58 goals in nine games in Leagues One and Two and Broadheath Reserves set the pace in RL1
After top-of-the-table Congleton's match against Blacon Youth succumbed to the weather Crewe seized the opportunity to steal a march on their rivals and take their place at the summit. They travelled to Knutsford and went ahead early thanks to Nathan Southern who, after leading the CFL inter-league team to success in the Isle of Man last weekend, once again demonstrated his unquenchable thirst for goals. Matty Birchell headed in the second after 53 minutes to take his own tally to 10 for the season, just three behind Southern, and double the lead. Shane Davies came off the bench to halve the deficit for Knutsford and with more than 20 minutes still to play they fancied their chances of levelling the scores. But Crewe held on to their lead to take all three points and their place at the top of the league. Whaley Bridge's good form continued on Saturday. They maintained their 100% home record with a 2-1 win over Greenalls Padgate thanks to a goal in either half for captain Bill Sutton. A late goal set Whaley nerves on edge but, like Crewe, they dug their heels in and took the points. They move up to fifth in the table going into a cup weekend which sees them start the defence of their Derbyshire Cup crown against Rowsley '86, the team they beat in last year's final. Middlewich's recent renaissance continued as they got the better of in-form FC St Helens to move off the foot of the table. A thirty-one-minute hat-trick from Steven Hughes put the game to bed and ended FC's run of four straight victories. There were wins elsewhere in the Premier Division for Altrincham Reserves, who travelled to Broadheath and ran out 2-1 winners, and Daten who sent Egerton to the bottom of the table after defeating them 3-1; goals from Mustapha Bouamra, Dean Burgess and Jack Challinor. In League One leaders Winstanley were on J A Walton cup duty (they beat Garswood 2-1) and had their lead at the top cut to three points after Windle Labour club beat Cheadle Heath Nomads Reserves 4-1 thanks to goals from Ben Nicholson, Ryan Cook, Steven Taylor and Dale Whitehead. There was success elsewhere among the chasing pack as Styal returned to winning ways after three games without a three-point haul and Cheadle Town reserves beat Malpas. Styal smashed seven past Moore United, Shackeel Depeiaza and Zydane McCarthy-Brooks both bagged a brace while Reiko Halliday, Alex Whelan and Joe Knight all chipped in with a goal apiece. Moore managed three in reply in a basket case of a match; a double from Liam McLoughlin and one from Shaun Warburton ensured that they were always in the match. Cheadle Town Reserves sit a place and a point above Styal after Kieran Alley (2), Zak Bell, Keith Blake and Shaquille Lewys scored in their convincing 5-1 victory over Malpas. In the day's other game Orford's miserable season continued as they found themselves on the end of an 8-0 drubbing at Cuddington. Joshua Mainwaring and Thomas Hassel were left fighting over the match ball at full time as they each scored hat-tricks; Seb Cooke and Jack Glimond got the other two. There were more goals in League Two where the scoring game came between St Helens Town Reserves and Holmes Chapel Hurricanes with the hosts winning 5-0. All the other games featured six goals. Knowsley scored half a dozen without reply as they comfortably saw of Pilkington's reserves; Armstrong, Cowell, Dunning, Owens and Neal (2) with the goals. Newton and Hartford were level at 1-1 at the break but second half strikes from Pownall, Christian and Woodman's second of the afternoon, ensured that the game went with the form book. Winnington lived up to their name with a 5-1 victory over Rylands Reserves thanks to goals from Humphries, Lambert, Marshall and Sneyd (2). It was the same score line in Saturday's other League Two game as Golborne remain bottom after they were soundly beaten by Sandbach United Reserves. It is tight at both the top and the bottom in League Two with just one point separating top of the table Knowsley and fifth place Newton whilst at the opposite end of the table the bottom three of Rylands, Hartford and Golborne all have three points. There were no league games in Reserve Division Two but there was action in Division One as Broadheath Central Reserves beat Daten Reserves to go top of the table. FC St Helens Reserves are a point further back in second after they won by a goal to nil at home to Billinge's second string. Eagle Sports Reserves lie in third after they overcame Poynton's Reserves in a close game that finished 2-1 t the hosts and one place below them are Vulcan who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot after they came away from their trip to Garswood with a 1-0 win.