Blue Square Bet Premier League – Easter Review

by Stephen Fallows

Blue SquareThe Easter schedule is always a busy one, and with so many postponements during January and February, a lot of clubs still have a few games to catch up with which means the end of the season will most likely be a test of endurance as well as form. Many of the leagues teams will be playing four games in the next seven days and with things so close at the top and bottom of the league, there is still much to play for.

Easter Saturday

Kidderminster Harriers stayed top of the league thanks to a 2-1 victory against Braintree Town which saw them keep their one point lead over second placed Mansfield Town, who have three games in hand over the Harriers. The Stags won a tight contest against Tamworth 1-0 to open up an eight point gap to third, surely now the league will be won by one of those teams now. Wrexham stayed in third after losing 2-0 away at Hyde United, just ahead of Newport County who drew 0-0 against Dartford. Grimsby stayed in the final play off spot despite dropping two points against lowly Barrow, who did themselves the world of good at the other end of the table with a hard earned point.

At the other end of the table Telford became the first team in all of the top five divisions in England to be relegated, after a comprehensive 3-0 defeat at home to Nuneaton. Ebbsfleet ‘s 2-0 defeat at home to Forest Green left them perilously close to the drop, now eleven points from safety. Barrow’s draw left them three points from safety and two behind Stockport, who could only draw 1-1 at Macclesfield Town.

Bank Holiday Monday

Just 48 hours later saw another full programme, with Kidderminster, Mansfield and Newport all winning, leaving the top two still comfortably clear and the Exiles leapfrogging their Welsh rivals. Wrexham’s goalless draw still keeps them comfortably in the play offs along with Grimsby, whose 2-1 win at Stockport opened up a four point gap to sixth in the league.

With Telford already relegated, and Ebbsfleet running out of games to pick up the 11 points they need to catch up with Southport (who currently hold 20th position). It looks like the two remaining spots could go down to the wire. Barrow picked up another point at home to Hyde while Stockport’s defeat meant that only six points cover from 15th to 22nd in the Blue Square Premier.

Midweek

The big midweek game saw third placed Wrexham take three points against second placed Mansfield in a 2-1 win which left Kidderminster just one point clear at the top. Newport dropped back to fourth after a goalless draw away at Cambridge United, while Grimsby opened the gap to sixth to seven points after a fine 31 win away at Grimsby.

Barrow picked up their third draw in a row against Ebbsfleet, a result which did neither of the teams any favours, but moved the hosts a point closer to the safety of 20th position.

Just two weeks remains of the season, and Luton, Dartford, Braintree and Ebbsfleet, somehow have to fit six games into those fourteen days.

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