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Isthmian League round-up: Cray Valley and Ramsgate win again, Phoenix Sports boost survival hopes, Tom Derry scores twice for Folkestone

Cray Valley and Ramsgate both won their opening game of the Easter weekend to remain tightly locked at the top of Isthmian South East.

Ramsgate went top for 26 hours when they won 2-1 at Littlehampton Town on Good Friday thanks to Joe Taylor’s first-half opener and Alfie Paxman.

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

Cray Valley regained top spot on Saturday after resisting late pressure from hosts Broadbridge Heath to record a 3-2 away win.

After Sean Terry put Heath ahead, three goals in 19 minutes left the Millers in charge. Barney Williams scored only his third goal of the campaign with Arthur Lee and Kyrell Lisbie making up the tally.

Jamie Chesworth pulled one back just past the hour but Steve McKimm’s men held on and will host Sevenoaks on Monday, while second-place Ramsgate host third-placed Sittingbourne.

The Brickies won 3-0 at home to Horndean on Friday courtesy of Mitchell May, Danny Parish and Harry Hope.

Herne Bay remain outside the play-off places on goal difference following a 3-2 home victory over East Grinstead on Saturday.

Kane Rowland scored twice in first-half stoppage time to ensure Bay went in ahead following Kiye Martin’s opener.

Bay Michael Salako added a third early in the second half before Tom Cadman set up a nervy finale with a goal for East Grinstead seven minutes from time.

At the bottom end, Phoenix Sports moved seven points clear of danger with six games to play.

Steve O’Boyle’s men won 3-1 on Saturday at home to Sheppey, who took the lead through Danny Leonard.

Adekola Lahan arrived unmarked at the far post to turn in a corner for the equaliser and Palace Francis slammed Phoenix ahead a minute later.

The hosts wrapped up the points through substitute Emmanuel Oladaja in stoppage time.

Erith & Belvedere lost ground after twice letting their lead slip in a 2-2 draw at home to Burgess Hill.

Matt Neary gave the Deres a first-minute lead but Martyn Box levelled. Bill Parkinson put them ahead again on 39 minutes but Noah Hoffman equalised midway through the second half.

Time is fast running out for bottom side Beckenham who are nine points from safety with six games left after a 3-2 loss at Three Bridges.

Dean Gunner’s third-minute goal proved the difference as Merstham won at Hythe.

Interim Ashford boss Alan Walker got his first win at the third time of asking, a 2-1 victory at Sevenoaks on Friday.

Jerald Aboagye gave the home side a first-half lead but Max Walsh and Harvey Brand turned the game around for the Nuts and Bolts.

In Isthmian Premier, troubled Margate saw their trip to Potters Bar postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch.

Tom Derry scored twice for Folkestone on Good Friday as they won 3-1 at home to Lewes. Seidou Sanogo’s early opener – his fifth goal in his last 10 games - was quickly cancelled out by Lewes’ Ryan Gondoh.

Second-placed Chatham were denied a win at Cray Wanderers following Alfie Evans’ stoppage-time equaliser at Hayes Lane.

Jack Holland put Cray ahead but new signing Harvey Bradbury marked his Chatham debut with a first-half equaliser.

Francis Mampolo, another new recruit, came off the bench to put Chatham ahead but Evans had the last word.

Margate host Cray on Monday while Chatham take on Kingstonian and Folkestone travel to Hastings.

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