North Walkden Reserves move top of Division A

THE atrocious weather conditions experienced over the past week decimated the full programme of games, but artificial pitches enabled some of the games to take place as the leagues continued to take shape.

Premier Division leaders Stretford Paddock extended their lead at the top to eight points with a comfortable 6-1 win at Milton.

Second-placed De La Salle Reds lost ground as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Rochdalians who did well to get their grass pitch fit for play in an absorbing game.

Moston Brook drew level on points with De La Salle with a fine 4-1 win at North Walkden.

Both De La Salle and Brook have games in had on Paddock and if De La Salle win all of theirs they can overtake the leaders while Brook will be just two points adrift if they also manage this.

The other game produced a convincing 7-0 win for Salford Vics over a young and developing AFC Oldham who gave a good account of themselves but were unable to control the vibrant Vics attack.

Referee John Melia showed great powers of recovery as he was felled in an accidental bruising first-half collision with a Vics player, for which he needed extended treatment. But he then carried on to give an excellent display appreciated by both teams and the spectators.

Division One saw just one game survive but it was a vital local derby as Shaw Athletic hosted runaway leaders Chadderton Cott.

Cott eased to a 2-0 win which leaves them eight points clear of Signol Athletic with both teams having played 12 games.

The hotly contested Division Two was a total washout but there were two important games played in Division Three involving the top teams.

Leaders AFC Stockport faced a tricky fixture at Salford Albion who battled hard for a point in a 3-3 deadlock.

Second-placed Chadderton Park took advantage of Stockport’s slip as won a tight contest with Elton Lib Hargreaves by 2-1.

They are now four points behind the leaders but have two games in hand.

North Walkden reserves took full advantage of Division A leaders Woodsend Athletic having their game called off with a convincing 4-0 win at Moston Brook reserves taking them above Woodsend by two points.

Brook had the better of the early exchanges but were unable to convert their chances allowing North Walkden to take full advantage as they upped their game.

The bells were ringing in the other game in the division as Santos’ Big Bens both bagged braces at Milnrow Firgrovia in a mid-table 3-1 win.

Netting for Santos were Ben Chamberlain (two) and Ben Winterbottom, who bagged his second of the game with an own goal.

There were no games possible for the top teams in Division B but Moston Brook thirds lifted themselves out of the bottom two with an emphatic 3-0 win over Spurley Hey.

It was much closer in the other game which saw Oldham Saints act swiftly to move their game with Hillgate to the 3G at FC United.

They were rewarded for their enterprise with a thrilling 3-2 win with early strikes from Dave Cross and Sheldon Young giving them the momentum for victory.

The top two teams were in action in Division C with long-time leaders Dukinfield Athletic held to a 2-2 draw by a spirited Mellor reserves

Urmston Vale closed the gap on the leaders to 11 points with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over AFC Stockport Warriors.

They have four games in hand over Athletic and winning hem all could see them take over at the top of the table.

The other game saw Village Manchester reserves move into the top half of the table with an immaculate defence seeing them home by 2-0 over Stoconians reserves.

Just one game survived in Division D which did not affect the leading group but it was an enjoyable local derby as AFC Oldham fourths and Milltown reserves shared six goals.

There were many tributes paid by Whalley Range FC and their supporters and friends to their long-serving President Terry Curley at his funeral and at his beloved club last week– well deserved by a real sportsman in every way – a great ambassador for his club and grassroots sport.