Daisy Hill were left ruing missed opportunities at key moments after falling to a 4-0 defeat away to Bacup Borough on Saturday in the North West Counties League First Division North.

Two goals from Bacup’s Bradley Hancock had given the home side a 2-0 half-time lead, after a first half in which Daisy created some good chances of their own.

But once Joseph Fallon added a third with the aid of a deflection, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Daisy on a heavy pitch that deteriorated as the rainy afternoon progressed.

And a fourth goal late on from centre-half Gareth Wager rounded off a disappointing afternoon for the visitors.

It was a tough result to take for Daisy manager Lee Hill, who reflected afterwards his side had competed well for long periods and created numerous chances over the course of the 90 minutes.

“It was one of those games where a 4-0 score doesn’t reflect the way the game went and how we played,” said Hill.

“The pitch was poor, it was more like a rugby pitch than a football pitch, but it was the same for both sides and they adjusted to it better than we did.

“I don’t think there was much between the two teams, but they played the pitch well and took their chances, and we missed quite a few ourselves.

“I thought if we had gone in 1-0 down at half time that would probably have been fair enough, and I would have been happy enough with that, but a big kick from the keeper downfield caught us out, and they got in to make it 2-0.

“When it goes to 2-0, as the old cliche goes, the next goal is important and they got it, and once the third went in it was a tough afternoon.

“I said to the lads that one positive is they kept going, and in the last 15 minutes or so they did what we asked them and we put Bacup under pressure.

“We created several good opportunities late in the game, but at the moment those just aren’t going in the back of the net.

“There are little moments of luck that we don’t seem to be getting at the minute, but we’ve just got to pull our socks up, keep believing in what we are doing, keep going and it will turn”.

Daisy began well and created the first two chances of the game when Precieux Ngongo fired over from 20 yards, and Danny Warburton almost grabbed an opportunistic opener when he charged down a clearance from the Bacup keeper Mason Walker, but the keeper won the chase to grab the loose ball.

Bacup took the lead on 17 minutes when the Daisy defence only half-cleared a cross into the box, and Hancock pounced on a loose ball and sidefooted home at the second attempt, after keeper Morgan Newns had blocked his first effort.

Daisy continued to push forward and carved out two excellent chances just after the half-hour mark.

Great work from Sam Twist on the right took him into the penalty area, and he drove the ball low into the path of Ngongo who fired wide.

Four minutes later, Henry Chalkley’s strong run down the left set up a shooting chance for Tom Brown, but his shot from the edge of the box but Bacup keeper Walker made a fine save down to his left, pushing the ball round the post.

After enjoying a good spell of pressure, Daisy were dealt a blow when Bacup doubled their lead four minutes before half time, with a long clearance downfield catching out the defence. And when the ball was played to Hancock on the edge of the box, he cut inside the covering defender and drilled a shot into the bottom corner.

It was a bitter blow after a good first-half showing, and as the rain began to fall steadily after the break Bacup added a third goal early in the second half, Malachi Clarke’s shot deflected past Newns by Kyle Siddle.

As the game moved into the final 10 minutes, Bacup centre-half Gareth Wager added a fourth goal when he got on the end of a corner to the far post, but to their credit Daisy kept going and created a number of good chances in the remaining minutes.

Ben Howarth shot just wide from the edge of the box, Harvey Roberts was denied by a fine save from Walker after he stormed through the middle of the defence, Sam Glendon headed over from a corner and Malick Tanou was denied by another good save from Walker.

But the Bacup defence held firm to keep a clean sheet, and Daisy were left to contemplate what might have been had they converted the chances they created.