As the likes of Nottingham Forest, Mansfield Town and Notts County all focus on furthering their status towards promotion glory this weekend, those ball players based in the county from the lower echelons and long beneath professional football have mixed goals as their seasons near complete.
In the Northern Premier Division it’s been testing times for Basford United with Chairman Chris Munroe speaking out this week.
Munroe who built the team almost from scratch to a competitive beast just three tiers from the football league has seen his side fall off a cliff in recent months, towards the pecking order of the promotion places at the start of the season, United now languish third bottom in the table after a sour run that has left them struggling for survival.
Munroe commented “I have questioned myself constantly through this and it has proved a massive learning curve” after admitting “This season has been really disappointing – the worst in my tenure.”
Basford who were beaten 1-0 at home to Warrington on Tuesday night have four games remaining, starting at home to high flying Matlock Town on Saturday, before Easter weekend matches at Stafford Rangers and at home to Mickleover ending the season at Witton Albion who are currently second bottom, on Saturday 23rd April.
Whilst United hope to ‘stay up’, both Worksop Town and Carlton Town still just about aim to ‘go up’ as both hovering in their respective leagues a little outside the playoff zones.
In the Northern Premier League East Division, Worksop are currently seventh and nine points off the playoff places having slipped to a 3-0 defeat against fifth placed Shildon last time out.
The Tigers slim hopes maybe dwindling away with just four matches remaining as they travel to Ossett United next, the West Yorkshire outfit are ninth in the table and an away win could re-ignite Craig Parry’s sides hopes with just three matches thereafter remaining.
In the NPL Midlands Division Carlton Town are sixth and a place and seven points outside the playoffs.
In a huge week for the Millers, they take on fifth placed Belper at home in what will be the proverbial six pointer, before hosting Nottingham Forest U23’s in the semi-final of the Notts FA County Cup on Tuesday.
In the Northern Counties East League Sherwood Colliery have missed out on their quest for promotion as they go into their last game of the season tomorrow at Barton Town in fifth place and four points below second placed Eccleshill United.
AFC Mansfield safe from relegation in sixteenth host Garforth Town who still have a slim chance of a second placed finish should Eccleshill slip up. Grimsby Borough with an eleven point cushion had already taken the title at a canter.
In the Division below, there’s nothing to play for other than pride and placings on the final day for our counties clubs with the best of those, Retford FC currently in eighth at Swallownest, should the Chough’s win they could move to seventh at best whilst a win for twelfth placed Ollerton in the derby at Rainworth Miners Welfare, could see the Reds move up two places, a win for the Wrens could move them up a place to a sixteenth spot finish.
Finally in the division, already occupying two of the three relegation places are Clipstone and Teversal with neither sides able to save their fate with destiny, Clipstone host Armthorpe Welfare tomorrow whilst Teversal entertain champions Hallam, the Sheffield outfit already have 99 points.
Two teams still looking to avoid relegation this season include Newark FC and Selston. Both struggling in the United Counties Premier Division North, Fifteenth place Newark have a daunting trip to third place Anstey Nomads on Saturday whilst Selston host neighbours Eastwood CFC who in fourteenth are just two places above their weekend welcomers a place above the drop zone, the Red Badgers however do have enough points, not to get sucked in.
The division below is far more positively exciting for our clubs with four to play. The UCL First Division currently topped by Kimberley Miners Welfare who have 100 points, nine clear of second placed Hinckley who they beat in a thrilling match 3-2 last weekend. Kimberley need at least a win and a draw from their remaining games to ensure the title is theirs. The Miners next face Bourne Town in Leicestershire tomorrow.
Pushing in the playoff zone not too distant from Kimberley are Radford and Hucknall who are fourth and fifth respectively. Radford travel to Saffron Dynamo on Saturday whilst Hucknall host Hinckley, they could do Kimberley a favour with a win.
Elsewhere seventh placed Dunkirk host Holwell Sports whilst Clifton travel to Aylestone Park. Mid table Gedling Miners Welfare travel to Lutterworth Athletic whilst West Bridgford welcome Barrow to Regatta Way.
Finally the title race is hotting up to melting point in the Central Midlands League Premier North Division as Retford United, Newark Town and Club Thorne Colliery all head the way on 70 points.
Both Retford and Newark are actually in Notts Senior Trophy semi final action this weekend as the Badgers take on Awsworth Villa whilst Town travel to Ruddington Village both of the NSL.
The Notts Senior League is equally as competitive at the top as the CML with two points separating the top four teams. Keyworth United, Southwell City, Stapleford Town and Woodthorpe Park Rangers all eyeing up a potential championship over the next remaining weeks.
Saturday 9th April’s (local featuring) non league games (*All matches kick off at 3pm)…
- Basford United v Matlock Town (Northern Premier Division)
- Ossett United v Worksop Town (Northern Premier Division East League)
- Carlton Town v Belper Town (Northern Premier Division Midlands League)
- AFC Mansfield v Garforth Town (Northern Counties East League Premier Division)
- Barton Town v Sherwood Colliery (Northern Counties East League Premier Division)
- Clipstone v Armthorpe Welfare (Northern Counties East League Division One)
- Rainworth Miners Welfare v Ollerton Town (Northern Counties East League Division One)
- Swallownest v Retford (Northern Counties East League Division One)
- Teversal v Hallam (Northern Counties East League Division One)
- Anstey Nomads v Newark (United Counties League Premier Division North)
- Selston v Eastwood Community (United Counties League Premier Division North)
- Aylestone Park v Clifton All Whites (United Counties League Division One)
- Bourne Town v Kimberley Miners Welfare (United Counties League Division One)
- Dunkirk v Holwell Sports (United Counties League Division One)
- Hucknall Town v Hinckley (United Counties League Division One)
- Lutterworth Athletic v Gedling Miners Welfare (United Counties League Division One)
- Saffron Dynamo v Radford (United Counties League Division One)
- West Bridgford v Barrow Town (United Counties League Division One)
- Retford United v Awsworth Villa (Notts FA Senior Trophy Semi Final)
- Ruddington Village v Newark Town (Notts FA Senior Trophy Semi Final)
*Main image @worksoptownfc the Tigers are in action this weekend at Ossett United.