MIDDLEWICH Town slumped to their heaviest defeat of the campaign to date when they were hit for six by Pilkington.

The Witches trailed inside a minute when Adam Dixon curled in an opener before Jamie Petrie’s effort struck the crossbar.

Luke Sephton then doubled the home team’s lead after Deklan Hill’s cross reached Matty Taylor at the far post and he directed the ball back across goal.

Callum Barry’s header from a corner made it 3-0 before Taylor drilled into the bottom corner to worsen Town’s woe.

James Smith pulled a goal back when he cut inside from the left after collecting Michael Whitehead’s throw but Barry claimed a second – identical in execution to his first – as the St Helens side replied quickly.

Graham Boylan teed up Sephton to complete the scoring and leave Middlewich without a Premier Division victory in their past nine attempts.

Lostock Gralam suffered a first reverse in League One since August when they succumbed to Vulcan in a fixture switched to their own Park Stadium.

The visitors led 2-0 inside 10 minutes thanks to goals from Gary Crook and Mike Winer, on both occasions assisted by Ryan Davies.

Dom Johnson and Dean Jones, the Grey Lambs’ management duo, responded by sending on Liam Collins and Jack Woolley as substitutes and the latter halved the home team’s arrears with his first touch.

However they could not conjure an equaliser and a remarkable 17-match unbeaten run – including wins in the previous dozen outings – came to an end.

Cuddington held on to second spot in League Two after recovering from 2-0 down to earn draw from their home date with Cheadle Town’s reserves.

Adam Gardiner scored twice for the visitors, one of them a successful penalty, before captain Nathan Harwood found the net direct from a free-kick.

He hauled the hosts level when he too converted a spot-kick.

Fast-improving Winnington Avenue 1994 closed a gap to those in front of them when they completed a double over Club AZ.

Craig Humphries’ hat-trick was a highlight of their 5-1 win at Moss Farm, where they started slowly after ending a fortnight’s wait to play.

Craig Smith and Ste Warburton netted too and Lewis Wood’s side rise to fifth in the table.

“It didn’t take long to shake the rust off,” said the manager afterwards.

“We came out for the second-half all guns blazing and go into an important cup clash next week full of confidence and raring to go.”

Kyle Maddock bagged a brace for Middlewich’s reserves in a five-goal hammering of their Moore counterparts in the Reserves Division.

Elliot Goryl, Daniel Martin and substitute Matthew Wakefield also added their names to the score-sheet.


Cheshire League

Saturday, January 26

Premier Division: Altrincham res 4-0 Billinge; Crewe 7-2 Greenalls PSO; Daten 4-1 Congleton Vale; FC St Helens 3-1 Egerton; Knutsford 1-0 Malpas; Pilkington 6-1 Middlewich.

League One: Blacon 5-2 Moore; Buxton res 0-0 Golborne; Garswood 1-4 Ford Motors; Lostock Gralam 1-2 Vulcan; Styal 3-0 Grappenhall; Winstanley 2-4 Orford.

League Two: Cuddington 2-2 Cheadle Town res; Sandbach Utd res 2-2 Ashton Town res; Winnington Ave 1994 5-1 Club AZ.

Reserves Division: Greenalls PSO 0-6 Broadheath Central; Middlewich 5-0 Moore; Orford 0-1 Winstanley; Pilkington 2-3 Eagle.