LEAFE ON CHARGE TO PLAY-OFFS

The Non-League Football Paper - - BOSTIK NORTH & SOUTH - By Brian Davis

WHYTELEAFE hauled them­selves back to within seven points of the play­off places af­ter up­set­ting

Wal­ton Ca­su­als with a 3-2 win – their ninth vic­tory in 11 games.

The home side opened the scor­ing in the 27th minute when Tom Chap­man’s cor­ner was flicked on by An­to­nio Sime­one to An­ton Dou­glas, who scored from close range.

Lanre Azeez got the sec­ond in the 32nd minute fol­low­ing a sump­tu­ous eight-man move.

Wal­ton Ca­su­als came back into the game with goals from Josh Kelly, who chipped Sheikh Ceesay in the 37th minute, then an equaliser came from Jack Sam­moutis on the stroke of half-time.

The sec­ond half was a much tighter af­fair, the win­ner com­ing in the 73rd minute when Tommy Hutch­ings scored from Dou­glas’s cross.

Hythe Town were not to fully cap­i­talise on Ca­su­als’ slip-up though as they drew 1-1 at home to Hor­sham.

There was lit­tle to sep­a­rate the teams and Hor­sham took the lead when a spec­u­la­tive ef­fort from Al­fie Rogers spilled out of the arms of Hythe keeper Will God­mon.

The vis­i­tors could have had an­other when Tom House hit the bar from 20 yards and Char­lie Farmer put a free header over.

How­ever, Hythe had plenty of first-half chances as well and equalised with an ex­cel­lent di­rect free-kick by Dar­ren Ol­dakar.

In a tight sec­ond half, Hythe went down to ten men when Chris Kin­n­ear was given a red card with 20 min­utes to go yet al­most snatched a win, but Ryan Palmer’s low shot was tipped around the post by Josh Pelling.

Two more teams set­tling for 1-1 were

Hast­ings United at Guernsey, with a draw a fair re­sult in this in­trigu­ing bat­tle.

Guernsey’s Alex Le Prevost swept home from close range fol­low­ing a cor­ner on 11 min­utes, and Kelechi Akpo­bire saw a great chance saved on 35 min­utes, with Hast­ings counter-at­tack­ing and lev­el­ling within a minute as a cross was forced home by Sam Adams. Mean­while, South

Park will rue a num­ber of missed chances as

Faver­sham scored an equaliser in the sixth minute of added time.

A de­light­ful cross from Dan Moody on the left found Jack Maz­zone whose first touch cre­ated the space for him to beat Si­mon Over­land to give Park a sixth-minute lead.

Park had the ideal chance to seal vic­tory how­ever Jack Maz­zone’s penalty was saved.

And deep into stop­page time, Cal­lum Thomas made an out­stand­ing save to deny Faver­sham, how­ever the ball fell to Matthew Bourne, whose shot found the bot­tom cor­ner.

Nei­ther Rams­gate nor Mole­sey had claimed a win in 2018 but the hosts ended that rather for­tu­itously with an in­jury-time win­ner from Liam Dick­son.

The Rams were first out of the block and went one up on seven min­utes when Ol­lie Gray pounced af­ter the Moles had failed to clear.

The vis­i­tors dom­i­nated the sec­ond half and Ross Chalke took ad­van­tage of con­fu­sion in the Rams de­fence to nod a 51st minute equaliser.

Mole­sey re­mained the side most likely to break the dead­lock un­til Dick­son’s last-minute ef­fort.

Shore­ham slipped fur­ther and fur­ther into trou­ble as Ju­nior Baker’s late win­ner sealed the points for VCD Ath­letic.

Mean­while, one game fell foul of the weather as East Grin­stead Town’s pro­posed home clash with

Herne Bay was post­poned due to a frozen pitch.

WIN­NER: Tommy Hutch­ings

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