Team: 1. Ogden 2. Bellamy 3. Heap (Sub Nhwziyo) 4. Wager 5. Esdaille 6. Oldham 7. Birtles (c) 8. Calvert 9. Thompson 10. Kirk (Sub Butorins) 11. Bryan (Sub Socha)
Subs not used: Clapham & Harling
Two early goals and a late penalty save sees both Bacup and St. Helens take a point.
Well the opening stages of the game were definitely the most action packed as in just the second minute of the match the St. Helens defender and goal keeper get in an awful mix-up. The keeper came but the defender headed past him and BARB’s top goal scorer Simon Thompson was in the right place at the right time to tap in for the perfect start.
However this was soon to be short lived as just a minute later a corner came in and just was not dealt with which lead to a goal mouth scramble and somehow Daniel Owens bundled home.
Both teams not being 100% switched on at the start and both got punished but after this they settled down and started playing.
12 minutes gone and the St. Helens keeper made another error as debutant Jonathan Heap sends it to the back post where the keeper goes up and drops but Matty Bryan can’t direct on target.
The pitch was in immaculate condition and it was gracing a really good game to watch, not in terms of chances but the battling and trying to play was exceptional.
The home side wasted a good chance on the 23rd minute as they had a free-kick inside the D but Shaun Judge blasted well over.
However on 35 minutes it really should have been 2-1 to the away side as Aaron Kirk shoots powerfully from range which again the keeper spills, Thompson’s header was saved, Calvert’s shot was blocked and then gets cannoned off Shane Birtles and somehow gets cleared.
Half-Time: St. Helens Town 1-1 BARB
Either side could have quite easily been leading at the break.
Into the second half and Shaun Judge goes racing through on goal but Ogden makes a terrific point blank save.
An attacking double change from BARB manager Peters by bringing on Butorins and Nhwziyo.
However as the half grew older and older less chances were appearing and both sides were just battling extremely hard in the midfield area to try and get a hold of the game but this wasn’t happening. If anyone was going to score it was probably going to be the away side but they were only half chances at best.
Although there was to be one last good chance in the game as St. Helens were awarded a penalty kick which in my opinion looked a bit harsh. A cross came in to the box which Laquan Esdaille headed into the air, then the attacker got his body in the way and a back peddling Esdaille was always looking at the ball and fell backwards into the player which looked accidental however the linesman flagged and the penalty kick was awarded.
Shaun Judge who had looked good stepped up 6 minutes from time but saw his kick tremendously saved by John Ogden who in fact had a superb performance all round, even the home fans said.
After that penalty was saved it looked like it was written in the stars for it to end a draw and that it did.
Full-Time: St. Helens Town 1-1 Bacup & Rossendale Borough