The relegation battle took yet another twist on Saturday as the bottom four teams all played a game of musical chairs.
Beechfield United remain in bottom spot but are now separated by only one goal from East Manchester, whom they defeated 5-2 at Salford Sports Village on Saturday. A Jamie Sinnott hat-trick inspired United to the three points in a game they couldn’t afford to not win if they were to have a chance of survival and are now level on points with their opponents.
Old Alts lost 1-0 in a tight game with Manchester Gregorians and now sit just a point clear of the bottom two and have a worse goal difference of all the teams involved. Mahal Shereen scored the only goal of the game at Crossford Bridge and consolidates Gregs’ place in 7th.
Chadderton Res remain two points off the bottom despite 3 points of their own in a 5-0 win at home to Stockport Georgians to boost their survival chances. The win was their first since October and improved the goal difference significantly which would give them advantage should it come into play.
At the top of the table, league leaders Hindsford’s penultimate game of the season was at home to fellow title-chasing Heyside in a crucial meeting at Squires Lane. Adam Dale scored to give Heyside a 1-0 lead at the break but the hosts bounced back in the second half to win 4-1 with Alex Honeyball netting twice and a goal each from Jack Valentine and Ryan Briody to put their side six points clear at the top.
Rochdale Sacred Heart clinched their third-straight league win, and in emphatic fashion they did against a high-flying Dukinfield Town. The 6-2 defeat was Town’s first in the league at home since September while Sacred Heart move up to third. Michael Kearney led the way with four goals while Tom Bradburn and Curtis Williams both got one at Woodhams Park.
Manchester Central extended their excellent unbeaten league run to 12 games with a powerful 7-0 victory over Walshaw Sports and remain on target for title success. Dan Burns’ hat-trick helped his team move up to fourth and he was joined on the score sheet by Cory Knight (2) and Daniel Parker at The Manchester College.
As it Stands
1. Hindsford P27 Pts58 GD46
2. Royton Town P25 Pts52 GD30
3. Rochdale Sacred Heart P25 Pts48 GD32
4. Manchester Central P23 Pts47 GD29
12. Chadderton Res P23 Pts 22 GD-18
13. Old Alts P23 Pts 21 GD-28
14. East Manchester P24 Pts 20 GD-25
15. Beechfield Utd P25 Pts 20 GD-26
The gap at the top has been cut to one point with two teams hunting down top team Altrincham Hale.
Pennington brushed off Tintwistle Athletic with a 4-0 win to maintain their assault for promotion and the chance of being crowned champions. Daryl Cope hit a brace with Dane Grimes and Jordan Walshe getting the others at Jubilee Park to make it five unbeaten.
Joining Pennington on 44 points are Heywood St James who had a narrow victory at Platt Lane as they squeezed past Govan Athletic. Martin Cosgrave scored both goals for Jimmies as they ran out 2-1 winners with Haydn Fraser netting the hosts’ reply.
Elton Vale picked up three points from their trip to Leigh Athletic, thanks to goals from Lewis Benson, Tyler Roscoe, Mark Severs and Jon Stephenson. The result rounds off a good few days for the team after they won in midweek to secure a place in the Lancashire Amateur Cup.
Middleton Colts moved to within three points of sealing the Division Two title with a comfortable 5-0 at home to Astley & Tyldesley. Jonny Munson (2), Ryan Alessandra, Steve Cass and Ryan Burgess all scored at Hopwood Hall to put his side 10 points clear.
Irlam Steel won their first game since November, ending a losing streak of 6 games with a 6-3 victory away to Rochdale Sacred Heart Res. The win keeps Steelies’ chances of promotion as they sit 4 points off the top two with two games in hand. The game was Sacred Hearts’ final game of the campaign and sit in third but will most probably drop down further as the weeks go on.
Manchester Gregorians Res made it back-to-back home league wins as they narrowly saw off Hollinwood at Belle Vue Sports Village. Mark Fairclough, Luke Maher and Juwel Sonda all scored for the hosts to leave Hollinwood a place off the bottom.
It was a stalemate in the remaining game of the day where Atherton Town Res hosted Hindsford Res who fought from behind twice to take a point. Ben Kindley and Luke Pitchford both scored to put their side in the lead but The Tonics managed to get a share of the spoils with a 2-2 from their penultimate game of the season.
Just two Division Three games survived the weather this weekend with none of the top four in action.
Rochdale Sacred Heart A saw off bottom-placed team Wilmslow Albion Res in an eight-goal thriller, seeing the hosts come out 5-3 winners. Sam Drennan’s hat-trick was added to by Levi Simic and Maison Dinsdale at Firgrove Playing Fields to put them within a point of 4th place.
East Manchester Academy are unbeaten in their last 3 outings, the latest coming in the form of a 4-2 win at home to Stockport Georgians Res. An Arron Lilley hat-trick and a Matt Ollerenshaw goal means East move up a place to 6th spot with the win and leave Georgians third from bottom.
The gap at the top now stands at a single point following Royton Town Res’ 10-2 victory at home to bottom team Astley & Tyldesley Res. The win moves Town up into second spot and just a point behind leaders Heyside Res but have played at least a game more than the teams around them.
Altrincham Hale Res move up a place to 6th with a 5-3 win at home to Atherton Town A, securing back-to-back home victories for the first time this season.
Moorside Rangers Res are now fourth after Charlie Smith-Monks’ goal was enough to see them past Dukinfield Town A to earn them a 1-0 win.
Manchester League Cup
Chadderton EDS are the first team to book a place in the semi final after their 3-2 win over Bolton Lads & Girls Club Res. After winning Division Five last season, this result proves that Chaddy are continuing to make progress.