Match Report: Congleton Town v Bacup Borough



Following an impressive ninety minutes from Bacup Borough against Premier League opposition it was the extra time period which saw this season’s FA Vase campaign shattered, with both teams being reduced to ten men following an 80th minute explosive situation, Bacup soon found themselves down to nine men when Nathan Emery received a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge, despite this set back Bacup got through the ninety minutes at 3-3, however loosing Kyle Hendley with an injury and having used all of their substitutes, the reality of 10 men verses 8 proved to be just too much leaving Congleton to progress.

Bacup welcomed back from injury Gareth Wager making his first appearance of the season slotting into the heart of the Bacup defence, this for the first time this season was Bacup Borough’s strongest side, still without their club Captain Shane Birtles to whom did last week undergo surgery for a knee problem, Bacup started the game in positive style, taking the game to the opposition, dictating play from which saw skipper Kelvin Trippier making a blind side run from which a terrific strike did rebound back off the Congleton upright, a further opportunity came Bacup Borough’s way when Darcy O’Connor from mid field did help the ball on into the advancing Johnathon Thompson’s path, the Bacup striker got away from his man to get his shot off but managed to drag his effort wide, Congleton had not proved any threat at this stage but then winning a free kick on Bacup’s left around thirty yards out, the ball was played in behind the Bacup wall, with the Bacup players holding and not dropping, Congleton did get two runners in but luckily for the visitors their effort was blazed well over the top of the Bacup cross bar. This was the start of something good for the home side when following a piece of good play Congleton switched the ball from left to right before releasing their front man from which Bacup’s keeper did save pushing the ball wide of his goal.

Congleton took the lead from which Bacup failed to press high resulting in their defender getting his head up before putting the ball long over the Bacup defenders head, this caused for the ball being put out for a Congleton corner, the ball was delivered in with quality but the Bacup defenders need to question has to why their attacker was granted a free header to send the home side into the lead.

Congleton’s second goal was really due to mis understanding between defender and goal keeper, has the ball was put in behind the Bacup defence it seemed no danger as it was running through to the Bacup keeper, It seemed defender Luke Podmore wanted to help the ball on its way but by doing so it deflected the ball past his keeper into his own net.

Despite the good start by Bacup and the disappointment of finding themselves two goals down, Bacup still believed there was something in this game for them and how they were right when the Bacup striker got the better of his defender with a clever turn before an exquisite finish, this goal just spurred Bacup on and they got their just reward when defender Luke Podmore had got himself forward, following good inter passing around the area from Bacup, Podmore gained half a yard on his marker before placing his shot past the Congleton keeper.

It did not finish here for Bacup and could so easily have made it 2-3 going into the half time break, this resulted in good pressing by Thompson to whom won the ball before finding the Lively Ashley Leather who struck the ball inches wide of the post, leaving it all square 2-2 at the break.

The second half got underway, very similar to the first half it was the visitors asking the questions, Kelvin Trippier sent a diagonal ball which found Anthony Hall to whom took on his defender before lobbing to the back post, Thompson tried to back heel the ball in order to keep alive, Ashley Leather got on the ball before being fouled and a free kick awarded but Congleton defended.

Bacup got themselves in front when the ball was played up the Bacup left, Thompson took the ball in before turning his man which resulted in a late challenge and penalty awarded, up stepped Darcy O’Conner to shoot his team into a 2-3 lead.

Bacup were forced into a 68th minute substitution following an injury to Luke Podmore and was replaced by Ryan Alessandra, on seventy five minutes Benjamin Boyne was introduced for the tiring Ashley Leather.

On eighty minutes Congleton was awarded what seemed an harsh free kick against Nathan Emery, it was from this kick from which Congleton did snatch a lifeline, the ball was put in and defended but with players still crowding the Bacup keeper the ball was delivered once again from which goal keeper Aaron Ashley did take high and under pressure but following a coming together dropped the ball and with this Congleton’s Kieran Kenny smashed the ball into the net, all of a sudden Kenny became hero to villain has he clashed with Gareth Wager resulting in the Bacup defender going to ground, this brought mayhem in the Bacup penalty area from which following an Assistants intervention the Congleton scorer followed by Bacup’s defender Adrian Bellamy were given straight red cards, the mayhem did not stop here with both players leaving the field and Congleton substituted players around the tunnel area, heated exchanges flared up there resulting in both sets of players rushing into that direction, with the aid of both sets of Managers and Coaches order was resumed, play re started heading into the final ten minutes of the 90 minutes.

Minutes following the re start with both sides down to ten men, Bacup were soon reduced to nine men when the Bacup defender Nathan Emery over stretching in an attempt to win the ball but failed to make contact and was given his second yellow card of the game, with players struggling injury wise and down to nine men and an extra thirty minutes looming, it was certainly not getting easier for the visitors but they dragged themselves through to the full time whistle (3-3)

Three minutes into the first period of extra time Bacup was forced to use their last Substitute when Substitute Ryan Alessandra had to be replaced due to a thigh strain, this was a blow to Bacup has Kyle Hendley was also struggling but had to remain on the pitch, Congleton then hit us with two killer goals within seconds of each other, their first to make it 4-3 Declan Fletcher pulled wide of the box into space from which he was found un opposed with number shortage he made no mistake, then seconds later the Bacup defenders played a square ball across their box to the injured Kyle Henley to whom could do nothing, he was easily dispossessed with the lad Fletcher again making no mistake with what was a gifted goal ( 5-3)

Just after the interval of extra time Bacup were left to see the game out with eight men on the pitch has Kyle Hendley just could not move but credit to the visitors they still did try and believe they could get something from the game, pushing men forward at every opportunity, always vulnerable to the counter attack was how Congleton did get themselves a penalty, once again It seemed harsh on Bacup has it seemed like the Congleton player caught Wager and not the other way around, the referee pointed to the spot but the Bacup keeper did pull off an excellent save which given it was not a penalty in the first instance, justice was done, however Bacup could not complain when their 6th goal did come as this resulted from Bacup having possession of the ball, Darcy O’Connor with an option to build play with Tripper attempted a drag back but with this lost possession, Congleton broke in numbers, pulled their visitors apart before finishing, this ended any hopes of a Bacup come back from which Congleton finding the gaps did make it seven almost on the final whistle.