First Division North play-off semi-final review

By David Watters

Spennymoor Town will host Northwich Victoria in Saturday's EVO-STIK Northern Premier League First Division North promotion play-off final after this week's semis, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.

Runners-up Spennymoor Town took on Burscough at the Brewery Field on Tuesday night after finishing some 11 points ahead of the Linnets, who finished fifth.

However, the play-offs have a habit of making a mockery of final league placings and when Liam Caddick gave the visitors an early second minute lead, the majority in the 662 crowd who braved the cold and snow, feared the worse!

But crucially, right on the stroke of half-time Craig Gott pulled the Moors back on level terms. And then, just three minutes after the restart, Liam Henderson put the home side in front. Spennymoor ensured their passage and home advantage in the final 16 minutes from time when Gavin Cogden added number three.

By a strange quirk of the fixture list, Northwich Victoria and Glossop North End had already met twice in three days last week. Curiously, both had won on each other`s own home patch and they ended the regular season with the Vics third and the Hillmen in fourth spot, with just two points separating them.

That meant a third meeting in seven days on Wednesday night for the right to meet Spennymoor Town at the Brewery Field and Vics got off to a great start when Stuart Cook converted an early third minute penalty.

Mark Reed hit back for the Hillmen in the 12th minute but the tie turned in the home side`s favour in the 20th minute when Glossop had goalkeeper Andy Robertson sent-off. Despite the set=back, the battling Hillmen held firm until just past the hour-mark when top scorer Richie Bennett fired home what proved to be the winner for Northwich.

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Where next?

Welsh international is new boss Former Welsh international Simon Haworth is the new manager of EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Clitheroe.
First Division South play-off semi-final review Shaw Lane Aquaforce will host Coalville Town on Saturday in the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League's First Division South promotion play-off final after this week's semis, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.

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