Published 26th April 2011
Needham Market, Harlow Town, Brentwood Town and Wingate & Finchley will be the four teams contesting the play-offs and Needham are guaranteed a home game as runners-up. The other positions are still wide open - Harlow are a point ahead of Brentwood, who in turn are three goals better off than Wingate.
East Thurrock United, who had clinched the championship on Saturday, received their trophy from league vice-chairman Nick Robinson.
Harlow edged above Brentwood, who had no game, despite being held to a 1-1 home draw by Ware, who took an early lead through Emiel Aiken. It was the 72nd minute before Danny Brown levelled with a penalty.
Wingate booked their place by thrashing Waltham Forest 5-0 - a result which also ended Forest’s slender hopes of avoiding relegation.
Leon Smith did most of the damage, reaching twenty league goals with two in the first half and a third 2 minutes after the break. Ahmet Rifat made it four and Marvin Samuels’ own goal completed Forest’s misery.
They would have gone down anyway, for Ilford ensured their survival by beating Romford 3-2 at Cricklefield. Junior Appiah gave Ilford a half-time lead, Abs Seymour made it 1-1 with 15 minutes left and then came a late flurry. Jan Skoniezki and Derek Hawtin netted in the last two minutes of normal time for the hosts and Alex Read pulled one back in the 92nd minute.
East Thurrock celebrated in style by thrashing tenants Grays Athletic 4-0. It was a shocking start for Grays, who conceded a first minute penalty which Sam Higgins converted. Higgins scored again on 17 minutes and further strikes came from Hakeem Araba and Reiss Gilbey.
The Rocks are now nine points clear of runners-up Needham, who achieved a draw in what has become their familiar style, scoring twice in 2 minutes after trailing 2-0 at AFC Sudbury.
They left it late, too. Craig Parker’s thirty-third league goal of the season and fortieth in all was an 87th minute penalty, and Sam Newson then equalised to end Sudbury’s play-off bid.
The hosts had scored their goals in the space of a single minute around the quarter-hour mark, through Jack Wignall and James Baker.
Maldon & Tiptree’s play-off hopes were crushed by a 4-2 home defeat by Heybridge Swifts, for whom Luke Callander scored twice, and Enfield Town also faded out of the picture, despite a 3-0 victory at Cheshunt to which Adam Wallace contributed two goals.
Great Wakering Rovers became the first club to complete their season and did so on a successful note (they would have been Leyton’s opponents on Saturday) with Billy Johnson scoring the only goal of their game at Thamesmead Town, while Luke Croll nabbed the equaliser for Potters Bar Town as they drew 2-2 at Waltham Abbey.