Bacup Borough v Wythenshawe Town

Bacup Borough 3 v 3 Wythenshawe Town (FA Vase – 2nd Qualifying Round)

Having lost to West Didsbury & Chorlton 5-4 on penalties in the Lancashire Challenge Cup (1st Round) in midweek. Bacup Borough Football Club returned to cup action yesterday as North West Counties Premier League side Wythenshawe Town arrived at the Brian Boys Stadium for the FA Vase (2nd Qualifying Round).

The matchball was sponsored by the Carr family including the inspirational Alice Carr, the nine year old who attends St Peter’s RC Primary School has raised more than £700 for the new Marl Pits running track so far, ahead of her run later this summer. Marl Pits running track is used by several sporting groups including Rossendale Harriers, Rossendale Rays, Rossendale Triathlon Club and Rossendale Leisure Trust.

The Marl Pits track has been declared not fit for purpose so the clubs joined forces to raise the £175,000 needed to rebuild and save the track. A budding Olympian, Alice trains on the track twice a week and hopes to complete the eight kilometre Pendle Hill Challenge alongside her Dad Ben, who is helping to train her before she goes back to school.

Both teams started the game well, but the visitors had the first real effort of the match on two minutes as former Burnley midfielder Steven Hewitt whipped a free kick into the box which was met by centre-back Jordan Rutters at the back post, but he could only head the ball wide of Turner’s right-hand post.

Wythenshawe Town won a corner on eight minutes following an excellent move down the left winger, the cross was blocked by Josh Walne with the ball going out for a corner. The resulting corner a minute later was crossed by into the six yard box by Steven Hewitt and Deane Smalley headed the ball passed Turner in the Bacup goal to make the score 0-1.

On eleven minutes, the home side drew level when a long ball over the top of the visitors defence found Lewis Byrne in the right channel. Having controlled the ball Byrne drove into the visitors area before squaring the ball to Bradley Hancock, who fired it passed the visiting goalkeeper Callum Jakovlevs to make the score 1-1.

Having scored to bring the game level, Bacup Borough were now on top and controlling the match as the visitors, who play in the North West Counties Premier League a division above the home side started to argue with each other as the mistakes allowed Bacup more possession which they used to create more chances on the Wythenshawe goal which in turn increased the pressure on the visitors defence.

On seventeen minutes, the home side went close to taking lead as Wythenshawe Town committed yet another foul this time just outside their own box. The resulting free-kick was driven at the visitors goal and looked to be on its way into the goal, before it was half cleared by the defence. The ball was collected by Michael Gervin on the edge of the area by his effort hit Lewis Byrne in the six yard box and was then cleared by Deane Smalley.

Bacup Borough did extended their lead just five minutes later, when they broke on the counter attack with an excellent ball which the two centre-backs on the halfway line allowing Alex Mellor to run onto the ball, midway inside the Wythenshawe half. He then went down the right channel into the penalty area before crossing the ball to the middle of the six yard box were Lewis Byrne’s first shot was well saved by Jakovlevs before the ball came back to Byrne who slotted it passed the keeper to put the home side 2-1 in front.

On thirty minutes, the first controversial moment of the match arrived as the visiting captain Matty Bryan hacked down Alex Mellor on the halfway line and correctly received the yellow card for the foul. He then give the referee a decision to make one minutes later as he made a late tackle on left-back Ryan Siddle, which everyone in the ground apart from the referee though was a second yellow card and therefore a sending off. However, the referee made the decision not to issue a second yellow card to Matt Bryan but to just have a word with the striker.

Bacup Borough then had two excellent chances in the space of two minutes to extend their lead even further, both chances fell to Bradley Hancock the first was a long ball over the top of the visitors defence. Hancock collected before driving towards the Wythenshawe area, but just as he was about to pull the trigger from the edge of the area Jordan Rutter came across and made a last ditch challenge to block and clear the ball.

His second effort on forty minutes was a much more difficult opportunity, following a great run and cross by Josh Walne down the right-hand side the ball was headed out of the six yard box by a visiting defender to the left-hand corner of the box. Hancock connected with the ball first time on the volley and apart from an outstanding one handed save down at the bottom of his right-hand post by Jakovlevs the score would have been 3-1.

Wythenshawe Town had the final effort of the half on forty-four minutes and perhaps should have drawn levels. As Connor Brotherton collected the ball wide on the right wing before crossing the ball into the Bacup box, were Matty Bryan jumped above two defenders before heading the ball inches over the bar to leaving the half-time score 2-1.

Wythenshawe Town manager James Kinsey must have had some strong words with his Premier League side during in the half-time interval, as they came out much stronger in the second-half and nearly got on level terms in the fifty-first minutes as Matty Bryan got clear on goal and but for a superb tackle by the Borough defence he would have brought the scores level.

The pressure told a minute later, as the visitors drew level on fifty-two minutes following an excellent run down the right wing by full-back John Pritchard Town. He whipped in brilliant cross to the edge of the six yard box which was met by Brad Byrne who fired the ball passed Turner in the home goal to make the score 2-2.

Wythenshawe Town were now really fired up after scoring the equaliser and there was some excellent link up play between Matty Bryan and Brad Byrne along with Pritchard down the right-hand side. However, the defending from the whole of the Bacup Borough team was outstanding in the second-half as they soaked up the pressure from the Premier League side.

On sixty-four minutes, Bacup Borough took the lead for the second time in the game with the best move of the match. Following a Wythenshawe Town corner the ball was cleared to the halfway line, before being collected on the chest by Alex Mellor who turned his man before sliding a pass between the two defenders for Lewis Byrne. He in turn ran from the halfway line with the ball, outpacing the defence before slotting the ball passed Jakovlevs into the goal to make the score 3-2.

The second controversial moment of the match arrived on seventy-four minutes, when goalkeeper Harry Turner came rushing off his line to claim the ball at the feet of Town striker Matty Bryan. However as the keeper fisted the ball away for a throw-in the striker went down and the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors. Once again it was clear to everyone in the ground that the keeper had played the ball and not the man and speaking to Matty Bryan after the match in the club house he said “The goalkeeper give me the opportunity so I took it like any striker would do” or in other words it was a dive. Brad Byrne stepped up and sent Harry Turner the wrong way to level the match at 3-3.

Straight after the penalty had been scored two Bacup Borough players Ryan Siddle and Michael Gervin contested the penalty decision with both the referee and the linesman and both players were sin binned for ten minutes and sent to the dug-outs for dissent, leaving the hime side down to nine men. Then on seventy-nine minutes, as tempers started to flair Lewis Byrne received a yellow card for a late tackle and then a minute later, following a second foul he was shown a red card taking the home side down to eight men.

Wythenshawe Town went close to scoring a winner on eighty-six minutes, when Grant Spencer played in Liam Martin who turned the last defender before firing his shot inches over Harry Turners crossbar leaving the final score 3-3 sending the FA Vase match to penalties. Unfortunately, the visiting goalkeeper Jakovlevs managed to save three out of the five Bacup Borough penalties sending Wythenshawe Town through to the next round of the FA Vase.

Match Details

Bacup Borough – Turner, Walne, R.Siddle, Warren, Fallon, Hewitt, Mellor, Hussey, Byrne, Gervin, Hancock (Subs) Burton, Godsman-Pilling, K.Siddle, Luby, Mallinson

Wythenshawe Town -Jakovlevs, Brotherton, Prichard, Gregory, Rutter, Smalley, Byrne, Hewitt, Bryan, Timmons, Burton (Subs) Bacon, Da Costa, Spencer, Martin

Goals(Bacup) L.Byrne (2), Hancock (Wythenshawe) Smalley, B.Byrne (2)

Attendance – 124

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