LITTLE Lever’s best performance of the season in beating Roach Dynamos made it 10 points from 12 and moved Matt Barnes’ side up to fourth in the Premier Division table.

Jack Coop’s hat-trick proved the difference in their 3-1 victory, but it was a fine all-round performance that saw them through, with six or seven genuine contenders for the man-of-the-match award.

Their last outing had been a 7-0 success against lowly Howe Bridge Mills but this victory pleased him more, given the stronger opposition and their change from a 3-5-2 formation to a flat back four.

“Jack has been brilliant for us,” beamed Barnes. “We all know how he can score goals, and he’s continued his good form in front of goal from last season. His first goal came from an unbelievable ball from Matt Woods, who had one of his best games for us – Jack has no left foot but, despite the angle, he somehow got enough power with the outside of his right and got it in.

“It is hard to criticise him too much but I spoke to Jack this week and asked him to add a bit more to his game, just to pick up his work ethic off the ball a bit, and he did that, he was brilliant. But it really was an all-round performance, our best of the season. I think we’re now showing what we can do when we have our first-choice team out and the attitude is right, everything falls into place then.

“Roach Dynamos will surprise a lot of teams in this league and we came from behind to beat them comfortably. I saw them play Horwich a few weeks ago and they have one very deep midfielder, their captain, who sits in front of their back four and they just have five attacking, so we changed things and it worked well for us.

“There was a lot of deliberation about out man-of-the-match, our central midfielders, Kieran and Ste Yates were outstanding too. It was such a strong performance throughout though.”

After seeing off the second-placed Dynamos, Little Lever take on Bury GSOB this weekend and, while they will not take the second-bottom side lightly, Barnes is acutely aware tougher challenges will come in the following weeks, with leaders Old Boltonians, champions Failsworth, Blackrod in fifth and Rossendale, who have a 100 per-cent record from their five games, all to play.

But after scoring 19 goals in their four-game unbeaten run, he backs his players to continue picking up results and is confident they can finish in their targeted top three at the end of the campaign, and added: “We have got a tough run after Bury this weekend, but I would rank us among the best in the division. I would back us against any team, we certainly don’t fear anyone.

“We have a squad of 18 or 19 top players and when someone drops out we have lads who can come in and do a job for us.

“I am getting more confident each time we play and I’m looking forward to every game.”

Blackrod lost 3-2 to a resurgent Failsworth Dynamos while Horwich St Marys Victoria were also defeated, 3-1 at home to Rochdale St Clements.

Premier Division leaders Old Bolts’ defence of their Lancashire FA Amateur Cup ended with a 3-2 defeat at Barrow Celtic.

In Division One Bolton Wyresdale beat Whalley Range 1-0.

n IN the Manchester League Premier Division Bolton County were beaten 2-1 at home to Springhead while Breightmet United lost 5-0 to Atherton Town in the Murray Shield.