Todmorden Borough were beaten 2-0 at home but far from disgraced against a Hurst Green side sealing promotion from Division Two of the West Lancashire League last Saturday.
Green may struggle to hold off Bolton County in the title race but having suffered a shock defeat to eventual beaten finalists Borough in the divisional cup, they came with respect for their hosts.
Significantly, they also had much more incentive than a Tod side sure to finish in mid-table and lacking several players due to cricket, a wedding and other reasons.
Home boss John Gilford opted to play five in midfield and three at the back in an effort to head off Green’s attacks at the pass.
The system worked well and Green were unable to play their way through the home ranks. However, Borough twice conceded goals at set pieces playing against the wind in the first half.
The first was a header from the centre half following a free kick to the back post approaching the half-hour mark and the second 10 minutes later came from close range following a long throw.
Borough were on the front foot for much of the second half but struggled to create chances against a side which defended well, Harry Whitehead going closest with a header against the outside of a post.
Gilford was satisfied that his team had competed well and admits that player availability will determine how well his side fare in the last couple of weeks of the season.
Borough were away to Croston Sports last night, they host Kendal County on Saturday, travel to Whinney Hill on Tuesday and then finish with a trip to Barrow Wanderers on the following Saturday.
Borough have slipped a place to eighth but have two games in hand on CMB, who have one point more, and Gilford has set his sights on a seventh placed finish.
“After the start we had that would be respectable but not fantastic,” he said.
Terry Lowe and Danny Fraine were the scorers as Borough Reserves lost 3-2 at Burscough Richmond Reserves on Saturday.
The seconds made amends on Monday, beating Slyne With Hest Reserves4-3 at Belholme with a Lowe hat-trick and a goal from Chundy Balde to lie seventh in the table.