PILKINGTON FC subdued a resolute Steeton side 2-0 to regain fifth place in North West Counties League Division One.

Steeton had beaten Pilks twice already this season so a tough game was expected and Steeton’s performance didn’t reflect their current position at the bottom of the table.

The West Yorkshire side had the first attempt on goal, Blackwell finding the side netting.

Pilks replied with a shot from Callum Laird going just wide followed by a Phil Marsh direct free kick which was easily collected by the keeper.

Captain for the day Ben Maddocks volleyed just wide and Miguel Gillam's long-range effort only found the keeper’s arms.

Pilks' attacking options suffered when Matty Taylor left the field injured in the 16th minute but replacement Taylor Prescott's constant pressing was to be a factor as the game progressed.

Good work by Marsh, George Atkinson and Prescott led to Laird having an effort scrambled away.

Laird then turned his marker on the edge of the six-yard box but his effort found the keeper again.

Laird was proving a real handful and on 39 mins he went past the last man Dawkins who fouled him, receiving only a caution for this troubles.

On 41 minutes, Steeton had a fine chance to open the scoring when Jeffrey found space at the edge of the box but his shot was well saved by Pilks debutant but very experienced keeper Graeme McCall.

It was a relatively even half with Pilks perhaps shading it in terms of chances but with nothing to show for their efforts. Steeton were nothing if not resilient and would have felt well in the game at the break.

Indeed it was Steeton had the next real opportunity on 55 minutes and issued a warning shot when Blackwell forced McCall to tip his effort over the bar. Pilks had been warned the game was wide open.

Pilks midfield maestro Jack Cunliffe's cheeky shot from an acute angle was tipped over the bar.

McCall was again called upon to deny Blackwell whose shot was travelling to the bottom corner.

Pilks got their breakthrough on 67 minutes.

Laird wriggled his way past a number of defenders before being felled. The free-kick was in an ideal position for dead-ball specialist Marsh and his free-kick, although deflected, found its way into the Steeton.

Maddocks hit the bar on 85 minutes when he did well to get on the end of another Marsh free kick.

The result was secured in the 95th minute when Marsh’s cross was deflected into the Steeton goal.

This was a hard-fought contest in challenging conditions and both teams are to be applauded for their application on the day.

It was a mystery to onlookers why Steeton are currently propping up the table. They are a very resilient side who challenged Pilks all the way.

Team: Graeme McCall (GK), Dom Whelan, George Atkinson, Jack Cunliffe, Miguel Gillam, Liam Dodd, Danny Greene, Ben Maddocks(c), Phil Marsh, Matty Taylor, Callum Laird. Subs: Karl Elias, Patrick McLoughlin (GK), Paul Meadows, Jack Gibney.

Attendance: 86