Magpies primed for crucial final week as they go in hunt for national league North play-off place
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There are certainly going to be twists and turns over the next week with 10 teams realistically in with a shout of finishing fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh.
Just six points separate Brackley Town in fourth and Spennymoor Town who currently reside in 13th position – and there are only three points between the eight teams who occupy positions from fifth to 12th.
Intriguingly, many of the play-off protagonists go up against each other over the final few games – adding extra drama to the situation.
The Magpies sit in 11th spot currently, with a points total of 63 – just two points behind Gloucester who occupy seventh place. Preece’s men also boast a much superior goal difference compared to the majority of their closest rivals.
"We have got to win our final two games,” said Preece, who watched his team keep their play-off hopes alive with a dramatic last-minute victory over Leamington last weekend.
“With our goal difference, teams have got to get to 70 points to stop us getting in the play-offs.
"Although mathematically teams can do it, I have looked at all the games and it’s going to be tough to do.
"Curzon Ashton, who are ninth, have got to play King’s Lynn and Fylde who are both going for the title.
"Darlington, who are eighth, have got to play King’s Lynn. Brackley have to play play Alfreton, who are sixth, and Buxton, who are 10th.
"Buxton have to play Chester, who are third. Gloucester have to play ourselves on the final day.
"There is no team on Saturday, from fifth place and below, who are going to be on 70 points after this weekend.
"That fifth, sixth and seventh place is still likely to be up for grabs going into the last game. It’s just so important that we win against Peterborough.”
Fylde host Leamington this weekend while Southport are at home to Kidderminster.