Forest Green Move Joint Top As Shots Fire And Barrow Beat Daggers

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With Lincoln City`s focus elsewhere on Saturday, Forest Green Rovers pulled level on points with the Imps at the top of the Vanarama National League table after a 3-0 win against Wrexham at the The New Lawn.

The Reds were well beaten and didn’t force Rovers goalkeeper Sam Russell into one save all game.

Forest Green bossed the first half and had a couple of chances to take the lead through Liam Noble, Reds keeper Chris Dunn pulling off one superb save.

But the hosts took the lead in the 45th minute, a free-kick wasn’t cleared and Dale Bennett fired home following a scramble in the box.

The hosts made it 2-0 after 48 minutes, Kaiyne Woolery was brought down in the area by Martin Riley and Noble slotted home the penalty.

Forest Green increased their advantage on 64 minutes, Christian Doidge raced onto Noble’s throughout and his looping shot over the advancing Dunn found the back of the net.

Dunn made a couple of good saves to prevent Rovers adding to their tally while Wrexham never threatened a goal at the other end.

Dagenham & Redbridge were looking to take advantage of Tranmere Rovers` involvement in the Buildbase FA Trophy by moving above them into third place.

However, they came unstuck after their long trek to Cumbria to take on Barrow AFC, who ran out 2-1 winners at the Furness Building Society Stadium to rekindle their own play-off hopes.

Cory Whitely gave the Daggers an 11th minute lead from a narrow angle.

But the Bluebirds got themselves back on level terms 3 minutes before half-time from the penalty spot after Craig Robson was adjudged to have fouled Liam Hughes, who got up to beat Elliot Justham from the spot.

And the home side went ahead on 57 minutes when Lindon Meikle, recalled from his loan spell, was fouled and Moussa Diarra netted the resulting free-kick at the far post.

The Daggers came close to equalising in stoppage time when new signing from Eastbourne Borough, Elliott Romain, had a header cleared off the line after coming off the bench for his debut.

Gateshead remain in fifth spot after beating struggling Woking 2-1 at the International Stadium.

It was the visitors who took the lead after 21 minutes with literally the first chance of the game as Terell Thomas connected with Fabio Saraiva’s corner and his header deflected past James Mongomery.

Gateshead were disappointing in the first half, especially for a side who went into the match unbeaten in seven games.

But they improved after the break and pulled level 7 minutes in when Danny Johnson stretched his neck muscles to head a bouncing ball past Michael Poke.

However, it looked as if the Cards were going to escape back down the A1 with a point, but with Gateshead throwing bodies forward in search of a winner, it finally came in time added on when Wes York turned in sub Mitch Brundle’s cross from close range.

The defeat leaves Woking in the bottom four.

Dover Athletic are a couple of points behind Gateshead in sixth after edging the Kent derby with Bromley at Crabble.

Dover entered the match on a three-game winless run and needed three points to re-ignite their play-off challenge.

The Whites had failed to score in their last three games either, but managed to break that drought with a goal from Joe Healy on the hour-mark.

Healy managed to beat the excellent Ross Flitney from close range.

And the scorer turned hero at the other end as Healy’s goalline clearance in the dying stages ensured Dover claimed the points.

Aldershot Town, along with Barrow, are snapping at Dover`s heels as they also won on Saturday.

The Shots won 2-0 at the EBB Stadium against a Sutton United side who are now looking nervously over their shoulders at the drop zone rapidly closing up on them.

After a fairly even opening period, the home side broke the deadlock in first half injury-time in rather bizarre circumstances.

After a quick counter, Idris Kanu was released on the left and had a shot blocked, Shamir Fenelon battled for the ball and in trying to clear, Nicky Bailey smacked the ball into goalkeeper Will Puddy`s chest and the ball flew into the net.

The home side held on to that lead throughout the second half as the U`s rarely seriously threatened.

The game was finally put to bed 4 minutes into stoppage time, when fine play on halfway sent sub Anthony Straker clear, his low cross found Bernard Mensah in the middle to lash in a composed finish past Puddy.

There was also late drama at Chester FC, who conceded in the 90th minute as Eastleigh claimed a last-gasp away win.

A second successive win for Richard Hill`s side came as a bit of a surprise as they were second best for long periods of the game.

But the Hampshire side took all three points at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium in the 90th minute when Scott Wilson turned in Michael Green’s corner.

Guiseley AFC picked up a very useful point after a goalless draw at Meadow Park against mid-table Boreham Wood.

The Lions are now in sixteenth place, seven points above the drop zone.

However, it wasn`t such good news for Southport or North Ferriby United, who were both beaten to remain bottom and second-bottom respectively.

Sam Corne proved to be Braintree Town`s hero at Cressing Road as he bagged a brace in their 2-0 win against Southport.

He opened the scoring just before half-time and then grabbed a second with a screamer from 25 yards just shy of the hour-mark.

The win lifts the Iron seven points clear of fourth-bottom Woking.

North Ferriby were very disappointing in going down to a 4-1 defeat at Church Lane against mid-table Solihull Moors.

It was all-square at the break after Simeon Maye had put Moors in front after 43 minutes, only for Robbie Tinkler to equalise right on the stroke of the whistle for the interval.

Omari Sterling-James restored the visitors` lead on 66 minutes and George Carline virtually assured the points were Moors with a third in the 78th minute, although sub Nortei Nortey made sure with number four in stoppage time.


About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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