If supporters of Margate, Leiston, Hendon and Staines Town felt the hairs on the back of their neck stand on end at around half past nine last night, there is a simple explanation. They were suffering from Leatherheaditis! Half past nine was around the time that Jerry Nnamani- a defender, by the way- was completing his hat trick as the Tanners demolished Brightlingsea Regent 7-0 at the Taydal Stadium to move to within one point of the playoff places- and they have a game in hand over Leiston and Hendon, two over Margate, and are now four points ahead of the Swans.
Regent didn’t come into this match in the best of form, with only one win in seven, but when Nana Boakye-Yiadom put the Tanners ahead after nineteen minutes there was no inkling of what was to come. It was two before half time, a Tom Richards volley doing the damage, but even then Regent were still in the game. The second half, however, was a one-way street- and featured that hat trick from Nnamani. The defender made it 3-0 on fifty minutes as his header found the back of the net, and then scored the fourth ten minutes later before Boakye-Yiadom joined him on two with the Tanners fifth. Substitute Calum Davies got the sixth thirteen minutes from time, but Nnamani wasn’t done, getting his third and Leatherhead’s seventh from the spot two minutes from time, as the Tanners twitter feed went into meltdown! That’s four wins from the last five for Sammy Moore’s men, who seem to have hit form at just the right time.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division Leatherhead’s tenants Kingstonian were hosting Merstham, in a match which took far longer to complete than expected due to persistent floodlight failure. A Greg Cundle header from a cross from Daniel Ajakaiye put the K’s ahead after 28 minutes, but Merstham equalised eleven minutes into the second period through Tom Kavanagh, and must have thought that they’d held on for a point until a foul on Muhammadu Faal two minutes into stoppage time allowed the K’s number eleven to pick himself up, place the ball on the spot and find the bottom right hand corner of the net- although Moatsiders keeper Ashlee Jones made a valiant attempt to keep it out. That result moved the K’s up to eighteenth, but the middle of the table is so tightly packed that they could potentially end up eleventh were they to win their two games in hand over most of their rivals.
There was also an important game in the North Division, and Haringey Borough kept their hopes of a top two place alive with a 3-1 win at Aveley. Chinedu McKenzie opened the scoring for the visitors in the twenty fifth minute, and eight minutes later it was 0-2, Lauren Luke chipping the keeper from the edge of the area. Chris Bourne pulled one back for the Millers seventeen minutes into the second half, but their hope was short-lived as Ralston Gabriel restored Borough’s two goal cushion from the spot only a minute later, and that’s how it remained. Borough remain fourth, but they are now level on points with Bowers & Pitsea- albeit having played two games more- and a point behind second place Potters Bar Town in the battle to see who will join AFC Hornchurch in the Bostik Premier Division next season.
There are a number of crucial games tonight. See our preview for the details you need.