January 1, 2015
Barnet stretched their lead at the top of the….
Vanarama Conference Premier table to nine points after edging a 1-0 win at The Hive on New Year`s Day against Aldershot Town.
Charlie MacDonald scored the only goal of the game when he netted from close range after 19 minutes, soon after Andre McCollin had sliced a good chance wide for the Shots.
The hosts continued to have the better of things with Keanu Marsh-Brown having a shot cleared off the line and Mauro Vilhete going close after the break.
Aldershot threatened late on but the Bees held on.
A late Matt Taylor penalty helped second-placed Bristol Rovers salvage a point in rather controversial circumstances against play-off contenders Torquay United at the Memorial Stadium.
Leading by an early 10th minute Duane Ofori-Acheampong goal, Torquay had managed to frustrate Rovers, who were looking to extend their current unbeaten run to a dozen league games, until they were handed a lifeline following the award of a hard-looking penalty 7 minutes from time.
The referee had failed to spot any infringement when an over-hit Lee Mansell free-kick sailed high and wide – but the linesman’s flag was immediately raised for, presumably, a tangle between defender Angus MacDonald and Ellis Harrison at the far post.
Matty Taylor stroked the penalty away to score his tenth goal of the season, while the salt was well and truly rubbed into the Torquay wound when MacDonald, who had already been booked some minutes earlier, received a second yellow card for over-protesting the decision.
Third-placed Macclesfield Town boosted their promotion hopes with a late winner at Blundell Park against fourth-placed Grimsby Town.
The Silkmen took the lead on the half-hour-mark when Waide Fairhurst’s shot was parried, allowing on-loan Denny Johnstone to pounce on the rebound.
But 7 minutes later, a mistake at the back by Paul Turnbull was picked up by Jon-Paul Pittman, who equalised with a smart finish.
But, with 6 minutes of normal time remaining, Danny Whitaker latched onto a Adriano Moke’s cross to finish from a tight angle.
Woking took a last-gasp point against fellow play-off hopefuls Eastleigh at Kingfield.
The game had few chances in the first half but after the break striker Craig McAllister gave the visitors a 69th minute lead with a well-struck free-kick.
However, Marriott levelled late on with his own free-kick in the 4th minute of time added on at the end of the game.
Eastleigh remain in the top five on on goals scored because their goal difference is the same.
Forest Green Rovers avenged their Boxing Day home defeat by Kidderminster Harriers as they won the return at Aggborough 4-2.
Jon Parkin headed home Dale Bennett’s right-wing cross to give Forest Green a 22nd minute lead before the visitors struck twice in little over a minute.
Kurtis Guthrie headed on for Clovis Kamdjo to net a left-foot shot on 37 minutes before scoring himself from close range almost straight from the restart.
Three up at half-time. Parkin then added his second on the hour-mark before Harriers struck twice in 3 minutes midway through the half, courtesy of a Craig Reid penalty and Marvin Johnson’s shot.
Released by a neat flick from young substitute Jamie Spencer on his debut, Johnson cut in from the right to drill in a low drive – his eighth goal of the season.
Reid’s penalty, after being fouled by Bennett, was Harriers’ first spot-kick this season, but it was too little, too late as Gary Whild’s side suffered a second successive home defeat over the festive period.
Dover Athletic completed a `double` over Kent rivals Welling United after winning 2-0 away at Park View Road and stretch their unbeaten run to sixteen games and move to within just four points off a play-off place.
Sean Raggett broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute. Stefan Payne won a corner which was swung in by Barry Cogan and Raggett slammed a header past Jonathan Henly into the roof of the net to give the visitors the lead.
Dover doubled their lead on 77 minutes when substitute James Poole’s corner was cleared but it fell to Cogan, who smacked a low effort off the post which rebounded off the defender on the line and into the net for his first goal of the season.
Braintree Town completed the `double` over Dartford by winning 3-0 at the Amlin Stadium.
The visitors had the first real opening of the game when Tom Bradbrook forced goalkeeper Nick Hamann in to an excellent close-range save.
After numerous efforts, Chez Isaac’s close-range finish finally gave the hosts the lead in the 78th minute.
Ten minutes from time Simeon Akinola netted on his second attempt following a corner, and a left-foot strike in injury-time by substitute Dan Sparkes sealed the win.
Altrincham inflicted a second defeat in a week on neighbours Chester FC, this time triumphing 4-1 at Moss Lane.
The home side surged into a two-goal lead inside 17 minutes though Nicky Clee, taking advantage of an error by keeper Jon Worsnop, and Damian Reeves to punish a poor start from the visitors.
John Rooney replied on 28 minutes with a free-kick but Chester didn’t look in the game with eleven men so when Ibou Touray was shown a straight red card early in the second half the game was up.
Reeves netted his second on 62 minutes and Clee added a fourth 5 minutes later to wrap up a convincing win for the home side, who are now level on points with Chester.
On Boxing Day, bottom two AFC Telford United and Nuneaton Town shared a 4-4 draw, but New Year`s Day saw defences a lot tighter in a goalless draw at the New Bucks Head.
Both sides had their chances in an end-to-end game but the Bucks, who started the game fifteen points adrift of safety, really needed a win.
In an even first half Onome Sodje had the best chance to open the scoring but could not beat Freddy Hall from the edge of the area on 29 minutes.
At the other end Tony Gray went very close on two occasions, drawing a fine near post save by Shrewsbury Town’s on-loan goalkeeper Callum Burton before drilling another effort just wide.
Hall again had to be alert though to turn behind a strong near post effort from James Armson as the momentum swung one way and then the other in the first half.
Sam Smith had the ball in the net inside 30 seconds of the second half, but his finish after Burton could only parry Gray’s long range drive, was ruled out for offside.
But Michael Gash missed a great chance to put the visitors ahead 10 minutes later when he nodded straight at Hall from Ryan Smith’s cross.
Only a superb save by Burton prevented Mike Grogan heading Telford in front just after the hour mark.
But a draw certainly suited Nuneaton, who have taken five points from nine over the Christmas period and are seven points from safety, more.