Millers and Rams hit four- whilst the Brickies guarantee third, and Becks survival hopes remain in the balance

By Ian Townsend

Littlehampton hit four to secure safety, Bridges and Bears win late, Ites get three, and Becks make it ten points from twelve- but survival remains out of their hands. Sitingbourne and Lancing are also victorious

Chichester City, in fine form, welcomed leaders Ramsgate. City had play off qualification already wrapped up but still wanted third place and home advantage, whilst the Rams needed the points rather more desperately as they hoped to hang on to top spot. The Rams were ahead on the half hour through an own gal, and although Josh Clack quickly levelled for City a Joe Taylor double- both spot kicks- saw the visitors three-one up at the break, and took Taylor’s tally for the season to a rather incredible FIFTY ONE- he is pictured with the match ball! On fifty three minutes a penalty from Clack saw the hosts bring it back to two-three, but- of course- the Rams responded with Taylor finishing his hat trick, his fifth of the season. That was that, and the Rams remain top on goal difference which is one better than Cray Valley- the Millers playing their game in hand at Hythe in midweek.

Cray Valley PM started the day in second place, behind Ramsgate only on goal difference- but with a game in hand. The Millers welcomed Herne Bay, but weren’t at all welcoming, charging into a three-nil lead in the first half hour, Kyrell Lisbie, Sonny Black and Adam Coombes looking to have the points wrapped up. Bay hit back four minutes before the break, Michael Salako’s twenty fifth goal of the season giving them hope, but it was hope that was putting on its coat for the trip home five minutes into the second half, Matthew Vigor making it four-one. Bay didn’t give up, and Liam Friend got a second four minutes from time, but that was as good as it got, four-two the final score. The Millers head to Hythe in midweek, and a point would send them top- but they’ll hope for three, which would give them a significant advantage as we enter the final weekend.

Phoenix Sports had already guaranteed safety, whilst visitors Sittingbourne wanted to guarantee home advantage in the play offs, and the Brickies went ahead on thirteen minutes, Mitchell May with his nineteenth goal of the season. It was two-nil with twenty one minutes remaining, Joe Tyrie with the second, but Sports quickly halved the deficit when Ade Lahan got a goal back with eighteen minutes left. That was the end of the scoring, and it ensured that home Play Off Semi-Final advantage for the Brickies.

Three Bridges knew that their play off spot was secure, whilst visitors Sevenoaks Town had only three wins from ten- but it was Oaks who broke the deadlock early in the second half, Dan Bennett opening the scoring. The hosts levelled in added time, Brannon O’Neill seemingly earning them a point- but no! On ninety plus four O’Neill scored another, and earned what had looked like an unlikely victory- seven wins in a row and up to fourth.

Beckenham Town had to win and hope if they were able to keep their survival bid alive, and Becks had a positive first half against Horndean, Louie Theophanous on thirteen minutes and Alfie Bloomfield on thirty two giving them a two-nil advantage at the break. The Deans hit back with eighteen minutes left, Connor Duffin halving the arrears, but Becks secured three points when Finley Roberts added a third six minutes from time. Their survival hopes remain alive- just- and they have to hope that East Grinstead Town lose to Horndean in midweek.

Littlehampton Town needed three points from a Sussex derby against Burgess Hill Town to secure their safety, and they had a fine start, Dion Jarvis breaking the deadlock after just two minutes. The Golds were quickly two up, Nodirbek Bobomurodov doubling their lead, and on thirteen minutes George Gaskin added a third as Hill were blown away. The fourth for the hosts arrived three minutes from time, Josh Short with that one, and an own goal which got Hill on the scoresheet in added time wasn’t much of a consolation for the travelling faithful. The Golds are officially safe.

Merstham welcomed an East Grinstead Town side who really needed victory in their battle against the drop, and who broke the deadlock just before the break, Glenn Wilson scoring from the spot. Wilson was dismissed in the closing stages, and within two minutes the Moatsiders had levelled through Charlie Greenwood, before the hosts also went down to ten men, Richie Mbele the next to see red. The scoring stopped there, and the Wasps are two points above Beckenham Town in the battle to stay up- and can guarantee their survival with victory over Horndean in midweek. Anything less that three points will keep Beckenham Town’s hopes alive into the final weekend.

Broadbridge Heath played host to Hythe Town, the Cannons under new management after the arrival of Sammy Moore, and the first action of note arrived fifteen minutes from time, a red card for the visitors Johan Caney-Bryan. Could the Bears make the most of their advantage? They could, but goodness they left it late. Two minutes into added time Tadley Bromage got the opener, and a minute later Sam Lemon made it two, his side ending the weekend in ninth.

Lancing and Ashford United delivered a thoroughly entertaining first half, although the home fans will have preferred the entertainment in the first half of the first half! The Lancers went ahead on ten minutes through Ben Pope, and on twenty two minutes Noel Fisher made it two, but in the last nine minutes the Nuts and Bolts hit back- twice- Noel Carney scoring both goals, the first one from the spot. The hosts regained the lead on fifty seven minutes, Lucas Franzen-Jones making it three-two, and a minute from time the same player added a fourth for the Lancers to ensure victory and confirm sixth place. They’ll be disappointed to miss out on the play offs, but they’ve had a super season nonetheless.

Sheppey United had five wins from six as they welcomed relegated Erith & Belvedere, and they were ahead midway through the first half, James Taylor with the opener. The Ites doubled their advantage from the spot in the early stages of the second half, Daniel Bradshaw making no mistake, and they had a third with twenty two minutes left, Jacob Lambert ensuring victory.

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Where next?

Green Lions ensure survival- but make it look rather difficult Guernsey do just enough- despite letting a three goal lead slip- to ensure that it will be Ashford, Binfield and Chipstead battling to avoid relegation on the final day
Any two from three for the play offs, any one from two for the drop Horsham and Billericay win- and Wingate lose- in the battle for fourth and fifth, whilst at the bottom only goal difference separates Cheshunt and Margate for the prize that no-one wants

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