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Ryman League round-up

Faversham v Merstham
Faversham v Merstham

Maidstone United remained three points adrift of Ryman League Division 1 South leaders Dulwich Hamlet with two games remaining after both sides won on Saturday.

Hamlet won 3-1 at Herne Bay – who surprisingly sacked manager Simon Halsey after a home defeat to Corinthian Casuals on Thursday.

Dean Lodge and Erkan Oztumer scored either side of the break to put Hamlet in charge and although Joe Nelder slotted a penalty for the hosts five minutes from time, Huddersfield-bound Danny Carr sealed the win late-on.

One consolation for Bay is that they are mathematically safe after basement-boys Walton Casuals lost 3-0 at home to Maidstone United.

Casuals held out until 12 minutes from time when Steve Watt headed home a corner to break the deadlock and Ade Olorunda and Michael Phillips added late goals to ensure Stones’ goal difference remains better than Hamlet’s.

Faversham Town secured a place in the play-offs with a 4-2 home win over Merstham.

Former Lilywhite Adrian Stone put the visitors ahead but Wayne Wilson’s penalty and a header from James Peacock made it 2-1 to third-placed Town at the break and a second-half double from Renford Tenyue made it 4-1 before Stone grabbed his second.

Hythe Town also secured their play-off spot although they were held to a 2-2 home draw by Worthing.

Jake Hobbs put Town ahead and although the Rebels levelled, Dave Cook made it 2-1 with his 25th league goal of the season.

However, Scott Kirkwood netted his second late-on to see Town slip to fourth, although they retain a game in hand over Faversham.

Folkestone Invicta occupy the final play-off place after a 2-0 win at Three Bridges.

Phil Stevenson missed a penalty for the visitors but Richard Atkins and Josh Burchell scored twice in three minutes after the break to seal the points.

Invicta leapfrogged Leatherhead who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Horsham while Ramsgate missed the chance to take fifth when they could only draw 0-0 at home to Corinthian Casuals, Ian Pulman missing an early penalty.

Leatherhead can return to fifth spot if they beat Eastbourne on Wednesday.

Sittingbourne slipped out of play-off contention as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Tooting.

Ollie Gray cancelled out an early Sol Pinnock goal for the hosts but although Joe Taylor put the Brickies ahead after the interval, Pinnock’s second in the final minute ended Bourne’s slim hopes.

Whitstable Town ensured their survival with a 2-2 draw at Chipstead.

Micheal Everitt headed the opener on eight minutes and althouth Chips turned the game around with goals either side of the break from Devon Williams, Buster Smissen grabbed a point 20 minutes from time.

In the Premier Division Margate ended their losing run with a 2-2 draw at Bury but are three points behind East Thurrock in the final play-off spot and only have one match left.

John Sands put Bury ahead just after half-time but Dean Pooley responded by heading his first goal of the season and then put Gate ahead 11 minutes from time with his second.

However Adam Tann headed an 86th-minute equaliser to dent Gate’s play-off prospects.

Cray Wanderers collected a much-needed 2-0 victory over Hampton.

Danny Phillips put Wands ahead just after the hour and Michael Power ensured the points with a late penalty.

Their third home win of the campaign at Hayes Lane took them four points clear of the drop-zone.

Thamesmead allowed a 1-0 lead against Division 1 North leaders Grays to clip to a 2-1 defeat on Saturday.

Baff Addae put Mead ahead after five minutes and Rob Budd saved a Jack West penalty before the break, however after the interval Jared Small and Joao Carlos turned the game around and ensured a league record 17th straight win for the Essex side.

The loss saw Mead slip to third behind Maldon.

Chatham Town recorded a fine 1-0 home win over Heybridge Swifts which saw the visitors drop out of the top-five for the first time since October.

In-form Austin Gacheru got the only goal 25 minutes from time while Tim Roberts produced a fine display in the Chats goal.

Picture: Faversham go on the attack against Merstham

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