DIVISION One North was the place for goals yesterday (Saturday), with 42 of them coming in nine games. Eight of them were scored by Needham Market, who had already netted seven twice this season and are the league’s top scorers with 33 in ten games.
This time the Marketmen went goal-crazy on the road, wrecking Cheshunt’s unbeaten home record by inflicting an 8-1 thrashing.
It was the 18th minute before Jose Espinosa started the rout but it was 3-0 eight minutes later as Sam Newson and Danny Thrower struck. Kevin Ashwood replied for the Ambers on 35 minutes but that provoked a two-goal response from Angelo Harrop and Bradley Barber that made it 5-1 at the interval.
Newson scored again on 70 minutes, his 16th of the season in all competitions, before late efforts came from Scott Chaplin and Deakan Napier. Not the most encouraging result for Cheshunt, whose next home game is against new Premier Division leaders Hornchurch in the Alan Boon Cup on Tuesday.
For all their goalscoring, Needham are no higher than seventh in the table. They are one of a number of teams who took advantage of a day off for leaders Grays to close the gap at the top.
Waltham Forest are now in second place, two points off the pace with a game in hand, after hanging on to beat landlords Ilford 4-3.
Manu Dagher put Forest ahead after seven minutes and Jamie Moore added another midway through the first half. Raffael Kaphouris quickly made it 2-1 only for Joel Palmer to restore the two-goal margin on the half-hour.
Stephen Opoka revived Ilford’s hopes on 71 minutes but Dagher nabbed his second six minutes later and a late strike by Wale Adedoyin, his first since his move from Romford, was no more than consolation for the ‘visitors’.
Tilbury stormed into a 3-0 lead at home to Waltham Abbey. Tom Webb scored after 22 and 38 minutes, with Steve Good adding the third six minutes after the break. Abbots were given some hope with 20 minutes left when Tim Shaw’s shot came back off the bar and cannoned into the net off Dockers defender Joe Nightingill. Then Matt Mitchell caused late alarm when he made it 3-2 with a free kick in the 89th minute. But Dockers held out and moved up to third place.
Enfield Town dropped back from second to fourth after being held to a 1-1 draw at Great Wakering. Michael Pindy levelled for the hosts eight minutes after half-time, wiping out Liam Hope’s 15th-minute strike for Enfield. Dave Kendall almost made it 2-0 but saw his effort come back off the bar.
Harlow are fifth after wrecking Leiston’s impressive early-season home record. They had won their first four on their own turf, conceding just one goal in the process, but the Suffolk fans learned that Ryman League football is not that simple as Hawks marched to a 4-1 triumph.
Piers Wixon put them ahead midway through the first half, Luke Marshall added another seven minutes before half-time and Danny Brown converted a penalty soon after the break. James Bunn claimed the fourth before Michael Brothers managed a consolation.
Four other teams overtook Leiston, who dropped from fifth to tenth. Romford returned to sixth place after a 3-2 home win over Ware in which centre-back Matt Toms took only six minutes to open the scoring (pictured above by Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo). Nick Reynolds made it 2-0 on 25 minutes and, after Ricci Crace replied, Reynolds restored the two-goal margin on the stroke of half-time. All three Romford goals were headers. Bottom club Ware reduced the arrears again through Anthony Lane three minutes after the restart but could not find an equaliser.
Lea Dawson gave Thamesmead a 31st-minute lead at Soham, who replied in the 41st minute through Dubi Ogbonna only to be hit by two goals on the stroke of half-time. Danny Moore ran the length of the field to restore the lead in the 45th minute and Danny Penny netted a penalty in added time to put Thamesmead 3-1 up, which is how it finished.
The longest name on the day’s league scoresheets was also the first: Ashley Harrison-Barker put Potters Bar ahead in the second minute against Chatham and Josh Urquhart made it 2-0 with a free kick just before the break. Tom Pett missed a chance to wrap it up from the penalty spot but Jon Pilbeam’s late reply could not save the visitors from a fourth successive defeat after they had started the season so brightly.
Emmanuel Osei was Brentwood’s hero in their 2-0 home victory over Heybridge, scoring in the 65th and 80th minutes to decide a game that was evenly fought.
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