2 - 1Full Time
Second half goals from Mark Anderson and Rob Ramshaw earned Spennymoor all three points against Southport, but an injury time goal from Adam Boyes saw Bradford Park Avenue dramatically clinch the final play-off spot.
Spennymoor players were waiting on the pitch after the full time whistle as the news filtered through that Avenue had scored in the 94th minute to leap above Moors on goal difference.
Ramshaw’s second half flick past Jon Worsnop put Moors in pole position with Avenue trailing Kidderminster by a goal, but after equalising ten minutes from time, Boyes’ goal broke Spennymoor hearts.
Jason Ainsley made three changes from the side who drew with North Ferriby United on Thursday evening, with Mark Anderson, Jamie Chandler and Ryan Hall coming into the starting line-up.
After a cagey opening spell, Moors fell behind to give them the worst possible start.
Ross Hannah’s 20-yard strike after eight minutes gave the visitors the lead with the game’s first effort, dampening the atmosphere around The Brewery Field.
Glen Taylor had a bobbling effort saved, before and a superb save from Dan Lowson prevented Graham Kelly from doubling Southport’s advantage. That stop proved to be a crucial moment in the game.
Olly Marx then glanced a header wide, but Moors then began to come back into the contest, going close through David Foley, but he couldn’t make a strong connection from six yards out.
With a big second half performance required, Jason Ainsley’s words at half time seemed to reignite his side.
Shane Henry was forced off with injury just four minutes into the contest, with captain Chris Mason taking his place.
With a goal desperately needed, Hall was inches away from a crucial equaliser, but it wasn’t long until the ball found its way past Worsnop.
Anderson slid a ball to Ramshaw down the right, and when his cross took a deflection, it fell kindly to Anderson who drilled past a shot in to keep the play-off dream alive.
At this moment, Moors were in seventh spot with Avenue a goal down at Aggborough, and they could smell blood as Southport began to sit deep.
Eight minuted after drawing level, the winning goal arrived in front of the home fans in The Pond Stand. Taylor swung in a cross, and when Ramshaw got across his man, he flicked a deft touch past Worsnop to send the majority of the 891 fans in the stadium into bedlam.
Kevin Davies’ side, who had nothing to play for coming into the clash, struggled to create a second half opportunity, with substitute Adam Dawson coming closest with a drive straight at Lowson.
Moors comfortably saw out the rest of the game and played their part in an enthralling race for seventh, but ultimately, Avenue’s greater goal difference proved to be decisive.
|28th April 2018||3:00 pm||National League North||2017/18|
|The Brewery Field|
|156 Wood Vue, Spennymoor DL16 6RH, UK|