We entered matchday five- for eighteen of our sides, anyway- with only two clubs yet to suffer defeat this season. Our table-toppers, Bowers and Pitsea, travelled to face title-favourites Worthing- who are currently playing at the Camping World Community Stadium, home of Horsham, whilst they deal with another set of pitch problems. Bowers got the first Premier goal of the afternoon in the 19th minute, Billy Knott getting it from the Billy Spot- that was his seventh of the season, five of which had been scored from twelve yards! Worthing had already missed a spot kick by the time Bowers scored, but they did get on level terms soon after the break, Mo Diallo’s third of the season getting them firmly back into the match.
Diallo then got the winner five minutes from time, the super sub sending his side to the top of the table- even more impressive when you consider they haven’t had a ‘home’ game yet. The image above, of Diallo's celebrations, comes from the lens of Marcus Hoare- see more here.
Our other unbeaten club, Bishop’s Stortford, put their unbeaten run at risk when they travel to Cray Wanderers on Sunday.
Joe Grant Bracknell- Neil Graham
Haringey Borough, who started the day in fourth place, travelled to face Brightlingsea Regent knowing that if they won and the match between Bowers and Worthing ended in a draw they would be top this evening. They got their noses in front just before the break, Georgios Aresti doubling his tally for the season, and were top in the live table as Alfred Bawling made it two just after the hour. Roman Michael-Percil made it three eight minutes from time, and that’s how it ended- but that late Worthing winner saw them end the day level on points with the Mackerel Men but behind them on goal difference. Image of the Taydal courtesy of Stadium Photography.
Cheshunt have had a super start to the campaign, and hoped to put Bognor Regis Town to the sword- and perhaps go to the top of the table. They didn’t quite manage that, but they did take the points, Reece Beckles-Richards with the only goal of the game eight minutes from time. That result leaves the Ambers third, off the top only on goal difference.
Leatherhead had taken seven points from nine and defeated two of the top five in the process. They travelled to Enfield Town, who were back at home for the first time since the opening day, when they crushed Lewes four-one- and their delight to be back on Donkey Lane was apparent when Billy Bricknell put them ahead after twenty two minutes. That turned out to be the only goal of the game as the Towners climbed to seventh.
Carshalton Athletic’s strong start to the season had ground to a halt over the last two matches, defeat at Bedfont Sports in the cup last Saturday being followed by a league defeat at Bognor Regis Town in midweek. The Robins welcomed Corinthian-Casuals to Colston Avenue, their opponents in good form, and it took eighty three minutes before the deadlock was broken. The goal came to the hosts, Paris Hamilton Downes getting it, and the Robins climbed into the top five as a result.
Hanwell Town were athletic but ultimately defeated- image from shootthephoto.com
Potters Bar Town on Tuesday night became the first side to defeat Cray Wanderers for two hundred and eighty five days, and hoped to continue in a positive vein as they travelled to Folkestone Invicta. After a goalless first half, however, it was Invicta who went ahead, David Smith scoring after fifty four minutes- and that proved to be the only goal of the game.
Wingate and Finchley went into their match with Horsham in a positive frame of mind after defeating Lewes and Hornchurch in their last two matches, and went ahead in this one just before the half hour, Tommy Tejan-Sie breaking the deadlock. Rob O’Toole levelled five minutes later, and then put his side ahead soon after half time, a lead they held on to, moving up to eleventh.
Lewes hosted Margate at the Dripping Pan still looking for a first victory- and when an own goal put them ahead with seventeen minutes to go they got it, too, a most welcome three points.
Kingstonian and Hornchurch met at King George’s Field with both looking to climb swiftly up the table after rather inconsistent starts. The opening goal took seventy minutes to arrive, and it came to the K’s, Tom Kavanagh opening the scoring- and the next one took only nine minutes, and once more it came to the hosts, Kadell Daniel doubling their lead and sealing the win. The K’s climb to eighth.
The Taydal- Stadium Photography
Finally, East Thurrock United hosted Merstham, and as always- or at least it seems that way- it was Calvin Ekpiteta who hit the mark for the Moatsiders, putting them ahead on the half hour. The lead lasted three minutes before Kenny Aileru got his second in three games to draw his side level, and then eleven minutes after the break the Rocks went ahead, Luke Illsley making it two-one. They couldn’t hold on, however, Jack Leahy- newly arrived on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion- getting a debut goal for the Moatsiders six minutes from time. The Rocks remain bottom and are still looking for their first win.
Our North Division leaders at kick off, Dereham Town, faced a difficult trip to Suffolk as they visited Bury Town- and the hosts made the breakthrough ten minutes after the break, Cemal Ramadan with his fifth of the campaign so far. That turned out to be the only goal of the game, seeing Bury up to ninth- but having completed only two matches- whilst the Magpies drop to fifth.
Histon, v Aveley was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch, after some biblical rain got in the way with the Millers two-one up- and Tilbury took advantage to go top.
Hullbridge Sports, smarting after their five-nil walloping at Heybridge Swifts in midweek, hosted the Dockers hoping to get back to winning ways. They did score first, but sadly it was at the wrong end as an own goal put the Tilbury ahead on twenty minutes- and it was two-nil at the break, Lee Noble doubling the visitors advantage. Sports started the second half quickly, Nathan Scarborough getting one back, but that was all they could manage.
Whitehawk goalscorers courtesy of Andy Schofield
Grays Athletic welcomed Romford, who hadn’t started the season the way we might have expected, losing three of their five matches and departing the FA Cup at the first hurdle. Would today be the day they got back on track? It looked possible when Lee Newton put them ahead on sixteen minutes, perhaps to the despair of most of the crowd of three hundred and sixty eight, but the hosts were level by the break, Joseph Agunbiade with the equaliser, and no further goals saw the points shared.
Two unbeaten sides met at Park Drive, as Maldon and Tiptree entertained Felixstowe and Walton United. The Jammers got were in front early on, after thirteen minutes in fact, Adam Vyse with the goal- and after the break two in three minutes midway through the half made it three-nil, as well as giving Vyse a hat trick, as he got both of them. The Jammers climbed to second.
Two of our promotion favourites, Canvey Island and Brentwood Town, battled it out at the Brentwood Arena. Canvey went ahead just before the break, Dan Humphreys with the opener, but were soon pegged back as Wilberforce Ocran got the equaliser just after the hour. Connor Hogan saw red for the hosts, but the Gulls couldn’t take advantage and both had to be content with a point.
Coggeshall Town hosted Cambridge City at West Street. The Seed Growers striker Nnamdi Nwachuku was already on five goals for the season, whilst City had hit form, disposing of Premier Division Cheshunt in the Cup and Soham Town Rangers over the last week, so it looked difficult to call. The visitors went ahead eight minutes before the break, Ryan Sharman with his fourth of the season, and it turned out that this was the only goal of the game. City ended the day in eleventh.
Great Wakering Rovers, walloped six-nil at home by Basildon United in midweek, travelled to Witham Town, who picked up their first win of the season at Romford on Wednesday night. It took seventy five minutes before we got a goal, and it came to Rovers, Alex Hernandez with it- and they sealed victory three minutes from time when Martin Tuohy made it two, climbing to sixth place.
Basildon hoped to build on that remarkable victory as they hosted AFC Sudbury, who had lost four in a row in all competitions- and they started today the same way they finished in midweek, Tyrone Baker opening the scoring after twelve minutes. They were two up by the break, Sonny Dutton with the second from the spot, but soon after the restart their lead was cut in half as Daniel Collinge, newly signed on loan from Colchester United, made it two-one. There was soon no lead at all, Tom Maycock equalising in the sixty third minute, and both sides had to be content with a point.
Soham Town Rangers welcomed a resurgent Heybridge Swifts- but it was the hosts who made the breakthrough, Toby Andrews with the opening goal in the fifty third minute. That was the only goal, as Rangers went fourth.
Our leaders this morning, Tooting and Mitcham United, hosted perhaps our Pitching In Isthmian South Central match of the day as they took on fourth place Waltham Abbey- and the Abbotts struck first, Jason Hitman Hallett scoring from the spot. That turned out to be the only goal of the game as the Abbotts went second and the Terrors slipped to third.
Bracknell Town, who started the day in second place, had been in superb form of late, whilst visitors Chalfont St Peter finally got a win on the board in midweek, when they defeated Barking. The Robins took only ten minutes to get their noses in front, Mickel Platt opening the scoring, and Joe Grant- pictured above- gave them a cushion with number two just after the half hour mark. Seb Bowerman got his customary goal- his seventh of the season- to make it three-nil six minutes before the break, and with sixteen minutes to go Daniel Bayliss waved bye-bye to Saints hopes with number four and ensured that the Robins would end the day a point clear at the top. Bracknell image from Neil Graham, and you can see more of his work here.
Westfield, in third, were coasting to victory against Hanwell Town on Tuesday night until Ogo Obi stepped up and scored twice in the last minute. Prior to that they’d won both of their games and scored seven goals in the process, but they faced a far more parsimonious defence as they travelled to Marlow. The hosts went ahead after eight minutes, James Clark opening the scoring, but Field were level six minutes later, Darnell Goather-Braithwaite with his fourth of the campaign. Clark then put his side ahead once more, only for- guess who- Goather-Braithwaite to equalise. So which of them would be the first to a hat trick?
It was Clarke, who put his side ahead for the third time with eighteen minutes remaining, but guess who got the Field equaliser? Yes, Goather-Braithwaite ensured there’d be a fight for the match ball by making it three-three! Hopefully they got one each, as that was how the match ended.
Hanwell Town started today with a one hundred percent record in the League- but could Staines Town burst their bubble? The Swans certainly could, Tayo Oyebola putting them ahead just before half time- and when Tom Jewers made it two ten minutes after the break another famous Geordies comeback was required. Sadly for the hosts they were soon three down, as Temi Eweka got the third for the Swans, and although Trevan Robinson did get two back for Hanwell, a fourth for the Swans from Kain Adem sealed a four-two victory and saw them climb to third. Hanwell Town image courtesy of Tom at shootthephoto.com
Sixth place Ware hosted Uxbridge, the visitors still looking for that first victory. The Blues had bounced back well from opening day defeat at Staines to win both of their most recent matches, and took the lead in this one, Daniel Rumens scoring midway through the first half. They weren’t ahead for long before Mark Bitmead equalised, and just before the break the Red Army were in good voice as Uxbridge took the lead, Jon-Jo Bates giving the Blues the blues- and they remained miserable at full time, as Uxbridge finally had that first victory.
Ashford Town seem to have put the travails of last season behind them, and started positively against South Park, Steven Duff putting them ahead in the third minute- the first goal of the Pitching In Isthmian afternoon. The Sparks have also had a decent start to the campaign, and equalised soon afterwards through Harry Mark, but the next goal was also Tangerine, Matt Bunyan getting it on the hour; and when Duff got his second three minutes from time the points were staying in West London. Town are up to sixth.
Northwood hosted Chertsey Town, and gave their fans a boost by getting the first goal of the game after twenty three minutes, Siju Odelusi opening the scoring. The Curfews weren’t downhearted and levelled ten minutes later, Jake Baxter with his second of the campaign, and then went ahead eight minutes after the break, Magnus Abisogun finding the net. A goal from Casey MacLaren put the visitors out of sight just before the end, and they climbed to seventh place.
Harlow Town, in tenth place, travelled to Hertford Town- and the hosts broke the deadlock five minutes before the break, Samuel Faniyan holding his nerve from the spot. That turned out to be that, Hertford ending the day eighth, Harlow in fourteenth.
Chipstead were looking to build on their midweek win at Harlow as they welcomed cup giantkillers Bedfont Sports, but it all went badly wrong at High Road. Sports opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour, Darryl Saunders with his fourth of the campaign, and by half time were three up, Charlie Postance and another from Saunders putting them out of sight. Sports got number four seventeen minutes from the end, Shamal Edwards with that one, and there was still time for Saunders to get his hat trick and make it five.
Finally, Barking, in eighteenth place, took on bottom side FC Romania. The Blues had spent most of their season so far in cup competition, and had been very good at that indeed, winning four matches so far in FA Cup and Trophy- but didn’t have a league win before today, so will have been delighted when Dominic Green opened the scoring after only eight minutes. They couldn’t hold on until the break, however, Adrian Hurdubei with the equaliser in the forty third minute- and six minutes from time a goal from Narcis Filip gave the Wolves their first win of the campaign and lifted them off the bottom, where the Blues replaced them.
VCD Athletic had the perfect start to the season, winning each of their first four matches, scoring fourteen goals- six more than anyone else in the Pitching In South East Division- and going four points clear at the summit. On that basis we knew they’d still be top this evening no matter what, but we also knew that they had perhaps the biggest test of all, as they travelled to Hastings United. The home crowd were given something to shout about after twenty five minutes, Sam Adams opening the scoring, and doubled their advantage with twenty minutes remaining through Tom Chalmers. Vickers made it interesting as Milli Hysi halved the deficit six minutes from time, but the equaliser wouldn’t come and United climed to fifth.
Third hosted second as Faversham Town took on Sevenoaks Town. Both were unbeaten at the start, and the same could be said at half time, which was goalless. The same looked as if it would be said at full time, too, but Harry Harding put the Lilywhites three minutes from time and that was that. Only it wasn’t- somehow a match which had gone eighty seven minutes without a goal got two in the last three, Tom Ripley equalising for Oaks, who stay third whilst Faversham slip to sixth.
East Grinstead Town had played two league matches and won them both, but a trip to Ashford United looked tricky- and the first half came to an end without a goal. The second half started with one, however, and of course it went to Wasps striker Louis Theophanous, his eighth of the season. He had his ninth five minutes later, and Peter Wedgeworth made sure of the points five minutes from time.
Whyteleafe kicked off against Cray Valley PM with a 100% league record in League and Cup, and opened the scoring after twenty seven minutes through Omari Hibbert. Hibbert doubled the lead five minutes before the break, but just before the hour Sam Hassler got one back for the Millers to make things interesting- and just how interesting became apparent right at the death, when Hassler ruined Leafe’s record with an equaliser.
Herne Bay travelled to Hythe Town, and the two couldn’t be separated in the first half, which passed without a goal. They were quickly separated in the second, however, Darren Oldaker putting the Cannons ahead, and the hosts held on to climb to eighth place.
Phoenix Sports, who started the day in seventh, hosted a Whitehawk side who hadn’t had the start to the season we perhaps expected, and who were still looking for their first league win. The Hawks went ahead from the spot after twenty two minutes, Lucas Rodrigues taking the responsibility to fire home, and doubled the score the same way seven minutes from time, Ahmed Abdulla taking responsibility for the spot kick on this occasion. Hawks image above- from Andy Schofield- shows both goalscorers. See more of Andy's work here.
Whitstable Town played host to Burgess Hill Town, and took an early lead- Tijan Jadama with his third of the campaign. That turned out to be the end of the scoring, and the Oysterboys end the day in fourth.
Two sides who spent much of last season changing places at the wrong end of the table faced off at the Southwood Stadium. Ramsgate started the campaign strongly, with victory at Chichester City, but hadn’t won since, whilst visitors Three Bridges had three defeats from three- but it was Bridges who started the strongest, Tom Tolfrey putting them ahead after only eight minutes. The Rams levelled on the stroke of half time through Tom Chapman, but Brannon O’Neill restored the lead for the visitors nine minutes from time, and they held out to take three points.
Finally Chichester City, who were still looking for their first point of the campaign, went ahead against Sussex rivals Haywards Heath Town in the seventeenth minute- Gicu Iordache with the opening goal. Nico Cotton equalised just before the break, and soon after the restart Heath were ahead, Andrew Dalhouse making it two-one to the visitors- but Heath then saw their task become rather more difficult as Cotton saw red.
Just how difficult soon became apparent as Iordache added two goals to grab his hat trick and put City ahead, and they held on to move to seventeenth and see their visitors drop to the bottom.