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Eight huge games left in March Town’s play-off quest

March Town travel to Cogenhoe United on Wednesday knowing they are closing in on one of the biggest achievements in the history of the club.

After a battling 1-1 draw at play-off rivals Newport Pagnell Town on Saturday, the Hares now need a maximum of 18 points from their remaining eight games to clinch a United Counties Premier South play-off place.

After the clash with the Cooks, Ash Taylor’s men then have four home games and three away as they chase their dream of playing Step 4 football for the first time.

March Town manager Ash Taylor
March Town manager Ash Taylor

Many of the remaining eight games look winnable on paper, with five of them against sides in the bottom half of the table and the only clashes against top teams at play-off rivals Yaxley on Easter Monday, April 1 and at home to third place Racing Club Warwick on the final day of the season, Saturday, April 13.

At Pagnell on Saturday, Ben Seymour-Shove gave March the lead after 26 minutes with his 12th of the campaign but the home side pulled back three minutes before the break when Kieran Barnes crossed for Ben Shepherd to score.

The draw keeps fifth place March, who occupy the final play-off spot, seven points ahead of Pagnell and on-form Yaxley, with eight games remaining.

Ben Seymour-Shove scored his 12th of the season on Saturday
Ben Seymour-Shove scored his 12th of the season on Saturday

After tonight’s game at 13th place Cogenhoe United they entertain 11th place Coventry United next Saturday.

Manager Ash Taylor said: “Cogenhoe will be another really tough game as every one is at the minute. It will be similar to the game at Pagnell with a difficult pitch and a physical team but if we replicate the levels we did there I am sure we can go and get a win.

“We’re not stupid and we understand all our remaining games are really difficult and we are going to have to give everything we can but of course the aim is to finish fifth and get the opportunity to compete in a play-off final.”

Danny Emmington, Craig Gillies and Jack Saunders were all missing at Pagnell but Taylor added: “Saunders will be back from suspension and Emmington will be back as well. Gillies had that horrific head injury (suffered against Histon) and is not 100% yet. He needs to see a specialist and get more feedback. He would have given us some minutes at Pagnell if needed but stayed on the bench.”

Jack Saunders will be back for March on Wednesday
Jack Saunders will be back for March on Wednesday

On Saturday’s game, he added: “It was a tough game on a difficult pitch against a big, physical and strong side. We had to really graft and be aggressive as a group as the game was very direct but we did it really well and came away with a point.

“Every player gave everything they could but Jack Withers at centre half really stood out and was counted. The level of aggression he showed was excellent and he didn’t lose a header.”

March celebrate Danny Emmington’s winning goal against Congenhoe back in October
March celebrate Danny Emmington’s winning goal against Congenhoe back in October

March Town: Gill, Bucciero, Edwards, Withers, Brumby, Whyatt, Burrows, Green, Rider, Foy, Seymour-Shove. Subs used: Cavozzi, Biggs. Not used: Callaghan, Gillies, Pepper. Star man: Jack Withers. Booked: Rider, Whyatt, Foy. Attendance: 201.

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