National League Review 11th March 2017

While Lincoln City’s amazing FA Cup run was coming to an end at the Emirates, the chasing pack had a chance to make up some ground on the National League leaders who had stretched their lead to six points after a 4-0 win at Braintree Town last Tuesday. Forest Green Rovers started the day in second place but drop to third after a 2-1 defeat by Dagenham and Redbridge at Victoria Road. Scott Doe scored an 89th minute winner for the home side after Rovers’ Christian Doige had equalised Jordan Maguire-Drew’s 53rd minute opener. The Daggers move to within five points of Lincoln and replace Forest Green in second place. They also move above Tranmere Rovers who went down 2-1 at Barrow in midweek.

Gateshead continued their march up the table by overcoming Wexham at the Racecourse Ground to record their sixth victory in a row. After a goalless first half, strikes from Jordan Burrow and Danny Johnson secured the points for the Heed who move up to fifth and in to the play off places. Aldershot drop to seventh after their 11 match unbeaten run came to an end with a 1-0 defeat at Guiseley. Jordan Preston’s 54th minute effort made it three wins in three for the Yorkshiremen who are now six points clear of the relegation zone.     

Southport remain rooted to the foot of the table after fellow relegation strugglers Torquay United scored a last minute winner to secure a 2-1 win at Haig Avenue. Luke Young gave the visitors the lead in the 36th minute but Southport levelled just after half time when Jim Stevenson’s powerful strike went in off the post. It looked as though the Sandgrounders might hang on to claim only their second point in eight games but substitute Ruari Keating scored his first goal for the Gulls to move them out of the relegation zone on goal difference. 

York City staged the comeback of the day, scoring two late goals to earn a 2-2 draw at Sutton United. The Us took the lead through Nicky Bailey’s 30 yard strike in the 74th minute and when York defender Sean Newton scored an own goal with just three minutes of normal time remaining, it looked as though the visitors would be leaving Gander Green Lane empty handed. But York fought back superbly through substitutes Scott Fenwick and Jan Klukowski. Fenwick headed in Klukowski’s 89th minute corner and then Klukowski fired in a 20 yard free kick in the 5th minute of added time to rescue a point for the Minstermen who move up to 22nd place but are still five points from safety.

York climb above North Ferriby United who lost 3-0 away at Bromley. North Ferriby were left struggling after Taron Hare was sent off in the 18th minute after a bad challenge on Alan Dunne. The home side took advantage of this and took the lead just after half an hour when Bradly Goldberg headed in a cross after finding himself unmarked at a corner. The second goal came just 12 minutes from full time when another corner caused problems for North Ferriby. This time it was George Porter who stabbed the ball home after the visitors failed to clear their lines. The points were made safe three minutes into stoppage time when Jordan Wynter scored a long range effort from 25 yards to put Bromley 3-0 up. This result moves Bromley up to 11th and sees North Ferriby United move down to 23rd. 

Solihull Moors completed a great comeback to earn a draw at home to Braintree Town. The away side took the lead after just six minutes when Reece-Hall Johnson’s free kick floated past everyone and found its way into the back of the net. Braintree top scorer Micheal Cheek doubled the lead on 17 minutes after the ball was headed back across the box from a free kick and he slotted it home. Braintree then went 3-0 up after Joel Kettle gave away a penalty, bringing down Michael Cheek in the box. Cheek dusted himself off and converted the penalty after 23 minutes. The home side got a goal back three minutes later when Simeon Maye headed in a free kick to reduce the deficit to just two goals. After the break, Solihull got back into the game and with 11 minutes to go Dapo Afolayan drove into the box and fired a powerful left footed effort past Ben McNamara to make it 3-2. The equalizer came with four minutes to go when George Carline headed home Ashley Sammons’ free kick to complete the comeback earn a point for the home side. This point moves Solihull Moors down to 15th while Braintree Town remain in 18th. 

Eastleigh secured their first win of 2017 when they won 2-0 against Barrow. Sam Togwell gave the home side the lead when he fired a half volley past Jonathan Flat into the net after 20 minutes. The second goal of the game came when Matt Tubbs, making his first appearance since re-joining the club from Sutton, pounced to score a rebound after Barrow keeper Flatt failed to keep hold of the ball. This result sees Eastleigh move up to 13th in the table and Barrow remain 8th. 

Woking and Boreham Wood played out a 0-0 draw at the Kingfield stadium. The opening 45 minutes saw few chances but the visitors came closest to breaking the deadlock when Kenny Davis hit the bar with a header just before the break. In the second half both teams created good chances but neither side could break the deadlock. This point means that Woking move down to 21st in the table meanwhile Boreham Wood drop to 14th.

The first FA Trophy semi final is all square after the opening leg, with Macclesfield Town coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at home to Tranmere Rovers. Lincoln City travel to York for the first leg of the other semi final on Tuesday and both second legs will be played on Saturday.