ELMO'S Celtic faced probably their toughest challenge to date this season in facing Sneyd FC in the quarter-final of the Sentinel Sunday Cup. At stake was a semi-final home tie against Six Towns.
Sneyd currently sit third in the Potteries & District League Premier Division, having won seven and drawn two of their opening 11 games.
Sneyd started the brighter and took the lead through Mike Machin, with a cheeky lob from 20 yards out that beat Elmos goalkeeper Matt Bowcock.
Chris Boast doubled Sneyd's lead with a stunning 25-yard drive into the top left hand corner.
Elmo's came back into the game through Jamie Pointon who went through on goal and smashed the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
Elmo's grew in confidence and played some decent football but were caught out by a long throw that was headed in by Boast. Elmo's looked down and out when Mike Machin tapped into an empty net to make it 4-1.
A free kick from Matty Anderson was headed in by Mitch Shenton to make it 4-2 going into the break.
The second half was filled with controversy as nine Sneyd players were booked as they seemed to lose their composure despite having the lead. It was another set-piece that caught Elmo's out, when Boast was left unmarked to complete his hat-trick with a free header.
The game was the put beyond Elmo's reach when Machin scored, following a neat flick that beat the goalkeeper, to make it 6-2.
Elmos scored a consolation goal through Jamie Pointon with 10 minutes remaining.
The Subsidiary Cup saw Group B leaders AFC Dyers face a tricky away game a Railway Inn at Congleton.
Dyers and Railway played out a 2-2 draw earlier in the league, so it was anticipated that this was going to be another closely-fought game.
Railway started the brighter of the two teams and should have perhaps scored within the first minute as Dyers were caught sleeping.
This was just the near miss required to spring Dyers into action, as they quickly took control of the game – but wasted numerous chances.
Dyers eventually the lead after 10 minutes from a corner headed back across goal by Dan Evans for player-manager Dan Johnson to head home from six yards out.
This opened the game up and both teams had chances to score before Ben Wilde levelled for Railway after 24 minutes.
Dyers responded by pushing higher up the pitch. The change in tactics resulted in leading scorer Andy Graham calmly lobbing over the Railway keeper, after being put through by Ben White. Wilde got his and Railway's second goal of the game to level the score going into half-time.
The second half brought some forced changes for Railway due to injuries, and their reshuffle seemed to unsettle their fluent passing game.
Neither side looked like scoring until substitute Tapiwa Sibanda picked up the ball on the right wing and jinked his way past the entire Railway defence to give Dyers the lead.
The last 15 minutes saw both sides push forward in search of more goals but neither could find the back of the net again.
In the only league game to be played, Hare & Gate Strollers played hosts to Leek Snooker Centre.
With both teams having played fewer games than most other teams, it was a chance for both to play catch-up.
In a closely-fought game between two evenly match sides, it was Snooker Centre who took the lead after 34 minutes, through Lee Bailey.
In the following eight minutes, Strollers' top goal scorer Tony Hulse equalised and Ian Hicks then gave Strollers the lead going into half -time.
The second half saw Snooker Centre continue to prove a match for their opponents as they continued to press forward, and they were rewarded for their efforts as Phil Nolan drew them level.
However, Matt Knight restored Strollers' lead four minutes later.
Although Snooker Centre should have got something from the game, Strollers hit them on the break with a minute remaining, David Bailey putting an end to any hopes of a comeback.
As a result, Strollers moved up one place to seventh in the league and have Vale Hoppers, Bayern Red Lion and Wellington all within catching distance.
Elmos Celtic 3 Sneyd 6
Hare & Gate Strollers 4 Leek Snooker Centre 2
Railway Inn 2 AFC Dyers 3
Sunday Challenge Trophy, quarter-final
Leek Snooker Centre v Silverdale Vine (Steven Tuck, Jonathon Stickland, David Richards)
Macclesfield Cup, quarter-final
Pack Horse v Valiant (tbc)
J W Howson Cup
Elmos Celtic v Wellington (Andy Grindey)
AFC Dyers Arms v Waterhouses (Anthony Knight), Vale Hoppers v Biddulph Town Diamonds (Neil Proctor),
Hare & Gate Strollers v Railway Inn (Alex Perkin), Bayern Red Lion v Wellington United (Jack Birch).