Top five all win to keep pace in promotion battle

There were no slip-ups among the Division Two frontrunners as the top five all grabbed three points writes BEN SMITH, with pictures of Astley and Buckshaw v Kendal United by STEFAN WILLOUGHBY

An uncharacteristically kind weekend of weather provided a full complement of West Lancashire League fixtures on Saturday.

We begin as always in the Premier Division, where leaders CMB extended their advantage to six points with a 4-1 win against Blackpool Wren Rovers.

Carl Grimshaw got the ball rolling on 14 minutes with a back post finish from Dan Locke's inviting cross.

Another prolific league goalscorer, Ric Seear, restored parity on 23 minutes slamming home a loose ball from 10 yards.

CMB went back in front from the spot on 34 minutes after Dylan Winstanley was clattered in the box.

Locke then beat the offside trap and rounded the Wrens' keeper to make it 3-1 at the break.

The next goal was always going to be crucial and Wrens took the game to their hosts, dominating possession at the start of the second half.

Seear snatched a shot over the bar from 12 yards and CMB keeper Joe Leather did well to palm a goalbound header wide of his post as Wrens fought to get back in the game.

But it was Winstanley who put the game to bed with a goal his effort deserved, striking home from 20 yards after a defensive error.

With better finishing CMB could have made the result more emphatic but they remain top with another home game next week.

Elsewhere, it was Rossendale leading the scoring charts on Saturday, as Tom Hulme netted a hat-trick in an 8-1 triumph over Slyne with Hest.

Tom Hartley, Joe Howarth, Jordan Hilton, Luke Simpson and Will Foster all grabbed a goal apiece in the win, whilst Matthew Norfolk was Slyne’s lone scorer.

A brace from Jordan Lorde helped Burscough Richmond perform a remarkable rescue mission on the road, coming from 3-0 down to claim a point at Poulton in the battle of the in-form sides.

Mitch Cheetham, Danny Morris and Billy McKenna gave the hosts what looked a comfortable advantage just 23 minutes in, before Lorde’s brace, coupled with a goal from Zach Carberry, would see the spoils shared.

Goals from Josh Green, Kian Goulding and Owen Woodburn eventually saw Whitehaven beat Wyre Villa 3-1, that despite Alwyn Flynn opening the scoring 24 minutes in.

Meanwhile, John-Jo Morris was the star man for Lostock St Gerards, as he scored both goals in a 2-1 win at Milnthorpe Corinthians, who briefly leveled the game through Jamie Looker.

Playing an equally important role for Hurst Green was Jordan Monk, with his brace enough to secure all three points away at Turton.

The hosts did pull one back through Liam Ahern late on, but 2-1 would prove the final score.

Coppull United and Tempest United played out a 1-1 draw, with Danny Mason cancelling out Jack Morris’ first-half opener.

And rounding off this week’s Premier Division action, Fulwood Amateurs won 1-0 at Cleator Moor Celtic, with Aaron Hewitt grabbing the only goal of the game.

Division One saw an epic shoot-out between Gary Knight and Jay Hayton, with both claimed hat-tricks as Chipping took on Kendal County.

It was Matthew Shorrock who got the game’s decisive goal, however, with his second-half strike enough to see Chipping hold on and claim a 4-3 victory.

Leaders Eagley also scored four on Saturday, with Finlay Stafford, Harry Wood, Kieran Sisson and Alfie Cowen all on target in a 4-2 triumph at Croston Sports, whose goals came via Nick Buckley and Jack Halliwell.

That result opened a two-point gap between Eagley and nearest challengers Ulverston Rangers, who drew 2-2 at third-placed Haslingden St Mary’s.

The visitors led early on through Scott McDonald, but would briefly find themselves behind as goals from Alfie Edmondson and Lewis Hanley turned the game on its head.

Archie Butler would find the net just two minutes later, however, to level things at the eventual final score.

A hat-trick from Dan Birkby saw Hesketh Bank record a 3-1 victory against Holker Old Boys Reserves, whose only goal came through Charlie McGladdery.

Meanwhile, Tom Bell bagged a brace to help Lytham Town beat Askam United by the same scoreline, with Dec Preyzner also netting in the win.

Askam’s Sam Purslow then scored what would prove a consolation goal late on.

Both Jamie and Danny Pattinson were on target for Millom, with the former scoring twice in a much-needed 4-2 win over Southport Hesketh, in which Theo Wilson also found the net.

Tom Cunliffe and Muhammed Sameteh were the scorers for Southport Hesketh.

And we close out our look at Division One with Carnforth Rangers, who won 2-0 at Crooklands Casuals thanks to goals from Damian Murphy and Lucas Pinnington.

Ben Roberts bagged a hat-trick as Pause United won 6-2 Charnock Richard Reserves in Division Two, with Taylor Fagan also scoring twice in the win.

An own goal was the source of the fifth of the away side’s six goals, whilst Tom Cooper and George Rose were the scorers for the hosts.

Storeys also registered a comfortably away victory, winning 4-0 at Hawcoat Park thanks to Josh Draycott, Matthew Poole and a pair of own goals.

Freckleton are back on top of the division, albeit by the slimmest of margins, after a 3-1 win against Dalton United.

Macauley Hopkins’ opener was initially cancelled out by Robbie Baker, before goals from Joe Bentley and Frankie Ball went on to secure the three points.

That result means the league’s lead is currently being decided on goals scored after previous table-toppers Astley and Buckshaw ‘only’ won 2-1, as goals from Finlay Stewart and Adnaan Patel sealed victory over Kendal United, who did halve the deficit late on through Ryan Close.

Walney Island wrestled from 2-0 down to ultimately beat Stoneclough 3-2, with Will Boulton, Zach Walker and Rob Bruce leading the fightback after Austin Almond’s first-half double.

And Galgate also came from behind to claim three points, with Kieran Carpenter, Woody Howard and Keyton Foster answering Edward Harrison’s early opener in an eventual 3-1 win against Caton United.

Meanwhile, Euxton Villa Reserves and Garstang Reserves drew 1-1, with Jake Greene’s late leveller for the hosts cancelling out an eighth minute goal from Owen Pye.

Division One Reserve leaders Fulwood Amateurs Reserves sent out a serious statement of their credentials, defeating Poulton Reserves 7-1, that despite trailing 1-0 at a half-time to a Dominic Gill goal.

Hugo Strand then secured a second-half hat-trick, whilst Cory Gill scored twice and Alex Smithson and Josh Taylor also got on the scoresheet in a remarkable turnaround.

Lostock St Gerards Reserves, meanwhile, won 5-1, with Lewis Pilgrim, Damien Green, Adam Whittaker, Luke Woodcock and Joe Glover all on target in a victory over Rossendale Reserves, whose only goal came via Jack Cassidy.

Hurst Green Reserves and CMB Reserves played out an eight-goal thriller, with the latter eventually triumphing 5-3 thanks to goals from Connor Chadwick, Josh Pope, Yazz Smajic, Jax Hazeldine and Jean-Mark Ekegue.

Sam Hayes, Ashley Wilson and Will Nicholls were the scorers for Hurst Green Reserves.

A Lee Richardson double, either side of a goal from Jonty Mattock, saw Coppull Reserves win 3-2 at Blackpool Wren Rovers Reserves, that despite Olly Hesford registering a brace for the home side.

Jude Platt was another to net twice as his goals secured Tempest United Reserves a 2-1 comeback victory over Turton Reserves after Zac Quaal had opened the scoring.

And Thornton Cleveleys Reserves are up into second after a 1-0 win at Eagley Reserves in which Tommy Dollin grabbed the only goal of the game.

Lastly, we move into Division Two Reserve, where Hesketh Bank Reserves secured the weekend’s standout result, triumphing 6-2 at Fulwood Amateurs A.

Kacper Ganczarski netted a hat-trick in the win, and was joined on the scoresheet by Joe Stead, John Stead and David Yeates.

The hosts’ goals, meanwhile, came via Isaac Webster and Dylan-Jackson Cooney.

Carnforth Rangers Reserves beat Freckleton Reserves 2-0, with Josh Hadwin getting both goals.

Oliver Best and Finlay Hayward were on target as Lytham Town Reserves won 2-1 at Storeys Reserves, who had leveled the game midway through the first-half through Wayne Beswick.

And finally, Thornton Cleveleys A and Chipping Reserves played out a 1-1 draw, as Callum Dickinson cancelled out a goal from Oscar Middlesbrough.

Where next?

Five beat elements but home provides little comfort The thaw did not come quickly enough for most teams in the West Lancashire League this weekend with only five matches played - but some sides showed some red hot scoring form.
Cup draws made for four competitions The draws for the Richardson, Presidents, Challenge and Stewart Rowe cups have been made.

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