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Best Betting Sites UK / Latest Non League News / Step 3 - Playoff Finals - Match Predictions and Previews - Sunday 6th May 2024

Step 3 - Playoff Finals - Match Predictions and Previews - Sunday 6th May 2024

Publish Date:06/05/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland

We are blessed with all four step three playoff finals on this Bank Holiday Monday. Interestingly, the home side won every single

In this article, we will give a brief preview of all four massive games.

Isthmian Premier League

Chatham vs Enfield Town

Chatham hosts Enfield at the Bauvill Stadium, with both teams fighting for a place in the National League South.

Chatham have enjoyed a tremendous season, finishing second place behind runaway leaders Hornchurch. The Chat are chasing a third straight promotion in their biggest game in their 142-year history.

The side from Kent finished two points above their opponents, owing to a final-day draw in North London. Chatham were the second-highest scorers in the league, scoring 87 goals in their 42 goals. However, defensively they struggled, conceding 61, with their games averaging 3.52 goals.

After drawing 1-1 with Horsham after extra time in the semi-finals, Chairman/manager Kevin Hake is now one game and three promotions away from achieving his dream of leading Chatham into the Football League.

Chatham have an array of talent at their disposal, but perhaps none better than Jamie Yilla. The young winger recorded 16 goals this season and is a player tipped to play in a higher league come the end of the season.

Founded just 23 years ago after disputes over the running of Enfield FC, Enfield Town are also chasing a historic promotion to the National League South. Finishing the season with just one loss in 15, Town stormed into the playoffs, before edging past Wingate & Finchley 1-0 at home in the Semi-Finals.

Gavin MacPherson's side are certainly entertainers, scoring 81 goals in the league - the third most in the division. They also boast two of the division's finest strikers, with Marcus Wyllie topping the goalscoring charts with 30 goals and Sam Youngs coming joint third with 23.

It should be a cracking game in front of a 3,000-sold-out crowd. Chatham have the home advantage, Enfield Town have the momentum. The game is too close to call which I expect to go the distance.

Prediction: 1-1 (Enfield to win on penalties)

Northern Premier Division

Macclesfield Fc vs Marine

Formed three years ago as a successor to Macclesfield Town, Macclesfield FC are looking to bounce back and secure promotion to the National League North.

Like Chatham in the Isthmian Premier League, Macclesfield are chasing three consecutive promotions. Owned by Robbie Savage, the Silkmen aim to get the club to it's rightful place in the Football League.

Radcliffe dominated the league, winning with 87 points and plenty of games to spare. Macclesfield came second, owing to eight straight wins towards the end of the season. They flew up the league under Michael Clegg who was appointed from fellow NPL side Warrington Rylands. Clegg's Rylands side excelled defensively, conceding just 42 - the fewest in the league. Macclesfield ran this close, conceding just 47.

They are also strong going forward, scoring 84 goals. Macclesfield have a huge budget for step 3, boasting fine attacking talents such as John Rooney (16 goals), Alex Curran (15 goals) and Kane Drummond (14 goals). Macclesfield also showed their ability in one-off cup games by reaching the FA Trophy semi-finals, beating two step-two teams and a step-one team in Dorking on their route to the semis. This should put them in good stead heading into this tie. Clegg's side eased past Worksop 3-1 in the previous round.

Marine made headlines a few years ago for their historic cup run before finally succumbing to defeat to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. However, the side from Crosby, Merseyside, are looking to make headlines by gaining promotion to the National League North. A sold-out Moss Rose awaits the Mariners - a ground they lost 2-1 at earlier in the season.

Neil Young's side ended the season in spectacular form, winning seven of their final eight games. They also edged past Warrington Rylands 1-0 in the semi-finals to set up an intriguing final. Only Warrington Rylands conceded fewer and only Radcliffe scored more than Marine, so they possess real talent at both ends of the pitch. They were also strong away from home, picking up 33 points from 20 games.

This should be a breathtaking game between two sides who ended the season in immaculate form. However, with Macclesfield's home advantage, they should have the better of Marine.

Prediction: 2-1 Macclesfield

Southern League Central

Afc Telford vs Leamington

While the aforementioned playoff ties are between two sides who finished close on points, the Southern League Central playoff final sees two sides separated by 11 points face off.

AFC Telford finished second, three points off winners Needham Market. The Bucks eased past Mickleover (2-0) in the semi-finals, with the visitors perhaps unlucky to have been deducted 12 points to move down from third to fifth.

AFC Telford have been in the National League North before and are looking to return with a win over Leamington. Kevin Wilkin's side ended the season unbeaten in nine, winning eight of these games, including their last six.

Only Monday's opponents Leamington conceded fewer goals than Telford's 34, while only Needham Market, Mickleover, Stamford and St Ives scored more than their 69. The Lillywhites also excelled at home, picking up 44 points from 20, conceding just 14 in the process.

Leamington come into this after scraping past Redditch thanks to a Jack Edwards extra-time winner. The Brakes are chasing an instant return to the National League North but must beat a rampant AFC Telford side first.

Away from home, Leamington games were typically cagey, with Paul Holleran's side conceding just 19 and scoring just 25 times. They also ended the season in fine form, losing just one in ten - coming in a 1-0 defeat to Monday's opponents away from home.

It was a tetchy, cagey game separated by a late Remi Walker winner. Monday should follow a similar theme in which the hosts edge through.

Prediction: 2-0 AFC Telford

Southern League South

Afc Totton vs Salisbury

Finally, we have a tie from the Southern League South as AFC Totton host Salisbury at the Snows Stadium.

The Stags are chasing back-to-back promotions. A late-season surge saw them finish in second, winning eight of their last ten games, including six in a row at home. Jimmy Ball's side play extremely entertaining football, scoring a league-high 89 goals, while conceding only 45 - the second-fewest in the league.

They are blessed with an abundance of attacking talent. Veteran striker Scott Rendell has 24 goals this season, while Tony Lee has 28 goals, including the opener in the 2-1 extra-time win over Bracknell. Former Volendam midfielder Leon Maloney and creative maestro Joan Luque also provide plenty of guile and creativity, so Totton are well stacked in the attacking areas.

Salisbury finished third in the league, two points off Monday's hosts. Brian Dutton's side secured their place in the final in dramatic circumstances, scoring 87th-minute and 90th-minute goals to secure a 2-1 win over Gosport. They will head into this game with momentum after that win, despite an inconsistent end to the season.

The Whites were good away from home, picking up 30 points from 21 games. While 10 teams in the league bettered or equalled Salisbury's goal tally, only two teams conceded fewer in a chaotic league. A solid defence is crucial in playoff games, and they will need to be on top form against a potent Totton attack.

However, AFC Totton's strong attack coupled with home advantage should see them over the line.

Prediction: AFC Totton 3-1

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