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Salford Triumph In Top Of The Table Thriller

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The big game in the Vanarama National League North between leaders Salford City and second-placed Harrogate Town lived up to expectations at the Peninsula Stadium on Saturday.

A crowd of 1,931 saw the Ammies edge the game 2-1 to move a whopping eleven points clear at the top of the table, although they have played a game more than most of their rivals.

First half goals from Mike Phenix after 14 minutes and Tom Walker on 26 minutes put the home side in control at the interval.

But the visitors came out all guns blazing and pulled a goal back through Dom Knowles’ header after 63 minutes.

And a thrilling second half in worsening conditions saw Knowles almost complete the comeback with a shot that looked destined for the top corner before Max Crocombe produced a terrific save that ultimately earned the Ammies three crucial points.

Brackley Town failed to take advantage of Harrogate`s defeat and are a point behind them in third after being held to a 1-1 draw at The Lamb by mid-table Tamworth.

However, in the end, Kevin Wilkin will probably be happy with a point as Tamworth led through Callum Powell`s 37th minute opener until 6 minutes from time when James Armson popped up with the Saints` leveller.

Fourth met fifth with both sides level on points, so it was little surprise that the game at Bootham Crescent between York City and Spennymoor Town ended 2-2!

On loan defender Jonny Burn`s 11th minute goal earned the Minstermen a half-time lead.

But that was cancelled out by Ryan Hall just 7 minutes after the restart.

But Aidan Connolly restored the home advantage with 18 minutes remaining, although Andrew Johnson ensured it was honours even with a 77th minute leveller as both sides were denied a sixth consecutive victory.

Blyth Spartans dropped two home points in fifth as they were held to a 1-1 draw by improving FC United of Manchester.

In front of a crowd of 985 at Croft Park, Sean Reid gave Spartans a 56th minute breakthrough.

But it was player-manager Tom Greaves who showed the way with the equaliser in the 69th minute and extend his side`s unbeaten league run to seven games.

Chorley were looking to take advantage of Bradford Park Avenue and Kidderminster Harriers` inactivity to slip above them into the top seven when they travelled the Blackwell Meadows to take on struggling Darlington FC.

But the Quakers managed to halt a poor run and hold the Magpies to a 2-2 draw in which Reece Styche gave the hosts a 16th minute lead.

Adam Blakeman equalised 8 minutes later and the teams went into the berak all-square at 1-1.

But just 3 minutes after the restart, Stephen Thompson restored the Quakers lead.

Jason Walker pulled Matt Jansen`s side back on level terms 15 minutes from time, but they were made to sweat it out with ten-men for the final 10 minutes or so when they had Marcus Carver dismissed for a second bookable offence.

A serious incident marred what was an excellent 3-1 win for Southport at the Merseyrail Community Stadium against play-off chasing Stockport County.

A spectator ran onto the pitch and threw kicks at the dug-outs and police were called into action.

A full statement over the incident will follow later.

But in front of a crowd of 1,652, Port moved five points clear of the drop zone with this vital win.

And they had to come back from being an early 9th minute Rhys Turner goal down too.

Jack Sampson equalised immediately after the break and Jason Gilchrist put the home side in front in the 71st minute.

Sampson`s second of the afternoon came just 2 minutes later to put a seal on a good afternoon`s work on the pitch for Kevin Davies` side.

Five different goalscorers got themselves on target as Boston United recorded a comprehensive away victory over bottom-markers North Ferriby United.

The Pilgrims led 4-0 at half-time, courtesy of goals from Ashley Hemmings in the first minute from the penalty spot, Gregg Smith 4 minutes later, Reece Thompson on 17 minutes and Brad Abbott right on half-time, as the bottom side struggled to contain their rampant visitors.

Adam Bolder netted a consolation for the Villagers from the spot, but Kabongo Tshimanga restored United’s four-goal lead in the closing stages.

Alfreton Town moved three points clear of the drop zone and moved above Leamington in the table after inflicting a 4-1 drubbing on the Brakes at the Impact Arena.

It represented a great start for new Reds boss Chris Moyses, who saw Brendan Daniels put his side in front after 34 minutes and then Ceiron Keane double that lead just before the interval.

And then 2 minutes after the break, Ryan Jennings made it 3-0 and a second for Keane made the points safe on 57 minutes, although Liam Canavan did net an 88th minute consolation for the visitors.

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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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