PILKINGTON picked up a 3-1 victory over neighbours FC St Helens to remain top of Cheshire League One.

A large crowd gathered at Ruskin Sports Village for this clash of local rivals, and it was Pilks who took an early lead after just five minutes.

Luke Sephton saw his shot saved, but the rebound fell nicely for Graham Boylan to stab home.

FC had plenty of the play after that, with Paul Meadows hitting the post, but they were hit with a sucker punch midway through the half.

Sephton flicked on to find the run of Brad Smiles, who turned Meadows inside out before calmly slotting home to give Pilks a two-goal lead.

Still, FC remained composed and continued to have the better of things before finally getting a goal back on the half-hour mark.

Pilks failed to deal with a cross into the area, allowing FC skipper Liam Houghton to head home.

That was how it stayed at half time, but Pilkington stopper Rob Cork was called into action straight after the break, making a wonderful save to deny FC an equaliser.

Cork was kept busy as FC chased an equaliser, while Boylan had a chance to double his tally saved at the other end.

Finally, however, Pilks got control of the game as Sephton again played a key role.

He cut inside and played a pass to Boylan, whose cross was converted by substitute Rory Campbell to secure the three points for Pilks.

They lead second-placed Daten by four points having played two games more, while FC St Helens remain ninth.

Pilks have this weekend off, but FC are slated to visit West Didsbury and Chorlton reserves, kick off 2pm.