The Pitching In Isthmian Premier Division started with Cheshunt deservedly at the summit after delivering some superb performances, but they had perhaps their biggest test yet as they travelled to undefeated Bishop’s Stortford. The Blues showed why they were undefeated when Tom Richardson put them ahead after nineteen minutes to the delight of most of the four hundred and twenty one spectators, and Richardson got the next goal too, a minute from time, to send the Blues up to third and leave the Ambers just above them.
In third place at kick off, Worthing travelled to from one seaside to another, as they visited Margate. Draw specialists Gate gave their fans amongst the four hundred and thirty five present something to cheer as they went ahead just before the half hour, Richard Afrane-Kesey- newly arrived on loan from Charlton Athletic- with a debut goal. A more familiar name on the scoresheet is that of Mo Diallo, and the Worthing man got his fifth of the campaign with the equaliser five minutes before the break.
Another familiar name then gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of half time, Ricky Aguiar with that one, and nine minutes after the break they made it three, Dayshonne Golding with the third. The Mackerel Men take their familiar place at the top of the table- even more impressive given they haven’t been able to play at home yet due to pitch problems.
Carshalton Athletic started the day in second, two points behind the leaders. The Robins travelled to Hornchurch, to play against an Urchins side fighting against a rising tide of injuries- but it was the depleted hosts who went ahead six minutes before the break, new signing Charlie Ruff making it rough for the Robins (sorry. We’re here all week). The four hundred and forty four in attendance had little else to shout about until twenty three minutes from time, and then had a great deal to shout about as Chris Dickson made it two with his third of the season- and the month. The same player got number three fifteen minutes from time, and an own goal rubbed salt in the Carshalton wounds and made it four with ten minutes remaining. The Robins slipped to fourth, the Urchins are up to fourteenth.
If Cheshunt v Stortford wasn’t our match of the day, then a strong shout needed to go to Haringey Borough v Cray Wanderers. Borough knew that they could go top with victory if other results went their way, and they got their noses in front after twelve minutes, Alfred Bawling with the goal. Wands, of course, had an unbeaten record stretching back nine months until two recent defeats, and they were quickly back into the match as Ben Pritchard levelled before the half hour, and then went ahead with twenty one minutes remaining as Ben Mundele scored for the second time this week. Rhys Murrell-Williamson made it three fourteen minutes from time, and Wands went above their hosts into fifth.
Enfield Town, who started the day in fifth, were on the road to Tolworth, where they faced Brazil’s favourite amateurs, Corinthian-Casuals, in front of a crowd of four hundred and two. The South American contingent- and those from Surrey- would have been happiest when Jerson Dos Santos gave the hosts the lead on fifty eight minutes, and even happier when the same player made it two thirteen minutes from time. Casuals are up to twelfth, Enfield slip to seventh.
Leatherhead and Folkstone Invicta met at Fetcham Grove in front of four hundred and eighty nine spectators. Neither side had had the start they would have liked to the season, although the Tanners looked to be back on the right road with three matches unbeaten before their narrow defeat at Enfield last time out- and they were very quickly ahead in this one, Crossley Lema opening the scoring in the very first minute. We then had fifty five minutes with no further score before Andrew Briggs made it two-nil, and that result saw the side in green up to eighth whilst Invicta slip to sixteenth.
Horsham welcomed Brightlingsea Regent and six hundred spectators to the Camping World Community Stadium. The visitors won the last time they came to Sussex, in Lewes on September 26th- but they were soon behind in this one as Thomas Day put the Hornets ahead in the eighteenth minute. It was two-nil in the thirty second minute as Will Miles trotted up from the back to score, and then the attackers got into the action as first Chris Smith and then Rob O’Toole found the net to make it four. Horsham end the day in tenth, Regent slip to twenty first.
At Nyewood Lane we had Rocks versus Rocks, as East Thurrock United arrived to face Bognor Regis Town. The Sussex Rocks were ahead just before the half hour through Ashton Leigh, and then further ahead six minutes later as the same player made it a brace. It was three before half time, Tommy Leigh this time, before it was back to Leigh Mk. One as Ashton got his hat trick from the spot ten minutes after the break, delighting most of the five hundred and eighteen who were watching on. Bognor climb to eleventh, United still wait for their first victory.
Finally, Potters Bar Town hosted Lewes, and put themselves immediately on the back foot when Callum Ellesley saw red in only the fifth minute, to the dismay of most of the watching two hundred and thirteen. The Rooks took two minutes before they took advantage, Bouwe Bosma getting the ball in the back of the Scholars net, but the ten men never gave up and levelled ten minutes from time due to Ken Charles.
We had one South Central match, and what a cracker it was. Eight goals were shared by Staines Town and South Park, and they were shared equally, four-all. Sparks will perhaps be disappointed, as they were three-one up at the break, Nodi Bobumurodov and two from Leon Lalor-Dell more than making up for Luke Robinson’s equaliser- but Robinson had the last laugh. After the break he scored two more, and Che Krabbendam got one from the spot, whilst Merrick James-Lewis got the fourth for the visitors.
It still seems rather peculiar to be writing about the 2020-21 FA Trophy when the 2019-20 competition is yet to end, but then the whole world is currently peculiar at best, so here we go:
Ashford Town of the South Central Division are having a fine campaign compared to last season, up to third place and having lost only one of their last six competitive matches before today. They started with that belief evident, Matt Bunyan scoring after just eight minutes against Whitstable Town, and held on for victory.
North Division leaders Tilbury travelled to Aylesbury United of Southern Division One Central for a battle between two leaders, as The Ducks are also top of their table, with four wins and a defeat from their five fixtures. Cameron Brodie gave the Dockers the lead after only four minutes, but the hosts were level after twenty one and then ahead before the break. Brian Moses drew the Dockers level six minutes before the end, but the shootout didn’t go their way and the Ducks progressed four-two from the spot.
Two sides who desperately needed a win meet at Mayesbrook Park, where Barking entertained Harlow Town. The Blues had generally been good in cup competitions, and that continued when Dumebi GB Dumaka fired home four minutes from time to seal victory.
Bedfont Sports finally left the FA Cup in midweek at the hands of Canvey Island, and after two giantkillings. They welcomed Coggeshall Town to the end of the Heathrow runway, the Seed Growers still looking for consistency after winning two, drawing one and losing three of their six matches in all competitions- and after a goalless draw the shootout went the way of the visitors, six-five.
Bracknell Town, who were hammered at Haringey Borough in midweek after previously being undefeated since December, wanted to get quickly back to winning ways against Sevenoaks Town-and they went ahead seven minutes after the break through Harry Harding. Shaquille Ishmael doubled the advantage thirteen minutes from time, and clinched the win.
Brentwood Town hosted Chichester City, who left the FA Cup in midweek so knew they would have to look to the Trophy if they wanted a cup run this season- and they started as if they meant business, Gicu Iordache getting his fourth of the season in only the third minute. Two minutes later they were two up, the shellshocked Blues allowing Corey Heath time to score, but the deficit was halved just before the break through Andy Freeman- and the same player got their second, too, just after the hour. Just as it seemed that we were off to penalties, Ron Harvey grabbed a last minute winner for the hosts.
Burgess Hill Town brought Ware to Mid Sussex, neither side having had the start they would have liked and both sitting in midtable. The Hillians quickly took the lead through Aaron Smith Joseph, and then quickly doubled it with a goal from Jordy Ndozid. Any chance of a Ware recovery was hampered when Thomas Bruno saw red in the second half, and when Tommy Wade joined him in the changing room that was that. The Hillians progress, and our headline image is from Chris Neal.
Chertsey Town invited Berkhamsted to Alwyns Lane, their visitors in seventh place in Southern League Division One Central, and it was the away side who struck first, seven minutes before the break. The Curfews equalised in the fifty sixth minute, Scott Day with the goal, but then contrived to fall behind once more with eleven minutes left, and couldn’t find a way back.
Chipstead came close to defeating higher level opposition in the cup in midweek, and hoped to do even better against Three Bridges, but their visitors were confident after winning for the first time this season last weekend and took the lead after nineteen minutes, Brannon O’Neill firing home. The Chips weren’t behind for long, George Membrillera with the leveller, but were soon behind again as Callum Donaghey restored the visitors advantage nine minutes from the break. Bridges held on in the second half to take the win.
Faversham Town, who have had a fabulous start to their league campaign and are still undefeated, hosted a Hertford Town side who looked much improved from last season- and they started as if they wanted to prove that, Sam Faniyan putting them ahead early on. The Lilywhites were soon level through Matt Bourne, and then the hosts faithful were delighted as Kelvin Ogboe scored from the spot three minutes before the break. They were even more delighted as Harry Harding made it three seven minutes after the restart, and the same player sealed victory with a fourth right at the end.
Another side for whom this years model seems superior to last are Felixstowe & Walton United. The Seasiders saw Westfield making the long trip to the coast, the visitors having taken only one point from their last six after a very promising start to the campaign. The hosts took the lead shortly after the restart through Sam Nunn, and shortly afterwards saw the visitors reduced to ten men as Caleb Wright saw red. They took advantage, Stuart Ainsley making it two, Ollie Canfer getting number three, and Nunn’s second making it four twelve minutes from time. There was time for a fifth, too, this one going to Callum Bennett.
Hanwell Town welcomed Aveley in a clash between two highly-regarded sides at the Powerday Stadium. The Millers had uncharacteristically lost their last two matches after previously winning five in a row, but when George Sykes put them ahead after sixty five minutes looked to have put that behind them. The lead, however, lasted only four minutes, potent Ogo Obi with his tenth of the campaign, and eventually we were off to penalties, which lasted almost as long as the match- the Millers triumphing eight-seven.
Hastings United looked back to their ominous best when walloping Haywards Heath Town and defeating leaders VCD Athletic recently, and Ben Pope got them underway quickly against FC Romania as he opened the scoring after only seven minutes. Gary Elphick doubled the lead after thirty two minutes, and Tom Chalmers got number three eleven minutes after the restart to delight most of the three hundred and seventy seven in attendance. That was how it finished, the Pilot Field crowd off for a happy night by the sea.
Haywards Heath Town are yet to pick up a league victory, and welcomed a side from the Pitching In Southern Division One Central who have three, Welwyn Garden City. The visitors went ahead after five minutes and were two up four minutes later, but Heath got back into the match right on the stroke of half time through Anh-War Tran-West. Sadly they couldn’t find an equaliser, and a third for City three minutes from time- followed by another right at the end- sealed victory.
Histon, in fourth place in the North Division, welcomed Leek Town of the Pitching In Northern Premier South East. The visitors had been scoring goals for fun this season, averaging three a match in their league campaign, but they were quickly on the end of one this afternoon as Danny Gould put the hosts ahead after only seven minutes. Leek struck back after the break, levelling after sixty eight minutes, and then broke home hearts in the last minute by finding a winner.
Hythe Town, buoyant after their six-nil win in midweek, welcomed Ashford United to Reachfields- but were rather too welcoming when allowing Tashi-Jay Kwayie to open the score in the very first minute. The Nuts and Bolts made it two twenty minutes from the end, Tommy Fagg doubling the advantage, but that prompted the Cannons to find their shooting boots, Tom Walmsley immediately getting one back- and they drew level a minute from time, Tom Wynter with the goal. The Cannons then held their nerve to win from the spot, seven-six, whilst the visitors must wonder quite how they lost.
Bury Town, unbeaten and going wonderfully well in all competitions, travelled to face Loughborough Dynamo. Their hosts, from the Pitching In Northern Premier South East Division, are also going well- in third place in their division with only one defeat- and a close match was decided right at the end, sadly in favour of the hosts.
Maldon and Tiptree and Grays Athletic met at Park Drive, with the visitors looking for revenge as the Jammers knocked them out of the FA Cup a fortnight ago after a penalty shootout followed a two-all draw. Adam Vyse got the opening goal for the hosts from the spot after eighteen minutes, and then just before the break Aaron William-Bushell made it two- and there was still time for Andre Hasanally to fire in number three before the referee could bring Woods first half agony to an end. The second half went thirty seven minutes without a goal, but when it came it went to the Jammers, Hamza Kaid making it four.
Mitchel Hahn did get a last minute consolation for the visitors, but it wasn’t much consolation at all.
Two sides who haven’t had the best of starts to the league season were looking for some knockout glory as Northwood hosted Heybridge Swifts- and it quickly seemed as if that glory was heading back to Essex as first Emmanuel Osei-Owusu then Andrew Fennell netted midway through the first half. Fennell then got the third four minutes before half time, but the hosts got one back with eighteen minutes remaining through Marcelo Graca and then made the Swifts sweat, making it two-three with eleven minutes remaining, Devonte Totesaut narrowing the gap. In the last minute Hafed Al-Droubi completed the comeback and sent the tie to a shootout, which Swifts too by five goals to four.
Phoenix Sports and Marlow met at Mayplace, and the visitors struck first, Devontae Romoe scoring just after the half hour. They struck second, too, James Clark scoring shortly after the restart, and eased to victory.
Sittingbourne and East Grinstead Town met for the first time this season at Woodstock Park, the Wasps arriving with a one hundred percent league record whilst the Brickies were still searching for lift off. Sam Flisher made the breakthrough for the hosts seventeen minutes from time, and they managed to hold on for victory.
Dereham Town were off to Sutton Coldfield Town of the Pitching In Northern Premier South East Division, and went ahead when Toby Hilliard found the net after twenty seven minutes. They doubled their advantage five minutes after the restart, Jerry Dasaolu with the second, but were made to sweat when the hosts halved their advantage with twenty minutes left- and rightly so, as they equalised with six minutes remaining. The Magpies weren’t downhearted and got the winner from the spot in the very last minute, Thomas Matthews sparking the celebrations.
Tooting & Mitcham United, highly fancied in the Pitching In Isthmian South Central Division, faced another side for whom the expectations were high as Romford arrived at Imperial Fields to play in front of a sold out crowd. Troy Walters put the Terrors ahead after thirty three minutes, and when Dan Williams made it two with nineteen minutes left it was game over.
We’d an all South Central tie as Uxbridge hosted Waltham Abbey, and the impressive Abbotts went ahead from the spot when Leon McKenzie scored after thirty four minutes. The Red Army were given something to shout about when Jon-Jo Bates equalised just after the hour, and shouted even louder one minute from time, as Alan Hedley got the winner.
VCD Athletic, top of the South East Division, faced a tough test at Oakwood against Herne Bay. The visitors got the opening goal soon after the restart, Mobalaji Dawodu with it, and although Vickers were level with eighteen minutes to do thanks to Anthony Adesite, parity lasted for only two minutes before Anthony Edgar put Bay ahead once more. The visitors held on for victory.
Whitehawk, who picked up their first win last weekend, hosted Barton Rovers of Pitching In Southern League Division One Central and went ahead after twelve minutes, Henry Muggeridge opening the scoring. It was two after twenty eight minutes, Lucas Rodrigues scoring for the second Saturday in succession, but Rovers made the home fans worry when they got one back with twenty four minutes remaining. The Hawks held on, however, to record a victory for the second weekend in a row.
Finally, Whyteleafe hosted Cray Valley PM again. The two met in the league last weekend and it looked like a Leafe win until the very last minute, when the Millers got an equaliser- and once more they couldn’t be separated, as it went to penalties. Leafe won three-two from the spot.