As with a lot of league fixtures over the past week, the weather hit the non-league programme hard over the past week with many postponements adding to teams already congested fixture lists towards the end of the season. Another problem that clubs at this level find is without regular gate money coming in; it can often lead to problems paying bills and wages.
An example of this is Barrow, who had recently under a transfer embargo, haven’t played at home since Boxing Day, and still have to wait till the end of the month before their first home game of the year, which mean a massive gap in their income, with money still going out.
Last week’s games that did go ahead saw a bit of movement in the league. Telford’s 0-0 draw at home to Luton took the hosts out of the bottom four and left Luton back in sixth place chasing a spot in the play offs. Dartford’s impressive season continued with a decent 2-0 win at home to Macclesfield with goals from John Wallis and Lee Noble hitting the target to keep them in seventh position.
Strugglers Nuneaton helped their survival chances and put a dent in Cambridge United run at the top five with an excellent 3-1 win away at Abbey Stadium. A double from James Armson and Andy Brown’s effort sealed the points with Michael Gash hitting a late consolation for the U’s. Mansfield added to Stockport County’s woes at the wrong end of the table with a 3-1 win at Edegely Park. Mansfield took a three goal lead through Colin Daniel, Lee Stevenson and a Matt Green penalty with Alex Meaney scoring for the hosts. Saturday saw another decimated programme, with only five games going ahead.
The big shock of the weekend was title chasers Newport, who had help from 120 fans to clear the snow from the pitch to ensure the game went ahead, falling to a 2-0 loss at home to Barrow. Goals either side of half time from Matthew Flynn and Danny Rowe earned the vital win which saw the Bluebirds off the foot of the table. Macclesfield needed a solitary goal from Waide Fairhurst to edge past Kidderminster Harriers in a game which saw both teams aiming to improve on their already decent positions.
Mansfield came from behind to beat Southport 2-1 at Haigh Avenue. Shaun Whalley fired the hosts ahead after just six minutes, but they couldn’t capitalise and eventually fell to goals from Adam Murray and Lee Stevenson. Stockport, who had fired coach Jim Gannon after Tuesday’s defeat managed to turn round their recent bad fortunes with a 2-1 win at home to Forest Green. Sean Newton’s free kick and Jon Nolan’s first for the club were enough to win the points, with Reece Styche’s effort not enough to drag the Rover back into the match.
In the only other game Telford contested their second home goalless draw in a matter of days, which probably had fans wishing their games had been postponed. Grimsby fired their way back to the top of the league with a late double from Andy Cook enough to see off mid table Hyde United on Tuesday night.