Salop Leisure League title hopefuls start new year with wins
The top two picked up where they had left off last year as the battle for Salop Leisure League glory resumed.
Premier Division title hopefuls Church Stretton and Dawley Town started 2023 in style with comfortable victories.
Table-toppers Church Stretton were successful on the road as they triumphed 4-1 at Ercall Colts Juniors Evolution.
James Hill was the star of the show for visitors, grabbing the headlines with a hat-trick.
Substitute Oliver Barrett was also on target for the leaders as they made it 11 wins from 13 league games.
The victory will give Stretton a lift ahead of next Saturday’s crunch game at home to third-placed Hodnet.
Hodnet were inactive at the weekend and are nine points behind Stretton but with three games in hand.
Second-placed Dawley still look the side to beat, though, after they extended their perfect record to 15 games in all competitions – 11 in the league.
Visiting Broseley were the latest side to be swept aside as Dawley eased to a 6-0 success.
Charlie Knowles led the victory charge with a hat-trick and he was joined on the scoresheet by Kieran Buckley and substitutes Brodie Mcleod and Louis Jones.
Fourth-placed Ludlow lost ground on the top two after suffering a 2-1 defeat away to Shrewsbury Up & Comers.
Both of Shrewsbury’s goals came in the first half. Juan Finlow gave the hosts the lead with Jamie Robinson doubling their advantage.
Ludlow replied late on through Jamie Richards while their cause wasn’t helped by missing a penalty.
Prees United were the day’s biggest winners as they romped to an 8-1 success away to SAHA FC.
Chris Owen just shaded the individual honours with a four-goal salvo, while Samuel Flory bagged a hat-trick. Joel Browne completed the scoring for the visitors with Nathan Muller grabbing a consolation for SAHA.
The victory lifted Prees up to fifth place in the standings.
Wrockwardine Wood also tasted victory on their travels, winning 2-1 at Wem Town.
In Division One, table-toppers AFC Bridgnorth Development moved three points clear at the summit following a 2-1 win at home to Shrewsbury Juniors Development.
Bridgnorth’s fellow title hopefuls Wellington Amateur Development and Ellesmere Rangers Reserves clashed and it was visiting Rangers who took all three points.
Harry Rimmer struck twice for Rangers with Owen Washington also netting in the 3-0 success.
The division’s other two games – Brown Clee at home to Llanymynech FC and the in-house derby between Ercall Colts Juniors Rangers and Ercall Colts Juniors Revolution Colts – both ended in 2-2 draws.