Bacup Borough 2 Holker Old Boys 0
Bacup Borough produced a true grit performance against difficult opponents on Wednesday evening, both sets of players and supporters first of all were involved in an impeccable minutes silence in respect of Long serving supporter Johnny Harris and Danny Wilkinson the Non-League Footballer to whom collapsed and died playing the game he loved.
Once the game got underway the game ebbed and flowed at each end of the pitch but it was the Bacup keeper Aaron Ashley that was brought into early action following conceding a free kick, the ball was delivered in with quality and equally attacked with a stunning header which saw the Bacup keeper fully stretched pulling off a stunning save, in the early minutes of the game Holker were afforded a lot of space down the Bacup left, from which several quality crosses were proving to be a major threat to Bacup, but with some fine tuning from the Bacup bench this threat was soon averted, then on twelve minutes Bacup took the lead, this came from some clever play from Ashley Leather to whom put the ball into such an area where his lively team mate Anthony Hall did react and made no mistake with a clinical finish.
Bacup’s Ashley Leather soon almost did make it two when he got through the crowded defence, the ball failed to run true following a trick to gain half a yard so the player had to readjust, his quick feet gained him enough space to get his shot off but the Holker keeper was equal to it.
Despite the final ten minutes of the half in which Bacup were struggling to get near Holker in which they were having their best spell of the half, Bacup managed to see the half out up to the break with their slender one goal lead intact.
Bacup came out in the second half with a new shape and with this Davison Banda was the unlucky one to make way for Substitute Darcy O’Connor, there was very little to separate the two sides apart from Bacup’s slender lead
Bacup made a second substitution introducing Matthew Bryan replacing Ashley Leather, then Johnathan Thompson came on replacing Matthew Barlow, it was not long before Thompson and Matthew Bryan linked up well following a counter attack from which Bryan’s shot was inches wide of the post, minutes later the same player Matthew Bryan attacked down the right of the pitch before getting his shot off which rebounded back off the post.
A further chance came Bacup Borough’s way when Bacup won a free kick, an excellent delivery by Anthony Hall finding the run of Adrian Bellamy which he connected with the ball very well, only to see his effort drift just wide of the far post, Bacup at this stage seemed to be getting themselves into some excellent scoring positions and with this certainly did have the edge over their Cambrian opponents, but then Bacup’s substitute Darcy O’Connor got caught into an aggressive coming together with his opponent which resulted in the Bacup player being given a straight Red Card and his team down to ten men, this did mean a huge fifteen minutes for the Bacup players to really pull rank together and ensuring they protected their slender lead, this Bacup did very well, content to defend in numbers but still proved to be a real threat on the break, in fact it should have been 2 to Bacup when Matthew Bryan broke before finding Thompson, with two players to his side he opted to get his shot off but it was disappointingly well wide.
Another Bacup attack did bring with it another rash challenge from Holker and this time the Referee was left with little option but to send off their player resulting in both teams playing the game out with ten men.
It was no surprise Holker were constantly happy to put the ball long into our box but the Bacup rear guard aided by their midfield players were defending well, but could Bacup see the game out and secure the points? This was rubber stamped when a long ball found Johnathan Thompson up front, still with a lot to-do he turned the defender before baring down onto goal and then producing a composed finish, this was an excellent individual goal coming at the right time, securing three much needed points for his Borough team, with it keeping a clean sheet which was nothing short of what Bacup deserved.