On the day storm Katie was forecast over the Brian Boys West View Stadium it certainly rained goals in the first forty five minutes, then the real storms came for the second half of the game, but by this time Bacup had stormed into a six goal lead helped by a superb hatrick for Anthony Hall, to whom as just turned 19 but took his goals as well as any seasoned professional.
Once again with the International break and no Premier League fixtures brought Bacup some welcomed distinguished guest, in the former Burnley & now Tottenham Hotspur defender Kieran Trippier, also Peter Smith a Sky Sports TV presenter to whom is a close friend of the club, they must have gone away well impressed with a first half of impressive football from the home side and with it goals of the highest quality.
The afternoon started with both sets of players and officials and supporters observing an impeccable minutes silence for stalwart supporter Mary Daley to whom had sadly passed away earlier in the week, what was an excellent touch from Bacup Borough was Mary’s son Kelvin joined Captain Shane Birtles and the teams in the centre circle in respect of his beloved mother.
The match got under way and not surprising the home side were from the off on the ascendancy ten minutes in and they had broken the deadlock, it started with Arran Kirk finding Michael Gervin down the right hand side who drove beyond their defence before firing a perfectly weighted pass into the path of the oncoming Anthony Hall to open the scoring. From this Bacup were having it all of their own way with Widnes struggling to get onto the ball mainly due to the fact that the home side just kept the ball moving.
Matthew Bryan down the left cut in field before finding Kieran Trippier who spotted an ideal opportunity to get a shot off at goal, which was only inches wide of the upright, on twenty minutes Bacup’s Matthew Barlow got onto the ball before delivering an intelligent pass which put Michael Gervin through onto goal which resulted in the defender miss timing his challenge, with the Referee right on hand he was left with little option but to award a penalty from the spot , up stepped experienced striker Matthew Barlow to whom made no mistake, however his team mate Michael Gervin had encroached so the kick had to be taken again, once more Barlow made no mistake and with this doubled his sides lead.
Thirty six minutes in and Bacup once again found the net when Captain Shane Birtles managed to beat the offside trap, advancing forward before delivering a difficult ball to defend, with Anthony Hall breaking forward one of two things was going to happen, an own goal from any connection from the defender, that or an excellent run and finish by Anthony Hall, it was the latter where once again the Widnes defence were failing to cope with Anthony Halls run and the quality of deliveries for him.
Three minutes later on thirty-nine minutes Bacup produced an excellent footballing move, which involved Gervin and Barlow before finding Kelvin Trippier to finish well putting the ball into the corner giving the Widnes keeper no chance.
Four minutes prior to the half time break Bacup keeper Josh Harris kicked long, from which Matthew Barlow flicked on into the path of the lively Anthony Hall, to whom found Michael Gervin who then cheekily chipped the Widnes keeper to make it five nil. But that was not the end for Bacup or young Anthony Hall, when just before the break Matthew Barlow did thread a defence splitting ball from which Anthony Hall finished like a seasoned Professional to secure his hatrick and Bacup’s sixth goal.
The second half got under way, the heavens opened with the predicted storm Katie and with it Widnes put the home side under pressure by winning a couple of free kicks around the Bacup box, along with several corners, it was from one of these corners that Bacup only partially cleared resulting in a long range effort from Widnes which was only inches wide of the Bacup upright.
With the rain getting heavier the chances for both sides started to fade but Widnes did at least bring the best out of Bacup Keeper Josh Harris, when an excellent effort was pushed onto the bar by Harris, only for the following up Widnes player to scramble wide.
The final chance was left to Bacup when substitute Josh Walne almost scored direct from a corner but I think it was fair to say with conditions getting worse both sides were glad to hear the final whistle.
Bacup Borough Team: Josh Harris, Adrian Bellamy, Shane Birtles, Laquan Esdale, Matthew Bryan, Anthony Hall, Kelvin Trippier ( Nicky Taylor ) Arran Kirk, Jordan Rutter, Michael Gervin ( Josh Walne) Matthew Barlow ( Jos De-Vries) Subs not used Martin Peters, Yves Zama.