Hesketh Bank took a break from league fixtures as they entertained Bolton County in the 1st Round of the Lancashire Amateur Shield at the Centenary Sports Ground and comfortably progressed running out 5-2 winners. Manager James Smith took the opportunity of giving a start to 16 year old Elliot Cookson in defence in place of Kevin Cox and Josh Brierley replaced player coach Jamie Johnson in midfield. On a lovely sunny day and with the playing surface looking splendid as usual thanks to Groundsman Morgan Dodgson the match began.
Having beaten Bolton 4-0 comprehensively the previous week in the league it may have appeared that the home side would have a fairly safe passage through to the next round. However in the early exchanges the two sides matched each other without either side making chances. Gradually Hesketh Bank began to gain control in the midfield with Neil Hulme in particular probing away at the visitor’s defiant defence. A few chances started to be made and missed with skipper Dan Birkby and Jamie Dalton both spurning good opportunities as it looked to be only a matter of time before the stalemate was broken. The opening goal eventually arrived but it was Bolton who scored in the 41st minute after a rare mistake by keeper Paul Sergeant. Stung into action Dan Birkby smashed home a 25 yarder less than a minute after the re-start and the teams went in all square at the interval.
After a couple of minutes of the second half the home side went in front with young Elliot Cookson scoring his first senior goal finding himself room in the box following a corner before smashing the ball past the keeper. Jamie Dalton added a 3rd soon after from the penalty spot and when Dan Birkby grabbed his second of the game in the 67th minute the contest appeared all but over. Some sloppy defending gave Bolton a little hope soon after to make the score 4-2 but substitute Ben Goodson soon restored the three goal cushion with a well taken goal.
Hesketh Bank’s reward in the 2nd Round is a trip to Premier Division side Garstang on Saturday 5th October. Before then it’s back to the league and they will be hoping to remain in pole position with back to back home games. The first of these are Ambleside United as the visitors on Saturday with a 3pm kick off.
Meanwhile the reserves return to action after a two week lay-off as they travel to Milnthorpe Corinthians which also kicks off at 3pm. The Sunday team who went top of their league after beating Leyland Orient 4-1 at the CSG are at home again on Sunday as they entertain Longshaw Sports from Blackburn in the 1st round of the LFA Sunday Trophy with an 11am kick off.
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