North West Counties League

Division One

Eccleshall 3

FC Oswestry Town 0

Town’s recent run came to shuddering halt when they were beaten on the road at Eccleshall on Saturday.

The hosts took the lead 10 minutes before the break when Serkari Ahmadi broke the deadlock and Oswestry stay in contention until 13 minutes from time when Thomas Wakefield doubled Eccleshall’s total.

Louis Downs added a third five minutes from time, condemning Town to a rare defeat in recent good form, keeping them in 12th spot and bring any feint hopes of a play-off push to an end.

Tonight, they face Ellesmere Rangers in the Shropshire Cup quarter-finals at Park Hall for an 8pm kick-off and then on Saturday they welcome Prestwich Heys for a 3pm start.

FAW Trophy

Llanrug United 2

Chirk AAA 2

(Llanrug United win on penalties)

Chirk relinquished their hold on the FAW Trophy in controversial fashion after having two players sent off in normal time before losing on penalties.

Chirk took the lead on the hour through leading scorer Louie Middlehurst but Llanrug equalised on 65 minutes when Ashton Williams was adjudged to have fouled in the area and from the resulting penalty Joni Sadler scored from the spot albeit via the post after after a good save from Chirk keeper Zac Bebbington.

To add insult to injury the referee, to the surprise of the crowd, also showed a second yellow card to Williams who was dismissed from the field of play.

Chirk battled away for the remaining of the 90 minutes but were dealt another blow in injury time when the referee showed a straight red to debutant Jack Edwards after a rash tackle on the halfway line.

Again many supporters thought a yellow was more appropriate for the offence but the young official had other ideas and Chirk were reduced to nine men.

Extra-time beckoned and it took until the 107th minute before the home side broke down the Colliers’ resistance when a floated corner from the left was taken by the wind over the Chirk defence and somehow fell to the feet of Llion Jones who tapped in from close range at the far post.

But Chirk refused to be beaten and they fought back in determined fashion and deservedly equalised in the 118th minute when Middlehurst scored his second goal to send their supporters wild in celebration.

However, the Holyhead Road men’s luck deserted in the shoot-out and they were beaten.

On Saturday, they are without a league clash but the reserves, who missed out on action this weekend, will face Castell AC at Holyhead Road for 2pm.

West Midlands Regional League

Premier Division

Ellesmere Rangers 1

Dudley Town 0

Rangers grabbed three hard-earned points when a wonder goal from Mike Nelson was enough to halt their recent slide down the table.

Although Rangers dominated the bulk of the first half their Black Country opponents were on top for much of the second period and may have felt they deserved something for their efforts.

Dudley arrived late for the kick off and it showed as they struggled to get into the match with Rangers unable to find a decisive finish. Home striker Will Twyford guilty of missing gilt-edged chances first fluffing a shot from range after good work down the right from Mike Nelson and then having a weak header turned over the bar by the impressive visiting keeper Shane Hayhew.

Just before the break, it was Rangers’ own keeper Mason Springthorpe who made the first of several excellent saves to earn his man-of-the-match award when he denied the visitors Connor Hadlington who homed in on goal when an Ellesmere move broke down.

Dudley improved after the break but just like Rangers they squandered several chances Maine firing powerfully into the midriff of Springthorpe and then shooting wide from a well-worked free kick. Lewis Worsley suffered a similar fate dragging an effort wide of the far post when through on goal.

When Rangers finally woke up winger Nelson’s trickery worked an opening for Seth Ellis but he was blocked by a defender. But just when it seemed a goal-less draw was on the cards Ellesmere achieved a break through 15 minutes from time with a half clearance landing at the feet of Nelson just outside the penalty area and from a standing start he bent the ball past the keeper and into the far right hand corner – a goal fit to win any game.

But there was still more heroics to come from Springthorpe who produced a wonder save from the last kick of the match turning a shot from Dudley midfielder Ash Ralph onto the bar to deny the visitors the point they probably deserved.

Tonight, there is local pride at stake when Ellesmere travel to FC Oswestry for the quarter finals of the Shropshire Cup at 8pm.

On Saturday Rangers travel to Cradley Town in the league. Kick-off is at 3pm.

St Martins were without a fixture of Saturday but this week will travel to Worcester Raiders for a 2pm start.

Shropshire Premier League

Premier Division

Gobowen Celtic 5

Newport Town Reserves 1

Gobowen Celtic returned to action for the first time since early December and a good performance earned a convincing victory over Newport Town Reserves.

Celtic didn’t show any signs of rustiness from the first whistle, and proceeded to produce their best half of football so far this season.

The opening goal arrived after just 10 minutes, when Joe Pierpoint was freed down the left wing, and his cross was met by Ian Heathcock who produced a majestic first-time lob over the keeper.

The in-form Chris Bishop then notched a quick-fire hat-trick before the break, to confirm the home sides dominance; his first a cool back-post finish after a set-piece was flicked on by Jordan Gerrard.

The second was the goal of the game, starting with a slick interchange in the Celtic backline, before the mercurial Carl Harris played a defence splitting pass to Heathcock who rounded the keeper, before unselfishly squaring to Bishop to tap home.

His hat-trick was complete when Pierpoint again got beyond his marker and fired a low cross into the corridor of uncertainty, giving Bishop the simple task of bundling the ball into the net.

With the game already settled, the second half became a scrappy affair, with substitutions and niggly fouls unsettling the rhythm that was so impressive during the opening 45.

However it was substitute Liam Edwards who bagged the Green and Whites fifth goal, when he fired home, after Heathcock had intelligently dummied his strike from Harris’s cross.

A lapse in concentration as full-time was approaching allowed Newport to grab a consolation goal, but it was not to take the gloss off a fine performance from the Gobowen side.

Celtic make the trip next week to face title-chasing Shrewsbury Juniors for a 2pm start.

Division One

St Martins Village 2

Madeley Sports Reserves 3

The Villagers’ lead at the top of Division One was cut to five points after John Smout’s men suffered a rare home setback on Saturday.

They were edged by the odd-goal in five in a thriller at the Playing Fields. Coven United sit just five points behind but with two games in hand over the Village.

On Saturday, they will look to bounce back when they travel to bottom-of-the-table Denso FC for a 2pm start.

JT Hughes Montgomeryshire League

Emrys Morgan Cup Last 16

Four Crosses 4

Bishops Castle 0

Four Crosses ensured they were in the hat for the quarter-finals with an emphatic performance over a good Bishops Castle side.

Michael Barton’s men took a two-nil half-time lead in an open and entertaining game with both sides set up to attack.

Into the second-half, Crosses kept their energy levels and added two more, including a penalty as their visitors began to lose their discipline as the game ebbed away from them.

Meanwhile, in league action, Llanfyllin Town picked up an excellent Division One win, beating Caersws Reserves 3-1 away while Llanymynech were thrashed 7-2 at home by Waterloo Rovers.

In Division Two, Llangedwyn picked up a huge 6-2 win at Churchstroke Reserves while Trefonen shared the spoils with Kerry Reserves. Llanfechain beat Carno Reserves 5-2 but Llanfyllin Town Reserves lost 5-1 at their Welshpool Town counterparts.

No fixtures have been published on the league’s website for Saturday.