It wasn't quite a full schedule of fixtures on Saturday with a number of teams in their respective County Cup action but there were still plenty of goals and talking points in the day's games.
With Heyside, Avro and East Manchester all in county cup action, Wythenshawe Amateurs had the opportunity to go top of the table with victory at Bolton County, but they hadn’t counted on a resilient home side who ran out 4-2 winners. Debutant Jordan McLoughlin, Matthew Ormrod, Liam Stewart and Tom Axon-Smith all netting for County with Seun Owoseni helping himself to a brace of goals for the Ammies.
The two sides jockeying for position behind the top four met at Oldham North Academy, and it was visiting Hindsford who claimed the spoils with a 3-0 victory to edge into fifth. Ryan Briody, Ben Meredith and Brad Brown all finding the net for the Tonics.
There was more than just three points at stake when Walshaw Sports and Prestwich Heys Reserves met at Fearns College where the two Bury-based sides went head-to-head, and it was the home side who were all smiles after a scintillating 7-4 triumph. Connor Gately grabbed two with Brad Haworth, Callum Heap, Sam Harvey, Ben Sharples and Rio Daniel completing the scoring for the hosts to lift them up to sixth place.
Rochdale Sacred Heart’s title defence took another bashing today after they slipped to a second home defeat of the season. Strikes from Ryan McDonagh and Lloyd Camilleri secured an impressive three points for AFC Monton, their first of the season, and moving them away from the drop zone.
Dukinfield Town’s see-saw form showed itself again as they bounced back from a midweek defeat to leaders Heyside to romp to a 5-1 home victory over Manchester Gregorians who remain winless. Emanuel Fernandes scoring twice and Andy Newton, Danny Parkinson and Adam Brokenbrow once each for the hosts
A Leighton Stephenson hat-trick-inspired Springhead to a convincing 4-0 win at Old Altrinchamians, Kaine Radcliffe adding the fourth, to keep the Oldham side in striking distance of the top half, whilst Alts find themselves three points from safety and still yet to register a win.
Chapel Town had a great chance to create some daylight behind them at the summit of Division One, fellow 100%ers Beechfield United being detained on county cup duty, when Wilmslow Albion were the visitors and accomplished their mission with a narrow 2-1 win, Liam Halliday scoring both goals.
With local bragging rights up for grabs, Pennington welcomed high-flying Leigh Athletic to Jubilee Park for an important league game, and it was the visitors who came through with a 3-1 win to go third, Josh Brennan scored twice and Matthew Bablinski once for Leigh, Daryl Cope getting a consolation for the home side.
Westbury Sports Club have started with two losses, and the visit of an unbeaten Atherton Town represented their next chance to get points on the board, but it didn’t end well as the visitors secured a 5-1 victory, Gareth Shaw hitting two goals home to add to Jared Harvey, Emmanuel Yoak and Matt Jackson strikes.
Tintwistle Athletic have been flying at the top of Division Two, but faced a tricky trek over to Irlam Steel, who were unbeaten in league action, but Tinny made light work of their task with Tom Burns hitting five goals and Josh Stevenson one as the High Peak side continued their march with a 6-0 win.
At Moss Park, two of the Division’s form sides met as Breightmet United entertained Altrincham Hale, and it took a late, late strike from Sam Acton to separate the teams, Alty now have a three-point cushion on their rivals from Bolton thanks to this 1-0 win.
Bolton Lads and Girls Club were looking to press the leading pack by claiming a victory at Radcliffe Juniors, two of the League’s newest members going up against each other, but Juniors had other ideas and moved up to fifth themselves with a 3-2 win. Jamie Berry, Jack Griffiths and Nathan Ince all finding the back of the net for Radcliffe while Ashley Reece and Joe Handley were on target for the Bolton club.
Heywood St James have made a solid start to their campaign, and travelled to winless Atherton LR Development hoping to reinforce their promotion credentials, but LR pulled off a surprise 1-0 win to move off last place.
Only goal difference separated Uppermill and visiting Govan Athletic, and there was no change to this after an entertaining 4-4 draw, Danny Gartside, Ben Ford, Aiden Stevenson and Will Wright were on target for the home side, Govan replying through a fine hat-trick from Adil Ajmal and a goal from Oliver Wright.
All teams have now played two games in the third division and we have three teams boasting a 100% start.
After their explosive start with an 8-0 win last week, Rochdale Sacred Heart Res didn't quite hit the same heights but still secured all three points to stay top of the pile with a 3-1 win against Manchester Gregorians Res.
One place back is Walshaw Sports Res who left Oakwood Farm with a 4-2 win over Wilmslow Albion Res whilst Avro Res are in third place following their 2-1 win at Atherton Town Res.
A Calam Williamson hat-trick helped Hindsford Res on their way to a 5-2 home win over Dukinfield Town Res. Jordan Walshe and Adam Farnworth were also on target for the hosts at Squires Lane.
Royton Town Res also scored five times and secured a clean sheet at Springhead Res to maintain their unbeaten start while Wythenshawe Amateurs Res are the last team to boast an unbeaten start following their impressive 4-1 win away to current champions Stockport Georgians.
There were five games played in the fourth division with East Manchester Academy sitting out due to there being an odd number of teams.
For those teams who played last week, none made it two wins from two this weekend which indicates that it's going to be a close one to call throughout the season.
Leading the way at the top is Hollinwood Res who picked up a narrow 3-2 win at home to Irlam Steel Res. Steve Barrow netted a brace plus a Paul Badby to put them onto four points from their start to keep Irlam in second place.
Rochdale Sacred Heart A got their season underway with an emphatic 5-2 win at home to Elton Vale Res while AFC Monton Res started in the same way with a 3-1 win at home to Bolton County Res.
Heyside Res find themselves at the bottom with no points from their two games and follows a 6-3 defeat at home to Pennington Res despite Alexandra Jenkinson netting a hat-trick.
Leigh Athletic Res and Old Alts Res met at the Leigh Sports Village in the division's remaining fixture. It proved to be a tight affair as the hosts nicked it by the odd goal in three.
Heywood St James Res were 3-2 victors over Breightmet United Res and take top spot while remaining to be the only team to have maximum points.
Three teams behind them are all on four points with Uppermill Res leading the chasing pack on goal difference which was helped by their 5-2 win at Altrincham Hale Res. Tintwistle Athletic were also plucky in front of goal as they secured a 4-1 win at home to Bolton Lads & Girls Club. A double from Connor Simpson plus Jake Knowles and Josh Casulli goals put the West Drive-side in to third place.
Boothstown Res managed to sneak a narrow 1-0 win at Govan Athletic Res to extend their unbeaten run whilst it was a stalemate at Howe Bridge where Atherton Town A and Chadderton EDS played out a 1-1 draw.
MANCHESTER FA CHALLENGE TROPHY
In the Manchester FA Challenge Trophy, all seven teams facing opponents from outside the competition progressed to mark a great day for the League, with leaders Heyside making light work of potential banana skin at Newton Heath, running out 3-1 winners.
Avro were forced to dig deep to progress at the expense of Moorside Rangers, substitute James Hampson getting the decisive strikes in a 2-1 win at the Vestacare Stadium.
Wright Robinson College saw a rare East Manchester v South Manchester fixture, the Manchester League side winning 4-0, Sam Jones bagging twice to add to efforts from Jack Timmons and Liam Turner.
Visits to Abacus Media are never easy, they sit in third spot in their Division, but Beechfield United hadn’t read the script, Louis Duff on target twice and Gary Wallis and Kurtis Lee once to clinch a 4-0 win.
Chadderton Reserves and Hollinwood fought out a tight contest which Chaddy edged by the odd goal in five, Niall Barnes finding the net twice and Joal Longmore once to move into Round Two.
Perhaps the biggest test of the afternoon fell to Manchester Central who travelled to Ericstan Park to face the Cheshire League top-flight outfit, and last year's finalists, Wythenshawe Town with Central claiming a prize scalp on penalties after a 1-1 draw after ninety-minutes. Thomas Greenfield opened the scoring on the half hour mark for Central before Town's Ash Leather levelled things up before the break.
Another side on the road were Boothstown, who visited Newton, and they completed a superb afternoon for the Manchester League with a 3-1 win.