Our Pitching In Isthmian North weekend started on Friday night, at Coles Park- and it brought a five goal thriller.
New Salamis were in the role of hosts, Grays Athletic the visitors. The Salamina were looking to get back to winning ways after unfortunate late defeat at Heybridge Swifts last season, and they did just that, but it turned out to be far more difficult than it could have been. Joe Waight put them ahead on ten minutes, Wranyel Hercules made it two just before half time, and when Waight added a third five minutes after half time that looked to be that- but Athletic decided that they were going to make a match of it after all. First, Phil Roberts got his first Athletic goal on his first start for the club, only four minutes after the Salaminas third, and then, just after the hour, Aron Gordon pulled it back to three-two. That turned out to be that, New Salamis climbing to twelfth prior to our Saturday games.
On to Saturday.
Shirley Whitlow puts down her camera to give the man of the match award to Lowestoft Town's Travis Cole
Leaders Lowestoft Town had established a six point lead at the top of the Pitching In Isthmian North table, and the Trawler Boys hoped to lengthen that as they welcomed seventeenth place Enfield to the seaside. Town had taken ten points from twelve and havhade won eight of their last nine on their own patch, whilst the E’s had two wins from ten and lost October’s meeting between the sides by five goals to nil- although they did get to the break goalless in that one, and they did the same again, only for the hosts to break the deadlock just before the hour. Jake Reed is usually the man the Trawler Boys go to for goals, and he made it twenty six for the season in giving them the lead, and it looked as if that would be that- but right before the end Adam Hipperson made it two-nil. Town hold onto that six point lead. We normally feature images taken by Shirley Whitlow- but she's actually in this one, handing the man of the match award to Travis Cole!
Felixstowe and Walton United welcomed Walthamstow to their particular seaside. The Seasiders were five unbeaten and had won the previous three, but they went ahead in this one after eighteen minutes, Sam Ford with the opener. Right at the end the Seasiders made it two-nil, Josh Hitter with that one, and they remained second, six points off the summit. Headline image courtesy of Stefan Peck.
Bury Town had the chance to take third spot- and indeed, if results went their way, to climb to second- as they welcomed sixth place Heybridge Swifts. The Blues had been superb of late, and came into this one on the back of a twelve match unbeaten run, having won eight of their last ten- including the last four- so it was no surprise when they got off to a flyer, Cemal Ramadan scoring the opener after just two minutes. Swifts levelled midway through the first half, Lewis Watson making it one-one, but the second half was less than a minute old when the hosts regained the lead, Ollie Canfer making it two-one. Oliver Yun gave the hosts some daylight when he made it three-one on sixty seven minutes, and they held on to that to move up a place.
Brentwood Town v Stowmarket Town was postponed.
Basildon United had four wins from six, and hit four without reply last weekend. The Bees were off to Wroxham, and started the weekend five points away from the top five- albeit with a game in hand, whilst the Yachtsmen, who had only one win from ten, look fairly comfortable in mid table. It took fifty two minutes before the match had a goal, and it went to the visitors, Ben Allen opening the scoring, but there was another soon afterwards, and it was an equaliser, Harley Black levelling for the hosts. Seven minutes from time the hosts went ahead for the first time, Michael Campbell with the goal, and they held on for three points and climbed to twelfth.
Maldon & Tiptree welcomed Redbridge. The Jammers kicked off five points away from the top five and looking to narrow that gap, and they were quickly ahead, Shame Temple being worshipped by the home fans after opening the scoring on four minutes. Maldon added a second just before the break, Terrell Egbri with that one, but within five minutes of the second half the Motormen were back in the match, Soumen Nandi halving the arrears, and they levelled seven minutes later, Solomon Oguwomoju with their second. If the hosts were downhearted they quickly regained their composure, and George Smith put them three-two up with fourteen minutes left, before a fourth of the match made the points safe, Egbri completing a brace two minutes later. The Jammers go sixth, two points outside the play off places- and a place higher than their local rivals, Heybridge Swifts.
Witham Town had four defeats from their previous five, only their win over Heybridge Swifts on the last Friday of last month providing any comfort. They found themselves in thirteenth place at kick off, and welcomed an Ipswich Wanderers side who were five places behind and had one win and nine defeats from their previous ten. It was the hosts who went ahead, Frederick King on twenty minutes, but Wanderers held on and levelled on the hour, Rashid Salad making it one-one. Two minutes from time former Golden Boot winner Matt ‘Steak Bake’ Blake stepped up to give the visitors the lead, but that didn’t turn out to be the winner, as Ryan Dear levelled for the hosts right at the end.
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