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.

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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

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MATCH REPORT:

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.

 

 

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Ryman Premier review: 18th March 2017

Seven goals in the second half for Bognor, Canvey Island make it five in a row, and Matt Blake makes it 26 for the season as Leiston edge closer to the play-offs.

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Bognor Regis Town remain top of the league, after an emphatic 7-1 victory at home to Folkestone Invicta. It was the visitors who made the perfect start though, as Ian Draycott found the net after just three minutes to give them the lead. It took the home side until the second half to find an equaliser, when James Fraser, with his sixteenth of the season on forty-seven minutes. A Callum Davies own goal then put Bognor 2-1 up, before five goals in the last thirteen minutes secured a magnificent victory. James Crane (77’ & 79’), Jimmy Wild (86’), Ollie Pearce (88’) and James Frazer (90’) with his seventeenth of the season.

Havant & Waterlooville kept pace with the leaders with a 2-0 away win at struggling Grays Athletic. Rory Williams put the visitors ahead in the ninth minute, before Jason Prior netted the only other goal of the game with a penalty on twenty-eight minutes. The win leaves Havant one point behind leaders Bognor, with a game in hand still. As for Grays, they remain routed to the bottom of the table, eleven points from safety.

Needham Market continued their poor run of form when they were beaten 2-1 away at relegation threatened Hendon. Hendon have now won three of their last four, and took the lead on nine minutes, when Matt Ball found the net. Keagan Cole doubled the hosts lead on thirty-nine minutes, before Luke Ingram, with his fifteenth of the season, scored a consolation for the market men. The defeat leaves Needham Market in third place on sixty-seven points, now ten behind Havant in second place. Hendon are twenty-second, three points from safety.

Tonbridge Angels and Dulwich Hamlet drew 0-0 in their Ryman Premier League match. Both sides are chasing promotion, with Tonbridge in fourth position on sixty-five points, whilst Dulwich are in ninth with fifty-eight points. Dulwich are now five points from the playoff place, with five games in hand on those already occupying them.

Wingate and Finchley lost 3-2 at home to Metropolitan Police. It’s now three defeats in four for the home side, who remain in the last of the playoff positions with sixty-three points. Ben Pattie opened the scoring on fifty-two points, before Charlie Collins equalised from the penalty spot on fifty-four. Reece Beckles-Richards (66’) made it 2-1 to the home side, but they couldn’t hold on, and Olli Robinson (69’) and Roman Michael-Percil (85’) secured all three points for the visitors.

Leiston enhanced their playoff chances with a 2-1 victory away at Harlow Town. Matt Blake put the visitors in-front with his twenty-fifth of the season on forty-two minutes. Alex Read drew the home side level on seventy-one minutes, before Blake, made it twenty-six for the season, with a ninetieth minute winner.              Leiston are just one point from the playoff places, with two games in hand on their rivals.

Enfield Town dealt a blow to Leatherheads survival hopes, with a 2-1 home win. Jerome Federico put the visitors ahead on nineteen minutes, before two second half goals from Ricky Gabriel (60’), and Tyler Campbell (78’) secured the points. Enfield remain in seventh place on sixty points, three points from the playoff places. Leatherhead are now two points from safety in twenty-first with forty-one points, and are now relying on those above them to lost their games in hand.

Kingstonian’s miserable form continued as they were beaten 3-0 at home to Billericay Town. It’s now four defeats in a row for the home side, who slip to nineteenth in the table, just three points from the relegation zone. Two goals from Billy Bricknell (pen 35’, 45’) and a last-minute Mekhi McLeod strike were enough to seal the points for the away side

Lowesoft beat Worthing 1-0 in a meeting of the form tables top and bottom placed teams.The visitors had to wait until the eight-seventh minute, when Shaun Bammant found the net, to make it five wins in a row. Lowesoft remain eleventh on fifty-seven points, six from a playoff place. Worthing have now lost seven of their last eight games, and sit in fourteenth place with fifty points.

Burgess Hill Town drew 3-3 at home to Staines Town, with all the goals coming in the first hour of the match. Tom Collins opened the scoring for Staines on twenty-one minutes. Three goals in five minutes for the home side put them in control of the match, with Aaron Smith-Joseph (29’), Pat Harding (30’) and Lee Harding (34’) all getting on the scoresheet. But two early second half goals for Staines levelled the match. Tom Collins with his second of the game on forty-seven minutes, and Mohamed Bettamer on fifty-seven with the final goal of the game. Burgess Hill Town pick up their first point in three, and sit one place and two points above the relegation zone, whilst Staines have now drawn their last three, and find themselves mid table with fifty-one points.

Harrow Borough took all three points when they visited AFC Sudbury in a 3-1 win. Marc Charles-Smith opened the scoring on twenty-nine minutes, before Craig Parker levelled for Sudbury on thirty-nine. Lewis Driver put the visitors back in-front with his strike on the stroke of half time, before Kurtis Cumberbatch made it 3-1 on fifty-six minutes. Harrow Borough climb to thirteenth in the table, whilst Sudbury drop to twenty-third, three points from safety.

In-from Canvey Island made it five wins in a row, in their great escape, a 3-0 away win at Merstham that moves them to sixteenth in the table, six points clear of relegation. Frankie Merrifield (27’ & 64’) and George Sykes (56’) with the goals to sink the Moatsiders. Merstham remain in the relegation battle, they sit in eighteenth place with forty-four points, but do have at least two games in hand on their rivals.

Points Shared in Six Goal Thriller

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By David Marriott

Burgess Hill Town picked up a 3-3 draw against Staines Town on Saturday. Despite going 3-1 down, Staines fought back well to scrape a point.

Manager Ian Chapman handed new signing Ibrahim Diallo his first start for the club, whilst Will Miles was moved into midfield.

After a slow start, captain Will Miles had the first chance of the game; testing keeper Jack Turner with a good volley.

Staines took the lead on 21 minutes. A free-kick on the edge of the box was drilled low into the net by Tom Collins.

Lee Harding had an opportunity, winning possession off of the keeper Turner, but was unable to divert the ball into the net.

The Hillians kept their heads up to recover from this setback. A cross from Leon Redwood was chested down by Lee Harding to Aaron Smith-Joseph to volley under the keeper.

The Hillians took the lead a minute later when a cross from Lee Harding was scuffed by Jack Brivio into the path of Pat Harding, who was on hand to stab home; his 99th goal for the club.

Hill were in their element, scoring their third of the game on 34 minutes. Smith-Joseph was brought down in the box, but the advantage was played and Lee Harding was able to finish into the bottom left corner.

James Shaw made a vital double save from a corner to ensure the Hillians went into half-time with a 3-1 lead.

Staines rushed out of the blocks at half-time when Tom Collins fired in a rocket from the edge of the box which cannoned in off the post.

Staines kept their relentless pressure up and found an equaliser just before the hour mark when Bettamer got on the end of a cross.

Whilst there were chances for both sides to find a winner, it ended up a point apiece. Next up, Ian Chapman’s side are at home on Tuesday night to Harlow Town, kick-off 7.30 pm.

 

Valiant ten man Hill beaten by The Rocks

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By David Marriott

Burgess Hill Town were defeated 1-3 at home by Bognor Regis Town on Tuesday night. Despite Will Miles seeing red just before half-time, it was a valiant performance from Hill to fight their way back into the game.

Ian Chapman recalled Lucas Rodrigues and Joe Keehan to his starting XI. Former Hillian James Fraser and former captain Darren Budd were present for Bognor.

The Hillians started brightly with Lucas Rodrigues weaving his way through the Bognor defence, laying the ball off to Joe Keehan who skied his shot over the bar.

Aaron Smith-Joseph also had a good chance to score against the keeper, but couldn’t keep his shot down.

The game lived up to its billing with James Fraser volleying wide but James Crane was on hand with a diving header, seeing his effort come off the post.

Six minutes before half-time, Bognor were awarded a penalty due to a handball from Miles, which ended his evening through a second bookable offence. Former-Hillian James Fraser stepped up to send keeper James Shaw the wrong way.

Bognor doubled their lead minutes before half-time when Sam Fisk was brought down inside the box, leaving Chad Field a free header.

Ian Chapman’s words at half-time obviously worked as Hill started the second half the better side. Lee Harding was a threat in the box but couldn’t quite get an effort on target. Jack Brivio tested the keeper with a stinging free-kick from the edge of the box to force a corner.

The Hillians finally pulled one back on the hour mark when a James Richmond header from a corner bounced over keeper Daniel Lincoln.

Bognor regained their two-goal cushion when James Fraser found Oliver Pearce in space on the right for the latter to drill his shot underneath Shaw in goal.

Ian Chapman decided to try a roll of the dice, making a double substitution, introducing Guy Bolton and new signing Ibrahim Diallo.

Meanwhile, with less than ten minutes to go, former Burgess Hill Town captain Darren Budd came on to respectful applause from both sets of fans.

In the end, the Hillians couldn’t quite find the recipe to breach the Bognor defence to mount a series challenge back into the game. Next up, Hill are at home on Saturday to Staines Town, kick-off 3 pm.

Ryman Premier review: 11th March 2017

Havant hit six to go top, Dulwich thrash Merstham, Canvey Island make it four in a row, and Leatherhead come from two down to take all three points in the battle at the bottom.ryman

Havant & Waterlooville thrashed struggling AFC Sudbury 6-0 to go top of the league. The home side had to wait until the forty-second minute to open the scoring, Ryan Woodford (42’) sending them in 1-0 up at the break. But the second half was a different story, and a hat-trick from Bradley Tarbuck (50’,71’, pen 76’) and goals from Theo Lewis (59’) and Alfie Rutherford (88’) completing the emphatic score-line. It’s now five wins and a draw in the last six for the new league leaders, whilst AFC Sudbury continue to head towards Division One, as they have now lost five of their last six.

Bognor slipped to second as they were held to a 1-1 draw away at promotion chasing Leiston. Both goals came late in the game, with Tom Bullard giving the home side the lead in the eighty-forth minute, before Jimmy Wild equalised for the visitors on ninety. The draw means Bognor slip to second, and into the playoff positions, whilst Leiston remain in sixth place, four points from a playoff place, with four games in hand on those above them.

Needham Market highlighted their inconsistent recent form with a 3-1 defeat at home to Enfield Town. An own goal by Keiran Morphew gifted the visitors the lead inside the first minute, before Harold Joseph doubled the advantage on twelve minutes. Samir Bihmoutine made it 3-0 before half time, as he found the net on twenty-nine. A second half consolation from Ian Miller (63’), wasn’t enough to stop Enfield taking all three points. The Marketmen remain in third place on sixty-seven points, whilst Enfield are eighth on fifty-seven points.

Tonbridge Angels shared the points with Staines Town as the game finished 1-1. The home side (Staines) took the lead on thirty minutes through Jonathan Hippolyte, but Tonbridge equalised through Nick Wheeler on fifty-three. Staines remain unbeaten in their last five, conceding their first goal in four games. Tonbridge stop a run of two defeats and remain in fourth place with sixty-four points.

Fifth placed Wingate and Finchley were beaten 1-0 away at Folkestone Invicta. Joe Taylor scored the only goal of the game on twelve minutes, to see Folkestone grab their first win in four games. The defeat is only Wingate’s second in their last eight, with five wins during that time. Folkestone move up to fifteenth on forty-five points, whilst Wingate & Finchley remain fifth with sixty-three points.

Dulwich Hamlet recovered from the disappointment of losing to Macclesfield in the FA Trophy last Tuesday, with a convincing 5-0 demolition of Merstham. They were ahead after ten minutes, when Nathan Green found the net. Gavin Tomlin grabbed a brace with goals in the twenty-forth and thirty-fifth minutes. Dipo Akinyemi (57’) and Panutche Camara (83’) completed the scoring in the second half. Dulwich remain seventh with fifty-seven points, six points from the playoff places, but with five games in hand on those who occupy them. Merstham are just one point above the relegation places , but do have games in hand on those around them.

Billericay Town beat Burgess Hill Town 4-0 at home. Goals from Rob Swaine (54’ & 62’) and Billy Bricknell (60’ & 68’) enough to take all three points. Billericay still have an outside chance of the playoffs, as they remain in ninth place on fifty-seven points. Burgess Hill Town are now just two points from the relegation places, and have now lost five of their last six games.

Harlow Town beat Metropolitan Police 2-0 at Imber Court Sports club. Mario Noto (71’), and Alex Read (76’) giving the away side the points. The loss was only Metropolitan Police’s second in their last eight games, and sees them remain in fourteenth place on forty-five points. Harlow Town are one of four sides on fifty-seven points, and remain in tenth place.

Lowesoft Town continued their fine form by beating Kingstonian 1-0 at Crown Meadow. Jake Reed scored the only goal of the game on nine minutes to secure all three points. Lowesoft have now won their last four games, whilst Kingstonian are without a win in their last seven, with five defeats and two draws.

Worthing stopped a run of six straight defeats as they drew 2-2 away at Harrow Borough. Francis Babalola gave the home side the lead on four minutes, before Charlie Williamson equalised for Worthing on twenty-nine. Marc Charles-Smith put Harrow Borough in-front again, as he scored on forty-two minutes, and sent the home side in 2-1 up at half time. But Worthing stopped their poor run of form thanks to Dan Summers, who drew the visitors level for the second time with a goal on fifty-nine.

Canvey Island continued their great form, and made it four wins in a row with a 3-1 win over bottom of the table Grays Athletic.  Nathan Campbell had given the visitors the lead, when he found the net in the twenty-ninth minute. But the lead only lasted for two minutes, with George Allen drawing the form side level. Two minutes later George Sykes put Canvey Island in-front, when he scored in the thirty-third minute. Frankie Merrifield made sure of the points when he scored in the ninetieth minute. The home side are now eighteenth with forty-four points, four clear of relegation, whilst Grays remain rooted to the bottom on thirty-two points, and are now nine points from safety.

Leatherhead kept their survival hopes alive with a 3-2 win at home to fellow strugglers Hendon. It was the visitors who struck first, when a Paul Semakula own goal gave them the lead on ten minutes. Hendon then doubled their lead just before the break, when Matt Ball found the net on forty-two. The second half saw an Leatherhead complete an incredible come-back to take all three points. D’Sean Theobalds (51’), and a brace from Daniel Carr (66’ & pen 70’) with the all-important goals.  The result means both teams are level on thirty-eight points, with Leatherhead one place above their rivals in twenty-second, with a game in hand.

 

 

BOTN Radio: 07-03-2017: Ryman Premier League side Staines Town FC join us in the Studio

This week we welcomed Staines Town manager Drax Hippolyte and captain Tommy Brewer in the studio to co-host the show.

The show also includes plenty of football news, interviews and chat as Hayden Bird (manager of Merstham FC), Jamie Howell (manager of Bognor Regis), Ian Chapman (manager of Burgess Hill Town), Bradley Quinton (manager of Enfield Town), Alan Douson (manager of Hampton & Richmond), Ant Jupp (manager of Horley Town) and Paul Walker (manager of Crawley Wasps LFC) all joined us.

There were the usual fun and games including Higher or Lower, Get To Know Your Club (with Lingfield FC) and co-host Dara Wilson and producer Luke went head to head on the Non-League Football Quiz.

Listen to the full show here:

Hill Run Rampant As Joe Keehan Returns

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By David Marriott

Burgess Hill Town made a good return to form with a stunning 5-1 win over Harrow Borough on Tuesday night. Aaron Smith-Joseph grabbed a hat-trick whilst Lucas Rodrigues and an own goal also featured on the scoresheet.

Fan favourite Joe Keehan returned to the Hillians and went straight into the starting line-up. Meanwhile, dual-signed Whitehawk striker Lucas Rodrigues made his first start for the club.

Despite the Hillians having the majority of the possession early on in the game, a miskick from Cameron Greaves allowed Sahr Kabba to finish into an empty net.

The Hillians stayed strong and began to create some chances after 15 minutes. A deft flick from Rodrigues set up Lee Harding, who created an acute angle and fired his shot over.

Pierre Hazet had his own chance to score with the ball falling to his feet inside the box from a corner, only to hit his shot high of the goal.

The Hillians had their own stroke of luck when a James Richmond header from a corner deflected off Josh Webb into his own net.

Lucas Rodrigues was a threat all evening, using his pace to get on the end of a long ball to beat the keeper and tap the ball home passed Williams.

Buoyed by their half-time lead, the Hillians raced out of the blocks in the second-half. A cross from Lee Harding was controlled by Pat Harding to Aaron Smith-Joseph who curled the ball beautifully into the bottom right.

Hill began to run rampant with Lucas Rodrigues unselfishly setting up Smith-Joseph to slide the ball underneath the keeper for his second of the evening.

Rodrigues proved to be a great weapon on the counter-attack, taking on the whole Harrow defence to win a free-kick on the edge of the box. The resulting Lee Harding free-kick was judged to have not crossed the line by referee Simon Finnigan.

Keeper Luke Williams did well to keep the score down, producing a good double save to deny Rodrigues a second and Smith-Joseph a hat-trick.

The evening couldn’t get any better for the Hillians as a Lee Harding through ball saw Rodrigues brought down inside the box by the onrushing Williams. Smith-Joseph stepped up to complete his hat-trick, despite the keeper getting a hand on it.

Hill were playing some of their best football all season as Smith-Joseph cut inside to tee up Rodrigues who’s lob curled just over the bar.

Sam Fisk whipped in a great cross for Tyrell Richardson-Brown but the latter was denied a goal thanks to a superb diving save from Luke Williams.

All in all, it was a welcome three points for Hill who are now away to Billericay on Saturday.

Ryman Premier review: 4th March 2017

The top two win again, A three goal come-back sees the Martketmen stay in third, and Metropolitan Police make it three wins in a row.

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By Ben Eltham.

Bognor Regis Town made it six games unbeaten as they beat relegation battlers Leatherhead 1-0 at Nyewood Lane. Charlie Moore scored the only goal of the game for the home side on forty-two minutes, as the league leaders were made to work for their victory. Bognor are one point clear at the top of the table, but they know that Havant & Waterlooville have a game in hand. Leatherhead had seen a turn in fortunes in recent games, picking up a win and a draw in their last two, but they remain in the relegation places after this defeat.

Havant and Waterlooville kept the pressure on Bognor, with an impressive 4-1 away win at Enfield Town. Alfie Rutherfold gave the visitors the lead on thirty-two minutes, before Enfield equalised through Billy Crook on thirty-two. The second half belonged to in-form Havant, as they scored three goals without reply to secure all three points. Jason Prior (49’), Wes Fogden (52’), and Bradley Tarbuck (80’) with the goals. It’s now four wins in five for Leatherhead, as they look to chase down the automatic promotion spot. As for Enfield, they are now without a win in their last three, and are now six points from the playoff places in seventh position.

Needham Market kept their promotion hopes alive with a dramatic 4-3 victory away at Tonbridge Angels. Needham Market had struggled of late, with three defeats and a draw in their last five games, and they were behind again as Ugo Udogi put the home side ahead on eighteen minutes. Nathan Elder doubled Angels advantage on thirty-seven minutes, with the game 2-0 at half-time. John Sands pulled one back for the marketmen on forty-nine minutes, but Tonbridge increased their lead again when Mitchell Nelson scored on fifty-two. Three goals in the last half hour saw the visitors take the points, with Luke Ingram (63’), Reece Dobson (77’) and Sam Nunn (85’) with the all-important strikes. The marketmen are still six points from the automatic promotion spot, but must believe a playoff place will only be a matter of time, as they sit third on sixty-six points. Tonbridge have faltered of late, and are now without a win in three, that after a run of four straight wins. They sit fourth on sixty-three points.

A surprise defeat for playoff hopefuls Wingate and Finchley saw them lose 2-1 to relegation threatened Canvey Island. George Sykes with his thirteenth and fourteenth of the season in the ninth and forty-second minute enough to secure all three points for the visitors. Ben Pattie had given the home side hope with his strike on sixty-two, but it was not enough, and their run of three straight victories comes to an end. Back to back wins for Canvey Island will give them hope that they can survive the battle at the bottom. They are now just one point from safety in twenty-first position.

Leiston failed to take advantage of both of the teams directly above them dropping points, and suffered their second defeat in five days when they were beaten 2-1 away at Hendon. Matt Blake made it twenty-four for the season when he put Leiston in-front on twenty-two minutes, but goals from Keagan Cole (41’), and Reis Stanislaus (48’) enough to secure a vital three points for the home side. Hendon are now just four points from safety, in twenty-third position on thirty-five points. Leiston are in sixth position, five points from a playoff place, but they will be hoping that their four games in hand, will be enough to propel them into the top six come April.

Dulwich Hamlet continued their fine form with a 1-0 away at Worthing. Dipo Akinyemi with the only goal of the game on forty-six. A crowd of 763 watched as Worthing lost their fifth game in succession. As for Dulwich, they are now unbeaten in four in the league, and just six points of the playoffs, with four games in hand on their rivals. Worthing will be looking for a change in fortunes as they take on Canvey Island this evening, whilst Dulwich travel to Macclesfield in their F.A. Trophy replay.

Billericay Town beat Harlow Town 2-0 thanks to goals either side of half-time from Adam Cunningham (42’), and Billy Bricknell (54’). The away side now have six wins in their last eight games, and sit ninth with fifty-four points, six away from the playoff places. Harlow Town are just one point below in tenth place.

Lowesoft Town made it three wins in a row as they beat struggling Burgess Hill Town. Shaun Bammant put the visitors ahead after just seven minutes, before Tyrell Richardson-Brown equalised for Burgess Hill on sixteen. Jake Reed put the visitors back in-front after thirty-five minutes, and Harvey Hodd sealed the victory, with the only goal in the second coming in the eighty-sixth minute. Lowesoft remain eleventh on fifty-one points, whilst Burgess Hill, with their fourth defeat on the trot, drop to twentieth, just one point above the relegation zone.

A goalless draw at the Moatside between Merstham and Staines Town, means it’s now four clean sheets in a row for the visitors. Merstham have been in good form of late too, with just one defeat in six for them. Staines sit comfortably in twelfth position on forty-nine points, whilst Merstham will be hoping that their games in hand will increase the distance between themselves and the relegation places.

Metropolitan Police made it five wins in their last six games with a 2-0 victory over Grays Athletic. Steve Sutherland opened the scoring on twenty-one minutes, before Roman Michael-Percil sealed the victory on forty-nine minutes. The home side suffered their first defeat in three, and remain in trouble in the relegation zone. They sit bottom of the table on thirty-two points, seven from safety, having played at least one more than all of their rivals.

Ryan Moss scored his seventeenth and eighteenth goals of the season, but couldn’t prevent Kingstonian from losing at home to Harrow Borough. The afternoon was looking good for the home side, as they raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to Moss’s early brace in the tenth and thirteenth minute. But Kurtis Cumberbatch scored from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time to give the visitors hope, and Francis Babalola had them level on sixty-two minutes. A dramatic winner followed, as Lewis Driver had the ball in the net on eighty-seven to give the visitors all three points. That was Borough’s first win in three, whilst Kingstonian are now without a win in their last six.

AFC Sudbury secured their first win in four as they beat Folkestone Invicta 3-1 at home. It was an important victory for the home side, who had been in decline in recent weeks, and heading towards the relegation places. Things didn’t start well though, as Sam Hasler gave the visitors the lead on twenty-five minutes. Danny Crow levelled for Sudbury on forty-one, and Crow with his second (61’), and Sam Bantick (pen 68’) turning the game in favour of the home side.

 

 

Hill Beaten By Clinical Lowestoft

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By David Marriott

Burgess Hill Town fell to a home 1-3 defeat to Lowestoft Town on Saturday. Despite the Hillians having more possession, it was the away side who were more clinical with their chances to take home the three points.

New signing Cameron Greaves started in goal, with forward Lucas Rodriguez coming on in the second-half for his debut.

Lowestoft started the game the brighter side, with Shaun Bammant left unmarked to head wide inside three minutes. It was Bammant who was on hand to put the visitors 0-1 up when a cross was floated into the box for him to head home.

The Hillians came back at the Trawler Boys when Richardson-Brown’s cross was scooped over by Aaron Smith-Joseph from five yards out.

It was Richardson-Brown who would level the scores. A long ball over the top from James Richmond allowed the forward to beat keeper Jessup for pace to lob the ball into the net.

Lowestoft took the lead once again on 35 minutes when Bammant crossed the ball to Jake Reed to score with a diving header passed Cameron Greaves.

The Hillians raced out of the blocks at half-time. Despite having most the possession in the second-half, the home side could not find an equaliser. Tyrell Richardson-Brown had several good chances, attempting both an overhead and scorpion kick to no avail.

Against the run of play, a low cross was converted home by Reed to seal the points for the travelling side.

Next up, Ian Chapman’s side are at home on Tuesday night to Harrow Borough, kick-off 7.30 pm.

“A late goal leaves Angels feeling flat as a pancake on shrove Tuesday” writes Reanesh Patel.

img_0182By Reanesh Patel.
Tonbridge Angels 1 – 1 Havant & Waterlooville
A bright start to this game by the home side where a great header by Tonbridge’s Nathan Elder flew past the stranded keeper hitting the post.
However, a minute later Tonbridge took the lead where a great through ball put Alex Akrofi in on goal and he coolly slotted the ball into the net past the onrushing keeper.
The game had limited chances in the first half, but Tonbridge did create some opportunities through good build up play however no clear shots on goal were made from the good build up play.
The second half was not entirely pulsating as it became a scrap in the middle of the park with neither side fully talking control.
However, on the eight-second Minute Havant & Waterlooville scrambled in an equaliser through a free kick dropping into the area and Jason Prior tapping the ball into the net.
All in all it was a game where a draw was probably the fair result but having controlled large parts of the game, Tonbridge Angels left the game feeling flat as a pancake!