Wednesday 29th March 2017
Bacup Borough v Widnes
The Brian Boys West View Stadium, KO 20:00
Team: 1. Gotham 2. Birtles (c) 3. Morgan 4. Kirk 5. Bellamy 6. Harling 7. Nhwziyo (SUB Butorins) 8. Alderson (SUB Lupepe) 9. Thompson 10. Oldham (SUB Cohen) 11. Bryan
Subs not used: 15. Kibreab 16 Blake
Bacup & Rossendale Borough shared the spoils with Alsager Town after a highly entertaining game which in fact could have ended quite easily finished 10-10.
Manager Brent Peters made three changes to the win at Stockport with goalkeeper Ash Gotham coming in along with Adrian Bellamy and long term absentee Aaron Kirk.
As a good atmosphere was building at the Brian Boys West View Stadium it was Alsager who got off to the best start pinning the home side deeper and deeper and in the very first minute the striker gets threaded clean through on goal which Gotham had to make a super save to prevent a nightmare start.
However the away side kept coming and it was certainly backs against the walls for BARB in these opening stages. Borough needed to settle down into the game and on 8 minutes they did just this. Alsager played a no danger ball back to their goalkeeper but outstanding pressure from Simon Thompson who charged him down and the resulting block cannoned into the back of the net. The keeper never looked comfortable on the ball and Thompson’s superb closing down deserved a reward and a reward he got.
After this goal went in BARB completely calmed down and started to boss the game in all areas with great chances following. Two free headers from Bellamy and Kirk went harmlessly off target but the move of the half came when Thompson switched the play to Bryan who fires it down the corridor of uncertainty but Lee Oldham just couldn’t stretch far enough to tap in. It seemed as though the second goal was only a matter of time for the Borough but once again the away team fought back into the game and they seemed to be getting in behind the defence far too often as Nathan McDonald and Kyle Wilding both ran through on goal but both wasted glorious opportunities to draw level.
The half ended with an ambitious half volley attempt from Matty Bryan which only just went wide of the target.
Half-Time: BARB 1-0 Alsager
Peters shuffled things around at the break bringing on target man Artjoms Butorins for Boic Nhwziyo. This change almost immediately paid dividend as Gotham goes route one, Butorins flicks on and the gambling Thompson races through but puts it wide. Another golden chance to double their lead. A few minutes later and this was made to pay as Alsager got the equaliser through Leigh Skellern. It was a well-constructed move down the left hand side and was probably deserved in terms of the run of play.
After this goal went in the pendulum swung once more as Alsager started to dominate and carve out chance after chance. An unbelievable opportunity went just wide after the goal, all shots from both teams just weren’t hitting the target frequently enough.
Substitute Artjoms Butorins was proving a real handful for the Alsager defence as they couldn’t handle him and on the hour mark he sees his powerful header from a corner cleared off the line.
But was it over the line or not? The linesman thought not.
I think it will be a fair few more years before the NWCFL graces goal line technology.
Now we all know what Matty Bryan’s crosses are like and on the 72nd minute his corner somehow hit the face of the back post. Incredibly close again!
7 minutes from time and I may be sounding like a parrot again but Simon Thompson got set through on goal but puts it inches wide again. There was one chance left in the game and in the very last minute Bryan goes on a trademark run down the left, beats his man, fires it into a dangerous position but it somehow evades the goal.
Full-Time BARB 1-1 Alsager
A highly entertaining game which could have quite easily been a rugby score but Ash Gotham in goal pulled off some terrific saves to keep the home side in it. I thought debutant Adrian Bellamy had a good solid performance but the standout for me was Aaron Kirk. It was his first appearance of the season after a lengthy injury but I thought he was outstanding today breaking things up getting stuck in, composed on the ball picking out the right pass and was the heart of the team.
All in all that’s three games unbeaten now for Peters’ Bacup & Rossendale Borough side so he must be pleased with the turnaround in results.
Manager’s post match comments to follow…..
Next up Wigan Robin Park at home on Wednesday night.