Saturday’s Round-Up: Vanarama National League

5 months ago By Steve Whitney

The lunchtime live fare on BT Sport ended up being a terrific encounter between high-flying pair Macclesfield Town and Wrexham at a snowy Moss Rose.

Despite the conditions, for which the referee called a halt to the game late on in order that the lines could be cleared of snow, the teams put on a really entertaining affair which ended with the Silkmen going to the top of the table following a slightly flattering 4-1 win.

Star of the show for the hosts was former Bristol City striker Scott Wilson, who netted a hat-trick.

His first after just 6 minutes, moving onto a Tyrone Marsh through ball to fire past Chris Dunn, proved to be the only goal of a first half which saw defences in general on top.

The second half saw Wrexham dominate possession for large parts without making home `keeper Shwan Jalal make too many saves of any note.

But it didn`t come as a surprise when former Silkman Scott Boden pulled the Red Dragons back on level terms after 74 minutes when he met Manny Smith`s cross with a powerful header, much to the joy of the Wrexham faithful behind that goal.

But only 4 minutes later – and against the run of play – Macclesfield restored their lead when once again Marsh played in Wilson for a neat finish past Dunn.

Wilson completed his hat-trick 4 minutes later as Dunn could only parry a powerful effort from Danny Whitehead into the path of the striker.

And it got even worse for the visitors in stoppage time as David Fitzpatrick curled home from the edge of the area as Wrexham were caught out by a well-worked corner.

John Askey`s men held on to top spot after the 3pm kick-offs had finished as well after Sutton United were beaten by the surprisingly comfortable margin of 4-1 at the Matchroom Stadium by struggling Leyton Orient.

It was a great start for new boss Justin Edinburgh, for whom this was his first home game in charge.

Macauley Bonne’s 7th minute penalty saw Orient go into the break a goal in front.

Matt Harrold doubled the advantage with a header on the 54th minute.

Bonne then bagged his second of the game 9 minutes from time, although Sutton pulled a goal back through Tommy Wright on the 83rd minute.

Midfielder James Dayton sealed the victory 3 minutes later, fiing a deflected strike home from the edge of the area.

Dover Athletic moved into fourth spot, a point behind Wrexham and Sutton, after a 4-0 Crabble success against Hartlepool United.

It wasn`t a great first-time visit to the Kent coast for Pools, who fell behind after just 3 minutes through Mitch Pinnock.

And it was Pinnock again who made it 2-0 with 25 minutes gone on the clock.

In the second half, former Pools loan man Ryan Bird made his mark on the game, grabbing goals in the 79th and 93rd minute to make it a day to forget for Craig Harrison’s side.

And to make things worse, Nicky Deverdics was shown a straight red card in between Bird`s goals for a bad challenge on Connor Essam.

Dagenham & Redbridge are a point and a place further back after winning 1-0 at the Furness Building Society Stadium against [b/]Barrow AFC[/b].

It was Ady Pennock`s side`s third successive home defeat.

Both sides had periods in the ascendancy, but there were few clear-cut openings – even if one goalmouth scramble did result in a number of goalline clearances from the home side.

Dagenham went ahead in the 56th minute as Corey Whitely was allowed to run into the area and played the ball to the back post, past Stuart Moore, for an easy tap-in for Morgan Ferrier for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

Aldershot Town`s title hopes took a blow when they suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at the EBB Stadium to an FC Halifax Town side who won for the first time in thirteen games.

Scott McManus put Town ahead 6 minutes before the break to give Halifax a half-time lead.

And The Shaymen held on for a precious three points - their first since September 23rd - and for only their second clean sheet in eleven games.

Boreham Wood are now seventh, two points behind The Shots, after beating AFC Fylde 1-0 at Meadow Park.

This was another game when the scoring was opened early on, with Angelo Balanta giving Wood a 6th minute lead when he converted from close range after the ball bobbed around the six-yard box.

However, the home side had to be grateful to keeper Grant Smith for making good saves from the Coasters` prolific Danny Rowe and Andy Mangan.

Bromley are a point and a place further back after sharing an amazing 4-4 draw at the Silverlake Stadium against Eastleigh.

It was a real rollercoaster of a game in which the home side raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 18 minutes.

The first came after 9 minutes when Chris Zebroski played Paul McCallum through from just outside of the centre circle and he went on to beat visiting keeper David Gregory with a cool finish.

And it was McCallum again who doubled his and the Spitfires lead when he picked up a second ball from a corner at the far post and rifled it home.

The visitors pulled one back after 25 minutes when Josh Rees scored with a looping header over Graham Stack.

And on 36 minutes, Bromley were level when Brett Williams broke down the right and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Five minutes after the restart, the visitors took the lead for the first time in the game when Louis Dennis' curling effort from the edge of the box was just out of Stack's reach.

But on 58 minutes, McCallum completed his hat-trick when he headed powerfully into the net from a corner, despite the defender on the line trying valiantly to keep it out.

It looked as though Bromley had won it though when they made it 4-3 in the 86th minute with a second for Dennis.

But as stoppage time ticked in, sub Sam Matthews collected the ball and curled a beauty into the corner of the net from 25 yards.

Tranmere Rovers are now ninth after a comfortable 3-0 Prenton Park win over third-bottom Torquay United.

Rovers` opening goal came from Connor Jennings after 35 minutes when he flicked home a Dylan Mottley-Henry cross.

Despite an improved performance in the second half, Torquay conceded a second 11 minutes from time when Andy Cook converted James Norwood`s low cross.

Torquay’s run of three games without defeat came to an end 3 minutes later when Cook headed a third.

Guiseley AFC remain second-bottom after suffering a 4-0 drubbing at Stonebridge Road against Ebbsfleet United.

The home side took a 21st minute lead with an excellent free-kick from the edge of the box.

And 3 minutes before the break, the visitors conceded a crucial second when Ashley Palmer brought down Sean Shields in the box and Danny Kedwell duly converted the resulting penalty.

Thirteen minutes from time, Chris Bush headed in number three and 2 minutes later, Myles Weston made it 4-0 from close range.

Chester FC earned a crucial 1-0 win at the Swansway Chester Stadium against fellow strugglers Solihull Moors, and move five points clear of the bottom-placed visitors in the table.

Ross Hannah came off the bench to head home on 77 minutes to secure an important three points for Marcus Bignot’s struggling team against his former club.

Moors` skipper Darren Carter was sent-off on 84 minutes for a lunging tackle on Lucas Dawson.

Mid-table sides Maidenhead United and Maidstone United shared a goalless draw at York Road in the day`s other game – Gateshead`s match against Woking falling foul of a frozen pitch.

The lunchtime live fare on BT Sport ended up being a terrific encounter between high-flying pair Macclesfield Town and Wrexham at a snowy Moss Rose.

Despite the conditions, for which the referee called a halt to the game late on in order that the lines could be cleared of snow, the teams put on a really entertaining affair which ended with the Silkmen going to the top of the table following a slightly flattering 4-1 win.

Star of the show for the hosts was former Bristol City striker Scott Wilson, who netted a hat-trick.

His first after just 6 minutes, moving onto a Tyrone Marsh through ball to fire past Chris Dunn, proved to be the only goal of a first half which saw defences in general on top.

The second half saw Wrexham dominate possession for large parts without making home `keeper Shwan Jalal make too many saves of any note.

But it didn`t come as a surprise when former Silkman Scott Boden pulled the Red Dragons back on level terms after 74 minutes when he met Manny Smith`s cross with a powerful header, much to the joy of the Wrexham faithful behind that goal.

But only 4 minutes later – and against the run of play – Macclesfield restored their lead when once again Marsh played in Wilson for a neat finish past Dunn.

Wilson completed his hat-trick 4 minutes later as Dunn could only parry a powerful effort from Danny Whitehead into the path of the striker.

And it got even worse for the visitors in stoppage time as David Fitzpatrick curled home from the edge of the area as Wrexham were caught out by a well-worked corner.

John Askey`s men held on to top spot after the 3pm kick-offs had finished as well after Sutton United were beaten by the surprisingly comfortable margin of 4-1 at the Matchroom Stadium by struggling Leyton Orient.

It was a great start for new boss Justin Edinburgh, for whom this was his first home game in charge.

Macauley Bonne’s 7th minute penalty saw Orient go into the break a goal in front.

Matt Harrold doubled the advantage with a header on the 54th minute.

Bonne then bagged his second of the game 9 minutes from time, although Sutton pulled a goal back through Tommy Wright on the 83rd minute.

Midfielder James Dayton sealed the victory 3 minutes later, fiing a deflected strike home from the edge of the area.

Dover Athletic moved into fourth spot, a point behind Wrexham and Sutton, after a 4-0 Crabble success against Hartlepool United.

It wasn`t a great first-time visit to the Kent coast for Pools, who fell behind after just 3 minutes through Mitch Pinnock.

And it was Pinnock again who made it 2-0 with 25 minutes gone on the clock.

In the second half, former Pools loan man Ryan Bird made his mark on the game, grabbing goals in the 79th and 93rd minute to make it a day to forget for Craig Harrison’s side.

And to make things worse, Nicky Deverdics was shown a straight red card in between Bird`s goals for a bad challenge on Connor Essam.

Dagenham & Redbridge are a point and a place further back after winning 1-0 at the Furness Building Society Stadium against Barrow AFC.

It was Ady Pennock`s side`s third successive home defeat.

Both sides had periods in the ascendancy, but there were few clear-cut openings – even if one goalmouth scramble did result in a number of goalline clearances from the home side.

Dagenham went ahead in the 56th minute as Corey Whitely was allowed to run into the area and played the ball to the back post, past Stuart Moore, for an easy tap-in for Morgan Ferrier for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

Aldershot Town`s title hopes took a blow when they suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat at the EBB Stadium to an FC Halifax Town side who won for the first time in thirteen games.

Scott McManus put Town ahead 6 minutes before the break to give Halifax a half-time lead.

And The Shaymen held on for a precious three points - their first since September 23rd - and for only their second clean sheet in eleven games.

Boreham Wood are now seventh, two points behind The Shots, after beating AFC Fylde 1-0 at Meadow Park.

This was another game when the scoring was opened early on, with Angelo Balanta giving Wood a 6th minute lead when he converted from close range after the ball bobbed around the six-yard box.

However, the home side had to be grateful to keeper Grant Smith for making good saves from the Coasters` prolific Danny Rowe and Andy Mangan.

Bromley are a point and a place further back after sharing an amazing 4-4 draw at the Silverlake Stadium against Eastleigh.

It was a real rollercoaster of a game in which the home side raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 18 minutes.

The first came after 9 minutes when Chris Zebroski played Paul McCallum through from just outside of the centre circle and he went on to beat visiting keeper David Gregory with a cool finish.

And it was McCallum again who doubled his and the Spitfires lead when he picked up a second ball from a corner at the far post and rifled it home.

The visitors pulled one back after 25 minutes when Josh Rees scored with a looping header over Graham Stack.

And on 36 minutes, Bromley were level when Brett Williams broke down the right and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Five minutes after the restart, the visitors took the lead for the first time in the game when Louis Dennis' curling effort from the edge of the box was just out of Stack's reach.

But on 58 minutes, McCallum completed his hat-trick when he headed powerfully into the net from a corner, despite the defender on the line trying valiantly to keep it out.

It looked as though Bromley had won it though when they made it 4-3 in the 86th minute with a second for Dennis.

But as stoppage time ticked in, sub Sam Matthews collected the ball and curled a beauty into the corner of the net from 25 yards.

Tranmere Rovers are now ninth after a comfortable 3-0 Prenton Park win over third-bottom Torquay United.

Rovers` opening goal came from Connor Jennings after 35 minutes when he flicked home a Dylan Mottley-Henry cross.

Despite an improved performance in the second half, Torquay conceded a second 11 minutes from time when Andy Cook converted James Norwood`s low cross.

Torquay’s run of three games without defeat came to an end 3 minutes later when Cook headed a third.

Guiseley AFC remain second-bottom after suffering a 4-0 drubbing at Stonebridge Road against Ebbsfleet United.

The home side took a 21st minute lead with an excellent free-kick from the edge of the box.

And 3 minutes before the break, the visitors conceded a crucial second when Ashley Palmer brought down Sean Shields in the box and Danny Kedwell duly converted the resulting penalty.

Thirteen minutes from time, Chris Bush headed in number three and 2 minutes later, Myles Weston made it 4-0 from close range.

Chester FC earned a crucial 1-0 win at the Swansway Chester Stadium against fellow strugglers Solihull Moors, and move five points clear of the bottom-placed visitors in the table.

Ross Hannah came off the bench to head home on 77 minutes to secure an important three points for Marcus Bignot’s struggling team against his former club.

Moors` skipper Darren Carter was sent-off on 84 minutes for a lunging tackle on Lucas Dawson.

Mid-table sides Maidenhead United and Maidstone United shared a goalless draw at York Road in the day`s other game – Gateshead`s match against Woking falling foul of a frozen pitch.


Where next?

Saturday’s Round-Up: Vanarama National League North Saturday`s Vanarama National League North fixture programme took a battering with all-bar two games falling foul of frozen or snow-bound pitches.
Silkmen Go Top To The Delight Of Boss Askey Macclesfield Town boss John Askey was delighted with his side after they climbed to the top of the National League and says their victory over Wrexham could have been more emphatic.