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Silkmen Almost There

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Leyton Orient stalled Macclesfield Town`s title celebrations a little by holding the champions-elect to a 1-1 draw at the Moss Rose in front of the live BT Sport cameras on Saturday lunchtime.

Although the Silkmen dropped two home points – and second placed Tranmere Rovers won later on – they only require three points from their remaining two games to be certain of claiming the championship.

There was a celebration of another kind as when Danny Whitaker opened the scoring to give Macc a 17th minute lead following a Mitch Hancox lay-off, it was the 100th goal of the 37-year-old`s career.

But Orient’s resurgence under Justin Edinburgh continued as Josh Koroma’s equalised just 3 minutes before half-time after the Silkmen had failed to clear a corner.

That ultimately secured the O’s a point and put Macclesfield’s title party on hold for another few hours at least.

Tranmere started their game at Prenton Park against play-off contenders Aldershot Town 13 points behind the leaders but reduced that to ten by recording a 2-0 success which leaves the Shots four points ahead of Dover Athletic and Ebbsfleet United, who hold eighth and ninth place respectively.

In front of a crowd of 5,444, there were chances at both ends in the opening 45 minutes but the scoreline remained blank.

And it wasn`t until the 70th minute that Rovers managed to make the breakthrough when a fine ball from Larnell Cole found James Norwood, who scored with another one-on-one with Shots` keeper Lewis Ward.

And 10 minutes later, the points were secured when visiting defender Callum Reynolds failed to clear the ball, Andy Cook nicked it off him and set-up Norwood to net his 20th goal of the season to date.

Sutton United are third, three points behind Tranmere after being held to a 1-1 draw by a Hartlepool United side who pulled five points clear of the drop zone due to this point and Barrow AFC`s defeat.

Ross Lafayette gave the U`s an early 9th minute lead at The Knights Community Stadium.

But young midfielder Josh Hawkes pulled Hartlepool level with a neat finish after 26 minutes

Boreham Wood are fourth and now just a point behind Sutton after a 4-2 Meadow Park win over already-relegated Chester FC.

It was Calum McIntyre’s first game in temporary charge of the Blues after another week of turmoil for the club during the week when they parted company with Marcus Bignot as manager on Wednesday.

But goals from Michael Folivi after just 6 minutes, Bruno Andrade a minute before half-time from the penalty spot, Morgan Ferrier just shy of the hour-mark and Ricky Shakes in stoppage time secured the points for the home side, but a James Akintunde brace on 73 and 90 minutes gave some respectability to the scoreline.

Fifth-placed AFC Fylde`s play-off hopes took a knock when they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the Gallagher Stadium against a Maidstone United side who considerably eased their relegation fears.

Defeat to fellow strugglers Solihull Moors in midweek pushed Jay Saunders` side deep into trouble, but a goal from Blair Turgott in the 23rd minute, intercepting a pass from Simon Grand before cutting in and finding the corner of Jay Lynch`s net proved decisive and gave them a six-point cushion over Barrow, who do possess two games in hand.

The Stones will probably need to win at least one of their remaining matches at Chester and at home to FC Halifax Town.

Wrexham`s play-off hopes also took a blow as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at the Racecourse Ground against mid-table Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Dragons held the advantage at the break, thanks to a 23rd minute Paul Rutherford effort.

But the Daggers pulled back on level terms just 5 minutes after half-time with a neat curling shot past Chris Dunn by in-demand Fejiri Okenabirhie.

And Wrexham, who haven’t won since losing manager Dean Keates to Walsall, conceded a second 15 minutes from time when Michael Cheek`s header was diverted past his own keeper by David Raven.

However, Maidenhead United did Wrexham a favour by beating eighth-placed Dover, thanks to a stoppage time winner at York Road.

It was goalless at half-time, but the Whites were ahead 4 minutes after the restart when Anthony Jeffrey’s cross seemed to deceive `keeper Carl Pentney as it found its way into the far corner of the net.

Dover`s lead didn`t last long though as Jake Hyde converted Sam Barrett’s cross just 3 minutes later.

The visitors responded within 2 minutes, thanks to Manny Parry, who collected Mitch Pinnock’s flick and fired into the bottom corner.

Then on 58 minutes it was 2-2 as Barrett’s long throw found Ryan Upward, who headed home at the far post.

And in stoppage time, the Magpies won it when Max Kilman fired a deflected 30-yard shot into the top corner.

Dover`s Kent rivals Ebbsfleet United pulled level on points with the Whites after inflicting a damaging blow on Barrow`s hopes of staying up.

What turned out to be the only goal of the game at the Furness Building Society Stadium came after 32 minutes when Sean Shields was given time to shoot from the edge of the box. His effort hit the bar but Dean Rance was alert and fired home the loose ball.

It could have been a much more comfortable win for Darryl McMahon`s side as they hit the woodwork three times.

Bromley would need to win their remaining four games and hope for favours elsewhere if they are to get back amongst the play-off contenders, but their 2-0 win at Kingfield kept them alive and pushed Woking closer to the trap door.

The visitors took a 32nd minute lead when a long throw from George Porter caused panic in the Cards defence and Jordan Higgs eventually dived forward to head the ball past Nathan Baxter.

Former Wolves defender Roger Johnson then doubled the Ravens` lead after 68 minutes when he netted his first goal for the club from close range following a corner.

Defeat for Woking leaves them just a point above Barrow but have only two games remaining, while Torquay United have one game in hand on the Cards and are now five points behind them after they beat ten-man FC Halifax Town at Plainmoor.

The only goal of a nervy encounter came in the 58th minute when Jamie Reid’s strike was adjudged to have crossed the line.

The visitors went down to ten-men in the 74th minute when Ben Tomlinson was show a second yellow card.

And but for a fine goalkeeping display by the Shaymen`s Sam Johnson it could have been a more comfortable win for the Gulls.

Solihull Moors pulled six points clear of the drop zone with a `six-pointer` win at the Automated Technology Group Stadium against bottom-markers Guiseley AFC.

The defeat effectively condemns the Lions to relegation as they are now 15 points behind Woking with just 15 points left to play for.

The Moors got off to a good start when a long throw by George Carline was headed past his own keeper by Ben Frempah.

And 13 minutes later, the home side doubled their advantage with another slightly fortunate effort from Jamey Osbourne, which took a big deflection to beat Joe Green in the Guiseley goal.

The visitors got themselves back into the game 5 minutes into the second half when they were awarded a spot-kick after Carline was adjudged to have brought down Dayle Southwell, who converted the resulting penalty.

But the hosts made it 3-1 on the hour-mark when skipper Darren Carter`s cross was headed home by Fiarce Kelleher.

The only game on Saturday with little apart from final placings and pride to play for saw Gateshead beat Eastleigh 2-0 at the International Stadium.

Danny Johnson broke the deadlock to give the Tynesiders the lead right on the stroke of half-time – his 16th of the season to date.

And the points stayed in the north-east when Jordan Burrow was credited with a rather fortunate second goal 7 minutes after the break.

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