The festive fixtures ended in the Vanarama National League North with a full round of fixtures taking place. New Year’s Day saw the reverse of the Boxing Day fixtures and with it came a lot of intrigue as sides had an immediate chance to rectify disappointing performances, here we look at how each side fared on a busy day of football.
AFC Fylde continued their march towards promotion with a 3-1 win away at Chorley, however it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Lancashire side. Chorley took the lead in the 46th minute thanks to an Adam Blakeman strike – however it wasn’t to be for Chorley, as goals from Dominic Collins, Dan Bradley and Andy Boyd saw Fylde gain a measure of revenge following their Boxing Day defeat.
Elsewhere Kidderminster Harriers kept up the pace at the top after coming from behind against Worcester City in a feisty affair. Junior English gave City a first-half lead, but a McQuilkin equaliser on the hour and an own goal from Samuel Oji in the 80th minute handed the Harriers the win.
Brackley’s game at Gloucester being postponed, plus Nuneaton beating Tamworth 1-0, gave Salford the chance to go back into playoffs and they took the chance with open arms against a struggling Bradford Park Avenue side. It was a relatively comfortable win for the Mancunians as a James Poole double saw Salford pick up the three points and move into fifth place.
Two sides looking to make a break into the playoffs are Harrogate Town and Stockport County, but neither side could make an impression at Edgeley Park. The game finished all-square at 1-1, with Michael Clarke heading home for County, before a basic back pass trickled into the net to save Town’s blushes and begin County keeper Ben Hinchliffe’s.
At the bottom of the table it remains as you were, though bottom club Altrincham did pick up a rare point away at FC United. Jason Gilchrist opened proceedings in the first minute following a deflection, however it wasn’t enough for the win as Andy Owens scored on his debut for Altrincham following a move from fellow-strugglers Stalybridge to tie things up. Neither side would make it to half-time with eleven men as a mass brawl saw Jake Moult and Liam Ashworth sent off on the stroke of half-time.
With Stalybridge not playing until tomorrow, and with results working in Gainsborough’s favour, it was a good opportunity to move away from the relegation zone. But it would be late heartbreak for Trinity as a 90th-minute goal from left back Joe Robertson gave Boston a 2-1 win – earlier James Reid’s penalty had given the home side the lead before Jay Rollins tied things up in the first-half.
It was goals galore in the game between Alfreton and Telford as the two sides look to move away from the relegation zone. Mark Shilton opened the scoring for the home side, before both sides scored penalties – Josh Wilson equalised from the spot for Telford, before Craig Westcarr regained the lead for Alfreton. It would be three before half-time for Alfreton as Paul Marshall gave Alfreton a two-goal lead before the break. John-Paul Kissock gave Telford late hope in the 89th minute, but any chance of a late comeback was diminished with the sending off Ben Bailey in stoppage time.
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