East London seal promotion double as women and men move to join Premier classes
- Credit: Archant
East London had double cause for celebration after their men and women clinched promotion in the East League.
The women beat third-placed Maidstone 2-0 in Division One to move 13 points clear of fourth place with three games left and ensure a move up to the Premier Division.
And the men beat West Herts 4-2 to secure their place in Premier A next season.
After a goalless first half, the women stepped up a gear as Sophie Reynvaan attacked a strong Maidstone defence.
Several chances were kept out and Lucy Dempsey almost found the net after a scramble at a short corner, before the deadlock was finally broken.
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Ailish Hendry disguised a short corner pass to the far post for Amy MacKenzie with Dempsey getting the final touch and further pressure led to a second goal from Eilis Quinlan, who beat the last defender and smashed home.
Astrid Ainley took the player of the match award for excellent work rate and East went on to book a place in the quarter-finals of the Tier 2 Championship for the first time on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Jersey.
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The men needed a point to seal their promotion and began well against West Herts with a deflected short corner from Toby Butler.
The visitors hit back to level but James Wilson’s crisp finish restored East’s lead and Craig Spencer made it 3-1 with a deflection at the far post.
East controlled play for large periods and Harry Finster showed great skills to beat several defenders and set up Max Nelen for their fourth goal.
West Herts grabbed a second late on, but East took the points and then came from two goals down to beat Dereham 3-2 on Sunday, as captain Craig Spencer scored twice and John Lyness also found the target.
The seconds beat Ipswich ES 4-2, while the thirds romped to an 8-3 succes over Clacton, the sixths beat Maldon seconds 5-1, the sevenths beat Brentwood thirds, the eighths defeated Old Southendian fifths and the ninths saw off Chelmsford sevenths, all by 2-0 margins.
The women’s thirds thumped Witham 8-1, the fifths beat County 2-1, the sixths downed Southend seconds 5-2, the sevenths thrashed Thurrock thirds 10-0 and the eighths edged out Upminster fifths 1-0.