L & C review of 2021 and plans for 2022

AMATEUR grassroots sport has suffered greatly for the best part of two years with the effects of the Covid pandemic.

The L & C, the largest Saturday afternoon amateur football league in the region, has endured numerous problems during this time, putting a great strain on league and club officials who have put in fantastic efforts to keep the game they love in action.

The 2020-21 season saw the league fixtures wiped out but some lively and well supported cup competitions towards the end of the season brought the league and clubs back into vibrant life and allowed us to enjoy some much-needed entertainment at a time of real uncertainty, when many were unsure when or indeed if action would resume.

Despite this uncertainty, the league’s popularity has continued and during pre-season, we had a number of applications for membership to the league. Remarkably, it means that our members have swelled to more than 90 – even more teams than we had just prior to the start of the pandemic.

Covid has caused games to be postponed – as is being keenly felt at professional level – due to players having to isolate, and the poor weather conditions have also posed acute challenges for the league committee and club officials.

In the last league General Meeting, Mike Yates, Chairman of the L & C, reviewed the season to date. It included a heartfelt tribute to former League Secretary John Howard, who passed away earlier this year, whilst also explaining the issues of participation that the L & C have had to contend with.

He said: “We start with sad news as our long serving committee member John Howard has recently passed away.

“We send our condolences to his son and our referees secretary Steven Howard and all the Howard family and friends at this sad time

“The league committee are shocked at the number of teams that have folded since the last GM in August, from 101 we are now down to 91.

“The committee have put this down to a lot of factors; delayed wedding and stag parties, delayed family visits, ongoing covid cases, holidays, changing work patterns, preferring to watch professional football and then just getting out of the habit of playing Saturday afternoon football.

“Our fixture secretary Malcolm Kershaw has been working extra hard to accommodate changes to planned fixtures and we appreciate it isn’t the secretaries and managers who are causing the postponements, it is the players, due to a combination of the above reasons, who are not available.”

Despite the challenges, Mike confirmed the league will continue to be flexible to ensure fixtures are fulfilled during what we expect will be a challenging second half of the season.

He added: “Fining and punishing the clubs is not the answer as they are not the cause. We are determined to finish the season so will continue our flexible approach to the issues you are all facing, so do flag up any potential issues you may have as soon as possible.”

There well over 2.500 players registered in the league and at the midpoint of the season it is pleasing to see that most of the clubs have played at least half of the league fixtures and the main aim will be to finish the league season.

There will be a window to play the league’s cup competitions in the New Year and also see our clubs still involved in county cup competitions get through their busy schedules.

At the end of the season, the League’s Presentation Dinner at Stockport County in May will take place to give out all of the trophies for league and cup competitions.

Defending their cup trophies will be Rhodes Cup holders Mellor, Wray Cup champions Signol Athletic, Whitehead Cup holders Irlam Tigers, and Radclyffe, who triumphed in the Hellawell Shield.

Steven Howard has been working hard to recruit new referees and hopefully will be able to see the majority of games covered until the end of the season and he is also deserving of congratulation for the time and effort he has given to his role from all involved in the league along with other hard-working committee members dedicated to helping proper grassroots football.

North Walkden Reserves move top of Division A

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paddock extend Premier Division lead as weather hits hard

A FEW Covid 19 cases and horrible windy, cold and wet weather hit the L & C’s busy programme hard late in the day causing numerous games to be postponed and causing more headaches for Fixture Secretary Malc Kershaw.

In the Premier Division Stretford Paddock had a comfortable 4-1 win over Salford Vics to extend their lead over De La Salle Reds to six points, though they have three games in hand while non-playing Moston Brook can draw level at the top if they win their two games in hand.

Manchester Polonia lifted themselves into mid-table with a hard-earned 2-1 win at Milton and the other game in the division saw North Walkden win 3-0 at AFC Oldham.

Division One was a total washout but in Division Two, three games beat the weather and treated us to a raft of goals.

Leading the hotshots were Baguley Athletic who found their shooting boots in a big 8-4 win over South Manchester whose games always provide plenty of goalmouth action.

With the top two teams out of action, Wythenshawe Wanderers moved level on points with Eccles United with a clinical 6-0 derby win at Bedians.

They had to thank Elvis Olanipekum for getting them rocking and rolling as his scoring example was followed by Mike Sherrington (three) and Warren Thompson (two).

Plenty of goals also at Milltown as visiting Mellor won a thriller by 5-3.

There were some close encounters in Division Three, with leaders AFC Stockport increasing their lead at the top to six points with a 4-2 win over Aldermere.

Second-placed Chadderton Park lost ground as they were held to a 3-3 draw at Salford Albion but can still catch the leaders with two games in hand.

The other game saw two teams enjoy a great playing pitch at Village Manchester with plenty of good football from both teams in an exciting game, with visiting Stoconians earning a deserved point in a 2-2 stalemate.

Division A saw four games played and leaders Woodsend Athletic had to show their powers of recovery after trailing 1-0 at the break to a determined Moston Brook Reserves.

Then Athletic showed their title intent as they upped their game in the second half to win by the odd goal in five.

North Walkden reserves also have the league title in their sights as a decisive 5-0 win over Salford Storm kept them a point behind Woodsend with both teams having played the same number of games.

Greater Manchester FC were able to celebrate their first win of the season in style as they edged a 2-1 win at Stretford Paddock Development.

It moved them three points clear of Trafford United reserves who picked up their first point of the season in a gritty 2-2 deadlock with Milton reserves.

In Division B, leaders Aldermere reserves recovered from their first defeat of the season last week against second-placed Greater Manchester reserves with a comfortable 5-1 cruise against Parrs Wood Celtic to increase their lead at the top to 14 points.

Draw specialists Heaton Mersey did it again as they shared four goals with Moston Brook thirds and Old Strets seconds kept up their run of improved form to move into the top four with a 4-1 win over Hillgate.

Division C leaders Dukinfield Athletic were held to a 3-3 draw in an exciting contest with Eccles United reserves but still have a commanding 10-point lead over non-playing Altrincham Hale and Govan Athletic Development.

The other two games had plenty of goals with Village Manchester reserves enjoying a 6-0 win over Stoconians reserves and AFC Stockport Warriors had an emphatic 5-1 victory hosting Deans Youth.

In the Manchester Amateur Cup, Old Stretfordians moved into the latter stages of the competition with a tight 3-2 win at Oldham Saints.

With Division D being washed out that was the end of the play on the field but there was plenty of action off the pitch at Bedians as the club hosted a fantastic gathering of their soccer legends enjoying a great reunion organised by club hero Tony Evans.

Most of the players were at their peak in the 1990ss when Bedians had four very successful teams who won honours galore as they also enjoyed the fantastic new clubhouse built in 1993 under the direction of Keith Marsden and other willing workers.

One of the top legends in attendance was Ged Lee who scored a club record of over 400 goals in his stellar career at his beloved club.

There were plenty of smiles, banter and good tales as they all enjoyed the meet-up with loads of pictures on the clubhouse wall showing their outstanding contribution to the club and amateur football over many years

Giving great support to the day were Bedians manager Rob O’Connor and the excellent hospitality staff at this fine sporting venue.

Rochdalians and Moston Brook record Cup victories

THE Lancashire Amateur Cup saw Rochdalians and Moston Brook progress into the next stage with convincing wins.

Brook have enjoyed a fine season in the Premier Division and they maintained their momentum with a comfortable 5-2 win at Collegiate OB.

Rochdalians have struggled in the early part of the season and only had their first league win of the season last week.

But they enjoyed a pleasing 3-0 win hosting Darwen FC reserves and the long-awaited return of their former star Ogumyode was marked by his rocket of a shot to seal the win with their third goal.

There was no joy for last season’s Lancashire Amateur Cup finalists Milton as they lost to the only goal of their game with UOB Bolton Borough.

In the Manchester Amateur Cup it was mainly good news for the L & C teams with wins for Chadderton Cott by 2-1 over Wythenshawe Wanderers, Shaw Athletic by 9-2 at Eccles United reserves, Irlam Tigers by 4-1 over Village Manchester, Baguley Athleic by 4-0 over AFC Monton reserves with a strike from Lee Henley setting them off to a comfortable win, Eccles United by 2-1 over Failsworth Dynamoes reserves, Salford Storm by 1-0 over Boothstown and finally Irlam Tigers A who won a penalty shoot-out by 3-1 over Moorside Rangers reserves after a 1-1 deadlock.

Going out were Stretford Paddock reserves who lost 3-1 at AFC Middleton and Elton Lib Hargreaves in a 4-3 thriller at AFC Monton.

In the Altrincham and District Cup Old Stretfordians made smooth progress with a comfortable 3-0 win at Broadheath Central.

The top game in the Premier Division saw a closely contested local derby at Salford Vics who took on high-flying De La Salle.

Early strikes for Vics from Cameron Woodhouse and Sam Birkett gave them a 2-0 lead but De La Salle levelled before the break and added the winner in the second half with the vital goals coming from Theo Barr (two) and Charlie Hilton.

Stretford Paddock stay three points clear at the top after an efficient 6-1 win over North Walkden.

Abacus Media warmed up for their upcoming Manchester Challenge Trophy semi-final at Denton Town with a big win at AFC Oldham.

Just one league match played in Division One and Signol Athletic stayed in touch with leaders Chadderton Cott with a 7-1 cruise over Trafford United.

There were no league games in Division Two due to cup commitments.

In Division Three, there were convincing wins for the top two with leaders AFC Stockport winning 5-2 at Abacus Media reserves.

Chadderton Park won their local derby with Woodhouses by 3-1 to stay four points behind the leaders, with two vital games in hand.

Hooley Bridge Celtic ended a recent poor run of form with a tight 3-2 win over Stoconians.

Plenty of league action in Division A and new boys Woodsend Athletic stay on top after a hard-earned 2-1 win over Greater Manchester.

Just a point behind on level games are North Walkden reserves who won 9-0 at Milnrow Firgrovia.

Kartel stay on the heels of the leading pack after a 3-3 draw at Milton reserves.

It was also close at Trafford United reserves who conceded the only goal of their game with Stretford Paddock reserves and Salford Vics reserves won 3-2 at Moston Brook reserves.

There was the upset of the season in Division B as leaders Aldermere reserves saw their perfect start go up in smoke after a 2-1 defeat at second-placed Greater Manchester reserves but they are still 11 points clear at the top.

Heaton Mersey are having an enjoyable season and they are in third place as they scored the only goal of their local derby at Hillgate.

There were goals galore in Division C, led by table-topping Dukinfield Athletic who beat third-placed Govan Athletic Development by 7-1 with some clinical finishing.

Salford Storm reserves went one better in a big 8-0 win at Stoconians reserves but Staly Lions topped them all with a 9-1 thrashing of Stockport Warriors.

Urmston Town Vale had a much closer game before winning by the odd goal in five against Mellor reserves.

Just two games in Division D with Milltown reserves too hot to handle as they beat Altrincham Hale reserves by 8-3.

The other game saw Bury Ams thirds win 3-2 at Salford Vics Development to move level on points with second-placed Whalley Range.

Abacus make Manchester Challenge Cup progress

WITH the next round of fixtures set to take place, here is a round-up of all league and cup action from last week.

There was terrific County Cup action for three of the league’s top teams in the Manchester Challenge Cup.

Abacus Media made it to the next round with an emphatic 4-1 win over Heyside FC.

The other two games brought defeat but honour for the L & C sides as Premier division leaders De La Salle shared four goals in a close contest with Chadderton reserves only to lose out 4-3 in the penalty shoot out.

Stretford Paddock also battled hard throughout an excellent game with Denton Town and just lost out by the odd goal in three in a game that could have gone either way.

The other cup action was in the Altrincham FA Cup and Old Stretfordians kept up their recent run of good form with an emphatic 3-0 victory at Broadheath Central reserves.

But it was the end of the line for Wythenshawe Wanderers who were beaten 7-3 at Altrincham reserves.

With Premier Division leaders De La Salle and Stretford Paddock in cup action it gave the chasing pack a chance to close the gap and Moston Brook took full advantage with a clinical 4-1 win over Milton moving them into second place, a point behind De La Salle, who still have a game in hand over Brook.

Rochdalians were in celebratory mood after pulling off their first win of the season beating Salford Vics 4-1 to move off the foot of the table. The other game was a rare goalless draw between North Walkden and Manchester Polonia.

In Division One, Chadderton Cott extended their lead at the top to seven points but they had to work hard for a 3-2 win in an excellent game at Bury Ams who belied their lowly position with a battling display.

The top game was between second and third placed Irlam Tigers and Signol Athletic JFC which saw the teams share six goals but lose ground on Cott.

Hadfield Athletic had their best win of the season by 8-3 at Didsbury to move into the top half of the table, a point behind Shaw Athletic who edged a 2-1 win over Trafford United.

Hattersley are in the comfort zone at the top of Division Two, with an exciting 5-3 derby win over Newton maintaining their six-point lead over Eccles United who enjoyed a big 8-1 win at Milltown.

Mellor reserves were very impressive in a resounding 6-3 win at Baguley Athletic and Irlam Tiger Rangers had a comfortable 4-1 win at South Manchester.

Bedians moved out of the bottom two above South after holding Stretford Paddock reserves to a 1-1 deadlock.

No change at the top of Division Three, as the top two AFC Stockport and Radclyffe shared the spoils in a 1-1 deadlock.

It enabled Chadderton Park to close in on the top two with a comfortable 4-0 cruise against Abacus Media reserves.

Salford Albion also kept in touch with a gritty 3-2 win over Hooley Bridge Celtic.

Village Manchester found their shooting boots in a 5-1 win over Aldermere and the other game had Elton Lib Hargreaves winning 2-1 over Stoconians.

It’s tight and exciting at the top of Division A with just two points separating the top four teams.

New boys Woodsend Athletic showed their intent with decisive 6-3 win over North Walkden reserves taking them above North Walkden who dropped to third as Salford Storm secured a vital point in a 2-2 derby at Salford Vics reserves.

Wilmslow-based Kartel Sports are handily placed with games in hand on the top three with an efficient 6-0 win at Trafford United reserves.

The nippy man of the match, Ben Wild, was outstanding for Kartel with a four-goal haul and the six hit was completed by Stewart Kearsley and Colin Davis.

AFC Oldham reserves were also clinical in their derby with Milnrow Firgrovia with a 4-0 victory.

It was close in the other two games with Milton reserves and Moston Brook reserves sharing eight goals in an end-to end thriller.

Stretford Paddock Development went 2-0 up within 15 minutes hosting Santos but Santos pulled a goal back midway through the half with a David Clegg penalty

They equalised with a fine solo strike by Tom Barnes just after the hour mark but in a frantic finish neither side could get the winner.

Division B leaders Aldermere reserves remain unstoppable and are still the only team in the whole league with a 100% record as they made it a perfect 10, but were given a good game by Heaton Mersey in a 2-0 win.

They are now 14 points clear of Greater Manchester reserves who were well beaten 4-0 hosting Parrs Wood Celtic

Flixton JFC have three games in hand over the leaders and a decisive 5-0 win over Oldham Saints gives them a good opportunity to move into second place.

It was much closer in the other two games with AFC Oldham thirds beating Old Strets seconds 2-1 and Moston Brook thirds won by the odd goal in seven at Spurley Hey.

Dukinfield Athletic extended their lead at the top of Division C, to six points after a close 2-0 win over second-placed Altrincham Hale.

Govan Athletic Development missed their chance of going above Altrincham Hale as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Deans.

Mellor thirds moved into contention on the leading pack with games in hand as they kept an immaculate clean sheet in a 3-0 win over Village Manchester reserves.

Chadderton Park reserves were 3-2 winners at Stoconians reserves and the other two games ended in draws -2-2  between AFC Stockport Warriors and Bury Ams reserves and 3-3 between Eccles United reserves and Staly Lions.

It’s all to play for at the top of Division D as they top two were in hot striking mode.

Moston Brook fourths stay a point clear after a big 9-2 win over Didsbury reserves and Whalley Range enjoyed a 5-0 win over Altrincham Hale reserves.

Plenty of goals in the other games led by Bury Ams thirds by 4-2 at Milltown reserves, Irlam Tigers A by 3-0 over AFC Oldham fourths and finally Salford Vics Development by 3-2 over Mellor Development.

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.