ZACK Dale’s super solo strike condemned Winsford United to a defeat in their final fixture of the campaign at Barnoldswick.
The winger danced past two attempts to stop him before firing into the top corner six minutes before the break.
It was a worthy winner.
Blues had fallen behind early on when Ben Gorman drilled through a crowed of players when the visitors failed to clear a corner.
The visitors rallied, and Andy Keogh’s header prompted goalkeeper Jordan Gidley to save.
He could not prevent the same player from scoring an equaliser after quarter of an hour, when he fired in with power after Kyle Riley teed him up.
Dale’s attempt flashed over at the other end, then he turned provider for Mark Threlfall who failed to hit the target.
Fortunately his teammate was more accurate on 39 minutes.
Winsford went close to levelling a second time on a number of occasions after the interval, firstly when Keogh shot wide from an angle.
He conjured an opening for Riley, but Gidley intervened.
Blues’ captain could not find the net from his next effort either.
Goalkeeper coach Danny Osborne replaced Chris Middleton on 65 minutes, and almost celebrated an unlikely goal when Gidley tipped over his header.
Further attempts from Johnson, playing in an unfamiliar role wide role, and player-manager Lee Duckworth followed before another replacement, Perry Bircumshaw, called Barlick’s number one into action a final time in the closing stages.
Barlick | Gidley (GK), Blades, Crorken, Lloyd, Barnes, Airey, Dale, Hill, Threlfall (Hollindrake 56), Taylor (Cruz 64), Gorman (Airdrie 90) Subs not used Hodgkinson, Cross Goals Gorman 5, Dale 39 Booked Blades, Hill
Blues | Green (GK), Perry, Duckworth, Fitzgerald (Bircumshaw 46), Foster, Middleton (Osborne 64), Steele, Howell, Riley, Keogh, Johnson Subs not used Rothwell, Tickle Goal Keogh 16 Booked Fitzgerald, Bircumshaw
Referee Ian Gittins