By Scott Lanza
Friday 4th January
Barkingside 3 Tower Hamlets 0
Woodford Town 1 Ilford 1
Saturday 5th January
Clapton 2 Leyton Athletic 2
Enfield 3 Hoddesdon Town 2
Hullbridge Sports 6 Sawbridgeworth Town 1
Redbridge 0 Takeley 1
Southend Manor 0 St Margaretsbury 1
Sporting Bengal United 2 West Essex 1
Stanway Rovers 1 Stansted 2
Walthamstow 3 Saffron Walden Town 1
Barkingside went into 2019 in the same way as they left 2018 – by winning. The Side hosted Tower Hamlets on Friday evening and posted their second win of the season as goals from David Hornsby, Joe Oates and Garjay Thompson saw Barkingside cruise to a 3-0 victory. They remain bottom but having suddenly it seems found a winning formula. Woodford Town were denied all the points in their Friday night encounter with Ilford as Callum Maltese equalised for the Foxes in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Jayden Thompson-Brissett had handed the Woods the lead in the 55th minute and they remain 5th. Stansted remain at the top of the pile but they had to work mightily hard before overcoming Stanway Rovers. Both teams had chances in the opening half, with Connor Hammond having a penalty saved by the Stanway keeper. It took until the 63rd minute before the Airportmen opened their account, with James Peagram the scorer. But Stanway replied soon afterwards via Scott Kemp. Peagram however popped up again in the 88th minute to give Stansted a winning start to the New Year. The 2-1 win keeps four points clear at the top.
Hullbridge Sports have games in hand though and they put on a second half show of strength that saw them beat Sawbridgeworth Town at the Ryan Heating Stadium. The Robins actually took the lead in the 13th minute through Joe Wright, and the hosts didn’t find an equaliser until first half stoppage time when Adebola Sotoyinbo levelled the scores. Hullbridge went on to win the game with a display of devastating fire power in the final twenty minutes. Michael Salako started the goal spree in the 70th minute, Nathan Scarborough put his name on the score sheet four minutes later; a penalty success by Sotoyinbo saw him score his second of the afternoon and three minutes later he went on to complete his hat-trick. Salako then completed the scoring by adding his second in the 83rd minute and the 6-1 win keeps Hullbridge in Stansted’s slip stream, with three games in hand over the leaders.
Takeley keep their hand in the title race after winning at Redbridge. The Motormen saw a management replacement in midweek, with Ricky Eaton now concentratin solely on his Chairman role, with Mickey Wetherall taking over in the Redbridge dug-out having come over from May & Baker. Midweek his new side lost 5-0 at Walthamstow, and they were beaten by a Jason Todd goal just before half time that won the game for Takeley and sees them remain 3rd. Redbridge meanwhile sit above the bottom two, with a points advantage, but needing to find a winning formula of their own if they don’t want to get dragged into any late season relegation dramas. Southend Manor sit one place above Redbridge and they too were handed a 1-0 home defeat by St Margaretsbury, with Phil Lowen supplying the winning goal in the 63rd minute. Leyton Athletic posted a point to the board after a 2-2 draw with Clapton. Ryan Reed and Jacob Kromann scored for the Tons, the visitors replied via Mario Gniji and Rujorn Tuitt. Clapton sit in much safer mid table waters after this result: Leyton Athletic remain in the relegation zone.
Walthamstow were handed the lead against Saffron Walden Town via an own goal. Never a sensible thing to do when Stow have Dwade James in their front line, and he went on to score twice which sees him now joint top scorer. Ryan Fleming scored the Saffron Walden reply who are 4th in the table, with Walthamstow two places behind and two points further back. Sporting Bengal United are 7th after a 2-1 win over West Essex at Mile End Stadium. Charles Gregory and Kamarl Duncan scoring the goals that cancelled out Michael Mignot’s goal, with the defeat leaving West Essex in 12th place. Enfield saw off Hoddesdon Town with a last minute Ben Bradbury winner, but the E’s had gone into a 2-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes with Daniel Chambers and Reece Barrett the marksmen. But Hoddesdon reduced arrears in the 47th minute through Coutney Clay and then Kane Lowe put them back on level terms just past the hour. All in vain as it turned out.