TOTTINGTON United endured a difficult return to action in the Lancashire Amateur League Premier Division as they lost 4-0 at reigning champions Old Boltonians.

Despite the unflattering scoreline, the mid-table side put up a decent performance, especially considering they went into the match on the back of a six-week lay-off due to postponed matches,

The visitors shaded the opening quarter of the match, playing some tidy football on a heavy surface.

However, as half-time approached, the home side began to ask the questions and with Tottington’s centre half Nick Smith struggling to shake off the effects of a strong challenge from a Bolts defender on 35 minutes, the hosts took advantage to score two well worked goals to go into the break 2-0 up.

With Tottington having to work hard to gain a foothold after the restart, Bolts were able to exploit the gaps and added to their lead on 55 minutes.

As the visitors tired, the home side added a fourth goal with 10 minutes remaining.

“It was not nearly as comfortable as the scoreline suggests,” admitted Old Bolts manager Steve Eccleshare.

“It was hard work because Tottington set themselves up to win. They really wanted it.

“I think the turning point – and probably what helped us win it – was when our keeper Dean Hardy parried a header over the bar from point-blank range after 20 minutes.

“We changed gear and stepped up our performance after that.”

Tottington return to action on Saturday when they take on Little Lever at home.