Date: Sat 30 Mar 2024

By Andy Poole


All the action as the Easter weekend gets underway

The Easter weekend started in the Pitching In Southern League Premier South with leaders, Chesham United, battling out a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Hayes & Yeading United.

A goal from James Harding, his first for his new club, with 20 minutes to go gave the hosts victory over managerless opponents who are fighting against the drop. It means that the Generals just need two points from their last five games to secure the title.

Second-place Gosport Borough were also in action on Good Friday and they succumbed 3-0 at a resurgent Basingstoke Town who scored all three goals in the second half with Bradley Wilson opening the scoring followed by a Daniel Rowe brace.

On Saturday, Salisbury were denied victory at Swindon Supermarine by a last-minute equaliser as the two teams shared six goals. A quickfire double from David Sims-Burgess and Michael Fernandes put the home side in command midway through the opening period. Two goals in a five-minute spell by Ryan Penny and Noah Coppin brought the visitors level by half-time before Josh Hedges put them in front for the first time.

However, right at the death, Sam Turl popped up to grab a dramatic leveller and in doing so, take his side out of the relegation zone.

Also sat in amongst the play-off places are AFC Totton who played out a goalless draw at Poole Town, whilst Hungerford Town moved into the final play-off spot courtesy of a good 3-1 triumph over Bracknell Town. Louie Paget gave them an early lead before Joe Shepherd doubled their advantage before the break. A goal from Ethan Burden gave the visitors hope of a comeback, but that was extinguished when Elis Watts added another goal to his tally late on.

The Crusaders have leapfrogged over Merthyr Town who fell to a 2-0 reverse at Tiverton Town, where Jevan Wright opened the scoring at the start of the second half and Joe Parker hit another within the closing ten minutes to move the Devon outfit onto 40 points and out of the relegation places.

Bottom of the table Didcot Town went down 2-0 at Hanwell Town, for whom Daniel Fosu opened the scoring with just two minutes on the clock and then Gianni Crichlow added another just past the half-hour mark. Just above Didcot are Harrow Borough who played out a 4-4 draw at Walton & Hersham on Thursday evening.

Nana Owusu put the hosts ahead but within a couple of minutes, Ronny Mfinda had levelled matters. An own goal from Arsen Ujkaj gave the visitors the lead but they were pegged back by Stan Flaherty. However, in first half stoppage time, Reece Yorke regained Borough’s lead. Toby Nnadozie made it 4-2 but their hearts were broken late on when Ed Simon reduced the arrears and Owusu equalised deep into stoppage time at the end.

There were goals aplenty at Hendon where the home side slipped to a 5-4 defeat at the hands of Beaconsfield Town. Josh Payne put the visitors ahead early on before Billy Leonard levelled. Payne then restored the lead for the visitors as Tom McElroy and Kamaron English added further goals to put them well in the driving seat at half-time. Payne completed his hat-trick to make it five just before the hour-mark but it only acted to bring the hosts back to life as Niko Muir-Merchant and Kurtis Cumberbatch pulled goals back but it wasn’t enough to give them anything from the game.

The remaining games ended all square as a stoppage time goal from Dylan Jones gave Plymouth Parkway a 1-1 draw at Sholing, for whom Lee Wort opened the scoring on the hour-mark. Over at Winchester City, the home side fell behind to Shaquille Gwengwe’s opener for Dorchester Town before equalising through Oliver Balmer on the hour.

IMAGE: Swindon Supermarine FC

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