Congleton make point in NWCL, Rocester stun high-fliers, Abbey Hulton shine



Congleton Town were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at Runcorn Town in the North West Counties League Premier Division, despite being ahead twice.

The Bears opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Gary Roberts played a good ball into the area and Aaron Bott fired the ball past Adam Reid.

Runcorn levelled in the 19th minute. Keeper Reid launched the ball downfield and Bears keeper Dave Parton misjudged a header to leave Craig Cairns the simple task of heading it into the net.

Tom Pope went close twice, once with a shot and once with a header, while Runcorn had a goal disallowed for offside. After the break Reid tipped two Pope headers over the bar before Congleton regained the lead in the 70th minute.

Bott intercepted a free-kick in his own half and burst clear leaving defenders in his wake before a cool finish.

Runcorn hit back with a leveller three minutes from time. A low cross from Dave Thompson was finished off by Ben Greenop and the game ended all square.

In Division One South, Rocester ended a run of one point from seven games by defeating high-riding Sandbach United 2-1 at Hillsfield.

Sandbach’s Bobbie McDonnell hit the post in the third minute and then had a header deflected on to the bar five minutes later.

Sandbach dominated the first half but couldn’t find a breakthrough.

The Romans were awarded a penalty five minutes into the second half following handball by McDonnell, but Eric Merner saved the spot-kick on his league debut for the club.

Sandbach then took a 59th-minute lead. Substitute Aaron Knight laid the ball off to Robbie Hatton and he scored with a first-time finish.

Rocester levelled in the 79th minute when Challis Johnson muscled his way past Kieran O’Connell and found the net from a tight angle.

Five minutes later he was at it again, finishing off a counter attack to put Rocester ahead and they held on for the points.

Abbey Hulton United moved up into seventh place with a 3-2 home win over Maine Road.

All the action came in the second half with Lee Cropper’s sixth goal of the season putting Abbey ahead in the 51st minute.

Four minutes later Ben Mooney levelled for Maine Road. Abbey were back in front in the 67th minute thanks to Anthony Malbon, on a dual registration with Kidsgrove Athletic.

Jamie Turner made it 3-1 in the 82nd minute and although Jamie Roe netted a last-minute penalty, the points went to the Abbey.

Eccleshall manager Dave Dale resigned on Friday, and with coach Jake Robinson in temporary charge they picked up their first point in seven games with a 2-2 draw against Cheadle Heath Nomads at Pershall Park thanks to a bit of late drama.

Cheadle had a shot cleared off the line, but it was the Eagles who went in front two minutes before the break.

A free-kick by Louis Downs was turned past Alex Fowell by Liam Tomlin.

Cheadle were level in the 59th minute when Max Lewens set up Kyle Foley to score.

Kyle Goodwin had a goal ruled out for offside as Eccleshall pressed, but it was Cheadle who went in front for the first time in the 73rd minute.

Five minutes into time added on Eccleshall were awarded a penalty following a foul by Tom Greenfield. Jordan Benton is an expert penalty taker and duly scored.

Stafford Town were beaten 2-1 by Barnton at Evans Park. Stafford had two goals disallowed before eventually taking a 40th-minute lead.

Ben Wood was the man who scored it, drilling a 20-yard shot into the net.

Four minutes later Barnton were level when Matthew Waller scored from the penalty spot.

Both sides had chances to win it after the interval but it was Barnton who did so a minute from time.

Wade Muscart was the man on the mark with a shot that went in off the post.

Alsager Town failed to score for the fifth time in six games, losing 2-0 at Abbey Hey. Ben Halfacre gave Abbey the lead with a shot from just inside the box in the 29th minute.

They made sure of the points in time added on in the second half when Cameron Darkwah squared the ball for Joe Elliott to finish.

Brocton went down 5-1 at West Didsbury & Chorlton.

The home side took a 23rd-minute lead when Ben Elliott netted from a corner.

Dontai Gabidon added a second in the 34 th minute but the Badgers reduced the arrears within 60 seconds when Cameron Jackson headed home.

Elliott thumped a shot into the roof of the net in the 72nd minute and then stroked home a hat-trick goal in the 84th. Liam Delaney rounded it off in the last minute with a header from a Gabidon cross.

Uttoxeter Town were held to a 3-3 draw by Haughmond at Oldfields in their Midland League Premier Division clash – Jake Avery being the star of the show with a hat-trick.

He put Uttoxeter ahead from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute, but Daniel Blackwell equalised five minutes before the break.

Avery made it 2-1 in the 67th minute and completed his hat-trick 10 minutes later.

Substitute Tom Hughes was the Haughmond hero, though, by scoring twice earn his side a draw in the 82nd and 84th minutes.





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