Adrian Bellamy (15)
Sat 28 Feb 2015 KO 3:00pm
Team: 1. Harris 2. Wager 3. Bryan 4. Banda 5. Holt 6. T.Hendley 7. Bellamy (c) 8. K.Hendley 9. Thompson (Sub Morgan) 10. Gervin (Sub Birtles) 11. Marie
Subs not used: Foster, Rahman & Ashfaq
Bacup & Rossendale Borough made it seven points from nine in their last three matches in a recent U-turn of form which saw BARB defeat AFC Liverpool at the Brian Boys West View Stadium on Saturday.
Manager Brent Peters made just one change from the draw at Silsden and it was an enforced one with Sam Dee injured Tommy Hendley was promoted to the starting line-up.
With many downpours over the course of the week the pitch was okay but it cut up easily and as the match wore on it became tougher and tougher to play on.
On a grey and dreary day in the Rossendale Valley it was the visitors who carved out the first chance at goal as Ronnie Morgan was found with space in the box but Josh Harris in the BARB goal charged out and thwarted well.
Just a couple of minutes later and on-loan Halifax Town striker Dom Marie nearly latched onto a brilliant ball over the top by Gareth Wager but the goalkeeper and defender dealt with it just before Marie could get there. Seconds later Bacup came even closer to breaking the deadlock as Michael Gervin checked inside his man, opened his body up and curled one towards the far corner which was tipped just wide by AFC Liverpool goalkeeper Paul Moores who is also the manager and at 55 years of age that is a great achievement, and he even got given the man of the match by the home side.
The opening stages of the NWCFL encounter were very much end-to-end and in all honesty the away side should have taken the lead with two good chances. Firstly Harris had to be at his best to keep out Francis Barry and then Cox got in behind and chipped over Harris which bounced inches wide.
Dom Marie got in behind the Reds’ defence once again as Gervin got his head up and dinked a ball over the defence to set the attacker away who checked inside and let fly but credit again to the goalkeeper/manager who saved well. From the resulting corner kick however Bacup took the lead as Matty Bryan’s corner was scuffed along the floor but strangely it trickled right into the mixer where skipper Adrian Bellamy raised Bryan’s scuff with one of his own as the ball slowly but surely trickled over the white paint on the goal line. It was interesting to point out though that it was the linesman on the far side who flagged for the goal to be given.
Bacup took control of the match at this point and came ever so close to doubling their lead just three minutes later as Davison Banda struck a free-kick from 25 yards over the wall and if it wasn’t for a strong left-hand it would have been two.
With half hour gone BARB came close once again to finding the net, Matty Bryan sweetly cryuff turned away from his man and accelerated away to then deliver into a dangerous area where Marie’s pile driver was blocked and Simon Thompson’s effort fizzed just wide of the target.
It was one-way traffic still at this stage of the match and it was staggering how the Borough had only scored just the one as Marie again came inches from 2-0 as his curler looked destined for the top corner until it whistled two inches wide.
Half-Time: Bacup 1-0 AFC Liverpool
Five minutes into the second half and AFC Liverpool nearly levelled it up with a cross come shot from the right side which evaded everyone and bobbled inches wide.
However having said that, as the half ticked on I still had no idea how it was still only 1-0, Marie could have had five to himself at least and this chance was the best of the lot. Substitute Shane Birtles cushioned a beauty first-time right into the path of Marie who cut inside but completely lost his footing, it was like he was on an ice rink however he did get his shot off but it meandered just wide.
Next up it was Thompson to squander a chance at goal as Bryan found Marie who then rolled it across to the number nine who blazed well over after being put under pressure by two defenders.
With 36 gone in the half AFC Liverpool missed a rare chance as captain Jack Sinnott blasted just wide of the mark.
Into the final ten minutes and the home side were desperate to hold onto a precious three points and it really should have been wrapped up and put to bed with six minutes to go as Marie gets in behind, yes once again, this time by Simon Thompson’s precise through ball and Marie’s shot hits the goalkeeper and it looked as though it was trickling over the line until a covering defender cleared it away to somehow keep it at 1-0. However it did indeed finish 1-0 to Bacup with a thoroughly deserved three points.
Full-Time: Bacup & Rossendale Borough 1-0 AFC Liverpool