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.




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.


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.

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.



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.


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.



Ryman Premier Review: 25th February 2017

Staines hit four again, Billericay make it five wins in six, and Grays look for the great escape.

rymanBy Ben Eltham.

League leaders Bognor Regis Town were held to a 2-2 draw away to promotion rivals Needham Market. The visitors took the lead in the twenty-second minute when Gary Charman found the net. The home side had lost their last two, but equalised on thirty-five through Luke Ingram, with his twelfth of the season. They were only level for three minutes, as Sami El-Abd put Bognor back in-front. Kem Izzet completed the flurry of goals in the first half, as he drew the Marketmen level for the second time on forty-four minutes. It was a quiet second half in comparison, and the game finished 2-2.

Havant and Waterlooville closed the gap at the top, with a 3-0 over Merstham. The win moves them two points behind leaders Bognor, with two games in hand. Goals from Theo Lewis (56’), Jason Prior (pen 68’ and 81’) secured the points, in-front of a strong crowd of 721. The home side have now won their last three games, and have their sights firmly set on top spot come the end of the season. The visitors had also won their last three coming into the game, but having already beaten their opponents in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, couldn’t make it four. Merstham are only one point above the relegation zone, but will be hoping their five games in hand on those below them, will see them safe.

A vital win for strugglers Leatherhead during the week against relegation rivals AFC Sudbury, was followed up by an equally impressive 0-0 draw with playoff placed Tonbridge Angels. A crowd of 400 watched as the home side matched Tonbridge, and frustrated the visitors, who will see the game as two points dropped. Leatherhead dug deep, in a game that saw them pick up five yellow cards. Leatherhead face another tough test when they travel to league leaders Bognor on Saturday, as Tonbridge also have a difficult match in their next fixture, as they entertain Havant and Waterlooville on Tuesday night.

Wingate and Finchley took all three points with a 2-1 win away at Leiston. The victory means they leapfrog their opponents and move into the playoff places, although Leiston do have four games in hand on those around them. All the goals came late on, as Ben Pattie gave the visitors the lead on seventy minutes, and Tommy Tejan-sie doubled the advantage on eighty-four. A late Joe Francis effort (90’) wasn’t enough for the home side, and they will now be looking to move back into the playoffs, when they entertian on Merstham on Tuesday night. Wingate and Finchley also play on Tuesday, as they face a home match against strugglers Harrow Borough.

Harlow Town secured their first win in four, when they beat Folkestone Invicta 4-1 at The Fullicks Stadium. Goals from Mario Noto (11’), Junior Dadson (17’ & 58’) and Craig Pope (44’) made it four without reply for the visitors, before Joe Taylor added a late consolation in the seventy-second minute. The win moves Harlow into seventh position in the table, whilst Folkestone sit sixteenth on forty points.

Enfield Town dropped a place to eighth, as they were beaten 2-1 away at Lowestoft Town. The visitors had taken the lead when their top scorer Billy Crook made it thirteen for the season on thirty-two minutes, when he converted from the spot. But two second half goals from Nico Cotton (62’) and (87’) were enough to secure the points for Lowesoft.

Billericay Town were 3-0 up in twenty-eight minutes against Hendon, eventually winning the game comfortably 4-1. Rob Swaine with the first on twelve, and then a double for Billy Bricknell as he made it two in seven minutes with goals in the twenty-first and twenty eighth minutes. Adam Cunningham put the game beyond doubt when he found the net on sixty-six, and Marcal Barrington scored a consolation for Hendon with his goal in the sixty-eight minute. Billericay have been in fine form, and have now won five of their last six games in the league. That win moves them up to tenth, and they are now seven points from the playoff places.

Staines Town made it four wins in a row when they beat Worthing 4-0 in-front of their home crowd. It was their second 4-0 win in a row, and it’s also three clean sheets in a row for Drax Hippolyte’s side. Max Worsfold opened the scoring in the fourth minute, before Afolabi Coker doubled the advantage on nine minutes. Second half goals from Mohamed Bettamer (68’), and Tom Collins (74’) securing the points. Worryingly for Worthing, it’s now four defeats in a row, and their second 4-0 defeat in a row. That despite having the leagues second top scorer Lloyd Dawes (18) in their ranks. The win puts Staines just one point behind Worthing in twelfth place on forty-eight points.

Metropolitan Police’s fine run of form continued, as they beat AFC Sudbury 1-0. The home side had Rob Bartley to thank for the three points, as he scored the all-important goal on fifty-one minutes. It’s now four wins in their last six for the home side, who move into fifteenth place on forty-four points. The visitors lost to Leatherhead on Wednesday, and are bottom of the form table, having lost their last three games. It’s now seven defeats in ten for Sudbury, and they are now just two points above the relegation zone. They entertain Folkestone Invicta in their next match on Saturday.

Bottom side Gray’s Athletic made it two wins in a row as they beat Harrow Borough 3-1 away from home. Matthew Baxter gave them an early lead on five minutes, before Kurtis Cumberbatch equalised from the spot in the twenty-first. Kieran Bishop was the match winner, with two second half goals on sixty-two and seventy, enough to secure the points. Gray’s are now just four points from safety, as they take on Metropolitan Police in their next game, before a crucial showdown with fellow strugglers Canvey Island.

Canvey Island completed a good weekend for those at the bottom when they beat Burgess Hill Town 2-1 at The Prospects Stadium. Tyrell Richardson Brown had opened the scoring for the visitors, when he found the net in the thirty-third minute. The home side weren’t behind for long, as Simon Thomas (39’), and then Manny Oyeleke (56’) found the net. This was Canvey Island’s first win in three, and it’s now three defeats in a row for Burgess Hill Town.













Ryman Premier review: 18th February 2017

The Hawks move into second, Dulwich keep play-off hopes alive, and Angels top the form table

rymanBy Ben Eltham.

Bognor Regis Town scored two second half goals to secure their first win in three, with a 2-0 win away at Wingate and Finchley. Chad Field put the league leaders in-front with a goal in the fifty-ninth minute, before James Crane added a second on eighty-nine. It was an important win for the visitors, who sit top of the Ryman Premier League table, four points ahead of second place Havant & Waterlooville, but having played two more than their closest rivals. Wingate and Finchley remain in eighth position, four points from the playoffs, but have not lost three of their last four.

Havant and Waterlooville moved into second place with to a 3-2 win over twenty-first placed Hendon. It was the visitors who opened the scoring though, with Ball finding the net on fifteen minutes. Their lead didn’t last long however, as first Tarbuck (17’) and then Williams (20’) made it 2-1 to the home side. On Rutherford added a third for Havant on twenty-seven minutes, and the promotion chasers looked to be in control of the game. Hendon had other ideas though, and Cole added their second on the stroke of half time. A crowd of 702 witnessing a five goal thriller in the first forty-five minutes, then had to watched a relatively uneventful second half as both sides failed to add to the score sheet.

Needham Market dropped to third as they were beaten 2-0 by an in-form Dulwich Hamlet side. Dipo Akinyemi opened the scoring for the home side on fourteen minutes, and late in the second half, they secured the points as Jacob Erskine found the back of the net in the eighty-ninth minute. A huge crowd of 1,960 watched as Dulwich secured their fourth win in eight, and are now just four points from the play-off places. Needham Market have now lost three of their last four games, and are now four points from the automatic promotion places, having played a game more than Bognor, and three more than Havant & Waterlooville.

Tonbridge Angels comfortably beat Kingstonian by three goals to nil at the Kingsmeadow Stadium. Luke Allen (46’), Jack Partner (60’) and Nathan Elder (92’) with the goals. Tonbridge are the form side in the division, having one their last four games. They are just one point below Needham Market in third, with a game in hand. Tonbridge are away to strugglers Leatherhead in their next game on Saturday, whilst Kingstonian will have to wait until early March for their next game, when they take on Harrow Borough.

Promotion chasing Leiston were beaten 3-1 away at Harrow Borough. Steve Brown opened the scoring after fourteen minutes, to send the home side in 1-0 up at the break. Joe Francis drew the visitors level when he found the net on sixty-six, but two late goals from Sahr Kabba (84’) and Harry Newman (89’) secured all three points for Borough. Despite having games in hand on all of their rivals, Leiston’s form does not make for good reading. They have now without a win in the last four, losing three, and drawing one.

Enfield Town managed their first win in three, as they beat Worthing 3-1 away from home. With four defeats in five coming into the game, Enfield would have been pleased to play a side who had struggled with consistency of late. Scott Shulton (31’), Billy Crook (47’) and Karl Oliyide (58’) put the game out of site for the visitors, before in-form Lloyed Dawes grabbed a consolation for Worthing, with his eighteenth of the season. Enfield travel to Lowesoft on Saturday, whilst Harrow Borough will be looking to bounce back when they Travel to Worthing on Tuesday night.

Merstham made it three wins in a row as they beat Harlow Town 1-0 at the Moastside. Alex Addai’s sixty-second minute goal was enough to secure all three points for the Surrey side. Merstham have found their form at just the right time, and although they are currently in twentieth postion, they have four or more games in hand on most teams in the bottom half of the table. Harlow have now lost their last two matches, having one four in a row before that. Merstham travel to Havant & Waterlooville next Saturday, whilst Harlow entertain Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday.

Bottom of the table Grays Athletic scored a last minute winner to beat Billericay Town 1-0 at The Mill Field. Kwabena Osei’s ninetieth minute goal enough to secure all three points. The victory stops a run of three straight defeats, and means they are now seven points from safety. Billericay Town came into the game having won their last four matches, and will be disappointed to have lost to the leagues bottom side.

Staines Town made it two wins in a row, as they put four past struggling Sudbury. Max Worsfield (40’), Jonathan Hippolyte (41’), Mohamed Bettamer (44’), and Nebay Haile (pen 90’) with the goals that secured the points for the home side. AFC Sudbury are five points from the relegation zone, but have lost four of their last six matches. They face Leatherhead on Wednesday night in a big game at the bottom of the table. Staines are in twelfth place, and will be looking to continue their form as they entertain Worthing on Saturday.

Lowestoft piled more misery on struggling Leatherhead as Shaun Bammant scored the only goal of the game for the home side on fifty-six minutes. Leatherhead are now without a win in their last eight games, having lost four of their last six. They sit in twenty-third in the table, and five points from safety. They play AFC Sudbury, who are just seven points in-front of them on Wednesday night, in what is one of the biggest games of the season. Lowesoft ended a run of three defeats and a draw, and find themselves thirteenth on forty-five points.

Folkestone Invicta secured their first win in five as they beat Canvey Island 3-1. They away side opened the scoring on twenty-six minutes through Ian Draycott, and doubled their lead when Miles Cornwell got his first of the game on thirty-three. Liam Friend’s own goal on seventy-six gave the visitors hope, but the points were secured when Cornwell got his brace in the ninetieth minute.

Metropolitan Police made it three wins in four as they went three goals up in just eighteen minutes away to Burgess Hill Town. Lloyd Macklin (5’), Roman Michael-Percil (12’) and Orlando Smith (18’) giving the visitors the perfect start. Billy Medlock pulled one back for Town, as he converted from the spot in the forty-eighth minute. Olli Robinson made sure that was just a consolation, when he found the net on sixty-eight minutes. It’s now three wins in four for Met Police, whilst Town see an unbeaten run of three wins and a draw come to an end.










Ryman Premier Division Review: 11th February 2017

Last Gasp for Bognor, the Marketmen close the gap, and Staines pull off a shock


By Ben Eltham.

League leaders Bognor Regis Town left it late to come from 1-0 down against promotion chasing Dulwich Hamlet. The visitors came into the game on the back of an impressive 5-2 F.A. Trophy victory against National League side Braintree Town; and they picked up where they left off, taking the lead after eighteen minutes, with a Matt Drage strike. A crowd of 447 had to wait until the eighty fifth minute for the home side to draw level. James Crane with the strike to earn Bognor what could be a vital point come the end of the season. Bognor travel to Wingate and Finchley next Saturday, whilst Dulwich entertain second placed Needham Market.

Needham Market closed the gap on the league leaders, with a 1-0 home win against a Wingate and Finchley Side, who came into the game having won four of their last five matches. It took the marketmen until the seventy-eighth minute to find that back of the net, with Billy Clark sending the 227 crowd at the Bloomfield stadium home happy. Needham cut the gap to just three points at the top, and they entertain the only team above them, when they play Bognor on the 25th February.

Havant and Waterlooville kept their push for automatic promotion intact, with a 2-0 against Harlow Town. The win was more impressive, as it was against a side that had won their last four games and were top of the form table. Two second half goals in-front of 216 at the Harlow Arena, were enough to secure the points. Theo Lewis with the first on fifty-three minutes, and Wes Fogden with the second in the eighty-eighth. Havant host strugglers Hendon next, whilst Harlow Town try to rediscover their winning form when they travel to Merstham.

Leiston will now be relying on their two games in hand, in their bid for automatic promotion, as they suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Staines Town. Leiston have struggled of late, and it’s now no win in three. They eventually succumbed to a Jonathan Hippolyte strike in the fifty-ninth minute. A crowd of 208 watched the game at Victory road, and they will be hoping to see a better display wmahen their side take on Harrow Borough on Valentines day. The victory was Staines Town’s first in five games, and they take on AFC Sudbury next Saturday.

Tonbridge angels made light work of bottom of the table Grays Athletic, as they won 4-1 in-front of a 312 strong home crowd. They were off the mark on seventeen minute as Tom Phipp found the net. Alexander Akrofi got his brace, when he first converted from the spot (30’) and added his second three minutes later. The game was out of site for Grays at half time, but Luke Wilson grabbed a consolation for the visitors, finding the net on fourty-nine minutes. Tonbridge did add another, Andre McCollin converting another penalty on ninety minutes The home side sit fifth with fifty-five points, five clear of Enfield in sixth place, with a game in hand. Grays remain stranded at the foot of the table, five points from the nearest rival, having played two games more than anyone in the bottom seven.

Enfield have now lost three of their last four games, after being defeated 3-2 at home to Merstham. A crowd of 329 watched at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, as the home side took the lead through Billy Crook on twenty-threee minutes. Dan Bennett made it six league goals for the season, when he equalised three minutes later. It was the visitors who took the lead early in the second half, Dean McDonald with the goal on fifty-six. But Enfield, who sit just outside the playoffs, returned the favour, and equalised three minutes later through Karl Oliyide. Merstham would have the final say though, as Dean McCdonald made it two for him and three for Merstham on eighty-seven. Enfield lose ground on the playoffs, and Merstham make it two wins in two.

Watched by a crowd of 309 at the Fullicks Stadium, Folkestone Invicta and Worthing produced six goals. Unfortunately for the home side, it was Worthing  who scored four of them, and they opened the scoring on twenty-five minutes, with Lloyd Dawes finding the back of the net. Folkestone replied with a Jordan Wright goal five minutes later, but they were only level for three minutes as the visitors struck again, this time through Louis Clark. The home side again levelled things up early in the second half, Ian Draycott with the goal on fourty-seven. But Louis Clark (50’) and Lloyd Dawes (60’) both bagged their second of the game, and sealed the points for Worthing as the game finished 4-2. Worthing travel to AFC Sudbury on Tuesday, and Folkstone Invicta play at Wingate & Finchley.

Billericay Town made it three wins in three with a 2-1 victory at home to Harrow Borough. Billy Bricknell made it nine for the season as he scored both goals for the home side. The first after just four minutes, and his second on thirty-eight. Josh Webb converted a late consolation for Borough, when he found the net from the penalty spot on eighty-eight. A crowd of 429 watched the home side continue their fine run of form, and they will be hoping it continues on Wednesday night as they entertain Needham Market. Borough are now just two points off of the relegation places, but they will be hoping their five games in hand on those below them is enough to see them safe. They take travel to Leiston on Tuesday night.

Kingstonian drew 1-1 away at AFC Sudbury, as they let a 1-0 lead slip late in the second half. The visitors went ahead in the thirty-eighth minute through Sean Bonnett-Johnson, but Sudbury levelled the match on seventy-three when James Baker found the net in-front of the 215 strong crowd at The Wardale Williams Stadium. Sudbury are now without a wn in four, and are just two points from the relegation places. Kingstonian’s mixed season continues, as they sit twelfth in table, but have only two wins in the last eight matches. They entertain Tonbridge Angels next Saturday, whilst AFC Sudbury are at home to Worthing on Tuesday.

It was all square at Silver Jubilee Park, as a crowd of 167 saw Hendon and Lowestoft fail to find the net. Lowesoft have now failed to win in their last four games, whilst Hendon sit twenty-first in the league, one point from safety, but having played five more games than their nearest rivals Merstham. Hendon travel to Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday in their next fixture, whilst Lowesoft entertain Leatherhead.

Leatherhead continued their poor form as they were beaten 2-1 at home to Burgess Hill Town, who have now won three in a row. Jack Brio opened the scoring for the visitors on fifty-one minutes, before Daniel Carr levelled for Leatherhead on sixty. Billy Medlock scored the winner for Burgess Hill Town seven minutes later, to secure all three points for the visitors. A crowd of 240 watched at Fetcham Grove, as Leatherhead move into the bottom four. They travel to Lowesoft Town on Saturday, whilst Burgess Hill Town entertain Canvey Island on Tuesday.

Just 89 people watched as Metropolitan Police were beaten 4-0 at home to league strugglers Canvey Island. Steve Sheehan (26’), Harrison Chatting (60’), George Sykes (65’) and Ryan Blackman (75’) completed an emphatic win for the visitors. Canvey Island remain in twenty-third, but their first win in six will give them hope for the rest of the campaign. The home side had won their previous two fixtures, and they will be hoping to bounce back when they travel to Burgess Hill Town on Saturday. Canvey Island also travel to face Burgess Hill Town next, as they visit on Tuesday evening.









Ryman Premier review: 4th February 2017

Bognor stay top, Enfield hit 5 and Hendon win the battle at the bottom.


Bognor Regis Town defeated Harrow Borough 1-0 at Earlsmead in front of a crowd of 212.  The win keeps the visitors four points clear at the top of the Ryman Premier League, with a game in hand on nearest placed Needham Market. Doug Tuck scored the only goal of the game in the sixty-fourth minute. The win means it’s just one defeat in ten now for the Bognor, who play relegation threatened Hendon Town in their next fixture.

Second placed Needham Market suffered their first defeat in three at the hands of tenth placed Worthing.  The visitors got off to the perfect start when Luke Ingram gave them the lead in the eighteenth minute. Danny Gay was then cautioned for a foul inside the box, and the home side were level when Lloyd Dawes converted the spot kick on twenty-eight, to score his 17th of the season.  Aaron Hopkinson put Worthing in-front on fifty-two minutes, only for the visitors to respond on sixty-one, with Reece Dobson finding the back of the net. Two goals in two minutes would win it for the home side, as Harvey Sparks and Omar Bugiel scored in the eightieth, and eighty-second minute. Needham Market pulled one back in the eighty-ninth, with John Sands converting the late penalty. It finished 4-3 to Worthing at Woodside Road, in-front of a strong crowd of 726. Needham Market face away trips to Billericay Town and Dulwich Hamlet, before a showdown with league leaders Bognor at home on the twenty-fifth of this month.

Havant and Waterlooville still have two games in hand on Needham Market, but they failed to take advantage, as they lost 2-1 in-front of a crowd of 625 at home to Billericay Town. Goals from Christian Assombalonga (45’) and Lewis Taafe (72’) were enough to seal the win for the visitors. Jason Prior with a late consolation for the home side on eighty-five, but it wasn’t enough to avoid their second defeat in three games. Havant travel to Harlow Town in their next fixture, whilst Billericay Town host Needham Market

Tonbridge Angels followed their dramatic 4-4 draw with Leatherhead in midweek with a much quieter 1-0 win other strugglers Canvey Island. Alexander Akrofi scored the only goal of the game in the fourth minute, in-front of 325 people at The Prospect Stadium. The win keeps Tonbridge in fifth position, and means that Canvey Island are still three points from safety at the foot of the table.

Seventh placed Enfield Town beat the leagues form side Wingate & Finchley 5-1 in-front of a crowd of 365 at Harry Abrahams Stadium. The visitors were in devastating form as they went two up inside the first twelve minutes. Bobby Devyne on seven minutes, and Harry Ottaway in the twelfth, ensuring that it would be a difficult afternoon for the home side. The victory was as good as sealed on thirty-one as Karl Oliyide added his name to the scoresheet, and the visitors went in 3-0 up at the break. Ben Pattie did spark the briefest of come-backs with his goal on fifty-five, but Billy Crook (66’) and Harry Ottaway with his second of the game on eighty-one, gave promotion chasers Enfield a deserved win. Enfield host Merstham next Saturday, whilst Wingate and Finchley travel to Needham Market.

Harlow Town continued their fine form, with their fourth straight victory in a 2-0 win away at Staines Town. Mario Noto with a goal in each half on thirty-six and sixty-two enough to seal all three points for the visitors. A crowd of 239 watched on as Harlow ensured they remain just two points from the playoff places. Staines suffered their second defeat in a row, and it’s now no win in four for them as they sit in fourteenth place, nine points clear of relegation, and twelve points from the playoffs.

Kingstonian picked up their first point in three games with a hard-fought home draw against Folkstone Invicta. Alan Inns scored in the eighth minute to give the home side the lead, but Phil Starkey levelled for the visitors on thirty-nine. Ian Draycott may have thought he had won it for Folkestone when he put then in-front with his seventy-ninth minute strike, but the majority of the 262 crowd would go home relieved as Ryan Moss converted a nineteenth minute spot kick to ensure the points were shared.

Billericay Town beat Staines Town 1-0 to move just a point behind their opponents with three games in hand. Bricknell with the only goal of the game on thirty-seven minutes to secure the points. It was their first win in five, and they travel to third placed Havant and Waterlooville next Saturday. Consistency remains the biggest problem for Staines Town, with three wins, five defeats and two draws in their last ten.

Lowesoft Town’s miserable form continued as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Metropolitan Police in-front of a crowd of 443 at Crown Meadow. Rob Bartley with the winning goal in the thirty-first minute It’s now one win in six and four defeats in a row for the home side, who find themselves in thirteenth place. Metropolitan Police have eased their relegation worries with back to back victories, and are now eight points from the drop zone.

Burgess Hill Town beat AFC Sudbury 2-0 in an important game at the bottom of the table. The defeat leaves Sudbury just three points from the relegation zone, having played three games more than the two teams directly below them. It was the third defeat in a row for Sudbury, who went behind in the thirty-fifth minute to a Jack Brivio goal. The home side left it late to seal the win, with Aaron Smith-Joseph scoring in the last minute of the game. It’s back to back wins for Burgess Hill Town, who travel to in-form Harlow Town in their next fixture.

The battle at the bottom came at The Mill Field, as bottom placed Grays Athtletic lost at home to twenty-second placed Hendon in front of a crowd of 325. Kezie Ibe gave the visitors the lead on the stroke of half time, before Matt Ball extended the lead with his seventy-eighth minute strike. Lartey Sarpong did pull one goal back for the home side, but the game finished 2-1. Grays are now five points from safety, having played more games than anyone in the bottom eight. It’s also five defeats in six for Grays now, who have conceded seventeen goals during that period. They face Harrow Borough at home in their next fixture and Hendon travel to top of the table Bognor Regis Town.