After the title race was concluded last weekend, this Saturday saw the spotlight fully focused on the fight to avoid the drop.
Going into the weekend, bottom team East Manchester knew that only a win against Manchester Gregorians would be enough to see them survive while Beechfield United waited with baited breath on the outcome as they would face the drop if East won.
However, Gregorians proved to be party poopers as they left Wright Robinson with the points courtesy of a 4-2 win to ensure East finish in bottom spot. Danny Williams netted both goals for the hosts but it wasn’t enough on the day.
Heyside rounded off their campaign with a 2-1 defeat away to Bolton County and remain in fourth place. Kieran Hennessey and Jordan McLoughlin scored for County to seal their victory but cannot finish higher than eighth place.
Also completing their campaign were Chadderton Res and also end with a defeat on the road. Their opponents, Springhead won 2-0 courtesy of Leighton Stephenson and Paul Stevenson goals to secure sixth spot.
The title race could have potentially been sewn up on Saturday but the drama will continue another week.
After securing promotion in midweek, Pennington travelled to Tintwistle Athletic but couldn’t replicate their result from Tuesday night. Josh Bridge (2) and Anthony Rodriguez both scored for Tinny who picked up the win.
That result meant that a win for Heywood St James on their visit to Boothstown would crown them champions but the champagne will have to remain on ice for another 7 days. The league leaders left Bridgewater Park on the back of a 3-0 defeat but still hold all the cards in the race for the title.
Altrincham Hale finished their season off with a 2-1 win away to Atherton Town thanks to a goal in each half from Ben Vincent while Jordan Lloyd got Town’s reply.
Champions Middleton Colts couldn’t add to their points tally in their final game as they lost 3-1 to Astley & Tyldesley. Alec Crowder (2) and Scott Rowe were on target for the hosts and secure they finish in tenth place.
Walshaw Sports Res and Wythenshawe Amateurs Res met at Sycamore in each side’s penultimate game of the season. However, it was the Ammies who claimed all the points as they ran out 2-1 winners to ensure they finish in sixth spot.
Uppermill Res maintain their position at the top with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Bolton County Res. Danny Hill got County’s consolation while Darren Scanlon’s hat-trick for the hosts was added to by Kieran Hilton and Matt Barlow to move their side to within 2 wins from title glory.
Rochdale Sacred Heart A enjoyed victory in a close-fought encounter at Cromley Road, eventually edging out Stockport Georgians Res 3-2. Adam Miles and Ewan Roach got Georgians’ goals but it couldn’t prevent the visitors from leaving with all the points.
Fifth placed Chadderton EDS moved 5 points clear with a 4-0 win at home to struggling Wilmslow Albion Res as Callum Artus, Alexander O’Neill, Brian Potter and Callum Viner all scored for the hosts.
Pennington Res recorded a 3-0 victory over East Manchester at Jubilee Park seeing them move 5 points clear from the team below them while having 2 games in hand.
Bolton Lads & Girls Club Res moved off the bottom with the point gained in their game at home to Govan Athletic Res. Aditya Rathore and Nick Jordan both netted for Govan in the 2-2 draw to move them up a place to tenth.
Rochdale Sacred Heart booked their place in a third consecutive Gilgryst Cup final after seeing off Royton Town in the Semi Final. Curtis Williams’ first half goal proved to be the winner as Heart won 1-0 at Oldham Academy North.
They will be met at Hyde United by Beechfield United whose day couldn’t have gone any better. Firstly, they were given good news at the fact they survived in the relegation battle and will be playing Premier Division football next season. Secondly, they have the chance to clinch silverware as they progressed to the final after bypassing league runners up Manchester Central.
It was a game of two halves as Beechfield led 2-0 at the break before Central brought it back level at 2-2 which is how it finished after 90 minutes. The penalty shootout was won by United, edging it 3-2 at Manchester College.