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Vital League Wins For Pilgrims & Lambs

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The were just two matches in the Vanarama National League North on Saturday with the game at North Ferriby United falling foul of the weather.

At the Horsfall Stadium, Bradford Park Avenue and Tamworth met for points towards their respective play-off challenge, while Boston United and Southport met at the Jakemans Stadium with vital points at the other end of the table on offer.

It was a real thriller in Yorkshire where Avenue were looking to make it five successive league wins against a Lambs` outfit who were held to a 3-3 home draw by struggling Southport last time out.

But Any Morrell`s side couldn`t have wished for a much better start as they were in front after just 2 minutes when Darryl Knight`s initial shot was well saved by home keeper Steven Drench, but Connor Taylor converted with the follow up.

However, Avenue were back on level terms within 7 minutes with a neat finish across Shaun Rowley from a tight angle by Oli Johnson.

The Lambs restored their lead in the 36th minute when Callum Powell found the bottom corner with a low drive.

And then 7 minutes after the break, Aman Verma made it 3-1 when he flicked a header over the despairing Drench.

Avenue looked completely dead and buried after 75 minutes when Tamworth added a fourth goal when Zach Kotwica’s long-range effort was a tame one, but it took a deflection and wrong-footed Drench.

Three minutes later, Avenue pulled one back when Adam Nowakowski headed home from a deep cross from the right.

And then 3 minutes later, home fans were dreaming of a point when their side were awarded a penalty after a handball decision and Johnson sent Rowley the wrong way from the spot to record his second goal of the game and make it 3-4.

A minute from time, Drench kept those hopes alive when he made a fine save from a low Powell drive.

And then 3 minutes into stoppage time, Powell was dismissed for a second bookable offence, but there wasn`t enough time left for Avenue to take advantage of their extra man.

Avenue boss Mark Bower said after the game: “We gave away some bad goals today, which is uncharacteristic of us.

“I wouldn’t say their performance warranted four goals.

“We had some very good chances to score. Adam Nowakowski and Oli Johnson’s chances especially were key moments that could have changed things.

“These things happen if you’re not quite at it, and today we gave them chances to punish us.

“Obviously, Mark Ross wasn’t involved today, he was up all last night and wasn’t feeling well.”

The day`s other game saw Boston United, second-bottom at the start of play, take on fourth-bottom Southport with point vital heading towards the busy festive period.

And it was the Pilgrims who recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time since September last year, leaving Southport now sixteen matches without a win.

Ashley Hemmings gave Boston a 22nd minute early lead from the spot after Reece Thompson was tripped in the box.

But the game turned in Port`s favour when recent signing Jason Gilchrist took his tally to 5 goals in two games with a brace in the 30th and 35th minutes – the second also from a penalty after Jordan Hallam had been brought down.

However, it was all-square 10 minutes from time when Kabongo Tshimanga met Stephen Brogan’s pass and hammered home a low strike from almost on the byline.

And the comeback was complete as Brad McGowan made the most of Southport `keeper Jon Worsnop spilling the ball to hook home the winner in the 88th minute.


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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