POOR defending and a failure to take chances by Tempest United prevented them from almost producing one of the shock results of the day against champions Charnock Richard.
A big crowd of more than 100 saw the visitors go 1-0 up after 15 minutes, but Tempest hit back five minutes later through skipper Chris Farnworth.
Two mistakes by Sean Rothwell allowed visitors Charnock to go 3-1 up.
Tempest refused to lie down and battled back, halving the deficit before half time with a Tom Booth goal, and the hosts came out strongly in the second half only for poor defending to pave the way for two more Charnock goals.
Trevor Ball’s side continued to create and spurn chances until Booth bagged his second in the 90th minute to make it 5-3.
Assistant boss Gary Westhead said: “Overall we gave a good account of ourselves against a team who will more than likely win the league.
“For us, it was a game to keep up our good performances ready for a massive game at Vickerstown. Charnock are a good side and will know they were in a game for 90 minutes.”
In the same division, Eagley’s new boss Simon Haworth knows he has a tough job ahead of him after watching his side lose 4-0 to Fleetwood Hesketh in his first game in charge.
He said: “To use the old cliché, it was not a four-niller, we had two or three one-on-ones when it was 1-0 and that could have made it very different.
“We gave away three soft goals – an own goal, a free header and a mix-up in defence with the keeper.
“Fitness was going to be an issue as Fleetwood had played a few games while ours were off. I am going to be working on that as well as the lads having character when they go behind.”
The weather continued to affect local sides as Bolton County versus Furness Rovers and Turton against Hesketh Bank were postponed in Division One.
The same fate befell Stoneclough whose Division Two trip to Walney Island was off and CMB versus Haslingden St Mary’s was also postponed.
But the investment by Ladybridge on their 3G pitch continued to pay off as they hosted Todmorden Borough. Now all they need is to pick up results after falling to a 4-2 defeat.
An already depleted Ladybridge were dealt a major blow after only five minutes.
A poor challenge saw Liam Green deservedly sent off.
With Ladybridge losing concentration, Todmorden took advantage with two goals and the lead was further increased to 4-0 before half time.
Instead of lying down, Ladybridge came back strongly in the second half with captain Jordan Hussey leading the way.
He pulled one back when he linked up Jamie Desousa and rounded three players before finishing superbly.
An inspired chip by Steven Schofield further reduced the deficit but, despite Ollie Bretherton going close, the spirited fightback did not reap further reward.