Merstham reach the final of the Surrey County Cup for the third consecutive year after defeating Dorking Wanderers 3-2

Tuesday 21st March 2017
Dara Wilson, Remy Sylvester.

A local derby and occasion too good to miss- this week, the radio show was broadcasted live from Westhumble, with live commentary of Dorking Wanderers vs Merstham in the Surrey County Cup semi-final. Last week, National League side Woking confirmed their place in the final after defeating Guildford City of the CCFL Premier Division, 1-2.

Joining presenter Ben Eltham, James Cummins made a return to the BOTN starting line-up, and Frank Wilson (manager of Tooting & Mitcham) made a guest appearance to co-commentate.

L to R: Ben Eltham, Frank Wilson, James Cummins


Dorking Wanderers, occupants of Westhumble are currently 2nd in the Ryman Division 1 South, and with a game in hand, sit nine points behind league leaders Tooting & Mitcham United. In their recent run of form, Wanderers have only lost two of their last ten league games, and have the second-best home record in the Ryman South. James McShane, Tom Tolfrey and Matt Briggs all position in the top 20 goal scorers of the league, with a total of 47 goals between them.

So far in the Surrey County Cup, Dorking Wanderers have defeated South Park (2-1), Sutton Common Rovers (1-1, 7-8 penalties) and Chertsey Town (0-3).

Visitors Merstham, currently position 18th in the Ryman Premier with 44 points, just a win clear of the drop zone. Their recent league form however, is the 8th best in the league with only 3 defeats in the last 10 games.

The Moatsiders have defeated Godalming Town (0-1), Walton & Hersham (5-1) and Whyteleafe (2-1) to reach the Surrey County Cup semi-final.

Dorking Wanderers | Matthew Willard, Rob Sheridan, Dean Gunner, Chris Boulter, Jerome Beckles, Anthony Oakes, Jake Beecroft, Guiseppe Sole, Sam Beard, Tom Tolfrey, James McShane, Dan Mahoney, Alex Wells, Tom Summerfield, William Hearn

Merstham | Josh Smith, Simon Cooper, Kristian Campbell, Antone Douglas, Marc Okoye, Xavier Vidal, Alex Addai, Tom Kavanagh, Omar Folkes, Dan Bennett, Reece Hall, Michael Abnett, Dan Hector, Tom Howard, Rae Bailey-Allen, Kershaney Samuels


An enticing first five minutes ensued two goals; Merstham taking the lead in the third minute as Tom Kavanagh picked out Dan Bennett through the middle, who showed composure, and slid the ball into the net.

Dorking Wanderers applied pressure to the Moatsiders’ defence in the opening stages of the game, displaying their skilful attack. In the forth minute, an equaliser was scored when Giuseppe Sole remarkably chipped the ball over the keeper following a long pass, at a tight angle.

The Ryman Premier side utilised their pace on the wing; in particular, Reece Hall created several chances on the left hand side. Just after ten minutes, an excellent passing movement in the midfield lead to Hall narrowly lifting the ball over the crossbar.

Dorking missed the opportunity to take the lead in the eleventh minute, playing the ball into the box. A solid Merstham defence  prevented another goal and the ball was cleared off the line.

However, after the first fifteen minutes, Merstham had the edge as they created more chances. An excellent opportunity started from Tom Kavanagh, the Merstham captain, as he made a quick break on the counter-attack. He found Alex Addai on the wing, who dribbled the ball and played a low cross into Hall. The pace of the ball precluded Hall from connecting, and the ball travelled across the face of the goal.

Kavanagh continued to be instrumental in the Merstham midfield, laying the ball to Xavier Vidal in the twentieth minute, whose shot rattled the crossbar. The Moatsiders looked confident, passing effectively and creating space.

In the twenty-fifth minute, Merstham reclaimed the lead as Alex Addai dribbled the ball into the box, despite facing pressure from two Dorking defenders. Nevertheless, his step-overs enabled him to bypass the defence and score.

Ten minutes later, the Moatsiders had an opportunity to extend their lead, as Reece Hall timed his run perfectly on the left hand side to create a one-on-one with the keeper. The latter had to receive treatment after colliding with Hall, making a save. The ball went behind, but a clearance off the line prevented a goal.

Although Merstham were the stronger side in the first half, Dorking still impressed the crowd and created numerous chances. Approaching half time, Jake Beecroft laced the ball through to Tom Tolfrey on the right hand side, who took the ball into the box- but the Merstham defence were able to keep the ball out.

One minute prior to half time, Dan Bennett completed a brace as he received a long ball down the middle. He used his pace, which was a major strength of Hayden Bird’s side, to dance around the keeper and score.

In the second half, Dorking Wanderers posed threat; McShane caused problems for the Merstham defence. However, the side briefly switched off early in the second half, giving Dan Bennett a clear shot on goal. He was unable to complete a hat trick, missing the target.

Jerome Beckles was another one to watch in the second forty five minutes, orchestrating movement in the midfield and exploiting space on the wing. On the hour mark, Dorking scored the goal which they deserved. Tom Tolfrey timed his run perfectly, receiving the ball and dribbling past Josh Smith, finishing with composure.

Dorking searched for an equaliser, but Merstham’s defence fought valiantly. The Moatsiders also continued to create chances throughout the second half, Xavier Vidal’s corner finding Omar Folkes in the seventy-eighth minute. However, his shot kept out.

FT: Dorking Wanderers 2-3 Merstham

In conclusion, the match included an excellent attacking display from both teams. Although, numerous fouls were conceded by both teams, which slightly slowed the momentum. Dorking Wanderers applied pressure to Merstham from the kick off, but the Moatsiders had the upper hand in the first half. The Ryman Premier League side utilised their pace to exploit areas on the wing, Reece Hall and Omar Folkes making excellent runs, and Dan Bennett showed composure when he netted a brace. Dorking Wanderers created more chances in the second half; McShane, Beckles and Tolfrey all working together to attack. A goal on the hour-mark excited the fans, as a possibility of extra time hung in the air, but the score remained 2-3.

Video highlights and Podcast ep 4 will be available later this week.




Play-offs still in the Robins’ sights

By James Barrett.

Three of Carshalton Athletic’s home-grown young guns made their mark as the Robins empathically got back to winning ways at the weekend.

Price and Aikhionbare celebrating: Ian Gerrard photo
Despite going 1-0 down against visiting Three Bridges on Saturday, captain Bobby Price, striker Kingsley Aikhionbare and the returning Ricky Korboa shared five goals to halt a run of four games without a win.

The victory keeps the Robins sixth in the Ryman South as the battle for play-off positions intensifies. Only 10 points now separate third-placed Greenwich Borough down to Hythe Town in eighth, plus tenth-placed South Park have four games in hand.

“This was a massive result as we’ve dropped a few points recently but, especially when playing at home, we need to keep winning and pushing towards the play-offs” said 21-year old Price whom equalised the visitors’ 11th minute opener with a 35 yard rocket just 60 seconds later.

“They didn’t make it easy for us though especially in the second-half when they had the wind. Joe (Tupper) made a couple of good saves but we battled and took our chances.”

Price put Carshalton into the lead on 41 minutes after pouncing to slam in Omari Hibbert’s parried shot. Then 21-year old Aikhionbare got in on the act with a sweet left-footed finish just before the break.

The striker has found it difficult adding goals to his energetic performances this season but his perfectly-timed run and impudent finish over the keeper in the second-half was his third goal in two games.

“I had lots of time to think about that second one and wasn’t sure to dink it or go round him but, in the end, it doesn’t matter who scores the goals as long as we win and keep hunting that play-off place”

The assist for Aikhionbare’s second came from the boot of substitute Korboa, whom made his first appearance after three months out injured, and the 20-year old playmaker even plundered his 20th goal of the season from a Price pull-back late on.

“That’s Ricky for you – I know he’s been down because of the injury but I spoke to him a lot during that time and it’s great to see him back” Aikhionbare added.

Next up for Carshalton is a visit from mid-table Herne Bay on Saturday but both Corinthian Casuals and South Park play midweek, so the play-off race could have changed again if both rivals register positive results.

“Most sides around us have a game or two in hand so if they drop points, like a couple did last Saturday, then that’s a bonus. We just need to take each game as it comes and concentrate on getting three points each time.”

Saturday’s clash will likely see new Carshalton defender Connor Sanders line-up against his former colleagues, but Paris Hamilton-Downes, Brendan Murphy-McVey and Sean O’Toole are all still struggling with injury.

FT:  Carshalton Athletic 5-1 Three Bridges

See all the goals and action from Carshalton’s win over Three Bridges by visiting

Carshalton Athletic vs Herne Bay is on Saturday 25th March (kick-off 3pm).

The Chips view: Faversham 4-1 Chipstead

Chipstead slipped to a 4-1 defeat at Faversham in their latest league match, but thankfully lost no ground on the teams below them in the league table.

By Trevor Stotten.

On the dry, bumpy and sandy pitch, it was difficult to get going, but Chips had the best of the early exchanges, with Leon Lalor-Dell and Karl Parker combining well down the left, so it was gutting to concede in just the eighth minute, when the home centre-forward chested home a cross from the right.

Faversham’s lead seemed to knock the stuffing out of the visitors, and their lead nearly doubled when Tommy Smith’s cushioned header back to Luke Colquhoun in goal, evaded the keeper, but thankfully the ball went past the post.

However, Chipstead were still in the game – Jason Henry, skipper on the day, had two good efforts on goal, but in vain – Chris O’Flaherty hit a rasping left-foot drive, which the home keeper pushed away for a corner. Lalor-Dell then cut the ball back from the by-line, but Matt Warren shot over the bar.

At the other end, Colquhoun had to be alert to tip a home effort over the bar, but, from the resultant corner, he dived bravely at the feet of the left-back, who unfortunately got to the ball first to poke it home for 2-0.

Seven minutes after the break, the home side were 3-0 ahead, as their forward bundled the ball home.

Chipstead brought on 2 subs, and changed their formation, but Faversham killed the game in the seventy-first minute, when their centre-forward let the ball drop, and shot over his shoulder, giving Colquhoun no chance.

Matt Males scored a consolation goal for Chips with two minutes to go, getting a firm header to another O’Flaherty corner, but the points had gone. Henry was harshly pulled up for offside just before the final whistle, but the home side had the victory.

Chipstead remain in 20th position in the league table, 8 points ahead of the bottom 3, with a big game next up at Three Bridges, where manager Antony Williams will want a much better outcome for his team.

Ryman South review: 18th March 2017

Back-to-back wins for bottom-placed Godalming Town and extended unbeaten runs for Tooting & Mitcham and Herne Bay


Whyteleafe, Greenwich Borough, Ramsgate and Horsham all take a-point-a-piece after 1-all draws on Saturday. (FT: Whyteleafe 1-1 Greenwich Borough, FT: Ramsgate 1-1 Horsham). These results see the mid of the table remain tight with Whyteleafe, Ramsgate and Horsham all occupying positions between 13th and 16th, separated by just two points at most. As for Greenwich Borough, they remain in 3rd place, four points clear of 4th place Corinthian-Casuals, who dropped points at home to Hastings. (FT: Corinthian-Casuals 0-1 Hastings United). Hughes-Mason’s goal in the seventeenth minute was the only goal of the encounter, and was enough to award The Arrows 3 points. Despite this result being their first win in 5 fixtures, Hastings are only a point short of a play-off position.

Carshalton Athletic, who are one point above in 5th place, had an emphatic victory against relegation-battling Three Bridges, in a game where they fell behind after eleven minutes. (FT: Carshalton Athletic 5-1 Three Bridges). Tony Garrod’s early goal for Three Bridges was a lead that lasted less than 60 seconds; Bobby Price quickly brought the game back level, and then put The Robins ahead on forty-one. Goals for Kingsley Aikhionbare either side of half time, and a final goal from Ricky Korboa in the eightieth minute put the game out of site. After only collecting 1 point out of a possible 12 in their recent four games, a sigh of relief for Athletic as they bounce back. As for Bridges, they are nine points adrift of safety after only collecting 7 points out of a possible 30 in their last ten league fixtures.

Bottom-placed Godalming Town make it back-to-back wins after defeating Chatham Town, and previously Lewes, with one-goal victories. (FT: Godalming Town 1-0 Chatham Town). Dorking Wanderers also bagged a 1-nil win over Sittingbourne, an invaluable victory to keep the title-race alive. (FT: Sittingbourne 0-1 Dorking Wanderers).

League leaders, Tooting & Mitcham United extend their unbeaten run to 15 games, having impressively bagged 43 out of a possible 45 points, and scoring 45 goals on the way. Two quick-fire goals in the forty-fifth minute from Dixon and Clements, turned the game on its head moments before the interval whistle, and the comfortable two-goal cushion ensured 3 points. (FT: Tooting & Mitcham 2-0 Walton Casuals).

Dan Moody, Kieran Lavery and Chris Smith all signed their names on the score-sheet in the second half, in South Park’s encounter with Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane. (FT: Cray Wanderers 0-3 South Park). With a five-game advantage over most teams in the league, South Park climb closer toward the play-offs after securing 3 points. Helped too, by the 6 teams immediately below them in the table, who all dropped points.

Lewes also edge closer towards a play-off position after scoring four goals at The Dripping Pan. (Lewes 4-0 East Grinstead Town). Goals from Jonte Smith, Matthew George and Wilfried Grimaud further highlight East Grinstead’s defence problem; The Wasps have conceded a total of 21 goals since their last clean sheet, which was just 8 games ago.

Faversham Town also scored four goals on Saturday, and almost replicated Lewes’ score-line, however a consolation goal for Chipstead in the eighty-eighth minute denied Town of a clean-sheet. Chipstead currently have the worst form in the league, having not won since January 2nd, however remain 8-points clear in safety. (FT: Faversham Town 4-1 Chipstead).

Guernsey levelled with Chipstead’s points total after a draw with Hythe Town. (Guernsey 2-2 Hythe Town). The visitors were two-goals ahead after twenty minutes, however Dave Rihoy halved the deficit on forty-five to keep the game alive. Angus Mackay saw red on fifty-seven, after receiving a second yellow card, however the ten-man team managed to secure a point, equalising in the eighty-second minute.

Herne Bay make it 9 games unbeaten after defeating Molesey at Winch’s field. (Herne Bay 2-0 Molesey). Ian Pulman found the back of the net after just 3 minutes, and an early goal in the second half doubled their lead. The result widens the gap between the sides, who are 17th and 19th, to 10 points.


A 2-2 draw halts run of 3 defeats to place Carshalton back up into 5th 

Carshalton Athletic got their faltering promotion charge back on track after leaving a traditionally unhappy Kent hunting ground with a point last Saturday.


Bobby Price scoring: credit of Ian Gerrard.

by James Barrett.


The Robins played Hythe Town having lost in each of their last two visits to the Reachfields Stadium, plus their hosts beat them 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in December, but Kingsley Aikhionbare’s late strike ensured they left with a share of the spoils.

The 2-2 draw not only halted a run of three defeats but also took Carshalton back up into fifth place as Ryman South play-off rivals Hastings United and Lewes both lost on the same day.

On a mild afternoon for football, Saturday’s game really began to heat up in the last five minutes of the first-half as Ben Wilson put the home side into the lead with a deflected shot from 18 yards.

Carshalton captain Bobby Price led by example however by ghosting a header on Ryan Gondoh’s in-swinging cross past goalkeeper Joe Mant to level things up before half-time.

The match seemed to be heading towards a stalemate until Wilson saw a low-angled free kick on 76 minutes sneak in at the far post and it seemed the Hythe hoodoo would strike Carshalton yet again.

But substitute Omari Hibbert, whom only joined the Robins the day before, slung over a 82nd minute cross which Tommy Bradford knocked down for Aikhionbare to smash home and rescue a point.

Carshalton’s attention is now focused on the visit of struggling Three Bridges on Saturday and nothing but victory will surely satisfy manager Peter Adeniyi and his troops.

There are seven other clubs harbouring play-off ambitions alongside Carshalton but they’ve all got a game in hand on the Robins, while South Park have an extra six.

The two clubs met back in December when Carshalton left Jubilee Walk 4-1 winners so, on paper, this should be a home win but Three Bridges, despite languishing second-bottom in the league, have shown some recent resolve by drawing their last four away games 1-1.

Carshalton Athletic vs Three Bridges is on Saturday 18th March (kick-off 3pm).

Ryman South top goal-scorer Tommy Bradford, makes it 30 goals and counting

They say good things come in small packages and that’s certainly true of Carshalton Athletics’ home-grown goal machine…

By James Barrett.

Tommy Bradford stepped up from the youth team at Colston Avenue to make his first-team debut aged just 17 and, fast forward five seasons later, the 5ft 7″ forward is enjoying his most bountiful campaign – which includes three hat-tricks – in front of goal yet.


Photo by Ian Gerrard.


His goal during the recent 3-2 defeat at South Park was his 30th of the season but, while that leaves him top of the Ryman South goal-scoring charts, the loss dented Carshalton’s play-off aspirations as others around them take advantage of games in hand.

“Everyone, including me, was massively disappointed after the South Park game as we felt we were the better team overall”

“So I didn’t even register my thirtieth until later that evening when people started sending me congratulations”

“But now it’s sunk in I do feel proud of course. Most people would expect a traditional ‘number nine’ to reach that figure but this feels even better as I’ve mostly played just off our strikers or out wide this season.”

The 22 year-old made that aforementioned debut in 2013, when Carshalton were involved in a Ryman Premier relegation fight, and the first of his 78 goals in Robins red to date came as part of a treble against Hampton and Richmond Borough.

“We were actually on a good run of form, which eventually saw us stay up, but there wasn’t pressure on me to come in and just start scoring however” he added.

“I cannot compare the feeling I experienced when that first goal went in to anything else, then we got a penalty in the second-half and (former team-mate) Nathaniel Pinney knew I was on a hat-trick and so let me take it.”

“I’ve enjoyed playing with many different forwards during my time but Pinney was great to play off, Michael Campbell has great pace and was good to look for, and Dan Summers was a good communicator and great goal scorer.”

Carshalton and Bradford next face play-off rivals Greenwich Borough at home and the forward wants his team to get back to the kind of form that saw the Robins go eight games unbeaten before defeats to Hastings United and South Park last week.

“We beat Greenwich at theirs earlier in the season and a repeat of that would be great, but we will all have to work hard and get back to our recent good form” said Bradford.

“And I’m fully focused on adding to my total and helping us to hopefully a positive end to this season.”

Carshalton Athletic vs Greenwich Borough takes place on Saturday 4th March (kick-off 3pm).

The Chipstead view: Chipstead 2-2 Cray Wanderers

img_0182By Trevor Stotten.

Chipstead secured what could be another valuable point, come the end of the season, showing great determination to come from behind twice to peg back Cray Wanderers, who had taken the lead in the 30th minute through Danny Haynes.

Chips had chances of their own in the first half, the best being when Karl Parker found himself through, beat the goalkeeper, but shot wide.

It took a brave decision from Chips’ manager Antony Williams to change his side around at halftime, subbing top scorer Raheem Sterling-Parker, adding Bradley Wilson to the midfield.

Their reward came in the 64th minute, when Leon Lalor-Dell swept home, after Jason Henry’s shot was blocked, as he slipped in the soft conditions.

Cray regained the lead 9 minutes later, when Jay Leader rose highest to head in a corner, but Chips didn’t give up, and after making further substitutions, were able to create more chances.

They were back on terms again 8 minutes from time, as Lalor-Dell battled down the right, cut back, and crossed the ball, causing confusion in the visitors’ defence, with sub Wilson quickest to pounce & poke the ball home.

The home side held on well, as the time ran down, and  were good value for their share of the spoils.

FT: Chipstead 2-2 Cray Wanderers

Hopefully they will take confidence from this into their next game at home to Ramsgate on Tuesday, sitting 19th in the table, 10 points ahead of the bottom three.

Ryman Division One South review: 25th February 2017

Tooting & Mitcham and Dorking Wanderers remain neck-and-neck, Jubilee Court sees an unexpected 4 goals, and Lewes bounce back

rymanBy Remy Sylvester.

It was top versus bottom in the Ryman Division One South on Saturday, as Godalming Town hosted title-chasing Tooting & Mitcham United. The game reached half time goalless, and looking over their shoulders (and at the half-time score lines!), second place Dorking Wanderers were two goals to the good against Ramsgate, closing the gap at the top to just one point. The Terrors however, turned on the gas with fifteen minutes to go; Peter Wedgewood finding breakthrough on seventy-eight, and Jack Mazzone doubling, then trebling the lead with two quick-fire goals. The result makes it 10 wins in 10 for Tooting, and 8 losses in 10 for Godalming Town. (FT: Godalming Town 0-3 Tooting & Mitcham United).

Dorking Wanderers extended their two-goal half-time lead over Ramsgate to three shortly after the interval. James McShane once more signed his name to the score-sheet, his twentieth of the season to level with Frannie Collin (Hastings United) and Danny Haynes (Cray Wanderers), who are all joint second of the league. Chris Boulter and Ben Dyett also found the back of the net. Dorking are now undefeated in seven.  After an unbeaten run of six, Ramsgate suffer their second defeat in three games to remain 15th in the league. However, the results of the five teams immediately below them in the table, all played in their favour. (FT: Dorking Wanderers 3-0 Ramsgate).

Chipstead, Cray Wanderers, Hastings United and Chatham Town all collected a point, after two-all draws. A Ricky Freeman equaliser on seventy-six for Chatham denied Hastings three points, which if sealed, would have seen them level fourth placed Carshalton Athletic. Instead, they are 5th, with only goal difference separating them for 6th placed Hythe Town. (FT: Chipstead 2-2 Cray Wanderers, FT: Hastings United 2-2 Chatham Town).

After two high-scoring victories (7-3 and 4-3), East Grinstead Town succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Guernsey, who had previously lost their last four fixtures. An early goal, in the eighth minute, scored by David Rihoy was enough for the Green Lions to take home 3 points, and edge closer into safety. (FT: East Grinstead Town 0-1 Guernsey).

Three Bridges, who have only collected one point from their last seven league encounters, put on an emphatic display at Jubilee Field, netting four passed Whyteleafe. Tony Garrod opened the score line after sixteen minutes, and three goals in the second half ensured the relegation-battling side three points. As for Whyteleafe, their second 4-0 defeat in three fixtures sparks concern. The Leafe have lost five out of six recent fixtures, to position 16th.  (FT: Three Bridges 4-0 Whyteleafe).

After back-to-back defeats against the top two teams of the league, Lewes bounced back with a 4-0 away victory against Molesey. It was the James’ of the team who fired in the goals; with James Jonty and James Hammond both scoring twice. Molesey, having lost 7 of their last 10 fixtures sit 20th in the table, level with Chipstead, and just one point above Guernsey. (FT: Molesey 0-4 Lewes).

It was four-a-piece for Walton Casuals and Herne Bay. The goal-thrilling encounter puts 6 different goal-scorers on the score-sheet, and sees five goals netted in the final thirty minutes. Herne Bay making remarkable U-turn; on sixty-seven it was 4-1 to Walton, however by eighty-eight Mark Lovell and Liam Quinn had the game level. Impressive! (FT: Walton Casuals 4-4 Herne Bay).

Horsham collect their first win, and first clean sheet in seven, with a two-goal victory to Corinthian-Casuals. Two goals in quick succession for Tony Nwachukwu, on sixty and sixty-three, sees Casuals drop out of a play-off spot, and into 8th.  (FT: Horsham 2-0 Corinthian-Casuals).

Ryman South top scorer, Tommy Bradford added another goal to his tally, however his side failed to take home any points. South Park took the lead through captain Kieran Lavery on nineteen, and Rixon-Nicholls doubled it on thirty-four. Gondoh halved the deficit before half time, and Bradford’s goal on sixty-three, brought the visitors, Carshalton Athletic right back into the game. A penalty in the seventy-sixth minute, was converted by Chris Smith to make it 8 wins in 10 for the Sparks. As for Carshalton, back-to-back league defeats, following six consecutive wins sees Greenwich Borough leap into third place. (FT: South Park 3-2 Carshalton Athletic).

Greenwich Borough secured their third successive win, with a 3-2 victory against Faversham Town. Disappointingly, Glenn Wilson saw red on ninety to finish the game on a low. (FT: Greenwich Borough 3-2 Faversham Town).

Another 10-man side to bank all three point this weekend were Hythe Town, who defeated Sittingbourne 2-1. May put the home side ahead after nineteen minutes, and Dean Grant doubled the lead on sixty-one. Ngandu’s eightieth minute goal brought the visitors back into the game, and on eighty-six Dave Cook’s second yellow card, provided the visitors with more hope of taking home a point. However, the clock ran down, and Hythe Town received all three points. (FT: Hythe Town 2-1 Sittingbourne).




The Chipstead View: Chipstead 2-2 Herne Bay

img_0182By Trevor Stotten.

It really was a game of two halves, as Chipstead earned a point from their rearranged league game with Herne Bay after the lunchtime snow 10 days before

The home side comfortably controlled the first half, playing at a high tempo, buoyed with confidence going forward after their goals at East Grinstead 3 days earlier.

Callum Maclean had an early chance, but couldn’t turn home a loose ball

Karl Parker made a run wide right, but his low cross saw penalty claims for handball declined, then he headed over from a corner, but, moments later, he got the chance to make amends, and shot home from the inside-right position in the 15th minute to put Chipstead ahead.

They had further chances to increase the lead – Chris O’Flaherty put a long free-kick into the Herne Bay penalty area, but Vernon Francis couldn’t direct his header on target – Raheem Sterling-Parker and Leon Lalor-Dell both shot wide, Sterling-Parker shot straight at the keeper, and Lalor-Dell lobbed the keeper and the crossbar!

On 36 minutes, it was 2-0 to Chipstead, as Danny Cumber ran forward from midfield and shot home.

Maclean then held off a defender, and aimed for goal number  3, but the keeper blocked, and  it remained 2-0 at halftime – could Chips hold on to claim the 3 points?

Alas, the second half was barely a minute old, and Herne Bay had reduced the lead
– they had regrouped and were to deny the home side so much scope to be creative. Their long-ball throw-in specialists started to generate uncertainty in the Chips’ defence – it was from one such long throw that a goalmouth scramble ensued, and one of their forwards shot home.

Chances were less abundant, as most of the action came in midfield, but, in the 74th minute, the visitors were level – in almost a carbon copy of their first goal, a long throw wasn’t cleared, and the same forward made it 2-2.

Now it was a case of if Chipstead could preserve a point even – Maclean drove the ball just the wrong side of a post, so close to regaining the lead, but then Herne Bay were just off target at the other end.

Substitutions were made on both sides, but, apart from a further Maclean drive in added time, which was deflected wide, there were no real chances on goal.

FT: Chipstead 2-2 Herne Bay

So a point apiece, although Chips will rue the 2 points lost after their good first half – they remain in 20th position in the league table, 10 points above the bottom three, ahead of Saturday’s game at home to Cray Wanderers

BOTN Radio: 21-02-2017: Ryman South league leaders Tooting & Mitcham join us in the studio 

Top: Frank Wilson & Sol Patterson-Bohner. Bottom: Tom Drakeley-Burr & Dom Rolfe
This weeks radio show saw a double-whammy of co-hosts. In the first hour Frank Wilson, manager of Tooting & Mitcham United and Sol Patterson-Bohner, captain of the team join us. As league leaders of the Ryman South Division One, it was only right to bring Dorking Wanderers’ (who are currently 2nd in the league, just 3 points behind Tooting) manager, Marc White into the mix, and he joined us on the line.

In the second hour, Dom Rolfe (vocalist) and Tom Drakeley-Burr (drummer) of Nobodies Birthday joined us to co-host. After staying top of the Three Match Ban(d)s league table for 364 days, retaining their title mirrored the fall of Leicester City…

In celebration of Nobodies Birthday joining us in the studio, Higher or Lower was a special edition. Instead of the usual topic of Transfer Fees, on Tuesday night it was all about Birthday’s. ‘Nobodies Birthday’? Riyad Mahrez and Phil Jones, to name a few both celebrated their birthday on show day.

With the forfeit of equipment duty there to avoid, Listen Again to the show to see if it was Frank or Sol taking on the task.

In the first hour, Katie Shanahan interviews Peter Adeniyi, the player/ manager of Carshalton Athletic and Darren Freeman, the manager of Lewes.

The full post-match press conference with Paul Doswell, following Sutton’s fantastic FA Cup run and performance against Arsenal can be found in hour 2.

Also in hour 2, Dara Wilson interviews James Cameron, manager of Banstead Athletic, who are currently top of the Combined Counties Division One.

Into hour 3, and it kicks off with One-On-One, this week with Redhill FC. The Non-League Football Quiz and debutant feature A-B-C-D-E F.C. provided competition to the studio, with Katie wanting to once more be the ranked as the person in the studio with the ‘Best Non-League Knowledge’.

Hour 3 also sees Ben Eltham interview Lee Bradbury of Havant & Waterlooville, and Junior Kadi of Dulwich Hamlet.

In this week’s Coaches Corner with the Surrey FA, the talking point was the new Level 2 Coaching course.