We had nine sides taking part in FA Trophy matches, with one to come- Horsham entertaining Bath City on Sunday. They delivered a mixed bag of results, so we’ll start with the positives.
A second half double from Jacob Mendy saw Carshalton Athletic defeat Walton Casuals 2-0, whilst Dorking Wanders travelled to Dorset to take on Poole Town. The Dolphins took an early lead only for JJ O’Sullivan to equalise, and then the home side went ahead once more, but Guiseppe Sole levelled before the break. Then, in the second half, Sami El-Abd found the net with twenty minutes remaining to send Wanderers through to the First Round Proper.
Four of our sides require replays- two of them against each other. Lewes were taking on National League South opposition in Hemel Hempstead Town, and came back from 2-0 down to level in the very last minute, Henri Wilder with their first sixteen minutes from time and Jonte Smith popping up right at the death to make it 2-2. Wingate & Finchley also came back from behind, but in their case the deficit was only one goal at Chippenham Town, and Charlie Cole grabbed a second half leveller; whilst at the Skyex Hayes & Yeading United and Brightlingsea Regent couldn’t find a goal between them.
Now, onto the bad news. Worthing were the favourites as they travelled to Southern League Division One Central side Bedford Town, but that meant nothing as the Bedfordshire side ensured that the Mackerel Men became their SEVENTH Bostik League victims of the season, following Dereham Town, Enfield Town, Cheshunt, Tilbury, Kingstonian and Chipstead. Jared Rance gave Worthing the lead, but two goals in two minutes midway through the second half knocked them out. Greenwich Borough travelled all the way to Devon to take on Truro City in Torquay, but came back with nothing after losing 3-0, whilst Folkestone Invicta conceded two first half goals to lose at Woking.
Back to the Premier Division, and with Dorking playing in the Trophy Tonbridge Angels had the chance to go back to the summit. Steve McKimm’s men failed to take it, falling 2-0 at home to a resurgent Leatherhead, the Tanners winning their fourth game in a row through goals from Jerry Amoo and D’Sean Theobalds. Indeed not only did Angels fail to go top, they fell to third, after Kingstonian won their third match in a row with a 1-0 win at Enfield Town, James Daly with the goal.
Bishop’s Stortford are up to fifth, after recording an impressive 4-1 win at Margate. George Brown gave the home side the leadm but Luke Callandar and Ryan Charles had turned the match on its head by half time, and the almost traditional Jamie Cureton double gave the result some gloss in the second half. That’s fifteen for the season for the evergreen striker.
Haringey Borough continued their fine recent form, 3-1 winners at home to AFC Hornchurch. Defender Mark Kirby delivered an unlikely double, whilst Anthony McDonald made it three before Leon Mckenzie got a late consolation for the Urchins. Borough are up to 9th.
Corinthian-Casuals are eleventh, and dumped Burgess Hill Town back into the bottom three with a 3-0 win at King George’s Field. Warren Mfula and Hamilton Antonio struck in the first half and Jack Strange added the third five minutes from time, as Simon Wormull’s honeymoon period shuddered to an end. Finally, Harlow Town picked up their second consecutive victory and moved out of the bottom three, a late Christian Scales goal earning them all three points at Potters Bar Town. JJ Da Cruz had given the Hawks the lead in the first half, only for Andrew Lomas to equalise.
Three sides started the day level on points at the top of the North Division, but by the end of the day there were three points between first and third as only one of the trio managed a win. The victors were Aveley, who came out on top in an eight goal thriller at Parkside, two from Alex Akrofi and a hat trick from Thomas Richardson- his thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth of the season- earning a 5-3 win over Brentwood Town, for whom Charlee Hughes, Zack Littlejohn and Ryan Mallet found the net.
Bowers & Pitsea had started the day at the summit, but they were held to a 2-2 draw at the Len Salmon as visitors Bury Town came from 2-0 down to level. Brad Warner, on his return to the club, and David Knight gave Bowers a cushion, but Jake Kerins and Jake Chambers Shaw levelled.
Coggeshall Town are third, but fell to defeat at home to Maldon & Tiptree. Jack Cawley gave the Jammers and early lead only for Sam Bantick to equalise, but in the second half De-Carrey Sheriff and Sammie McLeod put Maldon ahead once more, and although Correy Davidson got one back late on it wasn’t enough. The Seed Growers unbeaten run, which had started back in August, was at an end.
The Jammers sit fourth, and Grays Athletic are in fifth. Athletic were 2-0 down to AFC Sudbury after only twenty three minutes, Thomas Monk and Ben Hunter giving the home side the advantage, but goals from Michael Toner, Thomas Wade and Mitchel Hahn turned the game on its head. Grays have now won six of their last seven.
Heybridge Swifts are two points outside the playoff places, a Matt Price double too much for Barking.
Basildon United slip to seventh after a 0-0 draw at Romford, whilst Felixstowe and Walton United, who are just behind Bury Town in ninth, managed a 2-2 draw at home to Witham Town. A Jack Ainsley double in the first half sent the Seasiders in at the break ahead, but only just, after Johnny Ashman scored for Town. A Sam Ashford penalty levelled matters nine minutes into the second half, and that’s how it stayed.
An Adam Vyse goal gave Canvey Island a 1-0 win at Dereham Town, who played most of the match with ten men after Robbie Linford was sent off, whilst goals from Lewis Smith and George Sykes helped Tilbury to a 2-0 win over Mildenhall Town despite the home side going down to ten men with twenty minutes to go as Darren Phillips picked up a second yellow.
Soham Town Rangers moved four points clear of Witham at the bottom with victory over Great Wakering Rovers, an own goal and strikes from Lloyd Groves and Callum Russell enough for victory. Marcus Bowers got a consolation for Rovers.
We started the day knowing that any one of four clubs could be top of the South Central Division by five o’clock. As it turned out, only one of the four managed a victory, and that one was leaders Marlow, who delivered a comprehensive win at Ashford Town with goals from Kameron English, Isaac Isei-Tutu and Adam Richards sending them three points clear.
Bracknell Town are second, but they will feel that they’ve dropped two points after turning a 2-0 lead into only a draw at Tooting & Mitcham United. Joseph Grant and Liam Ferdinand gave the Robins that advantage, but an own goal and Hady Ghandour levelled matters for the Terrors. Cheshunt went to second bottom Egham Town, and a last minute Ryan Hill goal gave the points to the Sarnies. Curtis Ujah had given the home side an early lead, only for Yanick Kamanan to equalise. Waltham Abbey are fifth, but they suffered a hammering at Bedfont Sports, losing 4-1 despite playing the last 35 minutes against ten men after Sam Aggrey-Adams got a red card. Ronnie Win gave the Abbotts a second minute lead, but the game was turned on its head by two goals in two minutes from Scott Harris, whilst Jack Mills and Carl Stewart completed a rout in the second half.
Uxbridge are now just outside the playoff places after victory at Hanwell Town, three first half goals building the foundations for a 4-2 victory. Matt Sinclair gave the away side the lead only for Tom Collins to equalise, but Mitchell Wiseman and Matt Woods made it 3-1 at half time. Gareth Chendlik reduced the gap to one seven minutes after the break, but Luke Maguire was able to make it safe ten minutes from time. Hanwell are seventh, just above Northwood, who managed a 3-2 win at Chipstead. Sam Bell and Jake Robinson found the net for the Chips, but a Kyran Worrell double which sandwiched a goal from Andrew Ofosu was enough to give Woods the points.
Westfield continued their good run of form with a 3-1 win at Hertford Town, Aaron Watson, Gregory Hayden and Arsen Ujkaj with their goals, Ben Ward-Cochrane replying for the home side at Hertingfordbury Park, whilst Chalfont St Peter and Molesey got a goal and a point each at Mill Meadow, Dan Fleming giving the Saints a first half lead before Ryan Marklew equalised for the Moles.
Finally in this division, Ware were the biggest victors- and indeed the biggest victors of the day across the league- with a six nil hammering of FC Romania. An Adams Brandon hat trick did most of the damage, but Leigh Rose, Jack Daveney and Louis Blake also found the net.
In the South East Division four of the top six were in action, and none of them lost. Mind you, none of them won, either. Hastings United went to Faversham Town and were 2-0 down by half time, Den Chapman and Ashley Miller with the goals, but a second half fightback saw them snatch a point with Daniel Ajakaiye and Jack Dixon finding the net. Harry Goodger was sent off for the home side five minutes from the end.
Haywards Heath Town and Phoenix Sports played each other, and you can read about their 2-2 draw in our Bostik Matchday feature HERE, whilst VCD Athletic were held 0-0 by Whyteleafe.
Ashford United were the big winners, a Sam Corne double along with goals from Harry Otway and Danny Parish giving them a 4-1 win over Herne Bay, for whom Bradley Schafer scored a consolation, whilst Guernsey found more late goals, this time at Sevenoaks Town, Matt Loaring and Seb Skillen taking the points back as hand luggage. East Grinstead Town were the other winners, coming from behind at home to Sittingbourne after Tommie Fagg had given the Brickies a first half lead. George Landais and Mitchell Chapman turned the match on its head in the second half.
The Nuts and Bolts later apparently sacked manager Gary Alexander- read more here.
Cray Wanderers can extend their lead at the top to nine points with victory over Ramsgate today.