Squires Gate 0 Vs Burscough 6 match report by Neil leatherbarrow
A GREAT ESCAPE BY LINNETS
Burscough escaped relegation over the weekend in the most remarkable style possible, hitting an unbelievable eleven goals in two games, leading the way for the Linnets was centre-forward Chad Whyte, his six goals from the two games making his personal tally 53 goals for the season, all adding up to a truly great escape from relegation.
The Linnets had gone into the Bank Holiday weekend knowing that if they were going to avoid relegation from the North-West Counties Premier Division, they really did need to win both games. Saturday went well and Dave Sutton’s team won 5-1 at Winsford United, plus their two rivals for safety both lost. Bank Holiday Monday dawned and the mathematics were simple the Linnets needed to win at Squires Gate and they would be safe even if their rivals Abbey Hey and AFC Liverpool both won.
Burscough started strongly, winger Terry Cummings put an effort onto the roof of the net then put the ball across the face of goal in the opening eight minutes, this was followed by a rising shot from Josh Dunroe that went fractionally over the crossbar.
Squires Gate are a decent team and on 19 & 24 minutes Burscough goalkeeper Josh Samberg made good saves from Finley Clarkson and Gary Pett.
In the 32nd minute Burscough struck, home goalkeeper Ben Fletcher could only parry away a shot and Whyte pounced from the six yard line.
On 40 minutes it was 2-0. Danny Brady hoisted a free-kick from the left into the penalty area, Luke Gibson headed it down and Whyte was there again, this time scoring with a bicycle kick.
The hosts started well after the interval and Samberg made an excellent tip over the crossbar from a Dean Ing header.
In the 50th minute Whyte had a goal disallowed for a push on the goalkeeper, but three minutes later Burscough made it 3-0. Cummings “nut-megged” his marker on the right and ran on, his cross found its away to the far post, where showing superb maturity, Peter Henerty kept his cool before driving the ball low and hard into the net.
In the 58th minute Whyte was thwarted by a save low to his right by home keeper Fletcher after good work by Prince Ekpolo and Cummings, then on 64 minutes the former beat two men before squaring the ball to Whyte who wasted no time in completing his hat-trick.
In the latter stages such was the Burscough dominance that it was a case of how many rather than if and Henerty set up Whyte for his personal number four and Burscough’s number five.
In added time Samberg made one really top-drawer save to keep his clean sheet as Squires briefly rallied, but moments before full-time Henerty made it six.
Burscough had notched up 12 points from the last 15 available and the youngsters led by talisman centre-forward Whyte have thoroughly deserved to avoid relegation. When you take into account that they didn’t win their first league game until October, their form since then has bordered on promotional. If they can keep the side together over the summer it could be a real celebration story this time next year.
Manager Dave Sutton commenting on Monday evening enthused:”It has been a superb run and those last five games have been hanging over us, especially with four of them being away games. I couldn’t have asked for more from the players, I have played in successful teams at a lot higher level and none matched them for work ethic, especially for each other, many have carried injuries rather than let each other down. They deserve some real credit for the way they have handled the pressure over the last few weeks. I thank them and add that I am very pleased for them”
SQUIRES GATE: Fletcher, Mullen, Salthouse, Richards, O’Mahoney, Bamda, Riley, Ing, Pett, Harries, Clarkson Subs Pope, Moorhead, Rothwell, Hargreaves
BURSCOUGH: Samberg, Brady ©, Clark, Kimona-Puissance (Grier, 2), (Pennington65), Gibson, Parkes, Cummings (Canache 70), Dunroe, Whyte, Henerty, Ekpolo Subs not used Smith P
Referee: Bob Roberts Attendance: 81