Cheshire Football League round-up

First published in Sport

Division One. Despite playing the entire second period with ten men, Rylands comfortably secured three points with a 3-1 victory over Denton Town at Gorsey lane on Saturday.

Rylands dominated the early stages and could have gone ahead in the first minute when Kris Bell saw his header cleared from the line. Alex Lowe then drove a fierce effort wide of the goal as the home team continued to dominate. Ironically it was Denton who perhaps should have opened the scoring when, in their first attack of note, Wood raced clear of the defence but dragged his effort wide of the goal with Andy Moor beaten.

After Daniels had seen his looping header strike the crossbar, Rylands took the lead after 16 minutes when Bell finished sharply after being played through on goal by Daniels. They almost increased their advantage minutes later when Deakin headed against the post after a corner kick had not been cleared.

It was a brief respite for the beleaguered Denton defenders as Lee Deakin went on a mazy run which took him past three defenders before being upended on the edge of the penalty area. Deakin struck a superb shot into the net from the resultant free kick to put Rylands 2-0 up.

On the stroke of half time Denton were given a lifeline when Rylands were reduced to ten men as they had a player dismissed for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. The resultant penalty kick was placed beyond Andy Moor to give Denton a chance to salvage something from the game.

Rylands had to reshuffle at the break and went close to restoring the two goal advantage, when James Daniels sent a superb dipping strike crashing against the crossbar with 15 minutes remaining.

Liam Hayes settled the game in the final minutes with a superb right-footed strike after linking up well with Rodgers and Duffy.

From the off the game had a frantic pace and Greenalls PSO and Barnton teams set up similarly in terms of shape, matching up well. Both teams were looking dangerous in attack but it was Greenalls who created the best of the chances in the first half with Barnton unable to cope with the home teams pressing. Gareth Johns was sent clear on 20 minutes by Danny Topping but his shot drifted wide and Lee Vaughan, following a jinking run, saw his cross/shot fall the wrong side of the post.

Barnton were forced to play a counter attacking game in the first half and they looked dangerous when on the attack but the impressive duo of Hardman and Hynes at the heart of the Greenalls defence, on the whole, forced Barnton into shots from range. On 33 minutes, Craig Hoyland sent Danny Topping racing clear, but as he shaped to shoot, the recovering Barnton defender did brilliantly to get a touch on his shot which took the power out of it and fell safely into Adam Judges hands.

Greenalls thought they had taken the lead shortly after, more great work down the left hand side between Hoyland and Johns saw a cross find Hanley who fired home, only to be adjudged narrowly offside. 5 minutes from the break Judge was called into action again as Hoylands cross was met by the head of Topping, his header looked goal bound but Judge produced a wonder save low down to his right.

As a fantastic half of football drew to a close, Barnton again went on the counter and the impressive Quirk crossed to Burbridge at the back post, who had got the wrong side of Johns, but his shot lacked direction, and went wide, which was a real let off for Greenalls.

The second half started in much the same vein, Craig Hoyland got the better of Hunter and the full back brought him down, from the resulting free kick Danny Topping brilliantly found Hoyland, who headed home low past Judge from point blank range to give Greenalls the lead.

Barnton quickly responded and grew into the game well and for the last 30 minutes had Greenalls on the back foot. The away side scored their equaliser on 67 minutes when, a cross from the right was dealt with poorly and Colin Quirk lashed home past the helpless Craig Clare.

It was roles reversed for the rest of the game, as Greenalls were being asked questions. Clare was called into action again with ten minutes left as Quirk again struck, but Clare made a great save to keep it level.

As Barnton pushed for the winner, Greenalls were thretening on the counter now and Lee Vaughan and Lee Hughes looked most likely to get in behind, Barnton looked likely to win it in the dying minutes as Billy Webb looked to rise high and head home a deep cross, but he climbed on Hardman and headed wide, resulting in a free kick.

Garswood United stormed to the top of the table as they beat Middlewich Town 5-1 at home, while local rivals Pilkington drew 1-1 at Billinge.

JB Parker Division One Cup Whaley Bridge progress to the semi final of the cup as they beat Eagle Sports 3-1 at home. Whaley will play Rylands in the semi final next week.

Division Two Warrington Town started the year with a 4-1 home win over Malpas. The first goal came after 34 minutes when a kick from Jordan Roberts found the head of Owen Ward, this went into the path of Alex Hughes who made no mistake after moving into the box to give Malpas a 1-0 lead. However the lead was short lived when on 36 minutes Warrington were awarded a free kick. Malpas expected a ball into the box and were caught flat footed as the kick was played short finding Dylan Glass just inside the box who turned well and fired home for 1-1. Warrington turned things around and a good move down the right saw a cross come in for Chris Bandell to score at the far post in the 40th minute to give Warrington the half time lead.

The second half saw Warrington looking sharper all over the pitch causing problems out wide. Dylan Glass was on fire again as he put the home side 3-1 up. Malpas took the game to the home side and created a few half chances as they took control for the first time in the game, but they could not get the goal to get back in the match. The scoring was complete in the 86th minute when Chris Bandell tapped in at the back post for 4-1.

Grappenhall Sports dominated the majority of their first half at Sandbach United, looking dangerous with every attack and set piece. They got their reward on the half hour mark when a great break led to Dan Sisson providing a superb ball inside to the oncoming Ben Howard who knocked home for 1-0.

Sandbach missed a rare chance just before half time and that was a warning for Grappenhall as when the clock hit 65 minutes it was 4-1 to Sandbach. A penalty drew Sandbach level before three similar counters in 10 minutes saw the home side take control. A final goal late on saw Sandbach secure three points as Tom Watkin, Aiden Haughton, Lyndon Campbell, Jack Harte and Mike Blundell all made the score sheet for the home side.

A hat trick from Richard Booth helped Congleton Vale to a 4-1 win away at Golborne Sports, with Congleton's other goal coming from Ryan o'Reilly, while Oliver Hardman and Adam Whitty both scored for Daten to give them a 2-0 home win over Barnton Wanderers.

Reserve Division Greenalls PSO returned to winning form as they finished 6-1 winners over a young Pilkington side. Will Bennett gave Greenalls the lead after just four minutes which set Greenalls off to a comfortable start. Ben McWilliams made it 2-0 to Greenalls in the 25th minute before Lewis Hampton met a Jon Leatherbarrow cross to make it 3-0 minutes later. McWilliams added a fourth shortly before the break to give Greenalls a strong lead at half time.

Greenalls settled into the second half well and dominated possession for the majority of the second half. McWilliams completed his hat trick in the 62nd minute but Pilkington continued to battle and were rewarded when Declan Williamson hit home in the 76th minute. The game was put to bed in the 81st minute when McWilliams added his fourth goal of the game to make it 6-1 to Greenalls.

Whaley Bridge kept up the pressure as they beat Grappenhall Sports 5-2 away from home, while Barnton also showed they are still in the running as they beat Garswood United 4-0.

At the other end of the table Gamesley came out on top as they beat Middlewich Town 3-2 at Seddon Street.

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