WITTON Albion missed the chance to jump into the Northern Premier League West Division play-off places today.

With City of Liverpool – the team currently occupying the final spot – only managing a draw at Newcastle Town, a victory would have taken Jon Macken’s men into the top five.

However, they were beaten 2-1 at Hanley Town having failed to recover from going behind early to Lucas Baker’s eighth-minute goal.

Dylan Scott doubled the hosts’ lead with three minutes to go and while Joe Duckworth pulled a goal back for Albion from the penalty spot as the clock ticked into injury time, Witton could not find an equaliser.

The result drops Albion to seventh in the table, two points shy of the play-off spots.

Further down the table, 1874 Northwich slipped closer to relegation with another defeat despite a heroic display from player/co-manager Matt Woolley.

When goalkeeper Matthew Wonnacott was sent off for handling outside the area after just four minutes, Woolley donned the gloves himself with no reserve stopper on the bench.

He was immediately beaten by Jai Verma’s deflected free kick as Hednesford Town took control at Townfield, but he was not beaten again and despite pushing for a leveller, Greens subsided to a 13th defeat in a row in all competitions.

They remain bottom of the table and 14 points from safety with eight games of their season to play.

In the North West Counties League, Winsford United picked up a precious victory to bring themselves closer to escaping the relegation zone.

A brace of penalties from Ross Aikenhead – one in either half – secured a 2-0 win over Market Drayton Town at Barton Stadium, meaning it is now back-to-back victories for Blues following their win at Eccleshall last weekend.

They remain second-bottom of the First Division South table, five points from a position of safety.

Meanwhile, Barnton could not back up their midweek victory as they fell to a 2-1 loss at Eccleshall despite having taken the lead on the stroke of half time through Lee Turkington’s strike.

However, Liam Hallam pulled the hosts level before Mitchell Glover struck their late winner, meaning it’s back to losing ways for the Villagers after Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Ashville had ended a five-game losing sequence in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Winsford Town advanced to the final of the Mid-Cheshire Cup with a 2-0 victory over Knutsford this afternoon.

George Ward gave Rob Hopley’s side the lead before half time, with Danny Fox doubling the advantage and sealing the win after the break at Winsford Academy.