And we start this week with the morning cup final at VCD, which pitted Phoenix Knights against all conquering FC Royals in the Alliance Cup. Some stubborn defending and poor finishing from Phoenix meant after 45 minutes the game was in deadlock at 0-0, but it didn’t take long for the Royals to take control in the second half. Jerel Morris lobbed FC Royals into the lead in the 1st minute of the second half and then the game opened up. Matt Snow in the Knights goal brought down a Royals forward and there was Morris to fire in his second from the spot. The author of this was still looking for a GIF on Twitter when Richard Monan scored a third; no idea how, but he was celebrating!! Knights continued to press forward, but after 71 minutes Leon Nicholas made it 4 for Royals. 9 minutes later and Micah Banton hit the 5th and Jerel Morris completed his hat-trick two minutes into stoppage time for an emphatic, 6-0 win over Phoenix Knights to lift the Alliance Cup. To be honest the score didn’t do justice to Knights, who battled all the way but the two quickfire goals in the second half seemed to knock the stuffing out of them.
The second final of the day saw Barnehurst take on Jam for the Presidents Cup. No one could really predict which way this was going to go. A lot depended on which teams turned up for each side. Jam came out of the blocks well and pressed Barnehurst from the off, and it paid off as Reion McFarlane fired in a screamer from long range to give Jam the lead in the first 15 minutes. Some end to end football ensued and tempers flared in the 40th minute in front of the benches with 3 yellow cards as a result. The second half continued and after 49 minutes Ben Short hit a thunderous shot that Ashley Headley in the Jam goal got down to save well. As the game went on the tackles started to fly in and the cards came out on a more regular basis, but in the 85th minute the yellow turned to Red for Barnhurst’s Ben Short, after being penalised for a challenge, told the referee what he thought of him and received a straight red. 8 minutes were added at the end, in a nail biting finale, but Jam held on to claim victory and lift the Presidents Cup for the first time.
Meanwhile, elsewhere it was business as usual and in the Plumstead Challenge Cup, holders Bayswater travelled to 2017 finalists Baldon Sports of the London & Kent Suburban League, and a goal fest followed. After a goal-less first half, the leashes came off in the second half, which finished 4-4 taking the game to extra time, and it was the holders that came out on top after another 4 goals in extra time gave a result of 8-5 to Bayswater RK. Tunde Aderonmu & Sulaiman Charm both scored twice, with Edi Borges, Harry King, Ryan Styles, & Elie Kayembe all also on target. Bayswater RK will now face either Lullingstone of the Orpington & Bromley League or Premier Division Champions elect Welling Town A in the final on May 19th.
In the WESFA Shield Junior Reds Athletic finish top of the group with a 4-1 win over Lessa FXI to set up a final against Vanbrugh on May 12th at Meridian Sports.
In the Amalgamated Lifts Limited Premier Division, a Sam Bailey hat-trick all but sealed the title for Welling Town A, in a 6-1 win against Woolwich 90. TJ Jaiyeola was also on target with two goals, while Elliott Usher hit one. Danny Edwards hit the consolation for Woolwich 90.
In the Supreme Engraving Senior Division, Under the Radar maintained their one point lead at the top thanks to a 5-3 win over South East Athletic Maroon. Jamie Blunden, Jedidiah Brown, Tolulope Jonah, Thomas Ngegba and Wazir Azeez all on target for UTR, while Chris Rostek, Edward Holbrook and Danny Savage were the scorers for SEA Maroon. Long Lane kept up the chase, with a 4-2 win over Mottingham Forest. Jaxon Fowler and Nick Smith on target for Mottingham, but no scorers available on Full Time for Long Lane. Springhill United remain in touch in third with Bayswater in cup action, after Catford Wanderers were given a sharp reminder that you should have registration cards with you at the game, as Springhill refused to play the league game and were consequently awarded the result, which comes with no goals, so won’t help their goal difference, although to be fair is only inferior to Under the Radar. Elsewhere Turk Ocagi Limasol Russellers continue their late surge up the table with an 8-2 win over 9th placed Orpington Eagles. 4 goals from Carl Obiltey did the damage, but Tijani Eshilokun was close behind with 3 of his own. Bryan Delgado got in on the act as well with a goal of his own. Mitchell Row and John Richards were on target for the Eagles who saw Nathan Brown sent off.
In the Danson Property Services Division One, Welling Town missed the chance to go back to the top going down 3-2 to 4th placed Bostall Rangers. Lee Harris, George Horrigan and James Purkiss. for Bostall, Jacob Smale and Dilan Melchisedek-Nlendi on target for Welling. Mottingham Park Rangers continue in 3rd place with a 4-0 win over Woolwich Spartans. David Ricketts with a brace, Stuart Jordeson and Adam Ezrouki also on target.
In the ABA Technical Division Two, Abbeymead go top after inflicting Russellers first league defeat of the season, John Woodcock hitting both goals in a 2-0 win. At the other end of the table Woolwich Royals finally got a win and it was one that lifted them off the foot of the table, securing an 11-5 win in a barmy match at Meridian Sports. Darren Woodvine hit 4, Yavor Hristov 3 and Steven Armstrong, Michael Shote and Ashley Megson all got one for Woolwich Royals, while Charlie Tagg and Aaqil Githae both scored trice with Josh Harrison once for Beacons who had Sam Peiniger see Red. Finally Foots Cray Rugby Club Danson Albion and Bexley Wanderers played out a 1-1 draw thanks to goals Charlie Edwards & Rio Daniel Douglas.
In the Summerhill Music Division Three, AFC Kingfisher are all finished and wait at the top to see if Eltham Lions can catch them. Well they took one step here, with a 3-2 win over Baldon Sports Reserves. Two goals from Ben Newman and one from Ryan Smith for Eltham, while Ben Cotter and Ryan Mehmet were on target for Baldon it just wasn’t enough. Unable to catch the leaders, but unwilling to give up second spot are Orpington Eagles Reserves who inflicted a 14-2 defeat on AFC Sporting Greenwich who still are yet to get a point. Adam Chapman led the way for Eagles with 6 goals, Laurence Lefevre bagged a hat-trick, Byron Bourne a brace, with Gary Pryde, Billy Ward and Ross Smith all getting a goal each as well. Stephen Bailey and Shaun Brewster were on target for Greenwich. Peckham Rye are comfortably 4th after a 2-1 win over WESFA Shield Finalists Vanbrugh thanks to goals from Anthony Dennis and Tarique Jules. Oluwafemi Aromaona with the consolation for Vanbrugh.