was far from done. Ascot nonetheless kept dominating possession and a hat-trick from Ian Davies plus other goals by Adam Moroney, John Nutter, Matt Newall and Mikey Lewis were enough to see them home.
Chelsea remain in second place following a 7-2 win themselves. They travelled to Whippet Wanderers. The three points there leaves them just the one point behind Ascot. West London Rams remain third (but with a game in hand). They hosted Croxley Green and just missed out on what would have been a trio of 7-2 wins for the top three sides; they only managed a 6-2 triump, Wade McKay scoring four with Bashiru Alimi and Andrew Hiblen getting one apiece.
At the other end of the table Nottsborough are still looking for their first point of the season. They came off second best when they travelled to Poly (3-1). Poly, meanwhile, are now fifth on seven points. A welcome improvement on the struggles they endured last year.
The final game in the top flight was a goal-fest on steroids, Bank of England winning a thriller at Claygate 6-5. At half-time there was little inclination of the craziness that was to come as the sides went in at 1-1. Claygate then nudged ahead before Ali Ampou El Ela helped himself to a couple for the Bank. An own goal and another from the ever-reliable Farouk Ampou El Ela then put the visitors 5-2 up.
Game over? Erm, no, Claygate came roaring back and with two minutes left on the clock they pulled it back to 5-5. Danny Cale then went and ruined Claygate celebrations by notching the 11th and decisive goal of the game; the Bank snuck home 6-5. And, breathe everyone…..
Wandsworth hit the top of Div 1
With Hersham having a week off the chance was there for the everyone else to make a bit of ground on the early pace-setters. And, that’s exactly what Wandsworth Borough did. They beat Civil Service 3-1 and now sit top of the pile.
Robbie Burns (no, not that one), Ivan Ershov and Jamie McNally were on target, although McNally unfortunately dislocated his shoulder later in the game and will now be missing for a while. James Riley replied for Civils courtesy of a cracking pile-driver, but it wasn’t enough to see them salvage anything from the game.
The Army Crusaders also had a decent weekend; they beat the Acton Ealing Whistlers 5-0. As ever with the Crusaders, it’s all about availability. When they get the side out that they can then they are match for any team in this division, and that was certainly the case on Saturday.
Seif Nabil set the Crusaders on their way in the first half, and goals from Ali Beard, Ant Gailey were then followed by couple more from Nail. The Army triumphed 5-0. That win sees them nicely nestled in in third place.
Elsewhere Laleham & Kempton had a bad day at the office, going down 5-1 to Old Actonians. That win catapults Old As off the bottom and into 6th place. Double H were also able to register their first win of the campaign. They beat West Kensington Kings in a ding, dong doo of an encounter. 8-4 it ended.
Ascot IIs slip up in Div 2
The one big surprise of the week came in Division Two where leaders Ascot United came off second best at previously winless Old Lyonians.
The Yellas had plenty of the play and at times looked really good, but Lyonians kept at it and eventually came out 4-3 winners. Carl Collins and Ben Spence scored two of the Ascot goals, whilst the third came from an old skool melee in the six yard box.
Lyonians’ last minute winner sees them move above a struggling Bank of England IIs. The Bank lost 3-0 against a decent Putney Vale Rangers outfit. The Vale had much the better of the 90 minutes, and goals from Kal Wilson and talisman Chris Burl saw them smoothly home.
Jamrock also benefited from Ascot’s slip and they now head up the league table. They made the trek, erm, across Duke’s Meadow to face Old Meadonians and won 4-3. That sees them on 12 points, two ahead of both Ascot and Latimer Road. Latimer also had a decent day. They travelled to Old Tiffs and won pretty comfortably (5-2). Nick Joseph bagged a couple there, with Dean Lamb, Ross Blackman and the ever-consistent Simeon Williams helping themselves to the others.
Commeth the hour…..
Division Three remains arguably the most confusing division of them all with left-field results coming at us left, right and centre.
Clapham Old Xaverians set the tone there, drawing 2-2 at Molesey Lighthouse. Clapham have generally been flying along, but they definitely have the odd slip in them. And this was one.
The loss of star marksman James Branwood early on didn’t help the Xaverians’ cause, but their “bargain basement Thierry Henry”, James Allen, manged to break the deadlock in Xavs’ favour. Molesey, however, were showing some decent resilience and didn’t take long to draw level before Allen again nudged Clapham in front. 2-1 and it looked like job done for the side from Norbury.
Drama then descended as Molesey found themselves with a last-minute opportunity to level the scores from 12 yards. That they did and 2-2 it ended.
Ruislip Rangers took advantage of Clapham’s slip to close the gap at the top to just the one point. They travelled to Croxley Green IIs and won 4-3. Poor old Croxley now find themselves bottom of the pile.
The final game of the day saw arguably the weekend’s most momentous moment. MMB hosted Claygate Royals’ Hounds in a big derby game. Former MMB striker Dave Sewell opened the scoring against his old club, but Scott Stafford pulled things level following an almighty goalmouth scramble. 1-1 and the second half clock was ticking.
Commeth the hour, however, and commeth the man. MMB stalwart Tony Power is not a man known for any particular goalscoring prowess, indeed he’s only managed one goal for the Milkmen in seven years. Well, make that two in seven now. Power stepped up and smashed the ball home from outside the box to give MMB a hard-earned three points. For good measure, they move up to third place in the table, too.
Saturday 4 November is a Supervets Saturday, and three games are scheduled to take place. Normal league fare is back on on offer on 10/11 November.
Go well everyone.