While most focus this midweek has been on the Champions League, there were four exciting clashes in the Vanarama National League over Tuesday and Wednesday with Woking hosting Solihull Moors, Guiseley taking on Sutton, Braintree travelling to Eastleigh and play-off hopefuls Macclesfield and Barrow facing off.
A Michael Cheek double was enough to earn Braintree all three points as they triumphed against Martin Allen’s Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium.
Cheek opened the scoring with a header in the 28th minute before doubling their advantage with fifteen minutes left to earn Hakan Heyrettin’s side the points and move them up to 16th, three places below the Spitfires. It’s a sixth game without a win in all competitions for Eastleigh, whose play-off hopes are slowly fading away.
Meanwhile, at Nethermoor Park, Guiseley’s recent resurgence continued and they bagged a last-minute winner to defeat Sutton on Tuesday evening.
The visitors would’ve be forgiven for having one eye on Monday’s FA Cup match against Arsenal and, having lost their last three games, have been dragged into a relegation dogfight and would’ve felt that now-familiar sinking feeling when Jake Cassidy headed home a corner after just seven minutes to put Guiseley ahead.
Paul Doswell’s side did respond though, when Matt Tubbs converted a penalty, but a point was snatched from them in the cruellest of fashions in the third minute of injury time through John Rooney, who had only joined them on loan from Wrexham that day.
The first home win came virtue of Woking’s 2-1 success over Solihull Moors, with Saraiva scoring the winner to cancel out an equaliser from Murombedzi 15 minutes earlier.
It took just two minutes for the Cards to go infront, courtesy of Terrell Thomas’ close-range header, but Solihull were dangerous going forward as Murombedzi and Carline went close.
The visitors did equalise soon after through Murombedzi who fired a rebound home but, after a spell of pressure from the hosts during which Ugwu went close, Carline tucked a cross away to win it for Woking.
That was it for Tuesday’s action but it resumed a night later with Barrow keeping their play-offs alive as they defeated Macclesfield Town away from home.
Barrow were reduced to ten men on the hour mark, Akil Wright receiving a second yellow card for what seemed like a tame foul on Holroyd. However, the numerical advantage didn’t tell and it was infact Paul Cox’s Bluebirds who took the lead six minutes later through Bennett’s penalty after a handball in the area.
Barrow climb back into the play-offs after the result, while Macclesfield stay ninth.
So that was it on an interesting couple of days in the National League. There are 11 games taking place on Saturday as a number of sides look to take advantage of Lincoln being in FA Cup action at the top of the division.
See you then!