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National League roundup: English fifth tier delivers drama

Notts County v Eastleigh - Vanarama National League

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: Mitch Rose of Notts County is challenged by Mike Green of Eastleigh during the Vanarama National League match between Notts County and Eastleigh at Meadow Lane on March 14, 2020 in Nottingham, England. Despite the postponement of the Premier League and EFL due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the National League fixtures have continued this weekend. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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So there are actually leagues playing across the world, with fans too, and the highest level of action in the UK is the fifth tier of English soccer, the National League.

Five games took place in the National League, with decent sized crowds heading to stadiums as health advice in the UK has not been to ban large public gatherings, yet, over the coronavirus outbreak.

Games also took place in the sixth tier, the National League North and South, as the league decided games would go ahead on Friday despite the Premier League and English Football League calling games off.

Notts County beat Eastleigh 4-0 as Meadow Lane, which has a capacity of over 18,000, as a substantial crowd of 4,942 turned up to watch the Magpies move into third place in the table as they aim for promotion back to League Two at the first attempt. Kyle Wootton scored in each half, while Kristian Dennis and Callum Roberts were also on the scoresheet.

That crowd was easily one of the largest in western Europe on Saturday as professional leagues in England, Spain, France, Italy, Holland and Germany were all called off.

Elsewhere, Stockport fought back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 late on at struggling Maidenhead Town as they push for a playoff spot with Liam McAlinden scoring the winner with 14 minutes to go. Hartlepool drew 1-1 away at Sutton United to stay in the playoff hunt too.

Dover Athletic dropped points at home against struggling Chesterfield in a 1-1 draw as they equalized in the 89th minute through Nassim L’Ghoul after Chesterfield had taken the lead in the 80th minute through Tom Denton’s penalty kick. Plenty of games were well attended despite concerns from UK citizens about traveling and being in public places.

Below are the scores in full, as Halifax Town and Ebbsfleet United do battle to round off Saturday’s action in a key game for both as the former push for the playoffs and the latter need a win to try and get out of the relegation zone.

Notts County 4-0 Eastleigh
Maidenhead United 1-2 Stockport
Sutton United 1-1 Hartlepool
Fylde 1-0 Aldershot Town
Dover Athletic 1-1 Chesterfield

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