ON Saturday the North Lancashire League had eight sides in county cups, the only losers being Marsh United when they went down to a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Bury Grammar School Old Boys in the Lancashire Football Association Amateur Cup third round.
After the opening spell Marsh were never in the tie, the only bright period for them resulted in Lee Sparks scoring a good goal.
Carnforth Rangers ground out a good win over tough opposition when they entertained Skem Athletic. Carnforth were indebted to young Matthew Clapp who scored a superb hat-trick to seal a good win and a trip to Forthergill-Whittles or Chaddertonians.
College AFC entertained Old Ashtonians and had a fight on their hands before overcoming a very good side.
The first half was a joy to watch as the visitors played really well, but were unable to break the deadlock.
The second half saw the visitors again start very well and this time they found the back of the net when their striker scored a great goal in the 55th minute.
As College started to panic after creating but missing more second half chances, they introduced their first substitute, Andy Wade, and he did not disappoint as he scored a deserved equaliser.
The Ashtonians side visibly started to tire in the blazing sun and College improved, but they had to wait until the 82nd minute before they took the lead when Phil Meeks scored a textbook goal to send his side into the next round where they will be at home again, this time to the winners of the Worsthorne or Manxman tie.
Storeys put on a much better performance than of late and deservedly beat Bolton Wyresdale by the only goal of the game scored by Lee Richardson.
In the next round they will travel to play the winners of the Langho or Penwortham Town game.
TIC Dynamos of Overton and Middleton did it again the hard way.
In the last round they had to go to penalties to win the game and against Enfield they had to battle back from 2-0 down when they conceded both goals in the first half.
The second half saw a polished Enfield side take the game to the Dynamos and looked by far the better side.
As the Dynamos started to get a second wind the Burnley side began to wilt in the hot conditions, first Alex Price finished off a good flowing move to give his side hope.
Dynamos kept pushing forward and were rewarded with an equaliser when Gareth Turner scored a late goal to send the game straight to penalties. It took just one miss by the Enfield side to separate the two teams, Dynamos winning 5-4.
In the next round they will travel to play Winstanley St Aidans or WFC Clitheroe.
Highgrove are fancying their chances of going all the way again after travelling to play Old Boltonians, a very good footballing side and very organised.
Highgrove created more chances than their opponents, who had to thank their goalkeeper for keeping them in the game, his opposite number Matthew Humpage had very little action, so good were his defenders.
The second half saw Highgrove creating more and better chances.
Manager Jack Mitchell was looking to change things round and was going to put a substitute on and take off Rikki Ball, but at that moment Ball beat his marker and scored to give Highgrove a lead they fully deserved.
The next and crucial goal came when a long pass down the wing saw the Bolton defenders standing watching the ball going out of play.
However, Russell Mitchell, who was head and shoulders above everyone else and man of the match, did not give up the chase and collected the ball before finding Josh Buller who scored a great goal from distance to kill the game off.
Highgrove will again have to travel to hot favourites Rishton United or Bolton United in the next round.
All these games will be played on Saturday, October 29.
In the Westmorland County Football Association Senior Cup first round, Arnside did themselves and the league proud when they beat a good and more experienced Braithwaite team 4-2.
Arnside battled for every ball and at the end they deserved the win.
James Thornton scored an excellent brace followed by the goal machine James Kirkham and James Smith to put them through to round two.
Kirkby Lonsdale, past winners of this competition, did not have it all their own way as their opponents Esthwaite Vale United were dangerous for long periods of the game and gave as good as they got.
The game flowed from end-to-end with both sides squandering good looking chances.
However, the more workmanlike performance of the Kirkby side started to get on top and goals from Alex Taylor (2) and Andrew Metcalfe made the game safe after Ben Wilson had put Esthwaite back in the match.
In the Premier Division leaders Bowerham/Furness United came a cropper when they lost to an inconsistent Cartmel side who are blowing hot and cold this season.
The game could have gone either way up to half-time.
The second half saw Cartmel increase the tempo and push Bowerham back.
Cartmel were too strong for Bowerham in the end and fully deserved their narrow win after Matthew Burrows (2) and a good first goal for young Andrew Lord scored the goals.
Bowerham’s replies were from Simon Gillespie who scored both. This defeat still leaves them on top of the league.
Ingleton recorded their first win of the season when they comprehensively beat a lethargic Caton United side.
Caton had the upper hand in the early stages and could and should have taken the lead after 29 minutes, a perfectly weighted through ball found Nathan Jackson playing against his former colleagues, but as he entered the penalty area he lost control of the ball and was dispossessed.
Although Caton were more dominant in the early stages they just could not make head way into the Ingleton penalty area.
After 28 minutes Ingleton, in only their second attack of the game, had a good chance but Alex Hartley pulled his shot wide.
Two minutes later Phil Eccleston had a glorious chance but his hurried shot after a bad defensive mistake was well off target.
Ingleton were getting more into the game, a terrific shot from Hartley hit the crossbar with the ball falling to him but his first time shot was brilliantly saved by the Caton keeper.
From the resultant corner Ingleton took the lead when Phil Eccleston scored from close in after just 33 minutes.
Caton responded well but were out of luck when Steve Oliver’s header hit the bar.
The second half was only seconds old when Alex Hartley’s shot from the edge of the area whistled passed the Caton goal.
Jonathan Boadle made it 2-0 following another defensive howler as he was allowed to go round the keeper and score with ease.
Caton’s reply was again instant, this time Mark Burkitt hitting the bar only for it to go safe.
It did not take Boadle long before he scored his second. Again, poor marking allowed him the space he needed.
In the last minute Alex Hartley scored the goal he fully deserved as Ingleton won the first of the six pointers.
Bentham moved into joint second place after overcoming Slyne-with-Hest in a game of two halves.
Bentham scorers were Thomas Burns and goal machine James Earnshaw with Miles Manley scoring for Slyne-with-Hest.
Swarthmoor Social Club won their first game of the season, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 against Morecambe Royals.
Stuart Talbot gave Morecambe Royals the lead, only for Swarthmoor to hit back through Mike Webster and Jamie Lawson.
In Division One, Boys’ Club had the chance to go top of the division when they entertained bottom team and pointless Cartmel Reserves.
Boys’ Club played well enough in the first half to lead at the break by a single Damien Murphy goal.
The second half saw Cartmel Reserves get more into the game and they equalised when the old fox Brian Lowery beat the keeper.
This inspired the young Cartmel side to put more pressure on Boys’ Club and it paid dividends when Lowery scored his second to make it 2-1.
It looked as though this would win the game for the bottom team until with just minutes remaining Rikki Humpage saved his side with his first goal of the season.
Cartmel can thank their keeper for their first point of the season after a fantastic performance.
Freehold had to battle hard for a point against a much improving Grange side that are still finding their feet in the division after winning promotion.
Freehold were often thwarted by the excellent Grange defence, ably led by their two young centre backs that dealt with anything that Freehold threw at them.
Although both sides did have chances, a draw was probably the fairest result.
Morecambe Royals Reserves, after struggling to find fit players to field a team, resorted to youngsters against Millhead.
They fielded some 16 and 17-year-old players who did not let them down.
The first half was disappointing for them as they just could not cope with the stronger and more experienced Millhead players and found themselves trailing at half-time 2-0 after Bradley Shuttleworth and Michael Reghilini scored.
The second half was much better for the Royals’ players as they started to believe in themselves.
Although the bigger Millhead side deserved to win, they knew they had been in a game in the second half as the Royals had chances, the nearest they got to scoring was when they hit the bar.
Trimpell are emerging as serious title contenders after romping to an 8-2 win over newly promoted Heysham.
After a couple of early Trimpell goals by Andy Forbes and Paul Dewhirst the game was over as a contest.
Trimpell ran out easy winners with further goals scored by Graham Cassidy (2), Forbes, his second, Mark Pike, Andy Turner and Paul Rose.