Holker Old Boys fell to a heavy home defeat on the opening day of the 2019/20 season in the North West Counties League, as they were beaten 6-1 by AFC Darwen at Rakesmoor Lane.

It had all started so promisingly for Holker, who took the lead after just two minutes through Tyler Wood’s goal, but their joy wasn’t to last, as Darwen put on an impressive second half display to run away with the game.

Jack Iley and Aaron Fleming both struck twice for the visitors, while Luke Holden and Corey Harrison also found the net, with just 18 minutes separating Darwen’s second and sixth goals.

In the Premier Division of the West Lancashire League, Vickerstown fell to a 3-1 home defeat to Coppull United.

The visitors were quickly 2-0 up inside a first half which saw Vickerstown reduced to ten men for a deliberate handball. Mike Rushton scored to drag the Park Vale outfit back into the game but a late goal secured the points for Coppull.

Askam carried their good pre-season form into their Division One campaign with a 3-0 home win over Kendal County. Tony Butler’s goal and a brace for Jordan Rayner gave new manager Toby O’Reilly a winning start.

The points were shared at Longlands as Crooklands Casuals drew 1-1 with Lostock St Gerards, with Steve Caskie opening his account for the season.

Ulverston Rangers game at home to Hesketh Bank was locked at 0-0 after an hour but six goals in the last 30 minutes provided an exciting end. James Pinnegor (2) Sam Pinnegor and Chris Bolton all got on the scoresheet as Ulverston ran out 4-2 winners.

Hawcoat Park lost 4-3 at home to Stoneclough in an eventful game. Hawcoat were 3-0 down at one stage but two Martin Paterson penalties and a Jack Milburn strike dragged them level.

Stoneclough then had 2 players sent to the sin bin - which is being trialled in grassroots football this season - but somehow stole a winning goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Furness Rovers started well in Division Two with a 4-2 win away at Mill Hill St Peters. The returning Joe Tindale bagged a hat trick and Rob While was also on target.

Walney Island also got off to a winning start but had to come from behind to eventually win 3-1 against league newcomers Chipping FC. Matt Lockley, James Bailey and Joe Pearson were the Walney marksmen.

Dalton United lost 4-3 on the road at Longridge Town reserves. Gareth Jones, Robbie McMurdo and Cole their scorers.

Furness Cavaliers lost 5-4 at home to Garstang reserves, with Nath Shaw, Callum Lamb (2) and Sean Critchley all scored in vain.