CONISTON avoided the wholesale fixture wipeout caused by the freeze-up on Saturday and a 2-0 home victory over Carleton Rovers moved them up to second place, two points adrift of Wetheriggs, who have two matches in hand.

The win extended Coniston's unbeaten league run to six matches, a sequence which began following Carleton's 4-2 defeat of them at Frenchfield back on September 17.

The Shepherd's Bridge pitch was only playable thanks to the painstaking work of groundsman Bob Airey and because it received full sun during the morning.

Timmy Fletcher showed good anticipation to get on the end of Toby Hodgkinson's pull-back to slam home Coniston's first goal in the opening minutes.

Carleton's keeper prevented the home side forging further ahead with several good saves until David Cooper settled the issue in the second half as he applied a deft finish following a goalmouth scramble.

It was another solid Coniston performance, with Ben Clark again impressing in midfield before he starts a month's suspension.

Manager Steve Walker said: "It was a good solid performance played in good spirit and we were always in control against bigger, physical opponents.

"We are up there with the top sides, but it needs someone to get a result against the leaders Wetheriggs to bring them back to the pack."

The only other matches played involved the Division Three pacesetters, with leaders Ibis Reserves winning 3-2 at Grasmere to stay a point ahead of Carleton Rovers Reserves, who went clear second after beating Wetheriggs A 4-0.

The Ibis goals came from Jamie Mitchell and Mark Carradus in the first half as they turned round 2-1 ahead and then Steve Longcake in the second half.

Keeper Andrew Armistead made several vital good saves, including palming a shot on to the woodwork, at a corner-kick in the last minute, to ensure the win.

This weekend Kendal Town Reserves represent Westmorland FA in a Northern Counties Senior Competition match against Aspatria (Cumberland FA) at Parkside on Saturday (2pm).

Meanwhile, the big derby in the Lakes sees Ambleside take on Coniston in the Senior Cup (1.30pm).