HINDSFORD stopped the rot on Saturday and got their bid for a third successive Premier Division title back on track with a 2-1 win at Old Alts.
Without a win in five games, the Squires Lane men’s hopes of a record-equalling title treble looked to be evaporating but a man-of-the-match performance by Luke Sylvester and goals from Chris Hopwood and Tom Valentine put them back up to second in the table, four points behind leaders Royton Town and with two games in hand.
AVRO and Stockport Georgians will have a say in the title race, but Bennett’s men will go into their Gilgryst Cup semi-final against Walshaw Sports on Saturday with renewed optimism a league and cup double is still on the cards.
Atherton Town followed up their manager’s assertion that they are the “best team” in Division One by inflicting only the third defeat of the season on league leaders Elton Vale.
Town, who also have their sights on a league and cup double, retained third place with a 2-0 win and are now nine points behind Elton with four games in hand.
And with home advantage when they continue the defence of the Murray Shield in a semi-final showdown with Breightmet United on Saturday, the Howe Bridge men are riding the crest of a winning wave.
“Three out of our last four games have been against top-four sides and we’ve won them all comfortably,” said manager Shaun Lynch.
“Saturday’s result will have sent a few shock waves round the Manchester League, but we’ve been building a squad all season and we showed again just how good we can be.”
Town never looked back after getting a flying start when Nick Eastham put them in front with just 15 seconds on the clock, a chance created by Tom Shaw after Vale lost possession from the kick off.
Shaw scored the second midway through the first half with a 30-yard swerving shot.
Breightmet go into the semi-final on the back of a 2-1 defeat away to fourth-placed Irlam Town, where they ended the game down to nine men.
Things were going well for Simon Wilcox’s side when Gary McShane put them in front with a deft chip on 20 minutes.
But Breightmet’s Michael Locke and an Irlam player were shown straight red cards before the break and United conceded two sloppy goals after the interval.
Their cause was not helped when Lewis Ottley was sent off for a second bookable offence 25 minutes from time.
“We seemed looked to be coasting, then Michael got involved in an altercation, although he certainly didn’t deserve to be sent off,” said Wilcox.