New Year’s Day’s Round-Up: Vanarama National League South

11 months ago By Steve Whitney

Dartford began the New Year with a fine 4-1 Princes Park win over Kent neighbours Welling United to record a holiday double over the Wings and hold a two-point lead at the top of the table.

The Darts led through goals from Ryan Hayes after 19 minutes and Andy Pugh 20 minutes later.

Elliot Romain had put the visitors level in the 24th minute with a close-range header.

But Dartford sub Alfie Pavey came off the bench to bag a brace in the 73rd and 78th minutes and take his tally for the season to date to 18 to make it 4-1.

Havant & Waterlooville are second after inflicting a 3-0 defeat on second-bottom Bognor Regis Town at Nyewood Lane.

Matty Tubbs gave the Hawks a 19th minute lead, but the Rocks suffered a massive blow when they had Ben Swallow sent-off just 5 minutes later.

Sub James Hayter got a second for the visitors after 76 minutes and Tubbs his second to make it 3-0 with 6 minutes to go

The defeat leaves Bognor still looking for their first home win since August.

Hampton & Richmond Borough are third after recording a comfortable win by the same scoreline at Grosvenor Vale against Wealdstone.

A 13-minute first half hat-trick from debutant Elliott Charles set up the victory for the Beavers.

Charles opened his account on 16 minutes as he turned in Max Kretzschmar's cross from close range.

Five minutes later, he took advantage of Taofiq Olomowewe's slip on the soft turf to advance on goal and strike a precise shot past `keeper Jonathan North.

He capped it off just before the half-hour mark as Brendan Kiernan took advantage of a static defence to scoop a clever through ball into Charles' path, and the shot was rifled past North into the bottom corner of the net.

Truro City are fourth in the amazingly tight division after they beat third-bottom Poole Town 3-1 at home to complete a festive double over the Dolphins.

Truro got off to the perfect start as Niall Thompson hit a speculative effort from distance that carried in the wind and beat the visiting ‘keeper to make it 1-0 within the opening 2 minutes.

The White Tigers were able to double their advantage on 25 minutes when the visitors failed to clear their lines as Aaron Lamont picked up the loose ball to find Cody Cooke who in turn set up Ben Gerring for a simple chance from close range.

The all-important third goal arrived courtesy of a purposeful break on the left which saw Gerring make it 3-0.

The visitors were able to pull a goal back late on when Oliver Balmer’s strike found its way home with the aid of a slight deflection.

For the second time in as many games, Braintree Town came back late in the game to earn a point against local rivals Chelmsford City with a 2-2 draw.

The first meeting between the Iron and the Clarets during the festive period ended in a 2-2 draw.

And, despite taking the lead, thanks to a 35th minute Phil Roberts effort, they had to come from behind to earn point in the return fixture.

Kudus Oyenuga equalised 3 minutes before half-time and then Shaun Batt put the home side in front after 64 minutes.

But 7 minutes from time, Roman Michael-Percil grabbed the Iron`s leveller.

The draw leaves the teams level on forty-one points, and a point and a place below them are Hemel Hempstead Town after their 2-0 Vauxhall Road win over the team in eighth, St Albans City.

The spoils were shared between the sides on Boxing Day, but this one saw David Moyo bag a brace for the Tudors after 32 and 83 minutes to earn local bragging rights.

There is now a gap of six points between Hemel and ninth-placed East Thurrock United after the Rocks were beaten 3-2 at home by Concord Rangers, who are now unbeaten in four.

The Boxing Day game was abandoned, but Sam Higgins took only 16 minutes to score his first goal of 2018 and give East Thurrock the lead.

However, Femi Akinwande bagged a brace in the 40th and 54th minutes to turn the game in the Beachboys` favour.

Steve Cawley then added the visitors` third in the 72nd minute, and although Higgins scored again 7 minutes later, the visitors held on for the spoils.

It`s becoming a worrying time for Chippenham Town, whose 2-1 Hardenhuish Park loss against Hungerford Town was the Bluebirds` fourth defeat in a row.

The Bluebirds had lost by the same score in Berkshire on Boxing Day and paid the price for a poor first half as Stefan Brown netted in the 24th and 32nd minutes after missing a penalty when Alex Wall was brought down by Greg Tindle.

Sub Josh Smile gave the home side hope in the 71st minute when he fired him from a free-kick but the Bluebirds couldn`t get back on terms.

Oxford City boosted their hopes of moving clear of the drop zone with a 1-0 win over Gloucester City on Boxing Day, but a 3-0 home defeat to the same opponents leaves them four points above the drop zone.

Chris Knowles gave the Tigers an early 7th minute lead and Karnell Chambers gave the visitors a two-goal interval lead with a second in the 42nd minute.

Ethan Moore ensured there was to be no comeback for Oxford when he made it 3-0 with 17 minutes to go.

Easstbourne Borough began 2018 in the worst possible style after being embarrassed at home by previously win-less Whitehawk, who earned a first three-point haul with a 4-1 success at Priory Lane.

The Hawks` twenty-fourth attempt finally came good, although they are still a massive eighteen points adrift of fourth-bottom Oxford City.

And they even had to come back from being a 19th minute Gavin McCallum goal down.

Gold Omotayo equalised 9 minutes later to send the sides into the break all-square.

Omotayo then gave the Hawks a 54th minute lead and then new signing Elliot Benyon came off the bench to make it 3-1 with 8 minutes to go, Ky Marsh-Brown adding a fourth 2 minutes later.

Where next?

New Year’s Day’s Round-Up: Vanarama National League North Salford City were held to a 2-2 draw in front of a crowd of 2,937 at the Peninsula Stadium on New Year`s Day by neighbours FC United of Manchester but hold a four-point lead over second-placed Harrogate Town.
New Year’s Day’s Round-Up: Vanarama National League Macclesfield Town made a great start to 2018 by beating FC Halifax Town 4-1 at The Shay to extend their lead at the top of the table to six points.

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