Season heading for frantic finale

Stand by for a mad scramble for the Blue Square Bet North play off places.

While Hyde FC and Guiseley battle for the solitary automatic place available, there are six clubs battling for three places in the top five.

All the contenders, bar Stalybridge Celtic, have six games to secure their place.

And there are just seven points covering those six clubs with three certain to miss out.

Town suffered a setback in midweek when they were beaten by Guiseley at the Shay.

But they are on home soil again tomorrow when they will be bidding to get back on track against Histon.

Six defeats at the Shay have proved damaging after a couple of seasons of almost unbridled success at home.

If there can be a good thing about a defeat it came in the first half on Tuesday when the display against Guiseley showed what the players are capable of.

The second half was disappointing for Neil Aspin’s men and some of the defending from set pieces showed the real vulnerability of the team this season.

But if they can reproduce their display from the opening 45 minutes - and score more than one goal - it will give them a real platform.

Histon are still not completely free of relegation worries, standing just four points above Vauxhall Motors who currently occupy the final place in the drop zone.

They have lost only twice in their last nine games having drawn their last two - at Guiseley and at home to Nuneaton.

They also won at Droylsden earlier this month which suggests they will be no easy beats tomorrow afternoon and Town will have to be on their guard.

While results have, in general been good, Histon did manage to lose at Blyth Spartans last month which proves they are vulnerable too.

The Shaymen have already beaten Histon once this season, triumphing 4-1 at the Glass World Stadium in November.

James Walshaw bagged a couple that day with Jamie Rainford and Lee Gregory - who fired home from the penalty spot - also on target.

Something similar tomorrow afternoon would settle a few nerves ahead of an Easter double header that sees Neil Aspin’s side travel to Stalybridge Celtic on Good Friday and entertain Boston United three days later.

It is going to be a tense finale to the season, there is no question about that.

So many of the teams in the top eight have yet to play each other - the Shaymen still have to go to Altrincham as well at Stalybridge before the regular campagn finally comes to an end and we can look forward to the play offs.

The key for all the contenders will be to secure a top five place as quickly as possible.

A win tomorrow would be a big help in Town achieving that goal.