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Harrogate Take Over Top Spot

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Leaders Salford City`s game against play-off chasing Blyth Spartans was postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged Peninsula Stadium pitch, and Harrogate Town took full advantage to hammer the Ammies neighbours FC United of Manchester to take over as leaders of the Vanarama National League North.

Harrogate recorded their biggest win of the season at The CNG Stadium.

Jack Emmett opened the scoring after just 7 minutes, before Liam Kitching’s header on the half-hour mark put Town well in the ascendency.

George Thomson then produced the pick of the goals, finding the bottom corner from just outside the area to put his side 3-0 up 7 minutes later.

The former FC United man claimed his second from close range with 14 minutes remaining, before Jake Wright marked his return to the club with a fifth goal 2 minutes later.

Thomson then put the icing on the cake, firing across goal to seal his hat-trick 2 minutes into stoppage time.

Brackley Town celebrated reaching the Buildbase FA Trophy semi-finals with a 1-0 win against the team they beat in the quarter-finals in midweek – Stockport County.

In front of a crowd of 3,060 at Edgeley Park, Brackley achieved a league ‘double’ against the Hatters to follow their Trophy success, thanks to a goal in the 89th minute converted by Aaron Williams from close range.

Brackley are seven points behind the top two, but hold an eight-point advantage over the fourth-placed team which is now York City after they also won by the only goal of the game at Bootham Crescent against mid-table Boston United.

It ended up being an interesting afternoon for Boston`s Ben Middleton, who had only returned on loan on Friday.

The only goal of the game arrived on 73 minutes when Middleton helped a David Ferguson effort into his own net.

But there were then three dismissals in the final seconds of the game – York`s Simon Heslop along with Pilgrims pair Andi Thanoj and the hapless Middleton.

Kidderminster Harriers` top seven hopes took a blow when were beaten in another single goal defeat at struggling Gainsborough Trinity.

A third successive defeat for Harriers came late on as Trinity`s Nicky Walker grabbed a winner 4 minutes into time added on at the end of the game.

Bradford Park Avenue missed the chance to move to within a point of the play-off places after being held to a 3-3 draw at the Horsfall Stadium by an Alfreton Town side who are now four points above the drop zone.

The experienced Matt Hill gave Avenue a 15th minute lead that Tom Platt cancelled out on the half-hour mark.

Chris Sharp then gave the Reds a 39th minute lead they held until the break.

Oli Johnson pulled Avenue back on level terms on 63 minutes, but Brendon Daniels restored the visitors` lead 10 minutes later.

But up popped Johnson to restore parity with 3 minutes of normal time remaining.

A fourth successive win – and one defeat in seven – have amazingly lifted Southport from being down towards the bottom of the table to within four points of the top seven!

February`s player of the month, Jason Gilchrist, celebrated with giving Port a 22nd minute lead at the Merseyrail Community Stadium against a Tamworth side who, in contrast, have gone in the other direction.

The Lambs, who travelled north on the back of seven games without a win, found themselves 2-0 down on the hour-mark when Dion Charles doubled the home side`s lead.

Billy Priestley wrapped up a comfortable win for Kevin Davies` side and leave Tamworth just three points above the drop zone.

Nuneaton Town have done similarly well and their manager Dino Maamria was rewarded with the manager of the month award yesterday.

However, his side dropped two home points as rock-bottom North Ferriby United followed up their win against Bradford Park Avenue last time out with a point from a 2-2 draw.

Boro had a great start when George Green gave them a 5th minute lead.

Jack Mail equalised in the 20th minute, but the hosts went into the break in front, thanks to Daniel Nti in the 44th minute.

Bobby Johnson earned Ferriby a share of the spoils with a 71st minute leveller but they are still 23 points from safety with only 27 left to play for.

Darlington are another side whose form has improved markedly and Saturday`s 1-0 win at home to another side who have dropped into trouble, Curzon Ashton, lifted Tommy Wright`s outfit to thirteenth, eight points clear of the bottom three.

The Nash almost managed to hold out for a point but fell to an 88th minute David Syers effort at Blackwell Meadows.


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