It’s still on ice – but only just!
WEST BRIDGFORD were hopeful that a win at HOLWELL SPORTS on Saturday would have wrapped up the East Midlands Counties League title. And despite a brace of goals from Tim Hopkinson – one in each half – and a 70th minute Carl Westcarr penalty which gift wrapped a 3-0 win, they are still waiting to be crowned champions.
That is because two home wins in four days means that SOUTH NORMANTON ATHLETIC can finish up with ninety-two points if they win them all. However, three points from their last game away to Borrowash Victoria next Saturday will see the champagne finally flowing.
The Shiners, meanwhile, refuse to be written off. They beat visiting HOLBROOK SPORTS 3-1 at Lees Lane last Wednesday with all the goals coming in the second half, and followed this up on Saturday with a 2-0 success at the same venue against RADFORD.
Lee Fell put them on the road to success in the 26th minute and Kevin Hemagou grabbed his second goal in four days 7 minutes later to seal the points.
AYLESTONE PARK kept their hopes of a top four finish alive with a 5-1 win over STAPENHILL.
Mason Brown was the scorer of one of the two hat-tricks recorded on the day with the 6th minute opener and a second half brace.
Sam Carline and Ryan Foster added late goals to Brown’s threesome with Charlie Rumin grabbing the Stapenhill consolation.
The day’s other hat-trick came from BELPER UNITED’s Sam Vickers, the last of which was via the penalty spot, as they brought DUNKIRK down to earth with their first defeat in twenty-one games.
Belper’s 3-0 success took them to fifty-four points in their first season in the league and they will consider this most satisfactory progress.
BIRSTALL UNITED ended their home fixtures for the season with a 6-1 defeat of GRAHAM STREER PRIMS, whose only hope of avoiding relegation now would appear to rest with the have they or haven’t they folded Greenwood Meadows.
Incredibly, Morgan Hallas gave Prims the lead after 5 minutes and they held this until early in the second half.
Then a double from Tom Marriott and further goals from Dan Jelley, Ash Way, Adam Boulter and Lewis Dodd gave Birstall a good win and boosted their hopes of ending the season as runners-up.
The biggest come back of the day though belonged to BLABY & WHETSTONE ATHLETIC, who saw Celson Patricino on 5 minutes and Dan Rowley on 16 give visiting BORROWASH VICTORIA a two-goal start.
Aaron Preston pulled one back before the break, and after Rikki Bates and Lee Barratt had scored in the last 15 minutes, he hit his second of the match with five minutes to spare to give the home side a 4-2 success.
After forty games ELLISTOWN & IBSTOCK UNITED are still looking for their first win and one wonders if the three points they have obtained courtesy of three draws will see them end their association with the league at the end of the season.
Scott Bailey in the first half and Tom Marshall just after the break gave visiting KIMBERLEY MINERS WELFARE a lead which a James Hogan goal 6 minutes from the end could only half.
It’s been a miserable season all round for HOLBROOK SPORTS, who ended their away programme with defeats at South Normanton Athletic on Wednesday night and at ANSTEY NOMADS on Saturday.
Lewis Turland gave the `Noisy Nomads` a 10th minute lead which Isaac Anderson-Raymond levelled just after the half hour mark. Mark Preston came up with the Anstey winner three minutes from the end.
ARNOLD TOWN had a good finish to the season. It began with a 3-0 win at GEDLING MINERS WELFARE in midweek which condemned the home side to a bottom three finnish and possible relegation.
The Eagles then followed this up with a 2-2 draw at BARROW TOWN, though they left it rather late to claim a point through Ian Butler’s last-ditch effort 3 minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game.
Luke Smith had put Arnold into a 27th minute lead but two goals from Zak Ginvert on 35 and 70 minutes had changed the direction of the points until Butler struck.
The points were also shared by the same 2-2 scoreline at RADCLIFFE OLYMPIC, but in this case all the goals came in the second half. Ryan Smith gave Olympic the lead on 52 minutes only for Billy Rooke to level for cup finalists ASHBY IVANHOE 15 minutes later.
Parity lasted for just 3 minutes before Wes Henry put the home side back in front and it was left to Ryan Pearce to ensure the points were shared with an 82nd minute equaliser.