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Angels close the gap, Invicta go goal crazy, Leafe wallop Town, and Uxbridge suffer a Tangerine nightmare

By Ian Townsend

The weather outside may have been frightful, but much of the football was delightful. Here’s our round up.

Dorking Wanderers began the day three points clear at the top of the Bostik Premier Division, but the gap was down to just one by 5PM as Tonbridge Angels grabbed a last minute winner at Meadowbank to go second. In their previous meeting in the FA Trophy Wanderers had picked up a 1-0 victory, but on this occasion Sonny Miles made sure they were on the receiving end of the same scoreline in front of 526 at Meadowbank.

Kingstonian were in second place at kick off, but had fallen to fourth by full time, victims of a hammering by Haringey Borough. Tom Loizou’s side picked up their fifth consecutive victory, and they did it in style, Joel Nouble, Karl Akinwande, Coby Rowe and Chinedu McKenzie sending them back to Coles Park with a 4-0 victory, and lifting them to just a point off the playoff places. The club to leapfrog the K’s were Bishop’s Stortford, who recorded an impressive victory at Worthing. All of the goals came in the last twenty five minutes, Sam Robbins and Nicholas Brown putting Jamie Cureton’s men two-nil up, before Sam Rents gave the 846 who braved the elements at Woodside Road something to shout about. It wasn’t enough to give the Mackerel Men any points however.

Folkestone Invicta haven’t managed to hit the heights of last season during this campaign, but yesterday they showed signs that their form may be on the up, walloping six goals past Merstham. There were eight goals in the match, and six of them came in the first half, Ian Draycott, Alfie Paxman and Kieron McCann putting the hosts 3-0 up inside 15 minutes, before Tom Bird and Gus Sow pulled two back for the Moatsiders. That was as good as it got for Hayden Bird’s men, as Draycott added two more to complete his hat trick and Alfie Paxman made it a brace right at the end.

Carshalton Athletic got back to winning ways with victory over Enfield Town, the only goal coming from Michael Dixon just before the break, whilst Lewes defeated Leatherhead by the same score, James Hammond finding the net- although looking at the video of the winning goal there must be some debate about whether the ball crossed the line.

Corinthian-Casuals went into their match at Wingate & Finchley with the best recent record in the Premier Division, but the home side ended that run, taking their FA Trophy form into the league with a 2-0 victory. Sean Cronin and Reece Mitchell scored the goals. Margate got back to winning ways at the Pakex, home of Potters Bar Town, George Brown and Jack Paxman giving them the points despite the Scholars pulling a goal back through Sean Grace.

Brightlingsea Regent climbed out of the bottom three with victory over fellow strugglers Burgess Hill Town at the Taydal, Josh Gould and an Aaron Condon double earning them the win by the odd goal in five, Ben Pope scoring two for the Hillians, who are now two points behind their hosts. Sitting between the two sides are Harlow Town, who continued their recent good form against Bognor Regis Town, for whom Gary Charman was making yet another debut. Jimmy Muitt gave the Rocks the lead from the spot in the 9th minute, but Emile Aqcuah soon equalised and that’s how it remained.

Finally, Whitehawk are still looking for their first league victory in three months, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by AFC Hornchurch. Lucas Rodrigues gave the Hawks the lead halfway through the first half, only for Jay Porter to equalise fifteen minutes from time.

North Division

It’s very, very tight at the top of the North Division table, with only six points separating the top five.

Aveley still rule the roost, but they were made to work hard for victory at Mildenhall Town, Andrew Freeman and Alexander Akrofi’s goals just enough despite Hussain Jaffa’s equaliser; whilst Bowers & Pitsea are two points behind the Millers, Quentin Monville scoring the only goal of the game at Barking. Aveley’s victory was their seventh league triumph in a row.

Coggeshall Town are third, and they also won 1-0, a first half Correy Davidson goal giving them victory against a Basildon United side who have now gone eight games without a victory. The only side to defeat the Seed Growers recently, Maldon & Tiptree, continued their fine form with a 4-1 victory at home to Romford, an Eddie Dsane hat trick doing most of the damage. Matthew Briggs got the Jammers other goal, whilst George Forrest got the Boro consolation. Maldon are fourth, Romford slip to fourteenth.

Heybridge Swifts have lost only once since Julian Dicks took over as manager, but they needed an own goal to take victory at Grays Athletic. The Swifts boss is pictured above with the Manager of the Month Award for October- but is he in the running for November’s gong? Find out later this week- but his side sit in fifth place.

Bury Town, in sixth, shared six goals with Dereham Town, two of which came in added time- one for each side. In a topsy-turvy match which saw two red cards, ten-men Bury took the lead in the 32nd minute, Cemal Ramadan scoring his fourth goal in four matches since his return to Ram Meadow. It took exactly thirty minutes for Dereham to find the equaliser, Karol Wengrzik scoring from the spot, and less than ten minutes later it was ten-men apiece, as Tom McLeish for Dereham joined Ryan Horne in the dressing room, and 2-1 to the away side, Ollie Ebbage finding the net. Jake Kerins quickly equalised for Bury, but deep into stoppage time Dereham went ahead once more, Joe Gatting scoring to ensure all the points went back to Aldiss Park. But no- Bury went right back up the other end and Ramadan made it five in four and ensured his side a point.

Tilbury, under former Basildon United manager Marc Harrison, continued their improvement since the new manager arrived with the winner in a five goal thriller at Great Wakering Rovers. Lewis Smith put the Dockers ahead in the first half, only for a Jake Gordon double early in the second half to put the home side in the driving seat. The lead lasted only four minutes, however, as Mitchell Gilbey equalised, and six minutes from time George Sykes grabbed the winner. Tilbury move up to thirteenth, and record their third win in a row.

Brentwood Town sit just behind the Dockers, and if they could find some consistency would undoubtedly be higher still. This was the fourth match in a row in which the Blues have found the back of the net three times, but only the second time their goals have earned them three points. They had to come from behind at home to Felixstowe and Walton United, Jack Ainsley giving the Seasiders the lead half way through the second half, only for Charlee Hughes, Albert Levett and Ryan Mallet to score during the last quarter of an hour.

Canvey Island continued to stutter, and have now lost four of their last five, Soham Town Rangers taking advantage of their lacklustre form with the only goal at the Frost Financial Stadium, Ryan Auger scoring ten minutes in, whilst it was a happy day for Witham Town, who closed the gap at the bottom with their first league victory since August, courtesy of a John Watson double.

South East Division

Hastings United went into their match against East Grinstead Town hoping to narrow the gap on leaders Cray Wanderers, who weren’t playing. Instead they suffered a shock, as opponents East Grinstead Town came, saw, and conquered. It started so well for the home side, Daniel Ajakaiye scoring his twenty first goal of a remarkable season- although it wasn’t a day to celebrate for the striker, who was sent off late on. The Wasps were only behind for eleven minutes, Greg Cundle equalising, and then Orlando Smith put the visitors ahead, only for Jack Dixon to equalise to make it 2-2 at half time. Seven minutes after the break Smith scored again, and try as they might United couldn’t get back on level terms. That’s two wins in two for the Wasps, who climb to thirteenth.

Hastings lost to Whyteleafe last time out, and Leafe went goal crazy at Church Road. Lauris Chin and Marvin Armstrong put daylight between them and visitors Faversham Town by half time, and after the break they got four more, David Owusu-Akyeaw with a double, Bradley Wilson and Arif Hattabi with the others. Faversham have now only picked up five points from their last thirty, and Leafe climb to fourth. Just above them are Hythe Town, and a goal in each half from Zak Ansah and Jack Sammoutis eased them to victory in Guernsey, where 643 turned out to watch.

Horsham have been magnificent of late, and made it six wins and a draw from their last seven league matches with a comprehensive walloping of Whitstable Town. All the Hornets four goals came in the second half, an own goal being followed by strikes from Charlie Harris and Lee Harding- although both of these appear to be crosses which evaded Dan Eason to end up in the net! There was no such ambiguity about their fourth, a lovely through ball from substitute Joey Taylor being finished by Harvey Sparks, the former Worthing man sealing a victory which saw Horsham up to fifth.

Haywards Heath Town are sixth, level on points with Horsham, and continued their impressive run by scoring four of their own at Greenwich Borough. Josh Spinks gave Shaun Saunders men the lead, only for Teshuane Tyreece Walters to equalise for Borough before the break; but Heath weren’t to be denied, and Andrew Dalhouse, Callum Saunders and Nathan Cooper ensured an emphatic victory in the second half.

Ashford United are seventh, climbing above hosts Phoenix Sports with a 2-1 victory at Mayplace Road. Sam Corne gave the Nuts and Bolts the lead, Danny Parish made it two, and although Jeff Duah-Kessie reduced the arrears that was all that Sports had to cheer about.

Sevenoaks Town are tenth, winning 3-1 at Ramsgate. Rams manager Lloyd Blackman reacted to the defeat by complaining “We got exactly what we deserved. There wasn’t a single half decent performance today and we paid the price-” but Oaks won’t much care, goals from Frankie Sawyer, Kenny Pogue and Luke Coleman earning them victory despite Jake McKenzie giving the home side an early lead.

In the other match, sorry Herne Bay lost again- for the eighth time in a row- and Connor French ensured that Three Bridges won in some style, grabbing a hat trick as his side made it two wins in two.

South Central Division

Leaders Marlow sit three points clear at the top of the Bostik South Central Division, but it could so easily have been five. On a day when none of their top five rivals managed a win, Marcus Mealing gave the home side the lead at the Alfred David Ground, only for Elliott Bailey to grab a last minute equaliser for Hertford Town.

Second and third shared a six goal thriller, as Bracknell Town fell behind, went ahead, were pegged back, fell behind once more and eventually grabbed a point at home to Hayes and Yeading United. A Scott Donnelly penalty gave the away side an early lead, only for a Seb Bowerman double to make it advantage Robins by half time; but Toby Little and Hassan Jalloh then turned the game on its head. Harrison Bayley’s late goal for Bracknell made it 3-3, and that’s how it remained, ensuring that the 338 at Larges Lane were thoroughly entertained.

Ashford Town are up to sixth, The Tangerines walloping five at Uxbridge on a day that the home side will want to quickly forget. It was three-nil by half time, Adam Baigent, Kofi Lockhart-Adams and Jack Beadle with the goals, and a Mark Bitmead double ensured that Uxbridge’s previous good run- three wins in three before the match- came to an end.

Eighth place Hanwell Town could only manage a 0-0 draw at Molesey, who remain in eighteenth, whilst fifth place Waltham Abbey continued to stutter, suffering their fourth defeat in five as a Chiduben Onokwai double gave FC Romania the points at Capershotts, despite an Ellis Brown consolation.

Finally, two late goals saw Ware and Chipstead take a point apiece from a 3-3 draw at Wodson Park. Sam Clayton gave the Chips an early lead, but goals in the last five minutes of the first half from Dave Cowley and Adams Brandon turned the game on its head and gave Ware the lead before the interval. Izzy Bademosi’s eleventh goal of the season brought the away side level, and then last minute goals from Sam Bell for the Chips and a second from Cowley brought the match to a close.

Where next?

Millers bring in Saturday reinforcements Aveley announce a new signing in the run up to yesterday's kick off

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