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.

Chadderton Cott move five points clear in Division One

WITHOUT the distraction of county cups and just a few postponements there was some topsy turvy action throughout the eight divisions with a few big upsets along the way.

In the Premier Division De La Salle Reds stay three points clear after an emphatic 5-1 win at Manchester Polonia.

Stretford Paddock kept in touch with the leaders but had to work hard for a 2-1 win over a gritty Rochdalians.

Goals from Luke Norris and Josh Rowlands maintained Salford Vics’ 100% start to the season in a top of the table clash with Mellor and there was not a cross word or bad tackle in the game.

Both teams produced enough chances to have scored four or five goals, but Vics took two of theirs and Mellor failed to take any.

The game was a great advertisement for the L & C and was brilliantly refereed by Mike Crump.

Moston Brook kept up their consistent start with a 4-2 win over North Walkden to keep themselves in the mix.

In Division One, the top game between the leading pair saw Chadderton Cott move five points clear after a 3-1 victory over Irlam Tigers.

Signol Athletic lost their first game of the season at Didsbury who had the predatory Aaron Rodger on top form with a killer brace.

There were two naphands in the division as Old Stretfordians won 5-2 at Signol OB and Shaw Athletic cruised to a 5-1 win at Trafford United.

The other game saw Bury Ams enjoy their second win of the season by 3-1 at Hadfield Athletic.

Division Two looks to be one of the league’s most competitive and this was reflected in the latest results.

New boys Baguley Athletic are flying high as they kept up their 100% with a close win at Milltown.

They stay three points clear of Hattersley who kept up their recent hot form with an exciting 5-3 win at South Manchester.

Hattersley stormed into a 3-0 lead with a hat-trick from Rob Swallow then South reduced the arrears with goals from Chris Waugh and Matt Walsh.

Gus Yarwood took Hattersley into a 4-2 lead only for Walsh to add his second to set up a frantic finish and Hattersley sealed their win with a final late strike from Steffan Steadman.

The other game in the division saw Stretford Paddock reserves record a comfortable 5-1 win over Newton.

It’s all to play for in Division Three with four teams locked at the top on 10 points.

Leaders Radclyffe were hit hard as they went down 9- 3 at Salford Albion.

Albion raced into a 4-0 lead with strikes from Jack Lloyd, Kieran Long, Stephen Booth and Danny Hudson and Lee Kenny went off after making a gaol-saving tackle to see Albion 4-1 up at the break.

They quickly added to their tally and cruised to a memorable win and join Radclyffe  on points at the top.

Also there are Chadderton Park who had a comfortable 5-0 win over Aldermere.

The other top game saw Hooley Bridge leading 4-1 at Stoconianss reserves before the game was abandoned due to a nasty injury.

Village Manchester and AFC Stockport shared four goals and Abacus Media reserves won 4-0 at Woodhouses.

Division A leaders Moston Brook reserves were without a game and Woodsend Athletic reduced their lead to a point with a 4-2 win over title rivals Salford Vics reserves.

North Walkden reserves also kept in touch with an impressive 7-4 win over Stretford Paddock Development.

Milton reserves won their local derby at Milnrow Firgrovia by 3-0 and the basement battle saw Kartel win 2-1 at Greater Manchester FC.

Aldermere reserves stay clear at the top of Division B as an efficient 3-0 win over AFC Oldham thirds keeps them five points clear of the chasing Pack.

These are led by Flixton JFC who worked hard for a 3-2 win over Parrs Wood Celtic and Greater Manchester reserves who drew 2-2 at Hillgate.

Old Strets reserves enjoyed their first win of the season by 6-2 over Moston Brook thirds.

An exciting local derby at Spurley Hey ended in a 3-2 win for Heaton Mersey.

In Division C Dukinfield Athletic stay top with a 100% record with a 6-2 cruise over AFC Stockport Warriors.

Urmston Town Vale are two points off the pace after a 4-0 win over Village Manchester Reserves and Altrincham Hale showed their intent with a 5-2 win at Chadderton Park thirds.

Govan Athletic Development also have a perfect record retained by scoring the only goal of their game with Staly Lions.

Deans reserves beat Bury Ams reserves 3-2 in a close contest and Mellor thirds were in seventh heaven after a 7-2 derby win over Stoconians thirds.

Whalley Range are the new leaders in Division D with a 5-1 win over Milltown reserves moving them two points clear of non-playing Bury Ams thirds.

The other games saw AFC Oldham fourths share eight goals with Irlam Tigers A and Altrincham Hale reserves won 2-1 at Mellor Development.

L & C teams make cup progress

ON another busy and goals-filled day there was plenty of success for teams in the Manchester Amateur Cup with Irlam Tigers Rangers enjoying a thumping 6-0 win over Salford Storm reserves.

Stretford Paddock reserves were in seventh heaven after a 7-4 win over Elton Lib Hargreaves after extra time.

AFC Oldham reserves joined in the goalfest with a 5-2 win at Beechfield United and Trafford United won 3-0 at Village Manchester reserves.

Going through to the draw for round two with walkovers were Greater Manchester FC, Shaw Athletic, Didsbury and North Walkden seconds.

The race for the Premier Division title is warming up nicely as previous leaders Milton were without a game and De La Salle took advantage with a point in a 1-1 deadlock against Moston Brook easing them a point clear.

Stretford Paddock are firmly in the mix with a comfortable 5-2 win at AFC Oldham moving them into joint third with Abacus Media.

Early season title favourites Mellor hit top gear with a big 8-4 win over Manchester Polonia and Salford Vics, with games in hand, are well into the race after an excellent 4-1 win at Dom Doyle.

It’s also tight at the top of Division One as an important 5-3 win for Chadderton Cott in an exciting game at Old Stretfordians took them two points clear of Irlam Tigers who were held to a 1-1 draw by a gritty Hadfield Athletic.

The other game in the division saw Bury Ams pick up their first points of the season with a 3-0 win at Signol Old Boys.

One of the league’s top games of the day came in Division Two saw new boys Baguley Athletic go top by three points from three other teams after a breathless 6-5 win at South Manchester.

Wythenshawe Wanderers have had a solid start to the season but found Hattersley too hot to handle as they went down 6-2.

Plenty of goals at Mellor reserves in an entertaining 4-4 draw with Milltown.

Radclyffe showed their title intent in Division Three as they kept up their unbeaten start to the season with a resounding 9-2 win over Hooley Bridge Celtic to stay three points clear of four other teams.

Chadderton Park were without a game but stay second and level on points are Village Manchester after a hard-earned 1-0 win at Abacus Media reserves and Salford Albion who also had to work hard for a 2-1 win at Stoconians reserves.

AFC Stockport have a game in hand and stay on the heels of the top five after a clinical 5-0 win over Elton Lib Hargreaves.

No change at the top of Division A which is led by Moston Brook reserves who were taken all the way scoring the only goal of their game with Stretford Paddock Development.

Second-placed Salford Vics reserves also had to work hard for a 3-2 win over Milnrow Firgrovia.

New team Woodsend Athletic have settled in well and stay in the top group with a 4-1 win over Salford Storm, handing them their first defeat of the season.

The other game in the division saw Milton reserves win by the off goal in five over Trafford United reserves.

In Division B Aldermere reserves stay three points clear of the pack and retained their 100 per cent record with a win over Spurley Hey.

The game looked set for a 1-1 draw after some solid defence by Hey as Aldermere dominated the second half.

But the pressure paid off as Aldermere bagged three goals in the dying minutes for a vital 4-1 win.

AFC Oldham reserves lead three clubs level on six points after 5-3 derby win at Oldham Saints and wins for Greater Manchester reserves also by 5-3 at Moston Brook thirds and Parrs Wood Celtic by 6-2 over Old Strets reserves keep them level with AFC Oldham.

There was a dramatic local derby at Heaton Mersey where they shared ten goals with Hillgate.

Plenty of action in Division C with Dukinfield Athletic on top of the table after a close 3-2 derby win at Staly Lions.

Govan Athletic Development were on fire with a 7-0 trouncing of Chadderton Park thirds.
Urmston Town Vale are well in the title mix after a 3-0 win over Eccles United reserves as are Altrincham Hale after a 2-1 win at AFC Stockport Warriors.

The other game in the division had Deans reserves winning 2-0 at Stoconians thirds.

Division D leader Bury Ams thirds were held to a 3-3 draw at AFC Oldham fourths but stay a point clear of Moston Brook fourths, who were without a game and Whalley Range who were delighted with a 5-2 win at Salford Vics Development.

The other two games went to the wire with Didsbury reserves beating Altrincham Hale reserves 1-1 and Milltown reserves drew 2-2 with Mellor Development.

Rochdalians and Moston Brook progress in Lancashire Amateur Cup

THERE were mixed results for L & C teams in the opening round of the Lancashire Amateur Cup but Rochdalians were delighted to put a poor start in the league behind them as they marched into the next round with a fine 2-0 win at Gidlow Athletic.

Joining them are Moston Brook who have made a great start to their return to the Premier Division and they cruised through with a comfortable 5-2 win over Old Mancunians

South Manchester are also through as Tottington United conceded their tie.

Bowing out were Salford Vics who lost out 3-1 to Denton Town but gave a good account of themselves.

Bedians lost out 4-1 at Whitworth Valley and Aldermere by 3-1 hosting Darwen Reserves.

Premier Division action was limited due to cup action but leaders Milton suffered their first defeat of the season going down 4-3 in an action-packed derby thriller with Abacus Media.

De La Salle drew level on points with Milton with a game in hand as two late goals gave them a 3-1 win at Stretford Paddock.

Goals galore in the other two games led by Manchester Polonia with a 7-3 win over AFC Oldham and North Walkden by 5-3 hosting Dom Doyle.

Plenty of goals in Division One with the outstanding match seeing Signol Athletic JFC beating Signol Old Boys 5-1 to stay a point clear at the top.

Hot on their heels with a game in hand are Irlam Tigers who roared to a 5-2 win over Didsbury and Chadderton Cott who were equally convincing in a 6-2 win over Bury Ams.

Trafford United picked up their first points of the season as they walloped Old Stretfordians 6-0 in a local derby.

It’s hot at the top of Division Two with three teams level on points. Wythenshawe Wanderers are in top spot after an efficient 3-0 win over Eccles United to move level with non-playing Baguley Athletic and South Manchester.

Irlam Tiger Rangers showed their intent as they cruised to a 7-3 win at Hattersley and Newton were delighted to pick up their first points of the season as they won 2-1 at Mellor reserves.

It’s also tight at the top of Division Three with three teams locked at the top on seven points as they all posted wins.

Top of the pile are Radclyffe who disposed of Abacus Media reserves 6-2 to give their goal difference a boost.

Chadderton Park also found their shooting boots winning 5-2 at Elton Lib Hargreaves and Hooley Bridge Celtic kept up their impressive start to the season with a hard-earned 3-2 victory hosting AFC Stockport.

The other games saw Woodhouses beat Stoconians reserves 3-2 and Village Manchester suffered their first defeat of the season by 4-2 to Salford Albion.

Two teams are flying high at the top of Division A with victories.

Moston Brook seconds were too hot for Trafford United reserves to handle in a crushing 14-1 defeat and extend their goal difference from Salford Albion who kept an immaculate clean sheet in an important 2-0 win at Milnrow Firgrovia.

Keeping up the pressure on the top two are Santos and Salford Vics reserves.

Santos beat Kartel 4-2 and Vics had to work hard for a 2-0 win at a spirited Greater Manchester FC.

A double from Lew Lawler, either side of the break, gave Vics the edge but they relied on some cool and solid defending and some fine saves from keeper Dereje Besrat to preserve their lead as GM came back well after the break.

Newboys Woodsend kept up their unbeaten record with their first win in the league by 4-0 over Stretford Paddock Development and a thrilling game saw North Walkden reserves win by the odd goal in seven at AFC Oldham reserves.

Aldermere reserves are out on their own at the top of Division B after a comfortable 6-0 win at Parrs Wood Celtic and Flixton JFC are hot on their heels after a big 11-0 win over Deans.

Greater Manchester FC reserves had first-half goals from Bradley Fysh (two) and Josh Kirsala to set up a 3-1 win over Oldham Saints.

There were close encounters in the other two games with Spurley Hey winning 3-2 at Old Strets reserves and Hillgate and Moston Brook thirds shared six goals.

Dukinfield Athletic and Salford Storm reserves are level on points at the top of Division C with Athletic winning 3-0 at Deans reserves and Storm beat Village Manchester reserves 9-1.

Plenty of goals as Altrincham Hale won 7-0 at AFC Stockport Warriors and Eccles United reserves by 6-3 over Chadderton Park thirds.

Govan Athletic Development enjoyed their first game of the season winning 4-2 at Bury Ams seconds and an even contest at Staly Lions saw them draw 2-2 with Urmston Town Vale.

Moston Brook fourths and Bury Ams fourths showed their title intent in Division D as they both posted wins to stay joint top of the table.

Brook were in seventh heaven after a 7-3 win at Milltown reserves and Bury were not far behind as they won 6-2 at Mellor Development.

AFC Oldham fourths were also on fire with a 7-1 win at Didsbury reserves but it was closer for Altrincham Hale reserves who beat Whalley Range 4-2 and irlam Tigers thirds by 4-3 over Salford Vics Development.

Baguley Athletic move top of Division Two

Ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, here’s a recap of what happened last time out.

It was back into action in all eight divisions for the first time this season although Covid problems caused some games to be postponed.

Premier Division leaders Milton were not in action but stay top by three points from De La Salle who won a vital game against Mellor by 4-2 to keep up their 100% record with a game in hand on the leaders.

The only other game played in the top flight ended in a 1-1 deadlock between Abacus Media and Manchester Polonia.

There was more action in Division One with a congested title race seeing Signol Athletic stay one point clear of three other teams after a 3-1 win at Hadfield Athletic.

Irlam Tigers were without a game but stay in second spot on goal difference from Old Stretfordians and Chadderton Cott.

Strets fought hard to win a point as they shared eight goals with Shaw Athletic.

Strets took an early lead through Steve Drabble but Shaw hit back quickly to lead 2-1 with Sheldon Clarke on target and it was ebb and flow from then on.

Chadderton Cott were also without a game and Didsbury moved to within a point of them as they won their second successive game by 4-2 at Bury Ams.

There were plenty of goals in what looks set to be a very exciting Division Two and new boys Baguley Athletic hit the top with an impressive 5-0 win at another new team Eccles United.

South Manchester are in second spot on goal difference after winning an exciting home encounter with Newton by the odd goal in seven.

Netting for South were Chris Lydon, Reece Horan (two) and John Chukwu while Newton showed their fighting spirit with a hat-trick from Jake Hatton.

Wythenshawe Wanderers were the big hitters in the division with an emphatic 8-0 win at Stoconians and Hattersley also kept an immaculate clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Bedians.

Division Three is also looking to be a very competitive with plenty of close games seeing just a point separating the top six teams and four teams are level on points at the top of the table.

The early leaders are Radclyffe who shared the spoils in a 2-2 deadlock with second-placed Village Manchester.

In the mix are Hooley Bridge Celtic who impressed with a 3-0 win at Woodhouses and Chadderton Park who beat Stoconians reserves 3-1.

The other games in the division saw AFC Stockport beat Abacus Media reserves 4-2 and Aldermere and Salford Albion drew 2-2.

Plenty of action in Division A and Moston Brook reserves hit the heights with a big 10-3 win over Milltown Firgrovia.

Salford Storm are level on points with Moston Brook after winning a nerve-jangling game with Trafford United reserves by 5-4.

North Walkden reserves picked up their first points with a comfortable 4-2 win over Great Manchester FC but the other games were close affairs.

Salford Vics reserves drew 2-2 hosting Santos and there were no goals in the games between Woodsend Athletic and Milton reserves and AFC Oldham reserves and Stretford Paddock Development.

Division B had its first action of the season and there was a big opening day win for AFC Oldham reserves in their local derby with Moston Brook thirds.

Aldermere reserves were in an exciting local derby at Old Strets reserves and were delighted to emerge with a breathless 4-3 victory.

Parrs Wood Celtic had had a close encounter with Great Manchester FC reserves winning 2-1 and the other game was locked at 1-1 between Heaton Mersey and Flixton JFC.

Plenty of action in the opening day for Division C with the top scorers being Dukinfield Athletic who eased to a 9-0 win over Stoconians thirds.

There were also wins for Salford Storm reserves by 4-1 at AFC Stockport Warriors, Bury Ams thirds by 3-1 at Chadderton Park thirds, Urmston Town Vale 3-0 over Altrincham Hale, Mellor thirds by 3-1 over Eccles United reserves and Village Manchester reserves by 3-2 over Staly Lions.

The final action was in Division D and there were goals galore led by Moston Brook fourths by 7-1 at new boys Altrincham Hale.

Bury Ams fourths won by the odd goal in nine hosting Irlam Tigers thirds and it was also close at Didsbury reserves who went down by 5-3 to Milltown reserves.

The last game saw Whalley Range reserves win by 4-2 at Mellor Development to set up the usual lively celebrations back at their club.

Action underway in three more divisions

THE Lancashire and Cheshire AFL extended their action to five divisions as well as the Cheshire Amateur Cup and there were goals galore on an exciting day.

The goalfest was led by the Premier Division games with Milton continuing their unblemished start to the season as their third successive win took them five points clear of their nearest rivals but they had to work hard for a 3-2 win at Manchester Polonia.

Their nearest challengers are Moston Brook, on their return to the top flight, as they chalked up one of their biggest-ever wins in the top flight as their vibrant new-look young team were too hot for a depleted Abacus Media to handle in a comprehensive 8-1 victory.

Stretford Paddock were also in great scoring form as they posted their first win in the top flight in emphatic style by dispatching North Walkden 6-2.

Salford Vics opened their season with a comfortable 5-2 win over AFC Oldham as they dominated the game from start to finish with the goals flowing from Matty Bailey (two), Josh Lawman, Jono Hayes and Mikey Lawler.

It’s tighter at the top of Division One with just a point separating the top three teams.

Irlam Tigers lead the way on goal difference and they looked to be on their way to an emphatic win as a hat-trick from George Bell saw them roar into a 3-0 lead over Signol Athletic.

But Signol showed great powers of recovery as they hit back with goals from T Lee, K Egerton and I May to share the spoils.

Chadderton Cott are level on points with the Tigers after winning a thrilling local derby with Shaw Athletic by the odd goal in seven.

Old Stretfordians continued their solid start with an emphatic 6-3 win at Bury Ams to keep in close contact with the top two.

Didsbury opened their season with a 4-2 win over Signol OB and Hadfield Athletic also began well with a 3-1 win at Trafford United.

Action began in Division Two and it looks as if their league will be full of drama with some new teams looking to make an impression.

Eccles United were one of them and they showed their intent as they opened the scoring at Stretford Paddock reserves with a goal on two minutes from Mason Dickson to settle their nerves as they went on to win 4-0.

Milltown were making their debut and they stormed into an early 4-1 lead over Newton with braces from Anthony Morris and Jake Williams.

They then took their foot off the accelerator and Newton reduced the arrears after the break before a late goal from Williams, to complete his hat-trick, sealed the Milltown victory.

Baguley Athletic also made their league debut with a close 3-2 win at Irlam Tiger Rangers.

League stalwarts Bedians and South Manchester enjoyed a local derby with South winning 5-2 and the other game in the division saw Mellor seconds win 4-1 at Wythenshawe Wanderers.

The opening games in Division Three saw Radclyffe in hot form with the biggest win of the day by 9-0 at Elton Lib Hargreaves and Village Manchester were also in scoring mode with a 7-2 win over Woodhouses.

It was closer in the other games with Chadderton Park sharing six goals with Hooley Bridge Celtic and Abacus Media reserves won 2-0 hosting Salford Albion.

The final league action came in Division A with three of the teams going nap.

Santos beat Stretford Paddock Development 5-1, a score matched by Moston Brook reserves at Greater Manchester FC and AFC Oldham reserves won 5-2 at Milton reserves.

Salford Vics reserves made it a double for the club as they beat Kartel 2-1 in a tight game.

Kartel were dominated for the first 30 minutes but scored on their first real attack.

Vics drew level with a far-post header from James Grantham as he was totally unmarked and the winner came late in the second half from Mason Pickard.

Milton Firgrovia picked up a point on their league debut in a 1-1 deadlock with another new team Woodsend.

Salford Storm won 3-2 in a local derby with North Walkden reserves and AFC Oldham reserves completed the league action with a useful 5-2 win at Milton reserves.

Not much joy in the first round of the Cheshire Amateur Cup as there were early exits for Hattersley by 2-0 at Poulton Vics, Sale Ams by 5-1 at home to Bollington United, Stoconians by 7-0 hosting Winnington Avenue and AFC Stockport by 8-0 at home to Knutsford.

In memory of John Howard

It is with tremendous sadness that the L & C announce the death of our former League Secretary John Howard at the age of 85.

John’s contribution to the league, its reputation and what it has become today cannot be measured and is “unlikely to ever be surpassed.” The outpouring of love and affection since news of his passing confirms as much, with messages from committee members, football clubs, the Lancashire Amateur League (LAL) and Manchester FA emphasising the regard he was held in.

He has been described as “influential,” “dedicated,” “a gentleman,” “mentor,” “a special man,” a man for whom respect came naturally, from people who enjoyed his company, passion and love for the game and the advancement of the L & C and grassroots football.

His knowledge of our league was unrivalled and he penned the most significant piece of history that exists about the L & C – a comprehensive history of our first 100 years.

It is typical of John’s nature that, in more than 250 pages, he only recounts his own time in the L & C in less than a page, not even detailing his time as League Secretary, instead thanking his devoted wife Doreen, “who has shown great patience in accepting that football was part of our life together and I would not have been able to complete this book without her encouragement,” and also preferring to focus on his contemporaries and their contributions

That says a great deal about the man, considering the L & C is a labour of love. His involvement in the league began in 1953 when he began playing for the Manchester Town Clerks and City Treasurers (Mantact) Football Club. During his time with the club as a player and administrator, Mantact enjoyed success by winning the 3rd Division, Division E, and Reserve B Division, as well as the Wray Cup.

John’s enduring passion for the league is remembered by his son Stephen, the L & C Referees Appointment Secretary, whose “first real memories” of football were his dad’s involvement in managing Mantact and being part of the L & C.

Stephen said: “Early memories were at Hough End where he organised everything, picking up players on the way to the game involving long detours, washing the kit, getting the oranges and cutting them into quarters for half-time, team talks and shouting from the touchline.

“He organised training at various venues and he also enjoyed a drink after training. To be honest, growing up for me, it was his passion.”

John progressed all the way through Mantact’s administration, onto refereeing, time as the Discipline Secretary, and membership of the League Management Committee.

Mantact’s resignation from the league meant a stint as Results Secretary, a time which Stephen fondly recalls involved “an answering machine that never stopped on Saturday evening with all clubs ringing in results, and he would leave a message with all the results on, so Sunday night the phone again would never stop, and my job was to take all the results to the post office to ensure they got to the newspapers on time.” It paints an accurate picture of a man who “lived for the league,” as his son eloquently described it.

In later years, John enjoyed a three-year spell as League Secretary, succeeded by current incumbent, Brian Davies. Brian is unequivocal about his predecessor’s influence, both on a personal and professional level, a man described as “the life and soul” of the L & C.

Brian said: “My first interaction with John was going to discipline meetings because the club I was with had discipline problems at the time so I used to have to go to John Howard. He was feared for his power as a disciplinarian but was always very fair and everybody came out of those meetings with a massive amount of respect. Everything was accepted because he was so good at it.

“The influence he had couldn’t be measured. John was a dedicated man of integrity and was the life and soul of the L & C for so long.”

During his time as Secretary, he pushed for greater automation and communication with the clubs. He was a major reason for the Full Time system of recording results, and the continuous lines of dialogue in the weekly updates.

Fiercely protective of grassroots football, John was a great advocate of the L & C vs LAL Interleague Trophy, and maintaining the relationship between the two leagues, along with the ongoing annual games, which have now reached 100 years. The two leagues have always been friendly and helped each other where possible. It is a mark of John’s influence here that the Interleague trophy is named after him, leaving a legacy that he can be proud of.

Peter Duffy of the LAL, described John as “iconic” with “limitless knowledge.”

He said: “On behalf of the LAL, please pass on my condolences to all of John’s family and friends.”

Colind Bridgford, Manchester FA CEO, added: “My thoughts and all at Manchester FA are with his friends and family, personally and within football.”

John’s loyalty to the league meant he not only safeguarded its traditions, but he also embraced change and was a representative for the league on a body that is committed to improving equality and diversity. Even during the Covid pandemic, he was looking to the future, keen to continue developing grassroots football and was responsible for the collation and publication of L &C match sheets as recently as the end of the 2020/21 season.

That is an association with the league of 68 years. It is why messages have arrived in their droves from football clubs far and wide, it is why Fixtures Secretary Malc Kershaw spoke of his “admiration for the man,” and the reason Geoff Garnett describes knowing John as “a pleasure.” It is why Keith Marsden, Registrations Secretary spoke of a “special man” that nobody had a negative word about, and why the likes of Spurley Hey, Stretford Paddock, Govan Athletic, and Chorltonians to name a few paid tribute by speaking warmly about a man who put so much time into the league and amateur football, who will be “a real loss,” who will be greatly missed, was pleasant, and was respected in ways that cannot be adequately put into words, as Dave Jameson of Spurley Hey said.

It is an incredible legacy to leave and whilst we will miss our dear friend immeasurably, we are eternally grateful for his contribution and his indelible mark on the L & C will always be remembered.

John passed away peacefully at Bury Hospice, surrounded by his loved ones and will be deeply missed by his wife Doreen, children Stephen and Helen, his five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Milton set the early pace

THE second weekend of fixtures for the Lancs and Cheshire League continued with matches for teams in the Premier and Division One.

Again, Covid problems caused some games to be postponed but of those played, early season Premier Division high-flyers Milton again showed their potential and maintained their 100% record, with a 5-1 away victory over struggling former champions Rochdalians.

Pre-season favourites Mellor came out winners in a nine-goal thriller with AFC Oldham the final score 5-4 to Mellor, whilst in the mid-table clash between Manchester Polonia and North Walkden honours were even in a 2-2- draw.

The other match in this division between De La Salle and Abacus Media was abandoned due an injury to an Abacus player.

There were four matches in Division One, where pick of the day was the encounter between in-form Irlam Tigers and Bury Amateurs. Tigers continued their current form with a thumping 8-1 victory.

Possible contenders on early form Signol Athletic enjoyed a 5-2 win at home to Shaw Athletic, whilst Chadderton Cott cruised to a relatively straightforward 3-0 victory over Trafford United.

Old Stretfordians got some points on the board with a 2-0 win at home to Signol Old Boys moving Strets up to 4th place in the table.

Lively start to the new season

THE eagerly awaited start to the season began with fixtures for teams in the Premier Division and Division One.

Unfortunately Covid problems caused some games to be postponed including that of Mellor, the pre-season favourites to win the Premier Division.

Last season, Milton showed their potential by reaching the Lancashire Amateur Cup final and they kept up their momentum with an emphatic 4-0 win over AFC Oldham.

They fielded some new young players and looked to be a title contender playing some attractive football.

Abacus Media were also impressive as they won their local derby with Rochdalians by 4-1, who are building a new side for the coming season.

De La Salle were also in the goals with a 5-2 derby win at North Walkden to show their title intent.

Moston Brook and Stretford Paddock were both promoted to the Premier Division and a great contest ended in a 3-3 thriller.

The other game between Dom Doyle and Manchester Polonia was unfortunately abandoned at half-time due to misconduct

In Division One there were three tight games led by last season’s Wray Cup finalists Chadderton Cott and Signol Athletic.

In the final it went to a record shoot out decided by the 36th penalty.

Again there was little between the two teams with Signol taking the lead as Chris Carroll slid George Bell through for the opening goal.

Cott showed their fighting spirit with a late equaliser for a deserved share of the spoils.

Promoted Old Stretfordians hosted a lively Irlam Tigers who swept into a 3-0 lead with strikes from Callum Patrick and Ryan McDonough backed by an unlucky own goal from a Strets defender.

But Strets stuck to their task and pulled a goal back on 80 minutes from Warren Collier.

They reduced the arrears in the last minute of the game with a scrambled effort from Steven Drabble but it was too little too late.

There was also the same 2-3 scoreline at Bury Ams as Shaw Athletic edged a close win.