Conference South Round up
Sat 21st – Tues 24th March 2015
By Matthew Lee
This week a total of 12 games took place with ten occurring on Saturday and the rest on Tuesday evening. Throughout all the games that took place there was only really two surprises which both happened on Saturday.
Firstly, Bath hit seven past struggling home side Farnborough for the second time this season. This result meant the visitor stole the double over their victims because earlier in the season when they ran out winners of a 7-4 routing. Ross Stearn put the visitors one-up in the ninth minute before Nick McCootie doubled the lead on 14 minutes. Daniel Bennett pulled one back for the strugglers however the lead was quickly restored by Andy Watkins in the 22nd minute before scoring his second with two minutes until half-time. However with only moments left of the half Frankie Artus added his name to the score sheet putting his side 5-1 up at half-time. In the 54th minute Nick grabbed his second before Daniel Bennett pulled another goal back for Farnborough. However it was not to be as McCootie continued the routing with a strike before Ross Stearn’s impressive form saw him get goal number seven.
Secondly, the league’s bottom-most side Staines Town pulled off a shock win against the league’s leaders Bromley. Whilst Bromley dominated the first half possesion, Staines‘ defence was expertly marshalled by Darren Purse. Bradley Goldberg hit the post with a header and Danny Waldren went close. The decisive goal came on 77minutes when Michael Freitter was given time and space to curl sweetly over Alan Julian from the edge of the box.
Joe Ward’s late leveller granted Chelmsford a life-line whilst ending Maidenhead United‘s chances of a first win in seven games. In an uninspiring match, the visitors stunned the Claret faithful on the hour mark. Dave Tarpey escaped the offside trap before sliding in Jacob Erskine who made no mistake in slotting home past Tom Lovelock. With only moments to go Joe Ward levelled the score line. The Academy product made a run down the right wing before directing his shot into the bottom corner for Chelmsford.
Hemel Hempstead solidified their place in the top half of the table with a confident win over Hayes and Yeading. Hayes started quickly going ahead after only seven minutes, Greg Morgan’s low driven cross was tucked home by loanee George McLennan with the outside of his foot. Hemel responded quickly. Zane Bantom smuggled home a corner after 15 minutes and 5 minutes later, they were in front. A soft foul was awarded granting Hemel a glorious chance from a free kick. Jordan Parkes stylishly curled the ball beyond the helpless Grant Smith. On 47 minutes Hemel extended their lead through Oliver Hawkins who slotted home easily. Rhys Murrell-Williamson kept Hemel close on the 67th minute by sprinting down the left hand side and smashing the ball into the box for debutant Robbie Matthews to neatly slide home to make an impact. After another home attack, Hawkins put the game out of reach with only 12 minutes left, notching his second with a smart low finish.
Eastbourne Borough went ahead in their game against Bishops Stortford after 33 minutes. Gavin McCallum charged down the right and crossed for the in-form Simon Johnson to nod home. The lead doubled after 40 minutes after Kenzer Lee had denied McCallum with a goal-line clearance. The visitors failed to react with Johnson’s resulting corner and Darren Lok made no mistake, firing high into the roof of the net. A third occurred when substitute Kane Haysman started a direct run from the halfway line before slotting the ball past the advancing Bishops Stortford keeper.
Havant & Waterlooville survived the dismissal of Brian Stock to strengthen their play-off position, whilst ending any chance of Ebbsfleet had of getting into the promotion picture. Ebbsfleet seemed unsure as to whether Ben Swallow or Scott Donnelly were going to take a 22-yard free kick. The indecision was costly as Donnelly dispatched the ball past the despairing dive of Brandon Hall. After an Ebbsfleet red card, Ben Swallow’s mazy run resulted in a weak drive somehow squirming past a helpless Hall.
A goal inside the first minute for Gosport Borough saw the visitors grab a win at Sutton United. The decisive goal came after only 52 seconds when Steve Ramsey broke down the left and fired a low cross to Michael Carter who made up for poor Sutton United defending to sweep low into the corner of the goal.
Liam Enver-Marum scored the only goal of the game for Basingstoke against Whitehawk in a classic smash and grab performance. Whitehawk Chief Steve King was presented with the Manager Of The Month award before the game. Liam scored in the 16th minute as he ghosted in at the back post to bundle home unmarked.
Ricky Shakes sent Boreham Wood to the top of the Vanarama Conference South tree with the only goal of the game at a windswept Grosvenor Vale, a finish in first-half stoppage-time settling a game of few chances. Wood made the break-through with the last attack of the half. A rash challenge by Elliott Godfrey led to a free-kick on the left and when the delivery was headed back across goal Shakes headed home from just two yards out.
Concord Rangers stole all three points as a dramatic stoppage time winner consigned Weston-Super-Mare to a third straight defeat which sees them drop to 14th in the table. Concord opened the scoring on 56 minutes when Taylor Miles beat two defenders and fired past Luke Purnell from 15 yards out. Weston’s equaliser came on 85 minutes when Jordan Tillson, on loan from Exeter City, scored in a scramble from Aaron Brown’s free-kick. With the game looking like heading for a draw, Concord forced a corner and from Sam Collins’ set piece, substitute Jay Dowie forced the ball over the line.
Bromley 0-1 Staines Town 833
Chelmsford 1-1 Maidenhead 607
Eastbourne 3-0 Bishops Stortford 511
Farnborough 2-7 Bath City 351
Havant & Waterlooville 2-0 Ebsfleet 956
Hayes & Yeading 2-4 Hemel Hempstead 261
Sutton United 0-1 Gosport Borough 651
Wealdstone 0-1 Boreham Wood 711
Weston-Super-Mare 1-2 Concord Rangers 495
Whitehawk 0-1 Basingstoke Town 252
Hemel Hempstead 3-1 Chelmsford City
Concord Rangers 3-2 Havant & Waterlooville