With a flurry of goals, historic FA Cup results, a penalty decision overturned and teams breaking their duck on the road, there was plenty to whet the appetite in a bumper 13-game edition of Football LIVE on Saturday. Adam Higgins has a comprehensive review of the key moments…
Emirates FA Cup fourth qualifying round:
Salford City created history by reaching the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in their history with a famous 1-0 triumph over National League strugglers Southport at a packed Moor Lane.
In arguably the biggest game of their existence, James Poole’s spectacular lob proved the difference for the in-form Ammies to secure only their third home win of the campaign.
FC United of Manchester had enough to beat a Sporting Khalsa side three steps below them in the pyramid in front of a record crowd of 2,252 at the Aspray Arena.
Luke Ashworth and Greg Daniels put the Rebels in charge and, after Tes Robinson gave the Midland League minnows hope, Craig Lindfield wrapped up a 3-1 success for the National League North visitors.
Karl Marginson’s side have lost their last four league games without scoring but, despite surviving spells of pressure, accounted for the lowest ranked side left in the competition to reach the first round for the first time since 2010.
Macclesfield Town held off a stirring fightback from National League North outfit Alfreton Town at the Moss Rose to book their spot in Monday’s first round draw.
The Silkmen, whose five-match unbeaten run was ended by Dover last weekend, raced into a two-goal lead inside seven minutes through top scorer Kristian Dennis and captain Paul Turnbull.
Dennis netted again for his 12th goal of the season before the Derbyshire visitors hit back through Sam Jones and in-form Jordan Robertson, who now has nine goals in nine games.
But John Askey’s side, who lost to Wrexham at this stage of the competition last term, progressed to the first round for the 20th time in the last 21 seasons.
Damian Reeves scored the only goal as Altrincham knocked fellow National League side Chester out of the competition at Moss Lane.
Last season’s 21-goal top scorer Reeves netted only his third of this campaign for Lee Sinnott’s team, who earned a first win in five games to advance to the first round for the third time in four seasons.
But there was a bizarre call in the second half when referee Richard Wigglesworth awarded Alty a spotkick only to reverse his decision inexplicably.
Stalybridge Celtic forced a replay with a 93rd-minute equaliser against North Ferriby United as the tie between the two top-half National League North teams ended level at Bower Fold.
Danny Clarke netted for the second successive game to give the Yorkshire side the lead but Bohan Dixon struck in the dying embers to rescue Celtic, who saw their 10-game unbeaten run come to a halt last weekend.
Liam Watson’s men will have to secure their first ever win over the FA Trophy holders at Grange Lane on Tuesday night to extend their run in the competition.
Vanarama National League North:
Fifth-placed Stockport County stepped up in the second half to see off Bradford Park Avenue 2-0 at Edgeley Park for a third win in five league games.
Micah Evans scored one and created another for home debutant Mo Cham to seal the points for Neil Young’s side, who are now three points clear of sixth-placed Tamworth and have kept three clean sheets in a row.
Curzon Ashton secured a first away win of the season with a convincing 4-0 victory at fellow promoted side Corby Town, who have now lost eight of their last nine games.
Curzon keeper Hakan Burton kept out Weir Daley’s early penalty before braces from Niall Cummins and top scorer Matty Warburton moved the Tameside outfit up to ninth in the table.
John Flanagan’s team, who drew 2-2 with Corby in the first ever National League North game in August, have lost only one of their last eight games while Corby remain second-bottom with the division’s worst defence having now conceded 32 goals in 14 games.
Evo-Stik Premier Division:
Hyde United put five past bottom-club Ramsbottom United without reply at Ewen Fields to clinch a fourth straight victory, which lifted them up to seventh in the table.
Captain and top scorer Scott Spencer netted a second hat-trick of the season to take his tally to 13 goals and Ayrton Bevins, who netted a hat-trick in the 4-1 win at Rammy in August, scored a brace as the Tigers ran riot with five goals in the space of 18 minutes either side of half-time.
Captain Jay Gorton’s first-half header saw Ashton United begin a run of three straight home games with a narrow 1-0 victory over third-bottom Stamford AFC at a wet Hurst Cross.
The Robins struggled to finish off their Lincolnshire opponents, who have only won once since August, but kept a first clean sheet in seven games and propped up one place to 14th in the table.
Evo-Stik First Division North:
Droylsden earned a comfortable first away win of the season by sweeping aside bottom-club New Mills 4-1 at Church Lane.
Brandon Zibaka’s early penalty got Dave Pace’s men up and running before Dom Smith’s double, either side of James Hampson’s strike, clinched a third successive victory after a run of four straight defeats.
The Bloods, who thumped New Mills 4-1 at the Butchers Arms in August, will now be full of confidence heading into back-to-back derby clashes against Mossley and Trafford but there was no real contest against the Millers, who have now lost all 16 games and conceded 60 goals in the process.
Mossley’s impressive five-game winning run came to an end in a 2-0 defeat at Clitheroe, who move into the play-off places.
Goals from Callum Hendry and Brandon Barksi saw the Lilywhites, who beat Clitheroe 3-0 at Seel Park earlier this term, lose their six-game unbeaten run and remain ninth in the table.
Trafford suffered back-to-back defeats and dropped down to eighth in the table after struggling Scarborough Athletic struck late to earn a 1-0 win at Shawe View.
The North had won four games in a row before Tuesday’s 4-1 loss at Prescot Cables but were left to rue missed chances as their quest for a fourth successive home win failed.
The Seadogs instead completed the league double over Tom Baker’s men to end their 10-game winless streak, thanks to Stephen Mallory’s 87th-minute strike.
Radcliffe Borough were condemned to a third defeat in five matches as play-off chasing Spennymoor Town eased to a 3-1 win at the Belvoir Stadium.
Danny Johnson’s men had won their previous two home games but stay 19th in the table as the fourth-top Moors extended their unbeaten record on their travels this term.
You can catch also up on the non-league action across Greater Manchester in full by revisiting our Football LIVE blog of the day’s events.