Covid-19 claims football fixtures across the county

Non-league round-up

The coronavirus put paid to football across the country, with the local non-league game equally affected.

No matches were played in the BetVictor Isthmian, Essex Senior or ProKit UK Essex Olympian League’s, with statements suggesting similarly to the professional game that the escalating situation will be revied on April 3. However, elsewhere, some football was played.

Vanarama National League

The Covid-19 outbreak claimed Dagenham & Redbridge’s trip to Woking on Saturday morning. 

A statement on explained: ‘The Club can confirm that today’s scheduled Vanarama National League fixture against Woking has been postponed. 

‘Due to concerns over COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the decision has been made for the safety of all of our staff and supporters. 

‘The Club will provide a further update for supporters as soon as possible.’ 

Vanarama National League South

Concord Rangers, Billericay Town, Braintree Town and Chelmsford City were all in action, despite the coronavirus concerns.

Relegation-threatened Concord were left frustrated as fellow strugglers, Tonbridge Angels snatched a stoppage-time equaliser at the Aspect Arena.

Former Beach Boy, Ben Greenhalgh, opened the scoring for visitors, Tonbridge only for Temi Babalola to swiftly level for the hosts.

Decarrey Sheriff neatly turned the game in Concord’s favour. However, the Kent visitors were back on terms two minutes before the break, through Tommy Wood.

But Concord headed in for the half-time cuppa with the lead – James Blanchfield on hand from close range and that was the way it stayed until stoppage-time when Rian Bray rose unchallenged in stoppage time to salvage a share of the spoils.

Chelmsford City crashed by three unanswered goals at old adversaries, Dartford. Josh Hill and Elliott Romain netted shortly before the interval as the Darts took full control. Noor Husin seven minutes after the restart to send the Clarets contingent – amongst a 1,486 – home disappointed.

Billericay Town went down by two goals to nil at Welling United. Adam Coombes powerfully headed the Wings in front just before the hour. 

Billericay’s misery was compounded when Antony Cook rattled home from the spot five minutes from time. The result saw Welling leapfrog Billericay in the table – the Blues now sit in fifteenth place – three points above the relegation zone.

Braintree Town remains in trouble towards the bottom. The Iron went down by a goal to nil against St Albans City at Cressing Road – Joey Iaciofano with the decisive strike after quarters of an hour after a crisp move down the right.

Faux Cup semi-final

Old Southendian ‘B’ 1-4 Southend Rangers Reserves

Southend Rangers’ second string booked a Faux Cup final date with Rayleigh after producing a dominant performance to see off Old Southendian ‘B’ at Garon Park.

“It was a hard-fought battle with lots of hard tackles across the pitch. But we outplayed them and deserved to win. My players gave it one hundred and ten per cent,” Rangers’ boss, Mike Baker, told Yellow Sport.

Richard Nolde, Adam Rice and Tom Bonnett found the net as Rangers raced into a three-goal lead. Ewart Msiska pulled one back for the Old Boys, but skipper, Joe Templeton, capped a memorable afternoon for the visitors with a fourth.

Old Southendian Director of Football, John Roy, bemoaned: “It was a tough game and for eighty minutes the lads gave as good as they got. Sadly the last 10 killed us once we went 3-0 down.

“But no one lost their heads. Big E (Ewart Msiska) took his chance well. Now it’s up to us to get over the disappointment, finish this season and build for next year.”

Meanwhile, Rayleigh reached the showpiece event with a 2-0 victory over Pitsea Athletic Reserves at the Chichester Playing Fields – Callum Deridisi with a brace for the winners.

Brian Jeeves

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