Saturday's Round-Up: Vanarama National League South

By Steve Whitney

It was a bad Saturday for the leaders in the Vanarama National League South.

Table-toppers Dartford were beaten comprehensively at Clarence Park by a St Albans City side who are now fourth, second-placed Hampton & Richmond Borough`s twenty-one match unbeaten run was ended at Bath City, while third-placed Havant & Waterlooville were held to a goalless draw at home by a now seventh-placed Braintree Town outfit.

In front of a crowd of 807, St Albans found themselves two-up at half-time, thanks to goals from Sam Merson after 38 and 42 minutes.

Percy Kiangebeni added a third on the hour-mark and the game was put to bed when Rhys Murrell-Williamson made it 4-0 in the 65th minute, ending a nine-game unbeaten run for the Darts, whose boss Tony Burman wasn`t able to celebrate winning the manager of the month award in style!

Hampton travelled to the West Country looking to protect their marvellous unbeaten stretch, but found Bath in determined mood after their disappointing defeat at Weston-super-Mare in the week.

A Frankie Artus header gave City a 17th minute lead and Jack Compton doubled their advantage from the penalty spot in the 25th minute.

City keeper Luke Southwood was called upon to make several impressive saves to keep the Beavers at bay.

Truro City moved into sixth spot after a 2-0 win at Nyewood Lane against second-bottom Bognor Regis Town in a game that saw a lengthy delay following a serious injury to the home keeper Dan Lincoln.

It was goalless at the break, but the Rocks were dealt a massive blow when they had Stefan Ljubcic sent-off on his debut for leading with his elbow.

Truro broke the deadlock in the 79th minute when Ben Gerring scrambled the ball home from close range.

But the White Tigers were also reduced to ten-men a minute later when Ed Palmer brought down Jimmy Muitt and received his second yellow card.

After Lincoln`s unfortunate injury which saw midfielder Gary Charman have to don the gloves, Truro won it at the death when Rocky Neal, who had been denied by a fine save seconds earlier, finished neatly after going one-on-one with the replacement keeper.

Chelmsford City are just a point adrift of the play-off places after beating Chippenham Town at Melbourne Stadium.

The turning point in this game came 3 minutes before half-time when Chippenham`s Curtis McDonald was sent-off for a foul on Shaun Batt in the area.

Chris Dickson stepped up and converted the resulting penalty.

The Bluebirds battled hard with ten-men, but the points were confirmed on 78 minutes when Elliot Omozusi doubled City's lead with a header from Taylor Miles' corner.

The `Great Escape` is on!

Whitehawk looked dead and buried a few weeks back, but Saturday`s emphatic 5-1 win at the Enclosed Ground against eleventh-placed Weston-super-Mare has lifted the Hawks to within eleven points of nineteenth-placed Chippenham.

It`s still an enormous task for Steve King`s side, but they are certainly giving it a go and those above them will be nervously looking over their shoulders at the Sussex side`s form which has seen them lose one in six now.

It wasn`t January`s player of the month, Gold Omotayo, who took the headlines this time.

It was Kyjuon-Jaeger Marsh-Brown, who helped himself to a hat-trick with goals in the 12th, 31st, and 85th minutes.

Elliot Benyon netted a brace in between on 48 and 90 minutes, with Gethyn Hill scoring a 33rd minute consolation for the Seagulls.

Eastbourne Borough pulled level on points with Hungerford Town after beating the Crusaders 4-1 at Priory Lane.

Manny Odubade gave Boro an 11th minute lead that Gavin McCallum doubled after 26 minutes.

Lloyd Dawes took Boro into the beak three-up with a 42nd minute strike.

Nine minutes into the second half, McCallum`s second killed the game off as a contest, although Alex Fragata did manage a 76th minute consolation for the visitors.

Concord Rangers moved above Hungerford and Eastbourne into fourteenth and dropped Oxford City deeper into trouble after winning 2-1 at home.

Femi Akinwande gave the Beachboys a 16th minute lead they held until the 57th minute when Freddie Grant pulled City back on level terms.

But Steve Cawley won it for the hosts with less than 6 minutes remaining.

The day`s other game saw Gloucester City remain in third-bottom spot after sharing a 2-2 draw with a Poole Town side who are now eighteenth.

Warren Bentley gave the Dolphins a 15th minute lead that Chris Knowles cancelled out just 4 minutes later.

The teams then swapped own goals in the second period – Lewis Hall`s giving Poole a 50th minute lead and Jordan Alawode-Williams` at the other end restoring parity 5 minutes later.

Where next?

Watson Won’t Be Down Despite The Stones Late Rally Steve Watson and his Gateshead side were so close to the FA Trophy quarter finals they could almost taste it.
Saturday's Round-Up: Vanarama National League North There were only four games in the Vanarama National League North on Saturday, with three, including the game at leaders Salford City, being postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

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