Bacup Borough Football Club
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Bacup Rue Missed Chances And Finish In Drop Zone

Team: 1. O’Boyle 2. Cosgrave 3. Bryan 4. Wager 5. Esdaille 6. Finnigan 7. Cocks (c) (Sub McKenzie) 8. Gamble 9. Bellamy 10. Oldham (Sub Kirk) 11. Humphreys (Sub Massey)
Subs not used: Socha & Stephenson
Attendance: 65

Report by Jay Taylor

Bacup & Rossendale Borough played out a 1-1 draw with Abbey Hey however with results going against them it sees them finish the season in the bottom two.

There were nerves all around for everyone involved with Bacup as them, Alsager Town or Squires Gate could have faced the drop with plenty of permutations to take in.

It was a beautiful warm day in Manchester as last days of the footballing calendar are always seen over with warmth and sunshine.
Manager Brent Peters made just the two changes to Wednesday night’s draw with Colne as he welcomed back number one goalkeeper Kieran O’Boyle as well as giving Nathan Finnigan a start.

It was the away side who started the stronger and Ryan Humphreys had the first chance after just five minutes. From an Abbey Hey corner which was easily cleared Humphreys pressed and pinched the ball and after playing a nice one-two with Daniel Cocks his shot was too tame and easily dealt with.

Gareth Wager started strong and commanding as ever with Ryan Humphreys’ pace also causing danger. It was a half dominated by Bacup and they carved out three more good chances in the space of seven minutes after twenty minutes. First of all some good harassing by Finnigan allowed Lee Oldham to pounce and drive past two players but his low shot bobbled just wide. Secondly Jonathan McIlwaine’s poor kick was pounced upon by Humphreys but again there was no real power in the strike and was easily saved.

A rare attack from Abbey Hey led to them getting a free-kick right on the edge of the box which Kieran O’Boyle made a tremendous double save to keep the match goalless. Straight back up the other end where most of the half was played and Cocks threaded a lovely ball to Oldham but his shot was again well saved. Two minutes later and the ball was finally in the net after Oldham’s lob however he was adjudged offside.

Hey were being reduced to long range efforts however Johnathan Hardy’s shot from 25 yards wasn’t far away from the top corner.
The best chance of the half came two minutes from the half-time whistle as again an Abbey Hey corner was cleared downfield by goalkeeper O’Boyle which was met by a delicious touch from Humphreys to send him clean through on goal however his shot was tipped onto the post. You got the feeling that these chances could come back to haunt the Borough as they should have been at least two goals in front at the break.

Half-Time: Abbey Hey 0-0 Bacup

With both Alsager and Squires Gate drawing at this point, a draw for Bacup would have seen them safe.
It was inevitable that the home side were going to grow into the game and this they did as Wesley Harney missed an open goal from a tight angle after O’Boyle looked to have been impeded when trying to clear it.
Moments later and Abbey Hey took the lead as a cross ran right to the back post where Scott Hardy charged in unmarked and dispatched confidently.

This wasn’t going to plan and a goal was now essential for the Borough to stay out of danger. A standard Matty Bryan free-kick went close as it crashed against crossbar but they did eventually get the goal they more than deserved after 77 minutes through the in-form Adrian Bellamy. A precise Matty Bryan pass found substitute Barry Massey whose back heel was perfect to put Bellamy in on goal and he kept his cool and stroked it home. Straight over to his gaffer he went to celebrate a big goal in terms of survival.
However after Abbey Hey missed two big chances at the end to win the game the draw wasn’t enough as Squires Gate beat Ashton Athletic and a 89th minute winner for Alsager against Wigan Robin Park meant that Bacup dropped into the bottom two.

Full-Time: Abbey Hey 1-1 Bacup & Rossendale Borough

A terribly sad day for all involved with Bacup & Rossendale Borough as it just hasn’t been our season. We will most definitely be back however there is one consolation as due to various league structures the second from bottom side does not always go down. The last team to finish second bottom and go down was Flixton in the 2002/2003 season.

I hope you have enjoyed all of the reports, tweets and statuses this season courtesy of Jay Taylor.