Relegation-threatened trio Billericay Town, Braintree Town and Welling United all won on a busy day in the National League South.
By Steven Oldham
The division’s bottom three sides all picked up crucial victories in their bids to beat the drop. The bottom four are now covered by six points.
With Tonbridge Angels on FA Trophy duty, the sides below them did all they could to pull away from danger. The status quo remained, with Billericay still bottom and three points short of safety.
Billericay Town 2-0 Dulwich Hamlet
Billericay pulled off one of their results of the season by completing the double over playoff chasers Dulwich Hamlet.
An early Femi Akinwande goal set the tone for the home side, with Dylan Gavin adding the second.
It’s an important win for Town, who had lost back-to-back games heading into this fixture.
Hamlet’s stop-start form stuttered once more, with this a second defeat in a week after a midweek thrashing at Ebbsfleet United.
St Albans City 0-1 Braintree Town
Braintree continue to hold the aces in the battle to beat the drop after winning at St Albans.
Stefan Ilic’s second half goal wrapped up the three points for the visitors, who remain three points clear of Billericay.
Crucially, The Iron hold two games in hand on their rivals and are now unbeaten in six.
St Albans are another side who looked like title contenders in the early going, but have faded and remain a point adrift of the playoffs.
Welling United 1-0 Chippenham Town
Welling United picked up a first win in six by picking up a surprise win over Chippenham Town.
Ade Shokunbi’s goal was enough for the win, and a fifth home victory this season.
Wings have pulled level with Tonbridge, although the Angels have a far superior goal difference.
Chippenham remain in the playoffs despite falling to a first defeat in four.
Title contenders all win
It was also a good day for the division’s leading pack, who continue to pull away at the top.
Leaders Dorking Wanderers bounced back from their surprise defeat to Tonbridge with a 2-0 win over Bath City.
A goal in each half saw Marc White’s side move up to 54 points. Darren Oldaker and Nicky Wheeler were on the scoresheet.
A Jack Barham hat-trick gave Maidstone United a 3-2 victory over Eastbourne Borough in a topsy-turvy game on the south coast.
Charley Kendall added two more for the season for the home side, but it’s Maidstone who stretched their unbeaten run to 13 games.
Oxford City moved up to third with a 2-0 win over Hemel Hempstead Town.
Nana Owusu and Harvey Bradbury were on target to wrap up a fourth win in five games for The Hoops.
All the other NLS action
Tyler Goodrham’s brace earned Slough Town a surprise 2-1 victory over Ebbsfleet United.
Goodrham netted either side of Ben Chapman’s equaliser to give Slough a first win in seven.
Concord Rangers picked up a first win in eight games by beating Havant & Waterlooville 3-1.
Nana Kyei, Danny Green and Ben Williamson were on target for the home side, with Stefan Payne netting for the visitors.
Chelmsford City beat Hampton & Richmond Borough 1-0 to extend their unbeaten run to four games.
Cameron James’ goal with ten minutes remaining was enough for the three points.