Leaders Ramsgate found themselves suddenly under pressure at the top, as they welcomed Merstham to the seaside. It wasn’t that the Rams had lost form- they’d lost only one of their previous ten- but draws in their last two and Cray Valley PM winning nearly all of their games in hand had reduced the gap at the top to three points, and Cray still had a game in hand. Whether there were some nerves, who knows, but it was the Moatsiders who went ahead on seventeen minutes, Korrey Henry opening the scoring, and nine minutes later the home crowd were silenced once more, Charlie Greenwood making it two-nil. The visitors held onto that lead despite home pressure, and will celebrate as they opened up a four point gap between themselves and the drop zone.
One thousand and thirty one watched on, and the majority of them had been promised that the next home match would be free if the Rams were victorious. It seems they’ll have to pay. Merstham fans were rather happy about that, as our image shows, courtesy of Graham Norris.
Cray Valley PM looked to have a difficult task, as they welcomed Chichester City to the Artic Stadium. The Millers remained undefeated- the only undefeated club in the league- at kick off, and they remained unbeaten at the end, but they could take only one point and manage no goals, the match ending as a nil-nil draw. Cray Valley close to within two points of Ramsgate with a game in hand, whilst the visitors are seventh.
Lancing, in fourth place at kick off, were on the road to Sevenoaks Town. The Lancers are this season’s surprise package, and had two defeats from their previous ten; whilst the Oaks hadn't done as well as we might have expected, and had taken only six points- one win- from the last thirty available to them, but it was the hosts who were quickly ahead, Dan Bennett opening the scoring on ten minutes. Oaks doubled their advantage just before the half hour mark, Emmanuel Mensah with the second, but with twenty minutes left the visitors made a game of it, Andrew Briggs getting a goal back- and it was the start of a comeback, as four minutes later Lucas Franzen-Jones popped up to score the equaliser- his sixteenth goal of the season. You may have expected the hosts to be rather downhearted, but they regained their lead with seven minutes left, Daniel Carr making it three-two, and right at the end they reestablished their two goal lead, Kieron Cadogan making it four-two. Oaks climb to ninth and complete a double, the Lancers stay fourth.
Herne Bay welcomed Broadbridge Heath to the seaside. Bay were outside the top five only on goal difference at kick off, having won five of their previous six, and it was their main man Michael Salako who quickly put them into the lead, his eighteenth of the campaign. Four minutes into the second half the same player made it nineteen for the season, but the Bears then did some roaring-and scoring- of their own, Stanley Berry giving his side hope. That hope was quickly ended as Salako completed a hat trick with thirteen minutes left, and the hosts climbed into the top five.
Littlehampton Town hoped to take heart from their thrashing of Bognor Regis Town in the Sussex County Cup in midweek, the Golds playing host to Hythe Town. The Golds won at Phoenix Sports last time out, but were still looking for consistency, as were the visiting Cannons- but the visitors were quickly ahead, Johan Caney-Bryan taking only two minutes to put his side ahead. The hosts were soon level, Jordan Layton levelling six minutes later, and within two minutes they’d turned the match on its head, Dave Herbert making it two-one. On sixteen minutes the visitors were level once more, Caney-Bryan making it two-two, and those watching on had already had a match worth of drama with seventy four minutes left. The drama hadn’t finished, however. Ten minutes before the break Frannie Collin put the visitors ahead from the spot, but the Golds hit back once more just before the hour, Nodirbek Bobomurodov making it three-three. Ten more minutes went by, and we had another goal for the visitors, Jake Embery making it four-three, and that looked to be that- but the hosts had other ideas, and right at the end Dion Jarvis managed to make it four-four. That, finally, was that!
Matches at Beckenham Town, Burgess Hill Town and East Grinstead Town sadly bit the dust…well, the mud.
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