North East Wales Football League

Premier Division

CPD Sychdyn 0

Chirk Town 1

CHIRK Town bounced back from their defeat at Borras Park Albion with a narrow victory over CPD Sychdyn.

The three points have sent Chirk to within just one point of league leaders Brymbo Victoria, with a game in hand still to play.

A goal in the fourth minute for the visiting Town side proved to be the only goal of the game and was enough to separate the sides.

The Taverners were handed a boost before kick-off with goalkeeper Zac Bebbington passing a late fitness test to feature between the sticks, while Shaun Morris and Caleb Davies were cleared to be part of the squad.

The inclusion of Morris proved to be vital after he gave his side an early lead in the fourth minute of the game.

After finding space in the penalty area, Morris latched onto a good ball by Naz Farhat before firing a left-footed effort low into the net.

It was the perfect start for Chirk who continued to put pressure on their opposition after taking the lead.

Morris and Farhat both went close with chances later in the first half, but they were unable to double the advantage.

Bebbington had a relatively quiet return to the side in the first half with minimal efforts at his goal.

The second half was a scrappy affair with the wind playing a big part. The Chirk midfield was up for the battle however, and looked to dominate the middle of the park in what was a physical second half.

Town should have wrapped things up with five minutes to go through veteran striker Anthony Jones.

Jones beat the offside trap and set himself quickly for an effort on goal, but his strike was saved.

Cam Roberts also went close in the dying seconds, but he too could not find the net.

It was a tense final few minutes for Chirk, but the match finished 1-0 and took the three points.

They will now be setting their sights on the top spot when they play their game in hand.

Beforehand, they will turn their attention to their Horace Wynne Cup campaign.

They travel to face Penyffordd on Saturday (kick-off 1.30pm).

North West Counties Football League Cup quarter-final

FC Oswestry Town 1

Emley AFC 0

A SIMON Smith free-kick booked FC Oswestry Town a place in the final four of the Cup with a win over Emley AFC.

Town, who sit second in the North West Counties Football League Division One South table, took on the side second-placed in the Division One North table.

The second half free-kick was enough to send the side through to the next round, but it was bittersweet for the Oswestry men after Chris Seargeant was taken to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

It was a quiet first half for both sides, with few chances on goal to entertain the crowd at Park Hall Stadium.

A more eventful second half was played out though, with both sides looking for the all-important opening goal.

And that goal went the way of the Oswestry side when Seargeant was fouled and won a free-kick for the hosts.

Smith stepped up to take the free-kick and fired over the wall and into the net to hand his side a one-goal advantage.

With fewer than 20 minutes left to play, it was a case of seeing the game out for Town, and they were able to do just that with some resolute defending to hold onto their clean sheet.

FC Oswestry Town manager, Nathan Leonard, was pleased with his side’s performance.

“It was a great response after Tuesday’s disappointing result,” he said.

“I don’t think either team were at their best and it was a cagey game at times.

“We didn’t look after the ball well enough at times but I thought overall we just about did enough for the win.

“The work rate of the lads was tremendous and we were disciplined out of possession which is something we know needed improving.

“It feels great to be in a semi-final and we look forward to two tough games against AFC Liverpool and the obvious aim this season is to now go and win some silverware and gain promotion.

“[We have] a big couple of months ahead.”

Town will face AFC Liverpool in the semi-final.

They take on Vauxhall Motors away on Saturday.

North West Counties Football League Division One South

Barnton 1

St Martins 0

A COREY Anderson header dealt a huge blow to St Martins’ survival hopes as Barnton inflicted another defeat on the north Shropshire men.

With Saints rooted to the bottom of the table, a win against fellow strugglers, Barnton, would have been hugely important.

However, the Barnton victory means St Martins are now 10 points adrift of safety at the bottom of the table.

The game started with the hosts on top, and St Martins struggled to grow into the game early on.

The most notable chance of the opening half an hour fell to Eden Gumbs who struck his effort against the crossbar.

With four minutes of the half remaining, a cross delivered by Ryan Malone was met by Anderson’s powerful header which flew past George Austin and into the Saints net.

Despite pushing for an equaliser throughout the second half, Saints were unable to find the net and Barnton left with the three points.

St Martins now have 12 games remaining in the league this season to avoid relegation.

They host Cammell Laird 1907 in the league on Saturday.

JD Cymru Premier

The New Saints 1

Newtown 2

THE New Saints kicked off phase two of the JD Cymru Premier campaign with a home defeat against Newtown.

It was a nightmare start for Saints who found themselves behind after just six minutes.

However, parity was restored 10 minutes later courtesy of Adrian Cieslewicz, but Lifumpa Mwandwe’s header in the 21st minute gave the visitors the edge once more.

A brave performance from the Robins meant the three points went back to mid-Wales, reducing TNS’ lead at the top of the table to just one point.

The hosts would have felt hard done by to concede in the manner in which they did, as Newtown’s first effort of the game by Alex Fletcher took a cruel deflection, sending Paul Harrison the wrong way and nestling in the Saints goal.

Scott Ruscoe’s side did not dwell on the early setback however, and immediately got forward in search of an equaliser.

With their first attempt on goal, which came soon after the opening goal, Saints went close through top scorer Greg Draper who headed on target which was stopped comfortably by Dave Jones between the posts.

Fortunately for TNS, they did not have to wait much longer to draw level, with Cieslewicz finding space and curling a well-struck effort into the net to make it 1-1 after 16 minutes.

But celebrations were short-lived for Saints, as Newtown wasted no time in restoring their lead.

A long-ball into the penalty area fell nicely for Mwandwe to head home from close-range.

The early flurry of goals was not a sign of things to come, with both sides unable to make a breakthrough again.

Draper came close twice late in the first half, with stopper Jones punching the ball clear before the New Zealand international was about to head into the net.

It was a similar story for Ruscoe’s side as they began the second half, with several chances going close.

Cieslewicz almost doubled his tally for the afternoon with a low drive across the six-yard-box almost being diverted into the net.

Aside from a Jamie Mullan free-kick which almost cause problems for the Newtown defence, there were very few chances of note for the league leaders, and the visitors were able to hold onto their lead.

The poor result for TNS means their four-point lead at the top of the division has been slashed, after Connah’s Quay Nomads won their opening phase two fixture to move just one point behind Ruscoe’s side.

Bala Town also kept pressure on the league’s top two teams after they picked up an away win over Caernarfon Town.

Saints travel to face Bala in their next league match on Friday (kick-off 8pm).

Ruscoe’s men will be looking to overturn a defeat at Maes Tegid earlier in the season, which Bala won 3-1.

Saints will then look ahead to facing Connah’s Quay Nomads.