WITH just five games of the season remaining for the top two, the title picture is no clearer heading into tomorrow's round of Furness Premier League Premier Division matches.

A 2-2 draw away to Haverigg United in their previous match meant Kirkby United were unable to use their game in hand on previous leader's Bootle to open up a slender points advantage, although they do sit top on goal difference.

Kirkby and Bootle have been scrapping it out at the top of the table for the past few months and while they have opened up a lead on the rest of the division, there has been little – if anything – to separate them.

Both sides have an identical record of won 15, drawn three and lost three which means they are level on 48 points.

Tomorrow sees Kirkby at home to fifth-placed Barrow Celtic, while Bootle travel to Britannia – themselves in a battle with Dalton United reserves to avoid finishing in the bottom two.

Bootle will be particularly eager to win to erase the memories of last week's 7-3 defeat to Croftlands Park in the Paul Wilson Memorial Trophy too.

Indeed, 2017 Premier Division champions Croftlands could still have a say in the destiny of the title as they sit just five points behind the top two with three games in hand.

It is a situation not too dissimilar to when they won the title two years ago and Kirkby will be eager to avoid a repeat of that.

They were in contention to retain the crown they won in the 2015/16 season into the closing weeks, only for Croftlands to go on a winning run to snatch the title and United finish fourth.

The league rematch away to Bootle is a week on Saturday for Park, by which time the possible destination of the title might have become clearer.

Meanwhile, in the North West Counties League First Division North, Holker Old Boys suffered a 2-1 defeat in their re-arranged game away to Steeton on Wednesday evening.

Two goals in the space of 10 minutes from Jack Richmond and Sam Rooke put Steeton in control of the game at the half-hour mark and although JP Stanway pulled one back for Holker two minutes before the break, that was as good as it got for them.

The visitors saw a penalty saved on the stroke of half time, and after the break had a goal ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper and hit the crossbar as well as Steeton celebrated their first win since November 24.

Holker now have two weekends off before resuming their battle to secure their status in the division when they travel to Nelson on April 13.

Tomorrow's Furness Premier League fixtures

Premier Division (2pm): Britannia v Bootle, Croftlands Park v Haverigg United, Dalton United res v Vickerstown res, Furness Cavaliers res v Walney Island res, Hawcoat Park res v Holker Old Boys res, Kirkby United v Barrow Celtic, Millom res v Swarthmoor Social.

Division One (2pm): Barrow Celtic res v Hawcoat Park A, Vickerstown A v Millom A.

Division Two (2pm): Barrow Wanderers res v Ulverston Rangers res, Coniston v Kirkby United res, Millom St James v Holker Old Boys A.

Furness Junior Cup second round (2pm): Crooklands Casuals res v Furness Rovers res, British Legion v Bootle res.

Horne Cup second round (2pm): Askam United res v Barrow Wanderers, Bridge United v Swarthmoor Social res.