Stocksbridge coasted to a 3-0 victory over relegation bound Ossett Town at Bracken Moor to make it five league wins on the spin and take Steels past the 50-point barrier, which all but mathematically guarantees their Premier Division status.
It was a scoreline that flattered the visitors with Ossett keeper Neil Bennett twice denying Jack Muldoon with excellent saves then doing even better to push away substitute Glyn Cotton’s powerful drive, while Chris Hall thundered a 35-yard effort against the underside of the crossbar.
Steels went ahead on 15 minutes when Muldoon crossed low for Colin Marrison to sweep home via the underside of the bar. Muldoon doubled the advantage seven minutes later turning his marker on the edge of the box to find the top corner.
Ben Scott did well to push a downward header round the post just before the break as Ossett briefly threatened. But substitute Andy Ring sealed the points five minutes after the interval with a simple tap in after Marrison had unselfishly squared the ball.( Full report and pictures in Grassroots inside Thursday Star).
Frickley Athletic came from a goal down to beat Chasetown 2-1 at Westfield Lane to boost their hopes of avoiding the drop. The visitors went ahead in the 19th minute direct from a Richard Davies corner. Frickley were almost level eight minutes before the break when Ashley Burbeary rattled the post with a 35-yard free-kick. But just when it seemed the Blues would go in at half time a goal down Grant Darley drilled in a low 20-yard effort to restore parity. The winner came with seven minutes from time as Darley turned provider for Jake Watts to steer the ball home from 10-yards. Despite the victory Frickley remain in the bottom four but are just single point from safety.
Worksop Town’s play-off hopes took another knock after a third defeat in the last four saw the Tigers beaten 3-1 at Ashton United. It leaves Martin McIntosh’s five points outside the top five, though they do have a couple of games in hand. Ashton led through Ben Smith’s 55 minute penalty after a foul by James Cotterill.
The Tigers hit back to level 10 minutes later when the keeper fumbled a high ball into the box that fell to Sam Duncum to hook home from the edge of the box. However, Worksop were undone by two quick goals as Liam Dawson hooked in at the far post from a corner on 73 minutes to restore the home sides lead with Jonathan Bathurst adding the third from close range two minutes later.
Buxton’s hopes of finishing runners-up look to be over after a lacklustre goalless stalemate against second-placed Colwyn Bay at the Silverlands, while Matlock Town’s poor run continued with a 1-0 home defeat against Bradford Park Avenue.
The Gladiators have taken just two points from the last 21 possible which has seen them slide to ninth in the table. The game with play-off rivals Bradford was decided by Aiden Savoury penalty nine minutes from time. Matlock thought they should have had a spot kick of their own earlier in the half when James Knowles was sent tumbling inside the area
FC Halifax Town sealed the championship with a 2-0 win at the division’s bottom club Retford United with first half goals from Danny Holland and Liam Hogan two minutes before the break.
Sheffield FC recovered from goal a goal behind at next to bottom Shepshed Dynamo to win 2-1 to climb to 12th in Division One South and stretch their unbeaten run to six games.
Dynamo made the brighter start forcing Dan Whatsize into a couple of good saves. But the Club shot-stopper could do nothing about Stuart Shannon heading the home side in front on the half hour mark. Sheffield hit back quickly when just six minutes later Sam Barnsley hit a tremendous low 30-yard effort to restore parity. It stayed that way until the 85th minute when a corner was only half cleared as far as Steve Woolley just outside the area where the midfielder fired a shot through a crowded box.
Alfreton Town extended their lead at the top of the Blue Square North to eight points after a 1-0 win at Solihull Moors. Nicky Law hitting the only goal of the game from the penalty spot midway through the second half.
TODAY - Premier Division: Worksop Town v Kendal Town.
TUESDAY - Premier Division: Stocksbridge Park Steels v Buxton.
Wednesday - Premier Division: FC United of Manchester v Frickley Athletic, Worksop Town v Nantwich Town.