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Two games to go - one weekend - what exactly could happen?

If a certain satellite television company was covering this weekend in the Northern Premier League it would probably be billed as the eagerly awaited Evo-Stik Easter Extravaganza or something equally brash such is the importance of the matches over the next four days.

Thankfully it’s not. But that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that with just two games to go nine teams still have a chance of claiming one of the four play-off places in an incredibly close end to the season.

Two wins for FC United would guarantee second place, bar Colwyn Bay pulling off a minor miracle by overhauling a vastly superior goal difference, which would stand at at least 18 more than the Seagulls’ current total. But two defeats could see the Reds slip to the dreaded sixth spot, where our club finished in the 2008/09 season. Karl Marginson and the FC United faithful definitely won’t want to go through that again.

The good news is Margy’s men could seal a place in the play-offs by 4.45pm on Good Friday without kicking a ball if sixth placed North Ferriby fail to beat Ossett Town at home, as the Humberside outfit are the only team outside of the play-off places who can still catch the Reds. If the Villagers do keep up their promotion push with a win, United would then have the opportunity to guarantee a play-off spot by winning or drawing at Matlock on Saturday.

If Ferriby win and United lose it would then come down to the wire with the Reds still needing a point at home to Kendal on Easter Monday. If the unthinkable happens and United lose both their last games, Ferriby would overtake them on goal difference by beating Frickley Athletic on Easter Monday, as long as they had already beaten Ossett.

If that were to happen, the Reds would then need one of the following three events to occur; Colwyn Bay to lose both their games at Hucknall and at home to Nantwich, or Bradford Park Avenue to get no more than one point from games against Worksop and Mickleover Sports, or, perhaps more likely, Buxton to get no more than three points from their clashes with Nantwich and Matlock.

Like FC United, Colwyn Bay are only under threat from Bradford, Buxton and Ferriby. Bradford could still be caught by Ferriby and Worksop whilst Buxton could be overhauled by a number of sides; all of the ones already mentioned plus Chasetown, Matlock and Marine. The latter three sides would have to make up a significant amount of goals, 12 in Marine’s case, but with two games left to play each an average score of 3-0 per game would do it.

United are only guaranteed at least a third place finish, and therefore home advantage in the semi-final of the play-offs, if they claim a minimum of four points from the last two games. If the Reds finish second they could play any of the eight teams mentioned above. If Karl Marginson’s side finish third they will face one of Colwyn Bay, Bradford, Buxton, Ferriby or Worksop.

If FC United end up staggering over the finishing line but do manage to hang on to fourth or fifth spot they will be on their travels on Thursday 28th April to contest the semi-final away from home. The Reds would have four potential destinations; Colwyn Bay, Bradford, Buxton or Ferriby.

So, when all is said and done, let’s hope Karl, Roy and the lads can keep it simple for us all by winning their last two games or at the very least getting one draw. Come on United.

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First Posted ~ 21:21 Mon 25 Apr 2011
News ID ~ 3552
Last Updated ~ 21:21 Mon 25 Apr 2011