Saturday`s Vanarama National League Review....

By Steve Whitney

Tranmere Rovers remain top of the Vanarama National League table on Saturday, but dropped their first points of the new season as struggling Southport claimed a 1-1 draw at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.

The hosts had won just once thus far against Woking at home.

After a first half notable mainly for four yellow cards – three for the home side including player boss Andy Bishop – it was Tranmere who came out of the traps quickest in the second half and went ahead after 47 minutes through Andy Cook.

But Gary Brabin`s men were unable to put the game to bed and paid the price just past the hour-mark when Port equalised.

Louis Almond had come off the bench to replace his manager in the 53rd minute and grabbed the leveller 9 minutes later.

Relegated Dagenham & Redbridge are second after a comprehensive 3-0 win in front of the BT Sport cameras at Victoria Road against Wrexham.

It was a particularly good day for Oliver Hawkins, who netted a first half hat-trick to kill the game off as a contest.

His opener came after 10 minutes from close range and 12 minutes later he doubled his and the Daggers` lead when heading home following a corner.

He completed his hat-trick in first half stoppage time from the penalty spot after Hanza Bencherif had brought down Luke Guttridge.

After that it was a case of how many, but former Woking keeper Shwan Jalal pulled off a string of fine saves to prevent the final scoreline being even worse for Gary Mills` side.

Last season`s runners-up, Forest Green Rovers, are beginning to find their feet and are now third after a fourth successive win against newly-promoted Maidstone United at the Gallagher Stadium.

The visitors were impressive on the 3G and took the lead through experienced midfielder Darren Carter after just 5 minutes.

The Stones levelled through a Jack Evans free-kick just 7 minutes later, but Forest Green went back in front in first half injury-time through Christian Doidge.

Ironically, Jay Saunders’ side were enjoying their best spell of the match before Forest Green killed the game with two goals in 4 minutes.

And it was a brace from Rhys Murphy that saw the points safe for the visitors in the 75th and 79th minutes.

Lincoln City moved into fourth spot after a fine 2-1 win at the Moss Rose against Macclesfield Town.

After an even first half, the Imps fell behind 2 minutes before the break when Kingsley James struck from close range.

The Silkmen made a strong start to the second half, but once Harry Anderson equalised in the 56th minute the visitors took control of the game.

Adam Marriott, who had come off the bench less than 5 minutes after replacing Matt Rhead, scored the second after 75 minutes with a fine finish and City held on to their advantage comfortably to record their fourth win of the season.

Gateshead complete the top five but had to be content with just one point at the International Stadium against a well-drilled Boreham Wood outfit.

Both goals came inside the opening 8 minutes.

Boreham Wood opened the scoring in the 6th minute through Angelo Balanta and Ryan Bowman swiftly pulled the Heed back on level terms.

Either side could have won the game, but a point apiece was just about right on the day.

Dover Athletic suffered their second defeat of the new season as hosts Torquay United celebrated their second success in a 2-1 win at the Launa Windows Stadium.

The Gulls produced their best performance of the campaign to date.

It was 0-0 at half-time, but less than a minute after the restart, Torquay broke the deadlock through Jamie Reid.

But with 15 minutes remaining, Dover equalised through substitute Ricky Miller, who had only been on the field for 5 minutes.

However, virtually from the kick-off the home side restored their lead, courtesy of Dan Sparkes.

And this time they held on to their lead.

Aldershot Town made it three wins on the spin at home by beating newly-promoted North Ferriby United 2-0 at the EBB Stadium.

Bernard Mensah opened the scoring in the 13th minute when he got on the end of a Cheye Alexander cross to net with a looping header.

It was 2-0 after 26 minutes when Liam Bellamy headed home from six yards after Callum Reynolds` cross.

The visitors came more into the game after the break, with Shots keeper Mark Smith having to make two fine saves from a Vinny Mukendi header and then when Ryan Kendall was through one-on-one.

But Gary Waddock's team held firm to record their third victory of the season.

Ronnie Moore celebrated his first win as Eastleigh manager in beating the team who came up with Ferriby, Solihull Moors, 2-0 at the Silverlake Stadium.

Moore saw no goals in the opening 45 minutes but on 58 minutes one of the club`s stella summer signings, Ryan Cresswell, opened the scoring.

And 7 minutes later another of the Spitfires` experienced players, Reda Johnson, made it 2-0.

The win lifts Eastleigh up to thirteenth, while Moors are eighth.

Chester FC produced a second win of the campaign to date in emphatic fashion at home against newly-promoted Sutton United, who travelled north having lost only once to date.

But the U`s found themselves two-down inside the opening 7 minutes, thanks to Blaine Hudson after 3 minutes and then Ryan Lloyd.

After they settled down, Sutton showed some quality going forward and moved the ball around well without threatening to get back in the game.

And while Chester scored two in the first 7 minutes, they killed the game off with two in the final 5 minutes!

Kane Richards was brought down and Tom Shaw converted the resulting penalty to make it 3-0.

And in the first minute of time added on, a short free-kick found Richards who fired into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

Goals late in both halves of the game saw Barrow AFC triumph 2-1 against Braintree Town at Holker Street.

The visitors took a 21st minute lead with a penalty from Chez Isaac.

But the Iron were pegged back by a 42nd minute Richard Bennett effort.

Jamie Day`s side looked as though they were going to make the long journey back to Essex with a point until they fell to a late hammer blow in the 87th minute when Byron Harrison popped up with the Bluebirds` winner.

York City brushed aside struggling Woking 4-1 at Bootham Crescent.

Jackie McNamara`s men were looking to get back on track after successive defeats, including a 6-1 hammering at Gateshead.

And four goals in 26 minutes saw the Minstermen virtually home.

And that was after the Cards had taken an early 8th minute lead when Gozie Ugwu took advantage of a Clovis Kamdjo error.

Richard Brodie equalised less than a minute later and Yan Klukowski put the Minstermen in front in the 13th minute.

Jake Wright made it 3-1 just 7 minutes later and Aidan Connolly all-but sealed victory with number four after just 26 minutes.

Bromley inflicted a sixth straight defeat on Guiseley AFC with a comprehensive 4-1 win at Nethermoor.

It`s looking like being a long, hard season ahead for the Lions, although they battled well in the opening 45 minutes as the sides went in goalless.

However, once Blair Turgott broke the deadlock to give Neil Smith`s side a 51st minute lead, Guiseley`s confidence waned.

It was 2-0 just 3 minutes later when Louis Dennis converted from the spot after a foul by Daniel Atkinson.

Max Porter made it 3-0 on 71 minutes, and although sub Adam Smith reduced the deficit in the 86th minute, Bradley Goldberg, who had also come off the bench, added the visitors` fourth 2 minutes later.

Where next?

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