Goole are sitting on the verge of promotion to the UniBond League after scraping into sixth place in the Northern Counties East League premier division on the last day of the season.

The Vikings went into their final game at Glasshoughton Welfare knowing if they won and Buxton lost, they could end up being promoted after a league ruling that the facilities at Pickering Town and Sheffield - both of whom will finish above them - were not up to scratch for the higher division.

Steve Rollinson popped up with a goal on the half hour mark to settle it as Buxton lost 2-0 to top four Brigg.

But the champagne will have to remain on ice after Sheffield's announcement that they will appeal against their ground grading.

Goole co-manager Jimmy Reid, who arrived at the club with Paul Marshall after 12 games, said: "We are delighted that we did what we had to and the other results went our way.

"With the greatest respect to Sheffield, the rules are down and I have never heard of anybody winning an appeal. Four years ago, Ossett Albion were knocked back, three years ago Brigg were knocked back so they can't really change things now.

"If anything, Selby would deserve promotion more than them because they worked so hard to hit the grounds deadline and have now slipped off the pace."

Pickering Town suffered a 3-0 closing day defeat to Eastwood Town, who were vying for the title.

Second-placed Eastwood went into the game on equal points and goal difference with leaders Ossett Albion with three goals less than their rivals. But Ossett matched their 3-0 result with a win over Borrowash Victoria to secure the title on goals-scored.

Pikes boss Steve Brown, who had been hoping for a top-four finish, said: "It was disappointing. They had a lot to play for."

Harrogate Railway beat Hallam 2-0 to carry them up to 12th in the table with a chance of going 11th with a win in their final league game against Sheffield next week.

Updated: 11:07 Monday, May 03, 2004