HESKETH BANK are top of Division One on goal difference after a hard fought midweek goalless draw at BAC/EE Preston and a well-earned 3-1 victory at Hawcoat Park in Barrow last Saturday.
Saturday’s match saw just one change from the team that got a point at Preston with Neil Hulme replacing the injured Jamie Dalton. This was the first of the Cumbria trips and the weather was definitely not on their side!
A torrential downpour in the first half and a blustery wind to go with it gave poor playing conditions but on a good pitch.
The first half was pretty even and the drenched players and officials came in at half time with honours even and no goals. Thankfully the rain eased as the second half began but the strong wind was in the faces of the visiting team and Hawcoat Park must have fancied their chances.
However within 11 minutes of the re-start Hesketh Bank forged ahead into a 3-0 lead.
In the 49th minute skipper Dan Birkby was first to react in a crowded six yard box as a home defender’s header came back off the crossbar and smashed in the rebound.
Two minutes later he added a second heading home a Jordan Smethurst cross at the near post. On 56 minutes Peter Henerty coolly added a third from 12 yards to complete the devastating spell.
A shell shocked Hawcoat Park side to their credit began to use the conditions to their advantage and pulled a goal back on the hour. Adam Thompson gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box which was powerfully driven home giving keeper Paul Sergeant no chance.
Despite coming close on a couple of occasions Hesketh Bank held onto the lead and kept up their unbeaten start to the season and have conceded just two goals in the opening five games.
With midweek fixtures now completed their next match is on Saturday at the Centenary Sports Ground when they will entertain Millom which kicks off at 3pm.
Meanwhile the reserves kept up their mini revival drawing 1-1 at home to Hurst Green during the week and defeating Turton last Saturday 2-1 with Marc Pinckard scoring both goals.
On Saturday they have their first away fixture of the season as they travel to Todmorden Borough with a 3pm kick off.
For details go to www.heskethbankafc.co.uk