West London Vets League Weekly Review 23/2/23

#WeAreAscot.

24 February 2023

WLVL Weekly Review

15 games took place in the West London Vets’ League (WLVL) over the weekend of 17/18 February, including the season’s first double-header. The key takeaways saw Chelsea Vets cement their place at the top of the Prem, Claygate Royals’ Hares open up a ten point (!) gap in Division One, Old Lyonians lose ground in a surprise defeat in Div Two and Hersham Southside move seven points clear in Div Three. Plenty going on.

With Ascot United’s second string not being in action all Yellaeyes turned to the ones’ mouth-watering encounter with Chelsea Vets. Dave Good’s side started brightly and after half an hour they were 3-1 up. Was a first defeat of the league campaign on the cards for Chelsea? 

Erm, no. Former Ghana international Elvis Hammond scored a hat-trick and caused all-round havoc as Chelsea went 4-3 up. That was how it stood with ten minutes to go, but a calamitous final period of the game for Ascot saw the visitors streak away and ultimately win 7-3. A full lowdown on the evening’s affairs is available here.

Rams keep a close eye

Elsewhere in the Prem it’s West London Rams (WLR) who look the most likely pretenders to Chelsea’s crown. WLR beat them in the cup last week and although they remain six points off the top they do have a game in hand. On Saturday they eased to a 3-0 win against Bank of England. 

Elsewhere Sporting Kitz – another who still have title ambitions – claimed six points on Saturday. They competed in the season’s first double-header, snaffling the first six pointwin of the season thanks to a 3-1 triumph against Nottsborough.

Claygate Hares move off into the distance

The situation looks a lot more clear cut in Division One. Claygate Royals’ Hares are now a resounding ten points clear of Whippet Wanderers in second place. The Hares continued their excellent run of form with a 4-0 triumph over Laleham & Kempton.

Going into Saturday Old Actonians were the Hares’ nearest challengers. That, however, has now changed following Old As’ defeat against Wandsworth Borough. A 25 yard pile-driver from Chris Hogan put the Borough one up whilst Jamie McNally doubled the advantage in the second half following a nifty short free-kick. 

Actonians responded impressively and old warhorse Richard Plumtree in nets was forced to make a number of sharp stops. Plumtree managed to preserve his clean sheet and Wandsworth quietly move into fourth place. 

Whippet Wanderers have now jumped above Actonians and sit second. Dan Hannah started the scoring off in their game against Civil Service, but birthday boy Jimmy Benn pulled things back level. Dave Amodio struck from distance to restore the Whippets’ lead before Terry Warwick made it 3-1. Civils were certainly never out of it and it was only late on that Matt Wehle snatched a couple more to make the final score 5-1.

Intriguingly, the two sides meet again on 25 February. With Civils likely to have a couple of players back it could be a game to keep an eye on.

The Abbots go marching on

Hillingdon Abbots remain very much top dogs in Division 2. They eased their way to three points thanks to a 2-0 win at ever-awkward Army Crusaders.

The Abbots didn’t, however, make things easy for themselves. The lively Dewayne Carrington-Jones was fouled in the box … but Hillingdon then went and missed the penalty. Carrington-Jones wasn’t, however, to be denied for too long; he scored just before half-time to put the visitors one up. 

Crusaders had been very good in the first half, but they began to tire a little in the second. A sin bin also didn’t help. They did still manage to hit the bar but JP Gnaulati got his head to a corner for the Abbots and that was enough to see them home, 2-0 victors. 

Elsewhere Double H are now in second, if only by virtue of their strong goal difference. They overcame Molesey Lighthouse in emphatic style (6-1). Old Lyonians slip to third, thanks to a surprising setback at an improving Old Meadonians. Old Meads won 2-0 and have now jumped up into 5th. It wasn’t so long ago that they were bottom of the pile.

MMB won the battle at the bottom in what was a really tightcontest with Old Tenisonians. Ollie Whiteford got the only goal of the game to see the Milkmen gain their first league win of the season. That sees MMB, Army Crusaders and Old Tens all on six points. Crusaders have games in hand, but MMB will be pleased to at least be up and running in the W column.

Hersham Southside keep on going

Old Xavs and Ascot United 2nds were scheduled to meet, but that game has been postponed until 25 March. Given that,Hersham Southside were able to leap seven points clear thanks to a 4-1 victory against Old Tiffs’ 2nds. 

With Hersham’s star striker Steve Reddings not playing it was left to others to step up to the plate and put the ball in the onion bag. The ageless Paul Deacon managed one, midfield dynamo Stevie Lewis added another with Steff Smith and Julian Renner-Thomas adding two more. 

Old Tiffs won’t be too downhearted though. It was only 1-0 at half time and the game only really got away from them towards the end. Tim Woodthorpe scored for Tiffs on his debut.

Elsewhere the game of the day looks like it took place between AFC Hampton and Latimer Road Vets. That one ended 5-5. The point takes Hampton off the bottom and above Old Tiffs on goal difference. The final game in the division saw Croxley run out 4-0 winners against Claygate Royals’Hounds. Can Croxley mount a promotion charge? They only have three games left so the odds are against them. But, football is indeed a funny old game and all that…..

Looking ahead

Saturday 25 February could well be an opportunity for sides to play catch up with some postponed fixtures. At least five games will be taking place, although a few more may well be on the agenda.

In the top flight Ascot United travel to Bank of England whilst in Division One Civil Service will be looking to gain immediate revenge against Whippet Wanderers. BoE IIs are also in action, they travel to Army Crusaders while the one scheduled game in Division Three sees Old Tiffs’ 2s welcome Clapham Old Xaverians. 

Go well everyone

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