Chester and Wirral Football League round up, 16 December 2023

The only game that took place in the Premier Division saw Sutton Rangers stun FC Farndon.

A brace from Man of the Match Shakeel Sterling propelled Sutton off the bottom of the league as they secured a superb 6-3 victory. Connor Allen also got two whilst Danny Carr and Matt Broadhead got singles. Farndon’s consolation goals came via a Mike Mcintyre double and a Danny Mongan effort.

In the Championship, Cestrian Alex went goal crazy as they demolished bottom club Sutton Rangers Reserves. Hat-tricks for both Josh Camy and Ashley Reed were supplemented with singles from Matt Gilmour, Chris Rowntree, and Will Ballance. The result moves Cestrian up a place into fourth, whilst also having games in hand.

Free Scoring Mersey Royal Vets put five past Lache Vets on Friday night as an Andy Robinson inspired performance made it six wins from six for Royal. The game began evenly with both teams probing for opportunities before a screamer from Robert Courtenay midway into the half broke the deadlock.

Robinson then displayed his prowess, scoring twice before laying on the assist for Kris Hesketh to notch Royals fourth. Stuart Hardman got in on the act to make it five before Lache striker Warren Kelly hit two second-half goals to reduce the deficit. A competitive and entertaining game ended 5-2 in Royal’s favour.

In Division 4, Hartford Vets also made it six wins from six with Mike Jones bagging a treble and Chris Crawford a single to give Hartford a 4-2 victory against Frodsham Park Vets, who replied with efforts from Joe Morphet and Wayne Clark.

A Henry Buckley double and singles from Al Moore and Alex Morrisroe also gave Nags Head Bunbury Vets a 4-2 win against Great Sutton Vets, who had Lee Hearn and Mark Newman on target.

Wirral Masters Vets cemented their lead at the top of Division 5 with a resounding 4-0 win against Port Sunlight Vets. Aiden Ryan scored a brilliant free kick from the edge of the box to put Wirral one up before strikes from Danny Payne and Darren Whyte made it 3-0 at the half-time interval. Harry Munt converted a second-half penalty to secure the win. A special mention to referee Neil Kennedy who put in an excellent performance.

Cheshire Cup action saw Neston Nomads Vets entertain Queens Park Vets and it was the former who took the lead as an Ian Cross strike from distance found its way into the Queens’ net early in the first half. Mike Mcgree clinically levelled before Dotty Bolton put Queens 2-1 up just before half time. Neston deservedly struck back midway through the second half as Sam Bunbury finished off a brilliant team goal.

Both teams had chances to win it, but the game ended 2-2 and it was down to penalties to decide the winner. Liam Kelly in the Queens’ goal was the hero, saving two Neston penalties to send Queens into the quarter-finals.

Hoole Rangers Vets also progressed into the quarter-finals at the expense of Cheshire Vikings Vets. Ste Owen, Rich Whincup, Dan Eborall, and Steve Jones all got a goal each in a 4-0 win.

The newly founded Vets Cheshire Cup is now hotting up as the quarter-final draw awaits with all the big hitters from the CWFL Division one making it through, Mersey Royal, Hooton, Capenhurst, Queens Park, Higher Bebington Kelma and Lache Vets to go along with Hoole Rangers (Division 4) and still to play is Parkfield Rangers Vets v Eastham Vets (both Division 3) as some exciting ties are expected.

Higher Bebington Kelma Vets again proved age is no barrier as they defeated Cammel Laird Youth in Saturday’s Junior Cup Quarterfinal. Lairds’ young guns never stopped running but Kelma kept up. A Mark Jones deflected effort seemed to be in vain as Lairds were 2-1 up going into the final minutes only for super sub-Dave Kendrick to net the equalizer for Kelma with only his second touch of the game as the 90 minutes ended 2-2.

It was the experience of the Vets that told in the shoot-out as Chris Corkhill, Dave Kendrick, Shaun Burgess, and Luke Lawler all netted to send Kelma into the semi-final.

Hooton Vets also progressed into the semi-finals of the Wirral Junior Cup on Friday night as they put ten past Ellesmere Port Town Vets. The semi-finalists of the Junior Cup will come from Mersey Royal Vets, Hooton Vets, Higher Bebington Kelma Vets and still to play one of Neston Nomads Vets v Groves S & SC.

Image: (L-R) Shakeel Sterling who scored two for Sutton Rangers, Liam Kelly  (yellow kit) (who saved two penalties for Queens Park Vets), and Andy Robinson (in Tranmere kit) who now plays for Mersey Royal Vets and was a two-goal hero on Friday night