The Evo-Stik League Northern Premier
Published 26th December 2012
.....postponed on Boxing Day, along with play-off chasing New Mills` home game against Ossett Albion, but second-placed Skelmersdale United were unable to take full advantage.
Skem were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw at their own West Lancashire College Stadium by neighbours Burscough.
It has been fifteen years since the sides last met in a league game and the last time they played each other was in 2004 in an FA Cup tie when over 1,000 turned out.
Boxing Day saw 342 in attendance, and they saw the visiting Linnets shock their lofty hosts by going 2-0 up with goals from Will Jones after just 3 minutes and Niall Cummins on the half-hour mark.
But Tommy Lawson`s side showed why they are title contendes by battling back to lad 3-2 with goals from Michael Phenix after 64 minutes, Paul Woolcott a minute later and then a Tom Hardwick penalty.
But Cummins also converted from twelve yards with 8 minutes remaining to earn a deserved point on the day.
Trafford maintained third place after edging out fifth-placed Warrington Town at Shawe View.
As at Skem, the visitors raced into a 2-0 lead with goals from Kevin Townson after 27 minutes and Phil Mooney 12 minutes later.
And similarly the hosts fought back to lead with Paul Ashton on 61 minutes, Michael Oates on 72 and a Shelton Payne spot-kick 5 minutes later.
However, this time the visitors were unable to find a leveller.
Fourth-placed Clitheroe also slipped up, going down to a 3-1 derby defeat at home against Ramsbottom United.
A decent crowd of 357 saw Simon Nangle give the Blues a 34th minute lead.
But Lee Gaskell received his Christmas present a day late when he went on to complete a hat-trick to win the game with goals in the 52nd, 76th and 86th minutes.
Farsley FC moved towards the top five after a comprehensive Throstle Nest win over bottom-markers Garforth Town.
James Riley gave the home side the boost of an early 5th minute lead and goals came at fairly regular intervals after that.
Ryan Harrison added number two on 29 minutes, Gareth Grant the third 8 minutes later and then Adam Priestley on 55 minutes and Riley again 10 minutes later completed Farsley`s nap hand.
Second-bottom Goole AFC won for only the third time this season to date when Bill Law`s 76th minute effort earned his side victory against Harrogate Railway Athletic at the Victoria Pleasure Grounds.
Another struggler, Wakefield, were dumped 6-0 at Stade France by Ossett Town, whose Shane Kelsey helped himself to a hat-trick with goals in the 15th, 35th and 44th minutes, James Eyles a brace in the 5th and 42nd and Luke Sharry netted the sixth 5 minutes from time.
Cammell Laird also enjoyed themselves against another of the strugglers, Prescot Cables.
Carl Furlong gave Cables the boost of an 11th minute lead in this derby, but Jamie Henders equalised from the spot on 27 minutes, only for the visitors to re-take the lead through marlin Piana just after the break.
However, Henders again pulled Laird back on terms after 58 minutes and then goals from Dan O`Brien, Aaron Bowen and Joe Holt in the final 17 minutes turned it into a comfortable-looking win for the home side.
There was a thriller at Irongate where a crowd of 253 saw Bamber Bridge beat Lancaster City by the odd goal in seven.
Tom Kilifin gave the Dolly Blues a 9th minute lead that Greg Johnstone levelled within a minute.
Darren Green restored City`s lead a minute before half-time, only for Andy Bell to pull Brig back on terms 6 minutes after it.
Green gave the visitors the lead for a third time in the match on 63 minutes, only for Bell to net his second to make it 3-3 with 20 minutes to to.
And in the 83rd minute Johnstone notched his second and Brig`s fourth to give them the lead for the first – and last – time.
Radcliffe Borough and Salford City shared a 1-1 Stainton Park draw.
Some of the 134 crowd had probably made their way towards the exit by the time Tre Baldwin-Willis broke the deadlock by giving City an 82nd minute lead.
But 2 minutes later Simon Carden pulled Boro back on terms.