A FAULT in the electrics may prove just the spark Winsford United need to surge into the promotion reckoning.

And their chances may be even better than they previously dared hope for.

United were drawing 0-0 with Eccleshall at home in midweek and were running out of time when the floodlights faltered and failed.

The game was abandoned with 16 minutes remaining and with Blues heading for a point.

Now they have a second chance on Wednesday next week of collecting all three.

By then they will have played three other league games, but also last night's Mid Cheshire Senior Cup tie against Northwich Vics.

It is a hectic schedule but the club and manager Dave Twite are feeling more optimistic than ever about promotion.

Of those teams above them, it is already known Formby and Ashton Town will not meet the ground criteria for First Division football.

Now there is severe doubt that Maine Road will also meet the demands of a higher grade - and that could suddenly produce a title race of sorts among the fringe clubs.

The NWCFL expect to promote four clubs, so the target for United will be a place in the top six or possibly seven.

Blues, whose Barton Stadium ground has already passed the tests, now appear to be in direct competition with Darwen, Padiham and Nelson for sixth position - or possibly seventh place - and have games in hand on the last two.

'We are in with a shout,' said manager Twite. 'We played well in defeat at Colne against a side who are the champions elect.

'And we were playing well against Eccleshall and battering them. Personally, I wish the game could have been finished because I believe we could have won, but we can hardly complain about a replay.

'We are going into every game positively now. There is no doubt we can win every game remaining. It is within our capabilities.

'We have got to produce a big finish - and I want supporters to play their part.

'They have not had much to shout about at Winsford these last few years, but they have now. The players want to reward the fans, especially those who have followed us away all season.'

Supporters have the chance to get behind United at home tomorrow against Cheadle Town, at Holker Old Boys on Saturday, at Leek CSOB on Easter Monday, then the Eccleshall game and, lastly, Daisy Hill away.

United will have concluded their programme and may have to wait and see how their rivals go on in the run-up to the official close on April 24.

Twite will already have one eye on next year, which may be at a far higher standard. Some, like skipper Mark Quinn and Stuart Well-stead, who keeps turning in star performances, can make the step up.

And latest signing Rob Corcoran, who is Winsford-based and joined from Middlewich, has already played himself into the manager's plans for next season - at the age of 38.

'He has been exceptional. I am made up with him. He is definitely one for next season - he has already shown he has got what it takes. His age gives him the experience but takes nothing away from his fitness. My only regret is that I did not sign him at the start of the season.'