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Mixed Start For New Bosses

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Vanarama National League North leaders Harrogate Town were forced to settle for a point against Leamington on Saturday after an entertaining 2-2 draw at The CNG Stadium and now lead the table by just a point.

Junior English gave the Brakes the lead after 24 minutes, but George Thomson levelled 11 minutes later.

English then turned Joe Leesley’s cross into his own net 12 minutes after the break to put Harrogate ahead, but the visitors were given the chance to level with 20 minutes to go as a penalty was awarded for a high foot and Rob Thompson-Brown duly converted.

Salford City moved to within a point of the leaders after edging out York City by the odd goal in five at the newly-named Peninsula Stadium.

The Ammies took a 22nd minute lead when Liam Hogan scored from close range after free-kick had been headed on.

Five minutes later they doubled their lead when Jack Redshaw hit a long-range effort that evade York`s on-loan keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Five minutes after half-time it was surely game over when Hogan bundled in from a corner amid some static defending.

However, despite dominating the game for long periods, Salford were made to hold on when the Minstermen grabbed two goals back in the final 6 minutes, firstly with a deflected Louis Almond shot from the edge of the area, and then a dipping Aidan Connolly effort from 18 yards that beat Salford `keeper Max Crocombe.

There`s now a five-point gap opened up between Salford and third-placed Blyth Spartans, who were beaten 3-1 at St James`s Park by a now fourth-placed Brackley Town.

The visitors led at the break, courtesy of an 18th minute Daniel Maguire goal.

But almost immediately after the interval, Aaron Williams pulled Kevin Wilkin`s side back on level terms and then 5 minutes later, Shane Byrne turned the game round in the Northamptonshire side`s favour.

And a second for Williams in the 86th minute settled the issue.

Blyth`s neighbours Spennymoor Town are fifth after sharing a 2-2 draw at Aggborough against mid-table Kidderminster Harriers.

But the Moors left it very late.

David Foley had put the visitors ahead early with a wind-assisted 40-yard effort that evaded the Harriers` keeper.

But second half strikes from James McQuilkin after 62 minutes and Andre Brown on 78 minutes put Harriers in control.

That looked to be that, but in 7 minutes of added time, Harriers` James O’Connor was sent-off for a second booking in conceding a penalty that Joe Tait dispatched to salvage a last-gasp point for Spennymoor.

Chorley and Curzon Ashton complete the top seven and both won home games on Saturday.

In dreadful conditions at Victory Park, Chorley broke the deadlock against FC United of Manchester when Nick Haughton scored with 18 minutes remaining.

And any hope the visitors had of getting back into the game virtually ended when they had Zac Corbett dismissed in the 88th minute for a foul on Jake Cottrell.

Curzon beat Boston United 2-1 at the Tameside Stadium.

The Nash took an early 7th minute lead through Jordan Wright.

Kabongo Tshimanga eventually pulled the Pilgrims back on level terms 9 minutes into the second half.

But a Richie Baker effort in the 63rd minute became the winner for Curzon.

Stockport County pulled up to ninth place and within a couple of points of the top seven after beating a Nuneaton Town side still in shock after losing manager Tommy Wright to league rivals Darlington FC yesterday.

Jason Oswell gave County a 36th minute lead that Gary Stopforth doubled right on the stroke of half-time.

It got worse for Boro`s caretaker-management duo of Jon Ashton and Dino Maamria when James Ball added the Hatters` third in the 68th minute.

Daniel Nti reduced the deficit after 80 minutes, but things finished on a sour note for Boro when they had experienced defender Exodus Geohaghon sent-off with a straight red card after he brought down Oswell when he was through on goal.

Tommy Wright`s new side got off to a good start as they overcame Bradford Park Avenue 2-1 at Blackwell Meadows.

Wright and his assistant Alan White watched from the stands as the Quakers won for only the second time in fourteen matches, but are still tenth, just two points off a play-off spot.

Darlington’s goals were scored by Nathan Cartman after just 2 minutes – although it was credited by some as a Gianluca Havern own goal – and Josh Gillies 8 minutes into the second half.

Avenue gave the home fans a nervy last few minutes when Oli Johnson scored with a header.

And then Javan Vidal hit the Quakers bar in the dying seconds, but they managed to hold on to encourage the new managerial team.

Another man watching his new team for the first time was Kevin Davies, who had a frustrating start as boss of Southport.

The former Bolton Wanderers favourite saw Tom Davie give visiting Gainsborough Trinity the boost of an early 2nd minute lead at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.

That`s how the scoreline remained until the break, but 10 minutes after the restart, Jack Sampson pulled Port level.

In terrible conditions worsening by the minute, Kaiman Anderson looked to have given Davies a great start when he gave the home side an 86th minute lead.

But Craig King popped up with a last-gasp equaliser to earn Trinity a point.

North Ferriby United are starring back-to-back relegations firmly in the face after their 2-0 home defeat by AFC Telford United left them bottom, and already six points adrift of the safety-mark.

It`s still early days, but the signs aren`t good for Ferriby as goals by Jordan Lussey right on half-time and then Elliot Newby 12 minutes from time condemned them to a tenth defeat in fourteen matches.

Alfreton Town leap-frogged Tamworth into twelfth spot after edging the game 3-2 at The Lamb.

The Reds took an 18th minute lead through Brody Robertson.

Reece Styche equalised on the half-hour mark, only for Robertson to score his second to restore the visitors` advantage.

However, right on the stroke of half-time, Styche also grabbed his second of the game to make it 2-2 at the interval.

As the weather deteriorated, it became more difficult to play, but the Reds snatched victory with an 89th minute Craig Westcarr effort.

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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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