On the penultimate weekend of the footballing calendar for 2018, the weather caused a number of games to be postponed but we were still able to get substantial amount of football played thanks to the Clubs who have the use of artificial surfaces.
With the top two teams not playing on Saturday, Royton Town missed out on the chance to close the gap as they fell to a heavy 5-2 defeat at home to a Manchester Central side who are up to sixth. Dan Burns netted twice to add to goals from Dario Germano, Cory Knight and Paul Riley at the Oldham Academy North.
Heyside capitalised on Royton’s defeat and moved three points closer thanks to their 3-1 win at Beechfield United. Chris Ollerton, Gary Chan and Adam Dale all scored for the Oldham outfit to move them to within 2 points of third place.
Manchester Gregorians defeated Springhead 2-0 at Belle Vue and overtook them in the table and into 5th spot. Springhead drop to 7th below Central after their win added to the movement.
Wright Robinson College was the venue where East Manchester and Walshaw Sports played out an entertaining seven-goal thriller and included a last-minute. Goals from Lee Gaskell, Richard Woodward, Lee Chapman and a last-minute Paul Brandish header sealed the win for Walshaw who finished the game with ten men.
Just two fixtures survived the torrential rain that led up to the weekend and involved teams at the top and the bottom.
At the top end, Altrincham Hale moved up to third with a 5-3 win at home to Atherton Town thanks to a Jack Yates hat-trick and further goals from Bobak Yari and Ben McRae; Jordan Lloyd (2) and Danny Kerr registered for Town.
Towards the bottom, Leigh Athletic and Govan Athletic, who were both inside the bottom three, met at Leigh Sports Village but neither side could edge it as they shared six goals and the spoils. A 3-3 draw meant they both move up a place with goal difference keeping them out of the bottom two.
Middleton Colts moved top of the table after they eased to an 8-2 win at Hollinwood, leaving the host just two points from safety. Jon Munson scored a hat-trick, Jamie Diamond and Kacy Samuel scoring twice and Ashford Blake got the other at Wright Robinson.
Breightmet United are still looking for their first point of the season following a 4-0 defeat at home to Astley & Tyldesley, a result which moved A&T up a place to 8th.
In the division’s other game of the day, Rochdale Sacred Heart Res stay in fourth spot but are now 3 points clear of Atherton Town in fifth after they won 3-2 against them at Butler Park. Zac Madden, Josh Brierley and Ryan Taylor all scored for RSH who are now just 6 points off the summit.
Elton Vale Res moved level with leaders Dukinfield Town Res after a thumping 8-1 win at home to East Manchester Academy. Kyle Carter (2), Sheldon Barrington, Peter Hickford, Andy Holt, Jude Hurley, Tyler Roscoe and Declan Guy were all scorers in the one-sided affair.
Chadderton EDS also registered a big win as they entertained Old Alts Res at St Matthews School. The 6-0 win moved Chaddy up to third and within 3 points of the league leaders.
Stockport Georgians Res picked up a vital point on the road as they left Jubilee Park with a 3-3 draw against Pennington Res. Despite still being in the bottom two, the draw puts the Cromley Road men within four points from safety with three games in hand.
Royton Town Res remain top of the pile for another week after they overcame Govan Athletic at Platt Lane. Will Morgan and a double from Farai Hwenga earned their side all 3 points to ensure they will be top at the turn of the year.
Altrincham Hale Res are now in second place, 8 points off the summit thanks to a 6-2 win at Manchester Central Res. Jordan Drinkwater’s hat-trick was added to by Clifford Butau, Tom Dunne and Jason McDermott for Hale while Karim Garada and Kaine Martin netter for Central.
Boothstown Res now sit fourth and 9 points off the pace after a 3-0 win at Atherton Town A who drop to fifth. Ben Oldroyd scored twice and Stephan Howard once to earn their side all the points at Howe Bridge, leaving it very tight in the chasing pack as just one point separates 2nd down to 5th.
It was an entertaining 4-4 draw between Bolton Lads & Girls Club Res and Tintwistle Athletic Res. The result leaves both teams down in the bottom half, with BL&G moving up a place with the point.
Rochdale Sacred Heart progressed through to the next round of the Gilgryst Cup with a comfortable 5-1 win away to Chadderton Res. Josh Pinder scored twice, Jack Holt, Kristofer King and Curtis Williams all scored once at the Ark Fleetech Stadium to see them through, Jaya Woski-Cawthorne got Chaddy’s consolation.