Bacup Borough -0- Whitchurch Alport -0
Borough Stall Alport’s Promotion Push
Promotion hopefuls Whitchurch Alport arrived in East Lancashire on the back of an impressive nine goal thrashing of Ashton Town with their last three away games all resulting in wins, with this scoring an impressive nineteen goals, given the fact that Brent Peters young side was riddled with absentee’s mainly due to injury this was always going to be a daunting task made even more daunting when for the second game running Nathan Emery having confirmed his availability was once again a late withdrawal from an already thread bared squad, this presented the opportunity for Benjamin Rhodes his first full debut following his progression from the clubs under eighteen’s team, Ben excelled beyond all expectations, another young player introduced was Peter Genicott a Belgium lad from the Manchester International Football Academy, Selection issues were that bad for Manager Brent Peters that Tom Coulson and Goal Keeper Josh Harris both carrying injuries had to be named onto the substitutes bench.
Having the numbers to play is one thing but being able to balance a side from those numbers is another thing, given that there was too many for one position but not enough capable of playing other positions is a situation that would always need careful consideration, well on reflection of the ninety minutes of this game the experienced Bacup Manager got it spot on, this was helped by the way his lads responded, they galvanised themselves into what proved to be a formidable team unit that despite all of Whitchurch’s endeavour they could not break Bacup Borough down.
Do not for one minute think that Bacup parked the bus, they did not, it was just the opposite, has the old cliché goes, defend from the front, this is exactly what Bacup did with three attackers, however on eleven minutes another setback when live wire Rio Wilson Heys was chasing down an high ball, the Whitchurch keeper rushed out in an attempt to get to the ball first, they both collided with Rio coming off the worst complaining about his ribs, the only option on the bench to replace Rio was in experienced Peter Genicott, his work rate was unquestionable but was never going to give the support going forward to Ben Boyne that Rio Wilson Heys would offer.
Despite this set back, nothing changed in Bacup Borough’s approach to the game, such was the team in its entirety work ethics Bacup got themselves to half time whilst not really threatening their goal, equally Alport had not threatened Bacup’s goal.
The Second half got under way and it was not long into the half when the Alport Keeper had to make his first serious save to stop Bacup taking the lead, the move started with some impressive link up play involving Ryan Heywood, Alexander Nwachukwu, and Peter Genicott before Ben Boyne got his shot off from which the Alport keeper was equal to, at the opposite end it was a different story, whilst Whitchurch Alport had plenty of the ball their two strikers to whom had scored an impressive sixty six goals between them was not getting any joy from the well marshalled Bacup defence of Jordan Rutter, James Constantine, Connor Porter and led superbly by the Bacup captain Adrian Bellamy, it was questionable whether Bacup should have had a penalty when Benjamin Rhodes chased down a looped pass, it was witnessed earlier on Rio Wilson Heys the Alport keeper would not take any prisoners, well this was once again the case, Benjamin Rhodes showed terrific bravery for a player having just stepped up from the Bacup Youth set up, he made every attempt to gain the advantage but Daniel Read in the Alport Goal was quickly out, some officials given the situation could have easily have awarded a penalty, despite Bacup’s rather weak claims the official to whom had handled the game well was having none of it.
With the game reaching its climax Whitchurch desperate for the three points did risk more men forward in search of a breakthrough, when in the dying minutes one opportunist moment arrived, the Alport player sharp has a razor reacted quickly onto a loose ball and slightest of gaps to hit a wonderful shot onto goal which produced an unbelievable reaction save from Bacup’s Louis McCarthy, Given the time on the clock, had this shot have beaten Louis there would have not been enough time to rectify this situation which would have been a real blow to Bacup given the terrific work rate in a well organised team display the team in its entirety had produced, this game was as good a game one will see without goals with two teams working tirelessly for differing reasons.