Midlands Regional Alliance Round-up
For the first time in 2014 the wet weather abated sufficiently for the majority of the weekend’s Midlands Regional Alliance fixture programme to go ahead.
While there were no Premier Division matches taking place, several top flight sides were in Challenge Cup Fourth Round action.
Pick of the round came at Rowsley ’86, where despite leading 1-0 at the break through Sam Hoskin, the hosts eventually exited the competition at the hands of Derby Rolls Royce Leisure.
Kirk McCalla levelled for Gary Hamson’s men before Ash Foster settled the tie with a stunning free-kick late on.
Matlock Sports returned empty-handed from the long journey to Newhall United despite matching the hosts for much of the tie.
A magnificent long range goal from James Ward put Newhall into an early lead, with Ashley Riddell doubling the advantage midway through the first-half.
However, it was a different story after the interval as Matlock held the upper hand only to be frustrated by Newhall keeper Simon Baldwin before eventually pulling a goal back through Dan Brown five minutes from time.
That set up a nervy finish before Ward grabbed his second of the game deep in injury-time to put victory beyond doubt for the hosts.
Meanwhile, Shardlow St James progressed in the Junior Cup Competition with a 2-0 win over Matlock Town CFA courtesy of goals from Adam Martin and Danny Prance.
A 3-1 win at Derby Singh Brothers enabled Rowsley ’86 Reserves to claim top spot in Division One after former leaders Wirksworth Ivanhoe suffered a surprise 2-0 home defeat against lowly Punjab United.
James Wood (2) and Jason Williams were on target for new leaders Rowsley.
Ambergate missed out on the chance to go top after a 4-3 loss at Derby Rolls Royce Leisure Reserves, for whom Marek Smith grabbed a hat-trick.
In Division Two it was all square between Ambergate Reserves and Sandiacre Town Reserves at a goal apiece, while a 2-1 win for Wirksworth Town Reserves at Roe Farm saw them climb up to fourth.