1874 NORTHWICH let slip a two-goal advantage in a draw with Premier Division rivals West Didsbury & Chorlton on Saturday.
Mike Brandon, leading scorer last season, finished smartly in the moments before half time after Matty Ward’s assist dropped perfectly into his path.
Ian Street’s men went further ahead after an hour when Matthew Woolley drove with power from distance past the sub keeper Paul Hughes.
West Didsbury halved their arrears when Jerome Bryson’s mazy dribble ended with a decisive shot.
Sakeel Abdullah’s attempt was smuggled off the line at the other end, while new recruit Paul Connor was denied by the hosts’ goalkeeper.
Gary Lilley looped a header over goalkeeper Matt Conkie to restore parity with five minutes left.
Triallist Chris Sharp scored the only goal, converting Jamie Milligan’s corner at the near post, as Stockport County edged out Northwich Victoria at Valley Road.
Former Vics winger Nathan Woolfe, a summer recruit from Hednesford Town by County boss Alan Lord, was the contest’s star turn.
He forced goalkeeper Richard Jones to save smartly in the seconds before the visitors’ goal, posing a threat from both flanks throughout.
At the other end, Reece Fishwick’s shot from Gary Burnett’s assist was parried by Stockport custodian Danny Hurst.
In the second half, substitute Kristian Dennis and Sharp were both thwarted by Jones’ brilliance.
Jim Gannon’s men almost drew level with two minutes left, but ex-Vics back-marker Daniel Gregson blocked Burnett’s goal-bound attempt.
Winsford United lost 3-1 at Manchester League outfit Wythenshawe Amateurs.
Runcorn Linnets recovered three times from going behind at North West Counties League newcomers Barnton.
The teams shared six goals, four of those arriving in in the contest’s final quarter of an hour.
Joe Jennings, twice, and Colin Quirk were on target for the Villagers at Town Field with replies from Gavin Salmon and Chris Lomax – either side of a second equaliser scored by a trialist – for Joey Dunn’s men.
Theo Stair scored from the penalty spot twice to seal a 2-0 win for Hanley Town against visitors Lostock Gralam.
Cuddington took the lead against guests Rylands, from the Cheshire League’s top flight, when Aaron Harvey converted Ste Hughes’ corner.
However Joel Brownhill marked his return from an injury with an equaliser for the Warrington outfit in the second half.
Saturday July 12
Barnton 3 Runcorn Linnets 3
Cuddington 1 Rylands 1
Hanley Town 2 Lostock Gralam 0
Northwich Victoria 0 Stockport County 1 (at Flixton)
West Didsbury & Chorlton 2 1874 Northwich 2
Wythenshawe Amateurs 3 Winsford United 1