MANCHESTER LEAGUE: Treble title chance is still on, says Hindsford boss Bennett
HINDSFORD manager Lee Bennett is hoping to home in on a hat-trick of Premier Division championships.
Dominant in the first half of the season when they appeared to be racing towards a third successive title, the Squires Lane men have struggled for consistency since the turn of the year.
But a 3-2 win at Rochdale Sacred Heart on Saturday kept them within four points of leaders Royton Town with two games in hand and, although they are one of eight teams who could, feasibly, win the title, they have the advantage of their four remaining games all being at home.
“They are all tough games but if we can take 12 points I think that could be enough,” Bennett said.
“Teams like Prestwich Heys have four games in hand on us but they have an awful lot of football to play and it’s going to be a tough run in for them.
“If we’d been beaten on Saturday, I think that might have been it, but I think we are in a good position now.”
Hindsford had to come from behind and were down to 10 men after just 20 minutes when Josh Waldeis was shown a straight red card after reacting to a challenge.
Richard Sharpe got them back on level terms after the home side had taken an early lead and after regrouping following Waldeis’ sending off Chris Hopwood put them in front with a penalty.
The home side levelled again but Hindsford’s stand-in skipper Paul Dixon scored the winner six minutes from time.
Atherton Town remain on course for a return to the Premier Division after an impressive 3-1 win at Leigh Athletic, which kept them third in Division One, three points behind leaders Chapel Town and with a game in hand.
With three teams being promoted, manager Shaun Lynch believes they need to win two of their four remaining games to secure promotion.
“We need to score a few goals because Chapel Town have a better goal difference than us,” Lynch said.
“But in the position we are it looks like we’ll only need a couple of wins to go up, and that’s the main thing.”
Town took an early lead when Dane Grimes scored from a corner. Jack Kenny equalised for the Latics, but the Howe Bridge men went back in front when Gaz Shaw scored before the break and then doubled his tally following some neat inter-play with Nick Eastham.
Breightmet United manager Simon Wilcox described his team’s first-half performance in their 4-0 defeat at Chadderton Reserves as “the worst half of football since I’ve been involved”.
Chadderton scored three before the break and were on top for the full 90 minutes.