By JOHN CHUBB
Dagenham & Redbridge have now gone seven matches without defeat in the National League and have moved up to fifth place in the table, following a 3-1 win at home to Hartlepool United.
Joe Quigley’s brace and Angelo Balanta’s strike gave the Daggers all three points, with Ryan Donaldson netting a consolation for the visitors.
In the National League South Billericay Town drew their third match in a row as they and hosts Oxford City took a point each in a 2-2 draw.
Jake Robinson fired the Blues into a 2-0 lead with a brace in the first 17 minutes, before Zachariah McEachran pulled one back in the 20th minute and Jack Self levelled 8 minutes into the second half.
A full report on the match by @beakster99 is here.
The result left Ricay still hanging onto a play-off spot in seventh place, but speculation regarding the future of manager Harry Wheeler continued when it became apparent that he was not at the match, and that coach Jamie O’Hara was instead in charge of the team.
The rumours that had been circulating for a few days were confirmed today when it was officially announced that Wheeler has been relieved of his duties by club owner Glenn Tamplin, and that O’Hara has been appointed manager in his place.
Meanwhile Braintree Town continued their excellent run as they travelled to Hampshire and beat Havant & Waterlooville 3-1.
The Hawks were in second place and the only National League South side who remained unbeaten going into Saturday’s match, but Glen Driver’s men put an end to that record.
Two first-half goals from Thomas Richardson either side of Bradley Tarbuck’s equaliser for the hosts gave the Iron a 2-1 lead at the interval.
Havant had a great opportunity to level the scores in the 68th minute when they were awarded a penalty, but former Southend United defender Anthony Straker’s spot-kick was saved by Michael Johnson.
This proved to be a pivotal moment, as Femi Akinwande raced from the hallway line and struck the ball home two minutes from full-time to give Braintree victory and make it 13 points from their last five matches.
But there was no such good fortune for Concord Rangers, who slipped to 9th place in the league following a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of struggling Dartford.
The Darts – currently under the interim management of Tony Burman who is now in his third spell in charge of the Kent club, following the recent departure of ex-Beach Boys boss Adam Flanagan – went home with all three points thanks to first-half goals from Charlie Sheringham and Alex Flisher.
Chelmsford City came from behind late in the game to secure a 3-3 draw against Chippenham Town at the Melbourne Community Stadium.
Goals in quick succession from Jay Foulston and Karnell Chambers gave the Wiltshire side a 2-0 lead at the break.
Home skipper Anthony Church reduced the deficit in the 66th minute, when he headed home a Billy Knott corner.
But three minutes later a Chippenham shot was deflected past City keeper Carl Pentney by his defensive colleague Elliot Omozusi to make it 3-1 to the visitors.
But Sam Higgins netted for the Clarets in the 81st minute before Shaun Jeffers gave them a share of the spoils with his injury time equaliser.
Rod Stringer’s team stay in 14th place in the table.