A superb rearguard action in the second half saw Borough record a deserved three points against ‘The Bears’ from Congleton Town at the Brian Boys West View Stadium. Manager Brent Peters again had to shuffle his pack and made six changes to the starting line-up from the win against Silsden. John Ogden made his first appearance since the Lancashire Co-Operative Trophy Semi-Final, Matty Bryan returned from injury and there was a first start for Daniel Coleman. Martin Cosgrave and Paul Socha were in the starting line-up, whilst Martin Peters made his first appearance of the season in the No. 9 shirt.
Congleton made most of the early running with some neat passing football, although their selection in the final third let them down. Ogden and captain for the night Shane Birtles marshalled their troops well and snuffled out most of the Bears threats. Borough’s first chance did not arrive until the 37th minute, when Martin Pearson dived bravely at the feet of Cosgrave to deny him after Birtles played him in. Cosgrave also went close with a header but the main talking point was in the 43rd minute when another Cosgrave effort was met by the hand of a defender. His arm appeared to have moved towards the ball and Martin Peters was so incensed by the decision that he remonstrated with the linesman nearest the incident. When he came back for a second bout of verbals the official had had enough and raised his flag, leaving referee Helen Byrne to adminster a red card for abusive language. Boro held out to the break. HALF-TIME: Bacup Borough 0 Congleton Town 0
Following the sending off Brent Peters replaced Socha with Artjoms Butorins at the break. He provided a useful outlet for holding the ball up during the second period. Cosgrave had a busy game and was never far from the thick of the action, sending a speculative effort over the bar on 53 minutes when he saw Pearson off his line. Nine minutes later Bryan fired narrowly over before Borough took a 63rd minute lead. Great work from Cosgrave saw him take a difficult ball under control before coolly slotting low into the net past Pearson. The Bears tried to up the ante further piling up the corner count. However the closest they came to scoring was when Rory Fallon’s effort cannoned to safety off the near post. Substitute Paul Arrowsmith had two chances on the counter in the final minutes, firing over with the first and sending the second narrowly wide across the face of goal as Bacup attempted to deliver the sucker punch on the counter. After a lot of added time the final whistle finally sounded and the performance was immediately hailed as one of the best of the season by the Borough boss. FULL-TIME: Bacup Borough 1 Congleton Town 0
MATCH STATS: SHOTS ON TARGET: Bacup Borough 2 Congleton Town 9 SHOTS OFF TARGET: Bacup Borough 5 Congleton Town 17 CORNERS: Bacup Borough 2 Congleton Town 10 Att: 56.