With all teams of the Conference in action at the weekend, Lucy Waldon brings us the latest.
Luton came from behind to snatch maximum points, moving up to fifth in the process. Visitors Halifax have started the campaign well and went ahead within three minutes through Paul Marshall. Luke Guttridge quickly levelled for the hosts, but moments later the Shaymen retook the lead, through Simon Ainge’s header. Dan Gardener’s 20-yard drive had them further in front but two goals in six minutes put the Hatters back on level terms. First, Paul Benson struck from close range, before Andre Gray’s drive from the edge of the box had the scores tied at three-all. Alex Wall won the points for John Still’s side seven minutes from time – his long-range effort the final talking point in an entertaining encounter.
There were also goals galore at North Street, where Alfreton hosted Forest Green. Tom Shaw put the home side ahead after 10 minutes but Rovers quickly levelled – Magno Vieira cancelling out that previous effort. Rovers found themselves in front when Matthew Barnes-Homer slotted home but Daniel Wilshart grabbed the equaliser before half time. Wilshart went on to score the eventual winner the other side of the half time whistle and although Alfreton had to play the remaining 20 minutes a man down, they managed to hold on for the points.
While Aldershot remain in the bottom four, Grimsby are on the up following this latest win, moving up to second in the table. The visiting side took an early lead at the Rec, Lendell John-Lewis’ header from Scott Neilson’s cross breaking the deadlock. The Cod Heads’ advantage was soon doubled when Ross Hannah met Sam Hutton’s free kick and the Shots knew it wouldn’t be their day when Brett Williams saw his spot kick saved. They were made to rue that miss as Grimsby ran rampant and made it three without reply, Liam Hearn defiantly securing the points.
Braintree won away from home by the same score line, as they travelled to the division’s bottom side, Hyde, who are still without a win this season. The Iron took the lead towards the end of the opening period with Charlie Strutton pouncing on a loose ball before slotting home. Strutton made it two before the hour mark from 12-yards out and Jordan Cox added his name to the score sheet minutes later to ensure a comfortable victory.
Meanwhile, Gateshead made it three wins in four with their win over Dartford. The Tynesiders went ahead just before half time through James Marwood, before Rob Ramshaw scored his first goal for the club to wrap up maximum points.
Wrexham’s poor start to the season continues and their latest defeat sees them hovering above the dropzone – and then only on goal difference. The Dragons got off to a good start against high-flying Salisbury when Joe Anyinsah capitalised on a quick throw-in routine. But they didn’t have much to cheer about in the second half and two goals in three minutes saw the hosts on top. Dan Fitchett’s header was added to by a nifty back-heel by Angus MacDonald as Salisbury boosted their points tally.
There were also narrow wins at the weekend for Cambridge and Tamworth, over Hereford and Macclesfield, respectively. Cambridge remain unbeaten as Kwesi Appiah’s strike saw the early pace-setters victorious yet again. Meanwhile, Lateef Elford-Alliyu proved the difference as Tamworth claimed maximum points against in-form Macc.
Elsewhere, Nuneaton and Lincoln had to settle for a point apiece as Boro’s losing streak was ended, thanks to a late equaliser from Andy Brown. The hosts went ahead as early as the third minute – Wesley York opening the scoring. The Imps were back on level terms before the break, through Tom Miller – and completed a fine turnaround, courtesy of Jon Nolan. However, a dramatic later equaliser from Brown ensured it was honours even at Liberty Way.
10-man Barnet picked up a point on the road at Welling, while Southport’s unbeaten home record continued as they drew with Woking. At Park View Road, Barnet were forced to play over an hour with 10 men, when they had Andy Yiadom sent off by referee Amy Fearn. The Wings made their advantage count when they took the lead minutes later – Joe Healy breaking the deadlock. However, the Bees dug deep and when Keanu Marsh-Brown was adjudged to have been hauled down in the box, he coolly converted the spot kick to earn a draw. A single point wasn’t enough to see Woking out of the bottom four, but they took the lead at Southport – the early advantage gained thanks to a Scott Rendell volley. Jamie Mulligan’s spectacular 35-yard strike gave Port a share of the spoils.
Also in the Conference, draw specialists Chester held Kidderminster to a goalless stalemate.
There’s a full programme of fixtures on Tuesday, with the pick of the ties seeing second placed Grimsby host the leaders, Cambridge. Also on Tuesday, Luton travel to Aldershot and struggling Hyde host Gateshead.