A second-half goal from leading scorer Ryan Talbot earned Daisy Hill a hard-fought 1-0 win at Nelson on Tuesday night in the North West Counties League First Division North.

Talbot’s cool finish just after the hour was the highlight of a determined Daisy performance, which saw them put under pressure for long spells by a Nelson side battling to move away from the bottom of the league.

But a solid defensive display and a second clean sheet in three games saw Daisy through to a valuable win, which pretty much removes any lingering danger of slipping into the relegation zone.

And captain Jake O’Brien was full of praise for the performance his team-mates put in.

“Some of our performances recently just haven’t been good enough, especially the last home game against Ashton Athletic. But we made up for that today,” said O’Brien.

“We knew if we were going to win, we would have to do it by working hard, and we will always back ourselves in a game that is a battle.

“We had Saturday off, and Nelson played a tough game, and I think in the second half that showed, and we looked the fitter team.

“The pitch played a part in the type of game it was, and we put bodies on the line and did what we needed to do to get a win away from home.

“It was all about staying on the front foot, getting blocks in and winning first and second balls.

“It’s a good win away from home and a clean sheet too, I’m buzzing for the back four, we had to make some late changes at the last minute but they were superb.

“It takes a lot of pressure off us now in terms of staying in the league and I’m buzzing for all the lads, and really proud of the performance.

“It wasn’t a game where there were many clear chances, but luckily one fell to Ryan Talbot, and he produced a good finish, and did well to dig it out from under his feet on a difficult surface.”

Nelson had the better of the possession in the first half with Daisy rarely threatening, although keeper Morgan Newns was only called on to make saves in the closing minutes before half time.

Nelson’s Vaughan Green had the first chance of the match when he shot wide in the fourth minute, and the home side came close on the half hour when Lewis Brown headed just wide from a free-kick.

But Newns made the save of the game two minutes before half time when he dived full length to push away a well-struck free-kick from Charlie Frost, and a minute later he was in action again to block a shot from Dalton Hutchison.

Ten minutes into the second half, a scramble in the Daisy six-yard box led to a close-range shot being cleared off the line by Ben Unsworth.

But just after the hour, Daisy front man Talbot struck the decisive blow for his side.

Jamie Ramwell won the ball in midfield and played a delightful pass through to Talbot, who advanced in on goal and coolly slid the ball past Nelson keeper Jordan Gidley to take his tally to 14 for the season.

The closing stages saw Nelson dominate possession but a resolute Daisy side restricted them largely to shots from outside the box, while still offering an occasional threat on the counter attack.

With 14 minutes remaining, a break down the right created an opportunity for Daisy substitute Jordan Cover to test Gidley in the home goal with an overhead kick, and although Nelson created a handful of half chances late on, Daisy held to claim a hard-fought and important victory.

Daisy are back in action in the North West Counties League First Division North on Saturday when they host South Liverpool at the Plumb Factory Stadium (3pm).