Hot-shot Brazier bags three as Miners reach the summit
JACKS of all trades Miners Arms have climbed to the top of the Premier table thanks to a hockey-playing hat-trick hero and a keeper come goal-scorer come manager.
Mark Brazier bagged three to set his side on their way to a win over Foaming Quart, then left with 25 minutes to go to play in goal for Leek in the Conference North hockey league.
Andrew Piekarcyzk, Simon Gordon, Will Brazier and schoolboy Kyle Sherratt were also on target as Miners, in his absence, wrapped up a 7-2 victory.
Their eighth win on the spin, which sees the Milton side go a point clear of Bignall End, was masterminded by Dane Jackson.
Jackson plays in goal himself for Hanley Town on Saturdays in the Staffs County Senior League, but wakes up the following morning with a player-manager's cap on.
He has an oft-changing outfield role for Miners, with a José Luis Chilavert flair for free-kicks that has helped him find the net 10 times in all this campaign.
Club secretary Bob Williams suggests Jackson has worked wonders ... but knows his team face a mammoth challenge to hold onto pole position.
"We would have to win every game to stay at the top and I think that's virtually impossible," said Williams.
"Chell Heath Knave have got a great squad even if they might have to play on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the fixtures pile up.
"Gardeners Arms are very strong and Bignall End are a great team so we cannot afford to drop points.
"If we can pick up second place we will be very happy considering the size of our squad compared to the others ... and our lads like to enjoy their weekends."
Chell Heath may sit seventh, 10 points off the pace, but they have six games in hand on the leaders – and they beat Waggon 7-1 on Sunday.
Adam Sawyer, Carl Mountford and Kieron Ball all grabbed braces and Lee Cropper completed the misery for Waggon, who stay second bottom.
Thomas Moores' two goals helped Castle Borough win 3-2 at Trent Tavern to go fourth, while Steve Ecclestone smashed in four as Cobridge Community won 5-1 at Vine Inn.
Gardeners, the only unbeaten team in the top flight, won a Premier Cup semi-final battle of the giants against Bignall 2-0 with goals from Lee Williamson and Tom Madden.
Blurton WMC booked their place in the last four of the Bill Slater League Cup by finally ending third division Vodafone Stoke's great run.
Steve Mellor got two in a 3-2 victory which sets Blurton up for a semi-final against Miners.
Crown Red Street made it six wins on the trot in Division One as they trounced Biddulph FC 8-0. Andrew Timmis bagged a hat-trick which sends his side five points clear.
Steve Brannan (3), Nick Ward (2) and Ryan Miszkiel (2) put pacesetters Darcys, from Fenton, on their way to a 10-0 romp over Meir Knocks in Division Two.
Bradeley sit two points behind after beating Stoke Vans Chesterton 3-2 with goals from John Deacon, Andy Teague and Liam Knight.
AFC Smallthorne edged back to the top of Division Three with a 2-1 win at Plaza and 10-man AFC Moorlands stay top in Division Four after a 1-0 win over Canal Tavern.
Rory Raine scored five as Biddulph Arms beat Royal Oak 10-0.