Market Drayton Town secure safety with big win
Market Drayton Town succeeded in banishing all lingering fears of relegation by registering their biggest league win of the season – and then discovered they were not in any danger anyway.
Typical of Town’s topsy-turvy campaign, the day they defeated Clitheroe 3-0, also brought the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s formal confirmation that Colwyn Bay’s long trailed intention to resign had become reality. In consequence, only one team will go down.
said league supremoes, only one club – not the intended two finishing last on the west section ladder - would be dropped to tier five football.
That meant Drayton, well beyond reach of current backmarkers Skelmersdale, were already safe without what was a very competitant performance against Clitheroe, that makes them 21 points clear of last place with five to play.
“It was great to feel comfortable with the result,” said manager Martyn Davies. “It’s been some time coming – I think the scores in our recent games have done no justice to our performances.
“In truth, I didn’t think we played anywhere as well on Saturday as midweek, when we lost to league leaders Atherton Collieries. But we got the job done.“Importantly, everyone, whether they started or came off the bench against Clitheroe made a contribution, we produced some good play in patches, scored three and kept a clean sheet – how can you argue with that?”
The answer, emphatically, is not Clitheroe. Given their long journey they competed well enough but the scant crowd of 76 had Drayton to thank for the rather scrappy entertainment on offer.
The visitors had some good fortune early on as Town contrived to miss an open goal in five minutes and then wastefully snatched at two rather less clear-cut chances.
But they improved and Town all-but won the game with two goals from hard running James Jennings a few minutes either side of the half-time break.
The opener was a sharp shot past visiting keeper Ben Purdham and the second saw him finish a cross from Ryan McLean.
Seven minutes after the break the three points were theirs, Ryan McLean doing the spadework with a good break on the right and crossing for Jennings to score.
Clitheroe kept at it but were rarely able to pose much of a threat to Town’s defence let alone keeper Ash Rawlins so Drayton’s third in added time, was perhaps rather overdue.
In added time Desean Martin started a good break from midfield and Charlie Knowles, always a dangerous substitute, snapped up the opportunity to again get his name on the scoresheet.