High-flying Penistone Church took full advantage of a depleted Ollerton Town side to keep their Northern Counties League Division One promotion push on track with a 3-1 victory — including a goal after just 14 seconds.
But after the game Ollerton manager Dave Winter praised his side, who are 16th with 24 points going into Christmas.
“Despite lacking a number of key players, we worked very hard and you can’t fault the players for their effort today,” he said.
Ollerton, who have won seven of their 25 matches, are 15 points clear of bottom-of-the-table Nostell Miners’ Welfare and seven clear of second-from-bottom Westella and Willerby.
Pensitone, second in the table, were given an early boost when Danny Joynes took on the Town defence before firing home in the first minute.
The visitors also had chances with Lewis Bingham forcing a save from Penistone keeper Adam Rhodes, after fine build-up play from Ollerton.
Two minutes before half-time Dale Kelly doubled Penistone’s lead when he stroked the ball past Scott Gretton from close range.
The hosts secured the points on 55 minutes when James Young was upended by Callam Atkinson, giving Lewis Dickinson the chance to dispatch the resulting penalty.
The introduction of Josh Brentnall gave Ollerton some impetus and hope of salvaging a point.
In the 65th minute, Josh Bowkett hit the goal of the game with a 45-yard strike, which dipped just under the crossbar.
Ollerton pushed forward for the remainder of the game in search of a second goal to set-up a close finish, but the Penistone defence held firm to secure the victory.