Middlewich Town 3-2 Poynton

MIDDLEWICH Town demonstrated their resilience last weekend to play with 10 men for half an hour and holding off a recovery by their resurgent opponents.

The Witches’ reward is to move four points clear at the Cheshire League’s Premier Division summit ahead of a head-to-head with Pilkington at Seddon Street on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.

They started swiftly against Poynton and took the lead when Harry Short found the net directly from a corner.

And they moved further in front when Marcin Manko chipped the visitors’ goalkeeper after running clear.

He volleyed high too before James Smith’s attempt whizzed past an upright.

Their dominance was reflected in the interval score-line when Short was alert to head a bouncing ball over Poynton’s custodian after defenders hesitated.

The visitors, as Middlewich had been earlier, were fast out of the blocks in the second-half and Jay Burgess hammered in a loose ball to reduce their arrears.

He then converted a penalty, making it 3-2, after Joe Coombs was judged to have impeded an opponent by referee Graham Kearney.

Callum Priestley was then shown a red card as punishment for being cautioned a second time, although Town attacked when they could.

Short’s volley from close-range was kept out by the goalkeeper and Middlewich breathed a sigh of relief when Poynton twice struck the woodwork with attempts to equalise.

“We were made to work extremely hard,” said co-manager Michael Welch.

“We still have areas we can improve in but the effort and commitment over the past few weeks has been fantastic.”