IT has not been a great start to the year for some local coaches as again the weather wreaked havoc with the schedule.
In total, there were 12 matches played across the three divisions and also two cup competitions.
The investment by Ladybridge FC in getting a new 3G pitch in a bid to get more matches played during winter has obviously paid off as they were one of two sides to take the field.
In Division Two, the Tempest Road club entertained mid-table Haslingden St Mary’s.
Inexperience was the downfall for the young Ladybridge side.
After being the better team for the first 20 minutes, they found themselves a goal down after some sloppy play in midfield saw the ball given away.
Haslingden got another goal before the break after they took advantage when a Ladybridge player was caught in possesion on the edge of the area.
The second half began with Ladybridge having chances to equalise, but against the run of play St Mary’s grabbed a third.
This signalled the end for Ladybridge and a bad day was summed up when a fine save from Andy Lees rebounded into the net off the St Mary’s centre forward.
Elsewhere, Stoneclough were looking to join local rivals CMB in the second round of the West Lancashire Football League Challenge Cup when they entertained Walney Island at home.
They got off to the worst possible start when the visitors opened the scoring after 30 seconds through leading marksman Jordan Brough. It had hardly given the hosts time to settle in but as the game wore on they gathered composure and played some good football.
Stoneclough managed to create a few chances before Janusz Heenan equalised on 17 minutes.
The hosts missed an open goal in the second half as they kept plugging away to take the lead.
However, with two minutes left it was the visitors who scored when the inspirational Brough waltzed around the Stoneclough defence before chipping the ball into the net for his 11th goal of the season. Peter Conroy, secretary of Stoneclough said: “It was a disappointing result.
“We were really starting to get on top after they had scored.
“We played some great football despite the pitch being a little bit heavy.
“I think we thought that in the second half all our pressure would turn into goals.
“Unfortunately in this game, you need to score goals, and we didn’t.”
In the top flight, ex-Premier League and Wales international footballer Simon Haworth was not able to open his account as the new manager of Eagley with a win.
The match with Thornton Cleveley was called off so he will be hoping the weather picks up for a trip to Fleetwood Hesketh on Saturday.
The same fate affected Tempest United away at Slyne with Hest while the Division One derby between Turton and Bolton County was also called off.
CMB’s home match against Barrow Wanderers was also a victim of the weather.
However, one of the highlights was Turton Reserves picking up a 10-1 win at Todmorden Borough Reserves.
Kyle Dickson chipped in with four goals while further efforts by Curtis Warburton, Oliver Melling, Tom Gilbertson, Phil Johnson and an own goal rounded off the scoring.