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Top Two March On

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Whitby Town and Blyth Spartans maintained first and second spot in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division after both won 2-1 on Saturday.

The Seasiders won 2-1 at Kirkby Road against lower mid-table Barwell, thanks to goals from Michael Roberts after 36 minutes and a Declan Towers own goal 6 minutes into the second period.

Nigel Julian reduced the arrears with 6 minutes remaining to make it a nervy finale, but the visitors held firm for three valuable points.

Blyth were somewhat more fortunate to earn their Croft Park victory by the same scoreline against Stourbridge.

Spartans` keeper Adam McHugh saved Luke Benbow’s stoppage time penalty to deny the Glassboys a share of the points.

McHugh kept out the striker’s spot-kick with what was to be the last touch of the match after Stourbridge had pulled a goal back through Benbow in the 52nd minute having fallen two goals behind in the first period.

Nathan Buddle’s header from a Stephen Turnbull corner on 28 minutes had broken the deadlock, and Robbie Dale added a deflected second 8 minutes later.

But the crucial point of the game came right at the death when Connor Gater`s cross was handled by Michael Richardson, only for McHugh to come to his side’s rescue.

Buxton, Rushall Olympic and Hednesford Town now complete the top five, but only the Pitmen managed a win on Saturday.

Buxton were held to a 2-2 Silverlands draw by another top five chasing side, Spennymoor Town, whose Jamie Chandler gave them an early 3rd minute lead.

Joel Bembo-Leta equalised 5 minutes before half-time and then Nick Walker gave the Bucks a 74th minute lead, only for Chandler to pop up with his and Moors` second 4 minutes from time to earn a point.

Rushall suffered a surprise 1-0 Dales Lane defeat by third-bottom Frickley Athletic.

Lee Morris` side grabbed all three points with a Jack Waters effort with less than 3 minutes of normal time remaining.

Hednesford moved into the top five after winning 3-1 at Stormy Corner against bottom-markers Skelmersdale United.

Simeon Maye gave the Pitmen a 9th minute lead that Ashley Sammons eventually added to 8 minutes into the second half.

Max Hazeldine immediately reduced the deficit for Skem, but Joel Logan made sure with a third for the visitors in stoppage time.

Warrington Town lost their top five slot after going down 1-0 at The Grove against Halesowen Town, whose Kaiman Anderson was once again their goalscoring hero in the 34th minute.

Ashton United`s top five hopes took a slight knock as they drew 2-2 at Coles Lane against fourth-bottom Sutton Coldfield Town.

New loan signing Darren Campion gave the Royals a 9th minute lead that Matty Chadwick levelled in the 34th minute, only for Luke Keen to take the home side into half-time in front with a second in the 42nd minute.

But recent signing Kealan Steenson earned the visitors a share of the points just past the hour-mark.

Second-bottom Corby Town suffered another home disappointment as new boss Gary Mills saw his side lose 2-0 to Nantwich Town at Steel Park.

Osebi Abadaki gave the Dabbers a 9th minute lead that David Walker eventually doubled 20 minutes from time.

Felipe Barcelos scored the only goal of the game 4 minutes after half-time for Grantham Town at The Meres against Mickleover Sports, while Michael Williams did likewise for Matlock Town at the Marine Travel Arena against the Mariners.

Izak Reid gave Stafford Rangers a 13th minute lead at Borough Park against Workington AFC.

Mat Bailey then doubled Rangers` lead 7 minutes later, and although James Earl responded for the Reds 11 minutes later, they were unable to find a leveller.

Ilkeston FC moved above Coalville Town just above the drop zone after edging a 3-2 verdict at Owen Street.

Malechi Lavelle-Moore became the fourth player in the division to score in the 9th minute to give the Robins the lead.

Luis Rose added a second on 24 minutes, only for Alex Troke to immediately reduce the arrears.

Nathan Watson equalised after 37 minutes, and that looked to have earned the Ravens a draw, until Lavelle-Moore grabbed Ilkeston`s winner in stoppage time at the end of the game.


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