LANCASHIRE AMATEUR LEAGUE: Horwich maintain run with 4-1 win
HORWICH Victoria continued their climb up the Premier Division with their biggest victory of the season.
Tom Whittle scored twice as Danny Holmes’s men eased to a 4-1 win at home to Rochdale St Clements.
It takes their recent run to one defeat in eight games since opening the campaign with three straight defeats.
They dominated the visitors, despite fielding a team with an average age of 22 that included two 16-year-olds and two 17-year-olds.
But Vics had to wait until the stroke of half time before getting the goal that set them on their way to their third win of the season.
Sam Parkinson, who has returned to the club following a move to Eagley in the summer, put Horwich 1-0 ahead with a sublime piece of skill to control a long ball over the top and expertly fire home from the edge of the box.
His day ended on a sour note, however, when he dislocated a shoulder and is expected to be out for up to eight weeks.
After Rochdale levelled on 35 minutes, Sean Jones restored the lead with a 22-yard drive seconds before the interval.
Whittle killed off the visitors when he got on the end of crosses from Parkinson and Luke Skelly on 65 and 75 minutes, respectively.
With second-placed Castle Hill drawing at Bury GSOB, Old Boltonians extended their lead to three points when they inflicted a fifth successive league defeat on Howe Bridge Mills.
Matt McClellan got the leaders off to a flying start after just four minutes when he pounced on Lee Worswick’s free kick.
Howe Bridge looked anything but a team on a long losing run when they hit back strongly and were frustrated to see Glenn Heaper, Tommy Stokes and Martin Parkinson all waste good chances.
The turning point came when Sean Rushton doubled Old Bolts’ lead on 65 minutes, cutting in from the left before beating his man to fire home.
It demoralised Howe Bridge, who barely got a kick until 16-year-old left-back Liam Fitzsimmons, impressive in only his second start, scored the goal of the game, racing 50 yards down the wing before unleashing an unstoppable 30-yarder into the top corner.
Castle Hill manager Rob Rostron was satisfied with his side’s point at Bury GSOB, especially having gone into the game without four regulars and losing central midfielder Rob Walsh to injury after 25 minutes.
Trailing to a 10th-minute penalty, it was evenly-matched until the Bolton men stepped up a gear after the break and got a deserved equaliser when Nick Collins headed home Neil Holmes’s cross at the far post on the hour.
Chris Beresford, Jason Perry and Saul Rostron were then all denied by the Bury keeper’s heroics.
Mid-table Little Lever went down to a 2-1 defeat at Failsworth Dynamos.
Trailing 2-0 following a defensive mix-up on 25 minutes and a second on 40 minutes, Matt Woods halved the deficit from the penalty spot on the hour after Ashley Williams had been fouled.