MANCHESTER LEAGUE: The drinks are on delighted Latics chairman

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , deputy head of sport

LEIGH Athletic’s impressive 3-2 win at Irlam Steel on Saturday cost their chairman Richard Render a round of drinks.

The Latics chief promised to buy every player a drink if the Division One strugglers managed to record their third win of the season – and was more than happy to oblige.

“It was a great win and everybody was buzzing because we hadn’t won in ages and the second team won as well,” said Latics’ player Karl Shepherd.

“The chairman promised everyone a drink before the game and stuck to his word.”

The Leigh side showed a lot of character, coming from behind twice before substitutes Tony Scott and Terry Lewis conjured up the winner in the last 10 minutes, Lewis pouncing on the rebound after Scott’s free kick was fumbled by the home keeper.

Irlam took the lead on the half hour after a feisty opening period but Jack Kenny equalised to make it all square at half time.

The home side regained the lead on the hour but the Latics, who were particularly impressive in the second period, were level again through James Dooley.

Breightmet United boss Simon Wilcox was left scratching his head after seeing his side lose 2-1 at AFC Bury.

“We looked comfortable and they didn’t have a shot on target,” Wilcox said. “I couldn’t really complain about the performance, nobody played badly.

“They scored two scrambled goals – one in each half – yet they were still there for the taking.

“Our problem was bad decision-making – the wrong decisions in one on ones or the wrong pass – but we had a stonewall penalty turned down and a goal disallowed, which could have won it for us.”

Tommy Williams scored Breightmet’s consolation goal.

Familiar problems surfaced again as Atherton Town lost 1-0 on the 3G surface at Beechfield United.

The Howe Bridge men dominated the game but failed to convert chances and were punished in the 85th minute when Beechfield snatched victory with a breakaway goal.

Manager Shaun Lynch, who missed the game, is hoping for a good points haul from the next two games, which are both at home – to third-placed Heywood St James and leaders Elton Vale – that would put fourth-placed Town back in the promotion hunt.

Hindsford’s hopes of claiming a third successive Premier League title suffered another setback on Saturday when they lost 1-0 at home to AVRO.

James Hampson’s 27th-minute goal saw the long-time leaders drop to third in the table but with games in hand on the teams above them – three on leaders Royton, who are five points better off, and two on Wythenshawe Amateurs, who they trail by just two points – they are still in a good position.

Nevertheless, they will need an upturn in form if they are to end a four-match winless run when they face AVRO again in the reverse fixture this weekend.

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