Bacup Borough Football Club
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Borough Fight Back To Earn A Point

Team: 1. Burton 2. Birtles 3. Heap (Sub Bryan) 4. Bellamy 5. Esdaille 6. Flannery (Sub Alderson) 7. Mancini 8. Oldham 9. Thompson 10. Hoyle 11. Cocks (c) (Sub Socha)
Subs not used: Hooper & Lupepe
Attendance: 48

Bacup & Rossendale Borough showed their character and resilience to come back from 3-1 down to grab a point at a windy Squires Gate.

Manager Brent Peters handed a first start to experienced goalkeeper Hakan Burton as well as bringing Cocks, Oldham and Hoyle back into the starting eleven.

It was the home side who started the brighter on a dark day in Blackpool if you pardon the juxtaposing oxymoron. They carved out their first chance after just five minutes as a good chipped ball finds Charlie Russell who makes the debutant Hakan Burton make a good save.

It was a good start to the game as both sides were battling hard as they knew the stakes were high. However, it was indeed the home side that struck first as a cross was skewed miles into the air and a poor header backwards into danger sees Jack Sowerby steam onto it and smash high into the net.

Just moments after and it really should have been two as once again the BARB defence somehow vanished and the Gate forward found himself completely clean through who then tried to round the keeper but Burton reads well and grabs the ball.

Unfortunately though Bacup then found themselves two nil down just eight minutes later and once again not sure where the defence was but a long ball forward sees goalkeeper Burton charge out and blast the ball which unluckily hit his own defender Esdaille and Billy McKenna was on hand to guide the ball into an empty net from well outside the area.

BARB nearly hit straight back as a clever quick free-kick sets Daniel Cocks away on the right hand side with time but his pull back could only find a blue shirt.

Manager Brent Peters had to change something to get a reaction and this he did replacing Jonny Heap with more attackingly minded Matty Bryan. He appeared to make an instant impact with his pace down the left wing and also his lethal set-pieces. Bryan’s corner nearly broke the deadlock for the Borough as the towering figure of Ian Flannery rises highest to meet the cross but sees his header scooped off the line.

Bacup then started to pick it up slightly as they pushed forward more and pushed their opposition backwards and their pressure paid off on the 38th minute as they got a goal back. Some great hold up play and battling by Lee Oldham led to Gino Mancini who came flying onto the scene and unleashes a superb low strike. It was also a good time to score just before half-time to put the pressure back on Squires Gate.

Just after the goal went in it could have perhaps been a level game as Oldham gets chipped in behind but a good save denies the equaliser.

Half-Time: Squires Gate 2-1 BARB

Going into the second half BARB needed to just keep it solid at the back for 10-15 minutes, just keep it 2-1 for the start and then think about going for it but this wasn’t the case as they conceded and this happens far too often. The powerful winger Seyoun Bamba got round his man far too easily and he simply picked out a completely unmarked Jack Sowerby who finished calmly for his second of the game.

Bacup had it all to do once again and to be honest they had to get something from the game so they had to go for it.

However it was the home side that were looking more dangerous as it was then very close to number four as Bamba heads just wide.

It was a necessity that BARB scored next or else it would be game over but score next they did as in the 68th minute it was again a cracking delivery from substitute Matty Bryan and it was a Gate defender who met it but it was Ian Flannery who got the final touch to direct it in and give the away side real momentum going into the final twenty minutes.

Having said that this didn’t stop Squires Gate at all as the game started to become more tense they came close to another with Jordan Fitton glancing just wide of the post then just after this Bamba again charged down the goalkeeper, blocked it but luckily enough for BARB the deflected blocked went wide.

The home side may have been incredibly close to a fourth and killer goal Bacup hung on in the game at all times and in the 75th minute they got their reward. The ball was rolling harmlessly out of play before some absolutely terrific work from substitute Paul Socha who charged at the shielding defender and got his foot round the ball to poke it past his man then to put it on a plate for Simon Thompson who guided it into the far corner was a terrific goal to complete the comeback.

Bacup had to endure one last pressure spell from the home side as Andrew Richards swivelled and shot well but a great stop by Burton kept the teams level and this was to be the last chance of the game in which was a chances galore match for both sides but the points were shared.

Full-Time: Squires Gate 3-3 Bacup & Rossendale Borough