David Watters reviews the action from the last round of matches in the Ryman North.
Second-placed Cray Wanderers were only able to pull one point back on Ryman North table-toppers AFC Sudbury, whose game was off on Saturday, after being held to a goalless draw at Great Wakering Rovers..
Second-placed and former long-time leaders Cray Wanderers were only able to pull one point back on Ryman League Division One North table-toppers AFC Sudbury, whose game was off, after being held to a goalless draw at Great Wakering Rovers on Saturday.
However, Rovers did have to survive the final few minutes against the former long-time leaders with ten-men after having goalkeeper Adam Seal sent-off for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
Thurrock in fourth spot, pulled to within two points of third-placed AFC Hornchurch after beating Heybridge Swifts 3-1 at Ship Lane.
Swifts took the lead on seven minutes through George Cole but Michael Toner brought the sides level when he equalised on 26 minutes. Thurrock went ahead again when Toner stuck again just three minutes later and the home side increased their lead in the second half when Ross Gleed made it 3-1 on 81 minutes.
Tilbury are fifth on goal difference after winning 2-1 at mid-table Phoenix Sports.
After missing several golden opportunities earlier, Sports took the lead on the half-hour mark through Jason Goodchild. But the Dockers levelled on 64 minutes when Dan Glozier converted from the penalty spot. Two minutes later the visitors were ahead when Emiel Aiken headed home what proved to be the winner.
Tibury head Harlow Town on goal difference after the Hawks also won 2-1 at the Village Glass Stadium against Witham Town.
The home side took the lead on 10 minutes when George Cocklin fired in a free-kick from the edge of the area. But Harlow equalised 24 minutes later when Ryan Melaugh’s free-kick was dropped onto his post by keeper Lewis Down and then rebounded off him into the goal.
Harlow took the lead two minutes into the second half from the penalty spot when Mario Noto’s free-kick was handled in the box and Alex Read made no mistake with his spot-kick.
Seventh-placed Cheshunt could only manage a 1-1 draw at Julius Martin Lane against Soham Town Rangers.
Adam Bolle gave the in-form Ambers a 14th minute lead. However, Soham battled back into the game and were eventually rewarded with the equaliser from Marcus Hall after 67 minutes.
Eighth-placed Brightlingsea Regent pulled to within a point of Cheshunt after securing a 3-1 win against Romford at North Road.
Regent took the lead after nine minutes from a corner when Phil Kelly’s header found the back of the net. Romford came back into the game when Nick Reynolds got on the end of a cross to fire home on 24 minutes but Regent went back in front when a cross from Ricky Griggs saw Josh Gould head home on 38 minutes.
Russell Malton went close to extending Brightlingsea’s lead after the break when his 40-yard effort hit the bar, rebounded off the keeper and went wide. But the home side did increase their lead when Jake Clowlsey made it 3-1 on 77 minutes – his first goal for the club.
Bury Town are ninth, four points behind Regent, after they beat Haringey Borough 5-3 at Ram Meadow.
And Blues fans found a new hero in Josh Mayhew, a new signing from league rivals Brightlingsea Regent. He bagged a brace in the 14th and 22nd minutes to give Bury a 2-0 lead before Dean Fenton reduced the arrears on 43 minutes.
Ollie Canfer restored the home side`s two-goal advantage right on half-time but four minutes after the break Mayhew completed his debut hat-trick. Rakim Richards pulled another back for Boro six minutes later but sub Cemal Ramadan on 83 minutes made it a nap hand for the Blues, with Fenton scoring his second two minutes into stoppage time to make the final scoreline 5-3.