Bognor Hit Seven To Remain Two Points Clear

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Bognor Regis Town emphatically maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Ryman League Premier Division table after hammering Folkestone Invicta 7-1 at Nyewood Lane on Saturday.

And, amazingly, it came after Invicta led through Ian Draycott`s early 3rd minute opener!

The Kent side held that lead at half-time, but the second period, which started well for the majority in the 531 crowd when James Fraser equalised 2 minutes in, saw the Rocks in rampant mood.

A Callum Davies own goal gave them the lead after 58 minutes and then James Crane bagged a quickfire brace in the 77th and 79th minutes.

Sub Jimmy Wild added a fifth 4 minutes from the end, but there was still time for Ollie Pearce to get in on the act and Fraser to add his second of the game in stoppage time.

That result provided a massive boost to Bognor`s goal difference too, but second-placed Havant & Waterlooville still possess a better goal record and remain just two points behind after winning 2-0 at Mill Field against bottom side Grays Athletic.

It was far from easy for the Hawks, however, with goals from Rory Williams after 9 minutes and a Jason Prior penalty on 28 minutes.

The title looks now to be between the top two as third-placed Needham Market are now ten points behind having played more games after losing 2-1 at Silver Jubilee Park to a now third-bottom Hendon.

Matt Ball gave the Greens a 9th minute lead that Keagan Cole doubled 8 minutes before the break.

The Marketmen `won` the second half through Luke Ingram`s goal 11 minutes from time, but Hendon held on for three crucial points that lifts them to within two points of the safety-mark.

It proved to be a good day for sixth-placed Leiston, whose 2-1 win at Harlow Town moved them to within a point of the top five where the fourth and fifth-placed sides both failed to win.

Matt Blake bagged a brace for Leiston, opening the scoring just before the break and then, after Alex Read had equalised 19 minutes from time, won it in stoppage time.

Tonbridge Angels remain fourth but were held to a 0-0 draw at Longmead by a Dulwich Hamlet side who are ninth, five points behind the top five but with games in hand.

Wingate remain in the final play-off spot, despite losing 3-2 at the Harry Abrahams Stadium to a now virtually safe Metropolitan Police side.

All the goals came in the second half, with Ben Pattie`s 52nd minute opener for Wingate being cancelled out 2 minutes later by Charlie Collins from the penalty spot.

Reece Beckles-Richards restored the home side`s lead on 66 minutes, but the Met were level once more within 3 minutes, courtesy of Olli Robinson and then Roman Michael-Percil won it for the visitors 5 minutes from time.

Enfield Town and Billericay Town remain in top five contention after both enjoyed wins on Saturday.

Town beat fourth-bottom Leatherhead 2-1 at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium with goals from Ricky Gabriel on the hour-mark and sub Tyler Campbell 12 minutes from time – all after Jerome Federico had given the Tanners a 19th minute lead in front of a crowd of 515.

Billericay increased Kingstonian`s relegation worries after a 3-0 win at Kingsmeadow made it eight games without a win for the hosts.

The game was a tight battle until the referee spotted a pull in the box, with Billy Bricknell giving Rob Tolfrey no chance with the resultant 35th minute spot-kick.

Bricknell doubled the lead in the 45th minute with a fine strike and Billericay saw the second half out, with Mekhi McLeod adding a third in the final minute.

AFC Sudbury slithered to another home defeat, this time to Harrow Borough, and in doing so slipped down one more place to second-bottom.

Despite having the better of the first half, Sudbury went in trailing 2-1.

Harrow took the lead through Marc Charles-Smith just before the half-hour mark, before Craig Parker equalised on 39 minutes.

A slip by keeper Marcus Garnham in first half stoppage time allowed Lewis Driver to tap home and give the visitors the lead again.

Chasing the game, Sudbury conceded a third goal on 56 minutes from Kurtis Cumberbatch and 4 minutes from time Ryan Henshaw picked his second yellow card in a minute and was sent-off on his 300th appearance for the club!

Burgess Hill Town are two points above the drop zone after sharing a 3-3 draw at Leylands Park with Staines Town.

Tom Collins gave the visitors a 21st minute lead that Aaron Smith-Joseph levelled 8 minutes later.

Seconds later, Pat Harding put the Hillians in front and brother Lee made it 3-1 less than 4 minutes later.

Two minutes after the break, Collins reduced the arrears and Mo Bettamer equalised just shy of the hour-mark.

Canvey Island won a `six-pointer` at Moatside against fellow strugglers Merstham to leave the Gulls six points clear of the drop zone and the hosts just three.

Canvey Island made it five wins in a row and took full advantage of the Moatsiders going down to ten-men after just 25 minutes when Mark Okoye was shown his second yellow card followed quickly by a red.

Okoye fouled George Sykes as he attempted to break towards goal 35 yards from goal having committed an almost identical foul on the same man 4 minutes earlier.

Canvey pressed home their man advantage almost immediately when Frankie Merrifield broke the deadlock.

Then George Sykes on 57 minutes and Merrifield again 8 minutes later added further misery to Hayden Bird`s side.

Lowestoft Town`s long trek to the Sussex coast was rewarded when Shaun Bammant popped up with an 87th minute winner against Worthing in front of a crowd of 612 at Woodside Road.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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