The penultimate weekend started on the Friday night with Mansfield securing third place in the BSP after a fine 2-0 win at home to the team directly above them, Wrexham. A goal in each half from Anthony Howell gave the Stags the lead, but a spectacular second half goal from goalkeeper Alan Marriott secured all three points. Mansfield can be happy with the three points as this could be a dress rehearsal for the play off final, as the clubs placings mean they will avoid each other in the semi final draw.
Saturday’s games saw Champions Fleetwood’s stuttering form continued as their twenty nine game unbeaten run came to an end as they lost 2-0 at the Abbey Stadium. First half goals from Jack Eades and Rory McAuley saw off the Cod Army, who wil be disappointed that they couldn’t keep there excellent run going. York secured their place in the play offs with a 1-0 win away at Braintree. Erik Tonne scored in the second half to mean that the Minstermen, one of the favourites at the start of the season made sure they have a chance at returning to the League. Luton’s 1-0 win over play off rivals Kidderminster ensure that there would be something to play for on the last day of the season. A single goal from Robbie Willmott meant the Hatters took the harriers place in the top five with it all to play for next weekend.
Southport’s hopes of a place in the play offs ended with two very late goals conceded in an exciting 3-3 draw at home to Ebbsfleet. Ricky Shakes put the visitors ahead, only for Andy Owens and James Eliison gave Southport a slender half time lead. A Tony Gray penalty put the Sandgrounders in a strong position but they couldn’t hold on as two goals in the last two minutes from Liam Enver – Marum and Callum Willock. Forest Green piled on the misery for already relegated Darlington with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to the North East strugglers. Kieran Forbes and Yan Klukowski scored either side of half time to move Forest Green to eighth and leave Darlington stranded in 22nd place. Telford and Grimsby fought out a goalless draw at The Bucks Head, with neither team able to find a way past the opposition goalkeepers, who were both on excellent form.
Bath City moved off the bottom of the table, which they had occupied for nearly the whole season, with an excellent 4-2 at home to Gateshead. The Romans took a four goal lead through Adam Connolly, a Marc Canham brace and Andy Gallinagh but a late second half double from Mickey Cummins and Liam Hatch, but Bath earned their win and got the rewards for the battling spirit they have shown all season. Kettering and Barrow’s search for a win continued as a 1-1 draw condemned the Poppies to bottom place at Rockingham Road. David Bridges put the home side ahead on the stroke of half time, but Adam Boyes scored late in the second half to earn the Bluebirds a share of the points. Newport’s BSP future was secured with a 1-0 win at home to Alfreton with Romone Rose scoring the all important goal just a few minutes before half time. Second half goals from Danny O’ Donnell and Danny Hattersley were enough for Stockport to beat fellow mid table team Tamworth at Edgeley Park. Hayes & Yeading managed a spirited performance with ten men to win 1-0 away at Lincoln, but couldnt escape relegation after Newports win. Piero Mignola scored the winner to give them a chance at safety, but it was in vain as other results went against them.
Tuesday’s games saw Wrexham pick up the points in the Welsh derby against Newport. Adrian Cieslewicz scored just ten minutes into the match to continue Wrexham’s form ahead of the play offs. In the other game Gateshead and Luton fought out a goalless draw which gave Luton a two point lead over their rivals for fifth place Kidderminster with just the one game left.