STONECLOUGH’S season went from bad to worse when they crashed to a 9-1 defeat at third-placed Garstang.
Only nine men turned up for their Division One trip due to illness, and with their reserve game having been brought forward an hour, they had no second-teamers to draft in.
So they persuaded a couple of spectators, Ben Redshaw and Liam Miller, to turn out.
“They had just come down to watch and ended up playing,” said Stoneclough secretary Peter Conroy. “Liam said he was a keeper so we put him in goal and played our usual keeper Darren McCartney at centre-half.
“Ben is a big lad so we stuck him up front. To be fair we did all right for nearly half an hour, but four goals in 19 minutes before half time killed us.
“We’re going through a rough time at the moment, but that’s football, and we’ll keep battling on until we come through it.”
Midfielder Chris Redmond scored Stoneclough’s goal.
Turton twice squandered the lead in a 2-2 home draw with Ambleside.
Josh Ford capitalised after the fifth-placed visitors’ keeper let a back pass slip under his foot. And after Ambleside levelled, the impressive Jordan McLoughlin gave the Thomasson Fold men a short-lived second lead.
Missed chances left Turton ruing the loss of two points, but they take heart from an impressive performance in which Matty Wilson was outstanding in midfield and Gordon Watson dominated in a back three alonside Martin Convay and Adam Street.
Ladybridge produced the shock of the day with a resounding 5-2 derby victory over title-chasing Bolton County.
Eighth-placed Ladybridge saved their best performance of the season for the big game, demoralising County who are second with a healthy number of games in hand on the leaders.
Tom Aspen gave County an early lead which Liam Boswell cancelled out before Chris Ferguson put Ladybridge ahead. Dennis Strickland levelled for the visitors but Ladybridge’s Jordan Hussey had the final say of a thrilling first half.
Ladybridge took control after the break with two further goals from Boswell who, along with fellow teenager Liam Pearcey, was outstanding for the home side.
Jim Witteringham got CMB’s goal in a 3-1 defeat at Kendal County.
A crowd in excess of 100 saw visitors Eagley beat fellow Premier Division side Tempest United 2-1 in the Richardson Cup quarter-final.
Ryan Moore put Eagley ahead on 15 minutes and Liam Carr doubled the lead 10 minutes after the break.
Tempest pulled one back late on after fine wing work from Danny Ashcroft.
“It was a great advert for Bolton amateur football,” said Tempest manager Trevor Ball. “A typical local derby and I was glad to hear the final whistle,” added Eagley boss Paul Marriott.