Bacup Borough Football Club
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Cocks Levels But Blues Triumph

WINSFORD UNITED 3 BACUP BOROUGH 1

Bacup travelled to the Barton Stadium looking to bounce back from their worst result of the season at Colne on Tuesday. As expected Ryan Jones was unable to resume in goal and so Matt Wrigley came in for his second start of the season. The only other change from Tuesday saw Paul Nelson return to the starting line-up in place of the unavilable David Limabrooke, whilst Paul Arrowsmith was back from illness on the bench.

The rain had held off overnight in Cheshire leaving the Blues pitch damp but playable and still firm enough to support Boroughs usual passing game. The early minutes were a bit of ‘cat and mouse’ as the two teams probed to try and find a weakness. Following a seventh minute corner Kingsley Williams saw his goalbound effort blocked and Daniel Cocks was flagged offside as he went for the loose ball. Four minutes later at the other end Andy Keogh was way off target with an effort after the Borough defence had failed to clear the ball. Williams and Haydn Paul were next to have efforts at goal, but both were wide of the target. Matthew Bryan also had a pop from distance but his effort sailed over the crossbar. With just over half an hour gone Callum Gardener had the best chance of the match so far for the home side but from a good position in front of goal he blazed over. Williams managed to get an effort on target but his low drilled shot lacked the power to trouble Jones, but Cocks needed the intervention of a fine tackle from the impressive Lee Duckworth to prevent him from opening the scoring. In the 41st minute Steven Warburton broke free wide on the right and sent in a low shot that Wrigley was relieved to see go just wide of the far post. However three minutes later the Blues took the lead. After Borough had failed to deal with a free-kick, substitute Brian Matthews stole in to fire the ball home. That was a minute before the break but Winsford then committed the cardinal sin of switching off after they had scored  and moments later Matthew Bryan sent in a great cross from the left that was finished to the net by Cocks for his eleventh goal of the season. HALF-TIME: Winsford United 1 Bacup Borough 1

Paul Arrowsmith joined the action after the break, replacing Nelson, and Bacup again had the first effort of the half, Bryan driving straight at Jones. As the rain lashed down in Cheshire Bacup were now finding the going harder with their playing style with the home side going more direct. Duckworth sent a warning with a powerful rising effort that went narrowly over and then in the 52nd minute Winsford once again took the lead. A long ball found Matthews down the right and although Wrigley produced a good stop to keep out his initial effort, Warburton was on hand to slam home the loose ball. In the 57th minute Paul fired Arron Kirk’s cross inches over and it proved to be his last action of the match as he was replaced by Graham McKeown. The closest Bacup came to an equaliser was on 77 minutes when Jones produced a fine save at point blank range to deny Cocks his second. Four minutes later the game was over as a contest as Matthews drilled the ball under the body of Wrigley to secure the three points for the home side. It was, once again, a competitive performance against one of the leagues stronger sides but Bacup will have to take three points from their home game with Silsden this Wednesday to avoid having to start looking over their shoulders once again. FULL-TIME: Winsford United 3 Bacup Borough 1

Bacup Borough: Wrigley, Birtles, Bryan, Gorman, Kirk, Nhlizyo, Nelson (sub. Arrowsmith 45 mins), Kingsley Williams, Paul (sub. McKeown 66 mins), Maden, Cocks. Subs Not Used: Maine, Socha, Aoun. Attendance: 106.

MATCH STATS: SHOTS ON TARGET: Winsford United 8 Bacup Borough 4  SHOTS OFF TARGET: Winsford United 6 Bacup Borough 4  CORNERS: Winsford United 3 Bacup Borough 5