Blue Square Bet Premier League – Stags head to the top

by Stephen Fallows

Blue SquareThe Blue Square Premier has been a very unpredictable league this season, with plenty of proof that anyone can beat anyone on their day, and with both end so of the table so close towards the end of the season, a lot could be decided on the last day of the season.

Mansfield Town’s well timed run of form moved them to the top of the table on Friday night with their ninth successive win which halted Forest Green in their attempt to reach the play offs. Town took a two goal lead through an Osohdi own goal and Lee Stevenson, and managed to hold on despite late pressure fro Forest Green, which brought them a goal through James Norwood, although it proved to be just a consolation.

Wrexham missed their chance to take top spot back on the Saturday being held to a goalless draw by Luton who now lie thirteen points behind the play offs and whose recent form has seen them struggling through their worst season since they fell out of the league.  Kidderminster’s form since Christmas has seen them rise into the play offs into title contenders, and this excellent form continued with a 4-1 victory over sixteenth placed Tamworth. The visitors took the lead through Adam Cunnington after just five minutes, but goals from Keith Briggs, Danny Pilkington and a Michael Gash brace saw the Harriers to just three points off the top of the table.

Grimsby Town fell to a third successive defeat, losing 1-0 at home to Cambridge United, but stayed in the top five after Forest Green defeat. Tom Naylor scored an own goal which saw Cambridge up to ninth. Hereford United came from behind to beat Barrow 2-1 and send the bluebirds into the bottom four. Adam Boyes put the Bluebirds ahead in the first half, but the lead was cancelled out fifteen minutes later through Joshua O’Keefe’s penalty which saw a red card for Barrow midfielder Sean McConville. Brian Smikle score the winner in injury time which saw the Bulls up to eighth. Woking thrashed basement side Telford 5-2 with Bradley Bubb grabbing his second hat trick of the season. Jayden Stockley and Kevin Betsy added to the goals, with Steve Jones and Aaron Williams making the scoreline a little easier to take for the Telford fans. Hyde United scored what could be a vital 3-0 win at home to Dartford, which moved them three points away fro the drop zone.

An amazing late comeback saw Alfreton Town overcome Gateshead in a five goal thriller which saw the hosts stay mid-table and push Gateshead the wrong way down the league. An own goal from Anton Brown and a Josh Gillies penalty gave the visitors a seemingly comfortable half time lead, however three goals in the last thirteen minutes from Ben Tomlinson, Steven Hewitt and substitute Scott Boden scored the goals which saw the hosts complete a special result.

Braintree managed a decent 3-1 win away at Stockport with goals from Dan Holman and a double from Kenny Davis handed the Hatters their fourth successive defeat, with only Alex Kenyon giving home fans a brief glimpse of hope with a consolation goal six minutes from time. A storming opening half hour from Ebbsfleet United saw them take Southport apart and rush into a four goal lead. Liam Bellamy, Stefan Payne, Nathan Elder and Matt Godden gave the hosts an insurmountable first half lead. Chris Almond made the scoreline a little bit more respectable but the shell shocked Sandgrounders but that was all the could muster as they went down 4-1.

A last minute goal from Wesley York gave strugglers Nuneaton Town an important win in their battle against relegation, and the three points took them just a point away from getting out of the relegation zone, just behind the Imps, who stayed in trouble, just above the bottom four.

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