Within four minutes of kick off last night each of our three Bostik Premier Division matches had seen a goal, and each had been scored by the home side as Billericay Town, Hendon and Enfield Town took an early lead. That set the scene for the evening, as each of them also took all three points.
Billericay Town were, rather predictably, the opening scorers of the evening. Starting the match a point clear at the top of the table- albeit with six games in hand over second place Dulwich Hamlet- Sam Deering struck in the third minute of their match with Lowestoft Town as they attempted to widen the gap, and they added to their tally through Danny Waldren four minutes after the restart. Just after the hour mark Billy Bricknell made it three and effectively ended the contest, another from Deering made it four, before Jake Robinson- who else- scored the Blues fifth in the seventy third minute to delight the vast majority of the 643 in attendance. The result moves Town four points clear at the top.
Hendon were also quick out of the blocks. The Greens, who have had a bit of an underwhelming start to the year with only one win from their last six matches, also scored in the third minute, Josh Walker giving them the lead- but visitors Leiston weren’t taking that lying down and equalised soon afterwards, Joe Marsden with the goal. Arthur Lee restored home advantage with twenty one minutes remaining, and the home side held out to move up to fourth place.
It was nine matches since Enfield Town last won, but they were clear that they didn’t want to take that run into double figures and were two goals up against Burgess Hill Town within twelve minutes, Taofiq Olomowewe and Ryan Blake giving them the advantage. A win for the Hillians would have taken them off the bottom- indeed a draw would have done the same, dropping Harlow Town to the basement- but it seemed mission impossible after 42 minutes as Blake scored again to make it 3-0. Jack Brivio gave the away side hope with half an hour remaining, and Hafeez Sanusi made it a nail-biting end with a last minute goal to make it 3-2, but the home side held out to move up to fourteenth and leave the Hillians rooted to the bottom.
The North Division also had an early goal, with James Shepherd- who also scored at Grays Athletic at the weekend- putting Maldon & Tiptree ahead at Cheshunt after four minutes. The defensive frailties exhibited by the Jammers of late- only one clean sheet in their last ten matches- came back to haunt them midway through the half, however, as Joe Ellul scored an own goal to even the scores- but Maldon were ahead again before half time, Olu Akinsanya rounding the keeper to slot home. It was three-one to the away side on sixty-five minutes, Ryan Clampin finding his way onto the scoresheet, but Cheshunt weren’t downhearted and Kyle Roberts reduced the arrears from six yards with seven minutes to go to make the closing moments interesting. The Jammers held on to earn all three points, however, and move up to fifth.
Mildenhall Town took at ninth minute lead in their match against Witham Town, Thomas Debenham notching his eighth goal in seven games with the opener at Recreation Way, before Jake Chambers-Shaw doubled the advantage twelve minutes before the break. There were no goals in the second half, so Mildenhall move up to fourteenth.
Neither Hertford Town nor Romford had managed a win in their last four games, and it looked like both had added another match to that list until the very last minute, but up stepped Phillip Lowen to give Town all three points and move them into twelfth position.
Image- James Shepherd, who scored tonight for Maldon & Tiptree at Cheshunt, is congratulated after his goal at Grays Athletic on Saturday.