Express & Star

Darlaston close on play-offs

Darlaston Town took a big step toward securing a Midland League Premier Division play-off place with a thumping 4-0 win over Lichfield City - all but ending their rivals title hopes.


The defeat for second-placed Lichfield leaves them five points behind Congleton Town with just two matches to play after the leaders hit seven without reply past Bewdley Town.

Darlaston and Lichfield could now meet again in the play-offs with the former having already delivered a decent psychological blow thanks to an emphatic win.

Alexander Foreshaw headed Dean Gill’s team ahead in the first half and though Dan Lomas went close to a leveller for the visitors early in the second half, James Rowland extended the home side’s advantage when he scored from the penalty spot.

Aaron Bishop then put the game to bed with a fine individual strike before Kieron Miller grabbed Darlaston’s fourth late on.

Victory brought them within a point of third-placed Studley, while they remain ahead of Stourport Swifts after the latter were 1-0 winners at Atherstone Town.

Dudley Town are destined to finish seventh in their first season back at step five following a 3-1 win at Stone Old Alleynians.

The Robins recovered from going a goal down in the first half to hit back after the break through goals from Ethan Muckley and a Harry Crook brace.

Wolverhampton Casuals remain in relegation danger after they were beaten 2-0 at Shifnal Town, while time is running out for Tividale despite an impressive 1-1 draw against play-off chasing Highgate.

Tivi were 1-0 up through Ryan Snape before being pegged back in the second half.

“We played an excellent Highgate side,” said boss Stuart How, whose side are now six points from safety with two matches to play. “We set up in the first half to frustrate them and catch them on the break and we did that.

“We could have won it at the end. It was an excellent performance.”

OJM Black Country climbed into the Division One play-off places thanks to a 2-1 win at home to Stapenhill.

They replaced Wednesfield in the top five after the latter, who have played three matches more, suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at struggling Smethwick Rangers. The latter are now just one point from safety.

Cradley Town saw their already slender hopes of gate-crashing the play-offs all but evaporate despite battling back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Shawbury United.

Bilston Town also find themselves on the outside looking in despite a 3-0 win over Chelmsley Town thanks to goals from Soms Sibanda, Sam Yankson and Dan Danks.

“We told the lads today there are 18 more points to play for,” said boss Mike Dodds. “I am not looking at positions, I am just looking at total points we can get and we have taken three out of the total we are looking for.

“We have to go for maximum points now and that is exactly what we are doing.”

Wolves Sporting Community are not yet safe after losing 4-0 at Allscott Heath.