Parky double puts Mills back on track
9:09am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Football
HOWE Bridge Mills bounced back from a disappointing defeat to high-flying Bury GSOB last week with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over local rivals Little Lever SC.
Only one place separated them in the Premier Division, but the home side started the day 11 points adrift and struggling with a number of absentees.
Scott Fletcher was forced to step in as a stand-in goalkeeper, while 17-year-old Martin Parkinson started in centre midfield.
But the youngster seized his opportunity, scoring two goals and bossing the centre of the park with team-mate Dave Hogan.
His first strike, after 30 minutes, followed good work by Shaun Farrimond, who beat two men before flicking a pass into Parkinson’s path, which he tucked away.
Howe Bridge went into half time ahead, but were forced into another goalkeeping change at the break, Hogan going back to replace Fletcher, who picked up a knee injury.
That did not stop them, with Parkinson doubling their advantage just after the hour, beating the offside trap to collect a through ball before calmly rounding the Little Lever keeper and slotting home.
“It was a really good performance, especially after last week,” said Howe Bridge manager Vinnie Monks.
“We were missing quite a few lads, who were on a stag do, but we should have won by three or four in the end.”
Little Lever’s Tim Matacunas scored a consolation from the penalty spot five minutes from time, but it was not enough to stop ninth-placed Howe Bridge closing the gap on them to eight points.
Relegation-threatened Castle Hill secured one of the best results of a weather-hit programme, drawing 2-2 at home to mid-table Failsworth Dynamos.
Rob Rostron’s side, who are third bottom, one place above the drop zone, had the perfect start – winger Mark Gordon beating his marker to poke home a cross after only five minutes.
But the visitors played their part in an end-to-end game and capitalised with two goals on break, on 60 and 65 minutes, as Castle Hill attempted to make sure of all three points.
Powered on by another hard-working performance from midfielder Dominic Collquitt, the home side managed to get back on level terms through an 80th-minute header from defender Chris Berrisford.
But they could not force the all-important win, leaving them just two points ahead of second-bottom Hindley Juniors, who have five games in hand.
At the other end of the table, title favourites Old Boltonians dropped from top to third after their home match with local rivals Horwich Victoria was rained off.