LANCASHIRE AMATEUR LEAGUE: Old Boltonians must wait and see if Prestwich can pip them to title
OLD Boltonians have the Champagne on ice as they wait to see if Prestwich can pip them to the Premier Division title for the second time in two seasons.
The Turton men completed their season with a 3-0 victory over third-placed Bolton rivals Castle Hill on Saturday with two goals from Sean Rushton and one from Dean Hailwood.
With Prestwich slipping up last Wednesday when they lost 3-2 at home to Old Mancunians, it means they must win all five of their remaining games to deny Old Bolts.
“We’ve done all we can do now and we just have to wait and see what happens,” said manager Julian Stevens.
“Our lads have been brilliant this year and they deserve to win the title.
“The goal difference is fantastic and shows how good we have been.
“Sixty three points should be enough but if Prestwich win five on the bounce now they’ll get 65 and will deserve to win it.”
Rushton gave Bolts a 10th-minute lead when he cut in and blasted a shot home, and Hailwood slotted home the second on 30 minutes.
Castle Hill rallied after the break but Rushton killed them off when he looped a header over the keeper from John Burrows’ good ball in.
Castle Hill manager Rob Rostron said: “We didn’t make it easy for them. We had three 17-year-olds in – Jason Knottley, Bradley Colquitt and Tom McNair – and they did absolutely brilliantly.”
An incredible piece of sportsmanship provided the key moment as Farnworth Town took their latest stride towards promotion from Division Two.
Leading 3-1 at Little Lever SC Reserves, the hosts were awarded a penalty which was ruled out by the ‘fouled’ player himself.
“There were about 15 minutes left and their player went down in the box,” said Farnworth manager Jason Tyldesley.
“They got a penalty but he got up and said our player never touched him, and the pen wasn’t given. It was the best piece of sportsmanship I have ever seen and I told him so.
“If I could have given him an award I would.”
Farnworth now need to win two of their last four games to secure promotion in only their second season in the league.
Centre-half Lee Wolstenholme scored a hat-trick from a penalty and two corners, and Grant Dean got the other with a header from a throw-in.
“I don’t think we’ve scored from a set-piece all season and we get four in one game,” added Tyldesley.
Back in the Premier Division, Horwich Victoria will finish ninth after coasting to a comfortable 8-0 victory at Rossendale Amateurs in their penultimate game of the season.
Sam Parkinson helped himself to four goals after Dean Spencer had opened the scoring, then Jordan Croft scored two and Connor Hicklin got the other.
“We could have had 20 to be honest,” said joint manager Dave Walker.
“It was one of those end-of-season games when it was all one-way. Our keeper had nothing to do except go and get the ball when it was smashed high and wide a couple of times.”
Walker said Horwich will be looking to improve on this season’s showing in the next campaign.
“The season has been a little disappointing because we should have done better with the team we have,” he said.
“One key thing was we didn’t have players available in crucial games, which cost us.”
Howe Bridge Mills joint manager Scott Fletcher came out of retirement due to a player shortage and scored an 85th-minute consolation in a 4-1 home defeat to Tottington.