Weekend Round-Up

By Simon Harrison

The 2017/18 Manchester Football League saw its second weekend of games on Saturday as the teams in Premier Division, Division One and Two were in action.

It’s still August but the weather took its first two victims of the season. Westbury Sports and Boothstown’s Division One game at the Barracks was waterlogged as was the only game in Division Three as Wilmslow Albion Reserves were scheduled to host Stockport Georgians Reserves.

Premier Division
Two of the three teams with a perfect start went head to head on Saturday afternoon as Avro hosted Prestwich Heys Reserves. On the back of a very healthy 7-0 win in midweek, Avro looked to make it a hat-trick of wins at home this season to cement their position in top spot while Heys were looking for more of the same from their first two games.

But it was the hosts who maintained their 100% start to the season after they overcame the Division One winners by two goals to nil. James Hampson and Callum Jackson with his third of the season earnt Avro the three points against Heys who finished the game with 10 men.

Wythenshawe Amateurs, the only other team with a 100% start, were on their travels again as they made the trip to Woodhams Park to face a Dukinfield Town side who boasted an unbeaten start. Town had taken four points from their two games seeing them score six goals on their last outing on home soil but would surely have settled for any type of victory on Saturday.

Andrew Newton put the hosts in front inside the first 10 minutes but Danny Egan levelled things up for the Ammies just before the break. The visitors took the lead midway through the second half through Joel Aitkenhead which turned out to be the winner and sees Wythenshawe remain in second place.

Bolton County welcomed champions Rochdale Sacred Heart to Radcliffe Road with both teams having struggled from their opening two games. County were yet to get off the mark while Sacred Heart had just one point to their name.

It was the champions who registered their first win of the season at the third time of asking after they edged out County in what was a cracker of a tie at Radcliffe Road. Liam Stewart scored County’s first goal in the Premier Division to give them the lead before the visitors levelled through Dalton McLaughlin from the spot. Jonny Thomson put Sacred Heart in front before Liam Stewart got his second of the game only for another Dalton McLaughlin penalty to win it for Sacred Heart.

Springhead and Manchester Gregorians met at St Johns Street after picking up a point from their respective starts. Both teams lost on the opening day then drew in midweek so the two sides were itching for all three points.

However, both sides were made to settle for another draw as they shared four goals. Springhead will feel the better of the two teams having played over an hour with 10 men. Ryan Fagan was on the score sheet again for Springhead plus a goal from Ryan Hanson whilst Zach Bagwell and Bhodan Semehen registered for Gregs. The visitors could and should have won the game but for a missed penalty from Matt Dodwell in the final moments of the game.

East Manchester travelled to Crossford Bridge to face Old Alts who got off the mark with a point in midweek. East were also held during the week but looked to make it two wins from three on Saturday afternoon.

Both teams shared the spoils after a 2-2 draw in what was an exciting game at Crossford Bridge. East Manchester were reduced to ten minutes inside the opening 20 minutes as Old Alts raced into a 2-0 lead. Kerrim Calliste got his second of the season after Jake Hodgson’s opener but were held as East fought back for a point through goals from Sam Jones’ fifth of the season and Steve Dorman.

Squires Lane was the venue as Hindsford faced Walshaw Sports with the hosts fresh from their seven-goal thriller on Tuesday night. The Tonics edged out AFC Monton by the odd goal in midweek but Walshaw were still looking for their first win.

It was Walshaw who bounced from their heavy defeat in midweek with a very impressive 2-1 win to move on to four points from their first three games leaving the Tonics on three points from their opening fixtures. Jack Bradbury was on target for the hosts but wasn’t enough as Brad Howarth and Marc Duffy strikes gave the visitors the win.

Royton Town went to New Alder Park on Saturday with four points on the board and faced an AFC Monton side who had previously seen 11 goals scored in their fixtures so far. The Ammies had accrued just the one point from their start before what promised to be a tasty affair with Town.

It was Royton who left with the points after their 2-0 win thanks to goals from Josh Henthorn and Cameron Horner who gave the visitors to leave the hosts with one point so far.

Newly-promoted side Heyside had made a good start to life in the top flight having picked up four points from their two games and travelled to a Stockport Georgians side that occupied bottom place and were yet to register a point in what’s been an uncharacteristic start from the Cromley Road men.

Heyside knocked up a very impressive 4-1 win against the former champions to extend their unbeaten start. A Jordan Hindley double and a goal each from Carl Caffrey and Chris Ollerton gave the Oldham side the victory to leave Georgians bottom with no points against their name. Kevin Cooney with the consolation for the hosts.

Division One
Chapel Town made it two wins from two with an emphatic 5-1 win at home to Chadderton Reserves to take top spot. A hat-trick from Zak Ridgeway added to with goals from Tyson Elway and Matthew Sherlock meant Town take top spot while Jake Jacobs got his side’s consolation on the afternoon.

Elton Vale also made it two wins from two after came away from Jubilee Park with three points following their 2-0 win away to Pennington. Goals from Robin Greenwood and Lewis Benson gave Vale the win.

The only other team to have made it two wins from two is Salford side Beechfield. They were 2-0 winners at home to Manchester Central thanks to goals from Jordan Jones and Carl Ravenscroft which left the visitors without a point from their start in Division One.

Wilmslow Albion survived a scare at Chapel Road after throwing away a two-goal lead only to nick it late on to secure a 5-3 win. The visitors led 3-1 only to be pegged back by Hollinwood before two late goals earned them the win. Loma Kuzende, Aleem Salim and Joe Hingira were all on target for the hosts but didn’t prove to be enough as goals from James Wedd, Danny Pearson and a hat-trick from Allen Quinny secured the points for Albion.

Atherton Town claimed the bragging rights after their 4-2 win over local rivals Leigh Athletic at Leigh Sports Village. Ben Rodgers, Hennoc Mukendi and a brace from Emmanuel Yoak sealed the points for the visitors to put them on to four points from their first two games. Sean Mountford and Josh Brennan were on target for the hosts.

Division Two
Following on from their impressive win on the opening day, newcomers Tintwistle Athletic made it two wins from two with another high-scoring display against Breightmet United. A Tom Burns double along with strikes from James Wilson, Josh Casulli and Sam Swann gave the West Drive outfits a 5-2 win and remain on top of the pile.

Altrincham Hale were also on form in front of goal as they secured a 4-0 win against Atherton LR Development to maintain their perfect start. Sam Acton hit a double plus goals from Arron Martindale and Jon Drysdale gave their side the points leaving their opponents without a point from their start to life in the Manchester Football League.

After missing out on the opening day due to the odd number of teams in the division, Irlam Steel had their first taste of league action on Saturday when they hosted Heywood St James. Rourke Murphy and Ben Ravesncroft were on the score sheet for Steel but could only manage a draw as goals from Martin Love and Lamar Harrison means both teams shared the spoils.

Bolton Lads & Girls club got their first points on the board thanks to their 3-1 home victory over Hindley Juniors. Wilson Santa Rosa’s goal for Hindley wasn’t enough as Jack Alderson, Josh Keadie and Ashley Peacock goals got their side their first win of the season.

Radcliffe Juniors got their first MFL win under their belt with a narrow 2-1 win away to Uppermill who had won their opening game. Daniel Gartside got the home side's goal but wasn't enough to maintain their unbeaten start.

Premier Division
AFC Monton 0-2 Royton Town
Avro 2-0 Prestwich Heys Reserves
Bolton County 2-3 Rochdale Sacred Heart
Dukinfield Town 1-2 Wythenshawe Amateurs
Hindsford 1-2 Walshaw Sports
Old Alts 2-2 East Manchester
Springhead 2-2 Manchester Gregorians
Stockport Georgians 1-4 Heyside

Division One
Beechfield United 2-0 Manchester Central
Chapel Town 5-1 Chadderton Reserves
Hollinwood 3-5 Wilmslow Albion
Leigh Athletic 2-4 Atherton Town
Pennington 0-2 Elton Vale
Westbury Sports Club P-P Boothstown

Division Two
Altrincham Hale 4-0 Atherton LR Development
Bolton Lads & Girls Club 3-1 Hindley Juniors
Irlam Steel 2-2 Heywood St James
Tintwistle Athletic 5-2 Breightmet United
Uppermill 1-2 Radcliffe Juniors

Division Three
Wilmslow Albion Reserves P-P Stockport Georgians Reserves

Where next?

Reserves Kick Off Their Season It’s been a long time coming for their league campaign to commence but the teams in Division Three, Four and Five finally get their season underway this weekend.
Wednesday Night Round-Up There were two matches played in the Premier Division tonight in the last of the first set of midweek fixtures.

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