In a week when we heard from Heybridge Swifts boss Jody Brown of his worries about the pressure caused by fixture congestion, Billericay Town proved that it can be overcome with the right resources- winning their ninth of eleven games played over the last four weeks, and in so doing closing the gap at the top of the Bostik Premier League to three points. Leiston were the visitors to AGP Arena but their injury hit squad was reduced to a bit part as the blues walloped in four goals without reply- three coming from Jake Robinson. Jake- who still holds the record as Brighton & Hove Albion’s youngest ever goalscorer- scored his fifth hat trick of the season after Adam Cunnington opened the scoring, his final goal in stoppage time his twenty-fifth of a season that isn’t yet half completed.
Leaders Dulwich Hamlet put their unbeaten away record on the line against an Enfield Town side who had lost their last two games, and saw it taken from them as Simon Thomas, Ryan Blackman and Ben Ward-Cochrane lit up the Queen Elizabeth Stadium. Reise Allassani got a consolation for Dulwich in front of a crowd of 599.
Staines Town moved into third place, Elliot Buchanan striking his seventeenth of the season as they defeated Needham Market, whilst Folkestone Invicta’s eight match winning run came to an end at Wingate & Finchley, the home side moving up to ninth place. Hendon are in fifth, than man Niko Muir- if the papers are to be believed being linked with Crawley Town, amongst others- firing home his twenty first and twenty second goals of the season as the greens defeated Thurrock 4-1 at Silver Jubilee Park.
Harlow Town won the battle of the basement boys with a 3-2 victory over Worthing, and Lowestoft Town continued their good recent form, travelling to Imperial Fields and putting poor Tooting & Mitcham United to the sword, scoring five goals- Sam Borrer and Shaun Bammant each with a brace. The Terrors did manage to get two back, but the Trawler Boys were worthy winners.
Merstham moved up to fifteenth with the only goal of their match at Tonbridge Angels, and Harrow Borough are thirteenth courtesy of a three-nil home victory over a Met Police side who slip out of the playoff places. Elsewhere, Burgess Hill Town and Margate shared two goals, whilst Kingstonian and Dorking Wanderers couldn’t manage one between them at Fetcham Grove.
In the North Division, AFC Hornchurch extended their lead at the top of the table to four points courtesy of a narrow home victory over AFC Sudbury, Nathan Cooper with the goal. Second place Dereham Town put their two match losing streak behind them, but only got a single point after Sewa Marah nabbed a last gasp equaliser for Aveley, whilst Bowers & Pitsea surged into third place with a four-nil hammering of Chesunt. Canvey Island slipped to fourth with a 2-2 draw at Maldon & Tiptree, whilst Potters Bar Town are fifth- and you can read about that match in our Bostik Matchday feature HERE..
Heybridge Swifts finally got to play a league match, and won it too, coming from Behind to defeat Brentwood Town 3-1, whilst the other big victors of the day were Grays Athletic, who recorded their third victory on the bounce with a 4-1 win at Witham Town.
Down South Lewes retained their lead at the top of the division on a day when none of the top six were able to record a victory. The Rooks needed a late equaliser to earn a point at Greenwich Borough, George Landais grabbing that goal to cancel out an earlier strike from Chinedu McKenzie. Corinthian-Casuals are still in second place, but only on goal difference after squandering a 2-0 lead at home to Chipstead to lose 3-2, whilst third and fourth place Carshalton Athletic and Cray Wanderers played each other- both leaving with a point after a 1-1 draw. Hythe Town in sixth were also held to a draw, two goals in the 23rd minute and two more right at the death meaning that they shared the spoils with Hastings United. This allowed Sittingbourne to close the gap on the playoff places, the Brickies three-one winners at East Grinstead Town.
Elsewhere Max Watters struck a hat trick as Ashford United defeated Thamesmead Town by four goals to one, whilst Guernsey showed that there is life after Ross Allen, scoring four of their own in defeating VCD Athletic four-two.
Today Leatherhead travel to Wycombe Wanderers in the Second Round of the FA Cup. We’d like to wish the Tanners the very best of luck- here’s hoping that we’ll find them in the Third Round on Monday!
Image courtesy of Billericay Town FC/Nicky Hayes