JAY Hart’s four-goal haul got Colne off to the perfect start in the North West Counties League Premier Division as they saw off Winsford United 6-2 at the XLCR Stadium.

Hart gave the Reds the perfect start when he opened the scoring on eight minutes before the visitors levelled three minutes later through James Rothwell.


But two goals in the space of three minutes before the break proved crucial as Danny Boyle and Hart again ensured the home side had a 3-1 interval lead. Kenny Taylor made it four soon after the re-start before Hart completed his treble on 55 minutes. The former Clitheroe man wasn’t finished there as he added his fourth and the hosts’ sixth just after the hour.

Although Chris Lunn added a second for the visitors in the closing stages it remained a hugely satisfying opening day for Steve Cunningham’s side.

There were plenty of goals at Congleton Town as well where Barnoldswick Town lost out by the odd goal in seven. The visitors, who survived the drop on the final day of last season, found themselves two goals down inside the opening 21 minutes after goals from Scott McGowan and Andy Alston.

But Liam Britton reduced the deficit before the break to give the away side hope.

McGowan’s second four minutes after the break and Scott Barlow’s fourth seemed to have made the game safe for Congleton but Joseph Gaughan made it 4-2 with a penalty 20 minutes from time.

Shaun Airey’s 89th-minute strike came too late to rescue a point.

Padiham returned to life in the Premier Division after two seasons in the Evo-Stik League Division One North with a 1-1 draw at home to Bootle. Chris Turner put the Storks in front midway through the first half but James McGrane levelled on 58 minutes.

Promoted AFC Darwen were beaten 1-0 at Ashton Athletic through an 80th-minute Ritchie Livingstone penalty.