1. Heartbreak for Charnock
This one is fresh in the memory. Unfortunately, this weekend saw the end of the road for the 3 remaining NWCFL teams in the FA Cup qualification stages. On Saturday, Barnoldswick Town were beaten 1-0 by FC United of Manchester, and Prestwich Heys were hit for 6 by Workington.
Charnock Richard managed to take NPL side Runcorn Linnets to a replay at the latter's Milbank Linnets Stadium, and conceded a 93rd minute penalty, before scoring a 95th minute penalty of their own to take the game to extra time. Alas, Linnets came out 3-2 winners AET thanks to a 121st minute goal from Ryan Brooke.
2. A big crowd crowd-pleaser
Two of the sides with the biggest average following in the NWCFL Premier Division met at the weekend, as Bury FC, at Gigg Lane, faced off with West Didsbury and Chorlton in a match that did everything except disappoint. In front of a crown of 3,838 people, Andy Welsh's and Chris Rowley's teams played out an absolute classic.
The hosts were 3-2 up as the 90th minute hit the clock, and that's when West's Lewis Billingsley struck to surely ensure that the game would finish honours even. However, Bury's Benito Lowe knew to play to the whistle and secured a 96th minute winner for the hosts, with the game finally finishing at 4-3.
3. Goals, goals, and more goals
It wasn't just Bury and West's back-and-forth or Workington's smashing of Heys that made headlines this weekend. Some of your choice cuts include Longridge Town 6-0 Skem United; Lower Breck 5-2 Rammy United; and Squires Gate 3-4 AFC Liverpool - that's just the Prem!
In the First Divisions North and South we were treated to the likes of Ashton Town dismantling Daisy Hill in their own back yard by 5 goals to nil, and, the best of the bunch, Droylsden putting 6 past New Mills, who responded with 3 of their own in a game one goal shy from reaching double digits.
4. Big results at the bottom in the North
Huzzah! In the same weekend, the NWCFL First Division North's bottom two sides, AFC Blackpool and Shelley, both came out with statement wins. AFC's was a long time coming, with Walker and Irani's side thrashing Ashton Athletic 4-1 away from home.
As for the Community side, they edged out a victory from a tense 3-2 result at home against last season's mid-table measuring stick, Steeton. These results have seen both teams leapfrog Nelson in the table and condemn the BB9 outfit to the only relegation place in the division as things stand.
5. Battle for the summit in the South
Somewhat quietly, with little fanfare, the First Division South has an early season battle on its hands to see who will emerge as true frontrunners. Whilst Kendal Town in the Prem and FC St Helens in the North are peeling away from their respective packs, in the South, there are currently 4 teams within a point of one another.
Brocton lead the way at the time of writing, with 19 points from 8 games. Right behind them is last season's runners-up Stockport Town, with 18 points from 9 games. Also on 18 points, from 10 and 11 games played respectively, are new boys Market Drayton Town and regular promotion hopefuls Abbey Hey. We might be on for a fantastic title race this season.