(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
By Matt Bishop
East Thurrock United kept pace with National League South leaders St Albans City last night by beating fellow promotion hopefuls Braintree Town in an eight-goal thriller.
In a topsy-turvy match, the score was level at 2-2 at the break, after goals for the hosts from Sam Higgins and Lewis Smith were cancelled out by Phil Roberts and Billy Crook.
However, when Higgins notched his second of the game shortly after half-time, the Rocks looked comfortable as Femi Akinwande and Montel Agyemangadded added a fourth and fifth, meaning Dernell Wynter’s late strike was a mere consolation.
Hemel Hempstead are third, and just three points off top, after they beat Hampton & Richmond 1-0, with James Kaloczi’s goal late in the first-half enough to secure the Tudors maximum points.
Like East Thurrock, Bognor Regis Town are yet to taste to defeat this season and thumped their visiting rivals Whitehawk 6-2 as Pablo Asensio and Jimmy Dack’s men remain on the hunt for their first point of the season.
Despite being 2-1 down, the hosts recovered to blow the Hawks away, with Ollie Pearce and Pat Suraci both scoring braces in the rout that keeps Bognor fifth in the table.
Below them are Truro City, who slumped to their first defeat of the campaign by losing at home to a well-drilled Bath City side that secured their first three points.
The hosts opened the scoring, but were pegged back when Connor Lemonheigh-Evans scored from the penalty spot, and couldn’t break down the visiting defence after Anthony Straker had put Bath ahead.
Poole Town made ground on Truro, and bounced back from their weekend defeat, to overcome Chippenham, while Dartford secured their first win of the season, after three straight draws, by beating Concord Rangers at home.
Oxford City, who are level on points with Dartford and just a place above the Darts, beat Hungerford Town thanks to well taken goals from Zac McEachran and Matt Paterson either side of half-time.
Further down the table, Weston-super-Mare followed Bath in claiming their first victory of the season by producing a great comeback win to beat Gloucester City at The Woodspring Stadium.
Tigers man Kieran Parselle had given his side an early lead, but Dayle Grubb’s deflected free-kick completed a dramatic turnaround and, despite Jarrad Welch’s late dismissal, Marc McGregor secured his first win in charge.
In a game that produced far less drama, Welling United were left still on the hunt for their first win after a tight 0-0 draw at Eastbourne Borough, who are also winless, and just a place above the relegation zone.
Lat night’s results in full:
Bognor Regis Town 6-2 Whitehawk
Chippenham Town 0-1 Poole Town
Dartford 2-0 Concord Rangers
East Thurrock United 5-3 Braintree Town
Eastbourne Borough 0-0 Welling United
Hemel Hempstead 1-0 Hampton 7 Richmond
Oxford City 2-0 Hungerford Town
Truro City 1-2 Bath City
Weston-super-Mare 2-1 Gloucester City
Tagged Bath, Bath City, Bognor, Bognor Regis, Bognor Regis Town, Braintree, Braintree Town, Chippenham, Concord, Concord Rangers, East Thurrock, East Thurrock United, Hampton, Hampton & Richmond, Hawks, Hemel, Hemel Hempstead, National League, National League South, NLP, OCFC, Oxford, Oxford City, Poole, Poole Town, Rocks, Truro, Truro City, Welling, Weston, Whitehawk, WSM