It was a Super- but Soggy- Saturday

By Ian Townsend

Many of our clubs were in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy, and a number of them killed giants! Here’s our round up of the action- in Trophy and League.

We had so many clubs in FA Trophy action that we’re going to go through the ties in alphabetical order to ensure we don’t miss any! And on that note, we’re going to start at AFC Dunstable, who hosted our South East Division favourites Hastings United. We expected the sides to be well matched, as the hosts are in third place in Southern Central Division One, and defeated Hanwell Town in the last round- but it turned out that our boys from the Pilot Field were far an away the stronger, running our four-nil victors courtesy of a first half own goal and second half additions from Sam Adams, Ben Pope and Davide Rodari.

AFC Sudbury changed their entire management team earlier this week, apart from one-manager Mark Morsley. The Yellows surely took confidence from becoming the first side to take anything from Maldon & Tiptree this season, drawing with them in midweek before winning the Velocity Trophy penalty shootout- and they took that performance into the FA Trophy and slayed a giant. Harrow Borough are in fifteenth place in Southern Premier South at present, but had gone a month without victory, losing four of their last five matches- and by full time that record read five out of six, as second half goals from Billy Holland and Sean Marks dumped them out.

Ashford United’s opponents Barton Rovers, in ninth place in the Southern Central Division One, have been rather successful against Isthmian opposition so far this season, defeating Cambridge City, Romford, Hullbridge Sports and Chichester City in FA Cup and Trophy. They got a fifth Isthmian scalp yesterday, Aaron Condon’s late goal nothing but a consolation for the Nuts and Bolts as Rovers already had two.

Aveley and Bowers & Pitsea needed no introduction before their tie at Parkside, but the visitors have been on a miserable run of late and that continued as the Millers struck three times, all in the first half, to dump Rob Small’s side out of the competition. Alex Akrofi, Jason Raad and an own goal did the damage- which was worse than it sounds given the home side played the majority of the match with ten men.

Barking and Margate met at Mayesbrook Park in a clash of the blues, and will have to do it again at Hartsdown Park after a goalless draw.

Basildon United were out next giant killers. The Bees hosted Chesham United, in third place in the Southern Premier South Division and undefeated in three matches- but the visitors couldn’t make it four as two goals right at the end saw them depart the competition after an eight goal thriller! There was only one goal in the first half, and that went to the visitors, but goals in the first ten minutes of the second half saw Basildon turn the game around, Ayo Odukoya and Ernest Okoh finding the net. Adam Vyse made it three-one, and then the visitors scored two to draw the match level with only six minutes to go. That was the signal for Basildon to show their class, and Odukoya, two minutes from time, and Harry Norman a minute later, sealed a famous victory.

Bishop’s Stortford and Enfield Town knew all about each other, although the hosts would have wanted to forget the last time they met, in August, as the Towners won 5-0. That memory was wiped out as early as the fifteenth minute Shomari Barnwell putting the Blues ahead, but Billy Bricknell earned his side a replay five minutes from time.

Brightlingsea Regent still don’t have a victory since 31st August, falling to a two-one defeat to Royston Town, knocked out of the FA Cup last weekend by the Maldon & Tiptree. Jake Turner got the Regent goal on the stroke of half time.

Cambridge City kicked off on Friday night against Needham Market, and fell to a three-nil defeat.

Carshalton Athletic and Merstham needed no introduction. The Robins were unbeaten in League and FA Cup since 14 September whilst the Moatsiders had won their last match on that very same date, losing every game since- and those records remained unchanged as the home side won 3-1. Christie Pattison, Ernold Haxhiu and Omar Koroma gave the Robins a three goal advantage, Barry Hayles got the last minute consolation for Merstham.

Cheshunt and East Thurrock United met for the first time since the opening game of the season, a match the Rocks won four-one. It was closer this time but the outcome was the same, a late Sean Cronin goal for the Ambers not much use given that the Rocks had two, Alex Clark and Frankie Merrifield scoring those.

We had a Surrey v Essex clash on the High Road as Chipstead took on Canvey Island- and we’ll have another in midweek as they’ll need to do it again after a pulsating three-all draw. Both sides will be wondering how they didn’t win. The Chips took a two goal lead shortly before and just after the break, Kyen Nicholas and Tom Collins finding the Gulls net, but as we headed towards full time Canvey suddenly found form, Tobi Joseph and then a Jason Hallett double, the last of those four minutes from the end. Tom Collins managed an equaliser for Chipstead in the eighty-eighth minute.

Two all-Premier Division fixtures saw leaders Folkestone Invicta host managerless Lewes, whilst Haringey Borough entertained Horsham. The Hornets will travel to Coles Park on the next Saturday too, as they are back there in the league- but they’ll hope for a better outcome as Borough won yesterday’s clash three-nil, Michael Ademiluyi, Chiduben Onokwai and Jorge Djassi-Sambu with the goals. Invicta kept up their fine form, second half goals from Alfie Paxman and Sam Hassler enough to see off the Rooks.

Haywards Heath Town brought Aylesbury United to Hanbury Park. The Ducks are in sixth place in Southern Central Division One, had lost only one of their last seven matches, and knocked out South East Division leaders Sevenoaks Town in the last round- but they were well beaten this time out, as Heath got three, through Josh Spinks, Nathan Cooper and Ryan Warwick. The Ducks got a last minute consolation from the spot.

Heybridge Swifts, fourth in the North Division, welcomed Premier Division Potters Bar Town. The Scholars departed the FA Cup in midweek at the hands of National League Barnet, but prior to that hadn’t been defeated since August 24th- more than two months ago- and got straight back to winning ways in Essex, Ben Ward-Cochrane and Josh Hutchinson continuing their fine form in front of goal and earning their side victory despite Alex Teniola scoring for Swifts.

The match between Hitchin Town and Bedfont Sports was postponed.

Hornchurch had had an inconsistent October thus far, and they welcomed Berkhampstead to Bridge Avenue hoping to get back to winning ways. The Berks (no, not really) are sitting pretty at the top of Southern Central Division One, undefeated in the league and having walloped Herne Bay five-nil in the last round- and it was the visitors who took an early lead, but the Urchins struck back and scored three of their own, Charlie Stimson with two and Marvin Morgan making sure right at the end.

Kingstonian didn’t need any information about their visitors to King George’s Field, as their visitors were also their hosts, Corinthian-Casuals. Both fell to narrow defeat in midweek and looked to bounce back- and it was the K’s that did so, Louie Theophanous, Harry Osbourne and Tom Kavanagh putting them into a three-nil lead at the break. Shaun Okojie narrowed the gap for Casuals just after the restart in a second half of three converted penalties, but Tom Cavanagh made it four-one K’s with eleven minutes to go, and Nat Pinney reduced the arrears to four-two just before the end.

Leatherhead are in fabulous form at present, but so were their visitors, Ware- undefeated in the South Central Division. The Tanners were just too strong on this occasion, a Tommy Wood double sandwiching an effort from Ibrahim Olutade as the home side ran out three-nil winners.

We had another all-Isthmian clash at Park Drive, as Maldon & Tiptree- who failed to win in midweek, the first time that had happened all season- hosted Premier Division Cray Wanderers. Wands had played their last three matches away from home and picked up seven points, so certainly wouldn’t have been overawed by the growing reputation of their opposition- but they did find themselves overrun on the field, as a Danny Parish double and a third from Jorome Slew saw the Jammers slay another giant and win once more.

Marlow hosted Sholing, the Southampton side sitting in sixteenth place in Southern Division One South, and will need to travel down the M3 in midweek as the match ended goalless.

Tilbury travelled to Metropolitan Police, Super Play-Off Finalists last year and currently in eleventh place in Southern Premier South, and sadly departed the competition despite playing a very active part in a seven goal thriller. The Dockers scored six goals in the last round, defeating Waltham Abbey six-two, and got three this time out- Brian Moses, Marlon Agyakwa and Olu Ogunwamide placing the ball into the custody of the Police net- but sadly their hosts got four.

Phoenix Sports have risen up the South East table like, well, some kind of mythical bird in recent weeks, but needed to do a little giant-killing to get further in the Trophy, as they entertained Southern Premier Central Kings Langley. Sadly although Sports got three goals- Jack Hopkins, Ben Allen and Harry Harding, all in the first half- the visitors got five to defeat their fourth Isthmian club of the season.

Sittingbourne and Tooting and Mitcham United clashed at Woodstock Park, the travelling Terrors still unbeaten in the league but having slowed up a little lately, with only one win from their last five in all competitions. The Brickies were in good form, unbeaten for more than a month, but it was the visitors who got the only goal of the game, Razzaq Coleman getting it fifteen minutes from the end.

Soham Town Rangers travelled to St Ives Town, their hosts fourth from bottom of the Southern Premier Central having picked up only one point from their last twelve- and no goals mean a midweek replay at Julius Martin Lane. Our matchday fixture came from Uxbridge, where we watched the red Army take on Premier Division opposition in newly rejuvenated- but short on numbers- Bognor Regis Town- and you can read all about that HERE.

Westfield entertain Beaconsfield Town, bottom of the Southern South Premier- and our side ran out winners after George Frith scored the only goal of the game. Whitehawk were also giantkillers. They hosted Hendon, our former Isthmian stalwarts currently sitting second bottom of the Southern Premier South, and it wasn’t easy being green, as the Hawks hit four goals through Connor Tighe (2), David Martin and Lewis Unwin to ease home in a four-one win.

Walton Casuals had lost their last five matches before travelling to Worthing, and although they took the lead at Woodside Road just before half time the Mackerel men turned the game around after the break, Ricky Aguiar equalising before Lloyd Dawes got the winner for the hosts right at the end.

Wingate and Finchley hosted Hayes & Yeading United, who haven’t been able to start their Southern South Premier campaign the way they ended last season in Isthmian South Central. The Blues went ahead early on through Roman Michael-Percil, but United equalised just after the hour mark so the two will meet again in midweek.

Back to League action now, and Bury Town consolidated their place at the top of the North Division with a three-one win over rejuvenated Romford. The Ram Meadow faithful saw their side extend their lead to five points, Joe White, Jake Chambers-Shaw and Max Maughn scoring Town’s goals, Inesh Sumithran finding the net for Boro.

Grays Athletic could leapfrog Maldon & Tiptree into second place if they defeat Dereham Town at home this afternoon (1400 kick off at Parkside), but it’s worth remembering that the Jammers will have four matches in hand.

Histon are up to eighth, defeating Hullbridge Sports two-one at the Glassworld Stadium despite playing the last thirty five minutes with ten men. Simon Swinton had just put the home side ahead before their goalkeeper, Sam Roach, got his marching orders- but the ten men increased their lead shortly afterwards through Ed Rolph. Joseph Wright made the last twenty minutes interesting by halving the arrears.

Great Wakering Rovers could gave gone second with victory at Brentwood Town, but ended the day fifth after a two-two draw. Abdus Salami gave the hosts a first half lead, but two goals from Josh Wiggins just after the break put Rovers in the driving seat- and they were but moments from that second place when Michael Toner scored from the spot to earn Town a point.

Witham Town are up to thirteenth, a double from George Bugg and a goal from Marcus Bowers enough to give them a three-one win over Felixstowe and Walton United, for whom Miles Powell got a late consolation.

Into the South Central Division, and Harlow Town came from behind to seal a late, late win at Chalfont St Peter- and went top of the table as a result. An own goal and a goal from Luke Illsley sent the Saints in ahead at the break despite Terrell Egbri scoring for Hawks, but after the interval Egbri got another to equalise- and deep into added time Miles Mitchell-Nelson got a winner for the visitors.

Ashford Town got their first League victory of the season at Hertford Town, and they scored five goals in the process. Kelvin Adjei got two of them, Daniel Brown two more, and Tommy Brunton the other as the Tangerines finally shook off a stubborn Hertford, after the home side had come back to level from two-nil and three-two down. Sam Oueniran got two for the hosts, Luke Gymer the other.

FC Romania host Staines Town today.

We had five matches in the South East Division, and only one home win amongst them. Cray Valley PM climbed to the summit courtesy of a three-two win at Burgess Hill Town, who fell to second bottom as a result. Scott Kirkwood gave the Hillians faithful something to cheer as early as the fifth minute, but the lead lasted only sixty seconds as Denzel Gayle equalised. Matthew A-Warren put Mills ahead in the second half only for Erivaldo Felix to equalise, and then with five minutes remaining Gayle got the winner.

There was a quite remarkable match at Jubilee Field. Hosts Three Bridges went into the break three goals to the good, the wandering Alex Laing and former Wanderer of the Dorking variety, Tom Tolfrey, surely giving them an unassailable lead. It turned out, however, that not only was the lead unassailable, it had been entirely overturned within eighteen minutes of the restart, as Herne Bay got three goals in three minutes- Keiron Campbell, Bradley Stevenson and Zak Ansah in forty eight, forty nine and fifty- before Tushaun Tyreese Walters made it four-three in the sixty third minute. Ansah got his second of the game to make it five-three twelve minutes from time.

Ramsgate climbed the table with a three-one win over Whyteleafe. Ashley Miller, Kane Rowland and Michael Aziaya scored for the Rams, before Mason Saunders-Henry got one back for Leafe with fifteen minutes remaining.

We then had two draws. Hythe Town and Chichester City couldn’t find a goal between them, whilst along the Ken coast Whitstable Town and VCD Athletic got one each, Kelvin Ogboe giving Vickers a first half lead only for Aaron Millbank to equalise twenty minutes from time.

In the Velocity Trophy Chertsey Town and South Park got a point each in a two-two draw, after a last minute goal from Charlie Gee drew the Sparks level. Gee got their first, too, whilst Albie Sheehan-Cozens and Jake Baxter scored for Town. South Park picked up an extra point, winning four-three in the shootout.

Where next?

Nigel Sarson We mourn the passing of a Tooting & Mitcham United stalwart
Ballers in Boris Land Uxbridge and Bognor Regis Town competed in the FA Trophy. None of the players wore toe-rags.

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