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Local Non League Football Reports – 04.03.23

Written by on 6 March 2023

Local Non League Football Reports – 04.03.23

By Dave Johnson

Newcastle Town 1 v 0 Clitheroe

In danger of being dragged into a relegation scrap and up against play-off contenders Clitheroe, Newcastle had it all to do if they were to resurrect their season.

The visitors had, before their defeat against City of Liverpool last weekend, gone seven games undefeated and were confident of getting a positive result against a side who had lost four of their previous five games.

Following a goalless opening forty-five minutes it would have been understandable had the home support felt a little edgy, but early in the second half they saw their side take the lead.

Five minutes after the restart James Askey beat Clitheroe ‘keeper Chris Thompson to put the home side in the driving seat and it was enough to earn Castle three very precious points.

Bootle 1 v 1 Kidsgrove

Still with an outside chance of finishing with a play-off place, Kidsgrove were determined to come away from the Berry Street Garage Stadium with something to show for their efforts.

Neither side managed to pose and threats in the opening fifteen minutes of the game, but with 27 minutes of the clock the home side edged in front.

Grove ‘keeper Ryan Brown was beaten by Tom Peterson, leaving the visitors with everything to do as they went into the break still behind.

They needed a goal from somewhere if they were to go home with a positive result, and in the 69th minute they were given some hope when the home side had Eddie Clarke sent off for a second bookable offence. Four minutes later Jimmy Garlick levelled the scored to earn his side a point.

Workington AFC 3 v 0 Hanley Town

Faced with the biggest trip in the club’s history, a 346-mile trip to Workington was always going to be difficult against a side riding high in the table.

Sitting precariously second from bottom, games are fast running out if Hanley are to avoid the drop and this was a game in which Hanley were expected to be well beaten.

Still level at half time, things were looking good for the visitors, but when Lewis Reilly opened the scoring on the hour, the Bucknall-based outfit faced an uphill battle.

Further goals for the home side, the first by Rueben Jerome in the 82nd minute and a late effort from Reilly, his second of the game, were enough to send Hanley home on their long drive with nothing to show for their efforts.

Leek Town 4 v 1 City of Liverpool

If City of Liverpool thought they could take advantage of Leek’s recent mini slump in form, the belief would have continued with half time approaching, but five minutes before the interval they were behind when  Aaron Opoku opened the scoring.

Daniel Trickett-Smith grabbed a second just nine minutes after the restart to put Leek in command and despite Danny Mitchley reducing the errors in the 61st minute, the result was never in doubt.

Leek’s two-goal lead was restored in the 72nd minute when City of Liverpool ‘keeper Dale Eve was beaten by Marc Grocott, but the home side weren’t quite finished.

Opoku was the man who claimed the goal with 90 minutes on the clock, his second of the game, and the victory was just that little bit sweeter when Macclesfield’s result filtered through.

1874 Northwich 0 v 0 Macclesfield

Northwich proved to everybody that the league leaders Macclesfield are not invincible, holding them to a goalless draw at Barnton’s Townfield ground.

It certainly wasn’t the result anybody associated with the Silkmen were looking for, nor expecting if the truth were known, but a point is better than no points.

With eight games remaining it would take a collapse of catastrophic proportions to stop Macclesfield’s charge to the title, so a little stutter now and again won’t worry them too much.

Next up is a trip to play Newcastle Town, and by the time they face Hanley Town on Easter Monday they may well already be crowned as champions.

Ashton Athletic 1 v 3 Congleton Town

There was plenty going on as bottom-of-the-table faced Congleton Town, hoping to get something to give them a glimmer of hope of avoiding relegation.

The home side gifted the visitors an opportunity to get up and running as early as the 11th minute when they were reduced to ten men after Deklan Hill handled Richard Duffy’s goal-bound header on the line.

The Bears were denied, however, when Ashton ‘keeper JoE Smith saved Pete Williams’ spot-kick, but Congleton did take the lead when Arron Johns robbed the ‘keeper and his shot came back off the upright, only for George Sanky to fire home the loose ball.

Darren Brannigan gave the home side some hope with an equalizer, but Sankey got his second for the visitors and Johns himself was on the score-sheet with a third to wrap up the points.

Stafford Rangers 2 v 2 Warrington Rylands

Looking for a second league win in eight days, Stafford were given hope when, just nine minutes into the game, Jack Baxter lifted the ball over visiting ‘keeper Luke Pilling.

Despite being reduced to ten men when Ethan Stewart was red-carded, here was more to celebrate for the home side in the 27th minute when Joe Kenton doubled Rangers’ lead.

Matty Hill’s side must have been reasonably confident the three points were in the bag at that stage, but with 11 minutes remaining Osebi Abadaki pulled one back for Ryalands.

The visitors went all out for an equalizer and with a minute remaining Sean Cooke beat Stafford ‘keeper Cameron Belford to claim a point from a game Rangers thought they had won as the minutes ticked away.

Nantwich Town 0 v 1 Hyde United

In a bid to revive their chances of surviving the drop, Nantwich changed their manager earlier in the week, but he was unable to instantly work his magic.

After this defeat they find themselves five points behind the side directly above them, having played two fixtures more, and they now have eight games to save their season.

Every match they play will help shape the outcome of their season and with four away games and four at home, how they do on home soil could be key.

The Dabbers were still in the game at the halfway point of the second forty-five minutes in this one, but with twenty minutes remaining they were dealt a cruel blow when Hyde’s Edy Maieco scored to win the game for the side in second place.