Bacup Borough 4-Holker Old Boys 1
Bacup Borough completed their third game in six days in their quest to make the League play offs, with what was a resounding win against the Cumbrian side that themselves are fighting for the same aim of one of the play off places.
Bacup went into this game on the back of two tough encounters with two of the teams in the top three, then came Holker that from the off made their intentions be known with some outrages challenges that soon had far reaching consequences for them when they were eventually reduced to ten men.
Whilst the home side started brightly it was the visitors that did take a fourteenth minute lead which had basically came out of nothing, Holker won a throw-in deep into the Bacup half, from this throw the ball was delivered into the box which should easily have been defended, but somehow Darcy O’Connor seemed to miss judge the flight of the ball which with his leg raised the ball went under his raised leg into the path of Holkers Jack O’Leary who just could not miss and he did not, smashing the ball into the net.
This was yet another bad start for Bacup which gave Holker the chance to hang onto something, it was quite obvious by their work rate and physicality that they were not going to surrender this lead easily, however, one over physical challenge on Arran Kirk left the match official no alternative but to send off defender Billy Moss for a second bookable offence.
Whilst the first forty five minutes Bacup had plenty of the ball chances were limited, however, at the half time break Bacup Manager Brent Peters made a double substitution bringing off Arran Kirk and Josh Walne and introducing Jordan Rutter and Michael Gervin, both players had major contributions in a second half that was complete Bacup dominance.
It all started from some excellent approach play that Captain Shane Birtles got to the byeline before a quality delivery that saw the advancing Kelvin Trippier inches off connecting, then on another move Bacup won a corner, from which a good delivery by Anthony Hall did see Trippier send a well-directed header goal bound from which the Holker keeper made a top drawer save ensuring the Holker narrow lead was still intact.
Bacup got their break through their football deserved on sixty four minutes, when Substitute Jordan Rutter did well in keeping the ball alive before finding his Captain Birtles to whom drilled the ball across for the advancing Anthony Hall, to whom finished well, this goal was all it needed to take Bacup to another level and was no surprise four minutes later the home side did take the lead following a deep long corner which substitute Michael Gervin made no mistake from twelve yards out.
Seventy five minutes on the clock and it was 3-1, from which some really good approach play resulted in Birtles delivering yet another quality cross, from which Matthew Barlow scored with a well-placed header, Barlow got his second of the night when on eighty two minutes Anthony Hall picked his strike partner out for a deft header into the near post area of the Holker net, in the closing minutes of the game Matthew Barlow was rather unlucky not to have scored an hat-trick when a clever chip over the Holker keeper dropped just onto the top of the cross bar.
This was an impressive second half performance from Bacup which keeps them well on target to the play offs.
Bacup Team Josh Harris, Shane Birtles, Adrian Bellamy, Gareth Wager, Matthew Bryan, Josh Walne ( Michael Gervin) Kelvin Trippier, Darcy O’Connor ( Oluwatobi Olayemi ) Arron Kirk ( Jordan Rutter ) Anthony Hall, Matthew Barlow.