LANCASHIRE AMATEUR LEAGUE: Saturday action round-up
MATT McClellan led a stirring fightback as Premier Division leaders Old Boltonians earned a point at Bury GSOB.
With four games remaining, Julian Stevens’ side are battling to clinch the title they lost by one point to Prestwich on the final day last season.
It looks like a straight fight between the two sides again, with Prestwich able to go three points clear if they win all seven of the games they have in hand.
Old rivals Bury looked on course for victory on Saturday when they went 2-0 up with goals in either half.
But McClellan had other ideas and the striker led from the front to revive Old Bolts in the later stages of the game.
He chased and harried Bury’s defenders and never stopped looking for openings and with 15 minutes remaining he latched on to substitute Lee Worswick’s through ball to slot past the keeper from six yards.
Five minutes later he raced into the box and was brought down, giving Sean Rushton the chance to level from the spot.
Little Lever climbed to fourth with an impressive 2-0 home victory over second-placed Bolton rivals Castle Hill.Midfielder Lee Valentine scored his sixth goal in seven games with a powerful 25-yard strike on the hour. And he was instrumental in the second goal 10 minutes from time, back-heeling the ball into the path of Leon Farrimond who drilled home low from 10 yards.
With Phil Regan coming back from a lengthy injury absence, and Pat Fury and Ryan Mee returning from Nelson and Daisy Hill respectively, Little Lever manager Lee Buckley is hopeful his side can stage a strong finish to the season.
“They (Castle Hill) are a good team, which is why they are up there,” said Buckley.
“They get in people’s faces and ruffle feathers but we matched them all over the park and got the three points.”
Opposite number Rob Rostron said: “They edged it with their fitness in the end. We had more chances but they finished theirs and that was another difference.”
A late penalty conceded by goalkeeper Dan Riding cost 10th-placed Howe Bridge Mills a share of the spoils at an Old Mancunians side one place above them in the table.
With the game heading for a goalless draw, Riding raced off his line and fouled an opponent in the box five minutes from time.
Club official Wayne Anderton said: “It was a blatant pen. It was unusual for Dan because we can normally rely on him to stay on his line.
“He had a good game apart from that with a couple of important saves in a good defensive display.”
Farnworth manager Jason Tyldesley took his share of the blame for his side dropping two points in their Division Two promotion campaign.
He rested star man Kyle Tyldesley ahead of next week’s big Manchester County Amateur Cup semi-final away to North West Counties League Premier Division leaders Maine Road.
Town paid for the decision as they could only draw 1-1 with Old Mancunians Reserves, who began the day second bottom despite creating a glut of chances.
On the plus side, their big promotion rivals Accrington Amateurs lost, meaning it was not all bad, according to Tyldesley.
“It was a disappointing result for us and I made a mistake resting our star man. Despite creating about 20 chances we just didn’t have the quality to win the game, but with Accrington losing it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and my star man is fit and rested for the semi-final. ”