SELDOM will a 9-0 victory have felt as bitter-sweet as Tempest United’s thrashing of Whitehaven on Saturday.

A desperate season for the West Lancashire League Premier Division’s bottom club has seen them win just one of their 14 league games, and Tempest compounded their misery with a nine-goal salvo that takes the strugglers’ goal difference to an astonishing minus 84.

Tempest cleaned up as Joel Shorthouse, Kurtis Farlow and Jordan Coop all scored braces, with Sean Rothwell, Alex McClerg and Tom Booth also on target .

United’s assistant manager, Gary Westhead, says Tempest simply had to be ruthless and put in a professional performance, even though he admits the victory left him feeling hollow.

“They are the division’s whipping boys, really, to be honest it wasn’t much of a game,” he said. “Whitehaven got a new manager in and he brought some good players, they were doing well but then he left and a lot of their better players went with him, so they’re doing their best with a team made up of 16 and 17-year-olds.

“It’s unfortunate to see a team struggle like that so we didn’t really take any pleasure in that win.

“We were far superior, we just have to take the points from it and move on. It’s hard to say anything about the game, we just had to go out there and be professional because, at the end of the day, you can only go and beat what is in front of you.

“There wasn’t much we could say to them at half time, other than to say we had to go back out and do our goal difference some good because that’s what everyone else will have been doing.”

Tempest had established a 3-0 lead by the break and two further goals early in the second half sealed the victory that leaves them fourth in the table, two points behind leaders Slyne-with-Hest and with a game in hand on the three sides above them, one of which – Fulwood Amateurs – are their hosts this weekend.

The Greens also have Lancashire Shield involvement and the following weekend they are scheduled to host Slyne in the quarter-finals.

And with a handful of injured players set to return, Westhead says manager Ross McNair may have some thinking to do, given the showing by players who stepped up to the plate.

“We were happy to see a few of the lads getting some minutes on the pitch,” he told The Bolton News.

“We’ll have Craig Farnworth, Aaron Thorpe and Elliott Hailwood available again but someone like Joel [Shorthouse], who has come up from the reserves but been on the bench for most of this season, started and he was outstanding as well as scoring two goals.

“It’s good to be able to have players like that who come into the side and make sure it’s not been weakened at all.

“We’ll look forward to playing Fulwood again, we’ve had a decent record against them in the last few years but they play on a 3G pitch now, which I’m not a fan of. I think it’s a big leveller so we’ll have to make sure our attitude is spot-on.

“ We lost to Slyne-with-Hest a few weeks ago because we were awful for 55 minutes and couldn’t get back into the game once we started playing, we can’t go into either of the next two games with that attitude.

“We are in a decent position in the league – we could go top if we beat Fulwood and the others don’t play – and still in the Shield so we’re involved in the title battle and a cup competition, we’ll keep plugging away, keep things ticking over and see what happens from here.”

Tempest’s Shield quarter-final opponents, Slyne-with-Hest, got the better of defending LFA Shield champions Turton in a league game on Saturday. Though Jordan Lomax and Luke Bradbury each scored for the Tigers, they fell to a 3-2 defeat in Lancaster.

CMB also suffered a loss on Saturday, with only an own goal to their name from their 3-1 defeat at Burscough Richmond.

Stoneclough are keeping the pressure on Division One leaders Lostock St Gerards after they saw off visitors Wyre Villa in a 4-0 victory, Jay Mannion hitting a hat-trick and Jon Stevenson also netting.

Eagley were also 4-0 winners, in their game at home to Croston Sports Club. Jacob Greenhalgh scored two goals after Steve Bancroft and Bailey Wallace had each found the net.

Horwich St Mary’s Victoria slipped a place to fifth in the table after their 1-1 draw with Hawcoat Park, Sam Parkinson rescuing a point for them late on.

While Old Boltonians continue to lead the way in the Lancashire Amateur League Premier Division, there were home defeats for the bottom two.

Little Lever lost 5-2 to Chaddertonians and Thornleigh were beaten 6-2 by Prestwich.

Bolton Wyresdale tasted victory, however, as Joe Raynor (two), Jack Foster and Ryan Smith scored in a 4-1 win at Valley United.

Daisy Hill enjoyed a 3-0 win at Prestwich Heys in the North West Counties First Division North. Jamie Ramwell opened the scoring from the penalty spot and James Bateman doubled the lead just before half time. Sam Howell rounded things off for the Daisies with two minutes to play.

In the Manchester League, Bolton County were 3-1 winners at home to Beechfield United in their Gilgryst Cup tie. Carl Airey, Mahal Shereen and Chris Hough were the goalscorers for County, who sit fourth in the Premier Division table.

Atherton Town climbed into top spot in Division One following their 2-0 win at home to Middleton Colts, Jordan Lloyd and Calam Williamson netting.

Craig Bingham’s brace earned Bolton Lads and Girls Club a 2-2 draw at East Manchester.

In Division Two, Bolton United beat Astley and Tyldsley 2-0 with goals from Ibrahim Patel and Mohammed Fahid Ali and Breightmet United drew 3-3 with Hindley Juniors.