Subs Stewart and Oldham trigger County fightback
9:12am Tuesday 8th January 2013 in Sport
A SUPER second-half display by Bolton County blasted a message to their Second Division promotion rivals.
The Darcy Lever men took their time getting into their stride, going in 2-0 down at half time to sixth-bottom Gsk Ulverston Rangers.
But the additions of striker Liam Stewart and winger Paul Oldham for the second half had an instant impact, the former pulling a goal back from the latter’s corner within four minutes.
County then clicked, dominating possession and chances, and Sakeel Abdullar equalised with a stunning individual goal before Stewart put them ahead and Liam Short and Adam Farnworth killed the game off.
Tom Aspen’s missed penalty was academic at the final whistle, while centre-half Chris Benson was outstanding on his debut after signing from Premier League champions Charnock Richard.
The victory leaves the Radcliffe Road men two points off top spot with three and four games, respectively, in hand on the two teams above them.
Manager Henry Chapman said: “We’re unbeaten in something like eight games, have a cup quarter-final and the Hospital Cup coming up, so the club’s going forward.
“When you can sign players from the Premier League you must be doing something right.”
Bolton’s other two Second Division sides – Ladybridge and CMB – failed to score in defeats to leaders Hurst Green and fourth-placed Walney Island, respectively. CMB lost 2-0 while the 5-0 scoreline flattered Hurst Green, with Ladybridge the better team in the first half and only denied by a superb goalkeeping performance.
In the Premier League, Eagley were given a fright by an improving second-bottom Lostock St Gerards after the Bolton men went 4-0 up through a Ryan Moore hat-trick and a Danny Warburton goal.
The visitors, boosted by a new manager and three new players, hit back with three goals by the 80th minute.
“It was the longest 10 minutes of my life,” said manager Paul Marriott, whose side host title rivals Longridge on Saturday, kick off 2pm.
Tempest climbed two places with a 1-1 home draw with Slyne, Matty Swailes heading Liam Ralph’s cross to give them a 20th-minute lead.
The Lostock men dominated throughout but paid for failing to kill off the game when a mix-up between goalkeeper Craig Tebay and centre-half Mark Drew – who was outstanding in his first game since signing from Evo-Stik Division One side Ramsbottom United – handed their seventh-placed opponents the equaliser.
In the First Division, Stoneclough could not ease their relegation worries despite an improved performance.
They went down 3-2 at home to a Lytham Town side who beat them 5-0 recently.
Tom Cheetham levelled at 1-1 with a header and 17-year-old substitute Adam Walker stunned the crowd by carrying the ball 25 yards before unleashing an unstoppable shot to set up a late charge.