A SPARKLING double from Paul Wood proved to be a telling contribution as Pavilions made it two League wins in succession and kept in the title chase after beating Widnes visitors Avon Athletic 3-2 in the South Wirral League's Robin Hodgson Division.
Chances befell both sides in the opening exchanges, but defences at either end held out until Pavilions broke the deadlock on 20 minutes, Wood finishing off a fine move by decisively slotting the ball under the advancing goalkeeper.
Within 10 minutes, however, the visitors were back on level terms after Paul McGuiness put the finishing touch to a well executed counter-attack.
After the break, Pavilions began to assert their authority and controlled the play for the first 20 minutes.
It came as no surprise when the home side capitalised through Wood on 68 minutes and when veteran campaigner Jeff Ireland made it 3-1 seven minutes later, Avon were chasing a lost cause. A last-minute consolation from Paul Coventry gave the scoreline a little respectability.
In a game which turned out to be a good advert for the South Wirral League, current leaders Bebington Athletic entertained third-placed Mersey Ferries, and both sides treated the spectators to an evenly matched game of attacking football.
Chances were at a premium, but it was the league leaders who stole a march on the visitors when James Hough cashed in on a defensive misunderstanding to score on 75 minutes.
With time running out a Bebington victory seemed apparent, but with minutes to spare Chris Hughes leapt like a salmon to score with a firm far post header to earn Ferries a share of the spoils.
Still chasing that elusive first win of the season, Rangers Breaks set about Window Shades from the opening whistle and were rewarded with a goal after six minutes, the chance falling to Paul Coxhead who skipped through and made no mistake after being put clear.
Rangers looked the better side in the first 30 minutes and should have added to their tally, but chances went begging and it was the visitors who took advantage with an equaliser from Chris Burnett on 40 minutes, following a Rangers midfield mix-up.
The second half was an even contest with both sides enjoying spells of possession and chances. The issue was settled on 70 minutes when Paul Holmes raced through to tuck away the winner for Shades with the Rangers rear-guard appealing in vain for an off-side decision.
This Saturday, Shades travel to Avon Athletic, while Bebington Athletic put the welcome mat out for Runcorn visitors, Pavilions. Mersey Ferries will be looking to go into second place, assuming they can get a result against Black Horse.
RESULTS Saturday November 8 Robin Hodgson Division: Bebington Athletic 1 Mersey Ferries 1; Pavilions 3 Avon Athletic 2; Rangers Breaks 1 Window Shades 2.
FIXTURES Saturday November 15. Kick off 2pm Robin Hodgson Division: Avon Athletic v Window Shades. R Traynor. Widnes Recreation Centre; Bebington Athletic v Pavilions. B Cooke. Wirral Club; Mersey Ferries v Black Horse. A Kennah. Leverhulme No 1.