Saturday's Premier Division action review

9 months ago By David Watters

With leaders Altrincham's game being off on Saturday, Warrington Town took advantage to reduce the gap at the top of the EVO-STIK League Premier to seven points, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.

The Wire beat Barwell 2-0 at Cantilever Park to just about keep in the title race, Jamie McDonald bagging a brace in the 60th and 70th minutes to seal the home side`s win on another weather-hit day when six games fell victim to the overnight and early morning rain.

Ashton United were the only other team in the top five to play on Saturday and they beat second-bottom Halesowen Town 3-0 at Hurst Cross to move four points clear of sixth-placed Grantham Town in the play-off race.

Dean Smalley gave the hosts a 21st minute lead that Dan Mooney eventually doubled 11 minutes from time. An 88th minute John Pritchard penalty wrapped up Ashton`s victory.

Hednesford Town could have moved to within four points of the play-off places had they managed to beat third-bottom Marine but the hosts triumphed 2-0 at the Marine Travel Arena, thanks to James Short after 41 minutes and Mike Brewster on the hour-mark.

Fourth-bottom Stalybridge Celtic`s 4-3 win at Borough Park against Workington AFC means there is now a six-point gap between Marine and Celtic and Halesowen.

Liam Dickinson`s early sixth minute opener for Celtic was cancelled out within two minutes by Sam Smith. But Connor Hughes after 26 minutes and Greg Wilkinson just after the break stretched the visitors` lead to 3-1.

Scott Allison reduced the arrears from the penalty spot after 63 minutes, only for Hughes to net his second to take Stalybridge 4-2 ahead. Sam Joel made it a nervy final 11 minutes but Steve Burr's side held on.

The only other game to get the referee`s nod of approval came at Marston Road where mid-table sides Stafford Rangers and Lancaster City shared a 2-2 draw and remain level on 45 points.

However, it looked as though Rangers were coasting to victory after goals from Rob Thompson-Brown after 31 minutes and Kieran Morris after 62 minutes gave them a 2-0 lead going into stoppage time.

Charlie Bailey`s goal a minute into time added on looked like merely a consolation but up popped Josh Gregory to equalise four minutes into stoppage time.

Images courtesy of John Hopkins

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