Team: 1. Ogden 2. Lupepe 3. Heap 4. Wager 5. Esdaille 6. Oldham 7. Mancini 8. Clemons 9. Cocks (c) 10. Kirk (Sub Hoyle) 11. Bryan (Sub Dunn) (Sub Alderson)
Subs not used: Butorins & Socha
Bacup & Rossendale Borough failed to take all three points after having a man advantage for more than half of the game against Abbey Hey.
Brent Peters’ side saw change again with the injury prone Arron Kirk returning in midfield and also Nicolas Clemens was handed a debut.
The game started with Bacup pressing and pushing forward, especially looking to set Matty Bryan in behind with his lethal pace.
However with pushing forward comes at a price if not alert and aware at the back and in the 11th minute Bacup were caught out at the back and Sam Jones struck just wide. That was a warning sign for the home side.
Bacup hit straight back though as Jonny Heap picks the ball up 30 yards from goal and has bags of spaces, he shoots, hits it sweetly but swerved just wide, good effort.
Both teams were battling incredibly hard for that chance but were struggling to create anything at all however Abbey Hey were getting shots on target. Tom Murray saw his great free-kick strike juggled by goalkeeper John Ogden and was lucky to get away with it.
Just before the half hour mark the best chance of the game came for BARB and unsurprisingly in came from a dangerous Bryan corner. The towering figure that is Laquan Esdaille took advantage of the goalkeeper missing it but headed it against the post. This then lead to a pinball moment in the box and somehow didn’t go in.
Five minutes later and a lovely move from Abbey Hey should have been dispatched but John Hardy pulled his shot wide, Bacup couldn’t allow them to pull them around like that again.
Then just before half-time the controversy started as a strong tackle was made by Tom Murray and after being reprimanded by the referee a red card was surprisingly brandished. Further reports were that the dismissal was due to dissent, not the tackle.
This then gave the home side even more incentive and chance to go on and take all three points against 10 men.
Half-Time: BARB 0-0 Abbey Hey
Bacup started the second half on the front foot once more with a great chance for Heap who just couldn’t get his head on it then moments after Kirk fires a great ball over the top and Cocks hits a fizzing half volley which the keeper saved well.
Unfortunately the game then started to go back to how it was in the first half with chances looking unlikely. With 20 minutes still to go nothing much was happening in the game which was frustrating for the home side as you couldn’t tell they had a man advantage to be honest.
The last few minutes consisted of the away side camped in their box and Bacup pumping ball after ball into the box and the only real chance of the half came from some good work down the wing from Lupepe who picked out Lee Oldham who frustratingly hooked his shot agonizingly wide.
BARB badly needed to grab all three points especially with the man advantage however it just didn’t come, but on the plus side a clean sheet which is always nice and it is a point to build on going into the next game against AFC Blackpool.
Full-Time: Bacup & Rossendale Borough 0-0 Abbey Hey