East Preview: Potential play-off dress rehearsal

By James Gordon

Pontefract Collieries have the chance to damage Sheffield FC’s play-off hopes this weekend when the two sides meet on Saturday.

Having already secured a top five spot, Colls are looking to build momentum ahead of a pivotal few weeks, having seen their three-game winning run ended by table-topping Morpeth.

Sheffield are six points ahead of Tadcaster, the only remaining outside challenger for a play-off spot. If the Yorkshiremen lose to Pontefract and Albion overcome bottom-of-the-league Gresley, the gap between fifth and sixth will be just three points.

Having secured the league title last week, Morpeth will hope to extend their three-game winning run away at Cleethorpes, Ossett United put their six-match winning streak away from home on the line against Belper Town and Brighouse host second-bottom Carlton Town, who could climb out of the relegation zone if they win and other results go their way.

In the battle to avoid the drop, Spalding United and Wisbech will be looking to pick up a much-needed three points. The Tulips will look to end their run of five matches without a win when they visit Marske United, while Town host Pickering, who can all-but-secure their survival with a win.

Elsewhere, AFC Mansfield can mathematically avoid the drop with a third win in five at home to Stamford, while Loughborough Dynamo will aim to make it five wins in a row when Frickley Athletic visit the Nanpantan Sports Ground.

In the final game of the round, mid-table Stocksbridge Park Steels can go within one point of Lincoln United when the two sides face off at Bracken Moor.

Words by James Messenger

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