Runcorn Linnets 3-2 BARB FC
Kevin Towey (28) (45) Matthew Atherton (47) Michael Gervin (14) Dom Marie (86)
Sat 10 Jan 2015 KO 3:00pm
Millbank Linnets Stadium
Team: 1. Jakovlevs 2. Banda 3. T.Hendley (Morgan) 4. Wager 5. Holt (Ashfaq) 6. Zubar 7. Bellamy (c) 8. Dee 9. Marie 10. Gervin (Rahman) 11. Bryan
Subs not used: McKenzie & Ormesher
Brent Peters’ reaction – http://t.co/EXlkM9AJmw
Bacup & Rossendale Borough put in a terrifically gutsy performance against the league leaders Runcorn Linnets but déjà vu struck again as goals either side of the half for the home side just saw off the Borough.
Manager Brent Peters made just two changes after last week’s loss at Bootle with Sam Dee and Davison Banda coming in for Martin Ormesher and Kyle Hendley.
With a mixture of sun, rain, snow and hail to add to the voluptuous wind it was a fairly quiet start to the match with Bacup dealing well with anything Runcorn threw at them. However, in the 16th minute and pretty much out of nowhere BARB took the lead. Michael Gervin picked the ball up in-line with the left-hand side of the penalty box and about 30 yards out and he turned and struck an absolute screamer into the top corner. This was the perfect start as the Borough have been severely lacking goals as of late and we all know that goals win games.
It was inevitable that a team top of the league and leading the way to being promoted are going to have long spells of pressure in the match and they did just so. 14 minutes after Gervin’s opener Linnets were level and Bacup conceded off another corner. The set-piece was floated into the horrendous gale force wind, headed towards the front post where Kevin Towey was on hand to flick in.
As both sides were battling hard in tough conditions to gain the upper hand it was the home side who gained the advantage right on the half-time whistle AGAIN, just like last week, the worst time to concede. It also came from another corner however this was incredibly unlucky for the Borough, it was like a 30 second game of pinball occurred in the penalty area as the ball was smashed and deflected everywhere until Towey tapped it in for his second.
Half-Time: Runcorn Linnets 2-1 BARB
Back out into the second half and again exactly the same as last week at Bootle a goal was also conceded just after half-time as well as before. Bacup stopper Jakovlevs pulled off a great save to keep out the first effort but Matthew Atherton crept in to again bundle over the line.
Nonetheless this third goal did not affect Bacup’s performance and none of their heads dropped in the slightest, they kept battling with incredible tenacity and you could tell they still believed as Daniel Holt headed just over the crossbar on 53 minutes.
Runcorn Linnets had a few good chances in the second half with BARB clearing off the line and Jakovlevs denying Atherton from point blank range but Bacup really started to rally together a spirited and gutsy performance going into the final twenty minutes. The Borough were giving it a real go now and you could tell the home side were getting slightly nervous and they were nearly more nervous when Dom Marie bent a curler inches wide from 25 yards. The visitors were certainly in the ascendency now as they pressed the league leaders with intent and physicality and four minutes from time Dom Marie pulled the deficit back to one to score his first goal for the club. He fired a low shot precisely into the bottom corner to send that little bit more worry into Runcorn.
However in the end the home side took the ball into the corner and just held out for the victory but they certainly knew they had been in a game.
Full-Time: Runcorn Linnets 3-2 Bacup & Rossendale Borough
Report: Jay Taylor