PREMIER Division champions Hindsford suffered a shock 4-1 defeat at lowly Heywood St James on Saturday.

The Squires Lane side remain top of the table but their lead over East Manchester – their only serious rivals for the title – has been reduced to just goal difference, although they do have a game in hand.

At the other end of the table, Leigh Athletic continued their resurgence with a 2-1 win at home to bottom club AFC Monton. Chris Hopwood and Anthony Walker scored the first-half goals that extended their unbeaten run since the turn of the year and gave them a four-point cushion above the bottom three.

Division One promotion chasers Pennington trailed 2-0 after 15 minutes on the 3G pitch at Hollinwood but hit back in devastating fashion to win 8-3 with hat-tricks from Ben Hardcastle and Chris Holt.

Chris Lowe scored the Leigh side’s opener before Hardcastle netted twice – a minute either side of half time to put them 3-2 up.

Holt and substitute Lee Smith made it 5-2 and, while Hollinwood pulled one back, Holt and Hardcastle completed their trebles to ram home their superiority.

Neighbours Atherton Town suffered a setback to their promotion hopes when they went down 4-1 at home to Dukinfield Town.

Breightmet United paid the price for failing to convert chances when they lost 2-1 at AFC Bury. After going a goal down, the young side were back on terms by half time, courtesy of a cool finish by Gary McShane, but a rash challenge led to a penalty that gave the Bury side the win.