Bowers and Pitsea and Kingstonian both overcame tough challenges to advance to the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup- the first time in Bowers history that they've ever reached that stage of the competition.
On Saturday Bowers and Canvey Island played out an entertaining and hard-fought 1-1 draw at Park Lane, and last night they served up a repeat of that at the Len Salmon. Tobi Joseph gave the Gulls an early lead, only for Brad Warner to equalise for the home side with twenty three minutes remaining. Those twenty three minutes served up no further goals, and an additional half an hour did the same, so the match went down to penalties and finally the Premier Division side overcame their North Division neighbours 5-3 from the spot.
Kingstonian were within seconds of defeating Weston Super Mare at King George's Field on Saturday, and at the Optima Stadium last night they ensured there would be no further slip-ups. Fabio Saraiva put them ahead after sixteen minutes only for the home side to equalise; but after that the traffic was one way, Jerry Puemo restoring their lead before the break, Reece Hall extending it nineteen minutes after the restart, and Louie Theophanous putting the gloss on the performance to make it four-one in the last minute.
The K's will travel to Dartford, whilst Bowers will host Chichester City- another side who have never previously reached this stage of the competition, so whoever wins will continue to break new ground.
Back to the league now, and in the Premier Division Horsham went a point clear at the top- but only one, after a Bobby Price goal for Carshalton Athletic denied the Hornets the spoils. Omar Koroma gave the Robins the lead in the 37th minute, but that stung the Hornets, who struck back through Chris Smith and Charlie Harris to lead at half time. Price got the only goal of the second half, lifting Athletic into sixth place.
Chertsey Town became the latest side to be walloped by Maldon & Tiptree as they lost in the FA Cup at the weekend, but they bounced back from that disappointment in style last night as they entertained Northwood in the South Central Division. The Woods took the lead early on, Sacha M'Baye with the goal after ten minutes, but that was the cue for the Curfews to go goal crazy- scoring EIGHT in replay. Jake Baxter got two, Jonathan Hippolyte got two, Lewis Driver got two, whilst Samuel Murphy and Lubomir Guentchev got one each. Alex Witham got a second Northwood goal from the spot eight minutes from time, but it made little difference. Eight-two was the final score, a result which sees Chertsey climb to sixth in the table. Northwood are seventeenth.
Ware are up to fifth, after winning two-nil at Uxbridge to preserve their unbeaten League record. Liam Hope got them both in the second half after their pressure finally told- Uxbridge had been playing with ten men since the fifteenth minute dismissal of Alex Paine. Uxbridge drop to tenth.
Into the Velocity Trophy now. In Group One goals from Conor Hubble and Robert Harvey gave Coggeshall Town victory at Heybridge Swifts, whilst in Group Two Romford saw a Timi Babalola double and an opener from Luke McLeavy earn them a three-one win over Brentwood Town, for whom Jason Williams got an earlier equaliser. A Junior Dadson double and an own goal gave Barking a three-nil win at Watham Abbey.
Group Four saw Haywards Heath Town travel to East Grinstead Town and head back to Hanbury with a two-nil win, both goals coming in the first half- Trevor McCreadie and Callum Saunders finding the Wasps net- whilst a Josh Clack hat trick was only half of Chichester City's haul at Three Bridges, a double from George Cody and one from Jamie Horncastle making it six. Bridges got two of their own through Tadley Bromage and Tom Tolfrey, but it didn't help them much.
In Group Five we had our only Velocity shootout of the night, Marlow winning the extra point with a three-two spot kick victory after a 2-2 draw with FC Romania. Devon Reid and Seye Okunlola had put the home side two goals up after just twenty minutes, but the Wolves struck back through Eugene Hagan Morgan and Lawrence Neuruba to take the match to a shootout. Westfield were two-nil down at home to Chalfont St Peter after only eleven minutes, courtesy of a Hani Berchiche double, and then three-nil down just after the half hour through Dan Williams. Rather remarkably, then, the home side bounced back to win 5-3; Elijah Simpson, Tinashe Nkoma, Gregory Haydon, Ryan Healy and Max Blackmore doing the damage.
Group Six saw Basildon United concede a second minute penalty, Adebola Sotoyinbo scoring for Hullbridge Sports, but come back to win- Joseph Turpin and Kurt Smith turning the tables.
Lee Prescott and Levi Gold got Ashford United's goals in a two-one Group Seven win over Hythe Town, for whom Stephen Okoh replied, whilst finally, in Group Nine, Sevenoaks Town got the only goal of the game at Cray Valley PM- Thomas Ripley with it six minutes from time.