Results - Saturday 19th September

By Simon Harrison

The 2020/21 Manchester Football League season finally commenced on Saturday afternoon with all six divisions getting underway.

It’s been a very, very long period without any form of competitive football and with the conclusion of last season coming quite prematurely, a lot of us have been looking forward to the restart a little bit more eagerly.

Premier Division
Dukinfield Town finished as league leaders in the 2019/20 season and they begin the new campaign with an impressive win on the road against Beechfield United. Town secured a 4-0 win at Salford Sports Village to get them off to the best possible start.

Royton Town came out victorious in their local derby as they travelled to take on Chadderton Reserves at the Ark Fleetech Stadium. Goals from Declan tight, Andrew Stafford, Ethan Sutcliffe and Jack Worrall sealed a 4-1 win for the visitors while Samuel Oko netter Chaddy’s reply.

Pennington welcomed Heywood St James to Jubilee Park for their opening game of the season and it was the hosts who would enjoy it the most. A 3-0 win earned them all three points and sees them end the first weekend in third spot.

Also keeping a clean sheet at home were Rochdale Sacred Heart who welcomed Manchester Gregorians to Fox Park. A single goal proved to be the difference as Hearts won 1-0 to start the season on the right foot.

Walshaw Sports were the highest scorers of the day after they hit five in their game against Heyside. Lee Gaskell, Greg Wills, Matt Boland, Jamie Hart and Richard Woodward all scoring for the visitors in a 5-3 win at Crompton House.

Hindsford narrowly edged the five-goal thriller at Crossford Bridge as they squeezed past Old Alts to nick all three points. The Tonics secured the win with a 3-2 win to deny the hosts of anything to show for a close game.

The only draw of the day came at Radcliffe Road where Bolton County hosted Springhead. The visitors must have thought they had done enough to win all three points but a late eqauliser earned the hosts a point as it ended 2-2.

Division One
Govan Athletic enjoyed their opening game of the season as they welcomed the visit of Wilmslow Albion to Platt Lane. Matias Gays, Nathan Hind, Jake Pearson, Matt Turner, Ezekiel Eme and Alex Ouzounoglou all scored in the 6-1 win which puts them top of the table.

Atherton Town picked up the only clean sheet of the afternoon when they hosted Uppermill. The 4-0 win for Town was largely thanks to Calam Williamson’s hat-trick which was added to by a Ben Rodgers strike at Butler Park.

Shane Birtles, Lee Bruce, Liam Mulhall and Josh Moran-Davin all netted for Elton Vale as they saw off Tintwistle Athletic on Saturday afternoon. The hosts ran out 4-2 winners on what turned out to be a successful afternoon for the club.

Bolton Lads & Girls began their campaign with a smart 2-1 win at home against East Manchester. Jay Ralphson netted both goals for the hosts to earn them the three points.

Moorside Rangers and Middleton Colts earned themselves a point each when they played out a 1-1 draw at Agecroft Farm.

Division Two
Oldham Community had a day to forget on their MFL debut as they went up against a tough Rochdale Sacred Heart Res side. The visitors ran away with the victory with an 18-0 scoreline to put down an early marker for possible title intentions.

Another team who were making their MFL debut were Leigh Genesis who welcomed AFC Monton to Leigh Sports Village. However, it was to be a losing debut as the visitors ran out 5-1 winners.

Hindsford Res made a winning start to their campaign after a 4-0 win against Breightmet United.

Division Three
Walshaw Sports Res opened their campaign with three points after they travelled to Firgrove Playing Fields where they faced Rochdale Sacred Heart A. The visitors ran out 5-2 winners which puts them top of the table after the opening weekend.

Also winning on the road were Elton Vale Res and Atherton Town Res, and keeping clean sheets in the process. Vale won 1-0 at Dukinfield Town Res thanks to a solitary Wes Brown goal while Town registered a 2-0 win at Uppermill Res with Jordan Lloyd and Luke Pitchford getting the goals for the visitors.

Getting a point apiece were Manchester Gregorians Res and Stockport Georgians Res who played out a 2-2 draw at Belle Vue Sports Village.

Division Four
Just like their first team, AFC Monton Res started the campaign off with three points in an impressive win. The Ammies romped to a 7-1 win at New Alder Park against newcomers Leigh Genesis Res.

Boothstown Res were the only team in the division to keep a clean sheet when they hosted Old Alts Res at Bridgewater Park. Boothstown got all three points thanks to a 4-0 win which puts them into second.

Beechfield United A also scored four as they won 4-1 away to Dukinfield Town Dev to put themselves third.

Atherton Town A enjoyed their opening afternoon as they put five past Heyside Res at Howe Bridge Sports Centre. Tom Griffiths, Stephen Rafferty, Tyler Clare, Jake Daly and Ethan Redshaw all scored in the 5-3 victory.

The remaining two games saw both end in 2-2 draws where Heywood St James Res hosted Pennington Res and Tintwistle Athletic Res played Moorside Rangers Res.

Division Five
Bolton United Res end the opening weekend in top spot after their 5-2 win at Uppermill A. Ibrahim Musa’s brace was added to by Shoaib Mehrban, Hussain Munshi and Ubaid Patel to complete the scoring for United while Darren Scanlon and Kyle Clegg both scored for the hosts with the latter of the two later seeing red.

Dukinfield Town A also had a good afternoon as they won 4-1 on their travels against Pennington A. Robin Cain, Mason Heywood, Daniel Miller and Connor Owen were all on the score sheet for Town.

Springhead A ran out 4-2 winners at home to Bolton Lads & Girls Res with Lewis Oldham and Louis Versace both scoring twice for the hosts.

Govan Athletic Res get their season underway with a big three points on the road against Wilmslow Albion Res. The visitors won 2-1 which puts them fourth after the opening weekend.

Where next?

President's Page League president John Hyde has a few more words for you.
President's Page League President John Hyde has a final word before the opening weekend of the season on Saturday.

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