North East Wales Football League Premier Division

Chirk Town 3

Acton 1

CHIRK Town returned to winning ways after their first defeat of the season with a comfortable victory over Acton.

Despite falling a goal behind after two minutes, Town equalised just before the half-time whistle to head into the break on level terms.

They kept up their hard work in the second half, and as a result picked up two goals courtesy of Ryan Houghton and Tom Freeman to seal the victory.

The result puts the Taverners one point behind league leaders Brymbo Victoria with two games in hand still to play.

It was a poor start for Chirk who were too slow out of the blocks to prevent their visitors from opening the scoring.

Ross Bignall sent a cross into the box which caught the Town stopper off guard and found its way into the back of the net.

Despite the setback, Chirk were not deterred and went in search of an equaliser soon after.

It took 38 minutes for them to make a breakthrough; the league’s top scorer, Freeman, beat the offside trap and sprinted through on goal before keeping his cool and firing past the onrushing keeper to make it 1-1.

His goal meant the side went into half-time level with their opponents, leaving the game open for both teams in the second half.

It took 10 minutes for Chirk to find a goal to put them ahead in the second half, with Naz Farhat delivering an excellent cross into the area which was met by Houghton whose header was too powerful for the Acton stopper to keep out.

Acton started to grow back into the game and came close moments later with a long-range effort, but Anthony Jones was alert to prevent the effort.

Chirk were able to keep their opponents at bay and had a break of their own with 10 minutes remaining which saw Shaun Morris unselfishly play the ball to Freeman in front of goal, allowing the forward to bag his second of the day and double his side’s lead.

The Taverners held on to finish the game with the score at 3-1, putting them in a strong position in the table.

They face Airbus under-19s in the Horace Wynn Trophy on Saturday (venue TBC).

North West Counties Football League Division One South

Abbey Hulton United 0

Ellesmere Rangers 2

ELLESMERE Rangers overcame Abbey Hulton United to put more distance between themselves and the bottom of the table.

An own goal in the first half gave Rangers a one-goal lead which they held onto heading into half-time.

Emmanuel Williams grabbed the side’s second of the afternoon in the second half to give his side some breathing space.

The Ellesmere men held on for the three points and as a result, move up to 16th place in the league table.

Liam Cairns was called into action between the sticks for Rangers early in the game as United had their first attempt on goal with a dangerous free-kick.

But from there onwards, the Meresiders started to find their feet and looked the stronger side for the majority of the game.

They came close through a George Taylor header which struck the post after a well-worked free-kick routine.

Moments later though, they had the ball in the back of the net.

Karl Bailey found some space on the left wing to deliver a dangerous cross into the area which confused the defenders and saw one of them divert the ball into their own net.

After the goal, Abbey enjoyed a good spell with a handful of chances sailing wide or over, but they were unable to beat Cairns and went into the break a goal behind the visiting Rangers men.

United made a fast start to the second half, with an effort hitting the woodwork in the first five minutes.

But they were made to regret their missed chance in the 65th minute when Rangers doubled their lead through Taylor who had the simple task of tapping in a Dave Howarth cross from close-range.

The only real highlight for the rest of the game was Manny Williams’ last ditch tackle which denied a goal-scoring opportunity for United.

The game remained at 2-0 and Rangers were able to celebrate after picking up their sixth league victory of the season.

The win puts them on 22 points from 22 games and puts them seven points clear of bottom place.

They face Wythenshawe Amateurs away on Saturday.

North West Counties Football League Division One South

Wythenshawe Town 1

FC Oswestry Town 2

FC OSWESTRY Town showed exactly why they deserve to be in the top four of the table with an away win at Wythenshawe Town on Saturday.

Nathan Leonard’s side scored either side of the break with Liam Parry and Harry Bower getting on the scoresheet.

After conceding in the second half, Oswestry showed their defensive qualities by holding onto a one-goal lead to take home the three points.

There was an early chance for the visitors after they were given a penalty in the opening half-an-hour, but the Wythenshawe keeper stood strong and denied the Oswestry side from taking the lead.

It took them until added time in the first half to open the scoring when Parry got on the end of a cross from Steve Evans and headed into the net.

It was more of the same for Oswestry in the second half as they continued to play well and grabbed a second goal in the 66th minute when Bower ran through on goal and finished calmly.

Oswestry conceded moments later, but held on to win 2-1.

Town, who remain second, face Abbey Hey at home on Saturday (kick-off 1pm).

FA Women’s National League Division One Midlands

Birmingham and West Midlands Ladies 2

The New Saints Ladies 2

THE New Saints Ladies had to share the spoils in their first game of the year as they drew away at Birmingham and West Midlands Ladies.

In a rollercoaster game, Saints took the lead early on, before falling behind following two goals from the Birmingham side.

But Saints kept pushing and Katie Doster was on hand to equalise and salvage a point for her side.

It was a quiet start for both sides, but TNS looked the more lively of the two.

Doster was close to opening the scoring in the 12th minute when Caitlyn Smith’s free-kick fell nicely for the forward, but her header sailed just over the bar.

The visitors were rewarded for their bright start when Lia Lewis found the in-form Doster with a long-range pass and confidently finished past the keeper.

Sarah Parkes was called into action between the sticks for TNS and produced a couple of fine saves moments later to keep her side in the lead.

But she was finally beaten later in the first half when an inswinging corner taken by Laura Cooper caused confusion between the Saints defenders and goalkeeper, and floated into the net to make it 1-1.

The opening goal for the home side gave them a confidence boost and they used this to push for a goal that would put them ahead.

Helped by some poor defending from the TNS back line, the hosts were able to take the lead with a second goal which was scored by Holly Rogers.

Saints remained behind for part of the second half, but as they regained composure and started playing at their best again, they were able to draw level.

A good move with some nice passing by the TNS players resulted in Laura Morris crossing in for Doster who headed home her second goal of the afternoon to make it 2-2.

With minutes left in the game, TNS had Parkes to thank once again as she denied what looked like a certain goal, before getting back in position to deny a second effort from the home team.

Saints held on for a draw which means they now sit fifth in the table, 11 points adrift of Wolverhampton Wanderers in first place.

They face Leafield Athletic at home on Sunday (kick-off 2pm).

Welsh National League Premier Division

Chirk AAA 3

Saltney Town 2

IT TOOK 12 games but Chirk AAA finally picked up their first league victory over the season after a well-earned win over Saltney Town at home on Saturday.

The Colliers fell behind early in the game, but flipped the scoreline on its head before half-time to head into the break with a slim lead.

A stunning strike from Ryan Leightwood gave them a two-goal advantage in the second half, before Town pulled one back with minutes remaining.

Saltney’s Elliot Bond started the game well and had a goal to show for it when he found the net in the 25th minute to give the visiting side a one-goal lead.

Despite the goal, Chirk had looked the stronger side and were back in the game when Joe Roberts brought them level moments later.

Roberts took confidence from his first goal, and grabbed his second of the afternoon just before half-time.

With a one-goal lead heading into the second half, the hosts were defending well to avoid letting Saltney back into the game.

The next goal came on the hour-mark and went the way of the Colliers as Leightwood picked up the ball just inside the opposition’s half and fired an effort over the keeper and into the net.

Chirk knew the three points would be vital and looked to defend their two-goal lead.

Despite Jake Gibbons pulling a goal back for Saltney, the home side held onto their lead and won 3-2.

The win puts them on five points and leaves them third from bottom in the table.

Their next game sees them face Cefn Albion on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).

North West Counties Football League Division One South

St Martins 0

Eccleshall 2

A GOAL either side of the break for Eccleshall meant St Martins suffered their 15th league defeat of the season.

Louis Downs opened the scoring in the 38th minute, before Jake Langdridge doubled the side’s lead in the 52nd minute.

The result means the Saints are still bottom of the table, and now have a four-point gap separating them and 19th place.

They will face Alsager Town away on Saturday.

JD Cymru Premier

Newtown 0

The New Saints 2

GOALS from Jon Routledge and Greg Draper set The New Saints off to a winning start in 2020 as they overcame nearby Newtown.

After enjoying more of the ball in the first half, TNS made their possession count in the second half with the two goals putting the game to bed.

Scott Ruscoe’s men are now just one win away from finishing top of the table at the end of phase one of the season.

It was a nervy start for the home side who nearly gifted a one-goal advantage to Saints after just two minutes of play.

Miscommunication between the Newtown stopper and his defender saw Jack Kelly almost head the ball into his own net, but luckily for the Robins, it went just wide.

Being on the back foot was a sign of things to come for the home side, as Saints went close on several occasions early in the afternoon.

Ryan Brobbel nearly gave the Welsh champions the lead with a curled effort from the edge of the penalty area, before the number eight came close again with a 25-yard free-kick.

Adrian Cieslewicz and Danny Redmond also came close to opening the scoring in the first half, but Newtown’s stubborn defence and shot-stopper David Jones kept the game level.

Despite looking the better of the two sides, Saints will feel lucky that they did not go into half-time a goal down – a corner late in the half for the hosts was swung into a dangerous area for Kelly to head at goal, only for Draper to be in the right place at the right time to deny him a goal.

The visitors remained composed and continued to search for an opener in the early stages of the second half.

They did not have to wait for long in the second half until the ball was in the net, with Routledge well-positioned to meet a Brobbel delivery on the edge of the area and fire his effort into the far corner to make it 1-0.

With Ruscoe’s men taking the lead, they continued to push for goal and were rewarded moments later for their hard work.

In-form Brobbel who was proving a handful for the defenders was the provider again when his well-weighted pass landed perfectly for Draper, allowing the league’s joint top-scorer to bag his 18th league goal of the season.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, the only other notable chance fell to Draper, with the New Zealand international forcing an excellent stop from Jones between the sticks for Newtown.

The victory means Saints sit at the top of the table after 21 games, and have just one league game remaining until the league splits into two.

Their remaining game will see them take on Connah’s Quay Nomads at home on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm).

Last time the sides met, they drew 1-1.

A win would mean TNS head into the second phase of the season at the top of the table.

Shropshire Premier League

Wellington Amateurs Development 6

St Martins Village 2

ST MARTINS Village’s first game of 2020 ended in defeat as they lost away at second-placed Wellington Amateurs Development.

The loss means Village are one point off the bottom of the table. Village host Gobowen Celtic on Saturday.

Shropshire Premier League

Gobowen Celtic 2

Madeley Sports 4

IT WAS a bad day at the office for Gobowen Celtic on Saturday as they were unable to match opponents Madeley Sports.

Celtic conceded four goals before pulling back two late in the afternoon thanks to Ed Rogers and George Hughes.

The defeat means Gobowen are now fourth in the table and sit 11 points behind league leaders Shrewsbury Juniors. They will be looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they face St Martins Village away (kick-off 2pm).