THE elements conspired against our local West Lancashire Football League clubs as most of the matches were called off.

But that did not stop Bolton County and Tempest United from getting some match practice in a friendly on the ESSA Academy’s 3G pitch.

And the First Division side showed they could live with the big boys as they beat Premier Division Tempest 4-1.

After 15 minutes Henry Chapman’s County started to get a foothold and went ahead through Liam Stewart.

Tempest levelled 10 minutes later through Matty Carter’s 25-yard dipping volley.

County restored their lead shortly after with an individual goal from Josh Evans who ran a long way before benefiting from a mistake by Tempest keeper Paul Eatock.

Tempest made five changes at half-time to give some of the players a runout and they were guilty of switching off as County came out strongly.

Their pressure paid off as Jordan Whittle put an excellent cross into the box and Liam Stewart headed home his side’s second.

After Tempest conceded an own goal to complete the scoring, Chapman said: “We had a game plan in hard weather conditions but the players did very well.

“It’s important that you don't give Premier League teams time and space so I asked that we press the ball in Tempest’s half.

“Tempest started brightly and we had to really work hard to get hold of the ball.

“The lads stuck to their task, and once we got over that initial 15 minutes of pressure the lads played really well.

“Some of our play was really good with good shape from back to front.

“It just shows how far this club has come in the last 18 months. I’m very proud of the lads’ effort today and they are growing in confidence.”

Tempest assistant boss Gary Westhead said: “The game served its purpose as far as keeping the game legs going.

“Any match beats a training session and it gave us a chance to look at new signing Josh Melling.”