West London Veterans League Week 9 Review

#WeAreAscot.

13 January 2024

West London Vets’ League, Week 9 Review

Goals Galore!

Last weekend saw 14 games and 95 goals over a bumper couple of days of action across the West London Vets’ League. Chelsea Vets won the top-of-the-table clash in the Prem, Wandsworth closed the gap on Hersham to one solitary point in Division 1, Jamrock have now begun to open up a lead in Division 2 and Ruislip Rangers are the new leaders in Division 3. 

The highest scorers of the day weren’t, however, to be found in league action. It was Ascot United who took the accolade there, cruising through in their League Cup 1st round tie against Nottsborough. Ian Davis was in belligerent mood; he bagged five. Adam Moroney helped himself to a brace, whilst even left-back Neil Corbett got in on the goal-scoring act. A full report from this game is available here.

Chelsea Vets back on top

Back in the league, Chelsea Vets travelled to West London Rams in a much anticipated second meeting of the season. A tumultuous first game that involved injured referees, ‘shinpad-gate’ (don’t ask) and missed re-taken penalties had ultimately ended all-square. This time round, however, Chelsea grasped the nettle and took all three points.

They did so even though Thomas Vermaelen – a player with Arsenal and Barcelona on his CV, plus the small matter of 85 caps for Belgium – turned out for the WLR. One suspects that he may not have played at the centre of defence; the Rams conceded seven and only managed three at the other end. Juan Montalban, Tommy Williams, Danny Jordan and Scott Todd were all in amongst the goals for Chelsea.

Elsewhere, Bank of England are now up into third place. Sure, they’ve played a couple of games more than at least one of their chasers, but they’ll nonetheless be pleased with how the season has been panning out. That having been said, they only managed a point at Polytechnic on Saturday, and will have been disappointed when the hosts drew level via a penalty with just a couple of minutes on the clock. The ever-reliable Ali Ampou El Ela was on target for the Bank.

Whippet Wanderers also drew at the weekend, and that was enough to take them into fourth spot. Whether they were happy with 4-4 against Kew Park Rangers is another matter altogether. The Whippets raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of goals from Logan Plant and Billy Dosanjh, and that’s how things were at half-time. Goals then started raining in from everywhere. Dash Lilley and Neil Robinson added two more for the Whippets, but KPR added four of their own. Spoils ultimately shared.

The final game of the day in the Prem saw Croxley travel to Claygate. The hosts needed the points to try and keep alive in the relegation dogfight. And, three points they did indeed get. They came out 4-2 winners. 

Chelsea subsequently go back to the top of the table, one point ahead of the Rams (both having played nine games). BoE, Whippet Wanderers and Ascot United are only separated by a point, but Ascot do have two games in hand. At the bottom, Nottsborough are adrift, but all four of Claygate, KPR, Poly and Croxley will know that they are very much in a survival battle.

Wandsworth close the gap in Division 1

With Hersham Southside not in action, Wandsworth found themselves with a good chance to make up some ground on Division 1’s pacesetters. It wasn’t an opportunity to pass up. Double H will have been hopeful of springing a surprise, but ultimately the Borough were too strong. Wandsworth won 6-2.

Army Crusaders are now four points clear of Acton Ealing Whistlers in third following a tight 3-3 draw with Laleham & Kempton. Laleham took an early lead before the Army bounced back to go in 2-1 up at half-time. Adam Tester and Ant Gailey bagged the goals. Laleham nonetheless started the second half strongly and went in front 3-2. The Army then piled on the pressure to try and grab an equaliser, but they had to wait until five minutes before the end before a Tom Docker strike squirmed under the keeper and in. 3-3 it ended.

Things were rather more straightforward for Old Actonians. They played familiar foes Civil Service and cantered home to the tune of 5-0.

In the great scheme of things the win for Actonians really blows apart the bottom of the table. No fewer than five sides are within three points of each other, and even Acton Ealing Whistlers (in fourth) are far from out of the relegation battle yet. 

Jamrock looking good in Division 2

Jamrock were the big winners in Division Two and they now sit four points clear at the top. Conway Blake’s side welcomed bottom of the table Bank of England 2s. No coupon-busting here, Jamrock won 6-1.

Elsewhere, Ascot United’s 2s and Latimer Road enjoyed a fruity encounter at the Racecourse on Friday night. The game ultimately ended 2-2 although both sides had chances to win it. A full report on that one is available here

Old Meadonians and Old Tiffinians, two sides both harbouring promotion ambitions, produced something of a goal fest at Dukes’ Meadow. The hosts came through 5-4 and subsequently sit third in the table, one point off second placed Latimer Road. 

Elsewhere, Old Lyonians picked up their second win of the season when they got the better of a very up and down Putney Vale Rangers. The final score was 6-4. 

Ruislip hit the top in Division 3

There were only two games in Division Three as Clapham Old Xaverians, Croxley Green and Lighthouse Molesey all put their feet up.

The big matchup was subsequently third placed MMB versus second placed Ruislip Rangers. MMB certainly played on the front foot, and goals from Jody Yee and Scott Stafford saw them twice take the lead. The Rangers were, however, nothing if not resilient and despite MMB scoring a third from Daron Hind they had enough in the tank to come through and win 4-3. That win sees them leapfrog Clapham and go top of the pile.

Claygate were the day’s other big winners. They kept in touch with the three leaders thanks to a 2-1 win at the ever-resolute AFC Hampton. 

The weekend of 19/20 January is nominally a Supervets’ weekend, but Civil Service will also be playing Double H in Div 1, and Croxley Green welcome Whippet Wanderers in the Prem. There’s also a Vase game as Old Lyonians travel to Lighthouse Molesey.

Go well everyone!

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