AWAY from the BT Sport cameras, just over two miles down the road at Rakesmoor Lane, another match between a team from Barrow and another from Greater Manchester took place on Saturday afternoon.

On this occasion though, it was the visitors who emerged victorious as North West Counties League First Division North promotion contenders Prestwich Heys beat Holker Old Boys 4-0.

Two superb solo efforts from skilful wide-man Will Shawcross helped set the visitors on course for victory, while the guile and experience of players like ex-Stockport County and Altrincham man Jamie Baguley ultimately proved the difference.

In contrast, Holker’s team has an average age in the early 20s, with several of those still finding their feet at this level.

For Old Boys player-manager Kevin Watkin, though, these sort of encounters present a perfect learning experience for his young squad as they strive to not only move away from the First Division North bottom two, but improve as individuals and a team.

“If you look at the average age, I must be twice the age of some of them now,” said Watkin. “But that’s the joy of this league; you get to play against these teams who work on it and play pass, pass, pass.

“A lot of them have probably been at a higher standard and are on the way down, so it’s a very good opportunity for the younger lads to get to their level and think that’s where they need to be.

“I think they will, but it’s just time and they’ve got to get together to work at it.”

Holker made a better start than the previous meeting between them and Prestwich, where they were two down early on, although it needed two good saves from goalkeeper and captain Sam Stephens to keep the away side out.

At the other end, Brandon Collins was denied when Prestwich stopper Michael Smith managed to palm away his shot on 16 minutes and JP Stanway went close from a free kick on the half hour.

But a throw-in led to Shawcross cutting in from the right and curling home the opener for Prestwich nine minutes before the break, followed by him breaking down the left and doing similar on 54 minutes.

Bradley Sixsmith and substitute Dominic Slaven wrapped up the win, although Watkin was able to take positives from the match.

“They’re well-organised, they’ve got a good backbone and they like to move the ball about as well, so it was always going to be a tough game and we fully expected it,” said Watkin.

“I think we did try to get our foot on the ball and play, and have a bit more confidence on the ball.

“I keep trying to get across to the lads, they don’t always have to force it - just take their time, take that little piece of mind to play the pitch in front of you and pass the ball forward to feet if you can.

“I think we did it and we created a couple of chances, but the difference is they put their away and we didn’t with ours.

It does not get easier for Holker, with second-placed Avro at home this Saturday, but that is followed by a run of games against teams around them.

They begin with a trip to Chadderton on Saturday, January 12 and Watkin is already steeling his players for those matches.

“They’re big games for me and I said to the lads they’ve got 13 days to prepare for it, do that little bit extra for the club and every night just be ready for January 12, because that’s the start of four big fixtures for me,” said Watkin.

The remaining first-round tie of this season’s Furness Senior Cup took place too, with Ulverston Rangers edging out Dalton United 2-1 in a feisty encounter at Glaxo Sports Club.

Sean Mooney netted from the penalty spot and Jack Gardner got the other to send Ulverston through to the quarter-finals, while the visitors had a man sent off.