FC Leytonstone took advantage of the mounting injuries and unavailables for Loxford Lions but fully justified their early season tag as favourites for the Premier Division title. Smart recruitment and building on a superb show in last season’s showpiece cup final have seen the lads in yellow sweep everything before them in a 100% start to the league campaign.

Sure, not every game has been a landslide but everybody is sitting up and taking notice.

Sunday’s 10-1 victory sits them atop the division with weathered opponents, JK Silvertown and Global perched menacingly behind them. JK themselves were earning kudos with a magnificent 3-2 win over Wormingford in the County Cup. Next up for the Canning Town/Custom House lads is a local derby vs Baiteze Squad on the 22 January 2023. We will be looking for everyone to get over there to support Jimmy, Ben & the boys in what will be a mightily tough appointment. We want to show them we can also back our teams.

In the Ron Garard Cup, Division One form team, Cardinals Athletic are proving a real handful. Out of the blocks early in the visit to Rainham WMC, they were 2-0 up at HT as their hosts were often chasing shadows. Rainy conditions and a heavy pitch contributed to Rainhams misery as mistakes were punished and the Cardinals established their stranglehold on proceedings. But as the game wore on, the Workies found another gear to suddenly make a game of it and create a bit of uncertainty grabbing two goals to reduce the deficit with around 15 mins to play. But that’s as good as it got as the Cardinals refreshed their personal and adopted more direct gameplay, knowing gaps would be left at the back as the equaliser was sought. Sure enough, the clincher came with a breakaway that sealed a deserved triumph on the day and a spot in the next round for a jubilant and impressive Cardinals team.

In Division one action, South Ilford Catholics travelled to BSL FC and came away with three points, adding to their recent good form which saw them take over the lead in the division last time out. Never an easy place to visit, nor a side you’d want to face when you need a victory, the Catholics managed to earn the win on the back of some great team play. I had spoken to the South Ilford management in advance of the game and they told me they were keen to play, adding that their form was good and wanted to keep it going. Knowing how tough it is to reach for the wins, momentum is obviously important and maybe that’s why they were able to eventually come away with the points.

The division is looking very spicy indeed, still a long way to go and several teams still in the battle for promotion and honours.

As a league, that’s all we can ask for. Seems like most games are being played with respect for each other and the sanctity of credible competition. Long may it continue.

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By Joe

Founded in 1937, we are the oldest established Sunday Football League for open age players.