First Division South play-off semi-final review

By David Watters

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.

Coalville Town produced an emphatic 5-0 win against Basford United at Owen Street on Tuesday night to be first into the final.

The hosts got off to the perfect start when Alex Troke put them in front after just three minutes from close range. The Ravens doubled their lead from a 22nd minute corner from Nathan Watson that was met by Callum Woodward to head home. Only two minutes later and Danny Jenno made it 3-0 from 25 yards, leaving United keeper Saul Deeney with no chance.

The second half was only eight minutes old when the Ravens made it 4-0 after Alex Dean bamboozled Deon Miekle who brought him down in the penalty area. Troke stepped up and made no mistake from the spot before Coalville made it a nap hand on 69 minutes, sub Luke Smithson sending Watson through to round Deeney and finish into an empty net.

Shaw Lane Aquaforce finished their first season in the EVO-NPL's First Division South in second place, 20 points clear of fifth-placed Lincoln United.

Despite kicking off their play-off semi-final in Barnsley as firm favourites to meet Coalville they ended up clinging on after two late goals ensured a nervy finale on Wednesday night.

After a goalless opening 45 minutes, the home side looked to be cruising to the final at 3-0 after goals from James Walshaw in the 54th and 67th minutes and one from Gibraltar international Adam Priestley on 76 minutes.

But the visitors caused a frantic finale after top scorer Jack McGovern headed home to make it 3-1 on 86 minutes and then Rob Norris coolly lobbed the home keeper to set up a grandstand finish.

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Where next?

First Division North play-off semi-final review 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.
Ashforth on mission to return Lee Ashforth is on a mission to get Harrogate Railway Athletic back up into the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League after agreeing to stay on as manager.

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