Premier round-up: Basford and Lancaster close the gap

By James Gordon

Basford United have closed the gap on BetVictor Northern Premier League leaders South Shields to five points.

They were 3-1 winners at home to Stafford Rangers at the weekend, while Shields were held 1-1 at home to Grantham Town, just the fourth time they have dropped points this season.

Kane Richards and Brad Grayson exchanged early goals at Basford, with James Reid putting them in front before the break. They could only be sure of the points when Liam Hearn struck seven minutes from time.

Craig Westcarr’s equaliser 17 minutes from time denied Shields a home win, after they had led through Nathan Lowe’s first half opener.

Lancaster City remain level on points with Basford after registering their fifth win in six matches, defeating Mickleover Sports 3-1.

Matthew Blinkhorn, David Norris and Charlie Bailey were on the scoresheet, with Jiri Boula scoring a late consolation for Mickleover, who slip out of the play-off places.

Climbing in to the top five for the first time this season are FC United, who won by the odd goal in five at Atherton Collieries.

There were four goals in the first half in front of a 1,019 crowd at the Skuna Stadium, Tom Bentham firing the hosts in to a fifth minute lead.

Tunde Owolabi and Michael Potts turned things around, before Jordan Cover equalised for Colls two minutes before the break.

Regan Linney’s 53rd minute goal proved the difference.

Warrington Town are the other team in the top five, despite suffering a third home league defeat of the season, going down 2-1 against Stalybridge Celtic.

Jonathan Ustabasi’s goal put Stalybridge in front on 10 minutes, and Neil Kengni’s second a minute from time secured the points, even with Ben Garrity’s goal and a late flurry from the hosts, who have now won just two of their last seven games.

Matlock Town suffered their fifth defeat in six games as they lost 1-0 at Radcliffe.

Liam Ellis’ 48th minute goal fired Boro to their third win in four, lifting them to 16th.

Scarborough Athletic left it late to secure back to back wins for the first time this season, winning 2-1 at Bamber Bridge.

Michael Coulson and Alistair Waddecar had exchanged first half penalties, but it was Ryan Watson who popped up in the 90th minute to win it for the Seadogs, who are now four unbeaten.

Ashton United are out of the bottom three after a 3-1 win over Gainsborough Trinity, who remain in the relegation zone.

The damage was done in seven minutes either side of half time, with goals from Luca Havern, Josh Wilson and Jordan Slew piling more pressure on the Holy Blues.

The bottom three are now all level on nine points after Diego de Girolamo’s brace fired Buxton to a 2-0 win over Witton Albion to move them out of the relegation zone for the first time - leaving Stafford, Gainsborough and Bamber Bridge at the foot of the table.

There was late drama at Hyde, where Morpeth Town thought they’d won it with Ben Ramsey’s 89th minute strike, only for Tom Pratt to make it 1-1 in injury time and share the spoils.

Where next?

Nantwich learn FA Cup fate Nantwich Town have been drawn with AFC Fylde in the FA Cup first round proper.
Two NPL clubs await FA Cup draw There are two NPL clubs awaiting their fate in this evening's FA Cup first round draw.

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