UPTON AA rang in the New Year on a positive note, after they pulled off a superb 3-2 victory at fourth placed Mossley Hill Athletic.

The club currently occupying bottom spot in the Carlsberg West Cheshire League's Division One have struggled for most of the season but announced their intentions to retain their top flight status after efforts from Chris Melia, Nathan Mapletoft and Henry Nicholson secured Saturday's win.

Charlie Opare and Paul Pearson netted for the hosts.

At Jericho Lane, the points were shared after goals from South Liverpool's Gary Pollard, Craig Williams and Louis Fay were negated by replies from West Kirby's Mike McGraa (2) and Chris Bowe.

Leaders Maghull drew 18 points clear at the top thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 result at Southport Trinity. Colin McDonald and Jamie McGrane obliged for the victors, with Sam Garbett in reply for Trinity.

In Division Two, despite goals from Carl Rendell (2) and Ian Cox, Helsby's promotion hopes were dented after they suffered a 4-3 defeat at Gateacre Village. An Ian Lewis hat-trick was supplemented by a Joe Connolly effort, as the hosts moved to within three points of current leaders Capenhurst Villa.

Dan Grace was another hat-trick star who shone for Marshalls in their 3-0 eclipse of Bebington Athletic, but a goal from Squeak Clarkson failed to prevent Willaston from losing 2-1 at Redgate Rovers. Ben Helme and Graham Hill found the net for Rovers.

Respective scorers in West Kirby Reserves’ 2-2 stalemate with Maghull Reserves were Mike Bowe (2), Mike Cummins and Chris Nation. Division Three leaders Rainhill Town kept their noses in front in the race for promotion after a solitary effort from Danny Leather decided a close contest at Kirkby Town Railway.

It was a similar story for nearest rivals Ford Motors who profited when Paul Bathgate bagged the game's only goal at Widnes Vikings Reserves.

Two goals from Jack McGovern and one from Tom Cowperthwaite helped Belfry to a 3-3 draw with Upton AA Reserves who responded via Steve Rowland, Luke Quest and Alex Smith.

Hale Reserves' 4-2 decision over Marshalls Reserves was confirmed by goals from Jack Walker (2), Colin Mee and Anthony Terry, while Sammy Adams (2), Neil Hodgson and Paul Wilson netted for South Liverpool Reserves in their 4-0 victory at Merseyside Police.

Saturday's Youth Division action saw Bootle Youth regain pole position after they won 2-0 against West Kirby Youth, courtesy of a goal apiece from Luke McKeown Steve Clarke.

On the county scene, congratulations to Vauxhall Motors Reserves who progressed to the Cheshire County FA Amateur Cup semi-finals after goals from Kynan Mason and Tom Craig clinched a 2-0 result over rival Division One club Mallaby.