Division One

Chess United’s title challenge charge continued, but only after they came from two goals down to beat SOCA 3-2.

SOCA gave their best performance of the season for the first hour of the game before being thwarted by a Chess comeback.

Michael Coffey put them ahead after 15 minutes when a defensive mix up allowed him an easy chance from inside the area.

The lead was doubled just after the break when following a poor goal-kick, Steve Dowling struck the ball back first time into the net with a volleyed lob.

Going two goals behind suddenly seemed to inject some life into the league leaders, and helped by a change in formation, they staged a dramatic comeback.

The tactical switch had an immediate impact, with Chess pulling a goal back after a long free-kick found its way into the path of Ali Shale, who headed through the keeper's legs.

Chess continued to apply pressure and not long after drew level when a deflected shot broke for Shale who made no mistake.

With ten minutes left, the ball fell to the feet of Shale once again following a goalmouth scramble and he fired home from the edge of the box, completing his hat-trick and the comeback.

This result leaves Chess with a six-point lead at the top of the table, although the chasing pack do have games in hand.

Premier Division

The only top-flight game played saw leaders Old Fullerians held to a 1-1 draw by FC Unicorn.

Both sides created chances in the first half, but it was the home side that took the lead when Callum Woodcock got down the right, checked back and crossed for Ryan Moody to glance home.

Unicorn levelled the scores with a similar goal in the second half when Callum O'Connor headed in from inside the area following a cross from the right.

Eric Hand Challenge Cup Round Three

Both North Watford and WD reached the quarter-finals.

North Watford won the all-Premier Division tie against Evergreen 2-1.

The victors took the lead when Ben Alexander’s corner was met perfectly by Winston Davis.

North Watford missed several chances in the second half before Corum Chase set up Ashley Lewis, who calmly slotted into the far corner.

Evergreen never gave up and they halved the deficit when Ryan O'Sullivan found the net with a tidy finish from the edge of the box.

WD came through all-First Division tie with Cassiobury Rangers, winning 8-7 after a penalty shoot-out following a goalless 90 minutes in which both sides had missed good chances.

The shoot-out went to sudden death and it was Rangers who blinked first when they missed, allowing Loz Manning to slot home the winning kick.

Watford Observer:

A BB player lobs the ball towards goal in their Division Three defeat

Division Two

Leaders Woodside bounced back from their first league defeat prior to the Christmas break, as they defeated local rivals Watford Town 6-1 for a second time this season.

With the home side back to full strength they dominated the game from the first whistle.

After a period of early pressure, Joe McCarthy cut in from the left wing and slotted into the far corner.

Watford drew level against the run of play early in the second half when Ryan Emmanuel equalised, but Woodside soon restored their lead when Henry Hardman tapping in after a Gabriel Moldovan run and cross from the right.

Harry Beaumont netted the third from the penalty spot before Jack Robertson, returning to the team after injury, came off the bench and made it four when he scored with a shot on the turn.

Ben Southam also came on as a substitute to score with a shot from outside the box and Harry Hardman completed the scoring with a lobbed goal from outside the box.

The win leaves Woodside with an eight-point lead at the summit, although second-placed Hertfordshire Eagles do have two games in hand.

Forza Watford moved into third place and pulled level on points with Hertfordshire Eagles after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Watford Youth Sports.

Giuseppe Delgaudio and Simon Fatimehin netted for Forza, with Alex Boyd replying for the home side.

St Mary’s Harefield came through a ten-goal thriller with Sparta Phoenix, winning 6-4.

Harry Fullbrook and Craig Mathieson both netted braces for St Mary’s with Charlie Travers and Karl Swan also scoring.

Floyd Thompson scored a hat-trick for Phoenix and Nelson Gomes scored the other goal.

Dome Bar gained a fourth win of the season with a 6-1 away victory over bottom-placed Abbots Wanderers.

Nathan Pooley scored four times with Steve Noonan and Ben Kelly also netting. Matthew Zandes got the sole Abbots goal.

Watford Observer:

BB defend against a Southern Cross attack

Division Three

Southern Cross inflicted on BBFC their first defeat of the season in a comprehensive 4-1 victory.

Gary Wicks and Kai Burris both scored twice, with James Barnett replying for BB who still remain leaders despite the result.

Watford Youth Sports Old Boys and King George both enjoyed away wins to keep the top of the table very tight, with just four points dividing the top four sides.

Old Boys beat Bricket Wood Acorns 2-1, Louie Muncie and Lewis Watling with the goals, with Harrison Fisher scoring the Acorns reply.

Phill Molloy struck a hat-trick as King George beat Rio Rovers 3-1, Matt Henderson netting the Rio consolation.

At the other end of the table, Wishing Well Watford have a fourth point of the season after they held Batchworth to a 3-3 draw.

Alex Deighan scored twice for Wishing Well with Jamie Gurdler also on target. John Robertson also scored twice for Batchworth, with Mikel Walsh getting the other goal.

That point for Wishing Well means they are just three points behind second bottom Inter, although with a vastly inferior goal difference, after they suffered a 4-2 defeat away to mid-table Frances George.

Tom Minton scored twice and Luke Furlong and Ollie Gorman once each for Frances George, with James Oldham also netting a brace for Inter.