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Iron & Saints Move Joint Top

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Braintree Town, relegated from the Vanarama National League at the end of last season, are top of the National League South table after winning 3-1 at Evesham against Gloucester City on Saturday.

The Iron had to come back from being an 18th minute Karnell Chambers goal down – a lead the Tigers held at the break.

But just 2 minutes after the interval, Phil Roberts pounced to pull the visitors back on level terms and then 4 minutes later, the same player doubled his and Braintree`s tally to put them 2-1 ahead.

Karl Oliyide added a third on the hour-mark and the Iron held firm to go joint top with St Albans City, who spoiled Jerry Gill`s first game in charge of Bath City at Clarence Park with a 2-0 win.

Gill watched from the stands with Jim Rollo still in control, and he saw a first half in which there was little between the sides.

St Albans had produced some neat approach play and one such spell of possession right on half-time ended with Murrell-Williamson’s well-struck shot finding the corner of the net.

Bath conceded a second when a mix-up between Jack Batten and Luke Southwood gifted Charlie Walker a simple tap-in to make it 2-0 on 59 minutes.

The Saints comfortably saw out the game to remain level top of the table.

Truro City dropped to third after their winning run came to an end after being held to a 1-1 home draw with Hampton & Richmond Borough in the wind and rain at Treyew Road.

City created the best of what few chances there were as the opening period went on with Noah Keats causing problems and Tyler Harvey bringing a smart save out of the visiting ‘keeper.

With the scoreline locked at 0-0 going into the break, it was City who were looking the most likely side.

But it was the visitors who went on to take the lead when a short corner saw Josh Casey get the ball into the area where Jack Cook was on hand to head the ball home.

City started to up the pressure and River Allen went close with a strike from distance as the ‘keeper was alert to push his effort away.
It looked like being one of those days for City until they were handed a lifeline when Rocky Neal was brought down following a goalmouth scramble and the referee pointed to the spot.

Connor Riley-Lowe stepped up and made no mistake to level the scores.

Dartford are up to fourth after beating Bognor Regis Town 3-1 at Princes Park.

The Darts had goalkeeper Deren Ibrahim on international duty with Gibraltar, so Jordan Carey played in goal having lined up against them for Bostik League South side Cray Wanderers in the Kent Senior Cup last month.

Alfie Pavey fired Darts in front after just 7 minutes but the visitors levelled 10 minutes later through Kristian Campbell and the sides went into half-time at 1-1.

An Elliot Bradbrook penalty restored Dartford’s lead 7 minutes into the second half and they made sure of the points with an Andy Pugh header on 65 minutes.

Chelmsford City are fifth after a 5-2 drubbing of Eastbourne Borough at Melbourne Stadium.

The Clarets had to come back from behind when Jamie Taylor put Boro in front after 18 minutes, diverting in a cross from the right.

And the 785 crowd were stunned when the visitors doubled their advantage in first half injury-time.

Recent recruit Lloyd Dawes raced through to round Sam Beasant and score.

Ten minutes into the second half, City were back in the game when Anthony Church headed home.

And a minute later, the game was all-square when Church powered Craig Braham-Barrett`s cross in at the far post.

And then 9 minutes from time, the home side took the lead for the first time when Micky Spillane`s netted with another header.

On 84 minutes it was 4-2 when Chris Dickson and Green combined to set up Kudos Oyenuga to net.

Five minutes into stoppage time and the Clarets made it a remarkable recovery by making it 5-2 through Dickson.

Sixth-placed East Thurrock United battled back twice to secure a hard-fought draw against Hungerford Town.

The home side took the lead with 15 minutes on the clock when Nick Bignall finished well under pressure.

But the Rocks were level after 32 minutes when Sam Higgins, so clinical from the penalty spot, took advantage of a spot-kick award by the referee to level matters.

All square at half-time, Hungerford re-took the lead 4 minutes into the second half through joint boss Ian Herring.

Back came Rocks, and the match was all-square once again just past the hour-mark through Max Cornhill, and that was how it stayed.

Havant & Waterlooville battled back to force a 1-1 draw against second-bottom Concord Rangers at the Aspect Arena.

The Hawks fell behind to an early 8th minute Steve Cawley goal when they failed to defend a corner.

Jason Prior headed in an equaliser in the 16th minute and later had another ruled out by an offside decision.

Welling United made it four league wins in a row against newcomers Chippenham Town at Park View Road.

The Wings had a debutant goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou between the sticks due to an injury crisis.

Perntreou, 22, was released by Crystal Palace at the end of the last transfer window.

The breakthrough arrived 7 minutes before the break as Jeffrey Monakana ran at the visiting defence before delivering an inch-perfect cross for Joe Healy to head in from close range.

It was 2-0 on 42 minutes as Jack Jebb’s free-kick was headed in at the far post by Tom Bradbrook.

Welling made the points safe just 3 minutes into the second half when Bradbrook headed in another Jebb cross.

Then on 83 minutes, sub Bradley Goldberg slotted home number four from close range.

Wealdstone earned a 2-1 Grosvenor Vale win over bottom-markers Whitehawk.

But the Stones had to recover from being a goal down at half-time.

A much-changed Hawks side opened the scoring in the 28th minute through Kyjuon-Jaeger Marsh-Brown.

But the home side were back on level terms from the penalty spot when Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick was hauled down in the box and Daniel Green fired home from the spot.

Then, as stoppage time approached, Wealdstone broke Hawks hearts by grabbing the winner through Hippoylte-Patrick.

Poole Town earned only their third win of the season to date to send hosts Oxford City into the bottom three.

The Dolphins edged it 3-2 at Marsh Farm, coming back from being a 20th minute Matt Patterson goal down.

Warren Bentley equalised 2 minutes before half-time and then scored again after 68 minutes to put the visitors in front.

Jez Bedford then added a third for Tom Killick`s side 10 minutes later, rendering Patterson`s second for City in stoppage time as just a consolation in the end.

Dayle Grubb gave Weston-super-Mare a 22nd minute lead at Vauxhall Road against Hemel Hempstead Town.

But the hosts battled back to level on the half-hour mark through Justin Amaluzor.

However, the Seagulls frustrated the Tudors, who were looking to go into the top seven with a win.

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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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