NCEL: Tadcaster Albion boss calls for ‘unfair’ promotion system change

Demmy Ingram, Tadcaster Albion
Demmy Ingram, Tadcaster Albion

Paul Marshall has called for an upheaval in the Northern Counties promotion process, branding the current system “scandalous”.

The Tadcaster Albion boss says a play-off system between the Northern Counties East and West divisions should be introduced.

He believes a new set-up would entice teams to have something to play for at the end of the season.

“I have said it for years. It’s unfair,” he said.

Albion’s title ambitions hit a brick wall on Saturday when lowly Glasshoughton Welfare caused a smash-and-grab shock at the 2inspire Stadium.

The Brewers failed to break down their cash-strapped opponents before goalkeeper Arron Reid conceded a second-half penalty.

The defeat dented Marshall’s hopes of jumping out of NCEL Premier, and his side dropped to second on Tuesday night when rivals Brighouse Town thrashed Liversedge 3-0.

Marshall added: “There should be a play-off between the second best team in the North East and North West counties.

“I have looked at the Evo-Stik league table and only two teams come down, why are there not three?

“We could end up with 97 points this season and not go up. That’s scandalous.”

On Saturday’s defeat, Marshall added: “It makes promotion a little bit more difficult.

“But the title race is no different to how it was. Brighouse have always been favourites, Barton Town Old Boys second and us third.

“I don’t think Brighouse will slip up now. They have to play a lot of teams that have nothing th play for.

“That’s the problem with this league and why the play-offs would be better. “

Marshall also confirmed Tad have yet to hear any further information from the league relating to a possible points deduction.

Tad’s owners i2i Sports attended an NCEL hearing last Wednesday after the league claimed Denny Ingram played two matches under suspension earlier this season.

No decision was made.

Marshall said: “I’ve not heard anything. You don’t know what will happen.”

Albion travel to 18th placed Staveley Miners Welfare this Saturday without right-back Josh Barrett and midfielder Richard Batley.

Ingram will return from suspension at centre-back but Marshall was unsure of the full make up of his defence.

Conor Qualter had replaced Ingram for the 4-0 win at Bridlington in March and also started in Saturday’s defeat alongside Matt Sparkes.

“Denny has been our best defender this year so he will stay there,” added Marshall.