OLD Boltonians were in merciless mode as they put the Lancashire Amateur League Premier Division’s bottom side, Bury GSOB, to the sword in a 12-0 thumping.

Chief tormentor for the visitors was Sean Rushton, who found the net six times – one from more than 30 yards with his unfavoured left foot – with Joe Johnson (two), Lucas Gaynor, Nathan Collier, Matt Sandham and Corey James also getting on the score-sheet.

But, although nine goals rained in throughout the second half, it was the defiant defence that delighted manager Steve Eccleshare, especially when it would have been easy for his players to go through the motions with the game wrapped up.

“The goals are a great added bonus but that’s three clean sheets in four games, that’s what pleases me the most,” he said.

“We needed to tighten up at the back and we’ve done that so we’re top of the form table now.

“I was pleased with the second half because I don’t want them getting into the habit of taking their foot off the gas after getting one or two goals, so I kept on at them to keep playing and maintaining their work rate.

“Some days it can come back to bite you so I kept pushing them.

“Some lads on the sideline were asking me when was enough but I wanted them to keep going to the final whistle, which they did.”

Since a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Rochdale St Clement’s, Old Bolts have hit 24 and conceded two in their four wins. And their record against fellow Bolton sides makes for even happier reading for them, with 7-2 and 6-0 wins against Little Lever and another 7-2 success, against Blackrod Town.

For Eccleshare, though, this weekend’s derby at Thornleigh is more about assessing his squad for next season than trying to top any ‘mini-league’ of Bolton clubs in the Premier Division.

“We had four or five missing last Saturday, and we will for what will be a tough game against Thornleigh,” he added.

“It’s great to be able to test people in different positions and get the team gelling for next year, I’m happy with the progress we’re making. We’ve got a good bunch of players and we’re getting good preparation in for next season.”

Old Bolts were the day’s only local winners in the LAL, with top-flight defeats for Little Lever – 6-4 at Failsworth Dynamos – and Thornleigh, who were beaten 5-1 at leaders Burnley Belvedere.

In Division One, Horwich RMI lost 3-1 at Valley United.

In the West Lancashire League Premier Division, Turton warmed up for tonight’s Lancashire FA Shield semi-final against Coppull United with a 2-0 victory at home to Hurst Green, with Jordan Lomax and Luke Bradbury on target.

Tempest United were also victorious as they beat Thornton Cleveleys – who are through to the Shield final – 3-2, thanks to Tom Booth’s 75th-minute winner after Liam Rice and Sean Rothwell’s goals had been cancelled out.

Stoneclough were 4-2 winners at Askam United in Division One to move to fourth in the table.

Bolton Lads and Girls Club returned from Boothstown empty-handed after a 4-2 loss in Manchester League Division One, Shane Birtles and Ryan Standring getting their goals, while Breightmet United failed to raise a team to take on Atherton Town in Division Two.

In the Hallmark Security League First Division North, Daisy Hill were denied a much-needed victory by a stoppage-time equaliser by visitors Steeton.

The Daisies fell behind on 65 minutes but Ash Stott equalised within a minute, before Lewis Wilkinson struck again for the hosts on 73 minutes. But Ben Clarkson, who had hit Steeton’s first goal, popped up again deep in added-on time to snatch a point for his team.

Atherton LR suffered a 7-1 defeat at home to promotion-chasing Lower Breck, with Nathan Strong’s goal the only bright spot of their day.