A good night at the bottom

By Ian Townsend

It was a fabulous night for Concord Rangers in Pitching In Isthmian Premier, whilst Kingstonian left Enfield with a draw- and in the Cup, Haringey triumphed at Whitehawk

With three defeats from four prior to their trip to Concord Rangers, it looked as if Billericay Town’s grasp on a play off place looked rather more shaky than it had a few weeks ago, and their title chances seemed to have departed altogether, with sixteen points between them and the leaders. A win last night would have given the Blues a positive boost- but as it turned out, Rangers wanted it more and closed to within five points of safety with a two-one victory.

It took only five minutes for the Beachboys to go ahead, Harrison Day’s thirteenth of the season unlucky for the visitors, but they were quickly level as Frankie Merrifield took only four minutes to level, reacting quickest to a corner and finding the net. There were chances at both ends after that, home keeper Mason Terry particularly earning the plaudits, but no further goals until six minutes from time when Day proved the matchwinner. Kenny Aileru sent in the cross and there was the Rangers number nine, rising to meet the ball with his head and deliver a critical three points to his side.

Billericay remain sixteen points behind the leaders, having played two games more. The gap between Rangers and fifth bottom Margate is now only four points- and Rangers have a rather incredible five games in hand.

The sides will meet again on April 1st. Image from Nicky Hayes.

Fifth place Enfield Town knew that they could climb to fourth if they could defeat bottom side Kingstonian Town hadn’t been in the best of form, however, with only one win from seven coming into the match, and that run is now one win from eight as the K’s held out to take what may be a valuable point in their fight against the drop.

The visitors had perhaps the best of the early stages without testing Rhys Forster in the home goal, and then on twenty minutes Ollie Knight had to clear a Mark Waters effort off the line as the K’s looked to spring a surprise. As we approached half time the Towners finally found their rhythm, and efforts from Sam Youngs and Marcus Wyllie had to be defended, but the sides went in goalless.

The second half saw lots of effort but fewer clear cut chances, and in the end both sides had to settle for a point. That result leaves the Towners still occupying the final play off place, one point clear of sixth place Horsham, although the Hornets- whose match at Potters Bar Town was postponed- have three games in hand. The K’s remain bottom, eight points from safety with two games in hand over fifth bottom Margate.

The Velocity Cup Quarter Final saw Whitehawk welcome Haringey Borough to the south coast. The Hawks seemed to have turned around their league form, three unbeaten, whilst Borough had gone eight without a victory- but we wondered whether they would perhaps see this as a distraction from their relegation fight? It seemed that’s exactly what happened, as the visitors delivered a morale-boosting win to reach the Semi-Finals.

The only goal of the first half came about half way through it, and it went to Gio Crichlow. The Borough number eleven had already seen an effort disallowed for offside, but three minutes later he curled home to put his side ahead and provoke the smattering of visiting fans behind the goal into song- not that, in truth, they ever need a great deal of provoking! On the hour the visitors were awarded a penalty, and although Hawks keeper Mitch Walker went the right way as he attempted to save from Matthew Young, in truth he was never keeping it out- and Borough went two up. The visitors have a habit of conceding late goals, and they did so again, Charlie Harris getting the hosts back in to the match with a minute left- but this time Borough held on to celebrate once more.

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