Blue Square Premier League – Fleetwood crowned champions

by Stephen Fallows

Fleetwood stumbled again in their attempt to win the Blue Square title for the second time in a matter of days as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Lincoln City, and they were happy to end up with a point after falling two goals behind to the Imps. Jamie Taylor and Jefferson Louis put the visitors in a strong position before Jamie Vardy scored a brace to leave them a point short of the Championship.

However, Saturday finally saw Fleetwood win the title without playing, as Wrexham were also held to a 2-2 draw when a needing a win to keep their title bid alive. The Dragons were ahead twice during the game through Jake Speight and Chris Westwood but were couldn’t stop Grimsby twice coming back with goals from Anthony Elding and Andi Thanoj which left Wrexham looking at promotion through the play offs.

Mansfield’s fine end of season run continued as they beat Hayes & Yeading 3-1 away from home. Anthony Howell scored an early goal for the Stags before Piero Mingoia score to leave the score level at half time. Two goals in four minutes from Ross Dyer and Matthew Green were enough for Mansfield to almost make certain their place in the top five.  Kidderminster’s play off hopes received a healthy boost as they thrashed already relegated Kettering 6-1 at Aggborough despite the Poppies taking the lead through Ben Ford. A brace from Nick Wright along with goals from Anthony Malbon, Ryan Rowe, Luke Jones and Mike Williams won the points in a one sided match.

York stayed in fifth spot despite drawing at home to Newport, who picked up a much-needed point in their battle against safety. Nat Jarvis scored for the visitors but Jason Walker equalizer earned a share of the spoils.  Southport made sure they were in the hunt for a place in the end of season games with 2-2 draw away at Tamworth. Shaun Whalley an a Tony Gray penalty put the visitors two up, but they couldn’t hold on as Iyesden Christie and Connor Gudger scored second half goals as they game finished all square.  Luton couldn’t close the gap on the play offs but still have a chance of reaching them after they were held to a goalless draw away at Alfreton.  Gateshead kept their play off hopes alive when Jon Shaw scored the only goal of the game as they moved to just four points of the top five.

Barrow’s recent poor run of form continued as they lost 3-1 at home to Cambridge United. Michael Gash put the visitors ahead before Jack Mackreth equalized for the Bluebirds. Harry Pell put the U’s head again before half time, and Kevin Roberts secured the result.  Stockport ensured their survival in the BSP after a long and sometimes torturous season for their fans with a 1-1 draw at home to Braintree. Danny Hattersley scored for the home side and they almost did enough for all three points, but an injury time goal from Brad Quinton equalized.  Ebbsfleet just about won the points at home to Telford after they nearly threw a three-goal lead to edge the visitors out 3-2. Michael West and a brace from Liam Enver – Marum put the home side in a very comfortable position but second half strikes from Adam Proudlock and Ryan Brooke briefly put the result in doubt but Ebbsfleet managed to hold on.

Darlington drew 2-2 against Bath City in a game that saw plenty of action in the last ten minutes, but also confirmed Darlington’s relegation into the Blue Square North. The hosts went two up thanks to Adam Rundle and Haydn Hollis, but Alex Russell and Scott Murray scored in the last few minutes to earn a share of the points.

On Tuesday night York moved up into third place with a 1-0 win away at Cambridge. Jason Walker scored for the second successive game to earn a vital win. Luton hit three goals against Ebbsfleet as they moved to within two points of the play off positions. Two from Stuart Fleetwood and a last minute strike from Craig McAllister won the points for the Hatters.

Telford secured their place in the league next season with a 1-0 win at home to Tamworth with Phil Trainer scoring the only goal of the game deep into the second half. Newport moved closer to safety with a goalless draw at home to relegated Darlington, a result that moved them six points ahead of the bottom four.

With only two rounds of games left, Jamie Vardy of Fleetwood is heading the goalscorers list with 31 goals for the year, Matt Green of Mansfield and Jon Shaw of Gateshead are currently in joint second three goals behind.

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