Saturday’s Round-Up: Vanarama National League

11 months ago By Steve Whitney

Macclesfield Town still lead the table on Saturday, but now it`s only by one point after they were held to a 1-1 draw at the Moss Rose by bottom-of-the-table Torquay United.

It was goalless at the break with both teams lacking the killer edge to open the scoring, despite creating numerous chances.

The game carried on in the same fashion until 20 minutes from time when the Silkmen gave the visitors a scare when Elliott Durrell unleashed a fierce strike from 25 yards which Gulls` keeper Vincent Dorel – on as a half-time sub for Ryan Clarke - failed to catch cleanly at first.

That was a warning shot as just 2 minutes later the hosts did break the deadlock when it was this time Danny Whitehead who fired home with a fine strike from a similar distance.

But the lead lasted barely 6 minutes as Elliott Romain equalised when he bundled the ball in after Macc `keeper Shwan Jalal couldn't hold onto a high ball under pressure.

Although this represents an excellent point for Torquay, they are still ten points adrift of the safety mark.

Aldershot Town maintained the pressure on the Silkmen after winning a thriller at the Matchroom Stadium against a Leyton Orient side who are now only two points above the relegation zone.

Macauley Bonne gave Orient the lead inside 20 seconds, shooting underneath Lewis Ward after breaking into the box.

The O’s dominated for long spells, but Shamir Fenelon equalised with a neat finish from James Rowe’s through ball a minute before the break.

The Shots then took the lead 2 minutes after the interval, Will Evans heading in the rebound after new signing Adam McDonnell’s free-kick bounced down off the crossbar.

George Elokobi hooked in a close-range equaliser 5 minutes later, but on 76 minutes McDonnell fired past Dean Brill to put The Shots back in front and it was a lead they protected superbly.

The derby between Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers ended all-square at 2-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of 8,471 at The Racecourse.

Tranmere took the lead in the 11th minute when a corner was headed down by James Norwood and Ritchie Sutton netted from close range.

But Wrexham’s equalised just 2 minutes later when the ball was played in to Scott Quigley, who turned on the edge of the box and fired past `keeper Rhys Taylor.

And just 4 minutes later, the home side went ahead after Shaun Pearson was brought down in the area by Sutton and Chris Holroyd converted the resulting penalty.

Tranmere equalised in first injury-time when Liam Ridehalgh`s free-kick saw Andy Cook head past Rhys Taylor.

The second half saw Taylor save well from Scott Boden`s header and the Rovers` keeper also tipped a Quigley effort behind.

Wrexham were given a let-off when Chris Dunn made a superb save to deny Norwood and Cook’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Shaun Pearson.

But the draw lifted Wrexham into third, with Tranmere a point behind in fifth.

Dover Athletic are level on points with Tranmere after edging out second-bottom Guiseley 2-1 at Crabble.

The outcome was a little cruel on the visitors, who are nine points adrift of the safety-mark, as they held the Whites until 2 minutes from time.

They had fallen behind as early as the 5th minute when good work from winger Anthony Jeffrey, who has just extended his stay with Dover, found Mitch Brundle, who fired past new Guiseley `keeper Luke Coddington from 25 yards.

However, the home side weren`t able to build on that lead and the Lions eventually pulled themselves back on level terms in the 63rd minute when Dayle Southwell fired a free-kick past Mitch Walker.

But in the 88th minute, Mitch Pinnock bagged all three points for Dover with a powerful shot from an angle past Northampton loanee Coddington.

Bromley are seventh after enjoying a comfortable 3-0 Hayes Lane win over a FC Halifax Town side who are eighteenth and just four points above the drop zone.

Despite having several decent chances in the opening 45 minutes, Bromley went into the break all-square.

However, just 5 minutes into the second half, the Ravens broke the deadlock when Adam Mekki’s whipped in free-kick found Louis Dennis, who headed in off the crossbar.

And like London buses…. a second goal came just 4 minutes later when Josh Rees netted following a goalmouth scramble.

And 4 minutes after that it was 3-0 with Rees just managing to squeeze the ball over the line for his 11th goal of the campaign.

Boreham Wood are level on points with Bromley in eighth after a fine 3-0 win at Stonebridge Road against Ebbsfleet United.

The visitors took a 34th minute lead with a terrific volley from Angelo Balanta.

And 2 minutes into the second half, Wood doubled their advantage when Jamie Turley fired past Nathan Ashmore after a corner had been half-cleared to him on the edge of the area.

Victory was assured on 66 minutes when recent recruit Joe Quigley made it 3-0 on the breakaway.

And Luke Garrard`s men could even afford to miss a penalty late on – Andrade`s effort bouncing back off the bar.

Dagenham & Redbridge`s play-off hopes are sliding after they suffered a third successive defeat to a Solihull Moors outfit who are now fourth-bottom and just a point behind Barrow AFC, whose game today was off.

It turned out to be a great day for Moors` latest signing, Adi Yussuf, who made the move from Barrow in midweek.

He bagged a brace inside a minute, starting in the 11th minute with a curling effort past Mark Cousins and then a close-range finish from Kristian Green`s cross.

John Still`s side got themselves back into the game 5 minutes before half-time when a half-cleared cross fell for Fejiri Okenabirhie to score.

But midway through the second half, Moors killed the game off with a third from sub Oladapo Afolayan.

Eastleigh twice came back from behind to win 4-3 at the Silverlake Stadium against a Hartlepool United side who have now failed to win in eleven games.

The visitors twice got themselves in front with Michael Woods’ seventh and eighth goals of the season in the 7th and 29th minutes, sandwiched by an Ayo Obiliye reply.

But some poor defending allowed the Spitfires back in to it as Chris Zebroski went on to claim a hat-trick with goals in the 44th, 64th and 74th minutes.

And they held on to claim their fourth successive win, despite Conor Newton reducing the deficit in the 88th minute.

Maidenhead United are just a place and a couple of points behind Eastleigh after adding to Chester FC`s relegation fears with a 3-0 York Road victory.

The visitors were up against it when, after just 11 minutes, James Jones saw a straight red card for a professional foul, with Harry Pritchard netting the resulting penalty.

Pritchard doubled the Magpies lead just 2 minutes later the scoreline could have been worse had it not been for goalkeeper Sam Hornby’s efforts.

But a third goal did come on 34 minutes to kill the game of a contest when Sam Barratt showed good composure to curl beyond Sam Hornby and nestle his effort in the bottom corner.

There were to be no further goals as Alan Devonshire’s side managed the second half well and ran out comfortable winners.

Maidstone United`s run without a win stretched to thirteen matches as they were beaten 2-1 by Gateshead at the International Stadium – a result that saw the Heed move above the Stones into fourteenth place in the table.

Gateshead got off to a great start when they took the lead with only 3 minutes gone when a ball forward from Paddy McLaughlin went over the top to Lewis McNall and he easily went round Lee Worgan before firing into an open net.

But the visitors drew level after 19 minutes when Jai Reason crossed for Stuart Lewis who was brought down by McLaughlin, and Reason sent Dan Hanford the wrong way from the resulting penalty.

The, with 15 minutes of the game remaining, Hanford clashed with Reason and the keeper was sent-off for violent conduct.

Gateshead brought on substitute keeper James Montgomery, who subsequently saved Reason`s spot-kick to keep the scores level.

And Maidstone paid for that miss in the 87th minute when Lewis tripped Danny Johnson just outside the box and Ben Fox curled a free-kick past Worgan to give Gateshead the points.

Woking won 1-0 against AFC Fylde at the Laithwaite Community Stadium to record their first victory since November 21st and prevent the in-form Coasters from a possible top seven spot.

The Cards were on the back foot on but came back into it and nearly took the lead when Josh Staunton hit the underside of the crossbar.

And the home side had a great start to the second half and they took the lead on 49 minutes, thanks to a header from Lazar Stojsavljevic after Anthony Cook's pin-point delivery.

And it turned out to be the winner in a hard-fought win for Anthony Limbrick's side.

But it was a painful end of the game for Stojsavljevic as he was knocked out by Fylde skipper Sam Finley's elbow going up for a header and the incident sparked off ugly scenes between both sets of players and benches.

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Where next?

Watson Calls For Heed To Build On Improbable Win Steve Watson wants his Gateshead side to turn the International Stadium into a fortress after a late goal gave them a big three points against Maidstone United.
Saturday's Round-Up: Vanarama National League South Dartford maintained their three-point lead at the top of the Vanarama National League South table following a 3-1 Princes Park victory over bottom-markers Whitehawk.

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