A laboured performance, perhaps understandable given the demands on the squad, saw Borough struggle to break down a resolute Gate side desperate for the points. As usual lately Brent Peters was forced to make multiple changes. Out from Wednesday nights win over Congleton Town went Adam Turner, Matty Bryan, Arron Kirk, Martin Cosgrave, Martin Peters and Paul Socha and into the starting line-up came Paul Nelson, Luke Morgan back from injury, Nathan Finnegan, David Gray, Lee Oldham, Artjoms Butorins and team captain Daniel Cocks.
The first chance fell to the visitors, the lively Alan Coar heading over on ten minutes. A minute later Gray broke clear of the defence but fired narrowly over. Coar was again in the action at the other end, shooting wide on the turn, whilst Joel Cummings drove over for Gate on 20 minutes. Butorins was struggling to find his usual form and shot wide on the turn whilst the visitors thought they had taken a 23rd minute lead only to see Coar’s effort ruled out for an infringement. Boro had keeper John Ogden to thank for keeping out Max Rothwell’s 26th minute effort with a save low down and he produced another good save to deny Coar three minutes later. As half-time approached the last chance of the half fell to Butorins but his shot was straight into the arms of David Robertson. HALF-TIME: Bacup Borough 0 Squires Gate 0
Any thoughts Borough fans harboured of a more entertaining second period were sadly misplaced as they were treated to more of the same fare. Gate’s shooting perhaps suggested why they are where they are in the league table, Adam Craggs firing well off target on 51 minutes. At the other end Oldham fired over on 64 minutes as Boro struggled to carve out any clear cut chances. Paul Arrowsmith and Robel Kibrear joined the action for Cocks and Boic Nhlizyo but the pattern of the game remained the same. The one threat of an opening came in the 85th minute when Morgan’s run and dangerous cross was well cut out by Robertson. The final whistle came as something of a relief to those in attendance and the game will not linger long in anyone’s memory bank. FULL-TIME: Bacup Borough 0 Squires Gate 0
BACUP BOROUGH: Ogden, Birtles, Nelson, Morgan, Finnegan, Coleman, Gray, Oldham, Butorins, Nhlizyo (sub. Kibrear 82 mins), Cocks (sub. Arrowsmith 73 mins). Subs Not Used: Socha, Shedwick, Howorth. Att: 49. Man of the Match chosen by Pioneer Gym: Daniel Coleman.
MATCH STATS: SHOTS ON TARGET: Bacup Borough 8 Squires Gate 6 SHOTS OFF TARGET: Bacup Borough 6 Squires Gate 9 CORNERS: Bacup Borough 3 Squires Gate 4.