Monday, October 10, 2011
A last minute goal by Harrison Chatting lifted Billericay to the top of the Premier Division table on Saturday. The Essex club, who have crept up almost unnoticed, won 1-0 at Met Police, who had to play with ten men for three-quarters of the game, after Elliot Taylor was sent off for pulling back Dave Knight. It was still not easy for Billericay, who were indebted to keeper Nicky Morgan for a fine save from Joe Sheldon, but Chatting emerged as the last gasp hero when he intercepted a pass on halfway, and raced clear to score.
Craig Edwards' men are a point clear, in a leading group as congested as the M25 in rush hour. The top seven are covered by just two points. Lowestoft, who were top, slipped back to second, after being held to a 0-0 draw at Wealdstone. Peter Dean missed a golden chance to win it for Stones in the closing stages.
Early season table-toppers Hendon are back up to third, after their 2-0 victory at Hastings. It was a one-sided game, but the Greens had to wait until the seventy-fourth minute before defender Michael Peacock headed home a corner to break the deadlock. Elliott Charles added the second three minutes later.
Also a point behind the leaders are Lewes, who made the most of a bright start to win 2-1 at Canvey. Michael Malcolm scored twice in the first twenty minutes to put the visitors in control. Alex Rhodes gave Canvey hope with sixteen minutes left, but Lewes held out despite missing a chance to clinch it, when Paul Booth's penalty was saved by James Russell.
Three teams are a further point back, headed by Cray, who started the day in second place, but went down 4-2 in an action packed game at Kingstonian. It was the third successive win for K's, who seem to have put their poor start to the season well behind them. Jack Clark put Cray ahead after six minutes, Simon Huckle responded four minutes later, and Cray went ahead again just before the half hour through Chris Saunders. The game turned on its head when Gary MacDonald equalised in the fifty-seventh minute, and Ali Chabaan put K's ahead within seconds of the restart. Allan Tait wrapped it up twelve minutes from time.
Behind Cray on goal difference are Hornchurch, whose fifth away victory in six attempts came courtesy of a lone Lewis Smith goal eighteen minutes into their game at East Thurrock.
Bury complete the top seven, thanks to a 2-1 home success over bottom club Leatherhead. Danny Cunningham scored early in each half for Bury, while Greg Andrews converted a penalty in the thirty-second minute to put Tanners on terms for a while. They are still without a league win, and are four points adrift.
Concord are off the mark though. Their first win came in convincing style, 3-0 at Horsham, who have yet to collect a home point after six attempts. The return of Tony Stokes from injury has given Concord the lift they needed, and it was he who put them ahead in the fourth minute, adding another around the twenty minute mark. Harry Elmes got the third midway through the second half, and Concord climbed to twentieth place, overtaking their hosts.
Aveley moved out of the bottom four, replaced by East Thurrock, after beating Tooting 2-1 in south London. Millers dominated the first half, but had to settle for a single goal, headed home by Sherwin Stanley in the thirty-second minute, after Daryl Robson's header came back off the bar. Danny Francis added an overdue second in the seventy-eighth minute, but Millers almost paid the penalty for a host of missed chances, when Lee Newman replied for Terrors in the closing stages, and Andy McCollin almost snatched an equaliser.
The final game in the division was at Margate, and yes, it was an away win. Kwesi Appiah hit a post for the hosts, before Paul Vines netted the only goal in the sixty-ninth minute to give Carshalton the points.
That meant that seven of the day's ten Premier Division games were won by the visitors, and there have now been fifty-five away victories in the section, compared with just thirty-nine occasions when the home side have come out on top. Only Leatherhead have yet to win away, while no fewer than seven teams are still seeking their first success on home turf.