The National League returned once more this weekend with ten games to tell you about, despite the weathers best attempts to keep football to a minimum.
FC Halifax Town picked up a point as they came from a goal behind to draw 1-1 against ten-man Guiseley. Kayode Odejayi nodded the home side in front, flicking in a free kick, giving them a deserved lead after a strong first half performance. However, just before the break, the two sides clashed and during the afters, John Rooney saw red and this would be Town’s way back into the game. Just over the hour mark, Johnson launched a long ball forward which was misjudged by the Guiseley defender which allowed Ben Tomlinson to race clear and made no mistake in dinking the ball over the onrushing Luke Coddington. The Shaymen remain unbeaten under Jamie Fullarton whilst Guiseley miss the opportunity to claim a much-needed win.
Hartlepool produced a remarkable comeback in the last five minutes against AFC Fylde, grabbing two late goals to come back from 3-1 down to claim a point at Mill Farm. Hartlepool took the lead five minutes before the break through a Jordan Tunnicliffe own goal, however the home side hit back with two goals from Andy Bond in the first ten minutes of the second half to take the lead. They added a third with just over ten minutes to go, James Hardy tucking home at the near post. However, Hartlepool refused to lie down, and Jake Cassidy fired in a beauty with two minutes to go, before Devante Rodney’s dipping effort sent the away fans into raptures three minutes into added time. A much-needed point for Hartlepool but disappointment for Fylde.
A top of the table clash saw league leaders Macclesfield fall to a 2-0 defeat away to Dover, as they picked up their third win in a row. A first half double from Keanu Marsh-Brown on his Dover debut wrapped up the points. The new signing, who joined from Forest Green, grabbed his first goal for the club just two minutes into his debut and his performance was the difference between the two sides.
Wrexham’s promotion efforts took a slight hit as they dropped points to 18th placed Woking, as the two sides played out a 2-2 draw. Woking took a shock lead early on, through Josh Staunton, however Wrexham were level as the Woking scorer turned the ball into his own net twenty minutes later. The Dragons went ahead for the first time on the hour mark, as Marcus Kelly dispatched. However, it wasn’t to be for the side now in 5th, as Woking defender Joey Jones levelled with ten minutes to go. Wrexham dropped to 5th however are still unbeaten in fourteen games whilst Woking are without a win in six.
Tranmere also dropped points in the title race as they lost 2-1 to table rivals Boreham Wood at Meadow Park. Angelo Balanta got the scoring underway for the home side on the stroke of half time. Norwood hit back for Tranmere in the 66th minute but the Super White Army failed to hold on, as Bruno Andrade drilled home the rebound after Morgan Ferrier’s strike was blocked. This result sees the Wood climb into 3rd place, just four points behind Sutton.
Sutton themselves fell to a shock defeat as Maidstone picked up a much needed three points to distance themselves from the relegation zone, scraping a 1-0 win. Second place Sutton struggled to create chances and were punished as Stuart Lewis slotted home with fifteen minutes to go and a missed opportunity for Sutton, as a win would’ve taken them above Macclesfield following their defeat to Dover.
A relegation clash between Solihull Moors and Torquay ended all square, with both sides in need of a win, but having to settle for a 1-1 draw. Torquay took the lead just before half time as Brett Williams lashed home a penalty, following Fiacre Kelleher’s clumsy challenge on Elliott Romain. However, Solihull hit back to claim a vital point with less than ten minutes to go, as Adi Yussuf tucked away Liam Daly’s flick on. Both sides remain in the relegation zone.
Barrow moved three points clear of the relegation zone as they managed to squeeze past mid table Maidenhead, claiming a 1-0 win at York Road. A largely uneventful game saw the deadlock broken when Luke James slotted home into the bottom corner four minutes after the break. Barrow would have to see the game out with ten men, as Bedsente Gomis’ late challenge saw him pick up a second yellow, however the away side held on to claim all three points.
Chester managed to pick up a remarkable point, holding promotion challengers Aldershot to a 0-0 draw. The Blues managed to pick up their first point in four games, however they still find themselves deep in the relegation zone, eight points from safety. Aldershot, on the other hand, still looked shaky from their demolition at the hands of Fylde and now find themselves in 6th.
The final game of the weekend also ended goalless, as Eastleigh and Leyton Orient played out a stalemate at the Silverlake Stadium. Jobi McAnuff came closest as his long range free kick dipped just over the bar, but all in all a fair point for both sides. The two teams remain comfortably safe, following Orient’s recent run of form which has lifted them to 17th in the table five points clear of the relegation zone.
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