London Unity League champions London Falcons began the defence of their title with a pulsating 4-4 draw against Charlton Invicta at Barn Elms. Falcons went ahead in the second minute but the first half ended level at 2-2, and Charlton Invicta – formerly Bexley Invicta but now part of the Charlton Athletic Community Trust – twice came from behind in the second half to snatch a point. Chris Judd bagged two goals for Falcons, with Paddy Eccles-Williams and Alex Bernal chipping in, and Charlton shared the goals between Ben Hemmings, Ross Houghton, Michael Lisney and Scott Anderson.
Over at Duke’s Meadows in Chiswick, London Titans started the season with a home double-header, and both teams recorded victories. Titans XXL beat former league winners London Romans 2-1 with goals from Ollie James-Parr and Rob Barr. Romans grabbed a consolation goal with a 25-yard volley. Titans 2Brewers took the lead three times in their game against AFC Muswell Hill, the winner coming from an Adam Heathcote penalty after Josh Day was fouled in the 18-yard box. Muswell Hill are a new name in the league but their faces are familiar – they played as Romans Manor House last season.
In another close game, a low free kick from the left-hand edge of the area snuck into the net and secured three points for Stonewall 3rds, the goal being scored by Stephen Crosse on his managerial debut. With the game buffeted by strong winds, Stonewall had taken the lead via a David Leipziger goal, but East End Phoenix equalised after a ball over the top beat the Stonewall defence. Another close-range effort by Stonewall, this time scored by Santi Reguero, put the Barnes team back on top, only for a mistake to allow Phoenix to equalise. Crosse’s late intervention meant it wasn’t enough to take a point, however.
Three fixtures on Sunday 17th September, with the three teams at the top of the table in action:
AFC Muswell Hill v London Titans XXL
Stonewall 3rds v London Falcons
Titans 2Brewers v East End Phoenix