Dec 19 2013 Ormskirk Advertiser
FOLLOWING their tough 1-0 home win against Barrow side Hawcoat Park and their sixth game on the trot without conceding a goal the week previous, Hesketh Bank travelled for their first ever visit to Bolton County last Saturday.
They were fortunate to keep their unbeaten run going and conceded their first goal in nearly 11 hours of football as a late Dan Birkby equaliser snatched a point.
Manager James Smith had a full squad to pick from apart from Kevin Cox whose comeback from a long term ankle injury has suffered a setback.
On a narrow pitch on top of a hill with a gale force biting wind going straight across the pitch this was never going to be a match that would suit Hesketh Bank’s normal passing game.
The home side quickly got into gear and put pressure on the Hesketh Bank players when they had the ball causing too many undue errors.
Despite this neither keeper saw much action with no clear cut chances being created by either side as they struggled with the elements and the first half finished all square with no goals at the interval.
Bolton continued to look the more dangerous team in the second half and with the conditions getting worse by the minute they began to create chances. Keeper Paul Sergeant became increasingly busy and tipped over a dipping 20 yard effort. From the resulting corner the ball was not cleared properly and the tall Bolton central midfielder was given too much time as he went past two challenges before slotting the ball past Sergeant to open the scoring after 65 minutes.
Manager Smith quickly made a triple substitution bringing on Stephen Greenwood, Richard Hill and Jordan Smethurst.
However Bolton continued to go forward and man of the match Sergeant had to pull off two point blank saves to keep his side in the game.
This proved to be the turning point as in the 81st minute and in a rare attack John Stead put Peter Henerty clear on the left and his shot could only be parried into the feet of Birkby who gratefully smashed home the equaliser from close range.
This was not one of Hesketh Bank’s better performances and Bolton County will have felt they should have won the match but sometimes these are the sort of results that get teams promoted.