26 January 2023
West London Vets’ League Review
The vagaries of the British winter did for a fair number of games in the West London Vets’ League (WLVFL) over the weekend of 20/21 January. 14 hardy sides did nonetheless manage to see off the conditions and get their games in.
Saunders on fire
Ascot United’s second string were one of the teams that fell victim to the weather, their game at Latimer Road being called off on Saturday morning on account of a bone hard pitch. The ones, however, did play. They welcomed Bank of England to the Racecourse on Friday evening.
The two sides had already met in the League Cup this season and that game was a close one. Going into the last five minutes the scores then were all square with penalties looming only for two late Ascot strikes to see the Yellasthrough.
This time round Ascot came out clearer winners, but that shouldn’t deflect from the fact that the Bank were well and truly in the game until the last 20 minutes or so. BoE’s version of Mo Salah, Farouk Ampou, put a sumptuous free-kick into the Ascot top corner and even as Ascot gained a modicum of control the Bank were continually dangerous on the break.
Ultimately, however, they had no match for Ascot’s Rob Saunders. He helped himself to all six goals in what was a bit of a shooting masterclass.
Elsewhere, leaders Chelsea Vets welcomed a struggling Poly side. The visitors did manage to get on the scoresheet – something that a fair few sides have failed to do against Chelsea this campaign – but they ultimately came off second best, losing 5-1.
With Ascot and Chelsea both winning there’s no change at the top. Ascot remain three points clear, although Chelsea do have two games in hand, one of which they will play this coming weekend. At the bottom Poly sit two points behind KPR and six behind Bank of England. Still definitely all to play for down there.
Claygate on the charge
Claygate Royals Hares were the big winners in Division One this week. They hammered Old Tiffs 7-2. That sees the Hares stretch their lead to seven points. A strong position to be in.
Whippet Wanderers remain second, and they will be licking their wounds following a 4-1 defeat at an impressive West Kensington Kings. The game was one of a number that was played on astroturf, and WKK used the slick surface to effectively kickstart their promotion charge.
The Kings went two up in the first half, although the prolific Victor Badu pulled one back before the half-time oranges came out. The hosts then started the second half quickly, bagging two quick goals and effectively sealing the three points.
The win moves WKK up to fourth, two points behind Old Actonians and three behind the Whippets. Going to be an interesting run in to the end of the season there.
Hersham Southside held
There was just the one game in Division Two, the promotion-chasing Double H winning 4-2 at MMB. Double H are now just the three points behind Hillingdon Abbots with Old Lyonians now three points behind them in third. MMC continue to totter in the relegation zone.
In Division Three two games managed to beat the weather, both of which ended in draws. High-flying HershamSouthside trekked round to Croxley and took part in what sounded like it was a feisty encounter. Ultimately the hosts took the lead three times but Hersham kept pegging them back. 3-3 it ended.
Hampton and Claygate Royals Hounds also shared the spoils. Both teams will have seen this game as an opportunity to get a much-needed three points on the board. Hampton were first to strike, but the Hares soon pulled level. The same happened in the second half as the game ended 2-2.
Hersham now sit four points ahead of Ascot’s 2nd XI, although the Yellas do have a game in hand. At the bottom, Hampton have edged closer to Old Tiffs 2s, whilst Claygate leapfrogged Tiffs and move into 6th.
The coming weekend (27/28 January) is a Supervets weekend, so no league games were originally scheduled. However, there will be one game in the Prem; West London Rams will look to jump start their title drive when they host Chelsea Vets. A host of other premier division sides will no doubt be keeping a close eye on that game.
There will also be one game in Division Two. Army Crusaders are hitting the road, they are off to go toe-to-toe with Old Lyonians. Croxley will be hosting Clapham Old Xaverians in Division Three. Both sides still harbour promotion hopes, but if those hopes are going to become reality then three points here is really needed.
Finally, the final two games in the last 16 of the League Cup are scheduled to take place. Hillingdon Abbots take on Wandsworth Borough and MMB make the trip to Sporting Kitz. Kitz definitely big favourites there, but who knows what the cup may throw at us. Do MMB have a Nigel Jemson or Ronnie Radford in their ranks? We shall see…..
Go well everyone.