Hesketh Bank’s unbeaten start to the league came to an end last Saturday at the Centenary Sports Ground with the visitors Hurst Green coming away with all three points thanks to a single goal victory. Manager James Smith was without four regulars, Kevin Cox, Jamie Dalton and Neil Hulme all injured along with the unavailability of Ben Goodson. His assistant Jamie Johnson and young Elliot Cookson were drafted into the side as replacements from the side that went out on penalties the previous week at Garstang.
Hurst Green were making their first ever visit to the CSG and after being promoted last season they had made a good start and were handily placed in 4th spot. The game began at a lively pace on the superb playing surface and it was Paul Sergeant in the home goal who had to make the first save in the fourth minute tipping over a long range effort. Four minutes later John Stead on his home debut thought he had put his side in front heading past the visiting keeper only to turn and see the linesman’s raised flag indicating offside. Hesketh Bank took control and had a lot of possession and the big keeper was kept busy without being unduly troubled. However on 35 minutes a sickening collision of heads by two of the home sides defending players, Peter Henerty and Adam Thompson saw both players having to leave the field after a lengthy delay.
In hindsight this appeared to affect the home side with Josh Brierley and Michael Love coming on as replacements, the defence had to be reshuffled. The visitors were now getting more of the ball and were eventually rewarded after 65 minutes when Josh Norgate failed to deal with a bouncing ball from the goalkeeper’s long kick and this was swiftly sent wide right and the cross was met first time leaving Sergeant rooted to his goal-line as the ball hit the corner of the net. Try as they might Hesketh Bank were unable to trouble the visitors for the remainder of the game and Hurst Green gleefully accepted the result at the final whistle.
Hesketh Bank remain in seconf place five points behind leaders Lostock St. Gerards but with a game in hand as third place Dalton United also lost. Hesketh Bank have another tough game as they travel to Cumbria on Saturday to face Dalton which kicks off at 3pm.
Meanwhile the reserves lost 3-2 at Leyland United with John Ascroft and Marc Pinckard the scorers. On Saturday they entertain Poulton reserves at the CSG with a 3pm kick off. The Sunday side march on into the third round of the Lancashire FA Sunday Trophy as they beat Blackpool side Boars Head 6-3 at home. They are without a fixture this weekend. For up to date details and to make winter bookings for the club’s 3G training facility check out the website www.heskethbankafc.co.uk