Moston Brook secure interleague trophy

THE L & C and their old friends and rivals, the Lancashire Amateur League (LAL), who have played interleague matches against each other for over 100 years, set up two new competitions between them as a prelude to the new season.

The first was a match for the Paul McKeown Memorial Trophy between the top two teams from each league last season.

Representing the L & C were Rhodes Cup winners Moston Brook and they took on LAL champions Little Lever at away territory in what will become an annual pre-season fixture.

It was a great game to advertise the qualities of both leagues with both teams very committed in a close and exciting contest.

Little Lever led 2-1 at the break with Kealan Steenson netting for the hosts, who led through a stunning volley just before the break.

In a very even second half there were chances for both teams before Brook took control with a hot five minutes.

It began with a tap-in from Jack Ward on 75 minutes and this was followed with Declan Knott giving Brook the lead from a penalty two minutes later.

Victory was sealed shortly afterwards as Kealan Steenson added his clinical second strike and despite a great effort by Little Lever, solid defending preserved the two-goal lead to enable Brook to celebrate winning their first trophy of the new season.

The draw was made after the game for the Rowe Trophy which will see a new knockout competition between the team in the Premier Divisions in both leagues to be played for in the coming season and if it’s anything like the game between Moston Brook and Little Lever, we can expect a lively and competitive encounter, which will culminate in a final match later in the season at a leading non-league ground.

L & C Chairman Mike Yates thanked the LAL and Little Lever for their excellent hosting of the game and said he is looking for to an exciting L & C 2022-23 season.

L & C Secretary to step down

The new L & C season is almost upon us, and there will be a significant difference from the 2021/22 season, as League Secretary Brian Davies has retired from the role he’s served with distinction for 14 years.

Brian took up the position in time for the start of the 2008/09 season, replacing John Howard. His tenure in one of the most all-encompassing jobs on the L & C Committee has resulted in some of the most revolutionary changes in the league and its communications with our clubs.

During this time, Brian led the introduction of more streamlined administration of league functions, providing a greater emphasis on the use of technology, making the administrative tasks of club secretaries easier than had previously been possible.

Brian was well placed to oversee this change given his vast experience of football administration; having initially started playing for Stoconions in the 1970s, Brian made the move to Chorltonians in 1983 and in that time, he held several positions at the club, where he was Chairman, giving a solid grounding of all matters relating to league administration.

It’s fair to say that his period as League Secretary has thrown up some of the most unprecedented challenges seen in the league’s history. The Covid pandemic threw up significant difficulties in ensuring the league continued, along with communication, and games were able to be fulfilled in a safe environment. Brian also used this opportunity to champion the use of remote meetings which again resulted in greater and more streamlined communication.

At a time where the threats to amateur football participation have never been more pronounced, with the advent of more TV games and other work commitments, under Brian’s tenure, the league has gone from strength to strength, with eight divisions and he leaves his role as Secretary with the L & C in great shape.

The diligence with which Brian has undertaken his role is no surprise considering his long affiliation with the beautiful game. As well as his amateur playing and administrative responsibilities, he continued to play 6-a-side up until his mid-60s, surpassing an initial ambition to play to the age of 60.

As a Level 2-qualified FA Coach, Brian has been at the forefront of promoting women’s football, having previously managed Stockport county ladies under 14s team, taking them all the way up to open age and the Reserve team. His dedication to this role will surprise nobody who has dealt with him as League Secretary. Not only did he coach that team, he also organised referees for the game, ran the line when called upon, washed kits, hired and drove the minibus to games, and put the nets up – as well as the primary function of coaching the team, which yielded league and cup glory.

Although we are sad to see Brian step down, we are eternally grateful for all his achievements in his 14 years as League Secretary and are pleased to announce he will be staying on the Committee, assisting the new Secretary who, as coincidence would have it, is Stephen Howard, son of John, who Brian succeeded in the role.

For a transition period, Brian will take up the role of Assistant Secretary, providing valuable experience as the L & C moves forward into the new season.

We wish Brian all the best for the future!

Old friends fondly remembered in charity game

MANY old friends were remembered at Didsbury FC in the second annual tribute match in honour of Ross Fowler and Mick Marchington.

The game was arranged between (Didsbury Over 45s v Under 100s Burnage Metro) in honour of Ross and Mick as well as any other team mates no longer with us.

One of the main organisers was club legend 83-year-old Mal Maginn, who was President of the Lancashire and Cheshire AFL in 2009/2010.

Mal played in goals for the first 15 minutes and said that he pulled off a superb save! – which no-one saw it was so quick!

Mal said: “There was a great turn out of players and spectators in a robust game and the Didsbury O45s won 4-2 but it could have gone either way.

“On the day we made £30 profit after paying for `buffet` / pizza, which will go to a charity, either East Cheshire Hospice or Ukraine donation.

“Unfortunately, we could not locate the trophy, so improvised with champagne in a container and L & C official and club friend Keith Marsden presented it to the winning captain.

“It was  a great day out which we hope will be repeated every year now.

“Thanks again to everybody who turned up.”

Match referee Steve Deighan added: “I just want to say a personal thanks for EVERYONE who turned out yesterday and a special thanks to Malcolm for keeping the memories of us all alive and kicking, and those that we have lost on our own personal journeys.

“It was a brilliant day again and a right laugh, we even had VAR for the first time in the history of our great historic club and it worked!

“A special mention to Keith Marsden and Geoff Garnett whom I’ve known in excess of 25years and are highly respected members of the L & C and the amateur game around our pastures and who always support our great club and history.”

Presentation Dinner at Edgeley Park marks end of L & C season

The curtain came down on another compelling L & C season with the Presentation Dinner held at the home of National League Champions Stockport County.

It was a fitting conclusion to the league’s 113th season and was a welcome return of the presentation evening after the covid-enforced absence.

There were nearly 200 people in attendance at Edgeley Park, where the league’s successful teams received their trophies and medals to celebrate their outstanding achievements throughout the season in league and cup competition.

Entertainment came in the form of guest speaker Jon ‘The Beast’ Parkin, who provided a colourful glimpse from his career which saw him score 164 goals including 45 in 199 appearances at Championship level for Hull, Stoke, Preston and Cardiff.

The evening was coolly led by MC John Melia with some excellent refreshments followed by a welcome to clubs, players and distinguished guests by league chairman Mike Yates. This was followed with a toast to the L & C by LAL chairman Simon Lord and an outline of the season from the League President Tim Roebuck (Abacus Media FC).

Special awards went to Tameside’s Peter Darby for Referee of the Year, Phil Savill of Bury Ams who was awarded Secretary of the Year, Abacus Media won the Fair Play award, and finally an award for retiring L & C Secretary Brian Davies for his 14 years of stellar service in the role.

Jon Parkin was next up with his enjoyable entertainment and the evening was concluded with the presentation of the trophies to the successful teams beginning with the cup winners who had already received their trophies and medals at the finals.

The league winners were:

Premier Division: De La Salle Reds, runners-up Moston Brook

Division One: Chadderton Cott, runners up Shaw Athletic

Division Two: Irlam Tiger Rangers, runners up Hattersley

Division Three: Village Manchester, runners up Chadderton Park,

Division A: Kartel Sports, runners-up North Walkden reserves,

Division B: Aldermere reserves, runners-up Heaton Mersey,

Division C: Mellor reserves, runners-up Dukinfield Athletic,

Division D: Whalley Range A, runners-up Bury Ams A.

The final trophy was the SE Woollam Trophy for the club with the top points total from their top two teams and it went to Irlam Tigers.

Kartel go ‘Wild’ for the double and Moston Brook add the Hellawell Shield

THE L & C playing season ended with the last two cup finals both hosted superbly by former L & C club West Didsbury and Chorlton, who are now flying high in the North West Counties League..

The first final was for the Whitehead Cup for clubs in Divisions A and B and featured the top two in Division A.

Kartel, who are based at the Jim Evison playing fields in Wilmslow, clinched the league title in their final game overtaking North Walkden reserves and went into the game looking for a league and cup double.

They came flying out of the blocks with a Sam Beckett tap-in opening the scoring on nine minutes.

They kept up the momentum as their outstanding striker Ben Wild doubled the lead on 13 minutes and added another clinical finish on 18 minutes to put Kartel in cruise control.

He completed his hat-trick after being fouled for a spot-kick which he coolly converted to take his total to 44 for the season, and Kartel were 4-0 up at the break.

But all credit to North Walkden as they showed great spirit in the second half with a superb volley from Steven Binns upping their ante.

North kept up the pressure as Binns converted a spot-kick on 78 minutes but Kartel regained control in the last ten minutes to ease their nerves for a 4-2 in an excellent game which was a great advert for the league at this level.

Kartel team is featured image.

Two days later West Didsbury and Chorlton were again superb hosts for the Hellawell Shield final, for teams in Divisions C and D.

It featured Moston Brook fourths and Govan Athletic Development to complete the season’s fixtures.

Moston Brook fielded a mix of very experienced and young players and it proved to be a winning combination as they controlled the game for long periods.

They opened their account with the opening goal on 27 minutes with captain Mark Terris converting a spot kick awarded for handball.

Brook went into the break with a 1-0 lead and got what proved to a decisive second goal on 55 minutes with a powerful strike from Lee Scanlon.

They continued to dominate the play for the rest of the game creating several more chances, which they failed to convert and restricted Govan to a few half-chances to run out as comfortable winners and take the trophy for the third time in the club’s long history.

The game was again a great advert for football at this level played in great spirit and excellently controlled by the match officials.

Brook end their long wait in dramatic Rhodes Cup Final

THE climax of the busy L & C season is ending with the completion of vital league fixtures and five cup finals.

The top cup competition is the Rhodes Cup for teams in the Premier and Division one and Hyde United were excellent hosts for the final featuring De La Salle Reds and Moston Brook, the top two teams in the Premier division.

Moston Brook joined the L & C in 1969 and after finishing the season as runners-up by a point to De La Salle Reds they made it through to their first-ever Rhodes Cup final.

A fine audience of nearly 400 enjoyed a close game between the top two teams in the League which showed the talent and great organisation enjoyed by both of them.

The first half saw De La Salle have a slight edge but there were few chances created with the best one seeing Brook hit the woodwork.

Moston Brook came out with greater purpose after the break and they created several good chances before breaking the deadlock on 65 minutes when the outstanding Jack Ward saw a powerful shot deflected in to open their account.

De La Salle responded well and pressed hard for the rest of the game but were denied by some determined defending to see Brook across the line and set up suitable celebrations as they ended their 53-year wait to win the league’s premier Knock Out Trophy which has been played for over 110 years.

The first final was for the Wray Cup for teams in Divisions two and three and Wythenshawe Amateurs were great hosts for a gripping contest between Baguley Athletic and Hattersley.

An even first half saw defences dominate and few chances were created.

There was much more goalmouth action after the break and both keepers Dan Green (Baguley) and the outstanding Tyler Devlin (Hattersley) produced some fine saves to take the tie goalless into extra time.

The decisive moment came just before the break in extra time when a handball on the line prevented a Hattersley goal to result in a red card and a penalty.

Rob Swallow is a regular scorer for Hattersley and the speedy winger made no mistake from the spot.

Baguley showed great spirit in the dying minutes as they launched plenty of attacks, despite being a man short, but Hattersley held on to win the trophy and celebrate in typical style and they gave due thanks to the match officials and their opponents for making this a dramatic final which was a credit to the league.

Two days later at Wright Robinson Sports College was the final of the Harry Jack Cup – brought in during the season to fill a fixture gap in a depleted Division one.

In action were Division one champions Chadderton Cott and Signol Athletic who last season had played a marathon Wray Cup final that went to over 30 penalties to decide the winners.

Another close encounter saw Cott lead 1-0 at the break before a penalty saw Signol level and taking the tie into extra time.

Signol went into the lead but Cott were not to be denied as they drew level to force the penalty shoot-out but Signol had the last word as they won the shoot-out 5-3.

The final league fixtures were completed to end a stressful season for fixture secretary Malc Kershaw with the main focus on division A where the title was still up for grabs.

Kartel FC went into their final two games with a slight advantage over North Walkden reserves and a mid-week 3-3 deadlock with Salford Storm seeing them needed to win their final game after North had won their midweek game by 7-3 at Stretford Paddock Development. Kartel kept their nerve to beat Salford Vics reserves 2-0 and claim the title by two points.

The other game in the division saw Moston Brook reserves win 3-1 at Salford Storm.

There were three games in Division two and champions Irlam Tiger Rangers lost 3-0 in their local derby with Eccles United and two close games saw Mellor beat Baguley Athletic 4-3 and Bedians were 3-2 winners at Newton.

Just one game in Division B with Flixton JFC beating Greater Manchester reserves 2-1 to move into fourth spot.

Mellor reserves are Division C champions after finishing their programme in the previous week and produced comfortable wins for Salford Storm reserves by 7-2 over Stoconians reserves and Altrincham Hale by 4-0 over Govan Development.

The other game ended in a 2-2 deadlock between Eccles United reserves and Bury Ams reserves.

Just two cup finals remain to compete the season with West Didsbury and Chorlton FC hosting the Whitehead Cup for teams in Divisions A and B between Kartel and North Walkden reserves and the Hellawell Shield for teams in Divisions C and D between Moston Brook fourths and Govan Athetic development.Pics – Celebration for Moston Brook

Brook end their long wait

(with pics)

THE climax of the busy L & C season is ending with the completion of vital league fixtures and five cup finals.

The top cup competition is the Rhodes Cup for teams in the Premier and Division one and Hyde United were excellent hosts for the final featuring De La Salle Reds and Moston Brook, the top two teams in the Premier division.

Moston Brook joined the L & C in 1969 and after finishing the season as runners-up by a point to De La Salle Reds they made it through to their first-ever Rhodes Cup final.

A fine audience of nearly 400 enjoyed a close game between the top two teams in the League which showed the talent and great organisation enjoyed by both of them.

The first half saw De La Salle have a slight edge but there were few chances created with the best one seeing Brook hit the woodwork.

Moston Brook came out with greater purpose after the break and they created several good chances before breaking the deadlock on 65 minutes when the outstanding Jack Ward saw a powerful shot deflected in to open their account.

De La Salle responded well and pressed hard for the rest of the game but were denied by some determined defending to see Brook across the line and set up suitable celebrations as they ended their 53-year wait to win the league’s premier Knock Out Trophy which has been played for over 110 years.

The first final was for the Wray Cup for teams in Divisions two and three and Wythenshawe Amateurs were great hosts for a gripping contest between Baguley Athletic and Hattersley.

An even first half saw defences dominate and few chances were created.

There was much more goalmouth action after the break and both keepers Dan Green (Baguley) and the outstanding Tyler Devlin (Hattersley) produced some fine saves to take the tie goalless into extra time.

The decisive moment came just before the break in extra time when a handball on the line prevented a Hattersley goal to result in a red card and a penalty.

Rob Swallow is a regular scorer for Hattersley and the speedy winger made no mistake from the spot.

Baguley showed great spirit in the dying minutes as they launched plenty of attacks, despite being a man short, but Hattersley held on to win the trophy and celebrate in typical style and they gave due thanks to the match officials and their opponents for making this a dramatic final which was a credit to the league.

Two days later at Wright Robinson Sports College was the final of the Harry Jack Cup – brought in during the season to fill a fixture gap in a depleted Division one.

In action were Division one champions Chadderton Cott and Signol Athletic who last season had played a marathon Wray Cup final that went to over 30 penalties to decide the winners.

Another close encounter saw Cott lead 1-0 at the break before a penalty saw Signol level and taking the tie into extra time.

Signol went into the lead but Cott were not to be denied as they drew level to force the penalty shoot-out but Signol had the last word as they won the shoot-out 5-3.

The final league fixtures were completed to end a stressful season for fixture secretary Malc Kershaw with the main focus on division A where the title was still up for grabs.

Kartel FC went into their final two games with a slight advantage over North Walkden reserves and a mid-week 3-3 deadlock with Salford Storm seeing them needed to win their final game after North had won their midweek game by 7-3 at Stretford Paddock Development. Kartel kept their nerve to beat Salford Vics reserves 2-0 and claim the title by two points.

The other game in the division saw Moston Brook reserves win 3-1 at Salford Storm.

There were three games in Division two and champions Irlam Tiger Rangers lost 3-0 in their local derby with Eccles United and two close games saw Mellor beat Baguley Athletic 4-3 and Bedians were 3-2 winners at Newton.

Just one game in Division B with Flixton JFC beating Greater Manchester reserves 2-1 to move into fourth spot.

Mellor reserves are Division C champions after finishing their programme in the previous week and produced comfortable wins for Salford Storm reserves by 7-2 over Stoconians reserves and Altrincham Hale by 4-0 over Govan Development.

The other game ended in a 2-2 deadlock between Eccles United reserves and Bury Ams reserves.

Just two cup finals remain to compete the season with West Didsbury and Chorlton FC hosting the Whitehead Cup for teams in Divisions A and B between Kartel and North Walkden reserves and the Hellawell Shield for teams in Divisions C and D between Moston Brook fourths and Govan Athetic development.Pics – Celebration for Moston Brook

Brian Stringer RIP

The League is sad to announce the death of former President and League Treasurer Brian Stringer. Brian first appeared for Bradford Parish (now Denton Town) in 1950 and was a permanent member of their very successful first team throughout the fifties, including the winning of the Lancashire Amateur Cup in 1952-53. He became the club secretary for fourteen years from 1963-77 and continued to serve on the club committee thereafter. He was elected League President for the 1988-89 season and then accepted the invitation to manage the League’s finances for the next few years. He was a mainstay of his club for several decades and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Tigers clinch Division Two title

The action-packed season is drawing to a close and Irlam Tiger Rangers capped a fine end to the season as they held off Hattersley to capture the Division Two title.

Hattersley had led the division for a large portion of the season but a strong finish by Irlam had seen them overtake the leaders and they went into the last game of the season knowing a win over Hattersley would confirm them champions.

Irlam showed their intent as the raced into an early lead with a brace from striker Karl Cassell giving them a 2-0 lead they held on comfortably to the break.

The outstanding Sean Dawson extended the Irlam lead on 60 minutes but Hattersley kept in the frame as they reduced the arrears with a spot kick.

Irlam were not to be denied however and Dawson sealed the win with another clinical finish to set up plenty of celebrations.

The other game in the division saw Wythenshawe Wanderers ease to a 5-1 win at Newton and in midweek there were wins for Eccles United by 3-0 at Mellor and Sale Ams defeated South Manchester 5-1.

With the Division Three title won by Village Manchester, there were just two games and the local derby between, AFC Stockport and Stoconians ended in a 1-1 deadlock and Woodhouses won 3-1 at Abacus Media reserves.

It’s still all to play for in Division A with three teams in the hunt for the title.
Kartel Sports have a slender one-point lead after a close 2-1 win over AFC Oldham reserves keeps them in front with a vital game in hand.

However, North Walkden reserves are still well placed to capitalise on any slip-up after two clinical wins in the space of three days – a convincing 5-0 win at Greater Manchester on Thursday which they followed up by easing to a 3-0 win at basement boys Trafford United reserves.
Lurking just behind the top two are Salford Storm who kept in the hunt with a 2-0 win over in-form Santos.

With the top two slots in Division B decided there was just one game played in the division and it was a real thriller with Spurley Hey winning by the odd goal in nine at Flixton JFC.

Mellor reserves are the Division C champions having completed their fixtures with a 5-0 midweek win at Eccles United reserves but there were plenty of other games and goals galore in the division.

Govan Athletic Development warmed up for their forthcoming Hellawell Shield final with a 6-3 win over Village Manchester reserves, AFC Stockport Warriors also hit six at Salford Storm reserves and Staly Lions enjoyed a 4-0 win at Bury Ams reserves.

Much closer in the other midweek game with Bury Ams beating Urmston Town Vale 1-0.

In Division D, a cobbled together Salford Vics dev team enjoyed a proper end of the season game against Milltown with Vincent Omeje scoring four in a topsy turvy encounter in which both teams performed well going forward, aided by some unconvincing defending that aided the 8-5 win for Vics.

The game was played in a brilliant spirit and with proper shooting boots it could have been 20 all!

The spirit was matched in the other game played in the semi-final of the Harry Jack Cup.

Chadderton Cott made it through to the final winning a top-class thriller with Bury Ams by 4-2 to book their final slot against Signol Athletic.

L & C win John Howard Trophy and Village Manchester dramatically secure title

The L & C and the LAL have been playing representative matches against each other since 1921 and that latest one at the Lancashire FA ground in Leyland was a special occasion as the team played for the John Howard Trophy one hundred years on.

John played a great part in the history of the L & C for over 60 years in many roles before his death in 2021 and was a true legend of the L & C and amateur soccer.

It was the first game between the leagues for three years due to Covid restrictions and the L & C put on a great display of team work, attractive football and team spirit to run out worthy 3-1 winners and do themselves, the team managers, their clubs and the league great credit with the quality of their play against spirited opposition from the LAL.

It was even-steven for the first 35 minutes before the LAL broke the deadlock with a great finish from 25 yards.

The L & C upped their game to create plenty of chances and got their reward just before the break with a penalty converted by the outstanding Jack Ward (Moston Brook).

They kept up the momentum in the second half with the seamless introduction of substitutes, who maintained the high standard, and one of them, Sheldon Casey (Shaw Athletic), gave the L & C a deserved lead with a clinical finish after a sublime assist by Ward.

The clinching third goal came on 74 minutes from Connor Berry (Moston Brook) after another assist from the impressive Ward.

More chances were created while at the other end, Jack Bostock (Moston Brook) superbly marshalled the defence as the team ran out deserving winners of the coveted John Howard Trophy.

The clubs providing players for the team were Moston Brook, Stretford Paddock, Abacus Media and Shaw Athletic managed by Dave Haughton and Mike Treanor with all of the players enjoying the experience of playing for the league and providing a great display of their talent.

There was limited but important action in the league programme with many teams now having completed their season.

Both the Premier and Division One teams have completed their league fixtures but sides in the latter are competing for the Harry Jack Cup.

Semi-final action saw Signol Athletic go through to the final with a hard-earned win 2-0 win over Didsbury.

The other game saw Bury Ams enjoy a comfortable 5-1 win over Shaw Athletic.

The battle for the Division Two title is still wide open as Hattersley beat Stretford Paddock reserves 7-4 to keep in touch with leaders Irlam Tiger Rangers.

Baguley Athletic are third after a comfortable 5-0 win at Newton and also shared the spoils 1-1 in a midweek local derby with Wythenshawe Wanderers.

Newton lost a much closer midweek game at Eccles United 1-0.

The other Saturday game saw Mellor win 4-2 at Bedians.

The Division Three title was decided in dramatic fashion as Village Manchester visited Aldermere knowing that they to win by nine clear goals to overtake long-time leaders Chadderton Park.

Village were on fire from the kick-off led by Ed Asaman who netted four times with Chris Telling, Dec Moran, George Mardoukoutas and Jack Hayes also on target to see them leading 8-0 with six minutes left to play.

An over-anxious Village missed two gilt-edged chances before their nerves were settled by a strike from Dan Hodgson and their joyful day was completed as Ed Asaman completed a 10-0 rout to set up wild celebrations.

The other game in the division was a much more serene affair with neither Hooley Bridge Celtic nor Salford Albion able to hit the target.

Kartel SC moved the top of Division A with a midweek 4-1 win over Milnrow Firgrovia but Salford Storm are hot on their heels with a 2-0 derby win at Salford Vics reserves.

Storm showed their intent with an emphatic 7-1 win at Stretford Paddock Development who shared four goals with AFC Oldham reserves in midweek.

Santos got back on the winning trail with a 3-0 derby win at Milton reserves.

They took the lead with a first-half strike from Ben Marshall and Ciaran Finegan and Tom Slater added two more after the break.

Heaton Mersey have enjoyed a great second half to the season in Division B, after losing their serial draw tag, and completed it with a fine 7-1 win at Greater Manchester FC reserves to clinch the runners-up spot behind Aldermere reserves.

The other games saw Hillgate win 4-3 at Parrs Wood Celtic and AFC Oldham thirds enjoyed a 4-1 win at Flixton JFC.

It’s going down to the wire in the race for the Division C title as a big 8-1 win for Mellor reserves at Village Manchester reserves put them a point behind Dukinfield Athletic with a game to play.

It was much closer in the other games in the division with midweek draws between Salford Storm reserves Bury Ams reserves 2-2, and Altrincham Hale and AFC Stockport Warriors 3-3 and Warriors winning their Saturday game by 2-1 in a local derby with Stoconians reserves.

In Division D Bury Ams thirds closed the gap on second-placed Moston Brook fourths with a comfortable 3-0 win over Salford Vics Development.

The final game of the day saw Altrincham Hale reserves draw 1-1 with a gutsy Didsbury reserves.