The Ryman Football League
Published 25th April 2012
....and Wealdstone on Tuesday night.
Wealdstone's win at Margate lifted them to fourth place in the table and also eliminated Canvey Island and Cray Wanderers from the race, although Cray would have been out of the picture anyway after losing to Lowestoft.
Top scorer Richard Jolly played an hour for Wealdstone just two days after completing the London Marathon, but for once he was not among the marksmen.
Wes Parker put Stones ahead after 15 minutes and Scott Fitzgerald netted the second moments before the interval.
Wealdstone were in the bottom half of the table at the start of April but had games in hand as a result of their run to the FA Trophy semi-finals and have made the most of them.
Lowestoft were already assured of a home play-off semi-final but they have a chance of snatching the runners-up spot.
Joe Francis gave them the lead at Cray in the 43rd minute and the Kent club’s hopes suffered a further blow when centre back Joe Vines was sent-off in the 75th minute after an off-the-ball incident. He was swiftly followed to the dressing room by manager Ian Jenkins.
Cray actually enjoyed a lively spell after going down to ten-men but Michael Frew’s 85th minute goal settled it.
Lowestoft are now level on points with AFC Hornchurch but eight behind them on goal difference. The Trawlerboys visit champions Billericay Town on Saturday, while Hornchurch entertain relegated Leatherhead.
As for the other two play-off spots, Wealdstone and Bury Town are both on seventy-two points with Lewes on seventy and Hendon on sixty-nine.
Lewes are so far behind on goal difference that a point will be enough for Wealdstone, who are at home to Concord Rangers, and Bury, who are away to relegated Tooting & Mitcham United.
All Lewes can do is win their home game against Harrow Borough and hope that one of the two sides above them is beaten.
Hendon’s chances are slim indeed - Wealdstone, three points and sixteen goals better off, are clearly out of reach.
For Dons to go up they need to win at another relegated side, Aveley, while Bury are beaten, and achieve a six-goal swing. A Lewes victory would also end Hendon’s bid.