RESULTS have not been going their way this season but Little Lever manager Lee Valentine never doubted his side’s ability to turn things around.

And that faith was repaid in emphatic style at the weekend, as they hit 10 without reply against the LAL Premier Division’s bottom side Thornleigh.

It was Little Lever’s first league win of the season, at the eighth time of asking, but Valentine insisted it had only been a matter of time, given their performances.

“We’ve actually been playing really well but in the last few weeks we’ve been conceding late goals, that’s happened three or four times already this season,” he said.

“We’ve drawn three and lost one of the last four so the results haven’t gone our way but we’ve been dominating games before being done by a set-piece late on or, as in the Mostonians game a few weeks ago, by a very late penalty given against us. So I think our league position is probably a bit of a false one.

“People will think I’m just moaning about how unlucky we’ve been but that result has been coming for a while. Thornleigh were under-strength but we fully deserved it.

“We had to say to them at half time they needed to keep working hard because it was only 3-0 at that point and we had to warn against any complacency.”

Far from taking their foot off the gas, Little Lever hit seven more with Jack Coop finishing with four goals to his name, Ryan Talbot three and Billy Darcy, Adam Clark and Jacob Huller one each.

Their ruthlessness condemned Thornleigh – who they face again this Saturday – to a heavy loss, one that leaves them cut adrift at the bottom of the table.

As for Little Lever’s ambitions for the campaign, Valentine feels they have turned a corner and, with their first-choice midfield pairing back in action after injury, he is looking forward to putting a run of results together, starting with the reverse fixture.

“I think it’s a good thing that we’ll play them again,” he told The Bolton News. “But they’ll want to prove something next week so we’ll have to be ready.

“We’ve had a few injuries but they’ve cleared up and we’ve got our captain, Clark Goodrem, and Benn Haywood back in midfield.

“We’ve had to drag others out of their best positions to cover for them. Clark has had a variety of injuries and we’ve missed him in there and Saturday was Benn Haywood’s first league game back.

“He injured his knee in pre-season but he looked like he’d never been away, we’ve missed his energy and aggression in midfield.

He sets the tempo, he plays at 100mph all the way and on Saturday he never let Thornleigh out of their half, he got us on the front foot right through the game.

“We’re still second from bottom but we’re aiming for a top-half place, if we can get a few results on the spin we could easily get up there, and with the players we’ve got I’m sure we can get there.”

Another Premier Division side, Bolton Wyresdale, exited the Lancashire FA Amateur Cup on Saturday as they suffered a 4-2 defeat to Division One high-fliers, unbeaten Tottington United.

The Premier Division derby in the West Lancashire League Premier Division went the way of hosts Turton, who saw off CMB with a 4-2 win at Thomasson Fold.

Kieran Sissons opened the scoring for the Tigers and Dan Crook levelled matters from the spot midway through the first half. Ally Dickson and Danny Locke then scored to give Turton a 3-1 lead at the break and, although CMB’s Scott McNair halved the deficit five minutes after the restart, Osman Karacan completed the scoring for Turton on 65 minutes.

Tempest United are second in the table following their 4-3 victory at home to Lytham Town.

After Tom Booth’s opener had been cancelled out by the visitors Nathan Monson made it 2-1. An own goal gifted Lytham their second equaliser but Elliott Hailwood scored moments before half time to see Tempest turn around 3-2 up.

Monson’s second goal, a penalty 15 minutes from time, sealed victory, despite Lytham hitting a third goal with two minutes to play.

Eagley’s upturn in form continued as they collected their first away win of the league season. After victories in the Lancashire Amateur Shield against Astley and Tyldesley and in the President’s Cup at Croston Sports, the Eagles brought back three league points after Saturday’s 3-2 win at Hawcoat Park.

Bailey Wallace, Jacob Greenhalgh and Reece Hardie were the goalscorers for Eagley, who climbed off the bottom of the league table.

Elsewhere in Division One, there were home defeats for Stoneclough, 3-1 to Millom, and Horwich St Mary’s Victoria, who were beaten 4-1 by Lostock St Gerard’s.

In the North West Counties League First Division North, Atherton LR got the better of hosts Emley, who are second in the table, as Connor Comber hit two goals and Nathan Strong one in a 3-2 victory.

A bad day on the road for Daisy Hill saw them beaten 5-1 at Pilkington, with Jamie Ramwell’s goal the only plus point for them.

Bolton County also had a day to forget in the Manchester League Premier Division as they lost 6-2 at Hindsford while, in Division One, Atherton Town were 2-1 winners at home to East Manchester with Gareth Shaw’s goal adding to an own goal for Town.

Bolton Lads and Girls Club were beaten 3-1 in their Murray Trophy match at home to Boothstown.

In Division Two, Bolton United lost 2-1 to visitors Avro reserves but Breightmet United had a long-overdue victory, winning 4-3 at home to Irlam Steel.