Abbey Hey 3-0 BARB FC
Max Lonsdale (35) (45) Nico Collins (56)
Bacup & Rossendale Borough fought back strongly in the second half but in the end the quality in the final third was lacking and Abbey Hey took their opportunities.
BARB’s last competitive match was on the 27th November and with the vast amount of snow that fell and settled overnight we all thought that we would have to wait until 2015 for our next game however it was given the go ahead.
Borough handed full competitive debuts to Davison Banda, Mark Grundy and Sam Dee and it was in fact Bacup who started the better and looked hungry as they squandered a glorious chance after just five minutes. Usman Zubar pressed with urgency superbly to force in behind the Hey defence and as he knocked the ball to the right to try and go round the goalkeeper but McIlwaine recovered to save well.
With both sides battling for the upper hand no one could carve out a clear cut chance like Zubar’s however the home side did break the deadlock ten minutes before the break. Bacup’s backline failed to clear the ball away from danger which then allowed Max Lonsdale to finish tamely via a hefty deflection.
This triggered manager Brent Peters and his coach Andy Barlow to change not just the shape back to the one that has served Bacup well for many a year but also personnel. Matty Bryan and Gareth Wager came on to replace Mark Grundy and Michael Gervin.
Timing of goals really is important in football matches and Abbey Hey scored their second deep into injury time of the first half. The lean figure of Nico Collins was having a good game and he is actually on a dual registration from Ashton United and he somehow found the net right on half-time.
Half-Time: Abbey Hey 2-0 Bacup & Rossendale Borough
The break must have done Bacup some good as they came out firing and were well on top in the match, however when you are in the ascendency you have to score.
Matty Bryan and Davison Banda were looking lively at the start of the second half pressing high up the pitch with intent and also driving forward. Daniel Holt couldn’t divert Ormersher’s free-kick goal wards from 3 yards as I don’t think he was expecting it. Captain Adrian Bellamy who started the match off in the heart of defence found himself moved to the central striker role half-way through the first half and he headed over from six yards on 54 minutes.
However this storm was ridden by Abbey Hey and they scored a third just two minutes later. Another scrappy goal from both sides point of view, Bacup gave it away cheaply in midfield with a poor touch and somehow Lonsdale got his second by scrambling over the line at the back post.
Bacup kept going till the very end and were still a threat to Hey as they were vastly improved in the second half and looked a lot more dangerous. Matty Bryan did find the net emphatically however he was adjudged to have gone too early. Into the final ten minutes on an absolutely freezing day in Gorton and Daniel Holt’s whipped in free-kick was somehow not turned in as it evaded three or four bodies in incredibly tight vicinity. Shortly after Bellamy again was being a threat in the air as his header was deflected inches over.
A massively improved second half which was just lacking the cutting edge.
Full-Time: Abbey Hey 3-0 Bacup & Rossendale Borough
Report: Jay Taylor – BARB FC
NonLeagueReview caught up with Abbey Hey manager Luke Gibson afterwards. Here the interview here: