MACE FC Under-21s wrote their name into the history books when they played in the first ever game in the inaugural Bolton, Bury and District Under-21 League.

Playing against Moss Bank at Atherton Collieries’ Alder House ground, the Mace youngsters scored the league’s first-ever goal and claimed its first victory when they beat the Bolton side 3-1 with goals from Kyle Walsh, James Dean and Harry King last Thursday.

The newly-formed league has been set-up by the Bolton, Bury and District Football League and former Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies to help youngsters make the transition into adult football.

“We are delighted that Mace FC Under-21s did us proud with a great performance and result,” said club secretary Paul Hilton.

“It was an historic game for the league and an historic game for us to be in. To have won it the way we did with some quality goals was brilliant.”

A penalty from Walsh, following a foul on Dean, gave Mace an early lead but Moss Bank equalised midway through the half.

Mace were rewarded for their positive approach when Dean curled an effort into the top corner just before the break after good work from King.

The Mace defence stood firm under pressure in the second half and man-of-the-match King sealed the victory with a 70-yard volley in the final minute of the game.

“We played some great football against an older Moss Bank team,” said Hilton.

“They got a bit more into it in the second half but we just held firm and could have scored more.

“James’ crafted individual goal looked like it was going to be the winner but then Harry just blew everyone away.

“At 2-1 down they were aiming to get back into the game but he just brought the ball down and volleyed it home just like Beckham. It was a stunning strike.”

It has been a busy summer for Mace with the club agreeing a new shirt and ground sponsorship with the Radcliffe branch of Co-operative Funeralcare and moving back home to Radcliffe after securing a deal on a new ground.

For the past 15 years, Mace have faced a 30-mile round trip to play their home games at the University Ground in Wythenshawe. But following a year of negotiations, Hilton was able to secure Cams Lane as the club’s new home.

The former AFC Bury ground benefits from parking, changing facilities and a fenced pitch.

“We’ve been looking to come home for a while and I’ve managed to secure the ground for potentially the next 20 years,” said Hilton.

“It is just opposite Radcliffe High, where we played for many years.

“We’ve got facilities that we need to compete at this level and beyond. It sets us up nicely to eventually take the u21s into the West Lancashire League.

Hilton added: “The Co-operative deal is a real boost for us. They have acknowledged what we are trying to do as a football club in the local area.

“Club’s like ours can’t survive without help like that so we are so grateful to the local branch for stepping forward and helping us out.”

Mace have also been rewarded for their efforts in grassroots football with the FA Charter Standard Club award and a £1,500 grant from the Football Foundation.

It will allow them to create and sustain a new under-18s squad, provide training for two volunteers to attain FA Level One coaching badges as well as purchase much-needed equipment.

The first team won 3-2 at PWC on Saturday with two goals coming from under-21s graduate Charlie McCrae.

“Charlie came through the under-18s last year. He’s our first graduate to make it into the first team through our youth system,” said Hilton.