Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League round-up, 18 February 2024

AFC Shaftes may not have been in the best of league form this season but they have earned themselves a place in the hat for round four of The Tony Houlihan Memorial Challenge Cup.

In a decisive 2-1 win, Callum McCaffery and Bobby Evans were on the mark for Shaftes while Upton Willows responded via Dylan McColgan.

Eight-time winners of the Veronica Conway Premier Cup, Dock AFC, made it into the final four after beating Woodchurch Hotel 4-3 on penalties when the sides were locked at 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Jordan Deer and Danny Holmes obliged for Woodchurch while Jon Clampitt and Danny Stephens notched the goals for Dock. They will be in the draw with KRCT Bidston (og, John Mearns, and Vinny O’Toole) who defeated Corsair FC (Jedda Bayley) 3-2.

Last season’s runners-up in the Frank Robinson Presidents Cup, Rig Move, (Danny Page 2) moved into the semi-finals for a second successive season. It went down to a penalty shootout that was won 5-4 after a 2-2 draw with Upton Town (Mitch Duggan, Tom Ward).

Strikes from Lewis McKnight and Sam Burke enabled AFC Rangers to secure a place in the Tony Smith Memorial Cup final four, after 2-0 success over Wirral Radio Newton. This is only the fifth match in all competitions since last September that Wirral Radio has finished. They have a big backlog of league fixtures but should get finished as the season has been extended for four weeks by Wirral Borough Council.

It was another high scoring game for the second consecutive week between Higher Bebington Kelma and Glenavon Athletic. Last week was a league game but this week was a divisional cup tie in the Jimmy Core Trophy second round. Kelma took the honours again, 6-3, after Liam Atherton claimed another hat-trick with a brace from Jack Brown and a Harris Randles effort. Responding for Glenavon Athletic were Alex Weston, Paul Keenan, and Craig Wynne.

Also into the semi finals are AFC Raeburn (Austin Nelson, Jamie Owen) who outpointed North Wirral Saints (Callum Sait) in a surprise 2-1 result.

Queens Park have lifted the coveted Premier Division Title on 21 occasions and Division One twice, the first time before the Premier Division was introduced in 1968-69 season giving them a total of 22 top division titles.

Queens enhanced their chances of a 23rd title with a comfortable 3-0 win over Neston United after Jamie Leyland, Jack Bentley ,and Owen Payne each netted in a 3-0 win to move into second place, just two points behind Cheshire Cheese but have 4 games in hand.

With the bad weather and heavy pitches, Neston Nomads are the only club not to have had a postponement this season.

Cheshire Cheese (Anthony Evans, Can Nuttall, Alex Lowe) got back to winning ways accounting for Lancelyn Glenavon (Luke Camden) 3-1.

The game of the day was in the Martin Gallier Project Division Two, with highly fancied Eastham Rangers hosting runaway leaders Lions FC. Lions kept their100% league form with a narrow 3-2 win. A double from Mark Head and a single from Paul Ryan was just enough to earn their 11th maximum points haul. Martin Marshall was the respondent for Eastham Rangers with a pair.

Hatim Aljamal bagged a four-timer for Poulton Victoria S&S added to a Tom Price strike as they firmed up a mid-table position in a 5-1 result over Woodchurch Rovers.

Barkers Armchair FC (Mark Munt, Lee Doyle) gained valuable points to avoid the drop 2-1 at Oval FC (John Skipsey).

Victoria Colts and Parkgate St Germain had to share the points in a Division Three encounter 3-3. Billy Harrison with a smart double and Mike Williams strike were the marksmen for Victoria Colts while Ethan Davies, Adam Matthews, and Ben Swift replied for Parkgate. Both clubs have also registered 3-3 draws earlier in the season but not against each other

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