A fifth-successive win kept Barnoldswick Town top of the NWC Premier Division ahead of tonight’s derby at fellow high-flyers Nelson.
Town beat Winsford United 5-2 on another bright sunny day at the Silentnight Beds Stadium on Saturday.
Town welcomed back leading scorer Joseph Gaughan, and also had a strong bench with Liam Britton and John Beckwith back in the fold.
Town started the brighter, but the visitors who drew first blood after 17 minutes.
A free kick out was floated to the far post and the unmarked Kyle Riley headed back across goal and inside the left hand post of Jordan Gidley.
Town continued to press, and on the half hour, James Crorken pouncing on a loose ball in the area, getting his foot to the ball first as he was tackled by Lee Duckworth, with Joseph Grant stranded, wide of his goal as the ball was swept inside the far post.
The hosts went in frot on the hour as Gaughan’s shot was blocked, but the ball fell into the path of Mark Threlfall, who rifled home from 10 yards out, instigating a celebration for his new born son.
Town turned on the heat, but couldn’t add to their lead, and with 12 minutes remaining, Winsford equalised as Ben Seol slipped the ball to Kyle Riley, who made no mistake with a well-placed shot.
Four minutes later, Gaughan was put clear down the middle, and his shot was too fierce for Grant, who, although he managed to get a touch, the ball flew into the net to put Town ahead again.
And three minutes later Town were 4-2 up, as substitute Beckwith raced clear and lobbed Grant.
With two minutes left, the game was safe as Gaughan rifled home for his second and Town’s fifth goal.
Town’s East Lancashire League side went down to a 2-1 defeat at Todmorden Borough.
Town started well and controlled much of the first half, but a defensive lapse in the 20th minute gave the home side a lead they neither deserved or expected.
Fortunately the visitors equalised a minute later when a fine cross from the left wing by Peter Mogford was headed in at the back post by Jonny McGeachie.
Despite some good approach play and overall control of the game, the visitors were unable to take the lead and the teams were level at the break.
Another defensive mix up forced goalkeeper Jonny Martin into a last-ditch challenge on the home centre forward, resulting in a penalty which Borough duly converted in the 65th minute
Town did not play as well from this point as they had in the first half and were left to rue their inability to turn first half superiority into goals.