Tonbridge Angels couldn’t do it. Lewes and Dorking Wanderers tried and failed. Kingstonian, Folkestone Invicta, Bishop’s Stortford, Worthing and Carshalton Athletic came up wanting. AFC Hornchurch, Potters Bar Town, Wingate and Finchley and Whitehawk were also despatched. Merstham tried hard but couldn’t quite manage it. But finally- finally- somebody has managed to beat Haringey Borough- and that somebody was relegation-threatened Harlow Town.
The Hawks scored in the second minute of the first half and the second minute of the second, Tom Hitchcock sweeping in from a corner for the first and Emile Aqcuah knocking in a rebound for the second, and although Ralston Gabriel was able to pull a goal back that was all that Borough had to show for their efforts.
The one piece of good news for Haringey is that most of the other sides who started the day in the top five were also unable to win. The exception were Lewes, who move up to second place after picking up three points in a seven goal thriller at Woodside Road.
Twice this season Worthing and Lewes have met, and twice there have been seven goals and a victory for the away side. The Rooks got revenge for their October defeat, but they had to work hard for it- despite Worthing ending the match with only nine men.
Indeed the first significant action of the match was a red card- a straight red for Ricky Aguair- and within four minutes of his dismissal Lewes took advantage in style, James Hammond scoring from the half way line! The lead lasted only four minutes more, Ollie Pearce equalising with a fine free kick, but Lewes were ahead once more by half time, Charlie Coppola firing home with help from a deflection. Luke Blewden made it 3-1 after the break, but the ten-men Mackerel Men weren’t going to be shaken off, and defender Jalen Jones scored his second goal in two games since arriving at Woodside Road to reduce the arrears.
Callum Overton seemed to make the points safe when making it 4-2 in the last minute, but even then Ollie Pearce cut the arrears from the spot- before Darren Budd picked up a second yellow. The Rooks are second; one of three clubs on 41 points, eight behind Haringey.
Kingstonian are third, but despite coming back from two goals down at Tonbridge Angels they left Longmead with nothing to show for their efforts. Alex Read and Joe Turner had given Angels the advantage but, with the half time whistle about to blow, goals from Dean Inman and Shaun McAuley got the K’s level and left the home side shellshocked. At that point you’d probably have put your money on Leigh Dynan’s side, but Angels rallied and twenty minutes from time Chinedu McKenzie was able to find a winner.
Dorking Wanderers are fourth, but they got only a point at bottom side Whitehawk, coming from behind after a Nat Pinney goal had put the Hawks ahead. Niall McManus got the equaliser two minutes later, but our former leaders have now won only two of their last six.
Bognor Regis Town seem to have been suffering from a continual injury crisis this season, but they are coping well and yesterday climbed to fifth with victory in our second Sussex derby of the day, at Burgess Hill Town. Jimmy Muitt got both their goals, the second deep into added time- and the Rocks also had keeper Dan Lincoln to thank for their victory, as he was forced to make a number of late saves as the Hillians looked to take something from the match.
Folkestone Invicta continued their magnificent form with a fifth win in six matches which have seen them pick up sixteen points from eighteen- and how they did it, walloping AFC Hornchurch 5-0 at the Fullicks Stadium. Roadworks on the M20 caused Kentish travel chaos yesterday, and the Urchins must have been left wishing they were still stuck in traffic as goals from Alfie Paxman (2), Johan Ter Horst, Ian Draycott and Adam Yusuff left them chasing shadows.
Merstham are unbeaten in seven matches, and yesterday moved to within a point of the playoff places as Walter Figueira’s thirteenth minute goal was enough to defeat Enfield Town- who are now one of three sides, with the Moatsiders and Worthing, on thirty eight points. Brightlingsea Regent are only three points further back, and they’ve been in magnificent form too, yesterday travelling to Potters Bar Town are recording a seventh victory in their last nine matches- a period during which they’ve picked up twenty two points and gone from relegation candidates to playoff hopefuls. Billy Hunt got both their goals in the second half at the Pakex.
We’ve only one Premier Division match to go, and that came at King George’s Field, where Corinthian-Casuals came from behind to defeat Leatherhead. Jazz Wallace provided a musical start to the match as he forced the ball home for Leatherhead in the seventh minute, but Gabriel Odunaike equalised just after the half hour and then found a winner half an hour later. Casuals leapfrog the Tanners into thirteenth.
We had two sides still involved in the FA Trophy, and the plaudits go to Carshalton Athletic, who- despite falling behind in the fourth minute- recovered to wallop Steve Claridge’s Salisbury four-one. Tommy Bradford, Michael Dixon, Paris Hamilton-Downes and an own goal made up the scorers, but the Robins hopes of a local derby with Sutton United in the next round were dashed after Spennymoor Town walloped their local rivals. Wingate & Finchley were our only other representatives left in the competition, but their fabulous cup form this season finally escaped them yesterday- although a Sean Cronin double brought them back from four-nil down to four-two.
It was normal service in the North Division, as four of our top five won. There are now seven points separating fifth and sixth as the leading clubs win whilst the rest take points from each other- but there are eight points between first and fifth, too. Bowers & Pitsea remain our leaders, and they recorded what was, in the end, a comfortable victory over AFC Sudbury, second half goals from Martyn Stokes, Bradley Warner and James Thomas doing the damage.
Heybridge Swifts went to bottom side Dereham Town and went behind, Joe Gatting opening the scoring in the seventh minute- and it was a lead the magpies held until midway through the second half, but when the floodgates opened they remained open, Kreshnic Krasniqi, Matthew Price and Luke Wilson finding the net for Swifts in twenty second half minutes to keep Swifts within three points of the leaders. Aveley are two points further back, albeit with two matches in hand, and they also had to come from behind at home to Felixstowe and Walton United. Tom Richardson gave the Millers the lead only for the Seasiders to turn the game on its head before the break, Rhys Henry and Jack Ainsley finding the net; but it was normal service resumed in the second half, Firmin Ngandu and Andrew Freeman turning the match in favour of the home side.
There were four goals as Maldon & Tiptree hosted Grays Athletic, three of them in the first twenty six minutes, as the Jammers came from behind to lead. Charlie Allen put Athletic ahead, only for Laste Dombaxe and Stephane Ngamvoulou to turn the game on its head- but the home faithful weren’t able to celebrate three points as Kieran Bishop got a second half leveller. Nnamdi Nwachuku, Michael Gyasi and George Cocklin gave fifth place Coggeshall Town a comfortable victory over Soham Town Rangers.
Tilbury’s fabulous form continued, as boss Marc Harrison went back to his former club Basildon United and saw his new charges score three goals without reply, George Sykes and a Lewis Smith double doing the damage as the Bees continue a winless run that goes back to September. Bury Town and Canvey Island sit behind the Dockers in ninth and tenth, and yesterday got a point each as Kyran Clements for the Ram Meadow outfit and Josh Hutchinson for the Gulls cancelled each other out.
Brentwood Town are up to eleventh, a 3-2 win over Great Wakering Rovers courtesy of a Ernest Okoh double and a goal from Alfie Hilton continuing their good form. Shomari Barnwell opened the scoring for Rovers, and Jake Gordon made it interesting after Brentwood replied with three, but the away side couldn’t find an equaliser. Witham Town’s fabulous run came to an end at Mildenhall Town, but the away side managed to score both of Mildenhall’s goals in a 2-0 defeat, and finally neither Romford or Barking could find the net at East Thurrock.
If we were giving out a prize for performance of the day- we’re not, I’ve asked- then prime contenders would be found in the South East Division. Cray Wanderers, who went ten points clear yesterday? No- Herne Bay.
Bay have really picked up recently, and knew that victory at Greenwich Borough yesterday would allow them to leapfrog their hosts in the table. Seven goals later and they’d certainly done that! Jake Embery got four of the seven, Andrew Dalhouse- his first since arriving from Haywards Heath Town- and Thomas Carlton got the last two, and the other was an own goal. Ryan King-Elliott and Andrew Sessay found the net for shellshocked Borough.
Back to the top, and Cray ensured normal service was continued as a second half goals from Joseph Taylor and Freddie Parker were enough to defeat East Grinstead Town, and Wanderers extended their lead as second place Hastings United could only draw with Phoenix Sports. In a topsy-turvy match Sports were two goals to the good at the break, Kweku Ansah and Lewis Clarke finding the net- and yet went into the last minute three-two down, as Jack Dixon and Jordy Mongoy (2) turned the match on its head. But there was still Teniola time to add, and Alex popped up to level right at the death.
A Tyrell Richardson-Brown goal ten minutes from time was the only one of the game as Horsham defeated Whyteleafe, whilst second half goals from Trey Williams and Danny Parish gave Ashford United, who are just behind the Hornets in fourth, a 2-0 win over Whitstable. Whyteleafe are fifth.
Haywards Heath Town drop to sixth after a goalless draw at seventh place Hythe Town, whilst VCD Athletic came from behind at Three Bridges to move up to eighth, second half goals from Jake McIntyre and Charlie MacDonald enough to equal and then surpass Connor French’s opener for the home side.
Sevenoaks Town are ninth after demolishing Faversham Town at Greatness Park. Frankie Sawyer got two, and Alec Fiddes and Kenny Pogue made it four, whilst Liam King got a consolation for Town on his return to the club.
In the early kick off, Ramsgate and Guernsey shared four goals equally on the Kent coast, Rory Smith getting a double for the Rams with Matt Loaring and Dave Rihoy replying for the Green Lions.
We’ve scoured the football dictionary, but we’re running out of superlatives to describe Hayes & Yeading United’s performances in the South Central Division. Yesterday they faced a tough match at Tooting & Mitcham United, and came out smiling after two Scott Donnelly spot kicks and a goal from Toby Little gave them victory; the Terrors replying with a penalty of their own through Daryl Coleman. That’s Hayes’ seventh successive victory.
Bracknell Town are five points behind in second place, and that could so easily have been seven points until Joseph Grant- with his second goal of the game- popped up in the very last minute to give them a 4-3 win over relegation-threatened South Park. The Sparks will undoubtedly feel hard done by, as they had come back from three-one down to level with only six minutes remaining. Liam Ferdinand gave the Robins an early lead, only for Andrew Herring to equalise- but Grant’s first of the afternoon and another from Ferdinand had put Bracknell firmly in the driving seat. Two goals in five minutes from Matt Males and Ryan Catmull drew the away side level, only for Grant to break their hearts at the end.
Jason Hallett got the only goal of the game as Cheshunt went third with victory over Ashford Town- the Ambers have lost only one of their last nine- whilst Dylan Cascoe saw Westfield move into fifth place, just three points behind their hosts Marlow, by scoring the only goal of their match at the Alfred David Ground.
Another 1-0 result saw Waltham Abbey drop out of the top five as Northwood got that goal, through Daniel Pett, whilst Ware move up to seventh, wining their fifth game in the last six by walloping Molesey 3-0 at Walton Road. Albert Adu and Brandon Adams mad eit 2-0 at half time, and Jordon Watson got the third from the spot in the last minute.
Hanwell Town showed their six-appeal, walloping FC Romania at Reynolds Field. It was 1-1 at half time, Olly Duffy giving the home side the lead only for Svdayisi Sendege to equalise, but the floodgates opened after the break, Calum Duffy, Tom Collins (2), Gareth Chendlik and Harry Rush making it six, whilst the ever reliable Chiduben Onokwai got one back for the away side. Hanwell are tenth, FC Romania nine points clear of the bottom three.
Another 1-0 scoreline saw Bedfont Sports move just behind Hanwell through Mustafa Tiryaki’s goal against Chipstead, whilst a goal in each half saw Ruben Soares-Junior and Elliott Bailey give Hertford Town victory at Uxbridge.
Finally, our Bostik Matchday feature saw Egham Town make things very interesting at the bottom of the table, with a hard fought draw with Chalfont St Peter which you can read about here. .