CML Race Reaching Business End

Spare a thought for not one, not two, not even three, but the four football clubs sitting tightly bunched together at the top of the Central Midlands League Premier Division North, two of whom are from within the Nottinghamshire county borders.

Doncaster-based Club Thorne Colliery lead the way on 74 points (GD+54), sharply followed by the Notts duo of Retford United, and Newark Town, with 73 points each, then it’s Chesterfield’s Clay Cross Town on 71 points (GD+52) – and they’ve still all got each other to play over the final weeks of the season, Retford having played a game more.

In fact, the two, non-Notts sides, pivotally, and key to the run-in, would be playing each other twice in the run-in; on 16 April (at Clay Cross), followed by the return on 4 May (at Club Thorne), whilst Retford United and Newark Town, they’ve not only got a league encounter against each other to overcome, but also the small matter of a cup final.

Looking briefly at that of Club Thorne and Clay Cross, they have the following, handful of games remaining; Club Thorne (five remaining), as well as their title rivals, face that of Glapwell (a), Sheffield Reserves (a), and, in their final game, home to Retford United, meanwhile Clay Cross (five remaining) face Crowle Colts (h), Newark Town (h), Harworth Colliery (a), before they finish with that game against Club Thorne.

Now, what about those two Nottinghamshire sides, both of whom have reached cup finals as well this season.

RETFORD UNITED (2nd, 73 points, four games remaining, GD+70)

Following their midweek game with fifth-place Dinnington Town (a 5-0 win with Mark West, two, Mason Barlow, Igor Mlynarski, and an own-goal, the scorers), their last at Cannon Park this season, Liam Kay’s side know that, to stand any chance of winning the CML championship, they must win all remaining matches, and hope their rivals slip up against each other.

In the league, the Badgers face Sutton Rovers (a), Newark Town (a), St Joseph’s Rockware of Worksop (a), before the season finale for them against Club Thorne Colliery (a); add into that mix, two, cup finals appearances, it’s going to be interesting season’s end.

Those two cup finals, one of which is entrenched in the run-in, sees the Badgers face Sherwood Colliery Reserves, on Wednesday 27 April, at Sheffield FC, and the Home of Football Stadium, between their last two league games, before a season finale, on Tuesday 10 May, at Greenwich Avenue (Outside Pitch #1), in the final of the Nottinghamshire FA Senior Trophy, against rivals, Newark Town.

NEWARK TOWN (3rd, 73 points, five games remaining, GD+70)

Also playing in midweek, Newark Town welcomed Crowle Colts to the YMCA Sports Village (winning 5-0 with Lewis Chambers, two, alongside one apiece for Ainsley Finney, James Gardner, and Chanju Mphande), Nathan Arnold’s Blues aware that their run-in contains two of the three title challengers, and that, season-ending, cup final.

First up for Newark is that of Dearne & District (a), before the first of two clashes with local rivals Retford United (h), then it’s the other challenger, Clay Cross (a) three days later; finishing the league campaign off there’s a game with Harworth Colliery (h), before an early May final with Glapwell (a).

And after all that, there’s the small matter of the afore-mentioned, Notts FA Senior Trophy Final, against Retford United, on Tuesday 10 May, in Basford.

REMAINING FIXTURES (subject to change)

CLUB THORNE COLLIERY (74) – Clay Cross Town (A, 16 April), Glapwell (A, 22 April), Sheffield Reserves (A, 30 April), Clay Cross Town (H, 4 May), Retford United (H, 7 May)

RETFORD UNITED (73) – Sutton Rovers 2007 (A, 16 April), Newark Town (A, 20 April), SJR Worksop (A, 23 April), Club Thorne Colliery (A, 7 May) ALSO Sherwood Colliery Reserves (N, 27 April, Abacus Floodlit Cup Final), Newark Town (N, 10 May, Notts FA Senior Trophy Final)

NEWARK TOWN (73) – Dearne & District (A, 16 April), Retford United (H, 20 April), Clay Cross Town (A, 23 April), Harworth Colliery (H, 30 April), Glapwell (A, 7 May) ALSO Retford United (N, 10 May, Notts FA Senior Trophy Final)

CLAY CROSS TOWN (73) – Club Thorne Colliery (H, 16 April), Crowle Colts (H, 19 April), Newark Town (H, 23 April), Haworth Colliery (A, 26 April), Clay Cross Town (H, 4 May)

*information correct at time of writing, 14/04/22

*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).

*Main image @NewarkTownFC Max Jemson of Newark who has a famous footballing father.

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