LANCASHIRE AMATEUR LEAGUE: Howe Bridge record a stunning fightback against Old Boltonians
HOWE Bridge Mills came back from 4-0 down after 30 minutes to draw with runaway leaders Old Boltonians.
The improving Atherton men, who went into the game on the back of two successive victories, were stunned as Old Bolts got straight into their formidable stride.
Nick Holt put the visitors 2-0 up, Rob Taylor made it three when he latched on to a great long pass by Kyle Rose and rounded the keeper, and Lucas Gaynor extended the lead further when he converted fellow former third teamer John Bradbury’s cross.
Howe Bridge pulled one back through veteran midfielder Tommy Stokes on the stroke of half time, and a heated discussion at the break sparked new life into the home side.
Dom Shinks headed in Glenn Heapey’s cross on 55 minutes, Liam Fitzmorris – who had a goal ruled out for marginal offside at 0-0 – smashed a shot into the top corner before Peter Monks headed the equaliser from a corner on 75 minutes.
“If it had been a boxing match it would have been stopped,” admitted Howe Bridge official Wayne Anderton.
“Our heads had gone but then we wiped the floor with them for 30 minutes of the second half and a draw was probably fair.”
Old Bolts manager Julian Stevens said: “We were outstanding in the first half. Our energy and desire was fantastic and we were battering them.
“They picked themselves up and really came at us. We can’t complain with a point away to a side in form. It was a fair result.”
Castle Hill answered manager Rob Rostron’s demand for a response to the previous week’s 6-0 hammering by Tottington by beating bottom club Hesketh Casuals 2-1 away.
And they had to contend with a gale which caused havoc.
“It was like a hurricane,” said Rostron. “It was the craziest game I have ever been involved in.
“You kicked it 30 yards and it came back 60 yards. It was unreal.”
Lee Smith put Castle in front with a diving header from Jason Perry’s cross on a rare first-half breakaway, and midfielder Rob Walsh made it two on 65 minutes when his 40-yard shot caught the wind and flew in off the bar and post.
Hesketh pulled one back on 75 minutes and the victory – in which right back Taylor Gildea was man of the match – leaves the Tonge Moor men 10 points behind Old Bolts in second.
Horwich Victoria made it four wins on the bounce with a 5-3 victory over high-flying Old Mancunians.
And prolific striker Sam Parkinson was on top form again with four goals including a 16-minute hat-trick which put Vics 3-0 ahead.
Luke Skelly then missed a penalty before chipping the keeper at the end of a fluent team passing move on 35 minutes.
Old Mancs pulled one back before half time and two more in the second half before seventh-placed Vics regained control and Parkinson - whose earlier goals came from a near post header, close-range shot and edge-of-the-box strike - completed the scoring in a one-on-one five minutes from time.