Moston Brook at 50: playing opportunities 'from cradle to the grave'

L&C AFL caught up with Mike Melia, Chairman of Moston Brook, after the club celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Originally formed in Newton Heath as an old boy’s club, Moston Brook has a rich history of giving game time to people of all ages.

Because of the origins, teams were made up of teachers, former pupils, older pupils, and those of school age who eventually advanced from youth teams to those competing in the L&C.

Though the old school which was responsible for the conveyor belt of players was demolished two decades ago, the burgeoning and vibrant youth setup, comprising of 10 youth teams and a training group, provide ample opportunities for players to go on and compete for one of the four adult teams.

Moston Brook reached its half century in September 2019 and celebrated the occasion a month later with a party that was attended by almost 150 current and former members of the adult teams.

Mike reflected on the enduring legacy of the club. Although its first team is in a relegation battle in Division One this season, Moston Brook has a storied history of success.

The first team is competing in Division One for the third successive season, having finished a respectable sixth last season and as high as fifth in the 2013-14 campaign.

The club tasted championship success in that division in 2008, a golden year for Moston Brook which saw one of the other sides finish top of Division B.

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Moston Brook has also won the Whitehead Cup on two occasions and successfully defended the Hellawell Shield.

But despite this roll-call of honours, Mike’s pride is in the club’s longevity, and the preparation of a production line that means people “could play for life for Moston Brook.”

He said: “From a personal point of view, I am not too bothered about that (honours) and club members might not like me saying it, but it’s a question of keeping people playing football.

“The pleasing aspect really is the longevity of the club and what pleases me most is I go down to training sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. To see the pitch full of kids running around – loads of activity, loads of children and coaches – that pleases me because there are kids enjoying themselves and we are responsible for it.”

Arguably, given the challenges currently facing the amateur game in terms of participation, this is a greater achievement than any honour.

Just this season, the L&C has seen seven teams drop out of its various competitions – some of which have a longer history than Moston Brook.

It highlights how precarious the situation can be.

But Moston Brook cater for players of all ages; sides exist at under-7, under-8, under-9, under-10, under-11, under-12, under-13, and under-14 level, as well as the training group.

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There have been football teams for girls and women, walking football teams, meaning there is an attraction to play, no matter what level you’re at.

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Another innovation that widens the net of talent is the use of one of the four senior teams as a veteran’s team, for players of over 35 years of age, as well as three between the ages of 30-35.

Mike said: “That has attracted players back. Some who played in our first team 12 years ago play for the third team – probably the most successful this season.”

Indeed, the third team have a real chance of putting the icing on the celebration cake by securing a promotion.

Allied to these opportunities is a ferocious work ethic from senior team managers to recruit, youth teams that recruit on the basis of willingness to play the beautiful game, and the “excellent job” of the Treasurer, Charlie MacMillan.

Lifelong friends, Mike and Charlie have played integral roles at Moston Brook since its second year of existence; both are legendary figures at the club for their contributions at all levels of the organisation – a legacy that will endure.

Mike added: “Having four teams isn’t easy, but if I’m looking at why we exist more than others, it’s the fact Charlie does an excellent job and makes life fairly comfortable, with a modest £6 weekly fee for training and the game. “

This ethic, commitment, and openness of adhering to the Moston Brook playing principle of “from the cradle to the grave,” is why its history is enshrined into 50 years, with many chapters yet to write. 

All clubs must be represented at 5 March EGM

After a weekend when the league came together to reiterate the anti-discrimination policy, the weekly update contains information on the fixture schedule, advice where pitches are unplayable, and the date and venue for the next EGM, at which all clubs must be represented.

  1. The fixture schedule is released up to 22nd February. Delayed Cup fixtures have been scheduled, a reminder that after 90 minutes it is straight to penalties and referee fees are shared. Further changes may be necessary, so please check. For all fixture matters contact Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk.
  2. A reminder to reverse fixtures if possible when home pitches are unplayable, and ensure Full Time is updated. Please see the postponement instructions attached and sent via email. Please do not book Chorlton High as a backup ground, as the pitch is worn out and dangerous, although this venue is on the FA 3G register.
  3. For Irlam Tiger please contact Mike Cartwright on 07810517492 instead of Kenneth Cartwright until further notice.
  4. Geoff Garnett (ggggarnett@aol.com) is pleased to receive brief match reports on Sat evening for inclusion in the weekly results report.
  5. The next EGM where all clubs must be represented is on 5th March 8PM at Curzon Ashton. If there are any items for the agenda (will be issued by 20th Feb), please let me know.

League show support for Anti-Discrimination Policy

THE L&C have received praise for their active support of the Anti-Discrimination Policy from a wide number of sources and this was supported by the players of Village Manchester and Chadderton Cott before their Division Three game as players and league officials got together to display banners for Football v Homophobia.

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The busy programme of league and cup matches were delighted to miss the oncoming Storm Ciara and get some vital games under their belts.

Rhodes Cup sponsored by GP Property Management

In the Rhodes Cup there were two excellent and close encounters with the top one seeing Premier Division high-fliers Abacus Media and Waterloo go to the wire with Waterloo going through 2-1.

It was even closer in the other game with Division One pace-setters Radclyffe hosting Urmston Town Juniors.

A thrilling game ended locked at 4-4 and Radclyffe edged the penalty shoot out by 4-3 and await their next opponents in the quarter-finals while Waterloo will visit South Manchester.

Wray Cup

There were also two games in the Wray Cup and Hadfield Athletic were taken all the way by Aldermere.

After sharing four goals Hadfield won through 3-2 on penalties and now visit Chadderton Park in the next round.

Oldham Vics have been enjoying a hot run of form in recent weeks and they kept up the momentum as they moved in to the quarter finals with a breathless 6-5 win at Elton Lib Hargreaves to book a tie against North Walkden.

Whitehead Cup

In the Whitehead Cup, Salford Storm provided probably the shock of the day as the Division A basement team pulled off an amazing 4-1 win over promotion hunting Old Stretfordians seconds

Joining them in the next round are Parrs Wood Celtic with the Division B leaders dispatching Division A side Waterloo reserves with a comfortable 3-0 victory and now host Mellor thirds in the quarter finals. Storm will entertain Bury Ams reserves.

Hellawell Shield

Just one game in the Hellawell Shield and a close game was edged by Moston Brook thirds over Bury Ams thirds by 2-1 to book a quarter-final tie against Division C high-fliers Irlam Tiger Rangers.

Premier Division

In the Premier Division basement team Milton showed how they have reached the semi-finals of the Lancashire Amateur Cup holding runaway leaders Whalley Range to a 1-1 draw.

The other relegation dogfight match saw Trafford United climb off the bottom with a 2-0 derby win at South Manchester.

Dom Doyle were 3-1 winners at Mellor to stay in the top half of the table.

Salford Vics and High Lane shared four goals in a game where the high winds made for difficult playing conditions.

High Lane took the lead midway through the second half, then like buses where you wait an hour with nothing happening, two goals came along in a short time as a Josh Lawman’s curling dipping 30 yard shoot flew in the top corner and five minutes later Pete Potts climbed above the defence to head home MoM Jono Hayes’ cross to put Vics 2-1 up.

High Lane scored a deserved equaliser with five minutes to go as both teams went for the win but time ran out for them with a draw being a deserved result in a game very well refereed by Mike Crump.

Division One

In Division One AFC Oldham took advantage of leaders Radclyffe being in cup action as they cruised to a 5-0 win over Moston Brook to move three points clear at the top.

Irlam Tigers are firmly in the mix with games in hand on the top two and they had few problems in accounting for Bury Ams by 6-0.

Newton showed great defensive quality in a 1-0 win over Manchester Polonia and Signol OB kept Old Strets at the foot of the table with a 3-1 win.

Division Two

The chasing pack are closing in on Division Two leaders Dukinfield Athletic with Stoconians winning 7-0 at Chorltonians reserves to move within six points of Athletic with a massive six games in hand.

North Walkden are just a point behind Stoconians having played the same number of games as they accounted for South Manchester reserves 7-2.

Rochdalians reserves climbed off the foot of the table with a 5-2 win over Mellor reserves and Santos enjoyed a 4-2 mid-table win over Bedians.

Division Three

In Division Three leaders Chadderton Cott showed their title intent with a comfortable 7-1 win at Village Manchester but Signol Athletic stay on their heels with a 5-0 romp at Hooley Bridge Celtic.

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Denton Town reserves bounced back after some recent defeats to win 6-2 at Milton reserves but Stoconians seconds had to work hard for a 2-1 win at Abacus Media reserves.

Division A

With Division A leaders Old Strets seconds in cup action the race for the top spot intensified as Wythenshawe Wanderers had Jamie Johnson, Connor Whalen, Mark Lucas and Euen Fallon sharing the goals in a 5-0 win over Rochdale Galaxy and AFC Stockport beat AFC Oldham reserves 3-0.

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The other games produced victories for Trafford United reserves by 2-1 at Deans and Dukinfield Athletic reserves by 3-1 over Moston Brook reserves.

Division B

With Division B’s top two teams in cup action Chadderton Cott reserves missed their chance to close the gap as they were beaten 3-1 at Spurley Hey reserves.

Hillgate had a good win at Chorltonians Athletic inspired by early goals from Sam Dugdale and Mitch Williams to go on and win 6-1.

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Flixton JFC were also in the goals as they enjoyed a 4-0 win at AFC Oldham thirds.

Old Strets thirds just made it with a 2-1 win over Stoconians thirds and in another close game Heaton Mersey shared two goals with Bury Ams with Joe Stokes netting for Bury and Warren Dawkins replied for Mersey with young debut referee Nat Dando looking to be a good prospect for the future.

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Division C

In Division C leaders Irlam Tiger Rangers shrugged off their recent dip in form with an exciting 4-3 win at Altrincham Hale.

Second-placed Chadderton Park reserves matched this score at AFC Stockport Warriors and Salford Storm reserves made it a good day for the club walloping Stoconians fourths 7-0.

Staly Lions continued their good run with an efficient 3-0 win over Oldham Vics reserves and Whalley Range reserves were celebrating long and hard after a 3-1 win at Govan Athletic thirds.

Anti Discrimination Update Feb 2020

Update on Respect Standards and Discrimination Reporting

The Lancashire and Cheshire AFL fully supports all initiatives that help to remove discrimination of all kinds from the game. Football is For All and we aim to make everyone; players, officials, spectators and fans feel welcome, safe and respected. We will challenge discrimination by reporting, raising awareness and standing by those affected by such unpleasant behaviour.

The League demands that all our member teams and officials do the same.

We are a Charter Standard League and therefore all our clubs must be Charter Standard certified. As such all clubs automatically have to abide by the Respect Code of Conduct as per below. Point 4 is quite clear on what is expected.

http://www.thefa.com/-/media/thefacom-new/files/get-involved/respect/fa-respect-code-of-conduct-mens.ashx

This update is especially relevant this month, February 2020, as it has been designated a Football v Homophobia month of awareness.

The Lancashire and Cheshire AFL will support any other anti-discriminatory initiatives, and supports improvement of FA processes for dealing with issues when they do occur.

For more information on reporting discrimination and hate crime please contact the league, Alex West at Manchester FA, or staff at LFA, CCFA, or DFA, or visit the following websites.

http://www.thefa.com/get-involved/respect/anti-discrimination

https://www.kickitout.org/

http://www.letsendhatecrime.com/

Hate Crime should be reported to the Police. This week is Hate Crime Awareness Week in Greater Manchester.

ALL County FA’s will have a discipline team email address – eg –discipline@manchesterfa.com ; discipline@lancashirefa.com ; discpline@cheshirefa.com

The FA have just launched more information on how to report discrimination and all County FA’s will have similar announcements to MFA in relation to the FA’s ‘Tell us and we’ll Tackle it campaign.

http://www.manchesterfa.com/news/2020/jan/23/tell-us-campaign-launched

The Lancashire and Cheshire AFL Management Committee

Fixture information for February available

All club secretaries and committee will be able to access fixture information for the first half of the month. Further information is below, with the rest of this week’s update.

  1. The fixture schedule is released up to 15th February. Delayed Cup fixtures have been scheduled, a reminder that after 90 minutes it is straight to penalties and referee fees are shared. There may be some changes for 8th Feb necessary which, if any, have now been made, so please check. For all fixture matters contact Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk.
  2. A reminder to reverse fixtures if possible when home pitches are unplayable, ensure Full Time is updated. Please see the postponement instructions have been sent via email.
  3. For Irlam Tiger please contact Mike Cartwright on 07810517492 instead of Kenneth Cartwright until further notice.
  4. Geoff Garnett (ggggarnett@aol.com) is pleased to receive brief match reports on Saturday evening for inclusion in the weekly results report.

South Manchester and Signol Old Boys secure Rhodes Cup progression

A full programme of domestic cup and vital league games saw few postponements on another busy and eventful day with plenty of goals and drama.

Rhodes Cup sponsored by GP Property Management

In the Rhodes Cup there were two catch-up games with the top one featuring Manchester Amateur Cup semi-finalists Irlam Tigers, who are flying high in division one, hosting premier divisions strugglers South Manchester.

The game ended with a 1-1 deadlock and South won a tense penalty shoot-out by 4-3 to move into the quarter-finals where they will meet the winners of the tie between Abacus Media and Waterloo.

The Tigers now look forward to their Manchester Amateur Cup semi-final on February 15 when they take on Chadderton EDS.

The other tie saw division B leaders Parrs Wood Celtic take on division one Signol Old Boys and again it was a close contest with Signol easing through by the odd goal in five to visit Manchester Polonia in the next round.

Wray Cup

There was one game in the Wray Cup between Rochdalians reserves and Village Manchester and once more it went to a penalty shoot out after a 1-1 draw in normal time and Village kept their nerve to win the shootout by 5-4.

Whitehead Cup

There were three game in the Whitehead Cup with plenty of thrills and spills.

Division A leaders Wythenshawe Wanderers kept up their double hopes with a gritty 4-3 win at AFC Oldham thirds

Bury Ams reserves edged a 2-1 win over Deans and the local derby at Heaton Mersey had AFC Stockport winning a thriller by 5-3.

Hellawell Shield

Just one game in the Hellawell Shield and it produced a decisive 7-1 win for Altrincham Hale against Stoconians thirds who had taken the lead on three minutes through Luke Henshaw.

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Premier division

In the Premier division runaway leaders Whalley Range had to pull out all the stops before beating a determined Abacus Media 2-0.

Reigning champions Rochdalians stay in second spot after an efficient 4-2 win at Dom Doyle but there was a shock for Waterloo who lost out 2-1 to Mellor.

High Lane had few problems in a 3-0 win at Trafford United but the game of the days was at Salford Vics.

Vics were entertaining Lancashire Amateur Cup semi-finalists Milton and won an end-to-end thriller by 6-5.

Division One

The top game of the day in division one saw the top two teams Radclyffe and AFC Oldham, who had dropped just two league points between them in a great game.

Kyle Hardman gave Radclyffe the lead but AFC hit back with strikes from Don Jackson and Sam Stafford to lead 2-1 at the break.

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With a strong wind on their backs AFC added two more unanswered goals in the second half to move level on points with Radclyffe and a vital game in hand.

Chorltonians stay in third spot after a comfortable 4-2 win hosting Newton.

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In the other two games Manchester Polonia kept up their good run of form with a 4-1 win over Old Stretfordians and Moston Brook beat Urmston Town 3-2.

Division Two

Division two leaders Dukinfield Athletic suffered a big setback to their title hopes as they lost 2-1 at resurgent Oldham Vics and Hadfield Athletic closed the gap to nine points with six games in hand with a hard-earned 3-2 win at Santos.

A mid-table clash at Mellor reserves saw the home team emerge with a 5-3 win over Bedians.

Division Three

Chadderton Cott stay four points clear at the top of division three after a 3-1 win at Stoconians reserves and there was delight for Hooley Bridge Celtic who moved out of the bottom two with a 3-1 win over Denton Town reserves.

Salford Vics reserves made it a good day for the club with a 3-1 win at Abacus Media reserves and in a goal fest Aldermere beat Milton reserves 5-4.

Division A

With division A leaders Wythenshawe Wanderers in cup action the chasing pack took advantage in a tight title race.

Old Strets seconds took over at the top with a 3-1 win at AFC Oldham reserves and they are level on points with Mellor thirds who won a close game with Salford Storm by 3-2.

Strets now lead Wythenshawe by a point with a vital game in hand.

Rochdale Galaxy were too hot for Trafford United reserves in a 10-0 win but it was much closer for Moston Brook seconds who came through with a 2-1 win over Waterloo reserves after conceding an early goal to a stunning 30-yard volley.

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Division B

There was limited action in division B with the top two in cup action but Chadderton Cott missed the chance to close the gap on the leaders as they were held to a 3-3 draw by Flixton JFC.

Old Strets thirds stay in the top half of the table with a comfortable 6-1 win over Chorltonians Athletic.

Division C

Division C leaders Irlam Tiger Rangers, saw their lead cut to four points as they went down 3-2 at Oldham Vics seconds with second-placed Chadderton Park reserves having few problems in a 7-1 win over Moston Brook fourths.

Staly Lions have hit a run of hot form as they roared to a 6-0 win hosting Govan Athletic but it was much closer for Stoconians fourths in an exciting 4-3 derby win over AFC Stockport Warriors.

Reminder of L&C's discrimination policy

We start this week’s update by reminding clubs of the discrimination policy that all must adhere to. Details on where to find this are included below.

  1. The fixture schedule is released up to 8th February. Delayed Cup fixtures have been scheduled, a reminder that after 90 minutes it is straight to penalties and referee fees are shared. For all fixture matters contact Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk.
  2. A reminder to reverse fixtures if possible when home pitches are unplayable. Please see the postponement instructions sent via email.
  3. For Irlam Tiger please contact Mike Cartwright on 07810517492 instead of Kenneth Cartwright until further notice.
  4. For Hooley Bridge Celtic contact Alec Gill on 07887367160.
  5. The league’s policy on discrimination was re-issued on Thursday 16th Jan, along with a communication on the subject from MFA. The league also released a statement on the website mid-week. Please ensure all club members are aware of the contents.