After Maldon & Tiptree outplayed Newport County on Friday night only to fall to a heartbreaking added time defeat, our focus in the FA Cup Second Round moved to King George’s Field yesterday, where Kingstonian were hosting National League side AFC Fylde. They were also hosting the old tin pot itself, and Football Focus with Dan Walker, but they won’t be hosting a match in the Third Round as despite a valiant fight they fell to two first half goals and departed the competition. Our headline image is of Dan, the cup, and a throng in the clubhouse, and comes from the lens of Simon Roe. You can see the rest of Simon’s shots by heading HERE.
And then there was one! Good luck to Chichester City at Tranmere Rovers this afternoon. If you’re not off to Merseyside the match will be shown live on BT Sport.
Back into the League now, and let’s start with the Premier Division.
After we published a preview yesterday which made reference to it being difficult to know what to make of Margate’s form, Gate fan Daniel Boyle replied to say, “That is the fun of supporting Margate, you never know which one is going to turn up!” Well the Margate that turned up at the Camping World Community Stadium yesterday to take on leaders Horsham was the best Margate of all, so Daniel and all of his blue brethren must have been delighted as they hammered our league leaders by three goals to nil. Noel Leighton got the first ten minutes before the break, and when Keiran Monlouis got the second just after the hour the Hornets were really being swatted. The end came just four minutes later when Adem Ramadan got a third, and that was that.
Horsham stay top, as second placed Folkestone Invicta couldn’t take advantage at Lewes. The game at the Dripping Pan ended without a goal- one of six Premier Division draws from nine matches, rather remarkably.
Worthing, in third place, travelled to Haringey Borough undefeated in eight league matches, and left undefeated in nine, but got only a point despite being ahead for much of the game. Jesse Starkey got the opener for the Mackerel Men after only five minutes, Scott Mitchell drawing the hosts level four minutes before the break. Parity lasted only two minutes after the restart as Dylan Jelley restored the visitors advantage, but Borough drew level once more twenty minutes from time through Dimitri Froxylias. Worthing are two points behind Invicta and Horsham.
We looked to have a titanic struggle on Bridge Avenue. Hornchurch, in fourth place, were giant killers in midweek, despatching National League South Oxford City from the FA Trophy after a 4-4 draw, whilst the visiting Rocks had won five league matches in succession. In the end what we got was less than thrilling, no goals and a point each.
At Colston Avenue eighth place Carshalton Athletic entertained fifth place Cray Wanderers. Athletic lost at Enfield Town in midweek and have seen their league campaign interrupted by cup and trophy success, but went into that match at Donkey Lane on the back of four successive victories and were hoping to get quickly back on track, whilst Wands had won their last three, and hadn’t lost an away match all season. They’ve certainly lost one now, as the Robins fired home four goals without reply, two in each half. Christie Pattison got the opener after only five minutes, Ricky Korboa made it two after twenty one minutes, and then a Bobby Price penalty just after the hour made things safe. Paris Hamilton-Downes got the fourth in the sixty-seventh minute.
Enfield, fresh from that victory over the Robins, had a North London derby as they hosted Wingate and Finchley. The Towners had only one defeat in ten and were flying, whilst the Blues had only one win during that same period- but they’ll be very disappointed that they didn’t make it two, as a double from Olu Akinsanya, the second six minutes after the break, gave them a cushion even after Muhammadu Faal pulled one back. The game had moved into the final minute when Joseph Payne got the equaliser for Town and robbed the visiting Blues of three points.
Potters Bar Town hosted a Bowers and Pitsea side desperate to pick up some points. The Scholars had only two defeats in ten whilst Bowers had only one victory and eight defeats during the same period, but that mattered little at the Pakex as Rob Small’s side got a goal in each half to leave with all the points. Bradley Warner got both of them, and Bowers climb to seventeenth.
Merstham finally had a home match- their last one had been on October 15th- and they finally have a point, too, ending a run of nine consecutive league defeats with a draw against Bishop’s Stortford. The Blues had five defeats from their last six so perhaps they were happy with a draw, but the visitors were ahead twice. Jamie Cureton got the opener after twenty one minutes, but they held the lead for no time at all before James O’Halloran equalised. Just after the hour Jayden Sweeney put the visitors ahead once more, but eight minutes from time Chace Jacquart earned the Moatsiders a point.
Finally, Brightlingsea Regent, with only one point from their last thirty, hosted a Cheshunt side who got back to winning ways last time out after seven consecutive defeats. George Bugg have the hosts a seventh minute lead, Ryan Moss equalised twelve minutes after the break, but we ended up with more red cards than goals, one for the hosts, two for the Ambers.
Injury-hot leaders Bury Town hosted our match of the day in the North Division, as third place Coggeshall Town travelled to Ram Meadow. The Seed Growers knew that victory would take them to the top of the table instead of their opponents, but neither picked up three points, Cemal Ramadan opening the scoring for the hosts eleven minutes before the break and Rob Harvey equalising for the Seed Growers midway through the second half.
Heybridge Swifts moved level on points with Town at the top of the table after defeating Great Wakering Rovers four-two. Alex Teniola has really found his shooting boots this season, and scored three of Swifts four, including a second minute opener. Harrison Chatting got the other, in the fifth minute, as Swifts started like an express train. Jack Stevenson and Daniel Walker found the net for the visitors. That’s fifteen goals so far; it’s certainly been Teniola Time lately at Scraley Road.
Grays Athletic started the day in fifth, and ended it there too. They hosted a Hullbridge Sports side with only one win in their last seven- and it was eight by full time at Parkside, a goal in each half from Joao Carlos and George Purcell enough to give Athletic a second vistory in a row.
Sixth placed Aveley went into yesterday with only two defeats in their last ten league matches, and have been magnificent away from the league, too, making FA Trophy giantkilling look almost ordinary in recent weeks. They walloped Step Three Biggleswade Town four-one last weekend, and did exactly the same at Cambridge City yesterday. The Millers were a goal up after only one minute through Perry Dunn, two after thirteen minutes through George Sykes, and three at the break as Jason Raad made the second half rather academic. Shad Ngandu got their fourth from the spot thirteen minutes from time, and Ryan Sharman got a last minute consolation for City.
Dereham Town, who have been scoring goals for fun recently, travel to Felixstowe and Walton United. The Magpies had scored thirteen goals in their last three matches, and had soon made it sixteen in four- but they had to come from two goals down to win this one, as Sam Nunn and Jack Newman had put the Seasiders into a commanding lead with only twenty eight minutes remaining. Rhys Logan, Ryan Crisp and then a winner from Robbie Lindford three minutes from time sent the travelling fans into dreamland. Dereham are up to seventh.
Canvey Island strengthened with the signing of Sam Bantick on Thursday, and gave the forward his debut as they entertained Histon- but by the time of his introduction from the bench the Gulls were already chasing a lost cause, as they were three-nil down. Max York, Simon Swinton and- just after the break- Dan Brown did the damage.
Basildon United hosted Brentwood Town, the Bees undefeated in three matches in all competitions since parting company with their latest manager, whilst Town had lost their last two in the league after a four match undefeated run. It was the Bees who marched on to three points. The sides traded goals in the first half, Harry Doyle and Ernest Okoh scoring for the hosts whilst Marcus Milner and Andrew Freeman twice equalised for the visitors, but with twenty four minutes remaining Jimmy Cox got the winner.
Finally for the North, Soham Town Rangers entertained Witham Town. Rangers promising early-season form had shuddered to a halt of late, as they were without a win in five, whilst their visitors had won only one of their last eight. We wondered if one of them would get back to winning ways- and it was Town, as goals from Scott Kemp and Brandon McCarthy gave them a two-one victory. Tom Newman replied from the spot for Rangers, in the very last minute.
Into the South Central Division now, and we knew that leaders Hanwell Town would still be the leaders at the end of the day as they started it with a five point cushion. That cushion was down to three points by full time as the Geordies, who travelled to fifth placed Chertsey Town, were held one-one by the Curfews, the hosts scoring both goals. Jake Baxter scored at the right end.
Ware, in second place, defeated Chipstead six-one last weekend, but they weren’t going to be able to repeat that scoreline yesterday as they were travelling to Bracknell Town. Were they? Well they did! The Robins had lost only one home game going into the match, the Blues only one away game, so we predicted a draw- but what did we know? Ware were three up within twenty five minutes, Liam Hope, Louis Rose and Harry Watkins finding the net, and although Nathan Minhas got one back the three goal cushion was restored before the break through Joshua Williams. That was that until the last five minutes of the match, when Kyle Roberts, who had only been on the pitch for three minutes before finding the net, got numbers five and six.
Third placed Uxbridge were our form side over previous last ten matches, and after two games without a win got back to winning ways at South Park last weekend. They hosted Westfield, their visitors without a win in five but having drawn their last three- and by full time they’d drawn their last four as they came from two goals down to grab a point. Mark Bitmead and Mahlondo Martin gave the hosts what looked like a commanding lead at the break, but two goals in three second half minutes from Tinashe Nkoma and Aaron Watson saw the visitors share the spoils.
Fourth placed Harlow Town hosted Northwood. Woods recent revival came to a shuddering halt as they fell to a six-one hammering at home to Hertford Town last weekend, but it got back on track yesterday as they shocked the Hawks by taking a two goal lead, Eric Lopes and Ethan Flanagan giving them the advantage midway through the first half. Tayo Oyebola got one back after the break, but it wasn’t enough.
Tooting & Mitcham United remain sixth after a nil-nil draw with Marlow, whilst Waltham Abbey are seventh, a late Prince Domafriyie goal the only one of their match at Ashford Town.
Barking have been in superb form of late, winning four consecutive league matches- and they made it five at Chipstead. Michael Dixon and Jack Hayes put the visiting Blues two up, and although Daniel Moody got one back from the spot nine minutes from time the Chips couldn’t find an equaliser. Barking are eighth.
Chalfont St Peter strengthened their squad this week with three signings, and put them to the test as they travelled to FC Romania. Neither side were on a good run, but it was the Saints who emerged victorious, despite falling behind early on. Gabriel Ghinea put the Wolves ahead after only eleven minutes, but a double from Dan Williams, one in each half, meant that the Saints went marching in.
Staines Town and Bedfont Sports cancelled each other out at Wheatsheaf Park, with not a goal between them.
Our leaders Cray Valley PM headed to Brighton to face a Whitehawk side in confident mood after four successive victories- and they made it five successive victories with a goal in each half, climbing to second place. Kacper Lopata got the opener just after the half hour, Duane Ofori-Aceampong the second seven minutes after the break.
Hastings United, who were three points behind the Millers, could have gone top with victory at Guernsey, but left with just a point. United manager Chris Agutter wasn’t too downhearted, commenting on social media afterwards that the Green Lions would definitely be in the playoffs this season and were the best team his side had faced, after a 2-2 draw saw Hastings remain unbeaten but slip to third. Craig Stone put the visitors ahead after twenty two minutes but they held the advantage only until the half hour when Charlton Gauvain levelled, but United had to come from behind after the break, Daniel Ajakaiye equalising thirteen minutes from time after Ross Allen had put Guernsey ahead from the spot. Hastings are two points from the summit with two games in hand, Guernsey are eighth.
Sevenoaks Town, who started the day in third place, travelled to face Herne Bay. Oaks had lost only two of their last ten, and they fought valiantly to remain undefeated yesterday, but their efforts ultimately ended in failure as the hosts won by the odd goal in five. Callum Adonis-Taylor, signed earlier this week, have Bay the lead ten minutes before the break, but that lead lasted only for a quarter of an hour before Jake Beecroft equalised. Zak Ansah restored home advantage only for Bradley Schafer to eqaualise, but with six minutes remaining Mobolaji Dawodu earned all three points for the home side.
VCD Athletic added Carshalton Athletic forward Raheem Sterling-Parker to their ranks on Friday, and he started as they hosted Haywards Heath Town. Heath had only played nine league matches this season prior to yesterday, and only lost two of them, so they were hard to beat, whilst the hosts were unbeaten at home. Anyone who therefore had money on a draw would have been rewarded. An own goal gave Vickers the lead in the first half, but Heath got the second and third goals of the game, too, Trevor McCreadie and Kieran Rowe putting them two-one up with sixteen minutes left. Ali Fuseini made sure their lead lasted only two minutes, and both sides had to be content with a point each.
VCD dropped to sixth, overtaken by Ashford United who walloped Hythe Town at the seaside. Lee Prescott gave the Nuts and Bolts and eleventh minute lead but it lasted only three minutes, Tom Walmsley equalising. Parity lasted but one minute more, however, David Smith making it one-two, and after the break Jay May and Aaron Condon got numbers three and four to send United up to fourth.
Whyteleafe climbed to seventh place with victory over Three Bridges. Leafe now have only one defeat from their last seven, and the home faithful had a hat trick from Ronald Sobowale to celebrate yesterday, Ruben Soares Junior getting a consolation for the visitors. That was Sobowale’s third hat trick of the season, and followed trebles against Guernsey and Burgess Hill Town.
Phoenix Sports travelled to Ramsgate with both sides looking to get back to winning ways- but neither managed it in a one-one draw. The Rans came close, Jack Paxman putting them ahead after sixty five minutes, but an own goal two minutes from time earned Sports a point.
Faversham Town strengthened their squad this week, and put it to the test as Whitstable Town travel to Salters Lane. It didn’t help much as the Oysterboys took victory with two first half goals, Tijan Jadama and Harry Stannard finding the Lilywhites net. That’s how it ended, and Whitstable leapfrogged their hosts into twelfth place.
Finally Burgess Hill Town, in seventeenth place, hosted Sittingbourne. The Brickies were unbeaten in four matches, winning three of them, and defeated VCD Athletic last time out- but they couldn’t make it five, as the Hillians recovered from conceding a first minute goal- Ben Fitchett with it- to score two of their own through Andrew Briggs and Mason Doughty. They needed to play the last quarter of an hour with ten men after a red card, but held on for a victory which sees them climb to sixteenth.