11 November 2023
West London Vets’ League, Week 6
Week 6 of the West London Vets’ League (WLVFL) saw a change at the top of the Premier Division. Chelsea Vets, perennial champions over the years, have eased a point clear of the chasing pack.
Elsewhere Hersham Southside won the big game in Division One, whilst Ascot United’s second string and Jamrock enjoyed a feast of football in the top of the table clash in Division Two. Clapham and Ruislip both won in Division 3 and they are now six points clear at the top. Not quite promoted just yet, but certainly in great positions.
Chelsea back on top
The Chelsea machine appears to be moving through the gears. Following a bumpy start to the campaign they’ve now got into the groove and sit nicely top of the pile.
On 11 November they hosted Claygate Royals and they came through impressively. The ever-lively Scott Todd scored a couple, and Tommy Williams, Chelsea’s midfield general, also got in on the goal-scoring act. Mike Walsh also notched as Chelsea ultimately ran out 6-1 winners.
West London Rams are now up into second place. They hosted Kew Park Rangers and ran riot. KPR did manage three goals and that’s more than many do against the Rams, but they unfortunately conceded 11. Wade McKaye helped himself to seven (!). Has anyone ever scored more goals in a WLVFL game? Answers on a postcard please. Vincent Achampong’s hat-trick looks positively small fry compared to that.
Ascot United, leaders at the start of the day, slipped to third after drawing 2-2 at Whippet Wanderers. Victor Badu and Neil Robinson were on target for the Whippets, Robinson recovering to score in the last minute having seen Yellas’ keeper Nick Beard save his penalty a few minutes before. Ian Davies and Adam Moroney were on target for Ascot.
Elsewhere Bank of England are also in the hunt for the top slots. They are now on 12 points, just the one behind Ascot and the WLR and two behind leaders Chelsea. It’s tight up there. The Bank came out 3-1 winners against a struggling Nottsborough at the weekend, James O’Brien and Dan Caley were on target, whilst the Bank benefitted from what sounded like a decidedly comical own goal.
The final game in the division saw Poly host Croxley Green. Croxley were ultimately victorious in what sounded like a close one. They won 4-3.
Hersham win top-of-the-table contest in Div 1
The standout game in Division One saw top-of-the-table Wandsworth Borough travel to Hersham Southside. And, it was the hosts that came out on top. Goal machine Steve Reddings helped himself to four, with Nick Harrison and Chris Harmston also getting in on the goal-scoring act. The win sees Hersham take over the top spot, a point ahead of the Borough with a game in hand.
Army Crusaders didn’t play, but they remain third. Acton Ealing Whistlers are fourth, and that despite coming off second best against West Kensington Kings (WKK). On the face if it that looks like a shock; it was WKK’s first win of the season. But, the Kings are a decent side and Acton were under no illusions about it being a tough game.
The Kings raced into a 3-1 lead, but Acton then managed to pull the scores back level. Pavel Machac and Scott Calvert were the marksmen there. An injury time winner nonetheless saw the Kings home.
Civil Service had a decent weekend, and they now move up one place to sixth. Laleham & Kempton took a first minutelead, but James Riley got Civils back into the game when he pinged a shot in from outside the box. Kevin Davies added a decisive second with a header from a corner.
Feast of Football at the Racecourse
Much as was the case in Division One, the top two in Division two also met. Jamrock travelled to Ascot United IIs and the two sides served up a decidedly entertaining encounter.
Ascot started brightly, Chris Watney finishing off an excellent move to give them the lead. Watney then went off injured, as did midfield dynamo Andy Gleave; Ascot needed to re-group and that helped Jamrock get firmly back into the game.
As the game moved into the second half Jamrock continued to exert pressure, but it was nonetheless Ascot who grabbed the second goal. The ever-silky Mickey Parker played in Dan Hough and the Yellas were two up.
That, however, wasn’t the end of things. Jamrock scrambled a goal from a corner, and then went all out for the equaliser. That left a bit of space at the back, and with Paul Hamblin and Jez Myhan running through brick walls up top an Ascot third was always an option. Sure enough, a turbo-charged Adam Abusweder tackled the ball into the net to see Ascot United safely home.
Elsewhere Latimer Road are still firmly in the promotion shake up. They are now second, only behind Ascot on goal difference. Paul Mills got things rolling in Latimer Road’s game against Lyonians, finding the target with a lovely strike from outside the box. Dean Lamb then added a second and although Lyonians did grab a goal themselves, Lats got him 3-1.
Old Meadonians and Old Tiffinians are also within striking distance of the top thanks to impressive victories at the weekend. Meadonians beat an under-strength Putney Vale Rangers 3-0 whilst Tiffs hammered a struggling Bank of England IIs 8-0.
Xavs take the strain
Clapham Old Xaverians remain top of the pile in Division Three, although Ruislip Rangers remain close on their heels.
An understrength Clapham were faced with a potentially awkward trip to Claygate Royals Hounds on Saturday. They started slowly but still managed to take the lead via debutant Shaun Overy. Centre-back Joe Gnanhoua then, for reasons largely unknown, appeared on the right wing and crossed the ball into the Clapham net. 2-0 and things were going nicely for the visitors.
The game was effectively done when Andy Douglas, David Davies and James Branwood combined to set up Luke Roszkowski. The Hounds did fight back in the second half and with Xavs’ Spencer Grady (“a bargain basement Charles Bronson”, so the word on the street has it) getting his marching orders the host sniffed a chance to get back in the game.
Claygate did managed to notch from a set-piece, but it was too little too late and Xavs were able to travel back to Norbury with three points in their respective back pockets.
Ruislip Rangers, meanwhile, had a rather more straightforward win against Hampton. They came through 7-1 and that sees them remain just a point behind the Xaverians.
The only other game in the division saw Croxley Green IIs welcome Molesey Lighthouse. A goalscoring extravaganza ensued, with Croxley ultimately running out 7-4 winners. Croxley will be particularly pleased with that; it’s their first win of the campaign.
There’s no rest for the wicked in the WLVFL with another round of fixtures looming large on 17/18 November.
The standout contest looks like it’ll be at the Racecourse Ground where second plays third in the Prem. West London Rams probably won’t have their new signing, Thomas Vermalen, in the ranks, but they’ll still almost certainly be strong. It could be a real hum-dinger.
Elsewhere top of the table Chelsea go to bottom of the pile Nottsborough. Stranger things have happened, but you’d still expect the visitors to be victorious there.
Fourth placed Bank of England welcome Croxley Green whilst the Whippets are off to Claygate Royals Hares. Kew Park Rangers welcome Poly in the division’s final game.
In Division One Hersham are on the road, they visit Laleham & Kempton in what is in effect a local derby. WKK will be looking to carry on their good form when they visit the Army Crusaders, and Acton Ealing Whistlers will be looking to get back on the horse when they host Actonians.
The fixture list in Division Two has been decimated somewhat; Putney Vale Rangers and Old Meadonians are in AFA Cup action so that means Old Lyonians and Old Tiffs are the only sides in action. Old Tiffs certainly have plenty of incentive to go well; if they can win 3-0 or better then they’ll go top of the league.
Two games are scheduled for Saturday in Division Three. Neither of the top two are involved so nothing will change there, but third placed MMB can make up ground when they travel round the corner to play AFC Hampton. Croxley will be looking to leap up the table with a second win in two weeks; they host Claygate Hounds.
Go well everyone.