Vanarama Conference Round-Up - 1st November 2014
Barnet held on to a nine-point lead at the top of the Vanarama Conference table. John Akinde gave the bees a 2-1 victory at Park View Road against Welling United with a last-minute winner.
Akinde had earlier seen his opener cancelled out shortly before half-time by Joe Healy, but the in-form forward earned Martin Allen’s team a dramatic win in added-on time.
Barnet were struggling to break down a resolute Welling side who were unbeaten in nine home fixtures, and as the game entered the closing stages, Graham Stack long ball drifted over the Welling defence, allowing John Akinde to ghost in and finish calmly as the ball bounced off Buchel and high into the net to send the vociferous travelling Barnet fans wild.
Bees’ seventh victory on the road take them nine points clear of second-placed Gateshead who also won 2-1 thamks to Rob Ramshaw’s late finish at Aldershot Town.
The Tynesiders looked set to record their fifth successive 1-1 draw on the road, however a neat finish at the death from Ramshaw ended that run.
The midfielder had given the Heed the lead just 4 minutes into the second half when he latched on to a long searching ball from Craig Baxter.
New Shots signing Dan Holman made it 1-1 on his debut after 66 minutes when he hit home following a scramble from Sam Hatton’s long throw. But an unmarked Ramshaw coolly fired beyond Smith to steal the points in the first minute of injury-time for Gateshead.
Four days after both teams scored five goals in the FA Cup, Wrexham and Halifax fought out a goalless draw at the Racecourse.
The Shaymen who drop one place to third in the Conference Table will be the happiest of the two sides after Wrexham dominated in the second half.
Wrexham who have not won in the League since September came closest at the start of the second half, when striker Andy Bishop met a cross but could only hit the crossbar. Wrexham’s Elliott Durrell had a glorious chance with just minutes remaining but he hit his weak effort straight at Glennon. The 0-0 draw was a fourth clean sheets in a row for Neil Aspin’s men.
Ollie Clarke’s second half goal was enough to send Bristol Rovers back into the playoff places. The Gas picked up a 1-0 victory at the New Bucks Head against bottom side AFC Telford United.
Clarke struck 5 minutes after the break with a shot from the edge of the penalty area tucked nicely past Freddy Hall into the bottom corner.
Rovers were reduced to 10 men with five minutes left on the clock as Andy Monkhouse was accused of elbowing Ryan Higgins. Sean Cooke failed to hit the target with 2 of late his efforts and despite having to hold off some sustained pressure from Telford, the gas held on to strengthen their challenge near the top of the non league pyramid.
Woking dropped to fifth place in the table after being held to a goalless draw by Braintree Town at Cressing Road. In a tight game with few chances, Scott Rendell could have made the difference but he missed two good opportunities to beat Nick Hamann in the Braintree goal. At the other end Ross Worner tipped Simeon Akinola’s drive around the post. The result extended the winless run to eight games for the Iron who sit in fifteenth place.
Kidderminster Harriers moved closer to the play-off places after a 2-1 win over Torquay United at Aggborough.
Marvin Johnson put the Harriers one up in the fourth minute when he beat the Gulls defence and fired a fantastic strike into the top corner, giving Goalkeeper Jordan Seabright little chance to stop it. Former Torquay man Kevin Nicholson doubled their lead on 26 minutes with a free-kick hit through a crowd and into the back of the net.
Aaron Downes pulled a goal back with a minute remaining, his fifth goal of the season came from close-range after a corner was nodded on by Ryan Bowman. The result was a third straight league defeat for Torquay who’s early season form seems to have been lost.
In what could be seen as a relegation encounter, Altrincham striker Steven Gillespie was handed the chance to grab a point with an injury-time penalty on Saturday. Luke Graham had headed the visitors into the lead after 20 minutes fouled substitute Gillespie right at the death, but Alfreton Town keeper Cameron Dawson saved the penalty and made sure The Reds took three much-needed points.
Sean Francis denied Southport a third successive league win as Dover Athletic secure a 2-2 draw at The Merseyrail Community Stadium.
Dover were in front inside the first minute thanks to Stefan Payne’s header at the far post but John Marsden’s effort from the edge of the area pulled the scores level on the 11th minute. Six minutes later, Joe Connor headed home David Fitzpatrick’s a free-kick to give Southport the lead. But 20 minutes from time substitute Sean Francis met a Nick Deverdics corner with a thumping header into the top left corner and secured a point for the Whites.
Dale Bennett struck with virtually the last kick as Forest Green Rovers pulled off a remarkable comeback from three goals down against Lincoln City at the New Lawn.
Delano Sam-Yorke nodded home his fourth goal of the season after just nine minutes, goals from Karl Ledsham and Jordan Burrow either side of half-time meant the Imps were in control by the the 61st minute.
James Norwood then inspired a stunning turnaround with two goals in two minutes. In the 68th minute Marcus Marshall was penalised for a push inside the box on Elliott Frear, Norwood neatly sent keeper Farman the wrong way from the spot making it 1-3. England C skipper Norwood, was then allowed space to run through the Imps defence less than two minutes later and fired home from 20 yards out to make it 3-2. It was right-back Bennett who extend Forest Green Rovers unbeaten run to six games in the 4th minute of injury-time with a right-footed shot from 18 yards out.
Another last-gasp goal was scored this weekend as Adam Dawson scored an equaliser to rescue a point for struggling Nuneaton Town against Macclesfield Town. The Silkmen extended their four game unbeaten run to five but they returned home disappointed they didn’t claim all three points at Liberty Way.
The Silkmen dominated the first half but couldn’t make the breakthrough, Fairhurst hit the bar after finding space outside the box to get his shot away, moments later Matthew Barnes-Homer was in yards of space with only the keeper to beat, but he somehow shot wide. Macclesfield eventually took the lead when captain Paul Turnbull’s stunning 50th minute free-kick found the net.
Adam Dawson grabbed an undeserved goal 2 minutes into injury-time to make it three home games without defeat for Nuneaton, but they dropped to second bottom and remain in the relegation zone.
Grimsby Town comfortably beat Dartford 3-0 at Blundell Park and moved to within a point of the Conference play-off places. The Mariners dominated the game throughout against struggling Dartford and took the lead on 13 minutes when Carl Magnay hit home a cross from Nathan Arnold.
Arnold doubled the Mariners` lead seven minutes before the break when he volleyed home from 12 yards. All three points were sealed when Lenell John-Lewis had been fouled by Matt Mitchell-King and he scored the scored the resulting penalty 4 minutes from time.
The little attacking threat from Dartford made it easy for Town kept their fourth clean sheet in five games after an unbeaten October earned manager Paul Hurst the Conference manager of the month award.
Eastleigh proved too much for Chester despite a late comeback at the Silverlake Stadium. Eastleigh had taken a 3-0 lead by the 65th minute through goals from Ben Strevens, a Stuart Fleetwood penalty, and Craig McAllister.
With the game at 1-0 both sides were reduced to ten-men after Spitfires` captain Dean Beckwith and Chester`s striker Matty Hughes were sent off for fighting.
Sean McConville hit back with his fourth league goal of the season for the Blues in the 79th minute following Peter Winn’s left wing cross and 2nd minute of stoppage time Kingsley James long range shot made it 3-2, but the Spitfires hung on to the win.