It was a fabulous start in the life of Step Four for Beckenham Town. Four goals, four wins, twelve goals scored, three goals scored in every game, three-two wins for the last three – Becks fans certainly can’t say they’ve been starved for entertainment! Today they welcome Pitching In Isthmian new boys Sheppey United who have also enjoyed an unbeaten start in their five matches but four of them have featured in the Cup, two replays included. The Ites won at Newhaven midweek but will be hoping to blunt Beckenham’s early-season promotion charge and put a marker for their own promotion aspirations.
Whitehawk also delivered a one-hundred-percent start — in the League, anyway — and is on the road to that Badgers home, Cray Valley PM. The Millers didn’t start the campaign very well, losing at Ramsgate, but bounced back with wins over East Grinstead Town and Glebe. The two matches between the two last season ended in a one-one draw.
Two of our expected promotion hunters meet at Hanbury Park, as Haywards Heath Town hosts Ramsgate. Heath didn’t get the start we expected of them, with just a point from their opening two games and a cup loss at Leatherhead; as the Rams were knocked out of the cup by lower league Rusthall last weekend so they will want to put that behind them and build on their league results – they haven’t conceded in their two first matches. Heath has emerged victorious in his last four meetings – that’s another record the Rams will want to put behind them.
The city of Chichester welcomes Corinthian to the cathedral grounds. Visiting supporters who make a day out of it might want to head to the theater next to Oaklands Park and get tickets to the Crazy For You evening show, which is a fabulous show receiving well-deserved rave reviews (yes, we know, we should stick to football!). City have enjoyed a good start to the campaign, unbeaten and with three wins from four; while Corinthian lost their opening two league games but impressed in a cup win over Guildford City last weekend and will hope to continue. The visitors won here as recently as April, three to nil, so a first chance at revenge is on offer for the hosts.
Hythe Town host Sevenoaks Town at Reachfields, a game between two teams in good form. The Cannons are unbeaten in their four games this season, although three of them have been in the Cup – and their fans are hoping their side aren’t exhausted after a 120:54 win over Raynes Park Vale mid-week. Oaks was also in cup replay action, a much more pedestrian two-nil win over Merstham, and is also four-game unbeaten. Last season, Oaks took all six points from the Cannons.
Chatham Town host Burgess Hill Town, the Hillians are still looking for a first Championship point, while the Cats have four. Two narrow-to-zero defeats started Burgess Hill’s season, but they secured a cup win last weekend; while Chatham will be looking to build on a two-game winning streak after the opening day defeat at East Grinstead Town.
We have a Sussex derby at Jubilee Field, as Three Bridges host Lancing. Bridges have won three of their four matches this season – cup wins over Deal and Whitstable Town’s and a league win over VCD Athletic – while Lancers’ form has been more mixed, with a championship point sandwiched at Haywards Heath between home defeats to Beckenham and East Grinstead The Towns. The last meeting between the two, in January, was a seven-goal thriller – the Lancers coming back from three-two to win four-three with a goal two minutes from time to score the points.
Ashford United, finally legal ground, welcomes East Grinstead Town. Nuts and Bolts have won both matches so far, beating Sutton Athletic in the Cup last weekend, while Wasps have also enjoyed a strong start, two Cup wins and a League victory in their first four matches. Ashford have won four of their last five meetings, including both last season.
VCD Athletic and Littlehampton Town meet at Oakwood. Vickers won two to two from three games and knocked Tooting and Mitcham United out of the cup last weekend; while the Golds lost their last two, to Whitehawk and Walton & Hersham, albeit narrowly, and started the campaign with two wins.
Finally, we have a Kent derby as Sittingbourne host Faversham Town. Neither had a positive start and both are looking for their first wins. The Brickies left the Cup against lower league opposition – Fisher – in midweek, while the Lilywhites lost the league’s opening two matches, Chatham and Littlehampton the winners, after also leaving the Cup for lower league opposition. The two each won their home games against each other last season.
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