Premier Round-up: Shields slip up in title race

By James Gordon

South Shields scored a late equaliser deep in to injury time as they slipped up in the title race in the EVO-STIK League Premier Division.

They trailed 1-0 to Basford United through Lewis Carr, but Ryan Wilson’s handball on the line resulted in a red card for him and a penalty for Shields.

Robert Briggs stepped up and converted, seven minutes in to injury time, for what could yet prove to be a crucial goal, despite dropping two points.

That is because Shields now sit three points behind Farsley Celtic, but with a superior goal difference, meaning their requirements to win the league haven’t altered too much.

It’s going to take something special to stop Farsley though, who are now just seven points from the title thanks to a 4-0 win at Grantham Town.

Player of the Year James Spencer scored a hat-trick and Chris Atkinson made sure late on for a result that goes some way to bridging the goal difference that exists between the top two.

Warrington Town still have an outside chance of winning the league, and they were 2-0 winners over Scarborough Athletic to move within a point of South Shields.

Tony Gray slotted home in the first half to give them the lead and Jack Dunn made sure late on to dent the Seadogs’ play-off hopes.

Gainsborough Trinity took charge of the final play-off spot thanks to a 2-0 win at Workington, which virtually condemns the Cumbrians to relegation.

Results have been much improved since the appointment of Liam King and the Holy Blues won this one through Ashley Worsfold’s penalty and Anthony Wilson’s first game of the season.

Buxton lost ground and are now two points behind Gainsborough in what looks increasingly like a two-horse race following a 1-1 draw at Marine, who may now be sucked in to a relegation battle.

John Pritchard gave them a 68th minute lead but Brett Mbalanda equalised five minutes later.

At the bottom, Bamber Bridge breathed life in to their survival campaign with a 2-0 win away at Hyde United.

Long-serving Alistair Waddecar converted a penalty after Kieran Charnock had given them the lead to move them within two points of safety with a game in hand.

Stalybridge Celtic have been tumbling down the table for weeks and they are now very much in the relegation picture after they lost 1-0 at a now safe Hednesford Town.

Reece King’s first half goal means Celtic sit three points clear of Bamber Bridge, with Mickleover Sports sandwiched between them.

Sports have been on a decent run of form and they earned another point at the weekend, coming from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Lancaster City.

Jack Storer got an equaliser on the hour mark after Paul Dugdale had given the Dolly Blues the lead early in the second half.

It was a good weekend for Stafford Rangers, who moved four points clear of the dropzone with a 2-1 win at Whitby.

Tom Thorley got them on their way inside two minutes and Louis Briscoe doubled the advantage on the stroke of half time, with Brad Fewster’s late strike mere consolation.

Elsewhere, Witton Albion can still mathematically reach the play-offs thanks to a 2-1 win at Matlock Town.

Ben Harrison continued his goalscoring form with a 10th minute strike, with Rob Hopley doubling the lead before Nyle Blake pulled one back.

Where next?

Statement: AFC Mansfield The Northern Premier League can confirm that AFC Mansfield will be relegated from the Evo-Stik League East Division at the conclusion of Season 2018/2019.
Integro League Cup Final Supporter Information Please make note of the following supporter information ahead of this week's Integro League Cup final on Tuesday night.

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