New leaders in the South Division, and Margate close the gap

11 months ago By Ian Townsend

Goals! Drama! A new leader in the South Division. Lots and lots of rain…it’s our traditional Sunday morning round up…

Billericay Town were the opposition at Imber Court, where Metropolitan Police were magnificently championing the cause of Football v Homophobia- and although Billericay managed to extend their lead at the top of the Premier Division, they did so by only one point, as the boys in blue came from behind to snatch a point. Met went ahead in the 9th minute through Jay Gasson, before the compulsory Jake Robinson goal evened things up, and then just before half time Ricky Modeste made it 2-1. In a very even second half it was Met who struck, Johnny Wright earning them a point with thirteen minutes remaining.

Dulwich Hamlet didn’t play, their match at Lowestoft Town being postponed early in the day, and they are now only ahead of Margate on goal difference as Steve Watt’s men won their sixth straight match- they haven’t lost since New Years Day. There was only one goal between them and their hosts Brightlingsea Regent, and they had to wait until the 79th minute for it to arrive, but Kane Haysman’s strike takes them to within one point of Billericay.

Folkestone Invicta, in fourth place, travelled to a resurgent Worthing and found themselves on the wrong end of a five goal thriller. Zack Newton put the home side ahead in the seventeenth minute, before setting up Reece Meekums for the second six minutes before the break. Invicta almost immediately reduced the arrears through Johan Ter Horst, but Meekums set up Jesse Stanley to restore the two goal cushion in the 66th minute and despite a late Invicta rally- and a Ter Horst goal- the Mackerelmen held out for three points which moves them up to 20th- six points clear of Burgess Hill Town at the bottom.

The Hillians remain bottom but also had a good day, earning a point at second bottom Harlow Town- a point which is undoubtedly better for Burgess Hill than their hosts, as it closes the gap to one point and the greens have two matches in hand and a significantly better goal difference. They left it rather late however, taking until the 88th minute to find the net, Connor Tighe scoring the equaliser. Harlow had gone ahead some 76 minutes earlier, through Alex Read, and must have thought they’d held on for three points only to end up with only one.

Back to the other end of the table, and Staines Town- in fifth place- went ahead at Tonbridge Angels only to lose the game. Daniel Brown opened the scoring in the 9th minute, but it took only a frther four minutes for Angels to equalise through Alex Akrofi, and Sam Bantick scored the goal which gave them all of the points midway through the first half. Wingate & Finchley, in sixth, also lost- at home to Tooting & Mitcham United for whom Chase O’Neill is in fine form. His first was a twenty five hard screamed, his second rather less dramatic, but the three points lifts the Terrors four points clear of second bottom Harlow Town. Hendon, in seventh, were only able to grind out a goalless draw at home to Dorking Wanderers, and although dominating much of the match missed their best chance to take all of the points, the usually deadly Niko Muir blasting a first half penalty over the bar.

Leiston sit tenth, losing 1-0 at Merstham in a match that will be featured later on the Bostik League Show- Liam Harwood with the goal- and the Moatsiders leapfrogged Thurrock with the three points, as they went down 2-0 at Harrow Borough, whose goals both came from Kurtis Cumberbatch. Kingstonian moved up to fifteenth, defeating an Enfield Town side who can’t find a win at the moment by three goals to one at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Tyler Campbell put the hosts ahead, but the K’s equalised through Connor Hunte before Andre McCollin and Victor Fundi made it safe.

In the North Division AFC Hornchurch remain thirteen points clear of Bowers and Pitsea, but they had to work hard for victory against Haringey Borough. George Purcell got a double, one in each half, to give his side a cushion, and although a late Lionel Stoke effort narrowed the arrears were able to hold on to take all three points. Bowers were at Waltham Abbey, and a goal from Charlee Hughes allowed them to maintain momentum and hang on to the Urchins coat-tails. Potters Bar Town, in third place, lost- perhaps it’s the manager of the month curse striking again- as Aveley continued their recent good form, Ryan Cosson with the only goal of the game.

Dereham Town moved into fourth spot ahead of Canvey Island, whose match was postponed. A goal right before the break through Sam Borrer and another midway through the second half from Ryan Crisp gave the away side all the points against Romford at Ship Lane. Maldon & Tiptree make up the playoff places, and in an extraordinary match at Grays Athletic the Jammers let a two goal lead slip to earn only a point, despite their opponents having a full back in goal for more than an hour! You can read about that match HERE, as it was our #bostikmatchday featured game.

Bury Town are ninth, courtesy of a hard fought two-one victory over Mildenhall Town which saw Cemal Ramadan give them a first half lead. Thomas Debenham replied for the visitors, but the Ram Meadow faithful weren’t to be denied and Ollie Highes gave them all of the points with twelve minutes to go. Tenth place AFC Sudbury were held 0-0 at Tilbury.

The big scorers of the day were Heybridge Swifts, who got six, and Soham Town Rangers, who got five. Luckily they weren’t playing each other or the referee would have needed a new pencil! Swifts were at home to Ware, and goals from Ryan Henshaw, Juan Luque, Harrison Chatting and Matt Price put them 4-1 up by the break, Marcus Milner with the reply. Two more from Price in the second half completed his hat trick, and a rout. Rangers only got three in the first half, Joe Carden, Callum Russell and Marcus Hall with them, but like Swifts added two in the second period through Craig Gillies and Russell once more, earning three points that takes them up to 14th, above their opponents Hertford Town.

The South Division has new leaders. After the match between Lewes and Carshalton Athletic was called off due to a large frozen puddle- it wasn’t spilt beer from the Rooks ongoing beer festival- Cray Wanderers took full advantage, and first half goals from Michael Power and Brandon Scott gave them all the points at Ramsgate, despite Rory Smith reducing the arrears for the home side. Corinthian-Casuals move up to third, first half goals from Jordan Clarke and Gabriel Odunaike giving them victory over Horsham, whilst Greenwich Borough slip to fifth, unexpectedly taking a tumble at home to VCD Athletic. VCD were three up by half time- Alfie Cue, Junior Baker and Warren Mfula the scorers- and it took until seven minutes from time for Borough to reduce the arrears through Travis Gregory.

There were goals galore just outside the playoff places. Firstly, seventh place Hythe Town scored six against hapless Shoreham, five of them coming in a rather one sided second half at Reachfields. Darren Oidaker had given them the lead before the break, and another from the same player was added to by a Zak Ansah double and goals from Jerson Dos Santos and Keiron Campbell as the Musselmen failed to show any muscle.

Seventh place Whyteleafe have gone rather goal crazy of late, and they managed five at Phoenix Sports. Vance Bola got three of them in the second half, sandwiched between efforts from Lanre Azeez and the ubiquitous Sam Clayton, whilst Ashley Probets and Zak Byron got consolations for the home side.

Hastings United continued their good form with a 2-1 victory over Ashford United at Pilot Field, goals from Calum Davies and Jack Dixon moving them above Sports into ninth- Will Thomas scored for the Nuts and Bolts. Thamesmead Town, in twelfth, and Chipstead in thirteenth both ended the day with 2-2 draws. Mead flew to Guernsey for the early kick off, and took the lead through Paul Vines before the Green Lions equalised through Jamie Dodd. Parity was to last only a moment, however, as Danny Parish gave the away side the lead once more, but Guernsey were able to grab a second half equaliser through Kelechi Akpobire. The Chips, at home to Molesey, had to come from 2-0 down after Reis Stanislaus and Dre Grobler opened up a gap, but Allan Tait and Sam Bell earned them a share of the spoils.

Finally, East Grinstead Town and Faversham Town played out a 1-1 draw, Will Hoare giving the Wasps the lead only for Luke Harvey to equalise.

Where next?

The Bostik League Show- Episode 36 The latest highlights from the Back of the Net team
Something old, something new, something borrowed- and the Blues Our #bostikmatchday took us to Parkside, where Grays Athletic and Maldon & Tiptree served up a truly extraordinary game

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