NEIL Bithell's hastily assembled Barnton side secured their first win of the season at Poynton on Saturday.
It was Barnton who took the lead with Mike Whitehurst's well-directed header from a Paul Bayliss corner.
Poynton equalised from the spot after the referee awarded a dubious penalty when the ball struck the hand of a defender after rebounding from the bar. Things got worse for Barnton after they were reduced to 10 men for an offence only the linesman seemed to spot.
The visitors always looked dangerous on the break and were rewarded with the winning goal when Eddie Whitehurst directed the ball over the line after the Poynton keeper completely missed a cross from the left.
Middlewich Town 1 Crosfields 1
TWO of the title favourites cancelled each other
out at Seddon Street.
The game was goalless and well balanced in the first half, but after Crosfields had scored from the penalty spot following an alleged handball by Graham Kay, Middlewich were stung into action.
Within five minutes Joey Roberts had equalised and they went on to create two six-yard box chances with Lee Murphy and Gary Bryning spurning the chances to be a hero.
Kev Whitehead made two good saves for Middlewich and Crosfields had a player sent off for a second bookable offence late on.
WITTON RESERVES won 2-0 at BARNTON in midweek through goals by Gavin Smith (63 mins) and Chris Pheiffer (80).
MIDDLEWICH RES were beaten 3-1 at Cros-fields on Saturday and, in Division Two,
LOSTOCK GRALAM went down 3-0 at Gamesley on Saturday
Witton Alb Youth 4 Garswood Utd Res 0
BOLSTERED by veteran first teamer Brian Pritchard, Witton Youth were in total control in the Reserves Division match.
But the game was delayed for 25 minutes because of a booking mix-up at Moss Farm before kick-off on an outside pitch.
Adam Clarke put Witton in front from the spot after Alex Lowe has been fouled.
Matty Clarke poached Witton's second in 59 minutes and Adam Clarke volleyed the third. A great build up in the 79th minute was capped by Alex Tomlinson's curling top corner finish. Wednesday (6.30pm): Division One - Middle-wich v Barnton; Two - Crewe v Lostock; Reserves - Broadheath v Witton Youth; Saturday (3pm): One - Barnton v Bollington, Pilkington v Witton Res, Rylands v Middlewich.