Harold Wood Athletic return with a win

Harold Wood Athletic Vets earlier in the 2020-21 season

Harold Wood Athletic Vets face the camera earlier in the 2020-21 season - Credit: HWAFC

Harold Wood Athletic returned to Essex Olympian League action with a 2-1 win at Catholic United.

Having not played since a 2-1 win at Kelvedon Hatch on December 12, Wood lost captain Rob Whitnell to injury early in the first half.

That forced a reshuffle, but both sides had chances as the scoreline remained blank at the break.

Wood changed their shape during the interval, injecting some pace into their attack which proved decisive.

A well-executed break led to a free-kick on the edge of the box and, with Whitnell off the field, Josh Steel stepped up to find the top left corner with a classy finish.

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The visitors looked strong on the counter and doubled their advantage when Chris Denham fired into the roof of the net following a good run by Jack Sykes.

James Dillon denied Catholic a reply with some decent saves until the closing stages, but Wood were able to see out time to secure the Premier Division points and host Leigh Ramblers on Saturday (2.30pm).

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The reserves drew 1-1 at Ryan in Division Two, but the A team lost 3-1 to Notley in Mid-Essex League Division One and the B team went down 5-1 to Harold Hill Reserves in Division Three.

Wood's vets won 4-0 at Burnham Ramblers in a friendly, while the reserves had a 5-2 win over Boca Seniors.

Essex Olympian League, Premier: Basildon Town 3 Shenfield 1; BS Swifts 4 Sungate 2; Catholic Utd 1 Harold Wood Ath 2; Hutton 2 Old Southendian 1; Kelvedon Hatch 3 Rayleigh Tn 3; Leigh Ramblers 4 Canning Tn 0; Springfield 1 Buckhurst Hill 2.

Division 1: Galleywood 3 Herongate Ath 2; Manford Way 2 Toby 0; Rayleigh Tn Res 0 Chingford Ath 2; Runwell Sports 2 Old Chelmsfordians 3; Snaresbrook 4 Shoebury Tn 2.

Division 2: Corinthians 0 Leigh Tn 1; Epping Tn 3 AS Rawreth 1; Laindon Orient 3 Beacon Hill Rovers 2; Old Southendian Res 2 May & Baker EC A 1; Rochford Tn 1 Wakering Sports 1; Ryan 1 Harold Wood Ath Res 1.

Division 3: Hullbridge Sports A 2 Basildon Tn Res 2; Lakeside Utd 3 Hutton Res 4; Leigh Tn Res 0 Collier Row 1; Toby Res 3 Buckhurst Hill Res 2; Wakebury 6 Corinthians Res 4.

Division 4: Canning Tn Res 2 Shenfield Res 2; Catholic Utd Res 2 Hashtag Utd Dev 3; Leytonstone Utd 5 Laindon Orient Res 1; Old Chelmsfordians Res 0 Chingford Ath Res 2; Ongar Tn Res 2 Sungate Res 6.

Division 5: AS Rawreth Res 1 Epping Tn Res 3; Herongate Ath Res 1 Springfield Res 3; Newbury Forest Res 10 Collier Row Res 2; Roydon 1 Runwell Sports Res 0; Wakering Sports A 3 Shoebury Tn Res 1; Old Barkabbeyans 3 Leigh Rambers Res 3.

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