With Dorking Wanderers starting the day eleven points clear at the top of the Premier Division the spotlight, in truth, wasn’t on their progress at Wingate and Finchley; it was on the eight sides who each had a chance of finding themselves in a playoff place by 5PM. That said, Wanderers tried to grab our attention by taking the lead after forty one minutes, Isaac Philpott with the goal- but they held it for only a minute as relegation-threatened Wingate bounced straight back through Tanasheh Abrahams.
Twelve minutes after the break Elliott Buchanan put the leaders ahead once more, and they held on to extend their lead to thirteen points, as Haringey Borough and Merstham played out a goalless draw at Moatside.
Tonbridge Angels follow Wanderers, Borough and Merstham in fourth place. They left it late at home to an AFC Hornchurch side who were supported by a large group of fans who had walked from Essex to raise money for a new classroom at their Bridge Avenue stadium. Their walk home would be less joyous as Tom Derry gave Angels three points five minutes from time.
Tonbridge Angels v AFC Hornchurch 090319
Enfield Town got our first goal of the day against in-form but still relegation threatened Whitehawk, Kezie Ibe firing home from six yards in only the second minute. They held that lead for thirty five minutes, Duane Ofori-Acheampong equalising for the Hawks, but two goals in the last fifteen minutes from Joseph Payne and Billy Bricknell saw the points head back to North London and saw Town climb to fifth.
Folkestone Invicta couldn’t quite make the top five, but they got our second Premier goal of the day at home to Lewes, who could. The stripes started like an express train, forcing Rooks keeper Lewis Carey into action almost immediately, and they found themselves ahead after only four minutes, Ira Jackson given the chance to pick his spot. It soon got worse for the Rooks, and by the thirty fourth minute they were three down and Jackson had his hat trick. Any lingering hopes of a comeback were extinguished six minutes from time when Scott Heard made it four, and Invicta climbed to eighth.
Another of our playoff chasers also conceded an early goal, Worthing falling behind at home to Brightlingsea Regent, Matt Cripps with it. Regent were celebrating Jake Gould’s four hundredth appearance- congratulations to a player who started at the Taydal in the Youth side and has come right through the ranks to achieve an incredible milestone- but they couldn’t hold onto their lead, David Ajiboye equalising from the spot ten minutes before the break and delighting most of the 788 in attendance- but there were no further goals and the Mackerel Men slip out of the top five. Regent are twelfth.
Carshalton Athletic have been in magnificent form, unbeaten in nine matches, and they made it ten at Potters Bar Town. Jacob Mendy put them ahead from the spot nine minutes after the break, and that was how it remained as the Robins end the day only one point off the top five.
Whitehawk v Enfield Town 090319
Margate and Bognor Regis Town looked like ending goalless, but the Gate revival continued as they scored a late winner, Kadell Daniel scoring four minutes from the end to climb to fourteenth. Bognor slip to ninth.
At the bottom, Harlow Town had a marvellous start at home to a Kingstonian side who had picked up only one point from their last twenty seven. The Hawks very much needed that run to continue, and Tom Hitchcock put them ahead in the seventh minute, but they could only hold on to the lead until five minutes after the break, when Connor Smith found an equaliser. It wasn’t long before they had their beaks in front once, more, however, Matt Foy with the goal, and Hitchcock got another just before the end as his side closed to within a point of fourth bottom Whitehawk.
Bottom side Burgess Hill Town desperately needed the points at home to Leatherhead, and got to half time level. Sadly for the Leylands Park faithful, within six minutes of the restart they were two goals down, Ibrahim Olutade and Shaun Okojie finding the net. When Jack Skinner made it three in the 57th minute Hill had no way back, and are eight points from safety. The Tanners are tenth, three points off a playoff spot.
Corinthian-Casuals had managed only one point from their previous twenty-one, but welcomed a Bishop’s Stortford side who hadn’t won in five, and James Bracken’s team took the lead seven minutes before the break through Benjamin Aghadiuno. The couldn’t manage to hold on until half time, however, Johnville Renee with the equaliser- and that was how it ended.
Potters Bar Town v Carshalton Athletic 090319
North Division leaders Bowers & Pitsea started the day with a nine point gap between them and second place Maldon & Tiptree, and they took only ten minutes to go ahead against Brentwood Town, Jamie Dicks scoring the goal. David Knight gave them a two goal cushion from the spot only eight minutes later, and by half time each of the two scorers had a second, as Bowers went in four goals ahead at the break. Lewis Manor made it five soon after the restart, and four minutes from time Fahad Nyanja made it six.
The Jammers had also made a positive start. Tilbury has become a difficult place to go and win, but Jack Cawley gave his side the best possible chance of three points when he put them ahead after eight minutes. They couldn’t hold that lead, however, Lewis Smith equalising from the spot twelve minutes before the break, and it got worse after the interval, George Sykes putting the hosts ahead- but the Jammers still had time to bounce back, Eddie-Louis Dsane equalising fourteen minutes from time, and then Olu Coker scoring a last-gasp winner.
Coggeshall Town started the day eleven points clear of Bury Town in the final playoff place, and given they were taking on Bury had the chance to make the gap larger still. It was a chance they took, Conor Hubble and Nnamdi Nwachuku putting them ahead before the break, and although Ollie Hughes got a goal back the Seed Growers held on to victory. Heybridge Swifts, in fourth, were held to a goalless draw at home to Great Wakering Rovers.
Dereham Town had seen their winning run come to an end with two defeats, but they started on the front foot as Grays Athletic came to call. Adam Hipperson put them ahead from the spot after eight minutes, but the visitors were level by the break, Correy Davidson with the equaliser for Jim Cooper’s side. The Magpies took the lead once more through David Hinton soon after the restart, but Jim Cooper’s charges equalised through Aron Gordon four minutes from time.
Margate v Bognor Regis Town 090319
Another early goal came at AFC Sudbury, Reece Harris putting the yellows ahead with only ten minutes on the clock against Canvey Island. Liam Bennett made it two six minutes before half time, and when Harris got his second twelve minutes after the restart it was game over for Canvey.
Barking headed to Soham Town Rangers buoyed by the news that they had a thirty year lease on Mayesbrook Park and plans to lay a 3G pitch in the summer, and it was good news on the pitch too, Nana Boakye-Yiadom and new signing Alex Teniola giving them a two-nil lead. Soham weren’t about to lie down, and Lewis Clayton got one back in the 53rd minute, but that was all the home side could manage.
In a relegation battle Ayo Olukoga gave Romford a first half lead at home to Mildenhall Town, only for Stuart Zanone to equalise after the break- but Boro gave themselves hope with a winner five minutes from time, George Woodward with it. Both sides now have twenty one points, eight behind third bottom Witham Town who lost 3-1 at third place Aveley last night.
Felixstowe and Walton United moved up to eighth with a last minute winner over Basildon United, Josh Kerridge finding the net.
Corinthian-Casuals v Bishop's Stortford 090319
The South Central Division has, indeed like each of our Divisions, a runaway leader and a battle for everything else. Those runaway leaders, Hayes & Yeading United, started the day fourteen points clear at the top, but looked to have a tough match today, visitors Marlow being the last side to defeat them in the league, back in November. Marlow struck again, Kameron English giving them a half time lead, and the same player made it 0-2 with sixty one minutes on the clock to record a famous double.
Second place Bracknell Town have been in magnificent form of late, and it took only seventeen minutes for Liam Ferdinand to put them ahead at Hanwell Town. They didn’t run away with the match as they have many times this season, the Geordies digging in and drawing level in the second half through Jeremiah Maja, and then going ahead through Louis Bircham to record a magnificent victory.
Fourth place Cheshunt were another side quick off the mark, Jason Hallett taking only seven minutes to open the scoring at Chipstead- and that was the only goal of the game and saw the Ambers remain fourth.
Fifth place Westfield travelled to sixth place Tooting and Mitcham United, and opened the scoring late on through Aaron Watson from the spot- but Danny Bassett found a last gasp equaliser to ensure that each side got a point. Westfield have a six point gap over Tooting- and now Ware, who climb to sixth.
Harlow Town v Kingstonian 090319
Ashford Town against Ware looked like it would be a hard-fought encounter, but it took only three minutes for the visitors to go ahead through Albert Adu, and Dave Cowley doubled that lead from the spot just before the break. Leigh Rose effectively ended the contest seven minutes into the second half, although Gurkan Gokmen did get a consolation for the Tangerines just before the end. Ashford are tenth.
Supporters at Chalfont St Peter saw sixty four minutes without a goal, but had two to celebrate by sixty six, Ryan Debattista giving Saints the lead only for Rob Clarke to equalise almost immediately for visitors Waltham Abbey. The lead was restored in the seventy-fourth minute through Michael Kalu, but there was another twist, an own goal seeing the Abbotts equalise. The parity lasted one minute, Kalu getting his second, and Adam Morris surely made it comfortable when he scored from the spot four minutes from time- but there was still time for Abbey to pull another back through Rimmell Daniel. It wasn’t enough, and the Saints marched in 4-3.
Bottom side Egham Town started the day eleven points adrift of second bottom Molesey and twelve adrift of safety, but they took the lead early on against Uxbridge at Runneymede, Joseph Morrison with the goal after fifteen minutes. They couldn’t hold onto that lead until the break, however, Luke Maguire equalising, and in the second half Matthew Woods put the away side ahead. The Sarnies didn’t curl up, however, Alexandre Miranda Amorim getting the next equaliser with thirteen minutes remaining, but the gap between them and safety is still eleven points.
The Moles travelled to FC Romania six points behind their hosts with two matches in hand, but it was the Wolves who found their teeth, Bogdan Ungureanu finding the net twice midway through the second half to give them a nine point cushion.
Bowers & Pitsea v Brentwood Town 090319
Hertford Town have been in freefall, and their day started rather badly and then got worse. Conrad Kweku Lucan put visitors Northwood ahead in only the fifth minute, and eight minutes later Alex Witham made it two. Marcus Campbell reduced the arrears ten minutes after the break, but Zaied Sabti made it three-one and had surely won the game for Woods. But no! in the last five minutes Dara Dada and Campbell once more struck to level- surely that would earn them a valuable point? It didn’t. There was still time for Carl Pearce to make it 4-3 to Northwood.
Third bottom South Park didn’t have much Luckins at Bedfont Sports, Perry putting the hosts ahead just after the quarter hour, and it was two midway through the second half when Charlie Postance also found the net. Any hope was finally extinguished right at the death, when Simo Mbonkwi scored two to make it 4-0.
In the South East Division, first were taking on second at Hayes Lane as Cray Wanderers entertained Horsham. The Hornets, starting the day thirteen points behind their hosts, were the only side to defeat Wanderers in the league this season, but Cray broke the deadlock twenty-five minutes in through Junior Dadson. Joe Taylor made it two twelve minutes after the break, and that was how it ended, putting the home side a surely-unassailable sixteen points clear.
Danny Parish put Ashford United ahead against Ramsgate eight minutes after the break, then scored another three minutes from time. Toby Ajala had time to make it three, and see the Nuts and Bolts into third place.
Chalfont St Peter v Waltham Abbey 090319
Hastings United got back to winning ways at VCD Athletic, but they left it very late indeed. David Rodari gave them the lead seven minutes from time, and then Jordy Mongoy got a second four minutes later to send United up to fourth.
Hythe Town climbed to sixth courtesy of a one-nil win over Whyteleafe, and they were another side to leave it late, Zak Ansah getting the only goal of the game from the spot nine minutes from time.
Faversham Town and Phoenix Sports played out a nil-nil draw, and there was only one goal at Sevenoaks Town- and it was another late one, Liam Middleton giving Sittingbourne another victory and moving them twelfth.
Joe Tennent gave Three Bridges the lead against Greenwich Borough after twenty one minutes. Prior to today’s match Bridges had taken but two points from their last thirty, but they added three more, making them secure right at the end when Ibby Akanbi made it two-nil.
Hayes & Yeading Utd v Marlow 090319
Our early kick off saw a relegation battle between Whitstable Town and Guernsey, and it was the Green Lions who took the lead, Matt Loaring scoring from the spot. The Oysterboys got an equalier, however, Stuart West drawing them level in the sixty second minute, and this spurred them on to take all three points, new signing Harry Stannard and Stephen Smith making it three-one by the end.
East Grinstead Town, watched by Harry Redknapp and Hayley McQueen after winning a Richmond Sausages competition- see our story on the website- suffered a blow as keeper Brannon Daly got a red card after only eighteen minutes. They still took the lead shortly afterwards through Lee Prescott, but held it for only nine minutes, Connor Wilkins equalising for Herne Bay- and that’s how it ended.