Dorking Wanderers started the day one point clear at the top of the Premier Division, and they ended it three points clear- although the rest of the top five all changed position. Wanderers won a hard-fought game played in blustery conditions at Bognor Regis Town by a single goal- and in controversial fashion, and you can read about that here as it was our #bostikmatchday feature.
Lewes are in second place, coming from behind at Bishop’s Stortford to record a 2-1 victory over their promotion rivals- if indeed we should be using such a term at this stage of the season. Ryan Charles put the Blues ahead after only three minutes, but James Hammond’s seventh goal of the season saw them back on terms, and Frankie Chappell’s first earned them all three points ten minutes after the break.
Tonbridge Angels slip to third, their match- perhaps like that at Nyewood Lane- seeming to turn on a red card. Joe Turner had given Angels the lead just before the break, but just afterwards James Folkes was given his marching orders and visitors Worthing took advantage, James Crane and Callum Kealy earning them the points- although Kealy was also the recipient of an early bath late on. Angels manager Steve McKimm’s described his players as ‘fantastic’ via social media after the match, but was obviously rather unhappy with one particular performance.
Kick off at the Nye Camp
Two wins this week sent Enfield Town back up to fourth, and they got four on the scoresheet yesterday at home to Harlow Town. They announced the signing of Wingate & Finchley record appearance holder Marc Weatherstone before the match, and he introduced himself to the Donkey Lane faithful with the final goal in a rout which had already been almost completed, Aaron Greene and two from Billy Bricknell finding the net before that. Tom Hitchcock had levelled for the Hawks on 34 minutes.
Worthing are fifth, although with as many as five games in hand over the sides around them, whilst Stortford slip to sixth and Kingstonian to seventh. The K’s must be wondering how they only got a point yesterday, but perhaps they might also be relieved that they did get one, given they went from being 1-0 up with nine minutes to go to 2-1 down with only four minutes left! Louie Theophanous gave the away side a first half lead at AFC Hornchurch, only for George Saunders and George Purcell to turn the game on its head- but James Daly found an equaliser two minutes from time.
Haringey Borough come next, their fabulous recent form continuing as Karl Akinwande scored the only goal of the game against Folkestone Invicta, whilst tenth place Carshalton Athletic saw their recent good run undone in the first half at the Green Elephants Stadium, evergreen Pat Harding and a double from Aaron Smith-Joseph giving Burgess Hill Town a 3-0 lead. Peter Adeniyi and Jacob Mendy found the net as the Robins put up a second half fightback, but it wasn’t enough and the points remained green. Thanks to Kyle Hemsley for the image from that match which you find at the top of this article- you can see more of his fine work here.
Margate must have been sure they’d got their second win in three yesterday, after coming from behind to lead 2-1 as the match moved into the last minute- but they got just a point. Rob Laney had given Wingate and Finchley an early lead, but Tom Murphy and Ben Swift had turned the tables. Then in the very last minute Loic Hernandez became the away sides man of the hour (and a half), grabbing an equaliser. Gate are eleventh, Wingate seventeenth.
Corinthian-Casuals and Potters Bar Town met at King George’s Field in a battle of the promoted sides, and the Scholars came out on top, coming from behind after Warren Mfula had given Casuals the lead to equalise through Aaron Morgan-Cummings before Dernell Wynter got a late winner. Casuals are twelfth, Bar thirteenth.
Leatherhead, now just behind Folkestone Invicta in fifteenth, have seen their winning run come to an end with a succession of narrow defeats. Yesterday brought their third in a row of a sequence they didn’t want, Brightlingsea Regent’s Billy Hunt (when it’s Brightlingsea Regent it’s always Billy Hunt) grabbing the victory on the hour and moving into double figures for the season). Regent are nineteenth.
Finally, Merstham defeated Whitehawk 1-0 with a late Kenny Beaney goal, and move up to sixteenth. The other Hawks stay rock bottom.
Bowers & Pitsea went back to the North Division summit after coming from behind to defeat Dereham Town at Aldiss Park. Joe Gatting have the Magpies the lead just before the break, but after the restart two from Bradley Warner and one from Richard Halle gave the outcome a rather familiar look.
The top of the table clash between the Millers and the Seed Growers ended all square, Jamie Shaw giving Coggeshall Town an early lead only for Alex Akrofi to score his twelfth of the season to ensure that Aveley got something from the match. Aveley are second, but Coggeshall drop to fourth, the two teams split by the good form of Maldon & Tiptree, for whom Kojo Awotwi got a very late winner at Basildon United. Sammie Mcleod had given the Jammers an early lead, but when Ayrton Coley equalised it looked as if the Bees were going to get something from the game. Awotwi had other ideas.
Maldon’s rivals Heybridge Swifts are fifth, coming from behind at home to Tilbury to take all of the points. Tom Barton gave the Dockers the lead on the half hour, but it lasted only five minutes before Harrison Chatting equalised, and seventeen minutes after the restart Jordy Mongoy got what was to prove the winner.
Grays Athletic are sixth, but now four points behind the leading quintet after falling to defeat at Barking. Darelle Russell and Ola Ogunwamide gave the home side a 2-0 lead, and although Kieran Bishop got Athletic back into the match it proved not to be enough. Barking rise to thirteenth.
Bury Town, in eighth, had to settle for a point at eleventh placed Brentwood Town after Albert Levett equalised Ollie Fenn’s goal to leave the final score at 1-1, whilst AFC Sudbury are up to ninth, two early goals from Paul Hayes and Liam Bennett enough to five Mark Morsley’s side victory at Soham Town Rangers, who had Erkan Okay sent off late on.
The big winners of the day were Canvey Island, and if they could find consistency they’d undoubtedly be much higher than tenth in the table. Yesterday the Gulls went to Felixstowe and Walton United, and must have been comforted by the sea air, as they scored four goals in the second half. Frankie Merrifield, Josh Hutchinson and a late double from Martin Tuohy gave them a 4-0 victory. The Seasiders slip to twelfth.
Great Wakering Rovers and Mildenhall Town got a goal each in a mid-table clash, Shomari Barnwell opening the scoring for Rovers only for Andrew Camilo-Tacaya to equalise shortly afterwards, whilst at the wrong end of the table a Sam Ashford double- both from the spot- saw Witham Town close the gap on visitors Romford to just two points, after recording their second win in a row. Romford, in contrast, haven’t won a match since September 26th, and have picked up only one point from the last twenty seven.
South East Division
Leaders Cray Wanderers managed only a point yesterday, but it was enough to take them eleven points clear after second place Hastings United crashed to another defeat. Wanderers were at home to Phoenix Sports, and Alex Teniola gave the away side the lead on 24 minutes- and it was a lead they were able to hold through to half time. Two minutes after the break, however, Joseph Taylor got an equaliser, but neither side could find a winner. Danny Young was sent off for eighth place Sports just before full time.
The top eight in the South East Division were all playing each other, and they have left us with the rather symmetrical image of four sides beginning with H sitting second to fifth. Hastings are, as we’ve already pointed out, that second place side- but their recent unconvincing form continued at Haywards Heath Town yesterday, as they lost for the third time in a row. Sam Adams gave United the lead at Hanbury Park just after the break, but Karly Akehurst equalised for Town and Alex Laing got the winner six minutes from time. Heath have now won seven of their last ten, and indeed have four wins and a draw from their last five, manager Shaun Saunders describing the ‘unbelievable character and desire’ shown by his side in coming back for victory.
Horsham make it a Sussex 2-3-4, sitting between Hastings and Heath in third place and continuing their magnificent form with a 4-2 win at Hythe Town. Hythe had not previously lost a league match at home this season, but went 2-0 down early on as Tyrell Richardson-Brown and Jack Brivio found the net. Zak Ansah had one back just before the break, however, and the Cannons were level as Junior Aikhionbare equalised in the sixty-second minute. Horsham, perhaps stung by the thought that they wouldn’t be able to win the Performance of the Month Award for the third month in a row, then reasserted their dominance, an own goal and one from Charlie Harris confirming victory. The Hornets last loss in the league came on 25th September- can they make it three months undefeated? Two of their next three matches are against sides in the top four, so if they can it will be a real confirmation of their promotion credentials.
Sixth and seventh placed Whyteleafe and Ashford United took a point each from a goalless draw at Homelands, whilst VCD Athletic remain ninth after falling to a- perhaps surprising- defeat at home to Guernsey. The Green Lions twice fell behind in the first half, Malachi Hudson with a double for Vickers, but on each occasion they drew level fairly quickly, Charlton Gauvain and Matt Loaring with the goals. It seemed a point each was the order of the day, but then a foul on Gauvain in the very last minute gave Loaring the opportunity to win the match from the spot, and he didn’t disappoint. Guernsey climb to eleventh.
Perhaps the shock of the day came at the Belmont. Herne Bay hadn’t won since 25th September, but they were still level at Whitstable Town when the home side’s defender Harry Brown received his marching orders in the fortieth minute. They were one-nil up a minute later through Bradley Schafer, and the ten men were put to the sword after the break, Jake Embery, Miles Cornwell and Thomas Carlton making it 0-4. The side above Bay, Greenwich Borough, also won- first half goals from Teshuane Tyreece-Walters and Reece Deakin (2) giving them an unassailable lead at East Grinstead Town. Ollie Boulding got one back for the Wasps, but it was nowhere near enough.
Faversham Town climbed above visitors Sittingbourne, storming into a 3-0 lead with goals from Ashley Miller, Daniel Carrington and Harry Goodger, and holding on after Chris Webber reduced the arrears for the Brickies, whilst Three Bridges are one place above Faversham in fifteenth, another 3-1 victory taking the points against Ramsgate. A double from Connor French and one from Ibby Akanbi made the difference, despite a late consolation from Sam Lawford at Jubilee Field.
We had goals galore in the South Central Division, with only one match seeing fewer than three. The top of the table clash between Bracknell Town and Marlow saw six, but Marlow stay three points clear at the top by virtue of the fact that they got three of them- and perhaps might feel disappointed that they didn’t get the same number of points, too. Joseph Grant gave Bracknell Town the lead, only for the leaders to turn the game on its head, Kameron English, James Clark and Isaac Osei-Tutu surely giving them victory as they went 3-1 up with only twenty minutes remaining. But the Robins aren’t used to defeat, and goals from Adam Cornell and Liam Ferdinand gave them a share of the points.
Third place Hayes and Yeading United are averaging almost four goals a game (3.76923076923077 goals, to be exact!), and yesterday they got five against FC Romania. A double from Hassan Jalloh, and three more from Scott Bridges, Lee Barney and Toby Little left the visitors shellshocked, although Chiduben Onokwai got them a consolation- his sixth of the season.
Waltham Abbey are fourth, Billy Holland, Jack Stevenson and Yemi Adelani finding the net in a 3-0 win over Molesey, whilst a Olu Akinsanya double saw Cheshunt end the day in fifth, but they got only one point after two goals in the last four minutes saw Bedfont Sports come back to draw. Scott Harris and Perry Luckins got their goals, as Sports made it five matches undefeated.
When Ashford Town are good, then they are very good indeed, and yesterday they left South Park still waiting for their first victory since August Bank Holiday Monday, walloping five past them at Whitehall Lane. Ryan Healy gave Sparks the lead, only for Mark Bitmead to equalise on the stroke of half time, before the Tangerines ran riot in the second half, Bitmead getting two more to claim a hat trick whilst James Cottee and Nebay Haile made it five. Sebastian Osei-Obengo reduced the arrears just before the end, but the final score was 2-5 in Town’s favour- and left them in sixth.
Tooting & Mitcham United are seventh, and they got back to winning ways with victory over Uxbridge- despite falling behind early on. Mitchell Wiseman gave the away side the lead, but the Terrors equalised before half time through Danny Bassett, and within sixteen minutes of the restart it was 3-1, as a Stefan Ilic double made the difference. Uxbridge pulled it back to 3-2 through David Thomas, but Daryl Coleman was able to wrap up victory for Tooting with the fourth in the very last minute.
Northwood are eighth, but they fell behind in the very first minute at Egham Town, Brandon McCarthy with the goal. The Sarnies lead lasted only ten minutes, Sam Jenkins with the equaliser, and thirteen minutes later Chris Gosling had given the away side the lead- and they didn’t look back, a late Daniel Newton goal sealing a 3-1 win just before full time.
Westfield, in ninth, were our next big winners- in a match which saw three goals in the last minute of the first half! Tom Collins gave Hanwell Town the lead, only for Aaron Watson and Tinashe Nkoma to steer the match back in Westfield’s way- then after the break the same two players found the net again, bringing the final score to 1-4.
Hertford Town and Chipstead saw seven goals at Hertingfordbury Park, the home side with five of them, Mark Twumasi, Ben Ward-Cochrane (2), George Lutaaya and Ruben Soares-Junior finding the net for Town, whilst Michak Stanic-Stewart and an own goal replied for the Chips. Finally, the only boring game of the day (!!) saw Ware grab a late winner at Chalfont St Peter, Adams Brandon with the solitary goal three minutes from time.