Conference South Easter Round up
Fri 3rd April – Sat 4th April
By Matthew Lee
Over the Easter weekend, a total of twenty games took place. During the weekend, most teams played a game home and away. With Staines Town already confirmed they would be relegated at the end of the season, the second from bottom team, Farnborough Town needed a good result on Saturday to give them more time to escape the claws of relegation.
The four-day weekend began with Ebbsfleet walking over sixth placed Whitehawk on Friday. Ebbsfleet went ahead – against the run of play – just after the half hour mark. Cunnington turned his defender before releasing a final pass to Godden who finally chipped over the on-rushing Craig Ross to give Jamie Day’s side a 1-0 lead. Whitehawk’s Osei Sankofa managed to clear out of the six-yard box as Adam Cunnington prepared to pounce. Sankofa went off with an injury moments later and Fleet took the opportunity handed to them on a plate on 54 minutes to go two goals up. Pa Saikou Kujabi failed to deal with a cross in from Luke Rooney and as goalkeeper Ross tried to clear the danger, Godden pounced to poach his and Fleet’s second goal. Michael West’s appearance 13 minutes from time drew a great cheer from the home crowd but they were brought to their feet in time added on when Rooney delivered a ball in and who else but West was perfectly placed to send a header past Ross for 3-0.
Bromley faced Boreham Wood on Saturday, 2nd vs 1st in what could potentially have been a title decider. At the end of the day, Bromley came out on top winning the “six-pointer” and sending them two points ahead of Boreham Wood in the league. A massive crowd of 2,035 saw the visitors go ahead first after only 14 minutes when Josh Hill headed in from a corner. It took until midway through the second half for the home side to react: Anthony Cook was felled in the box resulting in the victim converting the spot kick to level the tie. With less that ten minutes remaining, Bradley Goldberg popped up to tap home a Jack Holland through ball and take the three points.
Basingstoke maintained their possibility of a championship season -despite going down to nine men – as they won 1-0 at York Road against third from bottom side Hayes & Yeading. It was still 0-0 after 68 minutes when the first red card was shown. Shaun McAuley was shown a straight red for a dangerous challenge on the halfway line. Nine minutes later, Basingstoke’s title chances looked unlikely as they went down to nine men. Liam Enver-Marum was unhappy with keeper Grant Smith after he chased down a back-pass, feeling he was elbowed. The referee consulted the Town man and pulled out a second red card. The decisive goal came with five minutes of the game remaining: Nathan Smart burst through the Hayes’ defensive ranks before being pulled down by Hayes’ keeper Smith. Chris Flood, who came on as a substitute in the 75th minute, took the responsibility and fired home what proved to be the winner.
Visitors Wealdstone had a superb start at the Paddy Power Park when striker Jefferson Louis bagged a brace after three and seven minutes to leave Farnborough a tough task to get a grip hold in the game. With moments remaining of the first half, Louis completed his hat-trick and three minutes after the break, another of the visitors’ experienced players, Scott McGleish, made it 4-0. To make it even worse, the home side had Jamie Hand sent off after two yellow cards midway through the second half, although they did grab a consolation from Jamie White in injury-time.
Two other Hampshire sides performed a bit better: Havant & Waterlooville and Gosport Borough occupied the final top two places. However, the Hawks had to come back from a goal down at Wheatsheaf Park against already-relegated Staines Town to win 2-1. The Swans took a 14th minute lead courtesy of Chace O’Niell, before Harry Cornick levelled from a corner 13 minutes later. The striker then grabbed the winner on 66 minutes with a fine breakaway goal.
Havant are level on points with Basingstoke but have played one game more, but hold a five-point lead over neighbours Gosport, who could only manage a 1-1 draw at Privett Park draw against Weston-Super-Mare. The Seagulls took the lead after only half-an-hour, thanks to defender Ollie Barnes, after he beat keeper Nathan Ashmore to the ball from a corner and headed home from close range. Substitute Tom Dunford scored a 76th minute leveller for Boro to maintain his side in the top five.
Gosport will have pleased by the news that Concord Rangers had been beaten at Priory Park by Eastbourne Borough, for whom Richard Pacquette scored the only goal after ten minutes.
They would have also been happy with the fact Hemel only managed a draw against fourth-bottom Maidenhead United. Ollie Hawkins gave the home side the lead with four minutes before half time. The Magpies grabbed a point with a levelled from “super-sub” Stefan Brown with less than five minutes to go.
Elsewhere, the Hertfordshire derby at Woodside Park between Bishop’s Stortford and St Albans saw a victory for the Blues. However, they did have to come back from a tenth minute Simon Thomas goal down to win, thanks to Rickie Hayles after 26 minutes and then Greg Pearson on the hour-mark.
A last-minute Kevin Amankwaah effort sealed Sutton United a 1-0 win at home against Chelmsford City FC.
That concludes the Friday match and the action from Saturday. There is another set of games coming up this Monday so make sure you get down to one of them to cheer on your home team!
Friday 3rd April:
Ebbsfleet 3-0 Whitehawk
Saturday 4th April:
Bishop’s Stortford 2-1 St Albans City
Bromley 2-1 Boreham Wood
Eastbourne Borough 1-0 Concord Rangers
Farnborough 1-4 Wealdstone
Gosport Borough 1-1 Weston-Super-Mare
Hayes & Yeading 0-1 Basingstoke Town
Hemel Hempstead Town 1-1 Maidenhead United
Staines Town 1-2 Havant & Waterlooville
Sutton United 1-0 Chelmsford City
Monday’s fixtures (6th April):
Basingstoke Town v Farnborough 15:00
Boreham Wood v Sutton United 15:00
Chelmsford City v Bishop’s Stortford 15:00
Concord Rangers v Hemel Hempstead Town 15:00
Havant & Waterlooville v Bath City 15:00
Maidenhead United v Bromley 15:00
St Albans City v Eastbourne Borough 15:00
Wealdstone v Ebbsfleet 15:00
Weston-Super-Mare v Staines Town 15:00
Whitehawk v Hayes & Yeading 15:00