New Year’s Day saw Grimsby maintain the top spot in the table with on little movement in the top places. Forest Green moved into the top five at the expense of Kidderminster, after an excellent 5-0 win away at title chasers Newport County, who dropped to third place behind the Mariners and Wrexham. Braintree Town dropped into the bottom four after Stockport’s win away at Hyde got them out of trouble for the time being. Barrow remained bottom despite gaining revenge for the Boxing Day defeat against Gateshead as Ebbsfleet United picked up a point to stay above the Bluebirds.
Grimsby and Hereford United played out a 1-1 draw but it was enough to keep them at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier. Nathan Pond gave Grimsby the lead just over a minute into the game, but Ryan Bowman equalised for the Bulls late in the half. Both teams threatened in the second half, but neither could find the winner. Newport County and Wrexham shared the points in a 1-1 draw in the Friday night game which saw the two Welsh teams hot on the heels of the leaders. Danny Wright put the visitors ahead deep into the first half but an equaliser from Max Porter meant that Wrexham returned to the top of the table overnight until Grimsby had played.
Forest Green continued their fine run and consolidated their third place with a 1-0 away at mid table Hyde United. James Norwood hit his tenth goal of the season as the Gloucestershire side earned a tough away victory. Kidderminster are another team on the up after a poor start to the season. They Kidderminster won their sixth game in the last seven outings as they comfortably beat basement side Barrow 2-0. Goals at either end of the game from Ryan Rowe and Jamille Matt ended the Bluebirds hopes of building on their win at Gateshead.
Cambridge United kept within shouting distance of the play offs with a fine 4-1 at home to strugglers Stockport County. Liam Hughes gave the U’s the lead but they were immediately pegged back by Danny Whiteheads long range effort. Josh Coulson gave the hosts the lead again just before half time and second half strikes from Tome Elliot and another from Liam Hughes made sure the three points stayed at home. The most entertaining match of the day appeared to be at Alfreton, where the hosts edged out Dartford in a five goal thriller. The visitors took the lead through Ryan Hayes although Danny Meadows equalised on the stroke of half time. Nathan Collier again put Dartford ahead but Anton Brown and Danny Meadows again popped up to secure the win in the last minute of the game. Ebbsfleet just missed out on what would have been an important win after Lincoln City’s Conner Robinson scored a last minute equaliser after Tom Phipp had put the Fleet ahead. The drawn left the hosts deep in relegation trouble.
Braintree Town moved out of the bottom four after a comfortable win at Tamworth. Goals from Dan Holman, Matthew Paine, Luke Daley and a Kenny Davis spot kick earned the points with the only consolation for Tamworth coming from Adam Cunnington. Telford stayed in the bottom four after a Simon Grand double and Chris Almond earned Southport a decent 3-1 away win at the New Bucks Head. Jake Reid scored a late consolation.
Macclesfield’s Matthew Barnes – Homer shares the top spot in the goalscorers list with Aaron O’ Connor on 15 goals, with Phil Jevons of Hyde United just behind on 14 goals.