IN Division 1 of the Harwoods Renault Isle of Wight League, Whitecroft and Barton Sports took a step closer to the title without having played this afternoon (Saturday).

Shanklin, who have been in great form since Christmas, beat second place Brading Town by a solitary goal at the County Ground.

The goal was scored from close range by skipper Iain Seabrook in the first half.

After a scrappy opening 15 minutes of the second half, Brading started to ask questions of the Shanklin defence with the home side content on trying to play on the break for spells.

Brading striker and captain, Dan Vale, almost scored on the hour mark when he got in on the blind side of his marker and struck a powerful shot across keeper Jack Powell, which he did superbly to turn away.

Substitute Oli Fleming came to Shanklin's rescue five minutes later when he made up for an earlier error by superbly blocking a close range shot by Oli Wilson on the line.

Almost immediately, Seabrook took a long ball and weaved across the edge of the Brading penalty box and let fly, which dipped just over the bar.

With ten minutes remaining, forward Sam Moseley almost doubled Shanklin's lead when he let fly from the edge of the box and saw it just clear the bar.

Brading Town, desperate for a leveller, spurned two great chances, both from striker Aaron Burford - the first, a header at the back post which flew over the bar and the second, when leaned back and struck over from a decent low cross, close in.

There was further drama in injury time when Powell inexplicably carried the ball outside his penalty area.

But the free kick was wasted by Brading.

The game was watched by W&B manager Steve Rayner, who would have been delighted with the scoreline.

Rayner's side sit seven points clear at the top with a game in hand and with seven left to play. W&B are also in the running for four cups.

Down at the bottom, at Watcombe Bottom, Ventnor beat basement club Osborne Coburg 2-0, while ECS went goal crazy in the second half of their game away at Sandown, running out 4-2 winners after it ended goalless at the break.

In Division 2, Bembridge reaffirmed their position as league leaders with a 7-0 demolition of Newchurch at Steyne Park.

                                               TODAY'S RESULTS

Harwoods Renault Isle of Wight League Division 1: Cowes Sports Reserves 2, Binstead & COB 0; Sandown 2, ECS 4; Shanklin 1, Brading Town 0; Ventnor 2, Osborne Coburg 0.

Division 2: Bembridge 7, Newchurch 0.

Combination 1: Binstead & COB v Shanklin; ECS Reserves 2, West Wight Reserves 1; Osborne Coburg Reserves 2, Sandown Reserves 3.

Combination 2: Newchurch Reserves 1, Wootton Reserves 5.