Thursday, 11 February 2016

Hawcoat put on top show in defeat

HAWCOAT Park put on a performance against unbeaten Norcross and Warbreck which left manager Mark Knowles feeling a proud man.

Despite losing 1-0 at home on a pitch described as a ‘leveller’ by the Park boss, Hawcoat came close on two occasions to getting something out of the Bay West Lancashire League Division One game.

Mike Melia, who plays up front, and new signing Sean Nicholson both had chances to score against a side who were made to work hard to maintain their record of 14 league wins on the bounce.

The game went ahead despite the bitterly cold conditions, in fact it was just one of two games in the whole of the West Lancashire League set-up which went ahead as freezing conditions bit into the fixtures, leading to s host of postponements. The entire Furness Premier League programme was wiped out because of the weather.

Norcross netted in the ninth minute, beating keeper Nick Beach for the only time in the game when a near-post corner was flicked on and converted by a close tap-in.

However, Knowles was buoyed by his team’s performance and believes if they can convert the chances they create into goals things should be looking up for the Barrow club.

He said of his side: “I think it was the first time probably absolutely everybody seemed to be on the ball. I think it was a good team performance.

“They haven’t dropped a point all season and I would have thought that’s as close as they’ve come to doing so, based on talking to their manager after the game.

“I thought the pitch condition was a leveller, which helped us out, but I really could not fault the commitment of the lads.

“I thought Craig Salton, who played in midfield yesterday, was just outstanding, also Sean Nicholson, who came on for his debut at centre-half as substitute, after we signed him from Crooklands, was brilliant as well.

“We had a couple of really good chances, one to level it from Mike Melia, who put a lob wide, and Sean Nicholson right at the death put a header over, where again it was a really good chance.

“You go from thinking there was maybe three points in it, never mind the one, to ending up with nothing. But overall I can’t fault them. From one to 14 all the lads that played a part.”

Former Barrow Raiders rugby league player Beach, who has now returned to football, had quite a quiet day and was only called into action a couple of times as the team showed their commitment.

Knowles is looking for his side to kick-on from Saturday’s match and added: “Although in the performance we were unlucky, unless we carry that on into the last 14 league games it’s not worth anything, so hopefully they will heed that.

“It was a heartening performance and if you can go on from there, you just don’t know. The difference is to score some of the chances, and if we can start doing that we are going to be all right I think.”

Hawcoat Park are at home again this week, when they entertain Wyre Villa, who are second in the table after 12 wins and four defeats.

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