Loan watch - Eden excels for Mossley
ROUND-UP BY JOHN EDWARDS
1874 Northwich 0 Mossley 1
Eden Bailey was singled out for praise by Mossley's manager after helping keep alive their play-off hopes in the Pitching In Northern Premier League West Division with an all-action display at Townfield.
Restored to his favoured central striking role after filling in on the wing the previous week, the Alty frontunner was a constant thorn in Northwich's side from the moment he tested the home keeper with a smart snapshot in only the 12th minute.
The Northwich keeper did well to claim a free-kick by former Alty favourite Nicky Clee under pressure from Eden two minutes later, and when the Robins prospect's persistence won a corner in the 19th minute, it led to a bout of sustained pressure that almost produced an opening goal.
There was no stopping the visitors just before half-time, as Kai Payne made it 1-0, and the home team's fate was pretty much sealed when they again struggled to cope with Eden's movement early in the second half.
The Alty livewire burst clear and was heading for a one-on-one with the keeper until being hauled down from behind, a cynical intervention that earned the guilty defender a straight red card and left Northwich playing out the remaining half-hour with 10 men.
Eden was clattered again in the 69th minute but showed a commendable ability to absorb any knocks as, undeterred by his opponents' physical attentions, he went close again seconds later with another shot that was saved.
Reflecting on another impressive 90 minutes from the on-loan forward, Mossley boss David Fish said: 'Eden never stopped running and deserved a goal for all the graft he put in. I'm sure he would have had one, too, but for being hauled back when he was through - I'd have backed him to score if he hadn't been fouled.
'He did a job for us last week, but he is more of a nine. He never gives defenders a second's rest. He's strong, decent in the air, quick and his movement is good - he's got pretty much everything you look for in a centre-forward, and he was a big part in our win today.'
Spennymoor Town 1 Brackley Town 1
Zak Goodson went straight in to Spennymoor's starting line-up, along with fellow-debutant AJ Greaves, and the pair wasted no time introducing themselves to the home crowd at the Brewery Field.
Just seconds into this Vanarama National League North encounter, Greaves won a tackle in midfield and sent Zak bearing down on goal, the Alty youngster appearing to be brought down as he rounded the keeper, only for the referee to wave away Spennymoor penalty appeals.
Brackley went ahead in the 17th minute, but the home side almost replied just four minutes later when Zak forced the ball home only to be denied by an offside flag.
The Alty frontrunner combined well with a team-mate and unleashed a rising drive that just cleared the bar in the 34th minute, and he played a part in an equaliser that came in first-half added time.
Cleverly beating a close marker on he edge of the area, Zak had his feet whipped from under him for a free-kick that was curled into the top corner in spectacular fashion by Joe Tait.
Spennymoor went in search of a winner in he second half and almost came up with one in the 58th minute when the ball was played in to Zak, whose goalbound effort was blocked and scrambled clear.
'The two new boys did ever so well,' said Moors boss Jason Ainsley. 'Zak had a great effort in the first half and put in a hell of a shift overall. He's actually disappointed in there, but I said to him he's only just met the lads today. It's the first time he's been here, in amongst us all - he did well and will only get better.'
Bradford (Park Avenue) 1 Buxton 4
Buxton continued to go from strength to strength, and Brad Jackson was again a prominent figure, as they made it three straight wins and 14 games unbeaten in the National League North.
Brad was the instigator of Buxton's first threat on goal in the 13th minute, with an incisive pass that opened up a clear run towards the Bradford area for Joe Ackroyd, whose claims that he was impeded inside the box fell on deaf ears as the referee waved play on.
The visitors stepped up the pressure with a long-range special from Brad that the keeper only saved at the second attempt in the 38th minute, but the breakthrough followed three minutes later as they went in 1-0 up at half-time.
Bradford equalised from the penalty spot in the 51st minute, but the Bucks soon restored their lead when Brad advanced down the right and crossed for former Alty midfielder Connor Kirby to head home.
That was in the 58th minute, and, 10 minutes later, Alty's on-loan winger was putting his own name on the scoresheet, rather than helping someone else add theirs, as he cut in and beat the keeper from 25 yards.
A fourth followed in the 84th minute for a Buxton side who are looking up the table and are now just four points behind both sixth-placed Chorley and seventh-placed Scarborough Athletic after their outstanding recent run.
Alsager Town 1 Barnton 2
There continues to be plenty of Alty interest in the fortunes of Alsager in the North West Counties League Division One South, with so many Robins players having loan spells there, and this latest fixture was no exception.
Keeper Ryan Forde, right-back Ewan McGeady and forwards Ryan Morton and Lewis Billingsley were all in the Bullets' starting line-up, while winger Dion Siboko Bohe was among the substitutes.
Ryan Forde may well feel aggrieved at conceding twice, as he could do nothing about either goal and was scarcely called into action the remainder of the game, though he could derive some satisfaction from the way he again distributed the ball flawlessly.
Ewan once more looked accomplished in possession and delivered a series of telling crosses, while Lewis stood out in the first half, playing in the 10 role, as did Ryan Morton, whose pace and direct style in a wide position tormented the full-back facing him.
After Barnton went down to 10 men in the second half, Alsager were left to rue not ensuring Ryan saw more of the ball, after switching him to the main striker role, though he still almost grabbed an equaliser near the end.
Vauxhall Motors 1 Irlam 0
Alty youngster Owen German was in the starting line-up for an Irlam side who could count themselves unfortunate to finish empty-handed away to title contenders Vauxhall Motors in the North West Counties League Premier Division.
*Alty defender Joe Cooney was on the bench for Northwich Victoria as they lifted the Mid Cheshire Senior Cup with a 3-0 win over Winsford United in the final. Forward Sharif Deans wasn't selected for Widnes' 0-0 draw at Ramsbottom United, while striker Matty Sumner missed Alsager's defeat due to a slight hamstring problem and centre-back Jake Cooper was omitted from Darlington's 0-0 draw at Kettering Town because of 'a groin niggle', according to Quakers manager Alun Armstrong.