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It`s Advantage Altrincham!

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It`s advantage Altrincham in the Evo-Stik League Premier on Saturday after the Robins won at second-bottom Halesowen Town and second-placed Warrington Town were beaten at in-form Stalybridge Celtic.

Alty were looking to return to form after their recent run of poor home results.

They took the lead in the 11th minutes after attacking relentlessly from kick-off – Jordan Hulme scoring after good work by John Johnston.

The visitors doubled their lead 7 minutes later when Simon Richman scored from close range.

Defeat leaves the Yeltz just three points above bottom side Sutton Coldfield Town, who also lost, whilst the win lifts Altrincham four points above Warrington after they lost by the same scoreline at Bower Fold to a Stalybridge side for whom this was a fourth straight win.

In front of a crowd of 615, Liam Dickinson gave Celtic the lead from the penalty spot 3 minutes before half-time.

And then in first half injury-time, Greg Wilkinson doubled the home side`s advantage – and one they maintained.

The battle for a play-off place is just as tight, although Ashton United look firm favourites for one of the spots after a 2-1 Hurst Cross win over another of the contenders, Witton Albion, leaves them seven points clear of the sixth-placed team.

Ashton had to come back from behind too as Steven Tames broke the deadlock to put Albion ahead on the hour-mark.

Five minutes later, Dean Smalley equalised and then on-loan Scunthorpe striker Jack Dyche won it for the home side 9 minutes from time.

Grantham Town and Farsley Celtic occupy the other two top five spots but they had very differing fortunes on Saturday!

The Gingerbreads eased to a 4-1 win at The Meres against Barwell, taking a 33rd minute lead through Mohammed Hakeem.

Danny Meadows added a second 8 minutes into the second half and Sam Osbourne made the points safe with a third after 84 minutes, with Matt Stenson netting an 88th minute consolation for the visitors and Meadows a fourth in stoppage time for the hosts.

But Farsley were beaten by the same scoreline at Throstle Nest by a Stourbridge side who had only won one in eleven going into the game!

It was the hosts who went in front, courtesy of a Ryan Watson penalty after just 5 minutes.

However, a Luke Benbow brace in the 11th and 55th minutes and goals from Paul McCone on 52 minutes and Josh Cooke in time added on saw Stourbridge complete the turnaround, and they could and probably should have won by more.

A disappointed Farsley manager Adam Lakeland told his club`s Pitchero website: “It’s a different game at home, when you’re at home there’s more onus on you to take the game to the opposition. Away from home we can get set up deeper and not get exposed, but at the end of the day it’s a bad day and a bad result.

“We deserved to get beat, they were the better side, no doubt about it. We’ve lost games before and we’ll no doubt lose before the end of the season, but we need to bounce back next week.”

The good news for Farsley was that sixth-placed Shaw Lane AFC were also surprised at their own Sheerien Park by Nantwich Town, who triumphed 2-0 to leave the Ducks three points behind Celtic but with four games in hand.

Sean Cooke after 12 minutes and Joe Mwasile on 65 minutes won it for the Dabbers.

And Hednesford Town`s hopes also took a knock as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Silverlands against Buxton to leave the Pitmen six points behind the play-off places but having played 38 games.

Danny Glover broke the deadlock to give the Pitmen a 52nd minute lead that Liam Hardy cancelled out 7 minutes later.

Hardy then put the Bucks ahead after 72 minutes, but Glover responded with his second with less than 3 minutes remaining.

The relegation place is looking like a straight battle between Sutton Coldfield and Halesowen, although Matlock Town are trying hard to get involved!

Only one win in six has seen them drop to third-bottom – their latest loss being 1-0 at Dales Lane against Rushall Olympic, for whom Richard Brodie`s early 5th minute goal proved decisive.

The Gladiators should have enough points to avoid getting sucked in though.

The Royals remain bottom after a 5-0 defeat at the Marine Travel Arena against a Mariners side who were third-bottom at start of play.

But a Danny Mitchley hat-trick in the 13th, 45th and 65th minutes – the third from the spot – sandwiched by a Josh Amis brace on 31 and 40 minutes, completed a bad day for Sutton Coldfield.

Elsewhere, Tom Burgin`s 51st minute effort sealed Mickleover Sports` home win over Workington AFC, while Junior Mondal did likewise for Whitby Town at Owen Street against Coalville Town, but not until the 86th minute.

Craig Carney`s 52nd minute goal looked as though it was going to be enough for Lancaster City at the Giant Axe against Stafford Rangers, until Rob Thompson-Brown popped up with an 89th minute equaliser.


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