Mixed fortunes for Ryman League clubs

THERE were draws for Chelmsford and Heybridge, Witham and Maldon in yesterday's Ryman League matches, and contrasting fortunes for AFC Sudbury, Bury Town and Wivenhoe Town.

THERE were draws for Chelmsford and Heybridge, Witham and Maldon in yesterday's Ryman League matches, and contrasting fortunes for AFC Sudbury, Bury Town and Wivenhoe Town.

RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Billericay 1 Chelmsford 1

THREE penalties were the main talking points from this feisty local Bank Holiday derby, with both sides benefiting from spot-kicks to ultimately share the points.


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The 1,500-strong crowd were hardly treated to an exhibition of football in the first half, with Bertie Brayley's crossbar-hitting header and Ricky Holmes' low drive, both for the visitors, providing the brief excitement.

But the play developed after the interval and a foul amongst a crowd of bodies in the Billericay area led to a penalty which Stuart Ainsley comfortably dispatched.

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However, when Ben Sedgemore brought an over-physical halt to an opponent's run at the other end just after the hour mark, Lee Hodges was gifted with the chance to equalise. Though Danny Gay pushed away his spot-kick it was ordered to be retaken and this time Joe Flack's more centrally-placed thump down the middle rescued a point for the Blues.

Heybridge 1 AFC Hornchurch 1

THE game was played at a fast pace and Elmes' cross on the stroke of the interval created the best chance of the first half, Cross heading inches wide.

The visitors took the lead on 48 minutes as former Swift Lee headed home unopposed from close range after Goddard had flicked on a well taken corner.

Tenkorang then dribbled his way into the Hornchurch penalty area to be brought down by Goddard and Stafford Browne stepped up to slam home the penalty for the equaliser. Wignall went into a header leading with his elbow and was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card.

RYMAN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH

Witham 1 Maldon 1

MALDON started strongly and Wareham wasted a good opportunity, while Kevin Hawes hit the side-netting.

Two minutes from the break Robinson made the most of hesitancy in the home defence, to rifle home Maldon's opener.

Both keepers were in action at the start of the second period but it wasn't until time added-on that Kaan Hawes took a free-kick which missed everyone and sailed into the net to give Witham a draw - and a point that they deserved.

AFC Sudbury 6 Wivenhoe 0

WIVENHOE, without a point from their opening three games, were hit for six as AFC Sudbury turned on the style with James Rowe netting four of the goals.

Had it not been for a fine display by Wivenhoe keeper Dean Neal the margin of victory would have been greater.

The home side dominated from start to finish and they went ahead in the eighth minute when Rowe converted from the penalty spot after Gareth Heath had been fouled. An earlier penalty appeal had been waved away.

Heath made it 2-0, scoring direct from a 30-yard free kick mid-way through the half.

The Wivenhoe goal led a charmed life until they were breached again five minutes before the break when Rowe netted his second after a flowing move.

The second half followed a similar pattern but the visitors held out until the 73rd minute when Rowe completed his hat-trick with a carbon-copy penalty after Sheridan Driver had been brought down by his opposite number.

The one-way traffic on the Wivenhoe goal continued with Neal excelling himself on numerous occasions. Two AFC goals in the final four minutes sealed a comfortable home victory.

Twice Neil made point-blank saves only to be beaten by Rowe following up to add to take his tally to four. The rout was completed when Neil Calver converted Danny Cunningham's cross in the final minute.

Arlesey Town 4 Bury T 1

BURY Town's unbeaten start to the season came to a sharp halt at Arlesey.

After making the early running, Bury found themselves a goal down after only eight minutes when Brett Donnelly headed home powerfully fron Kaan Fehm's cross.

Things got worse after 34 minutes when Arlesey doubled their lead after the Bury defence had failed to clear a corner. The ball fell to Stuart Lockhead whose header beat new keeper Lance Key.

Arlesey were now in full control and Bury seemed to have no answer to their slick football.

Both sides were reduced to 10 men early in the second half after an altercation between Michael Steward and Stuart Lockhead

It came as no surprise when, after 63 minutes, the hosts got their third through Lee Wilson, who shot low past Key from 10 yards.

There were further chance for the home side before they scored a fortunate fourth when, after two fine saves by Key, the ball rebounded into the net off Ieun Lewis.

Bury did get a consolation two minutes later through Ian Cambridge after good work by Shaun Bammant.

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