Billericay Town looked to bounce back from two away defeats as they returned to New Lodge, but they had tough opponents, as National League North leaders Tamworth came to town. The visitors put a run of three defeats behind them at a familiar location in midweek, a last minute goal defeating Bishop’s Stortford, but this set of Blues but up a tougher fight. Billericay went ahead six minutes before the break, Alfie Cerulli with the opener, and a minute into the second half extended their advantage, Bradley Stevenson with the second. Any chance of a comeback ended on sixty eight minutes, Moses Emmanuel making it three-nil, and although Tamworth got a goal back in the last minute the Blues were able to celebrate a fine victory.
Image from Chris Mumford.
A familiar name played hosts to Horsham, former South Central champs Bracknell Town welcoming the Hornets- who hoped to bounce straight back after their heroic cup adventures finally came to an end in midweek. The visitors had lost twice during the last seven days, Hashtag United and Barnsley the victors, but prior to that they were in fine form, and they quickly seemed to have rediscovered that, Charlie Hester-Cook putting them ahead after eight minutes. Nine minutes into the second half the Hornets were celebrating once more, Elliott Romain with his first goal for the club, and right at the end Daniel Ajakaiye made it three-nil to complete another fabulous knock out Saturday for Horsham.
It was a long trip for Cray Wanderers, as Weston Super Mare played the role of hosts. Weston find themselves in nineteenth place in National League South, and were three without a win- and they fell behind in the first minute, Gary Lockyer giving Wands the earliest of leads. Sadly that gave the hosts plenty of time to hit back, and they did so on thirty one, fifty nine, sixty three and seventy three minutes, winning comfortably four-one.
Whitehawk and Lewes met in a Sussex derby at the Enclosed Ground. Poor weather had stopped the Hawks from hosting a home match since October 24th, but they’d have been delighted to be back on their own patch as their form there had been superb- eleven home matches this season had seen them remain unbeaten. The travelling Rooks looked to buck that trend and went ahead on nineteen minutes through Ola Ogunwamide, but the Hawks quickly hit back. Charlie Walker drew them level twenty minutes before half time, and little more than ten minutes later the same player put them ahead from the spot. Five minutes before the break Dom Johnson-Fisher made it three-one, and there were no second half additions to the scoreline, the Hawks flying into Round Three.
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Leaders Hornchurch started the day with an eleven point gap between themselves and second place Enfield Town, and the Urchins hoped to extend that as they entertained Potters Bar Town. Hornchurch came into the match on the back of a winning league run which stretched back ten matches- indeed they hadn’t yet lost a league match this season. The travelling Scholars saw a ten match unbeaten run in all competitions come to an end in Trophy defeat to Leiston last time out, but hadn’t lost in the league since Saturday 9th September. The opening goal arrived on the stroke of half time, and it went to the leaders, Nathan Bertram-Cooper scoring it, but that didn’t satisfy boss Steve Morison who made two changes at half time.
Even a penalty miss didn't stop the Urchins. Just after the hour Ade Yusuff made the hosts more comfortable, adding a second, and it was three-nil six minutes later, Sean Scannell making the match safe. That was that, the Urchins defeating the Scholars for a fifth time in a row and maintaining their eleven point lead.
Enfield Town hoped to capitalise on any potential Urchins slip ups as they entertained Hastings United, second versus fifth. This was the Towners ninth home match of the season in all competitions- and only once had they previously been defeated; whilst United had really had a fine new manager bounce, the return of Chris Agutter to the top job seeing them win their previous three matches. The Towners perhaps had an eye on the score from Hornchurch, as almost the second the Urchins went ahead they did the same, Reece Beckles-Richards with the opener just before the break, only for Kian Moyes to equalise five minutes later. Five minutes was also as long as United maintained that parity, Marcus Wyllie restoring Town’s advantage with his fourteenth of the season, and they gave themselves some breathing space when Oliver Knight made it three-one with twenty three minutes remaining. That turned out to be that, and the Towners remained in second place whilst Hastings slipped to sixth.
Wingate & Finchley had the chance to climb back into the top five as Margate made the journey to North London. The hosting Blues were in seventh place after ending a three match losing streak with victory at Lewes last weekend, whilst the visiting Blues had also defeated the Rooks recently, and started the day four points and six places behind their hosts but having lost only one of their last six. Margate had also won five of the last six meetings between the clubs, but they went behind on the stroke of half time, William Cracknell scoring for the hosts, and Wingate & Finchley held on for three points to go fifth.
Folkestone Invicta, with Andy Drury in temporary charge after a managerial departure in midweek, travelled to take on Dulwich Hamlet at Champion Hill. Invicta started the day in eleventh place, four points short of the top five, whilst Hamlet were five places and three points further back and were five unbeaten in the league- and it was the hosts who hit the ground running, Michael Chambers putting them ahead after only three minutes. On twenty six minutes Danny Mills made it two, and although Kane Penn quickly hit back for Invicta Hamlet were three-one up before the break, Riley Scott putting them firmly in control. That was that for goals, the only notable statistic of the second half a red card for Invicta’s Callum Davies, and Hamlet are up to eleventh.
Canvey Island and Cheshunt were both looking to get back to winning ways as the sides met at the seaside. The Gulls form had been rather hit and miss, indeed their previous four had followed a W-L pattern; whilst the Ambers had taken only one point from the last twelve available and fell into the bottom four after shipping six goals against Hornchurch last time out. It was Cheshunt who made the breakthrough, Jesse Friend no friend to the home faithful on nineteen minutes, but the Gulls were level at the break, Connor Hubble levelling from the spot. The second half had no further goals.
Haringey Borough welcomed Kingstonian with both sides in desperate need of points, second from bottom hosting the side one place and three points above them. With only one win all season we knew that the Coles Park faithful would celebrate three points as if Tom Robinson was leading them in a chorus of “sing if you’re Haringey,” and it looked very much as if they’d have something to celebrate as first Kasim Aidoo and then Jorge Djassi-Sambu made it two-nil within seventeen minutes. Three minutes into the second half the K’s hit back through Tom Collins, and Borough’s habit of failing to hold onto a lead came back to haunt them once more when Rio Campbell levelled with twelve minutes left. Right at the end Bobson Bawling saw red for Borough- who have now drawn four of their last five in the league.
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