THE new amateur football season kicked off in the Lancashire & Cheshire AFL with a busy programme in their new setup of eight divisions.
The Premier Division now has five teams added from Division One and they had varied results with Manchester Polonia enjoying a close 2-1 win at last season’s title-hunters High Lane and AFC Oldham had a fine 4-2 win over South Manchester.
Mellor overcame Irlam Tigers 5-1 and Abacus Media had to work hard in a 2-1 win over Radclyffe AFC. Honours were even in a 1-1 deadlock between Lancashire Amateur Cup finalists Milton and Salford Vics.
Two new clubs making their debuts in Division One showed their qualities with Stretford Paddock winning 4-2 at Bury Ams and a thriller at Newton saw De La Salle emerge with a breathless 4-3 victory.
Hadfield Athletic were also in a close game with the restructured Didsbury FC winning by the odd goal in five.
Urmston Town began their season in style hosting Signol OB and after missing early chances they got their show on the road with a neat strike from Johnny Friel on 30 minutes to set up a comfortable 6-1 win.
Moston Brook’s new-look first team also began with a fine 6-3 win at Dukinfield Athletic.
Old Stretfordians began life in Division Two, following relegation with a powerful 6-2 win over Santos and also in the goals were new team Shaw Athletic who trounced Oldham Vics 7-2. Bedians opened their campaign with an exciting 5-3 win at Signol Athletic JFC.
Altrincham League champions Sale Amateurs began life in Division Three in an exciting game at their excellent facility hosting new team Woodhouses JFC and were inspired by a 25-yard grass cutter on 50 minutes from skipper David Sykes.
This was followed by clinical strikes from former Trafford FC record scorer Scott Barlow and Sale’s top scorer David Harwood to seal a 3-0 victory
Plenty of goals in the other games in the division with Abacus Media reserves beating Stretford Paddock reserves 4-1, Elton Lib Hargreaves triumphing 3-0 at Didsbury reserves, Aldermere sauntering to a 5-0 win at Hooley Bridge Celtic and Stoconians reserves defeating Wythenshawe Wanderers 4-2.
Plenty of thrills and spills in Division A led by a thrilling 6-5 victory for AFC Stockport over Chadderton Park. AFC Oldham reserves won 4-2 at Deans, a scoreline matched by Parrs Wood Celtic over Mellor thirds with the other game seeing a 1-0 win for Moston Brook reserves at Salford Storm.
There were some close encounters in Division B with wins for Moston Brook thirds by 1-0 at AFC Oldham thirds, Aldermere reserves by 2-1 in their local derby with Flixton juniors, Hillgate by 3-1 over Bury Ams reserves and Irlam Tiger Rangers by 4-2 at Spurley Hey.
In Division C, Village Manchester’s new reserve team put on a bright display against Govan with strikes from Rory McDonald, Nat O’Grady and Fernando Martens easing them home 5-0 with Radlyffe reserves also hitting five without reply against Stoconians thirds.
There were odd goal wins for Staly Lions by 2-1 at Oldham Vics reserves and Bury Ams A by 3-2 against Salford Storm reserves.
There were three games in the new Division D and they saw Deans reserves beat Shaw Athletic 4-2, Irlam Tigers thirds defeat Rochdale Galaxy 3-2 and Urmston Town Vale triumph 2-1 at Stoconians fourths.