Nathan Reid’s fourth goal of the season sealed all three points for Holker Old Boys as they beat Chadderton in controversial fashion.
After a goalless first half, Reid dispossessed home goalkeeper Harrison Fleet on the edge of the penalty box, leaving the home goal unguarded. The in-form striker turned the last defender to tap the ball into the net on 56 minutes.
Fleet’s furious protests to referee Thomas de Prez fell on deaf ears and the goal stood.
Chadderton came close to an equaliser late on when an attempt from Harry Dean’s free kick was somehow kept out of the away goal in a crowded penalty box.
Ethan Sutcliffe then had a one on one saved by visiting keeper Sam Stephens.
The home side pushed hard for an equaliser late on but to no avail, with Mark Ashworth’s injury-time shot stinging Stephens’ hands.
The result strengthens the Cumbrian side’s place in the playoffs at this early stage.
After half time, the game was delayed by 29 minutes after an injury to one of the linesmen while a replacement was found.
Both sides used the delay to have an extended warm up.
Chadderton made four changes to the side that drew at Ashton Town on Monday, with Phil McGrath, Musamba Kisimba Kisimba, Adam Dale and Ethan Sutcliffe coming in for Arron Scholes, Ben Holmes, Cory Knight and Chris Pauley.
Holker brought in Joe Amison and Tom Dawson for today’s game, replacing Gareth Smith and Jamie Mellen who played in their Cumbrian derby win over Cleator Moor Celtic.
Visitors The visitors were on a great run of form coming into the game, taking five straight victories which has seen them rise above Chadderton in the league.
Holker started the game brighter, with the dangerous Jamie Hodgson and Dawson combining well in the early going through the centre and down the left.
Home goalkeeper Fleet kept his side in it in the first 20 minutes, punching shots from both Hodgson and Dawson away and over the bar.
Away keeper Sam Stephens didn’t have much to do before the break, but looked nervous when he was called upon, parrying away a Joe Richards corner.
The home side had some half chances to take the lead, but Jack Worrall’s long distance shot was way over, and Richards’ shot through the centre was easily collected by Stephens.
The Barrow-in-Furness side spent much of the first 45 camped in the Chadderton half, but couldn’t make their possession or any of their clear-cut chances count.
The home side pushed for parity as the game came to it’s closing moments, but a lack of killer instinct meant Stephens’ goal remained unbreached and the Cumbrian side hung on for a sixth consecutive league win.
The visitors deserved the win on the balance of play, but Chadderton will not be happy with the goal that confirmed a defeat.
Ben Greenidge and Carl Taylor’s side now have no win in three games, but overall will still be quietly satisfied with a decent start to the season.