Blue Square Premier League – Week Six

by Neil Sherwin

After a storming start to the season, both Gateshead and Wrexham continued their recent stuttering form this Saturday.

Gateshead climbed to the top of the league despite only drawing 1-1 at home to Cambridge. Ashley Carew put Cambridge ahead, only for Josh Gillies to equalize, but the point was enough to see the Tynesiders go top. Wrexham lost their second consecutive game with a crushing 3-0 loss at home to York City. First half goals from Patrick McLaughlin, Ashley Chambers and Jamie Reed put the Minstermen in a commanding position and they never looked threatened as they ran out comfortable winners.  This defeat dropped Wrexham into third as Luton Town overtook them after a 1-0 win at Kenilworth Road against Lincoln City. Stuart Fleetwood scored the winner after earlier hitting the bar.

Mansfield Town’s strong start to the season continued in an entertaining match away at Barrow. Despite twice taking the lead through Matt Green and Ben Futcher, the Stags were pegged back by Barrow’s on loan forward Louis Almond and Adam Boyes. Lindon Meikle struck late on to secure Mansfield’s fifth straight win and ensure they stayed in the play off places. Kidderminster Harriers came from behind to stay in the fight at the top end of the table. Ex Harrier Drewe Broughton put opponents Alfreton ahead, but goals from Marc Williams, Steve Guinan and James Vincent made sure of the three points.  Early season favourites Fleetwood also came from behind. Magno Viera struck twice and Jamie Vardy also bagged a goal in a 3-1 away win after Callum Willock had earlier put Ebbsfleet ahead.

Southport again had a fine start, quickly going three up at The New Lawn through Earl Davis, Simon Grand and a fine effort from Shaun Whalley. Forest Green threatened this lead in the last ten minutes with goals from James Norwood and Yan Klukowski but it was too little too late as Southport ended up 3-2 winners. Tamworth stayed in the top half as Danny Thomas and Iyseden Christie earned them a 2-0 win away at Kettering.  Braintree won by a single goal at home to Newport with a goal from Ben Wright. Stockport added only their second win to their six draws by beating Grimsby 2-0 at Edgely Park, Sean McConville and Tom Elliot the heroes of the day.

In the weekends remaining games, Darlington and Hayes couldn’t be separated with Ryan Bowman equalizing after Louie Soares had put the away team ahead after a goalless first half. Goals from Chris Sharp and Andy Brown ended Telford’s poor run scoring each side of Marley Watkins goal for Bath, leaving the Romans as the only team looking for their first win of the season and rooted to the bottom of the table.

Tuesday nights action saw the gap that had been built at the top of the league completely disappear, with four teams separated only on goal difference and only one point between the top five.

Luton Town moved to the top of the league despite only drawing 1-1 away against Bath City who were reduced to nine men, Lee Phillips equalizing after Amari Morgan-Smith had put the Hatters ahead. They lead Wrexham who haven’t won in three games after their excellent start They Struggled to a 0-0 draw also away at Southport. Lincoln completed an uneventful night for the top three by beating former leaders Gateshead 1-0 with Ali Fuseini scoring the all-important goal. Fleetwood are now fourth on after an impressive 5-2 win at Highbury against a string Kidderminster team. Both teams were reduced to ten men after Jamie Vardy and Steve Guinan were given their marching orders, but that was only the start of the action. Gareth Seddon scored just before half time before Magno Viera struck twice and Andy Mangan also netted. Lee Vaughn made it 4-1 before Richard Brodie finally buried the Harriers. An injury time Jamille Matt goal was the last moment of an action packed night.

Mansfield’s run of victories ended but they still picked up a point at home drawing with Telford.  Matthew Green put the Stags ahead on 72 minutes but Telford’s Chris Sharps last gasp goal denied the home team the victory.  Newly promoted Braintree continued their excellent start to the season with a 2-1 away win at Hayes despite the home side taking the lead through Pierre Joseph-Dubois. Andrew Yiadom and Jai Reason got the goals to keep Braintree close to the play off places.  York City needed a late goal from Jason Walker to get a point from their match at home to Darlington. Jamie Reed put York ahead before James Walshaw and Marc Bridge Wilkinson threatened to take all three points back to the North East, before Walkers late equalizer.

Forest Green stayed mid table with a 1-0 win away at Tamworth, James Norwoods deflected shot securing a good away win. Alfreton came from behind to beat ten man Barrow for only their second win of the season. Debutant loan signing Haydn Hollis put Barrow ahead after Gavin Skelton’s red card, but an equalizer from Anton Brown and a last minute winner from James Ellison was enough for a 2-1 win. Cambridge had a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Ebbsfleet with Peter Winn and Tom Shaw getting the goals in the first half. Stockport registered their seventh draw of the new campaign at Newport. Danny Rose put the South Wales side ahead before Tom Elliot put the scores level with only eight minutes left. In the Tuesday game, Grimsby had to come from behind to beat Kettering at Blundell Park. Moses Ashikodi had Kettering in the lead in the first half before Anthony Elding and substitute Michael Coulsen won the game with just six minutes left.

Barrow’s Adam Boyes leads the way in the goalscorers list with 8 goals, closely followed by Amari Morgan Smith (Luton), Jon Shaw (Gateshead), Jason Walker (York) and Mansfield’s Matt Green on 7.

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