The outstanding Erhun Oztumer broke the deadlock with a 30-yard curler in the 54th minute and his penalty with 14 minutes left completed a 2-0 Dulwich victory. They move up to third place and, with second-placed Crawley Down having the day off, Folkestone retained pole position.
Dulwich, in fact, were the only side who started the day in the top ten and managed to collect three points. Walton & Hersham, who were third, went down 3-2 at Sittingbourne for whom Joe Taylor netted a hat-trick. He was the first Brickie to do so for almost four years, since Richard Brady, now manager of Leatherhead, scored three against Chipstead in October 2008.
Less good news for the Brickies was that they finished with nine men for the second successive Saturday. Ashley Ulph was first to go, after only 24 minutes, and Phil Williams put the visitors ahead on 38 minutes. Taylor headed the equaliser for the ten men on the stroke of half-time but Josh Bonnett put Swans ahead again just before the hour mark. Taylor struck twice in the next ten minutes to complete his treble and his side held out despite having Jason Dolby sent off near the end.
Chipstead’s good form ended with a 3-0 defeat at Eastbourne Town. Richard Greenfield broken the deadlock immediately after half-time and Danny Curd quickly made it 2-0 from a chance provided by Greenfield. Curd nabbed his second with three minutes left.
Herne Bay and Burgess Hill drew 1-1 in Kent. It was scoreless for just over an hour and then both goals arrived from headers in the space of five minutes, Omar Burgiel for the Hillians and Calum McGeehan for the hosts.
Bottom club Hythe had games in hand over the sides immediately above them and proved they were in a false position by thrashing Tooting 5-2, after which losing manager Roberto Forzoni resigned. Ronnie Dolan’s third-minute goal gave Hythe an early boost and Dave Cook doubled their lead on 24 minutes, converting the rebound from his own missed penalty. Kai Bichard pulled one back, Dolan made it 3-1 and Sol Pinnock grabbed Tooting’s second at the end of the first half. Hythe again went two goals clear through Brendon Cass four minutes after the restart and this time Terrors had no answer. James Dryden added the fifth ten minutes from time.
Tooting finished above only Horsham in the Premier last season and the pair find now themselves in the same positions a division lower. Horsham took over the wooden-spoon slot after going down 3-1 at Faversham, having taken a second-minute lead through Ryan Marriott. Adrian Stone and Dave Botterill had Faversham ahead by the half-hour and Luke Harvey nabbed their third with a clever chip as the game entered its last quarter.
The table does not make pretty reading for West Sussex, for Worthing are 20th after going down 2-1 at home to Corinthian-Casuals. It was the first win of the season for Casuals, though they had drawn five of their previous seven games and they only avoided sharing the points for the sixth time thanks to Jamie Byatt’s 90th-minute decider. Danny Green had put Casuals ahead after 12 minutes and Scott Kirkwood equalised with a penalty at the same stage of the second half.
Three Bridges have been involved in some high-scoring games during their brief Ryman career; indeed, their first four away matches had produced an average of five goals apiece and they maintained that figure with a 3-2 victory at Walton Casuals. Liam Holden’s 14th-minute penalty for the home side was saved but they took the lead eight minutes later through Sol Patterson-Bohner. Abu Touray replied moments before the half-time whistle and Ellis Hooper gave Bridges the lead early in the second half only for Sam Robinson to hit back straight away. Joel O’Hara’s 73rd-minute goal was decisive.
Whitstable found themselves trailing after eight minutes at Ramsgate, for whom Warren Schulz was the marksman with a header, but scored twice in the second half to capture the points. Jake Beecroft levelled matters from long-range soon after the interval and Dane Luchford netted a late winner in goalmouth scramble.
Merstham also took an early lead in their home game with Leatherhead, Rob Carter the scorer, and they went on to win 3-1. Mark Nwokeji struck an important blow when he doubled the lead at the end of the first half. Greg Andrews pulled one back with a 75th-minute penalty but soon afterwards it was Merstham who were awarded a spot-kick and Fabio Saraiva made no mistake.