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Toolstation NCEL Match Review 2023/24 #66

17th March, 2024

The top two in the Premier Division both fell to home defeats whilst Shirebrook Town returned to the summit in Division One in another enthralling Saturday afternoon of Toolstation NCEL action.

Emley AFC remain six points ahead of second-placed Campion in the Premier Division despite their 2-1 home loss to Silsden AFC.

Casey Stewart gave the visitors a 37th minute lead with Luke Brooksbank doubling their advantage midway through the second period before Alex Metcalfe struck a late consolation for the Pewits.

Campion could not take advantage, however, as they were beaten 1-0 by Knaresborough Town, Sam Cook with the 62nd minute decider to keep his side in eighth spot and seven points away from the play-off zone.

Garforth Town strengthened their grip on third spot with an 8-0 home win over bottom side Maltby Main, Sam Barker's hat-trick added to by two each for Matthew Antcliff and Jordan Emery whilst Jason Davis also got on the scoresheet as the Miners closed the gap to Campion to four points.

Jack Harrison's 17th minute strike was enough for Rossington Main as they won 1-0 at Frickley Athletic to leapfrog into fourth over Albion Sports who were beaten 3-0 at Tadcaster Albion, Oliver Norman with a hat-trick for the Brewers.

Thackley twice led at home through Ben Grech-Brooksbank and Josimar Bradshaw but equalisers from Charlie Dunkerley and Joshua Fraiwald, the second coming in stoppage time, made it a point apiece with visitors Bottesford Town.

The draw moves Thackley to within four points of the play-off zone in sixth spot whilst Bottesford stay fifteenth.

Daniel Naidole, George Doyle and Adam Field netted for Golcar United who won 3-0 at Eccleshill United and are now seven points away from the top five in seventh.

Eccleshill remain in eighteenth, seven points above Maltby whilst the side between them, Goole AFC, picked up a 2-2 draw at Hallam to increase the gap between themselves and the basement to six points.

Liam Flanagan scored an injury-time equaliser for the Vikings after Brice Ghussein had given them an early lead only for Hallam to equalise through Christopher Salt and then take the lead with a Danny Buttle penalty.

Penistone Church came from behind to win 2-1 at home to Pickering Town, Kieran Ryan and Jordan Barnett with their goals after an opener from the penalty spot by Kieran Stares for the visitors.

And, Barton Town's home game with Handsworth was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, one of two games postponed with the Division One clash between Clay Cross Town and Retford FC also unable to go ahead.

The title race in Division One continues to gather pace as two games featuring the top four took place to provide even more twists and turns.

Shirebrook won 2-0 at home to Wakefield AFC, Carlton Carty and Bradley McGowan with a goal in each half, whilst it was a 1-1 draw between Parkgate and visitors Beverley Town.

Liam Royles put the hosting Steelmen ahead early on with a quick equaliser from Joshua Batty coming in the fifteenth minute but that was were the goalscoring ended.

It means Shirebrook are back top, a point ahead of Beverley with Wakefield in third, three points off the top, and Parkgate in fourth, six points from the summit but with seven games in hand.

Fifth-placed Retford United currently occupy the final play-off spot and, with a 5-0 win at Louth Town, increased their advantage over sixth-placed Wombwell Town to three points.

Jake Champion's late double sealed the victory after goals from Gregg Smith, Adam Chapman and Alister Haydock had put the Badgers in the driving seat.

Wombwell, meanwhile, drew 2-2 at home with Staveley Miners Welfare, Jordan Kershaw's last gasp equaliser rescuing them a point after Jack Allerton had seemingly given the visiting Trojans the victory.

Eighth-placed Brigg Town won 1-0 at home to the side just above them, Horbury Town, Alfie Usher with the 37th minute decider.

At the bottom, it was another difficult day for Ollerton Town who were beaten 7-0 at home by Harrogate Railway Athletic and they are now 24 points from safety with eight games to play and an inferior goal difference, meaning their relegation zone finish is now all-but confirmed.

Nathan Merchant scored three of the Rail's goals with a Sam Clothier double and one each for Neal Davis and Joseph Navier adding to their tally as they climb to twelfth.

Next-to-bottom Swallownest were beaten 2-0 at home by Dronfield Town, Kenan McKenzie-Gray and Max Rhodes scoring for the visitors, and they need at least five wins from their remaining seven games to have any chance of finishing outside the drop zone.

Glasshoughton Welfare are the other side in the bottom three and their 1-0 loss at home to Selby Town, courtesy of a Harrison Rowley strike, means they are three points away from the side just above the trapdoor, Yorkshire Amateur, who drew 1-1 at Worsbrough Bridge Athletic.

Oscar Hines gave the Ammers a 52nd minute lead but Harley Holt ensured the spoils were shared with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.

And, Athersley Recreation were 2-1 home winners over Armthorpe Welfare, Fraser Hartley and Khalid Suleiman with the home goals and Jordan Buckham pulling one back for the visitors.

Photo: Joseph Crosby shields the ball during Tadcaster Albion's 3-0 home victory over Albion Sports in the Toolstation NCEL Premier Division on Saturday. (Picture: Craig Dinsdale)

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