Barnoldswick Town pushed Maine Road all the way on Saturday as they went down to a narrow defeat.
Stewart Airdrie’s men went into the game with only one league win from their previous nine games, against a Maine Road side who had made a good start to the NWC Premier Division campaign.
The sides went in at half-time goal-less, before Town succumbed to a Richard Williams goal six minutes after the interval.
That proved the winner, as Maine Road climbed to sixth place in the table, with Town in 19th, above the drop zone on goal difference.
Tomorrow, Barnoldswick entertain Congleton Town (kick-off 3 p.m.), before travelling to 20th-place Bacup and Rossendale Borough on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, Barnoldswick Town’s East Lancashire League side got their campaign underway with a 4-1 win over Rosegrove Railway.
Aidan Lee opened the scoring midway through the first half after good work from Matthew Coates. Coates added a second 10 minutes into the second half before naive defending led to a free kick from which Rosegrove made it 2-1.
A 30-yard blockbuster by Eliot Platt after 70 minutes provided some breathing space before Coates scored his second. Town are at Peel Park tomorrow (kick-off 2-15 p.m.).