Golcar United joint boss Ash Connor is looking for his side to bounce back after 2022 started on a disappointing note in front of a big Bank Holiday Monday crowd.

A season’s best crowd of 645 came to watch table-toppers Golcar take on promotion rivals Holker Old Boys at the Skye Direct Stadium but two quick goals early in the second half saw the home side slip to a 2-0 defeat, knocking them off top spot.

Three away wins in December meant the club won the North West Counties Division One North Club of the Month Award, which was presented before kick-off.

After the game Connor said: “I thought we were the better side in the first half and played well. We had some chances to score but just couldn’t convert them. 

“We went into half-time positive and then they scored just after the break and the whole plan changed. We changed our shape and got back into it. We could have had a penalty at the end when Dan Naidole was fouled. I don’t really know how the linesman missed it.

“We just have to put this behind us now and move on and try and put things right against Pilkington on Saturday.”

Ash Connor (second right) and joint boss Gav Connor receive the club of the Month Award before kick-off. Pic by: Sean Doyle

The game saw Golcar’s highest attendance of the season and biggest league attendance for two years since a 1-0 win over Shelley in October 2019. The previous best this season was 459 against Ilkley.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause for Golcar supporter Brook Johnson, who died aged 29 10 years ago to the day. Golcar’s new stand, which was opened by former Huddersfield Town player Mark Lillis in October 2020, is named in Brook’s honour.


Mark Lillis (right) opens the Brook Johnson Stand at Golcar United

On to the match and the first chance of the game came on the 10th minute when Leon Henry passed the ball across the Holker box. Top scorer Ash Flynn flashed a shot wide. Another cross came in a minute later, this time Buddy Cox just missed the target. 

As the action heated up the visitors had their first chance on the 12th minute when Holker’s Jamie Hodgson put through Sean Paterson. Golcar’s keeper Graham McLachlan was equal to the effort diving low to make the save. 

The next big chance came on the 20th minute when Holker’s Tom Dawson headed the ball straight into the arms of McLachlan who again came to his side’s rescue. 

Golcar’s next big chance came on the 39th minute when defender Nick Crane struck a long drive towards the Holker goal. The visiting keeper Samuel Stephens saw the shot all the way to gather. 

Golcar almost went behind just before the break when a backpass dropped short and William McGladdery ran onto the ball and flashed a shot wide of the goal.

The second half started badly when Holker’s Jamie Hodgson set up Jason Walker who tapped the ball home from close range to make it 1-0 to Holker.

Golcar immediately tried to bring the scores level when Naidole went close to scoring but hit the ball straight at the keeper. 

The visitors doubled their lead on the 52nd minute when Paterson rounded McLachlan to slot the ball home to make it 2-0. 

In the last minute of the match Golcar thought they had a penalty when Naidole went down in the box. However the referee waved away the claims and it would probably have been too little, too late anyway.

Golcar have three more home games on the spin in January starting with the visit of Pilkington on Saturday.  

A gallery of images by SEAN DOYLE