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Leaders Toppled – Gulls Lose Again – Fleet Suffer First Defeat

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Tuesday night brought an almost full fixture programme in the Vanarama National League.

And it saw overnight leaders Dover Athletic toppled, bottom-markers Torquay United suffer a seventh defeat in their ten league outings and Ebbsfleet United lose for the first time since winning promotion back to the top flight of non-League football.

Dover were beaten 1-0 at Crabble by an impressive Boreham Wood side who are now fourth in the early-season table.

The Whites had chances to take the lead early ln, with Ryan Bird especially prominent, including having one effort hacked off the line.

But a minute before half-time, an error by Dover defender Connor Essam saw Blair Turgott put Wood in front.

A good save by Dover`s Mitch Walker prevented Danny Woodards from doubling the visitors` lead and at the other end, Walker`s opposite number, Grant Smith did well to prevent Mitch Pinnock`s free-kick from being the equaliser.

Brett Williams came back to haunt Torquay as he netted a hat-trick to help Bromley to a 3-1 Hayes Lane victory against the Devonian strugglers.

Williams, whose goals helped the Gulls stay up last season, gave Bromley a 20th minute lead from close range.

Four minutes later though, the visitors were back on level terms when Jon-Paul Pittman headed past David Gregory.

Torquay had the better chances in the opening half, with Pittman having two more efforts saved, while Michee Efete came close to giving the Gulls the lead shortly after half-time.

But just shy of the hour-mark, Williams restored the Ravens` advantage with a header and put the game beyond the managerless visitors when he completed his triple a couple of minutes from time.

Ebbsfleet have started the 2017/18 with nine games unbeaten – and thirty-one in total for the whole year.

However, Aldershot Town recovered well from last weekend`s defeat at Dover to end that run with a 2-0 scoreline at Stonebridge Road.

The visitors took the lead after 14 minutes when a neat side-step from striker Scott Rendell allowed James Rowe time to slot the ball past Nathan Ashmore.

The Shots rode their luck a little as keeper Jake Cole made a fine save from Danny Kedwell and a Darren McQueen shot was cleared off the line.

But they ended Fleet`s proud record when they added a second after 67 minutes when Rendell again was involved, cheekily back-heeling Adam McDonnell`s free-kick past Ashmore.

Arguably the result of the night, however, involved another side returning to the National League at the end of last season, FC Halifax Town.

The Shaymen recorded a terrific 3-0 win at the Matchroom Stadium against Leyton Orient and move up to second place in the fledgling table.

Adam Morgan after 5 minutes and then big striker Tom Denton on the hjalf-hour mark put Town into a 2-0 half-time lead.

Matty Kosylo’s penalty after 74 minutes, given when Denton was hacked down in the box, capped a great win for The Shaymen.

Early season leaders Dagenham & Redbridge suffered a second successive defeat, this time at home to a Sutton United outfit who are the new leaders.

And the U`s had to come back from being a 22nd minute Corey Whitely goal down to win.

Whitely beat Jamie Butler after being put through on goal by Matt Robinson.

But crucially, Sutton levelled right on the stroke of half-time when Craig Dundas profited from good work from Kwame Thomas.

Daggers` latest signing, striker Chike Kandi, came on and looked lively, but just as a point apiece looked on the cards, Paul Doswell`s side won the game in the first minute of stoppage time when Kenny Davis headed home from close range.

A dramatic injury-time winner from Scott Wilson sealed three points for Macclesfield Town as they secured back-to-back wins at Moss Rose against new boys AFC Fylde.

Wilson had earlier given the Silkmen a 14th minute lead but the visitors` Jack Muldoon equalised 4 minutes after the break.

And with the game seemingly heading for a draw, Wilson was sent through to round Coasters` keeper Rhys Taylor and tap into an empty net to win it for the Silkmen.

Struggling and managerless Chester FC will be heartbroken after battling back from 2-0 down at the International Stadium against Gateshead, only to concede a stoppage time goal to go down 3-2.

An Andy Halls own goal just before the break and a goal from Richard Peniket immediately after the interval had given the home side a 2-0 lead.

Ross Hannah`s reply with 17 minutes remaining looked to be just a consolation for caretaker boss Tom Shaw`s side.

However, teenage sub Matty Waters stepped off the bench to level with a stunning 25-yard drive.

But 3 minutes into time added on at the end of the game, another own goal, this time from Conor Mitchell, broke Chester hearts.

In contrast, there was only one goal in it at the Silverlake Stadium, but Zavon Hines` effort for Maidstone United was enough to inflict a first home defeat of the season on Eastleigh.

After 8 minutes, the Spitfires` big new signing, Gary McSheffrey, was brought down and the referee pointed to the spot, only to change his mind and award a free-kick on the edge of the box which came to nothing, angered the home fans.

And their mood wasn`t helped when ex-West Ham starlet Hines popped up with what proved to be the Stones` winner after 69 minutes from 18 yards.

Tranmere Rovers, pre-season favourites for promotion with the bookies after going so close last term, are struggling for consistency this term and, after winning against Barrow AFC last weekend, suffered a 1-0 defeat at newcomers Maidenhead United on Tuesday.

Tranmere`s first-ever visit to York Road looked to be heading for a goalless draw, with both sides having had opportunities to win the game earlier.

However, with less than 2 minutes of normal time remaining, Harry Pritchard beat Rovers` keeper Scott Davies to secure victory for the Magpies.

It`s back-to-back defeats for Solihull Moors as they were beaten 2-1 at Kingfield by Woking.

The Cards` Inih Effiong struck a post before Jason Banton put them in front on the half-hour mark with a low drive past Connal Trueman.

Trueman did well on more than one occasion in the second half and Woking were made to pay when they conceded a 74th minute penalty for a foul on Joel Kettle.

Former Birmingham City favourite Darren Carter, who had missed from the spot last Saturday, confidently dispatched this one to pull Moors` level.

However, parity lasted barely 8 minutes as Charlie Carter popped up with the Cards` winner.

Wrexham extended their unbeaten run to five matches, but had to settle for a point from a 0-0 draw at the Racecourse Ground with Hartlepool United.

In-form Pools had won their last three matches, struck the woodwork through Jonathan Franks and Alex Reid had the Dragons best chance, but it ended in stalemate.

It was a similar story at the Furness Building Society Stadium between Barrow AFC and Guiseley AFC.

But it was a reasonably good return to Cumbria for the Bluebirds` former boss Paul Cox, despite the fact the game was instantly forgettable.


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