With the international weekend giving Premier League and Championship teams a rest, all eyes were on the lower divisions. As fans up and down the country celebrated Non-League Day, there was a full programme in the Conference. This weekend’s round-up begins at the top of the table.
Cambridge and Nuneaton kept up their unbeaten starts and Us remain top, as they beat 10-man Hyde. The only goal of the game came before the half time interval – Adam Cunnington heading home from close range. The home side’s afternoon went from bad to worse when they had Liam Tomsett dismissed, late on, for an alleged elbow. Meanwhile, surprise package Nuneaton also continued their recent good form, inflicting a third straight defeat on Wrexham in the process. Two late goals won it for Boro with Andy Brown netting on 75 minutes and Louis Moult securing the points in stoppage time.
Halifax moved into the top five, inflicting a first defeat on Barnet as they won on home soil. The Shaymen took the lead midway through the first half – Scott McManus firing in from 25 yards. Five minutes after the break, their advantage doubled as Lois Maynard got on the score sheet. Curtis Weston pulled one back for the Bees but it wasn’t enough.
Lincoln, too, suffered defeat, their first at Sincil Bank this campaign. Salisbury were the visitors and Chris McPhee headed in the eventual winner, the midfielder meeting Ben Wright’s corner to secure their first away win of the season.
A slender win for Aldershot put them back on a level playing field as they wiped out their points deduction to sit on a much healthier zero. Midway through the second half, Mark Moseley’s 20-yard strike went in via the crossbar – leaving Macclesfield in the bottom four and without a win so far.
There were big home wins for Tamworth and Alfreton this weekend with the former recording a surprise victory over Southport. In truth it was a demolition at the Lamb Ground and the hosts led early on with Richie Baker netting from the spot after Matt Flynn had fouled Lateef Elford-Alliyu. The Port quickly levelled through Osayamen Osawe’s header but an own goal from Luke George restored Tamworth’s lead. Richard Peniket added two more goals in the second half to wrap up a comfortable victory. Alfreton also went ahead early in their game to secure an easy win over Woking. Tom Shaw’s close-range effort in the opening 10 minutes was immediately cancelled out when Bradley Wood was adjudged to have handled – Gavin Williams stepping up to convert the spot kick. Alfreton restored their lead with Shaw netting a second and Danny Meadows added a third late on. Woking stay in 20th with just one win from their opening seven games.
A Josh Walker brace for Gateshead saw off Hereford. His double in the closing 15 minutes of the first half gave the Tynesiders a two-goal margin with 45 minutes left to play. His first was a cool finish, having latched on to James Marwood’s cross, while his second was a 25-yard free kick, lashed into the back of the net. Hereford halved the deficit 16 minutes before the end through Michael West, on loan from Crewe Alexandra, but it was too little too late for the Bulls.
There was a similar scoreline at Park View, where Kidderminster travelled to Welling. A brace in the opening period from James Dance secured the points for Kiddy, despite the threat of a late comeback by the hosts. It was a debut to remember for Dance: his first goal came in the opening 10 minutes, before he added a second midway through the first half. A late left-footed strike from Loui Fazackerley sparked a revival, but the Harriers managed to hold on.
Braintree and Forest Green had to settle for a point apiece, as they played out a score draw in Essex. James Norwood had put Rovers ahead but Braintree levelled before half time – Kenny Davis tucking away a penalty after handball by Chris Stokes.
It was also honours even in the late kick-off, where Luton entertained Grimsby, and new boys Chester won their first point at home with a stalemate against Dartford.
This weekend there’s another big match as Wrexham and Luton meet at the Racecourse on Friday night. On Saturday, Barnet host Lincoln and fifth take on sixth as Halifax travel to Forest Green; Grimsby and Braintree are also paired, with both teams currently sitting in mid-table.