EMBRACING THE FUTURE IN DEFEAT
In the glorious sunshine of the Brian Boys Stadium Borough were narrowly defeated 2-1 against top of the league Bury AFC in front of a crowd of 990.
The visitors had the first chance of the game on two minutes. A corner was delivered with pinpoint accuracy towards the penalty spot and from close range Kristian Holt could only direct his powerful header over the Borough crossbar.
You could sense early on that Bury AFC set pieces were going to cause the Borough defence some problems through the course of the afternoon.
Photo: Jacob Reader
But on 7 minutes the home side took the lead. Excellent work down the left by Kyle Siddle brought about a free kick from 25 yards out, and Ryan Siddle stepped up and curled a beautiful shot into Jack Atkinson's top left hand corner.
Borough continued to probe with good running down the right from Josh Walne and Anthony Hall. On 15 minutes Borough should've made it 2-0. Alex Mellor delivered a quality ball into the box from the right hand side, but somehow Kyle Siddle was unable to direct his header goal bound and the chance went begging. It was a fantastic run towards the back post and instead of making a clean connection he decided on glancing the ball which went narrowly wide of the AFC left hand post.
The visitors were able to compose themselves and started to go through the gears. Tom Greaves and Ben Wharton were causing problem for the Borough defence. Gareth Wager and Joey Fallon were involved in numerous battles all afternoon.
Photo: Jacob Reader - Kyle Siddle Chasing The Ball Down
And on 28 minutes AFC had their equaliser. A corner delivered into the back post found the towering Jonathan Hunt, and with time to spare he was able to direct the ball back across the face of goal where Tom Greaves was on hand to net his 18th of the season.
Both teams continued to have their fair share of the ball, and on a difficult surface managed to play some attractive football at times. It was also encouraging to see Aidan Hussey getting his chance to shine again alongside Callum Hewitt in midfield. And the little pocket dynamo was savouring his afternoon in the sunshine of West View.
In the second half AFC started to gather more momentum. Obasota was seeing more of the ball down the left, and with good trickery and skill was able to get the ball into dangerous areas.
Photo: Jacob Reader - Alex Mellor
On 59 minutes the experienced Ben Wharton put AFC in front. A mix up in the Borough penalty area saw the ball fall at the feet of the former Colne front man, and from 6 yards out he stabbed the ball past Harry Turner and into the corner of the net. A goal that was celebrated emphatically by the nearly 750 that had made the trip down the M66.
Borough continued to probe and try and penetrate into the AFC defence. In the final 20 minutes Brent Peters introduced Toby Wright and Dennis Sherriff into the game with a hope that their presence could possibly muster a few late opportunities.
Borough also brought Daniel Warren on for Aidan Hussey, and for a player that hasn't seen much first team action of late he certainly stepped up to the plate and showed the manager what he can do in the big games.
Andy Welsh made changes of his own and the former Ossett United manager was in no mood to throw away the points. The game management of AFC in the final 10 minutes was perfect. Slowing the game down and disrupting any kind of momentum Borough were trying to create.
On the final whistle it was handshakes all round, and the travelling support were delighted that they were leaving Cowtoot Lane with all three points and the championship well within their sights.
As for Borough the focus now turns to Tuesday night in the Macron Cup away to Chadderton. And then big games coming up against Atherton LR, Holker Old Boys, Daisy Hill and Steeton AFC will determine whether we have enough in the tank to cement a play-off place.
Games like yesterday and crowds of almost a thousand is exactly where we want to be as a football club. The journey's between the two clubs is certainly different in regards to infrastructure and financial capabilities, but the dedication and commitment of those involved in the two clubs is exactly the same.
WE GO AGAIN!