DIVISION Three promotion chasers Chester Nomads passed up an opportunity to edge nearer to Division Two football next season after coming second best to St.Werburgh's in Saturday's local derby.
Chris Cutler and Mark Powell scored for Nomads but Saints came up with the answers and lifted themselves off the bottom of the table after Danny Radford (2) Wally Dodd and Curtis Keating netted to secure a surprise 4-2 victory.
Nomads were doubly disappointed after hearing that local rivals Upton AA Reserves had beaten second-placed West Kirby Reserves 2-1 with goals from Paul Lilburn and Ben Billington.
Leaders Manweb Reserves were in action on Friday in the West Cheshire Shield final against Chester outfit MBNA who were rocked after Ryan Williams gave the Liverpool side the lead after just three minutes.
Andy Cross levelled on 10 minutes only for James Bonner to restore Manweb's advantage five minutes before the interval. A 50th minute own goal again brought the scores level before Dave Toner struck on 75 minutes to seal victory for Manweb.
Division Two promotion challengers Blacon YC forfeited the chance to close ground in the Division Two title race and are now five points adrift of the top three after losing 2-0 to Pavilions.
Leaders Laird Reserves finished their programme with a 2-1 win against Maghull Reserves, but with five games in hand and a 12-points deficit, Blacon must believe they are still handily poised to snatch one of the two promotion slots.
Christleton's attempt to prevent Division One leaders Newton from marching to their first title success since 1962 came unstuck when they were beaten 4-2 by the Frankby club, despite fine goals from Eden Fenlon and Mike Moran. Lee Furlong (2) Joey Gibiliru and Tony Gray were on the mark for Newton.
Despite a smart double from Danny Mulla Ellesmere Port slumped to their 17th League defeat of the season and a step nearer Division Two football next season after crashing 4-2 at home to Ashville, Neil Wenham (2), Simon Donoghue and Paul Rimmer netting for the visitors.
The result leaves Port one point behind third from bottom local rivals Castrol Social, who breathed a sigh of relief after efforts from Smith and Parry secured a much-needed 2-1 decision over Aintree Villa.
Vauxhall Motors Reserves were second best on the day to consistent performers Maghull, who continued their fine run, Dave Thompson and Jay Harrison both bagging doubles in a 4-0 victory.
Leaders Cammell Laird were dislodged from pole position after finishing 0-0 at General Chemicals, paving the way for Newton to take over at the top.
In Division Two, bottom club Capenhurst Villa turned one of their numerous games in hand into points after beating Mond Rangers 5-2, inspired by hat-trick hero, Chris Dodds. Further goals from John Farrell and Carl Ladbrooke completed the statistics with Thompson and Bushell in reply for the losers.
Willaston earned a creditable 3-3 draw with second-placed Merseyside Police, but victory was the priority with the relegation trapdoor now moving open. Kevin Williams, Mike Mosedale and Andy Bellarby scored for Willaston, with Mark Ellison, Chris Killen and Carl Garnell on target for the Police.
Division Three outfit Grange Athletic continued their push for mid-table sanctuary after finishing 0-0 with Manor Athletic Reserves.