All attention was on the Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday and the League’s two representatives, Abbey Rangers and Chertsey Town did us proud, both marching into the 5th Round of the competition.
Abbey playing away to Bearsted from the Southern Counties East League thought they had the match won only for Bearsted to equalise late on, but an extra time goal from Robbie Hendrie who also scored the opening goal, saw Abbey through to yet another away tie, this time against Cray Valley (PM) also from the Southern Counties East League. They are a very good side with at least two ex-pros in their ranks but Abbey have as much momentum as anyone and can surely count on some massive support given the number of supporters they took to Bearsted.
Chertsey were playing one of Cornwall’s top clubs in AFC St. Austell but saw them off to the tune of 5-0. League Chairman Chris Conlon was present and he felt that the visitors were better than the score suggests but there was no doubt who was going through to the last 16. Chertsey have also been drawn away, to Irlam FC, who play in the North West Counties League in which they are currently in 14th place in their table.
Irlam sits some 10 miles west of Manchester and is a 200+ mile journey each way for the Curfews.
Both matches are due to take place on Saturday 2 February.
In the Premier Division, SCR took the opportunity to creep closer to Chertsey with a solitary one goal win at Raynes Park Vale. Marlon Pinder notched the vital goal just before half-time but it was backs to the wall after the break with eventually three SCR men seeing red and holding on with eight men.
In the other seven games, Banstead were the only ones to score three in their 3-1 win over close rivals Redhill who have lost a bit of form recently, whilst Badshot Lea picked up an important three points in their 1-0 home win over Cobham.
In Division One, Farnham took the goal scoring honours with a comfortable 6-0 win against Kensington Borough but the “battle of the giants” saw Bedfont & Feltham notching the winning goal against Sheerwater in a 3-2 victory right at the death, scored by Billy Roach, recently signed from neighbours CB Hounslow. Sheerwater will be kicking themselves after going two up in the match.
Frimley are very much the team to beat at the moment though with yet another win, this time at Chessington & Hook by three goals to one to stay top of the division. That makes it nine wins on the bounce in all competitions.
Epsom and Ewell maintained their good form with a hard fought 2-1 win at Cove and we could well have the closest promotion race for a long time in Division One if all the leading sides keep their momentum going.