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Sutton & Wrexham Lead The Way – O`s Lose Crucial Basement Battle

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Sutton United lead the Vanarama National League table on goal difference from Wrexham after both won 2-0 on Saturday in a reduced fixture list due to the Emirates FA Cup.

Against Eastleigh at Gander Green Lane, Tom Bolarinwa had the U`s first chance, curling an effort wide from edge of the box.

But on 13 minutes, Bolarinwa put the home side ahead when he cut in and finished nicely past Graham Stack in the visitors` goal.

Simon Heslop fired wide at the other end and Kieran Cadogan had a shot well saved by Stack on the half-hour mark.

The experienced custodian did even better 3 minutes later, again foiling Cadogan and then blocking Kenny Davis` follow up.

Stack then tipped Nicky Bailey`s 30-yard free-kick over the bar.

Chances were few and far between in the second period, but Sutton put the game to bed in the 82nd minute with a terrific goal from sub Tommy Wright, who latched onto a Ross Lafayette flick before lobbing Stack.

Wrexham bounced back from last week’s defeat at Aldershot Town and climbed to second with a 2-0 victory over Maidenhead United at the Racecourse Ground.

Chris Holroyd gave the home side a 19th minute lead.

But Maidenhead held firm after that until the hour-mark when they had Ryan Upward dismissed for a dangerously high tackle.

James Jennings then added a decisive second for Dean Keates` side with 15 minutes remaining – his effort taking a deflection before beating Maidenhead `keeper Carl Pentney.

Macclesfield Town are third after coming back from behind to beat Hartlepool United at Victoria Park.

A 39th minute Michael Woods goal had given Pools a deserved lead.

But, after dominating much of the game, everything changed in the final 5 minutes.

The visitors were level on 85 minutes when a good cross in from sub Elliott Durrell picked out Ryan Lloyd in the box and he made no mistake with a low finish past Scott Loach.

There were chances at both ends in the closing minutes, but it was the Silkmen who snatched the winning goal as stoppage time ticked in.

A header from Lloyd bounced back off the crossbar but Keith Lowe was there to pounce on the rebound and beat Loach to grab a late winner.

Aldershot Town dropped to fourth after being held to a goalless draw by struggling Torquay United at Plainmoor.

A fourth consecutive clean sheet and a fifth game unbeaten for The Shots will still seem slightly like underachieving on the day.

Matt McClure had two really good chances for the visitors already, and Josh McQuoid also went close a couple of times for Torquay.

Dover Athletic are fifth after they shared a 2-2 draw with seventh-placed Bromley at Hayes Lane.

But the home side will be kicking themselves as they turned round 2-0 up at the break and conceded an equaliser in stoppage time.

Dover had the first real opening in the 12th minute when Mitch Brundle broke through, but Bromley keeper David Gregory is on hand to flick the effort behind.

But on 32 minutes, Bromley took the lead with a fine team goal finished off by
Louis Dennis.

Then 4 minutes before half-time, the hosts doubled their advantage when Frankie Raymond’s corner was headed in by Jack Holland.

Dover got themselves back in the game on 56 minutes when sub Anthony Jeffrey crossed the ball to the far post where Brundle slammed it home.

On the hour-mark, Dover should have restored parity when Gregory completely missed a cross but Manny Parry somehow headed the ball wide from 2 yards out.

On 66 minutes, Bromley came very close to making it 3-1 when Dennis` effort bounced off the inside of the post and straight into keeper Mitch Walker`s arms.

It looked as though the home side were heading for three points, until the first minute of time added on when a goalmouth scramble ended with Kane Richards heading the ball over the line to earn Dover a point.

Barrow AFC moved to within a point of FC Halifax Town and a place below them in eighteenth after winning 1-0 at The Shay.

The Shaymen entered the game on an eleven-game win-less run, but it looked for long periods as though that run was going to end.

However, on 69 minutes, and with only their second effort on goal, Barrow grabbed the lead against the run of play through Jordan White’s flicked header from Bradley Bauress’ cross.

And that visibly rocked the Shaymen and proved to be the only goal of the game.

There was joy, however, for bottom-markers Solihull Moors, who moved to within a point of second-bottom Guiseley AFC after beating another struggler, Leyton Orient, 1-0 at the Automated Technology Group Stadium.

In Justin Edinburgh`s first game as Orient boss, having taken charge only on Wednesday, Liam Daly’s header on the hour-mark proved to be the difference.

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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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