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Toolstation Northern Counties East League Review

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Pontefract Collieries returned to winning ways to move within five points of Premier Division leaders AFC Mansfield whilst Knaresborough Town celebrated lifting the Division One title on another enthralling Saturday of Toolstation Northern Counties East League action.

Mansfield’s lead was cut as they were the only top five top flight side to drop points, the Bulls held to a 1-1 draw at neighbours Rainworth Miners Welfare who climb to eighth.

Cameron Dear had given the visitors a 27th minute lead only for a second half spot-kick from Kyle Jordan to share the spoils with the Wrens who had been reduced to ten-men.

The Colls, meanwhile, were ruthless from kick-off at home to Liversedge with Eli Hey and Jack Greenhough putting them 2-0 up within the opening 4 minutes before goals after the interval from Spencer Clarke, Aaron Moxam and another from Hey sealed a 5-0 victory that closes the gap to the top with four games in hand.

Pickering Town and Handsworth Parramore kept up their challenge for a top two finish with 4-0 victories, the Pikes home winners over Bottesford Town, a Ryan Blott brace added to by strikes from Ryan Cooper and Billy Logan, to keep them third and three points behind Pontefract.

And, there were two goals each for Jonathan Hill and Jordan Turner as the Amber Parras cantered past hosts Garforth Town to stay six points off second spot.

Ross Duggan’s double for Maltby Main moved his side a step closer to a top five finish as they beat visitors Hemsworth Miners Welfare 3-1 and Penistone Church leap-frog Hemsworth into sixth after their 3-1 victory at Albion Sports.

Lewis Dickinson, Duncan Richards and Danny Howes netted for Penistone in the first 32 minutes before Kesiolu Omolkum got a late consolation for the Lions who drop to fifteenth.

At the other end of the table, Parkgate’s position is looking increasingly precarious after late goals from Nick Matthews and Matt Broadley condemned them to a 2-1 loss at Thackley, whilst the two sides above them both won.

Hall Road Rangers picked up a vital win at Athersley Recreation, 16-year-old Reagan Waud with his first senior goal sealing a 1-0 victory, but they remain in the drop zone by a point after Harrogate Railway Athletic beat basement hosts Clipstone.

The hosts took a 6th minute lead with a Jermaine Jatau penalty but Lincoln Adams equalised almost straightaway and Josh Underwood’s strike just past the hour-mark keeps the Rail just outside the drop zone.

Elsewhere, away from the relegation battle, Gareth Barlow’s 300th goal for Barton Town set the Swans on their way to a 3-0 win at Worksop Town with Bill Law scoring the other two, whilst Joe Pugh’s 51st minute goal claimed a 1-0 home victory for Staveley Miners Welfare over Bridlington Town, who fall to ninth.

In Division One, the champions Knaresborough were crowned and not even their first home defeat of the league campaign could dent their celebrations as they were presented with the trophy at the full-time whistle.

Dan Clayton and Stephen Bromley had them 2-0 up against Yorkshire Amateur but the visitors, who are in the hunt for automatic promotion themselves, fought back to level by the break through Fernando Moke and Jason St Juste before Ashley Flynn and Moke’s second grabbed the victory in the final 10 minutes.

The Ammers stay fourth but are now just three points away from second-placed Eccleshill United as a defeat for the Eagles means the chase to join the promotion party has become even closer.

Luke Harrop’s goal for Eccleshill was just a consolation as they went down 3-1 at Hallam who, thanks to a Ben Thornton brace sandwiching a Sam Smith goal, are lurking just outside the play-off zone.

Eccleshill have played a game more than the Ammers and Grimsby Borough, who must now be considered favourites to take second spot as they are two points behind the Eagles after second half goals from Josh Sunter, Jack Bradbury and Scott Drury earned them a 3-1 victory at Swallownest.

Fifth-placed Shirebrook Town’s automatic promotion hopes have all-but evaporated after a 2-2 draw at Winterton Rangers, Alex Varley and Kieran Watson netting for ten-man Shirebrook before Elliot Broughton and then a Luke Anderson penalty in the final 5 minutes saw it end a point apiece.

James Dyson and Ryan Ferguson got on the scoresheet to keep Glasshoughton Welfare’s four-point cushion in the play-off zone intact with a 2-0 victory at relegated Retford United who, like Winterton, have now completed their season.

Piteu Crouz’s stoppage time strike gave eighth-placed Campion a 2-1 home victory over Dronfield Town but they can no longer reach the top six, whilst Selby Town drop below Winterton into tenth after a 3-2 loss at Ollerton Town knocked their play-off ambitions.

A Gavin King double added to by Callum Atkinson put the hosts in control and, even though Gary Collier and Jordan Snodin found the net in the last 10 minutes, the Robins find themselves fourteen points behind Glasshoughton but they still have six games to play.

Next-to-bottom Brigg Town closed the gap to FC Bolsover to two points as Jake Crossland’s 42nd minute equaliser earned them a 1-1 draw at home to Armthorpe Welfare, whilst Bolsover remain just above the relegation trapdoor after a 2-0 loss to visitors AFC Emley.

Lee Morris and Joe Dungworth struck to earn Worsbrough Bridge Athletic what could be an important 2-1 win at East Yorkshire Carnegie to go above Bolsover and four points clear of the drop zone.

And, in the day’s other Division One clash, Nostell Miners Welfare made themselves mathematically safe with their final game of the season as Liam Owen’s brace helped them to a 5-1 win at Rossington Main.

Jason Harrison

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