South Lakes men were forced to field a weakened line-up for their match against Northern in Division Two North of the North West League, which ended in a 7-1 home defeat.

Anthony Salisbury scored Lakes’ only goal of the game with a powerful finish into the top corner during the first half but, with several key players out, they found Northern to be too strong.

The visitors pulled away as they lifted themselves up to third in the table, while Lakes dropped to second-from-bottom as they were brought back down to earth from their superb win at Southport the previous week.

South Lakes women were left twiddling their thumbs as travel issues involving visitors Lancaster University led to their match in Division Three North West of the North League being postponed.

They will at least be refreshed for when they welcome Carlisle on Saturday, as it will be their first match in three weeks, while the men will look to bounce back when they host Fylde 2nd XI.

Luck deserted the teams at Windermere, with an illness sweeping through the club and forcing several players to take to the field whilst still feeling unwell. Not surprisingly, this had an adverse effect on their results.

The men’s 1st XI had their five-match unbeaten run ended by a 4-0 defeat against high-flying Knutsford in Division Two West of the North League.

It was even worse for the women’s 1st XI, who went into their top-of-the-table clash with Pendle Forest 2nd XI with an arm tied behind their back due to four of their players falling ill on the morning of the game.

Pendle gleefully despatched them 9-0, dropped them down to third, and Kyrsten Fox, the mother of one of Mere’s stricken players, got their player-of-the-match award for turning out herself to make up the numbers.

By contrast, Windermere Men’s 2nd XI dominated most of their North West League Division Four North North match at Garstang yet still lost 1-0 to a single first-half goal.

At one stage, Mere forced five short corners but they could not score despite a really promising performance everywhere else on the pitch.

The club will be hoping for a better set of results this weekend, with the men’s 1st XI welcoming Crewe Vagrants to The Lakes School and the women’s 1st XI hosting Garstang 2nd XI.