Middle ground awaits in title pursuit

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Weekend match preview Weekend match preview

Thackley and Brighouse Town still have Premier Division title ambitions in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League but both must win against mid-table opposition on Saturday to stay on track.

The Dennyboys are at home to Garforth Town, who have tailed off badly following a good start to the campaign and are in 13th spot.

Thackley could climb back up to third with a win and they would still have three games in hand over leaders Barton Town – but they will have to put last Saturday’s derby defeat at Brighouse behind them.

Brighouse built on that win over their neighbours by banking another three points at home in midweek that took them up to fifth.

They did then lose that place to Albion Sports on Wednesday, despite Kulwinder Sandhu’s men being held to a home draw.

Albion are forced to sit it out this weekend as there is an odd number of teams in the top tier.

If Town are to make it three wins on the spin, they will have to earn it on the road this weekend.

They make the journey to Glasshoughton Welfare and although Paul Quinn’s side still have enough games in hand to ascend to the summit, they must make the most of opportunities against mid-table clubs.

Liversedge will be looking for their first points since before Christmas when they host Long Eaton United in the same division.

Sedge have been frustrated by three postponements this year but have also lost their last two league games.

Sedge, who are a lowly 17th, are only three places behind Long Eaton but it is hardly an even battle as the visitors boast a 13-point advantage and also have three games in hand.

Eccleshill United will be expected to win at Dronfield Town in Division One.

The Eagles are soaring in fifth place and their Sheffield-based hosts are down in 17th, although it is their debut season in the league.

Two draws from their last four league fixtures have cost Lee Duxbury’s side much-needed points and they are now nine adrift of the leaders.

But, following a difficult holiday period, when Duxbury’s squad was down to the bare bones, Eccleshill are almost back to full strength.

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