Only three matches in the Ryman North during this week, as we reach near the halfway point of the season, these matches were some of the key games which will end up deciding the outcome of the teams campaigns.
On Monday Night, it was a chance for the league’s bottom side, Heybridge Swifts, to move off the bottom and outside the bottom three with victory over Thamesmead Town, a side who started the season really well, but have fallen away of late.
Mead manager, Terry Spillane also came up against his former assistant at his prior managerial role at Maldon & Tiptree, Jody Brown.
The match looked to take place in very difficult windy conditions, and with all the bad weather, the pitch at Thamesmead was still in superb condition.
Heybridge had goalkeeper, Danny Sambridge to thank for keeping them in the match, saving magnificently from a long range drive from the edge of the area.
Near the end of the first half, Thamesmead Town were reduced to ten men, and it looked as if Heybridge Swifts, had the advantage and could push on to get the three points, which would take them out of the bottom three, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Early in the second half, it was Mead who continued to assert their dominance, denied by Sambridge again. The visitors rarely threatened the Mead goal and it ended 0-0.
On Tuesday night there were two matches. After Harlow Town exploits in other competitions, they have finally now got their heads down and with their win away at Haringey Borough they now move up to ninth and 5 points off the play off places.
Alex Read opened the scoring with a close ranged effort last night in North London. Ten minutes later Haringey’s free-kick from Dan Aristidou found the back of the net and gave the relegation threatened side a route back to the three points they wanted. But the Hawks hit back straight away as Junior Dadson striked to give the visitors a deserved lead going into the break.
An improved Haringey created more chances after the break, and a fortuitous goal once again drew the hosts level. Mario Noto capped an excellent individual performance with the winning goal to seal the points for Harlow.
The other match on Tuesday night had high flyers Thurrock, take on fellow high flyers AFC Hornchurch. The visitors probably felt they deserved to win the match after controlling large parts of it, but it was the hosts who took all three points with an 89th minute winner.
Thurrock took the lead after some slack defending by the Urchins, allowing a striker unmarked to fire into the corner. The Urchins then controlled the rest of the match, Rhys Madden denied Junior Luke and George Purcell in quick succession. Follow by David Knight hitting the post from narrow angle.
In the second half it was all Hornchurch, and Thurrock were just hanging on. George Purcell was again denied by Rhys Madden. Tobi Joseph’s header was cleared off the line, another effort than hit the post.
But the equaliser finally came, Purcell and Luke linked up to cross into substitute Leon McKenzie who smartly tapped into the corner from close range.
McKenzie should’ve given Hornchurch all three points but he missed a sitter late on. With Thurrock first real chance of the half, Lewis Spence slipped and fired a shot into the bottom corner to give the hosts all three points.
Monday- Thamesmead Town 0-0 Heybridge Swifts
Tuesday- Haringey Borough 2-3 Harlow Town, Thurrock FC 2-1 AFC Hornchurch