A ROUTINE 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Hayes at Communications Park turned into a red letter day for Daventry Town as news filtered through that none of the Central Division’s top seven teams had picked up more than a point on Saturday.
Improving Slough Town held unbeaten leaders Hitchin to a 1-1 draw while there was a similar scoreline in second-placed Arlesey’s clash with Leighton Town.
Woodford lost 2-1 at Burnham and there were no goals in the game between Rugby Town and Biggleswade Town.
All this was music to the ears of a Daventry Town side which completed back-to-back league wins over Barton Rovers and Hayes on chalking up a first home win in the Central Division for almost four months.
That particular statistic was largely down to the recent bad weather and the Town are now up from eleventh to eighth place in the table only a couple of points shy of the play-off places.
Tom Berwick scored Daventry’s first and last goals at the weekend to join Hitchin’s John Frendo on the 15 mark.
In between times Russell Dunkley defied back pains to net for the fourth time in as many matches.
With Andy Baird and Josh Blake both sidelined, Town manager Ady Fuller re-introduced Simeon Williams while opting for a more attacking formation with only three players at the back.
Berwick chipped wide early on but Fuller’s enterprise was rewarded on the half-hour when Jason Lee, man-of-the-match Aaron Parkinson and Adam Confue combined to set up the best goal of the game for the Town number nine.
A fingertip save by Andy Kemp from a Dom Rhone free kick suggested that Hayes were not there to make up the numbers but a home win looked assured when Dunkley doubled the Town’s advantage in the first minute of the second-half.
The visitors were unlucky. Goalkeeper Tom McNeil’s clearance hit one of his own defenders and bounced kindly for Dunkley to tap into an empty net. Shots continued to fly over the Hayes’ bar but the visitors got one back through Luke O’Malley after a defensive mix-up in the 70th minute.
As usual the crowd of 123 had their hearts in their mouths in the closing stages but all’s well that ends well as Berwick outpaced the visiting defence in the 83 minute to score his 15th Southern League goal of the season after a quick breakaway by Lee and Tom Fountain.