Pre-season really got going this Saturday with 23 games involving SCEFL clubs taking place.
Among the ‘minutes in legs’ and ‘multiple substitutions’ were goals and wins and losses – and here is a round-up of them all…
Chatham Town welcomed a young Gillingham side to the Bauvil. The visitors started strong but goals from Lawal, Strouts and Robins gave the Chats a come from behind victory against a Gills side which contained a number of young pros and apprentices.
Taking on teams recently departed from the SCEFL were Glebe, Bridon Ropes and Erith & Belvedere.
The Deres took the lead at Corinthian but the Hoops proved too good and warmed up for their Isthmian season with a 2-1 win.
Bridon Ropes visited Beckenham Town and ran our former Premier Division side close, before going down 3-1.
Glebe have been quietly going about their business so far this summer. Expect plenty of new faces at Foxbury this year but it was a familiar one in Jamie Philpot that got one of the goals in a 2-2 draw against AFC Croydon.
Manager Harry Hudson wasn’t particularly impressed with his sides performance. “We didn’t reach the levels that we needed to get too today, there’s some lessons that need to be learnt, if we’re going to be successful this season. It’s important we learn these lessons now, get them out the way so we’re ready for the season!”
The Isthmian South East Division provided opposition for a few of our lot.
Welling Town visited Sittingbourne and despite going behind twice, they came back to take a 3-2 win.
Deal Town hosted Hythe Town at the Charles Sports Ground and got off to a quick start before wrapping up a 3-0 victory.
Ben Chapman, Connor Coyne and Sam Wilson all scored as The Hoops started pre-season very well.
Premier Division new boys Holmesdale set up tough opponents for their first run out. But a 1-1 draw with Faversham Town looks very encouraging, with Nathan Palmer getting the goal for The Dale.
Erith Town went down 4-0 to former SCEFL champions Phoenix Sports, with the Step 4 side coming on strong in the final stages of the game.
There were 3 games between SCEFL Premier and First Division teams.
Tunbridge Wells went to Snodland Town and helped by a goal from new signing Matt Gething, edged out a 2-1 win.
Meridian VP lost 4-2 to Canterbury City, or 5-2 depending on where you read it, while Liam Middleton scored for Kennington in a 2-1 win over FC Elmstead.
Against Kent County sides results were mixed but plenty of goals were scored.
Greenways were 5-1 victors over Borden Village. Josh White netted twice and Jack Jeffery scored a hat-trick.
At Ide Hill, Larkfield & New Hythe also won 5-1 – Harry Taylor (x2), Alfie Bates, Micky Holiday and Gerry Owen with the goals for The Larks.
Hollands & Blair went down 3-1 at Kings Hill.
There was plenty of action at Bayliss Avenue as SC Thamesmead beat Bermondsey Town 5-0 while Tooting Bec were involved in a goalless draw with Landlords Tooting & Mitcham at Imperial Fields. That will do for the 0-0’s thanks!
Croydon visited Horley Town and won the game 3-1. Tim Beckford, Andre Cummings and JJ Johnson with the goals for the Trams.
In sunny Sussex, Tom Boddy headed the winner as Crowborough Athletic came out best in a 5-goal thriller with Crawley Down Gatwick.
Elsewhere, Fisher lost 4-1 at home to White Ensign, Tower Hamlets got beaten 3-1 by Colchester u23’s as did Staplehurst Monarchs against Little Common, Knaphill saw off Chessington & Hook 2-0 and Rusthall drew 1-1 with Lingfield.
Westside played Kensington & Ealing Borough but we have no details on how that game went as yet.
That just leaves the ‘Non League Diversity Tournament’ which looked to be a very entertaining day held at Punjab United’s Elite Venue Ground.
The hosts welcomed Leicester Nirvana, Sporting Khalsa and Sporting Bengal, with each team playing the other and a league table deciding the overall winner.
Sporting Khalsa took the cup but diversity in football was the winner as Punjab United once again opened doors to everyone who loves the game, regardless of who they are or where they come from.
Friendly fixtures continue for many of our teams this Tuesday before another full day on Saturday as we countdown the final few weeks before the 2021/22 season gets underway.