MATCH PREVIEW: Promotion via the Play-offs?

The final week of the Northern Premier League season gets underway on Tuesday with the launch of the promotion play-offs.

Workington will embark on their seventh campaign of end of season knock-out football when Marine visit Borough Park for the 7.45pm kick-off.

The semi-final of the NPL West Division play-offs sees runners-up Reds taking on Neil Young’s side, who finished 5th.  Both led the division for lengthy spells this season but will have to win two games this week to join champions Warrington Rylands in the Premier Division on 13th August.

This will be the fifth meeting between the two teams following on from two games in the FA Cup and the regular league appointments.

Matty Clarke vs Marine

The overall head-to-head reveals a history of forty previous encounters, Marine have won fourteen of those, Reds thirteen with thirteen draws so the incentive to level the series couldn’t be greater.

Both experienced morale deflating defeats on Saturday and could be a bit fragile mentally but, once the game kicks off, it will be the usual blood and thunder from a long-standing fixture.

Reds will have to assess the fitness of several players following Saturday’s damaging draw at Market Drayton – some will be able to play with knocks and bruises, others won’t.

Workington have twice reached the NPL play-off final, gaining promotion after overcoming Farsley Celtic in a penalty shoot-out in 2005, but losing to Salford City six years ago.

Their overall record in play-off promotion deciders is moderate:  two outright wins, one after a penalty shoot-out, one draw and six defeats.

If the scores are level after ninety minutes, extra time will be played and, if it still all square, the winners will be determined via a penalty shoot-out.

The other tie is between 3rd placed Leek Town and Runcorn Linnets who finished 4th.

Reds record v. the other three teams in the play-offs:

Leek Town (1-1, 0-0)

Runcorn Linnets (2-4, 2-1)

Marine (1-0, 1-2)

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