Loan watch - hot-shot Sharif to the rescue for Widnes
ROUND-UP BY JOHN EDWARDS
Kidsgrove Athletic 1 Widnes 1
Widnes live to fight another day in their battle to stay in the Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division - and it's largely down to Altrincham striker Sharif Deans.
The Alty youngster started on the bench, and his team-mates were still looking for a way back into the game, after conceding early on, when he was part of a double substitution in the 68th minute.
Within four minutes, Sharif was on the receiving end of a crunching high challenge that brought its perpetrator a yellow card, and, a minute after that, he went close to an equaliser with a great strike that was brilliantly saved.
Time was running out, but when a long clearance by the keeper was flicked on in the 90th minute, there was Sharif to stretch out a boot and hit a volley that the keeper parried but couldn't prevent looping into the net to spark jubilant celebrations among the Widnes contingent on the touchline.
Widnes go into their final game next weekend still hopeful of staying up, manager Michael Ellison reflecting on Sharif's point-saver and saying: 'That could be a massive goal for us.'
Alsager Town 2 Abbey Hey 2
Plenty of Alty interest in the Alsager ranks, as usual, with Ryan Forde in goal, Dion Siboko Bohe dropping back from wing to right-back, Ewan McGeady switching flanks to left-back and Eddie Igeze on the bench.
Ewan showed plenty of attacking intent early on with a forceful run and shot that went narrowly over before Abbey Hey went ahead in the 15th minute.
The Bullets managed an equaliser early in the second half and, after conceding again soon after, almost came up with another when Dion made great progress down the wing and laid on a chance that was blazed over.
A second equaliser did materialize late on, as Alsager rounded off their campaign with a draw that left them in 16th place in the North West Counties League Division One South, nine points above the bottom three.
Scarborough Athletic 0 Buxton 1
Buxton's remarkable renaissance from Vanarama National League North strugglers to promotion candidates continued apace, with Brad Jackson again playing a full part in what was an outstanding win on the North Yorkshire coast.
It was still on a knife-edge at 0-0 when Alty winger Brad was substituted in the 72nd minute, but the points went Buxton's way in dramatic fashion when Scott Boden forced home a winner in the 89th minute.
The in-form Bucks are now just goal difference behind Alfreton Town, who occupy the final play-off position.
Brackley Town 3 Darlington 0
Jake Cooper got another valuable 90 minutes under his belt, but it wasn't the way he would have wanted as Darlington's promotion hopes suffered a serious setback at fourth-placed Brackley.
Brackley went in front just before the end of an evenly-fought first-half, and the writing was on the wall for Darlington just after the hour mark when they were reduced to 10 men over a penalty incident that led to the home side's second goal.
A third goal followed in added time, and Darlington found themselves slipping to eighth in the National League North table, outside the play-off places on goal difference.
City of Liverpool 0 Mossley 0
An afternoon of frustration for Mossley's players, none more so than Eden Bailey, who went unrewarded after doing his utmost to secure the points that would have kept his side's promotion hopes alive going into next weekend's final round of games.
The Alty frontrunner was involved in some bright approach play in the early stages and almost provided a breakthrough in the 38th minute as he broke clear of his marker, only to be foiled by a last-ditch challenge as he prepared to shoot.
Eden went close again in the 58th minute, timing his run to perfection to stay onside but firing fractionally over, and he was heavily involved in another slick Mossley move that almost paid dividends on the hour.
A brilliant piece of skill took him into the area, and the resulting low cross produced the opportunity for a shot that was deflected wide.
After another late chance went begging, following excellent hold-up play by Eden, the win Mossley needed to stay in contention for the play-offs eluded them and meant there will be NPL West Division football at Seel Park again next season.
Northwich Victoria 3 Ashton Athletic 1
Young Alty defender Joe Cooney earned himself promotion to the Northwich starting line-up at right-back and glowing praise from manager Steve Wilkes for his contribution during his loan spell with Vics.
'I've been really pleased with Joe's attitude throughout his time with us,' said Wilkes. 'He hasn't had that much game time but has never complained and has just got on with it. He thoroughly deserved this opportunity in the starting line-up.'
Irlam 2 Charnock 1
Alty midfield prospect Owen German was in Irlam's starting line-up as they secured their place in the North West Counties League Premier Division for another season.
They suffered a late scare, though, in a dramatic finale, with Charnock equalising in the 94th minute, two minutes before Owen was substituted, and then Jacob Holt forcing home a winner two minutes after that.
*Zak Goodson missed Spennymoor's win over Kettering Town as he is still recovering from a slight knock.