Wednesday 29th March 2017
Bacup Borough v Widnes
The Brian Boys West View Stadium, KO 20:00
By Joel Downings
Bacup Borough headed into their game with Stockport Town still searching for their elusive first win of the campaign. Sadly it wasn’t to be, despite coming from behind to level the game twice Stockport Town came away with the win.
Stockport took an early lead when Connolly’s cross from the right floated over new Bacup keeper Daniel Garman’s head and into the top corner. It was unexpected but resulted in a change from a back three to four at the back.
This changed improved Borough’s fortunes and nine minutes later Darcy O’Connor slipped in Simon Thompson who struck past the on rushing keeper. That was Thompson’s 2nd goal in two starts.
In a very open game both teams created lots of chances Thompson had a few efforts from long distance as did opposing striker Nathan Neequaye but nothing came to fruition.
With 10 minutes of the first half left to play Neequaye unleashed a shot which trickled inches wide of Garman’s post. The hosts dangerously close to re-taking the lead.
Both teams went into the half-time break with a goal apiece in a game which looked like it could have provided much more.
Stockport started the brighter of the two teams in the second, a Bacup mix-up in defence almost allowing the hosts a chance straight from the kick-off.
The hosts did take the lead minutes later though. Nathan Neequaye’s 25-yard drive beating Garman after hitting the post.
Bacup replied instantly but the headed goal was ruled offside. It was end to end stuff and the visitors were giving as good as they got to level the game up.
With the hour mark approaching Josh Burke was replace my Matthew Dell as Borough looked to push for the equalizer.
Five minutes later Scott gave away a freekick to Bacup. With Matty Bryan and Darcy O’Connor standing over the ball, first team coach Andy Barlow gave the instruction for O’Connor to test the keeper.
However, there was nothing the keeper could do to stop the midfielder’s 20-yard effort as it sailed into the top right corner of his goal to tie the game at 2-2. O’Connor later admitted that the first freekick he’d ever taken but we’re likely to be seeing more from now on.
With 15 minutes left on the clock Bacup broke away and Thompson found himself in a shooting position. His shot struck the bar and on another could have easily put Bacup into the lead for the first time in the game.
Just as the game looked to be heading for a draw Neequaye yet again popped up for the hosts. Pouncing on Bacup’s failure to clear a corner and slotting home from 5-yards.
It was a disappointing loss for Bacup to take and the visitors knew they were lucky to come away with all three points.
Brent Peters had this to say: “In the main performances have been good, we have been scoring well and obviously creating plenty having scored eleven goals in four league games.
“It is at the opposite end where we have to tighten up, it is easy to lay the blame at the defenders but when the engine room in front of them fails to offer enough protection when we’re not in possession then it is inevitable goals will happen.
“Their first goal from a wide position was a fluke because it was a cross, but fluke or not, ball and man should have been over the touch line, instead the challenge was weak. The lad was not closed to prevent the cross which looped right over the keeper into the net. This situation was not an isolated one, it happened against LR from the same side, not getting tight enough to prevent the ball coming in.
Peters went on “For their second goal, this was some twenty five yards out in a central position the lad has time to get his head up, not one of my players put pressure on that ball to prevent that shot. The nearest man should have had some bottle and put pressure on that ball preventing the shot. Players are too happy to drop off, again something that I will not put up with. Stockport’s winner came from the corner, again not for the first time in our opening couple of games have we conceded that way.
“When all on our bench could see they had a man unmarked obviously again someone in our pack opting to go into hiding and not pick up. It is little wonder we are failing to see games out playing this way.”
Peters finished by taking aim at the aforementioned players “Finances may be tight” he said “but in order to identify the culprits that are being indisciplined and not picking up, then the time has come to have every game videoed. This will allow us to scrutinise the culprit or culprits
“When we score four clear goals followed by two clear goals twice and end up losing the game it tells me some players are either blowing up because of their fitness levels, or some of them are taking their foot off the gas when it comes to making recovery runs to get back into shape. Whichever it is it will have to change because it is those players are letting the team down.
“No matter how many we score, or how many chances we create it will never be enough, unless those players smell the coffee and work hard in both directions. We need to be disciplined to see a game out.”
The manager finished by saying “Today we came from behind twice, that should have been enough to at least come away with a draw.”