Buckhurst Hill were able to open a lead at the top on Saturday – being the only team in the top four to secure a win. The leaders were finally able to overcome a resilient Hutton outfit that held the lead twice thanks to Brad Freeman and Chris Skingley finding the target. However a Steve Townsend brace, a Keeton Moore effort plus an own goal saw Buckhurst Hill take the spoils with a 4-2 away win. Second-placed Harold Wood Athletic drew 2-2 with Sungate. Charlie Liddiard and Brad Foley scoring the Harold Wood goals with Reece Simpson and James Smith replying for Sungate. Third-placed Kelvedon Hatch drew 1-1 at Old Southendian; John Staines scoring for the hosts with Dan Gillard the Kelvedon marksman. Bishop’s Stortford Swifts meanwhile remain fourth despite a 3-2 setback against Rayleigh Town. Harry Talbot, Max Jones and Dillon Southgate were the Rayleigh scorers, cancelling out the Swifts goals that were claimed by Charles Brown and Gavin Cockman. Catholic United have suddenly re-gained their winning habit and have now won four league games on the spin. On Saturday they brushed aside Springfield with a 4-1 win with Tom Hollingsworth scoring all the goals in the first half. Dan Gage scored a screamer for Great Baddow in their 3-3 draw with Canning Town; Luke Perry scored the other two Baddow goals, with Neil Barrett (2) and Chris Barrett getting their names on the Canning Town score sheet.
Shoebury Town move up to third after a 3-2 win over Harold Wood Athletic Res. Derek Hawtin and Joe Pyne scored for the visitors who drop down to fourth.
Laindon Orient closed the gap on Westhamians’ lead to a mere point after a 3-1 away win at Roydon. Charlie Rider had fired the hosts into a 1-0 half-time lead but Laindon Orient had a second half turnaround as James Shadwell, Henry Ballard and Ashley Blackburn all hitting the net. Leigh Town and Academy Soccer meanwhile got all their scoring out of the way in the first half; Sam Irvine notching for the hosts, with a Rhys Wilson screamer plus a strike from Sam Parrish supplying the Academy goals. Old Southendian Res. beat local rivals Basildon Town Res. thanks to a Dave Stubbs brace alongside a goal from Harry Da Costa. The hosts bagged their consolation via Scott Cooper.
Saturday 29th December
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts 2 Rayleigh Town 3
Great Baddow 3 Canning Town 3
Harold Wood Athletic 2 Sungate 2
Hutton 2 Buckhurst Hill 4
Old Southendian 1 Kelvedon Hatch 1
Springfield 1 Catholic United 4
Shoebury Town 3 Harold Wood Athletic Res. 2
Basildon Town Res. 1 Old Southendian Res. 3
Leigh Town 1 Academy Soccer 2
Roydon 1 Laindon Orient 3
Buckhurst Hill v Manford Way
Catholic United v Great Baddow
Harold Wood Athletic v Canning Town
Hutton v Old Southendian
Kelvedon Hatch v Bishop’s Stortford Swifts
Leigh Ramblers v Rayleigh Town
Springfield v Sungate
Basildon Town v May & Baker E.C. Res.
Herongate Athletic v Frenford Res.
Ramsden Scotia v Old Chelmsfordians
Rayleigh Town Res. v Ongar Town
Shenfield AFC v Snaresbrook
Chingford Athletic v Toby
Lakeside v Harold Wood Athletic Res.
May & Baker E.C. ‘A’ v Rochford Town
Newham United v Upminster
Runwell Sports v Ryan
Shoebury Town v Beacon Hill Rovers
Academy Soccer v Hutton Res.
Old Chelmsfordians Res. v Basildon Town Res.
Old Southendian Res. v White Ensign Res.
Roydon v Leigh Town
Westhamians v Wakering Sports