WINSFORD United manager Lee Duckworth has spoken on his side's opening day defeat at Barnoldswick, writes Eithan Boulter-Ashcroft.

The game couldn’t have started any better for the visitors with Sam Marshall finding Robbie Hatton in the box who opened the scoring inside 20 minutes.

But in a first half in which they dominated, Barnoldswick hit the Blues with a sucker punch equaliser at the end of the first half with Gareth Hill netting.

A poor second half followed, allowing the hosts to complete the turnaround before the hour mark through Dan Fagan.

There were more chances that came and went for Winsford but a goal in the dying seconds from Kuda Chingwaro secured the three points for the hosts.

Duckworth was left disappointed with his side's second half showing.

“It was a disappointing day. We had seven lads missing but it gave us an opportunity to see the strength of the squad," he said.

"First half we were largely in control of the game, and should have been out of sight after having one chalked off for offside, a couple of sitters missed then finally we broke the deadlock.

"We then allowed them to come back into the game in the last five minutes of the half when they hit us with a sucker punch to draw level.

"Second half we didn’t start, they stuck to their direct game plan very well and were worthy of being level, and shaded the second half.

"They deserved to go in front. It woke us up, but again we missed two sitters to put us back in control of the game. We have to learn to take our opportunities.

"Then in the last minute of the game the referee ignored a clear head injury and an offside flag from his linesman and allowed their player to break away and score when everyone else had stopped.

"In 30 years in non-league, I have never seen a decision like it! But we have no complaints, we didn’t deserve anything after that second-half performance. We needed to take our chances first half when we dominated the game.”

Winsford captain Perry Bircumshaw was also disappointed.

“Very disappointing start to the season especially after taking the lead," he said.

"In the second half we created a couple of chances but we couldn’t find the back of the net.

"Barnoldswick were clinical in front of goal and took their chances.

"We can only put things right at home to Avro on Tuesday night.”