Town Let Down in Late Drama at Ruskin
St Helens’ winless run continues as Bacup take the spoils.
There was an air of positivity at Ruskin pre-match in the St Helens Town camp, despite the fact they are on a run of 8 games without a win with their most recent defeat against Holker on Thursday night. The new faces of David Baines and Tom Grimshaw replaced Dom Whelan and Paul Cliff, whilst Danny Lomax dropped into centre half. It was also encouraging to see injury absentees Liam Dodd and Andy Presho taking part in the Town warmup.
The positivity was extended to the stands in an open opening 10 minutes. Alex Ashby had a chance for Town that was well blocked by a Bacup defender before the visiting number 11 Matthew Bryan had a goal ruled out for offside.
Town looked comfortable when they had the ball, with Lomax orchestrating the play from the back. Matty Smith was his usual combative self
and impressed with some neat touches and a driving run in the opening exchanges.
Despite Town’s territorial superiority Bacup had a golden chance to take the lead. Bryan took the ball down the left, knocked it past Lomax and advanced on goal. His 1st effort was well saved by Fairchild at his near post before the rebound hit the goalframe to spare St Helens blushes.
Bryan hit the other post moments later from a 35-yard free kick that curled away from the goalkeeper, a definite threat to the Town defence.
Bryan once again caused havoc down the right, supplying a perfect cross to Sylvester Yeboah who had a close-range header. He must have thought he had put the visitors a goal to the good, but Adam Fairchild produced a Gordan Banks style save to tip the downwards header over the bar. This left children in the stand asking their parents “how did he save that?”.
Town looked to end the half with a goal, and some great work from Luke Edwards and Owen Dursley almost provided it. A sublime Cruyff turn from Edwards beat 2 Bacup defenders, but his cross that was met by Matty Smith sailed over.
HT: St Helens Town 0 – 0 Bacup Borough
Town come out in the 2nd half looking to claim the goal they deserved with some good pressing from Shaun Brady looking to keep the ball in the Bacup half. This pressure was duly rewarded 10 minutes in. Debutant Tom Grimshaw was allowed space in between the Borough midfield and defence. He supplied a through ball to Luke Edwards who slotted in to give Town the lead.
Just over 5 minutes later the visitors drew level through the danger man Bryan. He cut inside from the right and launched a powerful effort over Fairchild into the top of the net.
Town’s confidence appeared to nosedive after they were pegged back. As has been the story of the previous few weeks, the killer ball or decision was lacking, as Bacup looked to make use of the counter attack.
Efforts from Alex Ashby, Luke Edwards and substitute Paul Cliff were all easy saves for the Bacup keeper Karl Price as the points were destined to be shared between the sides.
However, the Blues were dealt the ultimate sucker punch in the final minute of the game. A corner from the left was headed in at the back post by man of the match Bryan to snatch a vital win for Bacup and leave Town routed to 3rd bottom.
FT: St Helens Town (Edwards, 55) 1 – 2 Bacup Borough (Bryan, 61, 90+4)