By JOHN CHUBB
In the Isthmian Premier League Hornchurch are still third as they won 2-0 away to Bishops Stortford thanks to goals from Chris Dickson and Matt Johnson.
And Bowers & Pitsea picked up their second home win of the week by beating Leatherhead 3-0 at the Len Salmon Stadium with Quentin Monville, Lewis Manor and Brad Warner all scoring to ensure their side stayed 12th in the table.
But there was no such joy for East Thurrock United whose hopes of forcing their way back into the promotion mix were dealt a blow, as they were defeated 1-0 by Cray Wanderers at Rookery Hill.
The Rocks – currently in 10th place – were undone by ex-Braintree Town man Rhys Murrell-Williamson who scored a superb free-kick seven minutes into the second half.
In the Isthmian North Maldon & Tiptree are now eight points clear at the top of the table after a 2-1 win away to Grays Athletic.
Conor Hubble put the Jammers in front from the penalty spot on 34 minutes and Jerome Slew doubled their lead four minutes later.
Grays finished the match with ten men after Lewis Clark was sent off near the end, but they managed a last-minute consolation when Nathan Fox scored a half-volley from 30 yards.
Two of the other sides chasing promotion from the North Division – Heybridge Swifts and Aveley – met at Scraley Road and the Millers grabbed a last-minute equaliser through Connor Witherspoon to force a 1-1 draw, after Alex Teniola put Swifts ahead on 35 minutes with his 21st goal of the season.
Heybridge stay in the runners-up spot and Aveley are fourth.
In between them in third place are Tilbury who scored a late double to win their game at Histon.
The match looked to be heading for a goalless draw until David Knight and Ola Ogunwamide struck right at the end to give the Dockers a 2-0 victory.
Just outside the play-off spots in sixth are Coggeshall Town who beat 16th placed Hullbridge Sports by three goals to nil at West Street.
Nnamdi Nwachuku scored a brace and Aryton Coley was also on the scoresheet.
And there was an impressive win for seventh-placed Great Wakering Rovers who also triumphed 3-0 away to Bury Town courtesy of goals from Connor Martin, Ayo Odukoya and Martin Tuohy.
Just behind Wakering in eighth are Canvey Island who drew 2-2 with AFC Sudbury at Park Lane, thanks to a last-minute George Woodward screamer from 20 yards out.
Michael Finneran had put the Gulls in front just before the half-hour mark before Sudbury hit back with goals from Baris Altintop and Callum Harrison, who netted a penalty seven minutes from time.
Witham Town stay in 14th spot after drawing 1-1 with Dereham Town at the Simarco Stadium.
Liam Whipps put Witham ahead two minutes before the break before Adam Hipperson levelled from the penalty spot in the 61st minute.
Brentwood Town were dealt a severe blow in their quest to avoid the drop as they were defeated 2-0 by fellow strugglers Felixstowe & Walton United, for whom Oliver Canfer and Miles Powell were both on the scoresheet.
And Romford – still with games in hand – are edging closer to climbing off the foot of the table.
Glenn Tamplin’s side travelled to Soham Town Rangers and secured a 4-1 win with goals from Adam Morgan – who scored twice from the penalty spot – debutant Carlos Djalo-So and Louie Theophanous.
Soham’s consolation came from Sam Mulready.
The game between Basildon United and Cambridge City was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
In the South Central Division Waltham Abbey slipped to seventh spot and were dealt a big blow to their play-off hopes, as they suffered a 6-1 defeat away to second-placed Hanwell Town.
Ogo Obi (with a hat-trick), Joel Jacobs, Gio Critchlow and Rob Laney all scored before Billy Holland netted Abbey’s consolation just before the final whistle.
There was also a defeat for Harlow Town, who stay 13th after a 3-1 reversal at Westfield for whom Max Blackmore (2) and Aaron Watson were on target.
The Hawk’s consolation was scored by Tayo Oyebola just before the break.
But Barking are back up to 9th after a 2-1 victory over Tooting & Mitcham United at Mayesbrook Park.
An early Danny Williams goal had given the visitors the lead before Michael Dixon and Dumebi GB-Dumaka struck to give Justin Gardner’s men all three points.