Golcar United 0 v 2 Bacup Borough (North West Counties First Division)
Golcar United returned to the Skype Direct Stadium following two excellent away victories on the road against Atherton Laburnum Rovers and AFC Darwin in North West Counties League First Division. Managers Ashley and Gavin Connor were looking for the home side to continue their recent away form back on home soil as Lancashire rivals Bacup Borough arrived in West Yorkshire looking to win their opening two league fixtures.
As the number of coronavirus cases increases around the country, the hosts followed the government guidelines by making the match all ticket and limiting the attendance to 300 supporters. The game was a complete sell-out for the third home game in a row and it was the highest league attendance in the North West Counties League along with Bury AFC and West Didsbury and Chorlton AFC.
The visitors were on the front foot straight from the kick-off as Michael Gervin won the ball in the middle of the park, before unleashing a shot from firty five yard towards the top right-hand corner of the Golcar goal. However, goalkeeper Adam Lawlor was equal to the effort tipping the ball over his crossbar for a corner in the first minute of the match.
On ten minutes, the home side broke quickly and switched the ball to the left-hand side putting pressure on the visiting defenders who conceeded the corner. The corner was floated into the middle of the area and cleared to the edge of the area, were Michael Fish sent a first time shot over the visitors crossbar.
Three minutes later, Golcar United were then awarded a free-kick on the left hand side just outside the visitors area, the free-kick was sent into the six yard box towards the back post, but the ball was cleared by the Bacup defence who were outstanding the whole game.
The visitors should have taken the lead on seventeen minutes, as Daniel Warren played a great ball into Joshua Brennan’s feet. He then played a quick one-two with Alex Mellor who was through on goal, but Adam Lawlor made an excellent save giving away a corner.
Golcar United, had a chance to take the lead on twenty-three minutes, when Alex Hallam made an excellent run in behind the Bacup Borough defence before playing the ball across the six yard box, were defender Ross Mallinson deflected the ball onto the post before the ball bounced into the arms of goalkeeper Henry Turner.
On twenty-eight minutes, Bacup Borough were back on the attack when Michael Gervin turned his man at the edge of the box before driving into the Golcar area and unleashing a shot across the six yard box, which was turned away for a corner.
Golcar United then appealled for a penalty on the half hour mark, when Ben Burnett went down inside the visitors area following a challenge by Alex Mellor. But the theatrically fall as Burnett went to ground left the referee with no choice but to wave away the appeal.
The home side had another great chance on forty-two minutes following an excellent move down the right wing, the ball was played to the edge of the penalty area were Ben Burnett found himself unmarked. But he could only send his shot over the visitors crossbar and out for a goalkick, to leave the half-time score 0-0.
Bacup Borough manager Brent Peters will have been pleased with his sides performance in a fairly even first-half. His team played some entertaining hard fought football in the first half, but just needed to keep the ball better in midfield and be claim in possesion.
The visitors took the lead on sixty-one minutes, when just like the opening minute Michael Gervin hit a long range shot which deflected off the defender and passed Adam Lawlor into the net despite the keeper getting his hand to the ball, making the score 0-1.
Golcar United should have drawn level two minutes later following an excellent move into the visitors area. A mix up in the visitors defence lead to a shot from inside the area but the ball came back off the crossbar and was cleared by the Bacup defence.
There was a moment of madness on seventy-one minutes, as a scuffle breaks out when Daniel Warren was pushed to the floor by Golcar striker Michael Fish. The number nine received the yellow card for the incident,
Bacup Borough extended their lead on seventy-eight minutes, when a long ball was played over the top of the Golcar defence to Kyle Siddle who brought the ball down before playing it across the six yard box for Joshua Brennan to slot the ball into an empty goal to make the score 0-2.
Golcar United had the final effort of the half in the last minute of the game, but again the home side failed to hit the target and sent the final shot over the visitors crossbar to leave the final score 0-2.
Speaking after the match Bacup Borough manager Brent Peters said, “We were delighted with the teams performance this afternoon. Every single man out there gave us 100% and followed our instruction to the letter. We knew that it would be a tough game against a side who have got off to a good start themselves this season and with a sell out crowd it was going to need strong characters from our lads, they delivered.
I’m not going to single anybody out for special mention, but I must say that I’ve witnessed a really positive change in attitudes and maturity from some of our players. When you are a young side up against seasoned players who have been around the block a few years it’s easy to get sucked into a battle. The fitness levels of the players has also been excellent a lot of the credit must go to Dave Felgate for the way he set out his stall in pre-season.
The lads movement and energy levels are hurting teams and that needs to continue if we are to compete every week. It was also good to see the new lads getting minutes under their belt and making a positive difference to the squad. Ross Hildersley, Alex Luby and Jacob Godsman-Pilling all contributed to the cause at Golcar United, but even the lads who didn’t get on the pitch contributed in creating the energy around the dressing room.
We’ve now got a few days before we go again at home to Steeton AFC on Tuesday night, they are a side that have got off to a good start with some quality displays working under manager Roy Mason. So it will be another difficult game be the players will give 100% again as we look to gain another three points.
Golcar United – Lawlor, Stocker, Cartwright, Bradshaw, Lawrence, Skarz, Stor, Townend, Fish, Burnett, Hallam (Subs) Tayp, Stead, Tunnacliffe, Lang, John-Mackay
Bacup Borough – Turner, Walne, Hancock, Warren, Mallinson, Hewitt, K. Siddle, Fati, Brennan, Gervin, Mellor (Subs) Luby, Pilling, Hindersley, Hussey, Crompton
Goals – (Bacup Borough) Gervin (60), Brennan (75)
Attendance – 300