BOSTIK SOUTH CENTRAL, SATURDAY 6 APRIL 2019
EGHAM TOWN 1
ASHLEY CAREW (90, pen)
BEDFONT SPORTS 1
(CHARLIE POSTANCE, 75)
In the end it may not mean much, but with all other relegation contenders being beaten this point, fully deserved, might, perhaps be key to a sensational escape from the drop. To be honest, I was checking on my phone just how unlikely it would have to be for Egham to escape when we were awarded a late penalty. The Sarnies, unbeaten in consecutive league games for the first time since this time last season, now sit nine points behind Molesey, and 11 adrift of Hertford Town, whom they visit next Saturday. That is a must win game for the Sarnies, who on Tuesday entertain a Bracknell Town side whose massive goal difference hasensured their play-off berth. Getting anything against Bracknell would be both a surprise and a bonus but it is not impossible. With a line-up that was unchanged from that which won at Northwood (the first such sign of stability all season) Egham were showing the benefits of that success. Bedfont Sports, safely mid-table in their debut season at Step 4 were certainly wanting to seal a double, having won 4-1 at Hatton Road. The first chance of the game fell to Egham’s Anthony Thomas, whose shot was kicked away by keeper Matte Pierson. The only other effort on target in the first period was down the Jungle End, home keeper Ryan Sandford diving to his right to keep Charlie Postance’s 20 yard drive out.
Jack Hatcher gave way to Joe Morrison at half time, followed by Connor Channon’s replacement by Kiemon Robinson. That seemed to open the game up. In the 53rd minute referee Scott Rudd missed a clear handball by former Egham man Tim Pitt, off Samir Bajja’s corner, and from their break Sports’ Didi Ndombe had a shot saved by Sandford. In the 71st minute the visitors grabbed the lead as Postance took advantage of some indecisive defending and fired past Sandford. Egham pushed for an equaliser, and three minutes later Ashley Carew and Brandon McCarthy combined to set up Thomas, but his shot was horribly miscued. The Sarnies’ next chance again came from good interplay up from, McCarthy breaking down the right to send a deep cross that Thomas headed to Carew. From the skipper’s set-up pass Thomas shot but was denied by a blocking tackle. Thomas then miscued horribly again as his team mates opened up the Sports’ defence, but it was a foul, by Tim Pitt, on the misfiring forward that earnt the penalty from which Carew scored the equaliser in the 90th minute.
The situation is at least clearer than Brexit. Egham have 15 points and five games left to double their points tally, even to have a fighting chance of rescuing something from this sorry mess of a campaign. Defeat on Tuesday would mean that the maximum possible total would be 27. They have a game in hand over Hertford Town and South Park, but have played one more than Molesey. It is kind of irrelevant what Molesey do. The Sarnies losing to Bracknell means Hertford need one point to reach 27, and South Park (28) would be uncatchable. Even if Egham win on Tuesday and at Hertford all the The Blues need to do is get four points from their other three games to seal the Sarnies’ fate, because they have a vastly superior goal difference, (-28 to Egham’s -58). That Hertford’s games are at Hanwell Town, who are still in with a shout for a play-off place and at home to Cheshunt, who are 3rd, could potentially add unexpected weight to their own home game against Bedfont Sports on the last day of the season. South Park face Cheshunt at home, Marlow (4th, away), Tooting & Mitcham United (7th, home) and finish at Waltham Abbey (8th). Molesey travel to Westfield, have home games against Chalfont St Peter and newly crowned champions Hayes & Yeading United, go to Chipstead and end their campaign at home to Northwood. Of those, Westfield (5th) are the only side with more to play for than pride, the others being safe in mid-table.
That said, it would be good to see the squad give it a bloody good go. It has been quite a tonic to go home on consecutive Saturdays not bemoaning yet another needless, self-inflicted defeat and feel that we are competitive again. After Bracknell Town and Hertford Town the Sarnies face Ashford Town (Mx) (20 April), FC Romania (a) on 22 April and end with a home game against Chipstead on 27 April.
EGHAM TOWN: Ryan Sandford, Jack Hatcher, Kildane Tesfu, Luke Randall, Tristan Toney, Samir Bajja, Brandon McCarthy, Ashley Carew (Captain), Anthony Thomas, Connor Channon, Joseph Adoo-Peters. Substitutes: Kiemon Robinson (Channon, 52), Andrew Boahen, Morgan Cooper, Joseph Morrison (Hatcher, HT), Greg Wright (Bajja, 76).