AFTER five defeats in five games Billinge returned to winning ways with a fine 3-1 victory over Poynton at Barrows Farm on Saturday.

The win saw The Storks leapfrog Poynton into fourth place and restore optimism around the village.

It was a superb game of football - that Poynton played their part in - and was a terrific advert for the Cheshire League Premier Division.

Billinge took the game to the visitors as early as the third minute when Kyle Ross and Jake Ball combined superbly on the right as the marauding full-back Ball forced a corner.

The resultant corner came to nothing but five minutes later the second corner of the game saw Poynton’s keeper Jake O’Regan save Daryl McCartney’s on-target header.

On ten minutes Poynton’s Carl McCurrie had a great chance to put his team ahead but the centre-forward hit his shot wide with just Tom Darbyshire to beat in the Billinge nets.

The same player was denied a further chance on 14 minutes when Ball made a terrific tackle on the edge of the box, then three minutes later Poynton’s Sam Morris headed wide from a corner.

On 22 minutes The Storks were ahead when a quick-thinking Jamie Anderson found Phil Dearden with a long free kick.

The prolific attacker advanced forward, calmly took the ball around O’Regan before finishing from an acute angle to keep him at the top of the Premier Division goalscoring charts.

The goal gave Billinge renewed confidence and they kept the ball well for the next ten minutes - without creating much.

In fact the next chance came on 35 minutes and fell to Poynton’s McCurrie who scuffed his shot when 15 yards out.

The Storks response was immediate when Ryan Platt sent a superb ball into Dearden’s path but the striker had miss-timed his run and was adjudged to be offside.

Poynton’s Matt Toole then had two shots in quick succession but both went high and wide before Liam Bowden almost doubled Billinge’s lead on 43 minutes.

The hardworking striker beat two defenders before unleashing a shot that O’Regan saved; the rebound looped up and back to Bowden but his header hit the upright and fell to safety.

The second period started slowly but on 54 minutes Dearden tested the Poynton keeper with a header and then skipper Chris Cottington had a 25-yard shot saved by O’Regan.

On the hour mark Richie Allen played a lovely ball inside for Shaun Brady whose shot from a narrow angle produced a superb save from O’Regan.

A moment later a Cottington free-kick came to nothing then on 65 minutes Platt played a great ball down the line for Dearden whose first time cross narrowly evaded the onrushing Ross.

On 67 minutes Platt showed his defensive qualities clearing a Poynton before Darbyshire had to be at his best to deny Jay Burgess and Poynton an equaliser.

Dearden then played substitute Jon Redmond in who squared the ball to Allen who shot wide when he should have done better.

Redmond was again the provider when he headed on to Dearden who put Ross in but the wide man’s shot came back off the woodwork.

On 70 minutes Poynton were level when The Storks failed to clear the ball; Jake Wright picked up the loose ball, cut inside and slotted past Darbyshire to make it 1-1.

Seven minutes later Poynton had a great chance to go ahead when referee Felipe Morais adjusted that McCartney had fouled McCurrie in the box.

It looked a soft decision but Burgess stepped up to take the penalty kick.

His effort hit the post, rebounded to him and he finished at the second attempt however as nobody else had touched the ball he was offside and the ‘goal’ was correctly disallowed.

This galvanised the Billinge players and they took the game to the Cheshire outfit and on 81 minutes they were ahead when Brady turned superbly then lobbed over a packed six yard to produce a wonder goal and put The Storks 2-1 ahead.

Six minutes later Billinge wrapped up the points with another tremendous strike; this time from debutant Josh Parry.

The striker making his debut had only been on the pitch five minutes when Dearden found him with a lovely pass from the hallway line.

Parry took the ball forward and with men waiting for the cross he simply let fire from the edge of the area and found the top corner of the net to give Billinge a vital three points.

After the game The Storks leading scorer Phil Dearden said, “We desperately needed the victory.

“I said in the dressing room before the game that a draw was no good and we certainly deserved the victory.

“As players it’s now up to us to take this form into our next game and for the remainder of the season.”

That next game is a local Derby when Pilkington are the visitors to Barrows Farm.

Kick-off is 2pm for what promises to be a hard-fought match with lots more than bragging points up for grabs