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York Minster Engineering League title race all set to go down to the wire
3:44pm Wednesday 5th March 2014 in Sport
THE top teams in the York Minster Engineering Football League premier division all won to maintain the status quo in the race for the championship.
Old Malton St Mary’s gained a clear-cut 3-0 win at home to York RI, with goals from player-boss Darren Dunning, Marcus Godsell and Dean Nuttall keeping a five-point gap between them and secondplaced Riccall United.
Riccall recorded a straightforward 5-0 victory at Poppleton to stay on title target. Liam Brown hit a hattrick, with Ross Gemmell and Chris Coxon also finding the target.
Third-placed Huntington, meanwhile, continued their good form with a 6-3 win over York St John University, while Dunnington, in fourth, also won, 3-1 against Aviva, to sustain their slim hopes of retaining their crown.
The title race increasingly looks like being between the top two, however.
St Mary’s have five games to go but the title is in Riccall’s hands, as they have two matches in hand.
Elsewhere, Terrington Glory came back from the dead to gain three points at home to a shell-shocked Wigginton.
The visitors took the lead on the half-hour mark through Lee Stewart, and doubled it after the interval thanks to a thunderous 20- yard strike from Dan Zambelli.
But Glory got straight back into the game thanks to Johnny Brown’s header from a corner.
Three minutes later the scores were level as Josh Ward drove a low shot into the far corner from 18 yards.
Matty Bower and Brown scored quick-fire headers to give Terrington a 4-2 lead, before Danny Lamb gave Wigginton late hope. It finished 4-3, though, consolidating the Ryedale side’s sixth place in the table.
There was woe for Malton & Norton, however, as their trapdoor fate in division one has now been sealed. Second half goals from Chris Fairhurst and Will Richmond gave the host opponents Tockwith a 2-0 victory, and condemned M&N to relegation to division two.
The Ryedale side have one game left but are four points from safety.
Neighbours Brooklyn, for so long in the promotion picture, look certain to finish fourth, with hopes of going up now over.
They drew 1-1 at a decent Hemingbrough team on Saturday, despite struggling at times to play their best fluent football amid poor conditions, and despite coming up against controversial refereeing decisions.
Andrew Philips had a big appeal for a penalty turned down after he was seemingly taken out after rounding the goalkeeper with an open goal in front of him. David Thompson then had a headed goal disallowed.
Philips also set up another chance when he played the ball across the box to Ryan Boyd, but his effort was saved, while Thompson missed a glorious chance when his lofted effort went wide.
Brooklyn continued to press but were hit by a sucker punch just before half-time as Hemingbrough took advantage of some sloppy play to go a goal up.
Brooklyn responded in the second half, with centre-back Kristian Wilkinson capping a man-of-thematch display when pulling his side level. He controlled the ball on his chest and toe-poked it into the top corner.
They endured another blow with half an hour remaining as left-back Neil Alexander was sent off after an off-the-ball incident, but they stepped up a gear.
Sean Walker thought he had won the game but Philips accidentally got in the way of the goalbound effort, and late dominance brought no reward.
In division three, Stamford Bridge beat third-placed York Acorn 4-0 thanks to strikes from John Cavanagh, Oliver Lee and Sheridan Fletcher, plus an own goal.
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