MX23RW : Wednesday, July 18 06:51:35

Conference Premier roundup: Bristol Rovers keep pressure on Barnet

Bristol Rovers and Barnet both secure wins to keep the race for automatic promotion from the Conference Premier alive.

The race for the automatic promotion spot in the Conference Premier remains open after both Bristol Rovers and Barnet recorded wins this afternoon.

Leaders Barnet registered a comfortable 3-0 victory over Halifax Town at The Hive, including a 31st league goal of the season for John Akinde, who now equals the club record set by Les Eason in 1965-66. The Shaymen's defeat sees them drop to ninth and out of contention for the playoff places.

Darrell Clarke's Rovers, meanwhile, ensured the gap remained at just one point with a comfortable 2-0 win over lowly Southport at the Memorial Stadium. Ellis Harrison opened the scoring with his third in two outings, with Matt Taylor notching his 17th of the season in the second half to secure the points.

Grimsby Town could have kept themselves in the race too but are now unlikely to mount a challenge, sitting six points adrift with two to play after falling to a 1-0 defeat at Wrexham.

A crunch game at the bottom of the table saw Dartford and Nuneaton Town go head to head at Princes Park, with the possibility that both could be relegated if Alfreton Town could get something from their game at playoff-chasers Eastleigh in a 3.30pm kickoff.

Richard Hill's men - promoted from the Conference South last season - ultimately saw off the Reds 3-1 to move themselves within one point of the top five with a game in hand, leaving Alfreton in 20th and just three points from the drop.

Dartford's 3-1 win over Liam Daish's Nuneaton - including goals from Bradbrook brothers Elliot and Tom - kept their slim survival hopes alive as they now lie six points from safety with two games remaining. Nuneaton too have the same deficit following the defeat but are effectively relegated as they are due to be docked three points for fielding an ineligible player during a game they won back in February.

Welling United improved their chances of survival, halving the gap from safety to three points with a convincing 3-0 win over Kidderminster Harriers, only their sixth win at Park View Road all season.

Playoff rivals Forest Green Rovers and Macclesfield Town exchanged places in the table after Rovers won 3-1 to move fourth. The Silkmen are now just one point clear in fifth, with chasing Eastleigh holding a game in hand.

Woking improved their chances of a playoff push as Josh Payne netted a brace and Scott Rendell made it six in six for a 3-0 triumph over Gateshead at the Kingfield.

AFC Telford - relegated last week - picked up a surprise win over visiting Lincoln City as Neill Byrne scored the only goal of the game to hand The Bucks just their third home win of the season.

Elsewhere, Braintree and Aldershot shared the points at Cressing Road after Dan Sparkes cancelled out Sam Hatton's first half-strike, while Torquay picked up a 2-0 win over Altrincham to secure their status for next season.

Dover's playoff hopes were ended as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Chester.

Scores in full: AFC Telford 1-0 Lincoln City, Barnet 3-0 Halifax Town, Braintree Town 1-1 Aldershot Town, Bristol Rovers 2-0 Southport, Chester FC 3-1 Dover Athletic, Dartford 3-1 Nuneaton Town, Eastleigh 3-1 Alfreton Town, Forest Green Rovers 3-1 Macclesfield Town, Grimsby Town 0-1 Wrexham, Torquay United 2-0 Altrincham, Welling United 3-0 Kidderminster Harriers, Woking 3-0 Gateshead

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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