Team: 1. Green 2. Birtles 3. Bryan 4. Bellamy 5. Esdaille (Sub B.Massey) 6. Wager 7. Alderson (Sub Socha) 8. Westwood 9. Oldham 10. Humphries 11. Cocks (c) (Sub McDonough)
Subs not used: C.Massey & Finnigan
Bacup & Rossendale Borough narrowly lost to high flyers Maine Road after all three goals came in an action packed first half.
Bacup made five changes to the loss at Alsager handing a debut to striker Ryan Humphries and a rare start to Jack Alderson. Borough were playing their first home game of 2014, yes in March believe it or not.
It was always going to be an extremely tough game against second place Maine Road and it was them who started the brighter putting some dangerous crosses in with the ferocious Lancashire wind. After just 11 minutes the deadlock was broken and it was the inform side who got it. The left midfield player was allowed to get his cross in far too easily and Thomas Bentham was stood unmarked to tap in.
BARB had to get tighter and stay with their men at all times to stand a chance, however just six minutes later they finally got a break as Matty Bryan got his fifth goal of the season. He scored it direct from the corner and funnily enough that is the second time he has done this, still not sure if he means it though. This was a big lift the lads having not scored a single goal in the last four matches.
The home side then endured a really good spell in the game threatening and creating much more and they thought they got a quick-fire second when some superb pressing from Jack Alderson allowed him to break away down the left and he squared it for the debutant Ryan Humphries who chested it into the back of the net however the linesman’s flag rose very quickly.
This spell was short-lived and Maine Road made them pay once again. From BARB’s point of view it was another sloppy goal to concede as it was very similar to the first. Too easy down the left and Paul Connor got in front of his man to tap in and make it 1-2.
Jack Alderson who was actually playing well then unfortunately had to be brought off as his shoulder popped out again, Paul Socha took his place on the left hand side.
Half-Time: BARB 1-2 Maine Road
Manager Brent Peters felt he had to make a change at the break replacing Daniel Cocks who was getting too fired up and brought on Ross McDonough.
Maine Road started the second half like the first, on the front foot and looking dangerous. Rory Breslin missed a free header and Richard Williams shot wide. However the main thing was Bacup were still in the game and still digging deep in order to get that chance to equalise. Maine Road were still incredibly dangerous going forward and after Gareth Wager gifted a short pass to them, Bentham’s pounce and shot was millimetres wide.
BARB were living slightly dangerous now as Bentham again hits a good striker inches wide. They were saving their best chance till last as somehow Jonathan Mason’s header from a corner went over from the six-yard box.
Time was running out for the Borough now and the away side were keeping it very well and running down the clock cleverly but there was still a sense that there would be one last chance for Bacup. That chance did eventually come in the dying stages and it was a free-kick which was cleared only as far as Paul Socha who struck it really well with impressive technique but it fizzed just wide of the post.
Full-Time: Bacup & Rossendale Borough 1-2 Maine Road