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Vanarama National League Roundup

Posted by Seb Gigner
Posted on Sun 24 Dec 2017
Posted in League News

FC Halifax Town’s memorable 4-0 dismantling of relegation-fighting Chester FC highlighted an action-packed weekend of National League competition, with 22 teams over nine matches searching to claim some priceless points heading into the festive period.

A dominating first-half showing saw Halifax blow Marcus Bignot’s side away with four unanswered strikes from four different scorers, as The Shaymen registered consecutive league victories for the first time since September.

Defeat leaves the slumping Chester inching closer to the bottom of the fifth-tier standings, now within four points of basement battlers Solihull Moors.

A pair of strikes either side of half-time saw strugglers Leyton Orient surge to an eye-catching win against south-east rivals Maidstone United, whose plummet from playoff contention continues after their scoreless streak in the National League extended to five games.
Orient’s vital victory provides some much-needed breathing space over the slumping Chester, with the London outfit hoping to stave off the looming threat of consecutive relegations.

A 71st minute leveller from Louis Dennis robbed table-toppers Macclesfield of a Christmas victory as Bromley FC claimed a point and earned a fourth straight draw in the National League.

Ryan Lloyd’s opener wasn’t enough for The Silkmen to build their title-leading advantage but increased the north-west side’s impressive unbeaten run to seven fixtures.

Samir Fenelon’s last-gasp equaliser spared Aldershot Town’s blushes as the promotion fighters stole a late point against stoic strugglers Guiseley AFC, who were narrowly denied a first league win in two months. Fenelon’s heroic antics failed to stem the tide as the teetering Shots fall further back in the pulsating race for top spot.

An incredible Eastleigh FC comeback prevented Dagenham and Redbridge from soaring to second in the National League table – the latter losing out courtesy of strikes from Chris Zebroski and Paul McCallum as the buoyant home side leap-frogged Barrow AFC into 18th in the standings.

Tranmere Rovers’ continued to climb the league table with a landmark victory against high-flying Sutton United at Gander Green Lane, preventing the 2017 FA Cup quarter-finalists from challenging for first-place in the tightly-contested battle for position amongst the division’s in-form teams.

A miraculous late effort from National League top scorer Danny Rowe snatched a draw for AFC Fylde against Ebbsfleet, despite Sam Finley seeing red for the home side in the dying embers of the match. A point drags Fylde further away from the relegation mire, remaining six points behind Ebbsfleet who round out the top 10 in the table.

It was a losing return to National League competition for Woking FC, who in their first league fixture for a month slumped to defeat against road warriors Barrow AFC – the latter sealing a fifth consecutive away win in all competitions. Jimmy Dunne’s 28th minute strike cancelled out Charlie Carter’s leveller as Barrow continue their climb away from relegation danger.

Two promotion-battling sides cancelled each other out at Racecourse Ground this weekend, with Wrexham and Dover each settling for a point in a scoreless draw between a pair of promotion hopefuls. Neither team lost ground however, with each of the top eight teams remarkably failing to win as ninth-placed Tranmere proved the benefactors of an unpredictable set of fixtures.

A pair of second-half Sean Marks goals stunned Hartlepool United as Maidenhead United final registered their first victory in two months. The home side meanwhile see their desolate run continue, with Jake Cassidy’s opener yesterday not enough to prevent Pools from suffering a fifth straight defeat in all competitions.

Solihull Moors earned another precious point in a scoreless draw against playoff-hopefuls Boreham Wood, continuing a strong resurgence of form that sees the West Midlands side with only one loss from their previous five fixtures. A draw however was not enough to lift Solihull from the foot of the league table, remaining 10 points adrift of safety in 24th place.

Read more posts by Seb Gigner

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