Michael Blundell (10)
Sat 08 Nov 2014 KO 3:00pm
Team: 1. Jakovlevs 2. D.Holt 3. Zubar 4. Wager 5. Esdaille 6. Walker 7. Bellamy (c) 8. D.Kuba-Kuba 9. G.Kuba-Kuba 10. Hammond (Sub W.Morgan) 11. Bryan (Sub Cosgrave)
Subs not used: J.Brown, Ashfaq & Maine
Report by Jay Taylor
Bacup & Rossendale Borough were again beaten by just a single goal away at Alsager Town however, is this group of young players showing signs of turning performances into results.
We have a young talented squad who are playing in a physically challenging league and they are indeed still finding their way and with this wrong decisions are going to happen and we have to take our hats off to them because most lads of their age would be in a development side in a development league as some players are in the NWCFL. The lads we have currently got as a group are collectively in a fierce competitive league and there is a thin line and we are millimetres of getting the break these lads really deserve, they are not far off is what I am getting at. Obviously in an ideal world we would have more of a mixture of young inexperienced players and experienced players however we do not have this luxury but each and every one collectively have picked up the baton and ran with in, they just need a break and then the confidence will no doubt ooze.
The Borough made two changes from last Saturday’s narrow defeat to Ashton Athletic with David Kuba-Kuba coming back in and Alfred Hammond making his debut at the age of 18.
It was in fact Bacup who started the brighter and on five minutes it took a stellar block to deny an early goal. A good advantage played by the referee and Hammond dinked a cross in which Bellamy battled for and struck well but an Alsager defender threw himself at it.
Debutant Hammond was then on the end of a delivery as he met Bryan’s cross but his header was caught too much.
After a positive start from Bacup the home side did come back into it playing down the hill in the first half and the towering figure of defender Reiss Lee smashed the crossbar with a header from a corner after six minutes.
When you get set-pieces in dangerous areas you’ll notice that the good teams take these chances or at the very least make the keeper work and hit the target. As Matty Bryan stood over a free-kick 22 yards from goal Bacup coach Andy Barlow bellowed over “Make sure you hit the target”, however this was wasted and it flew way over the mark.
Just several minutes later and The Bullets opened the scoring. BARB’s Richard Walker took too much time on the ball in a risky area and was made to pay. At this level of football you simply can’t take chances like this. Alsager’s Michael Blundell found himself with space to run in to and he smashed in low in the bottom corner.
Bacup were certainly not going to just lie down and have their tummies tickled however as they were battling extremely hard and fighting for every ball. They weren’t getting any joy playing the ball forward in the air as Alsager have two monstrous defenders and it was food and drink for them so they had to start getting it into Glodi Kuba-Kuba’s feet where he can turn/lay off and bring others into play.
Great credit to the home side they were blocking everything Bacup threw at them as this time Glodi Kuba-Kuba took it down in the box, turned and got his shot off but again a superb block denied him and Matty Bryan pounced onto the rebound but went well wide.
Alsager went close also right on the stroke of half-time as full-back Jordan Elcock ran all the way through only to be denied well by Callum Jakovlevs.
Half-Time: Alsager 1-0 Bacup
Bacup came out in the second half even better than the first and looked like it was only a matter of time that the equaliser would come. After some good pressure by the team in the ascendency Matty Bryan’s shot went over. Just a few minutes later and David Kuba-Kuba took it past one and was bearing down on goal but his shot was tame and didn’t trouble Steve Dryden in the Alsager goal.
Bacup were on top still and dominated the whole half however they got in many good positions but they could not use these to their advantage. Debutant Hammond was looking a threat in behind but he was just going too soon and being caught offside however if he could time that run in the future he should be a danger to opposition defences.
As time ticked on and the sky drew darker and darker Bacup pushed harder and harder as G.Kuba-Kuba had another chance as Bellamy flicked on well and Kuba-Kuba’s shot was off target.
Glodi was in the thick of the action throughout being a real handful for the Alsager defence but once again they put in a terrific block to stop his powerful strike.
Going into stoppage time and Daniel Holt was the provider this time as a perfect cross from the right hand side was met by Glodi Kuba-Kuba again but his header dropped into the arms of goalkeeper Dryden.
As Bacup pushed forward incredibly hard for the leveller Alsager did break on them and virtually missed an open goal to seal it.
There was to be one more chance for Bacup as a good surge from Richard Walker who after his mistake for the goal did do well throughout. He surged beyond two players and found that last little bit of energy but the shot at goal was rushed and wasn’t close, it was a good chance in a good area to make the goalkeeper work however it just wasn’t to be once again.
Full-Time: Alsager Town 1-0 Bacup & Rossendale Borough