Trawler Boys take the title!

By Ian Townsend

Only Lowestoft and Bury from the top five win, the latter with six, with Redbridge getting five, Walthamstow and Basildon four. Regent, Greens, Witham and Wroxham are also victorious

New Salamis were the hosts for title chasing Lowestoft Town, the Trawler Boys knowing that victory might even secure them the title- but that defeat might see them knocked off the top. There seemed little chance of that defeat after only seven minutes had passed, as by that point an own goal and a goal from Sam Johnson had the visitors two-nil up, and Johnson made sure that any nerves were calmed when Johnson added a third five minutes into the second half. The Salamina got a goal back seven minutes from time, Derek Asamoah with a consolation, but that was that- and the visiting fans began to party, as defeat for Bowers and Pitsea meant that they were champions. Many congratulations! Image from Shirley Whitlow.

Bowers & Pitsea knew that victory over Walthamstow could see them top of the table if Lowestoft Town lost at New Salamis- and although that might have looked a rather large ‘if’ the side from the Len Salmon knew that, if the unlikely happened, they’d need three points to pounce. They went ahead eight minutes before the break, the goalscoring hero- as usual- Matt Price, and they quickly added a second, Benas Vaivada making it two-nil just five minutes later- but if they thought they could relax, the visitors had other ideas, Tariq Straker pulling a goal back deep in added time at the end of the half. Walthamstow may have had only pride to play for, but they levelled two minutes into the second half, Joinville Renee with the equaliser, and then stunned the home fans by going ahead on sixty four minutes, Bilal Sayoud making it three-two. Two minutes from time Stow added a fourth, Kymani Thomas leaving the home faithful scratching their heads.

Gorleston v Felixstowe- Stefan Peck

Gorleston v Felixstowe- Stefan Peck

Bowers stay second, but their title hopes are over. They are two points ahead of Bury Town and Felixstowe, four ahead of Brentwood Town.

Brentwood Town were two points away from third place Felixstowe and Walton United at kick off and wanted victory to keep themselves in the race for a home play off spot. Visitors Brightlingsea Regent were unlikely to be pushovers, however, with only one defeat in nine, and they went ahead on the quarter hour mark, Charlie Collis with his first goal for the club. The other Collis, Teddy, has been in fine form in front of goal, and the Regent number ten made it two-nil with his ninth in ten matches, twenty one minutes remaining and the Arena silenced- except for the travelling fans. Regent are up to seventh. Before the match the fans of both sides had a drink together- image from Neil Payne.

Bury Town were comfortably qualified for the play offs but had seen their charge up the table slow in recent weeks, drawing three of their last four- but they were firm favourites as second bottom Enfield came to call, the visitors having taken one point from the last thirty available to them. Cemal Ramadan is having a fine season, and he started this match superbly, putting Town ahead on seven minutes and adding another within sixty seconds. It was three-nil on twenty three minutes, Ollie Yun looking to have wrapped up three points, and the same player added the fourth three minutes into the second half. Bury had a fifth just before the hour, Max Maughn making it five-nil, and they weren’t yet finished, Ryan Holland getting a sixth two minutes from time. That was that, the hosts up to third- and still with a chance of taking second place.

Gorleston played host to third place Felixstowe & Walton United, the Seasiders hoping to climb back into second place and to get back to winning ways after one win in four. They didn't have the best of starts, as the Greens were ahead after four minutes, Ryan Curtis with the opener- but the Seasiders had hope as George Keys saw red for the hosts seven minutes into the second half. It didn’t help, and the Greens held on for victory, the visitors down to fourth. Image from Stefan Peck.

Brightlingsea Regent and Brentwood fans- Neil Payne

Brightlingsea Regent and Brentwood fans- Neil Payne

Heybridge Swifts were at home to Wroxham, but it was the Yachtsmen who quickly took the initiative, Ryan Hawkins putting them ahead after just four minutes. That turned out to be that, and it left Swifts in eighth, Wroxham in twelfth.

Ipswich Wanderers welcomed Redbridge, and it looked as if they’d rolled out the welcome mat far too readily in the early stages, the Motormen going ahead on seven minutes through Louie Johnson and adding a second from the spot just a minute later, Jack Chawner holding his nerve. The Motormen added a third with eleven minutes until half time, Johnson once more, and the number ten confirmed his hat trick with the fourth goal for the visitors just after half time. Just before the hour it was five, Solomon Ogunwomoju continuing the rout, and that’s where it ended- the visitors having lost only one of their last eight.

Stowmarket Town, confirmed relegated and without a win all season, got off to a flyer against Basildon United, Kalum Benham scoring in the first minute- but it took the Bees only one more minute to level, Kye Jude quickly equalising; indeed, this match had delivered two goals before many of the others had even kicked off! The match had a third goal on nine minutes, and again it went to the hosts, Stanley Fovargue making it two-one- but again the Bees quickly hit back, Ruben Bartlett-Antwi levelling. United then went ahead, Samir Ali making it three-two eight minutes before half time, but Stow quickly levelled through Dylan Kirk to make it three-three at half time. The seventh goal of the afternoon arrived with eleven minutes to go, and it went to the visitors, Clyde Semazzi putting them four-three up- a lead that this time they held.

Witham Town welcomed Grays Athletic, and it looked as if the match would be goalless at the break, only for a home penalty in added time to be converted by Josh Osude. The Town number ten had his twelfth goal in eighteen matches eleven minutes from the end, and that turned out to be that, Town in fourteenth- twelve points ahead of their sixteenth place visitors.

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Where next?

Millers and Rams hit four- whilst the Brickies guarantee third, and Becks survival hopes remain in the balance 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
Highlights: Ramsgate 2 Cray Valley PM 2 Ramsgate come from two down to snatch a draw- but the Millers look to have the smallest of advantages in the title race

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