North West Counties League

Premier Division

Whitchurch Alport 1

Bootle 3

Two defensive lapses allowed title chasing Bootle to record a fifteenth consecutive Premier division win as they closed the gap on City of Liverpool to just two points.

Returning skipper, Darren Campion, was guilty of conceding possession just 10 minutes into the game, while goalkeeper Dave Parton, let a routine shot squirm through his clutches on the stroke of half-time to gift the Merseysiders a second goal at a crucial stage in the contest.

The third goal in the match was to prove decisive as Bootle stretched their lead and only a consolation goal in the closing stages from Luke Walley gave the scoreline a more respectable look.

Campion's mis-placed place in the howling wind allowed Carl Peers to pick out goal machine Ryan Cox, and he found the bottom corner with a simple swipe of his right boot.

Parton then denied Peers a quickfire second and Alport looked to be heading into the break just a goal behind with it all to play for in the second half.

But Parton – usually so self-assured – had a howler when Peers tried his luck from the edge of the box. It should have been food and drink for one of the best goalkeepers in the division, but the ball somehow left his clutches and agonisingly rolled into the net.

In the second period it was a much more even contest with Jones finally brought into action with a fine save from Dylan Bath. The midfielder had another chance but fluffed his lines when he couldn't get the ball from under his feet quickly enough and his effort was easily gathered by Jones.

With 20 minutes remaining, had Alport got the next goal then Bootle may well have been tested but Connor Millington put the game beyond their reach with a fine third from a tight angle. Substitute Walley finished precisely with a first-time effort that beat Jones at his near post but there wasn't enough time for the Reds to mount the most unlikeliest of comebacks.