As the curtain comes down on another football season the Bacup Borough Manager looks back with mixed emotions when speaking to the Media he had this to say. “Twelve months ago having reached the play off final falling short in extra time, the majority of that squad resigned all sharing the same view that we would all go out in giving it a good go for automatic promotion, in addition to what was a very good squad I brought in several new additions, the objective being these boys would give us a really good base to hit the ground running, however what I did not legislate for was returning back for preseason training with experienced players still suffering from injuries from the previous season, Peters added “ this was a massive blow considering I did not see this coming, we started the season without the services of Club Captain Shane Birtles having to have surgery on his knee, Shane has still not fully recovered missing the entire season, My Goal Keeper Josh Harris played on through the play off final with a broken foot, this proved to be problematic by the fact he also needed surgery which brought with it complications, Experienced long serving Defender Gareth Wager broke down in Preseason with a recurrence of an old injury, if this was not bad enough Former Oldham Athletic star Kelvin Trippier was also needing to go for surgery on an ankle injury and also he missed the start. Peters added “the fact that our opening fixture was away to newly crowned Premier League Champions Atherton Collieries in the FA Cup a competition which brings with it prize money along with National recognition was not ideal at all, Peters added “ in fact in addition to the lads named out injured, we had others missing due to injuries received in preseason matches, this along with unavailability due to holidays, frustratingly we could only just get a side together, Peters added “ having the FA Cup has the opening fixture is one thing, but equally having the FA Cup so in the first week of a new season is another thing which does not at all sit well with me, the boys available did give this fixture their best shot just falling short 3-2 against a very good Collieries side.
Peters went on “ The cup draws were far from good to us having drawn away to Champions Atherton Collieries in the FA Cup, We were also drawn away to Congleton another Premier League side in the FA Vase, again in the ninety minutes we did well finishing 3-3, if the rules allowed for a replay who knows what would have happened on our ground, the rules do not, so we ended up playing extra-time with Congleton winning 7-3, scoring 4 goals in that period. They say they come in three’s, this was the case when we were drawn at home with Premier League Side Padiham in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy, we were separated by a single goal going down 1-0. In the Macron Cup we were drawn away to yet another Premier League side Runcorn Town to whom finished their season in third place, once again a creditable performance saw us going out 3-2 to a late goal, in the Reush Cup we finished 1-1 with Chadderton on ninety minutes but went down 2-1 in extra-time.
Now on to League Action, when Manager Brent Peters had this to say “ The League table does not lie, I cannot get away from the fact our League form has been frustrating and disappointing, the biggest disappointment being out of 42 games we failed to score in 17 of those games, Peters added “if you look at all of the successful sides this season they have within their camps, clinical strikers, we had strikers in our ranks, but their strike return has proved to be very poor, Peters added this said it is no surprise that from bringing in Rio Wilson Heyes for the final month of the season, Rio from eleven appearances, ten starts, he has returned 5 goals, in this period the team in its entirety played 10 games in a demanding 29 days having won 4 -Drawn 2- Lost 4 having scored 15 goals and conceded 12, Peters added “ given the fact in this period the squad was decimated with injuries, to the point in some games we had only one recognised defender, not helped by a suspension to Rees Welsh and some players frustratingly not available due to work and holidays, I really cannot heap enough praise on the same players being available every game irrespective of niggles, they really did do me and the club proud especially given the circumstances of our league position it would
have been easy to not make themselves available, Peters added “ the likes of Captain Adrian Bellamy with an impressive 42 appearances all starts, Anthony Hall 35 appearances, five from the substitutes bench, Jordan Rutter 30 appearances 8 from the bench, James Constantine 26 starts, Nathan Emery 24 appearances, 6 from the bench, Stuart Craig 20 appearances, Thomas Coulson 19 appearances, 3 from the bench, Alexander Nwachukwu with 14 appearances, 3 from the bench, Rees Welsh 10 appearances, 2 from the bench, Harvey Close 10 appearances, 2 from the bench, Connor Porter 9 appearances none from the bench, Trent Simm 8 appearances, 2 from the bench.
Peters added “ There are also other players to whom have contributed excellent performances such as Goal Keeper Louis McCarthy in his eight appearances following Josh Harris’s Shoulder injury, Benjamin Boyne, Ryan Heywood and Benjamin Rhodes to whom has stepped into the first team squad from our Youth set up, Matthew Bryan coming back after a period away, all have creditably put a smile back on my face from a season that started with so much optimism which soon was to turn sour, Peters finished by saying “ We have had to completely rebuild during a demanding season, certainly not easy, Majority of the players having to step up to the task in hand are talented young boys, that this was the highest competitive level of football they have played at, the fact they have been committed, the fact they have wanted to learn has helped immensely, the fact the final couple of months have been demanding and these boys have stood up to the task with excellent credibility has certainly given me and my coaching staff plenty of optimism for the future “