Tuesday 11th April
Hallam FC 0-1 Emley AFC
Following their turnaround victory against second placed Winterton Rangers at the weekend, Hallam knew they could spoil another party with the visit of the Pewits on Tuesday night. Emley required 4 points from the final two games of the season to allow a smash and grab of second spot, qualifying them for a promotion playoff game against step 5 opposition.
Before the game the rain and wind arrived creating scenes which depicted a January fixture (more so than the approach of springtime) but due to the fantastic work of the ground staff at Hallam the game went ahead.
With everything to play for, Emley had the most of the play in the first half but we're kept at bay by the impressive Hugo Warhurst in the Hallam goal.
Just before the half hour mark Emley earned themselves a penalty but they were to be denied again by Warhurst who palmed the ball to his right. Emley were unable to dispatch the rebound as the conditions grew harsher on both teams.
Despite the biblical conditions, 520 were in attendance on the night and many looked to seek refuge in the clubhouse as the referee blew for half time.
As things stood Emleys promotion hopes were still alive and if it wasn't for another impressive Warhurst stop Emley could have taken the lead early in the second half. Hugo making an excellent stop to his right hand side for the second time in the evening.
The Pewits huffed and puffed but we're unable to get through an impenetrable Hallam defense and we're left to rue their missed opportunities as Degrolamo finished a scramble in the box to put the Countrymen ahead in the 75th minute.
Scenes of heartbreak played out for Emley as the referee blew the final whistle but they can take comfort in the fact that although their promotion dreams may be over they still have a league cup semi-final and a county cup final to look forward to!
Hallam continued their recent good form finishing their season very strongly. Despite a tricky start Hallam grew well into the NCEL Premier division and will no doubt be focussing on a play-off push when the league returns in the Summer.
Parkgate 2-1 Dronfield
Parkgate went into their final home game of the season knowing a point against out of form Dronfield would be enough to avoid the drop. The rejuvenated Steelmen sparked scenes of jubilation just two minutes into the game as Ahmed Tahoe opened the scoring in front of an impressive crowd of 230.
Dronfield equalled the scoring on the 54th minute but it was former Sheffield FC man Josh Nodder who guaranteed survival with the winner on the 80th minute. The result guaranteed Parkgate's NCEL division one status and meant that fellow strugglers Swallownest were now destined to finish in the bottom three.
Wednesday 12th April.
Swallownest 1-1 Brigg Town
Swall went into the game knowing that a heroic climb out of the bottom three was an impossibility after Parkgates impressive performance the evening before. Brigg Town took the lead on the 61st minute and twenty minutes later Jack Hallam ensured Swall ended their season with a draw as he netted in front of 126 at the Swall Siro.
Swallownest finish in the bottom three however due to a superior PPG in comparison to other Step 6 clubs it seems likely that Swallownest will retain their NCEL division one status. More on this will be revealed by the FA once all step 6 leagues have been completed. More information on the PPG number crunching can be found here:
Hallam 1-0 Emley AFC
Parkgate 2-1 Dronfield
Armthorpe 3-1 Athersley Recreation
Swallownest 1-1 Brigg Town 1