The title race continues another week after Manchester Central snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in their game with Heyside. The two sides served up nine goals in a game which had everything. Including penalty, a red card and a last-minute winner.
Elvis Amoakwa, Cory Knight and Cyril Davies goals added to a Josh Frith double to help Manchester Central cancel out Heyside’s James Curley’s goal plus a hat trick from Adam Dale at Crompton House.
The game was poised at 2-2 at the half-time break, and with Central needing a win, it didn’t look good for the visitors when Heyside raced into a 4-2 lead with 15 minutes left, Central’s title hopes looked bleak. However, Central managed to turn it around to win 5-4 and keep their dreams alive, eventually clinching it in the last moments of the game.
The fight for survival got a little tougher for East Manchester as they could only manage to claim a point from their battle with Beechfield United, keeping the gap at three points between the two teams. Danny Williams had given the hosts an early lead before Jordan Jones-Waite’s superb equaliser boosted United and he then turned provider for Jamie Sinnott who headed his side in the lead just before the break. But it was Williams who struck again for East to make it 2-2 late on at Wright Robinson.
It was the same scoreline at Woodhams Park where Dukinfield Town hosted Old Alts and would be the visitors who would be the happier of the two. The point gained keeps them four clear of bottom side, East, and with more games to play than the teams around them, they have the best chance of survival. Danny Fox and Daniel Parkinson got Town’s goals in their penultimate fixture.
Chadderton Res move up three places to 11th spot following their very impressive 4-1 win against Manchester Gregorians, easing their relegation woes. Alireza Farhadi, Corey Kelly and James Horan all netted for Chaddy at the Ark Fleetech Stadium to see off Gregs who remain mid-table.
Rochdale Sacred Heart kept their hopes of a top-four finish alive with a 5-0 thrashing of Walshaw Sports who aren’t exactly safe just yet. Tom Bradburn’s hat-trick helped the hosts on the way to victory and was joined of the score sheet by Harry Royds and Michael Kearney. Walshaw remain four points off the bottom with one game to play.
Royton Town suffered successive defeats after they went down at home to local rivals Springhead at The Oldham Academy North. ‘Head consolidated themselves in sixth with the 4-1 win thanks to a Leighton Stephenson brace and further goals from Ryan Fagan and Chris Pauley.
Heywood St James took full advantage of their game in hand over Pennington as they beat Leigh Athletic to go top of the table and seal promotion to the Premier Division. Their 3-2 win at Leigh Sports Village puts them in the driving seat in the title race and only Pennington can catch them.
In fourth place are Boothstown who cut the gap from third to eight points after their 4-2 win at Radcliffe Juniors. The victory keeps their hopes of a top-three finish in grasp but rely on Altrincham Hale not winning their last game.
A place back, in fifth are Atherton Town who narrowly saw off bottom-placed side Govan Athletic, winning 3-2 at Butler Park. The win sees Town bounce back from defeat on their last league outing while Govan still have a couple of games in hand over Wilmslow Albion who sit a place and a point above them.
Wilmslow Albion remain a place off the bottom after they lost 4-3 against Tintwistle Athletic in their penultimate game of the season. Michael Kennedy, Jack Miller, Harry Newton and Josh Stevenson all found the net for Tinny to ensure a top-eight finish.
Uppermill hosted Elton Vale but the visitors left with all 3 points after a 3-1 win which boosts their chance of finishing in the top five. Tom Simpson netted for Uppermill but Harvey Booth, Tyler Roscoe and Mark Severs all found the net for Vale at Churchill Playing Fields.
Middleton Colts clinched the league title with three games remaining following their 2-1 win at home to Wythenshawe Amateurs. Having sealed promotion a number of weeks earlier, Colts now secure silverware in their debut season in the Manchester Football League.
Moorside Rangers remain in fourth place following a narrow 1-0 defeat at Manchester Gregorians Res. The defeat threatens Moorside’s chances of promotion with four games left and are in a race for second place with Avro Res and Irlam Steel.
Old Alts Res and Rochdale Sacred Heart A went head-to-head at Crossford Bridge but neither team could find the net. Defences came out on top in this fixture with both sides having to settle for a point each.
Wilmslow Albion Res secured a huge three points from their visit to Pennington Res to keep up their survival chances. The 4-2 victory, their third win of the season, moves them onto double figures for the campaign and closes the gap to seven points to Old Alts Res who are a place above them and have 3 games in hand.
Luke Butler scored the goal for Springhead Res but could only manage a 1-1 draw on their visit to Stockport Georgians Res. The point each does nothing much for either team who are not involved in the action at the top or the bottom.
Royton Town Res missed out on the chance to close the gap at the top after they lost 3-1 away to Boothstown Res. They remain four points off the league leaders and have now played a game more, leaving it open for Heywood St James to catch them should they win their game in hand.
Moorside Rangers Res made it six league wins on the bounce after they beat Tintwistle Athletic 5-1 at Agecroft Farm. Parker Parker’s hat-trick was added to by Alex Bardsley and Luke Saxon to move their side four points clear of their opponents.
Manchester Central Res picked up their first win since the beginning of January as they saw off Altrincham Hale Res at Blessed Thomas Halford School. Four goals from Antonion Din-Chin and further goals by Karim Garada and Dimitri Ngalahan earned their side all the points to move them up a place to tenth.
Elton Vale eased to victory in the remaining Quarter Final tie as they beat a 10-man Uppermill Res 5-0 at Elton Vale Sports Club. Andy Holt (2), Declan Guy, Peter Hickford and Richard Caterall all scored for the hosts to seal their Semi Final spot where they will travel to Royton Town Res.
Manchester League Cup
Chadderton EDS booked their place in the Final with a 2-1 win over Bolton County thanks to goals from Robbie Nelson and Callum Viner. The EDS team become the first Chaddy side to reach a final since the Club’s arrival to the MFL in 2012.
East Manchester Academy complete the Final line-up after they saw off Govan Athletic Res at Platt Lane. Spencer Jenkinson and Tom Blow both scored for East while Gianluigi Scanu got Govan’s reply who ended the afternoon with 10 men.