Loan watch - play-offs beckon for Brad
ROUND-UP BY JOHN EDWARDS
Buxton 3 Brackley 1
Brad Jackson is on course for a spot of overtime after Buxton continued their outstanding form with an excellent win that kept their play-off hopes very much alive in the Vanarama National League North.
The on-loan Alty winger was again in the starting line-up as the Bucks took the game to their promotion rivals and went 2-0 up inside half-an-hour.
The lead became 3-0 in the 43rd minute when former Alty midfielder Connor Kirby fired home an unstoppable shot from distance to crown an individual performance that won him the man-of-the-match award.
Brackley reduced the arrears a minute later, but the points were in the bag for the in-form Bucks by the time Brad became part of a double substitution that saw the introduction of former Alty skipper Jake Moult in the 82nd minute.
Buxton are seventh in the table, one point ahead of Chorley and Kidderminster Harriers, as they head into next Saturday's final scheduled fixture away to Chester, knowing that victory would assure them of a place in the play-offs.
Darlington 1 King's Lynn Town 3
Darlington's play-off hopes in the National League North aren't looking quite so bright - in fact, they're hanging by the slenderest of threads after this latest defeat for Alun Armstrong's team.
The Quakers travel to Peterborough Sports next Saturday hoping against hope that four of the other six teams competing for seventh place all lose and that the other two, Gloucester City and Chorley, draw with each other. Even then, a Darlington side on a terrible run of form would have to win away to the team immediately below them by a big enough margin to overturn a deficit of six on goal difference.
That's the unlikely equation they are pinning their hopes on after a line-up that included Alty centre-back Jake Cooper among the substitutes stumbled to another defeat, this time at the hands of leaders King's Lynn.
By the time Jake was introduced in the 57th minute, Darlington were already 3-0 behind, a penalty reducing the arrears in the 72nd minute.
Widnes 1 1874 Northwich 0
Alty youngster Sharif Deans is another whose season is heading for extra time after Widnes finished fourth from bottom in the Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division, leaving them facing a relegation play-off game next Saturday.
Sharif was in the starting line-up and almost set up an early breakthrough with a run down the left and low cross that just failed to reach a team-mate in only the fourth minute.
Soon after, the Alty striker found half-a-yard of space in the area and needed no second invitation to try his luck with a shot that flew over the bar.
A low shot into the corner of the net by Laurence Smith gave Widnes a deserved lead in the 65th minute, and it was almost 2-0 four minutes later when another firmly-struck shot from Sharif was superbly saved by the Northwich keeper.
Four minutes into added time, Sharif helped run down the clock by winning a free-kick deep in Northwich territory, and the final whistle sounded moments later to signal a victory that reflected the home side's recent improvement in form.
Mossley 1 Macclesfield 3
Mossley were very much in it against the NPL West Division champions, with Eden Bailey again to the fore, until a red card around the half-hour mark left them facing an uphill task.
Alty frontrunner Eden flicked a chance over in the eighth minute and was on the end of a slick Mossley move in the 24th minute with an effort that was well saved.
Mossley conceded in the 27th minute and were reduced to 10 men soon after, but they were back on terms with a Mason Fawns penalty in the 33rd minute.
Eden was just crowded out by two defenders as Mossley made light of their numerical disadvantage and pressed for a second goal before half-time. Instead, it was Macclesfield who went in with a lead, as they made it 2-1 in the 45th minute.
Ten minutes from time, Eden was substituted, and the visitors made sure of the points with a third goal in 90th minute.
Burscough 0 Northwich Victoria 1
Alty full-back Joe Cooney was on the bench for Northwich Victoria as they made it six straight wins to bring the curtain down on manager Steve Wilkes' reign in style. Wilkes is leaving after five-and-a-half years in charge and with his side in fifth place in the North West Counties League Premier Division.