By JOHN CHUBB
Saturday’s Isthmian Premier League action saw Hornchurch come from behind to pick up a point against bottom club Corinthian-Casuals at Bridge Avenue.
The visitors, with only one league win to their credit so far in this campaign but who have picked up a few draws of late, went in front on 58 minutes when they were awarded a penalty which was converted by Nathaniel Penney.
But 10 minutes later Chris Dickson earned the home side a share of the spoils when he scored to make it 1-1.
And East Thurrock United rejoined them in the play-off spots, moving back up to fifth after a home victory against a rejuvenated Leatherhead side, whose run of seven wins had taken them from hovering around the Premier Division’s relegation places to the top half of the table.
Rocks lead 1-0 for a long time after Frankie Merrifield scored in the 25th minute, but two goals in the final stages from Darren Foxley and Merrifield – with his second – eventually gave them a 3-0 win.
Bowers & Pitsea were not so fortunate, losing 1-0 at home to Margate for whom Reece Prestedge netted the game’s only goal in first-half stoppage time.
Bowers are currently in 17th place and are back in league action at the Len Salmon Stadium tonight (Tuesday) as they host Worthing.
The big non-League story locally this last week has involved Romford.
The Isthmian North’s bottom club have been taken over by steel tycoon and ex-Billericay Town owner Glenn Tamplin, who has already made sweeping changes.
Dispensing with the services of previous manager Paul Martin, his coaching staff and most of the players, he has appointed himself as manager, brought in virtually an entirely new squad and is promising further signings this week.
He has already promised to fund the building of the club’s proposed new stadium in Romford, for which they were granted planning permission some time ago.
But it was at their current home of the Brentwood Centre Arena, which they share with Brentwood Town where the Tamplin era began this weekend with a fixture against Coggeshall Town.
A crowd of 524 – more than five times as many people as watched the Boro’s previous home fixture – saw one of the new arrivals Phil Roberts score a spectacular 10th minute volley to put Romford 1-0 up.
But Ross Wall equalised for Coggeshall, and further goals for the visitors by Tyler Brampton and Tevan Allen gave them a 3-1 lead at the interval.
Former Leyton Orient midfielder Freddy Moncur pulled one back for Romford 11 minutes into the second half, but the Seedgrowers held on for a victory and fourth place in the league whilst Tamplin’s men – at least for now – remain at the foot of the table.
Elsewhere in the North section, Maldon & Tiptree dropped points for the first time this season and missed the chance to go top as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Histon at the Wallace Binder Ground.
Both goals came in the final 9 minutes of the match, Histon grabbing the lead through Ed Rolph before Lance Akins grabbed a draw for the Jammers in the 88th minute.
Their local rivals Heybridge Swifts are still on their heels in third place, after goals from Evans Kouassi and Toib Adeyemi ensured a 2-1 win away to Cambridge City.
And Aveley are in the final play-off spot after a fine 5-1 win at home to Soham Town Rangers, for whom Alex Akrofi scored a hat-trick with Jason Raad and George Sykes also adding their names to the scoresheet.
Great Wakering Rovers sit just behind the Millers on goal difference following a 1-1 draw at home to Canvey Island, Albert Levett’s 80th minute leveller cancelling out Kojo Apenteng’s first-half strike for the hosts.
Struggling Basildon United had a massive boost at the other end of the table, moving three points clear of Romford as Ernest Okoh’s goal ensured a 1-0 win at Tilbury.
Brentwood Town remain just above the Bees despite a 5-2 defeat away to Dereham Town, Andy Freeman and Connor Hogan being the Blues’ scorers.
And Grays Athletic were unable to force their way back into the play-off reckoning as they lost 1-0 at Felixstowe and Walton United.
Witham Town picked up a point at AFC Sudbury in a 3-3 draw, their goals coming from Marcus Bowers (2) and Scott Kemp.
Hullbridge Sports’ home game with leaders Bury Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
In the South Central Division second placed Harlow Town were beaten 3-0 at home by Bracknell Town, and are now four points adrift of leaders Hanwell Town.
But Waltham Abbey scored a fine 5-1 victory at home to FC Romania thanks to five different goalscorers, as Nathan Twun Koranteng, Billy Holland, Prince Domafriyie, Leonne McKenzie (with a penalty) and Darrelle Russell all netted.
Barking also scored five, in their case without reply at South Park.
Junior Dadson grabbed a brace and Eddie Allsopp, Michael Dixon and Johnny Ashman also found the net.
Hornchurch were back in action in the Premier Division on Monday night at Haringey Borough, and once again they drew 1-1.
Froxylias put the North Londoners in front 15 minutes from time with a superb 30-yard strike.
Bur Charlie Stimson equalised just moments later, and the resulting point moved Urchins back up to third place in the table.