Team: 1. Jakovlevs 2. D.Holt (Sub J.Brown) 3. Zubar 4. Wager 5. Esdaille 6. Crook (Sub Ashfaq) 7. Currie (Sub Maine) 8. Walker 9. Bellamy (c) 10. G.Kuba-Kuba 11. Bryan
Subs not used: Morgan
Bacup & Rossendale Borough missed an 87th minute penalty to take a point against Ashton Athletic, however that doesn’t tell the whole story….
BARB made three changes to the midweek defeat to Nelson with Sam Crook, Glodi Kuba-Kuba and Gareth Wager all back in for starts.
It was a brisk but blue sky day in Bacup right up until kick-off where the black clouds barged in and the conditions were far from easy with the gusts of wind throughout.
It was a quiet start from both sides but it was the home side that edged proceedings. To be honest the whole match was limited to very few chances, you know so when you only use one page of your notepad.
Paul Watson headed just over for Ashton after a scramble in the Bacup box on six minutes.
Shortly after the home side received a blow as attacker Tom Currie had to be replaced after being sandwiched by two men, Matthew Maine took his place.
The first real chance for Bacup came on 36 minutes and oh my what a chance it was. When Glodi Kuba-Kuba played a lovely ball through to Adrian Bellamy you expected him to score with the form he’s been in. The Bacup captain can’t have been no more than 8 yards out from goal but his shot was right at the legs of Ashton stopper Jay Foulds. In our current position we need our bigger players to step up to the plate, when you get chances like this they have to be taken.
Bellamy came close again shortly after as a clever drilled cross by Sam Crook just couldn’t be met by the striker.
As the first half was coming to a close the Borough were still pushing for the opening goal. Some good pressing by Daniel Holt and Matty Bryan lead to Kuba-Kuba having some space 23 yards out but his strike bulleted just wide.
Half-Time: Bacup 0-0 Ashton Athletic
After the yellows’ Nathan Martland headed over twice early on in the second half, it was third time lucky shortly after as a great cross into the corridor of uncertainty was headed in by Martland after he spun off his marker.
However that lead only lasted thirteen minutes as BARB battled back. I know I am sometimes highly critical over the lack of quality in the final third, well this time there was some quality. Matty Bryan’s corner was of the highest quality, it was the perfect delivery and it was headed in by the towering figure of Laquan Esdaille.
In between all of the goals there were actually no noteworthy chances for either side, however twelve minute later and Ashton nudged back in front. It came from a throw-in near the corner flag and the cross was made too easily and Sam Bailey dived to head it in.
BARB kept pushing forward as the clock ticked on and you just got the feeling that there may just be more drama to occur in this match and how right I was. Just four minutes of normal time left and the Borough were awarded a penalty kick. Matty Bryan was pulling out the quality we know that he has as his first touch was majestic as it went round his man and he had the pace to thunder beyond his man and then a teasing ball in was handled by an Ashton defender.
There was to be another twist in the tail however as unfortunately it just wasn’t Adrian Bellamy’s day as he saw his penalty saved. As I mentioned earlier, when you are given these opportunities and especially when you are down the bottom end of the table then you simply have to take these but the penalty was not in the corner and was a nice height for keeper Foulds.
Full-Time: Bacup & Rossendale Borough 1-2 Ashton Athletic