AVELEY kept alive their play-off hopes as they secured an excellent 1-0 win against AFC Hornchurch in their final match at Mill Field.
In front of a strong home crowd of 413, Jeremiah Maja’s first-half goal was enough for the 10-man Millers, who move to within three points of the play-off positions with just one match of the Ryman North season remaining.
However, Aveley needed their goalkeeper Lamar Johnson to keep the scores level at 0-0 before they took the lead.
The stopper made a fine save to deny Urchins striker Martin Tuohy when clean through, with Hussain Jaffa heading a later effort off the goal-line.
Aveley’s Ross Gleed volleyed over before Maja got the goal.
After 30 minutes, the striker raced through and buried his shot into the corner.
Mason Bloomfield saw a strike ruled out for offside before the half-time whistle, while Sam Bantick was denied by Johnson in a frantic end to the half.
Hornchurch’s Leon McKenzie headed wide when it looked easier to score, and the same man was again frustrated after his effort was cleared off the line by Tommy Spillane.
Joe Clark was sent off for Aveley in the final few minutes but they held on, doing neighbours Thurrock a favour in the process.
Fleet’s 2-0 win against Romford means they leapfrog Hornchurch into third, and know a win in their final match will secure a home semi-final against the Urchins.
Thurrock took a third minute lead against Romford, who also play their home football at Ship Lane.
Michael Pindy got the early goal, and Mark Onyemah made the game safe on the hour mark to put Fleet third.
Tilbury hammered VCD Athletic 5-2 as they gave their fans something to cheer about at the end of the season.
The Dockers raced into a two-goal lead in their final home match of term.
Ryan Melaugh made it 1-0 before Emiel Aiken doubled the lead with only eight minutes on the clock.
Aiken was on target again before the game was 30 minutes old, with the match all but over before half-time.
Victor Caicedo pulled a goal back 10 minutes into the second-half but Danny Norton restored the three goal lead just two minutes later.
Caicedo scored again on the honour mark before Conor Mead netted for Tilbury with five minutes to spare.
The result of the day arguably came at Champion Hill, where Grays Athletic scored a last minute winner to beat play-off hopefuls Dulwich Hamlet 1-0.
It was a level first-half, with Grays goalkeeper Amadou Tangara impressing in the away goal.
Never was this more evident that five minutes before half-time. Dulwich were awarded a penalty and up stepped Ashley Carew.
But Tangara guessed right and tipped the ball away at full stretch.
Grays continued to show their resilience and got their just rewards on the score of full-time.
Kieran Bishop scored the winner to the away fans’ delight, and make it back-to-back 1-0 wins for the relegated Blues.