Callum Roberts

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National League roundup: English fifth tier delivers drama

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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


More coronavirus connections to soccer:

FA Cup: Newcastle wins in extra time

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Newcastle United was the only Premier League club in action during a trio of FA Cup third round replays on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Premier League player power rankings ]

The Magpies overcame a lost 2-goal lead to defeat Blackburn Rovers and earn a fourth round home FA Cup date with Watford.

Blackburn Rovers 2-4 (aet.) Newcastle United

Joselu‘s goal in the first half of extra time

Lively from minute No. 1, the Magpies took a 2-0 lead through a pair of 21-year-olds and their first senior goals: A deflected Sean Longstaff strike and clinical side-footed finish from Callum Roberts are moments the pair won’t soon forget.

But ex-Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong pulled one back for Blackburn, and Darragh Lenihan mashed a bullet header into the goal to leave it level at the break.

Fabian Schar’s 105th minute rip was parried to a questionably onside Joselu, and the Spaniard slotted past countryman David Raya. Another Spaniard, Ayoze Perez blasted a tight-angled shot off Raya’s right hand and into the side panel in the 107th.

Stoke City 2-3 Shrewsbury Town

Tyrese Campbell scored twice, the 19-year-old helping his Potters to what could’ve been an easy enough victory had they finished a few more chances at the bet365 Stadium. James Bolton pulled one back for the Shrews with just over a quarter-hour left in the second half.

The League One visitors made it 2-2 through a Fejiri Okenabirhie penalty, opening up their hopes for a fourth round visit from Watford. That arrived when Josh Laurent scored Shrewsbury Town’s third goal in 11 minutes.

Luton Town 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday

Longtime Owls striker Atdhe Nuhiu scored just after halftime. Wednesday will head to Chelsea on Jan. 27 for the fourth round.