Daisy Hill were left ruing missed chances at crucial moments when they fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Shelley on Saturday in the North West Counties League First Division North.

Goals in each half from Shelley’s James Bootland and Curtis Broadfield ensured the three points headed to West Yorkshire, but Daisy manager Lee Hill felt afterwards his side’s performance had merited taking something from the game.

“We could have been two up inside the first 20 minutes, and if we had it would have been a different game,” said Hill.

“But we didn’t take our chances, we put ourselves under pressure and then they got a bit of good fortune for the opening goal, and it was difficult for us from then on.

“The second goal was a poor turnover of possession in midfield, then it was a straight one on one, and when you are giving teams chances like that, you can’t have any complaints.

“If you look at the last three games including this one, the number of good chances we have created is well into double figures, and of those, three or four are clear-cut chances.

“We are having good spells of possession, but at the moment we don’t have anyone who is putting the ball in the back of the net. We must have had the ball in the box 15 or 20 times today, but chances didn’t go in.

“But there are positives, I thought the back four played really well, and limited the number of chances that Shelley had.

“We have to believe in what we are doing, we have got players who can do it ability wise, it’s just decision making, wrong decisions made at the wrong time in the wrong areas. Our luck will change before long.”

With the game falling on Remembrance Day, a ceremony was held on the pitch before the game to honour all those lost in conflicts.

As the players gathered around the centre circle, Daisy manager Hill, a former serving officer in the Royal Engineers, laid a wreath on the centre spot.

Westhoughton resident James Hall, a member of Golborne Brass Band, then played the Last Post and Rowse on the bugle, either side of a two-minute silence.

Daisy welcomed back Jamie Ramwell to the starting line-up for the first time since August, to lead the line up front after a spell away at Padiham, and he was involved in their first two clear chances of the game.

In the ninth minute, Ramwell had a header saved by Shelley keeper Paul Day, and 10 minutes later an incisive pass from Tom Brown split the defence and sent the striker through on goal but his shot was well blocked by the outstretched foot of the keeper.

It was an important moment in the game, as Shelley took the lead with their first attempt on goal in the 27th minute.

There was an element of fortune about it, with a left-wing cross from Jenson McAliskey taking two deflections on its way into the net, with the visiting captain James Bootland eventually being credited with the goal.

Daisy goalkeeper Lewis Woodcock had barely been tested up to that point, although he had to make a smart save from a cracking 25-yard effort from Thomas Rose a few minutes later.

In the closing moments of the first half, play swung from end to end, and Ramwell had another effort saved by Shelley keeper Day, while a shot from Shelley’s Chay Shearston was well blocked on the line by Daisy centre-half Sam Glendon.

But 12 minutes into the second half, Shelley struck a crucial blow with a second goal, which all began with Daisy giving up possession too easily in midfield. Shelley midfielder Curtis Broadfield seized on the loose ball, and raced through gaps in the Daisy defence before finishing with a low shot past Woodcock.

Daisy threw men forward in search of the goal that would give them a foothold back in the game, and just after the hour Ramwell hit the bar with a cross-shot that deceived Shelley keeper Day.

The chances kept coming, and after Jack Iley fired over from the edge of the box, a free-kick from Harvey Roberts just missed the target from 20 yards.

Eight minutes from time, a surging run by Daisy skipper Jake O’Brien down the left led to him testing Day with a shot that was pushed away by the keeper at his near post, and the hosts then had a shout for penalty when Malick Tanou went down under a challenge in the box, but the referee waved play on.

But stout defending from Shelley kept the home side at bay until the final whistle, and Daisy were left reflecting once again on missed chances costing them dearly.