The Non-League Football Paper - - NPL WEST & NPL EAST - By Ray Tat­ton

LEEK Town leapfrogged Prescot Ca­bles into the play-offs with a 2-1 vic­tory over sec­ond-placed Rad­cliffe thanks to a first-half blitz from the Blues.

For­mer Manch­ester City player Jon Macken saw his side fall be­hind in­side 17 min­utes when Aaron Bott slid home a teas­ing cross from Robert Steven­son to hand Leek the lead.

Striker Dan Trick­et­tSmith had a chance to dou­ble the lead, but he could only blaze over from close range, be­fore a rocket from Steven­son was palmed clear by a fine save from Ol­lie Martin.

But Leek fi­nally had their re­ward for a pe­riod of sus­tained pres­sure when a poor clear­ance from Martin found the feet of Trick­ett-Smith who splen­didly fired in from dis­tance to shock Rad­cliffe.

But the Boro were gifted some hope af­ter the restart when a neat ball from Tunde Owolabi found Louis My­ers to prod home and re­duce the deficit with his third goal since his re­turn from in­jury.

Rad­cliffe’s Lewis Short al­most headed into his own goal mid­way through the sec­ond-half as the vis­i­tors were un­able to find the all-im­por­tant equaliser on the day.

Traf­ford in­flicted a 3-0 de­feat on Chase­town as Liam El­lis came off the sub­sti­tutes bench to cap off a fine dis­play for the hosts.

The North didn’t have to wait long for their opener as Matt Bryan fired in on 18 min­utes with a neat fin­ish into the bot­tom cor­ner.

Then eight min­utes be­fore the break Jimmy Moore dou­bled his side’s ad­van­tage with a well­struck ef­fort to open up a two-goal lead.

They al­most had three had Cur­tis Pond not been at his level best to deny the Traf­ford strike force, but it mat­tered lit­tle as El­lis struck the third three min­utes from time. Else­where, New­cas­tle

Town were made to rue a hand­ful of missed chances as rel­e­ga­tion can­di­dates Skelmers­dale United forced a 1-1 draw from the penalty spot in added time.

Cas­tle dom­i­nated the first half but only had a Josh Glover goal on 18 min­utes to show for all their dom­i­nance of the open­ing half.

The striker pow­ered home the opener from close range to put his side ahead.

The hosts had plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­tend their ad­van­tage with cen­tre-back Kyle Stubb’s header sail­ing nar­rowly over and Con­nor Heath strik­ing wide.

Then when Glover was set away for a one-on-one, the for­ward could only hit the post – a miss he would later re­gret when the vis­i­tors came roar­ing out the blocks at the start of the sec­ond half.

Fol­low­ing the restart, Skelmers­dale be­gan push­ing Town back and were re­warded when Cas­tle con­ceded what ap­peared to be a pretty harsh penalty.

Up stepped Michael White, but he could only find the gloves of keeper Matt John­son, who pushed his ef­fort safely wide of the post.

Smith in the vis­i­tors’ goal saved well from Josh Glover's header but the vis­i­tors equalised four min­utes into added time from the penalty spot as Ge­orgie Don­nelly fired home to claim a sixth away draw of the sea­son for United.

Colne com­pleted a com­fort­able 1-0 win over Kids­grove Ath­letic thanks to a soli­tary goal by Alex Cur­ran from the penalty spot.

In a game of few chances for ei­ther side, a mo­ment of in­spi­ra­tion or reck­less­ness was al­ways go­ing to swing the tie and that’s ex­actly what hap­pened when a Colne man was felled in the area.

Cur­ran stepped up and slot­ted the ball into the net to claim the win on 50 min­utes. Mean­while, Droyls­den’s clash with Glos­sop

North End had to be aban­doned due to flood­light fail­ure mid­way through the sec­ond half of the fix­ture.

The hosts were ahead through Sefton Gon­za­les af­ter 38 min­utes, but the Bloods were de­nied the points when the lights went out mo­ments into the start of the sec­ond half.

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