Vanarama Conference South 31st August 2015

Matthew Lee’s Round Up
Conference South
Bank Hol Monday 31st Aug 2015

By Matthew Lee

Bath City’s 100% start to the new Vanarama National League South season was ended on Bank Holiday Monday by a late equaliser from bottom side Weston-Super-Mare, for whom this was a first point.

Despite a much-improved performance from the Seagulls in front of a good crowd of 720 at the Woodspring Stadium, the points looked to be heading back to Bath, courtesy of Nick McCootie’s deflected effort 5 minutes before the break. But 4 minutes from time, Weston grabbed the equaliser through Ollie Barnes.

Ebbsfleet United are second after they recorded their first win against Dartford at Princes Park in front of a bumper 2,251 crowd. Jordan Parkes’ early 7th minute striker proved to be the winner against a Dartford side who threw everything at their local rivals after the break. Fleet finished with ten-men following Dean Rance’s second yellow late on but they held on to claim a first league win in Dartford since 1983.

Gosport Borough earned a 1-0 victory over Basingstoke Town at the Camrose to go third in the table. Boro left it late to claim the points though with Ryan Woodford heading home the winner in the 86th minute.

A 7th minute strike from Omari Sterling set fourth placed Oxford City on their way in Cornwall against Truro City. Bradley Bubb’s fifth of the season doubled the visitors’ lead after 20 minutes but in doing so, the City striker damaged his hamstring and was substituted. However, replacement striker Vinny Mukendi scored a 10-minute hat-trick shortly after the break before Luke Coulson netted from the spot in added time to make it six for the visitors.

Maidenhead United survived a second half fight back from Hayes & Yeading to record their fourth league win of the season. Ben Wright gave the hosts an 11th minute lead that he doubled just 7 minutes later. Alex Osborn reduced the lead 11 minutes into the second half and the Magpies held on, despite a spirited fight back by the visitors.

Wealdstone recorded their first win of the season at home against Bishop’s Stortford. The home side took a 15th minute lead through a Tom Hamblin goal but the visitors equalised in the 67th minute when Kieran Bywater’s corner was met by a powerful header from skipper Anthony Church. That was as good as it got for the visitors though, as the Stones won it with goals in the 75th minute through Josh Hutchinson and then in stoppage time from Jefferson Louis.

Havant & Waterlooville won 4-0 at Westleigh Park against Eastbourne Borough. Boro went into the game on the back of four successive wins, but the Hawks were looking for a win following their 5-0 hammering at Bath City on Saturday. Adrian Clifton gave the hosts a 13th minute lead and then Scott Donnelly’s brace put the hosts 3-0 up after 33 minutes. Matt Paterson sealed the comfortable win with a fourth on the hour-mark.

St Albans City and Margate are the only two teams yet to pick up a win in the 2015/16 season.

The Saints looked like they would win as they led Hertfordshire rivals Hemel Hempstead Town 2-1 with less than 2 minutes remaining at Clarence Park. However, considering the Saints played the entire second half with ten-men, a goal 2 minutes from time would have felt even worse from normal.

Simon Thomas put the hosts ahead with a goal inside the opening minute. But the major talking point was on the stroke of half-time when Hemel were awarded a penalty when Ian Gayle was adjudged to have pulled back Oliver Hawkins in the box. Gayle received a straight red and Hawkins converted the spot-kick. The ten-men regained the lead after 71 minutes through Kevin Krans but they were foiled when Jamal Lowe grabbed an 88th minute levelled.

Margate lost 2-1 at Concord Rangers, for whom this was a third success to date. James Whit gave the Beachboys a 23rd minute lead. Solomon Taiwo eventually equalised on 66 minutes, but the home side came away with the points with a 79th Steve Cawley winner.

Whitehawk also won for the third time, beating Sutton United 2-0 at the Enclosed Ground. It was two goals in a minute that eventually killed off the U’s when Danny Mills scored in the 13th minute followed almost immediately by Shamir Fenelon.

Lee Sawyer’s first half penalty was enough for Chelmsford City to return to Essex with all three points against Maidstone United at the Gallagher Stadium. In front of another excellent crowd of 2,117, Sawyer sent Lee Worgan the wrong-way from 12-yards following Tom Mills’ clumsy challenge on Hugo Skepelhorn after 38 minutes. Maidstone had a chance to level after a combination of Luke Daley and Harry Morgan conceded a penalty for a trip on Alex Brown, but Alex Akfofi struck the post from the spot.

Full Scores and Attendances:

Basingstoke Town 0-1 Gosport Borough – 534

Concord Rangers 2-1 Margate – 321

Dartford 0-1 Ebbsfleet United – 2251

Havant & Waterlooville 4-0 Eastbourne Borough

Maidenhead United 2-1 Hayes & Yeading Utd – 532

Maidstone United 0-1 Chelmsford City – 2117

St Albans City 2-2 Hemel Hempstead – 860

Truro City 0-6 Oxford City – 541

Wealdstone 3-1 Bishop’s Stortford – 663

Weston-Super-Mare 1-1 Bath City – 720

Whitehawk 2-0 Sutton United – 307

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