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Worthing hit the summit, Swifts leave it late, Phoenix hit five and Hanwell fly high

By Ian Townsend

It's our Sunday morning round up!

Premier Division

It was all-change at the top of the Bostik Premier Division, as Worthing leapt back to the summit once more. The Mackerel Men, who have made a perfect start to the season, travelled to fourth from bottom Harlow Town, the Hawks having picked up their first point of the season midweek in a draw with Burgess Hill. Harlow, who on Friday added defender Gradi Milenge from Maldon & Tiptree and striker Emile Acquah on loan from Southend United- both of whom remained on the bench throughout- were hopeful of a first home win, but had those hoes dashed when Paul Rodgers was dismissed in the 28th minute. Worthing were already ahead by then, through Ricky Aguiar, and a very late David Ajiboye goal made things safe.

Previous League leaders Potters Bar Town hosted seventh place Whitehawk, the visitors aware that they would leap above their hosts with victory. Neither side managed to pick up three points, Steve Brown and Harry Shooman cancelling each other out to give their sides a goal- and a point each.

In what perhaps appeared to be the match of the day, second place Enfield Town put their perfect record to the test against fourth place AFC Hornchurch- and the Towners will be disappointed after letting a two goal lead slip in the last eleven minutes. Taofiq Olomowewe have them a first half lead, and when Liam Hope doubled it on 53 minutes that surely was that; but Brad Warner and Sean Marks had other ideas.

Burgess Hill Town had what looked like a difficult task, travelling to fifth place Tonbridge Angels, where manager Steve McKimm had been bemoaning a shortage of numbers due to a recent signing embargo. Angels leapfrogged Enfield and moved up to fourth, a solitary goal from Joe Turner deciding the match.

Highly fancied Bognor Regis Town, who on Friday added winger Mason Walsh to the squad which defeated Merstham in midweek, hosted a Bishop’s Stortford side still searching for a first win. That search continued, as although the Rocks left it until the 72nd minute to take the lead they had three by the end, Bradley Lethbridge and a Dan Smith double lifting them into second.

Margate went seventh with a comprehensive victory at the Taydal Stadium, home of Brightlingsea Regent. All three goals came in the first half, Joe Taylor's finish followed by a Frannie Collin double.

Haringey Borough followed their first ever Bostik Premier Division victory at Brightlingsea Regent with another day on the road, this time around the M25 to Leatherhead. The Tanners hadn’t had the best of starts, but got back on track as goals from former Corinthian-Casuals striker Shaun Okojie and Travis Gregory were enough to win, despite a reply from Joel Nouble.

Dorking Wanderers hosted a Lewes side searching for their first victory since promotion in what was only the second competitive match at Meadowbank, and the Rooks came away with the points. Luke Blewden and Omar Lawson put them ahead, and although Jason Prior scored his almost obligatory goal with then minutes to go it wasn’t enough to give Wanderers any reward.

Carshalton Athletic entertained a Kingstonian side who were still searching for their first point of the new campaign, and a goal from Louis Theophanous gave them that point- but only one, as Ricky Korboa had already put the Robins ahead.

Bottom faced second bottom as Merstham travelled to Corinthian-Casuals, new signing Fabio Saraiva an addition to the squad after his return to Moatside from Woking. Saraiva made his second Moatsiders debut and saw his side take a first half lead through Reece Hall, but a Daniel Cunningham penalty made it a goal, and a point, apiece.

Wingate and Finchley took on Folkestone Invicta at The Maurice Rebak Stadium, and afterwards Geoff Shreeves opened their newly refurbished pavilion. The work was completed using a £146,592 grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF)- and it was cause for celebration, but it was the only one for the home side yesterday as Invicta took all the points in a comprehensive 3-0 victory. Johan Ter Horst put them ahead, before Adam Yussuff and Jack Evans scored two more in the second half- a task undoubtedly made easier by the dismissal of Sean Cronin.

North Division

The day began with Aveley in first place, but given the fact that the Millers didn’t have a match we knew there would be new leaders-and technically, given each club had only played one match, the new leaders could have been anyone from second to twentieth!

AFC Sudbury had perhaps the best chance, but they also had perhaps the hardest task- on paper at least, as they were entertaining highly-fancied Heybridge Swifts. A hard-fought game eventually went the way of Swifts, but it took a stoppage-time penalty from Sam Bantick to give them the points and send them two points clear at the top.

Third placed Romford were at Bury Town, and that was our #bostikmatchday feature, so you can read about how they earned a point and moved up to second here. .

Felixstowe and Walton United, victors over Bury last weekend, travelled to the side who had previously lost to Romford, new boys Great Wakering Rovers. Wakering were back on form, first half goals from Stephen Butterworth and Billy Johnson giving them their first points.

Fifth took on seventh at Parkside, as Grays Athletic faced Canvey Island. Both sides had recorded victories last weekend, but neither got one this time, as Mitchel Hahn and Frankie Merrifield cancelled each other out.

Maldon & Tiptree started with a draw last time out, and they hosted a side who hadn’t started at all, Brentwood Town playing their opening game of the season at the Wallace Binder Ground. Another late, late goal moved the Jammers up to fifth, Sammie McLeod getting in right at the death.

Barking and Witham Town faced off at Mayesbrook Park with both looking for a first point, whilst Soham Town and Tilbury were in exactly the same boat at Julius Martin Lane. Witham nabbed three in the first match, and once more their victory came right at the death, a Johnny Ashman effort giving them the points and a 3-2 victory. Half an hour earlier Barking had been ahead, as Daniel Cheema and Rashid Kamara had put them in the driving seat despite a Henry Fisher effort for Town, but Andrew Tirivanhu had levelled before the late heart-breaker condemned the home side to defeat. There was drama aplenty in the second match, with nine man Soham turning certain defeat into a point with two Sam Mulready goals in stoppage time, Adam Vyse and Lewis Smith having given the Dockers what surely seemed an unassailable lead.
Dereham Town looked to bounce back after last weekend’s six goal thrashing at Aveley as they entertained Coggeshall Town- and they did so in style, goals from Ashley Jarvis, Dion Frary, and a Daniel Beaumont double beating Coggeshall- watched by former player Olly Murs- despite falling behind to Nnamdi Nwachuku and Luke Wilson.

Basildon United hosted Mildenhall Town, and a Marcus Bowers goal eleven minutes from time earned them the points after Brian Moses and Thomas Debenham had cancelled each other out.

South Central

It was a good day for the new boys last Saturday, as Marlow, Hanwell Town, Northwood and Bracknell Town all picked up three points in their Bostik League debut. Three of them now have 6 points, as only Marlow failed to find a victory yesterday.
Marlow travelled to face a Tooting & Mitcham United side still smarting after turning a 3-1 lead into a 4-3 defeat at Northwood last weekend. Neither side could find the net, so took a point a-piece.

Hanwell hosted Bedfont Sports, who were playing their first ever game at this level, as were FC Romania, who were entertaining a Northwood squad augmented with the arrivals of striker Ned Clarke and defender Keir Dickson. Hanwell ended the day at the summit, as goals from Gareth Chendlik (2) and Andrew O’Brien gave them an unassailable lead despite a late consolation from Jack Mills.

Bracknell were at Molesey, having strengthened what already looks a very good squad with a third signing from FA Vase winners Thatcham Town, midfielder Harrison Bayley. Bayley went straight into the starting line up, but it was another Thatcham old boy, Liam Ferdinand, who scored his second and third of the season as the Robins defeated the Moles by two goals to one. Tayo Oyebola reduced the arrears for Molesey.

Opening day had also been a very good day for one of the older boys, Chipstead starting the day in second place after victory at Chalfont St Peter. Second Saturday wasn’t so good, however, as visitors Ashford Town were three nil up after an hour, and eventually won 4-2. A Mark Bitmead hat trick and a goal from James Cottee gave them victory, despite two servings from Chips via Luke Elliott and Daniel Moody.

Title favourites Hayes & Yeading United brought Egham Town to the Skyex Community Stadium with both sides looking for a first victory, and it was United who got it- in some style, as a Lewis Toomey hat trick and a fourth from Lee Barney crushed the visitors.

Waltham Abbey and Cheshunt are both highly fancied, and Cheshunt almost showed why last weekend until Hayes and Yeading fought back to draw, whilst the Abbotts were slower out of the blocks in defeat at Bracknell. Neither were slow yesterday, the Abbotts winning a pulsating match 5-3. A double from Ronnie Winn and one from Charlie Stimson put them three up at the break, and after Nathan Koranteng pulled one back two more from Rob Clark and Ibrahim Kehinde made it five, before a very late double from Jason Hallett made it look more respectable for Craig Edwards men.

South Park were looking for their first victory under manager Mick Sullivan, with Uxbridge standing in the way. They didn’t get it, however, as Luke Maguire spoiled the Sparks party with a first half goal.

Fifth place Ware went to Westfield in Woking, where Westfield won. Ware must be shaking their heads in disbelief after taking a two goal lead through Leigh Rose and Albert Adu, only to find it was much Adu about nothing (sorry) as Jamil Okai and a double from Karle Carder-Andrews kept the points at home.

Hertford Town hosted Chalfont St Peter, and a 2-1 victory moved them up to eighth- but they left it late, George Lutaaya scoring right at the end to take the points after Ollie Sharman and Jordan Berry had shared first half goals.

South East

Seven of our South East sides ended their first match with three points. First place Hastings United were looking to make it a win double with a win at Ramsgate, and managed it after turning a 2-1 half time deficit into a 3-2 victory. Rory Smith and Tom Chapman had got the Rams off to a flier, but an Daniel Ajakaiye double and one from Dajon Golding kept the Sussex side in top spot.

Title favourites Cray Wanderers don’t play until this afternoon, whilst third place Ashford United had everyone’s favourite summer away day, a trip to Guernsey. The Nuts and Bolts are still third, despite an impressive 3-0 win in the Channel Islands, Harry Ottaway, Lea Dawson and Ambrose Gnahore earning them the points- as Phoenix Sports defeated Three Bridges 5-2 at Mayplace Road, doubles from Kewku Ansah and Jeff Duah-Kessie- and one from Alfie Aldridge were too much for Bridges, although two from Connor French did make the scoreline a little less one sided.

Whyteleafe, who started the day in fifth place, travelled to Herne Bay, whilst sixth place Sittingbourne hosted twice playoff semi-finalists Greenwich Borough, the visitors desperate to record a victory after a 3-0 loss at home to Cray last weekend. A goal from Eddie Dsane gave Leafe a perfect record, whilst the Brickies got another impressive victory, 4-2. An Ira Jackson double, added to by Dan Parkinson and Tom Loynes, were enough for victory despite Connor Peters and Solomon Taiwo scoring either side of the interval for Borough.

The last of last weekends winners, VCD Athletic, travelled to Hanbury Park to face a Haywards Heath Town side playing their first league match after bowing out of the FA Cup to Sussex County- and Horsham’s groundmates- Lancing. Heath are still searching for their first victory, but VDC have two- Lean Lalor-Dell giving them the points.

Highly fancied Hythe Town were looking to bounce back after defeat by picking up three points against Matt Longhurst’s East Grinstead Town, and they did so impressively, a hat trick from Zak Ansah the difference between the two sides.

Finally, Sevenoaks Town hosted their first ever Bostik League match, with Horsham the visitors. Frankie Sawyer gave the home side a dream start, giving them a 19th minute lead, but it lasted for only a minute. Joe Shelley equalised for the Hornets, and then ex Burgess Hill Town player Lee Harding got the winner in the second half.

There are two matches today, both in the South East Division. Cray Wanderers could go top with victory over a Whitstable Town side playing their first match since promotion back to Step Four, whilst Thamesmead Town will hope to pick up their first points of the campaign as Faversham Town arrive at Princes Park.

To keep up to date with all of the news from the Bostik League, you might like to like our Facebook Page.

Where next?

A Swifts history New book charting the history of Heybridge Swifts to launch on September 1st
Bostik Matchday: The Beautiful Game Bury Town took on Romford. The football was moribund, but the people were magnificent. And the music didn't include Paul McCartney.

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