Written by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Hello & welcome to another Bostik North round-up, here on the blog. This weekend saw the last action of the regular season, as the outstanding promotion & relegation places were finally settled, as well as the play-off pictures in both divisions.. As usual, the Bostik South results follow at the end.
Saturday 28th April
AFC Sudbury 1 – 0 Grays Athletic
| Venue: King’s Marsh | Att: 245
The Suds narrowly defeated Grays to rise to 12th spot in the final standings. Phil Kelly’s strike with 12 minutes left sealed the points and give Sudbury their third win in their last seven matches. Grays’ 5th defeat in six means they finish down in 16th after a ‘damp squib’ end to the season, Jamie Stuart’s side will hope next term brings ‘better times’.
Aveley 3 – 1 Mildenhall Town
| Venue: Parkside | Att: 323
Aveley ended their first season at Parkside will a comfortable win over lowly Mildenhall. The platform was laid in the opening 25 minutes as strikes by Tom Richardson [14′] and Tony Martin [25′] gave the hosts a decent lead, though Jake Chambers-Shaw halved the arrears six minutes later for the Hall. Richardson’s second of the afternoon on the stroke of the interval sealed the points.
The Millers finish the season up in 14th, courtesy of their first win in five matches. Meanwhile, Town’s poor end to the campaign (winless in their last ten matches) means they end up in 22nd, six points clear of the solitary relegation spot.
Barking 0 – 3 Potters Bar Town
| Venue: Mayesbrook Park | Att: 142
The Blues were outplayed by Potters Bar who had a jubilant end to their three-way tussle for the second promotion spot. The visitors led through James Budden’s goal just shy of the half-hour and after the break, a double from Eoin Casey [51′ & 77′] secured Potters Bar’s upward trajectory into the Bostik Premier Division at the first time of asking.
Barking ended their first season back in the division in a highly-respectable 10th spot despite three wins in their last eight outings, while the Scholars held on to second spot thanks to a sterling streak of ten wins in their last 14 matches.
Bowers & Pitsea 4 – 1 Brentwood Town
| Venue: Len Salmon Stadium | Att: 163
Bowers missed out on automatic promotion despite a good victory at home to struggling Brentwood. Lewis Manor [1′] and Ben Sartain [6′] goals got Rob Small’s side off to flying start before further strikes by Jamie Dicks [17′] and Martyn Stokes [23′] ended the contest really. On-loan midfielder Tom Ranger got one back for the Blues 11 minutes before half-time but it wasn’t enough to stave off Town’s 6th defeat in their last 12 matches, perhaps influenced by their heavy fixture congestion in the last month or two. Bowers finsh 3rd despite 5 wins in their last eight matches and face a home play-off semi-final with Canvey.
Bury Town 1 – 2 Haringey Borough
| Venue: Ram Meadow | Att: 425
Haringey went into the play-offs on the back of yet another win. Lauren Luke broke the deadlock just three minutes in for Borough. Hot-shot Cemal Ramadan levelled from the spot four minutes before the break. Ralston Gabriel struck the winner for the visitors midway through the second half to claim Haringey’s eighth straight win and end the regular season unbeaten in 15 matches to finish fourth, just a point off the second promotion berth. Bury’ inconsistent finale means they end the campaign in 9th spot.
Canvey Island 2 – 2 Ware
| Venue: Park Lane | Att: 245
Canvey ended the normal 46-game season being held by bottom-six side Ware. Mitchell Gilbey gave CIFC the lead on 25 minutes though the visitors restored parity a minute into the second half thanks to Jordon Watson and led just four minutes afterward
The Islanders finished sixth though recent form hasn’t been the best – six wins in their last 14 matches. Danny Heale’s side face a trip to local rivals Bowers & Pitsea in midweek. Ware end a ambivalent season in 20th after a run of three wins in 11 games. They will look for better next term.
Cheshunt 6 – 3 Norwich Utd
| Venue: Theobalds Lane | Att: 146
The Ambers won an absolutely enthralling contest at Theobalds Lane, which had dire consequences for the Planters. The hosts started strongly as Jason Hallett struck twice [10′ & 28′] either side of a strike by in-form Kyle Roberts [23′]. The Planters, knowing they needed a draw to survive the drop, responded through Adam Hipperson’s spot-kick [36′] and Harry Barker’s goal five minutes later. The visitors levelled as Charlie Hitch found the net nine minutes after the interval. Craig Edwards’ men had a heck of a final say as Ricky Sappleton’s brace [60′ & 81′] and Roberts’ second midway through the half made sure of the hosts’ 5th win in their final 6 to finish up in 18th on 50 points.
Norwich Utd’s 6th loss in the last 11 mean they fell to the bottom on the last day and are relegated to Step 5, most likely the Eastern Counties League.
Dereham Town 3 – 2 Hertford Town
| Venue: Aldiss Park | Att: 102
Dereham edged this one late on to finish the campaign in 8th. Hertford led ten minutes in through on-loan striker Charlie Cole though the hosts powered back courtesy of Matthew Castellan [44′] and Joe Gatting [63′] goals. George Lutaaya levelled once again for ghe visitors with eight minutes left. Substitute Ryan Crisp snatched the winner three minutes later. Hertford’s 7th defeat in 10 means they end in 15th.
Heybridge Swifts 2 – 1 Soham Town Rangers
| Venue: Scraley Road | Att: 444
Swifts ended the 46-game term with another victory to see them into the play-offs in good touch. Luke Callander [24′] & Juan Luque [42′] both netted to give Jody Brown’s side a half-time lead. Four minutes after the break, Lewis Clayton scored for Soham who then saw Erkan Okay dismissed with 20 minutes left. Heybridge’s 5th straight victory means they finish 5th and face a trip to Haringey Borough in midweek. Soham finish the season in 13th spot.
Romford 4 – 2 Maldon & Tiptree
| Venue: Ship Lane | Att: 105
Romford once again refused to accept ‘fate’ and dragged themselves to safety by virtue of this massive win. It didn’t start well as on-loan striker Lee Barnard [9′] continued his scoring run for Maldon though Paul Martin’s side ‘turned the tables’ thanks to goals from Carlos Djalo Oso [17′], Ayo Olukoga [42′] and Kris Newby [49′]. Barnard struck again with seven minutes left to get the nerves jangling for the Boro faithful. Though Greg Akpele scored with a minute left to finally end the season on a massive high and Ship Lane gave them a ‘parting gift’ of sorts – Step 4 status for next term. Maldon end the season 7th and suffered their fourth straight defeat here, the Jammers may well be ‘in the hunt’ next season.
Waltham Abbey 2 – 2 AFC Hornchurch (C)
| Venue: Capershotts | Att: 124
A topsy-turvy matvh ended all-square at Capershotts. Christian Assombalonga broke the stalemate for the champions on the edge of half-time though moments into the 2nd half, Darelle Russell equalised. Russell got his brace nine minutes later though substitute Theo Fairweather-Johnson [85′] snared a point for the Urchins. Abbey end the season with only one win in thrir last 14 matches to sit 19th while Hornchurch end the season unbeaten in eight outings and with the best defence in the division, with 103 points.
Witham Town 0 – 2 Tilbury
| Venue: Spa Road | Att: 122
A Harry Norman double [30′ & 82′] meant the Dockers ended the season with their fourth straight win. Witham have had a good season, ending in 11th after five wins in their last nine. Tilbury finish 17th.
Bostik North Play-off Semi-Finals
Wednesday 2nd May
Bowers & Pitsea v Canvey Island | V: Len Salmon Stadium
Haringey Borough v Heybridge Swifts | V: Coles Park
The Final will be held on Sunday May 6th, I understand.
Bostik Division South – Saturday 28th April 2018
Ashford Utd 1 – 4 Walton Casuals (P/O) | Att: 321
Carshalton Athletic (C) 7 – 0 VCD Athletic | Att: 785
Cray Wanderers (P/O) 4 – 0 Guernsey | Att: 202
Hastings Utd 1 – 2 Sittingbourne | Att: 540
Herne Bay 1 – 0 Greenwich Borough (P/O) | Att: 276
Horsham 2 – 5 Whyteleafe |
Hythe Town 1 – 1 Corinthian-Casuals (P/O) | Att: 493
Lewes (P) 0 – 0 Chipstead | Att: 1,134
Molesey 2 – 1 Faversham Town | Att: 56
Phoenix Sports 4 – 0 Shoreham (R) | Att: 71
Ramsgate 4 – 0 East Grinstead Town | Att: 204
Thamesmead Town 6 – 2 South Park | Att: 73
Bostik South Play-off Semi-Finals
Tuesday May 1st
Cray Wanderers v Walton Casuals
Greenwich Borough v Corinthian-Casuals