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Title & Play-Off Race Goes Right To The Wire

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It`s been an incredible season in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League First Division North.

The teams head into Saturday`s final games of the season with only the relegation issues settled.

That was due to Goole AFC being confirmed as joining Burscough in bowing out of the division following a 2-1 defeat at Brighouse Town on Easter Monday.

Michael Fish`s brace in the 15th and 20th minutes proved enough, despite Bobby Johnson`s 82nd minute reply for the Vikings.

The title race swung in Lancaster City`s favour after overnight leaders Farsley Celtic were beaten 2-0 at Throstle Nest by an Ossett Town side who are now favourites to grab a top five spot.

In front of a crowd of 356, a Martin Pembleton double in the 51st and 89th minutes sealed Town`s crucial win.

The Dolly Blues are now a point ahead of Farsley after Jordan Connerton`s hat-trick in the 7th, 51st and 63rd minutes earned a 3-0 Giant Axe win over Kendal Town in front of 369.

Who joins either Lancaster or Farsley in the play-offs, however, is going right to Saturday`s final matches, with seven sides still in with a chance, albeit a slim one in Clitheroe`s case.

Ossett Town are joined by Colne and Scarborough Athletic as holding a top five spot at the moment.

Colne probably ended Clitheroe`s realistic hopes with a 2-1 win on Monday in front of a crowd of 578, with goals from Chris Lynch and Michael Morrison at either end of the game after Dimitri Tuanzebe had levelled.

Scarborough had 700 at Queensgate for the derby with Tadcaster Albion and Benny Igiehon`s last-gasp stoppage time goal won it for Boro.

Trafford and Glossop North End are just a point behind Scarborough, but the latter were beaten 2-1 at Seel Park by a Mossley AFC whose win relegated Goole as well as dented the Hillians` play-off hopes.

Elliott Harrison after 43 minutes and Liam Ellis 5 minutes from time won it for the Lilywhites after Max Leonard`s 14th minute opener for Glossop.

Trafford won 2-1 at home to Colwyn Bay to go above Glossop on goal difference.

An Aaron Burns penalty and Jack Dorney on 68 minutes sealed the hosts` win, with Sam Barnes having equalised on the half-hour mark.

Brighouse are a point further back, so, like Clitheroe, will need favours as well as victory themselves on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Ramsbottom United`s Ryan Salmon bagged a brace to help them beat Radcliffe Borough 4-0 at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, while Ossett Albion beat already-doomed Burscough by the same scoreline at Dimple Wells in which Connor Brunt scored twice.

Paddy Miller and Peter Boyle were on target for Hyde United at Ewen Fields against Tameside neighbours Droylsden in front of 549, and Prescot Cables and Bamber Bridge shared a 1-1 Valerie Park draw in which Ali Waddecar cancelled out Josh Dolling`s 34th minute opener 11 minutes from time.

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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