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Good Night For Relegation Battlers

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There may have been only four games in the Vanarama National League on Tuesday night, but all of them had significance at either end of the table.

There were crucial wins for Torquay United and FC Halifax Town and a good point for Solihull Moors in the battle to stay at the top tier of non-League football and two dropped points by Boreham Wood in the scrap for play-off places.

Torquay gave themselves a lifeline and three vital points in a 1-0 win at the Matchroom Stadium against a Leyton Orient side who are still in need of points to avoid being sucked into the relegation fight themselves.

The Gulls hit the post through Elliott Romain before he headed a Brett Williams cross past Dean Brill to score what proved to be the only goal of the game 8 minutes before half-time.

George Elokobi had a second half effort saved by Torquay `keeper Vincent Dorel and David Mooney hit the woodwork in time added on, but this first win in four for Gary Owers` side couldn`t have come at a better time.

Dagenham & Redbridge suffered back-to-back defeats as FC Halifax Town made it four games without defeat with a 2-1 win at The Shay to move above Orient into fifteenth in the table – ten ahead of the drop zone.

But the Shaymen had to battle back from a goal down at half-time to win after Charlee Adams had given the Daggers the lead 5 minutes before the break with a deflected 35-yard effort.

The hosts hit the bar through Nathan Hotte in the second half and then grabbed a 68th minute equaliser, courtesy of an own goal attributed to Michael Cheek, although recent signing Raheem Hanley was also claiming the last touch.

But a minute later, Mike Fondop-Talom was definitely the scorer of the Shaymen`s second.

And they held firm for the remaining 20-odd minutes to claim a very good three points.

Solihull travelled north to the International Stadium having lost at title-chasing Sutton United last weekend.

But they are now just a point behind the safety mark after earning a 2-2 draw.

However, Boro boss Mark Yates will perhaps see this as an opportunity missed as they faced ten-men for more than 79 minutes and saw the Heed grab a last-gasp point.

The hosts went down to ten-men after just 11 minutes when Rees Greenwood was shown a straight red card for an alleged use of the elbow on Darren Carter.

And Moors took advantage to break the deadlock after 32 minutes when Jamie Reckord set up Alex Reid to make it 1-0.

But the ten-men pulled back on level terms in the 68th minute when Fraser Kerr`s cross was volleyed past Mark O`Leary by Pat McLaughlin.

It looked like the visitors were heading home with all three points though when they re-took the lead in the 87th minute through sub Chris Lait.

However, in the last of 4 minutes added on at the end of the game, Steve Watson`s side grabbed a point when another sub, Wes York, fired an effort which took a wicked deflection before going in.

Last weekend, Gateshead hammered Maidenhead United 7-1 at the International Stadium.

So Boreham Wood were expecting a response when Alan Devonshire`s side made the rather shorter trip to Meadow Park on Tuesday.

And that`s exactly what they got as Wood were held to a third successive draw.

It didn`t look good though for the Magpies when they conceded the opening goal after only 4 minutes when the lively Morgan Ferrier curled a beauty past Lloyd Pentney.

His opposite number, Grant Smith, had to be alert to save from Harold Otametey as Maidenhead looked for a quick response.

And they did pull back on level terms on the half-hour mark when, after Alan Massey`s initial header had come back off the bar, Moses Emmanuel pounced on the rebound to net from close range.

Despite last Saturday`s hammering, it was the visitors who looked the more likely to win it in the second half, with Ryan Upward going close and Sean Marks being denied by a fine Smith save.

But it ended all-square which represents a fine response from the Magpies.


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