Can the Urchins trip up the Mackerel Men- and do themselves and the rest of our promotion hopefuls a favour?

By Ian Townsend

We've a big afternoon in prospect in the Pitching In Isthmian Premier. Here's what's occurring.

Our leaders, Worthing, remain six points clear at the top- but they may have a fight on their hands as they welcome FA Trophy holders Hornchurch. The Mackerel Men have maintained their place at the top despite the occasional blip- they’ve lost three of their last ten- whilst the Urchins have finally found form, and in a big way, travelling to the south coast with seven consecutice victories under their belts. A win for the Urchins could- depending on other results- see them into the top five.

Second place Enfield Town play in our other match of the day, as they travel around the M25 to Tolworth to face fifth place Kingstonian. Please note, due to Rail engineering works, the M25 might actually be your best bet today, sadly. The Towners were impressive in defeating Bowers & Pitsea in midweek, whilst the K’s seem finally to be recapturing their early-season form and have only lost one of their last five, winning the others.

Lewes, in third, welcome Brightlingsea Regent. The visitors had a morale-boosting win in midweek, ending a run of four consecutive defeats, whilst the Rooks have won five of their last six and with Joe Taylor and Ollie Tanner knocking them in for fun- and Tanner being watched by apparently every team in the Premier League- will pose a stiff test for the Regent backline.

Bishop’s Stortford, starting the day in fourth, welcome East Thurrock United. The Blues, who strengthened in midweek, have lost only one of their last ten, whilst the visiting Rocks have five defeats from their last six and need to start picking up some points. The Blues came from behind to win their previous meeting, in October, by two goals to one.

Folkestone Invicta, newly reinforced with the signing of that midfield maestro Andy Drury, welcome Wingate and Finchley. The hosts have fallen out of the top five due to their FA Trophy commitments but have as many as three matches in hand over the sides above them, and will surely step back into the play off places with victory. They’ve only lost one of their last seven league matches; whilst their visitors until defeat at Kingstonian last time out, had looked much improved, winning their previous two.

Cheshunt will still be on a high following their FA Trophy heroics last weekend. The Ambers welcome those Hornets of Horsham this afternoon, and will hope to climb back towards a play off place with victory. They’ve only lost one of their last ten; whilst Horsham have gone five matches without a victory and if they have any play off ambitions of their own will need to start finding their groove again soon.

Carshalton Athletic, who start the day in eighth, have finally started to look like the play off contenders we all expected them to be, having won their last three and with only two defeats in their last ten. They hit the road today to face a Cray Wanderers side who have only two wins from their last ten and are perilously close to the wrong end of the table.

Tenth plays eleventh as Margate host Corinthian-Casuals. Casuals, with three wins and a draw from their last four, have been in fine form of late; whilst the Blues looked to be heading inexorably towards the play off places until Hornchurch arrived last weekend and taught them a lesson.

Bognor Regis Town’s chances of being play off candidates also need a boost. The Rocks, with only two wins from ten, host managerless Potters Bar Town, the Scholars on the receiving end of four straight defeats and hoping not to make it five.

Haringey Borough have begun to climb the table, unbeaten in four and unlucky to only take a point in each of their last two. Bottom side Leatherhead travel to Coles Park this afternoon with new boss Luke Tuffs hoping that his side’s point and clean sheet at Cray Wanderers in midweek is the start of something positive.

Finally, two sides who are really in need of points meet at the Len Salmon. Bowers & Pitsea have lost their last six matches and will be desperate not to get embroiled in a relegation scrap, whilst visitors Merstham haven’t fared much better, with one win and five defeats from their last six.

Image: Top scorer Ollie Pearce for Worthing- Marcus Hoare.

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Where next?

Goals, red cards and drama galore! We had an incredible nine goal thriller at Cray, five for the Towners, four for the Blues- and Worthing’s lead is cut. Here’s our Pitching In Isthmian Premier round up.
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