Stretford Paddock move level with Premier Division leaders

THE league resumed with a full programme of action and the race for the Premier Division is as tight as ever.

Leaders De La Salle Reds didn’t have a fixture and Stretford Paddock took full advantage with a comprehensive 4-0 win at Rochdalians to draw level on points at the summit, though De La Salle Reds have a game in hand.

Moston Brook are also well in the race after a 4-2 win at Mellor preserved their unbeaten record and they are two points behind the leaders on the same number of games.

On the heels of the top three are Milton after a thrilling 4-3 win over Salford Vics and Manchester Polonia who were too hot for AFC Oldham to handle in a 6-2 cruise.

The other games showed the tight nature of the division as Abacus Media shared six goals with North Walkden.

No change at the top of Division One as the leading pair both posted victories.

Top team Chadderton Cott were on easy street after a 5-2 win at Signol OB.

And Signol Athletic hit a last minute winner to record a dramatic 3-2 victory at Trafford United.

United gave as good as they got after opening the scoring on 10 minutes through George Bell but Athletic were quickly back on terms to set up a great contest efficiently managed by referee John Melia.

There was another terrific contest at Didsbury who were in control against Bury Ams leading 3-1 and 4-2 before a spot kick from Steve Murphy got Bury firing on all cylinders.

Anthony O’Brien drew them level at 4-4 to add to earlier strikes from Nick Smith and Ollie Dunn before grabbing a late winner for a dramatic 5-4 win.

Hadfield Athletic had their best result of the season with a 5-0 win over high-flying Shaw Athletic and Irlam Tigers were also on fire as they disposed of Old Stretfordians 6-3.

Hattersley are also soaring in Division Two as they lead by six points after an 8-2 demolition of Milltown.

Eccles United drew level with second-placed and non-playing Baguley Athletic but they were taken all the way by Mellor reserves before edging home by the odd goal in nine.

A close game between Sale Ams and Wythenshawe Wanderers was settled by two first-half strikes for Sale to keep them in touch with the leading pack with games in hand.

The other two games in the division saw Irlam Tiger Rangers surge to a comfortable 5-1 win at Bedians with Karl Cassell (two) and Lewis Cartwright providing some of the Tigers goals.

Stretford Paddock Reserves and South Manchester enjoyed another close encounter with Paddock winning 3-2.

Chadderton Park are the only unbeaten team in Division Three but being in county cup action saw their lead reduced as Radclyffe moved to within three points after an exciting 5-3 win over Abacus Media reserves and AFC Stockport cruised to a 5-2 win over Hooley Bridge Celtic.

In the other two games Elton Lib Hargreaves won 5-3 at Aldermere and Stoconians battled hard for a 2-1 at Salford Albion.

Just a point separates the top three in Division A and new boys Woodsend Athletic moved into the pole position after a comfortable 7-1 win at Greater Manchester FC.

North Walkden reserves lost top spot after being held to an entertaining 4-4 deadlock with Milnrow Firgovia after leading 3-1 at the break and Salford Vics are level on points with them after a thrilling 4-3 win over Stretford Paddock Development.

It was six-hitters in two of the other games in the division as Salford Storm beat AFC Oldham reserves 6-0 and Milton reserves won their local derby at Santos by 6-2 with Liam Churchill and Lewis Toppin providing the Santos consolations.

Kartel moved into mid-table with a close 2-1 win over Trafford United reserves.

Aldermere reserves have the best record in the league and they showed why as a 7-0 victory at Moston Brook reserves takes them a massive 11 points clear at the top of Division B.

No joy for their main rivals as AFC Oldham thirds were beaten 5-3 by Old Strets reserves and Greater Manchester seconds were narrowly beaten 2-1 at Heaton Mersey.

Oldham Saints enjoyed their second win of the season by 3-1 over Spurley Hey a feat matched by Flixton JFC in a classic 5-4 victory over Hillgate.

It’s hot at the top of Division C with just a point between the top four teams.

Early pacesetters Dukinfield Athletic dropped points as they were held 3-3 by Mellor thirds allowing Altrincham Hale to join them on points as they beat Deans 4-2.

Govan Athletic Development also lost ground as they could only fire blanks in a 3-0 defeat by Salford Storm reserves.

Staly Lions kept on roaring after a 7-0 demolition of Eccles United reserves and there were also wins for Village Manchester Reserves by 2-1 at AFC Stockport Warriors, Urmston Town Vale by 3-0 at Stoconians thirds and Chadderton Park reserves by 3-2 at Bury Ams reserves.

All change at the top of Division D as Bury Ams thirds kept a clean sheet in a 3-0 win over second-placed Moston Brook fourths to move a point clear and end the unbeaten record of Brook.

Whalley Range are in close contact with the top two after a 5-2 win at Milltown reserves.

The other games saw AFC Oldham fourths beat Altrincham Hale reserves 3-1 and Irlam Tigers A shared six goals with Didsbury Reserves.

Catch-up Manchester County Cup games brought no joy as Chadderton Park lost out 5-3 to AFC Middleton with two of their goals coming from Ryan Trelfa and James Gregory, a game in which the influential Corey Pearson was named man of the match. Moston Brook reserves, meanwhile, went down 5-1 at Failsworth Dynamoes.