Weekly Update: Covid procedure and referee abuse

In this week’s update, there is important information about the league’s Covid procedure, a new document for which is on the club website. It’s a reminder that the pandemic is not over and we must all play our part to ensure the safe and continued progression of the league.

It has been well documented regarding the referee shortage that we are suffering with. This is, it must be stressed once again, a national problem at grassroots level, caused by the abuse received. It is therefore unacceptable that club social media accounts are being used to abuse referees. Clubs are reminded of their responsibilities on this front and that any misuse will be notified to the County FA. More information can be found below.

  1. Referee shortage – If any clubs have members who would like to officiate, and do the initial training, the league will make a 50% contribution to the training course cost. The 50% will be re-imbursed to the new referee once 6 matches have been completed in this league. Please contact Stephen Howard refsec@landc.org.uk.
  2. The general meeting identified the need to update our Covid procedure. A new document was sent out, and a new condensed club contact list was requested, the first version sent a couple of days ago has been updated. Both are attached and are on the website.
  3. For all fixture matters please ensure you send them direct to Malcolm Kershaw, fixtures@landc.org.uk, and any which involve changes to match arrangements copy refsec@landc.org.uk. Fixtures to the 4th Dec are now visible.
  4. Please notify any ground changes are to Malcolm and Graham Ellis asstsecretary@landc.org.uk.
  5. Please ensure all player match stats are completed, along with ref marks and sending match sheets to matchsheets@landc.org.uk.
  6. Despite the referee shortage some clubs allow abuse of referees on their social media accounts. Fines will be issued and referees will be appointed elsewhere. Club officials please get this message across to all your members. Also any misuse of social media will be notified to County FA.

Aldermere Reserves maintain league’s sole 100% record

THE L & C was able to complete virtually a full programme of games with plenty of competitive action across the eight divisions and many notable encounters, which included Aldermere Reserves’ demolition of Oldham Saints which maintains their perfect start and leaves them well clear at the Division B summit.

De La Salle Reds moved three points clear at the top of the Premier Division after a big win at a depleted AFC Oldham taking over the lead from Stretford Paddock who were without a fixture.

Abacus Media pulled off one of the results of the day as they inflicted the first defeat of the season to Moston Brook winning an epic thriller by 3-2 to leave Brook five points adrift of De La Salle Reds.

There was another breathless encounter at North Walkden as they shared ten goals with Salford Vics

The other game was a relatively quiet derby as Milton eased to a 3-0 win over Rochdalians.

Chadderton Cott remain five points clear at the top of Division One but they were taken all the way by struggling Didsbury who battled hard before going down 4-3.

Irlam Tigers moved into second spot with an efficient 3-1 win at Shaw Athletic but the big upset came for Signol Athletic as they dropped into third spot after losing by the odd goal in three hosting lowly Bury Ams.

New recruits for Old Stretfordians performed well helping them significantly to win their derby with Trafford United by 3-0.

Plenty of drama in the highly competitive Division Two with the top game seeing leaders Hattersley enjoy a comfortable 4-0 win at promotion rivals Baguley Athletic.

In a game, well managed by Peter Spencer, Hattersley always had a cutting edge with the goals provided by Rob Swallow (two), Stefan Steadman and Matt Soares to move them six points clear of the chasing pack.

Stretford Paddock reserves had an important 2-0 win at Eccles United and Wythenshawe Wanderers kept in touch with an impressive 7-2 win over Milltown with the foundation coming from a 3-2 interval lead with strikes from Mike Sherrington (two) and Adam King enabling them to step up a gear after the break.

Newton had their best win of the season as they kept an immaculate clean sheet in a 5-0 cruise over Sale Ams and Irlam Tiger Rangers were also in good form with a 4-1 victory over Mellor reserves.

The local derby at South Manchester provided plenty of goalmouth action with Bedians winning by the odd goal in seven.

AFC Stockport sit proudly at the top of Division Three with a vital close 2-1 win at Chadderton Park  keeping them three points clear of Radclyffe who lifted their goal difference with a big win at Woodhouses and they have a game in hand over AFC Stockport with a significant goal difference advantage.

Aldermere lifted themselves out of the bottom two with their second win of the season by 5-3 in an entertaining encounter with Hooley Bridge Celtic.

It was tight in the other two games with Salford Albion beating Abacus Media reserves 4-3 and Elton Lib Hargreaves and Village Manchester were locked at 1-1.

It’s tight at the top of Division A as leaders North Walkden reserves crashed to a 4-0 defeat at Kartel, who are now well in the title mix, and Salford Storm took full advantage of their slip to move level on points with a game in hand after a close win at Santos.

Santos had Jolas Sutherland, Tom Barnes and Ben Winterbottom on target but it was not quite enough to deny Storm the points.

Woodsend Athletic are also handily placed in third spot, just two points behind the top two after a comfortable 5-2 derby win over Trafford United reserves.

At the foot of the table Stretford Paddock Development won 4-0 at Greater Manchester FC to move six points clear of the bottom two and AFC Oldham reserves enjoyed a 4-2 derby win at Moston Brook reserves.

In Division B Aldermere Reserves continued their magnificent start to the season winning 7-1 at Oldham Saints which maintains their 100% record – the only one in the league – and keeps them a massive 11 points clear at the top.

Old Strets reserves enjoyed a 4-1 win over second placed Greater Manchester FC reserves to close the gap on them and Heaton Mersey are level with Strets after an efficient 5-0 win over local rivals Spurley Hey.

Milnrow Firgrovia moved towards mid-table after a fine 3-2 win over Salford Vics reserves.

It was an action-packed Division C with goals galore led by leaders Dukinfield Athletic who are three points clear with a convincing 5-1 derby win at Staly Lions.

Altrincham Hale are their nearest challengers despite losing out 6-3 to a lively Mellor thirds.

Govan Athletic Development kept in touch with a 3-1 win over Bury Ams reserves and Salford Storm reserves are also well-placed for a challenge as they won 6-2 at Deans.

Eccles United reserves were also on fire with a 5-2 win at Chadderton Park reserves.

Close in the other two games with odd goal wins for Village Manchester Reserves by 4-3 over Urmston Town Vale and Stoconians reserves by 3-2 against AFC Stockport Warriors.

No change at the top of Division D with the top two both posting comfortable wins, leaders Moston Brook fourths by 3-0 over Salford Vics Development and Whalley Range by 4-1 at Bury Ams thirds.

Altrincham Hale reserves were also on easy street with a 4-0 win over Milltown Reserves but it was much closer in the other two games.

AFC Oldham fourths scored the only goal of their game against Didsbury reserves and Irlam Tiger thirds beat Mellor Development by 2-1.

L & C Diversity and Inclusion meeting rearranged

The new date for the Diversity and Inclusion meeting has been moved to Monday 6th December at 7pm, and will be held at South West Manchester Cricket Club, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0SG.

It was originally scheduled for Monday 15th November but due to unavailability of some, it has been moved to the December date to accommodate key personnel.

All are welcome to attend. Please let Rob Brown, or Brian Davies know if you are attending. The notes from the first meeting have been sent to all clubs and committee via email and the agenda for December’s meeting is below.  

  • Introductions
  • Diversity and inclusion in football
  • Role of this group
  • How to influence our members
  • Future meetings and communication
  • AOB

De La Salle make their move

A full programme of games for the league turned out to be  damp squib as large numbers of games were postponed due to pitches being waterlogged, hit by molehills, Covid infections and the crazy time for soccer at this level being hit by the Manchester derby Saturday lunchtime kick off.

Just two games played in the Premier Division and De La Salle Reds hit the top of the division with an emphatic 6-1 win at Milton taking them ahead on goal difference from non playing Stretford Paddock with a vital game in hand.

There was plenty of sparkle for North Walkden who also hit six at Mellor who had two consolation goals in a 6-2 cruise.

Just one game played in Division One but it was a real firecracker at Irlam Tigers as they took on leaders Chadderton Cott.

It was even-steven for most of the game with both sides giving their best, creating chances but failing to convert them.

Then after 85 minutes there was a big bang as Cott took the lead through Callum Barrow.

The Tigers showed their fighting spirit as they immediately hit back to level with a spot-kick from Tyler Lee.

There was then a flurry of three late cards from referee James Keeley, who had a superb game as some of the players failed to control their emotions going into the dramatic finale.

The 1-1 deadlock sees Cott move three points ahead of Signol Athletic on level games played and the Tigers are still in serious contention with a game in hand on the top two.

The two games played in Division Two saw Eccles United move level on points with Hattersley after an efficient 5-1 win at Bedians.

Wythenshawe Wanderers also went nap as a 5-2 win over Stretford Paddock reserves to stay handily placed in third spot three points off the top two.

In Division Three AFC Stockport moved into the pole position with a 5-2 win over Salford Albion.

It takes them three points clear of Radclyffe AFC who have a game in hand and a slightly superior goal difference.

The other game in the division was a mid-table affair and provided plenty of entertainment as Elton Lib Hargreaves won by the odd goal in seven at Hooley Bridge Celtic.

There was more action in Division A with three games completed with the top two teams in action.

North Walkden reserves stay three points clear with a fizzing 4-1 win over Moston Brook reserves.

Salford Storm stay three points behind the leaders with an entertaining 4-2 victory at Milton reserves and they have a game in hand to their credit.

Milnrow Firgrovia kept up the four-goal theme as they won 4-3 at Stretford Paddock Development.

It was a dead duck in Division B with no games taking place but in Division C there were five games played with plenty of goals scored.

This was led by leaders Dukinfield Athletic who won 5-2 at AFC Stockport Warriors to remain in the pole position on goal difference.

Chasing them all the way are Altrincham Hale who had to work hard for a 3-2 win over visitors Salford Storm reserves.

Govan Athletic Development kept up their hunt of the top two with an immaculate clean sheet seeing them home by 3-0 at Stoconians thirds.

Goals galore at Staly Lions who lost out 6-4 to Bury Ams reserves and Eccles United reserves and Village Manchester reserves shared six goals in another excellent game.

Two games in Division D saw Moston Brook fourths rocket to the top with a cracking 7-2 victory over Altrincham Hale reserves, taking over the lead by a point from non-playing Bury Ams thirds.

The other game saw Whalley Range draw level with Bury after easing to a convincing 5-1 win over Mellor Development.

Aldermere Reserves maintain 100% record in Division B

WITH plenty of thrills promised after the games on Halloween there were more thrills and drama on the pitches as the battles for divisional supremacy dominated a great day of soccer for the L & C.

With Premier Division leaders De La Salle without a game they were knocked off top spot by their chasing rivals.

Stretford Paddock are the new leaders after a 4-2 win at Abacus Media and Moston Brook moved into second place with a comfortable 5-1 win over Manchester Polonia.

De La Salle still have their destiny in their own hands with games in hand but it promises to be a frantic few weeks ahead in the title race.

Two teams are dominating the top of Division One but the closeness of the competition in the league was reflected by lowly Trafford United who took leaders Chadderton Cott all the way before going down 4-3 in an epic game.

Signol Athletic JFC stay two points behind Cott, who have a game in hand after a relatively comfortable 6-1 win over Didsbury.

The other game saw Old Stretfordians move into contention with a 3-1 win at Hadfield United.

Division Two is one of the most competitive in the league with no easy games for any team and leaders Hattersley felt the brunt of this as they went down by the odd goal in nine at Wythenshawe Wanderers to have their lead cut to three points by Eccles United who have a game in hand.

Eccles United posted an impressive 5-2 win at South Manchester with John Cass (three), Callum Collins and Daniel Eyres on target for United.

Irlam Tiger Rangers are in mid-table but have plenty of games in hand on the leading group and they recovered from being 2-1 down at the break, with Lee Cassell on target with a clinical finish, to secure a vital 3-2 win at Baguley Athletic and look to provide a real threat as the season progresses.

Bedians put some recent dismal results firmly behind them as they beat title hopefuls Sale Ams 3-2 in a cracking contest.

There was another goals-filled thriller at Milltown as Stretford Paddock reserves emerged with a  breathless 7-5 win to move into joint second place.

It’s also tight at the top of Division Three with three teams locked on 16 points.

Previous leaders Chadderton Park, as the goals flowed at both ends before Village provided the vital winner with the teams at 4-4 going into the final minutes

Radclyffe showed their title intent with a big 8-3 win at Stoconians reserves and a 3-1 win at Woodhouses for AFC Stockport keeps them level with the top two.

Salford Albion went down 3-2 to Elton Lib Hargreaves with Albion’s goals coming from Curtis Slater (two) topped by strikes from Lak Galbraith and Adam Alford (two) in a game efficiently managed by James Keeley.

It was also tight in the other game with Aldermere and Abacus Media reserves sharing six goals.

There are new leaders in Division A as Woodsend Athletic lost their firepower at Stretford Paddock Development who notched up their first win of the campaign as they scored the only goal of the game.

Taking over at the top are North Walkden reserves who had to work hard for a 3-1 victory over Milton reserves.

Salford Storm closed on the leading pack as they eased to a 4-1 win over Trafford United reserves and Kartel are still in touch as they beat Moston Brook reserves 3-1 to move three points above them.

Aldermere reserves kept their impressive 100% record to stay 11 points clear at the top of Division B, but they were taken all the way at draw specialists Heaton Mersey before winning a cracking game by 3-2.

Their nearest rival Greater Manchester reserves stay in second place with a comfortable 4-1 win at AFC Oldham thirds.

Flixton JFC were also on easy street with a 5-1 cruise over Moston Brook thirds to move into third spot in the table.

Old Strets seconds are getting into winning ways and they were too hot for Parrs Wood Celtic reserves to handle with the highlight of a 4-1 win being a sublime lob from outside the box from Cameron Clarke.

The other game saw Hillgate and Oldham Saints end locked at 1-1.

No change at the top of Division C as Dukinfield Athletic lead on goal difference, after a 3-1win over third-placed Urmston Town Vale, from Altrincham Hale who scored the only goal of a close encounter at Village Manchester reserves.

Mellor thirds were the big hitters in the division as they won 9-1 at Bury Ams reserves and AFC Stockport Warriors picked up their second win of the season by 4-2 at Govan Athletic Development.

In the other two games Eccles United reserves made it a good day for the club with a 3-2 win over Stoconians thirds and Salford Storm reserves kept an immaculate clean sheet beating Staly Lions 2-0.

Division D leaders Bury Ams thirds were held to a 2-2 draw by a gutsy Whalley Range but second-placed Moston Brook fourths failed to take advantage as they lost out 2-1 to AFC Oldham fourths who moved to within a point of Brook to see just three points separating the top four who have all played seven games.

Irlam Tiger A were in seventh heaven with a 7-0 demolition of Altrincham Hale reserves but it was much closer in the other two games as Milltown reserves won 4-3 at Mellor Development and Salford Vics Development beat Didsbury reserves 2-1.

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.

L & C Key Messages

All of the following is useful information for clubs and their committees.

Fixture Scheduling

Our fixture team works diligently to provide very team a fixture each week if possible. This is based on not wishing any Saturday to pass by with teams missing games, as it is inevitable fixtures will be lost to the weather at some point during the season.

However, if there are times when there are Premier League fixtures that conflict with games and cause difficulty for clubs, we will allow either later kick offs, or for teams to find a mutually agreeable venue for a night fixture in the week preceding a game.

If this is a desirable option, please let the fixture team know of any such arrangements by emailing fixtures@landc.org.uk.


We have already made clubs aware of the challenges we are facing regarding referees. We are thankful for the clubs who have arranged stand-in officials this season. Unfortunately, it is a national trend, with abuse and a lack of respect driving referees away at all levels of the game.

Everybody understands this is a game of emotions and we all care and want to do well, but this is no excuse for abuse which we have already felt the effects of in terms of driving referees away from our league.

Teams who condone the abuse, either on the day or on social media, will risk not having a referee appointed.

We implore our clubs to set the tone, take a step back and understand the difficulty of the job, and appreciate their efforts. The referees are as important to the L & C running smoothly as the teams that participate.

Post-Match Admin

Please enter your team stats and refs marks on Full Time/Matchday, and send photos/scans of match sheets to matchsheets@landc.org.uk within seven days, but ideally as soon as possible. If you are having any issues, please make the league aware.

Mixed fortunes in the County Cup

THE Manchester Amateur Cup saw a big involvement for L & C teams with several close games and big scores providing plenty of excitement.

There were no Premier Division teams involved but Shaw Athletic were among teams making solid progress as they cruised to a 6-1 win over Gregorians reserves.

Not far behind were  Old Stretfordians with a 5-0 derby win at Trafford United reserves and Irlam Tigers also went nap in 5-3 win over Greater Manchester FC.

Chadderton Cott were taken to penalties by Beechfield United but won the shoot-out by 4-2.

Wythenshawe Wanderers had to defend well against a lively Trafford United but finished strongly after the break to win 4-1 with Trafford’s deserved consolation coming from Ben Wordsworth before the break.

Didsbury moved into the next round with a walkover against New Moston Rangers.

Plenty of lively cup action from teams in Division Two led by Eccles United with a 5-1 win over Didsbury reserves.

Baguley Athletic eased to a 2-0 win at Oldham Community FC and there was a real thriller at Stretford Paddock reserves as they shared four goals with Salford Albion before going on to win a marathon shoot-out by 11-10.

Irlam Tiger Rangers were given a walkover by St Michaels Trinity, but Milltown found Manchester Medics too hot to handle in a 5-1 defeat.

Another close game at Parrs Wood Celtic had the home team level with Village Manchester at the break at 1-1 with Jesse Deveaney on target for Celtic but Village hit the front with a fine header and went on to win 3-1.

There was a walkover for Radclyffe against Beechfield United A team.

There were two exits via penalty shoot-outs as AFC Oldham reserves drew 1-1 with AFC Monton reserves but lost 4-1 in the shoot out and Salford Vics drew 3-3 with Manchester Bulls but lost out 4-3 in the shoot-out.

Greater Manchester FC reserves were no match for Brownley Albion in a big defeat but Old Strets reserves kept their nerve to score the only goal of their game with Manchester Celtic.

Salford Storm were 4-1 winners over Urmston Town Vale and Eccles United reserves were given a walkover by Glodwick Dynamoes to complete the cup games.

It was full-on action in the Premier Division with De La Salle maintaining their unbeaten record and staying three points clear at the top with a resounding 8-1 win at Mellor.

Stretford Paddock stay in touch after a hard-earned 4-3 win over Milton and another close contest saw Moston Brook inflict the first defeat of the season on Salford Vics as they scored the only goal of the game and they have a vital game in hand on the top two.

Abacus Media were in seventh heaven after a 7-0 cruise over Dom Doyle but it was much tighter in the other two games with AFC Oldham delighted to pick up their first win of the season by 3-2 at North Walkden while Rochdalians and Manchester Polonia shared the spoils in a 2-2 deadlock.

Just one league game played in Division One and Signol Athletic moved to within two points of leaders Chadderton Cott with a 3-1 success over Hadfield Athletic.

Goals galore in the two games played in Division Two with leaders Hattersley moving three points clear of previous leaders Baguley Athletic with a 6-2 derby win at Newton as they put on the power scoring five in the second half after being locked 1-1 at the break.

Mellor seconds moved up the table as they beat Bedians 6-1.

The big game in Division Three featured the top two teams and Chadderton Park showed their title intent as they won 6-2 at Hooley Bridge Celtic with a red-hot first half putting them in control with a 4-0 interval lead.

Elton Lib Hargreaves were able to celebrate as they picked up their first win of the season by 3-0 over Abacus Media reserves to lift themselves off the foot of the table.

The derby between Stoconians reserves and AFC Stockport was a real topsy turvy contest with a breathless Stocs winning by the odd goal in nine.

North Walkden reserves held on to their slender one-point lead at the top of Division A with a comfortable 5-0 win at Milton reserves.

Second-placed Woodsend were taken all the way by Santos before scoring a last minute winner for a 5-4 victory with Callum Walker (three) and Liam Churchill netting for a spirited Santos.

The other game saw Kartel on heat as they won 9-0 against Milnrow Firgrovia.

Aldermere reserves continue to fly high at the top of Division B with a big 9-0 win at Hillgate seeing them a massive nine points clear of AFC Oldham who beat Flixton JFC 4-2 and non-playing Great Manchester reserves.

Oldham Saints moved from the foot of the table as they chalked up their first victory of the season by 3-1 at Spurley Hey.

There was virtually a full league programme in Division C and the title race is now wide open as Dukinfield Athletic lost out 3-1 to main rivals Govan Athletic Development who are now level on points with them.

Altrincham Hale are in the mix despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Mellor thirds as are Deans Youth who enjoyed an entertaining 5-3 win at Chadderton Park reserves.

Staly Lions were roaring after a 4-2 win at Stoconians thirds and AFC Stockport Warriors enjoyed a convincing 8-4 victory at Bury Ams reserves.

The other game had Salford Storm reserves coming out on top by 3-1 at Village Manchester reserves to keep in touch with the leading pack.

Division D leaders Moston Brook fourths looked to have an easy fixture as they faced basement team Salford Vics Development but the youngsters did their club proud as they restricted Brook to a narrow 2-1 win

Bury Ams thirds kept on track with Brook to stay two points behind them with an emphatic 6-1 win over Altrincham Hale reserves.

The other game was a mid-table affair with AFC Oldham fourths winning 3-1 at Mellor Development.

Referee training opportunities

The League committee and specifically Stephen Howard is doing his utmost to find referees to cover our games. Unfortunately many of you will have experienced having to supply a stand in referee as there are around 15 short every week.

This, unfortunately, is the national trend that is prevalent in many areas of grassroots football.

To help with allocating the remaining referees where they are needed most, if any clubs have someone they can turn to, please let Stephen know, and also who they are. Then he knows which matches are priority to cover.

There have been few respondents to the request for anyone to train as a referee, so we will not be able to run a specific league course, but we are obtaining County FA dates, and the offer of 50% refund still stands on completion of six L & C matches.

Finally, please refrain and ask all your players to refrain from criticism of referees, we need to retain what we have, otherwise the situation is going to get worse.

L & C sides taste Lancashire Amateur Cup success

THE Lancashire Amateur Cup dominated the programme for the Premier division clubs and it proved to be a great day of success for many of our teams.

Last season Milton did the league proud by reaching the final of the competition, losing out in a closely fought final.

Their opening game in this season’s competition saw them take on Morecambe Royals and a tight game ended at 2-2 but Milton then kept their nerve to win the penalty shoot-out by 4-3 to go into the hat for the next round.

There was also a thriller for Premier Division leaders De La Salle who won a terrific tie with Avro reserves by the odd goal in nine.

Moston Brook are also enjoying a great season and they kept up their momentum with a fine 6-3 win over Old Boltonians.

It went to the wire in two other games with Abacus Media beating Moorside Rangers 2-1 and Stretford Paddock scored the only goal of their game hosting East Manchester.

Rochdalians are through as they were given a walkover by Moss Bank JFC.

Division three Elton Lib Hargreaves were also celebrating after a great 5-3 win at Mostonians.

But it was the end of the line for South Manchester who were beaten 5-2 at Whiiney Hill and AFC Oldham who conceded their game to Heyside.

In the Manchester Challenge Trophy, North Walkden went out, losing 4-1 at Denton Town.

There was plenty of league action in Division One with leaders Chadderton Cott retaining their five-point advantage with a 4-2 win at Hadfield Athletic.

Irlam Tigers kept in touch as won 3-1 at Trafford United and Signol Athletic stay level with the Tigers with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Old Stretfordians.

Shaw Athletic moved level on points with Strets with a comfortable 5-1 win over Didsbury.

The other game saw Bury Ams go nap as they eased to a 5-2 win over Signol OB.

Division Two looks set to be one of the most competitive in the league and this was reflected in a terrific game between new teams Baguley Athletic and Eccles United

Baguley had stormed to the top of the division winning their four opening fixtures but Eccles United ended this run with a close 2-1 win.

Shaun Mcatee and Jamie Holland topped a strike from Athletic’s Tommy Henley and missed several more good chances in an enthralling second half with both teams bringing great credit to their teams in a game coolly refereed by John Melia.

Hattersley took full advantage of this result as a 2-0 win at Mellor seconds saw them draw level on points at the top.

Wythenshawe Wanderers kept up their topsy turvy season with a 2-1 win at Stretford Paddock reserves keeping them in touch with the top two.

Lurking in close proximity with games in had are Milltown and Sale Ams.

Milltown were too hot for Bedians to handle as they stormed into a 5-0 interval lead thanks to a hat-trick from Levi Morris backed by a brace from Mani Kalosaye.

Bedians came back well after the break to see the final result at 6-1 for Milltown who have two games in hand on the top two.

Sale Ams are also well in contention with three games in hand and they had few problems in accounting for Newton by 5-0.

There were some close games in Division Three with the top two staying three points clear of the chasing pack.

Chadderton Park lead the way after a comfortable 3-0 win over third-placed Salford Albion and Hooley Bridge Celtic are level on points with a game in hand after an enthralling 3-2 derby win over Abacus Media reserves.

Three teams are level on points behind them as Radclyffe slipped to a 3-1 defeat by Aldermere, with their first win of the season, and AFC Stockport cruised to a 5-1 win over Woodhouses.

Goals galore in the other game as Stoconians reserves beat Village Manchester 5-4.

Just three points separate the top seven teams in Division A and Salford Vics reserves are a point clear at the top after a tight 3-2 win over Milton reserves to take over from Moston Brook reserves who were without a game.

This allowed North Walkden reserves to draw level on points with Brook after an emphatic 8-0 win over Trafford United reserves.

Woodsend Athletic missed their chance to go on top as they suffered a tight 2-1 defeat at AFC Oldham reserves.

Plenty of goals at Santos as they took on Milnrow Firgrovia in a hard-fought local derby encounter.

The hot striking power of Santos proved to be decisive in a 7-2 win.

Matt Barr bagged a hat-trick followed by strikes from Liam Churchill, Ciaran Finegan, Josh Sutherland and MoM junior star Lewis Topping.

Kartel Sports hit form with a 5-0 win over Stretford Paddock Development and Salford Storm and Greater Manchester shared the spoils in a 2-2 deadlock.

In Division B, Aldermere reserves retained their 100% record to stay on top but they were taken all the way before beating Flixton JFC 2-1 in a superb local derby.

Greater Manchester reserves are their closest challengers and stay five points adrift after a 3-2 win over Old Strets reserves.

Heaton Mersey are the league’s treble chance experts and they shared six goals with AFC Oldham thirds.

Parrs Wood Celtic moved into third place with a 5-2 win at Oldham Saints and the other game was another derby thriller as Spurley Hey emerged breathless from a 4-3 win over Hillgate.

Dukinfield Athletic kept up their unblemished start in Division C as they eased to a 4-1 win over Salford Storm reserves, two points clear of Urmston Town Vale who had to pull out all of the stops to beat Govan Athletic Development by the odd goal in five.

Altrincham Hale stay in touch with the top two but had to work hard for a 4-3 win at Eccles United reserves.

Goals galore at AFC Stockport Warriors who lost out 9-4 to local rivals Mellor thirds.

Village Manchester reserves had their shooting boots on as hat-tricks from Dylan Mosenye and Matt Elliott took them on the way to a 10-0 win over Chadderton Park reserves.

In the other games Deans beat Staly Lions 4-2 and Stoconians thirds drew 2-2 with Bury Ams reserves.

Just a point between the top four teams in Division D and new leaders Bury Ams thirds showed their intent with a 7-4 win over Milltown reserves

Previous top guns Whalley Range were held to a 1-1 draw at Irlam Tigers.

Lying in wait for a slip by the top two are Moston Brook fourths who won 3-2 at AFC Oldham fourths and Altrincham Hale reserves who won 3-1 over Salford Vics Development.

The other game saw plenty of goals as Mellor Development won 4-3 at Didsbury reserves.