The first surprise on Saturday was that all bar one of the scheduled matches went ahead, with only Raynes Park Vale suffering a postponement. Given the rain that fell on Friday a big well done goes to all those who managed to get their pitches fit for play.
In the Premier Division, the stand out result was Southall’s 6-0 home win over Knaphill, especially given that the teams were only separated by a single point prior to the match. Other than that AFC Hayes continued their momentum with a 2-1 home win over fellow strugglers Hanworth Villa, which marks their 4th successive league victory. Not quite as impressive but Walton & Hersham continued their somewhat slower revival, drawing to home with draw specialists Banstead Athletic, which means that Walton are now undefeated in their last three.
In Division One, the “clash of the giants” was Epsom’s home match against Bedfont & Feltham, although the visitors needed a 80th minute goal to share the points in an exciting 4-4 draw. With Farnham Town without a match, due to AC London’s expulsion, both Sheerwater and current leaders Frimley Green took advantage with a 2-1 win over Fleet and a 4-2 win over Bagshot respectively. The most emphatic result though was that of Tooting Bec who triumphed 5-0 over fellow new boys Dorking Wanderers Reserves, which is largely their Under-23 side.
The day also two of our clubs playing their delayed Buildbase FA Vase ties. On a surface described by the League Chairman as the worst he’d seen in 25 years, Sutton Common Rovers came to the end of the Vase road for this season, losing 2-5 at Uckfield Town. It was a different story for league leaders Chertsey Town FC who won well at ex-Ryman League clus Redbridge FC, scoring five without reply, the first three all coming from Sam Murphy.
Chertsey will be at home in the 4th Round (last 32) welcoming long distance visitors AFC St. Austell FC from the SW Peninsular League, where they currently sit in 5th place. The tie takes place on Saturday 5 January.