A DEPLETED but spirited Prestwich side slumped to a 4-1 defeat at Rossendale in Division One of the Lancashire Amateur League on Saturday.

Despite the reverse, the Hopwood Hall College outfit did well to keep the result in the balance until the 78th minute when a fourth Rossendale goal killed off what was by then a nine-man walking wounded Prestwich.

Prestwich started the game with just 11 players, which included Richard Steadman and Sean Haslam, who were both carrying injuries, and should have taken the lead in the fourth minute when Haslam was brought down for a penalty but he skied the effort.

Rossendale took advantage and opened the scoring on 24 minutes as winger Chris Hopkins struggled to deal with the hosts' powerful wide men.

With injured Haslam a virtual pedestrian up front, Rossendale increased the lead on 35 minutes.

Prestwich re-grouped in the second period and showed plenty of character but when Haslam was forced off, Rossendale added a third on the hour.

Sam Holden pushed further up the pitch and he finally made space for David Prieto who fired home from eight yards on 70 minutes to give Prestwich some hope.

With Mike Neary making inroads down the right and Darren Buckley dominating the central areas, the visitors were in the ascendency and Rossendale looked rattled.

But Prestwich were dealt a further blow when they had a goal disallowed. Another fine Neary run and cross found Buckley lurking at the back post. His firm header back across the keeper looked to have crossed the line before being pawed back out but the unsighted ref was unable to credit the attempt.

Incensed with the injustice of that critical moment Buckley was soon dismissed for dissent but nine-man Prestwich continued to take the game to Rossendale.

Holden, who had a fine game, was unlucky to shoot over having seemingly held off the entire defence and Prieto had another effort pushed around the post before Rossendale killed the game off with a breakaway fourth goal.