THE race for the promotion places in Division Two has reached an interesting stage with Blacon YC in with a great chance of making an overdue return to the top flight.
Former leaders Merseyside Police were dislodged from top spot after going down 2-1 at FC Pensby, which presented an Alan Hooleyinspired Blacon the chance to take advantage after beating local rivals Upton AA 3-1.
Hooley struck twice after the interval, with Jamie Rogers on the mark before the break as Blacon continued their winning assault on games in hand. They are now just eight points adrift of leaders Cammell Laird Reserves, who have played five games more and only have one left to play.
At the other end of the table, Christleton Reserves deployed the services of several first-team regulars in their line-up against fellow strugglers Manor Athletic, and the ploy had the desired effect as Eden Fenlon, Darren Rogers, Chris Herbert and Paul Hollifield netted in the 4-1 triumph.
Christleton's chances of lifting the Division One championship appear to have passed them by for this season, but the Chester outfit can still play their part in ensuring that the title race goes to the wire, beginning tomorrow with the visit of second-placed Newton.
Division Three leaders Manweb Reserves surprisingly went down 3-2 at Mond Rangers Reserves and that must have been music to the ears of third-placed promotion chasers Chester Nomads, who had hat-trick hero Mark Kerr in blistering form in the 7-0 blitz of Ellesmere Port Reserves.
Further efforts from Chris Cutler (2), Dale Harris and Mike Jeffs completed Nomads' contribution.
Lee Price scored for Upton AA Reserves, but it was visitors MBNA who went home laughing after Matty Owen (2) and Neil Thomas netted to clinch a 3-1 triumph.
Time may be running out for Willaston in their bid to avoid relegation from Division Two, but they are at least determined to go down with all guns blazing.
They recorded a superb 3-2 victory at champions Poulton Vics Reserves, thanks to goals from Kevin Williams, Mike Mosedale and Phil Kay. Paul Finnan replied with both goals for Vics.
Neighbours Capenhurst Villa are also in the mire, but at least the club currently occupying bottom spot have games in hand to turn the situation round.
The news wasn't so good on Saturday, however, as Capenhurst crashed 8-3 to a strong Cammell Laird Reserves, who boasted the man-of-the-match in four-goal Chris Nezianya. Further efforts from Brian McIlroy, John Morgan and an own goal completed the statistics with John Farrell, John McNulty and Jordan Brierley in reply for Cape.
In Division One, Ellesmere Port celebrated their first league win since last November to end one of the worst runs in the club's history. Richie White and Danny Mulla applied the finishing touches in a welcome 2-1 decision over Aintree Villa, but with only two to play, Port are still prime candidates for the drop.
Local rivals Castrol Social went down 2-1 at home to Liverpool raiders Manweb.
Capenhurst Villa Reserves earned a useful point at New Brighton Reserves in Division Three after goals from Chris McNeill and Steve Smith cancelled out strikes from the home side's Lee Mathias and Graham Edge.