ST HELENS – 1 BACUP BOROUGH – 2
Bacup Borough came from being a goal down to taking all three points at the Acroframe Stadium in what was an entertaining game on what was a dismal wet afternoon, there was never any doubt that the game would not go ahead due to the artificial surface which did not just suit the home side but also the visitors as it did compliment their football style.
The visitors were soon in the ascendancy and could have found themselves ahead within the opening five minutes had Matthew Bryan have pulled the ball back to Kyle Siddal who would have had a simple tap in, but like all strikers hungry for goals he tried to execute a finish from a difficult angle off the byeline.
For the first quarter Bacup were very much on the front foot taking the game to the home side, on twelve minutes Bacup won a corner from this Matthew Bryan was the first to the ball with a goal bound header which struck the St Helens post, in the opening period St Helens best effort came from a long range shot which the Bacup stopper Peter Monteith had it very much well covered, however on sixteen minutes St Helens opened the scoring when they worked the ball down their right from which their full back very much unopposed got his shot off which beat Peter Monteith at his near post, this goal did come following a good bright start from Bacup, it was somewhat against the run of play, however it is surprising what a goal can do has from this moment St Helens did reverse the momentum, with the home side now in the ascendancy with Bacup losing the grip they had on the game, despite this opportunities seemed to come Bacup’s way when young Alex Mellor with a stunning shot did bring the best out of the St Helens keeper, there were other opportunities for the visitors to get back level when Matthew Bryan on three occasions did put quality balls across the box with no one making the ground in order to compliment the quality of these balls into executing a finish, with this the half was brought to an end with Bacup frustratingly on the wrong side of the score despite plenty of opportunities to have not been.
This brought about a change for the start of the second half with the introduction of play maker Michael Gervin at the expense of young Alex Mellor, there was a transformation for Borough in the second half, producing wave after wave of good attacking moves, on fifty five minutes, the Bacup Manager Brent Peters made his second change bringing on his eighteen year old French striker Joel Gnabouyou for Kyle Siddle, both substitutions played a prominent part in Bacup’s remaining thirty five minutes but it was Matthew Bryan getting his side back on level terms when he picked the ball up on the left hand side before cutting in field and striking a right footed effort which beat the St Helens goal keeper at his far post, Bryan had a great opportunity following his equaliser to shoot his side in front when he burst clean through, the St Helens stopper raced off his line Bryan placed the ball past the keeper but the post did come to the saints rescue, then it was Gnabouyou who did well with great footballing technique before placing the ball into the danger area but no one there to tap the ball into the empty net, another excellent opportunity did present itself for Matty Bryan who once again had got away from their last defenders before screwing his effort wide, from this the St Helens stopper was brought into the action when Michael Gervin found Matthew Bryan who’s shot brought the best out of the St Helens stopper, however there was nothing he could do when Substitute Gnabouyou latched onto the ball before getting a powerful shot off that the keeper could only push back into Gnabouyou’s path who made absolutely no mistake giving Bacup all three points.