The main news to break from the Blue Square Premier in the lead up to the weekend fixtures was the departure of Wrexham boss Dean Sanders to take over at Championship basement side Doncaster Rovers. Despite this setback the Red Dragons returned to the top with a fine 3-1 win away at Grimsby. Mathias Pogba put Wrexham ahead shortly before Liam Hearn leveled leaving it 1-1 at half time. Jay Harris and Lee Fowler added the goals to give caretaker player/manager the best possible start to his reign. They lead on goal difference from Gateshead who kept up the pressure with a good away win at Hayes & Yeading 3-2. Jon Shaw scored a hat trick to put Gateshead in a commanding position. Louie Soare’s penalty and Tom Collins scored for Hayes to put pressure on the away side, but Gateshead held on to claim all three points.
Braintree completed a set of away wins for the top three beating Southport 4-0. Goals from Chibuzor Chilaka, Sean Marks, Jai Reason and Andrew Yiadom made sure the league newcomers excellent start to the season continued. Fleetwood stayed in the play off places despite only drawing 2-2 at home to Telford. Richard Brodie scored twice, (one of them deep in injury time) after Shane Killock and Sean Newton put the visitors two up. York held the last of the play off places after Ashley Chambers scored a brace either side of Jason Walker’s goal as they beat Luton Town 3-0.
Kidderminster beat ten man Mansfield to move above them into 7th position. Kyle Storer, Nick Wright and a Lee Vaughn penalty secured the points for the Harriers. Cambridge continued a good run with Michael Gash and Tom Shaw scoring the goals as they beat Darlington 2-0 at Abbey Stadium. Tamworth assisted in adding another draw to Stockport’s impressive collection after Iyseden Christie equalized Nick Chadwick’s opener. Lincoln City and Forest Green also finished 1-1; Curtis McDonald’s early goal for the visitors was cancelled out by John Nutter’s goal after an hour.
Barrow showed their fighting spirit again away at struggling Newport. Adam Boyes put Barrow ahead before Nathaniel Jarvis and Danny Rose scored to put Newport ahead. An injury time penalty from Richie Baker secured a point for the impressive Bluebirds. Kettering moved away form the bottom four after Djoumin Sangare scored the only goal in the game against Bath City. In Saturday’s other game, Alfreton fought back from a terrible start to win a point at home to fellow strugglers Ebbsfleet. Liam Enver-Marum and Callum Willock put Fleet in a strong position but second half goals from Anton Brown and Nathan Jarman pulled it back for the home side.
Tuesday night came around and it was all change again at the top of the table as Gateshead returned to pole position after Jon Shaw hit his second hat trick in four days. Jason Walker and an own goal from James Curtis put Gateshead’s victory in doubt but the Tynesiders held on. Braintree moved into second place after beating Tamworth 3-1 at home. Jai Reason hit two and Andrew Yiadom scored, with Tamworth’s reply coming from a Liam McDonald header. Fleetwood moved up a place after beating Stockport 4-2 at Edgeley Park. Magno Viera, Sean Clancy, Stefan Cox and Andy Mangan scored for the Cod Army with Antonio German scoring twice for the home side.
Wrexham dropped into fourth after losing at home to Mansfield, who themselves moved into the top five. An own goal from Danny Wright put the Stags ahead before Wrexham levelled through Lee Fowler. Matthew Green’s penalty put the Stags ahead before Paul Connor finished the scoring in a hard fought game where both teams ended with ten men. Cambridge won their third consecutive game as Rory McAuley scored the only goal in the 1-0 away at Luton who dropped down to ninth in the table.
There was another red card at Kidderminster as Sergio Makofo’s second yellow saw the home team down to ten. Grimsby’s Anthony Elding scored a last minute equalizer to Nick Wright’s goal for the Harriers as the match ended 1-1. Southport moved into the top half of the table after extending Darlington’s miserable run of six games without a win. Simon Grand, Kevin Lee and Tony Gray scored the goals that gave the Sandgrounders a fine away win. Barrow joined Southport in the top half with a 1-0 win at home to Lincoln. Richie Baker followed up his penalty on Saturday with another important spot kick to grab the three points.
In the other games on Tuesday, Telford’s Chris Sharp’s third goal in four games was enough to beat Alfreton. Charlie Griffin scored a point winning goal for Forest Green after Nathaniel Jarvis had earlier put Newport ahead. Kettering and Hayes played out an action packed game with eight goals and two red cards. Tom Collins, a Louie Soares penalty and Pierre Joseph Dubois put Hayes 3-0 up. Moses Ashikodi and Adam Cunnington pulled it back to 3-2 before Hector Mackie and another Soares strike put the game out of reach for Kettering. Jean Paul Marna scored a consolation goal before he started fighting with teammate Ashikodi that lead to them both being dismissed. Ebbsfleet left Bath as the only team in the league without a win after twelve games after two goals from Callum Willock and one from Michael West ensured the Fleet won all three points and left Bath five points adrift at the bottom of the table.