Eccles United edge pulsating Manchester Amateur Cup semi-final

Eccles United have the Manchester Amateur Cup final to look forward to after a breathless win over L & C rivals Irlam Tigers.

Tigers were given an early gift with a misunderstanding between Sean Eckersley and keeper Jordan Hamilton presented a soft own goal.

Eckersley netted for United to redeem that error, but Tigers were leading 2-1 going into the final minute of the contest, before they were dramatically pegged back through a Martin Booth strike to set up a penalty shootout.

Then United keeper Hamilton proved to be the hero with three super saves to see his team through 7-6.

They will face the winners of Baguley Athletic of AFC Middleton who play the other semi this coming Saturday.

Abacus Media were also in cup action as they faced high-flying Cheshire League team Egerton FC (Knutsford) in the Manchester Challenge Trophy final at Hyde United.

Abacus did the club and league proud with a great effort as Egerton were made to work very hard for a 2-0 win.

Back in league action there was a top game at Flixton FC between two Premier Division title hunters in Stretford Paddock and Moston Brook, watched by a good crowd of spectators.

Brook showed their intent to go 2-0 up inside six minutes and maintained their momentum in an excellent match to win 3-1.

The win takes them two points clear at the top from Paddock and the ever-dangerous De La Salle who beat Milton 3-1 and have a game in hand over Brook.

Rochdalians had a big win over struggling AFC Oldham and another good close game saw Salford Vics beat Manchester Polonia 2-1.

Just two games played in Division One and they were both tight contests with Shaw Athletic winning by the odd goal in nine hosting Bury Ams.

Old Stretfordians showed great battling spirit as they hosted champions Chadderton Cott with injury reducing them to play with ten men for the last hour of the game.

It was goalless at the break then on a rare attack Strets took the lead with a neat finish from Ryan Stewart and although Cott came back to level, Strets hung on for a deserved point inspired by skipper Dean Malone.

Division Two’s top team Hattersley still lead by ten points but dropped two as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Stretford Paddock reserves.

Non-playing Irlam Tiger Rangers can still overhaul Hattersley as they have a massive five games in hand.

There were thrills galore at Sale Amateurs as they hosted their jinx rivals Bedians who are looking to pull away from the relegation zone.

It looked to be plain sailing for Sale as they romped in to a 2-0 lead with stunning strikes from Aaron Bentley with a thunderbolt and Kazim Waite-Jackson with a cute back heel.

But Bedians turned the game on its head in the last two minutes of the first half with goals from Matt Greenhalgh and super sub Julian Patterson with his first touch making it 2-2 at the break.

Sale upped the ante after the break but were denied by some great defending, near misses and fantastic goalkeeping from Ben Feridooni.

At the other end Bedians showed their clinical side as they netted twice from limited chances through Chris Lambourne and Julian Patterson to win 4-2 and move two places up from the foot of the table.

In Division Three, leaders Chadderton Park stay well clear at the top after a gritty 2-1 derby win over Radcylffe FC.

Village Manchester stay 11 points behind with three games in hand after an efficient 3-1 victory over Hooley Bridge.

The other mid-table tussle at Elton Lib Hargreaves saw them share two goals with Salford Albion.

North Walkden reserves showed their Division A title intent with a big 7-0 win over chasing Kartel Sports to move three points clear of non-playing Woodsend Athletic, who have two games in hand over the leaders and Kartel have five games in hand.

Santos are on a roll and they kept a second clean sheet with a comfortable 4-0 win over Trafford United reserves.

Mike Leslie had Santos 1-0 to the good at the break and second-half strikes from Ben Winterbottom, Ciaran Finegan and Tim Gallagher kept up the good run of form.

The other games saw Salford Storm win their local derby with Salford Vics reserves 3-1 a score matched by Milton reserves over Stretford Paddock Development and Moston Brook reserves shared six goals in an entertaining match with Greater Manchester FC.

Aldermere Reserves moved to within a point of clinching the Division B title after beating Oldham Saints 5-0.

Their nearest rivals are Heaton Mersey who kept up their good run with a comfortable 4-2 victory over Old Strets seconds and the other game in the division had Moston Brook thirds in good defensive form in a 2-0 win against Parrs Wood Celtic.

Dukinfield Athletic are still comfortably leading Division C despite being held to a 1-1 draw at Altrincham Hale.

Mellor reserves closed the gap by two points with an efficient local derby 2-0 win over Govan Athletic Development and Staly Lions jumped into third place over non-playing Urmston Town Vale beating Stoconians reserves 3-1.

Just one game beat the weather in Division D with Mellor Development climbing out of the bottom two with a 5-2 win over a gutsy Didsbury reserves.