Impressive Reds earn away win

WOODFORD United chalked up a first away win in almost two months against seventh-placed Hayes with all the goals coming in the first-half in north London.

The visitors broke the ice in the 20th minute when central defender Chris Jackson headed home from 20 yards following a poorly-cleared corner.

Hayes equalised on the half-hour with Matty Woods rounding Woodford goalkeeper Matt Finlay before firing into an empty net.

The plucky Reds hit back though to regain the lead just before half-time.

Glen Hawkins picked up a stray clearance in midfield, picked his spot and rifled the ball into the far corner of the Hayes’ net to put Woodford on their way to a first away win since the 3-0 defeat of Chertsey on December 3.

Hayes made several tactical substitutions in the second-half but, despite almost non-stop pressure, could not break down a resolute Reds’ defence. This has become a hallmark of teams prepared by long-serving manager Phil Mason.

Elsewhere Daventry Town’s next opponents St.Neots Town caught the eye with a club record 9-2 Southern League victory over an Aylesbury side which had beaten league-leaders Slough Town only a week earlier.

Stefan Moore scored a hat-trick for the Saints in the first-half with substitute Shane Tolley following suit in the second period of a one-sided contest. This left St.Neots only three points adrift of Slough with two games in hand.

The Rebels themselves were comfortable 3-0 home winners over Chertsey while Rugby Town’s eye-catching climb up the Central Division table continued with a 4-1 home win over Daventry’s recent conquerors Burnham.

Fleet Town moved out of the relegation zone with a shock 2-1 home win over third-placed Bedworth United.

But Marlow lost again (3-1 at home to Biggleswade) and North Greenford slipped into the bottom two with a 1-0 home defeat by Uxbridge.

Young winger Mark Bitmead scored Ashford Town’s early winner against Leighton Town while Barton Rovers and Beaconsfield SYCOB shared the points in a 1-1 draw in Bedfordshire.