Burscough 2 Vs Whitchurch Alport 3 match report by Neil Leatherbarrow
By Steve Halliwell
BURSCOUGH BLOW IT
It all looked set for a draw at Victoria Park on Tuesday night. With the score 2-2, the referee had signalled four minutes added time and both teams looked to have accepted a point each, the four minutes had elapsed when Whitchurch won a corner, it was driven across the face of goal, Burscough goalkeeper Max Povey failed to deal with it and Joe Howell netted the Whitchurch winner, it was a body blow for Burscough and an unexpected bonus for Whitchurch.
Neither team had deserved to win the game on the second-half showing, both had wasted some good chances and it could easily have been described as a scrappy game. The first-half had been punctuated by a fluke goal by the visitors that went into the net via a bad bounce and two Burscough goals that at the time gave the Linnets a completely justified 2-1 lead. All that changed with a brilliant strike by Whitchurch to make it 2-2 at the interval.
Whitchurch had started the livelier of the two sides and they took the lead after four minutes, Sean Griffiths was supplied a pass from the right and from 20 yards hit a curling shot that sent Povey diving after it. You could debate all day as to whether Povey would have saved it, but he certainly might have done, however when the ball took a vicious bounce, Povey had no chance at all of saving it.
Burscough seemed to take heart from an error in the 22nd minute, Whitchurch number eight Howell let the ball slip under his foot and Terry Cummings was away down the right, he squared the ball to Chad Whyte but he put the chance over the crossbar.
Whyte made no mistake on the half-hour. Cummings crossed from the right and Whyte met the ball with a powerful downward header that sent it past Whitchurch goalkeeper Dave Parton to equalise.
Burscough were going well in this period, forcing Whitchurch onto the back foot and in the 33rd minute they went in front. Cummings received the ball about a yard inside the penalty area and twisted past a close marking defender behind him, except the defender clumsily tripped him and a penalty was inevitable. Gary Grier took the Linnets spot kick, blasting it low into the corner to make it 2-1 to Burscough.
Four minutes later a real memorable moment arrived. Tim Sanders stepped onto a bouncing ball around 25 yards from goal, his dipping shot flew over a perfectly placed Povey and thundered into the Burscough net behind him, it was just unstoppable. It is not often at a football match that you see both sets of supporters rise and clap a goal, it was that good.
The second-half started fairly well but the quality from both teams gradually petered out.
In the 53rd minute Jamie Clark put a precise ball down the left to Matt Ward, but he put his attempt over the crossbar, down the other end Matt Ashbrook had a good opportunity but missed the ball.
Just after the hour Cummings led a Linnets counterattack and played to Jordan Lorde but his cross back into the area was poor.
The game was becoming frustrating for the spectators.
Eleven minutes from the end Prince Ekpolo made a terrific run from the halfway line but entering the penalty area from the left he should have shot at goal but elected to lay the ball off and another chance was gone.
It looked odds on the draw in added time, then Povey didn’t connect with Tim Sanders corner and Howell headed the winner, there was 94 minutes and twenty seconds on the clock.
BURSCOUGH: Povey, Henerty, Clark, Dublin, Gibson ©, Grier (Nkusu-Wasaulua, 68), Cummings, Doherty (Lorde, 45), White, Ward, Ekpolo Subs (not used) White, Canache, Eumessi
WHITCHURCH ALPORT: Parton, O’Connor, Campion ©, Griffiths, Ashman, Minshall (Bridge, 66), Sanders, Howell, Hill, Hughes, Ashbrook (Everall, 66) Subs (not used) Marley, Johns, Goddard
Referee: Richard Holmes