Respect Handshake suspended

In light of the concerns surrounding the spread of Coronavirus, the L&C has taken the step of suspending the Respect Handshake initiative until further notice. It may be ultimately an unnecessary step, but we deem it worthwhile to minimise any risk. Further information on the weekly update can be found below.

  1. The fixture schedule is released until 14th March. Delayed Cup fixtures have been scheduled, a reminder that after 90 minutes it is straight to penalties and referee fees are shared. Further changes may be necessary, so please check. For all fixture matters contact Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk.
  2. Chorlton High School pitch is has been repaired, although to our knowledge it has not been re-inspected this venue is on the FA 3G register.
  3. The Respect Handshake has been suspended in this league until further notice, see messages issued 29th Feb.
  4. The L & C Inter League Team are playing away at at Liverpool FA, on the 3G pitch, Tuesday 10th March 2020, 7.30m kick off
  5. The next EGM where all clubs must be represented is on Thursday 5th March 8PM at Curzon Ashton. The agenda was issued on 20th Feb.
  6. Trophy winners from last season, please return the trophies at this meeting.

Signol Old Boys take the leap into dream quarter-final

FOR the third week running, atrocious weather during the week saw grass pitches virtually ruled out of play but thanks to plenty of imagination and initiative by league officials and club management, over half the scheduled games took place on a very rare date for L&C soccer of February 29.

Rhodes Cup sponsored by GP Property Management

The main emphasis was on catch-up in domestic cup competitions and the top game of the day in the Rhodes Cup was played on the excellent pitch at Dean Trust between Division One rivals Manchester Polonia and Signol Old Boys.

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An even first half ended goalless but then Signol upped the ante with goals from Charlie McDonald and a Scott Norris penalty putting them in control.

Norris added a neat second to make it 3-0 and although Polonia came back with a consolation it was not enough to stop the Old Boys progressing through to the last eight.

There they will take on runaway Premier Division leaders Whalley Range.

Wray Cup

There were three Wray Cup ties and North Walkden kept up their hopes of a league and cup treble as they maintained their recent hot scoring streak with a 9-3 cruise at Oldham Vics to become the first team through to the semi-finals of the Wray Cup.

North are also in the quarter-finals of the Rhodes Cup as well looking in a good place to lift the Division Two title in what promises to be a hectic last lap to their first season in the league.

There was a much closer game between Abacus Media reserves and Denton Town reserves which ended locked at 1-1 with Abacus winning a tense and lengthy penalty shoot-out by 7-6.

The other Wray Cup ties saw Hadfield have an emphatic 3-0 win at Chadderton Park

Whitehead Cup

There were also three games in the Whitehead Cup with the biggest win being posted by Division B leaders Parrs Wood Celtic who had few problems in accounting for Mellor thirds by 6-1.

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They will take on Salford Storm in the semi-finals who enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 win over Bury Ams reserves.

The other game saw Moston Brook reserves win a close encounter with AFC Stockport by the odd goal in five to book their semi-final slot against Chadderton Cott reserves.

Hellawell Shield

Just one game in the Hellawell Shield  and Moston Brook thirds made it through to the semi-final in a dramatic game with Irlam Tiger Rangers where they await the winners of the Altrincham Hale v Hillgate match.

It went to the wire of a penalty shoot-out after a 3-3 normal time draw with Brook winning the shoot-out by 4-3.

Premier Division

Premier Division action had just two games and Milton, who play their postponed Lancashire Amateur Cup semi-final this week lost out 5-3 in an entertaining game with Dom Doyle by 5-3 to keep Dom Doyle in third spot ahead of Waterloo who beat South Manchester 5-2.

Division One

The key game in division One saw AFC Oldham go to the top of the table as they kept up their unbeaten record with a big 8-2 win over lowly Old Stretfordians and move a point ahead of local non-playing rivals Radclyffe.

Irlam Tigers were also in hot form with a 6-0 win at Moston Brook.

Division Three

There were no games played in Division Two and in Division Three Chadderton Cott extended their lead at the top to six points after a close 6-4 win at Salford Vics reserves.

The other game in the division also produced ten goals shared by second-placed Signol Athletic and Elton Lib Hargreaves.

Division A

Just one game in Division A but it produced a big shock as Trafford United reserves upset the title hopes of Old Strets Reserves with a 3-1 victory.

Division B

The top two teams in Division B were in cup action and AFC Oldham thirds closed the gap on them with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Old Strets thirds.

It was another close affair in the local derby between Heaton Mersey and Spurley Hey reserves with Hey edging a 4-3 win.

Division C

In Division C Salford Storm reserves moved to four points behind second-placed Chadderton Park reserves with a 3-1 win over Whalley Range reserves.

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Just one goal at Govan Athletic A as they hosted AFC Stockport Warriors with the Warriors grabbing the honours.

MFA Fund 4 Football application deadline approaching

The L&C would like to remind all club secretaries that the deadline for MFA Fund 4 Football applications is the end of February. More details included in the weekly update.

1.       The fixture schedule is released until 7th March. Delayed Cup fixtures have been scheduled, a reminder that after 90 minutes it is straight to penalties and referee fees are shared. Further changes may be necessary, so please check. For all fixture matters contact Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk.

2.       Please do not book Chorlton High as a backup ground, as the pitch is worn out and dangerous, although this venue is on the FA 3G register.

3.       For Irlam Tiger please contact Mike Cartwright on 07810517492 instead of Kenneth Cartwright until further notice.

4.       A reminder that the MFA Fund 4 Football application window closes on 28th Feb.

5.       The next EGM where all clubs must be represented is on 5th March 8PM at Curzon Ashton. The agenda was issued on 20th Feb.

6.       Trophy winners from last season, please return the trophies at this meeting.

February fixtures now available

The updated schedule for the rest of the month is now available. For information about this, and other matters, please see the update below.

1.       The fixture schedule is released for all February. Delayed Cup fixtures have been scheduled, a reminder that after 90 minutes it is straight to penalties and referee fees are shared. Further changes may be necessary, so please check. For all fixture matters contact Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk.

2.       Please do not book Chorlton High as a backup ground, as the pitch is worn out and dangerous, although this venue is on the FA 3G register.

3.       For Irlam Tiger please contact Mike Cartwright on 07810517492 instead of Kenneth Cartwright until further notice.

4.       An article celebrating the 50 year anniversary of Moston Brook was released in the week on the league website.

5.       The next EGM where all clubs must be represented is on 5th March 8PM at Curzon Ashton. If there are any items for the agenda (will be issued by 20th Feb), please let me know.

6.       Trophy winners from last season, please return the trophies at this meeting.

Tigers just miss out as Dennis bites deep

LAST week the league escaped the wrath of Storm Ciara to complete a full programme of games but Storm Dennis came early enough to devastate this week’s mix of league and cup fixtures with artificial pitches once proving to be a saviour for some games.

Manchester Amateur Cup

The top fixture saw Division One Irlam Tigers playing Chadderton EDS in the semi-final of the Manchester Amareur Cup.

There was a strong end-to-end wind and this paid dividends for the Tigers as they took the lead with a 90-yard strike from their powerful keeper Tom Richardson whose long, high clearance bounced over the Chadderton keeper to give them the lead.

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Chadderton are a classy young team and their excellent football saw them level before the break as they dominated for long spells.

A superb second half saw both teams create chances and the Tigers were to regret their misses as Chadderton broke away to net the winner in injury time.

But it was a great advert for amateur soccer and the Tigers can be very proud of their display in this game and in reaching this stage to bring great credit to themselves and the league.

Rhodes Cup sponsored by GP Property Management

The other cup game saw Division Two high-flyers North Walkden pull off a giant-killing act in the Rhodes Cup as they took on Dom Doyle.

North came out with all guns blazing and struck twice in the first five minutes to give them confidence and they kept up their momentum to add three more unanswered goals.

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They will now play Chadderton Cott in the next round who are flying high at the top of Division Three.

Premier Division

League action was very limited but there was a big win for South Manchester at Abacus Media by 3-1 in the only Premier division game.

The win lifts South out of the bottom two for the first time this season by three points above Trafford United and Milton.

Division One

There was plenty of action in Division One and Radclyffe went back on top as they pulled off a fine 3-2 win at Manchester Polonia.

Their main title rivals AFC Oldham remain unbeaten but were held in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Signol Old Boys.

AFC are now two points adrift of Radclyffe but have a vital game in hand in what promises to be a gripping race to the wire for the rest of the season.

Third-placed Chorltonians shared four goals with Bury Ams and Moston Brook climbed out of the bottom two after winning their relegation battle with Old Stretfordians by 5-3.

Division Two

The top teams were out of action but there was a fantastic and breathless6-6 draw between Santos and South Manchester Reserves.

Not far behind with thrills and spills were Bedians and in-form Oldham Vics who shared eight goals.

A more sober affair saw Mellor reserves beat Chorltonians reserves 3-1.

Division Three

Division Three leaders Chadderton Cott extended their lead to seven points with a comfortable 8-0 win over Milton reserves but non-playing Signol Athletic have two games in hand which could yet open up the title race.

The other mid-table game saw Salford Vics reserves ease to a 3-1 win over Elton Lib Hargreaves.

Division A

No change at the top of Division A as all of the three top teams saw their games postponed.

The basement battle saw Salford Storm match Dennis with decisive 6-2 win over Dukinfield Athletic reserves and climb one point above them.

It was closer in the other two games with Moston Brook reserves scoring the only goal of their game against Deans and Waterloo reserves and Trafford United reserves shared six goals.

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Division B

There were also only two games played in Division B and neither affected the top two with AFC Oldham beating Heaton Mersey 3-2 and Bury Ams reserves drew 3-3 with Hillgate.

Division C

There was a total wash-out of the Division C fixtures.

Inter-league date confirmed

Following their pulsating win over the Lancashire Amateur FL for the John Howard Cup in the annual Inter-league fixture, the league President Tim Roebuck is delighted to have set up another top exciting encounter.

It is against the Liverpool County League at the superb Liverpool County ground on Tuesday March 10. Tim is hoping that he will have the same squad available but if any other club has players they think my be interested in playing they can contact him to join a squad training session.

Moston Brook at 50: playing opportunities ‘from cradle to the grave’

L&C AFL caught up with Mike Melia, Chairman of Moston Brook, after the club celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Originally formed in Newton Heath as an old boy’s club, Moston Brook has a rich history of giving game time to people of all ages.

Because of the origins, teams were made up of teachers, former pupils, older pupils, and those of school age who eventually advanced from youth teams to those competing in the L&C.

Though the old school which was responsible for the conveyor belt of players was demolished two decades ago, the burgeoning and vibrant youth setup, comprising of 10 youth teams and a training group, provide ample opportunities for players to go on and compete for one of the four adult teams.

Moston Brook reached its half century in September 2019 and celebrated the occasion a month later with a party that was attended by almost 150 current and former members of the adult teams.

Mike reflected on the enduring legacy of the club. Although its first team is in a relegation battle in Division One this season, Moston Brook has a storied history of success.

The first team is competing in Division One for the third successive season, having finished a respectable sixth last season and as high as fifth in the 2013-14 campaign.

The club tasted championship success in that division in 2008, a golden year for Moston Brook which saw one of the other sides finish top of Division B.

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Moston Brook has also won the Whitehead Cup on two occasions and successfully defended the Hellawell Shield.

But despite this roll-call of honours, Mike’s pride is in the club’s longevity, and the preparation of a production line that means people “could play for life for Moston Brook.”

He said: “From a personal point of view, I am not too bothered about that (honours) and club members might not like me saying it, but it’s a question of keeping people playing football.

“The pleasing aspect really is the longevity of the club and what pleases me most is I go down to training sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday. To see the pitch full of kids running around – loads of activity, loads of children and coaches – that pleases me because there are kids enjoying themselves and we are responsible for it.”

Arguably, given the challenges currently facing the amateur game in terms of participation, this is a greater achievement than any honour.

Just this season, the L&C has seen seven teams drop out of its various competitions – some of which have a longer history than Moston Brook.

It highlights how precarious the situation can be.

But Moston Brook cater for players of all ages; sides exist at under-7, under-8, under-9, under-10, under-11, under-12, under-13, and under-14 level, as well as the training group.

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There have been football teams for girls and women, walking football teams, meaning there is an attraction to play, no matter what level you’re at.

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Another innovation that widens the net of talent is the use of one of the four senior teams as a veteran’s team, for players of over 35 years of age, as well as three between the ages of 30-35.

Mike said: “That has attracted players back. Some who played in our first team 12 years ago play for the third team – probably the most successful this season.”

Indeed, the third team have a real chance of putting the icing on the celebration cake by securing a promotion.

Allied to these opportunities is a ferocious work ethic from senior team managers to recruit, youth teams that recruit on the basis of willingness to play the beautiful game, and the “excellent job” of the Treasurer, Charlie MacMillan.

Lifelong friends, Mike and Charlie have played integral roles at Moston Brook since its second year of existence; both are legendary figures at the club for their contributions at all levels of the organisation – a legacy that will endure.

Mike added: “Having four teams isn’t easy, but if I’m looking at why we exist more than others, it’s the fact Charlie does an excellent job and makes life fairly comfortable, with a modest £6 weekly fee for training and the game. “

This ethic, commitment, and openness of adhering to the Moston Brook playing principle of “from the cradle to the grave,” is why its history is enshrined into 50 years, with many chapters yet to write. 

All clubs must be represented at 5 March EGM

After a weekend when the league came together to reiterate the anti-discrimination policy, the weekly update contains information on the fixture schedule, advice where pitches are unplayable, and the date and venue for the next EGM, at which all clubs must be represented.

  1. The fixture schedule is released up to 22nd February. Delayed Cup fixtures have been scheduled, a reminder that after 90 minutes it is straight to penalties and referee fees are shared. Further changes may be necessary, so please check. For all fixture matters contact Malcolm Kershaw fixtures@landc.org.uk.
  2. A reminder to reverse fixtures if possible when home pitches are unplayable, and ensure Full Time is updated. Please see the postponement instructions attached and sent via email. Please do not book Chorlton High as a backup ground, as the pitch is worn out and dangerous, although this venue is on the FA 3G register.
  3. For Irlam Tiger please contact Mike Cartwright on 07810517492 instead of Kenneth Cartwright until further notice.
  4. Geoff Garnett (ggggarnett@aol.com) is pleased to receive brief match reports on Sat evening for inclusion in the weekly results report.
  5. The next EGM where all clubs must be represented is on 5th March 8PM at Curzon Ashton. If there are any items for the agenda (will be issued by 20th Feb), please let me know.