A Chisanga “Tangy” Nshindano hat-trick helped Handsworth Old Boys to victory over the CBC Premier leaders Civil Service to blow the title race wide open.
And Scott Birch scored twice as Stocksbridge Park Steels got back into the title race by securing their fourth clean sheet away from home to hand Bulls Head a fourth successive defeat.
Nshindano put Handsworth 1-0 with a penalty after Gaz Griffiths brought down Carter Mupwaya but another spot-kick saw Service level after a push on skipper ben Brown, Gavin Wills converting.
Handsworth were quicker to the ball at the start of the second half and regained the lead when Nshindano outpaced the defence to score his second. He completed his hat-trick when he beat two defenders before rifling the ball into the roof of the net.
Service now put on the pressure and made numerous chances, going closest when Griffiths’ shot came back off the bar. But Handsworth were well worth the three points that lifted them out of the drop zone.
Stocksbridge Park Steels are now only five points behind the leaders with a game in hand after an impressive 4-0 victory at Bulls Head, who have dropped out of the title race. Bulls Head started well and only good defending and some firm goalkeeping by Steven Marshall kept them at bay.
But Steels took control, John McSeveney after Mitchell Savage’s free kick was parried, Scott Birch heading their second on his return to the side, adding his second with an expert finish afrter Savage’s cross before John Beggs beat two men and rifled home from 20 yards.
A Joe McGuiness double helped Brinsworth Whitehill destroy Fox & Hounds unbeaten home record with a 6-2 victory to move up to third. McGuinness’s pair and a Danny Willis strike made it 3-0 after 15 minutes.
Ross Johnson, Lewis Watson and Mikey Hare completed the Brinsworth tally, Fox replying with an unstoppable shot from Matt Jebson and Harry ONeill’s tenth of the season.
Norton Oaks A stayed top after recovering froma Lewis Grist solo effort to beat fellow promotion challengers Players Lounge Athletic 3-1. Players had a second effort disallowed for offside before Norton took charge. Danny Reet chipped over two defenders before running on to it and drilling the ball past the keeper for the first. A terrific free kick by Sam Ireland and a tap home by his brother Billy completed the scoring.
Seventeen-year-old Aaron Lamb netted his first senior goal with the last goal of the game as title favourites Oughtibridge WM kept their perfect away record going in a 3-1 victory at Loxley. Oughtibridge opened the scoring with a clinical finish by Danny Clinton. James Baker headed the second before John Rhodes volleyed home.
John Higgins scored from the spot to send Intake Old Boys on their way to a 2-0 victory over a Phoenix side that started the day at the top of Division Two, but finished it in third place. Tom Gabbitas fired home the second.
Now top is Crookes & District after Matt Cowen hit six and Chris Cottyn and Rob Acheson three each to help them to their biggest ever victory, 13-0 at FC Spartak.Johnnie Butler got the other.
The Pheasant went second as they came from behind to beat promotion rivals Steelers 5-2. An own goal gifted The Pheasant the lead, but Steelers levelled with Blake Owen’s 19th of the season then went in front with a Kaiden Simpson strike. Pheasant’ turn to to turn the game on its head again as Carl Andrews headed powerfully home to equalise, before Dylan Parrott made a surging run to finish into the top corner. They extended that lead after the break when Shane Andrews took Sam Barker’s pass in his stride and rounded the keeper to score his 12th of the season, before Craig Mahwood completed the scoring with a searing drive.