Spalding go top of Midlands Division

By James Gordon

Spalding United’s fifth consecutive win at the weekend has them top of the Pitching In NPL Midlands Division going in to the final two weeks of the season.

Their attention will be diverted elsewhere this week, as they entertain National League North side Scunthorpe United in the Lincolnshire Senior Cup final.

But then their focus will be on an away trip to Sporting Khalsa on April 20, before a final home game against Coleshill Town on April 27 - two sides with nothing but pride to play for.

The 4-0 win over Sutton Coldfield Town has Spalding two points clear at the top, ahead of Anstey Nomads, though the Nomads crucially have a game in hand.

Their game this midweek is at home to a Corby Town side who need a win to keep their season alive, as they chase a play-off place.

Anstey then travel to Coleshill before hosting Sutton Coldfield Town on the final day.

The title race took a twist at the weekend when previous leaders Harborough Town were deducted six points for fielding an ineligible player.

A club statement said: “Harborough Town Football Club can confirm that following our league fixtures on Saturday 27th January 2024 versus Gresley Rovers FC and Saturday 3rd February 2024 versus Bedworth United FC, The FA charged the football club for fielding an ineligible player in a league fixture.

“The club recently received a fine from the FA and a further sanction of a one game suspension for the involved player, which has already been served, along with the initial 2 game suspension, which has also since been served by the player. The football club fully assisted the FA in their enquiries, and fully accept their findings.

“The FA charges have been passed on to The Northern Premier League and the Football Club has since been charged by The Northern Premier League under rule 6.9 – playing of an ineligible player. The football club has fully assisted the league with their enquiries and as with the FA charge, which is totally separate, fully accept their findings.

“Harborough Town Football Club would like to sincerely apologise to the players, the manager, and the management team, who have been nothing short of brilliant, so far this season. We would also like to sincerely apologise to our fantastic supporters, and everyone connected with the football club for this clerical error.

“We understand that this will be extremely difficult to comprehend how such oversights can occur, and the football club can assure you all that measures have been put in place to ensure that a repeat of this error cannot happen again.”

Harborough’s final two games are away at Sutton Coldfield Town and at home to Loughborough Dynamo. They now sit four points behind leaders Spalding, though they are already assured of a top three finish, and so are guaranteed a home play-off semi-final if they are unable to reach top spot.

The other two play-off spots are currently occupied by Hinckley LR (66) and Loughborough Dynamo (61).

Quorn (59), Lye Town (58) and Corby Town (54) can still make it, with Quorn and Corby having three games to play.

Photo credit: Darren Murphy

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