It proved a good day all round for Cleethorpes Town.
As well as clinching their place at Wembley in the Buildbase FA Vase Final, their closest title rivals in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Premier Division, Pickering Town, were unable to replace them at the summit as the Pikes were held 0-0 at bottom side Retford United, who narrowly closed the gap to safety for them to seven points.
Third-placed Bridlington Town moved to within six points of the top as two goals each for Chris Jenkinson and Andy Norfolk helped them to a 6-1 home defeat of Rainworth Miners Welfare, Brett Agnew and Jake Day also netting for the Seasiders, whilst Matt Sykes found the net for the visitors.
Any faint hopes of a title challenge for the other two sides in the top five were almost all-but extinguished as Handsworth Parramore and Thackley both fell to defeats.
The Amber Parras were leading 2-1 at home to Clipstone going into the final few minutes but Gareth Curtis grabbed his second for the away side’s equaliser on 89 minutes and then a Keenan Leeds penalty in stoppage time saw the Cobras snatch the points in dramatic fashion.
Thackley, meanwhile, went down 1-0 at AFC Mansfield, Callum Lloyd scoring for the Bulls who climb up to sixth, now four points away from their opponents.
Staveley Miners Welfare move up to eighth after a 5-0 home victory over Barton Town Old Boys, Tyla Bell with a late hat-trick sealing the win for the hosts, whilst the Swans continue to look nervously over their shoulder at the bottom three.
Parkgate and Armthorpe Welfare, though, remain alongside Retford in the relegation zone after defeats.
Jack Briscoe and Kai Hancock condemned Parkgate to a 2-0 loss at Athersley Recreation, whilst Kyle Jordan struck twice for Worksop Town as they came from behind to beat hosts Armthorpe, 2-1.
Maltby Main won 1-0 at home to Bottesford Town, Shawn Mitchell with the 72nd minute decider, whilst it was goalless between Liversedge and Hemsworth Miners Welfare.
In Division One, a hat-trick from Jordan Turner helped leaders Pontefract Collieries extend the gap over third-placed Hall Road Rangers to nine points after a 4-0 home victory over their rivals, Chris Jackson also getting on the scoresheet.
AFC Emley kept up the pressure in second as Tom Brennan struck twice in quick succession in the first half to see off visitors Knaresborough Town with a 2-0 win.
Penistone Church strengthened their promotion aspirations in fourth as an early Andy Ring double helped them to a 4-2 defeat of visitors Yorkshire Amateur, whilst Hallam drew 3-3 at home with Glasshoughton Welfare.,
Ryan Poskitt’s injury-time penalty, his second goal of the afternoon, grabbed a point for the visitors who stay tenth, whilst Hallam remain sixth, six points ahead of Knaresborough who are just outside the play-off zone.
Basement side Nostell Miners Welfare have reached the point of no return after Rhys Vazquez and Joel Shortland condemned them to a 2-0 home loss at the hands of Winterton Rangers.
It means they are now fifteen points away from safety, and with only five matches left to play, they must win all of their remaining games and hope Worsbrough Bridge Athletic fail to pick up a point to have any chance of avoiding a bottom two finish.
Worsbrough would have confirmed a place in the relegation zone for Nostell had they come away from Eccleshill United with at least a draw but the Eagles soared to a 6-0 victory, Matt Waller’s hat-trick helping to make it a comfortable afternoon for the hosts.
Westella & Willerby remain the other side below the dotted line, nine points behind Worsbrough, as Wayne Brook’s goal for Selby Town sealed a 1-0 home loss.
Eli Hey and Jacob Buchanen netted for Campion in a 2-0 victory at Teversal whilst Thomas Cooke and Kyle Ludlow earned Ollerton Town a 2-1 home win over neighbours Shirebrook Town after Mark Robinson had given the away side a sixteenth minute lead.
And, honours were even at the Hawthorns as Sam O’Malley’s opener for hosts Brigg Town was cancelled out by Dronfield Town’s Jamie Willis before half-time in a 1-1 draw.