DESPITE a last-day defeat, Barnoldswick Town's outgoing manager Danny Craig can be proud of his team's efforts, after their late burst of good results saw them finish ninth in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division.

Craig managed the side for the last time as they faced Ashton Athletic at the Silentnight Stadium. They had gone 1-0 down after conceding a scrappy early goal, and were denied an equaliser when Mark Threlfall's effort was brilliantly saved.

However, the ever-prolific Zack Dale soon made amends, as he popped up to draw the two sides level just before the break.

The teams could not be separated until halfway through the second half, when Town conceded an unfortunate own goal. Their disappointment was compounded by Ashton netting a third ten minutes before the final whistle.

It was a slightly underwhelming way to end Craig's reign and the result was in sharp contrast to their 5-1 midweek home win over Padiham.

Both sides went close early on. Andrew Hill and James Crorken nearly found the back of the net, before Town's goalkeeper Jordan Gidley was forced into action with a fine save.

Unsurprisingly, it was Dale who put Barnoldswick in front after half an hour and when Marc Young fired home a second soon after, the game looked in little doubt.

However, Padiham pulled one back a minute before half-time to bring themselves right into the contest.

However, Town were irresistible in the second half, and only several fine saves from the opposition goalkeeper kept them at bay.

Eventually, Threlfall made it three on the hour mark, before Hill made the game safe 10 minutes later. Exciting prospect Teal Amos rounded off the scoring with two minutes to go to ensure an emphatic victory.

Town finished their league campaign with 22 wins, 71 points and 102 goals. Whoever takes over from the popular Craig will do well to match those achievements next season.