Airbus hit back to share the spoils

Reporter:

Tom Norris

It is a case of as you were at the top of the Play-Off Conference following a 1-1 draw between Airbus and nearest rivals Afan Lido.

The race for seventh spot is to be fought out between the duo, and Lido nearly stole a march by grabbing an early lead.

A win for Lido would have taken them above Airbus with six games of the regular season remaining, something they threatened to do when Liam Hancock fired a speculative 30-yard effort past Niki-Lee Bulmer in the ninth minute.

Airbus responded through Danny Grannon, the defender seeing his header from a long throw float wide.

But the Wingmakers drew level before the break, Gavin Cadwallader's cross headed home by diving namesake Mark.

Lido shrugged off the setback and defended for their lives in the second period to earn a share of the spoils.

Mark Cadwallader came close to snatching a winner as Airbus pressured the visiting defence, the midfielder dragging a drive just wide of a post.

Lido had the occasional chances themselves, the most notable from Leon Jeanne, who went close with a free-kick.

Newtown needed a last minute penalty to salvage a point from their home encounter with Aberystwyth Town.

Ex-Chester striker Josh Macauley handed Aber the lead in the 50th minute, but they were denied victory as Zac Evans converted a spot-kick late on.

Jack Christopher's 36th minute goal decided a drab contest between Carmarthen Town and Port Talbot Town.

Christopher showed his goal scoring instincts to move Carmarthen level on points with Aber and four clear of basement outfit Newtown.

Bala Town secured their first victory – and first point – since the split as they defeated Prestatyn Town 3-0.

Mark Jones broke the deadlock with a neat drive before Ian Sheridan finished off a flowing move after the interval.

Lee Hunt completed the scoring from the spot to leave Prestatyn without a win since November 27.

The New Saints replaced Bangor City at the top of the Championship Conference courtesy of a 3-1 win at Nantporth.

Bangor found themselves three goals behind and with a mountain the climb at the break, before winning the second period by a single goal.

Bangor goalkeeper Lee Idzi was called into action three times, Greg Draper, Steve Evans and Simon Spender all going close befpre Evans through ball was collected by Draper, who coolly rounded Idzi after 18 minutes.

Two goals inside three minutes towards the end of the first period from  Aeron Edwards and Draper effectively ended the contest.

Bangor gave themselves an outside chance of staging a remarkable fightback as Neil Thomas netted inside the opening 90 seconds of the second half, but they were unable to beat Paul Harrison again.

Peter Hoy struck a post and Les Davies was expertly denied by Harrison as Bangor pressued the Saints defence.

Neath maintained their title challenge with an impressive 2-1 success at Llanelli.

All three goals came inside an eventful opening 21 minutes, Neath's Luke Bowen the first to net after seven minutes.

Chris Venables quickly drew Llanelli level, but Bowen forced the ball home from a Lee Trundle cross to score what proved to be the winner.

Llanelli were forced to play the closing stages of the game a man short as former Eagle Ashley Evans received his marching orders for a second yellow card.

See full story in the Leader

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