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Toolstation NCEL Match Review 2017/18 #56

25th February, 2018

The Premier Division title race is almost certainly now down to four teams whilst Knaresborough Town stretched their advantage at the summit of Division One on a busy Saturday of Toolstation NCEL football.

The leading quartet in the top flight all won with the pacesetters AFC Mansfield winning 2-0 at fifth-placed Maltby Main to hammer a blow in their hosts' trophy and promotion hopes.

The Bulls bounced back from the previous weekend's heavy home loss to Liversedge to take the points thanks to Connor Smythe's eighteenth minute opener and a late strike from Matthew Plummer to confirm the victory that keeps them ten points clear of second placed Handsworth Parramore.

The Amber Parras secured a 4-1 home win over Hemsworth Miners Welfare who drop a place to seventh, Jamie Green, Jordan Turner and Lee Cooksey ensuring their success in a match that was 1-1 at half-time.

And, with a game in hand, they are probably just focussing on securing second spot that could lead to promotion but are ready to pounce on any slip up by AFC Mansfield.

Also waiting in the wings are Pontefract Collieries and Pickering Town who are thirteen points off the top in third and fourth spot, respectively, but have the games in hand to mount title challenges on their own terms.

The Colls won 3-2 at home to Hall Road Rangers, Aaron Moram with a double whilst Jack Greenhough also found the net against Rangers who drop into the bottom two despite goals from Daniel Norton and Joshua Batty.

Ponte have seven more games to play than AFC Mansfield whilst Pickering, who have four more than the leaders, joined the Colls in notching up their sixth straight victory as a brace from Ryan Blott and Billy Logan helped them to a 5-1 defeat of visitors Worksop Town.

Rainworth Miners Welfare climb up into sixth after a 3-0 win at neighbours Staveley Miners Welfare, Tomas Poole's early strike added to in the last ten minutes by a Charlie Dawes penalty and their third from Kyle Jordan.

In the fight to avoid the drop, basement side Clipstone remain 21 points away from safety after a 6-0 home loss to Thackley, Mike Garrod's hat-trick, two from Luke Robinson and a Jordan Hines strike all coming in the opening period.

Parkgate jump out of the bottom two following a 3-2 win at Albion Sports, Nathan Joynes and Zak Khalifa netting to claim a 2-1 advantage at the break that was added to by Martin Brissett before Alex Cusack made it a tight final 25 minutes with the hosts' second.

The Green Lane side are now just four points from safety as the side just outside the relegation zone Harrogate Railway Athletic were beaten 3-1 at home by Bridlington Town, a Jake Day double helping the Seasiders to a win that moves them up two places to ninth.

Barton Town continued their surge away from danger as two Ashley Lattimore penalties early in the second period went a long way to making sure of a 3-1 win at Liversedge.

Elsewhere, Penistone Church and Bottesford Town stay eighth and twelfth respectively after a 1-1 draw at the DSM Memorial Ground, Dayle Hutson's ninth minute opener for the away side cancelled out midway through the first half by Andrew Ring.

Seven of the top eight in Division One won as the chase for promotion, both automatically and via the play-offs, enters its final quarter.

Daniel Thirkell struck twice whilst there were also goals for Stephen Bromley and Brad Walker as leaders Knaresborough won 4-0 at relegation-threatened Brigg Town and they are now nine points clear of second-placed Eccleshill United who went down 2-1 at Swallownest.

Liam Hudson scored for the Eagles in the 51st minute but it was only a consolation due to first half goals from Mitchell Ward-Cupitt and Oliver Grady for the hosts.

Grimsby Borough move to within a point of Eccleshill after Adam Drury's 65th minute strike proved to be the winner in a 2-1 victory at Nostell Miners Welfare.

Yorkshire Amateur are a further three points back in fourth thanks to a dramatic 3-2 defeat of hosts Campion, Harrison Blakey grabbing an injury-time winner for the Ammers in a match that saw them 2-0 down in the opening eleven minutes.

There remains a seven point gap to Shirebrook Town in fifth after the Langwith Road side defeated Derbyshire rivals Dronfield Town 3-0 at home, Declan Brewin, Tom Cooke and Matthew Robinson finding the net.

And, Selby Town continue to occupy the final play-off place in sixth as Liam Flanagan's goal midway through the second period claimed a 2-1 victory over visitors Armthorpe Welfare.

Winterton Rangers and Glasshoughton Welfare kept up their chase for a top six finish with wins, Kieran Wressell getting the only goal of the game for Rangers at home to bottom side Retford United and a Conor Glavin double made sure of a 2-0 scoreline for Glasshoughton at the expense of hosts East Yorkshire Carnegie.

Hallam came from behind to win 2-1 at Ollerton Town, Mitchell Dunne's 68th minute winner moving them up to ninth, eight points away from the play-offs, with Rossington Main completing the top ten after two from Jason Stokes helped them to a 3-2 home victory over FC Bolsover.

And, Worsbrough Bridge Athletic are now four points clear of the relegation trapdoor with plenty of games in hand after a goalless draw at home to AFC Emley.

Photo: Hall Road Rangers' Joshua Batty heads a cross just over during his side's narrow 3-2 defeat at Pontefract Collieries on Saturday. (Credit: Lee Myers Photography)

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Season 2017/18 Tables

NCEL Premier Division P Pts +/-
P Pontefract Collieries 42 102 96
P Pickering Town 42 96 75
P AFC Mansfield 42 96 67
4 Handsworth Parramore 42 85 43
5 Maltby Main 42 75 31
6 Hemsworth Miners Welfare 42 72 27
7 Penistone Church 42 72 27
8 Bottesford Town 42 69 9
9 Bridlington Town 42 64 21
R Rainworth Miners Welfare 42 63 -5
11 Liversedge 42 57 3
12 Hall Road Rangers 42 55 -1
13 Barton Town (-1) 42 55 -12
14 Garforth Town 42 52 -29
15 Albion Sports 42 48 -8
16 Thackley 42 47 -9
17 Staveley Miners Welfare 42 47 -31
18 Athersley Recreation 42 46 -23
19 Worksop Town 42 46 -26
20 Harrogate Railway Athletic 42 31 -62
R Parkgate 42 26 -58
R Clipstone 42 2 -135
NCEL Division One P Pts +/-
P Knaresborough Town 42 100 61
P Yorkshire Amateur 42 88 77
3 Grimsby Borough 42 85 57
P Eccleshill United 42 85 48
5 Shirebrook Town 42 81 31
6 Glasshoughton Welfare 42 77 31
7 Selby Town 42 75 34
8 Hallam 42 73 42
9 Campion 42 73 30
10 Winterton Rangers 42 61 2
11 Swallownest 42 58 -11
12 AFC Emley 42 57 -5
13 Rossington Main 42 53 -14
14 Dronfield Town 42 52 -13
15 Ollerton Town 42 47 -24
16 Armthorpe Welfare 42 46 -25
17 Nostell Miners Welfare 42 40 -36
18 East Yorkshire Carnegie 42 34 -34
19 Worsbrough Bridge Athletic 42 33 -48
20 FC Bolsover (-6) 42 30 -76
R Brigg Town 42 29 -54
R Retford United 42 24 -73

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