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Non League Weekend Football – 15.04.23

Written by on 13 April 2023

Non League Weekend Football – 15.04.23

By Dave Johnson

Newcastle Town v Trafford

A superb win away to Leek Town on Easter Monday has lifted hopes of avoiding a bottom four spot and all that it would mean for Newcastle, but there is still work to be done.

Saturday’s opponents Trafford have nothing to play for except pride now they can no longer force their way into the play-offs, whereas a win for Castle would go a long way to ensure they avoid the relegation play-offs.

Should they beat Trafford and neighbours Kidsgrove do the business against Widnes, it will be cause for celebration for Robin van der Laan ahead of his final match in charge next weekend.

Max Chimenes could be available after recovering from a chest infection and Tommy van der Laan is also available, but it would be a tough call to change a winning side that did so well at Leek the other day.

Kidsgrove Athletic v Widnes

As far as Kidsgrove Athletic are concerned, this is nothing more than a typical end-of-season match with nothing to play for after their remote chances of a play-off place faded recently.

They will, however, want to appease their home support following a disappointing home defeat to Workington on Monday and, on paper at least, this should be an almost perfect opportunity to do just that.

Widnes currently occupy one of the play-off places at the bottom end of the season and Grove can be assured they will be scrapping for their lives.

They will have looked at Newcastle’s win at Leek Town and despite that result going against them, it will spur them on with a newfound belief that they too can do themselves a big favour against Kidsgrove.

Hanley Town v Witton Albion

With sixteen points won from eighteen on offer, Hanley have given themselves a real fighting chance and Monday’s 1-1 draw against Champions Macclesfield will have added to their confidence.

They are not quite there yet, on paper at least, but even if they lose their two remaining games, results elsewhere would have to go against them.

A single point against Witton would see them safe, should Widnes lose their game down the road at Kidsgrove and a win would almost certainly ensure safety, unless Widnes win their two fixtures by a massive margin.

Hanley’s goal difference, as it stands, would be enough even in the unlikely event Colne win their two remaining games, against Leek Town and Workington.

Colne v Leek Town

After a disappointing home defeat to local rivals Newcastle Town saw them lose second place in the table, Leek will be hoping to show just why they have been up there all season.

Colne still have hopes, albeit very slim ones, of avoiding finishing in the relegation play-offs and they will surely be scrapping for their lives.

Leek ought to have enough quality to see them return from this fixture with all three points and they will want to build some momentum going into the play-offs.

Next weekend Leek take on a Skelmersdale side who have nothing to play for, but they will want to go out with a bang against one of the league’s top teams.

Macclesfield v Prescott Cables

Macclesfield will now be planning ahead as they look to next season after being crowned champions recently, but with two games remaining they will be in search of maximum points,

Their draw at Hanley Town last weekend was a blemish on their record, but they could have won that game had Alex Curran’s spot kick not been saved.

Dan Sweeney’s header late in the game was enough to earn the Silkmen a point and they will be looking to improve on that this weekend.

Prescot will have to settle for mid-table this season, but will hope to show potential for next season when they face the league’s best side this weekend.

Congleton Town v Wythenshawe Town

Congleton have become victims of their own success in cup competitions with a congested leg-sapping end of season fixture list and that could go against them in a game against high-riding Wythenshawe.

The Bears were in action on Monday and Thursday this week and after this game they must play Monday, Wednesday, Saturday before resting their legs for two weeks ahead of a Cup Final.

Their Macron Cup match at Chorley on May 8th will bring them some respite after a long-hard season, but they will still want to prove themselves before then.

In their penultimate game of the season, Wythenshawe, who are third in the table, still believe they can achieve the second spot currently occupied by Avro and they will go all out at the Cleris Stadium to help them achieve that ambition.

FC United of Manchester v Stafford Rangers

The point Stafford earned at Nantwich on Easter Monday was enough to finally ensure safety after a long, hard season in which they were in danger of being dragged into a relegation battle.

Now that threat has finally been lifted, they can finish the season finishing in the top half, but they will need to win their last two fixtures.

The first of those fixtures comes away to FC United of Manchester on Saturday, before a tough away game against newly crowned champions South Shields.

FC United can still break into the play-offs but they would need to win both of their remaining games and hope results elsewhere go their way.

Marske United v Nantwich Town

After dropping two home points against Stafford Rangers on Easter Monday, the Dabbers have it all to do if they are to avoid finishing in the bottom four.

Their game away to Marske United this weekend is their biggest of the season and to use a cliché, it is definitely a ‘six-pointer’.

A defeat in this game, and it will be all over, They HAVE to win this one to give themselves ANY chance at all as they sit one point behind opponents Marske United and with one game remaining after this one, a Marske win would mean they are uncatchable.

Even a Nantwich win wouldn’t ensure safety as the North Yorkshire outfit still have a game in hand. This is what is usually termed as ‘squeaky bum time’ for the Dabbers.