Premier Division Champions elect Chester FC moved to within a point of clinching the league title after a 2-1 win over Stocksbridge Park Steels in front of Bracken Moor’s biggest crowd of the season of just over 1,000.
The visitors thought it was going to be a comfortable afternoon after establishing a 2-0 lead inside 18 minutes. However, Steels pulled one back early in the second half then in a spell of late pressure had the visitors hanging on.
Chester took a sixth minute lead in their first attack. Chris Simm ran onto a Robert Booth through ball outpacing Richard Haigh before rounding Ben Scott to squeeze the ball home. They doubled their lead with a goal that should have been ruled out and quite rightly had Chris Willcock’s men fuming. A corner was only half cleared to Booth some 25-yards out whose low strike deflected off Marc Williams who was standing yards offside.
Jack Muldoon was crowded out just inside the area after a scintillating run from the half way line then Alex Callery had Glennon at full stretch as Steels looked to get back. And they did on 51 minutes when Daryl Weston tucked the ball away.
Steels piled on late pressure but couldn’t come up with an equaliser and they slipped back into the bottom four.
Frickley Athletic remain four points from safety with four games remaining after a goalless draw at Nantwich Town. Goalkeeper Steve Dickinson pulled off a string of fine saves to earn a crucial point although Peter Rinkcavage’s side almost snatched it two minutes from time when a Stuart Ludlam header was cleared off the line.
For the second time in four days Worksop Town squandered a lead. After throwing a 2-0 advantage against strugglers Burscough to finish on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline, Worksop this time found themselves 3-0 up against Ashton United early in the second half only for the visitors to snatch a 3-3 draw.
Jaime Jackson headed the Tigers into a 22nd minute lead with Massiah McDonald doubling the advantage four minutes later after latching onto a through ball. Jackson fired home from the edge of the area to put the home side 3-0 up on 48 minutes.
Chris Amadi reduced the arrears with a terrific strike just past the hour with sub Aaron Burns making it 3-2 on 77 minutes. Then in stoppage time McDonald headed into his own net to earn Ashton a share of the spoils.
James Lukic struck two minutes from time to earn Matlock Town a point in a 1-1 draw against Marine.
Buxton boosted their own survival hopes while putting a dent in FC United’s play off push following a 2-1 victory at Gigg Lane.
Matt Wolfenden gave the hosts a sixth minute lead before the Bucks hit back to level on 21 minutes through a Mark Reed penalty before grabbing a deserved winner on 72 minutes when Bradley Barraclough drove home after cutting inside the area.
Sheffield FC’s hopes of overhauling Carlton Town and ensuring a home tie in the Division One South play offs, vanished with a 3-1 defeat against the Nottinghamshire side.
It raises the possibility that the two teams could meet again in the play-off semi finals, providing of course that Club nail down a place in the top five, which is now in the balance.
Warren Burrell gave Sheffield a 30th minute lead slotting home from a Martin Foster free-kick only for the hosts to hit back six minutes later through Terry Hawkridge.
Carlton went in front on 67 minutes when Sam McVicar stooped to head in a rebound off the post before turning in a cross seven minutes later to send Club down to only their second league defeat in the last 11 games.
Today’s fixtures (3pm)
Premier Division: Buxton v Matlock Town, Frickley Athletic v Worksop Town, Mickleover Sports v Stocksbridge Park Steels
Division One South: Sheffield FC v Belper Town.