Three more points at Burscough, Four league wins on the bounce
By Kevin Lawton
The Bears took their 3 match league winning run to Burscough on Saturday, but were without mid-week goal scorers Saul Henderson and Bev Burey, with Dan Cope back in the attack.
The pitch did not have the greatest of surfaces and the recent dry spell made it difficult to control the ball on. Both teams took a while to adjust. An early effort from Bears captain Anthony Griffith sailed high and wide. Burscough applied pressure and won a couple of corners, from the second, Lorde placed his shot just wide after a header back into his path. White then had an effort cleared off the Bears line by Griffith which was then headed wide from the resultant corner.
Paul Speed had shot which was deflected having created an opening for himself. More Burscough pressure failed to achieve an end result, despite them knocking the ball around well, then it was the Bears turn to push forward. From a corner the ball bounced around the home penalty area and several shots were blocked.
Cummings had a superb chance as he raced in on the Bears goal with just Rob Cooke to beat he could only hit the side netting and then White headed wide from another cross in.
On 33 minutes, Billy Hasler-Cregg found Cope, but in the process of getting his shot away he was injured and had to be replaced by Steve Foster. On 37 minutes it was Foster who delivered the decisive ball to Dean Warburton to open the scoring with a cracking shot, 1-0 Congleton. The Bears now grew in confidence and pushed forward more, Hasler-Cregg having a chance but skying his shot.
As the half drew to a close the Bears defence had to be at their best as Burscough pushed for the equaliser and a dangerous ball into the box was cleared.
Half time Burscough 0-1 Congleton Town
A problem with the net at one end caused a short delay to the start of the second half.
The first chance of the second period fell to Brady, who struck a free-kick high over the Bears bar. Chances were now few and far between with neither side really creating a great deal.
On 54 minutes a bad tackle in the middle of the park led to a melee involving players from both sides and the upshot was that goal scorer Warburton and Burscough’s Doherty both received Red Cards.
Hasler-Cregg had a chance to double the lead when Mini Adegbenro and Foster linked well only for the final shot to go wide then he did similar when he created an opening for himself. Cooke was on hand to block a promising home attack as White closed in and the ball was cleared.
As the 90 minutes approached, Brady almost snatched the equaliser with a shot which cannoned off the post.
The final whistle brought another three points and a clean sheet for the Bears (23rd of the campaign) and with news of dropped points by Northwich Vics, an even stronger hold on third place.
Team: Cooke, Williams, Peters, McLellan, Morris, Griffith, Hasler-Cregg, Warburton, Cope (Foster 33), Speed, Adegbenro (Main 71)
Unused: Hunter, Johnson, Pritchard
Bears Man of the Match Tom Morris, Attendance 78
(Thanks to @FungalPunkOMD for match details)