Premier Round-up: Top two pull clear

By James Gordon

The top three in the Evo-Stik Premier Division were all in action on Tuesday night and it proved to be a good one for two of them.

Scarborough Athletic still head the table after a 3-2 win at Stalybridge Celtic and Warrington Town remain in second spot following a 1-0 success at Whitby Town, but third-placed Basford United were beaten by the odd goal in five at Gainsborough Trinity to fall five points behind Boro.

At Bower Fold, a crowd of 408 saw Celtic take a 20th minute lead when Scott Wilson lobbed the ball into the path of Matty Wolfenden and then took the return pass to slot home.

James Walshaw came close to equalising when his lob struck the bar and bounced to safety.

Crucially though, Boro were level a minute before half-time when Walshaw looped a header over 'keeper James Aspinall after he was only able to palm the ball upwards.

Then just shy of the hour-mark, Scarborough took the lead when, following good link-up play between Walshaw and Michael Coulson, Nathan Valentine struck a superb volley into the bottom corner.

But the home side weren't about to give in and pulled level 11 minutes from time when Scott Bakkor whipped in a cross that Wolfenden poked home from close range.

A draw looked on the cards as some spectators headed for their cars, but as time ticked into the 90th minute, Boro won it when Wayne Brooksby was adjudged to have been brought down by Niall Flint in the box and after deliberation among the officials, Coulson slotted home the winner from the penalty spot.

Warrington were also made to work hard for their away success at the Turnbull Ground against Whitby.

The Wire's progress towards the top of the table has been built on a solid defence and headed to the North Yorkshire seaside having conceded only 3 goals in ten games.

And a ninth consecutive clean sheet coupled with the only goal of the game 10 minutes from time, thanks to a close-range Jack Mackreth finish, earned an important win for Paul Carden's side.

Basford travelled the relatively short distance to the Northolme to face a Gainsborough side smarting from back-to-back league and cup defeats.

But an outstanding first half performance from Lee Sinnott's men ultimately proved too much for the Nottinghamshire visitors.

Alex Byrne opened the scoring after 12 minutes and Ashley Worsfold's brace in the 24th and 43rd minutes gave Trinity a tremendous cushion at half-time.

But Martin Carruthers' side 'won' the second half as the home side were pegged back with goals from Matt Thornhill after 51 minutes and then Nathan Watson 10 minutes from time.

However, the first half damage proved just too much for Basford.

Buxton slipped into the top five after a 1-0 win at Silverlands against a Grantham Town side who started the evening level on points with their hosts.

But the Gingerbreads were undone by a deflected goal 4 minutes before the break when Ashley Young drove an effort into a crowded penalty area and got a deflection that wrong-footed 'keeper Theo Richardson.

Nantwich Town are sixth, level on 21 points with the Bucks, after beating Hednesford Town 2-1 at the Weaver Stadium.

Craig Lindfield put the Dabbers in front after just 10 minutes.

Dan Sweeney equalised for the Pitmen on the half-hour mark.

But 4 minutes into the second half, Lindfield's second proved enough to win all three points for Phil Parkinson's hosts.

A solid performance from Farsley Celtic saw them leave Stafford Rangers with the three points, thanks to a 3-1 win to move them up to ninth.

Farsley had the better of the chances in the first half but had to wait until the 68th minute for the breakthrough when a quickfire double from Luke Parkin and Ben Atkinson 4 minutes later put them in control.

The hosts responded on 86 minutes from new signing Jake Charles and looked as though they would pinch a point, but Jimmy Spencer’s third on the counter-attack in stoppage time confirmed victory.

North Ferriby United remain bottom after losing 3-1 at Irongate against Bamber Bridge.

Brad Carsley scored the only goal of the first half in the 31st minute to give the Bucks the advantage.

Luke Hinsley equalised on the hour-mark, but a Jamie Milligan penalty after a foul on Kieran Charnock restored Brig's lead 15 minutes from time and a second for Carsley 4 minutes later ensured the points stayed in Lancashire.

Matlock Town moved out of the bottom three after beating Marine AFC 3-1 at the DCJ Group Insurance Arena.

But the Gladiators had to come back from an early 5th minute Adam Yates own goal to win.

Marcus Marshall managed to level within 7 minutes and the hosts went into the break in front, courtesy of a 32nd minute Craig Westcarr penalty.

The Mariners' hopes of getting back into the game took a massive blow 4 minutes after the interval when they had Craig Carney sent-off.

And a second for Marshall in the 81st minute settled the match in the hosts' favour.

A poor run of five league games without a win had plummeted Mickleover Sports down the table.

But a fine 2-1 win at Wincham Park against Witton Albion pulled them up to 18th in the table.

The boss, John McGrath, showed the way with the opening goal after 10 minutes.

Seven minutes later, Nathan Jarman doubled Sports' lead.

Rob Hopley reduced the deficit with 20 minutes remaining, but Albion weren't able to find a leveller.

Report courtesy of Steve Whitney from Non League Today

Where next?

Kidsgrove set up Hartlepool trip EVO-STIK West Division side Kidsgrove Athletic shocked Premier Division Workington to book an FA Cup tie at National League side Hartlepool United.
Double century for Trafford The Trafford FC newsletter is celebrating its 200th edition this month.

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