ECCLESHILL United are officially safe in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, having rounded off an excellent March with the win they needed to survive.

A grim season had left Lee Elam’s side in major danger and a 3-1 midweek defeat against Knaresborough Town at the start of last month left them just three points clear of the drop with eight games to go.

But their last five games have produced three wins and a draw, including Saturday’s 1-0 victory at rock-bottom Maltby Main.

Only the side finishing at the foot of the division will be relegated this season, with Eccleshill’s victory taking them an unassailable nine points clear of Maltby, who only have two games remaining.

They look likeliest to go down, though could yet overtake fellow strugglers Pickering Town and Goole by winning their final two games.

But defeat on Saturday was a huge blow for them, with Eccleshill’s winner coming from striker Harvey Booth two minutes after the break, his first goal for the club.

Albion Sports are on the brink of securing a play-off spot after securing a 1-0 win over Barton Town thanks to Ashley Flynn’s goal on the hour mark on Saturday.

He headed home at the back post from Aran Basi’s flick on, with that victory, in a game that ended 10-men apiece, meaning Albion could potentially secure their place in the end of season shootout as early as Wednesday night, when they host Bradford neighbours Campion.

Their visitors are already guaranteed a play-off place, but their hopes of finishing top, and with it, earning automatic promotion, were finally extinguished on Saturday.

The Red and Blacks were thumped 4-1 at fellow high-flyers Rossington Main, allowing leaders Emley to seal the title in style with a 5-0 win against Goole.

Thackley could yet squeeze out one of Rossington or Albion for that coveted final play-off spot, keeping their own faint hopes alive with a 2-1 home victory against Frickley Athletic on Saturday.

Ben Grech-Brooksbank and Finn Donovan were the men on target for the Dennyboys, who held on despite George Green's second half red card for dissent.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ben Grech-Brooksbank fires Thackley in front after only two minutes on Saturday.Ben Grech-Brooksbank fires Thackley in front after only two minutes on Saturday. (Image: Alex Daniel.)

It gives them a slight buffer over Penistone, whose own slim play-off hopes suffered a potentially fatal blow at Silsden over the weekend.

They lost 4-3 in BD20, with Kayle Price scoring a superb hat-trick for the hosts.

Over in the North West Counties Football League First Division North, Silsden’s neighbours Steeton are virtually safe after an excellent 4-2 win at fellow strugglers Garstang.

Steeton can no longer finish at the foot of the table, where Nelson currently reside in the only guaranteed relegation slot.

And while second-bottom Shelley and third-bottom Garstang are unlikely to go down due to a lack of viable amateur sides to replace them, the Chevrons are now seven points clear of them both.

The pair reside in the “official” relegation zone, with the two sides only having three games left to play each.

Brighouse Town are in trouble though, and sit just five points clear of the drop with six games to go in the Northern Premier League East Division after losing 3-1 at promotion-hunting Dunston on Saturday, in a game that saw all four goals come in the final 25 minutes.

Mid-table Liversedge had their home game with Hebburn Town on Saturday called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

In the division above, Guiseley’s play-off hopes suffered a damaging blow as they lost 3-2 at home to ninth-placed Lancaster City.

Finally, Farsley Celtic ground out a crucial goalless draw at home to Southport in National League North, despite going down to 10 men late on when Tom Allan was sent off for two bookable offences.

The Celts are now three points clear of the drop with five games left to play.