Sudbury, Bowers and Horsham to mix it with the big boys!

By Ian Townsend

Whilst Casuals and Invicta face midweek replays in a bid to join them- whilst in the League Merstham hit five, Canvey win again, and we’ve new leaders South East. It’s our round up.

Emirates FA Cup

AFC Sudbury hosted National League South leaders Dartford, five points clear at the top of their division and unbeaten. Darts took the lead on the stroke of half time, but the Yellows struck back five minutes after the restart, Reece Harris rousing the home faithful amongst the eight hundred and twenty present, and then the hosts did more than rouse them, as Shane Temple made it two-one! The next goal was crucial, and it went to the Yellows, Lewis O’Malley confirming a famous victory in the very last minute as Sudbury march on!

Bowers & Pitsea welcomed Aldershot Town and five hundred and sixty four fans to the Len Salmon. The visitors, second bottom of the National League having won only two of their ten matches so far this season, had departed the competition at this stage in four of the last eight seasons- and Bowers made it look like it was going to happen again when Lewis Manor put them ahead from the spot just before the break. That was the ninth goal that Lewis had scored this season- rather remarkably five of them coming from the spot! The Shots equalised seventeen minutes from time, Corrie Andrews- who you might remember from his time with Kingstonian, Margate and Whyteleafe- with the leveller.

Nick presents the Isthmian Plaque to Binfield

Nick presents the Isthmian Plaque to Binfield

Bowers weren’t downhearted, and Quentin Monville restored their lead ten minutes from time- and although those ten minutes seemed to last a lifetime, Bowers held on to claim a famous victory and reach the First Round for the very first time.

Our image comes from Bowers, and we suspect was shot by the long lens of the excellent Nashy Photo.

Horsham put up the sold out signs for the visit of National League Woking. The Hornets have been superb in the Cup, defeating National League South Eastbourne Borough, then league-leaders Kingstonian and South East leaders Haywards Heath Town to get to this stage- and they were superb once more, Tom Kavanagh sending the Camping World Community Stadium wild when opening the scoring three minutes from time. One thousand, nine hundred and twenty seven watched the match, and the streets of Horsham will be a happy place tonight!

Corinthian-Casuals hosted National League South opposition as St Albans City arrive at King George’s Field. City were nine games unbeaten in all competitions, but Casuals have been fabulous in the cup, walloping three goals past Worthing, Leatherhead and Wingate & Finchley on their way to this stage, and they took the lead in this one, Alfie Bendle getting the opener with only eighteen minutes remaining. Could they hold out? Sadly they couldn’t, as the equaliser came in the very last minute, and they’ll be off to St Albans for the replay in midweek.

Folkestone Invicta started the day unbeaten in all competitions this season, and having already knocked higher-league opposition out of the cup, sending Gloucester City back to the South West with nothing in the last round. They travelled to Eastleigh, who sit in thirteenth place in the National League- and almost immediately took the lead, Alfie Paxman getting the opening goal in the third minute. Four minutes later they doubled their advantage, Paxman again- this time from the spot- and the travelling faithful must have been pinching themselves on eighteen minutes when Scott Heard made it three.

The Spitfires reloaded at half time, and got one back from the spot on fifty seven minutes. Quickly they had a second, and Invicta had twenty eight minutes to hold out. Could they? Almost. Right at the end the hosts equalised, and they’ll have to do it all again at the Kentish seaside in midweek.

Bedfont Sports had already knocked a National League side out of the FA Cup, defeating Dulwich Hamlet in the Second Qualifying Round. Could they do it again as they welcomed Kidderminster Harriers of National League North to the end of the Heathrow runway? Harriers haven’t won a league match since August Bank Holiday Monday, but they went ahead in this one on the hour mark, and that turned out to be the only goal of the game. Sports bow out- but they’ve much to be proud of.

Hastings United were on the road to National League Maidenhead United. Maidenhead lost at home to Cray Valley PM at this stage last season, but they started well in this one, going ahead after just four minutes. It was two-nil to the home side just before the half hour, but Hastings immediately hit back through Kenny Pogue to delight the travelling faithful. The next goal was all important, and sadly it went to the hosts, who held out for victory.

Chertsey Town headed to the Essex seaside, where they took on Great Wakering Rovers less-famous neighbours, Southend United. United have had an awful start to their first National League campaign after relegation, winning only one of their last nine matches- and they had an awful start in this one, too, Casey Maclaren putting the Curfews ahead after eight minutes and stunning the Shrimpers. United weren’t downhearted and equalised almost immediately, before going ahead nine minutes before the break. It was three-one with seventeen minutes remaining, and four just before the end.

Pitching In Isthmian Premier Division

Enfield Town went to the top of the table by defeating Wingate and Finchley in midweek, and hosted the Premier match of the day as second place Worthing headed down Donkey Lane. The Mackerel Men had won five in a row and scored fifteen goals in doing so, and opened the scoring on the quarter hour, Jasper Pattenden coming forward to score- but it was all-square by the break, Percy Kiangebeni equalising just before half time, scoring for his fourth match in a row.

The next goal went to the visitors, and it went to Reece Myles-Meekums, who headed home a corner on fifty seven minutes- but once more the Towners struck back, their talisman Mo Faal making it two-two.

Bishop’s Stortford had picked up one point from two matches after winning the Manager of the Month Award, and hoped that nine goal Jake Cass could help them shake off the curse as they hosted Margate in front of four hundred and six supporters. When the goal arrived it didn’t come to Cass, instead substitute Frankie Merrifield got it, his fifth of the season two minutes after the break. That turned out to be the only goal of the game, and it sends Stortford up to ninth.

Merstham were impressive in defeating Corinthian-Casuals last weekend, and started very well against Haringey Borough at the Whisky Bible Stadium, Dylan Adjei-Hersey scoring for the third match in a row when opening the scoring after five minutes. They doubled their advantage midway through the first half, Ibrahim Meite with number two, and then went goal crazy, Jude Mason, John Ufuah and Korrey Henry making it five-nil by thirty six minutes! That was that, Merstham up to fifteenth.

Hornchurch gave a debut to new striker Billy Bricknell, but it was Leatherhead’s new striker, Chid Onokwai, who made the breakthrough at Bridge Avenue, putting the Tanners ahead on eleven minutes. The visitors couldn’t hold on for their first win since the opening day, but they came close, the equaliser coming three minutes from time. Liam Nash got his ninth of the campaign.

Carshalton Athletic hosted East Thurrock United, the Robins with only one win from their previous six matches. It took them seven minutes to go ahead, Daniel Hector’s third of the season, but within four minutes the Rocks were level, Kenny Aileru getting the equaliser. Athletic then managed two in two minutes to seal victory, Lewis White on seventy six and Harry Ottaway on seventy seven. Paris Hamilton-Downes then rubber-stamped three points with goal number four nine minutes from time.

Brightlingsea Regent hosted Wingate and Finchley. Regent had only one win and eight defeats from their last nine matches, and they went behind in this one, Ibrahim Meite with his sixth of the season on twenty one minutes. It was nil-two just before the break, Sam Hatton’s sixth of the campaign, and game over when Bilal Sayoud made it three eight minutes from time. Regent keeper Charlie Turner saw red seven minutes before the end, but the ten men got one back right at the death, Eren Kinali getting their consolation.

Pitching In Isthmian North Division

Canvey Island have been magnificent this season, unbeaten and great form coming from behind. They fell behind again today against Aveley, Manny Ogunrinde putting the Millers ahead on nineteen minutes, but were level five minutes later, Harrison Chatting making it one each, and ahead just after the half hour, Conor Hubble scoring- rather remarkably- for his fifth match in a row. Another remarkable scoring run has been that of Matt Price, and he made sure of victory with number three twelve minutes from time- his twelfth of the season. The Gulls are four points clear.

Dereham Town entertained Witham Town, and got the only goal of the first half- Adam Hipperson with his fourth of the campaign. After the break we had two in two minutes- one for each side- the first for the Magpies, Shaun Bammant making it two-nil, the second for the visitors, Suaibo Balde giving Witham hope. That hope was forlorn when Toby Hilliard made it three to Dereham eleven minutes from time, and the Magpies climbed into second place.

Bury Town travelled to face Maldon and Tiptree, and got the opening goal of the three o’clock kick offs when Taylor Hastings had the ball in the back of the net before some of the other matches had even started. The next goal was a long time in coming, but again it went to the visitors, Cemal Ramadan scoring from the spot sixteen minutes from time. Town are fourth, the Jammers drop to fifth.

At around the same time as Chertsey Town were taking the lead at Southend United, there were happier tidings down the road at Great Wakering Rovers, as the hosts went ahead against Hullbridge Sports. Ashley Nzala opened the scoring on eight minutes. Rovers didn’t have a league win all season, but given their opponents were in the same boat they couldn’t have had a better chance to break that duck, and that’s exactly how it turned out, Nzala’s strike the only goal of the game.

Romford, without a league win since September 11th, hosted Stowmarket Town- and took the lead just before the half hour, Shermandin Artmeladze opening the scoring and playing havoc with our auto-correct. The second goal also went to the Boro, Christian Adu Gyamfi scoring on the hour, and they held on to climb to sixteenth.

Tilbury announced two new signings yesterday, and the number two was also important in the first half of their match at Felixstowe and Walton United, as that’s how many the Seasiders scored, Zak Brown and Henry Barley giving them a happy half time. The Dockers got one back fourteen minutes from time through Joe Wright, but the equaliser didn’t come and the Seasiders ended the day in eighth, the Dockers an unexpected seventeenth.

Coggeshall Town and Brentwood Town have both began to generate some momentum, but they couldn’t find a goal in the first half. The second half was seventeen minutes old when the opener arrived, and it went to Jack Dickinson for the visitors- and they got the second, too, Tom Richardson doubling the advantage to send them up to seventh place.

Basildon United hosted Barking, and after a goalless first half we also had a goalless second half. Barking are ninth, the Bees fifteenth.

Pitching In Isthmian South Central

Our very first match of the day took place at High Road, two sides in green clashing as Chipstead entertained Guernsey. This was the Green Lions first away match for best part of two years, and it didn’t go well for them as Tom Collins continued his magnificent form for the Chips by scoring two in a three-nil win. That’s thirteen goals in eleven matches for Tom, with Andy Kabuikusomo getting the other.

Only two minutes after the three o’clock kick off’s began we had the first goal, and it went to Staines Town. David Pitt got it, at Chalfont St Peter, as the fast-improving Swans looked to win for the second weekend in a row. Their job was made easier when Prince Kandolo got a right royal red card before the break, and Pitt’s second of the match just after the hour surely made the points secure.

Marlow lost their one hundred percent record when drawing at Chipstead in midweek, but that was hardly a disaster and they started very well against Ashford Town, Kameron English putting them ahead on twelve minutes. The second goal of the game also went to the hosts, and it came to the usual suspect, Nnamdi Nwachukwu scoring for the sixth consecutive match and getting his ninth of the season. English made quite sure of three points with the third goal two minutes from time, and Marlow are behind the leaders only on goal difference.

Our title favourites, Bracknell Town, knew that they’d need a big win at Tooting & Mitcham United if they were to reclaim top spot from Uxbridge, who weren’t playing. Jack Dean gave them the lead on half an hour, and that turned out to be the only goal of the match. The Robins are the third of three clubs on nineteen points.

Binfield, unbeaten since August Bank Holiday Monday, broke the deadlock in their match against Westfield just before the half time Haribo were unwrapped, Callum Bunting with his fifth goal in six matches. Bunting doubled the advantage six minutes after the break, and Sean Moore made sure with the third fifteen minutes from time. The Moles are three points behind the top three, in fourth place- and our image shows our Chair, Nick Robinson, presenting the club with their Isthmian League plaque before today's match.

Sutton Common Rovers had fallen off the rails of late, without a win since September 11th and conceding nineteen goals in their last four- but they broke the deadlock at Northwood after only thirteen minutes, Danny Fernandez getting his third of the season. The Woods were soon level through Shakeel Morris, scoring for the seventh time this season, but not for long, Brendan Murphy-McVey scoring three minutes before the break- but the hosts hit back immediately, Leo Decabo equalising. Goal number five of the afternoon came nineteen minutes from time, and it came to Tyrell Butler for the visitors, who held on for all three points.

Thatcham Town took thirty five minutes to break the deadlock against Hanwell Town, Lamin Ceesey scoring for the third match in a row- perhaps that was a good omen, as they’d won the previous two? Ogo Obi thought otherwise, the Geordies striker equalising on sixty three minutes- his ninth of the season and seventh in three games- and within another seventeen minutes the match was as good as won, Tomasz Siemienczuk and Obi making it three-one and sending Hanwell into the top five.

Pitching In Isthmian South East

Leaders Haywards Heath Town hosted Herne Bay in what looked our match of the day, but neither could break the deadlock in the first half. It was finally broken eighteen minutes from time, and it was the visitors who got the goal, Ryan Cooper putting Bay ahead. That turned out to be the only goal of the game, and Heath skip to second, whilst Bay are fifth.

Cray Valley PM and Chichester City couldn’t wake up the Artic Stadium in the first half, and didn’t manage a goal in the second half, either- yet it was enough to send the Millers top after Haywards Heath’s defeat.

VCD Athletic fell to midweek defeat against Corinthian, but they were quickly out of the traps this afternoon as Youseff Bamba put them ahead after eight minutes against faversham Town. The Lilywhites made a comeback unlikely when Donvieve Jones saw red, and yet equalised nonetheless, Lewis Chambers twelve minutes from time. D’jean Spencer then joined Jones in an early bath, and this time Vickers did take advantage, Ayman El-Mogharbel getting the second against nine men three minutes from time. The margin of victory was made more emphatic right at the end, Anthony Adesite getting two in added time to make it four-one. Vickers end the day in third place.

Ashford United got the first goal of our South East afternoon on eight minutes, Tashi-Jay Kwayie opening the scoring at Sevenoaks Town. It was two-nil only three minutes later, Tariq Ossai doubling their advantage, and Tommy Fagg made quite sure with number three right at the end. The Nuts and Bolts are fourth.

Burgess Hill Town have been a cup team rather than a league team so far this season, but they opened the scoring at Ramsgate very early, Michael Uwezu piercing the Rams defence after just six minutes. The same player made it two on nineteen, but the Rams were back in it before the break when Jordan Chiedozie halved the arrears when grabbing his eighth of the season. The equaliser arrived ten minutes after the break, Danny Lear jetting in to score, but parity lasted for only four minutes before Jaden Perez put the Hillians ahead once more. Max Miller made quite sure of victory for the visitors right at the end, four-two the final score. The Rams slip out of the top five, the Hillians climb off the bottom.

Lancing have been much improved of late, but Corinthian got back to winning ways in midweek and showed how by scoring two goals in two minutes midway through the first half. Luke Tanner got the opener in twenty eight minutes, and Becka-Kah Dembele quickly made it two- and the next goal also went the way of the visitors, Jack Mahoney making it three from the spot with nineteen minutes left. Corinthian end the day in ninth.

Hythe Town saw Charlie Webster put them ahead in the seventeenth minute against draw specialists Three Bridges, and the advantage was doubled twelve minutes before the break when Scott Doe made it two. Bridges came out looking to make a game of it, and got back into the match as Dan Perry got one back just after the hour. Eight minutes later the visitors were level, Ryan Brackpool with the equaliser which secured Bridges their sixth draw from ten matches this season and keep them two points above their hosts.

Whitehawk striker Javaun Splatt has had a very impressive start to the season, and got his seventh of the campaign to put the Hawks ahead against the Wasps of East Grinstead Town. That turned out to be the only goal, the Hawks up to sixteenth.

Whitstable Town, without a win all season, were playing a side in freefall, Phoenix Sports travelling to the Kentish seaside on the back of seven successive defeats. Luke Griffiths got the breakthrough for the Oysterboys midway through the first half, and that was the only goal of the match as the hosts climb to eighteenth. Sports have hit rock bottom.

Follow the Pitching In Isthmian League on Instagram. Head here or search for theisthmianleague on your app. We're also on Facebook and Twitter.

Where next?

Make it snappy! 16th October 2021 Our photographers brought their A-game yesterday. Here is some of the very best of their work, and links to where you can find the rest of it.
Lambert lands at Whitehawk Eastbourne Borough forward moves along the coast

The Pitching In Isthmian Football League newsletter

Keep up-to-date with our exclusive email newsletters.