Bacup Borough Football Club
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The First Win is Here! BARB 3-0 Silsden

Bacup & Rossendale Borough finally recorded their first win of the season with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Silsden.

Manager Brent Peters had to shuffle things around and indeed did do bringing in two debutants. Defender Mike Harling and goalkeeper Mark Clapham came in to the Borough side to search for that perfect performance.  Some may have seen it harsh dropping Ash Gotham after one shaky game in which he has probably been our most consistent player for the start of the season. However that’s football.

Before the game I certainly sensed that there was a sense of must win around the Brian Boys West View Stadium especially after speaking to the home fans.

The game got underway and BARB started the game as they do every single game and that is on the front foot. Keeping the ball, swiftly passing it about, pushing their opponents back as they sniffed out a crucial early goal. Consequently after just 5 minutes the deadlock was broken as a lethal Matty Bryan free-kick was flicked on by Lee Oldham in which saw the ball drop to Simon Thompson at the back post who controlled it and guided it into the far corner expertly.

A dream start to the out of form side.

As Silsden try to work their way back into the game they carve out a chance but the striker’s header isn’t testing new keeper Clapham.

10 minutes gone and the Borough double their lead; this is just what they needed. It comes from Matty Bryan down the left hand side again who beats his man, puts in a good low cross in which went just behind Thompson but Boic Nhwziyo  was following up and powers his shot past Ed Hall in the Silsden goal. This was a normal start for BARB but just had the end product to go with the whole performance for a change.

Another change in tactics saw skipper Shane Birtles move forward to play into the heart of midfield and he looked right at home. The ex-Huddersfield man was sorting the whole team out and calming when needed along with his composed passing and terrific work-rate.

18 minutes gone and yes you guessed it, down the left hand side once more with Bryan who whips in a cross with his lethal left foot and an unmarked Marcus Calvert directs his header just over the crossbar.

Debutant Mike Harling looked very strong at the back alongside stalwart Gareth Wager not letting anything past him and taking no danger when needed. Half way through the half Harling intercepted the ball and went on a marauding run right through the ball powering beyond opposing players. However two men were screaming for the ball on the left hand side but Harling opted to go alone and got cut out.

As much as Silsden were trying they couldn’t really get a foothold in the game as BARB were doing terrifically and to be quite frank I felt this was coming, it had been building up. This was the Maine Road performance with the cutting edge.

27 minutes gone and the third goal was ever so close. The ball got played into Nhwziyo and a slick turn rolls his man and sets him racing down the line and fires a cross in, Calvert flicks it on and Simon Thompson was agonizingly close as he just couldn’t stretch far enough.

The next goal was definitely crucial as it could be a way back into the game for the away side or it could be the goal to kill the game off.

Silsden’s Will Storrie tested new goalkeeper Clapham with a good strike but not troubling. They were limited to long range shots which it had to be certain special to score from distance. This started a good little spell for the away side which they certainly needed however they couldn’t quite break the solid Borough defence down.

Gareth Wager may not be captain but he certainly gets his team sorted so they know exactly where to go as he bellows instructions.

BARB trying their luck from range now as full-back Ben Shawcross fires a grass-cutter on target but not testing the keeper.

Half-Time: BARB 2-0 Silsden

5 minutes into the second half and a well worked move eventually finds Nhwziyo running onto the ball but strikes it just wide. However this wasn’t a worry as just 2 minutes later the killer third goal came. You know how I said Matty Bryan’s crossing was always right on the money, well this one actually was. His trademark run down the left saw him beat his man and delivers a high cross which inadvertently dropped over the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner of the goal.

Did he mean it……………..Of course he didn’t!

If I had to find a negative it would probably be the goalkeeper as he was lucky to get a free-kick after dropping a cross and also was clearly having trouble with his kicking as he couldn’t get it in the air and over the half-way line.

The away side then started to pressurize the BARB and on 56 minutes a mix up between the goalkeeper and Wager leads to a lob effort from the striker in which Clapham just got enough on it to steer it wide.

The game started to become very open and end-to-end which could have led to more goals. Just 2 minutes later and a Bryan corner found an unmarked Thompson whose header was well saved.

Back up the other end and Silsden’s Nathan Egan greedily spurned a good chance as he tried to force it through bodies when two men waited at the back post.

As Borough sniffed out a fourth goal, a well worked free-kick lead to a Marcus Calvert shot very well saved.

I was most impressed with BARB’s overall performance as they did not let any complacency slip in and all put a superb effort in.

68 minutes passed and again inches away from the fourth goal as a lay-off sees Bryan steer his shot just wide of the post.

Marcus Calvert had another terrific game testing the goalkeeper several times. You could see he was so desperate and hungry for a goal however he couldn’t quite force it past the goalkeeper.

The game ended with more Silsden pressure however it looked as though it wasn’t going to be there day and was going to be a clean sheet for the Borough.

Full-Time: BARB 3-0 Silsden

A quite simply superb performance from Bacup & Rossendale Borough which had it all from all 11 men. Having lacked goals recently this was the perfect outcome. For the whole 90 minutes the Borough had tempo, composure, pressure, organisation and most importantly of all the end product.


Manager’s post match comments to come…..