Despite the heavy rain overnight on Friday, there was plenty of action in and around the Manchester Football League with only a few games falling foul of the weather. To all groundsmen in the North-West region, we salute you!
Wythenshawe Amateurs took full advantage of the league leaders not being in action as they replaced them at the top following a very good 5-2 win at current champions Rochdale Sacred Heart. Johnny Thompson and Scott Brierley were on target for the hosts but failed to be enough at Fox Park. Ammies overtake Avro and lead by a point having played three games more. The defeat leaves hearts in 12th place with 8 points from 8 games, 1 clear from the drop zone.
East Manchester also kept the pressure on at the top after they squeezed past Stockport Georgians at Wright Robinson to remain in third place. Joe Neild gave the hosts the lead from the spot and was added to by Jamie Cross and Sam Jones to put East 3-0 up but were made to sweat when Georgians pulled two goals back in the last 10 minutes through Jamie Pickering and Leon Murphy to make it a tense finale.
Heyside pulled off the result of the day in the top flight with a fantastic 4-1 win at home to Dukinfield Town. Gary Molyneux, Adam Dale, Mark Hopwood and Dillan O’Connor all scored to move their side up to fourth place and leave Dukinfield mid-table.
There were 17 goals netted in the three games on Saturday and there was also a change of teams at the top of the division.
Leaders Chapel Town suffered successive league defeats after they were humbled by a Boothstown side who have plans of promotion themselves. The hosts ran out 5-2 winners to move them up to fifth spot, just four points off the promotion places and also have a game in hand.
Beechfield United, however, had no such problems as they romped to a 6-3 win over a resurgent Pennington to take top spot and put themselves in a favourable position for Premier Division football next season.
Leigh Athletic and Manchester Central played out a much tighter affair with Adam Jones’s goal being the difference. The deciding goal, coming in the 53rd minute, moves Leigh up to fourth place and leaves Central in eighth place.
Bolton Lads & Girls Club made very good use of their game-in-hand over leaders Tintwistle Athletic as they moved to within one point. Jack Alderson’s hat-trick plus a Jack Barlow effort gave Bolton the three points despite Leigh Sproston getting three goals of his own for Hale, who remain in third place.
Govan Athletic moved to within five points of Hale after their 6-1 victory at home to Hindley Juniors. Adil Ajmal hit a brace and was supported by goals from Daniel Browne, Oliver Wright, David Badrock and Saeed Bhamjee to bounce back from two consecutive defeats.
There was just the one game played in Division Three on Saturday which saw Hindsford Res host Walshaw Sports Res. The Tonics doubled their points tally thanks to their 5-1 win over Walshaw to reduce the gap to two points between the two sides. Josh Dillon and Aaron Booth both registered twice and Lee Wilson scored for the home side.
Pennington Res claimed the bragging rights in their local derby by winning 2-1 against local rivals Leigh Athletic Res. The win moved the hosts above their opponents steering them about of the relegation places.
Irlam Steel Res pulled off a shock as they held league leaders Rochdale Sacred Heart A to a 3-3 draw at Firgrove Playing Fields. The point takes Hearts back to the top of the table only by a point but have now played two games more than second-placed East Manchester Academy.
Boothstown Res picked up a huge three points from their game at Bolton Lads & Girls Club Res having come away from Hacken Bridge with a 5-3 victory. Kieran Kelsey hit a timely hat-trick along with a Joe Cox brace to move their side above their rivals to go level on points with the league leaders.
In the division’s other game of the day, Dylan Fitzgerald and Matt Barlow both scored to give Uppermill a 2-1 win in their game at Atherton Town A. The result moves Uppermill to within a point of Town, who miss out on the chance to go top if they had gained maximum points.
Premier Division leaders Avro cruised into the second round of the Gilgryst Cup with a 4-1 win against Prestwich Heys Reserves. With the game being played at Avro’s home ground, James Hampson hit a double along with Chris Howell and Joe Rathbone strikes to knock Heys out.
Bolton County provided a cup shock as they progressed through to round two albeit via penalties at the expense of Royton Town. They held the 2014/15 finalists to a 3-3 draw at Oldham Academy North, with Jake Howells, Jordan McLoughlin and Liam Short getting the goals, but were eventually victorious from spot kicks, winning 5-4.
Radcliffe Juniors put themselves joint top of Group A on Saturday with a decent 5-0 win at home to Breightmet United. The win gives them an identical record to that of Tintwistle Athletic but occupy top spot on alphabetical order.
Group C saw Atherton LR Dev strengthen their chances of qualification after they picked up a very hand 2-1 win away to Chadderton Reserves, Heath Ainscough and Nathan Strong with the goals for LR.
Manchester Amateur Cup
Wythenshawe Amateurs comfortably put their name in the hat for the next round thanks to their incredible 15-0 (FIFTEEN) win at home to AFC Oldham 2005 Res.
Manchester Gregorians Res, last season’s finalists will have to wait another year now following their 4-2 defeat at home to fellow MFL side Chadderton EDS.
It was a bad day for Heywood St James as both teams crash out. The first team lost 3-2 at Salford Victoria while the reserves lost 6-2 at home to Beechfield United Res.
East Manchester Academy failed to win a game for the first time this season as they were held to a 4-4 draw at West Didsbury AFC. East were knocked out on penalties with West winning 4-2 from 12 yards.
Another MFL side bowing out of the competition is AFC Monton Res who were beaten 3-2 by Manchester Medics at Hough End.
It was a close affair in the game between Moorside Rangers Res and Hollinwood Res with seven goals being scored at Agecroft Farm but it was the MFL side who were victorious by the odd goal, running out 4-3 winners in the end.
It was also a tight margin at the Vestacare Stadium where Avro Res narrowly beat AFC Middleton by two goals to one.
West Riding Challenge Cup
Uppermill cruised into the next round of the WRCC following their comfortable 8-1 victory at Meltham Athletic. Danny Gartside and Josh Barlow both hit doubles along with goals from Cameron Southern, Phil Armstrong, Will Wright and Nathan Driscoll to seal the win.
West Riding Challenge Trophy
Springhead Res put their name in the hat for the third round thanks to Adam Nuttall and Paul Stevenson goals plus a Luke Butler brace as they defeated Alwoodley Res 4-1.
Derbyshire Junior Cup North
Sam Swann’s double ensured his Tintwistle Athletic Res side progressed through to Round Three as they defeated Blazing Rag Res 2-1 at West Drive.
Altrincham District Cup
Two MFL sides were in ADC action on Saturday with both on their travels.
Altrincham Hale Res made the trip to Flixton Juniors and left with a 2-1 win whilst Old Alts went down 2-0 at Mersey Valley.