The opening exchanges of the match bore no excitement, the hosts were just holding the greater territorial advantage but there was really nothing in it! A free-kick came for the resident pack, No 10 (Michael Gervin) knocked in a precise ball which No 4 (Adrian Bellamy) nutted just over. Little else in the way of thrills came as the claggy substrate was trampled beneath players looking to squeeze out a genuine chance. The Reds hustled away, a half chance fell to No 3 (Bradley Owens) but the shot lacked chomp and caused no great concern. Again the visitors came, a penalty shout was ambitious to say the least, the referee waved play on, the attack duly fizzled. At the other end of the pitch another holler came for a spot-kick, again the man in black disagreed but then Bacup applied themselves, No 7 (Anthony Hall) had the ball around the edge of the box. He dillied, he dallied, he eventually laid one off to Gervin who sent forth a rasper. Another penalty claim fractured the night air, the outcome however was a corner kick. The ball was hoofed in, a quick scuffling period was finalised by a shot from Hall – it was tame to say the least.
The game dripped on, out of a dreary patch the Reds looked to add a splash of invigorating colour via a corner. The delivery was quality laden, the ball knocked out and then re-posted with equal accuracy and pace. No 10 (Jordan Foster) was in the right place at the right time, knocked the ball into the mesh and brought up a strike the game was screaming out for. The travelling team now exuded a higher level of confidence but the game remained unliberated and without much give and take. A few handbags were brandished here and there, Bacup were awarded a couple of free-kicks on the bounce, the second, taken by Gervin, was knocked to the back post, nutted back in and was there for the taking – the referee had spotted a foul – goal kick! The game now became a messy affair, from a
The break was spent wandering to the opposite side of the ground and partaking of a warm drink. The wind was rather chilled and so, with tails and other bits between our legs we returned to where we had come from albeit this time standing and at the opposite side of the dug outs. The game, in the main, was constipated, a laxative was needed or what is known as a 'Internal Earthquake' - this procedure uses hot spoons, 4 litres of Castrol GTX and a 50 watt light bulb - I think a laxative will suffice.
The second period started with Bacup shining brightest, a low drive was well saved and then Bellamy crept in and should have bagged an equaliser but was denied by the efficient keeper who saved well. Another ball soon came into the Red's box, the defending No 6 (Lee McConchie) put head on ball and the No 1 (Lee Carr) did well to stretch and save. Bacup used this moment as a catalyst to get their act together, a blazing 3 piece move was directed and dazzling, it was a shame that it was punctuated by a weak shot from Gervin. The game was now open, something akin to footballing bowel movement was there for the fans to ponder. Bacup came again, some fine link up play was executed, No 2 (Joshua Walne) appeared at the brunt end of matters and boomed high. From here AFC Liverpool broke, No 11 (Louis Hayes) was at the apex of events, he was thwarted at the last by a quickly advancing keeper.
Bacup continued to battle with pride, they were duly getting rattled by their opponents 'go-slow' antics, the language from the bench bordered on the Satanic, the referee was referred to as a 'fuckin' bastard', 'useless' and told to 'piss off' - and here's me thinking he was a lovely chap. The hosts came next, flashed away from a
FINAL THOUGHT - A real hefty bout of grinding soccer this, one that saw little between the competing packs and one that was decided by 2 goals out of much mither. After being recently dumped out of a cup competition by Bacup the AFC Liverpool lads were up for revenge and maybe, that little bit of extra spite and desire, is what got them through tonight. They are having a good season indeed, now sitting 4th in the division and no doubt looking to push on and finish in realms where nosebleeds and dizzy spells may be encountered. They battle hard, defend as a pack and have a sprinkling of pace - it will be interesting to see what the final months of the season bring. Bacup Borough are a decent outfit, they will finish in the top half of the season and may yet end up with some silverware. They are a well drilled unit, strong throughout and with a resilience, tonight they just lacked a finishing edge and when faced with the prospect of a breakthrough just seemed to lack ideas. To get the best out of the back end of the campaign they need to play with width, dash forth with passion when an attack is underway and defend as one solid unit with all players working back when necessary. They will do OK though, a top half finish must be a certainty and if they do win the First Division Cup I think the season can be put down as a success - good luck lads. We drove home a trifle fagged but happy with our visit to The Brian Boys West View Stadium - here's to the next time!