Playing only his second game of the season, Borough had young keeper Mark Clapham to thank for a superb display of goalkeeping that earnt them another point from their third game in three days. In this latest encounter on their gruelling schedule only three players survived from the previous nights starts against Norton United:- Paul Arrowsmith, Robel Kibreab and David Gray. Back into the side came Clapham, for his first game since early August, Martin Peters, Artjoms Butorins, Adrian Bellamy, Daniel Coleman, Ben Shedwick, Boic Nhlizyo and Daniel Cocks.
Bacup stunned their hosts by taking a fifth minute lead. Shedwick fed Cocks, who delighted the small pocket of travelling fans with a superb finish past Sean Lake for his 17th goal of the season. Borough were lively in the early stages and Nhlizyo almost played in Gray on 13 minutes but Lake came off his line well to avert the danger. However from that moment on the vast majority of the action was in and around the Bacup penalty area as the Reds pushed Boro deeper and deeper. Clapham produced a fine one handed save to push Steve Jones 16th minute effort around the post but after a series of Liverpool corners there was little he could do when sweeper Martin Peters sent a backwards header that went over his head and into the net via a post for an own goal. For the remainder of the half only some wild shooting and excellent keeping kept the scores level, although Shedwick almost restored Borough’s lead when firing Cocks 44th minute corner narrowly wide. HALF-TIME: AFC Liverpool 1 Bacup Borough 1
For the opening few minutes of the second period Bacup’s forwards saw more of the ball and Shedwick’s snapshot had to be well held by Lake. However it wasn’t long before Liverpool were piling on the pressure again and they duly took the lead on 56 minutes when Shaun Harris was given room to advance with defenders standing off before he fired low past Clapham. The home side forced corner after corner, three of them the result of a masterclass in shot stopping from the Borough keeper. However, in the 84th minute Arrowsmith’s sweetly struck effort almost brought a leveller. In the 87th minute Peters sent an effort over the bar but just as time looked to be running out Bellamy hooked the ball home to the bemusement of the Liverpool players and fans. Although the match stats may say otherwise, for sheer resilience of character with the schedule they have had Bacup fully deserved to take something out of this game. They hung in under immense pressure when it would have been easier to buckle and then they took their chance when it came. The generous ovation they received from both sets of supporters as they left the pitch was testament to that fact. FULL-TIME: AFC Liverpool 2 Bacup Borough 2
BACUP BOROUGH: Clapham, M. Peters, Arrowsmith, Butorins, Bellamy, Coleman (sub. Socha 64 mins), Kibreab, Gray, Shedwick, Nhlizyo, Cocks. Subs Not Used: Birtles, Nelson, B. Peters, Finnegan. Att: 92.
MATCH STATS: SHOTS ON TARGET: AFC Liverpool 16 Bacup Borough 4 SHOTS OFF TARGET: AFC Liverpool 18 Bacup Borough 3 CORNERS: AFC Liverpool 12 Bacup Borough 3.