Match Report: Bacup Borough v Sandbach United

Second Half Disputed Penalty Confirms Bacup To Defeat.

Bacup Borough -0 – Sandbach United -2

Bacup Borough squandered three points to the Cheshire Side with an hotly disputed second half penalty being the focal talking point which doubled Sandbach’s lead, basically putting an end to any Bacup come back.

The first half was an even contested affair, Bacup should have opened the scoring when Darcy O’Connor made a deep run from midfield, a perfect pass into his path saw the player running in onto goal from a slightly wide position, O’Conner placed his shot wide of the Sandbach keeper, with the keeper well beaten it did look like Bacup was going to get an early goal, only to be thwarted by the post from which stopped the ball and the keeper able to recover.

Sandbach earned the first corner of the game which resulted in basically a free header wide, this was quite a physical game with several free kicks being awarded Bacup Borough’s way, the first one was a foul on Nathan Emery some thirty yards away from the Sandbach goal, the kick was well delivered but not one Bacup player failed to attack.

Bacup had another chance to have shot themselves into the lead when once again Darcy O’Connor broke through beyond the Sandbach high back line, with the goal facing him he made somewhat of a bewildering decision to square the ball for the oncoming Ashley Leather which Sandbach then defended when at least a shot on goal could have brought a break through.

There were plenty of free kicks during the game, the next one did come Sandbach’s way, Bacup defended the kick twenty yards out, then at the opposite end of the pitch Ashley Leather received the ball on the right side of the pitch, he made a direct run, showed excellent skills before cutting inside the box getting his shot off which was blocked on its way to goal, with half time fast approaching and forty minutes on the clock, once again Bacup was guilty of conceding yet another free kick some twenty yards out, this kick was taken from the Sandbach right when the ball was delivered, Bacup’s set up must be questioned when Sandbach’s Matthew Pearson was granted a free header which sent his side into a slender half time lead.

The second half got underway which proved to be more about what the officials were not doing within their duties, more than what the players were doing on the pitch, something that started when during play Sandbach’s Josh Lane did throw a drinks bottle into the direction of the Bacup Technical area which struck one of the Bacup coaches, with the ball now having gone out of play and an obvious reaction from the Bacup bench the Sandbach player received a yellow card, following this incident Bacup probably produced their best move of the game with some excellent play between Michael Gervin and Anthony Hall before a Nathan Emery header was only inches over the cross bar, then at the opposite end of the pitch another incident occurred when Sandbach’s lively Omar Mballo seemed to go for the ball high on Bacup’s Gareth Wager, with the Sandbach player on the floor and words coming from Wagers mouth, the young player leapt to his feet and blatantly punched Wager for all to see, surprisingly the official produced a yellow card for both players and play resumed, this bizarre decision by the official seemed to just make matters worse based on what was to follow, Bacup Borough’s young Anthony Hall some fifteen yards in field from the Sandbach Technical Area, on the ball showing good feet beating players in a tight area only to be rashly lifted by Sandbach’s just booked Omar Mballo, with Hall obviously hurt rolling around on the floor, the Sandbach Manager left his Technical area to run onto the pitch standing over the injured player making out the player had made the most of the challenge, whilst the player was getting treatment heated exchanges were spoken between the two dug outs, once Hall had been treated the Referee produced a red card for Sandbach’s Omar Mballo yet nothing for the Sandbach Manager that was clearly on the pitch berating at the injured player.

When play resumed Bacup had only themselves to blame leading to Sandbach being afforded the chance to double their lead, with the home side in control of possession, pushing high from the back, Bacup defender with the ball and everything in front of him, seemed to dwell on the ball before playing a short side ways ball that was cut out leaving the visitors with a break onto the Bacup goal, with recovering defenders getting back in, the ball was played square to a breaking team mate from which was being tracked by the Bacup full back Stewart Craig, both players heading to the penalty area Craig slid the ball away for a corner, (see picture below) with the ball well gone the advancing player fell over the Bacup player for the Referee just behind the action looking to his assistant further away from the action, which resulted in a penalty being awarded, this decision did not only infuriate the Bacup players involved in the action but also spectators behind those goals to whom had the best view in the ground, Sandbach’s Daniel Bartle stepped up to the spot and made no mistake with a well struck kick sending the ball into the roof of the net, this decision, this goal put the game out of reach for Bacup, yes Bacup can feel grieved about the penalty but Bacup worked enough good openings that by making the correct decision and being more clinical would still have got something from this game.

Photograph courtesy of A Moment In Sport