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Lincoln Maintain Three-Point Advantage

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Lincoln City maintained their three-point lead at the top of the Vanarama National League after a best-of-five win over battling Woking at Sincil Bank on a murky, damp Saturday.

In an entertaining game, Lincoln took a 9th minute lead through Matt Rhead’s header.

But that was cancelled out by Gozie Ugwu’s equaliser less than 2 minutes later.

The home side missed the opportunity to re-take the lead before half-time when Dayle Southwell’s penalty was saved by Michael Poke.

But the Imps did restore their advantage 6 minutes into the second half when half-time substitute Josh Ginnelly’s effort was deflected into his own net by Terell Thomas.

Rhead then made it 3-1 with his second goal of the game on the hour-mark with a fine strike past Poke.

However, the Cards made the home fans sweat with penalty conversion from Fabio Sarvaiva 15 minutes from time.

To make matters worse for the majority in the 5,553 crowd, the referee added 5 minutes of stoppage time, but the hosts held firm for three crucial points in their quest for the title, while for Woking, they are level on points with fourth-bottom Southport, who were beaten 4-1 at home by second-placed Dagenham & Redbridge.

It was not the best of starts for new Sandgrounders boss Andy Preece as he also saw his new charges finish the game with ten-men.

Jamie Allen put Southport ahead after 24 minutes with a confident penalty after a foul on Robbie Cundy, for whom it was to be an eventful day, by Joe Widdowson.

The Daggers pulled back on level terms 10 minutes later when Jordan Maguire-Drew fired a free-kick into the top corner after Port keeper Mason Springthorpe was adjudged to have handled outside the box.

The on 37 minutes the visitors were ahead when Fejire Okenabirhie passed the ball across the box and Cundy inadvertedly beat his own keeper.

Three minutes before the break the Daggers made it 3-1 when Oliver Hawkins played Okenabirhie through on goal and the forward smashed the ball diagonally into the top corner of the net.

Southport`s misery was complete 13 minutes from time when Cundy was sent-off for handling the ball inside the area and Corey Whitely duly converted the resulting penalty.

Forest Green Rovers maintained third spot after a 2-0 win against mid-table Boreham Wood at the New Lawn.

It was goalless at the break, although Forest Green had by far the better of the opportunities, with loanee Kaiyne Woolery prominent.

But Wood continued to frustrate the home side and keeper Grant Smith was in superb form, being especially busy in the second half.

On 66 minutes, a crucial and magnificent double save from Smith denied Keanu Marsh-Brown’s long range strike and Christian Doidge`s follow up.

However, just as it looked as though the visitors would go back with a point, the deadlock was broken 7 minutes from time when debutant Omar Bugiel, on as a 78th minute substitute, played in Doidge who finally managed to beat Smith to net his 16th goal of the season.

And then in the 88th minute, former Worthing striker Bugiel doubles Forest Green’s lead when he followed up Liam Noble’s saved shot by Smith inside the six-yard box.

Fourth-placed Tranmere Rovers, however, dropped two home points against mid-table Bromley.

Micky Mellon`s side had a man sent-off and eventually surrendered a two-goal lead as they suffered a promotion set-back.

Andy Cook had given Rovers a two-goal cushion by half-time in what was a terrific opening 45 minutes from the hosts.

Cook struck in the 8th and 15th minutes as Rovers threatened a hammering.

But the dismissal of recent signing from Portsmouth, Adam Buxton, 11 minutes after the break changed the game.

Buxton received a straight red for a tough challenge on Joe Anderson.

That gave Bromley hope, and goals from Brandon Hanlon on 65 minutes and Jack Holland 3 minutes from time earned the Ravens a draw that had seemed highly unlikely at half-time.

Fifth-placed Dover Athletic weren`t able to take advantage of Tranmere`s slip-up though as they too were held to a home draw by Wrexham at Crabble.

The hosts took the lead in the 65th minute when Nicky Deverdics, back for a second spell with the Whtes on loan from Hartlepool, had an effort that proved too hot to handle for keeper Chris Dunn, and Joe Healy slammed home the loose ball.

However, 9 minutes from time, Wrexham equalised when John Rooney crossed for Jordan White to beat Steve Arnold at the second attempt.

Nine-man Barrow AFC pulled off a stunning comeback to claim a point from a 2-2 draw at the EBB Stadium against Aldershot Town to leave the sides sixth and seventh respectively.

The Shots took the lead inside a minute when Matt McClure took advantage of the visitors’ inability to clear a cross.

Their advantage was doubled on 26 minutes by Will Evans as the Shots dominated the opening half.

However, loanee Shaun Tuton sparked the Bluebirds` recovery with a superb individual goal after 73 minutes.
But that comeback looked to be over when the visitors had both Shaun Beeely and Nick Anderton dismissed in the pace of 3 minutes late in the game.

The nine-men somehow managed to fashion an equaliser when substitute Ross Hannah netted 5 minutes into stoppage time with a stunning 25-yard free-kick.

Gateshead came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Chester FC.

With results from sides above them going for them, this result boosts Neil Aspin’s side`s promotion hopes.

Chester`s Elliott Durrell saw an early effort well saved by new Gateshead keeper James Montgomery and at the other end, Danny Johnson volleyed over the bar.

However, the hosts took the lead in the 32nd minute when Blaine Hudson fired home from close range after a corner hadn`t been properly cleared.

Gateshead were level 4 minutes later as Johnson ran through before firing a shot under the body of Liam Roberts.

The visitors were ahead after 63 minutes when a long ball was knocked down into the path of Jordan Burrow, who slotted past Roberts.

Macclesfield Town and Torquay United shared a 1-1 Plainmoor draw.

Kingsley James scored Macclesfield’s opener in the 35th minute after Torquay failed to clear a dangerous low corner.

But the Gulls pulled back on level terms 5 minutes after half-time.

Sean McGinty was in the right spot at the right time when the corner was crossed in by Dan Sparkes and the defender planted the ball past Scott Flinders with an excellent header.

Solihull Moors beat FA Cup heroes Sutton United 3-0 at The Automated Technology Group Stadium to stay above their visitors in fifteenth spot.

The Moors got off to a great start with a goal inside 2 minutes when U`s keeper Ross Worner blocked an initial effort but the loose ball was squared back for debutant Regan Charles-Cook to finish from 5 yards out.

And it got even better for Charles-Cook when he scored his and Solihull`s second right on the stroke of half-time.

Worner saved the Charlton loanee`s initial effort with his legs but the loose ball broke kindly for the 19-year-old to roll ball home.

That was that until 20 minutes from time when Solihull made the points safe.

Charles-Cook ran into the area and squared the ball for the incoming Oladapo Afolayan, on as a 66th minute substitute, to bury ball past Worner and score on his debut.

Eastleigh looked to be heading for an away win at third-bottom Guiseley AFC until the hosts popped up with a last-gasp equaliser.

The visitors broke the deadlock right on the stroke of half-time when Guiseley failed to deal with a ball at the back and James Constable fired into the bottom corner past Jon Maxted.

Ten minutes after the break and Martin Allen`s side should have doubled their advantage when Sam Matthews broke down the right and crossed for sub Sam Muggleton, who missed a sitter.

As the half wore on, Guiseley pushed and pushed for a leveller, but the Spitfires continually denied them – until the 5th minute of stoppage time when Jake Lawlor popped up with a last-gasp equaliser.

Braintree Town battled out a hard-earned three points against bottom-markers North Ferriby United in difficult conditions at Cressing Road.

And end-to-end opening 45 minutes finished goalless with both teams having opportunities to break the deadlock.

But Ferriby had dominated the majority of the first 20 minutes of the second period when the Iron took a 78th minute lead with practically their first chance of the half, converted by Reece Johnson-Hall.

And they held that lead for three vital points which moves them four points clear of the drop zone, while the Villagers are three points behind the safety-mark.

Maidstone United, however, moved out of the bottom four after fighting back for a point at a now second-bottom York City.

York shocked their visitors when they took an early 3rd minute lead, Sean Newton combining well with Alex Whittle and Amari Morgan-Smith before Whittle’s cross was finished by veteran Jon Parkin.

But Reece Prestedge equalised 2 minutes into the second half when Jack Paxman’s lay-off was fired past Kyle Letheren from 20 yards.

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