After the weekend I caught up with the Bacup Borough Manager Brent Peters who gave us an over view of the season and comments on the Play Off Final Extra Time Defeat.
Peters said ” Saturday was a day fitting for a Play Off Final, Sunny day, we as a group were booked into an ideal setting at a venue at the side of the Canal just out side Northwich for Pre Match Lunch and preparations, before making the short distance to Barnton, Peters said his highlight of the day was when young Harvey Rogerson who plays Leo Gorskirk in Emmerdale, to whom was being the Bacup Mascot for the day, did catch the Bacup Manager getting out of his car to then be greeted with such a loving hug from a young boy who’s story is one of happiness, encouragement & hope for the future! Rocking that extra chromosome, Peters admitted he was touched by this.
The game got underway in front of over 500 spectators from which Peters said ” In the first half Barntons direct approach had us on the back foot, which to be fair I did expect, what I did not expect from my team was once we got on the ball we would also go long, something we just do not normally do, I can only put this down to the occasion and nerves in certain players, the fact this was happening we were getting no where in terms of opportunities, as it was just food and drink for their impressive centre back Michael Burke to defend, Peters added ” whilst we were not creating any clear cut openings, neither were Barnton, but they did look more threatening in the early exchanges, Peters added” it was in these early exchanges that our Keeper Josh Harris did have a coming together, from which he then did play on remarkably with a broken metatarsal, Peters added ” this once again shows the character of some of the boys in our squad, for several games now a couple of players have been soldiering on playing with an injury.
Peters went onto say ” At half time I told the boys to shorten their game and to start playing, this rather than going long, this they did from which we did have long periods of possession, but the disappointment for me on the day was at the end of our possession we seemed to take the wrong option with our final pass, we seemed to go on the inside and loose it, this rather than put the ball on the outside for Anthony Hall to get in behind the opposition, for me we did not do that enough. Peters went onto say ” it was a tight game with both defences well on top, in tight games it comes down to either a goal coming from something extremely special, this or one wrong decision or a split second switch off, this is just what happened to us, Peters said ” In extra time the format of the game was typically the same has it had been for the ninety minutes, until the break through came, Peters said ” Our Right full back in moving the ball long struck the advancing player, resulting in the ball coming back to be knocked across the face of goal for our left back to let the ball run across his body rather than attacking it to clear, a player coming in behind the defender lofted the ball back for Barnton to attack the ball over the line, Peters added ” this was a real shame has our defencive unit had been different class up until this extra time goal, Peters then said ” despite this set back the boys did give it a real good go to get back into the game, when Adrian Bellamy struck a superb goal bound effort in the second period of Extra Time from which unbelievably the Barnton keeper produced a stunning save by somehow pushing the ball to safety, Peters said for me that save won Barnton the game, it was stunning and given the time left on the clock, had that have gone in, it would almost certain have gone down to penalties, instead when we threw everyone forward in the closing stages, Barnton got us on the break to grab their second, Peters said ” if our substitute closes the player, putting pressure on the ball, that goal would not have happened, the player was gifted with the opportunity to just pick his spot, this he did.
Peters finished by saying ” congratulations to Barnton, over the season I don’t think they have been outside the top five, so to that end they deserved to take the final promotion spot, their chairman and staff worked hard to stage the game and make the day go like it did from which they deserve surmounting credit, with regards to my boys, I cant compliment my coaches of Andy Barlow and Ferre Edwards enough for their work over the season, in addition this squad of players have been an absolute credit to work with, I have said all along, despite the difficulties we constantly faced, I knew that these players would give me everything they could give me, this they did to the very end, this final was about winners and my players have been winners in my eyes all season, Next season we will go again but this time I really hope that some of our big game players manage the season better than some of them have this season, by this I mean not taking extended breaks away at Christmas or Easter critical times in the football calendar, players missing vital games to go on stag weekends, these situations have created havoc with us this season and that for me is the reason we have fallen short “