It was a battle of the shooting stars in our Poulton and District Primary League match of the week at Freckleton’s Bush Hall, where Warton Under-15s’ hat-trick hero Chris Wilkinson outscored Layton Lads’ brace ace Harry Cox.
Warton got off to a flyer and were 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, thanks to two fine striker’s finishes by hard-working Wilkinson, who has scored all his team’s goals so far this season.
Layton refused to let their heads drop and battled back, reducing the deficit to 2-1 by half-time with a long-range screamer by attacking midfielder Cox.
Layton came out all guns blazing for the second half and equalised with another Cox piledriver from outside the box.
The winner came midway through the second half, when Tom Wharton made a fine run from midfield and played the ball between the defenders for Wilkinson to run on to and slot home for his fourth goal of the campaign.
There were still 20 minutes left and Layton pressed for an equaliser, though Warton keeper Martins Lagdza continued his fine progress with some outstanding saves.
Olly Moran also hit the bar with a header for Layton when the score was 2-2.
It’s a learning curve for both clubs, who are adapting well to new surroundings.
Warton played in the lower tier of the Blackpool and District League last season and have switched to the upper level of the PDPL.
Manager Mark Hadfield said: “It was a good, close game. We played well and are adapting well to our new competition.
“We’ve won two and lost two, and one of our wins was against a YMCA team who finished high up last season. We have a good set of lads from different areas bonding well.”
It’s a similar story for Layton boss Matty Cox, who said: “Ours is a brand new team and this was only their third game together.
“We have won through to the next round of the Lancashire FA Cup, so it’s coming together.”
“We did well to fight back from 2-0 but I’m disappointed not to win because I thought we were the better side.
While double scorer Cox was the Layton man of the match, Warton gave their vote Jacob Britton.
Whether on the left wing in the first half or in a more central marking role in the second, Jacob showed great effort and desire.