The AFA cup did its very best to cause havoc with the West London Vets’ League (WLVFL) programme on 17/18 November. Only six games took place, three in the Prem and one in each of the other divisions.
The Rams move ahead
Still, the games that were played were clearly meaningful. Three of them had clear impacts on the top of the Prem, Division One and indeed Division Two.
West London Rams were the main beneficiaries in the Prem. Their contest with Ascot United was pretty even for an hour, but the visitors to the Racecourse ultimately raced away at the end to win 6-1. Vincent Achampong bagged a couple, as did the irrepressible Paul Jones. Andrew Hiblen and Andre Scarlett also got on the scoresheet, whilst Ian Davies scored a consolation from the penalty spot for Ascot.
Whippet Wanderers will also be pleased with their weekend’s work. They travelled to Claygate and won 7-4. Shaun Lyon started the scoring off with a penalty, before adding a second later on. Victor Badu continued his good form by notching a couple, whilst Logan Plant also bagged a brace. Neil Robinson rounded things off.
The final game in the top-flight saw Kew Park Rangers (KPR) move out of the relegation places following a 4-0 triumph against Poly. Poly remain anchored to the bottom, but they do at least have a couple of games in hand. All is not lost yet.
Laleham & Kempton nearly pull off a surprise
Elsewhere, Hersham Southside have opened up a four-point gap at the top of Division One. They beat Laleham & Kempton, but it was far from a walk in the park for the divisional pace-setters. With 10 minutes to go Laleham & Kempton were 3-2 up and looking to inflict the first defeat of the season on Gene Shafique’s men. Hersham Southside nonetheless turned things round with a couple of late goals. Chris Harmston, Julian Renner-Thomas, Tommy Keane and the redoubtable Stevie Lewis were on target for them.
There are also new leaders in Division Two. Old Tiffianians have had a good month and they came out convincing 3-0 winners against Old Lyonians. That three goal win was precisely what they needed to go top; they now head the table on goals scored (24 to 20) from Ascot United’s second string and indeed on goal difference from Latimer Road (plus nine v plus five). With Jamrock just a point further back, and Old Meads two behind them this has all the makings of an exciting title run in.
The final league game of the weekend saw MMB win the local derby at AFC Hampton. They came out 4-1 winners. There were no Tony Power blockbusters this week, with the Milkmen relying on a couple of strikes from Ollie Whiteford, and one each from Jody Yee plus a flying volley from Mike Maroussas to seal the points.
A fair few WLVFL sides are going to be making it two cup games in two weeks on 24/25 November. Why? As the first major cup weekend of the season looms large!
Teams in the Prem and Division One will be taking part in the League Cup, teams in Division Twos, Three and from the Supervets competition will be setting out to try and win the newly minted League Vase.
In terms of the League Cup, there are a number of potentially interesting ties out there. Top flight Bank of England are off to Division One leaders Hersham Southside in what is the only Prem v Div 1 encounter of the weekend (Nottsborough v Ascot United has been postponed). There are three all-Prem ties (Whippets v Claygate, KPR v Chelsea and Croxley v Poly) and two all-Div One encounters (Actonians v Laleham & Kempton and WKK v Civil Service). West London Rams and Wandsworth meet to try and actually get into the first round (theirs is a preliminary round contest).
The first ever fixtures in the Vase look interesting. Ruislip Rangers host Jamrock from the division above, whilst Clapham Xaverians will fancy their chances of springing a surprise at Old Lyonians. It’ll also be interesting to see how the Chelsea Supervets get on against high-flying Old Tiffs.
Go well, everyone