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Isthmian League round-up: Cray Valley suffer first defeat in nine-goal thriller, Ramsgate take over top spot with derby win over Ashford

There was another twist in the Isthmian South East title race on Saturday.

Cray Valley were knocked off top spot after tasting defeat for the first time in the league this season.

Cray Valley manager Steve McKimm. Picture: Keith Gillard
Cray Valley manager Steve McKimm. Picture: Keith Gillard

Steve McKimm’s men had won 19 times and drawn seven games but match number 27 provided their first defeat at visitors Three Bridges scored twice in stoppage time to win 5-4.

It was a nine-goal thriller as Cray, trailing at half-time, came back to lead 4-2 before conceding three late goals.

Freddie Parker put Cray ahead on six minutes but Noel Leighton’s header and Brannon O’Neil put Three Bridges ahead inside the opening half-hour.

Denzel Gayle equalised early in the second half and Hassan Ibrahiym put the hosts ahead. The game appeared to be over when Parker added his second before the hour mark.

But Leighton fired in with 12 minutes to go and Elliot Hanslow made it 4-4 in the fourth minute of stoppages.

Cray then had an effort cleared off the line before Leightonstunned the hosts by completing his hat-trick.

Ramsgate are now two points clear after an impressive 4-0 home win over Ashford in front of 1,068 at Southwood.

Joe Taylor put Rams ahead in the first half and two goals in as many minutes by TJ Jadama and Jordan Green early in the second half put the game beyond doubt. Taylor added his second with 14 minutes left.

Sittingbourne are nine points off top spot after a Danny Parish goal in first-half stoppage time and a Mitchell May effort early in the second half were enough to see off East Grinstead at Woodstock.

Herne Bay finished with nine men as they went down 2-1 to Hythe at Winch’s Field.

Kane Rowland put Bay ahead but Josh Wisson and Jake Embery had Hythe infront before the break.

Rowland saw red with 20 minutes left before Liam Friend got his marching orders on 82 minutes.

A stoppage-time goal from Sam Lemon saw Sevenoaks lose 1-0 at home to Broadbridge Heath while bottom side Beckenham were pegged back by an injury-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Lancing.

Margate’s Sam Blackman saw red as they went down 3-1 at home to Horsham in Isthmian Premier.

Shamir Fenelon’s early goal put Horsham ahead and Charlie Hester-Cook doubled their tally from 25 yards.

Young substitute Vinnie Bowman pulled one back but Daniel Ajakaiye struck with seven minutes left to end any hopes of a comeback.

Second-placed Chatham went down 2-0 at Carshalton, Joseph Bell and Kwaku Frimpong scoring in either half.

It was the first time in 19 league games that Chats have failed to find the net.

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