STEETON failed to score for the first time since the opening match of the season as they were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Pilkington in the NWCFL First Division North on Saturday.

Adam Gilchrist’s deflected strike set the tone for the hosts to score three times in 17 second-half minutes to ease to victory.

Joe Snowden and the lively Tom Robinson fired narrowly over the bar early on for Steeton, while at the other end, Gilchrist and Deklan Hill saw efforts saved by Stuart Cross.

Jacob Holgate, who came on early for the injured Toby Jeffrey, soon set up the best chance for either side after breezing past two Pilkington defenders, but Gary Kenny got back well to deny the young winger with a superb last-ditch tackle.

Minutes later, the Chevrons thought they had opened the scoring when Andy Briggs headed a Jack Lynn cross past goalkeeper Andrew Heale, however, the ball was judged to have gone out of play.

The Chevrons had to dig in to keep the game goalless at half-time, but they came out firing after the interval.

Kayle Price turned a Robinson delivery wide of the far post before Briggs was denied by some outstanding last-ditch defending to win a corner, with Robinson inches away from opening the scoring with a shot off the post.

However, the Chevrons were made to pay for their missed chances when Gilchrist put the hosts ahead in the 64th minute.

Cross tipped a free-kick on to the post before the ball was cleared to the Pilkington skipper, who saw his 25-yard strike find the net via the post

The visitors looked to have responded almost immediately when Briggs skipped through four challenges before finishing past Heale from a tight angle, but the referee instead brought the match back for a free-kick on the edge of the box.

That decision proved decisive, with Pilkington adding a second minutes later.

The Chevrons’ defence switched off, allowing Callum Laird to collect a Heale goal-kick before driving forward and slotting the ball into the bottom right corner.

The hosts added a deserved third with 13 minutes remaining when an unmarked Gilchrist was given time and space to fire in his second at the near post.

Pilkington then hit the post once again with a thunderous 25-yard strike, before Cross prevented what seemed a certain fourth goal with an outstanding diving save in the final minutes.

Pilkington remain in promotion contention in fourth, while Steeton drop to 12th ahead of their match at South Liverpool on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).