We’re going to start our round up of Easter Monday’s fixtures at the bottom, where we say goodbye to Harlow Town. The Hawks travelled to AFC Hornchurch and went down by three goals to nil, a double from Kenzer Lee and one from Sean Marks confirming their return to step four after three seasons at step three. The next time AFC Hornchurch turn out at Bridge Avenue, by the way, they’ll be plain old Hornchurch, as they will be dropping the AFC at the end of this campaign.
It seems that, barring a miracle, Burgess Hill Town will also be saying goodbye to the Bostik Premier Division after three seasons. Saved by the implosion of Farnborough in season one, by a late, late added time goal in season two, and by us only having one relegation place last season, they were two minutes from picking up three points which would have meant they would live to fight another day when, sadly for fans at the Green Elephants Stadium, Olajuwon Adeyemo broke hearts with an equaliser for Lewes. Dan Beck had put the Hillians ahead only ten minutes earlier, and they can move level with fourth bottom Wingate & Finchley if they beat them in North London next weekend, but as they are fourteen goals worse off that’s unlikely to be enough.
Hayes & Yeading Utd first team with their Under 15's
Wingate & Finchley have their fate back in their own hands, and they grabbed their chance the hard way, going to second placed Haringey Borough and leaving with three points. Karl Akinwande put the home side ahead in the first half, but after the break Alieu Njie and Anthony Mendy turned the game on its head and delivered delight to Blues supporters.
Whitehawk are two points behind Wingate & Finchley after a goalless draw at Bognor Regis Town, and will need to win against Corinthian-Casuals at the Enclosed Ground next weekend and hope that Burgess Hill help them out in North London. If the Hawks win, and Wingate & Finchley fail to win, then it’s likely that the Sussex side will stay up- if they end up level on points Whitehawk have a better goal difference.
Back to the top now, and our focus turns to the battle for the playoff places. The match between third and fourth, Carshalton Athletic and Tonbridge Angels, ended in victory for the Kent side after Craig Stone got the only goal of the game at Longmead with eleven minutes to go. Given fourth plays fifth next weekend as Carshalton entertain Bishop’s Stortford, Angels confirm their playoff place with this result, but don’t yet know which playoff place they will get.
Bishop’s Stortford picked up another three points to continue their magnificent run, although they suffered a late scare at home to Brightlingsea Regent. Jamie Cureton made his one thousandth career appearance and continued like he had in the previous nine hundred and ninety nine, scoring two goals. Luke Callander made it three-nil, but Regent then scored two of their own, Aaron Condon and Josh Gould making the Blues sweat a little.
Merstham stay level with Stortford, although their poorer goal difference keeps them outside the top five. They scored two first half goals against Kingstonian to make the match safe, Gus Sow and Roman Michael-Percil finding the net, and that was enough to see them home. The Moatsiders travel to Worthing on Saturday, a match which the Mackerel Men need to win if they are to have any chance of leaping from eighth to fifth and grabbing the last playoff place. Worthing drew 1-1 at Corinthian-Casuals today, an eighty-eighth minute Joseph Clarke equaliser earning them that point after Warren Mfula had put the home side ahead twenty four minutes earlier.
In between Merstham and Worthing in seventh place are Folkestone Invicta, who are ending the season in style. Today they went to Margate and left with three points and three goals, Matt Newman, Finn O’Mara and Johan Ter Horst finding the net. Invicta host Bognor next Saturday knowing that if Carshalton and Bishop’s Stortford cancel each other out they could leapfrog both of them with victory.
Leatherhead’s playoff charge is over, after they lost 3-0 at home to champions Dorking Wanderers. Jason Prior, Matthew Briggs and James McShane found the net to win the Mole Valley derby and end the Tanners hopes.
Finally for the Premier Division, goals from Kezie Ibe, Sam Youngs and Bilal Sayoud were more than enough for Enfield Town to defeat Potters Bar Town, despite a consolation from Josh Hutchinson.
Again, we’ll start at the bottom. With only seconds remaining Danny Cossington’s goal for Romford at Grays Athletic was about to take Boro out of the relegation zone- and then disaster, penalty for Grays. Joao Carlos stepped up and found the net, and Romford remain behind Witham Town on goal difference. Town were hosting second place Maldon & Tiptree, and went ahead midway through the first half through Johnny Ashman, but conceded an equaliser in the second half, Jorome Slew scoring for the Jammers.
We’ll be saying goodbye to Mildenhall Town despite a fine victory at Felixstowe and Walton United. Tommy Robinson opened the scoring for Town in the first half, and Thomas Debenham and James Seymour added two more in the second, but being four points behind Romford and Witham with one match remaining confirms their relegation.
At the other end the match between playoff rivals Heybridge Swifts and Coggeshall Town was a five goal thriller, and it went the way of the Seed Growers. All of the goals came in the first half. Nnamdi Nwachuku gave Town the lead after only five minutes only for Matthew Price to quickly equalise, but two goals in three minutes midway through the half gave the visitors a significant advantage, George Allen and Ross Wall scoring them. Swifts reduced the arrears before the break through Daniel Walker, but couldn’t mind an equaliser in the second half. Town climb to third, Swifts remain fifth.
Champions Bowers and Pitsea have gone off the boil a little, and fell to defeat at Great Wakering Rovers, Martin Tuohy with the only goal of the game.
AFC Sudbury were 3-2 up against Bury Town with four minutes to go, and somehow contrived to lose the match 4-3. Emmanuel Machaya and Tanner Call put Town two up in the first half, but after the break the home side turned the game on its head, two Paul Hayes penalties and a third from Tyler French putting them ahead as the game neared a close. But Bury weren’t done, and Ollie Hughes got the equaliser before Jake Chambers Shaw got the winner deep into added time.
Bury sit in sixth place, whilst Tilbury are seventh courtesy of a four-one win over Brentwood Town. Oliver Spooner, a double from George Sykes and a fourth from Harry Watkins made the win comfortable, although Nathan Fox did get a consolation for Brentwood.
A Frankie Merrifield hat trick helped Canvey Island to a four-nil win over Barking, Adeyinka Cole with the opening goal of the game, whilst a Callum Russell double saw our other match go the way of Soham Town Rangers. Daniel Beaumont got the consolation for Dereham Town.
We still don’t know who is going to be relegated along with Egham Town, but we are now certain of who our playoff contenders will be. Westfield, in fifth, made certain of their place today with a four-two victory over second place Bracknell Town- and if the positions of the top five remain unchanged will have earned themselves a psychological advantage as the two meet again at Larges Lane in the playoffs. But we are five days away from having to have that discussion!
Aaron Watson and Elijah Simpson put Field two up, only for Joel Jacobs to reduce the arrears just before the break. An own goal then levelled matters, but the home side were able to reassert their dominance, Tinashe Nkoma and Dylan Cascoe scoring numbers three and four.
Cheshunt are third, above Marlow on goals scored only after a five-one thumping of Hertford Town at Hertingfordbury Park. Jason Hallett gave the Ambers the lead only for Daniel Bond to equalise after the break, but from then onwards the visitors went goal mad, Shane Cojocarel with two, Brian Moses and Taylor Miles rounding things off.
Marlow are fourth, with an identical goal difference to Cheshunt but having scored ten goals fewer, and they went to Northwood and came away with a two-one victory. Kelvin Bossman put Marlow ahead in the very first minute, and Charlie Samuel made it two ten minutes before the break, Tremayne Charles making the closing stages interesting by pulling one back for Woods six minutes from time.
At the bottom, it will still be one of Molesey, South Park or Hertford Town who will go down with Egham Town. The Moles are two points behind their two rivals after a nil-nil draw at Chipstead, whilst Sparks are behind Town on goal difference, although now level on points after they held Tooting and Mitcham United to a draw, Charlie Pitcher putting them ahead only for Hady Ghandour to get a second half equaliser. The Moles will have to beat Northwood next weekend and hope that Hertford Town lose at Bedfont Sports, whilst South Park know that a draw at Waltham Abbey will see them living very dangerously indeed, as the Moles have a better goal difference.
Roddy Lemba, Cosmin Miron and Lawrence Neuruba scored for FC Romania as they confirmed their safety by defeating Egham 3-1. Kiemon Robinson pulled a goal back for the Sarnies.
Our champions, Hayes & Yeading United, took the lead through Mitchal Gough but were pegged back by an equaliser for Hanwell Town, Olly Duffy earning the Geordies a point. After the match United received their winners trophy, and our image, from Montimagemedia, shows the Champions celebrating with their Under 15 side, who won the Middlesex FA Youth League. Chalfont St Peter and Uxbridge shared the same scoreline, with two late goals- the first from Uxbridge, through Tyrone Pink, the second for the Saints, Keaton August getting an added time equaliser.
Ware and Waltham Abbey shared five goals, the Abbotts getting the extra one and leaving Wodson Park with the points. Jordon Watson gave Ware the lead only for Abbey to hit back with three, Malik Nosike and two from Ellis Brown doing the damage.
Finally, a Mark Bitmead double saw Ashford Town defeat Bedfont Sports two-one. Charlie Postance had earlier given Sports the lead.
Horsham confirmed their second place- and a home playoff advantage- with a two-one win over Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Chris Smith and Lee Harding got the Hornets goals, and although Carlos Canha scored late on for the Green Lions they were unable to find an equaliser, and now go into the final weekend of the season in the relegation spot, a point behind Greenwich Borough.
Guernsey will travel to Sittingbourne, but will be given hope by the fact that Borough host Hastings United. Hastings sit in third place after a two-two draw with fourth place Ashford United, but will want three points to confirm home advantage in the playoffs. United were twice ahead against the Nuts and Bolts, Davide Rodari with both goals, but were pegged back first by Jerald Aboagye and later by Danny Parish. Ashford are two points behind Hastings, but two points ahead of fifth place Haywards Heath Town, who today confirmed their playoff place with a three-one victory over East Grinstead Town. Karl Akehurst gave Heath the lead only for Marcus Elliott to equalise, but Kenny Pogue restored the lead by half time and Callum Saunders made sure in the second half. That didn't stop the away fans having a good time, however, as you will see from our headline image!
VCD Athletic did everything they could to keep up the pressure on Heath, but cannot now make fifth place despite a Charlie MacDonald double giving them victory over Phoenix Sports at Oakwood.
Champions Cray Wanderers slipped to defeat at home to Sevenoaks Town despite being two-nil and three-one ahead. Freddie Parker and Junior Dadson gave them the two goal advantage, Ainsley Everett halving the arrears by the break, but when Jordan Clarke made it three-one it looked like game over. Oaks weren’t done, however, and Dan Parkinson and a double from Frankie Sawyer completed an excellent comeback and saw the points head back to Greatness Park.
A Tom Chapman double and a goal from Rory Smith gave Ramsgate a 3-1 win at Faversham Town, for whom Ashley Miller had earlier got an equaliser, whilst Whitstable Town and Hythe Town played out a goalless draw. A double from Connor French saw Three Bridges win two-nil at Whyteleafe, whilst Herne Bay and Sittingbourne drew 1-1, Luke Addy putting Bay ahead only for a second half own goal to level matters.
We have one match tonight, Aveley travelling to Barking in the North Division.