Bacup Borough 1-0 AFC Liverpool

A penalty harshly awarded midway through the second half, converted by Bacup Borough captain Daniel Cocks, was all that separated his side from AFC Liverpool in a tightly contested affair at the Brian Boys West View Stadium.

The home side will feel as though they were more deserving of the three points, having twice hit the woodwork, though the first occasion was not the result of intention, but Reds’ manager Paul Moore was once again left disappointed that an official’s decision meant his team’s endeavours went unrewarded.

‘It’s one of those decisions that as the home side is always likely to be given in your favour, especially given the emotion of the occasion’, said Moore after the match, referring to the remembrance paid prior to the kick off to Borough player Bryan Herbert, who recently tragically passed away aged just twenty seven, as well as other individuals close to the home side’s heart also recently lost.

The crucial decision came as David Limabrooke and River Humphreys, returning after suspension, tussled with each other as the Bacup striker looked to get onto Boic Nhliziyo’s through ball. Beginning outside the area, with both players grabbing hold of each other’s shirt, it ended inside the area with Humphreys being pushed to the ground still holding Limabrooke’s shirt and as a result dragging the Borough striker down. The referee blew his whistle and ran the twenty yards to the incident before pointing to the spot, giving the impression he himself was unsure as to who committed the foul before giving the decision in favour of the home side. There was no mistaking the result though as Cocks confidently stroked the ball past Sean Lake, sending the keeper the wrong way.

It was a game that was ever only going to be settled in favour of one side by a solitary goal as neither team could really dominate the other throughout the ninety minutes. Both sides shaded periods of possession in both halves but neither could do anything more as the midfields cancelled each other out and the defences nullified attacks.

Shaun Harris had the first chance of the game, running onto Darrell Hale’s pass but looking to send his effort over an advanced Ryan Jones, couldn’t get enough height on the ball to lift it over the keeper. Peter Doran struck wide from twenty five yards following a Reds’ corner and Jones got down well to get his fingertips onto a Hale effort that would have given the Reds the lead but for the keeper’s intervention.

At the other end, Lake was untroubled for the entirety of the half, with only Matthew Bryan’s cross that came back off the inside of the upright giving the visitors a momentary scare.

The Reds started the second half brightly, with Harris getting his head onto a Ryan Wignall cross and Hale firing in a snapshot from the edge of the box after the ball fell kindly for him but their attacking threat soon petered out.

Apart from when the man in the middle presented the home side with the game’s best opportunity from twelve yards, it’s doubtful that Bacup’s biggest crowd of the season would have seen a goal. The closest anyone came to finding the net was when Cocks broke down the right and saw his measured effort come back off the bar.

Late on the Reds rallied with a modicum of pressure and Anthony Brown had the best chance of finding an equaliser with a free header from a Wignall corner but the defender never made enough contact with the ball and his effort squirmed wide.

Bacup Borough 1-0 AFC Liverpool
Cocks (p) 63′
Attendance: 126

Bacup Borough: 1.Ryan Jones 2.Shane Birtles 3.Matthew Bryan 4.Arron Kirk 5.Otis Gorman 6.Boic Nhliziyo 7.Adam Dawson 8.Kingsley Williams 9.David Limabrooke (16.Haydn Paul 76′) 10.Steven Maden 11.Daniel Cocks (C)
Unused Subs: 12.Graham McKeown 14.Paul Arrowsmith 15.Paul Nelson 16.Farres Aoun
AFC Liverpool: 1. Sean Lake 2.Anthony Brown 3.George Robertson (14.Sean Doherty 78′) 4.Darren Torpey 5.River Humphreys 6.James Buckley 7.Ryan Wignall 8.Peter Doran (C) 9.Darrell Hale (12.John Lawless 72′) 10.Shaun Harris 11.Ryan Wilkinson (15.Francis Barry 82′)
Unused Subs:16.Muktar Mahama 18.Nevil Picton

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