By James Hiley

North West Counties Football League First Division Cup

AFC Blackpool 0

Ellesmere Rangers 2

Ellesmere Rangers visited England’s famous seaside town and left having advanced to the next round of the cup with a 2-0 win.

Goals either side of half-time from Adam Davies and Seth Ellis secured Rangers’ second win in four games.

They are now in the hat for the next round of the draw along with fellow North West Counties League Division One South sides, including Sandbach United and Cheadle Heath Nomads.

Both sides started well with the hosts testing Ellesmere goalkeeper Richard Cowderoy with a high cross.

Ellesmere pushed back, driving into their opponents’ half, but the hosts came back at them.

Charlie Fletcher and Levi Hunter made some crucial tackles early on at the back to keep the score at 0-0.

After 15 minutes, Blackpool had a well-struck long-range effort saved by Cowderoy before his clearing kick landed perfectly for Adam Davies, who went through on goal but shot narrowly wide.

Blackpool keeper Jonnie Bradstock was in action at the other end of the pitch shortly afterwards as he pulled off a good save of his own to deny James Durman’s headed effort.

Ellesmere were close to taking the lead again moments later when Jack Briscoe sent an effort inches over the bar, before Jamie Hyne’s effort went close to finding the target.

Rangers were rewarded for their persistence however when they finally broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark.

Davies broke through and rounded off a Rangers attack to put his side a goal up.

The visitors held their lead until the break and returned to the pitch looking to put the game beyond doubt.

Hyne had another attempt saved early into the half as Ellesmere came out putting a lot of pressure on the home team’s defence.

Despite several attacks from the hosts, Ellesmere did well to keep them at bay with some solid defending.

It wasn’t long before they doubled their lead when captain Ellis made it 2-0 with 20 minutes left on the clock.

A defence-splitting pass by Hunter was met by Ellis who found the net to put daylight between themselves and the opposition.

Blackpool continued to put the Ellesmere defence under pressure but could not find the back of the net.

The remainder of the fixture was played out in the middle of the pitch with neither side creating any clear-cut chances.

Rangers held onto their clean sheet and sent themselves through to the next round of the cup.

Elsewhere in the cup, Carlisle City won 11-2 against Eccleshall, including four goals apiece for Marc Shiel and Robert McCartney.

Sandbach United knocked out fellow Division One South side Alsager Town with a 2-0 away win, while Cheadle Heath Nomads also knocked out a Division One South side in Wythenshawe Amateurs after an 86th minute winner scored by Kieran Herbert.

Avro won 2-0 away from home to send Rylands out of the cup, while Garstang and Bacup Borough reached the next round after wins on penalties.

Ellesmere Rangers’ next game takes place on Saturday when they travel to face second in the table Rylands, as they look for another league win.

West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division Wem Town 1

Bilston Town

Community 0

Wem TOWN picked up an important win on the weekend despite being reduced to 10 men for part of the afternoon.

Town took all three points after their victory over mid-table side Bilston Town Community coming as the side’s fifth win of the season,

The hosts were reduced to 10 men when their goalkeeper was dismissed, however they still managed to make it to full-time with a one-goal advantage to take home the win.

Wem remain in 18th place, five points clear of the bottom two teams, knowing that they also have a game in hand.

They next face mid-table Cradley Town away on Saturday, December 1, before they face a tough game against Haughmond on Saturday, December 8.

Bottom placed Pershore Town 88 picked up their second win of the season to keep themselves within touching distance of those above them near the bottom of the table.

Pershore won 2-1 over Hereford Lads Club.

Second from bottom Pegasus Juniors lost 2-0 at home to Wolverhampton Casuals, meaning they are only one point ahead of bottom place.

At the top of the table, Tividale kept up their good run of form with a 1-0 away win over AFC Bridgnorth.

They now sit 13 points clear of second placed Black Country Rangers, who won 4-0 over Wellington on the weekend.

Haughmond kept pressure on the top two sides with a 2-1 away win over Shifnal Town.

Wednesfield won 2-0 over Bewdley Town to claim their 10th win of the season and move up to sixth.

Dudley Town shared the points in their game with Shawbury United with a 1-1 draw.

The remaining game saw Malvern Town move up to fifth place after winning 3-0 away at Smethwick Rangers.

Malpas picked up a much-needed win in The Cheshire Football League Premier Division with victory against Crewe.

They won 1-0 over the 15th placed side, closing the gap at the bottom of the table to just one point.

It was Malpas’ third win of the season after 18 games.

Their next game takes place on Saturday when they host 14th placed Denton Town, with Malpas knowing that a win would lift them off the bottom of the table.

Elsewhere in the table, Altrincham Reserves moved top with a 4-0 away win at Pilkington to claim their 10th win of the season.

Middlewich Town missed out on the chance to keep a three-point lead at the top of the table after they suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Daten.

Billinge moved to fourth place with a 3-1 win over Poynton to keep pressure on the league leaders.

Eagle Sports stay third despite a 3-2 loss at Egerton.

Congleton VR won 1-0 away at mid-table FC St Helens.

Greenalls Padgate St Oswalds and Whaley Bridge Athletic shared six goals in a 3-3 draw.

The remaining scheduled fixture between Denton Town and Knutsford was postponed.

Prees United were without a game last weekend and are not expected to return to action until mid-December.

The side last played on Saturday, November 17 when they beat Albrighton Men 3-0.

United next play Gobowen Celtic at home on Saturday, December 15.

Celtic took three points and local bragging rights in their Saturday fixture after a comfortable 5-2 win over St Martins Village.

They now sit fifth with 18 points while, St Martins Village remain on eight points in ninth place.

Shrewsbury Juniors’ fixture with Albrighton Men scheduled for last weekend was postponed, meaning they missed their chance to go ahead of league leaders Stoke Heath.

The only other fixture that went ahead in the Shropshire Premier Division on the weekend saw Madeley Sports host Oakengates Rangers Youth.

Madeley moved up to fourth place with a 2-1 win.

The bottom of the table clash between Donnington and Brown Clee was postponed.