ST HELENS Town got back to winning ways on Saturday’s trip to Atherton LR - coming away with a 2-1 victory.

St Helens were on the attack from the whistle, however Atherton’s keeper Ollie Culkin was in fine form in his first match back from injury, making some fine saves to keep the score at 0-0.

Town eventually broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute thanks to a magnificent strike from leading goalscorer Elliott Hughes. Unfortunately Town’s lead and dominance was undone two minutes later. After Town’s Ben Cartwright gave away a free kick on the edge of the penalty box, ‘keeper Phil Thompson should have done better as the ball went under his arms and into the net.

Town made three substitutions during the second half, and two of these teamed up to fashion the chance that would win the game. Neil Weaver collected the ball on the half way line and played a lovely pass to Apperley who beat his man and laid it off for Elliott Hughes to finish, much to the travelling fans’ relief.

Hughes would have grabbed a hat-trick but for another brilliant save from the Atherton keeper. It almost came undone in the 89th minute when LR, throwing everything forward looked to have grabbed the equaliser, only for Town’s Phillip Thompson to pull off a magnificent save to ensure his team left with all three points.

Manager Dave Platt said: “Always a hard-fought game against LR and with Nick Mathews in charge we knew they’d be set up to be hard to play through.

"The weather-affected pitch meant we sacrificed a bit of build-up play but we created chances and felt unlucky to be level at the break.

"Second half seemed a tighter game and I felt we increased our possession, but didn’t create as much until we made our subs. Our keeper made a great save at the end and it would have felt harsh to concede a leveller so late."

Town next game is the short trip over the East Lancs, to Ashton Town for a 3pm kick off on Monday December 27.