By JOHN CHUBB
In the Isthmian Premier League Hornchurch had to settle for a point, after twice being in front in their home match against Merstham.
George Saunders put the home side in front after 12 minutes, the gale force conditions ensuring that his corner found its way straight into the net.
But Calvin Ekpiteta levelled for the visitors with 67 minutes played.
Arthur Lee’s 90th minute header looked to have sealed victory for Urchins, but no sooner had they celebrated what they thought was the winner when Mickey Parcell put the ball into his own net to make the final score 2-2.
Mark Stimson’s men remain in play-off contention but have dropped a place to fifth.
And it was a very similar story for Bowers & Pitsea in their match away to struggling Wingate & Finchley.
Rob Small’s side grabbed the lead through Brad Warner’s 24th minute penalty, before Kane Farrell levelled for the North London outfit not long before the hour mark.
That was just before Wingate were reduced to ten men following the sending-off of Sean Grace, whose foul saw the visitors awarded a second spot-kick, but this time Warner’s effort was saved.
And that ultimately proved costly for Bowers, who regained the lead through Jamie Dicks with 17 minutes to go but who eventually had to settle for a point, as Luke Ifil’s last-minute equaliser for Wingate made the final score 2-2.
Bowers are currently 14th in the table.
East Thurrock United‘s match away to Cheshunt was one of a number of fixtures to fall foul of the weather, and they remain in 10th place.
In the Isthmian North Maldon & Tiptree stay top, but it took a late Conor Hubble penalty to give them all three points at Dereham Town.
Toby Hilliard had made it first blood to Dereham with his 16th minute goal before Charlee Hughes levelled for the Jammers six minutes before the break.
The hosts were a man down for the last 17 minutes of the match after Dion Frary was sent off.
Then Hubble’s 80th minute spot-kick went in to give his side all three points.
After their FA Trophy heroics the previous Saturday Aveley had to settle for a point away to AFC Sudbury, despite twice leading in a match that produced six goals.
Keith Rowland’s side – who have a quarter-final trip to Notts County to look forward to – went into a 2-goal lead with 17 minutes gone as Alex Akrofi and George Sykes netted in quick succession.
Sudbury later bounced back with goals from Billy Holland and Baris Altintop either side of the break.
Akrofi put the Millers back in front with his second goal in the 65th minute, but Sudbury’s pressure paid off as Freddie King found the net seven minutes from time to make the final score 3-3.
Aveley remain in fourth spot just above Tilbury, whose game at second-placed Heybridge Swifts was one of those postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
The game between Hullbridge Sports (16th) and Romford (20th) also fell foul of the weather, as did the matches that would have involved Coggeshall Town (6th), Canvey Island (7th) and Basildon United (17th).
Great Wakering Rovers, currently in 10th position were emphatically beaten 4-0 by Cambridge City at Burroughs Park with Ryan Sharman, Isaac Maynard, Tommy Rigby and Jarid Robson all adding their names to the scoresheet.
12th-placed Grays Athletic were beaten 2-1 at home by Bury Town, for whom Emmanuel Machaya and Cemal Ramadan scored first-half goals before Ruben Soares Junior scored Grays’ consolation nine minutes into the second period.
Brentwood Town are still in 18th place but secured a vital three points in their fight for survival, with a ‘home’ win against Witham Town.
With the Brentwood Centre Arena currently closed due to ongoing issues with the pitch, Brentwood staged this match at National League South club Dartford’s Princes Park stadium where first-half goals from Adam Topley and Alan Fleming gave them a 2-0 victory.
In the South Central Division, a most extraordinary game took place at Capershots where Waltham Abbey played hosts to Chalfont St Peter.
A storming first-half performance saw Abbey five goals to the good at the interval courtesy of goals from Rob Clark, Leonne McKenzie, Louis Bowen, Nathan Twum Koranteng and Billy Holland.
And Shiloh Remy added a sixth from the penalty spot ten minutes into the second half.
But Chalfont fought back with goals from Harry Lodovica and Luke Illsley, before the home side scored yet again Aron Gordon.
Lodovica added his second with 12 minutes remaining to make the final score 7-3 to Abbey, a victory that kept them in the play-off spots in fifth.
Neither 10th-placed Barking or Harlow Town (13th) saw any action yesterday, as their matches away to Uxbridge and South Park respectively were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.