Formby provided the biggest surprise of the NWCFL Challenge Cup third round this weekend, as they came from 2-1 down to beat Premier Division side Barnoldswick Town 3-2 at the Silentnight Stadium.
Two Michael White penalties helped send Formby through to the last eight of the competition, one of which was a 90th minute winner. The Squirrels have another away draw in the quarter finals, this time to holders Bacup Borough.
Their progression in the cup means that another of their league games will have to be re-scheduled though, something that’s becoming a real problem for Formby as they have only played 13 games in NWCFL Division One so far this season.
Maine Road faced a tough tie away at Congleton Town, which got even tougher when they were reduced to ten men after 30 minutes when Andy Kilheeny was sent off.
Road hung on and battled to a 0-0 draw. Extra time couldn’t separate the two sides either, and Maine Road went through on penalties, winning 3-1 in the shoot-out with Matt Warburton scoring the winner.
Runcorn Linnets got some revenge on Winsford United in a Cheshire derby. Winsford had already beaten the hosts at Millbank Linnets Stadium twice this season, but couldn’t make it third time lucky as Linnets went through 3-2 after extra time.
In front of the highest crowd of the day, 260, Linnets went 2-0 up with a penalty from Kyle Hamid and Ross McDowell’s impressive individual effort. Winsford levelled up the scores before half time, Callam Gardner and Daniel Egan with the goals. But Linnets advanced in to the last eight with an extra time winner from Mark Houghton. Winsford finished the game with ten men, as Kyle McGonigle was sent off late on after a second yellow.
Padiham, along with Maine Road and Bootle, are another club that could still win a NWCFL league and cup double. They were victorious at home to AFC Blackpool, Mark Sharples’ second goal of the season was enough to give them a 1-0 win.
Alsager Town were targeting a crowd of 200 for their game against AFC Liverpool, they managed 152, not as many as they would like but much better than their season average of 89. The crowd were not treated to a Bullets win though, as AFC Liverpool came away 2-0 winners, thanks to goals from Steven Williams and Liam Louchlin, the latter being a penalty.
Cheadle Town recorded an impressive win in the only all Division One tie, they beat second-placed Abbey Hey 1-0 with a 90th minute winner from Andrew Lindon.
Bacup Borough overcame a potential banana skin at home to AFC Darwen, the visitors are top of Division One but Bacup went through with a 1-0 win. Darwen played the majority of the second half with ten men, as Matthew Taylor was sent off for a second yellow, and Shaun Birtles grabbed Bacup’s winner on 73 minutes.
Bootle complete the quarter final line-up, they knocked out Division One club West Didsbury and Chorlton at Delta Taxi Stadium. Michael Young and Kevin Townson scored the Bucks’ goals as they had to come from behind to win 2-1, after Scott Jones had put the away side ahead.
The marquee tie of the quarter finals is arguably Padiham vs Maine Road, as one of the NWCFL Premier Division’s high-flyers is sure to go out. The draw in full:
Bacup Borough vs Formby
Cheadle Town vs AFC Liverpool
Padiham vs Maine Road
Runcorn Linnets vs Bootle
The big game at the top of the Premier Division table did not disappoint, as Runcorn won 5-3 at Colne to go top of the league. Gareth Grant and Paul Shanley grabbed a brace each for the away side, with Mark Keddie scoring the other. Colne’s goals scored by Jason Hart (his 26th of the season), Ashley Carter and Mark Coyne all proved to be in vein as they remain sixth.
Stone Dominoes grabbed just their second win of the season away at Squires Gate. Dwayne Spence’s second half goal was the only one of the game as Squires Gate drop in to the bottom two.
St. Helens Town moved out of the relegation places with a 2-1 home win against Silsden. Charles Stoker put the hosts ahead in the first half before Joseph Gaughan equalised for Silsden, but Cole Ashton’s 75th minute winner was enough to give St. Helens their fifth win of the season.
In the two mid-table battles, Norton United won 2-1 away at Glossop North End, Delroy Fox and Thomas Fogg with a penalty the goalscorers for Norton. Wigan Robin Park and Stockport Sports played out a 1-1 draw, James Edgar put Park ahead early on before Andrews Frempong earned Stockport Sports a point with his second half equaliser.
NWCFL Challenge Cup – Third Round
Abbey Hey 0-1 Cheadle Town
Alsager Town 0-2 AFC Liverpool
Bacup Borough 1-0 AFC Darwen
Barnoldswick Town 2-3 Formby
Bootle 2-1 West Didsbury and Chorlton
Congleton Town 0-0 Maine Road (Maine Road won 3-1 on penalties)
Padiham 1-0 AFC Blackpool
Runcorn Linnets 3-2 Winsford United (After extra time)
NWCFL Premier Division
Colne 3-5 Runcorn Town
Glossop North End 1-2 Norton United
Squires Gate 0-1 Stone Dominoes
St. Helens Town 2-1 Silsden
Wigan Robin Park 1-1 Stockport Sports