George Whiteoak (42) Christopher Smith (65) (68) Scott McGowan (78)
Dominic Marie (39) (49)
Sat 07 Mar 2015 KO 3:00pm
Ivy Gardens Booth Street
Team: 1. Harris 2. Wager 3. Bryan 4. Banda 5. Holt 6. T.Hendley 7. Bellamy (c) (Sub Dee) 8. K.Hendley (Sub Ashfaq) 9. Thompson (Sub Rahman) 10. Gervin 11. Marie
Subs not used: Morgan
Bacup & Rossendale Borough lead twice and ran in-form Congleton Town close however the Borough’s three match unbeaten run came to an end in the Saturday sunshine after a six goal thriller.
Dominic Marie put Bacup in the lead just six minutes from the break however this was cancelled out minutes later with a bullet header from centre-half George Whiteoak.
It was that man Marie again who put the Borough back in the lead just four minutes into the second half with another sublime finish. However, the Bears grew in the game with the 12thman behind the goal sucking the ball in and they scored two in three minutes to turn the match on its head. Christopher Smith headed into the top corner then the same player scrambled the ball over the line on a corner. The match was sealed when Scott McGowan hit a sensational strike from 30 yards into the top right corner.
Manager Brent Peters unsurprisingly named an unchanged side to last week’s fabulous win against AFC Liverpool.
Around the UK it was beautiful weather I am presuming but in Congleton it definitely was and certainly the nicest day of 2015 so far with clear blue skies, full sunshine and highs of 17 degrees, it would have been a perfect day for football if it wasn’t for the constant gusts of wind.
However let’s take my meteorologist hat off for a second and pop back on my football hat and it was Brent Peters’ side who had the first sniff at goal. A corner floated deep by Matty Bryan tempted Congleton goalkeeper Dale Eve to come out however he dropped it at the feet of Simon Thompson who flicked over from close range.
The away side wearing their Brazil colours once more really should have taken the lead in the fifth minute as again another deep corner from Matty Bryan wasn’t dealt with as Adrian Bellamy peeled off his man to the back post where he found himself with plenty of space but his header was somehow deflected away from danger.
It took the Bears 21 minutes to have their first real chance on goal and it also came from a corner. The set-piece was met by a powerful header which looked destined to ripple the back of the net however Josh Harris in the Bacup goal had other ideas as just like David Seaman’s miraculous save in that FA Cup tie to deny Paul Peschisolido, Harris somehow scooped the ball out of the goal mouth.
Approaching half-time and Bacup did take the lead, a Congleton centre-back delayed on the ball and the lurking Dom Marie pinched the ball off him on the half-way line and had the whole half to himself running clean through on goal. The on-loan Halifax Town striker ran clean in however he cut back inside and onto his preferred right-foot and confidently struck the ball into the near post.
This lead only lasted a matter of minutes however as Congleton whipped in a corner the towering figure of George Whiteoak smashed his header into the back of the net.
Half-Time: Congleton 1-1 Bacup
Just four minutes into the second half and the Borough regained the lead once again to make the score 1-2. Michael Gervin found himself with a bouncing ball in a pocket of space and with the ability he holds and nonchalantly guided the ball over the top to the sprinting Marie who cut inside on his right and then this time cut back onto his weaker left and finished terrifically into the bottom corner.
The score line really should have been 1-3 to BARB just a minute later as Adrian Bellamy steamed down the right wing and was played in behind and finished coolly only to be graced by the linesman with his raised flag, the Borough skipper did not look offside one bit to be honest.
Twenty minutes into the half and the home side cranked up the pressure and did in fact level the match through a terrific header from Christopher Smith.
Just a couple of minutes after this and the same man scored again this time not so sweetly. A corner led to a goal mouth scramble which Smith back heeled over the line.
With the wind picking up it was becoming that bit tougher to play and it may have had a say on the Bears’ fourth goal. Scott McGowan struck incredibly sweetly on the half volley right into the top corner, Harris didn’t bother moving because it was simply un-saveable.
Full-Time: Congleton 4-2 Bacup