TRAFFORD and Glossop’s loss was WEST DIDSBURY & CHORLTON’s gain this week.
Ash Woods (above) and Martyn Andrews played for West earlier in the season before stepping up a level to play for Trafford and Glossop, respectively, in the Evo-Stik North.
Both sides were hoping to book a play-off spot on the final day of the regular season last Saturday but to have any chance they needed to win – against teams above them in the table.
Although Lee Neville’s last-minute equaliser gave Trafford a 1-1 draw away to Ossett Town, it wasn’t enough to finish in the top 5, while Andrews couldn’t stop Lancaster City winning 5-2 at Glossop to clinch the Evo-Stik North league title.
Trafford therefore finished 6th, just one place and 2 points outside the play-off places and an improvement on last season’s 8th-placed finish, while Glossop came 8th after losing in last season’s play-off semi-finals.
So with the season over for both Trafford and Glossop, and West Didsbury & Chorlton facing a fixture pile-up, they took the opportunity to bring the pair back for a busy final week in the North West Counties Premier.
Their South Manchester derby at MAINE ROAD on March 31 was abandoned due to an injury to Rick Williams but the rearranged game was played on Monday night. West welcomed Woods and Andrews back into their starting line-up and goals by Joe Shaw, Matty Kay and ex-Road striker Saul Henderson gave them a 3-0 victory.
Woods started again at Winsford on Wednesday night, heading in the opener before playing a fine ball in the build-up to the 2nd goal for Ben Steer. Steer struck again to seal a 3-1 victory and make it 5 wins on the bounce for West. They now end their campaign away to runners-up Bootle on Saturday but can’t quite match last season’s 5th-placed finish as they’re 6th, 12 points behind 1874 Northwich.
NEW MILLS suffered a 2nd straight relegation last Saturday but managed to beat Padiham 3-2 in midweek. The Millers end a dismal campaign at home to Squires Gate.
ABBEY HEY could match last season’s top-half finish if they win at Congleton Town while Maine Road may sneak above Abbey into 13th if they win at home to Ashton Athletic.
Back in the Evo-Stik North and RAMSBOTTOM UNITED came 14th after winning their last 2 games, Ryan Salmon scoring both goals in a 2-0 win at Burscough.
MOSSLEY also won their last 2 to not only ensure they avoided relegation but finish as high as 17th. A Tom Pratt brace helped them to a 3-2 win at Tadcaster on the final day, allowing the Lilywhites to leapfrog RADCLIFFE BOROUGH. Boro finished 3rd-bottom after a busy final month ended with a 5-1 home defeat by Prescot Cables, their 5th league defeat from 6 in April. Both DROYLSDEN and HYDE UNITED settled for a 0-0 draws on the road to finish 13th and 10th, respectively.
ASHTON UNITED came 11th in the Evo-Stik Premier after winning 1-0 at home to Ilkeston on the final day. The Robins will be joined by ALTRINCHAM and STALYBRIDGE CELTIC next season as both have been relegated from the National League North.
(Picture courtesy of Michael Ripley Photography)