OK, so only 3 points separate the sides prior to the game, and each has some ground to make up on the leaders at present, but this is a significant step for the visitors. After stepping up to the plate and taking on the challenge of Senior Division football, they are proving that quality football week in week out is helping towards their goals. Little did they know that their attitude would allow them to sit at the top able and be heard too. Global have seen action in only one league game and will welcome back some players as they attempt to get their show on the road but know their “A” game will be needed in this clash.


There is an intriguing backdrop to this match-up in that both sides seem to be in fine form ahead of the game at Lyle Park. I know how important it was for Ben to take his lads back to their spiritual home and they’ll, once again, treat the visitors to a unique and often underestimated occasion that very few escape without having to go the extra mile. Ross will take his team and have to prepare them as only he knows how to. Last season he managed to repay a heavy loss but how will he contend with a trip to E16?


Both of these sides are looking for their first points of the season, but each have seen their fair share of action already. As I have said before, I have a lot of time for the youngsters out at Newbury Forest who always seem eager to learn and drink from the cup at the top table as it can only make them better. Finding themselves just a goal short but never out of the game shows how far along their journey they have travelled. Belfry on the other hand have had enough action that most never see in a season of ups and downs. On their day that are simply a team you don’t want to meet, but sometimes they will capitulate and lose their way. Thankfully for them, they learn quickly, and wins will follow that elevate their belief and standing within the football community. They’ll be ready for this match though, as last week’s devastating loss of the SF against Barkingside will be all the motivation they need.


Sundays are made for games like this. Red Star will be hurt after losing against JK Silvertown, but still have a lead at the top of the table. The management team will be keen to prove it was a just a blip on their overall intentions of creating waves at the highest level. Now they will be facing Barkingside who will be cock-a-hoop after deliver a knockout blow in a dominant win in their semi-final last weekend. Nothing will have shaken their confidence though as they always have the belief that hard work, talent & delivery on the day are key elements to success. The rest of the league will be sitting up and taking notice of who gets the upper hand in this one but predicting the winner at this stage would be foolish.



It would be fair to both sides to admit that the season has had an inauspicious start. Home team have nearly always risen above the challenges before them, but a 50/50 start has them playing catch-up already. They’ll never be far from the equation and maybe that’s where their strength really lies. Their ability is never in question and if they manage to ally that with the belief that they really are a dangerous team to compete with the very best. Wolfpack promised a lot before the season but have had to regroup of late. They cannot hope for any more of a test than a visit to Chigwell Lane and what promises to be a contest of exciting and unexpected proportions.


If ever there was a perfect match-up it would be this one. Flamengo are embarking on their first game of the season with the tag of being extremely tough to beat while the visitors have celebrated and sunk in equal measures so far. How far they will get depends on how much they like the trip to Douglas Eyre and the home sides turf. It is a journey that will, by the time you arrive, separate the men from the boys. Kriso & Grant have very different tasks getting their troops ready for the game but now it is all down to the teams to prove how much they want to get to the next level. But if it comes down to passion, then there’s nothing in it.


Now this will be a game when the home team will be fancying their chances, but the visitors have equal hopes of upsetting the apple cart. It’s true that the home team have stepped up but then again, so have the boys in blue. After a bad defeat in the cup against SFN, they’ll be well up for some kind of revenge taking on Rainham who have had their smatterings of good results in past seasons. If I was a betting man, I’d have the same amount on each team but happy if the winner at the end of the day was football itself.


If passion was the only consideration, then these would be playing a fourth replay before a result could be determined. The Catholics took Weare Utd all the way in a cup tie whilst Hillford have shown dogged resistance and determination beyond expectations and have established a healthy 100% record in Division One. Maybe this is the day that South Ilford take a chunk off that win percentage, but then again, it’s probably the hardest call of the weekend.



Gas will be calling on all their mental strength to build on last weeks good win over the Colts. Keeping a clean sheet in the process will have added some belief that they can enjoy another good season while upsetting a few of the fancied teams along the way. EMH have had quite the start, heading the division with a perfect start from their opening three games. Last week they were soundly beaten in the Premier Cup to Senior opposition and this game couldn’t come soon enough to regroup and learn the harsh lessons from that match.


This game could be the one that earns either side their first win of the season. They actually met in a thrilling Premier Cup encounter last Sunday with Athletic edging it with the odd goal in nine. One thing’s for sure, they will both fancy their chances and the cameras will be there to see if they can replicate that “defensive” masterclass. It’s the chosen ESFC game of the week so check out YouTube later in the week.


Probably as close a game on paper that will be played on Sunday. Both sides have the experience at higher levels but maybe struggled for consistency in recent times. Neither though look for excuses as they seek to re-establish, regain and push for a little bit of success along the way. Jamie & Damian certainly have the passion for the game and will send out their sides keen to impress and gain some valuable points.

Stats Leaders


ALEX BAILEY (EMH)                                6

FRANKIE SINCLAIR (Barkingside)        6

DEAN HURCH (Cardinals)                      4

IBRAHIM KHAN (FC Leytonstone)      4

Golden Gloves

MARK NEWMAN (Hillford)                   4

MARK LOVETT (Beckton Gas)               1

CHRISTOPHER SMYTH (SFN)                1