PILKINGTON'S inaugural FA Cup fixture ended in defeat, when they lost 1-0 to Burscough at Bobby Langton Way.

The early stages of the match saw numerous untidy sequences of play, with neither club, both of the NWCFL Premier Division, able to get a sufficient grip on the ball and subsequently, the cup tie.

However, after Pilks somehow failed to score, firstly with Freddy Garbutt being unable to make contact with Taylor Prescott’s teasing cross, before Callum Preston headed wide from another delivery – the match sprung into life.

That would set the tone for the remainder of the match, with both sides having countless opportunities, as the attacks would to and fro – Burscough’s impressive Adam Boydell forced an excellent save out of Jake Hilton, from his equally brilliant curling effort.

The chance of the half would go to Alberto Canache, who, having got onto the end of a beautifully weighted pass across the face of goal, went with his wrong foot and shanked his shot – with the goal gaping.

With the hosts having won their first two fixtures to start the campaign, it was something of a surprise that there was little to separate them from a Pilks side that had won and lost in their first two.

It was testament to the flow and tempo of the fixture, that Pilks once again managed to make a meal out of a golden opportunity – but Burscough’s electrifying counter-attack couldn’t punish them, as the captain, Danny Boden, failed to score his headed chance.

It was very much a case of the second half picking up where the first left off, with both sides attacking thoroughly, but continuing to keep each other at bay – Chris Lomax’s wonderful effort had Charlie Monk beaten, but went marginally wide of the goalkeeper’s right post.

But, for all of the solid defending from both sides, an opportunity would eventually be taken.

Once again, Burscough attempted to give Stephen Palfrey’s men a taste of their own medicine, just a minute later – but Pilks stayed in the game, thanks to Gary Kenny’s superb goal-line clearance, to deny Will Riding a match-clincher.

On the stroke of the hour mark, brilliant interplay carved out an opening for Canache, who picked his spot and tucked his shot away with composure – making amends for that earlier miss.

That didn’t prove to dishearten Pilks, however, and their tenacity almost paid off – but for having a header cleared off the line.

As a result of that life-line, Palfrey’s side threw caution to the wind – but neither Nathan Moore’s shot from distance or Prescott’s audacious acrobatic attempt could find the all important equaliser.

With that, Pilkington exit a competition steeped in history at the Extra Preliminary Round – but you must admire the achievement of them managing to get there, in the first place.