East Manchester had an opportunity to narrow the gap on the top two as Hindsford visited Wright Robinson, but they were held to a point in a six-goal thriller, East netting with a Sam Jones brace and Matty Roberts effort whilst the Tonics were on target through an own goal, Mark Chilton and Tom Valentine.
Having only lost once since the start of September, Springhead travelled to Bolton County in high hopes of extending that run, and the Oldham side duly returned with the three points thanks to a 2-1 win., Ryan Hanson and Kion Pryce their scorers with Alex Todd claiming County’s goal.
With over a third of the season gone, Old Alts are still looking for a first league win and hosted an inconsistent Royton Town with only one away win under their belt, and the visitors doubled that tally with a 2-1 victory. Grant Riley and Keith Melvin strikes bettering a Matt Jamieson effort for Alts.
The only fixture in Division One was also a vital one, at Chapel Town where Beechfield United were the visitors, pitting first against second, and it was the Salford side who took the honours with a 3-1 win with goals from Rob Lockley, Jamie Sinnott and Craig Massey winning it.
The Division Two leaders Tintwistle Athletic welcomed Irlam Steel to West Drive, the visitors keen to avenge a heavy home loss to their hosts back in September, and the Steelmen gave a great account of themselves despite going down 2-1 to a home side who have been flying, Tom Burns getting both goals for Tintwistle whilst Joe Lewis replied for Irlam.
A four-game winning run has thrust Bolton Lads and Girls Club into the promotion mix, but they faced the tricky task of needing to win at Uppermill to overtake Altrincham Hale in second spot and they came through a stern test as 3-2 winners to go second thanks to an Ash Reece double and Joe Handley effort, Danny Gartside got both goals for Uppermill.
With the league leaders on cup duty, second-placed Avro Res had the chance to close the gap on Rochdale Sacred Heart Res when they hosted Atherton Town Res who had other ideas. It was Town who took all three points thanks to an Emmanuel Yoak brace to cement themselves in third spot and move them to within a point of their rivals with a couple of games in hand.
There was just one game played in Division Four but there was plenty of goals to make up for it. Unfortunately for Leigh Athletic Res, none of them were scored by them as East Manchester Academy ran riot in a 10-0 win which sees them rocket to the top of the group on goal difference. A hat-trick from Max Perry, braces from George Etchells, Daniel Booth and Danny Williams in addition to a Liam Woolley effort maintained East’s 100% start to the season in both league and cup fronts.
Tintwistle Athletic Res suffered defeat for the first time this season after being on the wrong end of a 5-4 scoreline with Bolton Lads & Girls Club Res. It was an important win for Bolton who are now just a point behind Tinny with a game in hand. Jack Booth, Nicholas Grayson and a Tom Bright double wasn’t enough on the day for Tinny as Adam Spencer, Jake Beeton, Dan Brown goals and a Padraig Furey double sealed victory for the hosts.
Boothstown Res moved up to fourth place with a 2-1 win over Altrincham Hale Res, Dean Davies and Kieran Kelsey getting the goals for the home side and leaves Alty in mid table.
Wythenshawe Amateurs entertained a Stockport Georgians side that have found their feet in recent weeks but their visitors were put to the sword with a 5-1 victory, Alan Dolan, Pat O’Brien, Nialle Rodney, Rico Colulo and Zach Clarke all finding the net for the on-song Ammies with Jamie Pickering replying for Georgians.
The visit of Heyside to Manchester Gregorians looked a tough one to call, the hosts having just notched a first league win and the visitors’ form having been up and down of late, and the teams cancelled each other out as they battled out a 1-1 draw before the visitors edged through 5-4 on penalties.
Only two points separated Dukinfield Town and Walshaw Sports at kick-off, and the result went to form as the home side went through to Round Two thanks to a 4-2 win. A Daniel Parkinson brace was added to by Mitchell Andrew and Jordan Smith saw off Walshaw Sports’ challenge who crash out of cup competitions in successive weekends.
In Group A, Atherton Town began their campaign with a home game with Breightmet United and made light work of collecting three points with a convincing 5-0 win, Ben Hyde and Ryan Heapy adding to an own goal and a brace from Henoc Mukendi.
Group B leaders Altrincham Hale had a gilt-edged opportunity to book a box seat in the chase for the knock-out stages of the competition when they travelled to Govan Athletic, but they had to graft to take it with a close run 2-1 triumph, Hale scoring through Leigh Sproston and Matt Lamb while David Monanda netted for Govan.
Another important game saw Elton Vale entertain near-neighbours Heywood St James, a 3-2 win for the visitors taking them to within reach of a knock-out slot, James Conroy, Martin Love and George Powell netting for Jimmys, Jamie Higgins and Kelvin Trippier getting the goals for Vale.
To complete the Group B games, Wilmslow Albion and Pennington faced off in a must-win game for both, two defeats would virtually guarantee elimination and both sides had won one and lost one, and it was the visitors who claimed the spoils with an OG and a Wes Partington goal sealing a 2-0 win.
Group C leaders Manchester Central were on the road, making their way to Atherton LR Development in search of the three points that would move them five points clear, but it ended all-square at 2-2, Marcell Ahlin and Cory Knight bagging for Central and Dane Grimes getting both goals for LR.
Only one Group D game took place, Hollinwood playing Leigh Athletic at Chapel Road, both teams looking to close in on leaders Bolton Lads and Girls Club, but it was the Latics who earned the accolades courtesy of a 2-0 win, Keeran Parker and Josh Brennan both on target.
Wythenshawe Amateurs Res made it two wins from two in Group A thanks to their 4-1 win at Walshaw Sports to leave the hosts without a point from their first two ties. In the group’s other game, Springhead Res maintained the pressure at the top as their 4-3 win at home to Wilmslow Albion Res solidified second place. A brace each for Joe Heap and Darren Pownall earned their side the points at St Johns Street.
Group B’s only game saw Rochdale Sacred Heart open their account with a win as they travelled to Squires Lane to face a Hindsford side who had previously won both of their games so far. Hearts ran out 4-2 winners and puts them up to third place with a number of games in hand on the teams around them.
Six goals were shared in Group A’s only game of the day as Pennington Res drew 3-3 at home to Atherton Town A. The result gives both teams their first point of the campaign and does neither any favours in hope to qualify.
There were also six goals in the only game of Group B which saw Rochdale Sacred Heart A ease to a 5-1 at home to Govan Athletic Res. The win puts RSH into second place, three points off the leaders and three clear of their opponents.
Elton Vale Res became the first team in the competition to seal their place in the next round as they finished their quota of four games, winning all four and topping Group C. Their last victory came in the form of an emphatic 7-1 scoreline at Heywood St James Res. Braces apiece from Andy Holt, Stuart Telfer and Ryan Wilkes in addition to Martyn Howley’s goal for Vale.
Old Alts Res are still in with a shout of qualifying following an important 3-0 win away to Irlam Steel Res, who currently occupy the final qualifying spot. Alts need to win by a goal margin of five or more in their next game to put their name in the hat for the quarter finals.
Chadderton EDS did their chances of a last 8 place no harm whatsoever after picking up a 4-2 win at home to Bolton County Res. The result puts Chaddy top of the pile with 7 points from three games, three clear of second-placed Tintwistle Athletic Res who have a game in hand over the group leaders.
LANCASHIRE AMATEUR SHIELD
Prestwich Heys Reserves came from behind to beat Rochdale Sacred Heart 3-1, Lee Grimshaw, James Horan and Lee Bancroft all netting in the second half to eclipse a Jonny Thompson goal for Hearts.
AFC Monton faced a tricky home tie against a Fulwood Amateur side sitting in fourth place in the West Lancashire League Premier Division, and it was not to be the Ammies’ day as they slipped to a 6-1 loss, Rob Cooke getting the goal.
LANCASHIRE AMATEUR CUP
Radcliffe Juniors entertained Beehive, who are currently leading Division Two in the Blackburn Combination with a 100% record, in the Lancashire Amateur Cup, and they found the visitors too hot to handle in going down 5-3.