Burscough - Evo-Stik Division One North Play Off Semi Final
26th April 2016
Spennymoor Town 3-1 Burscough AFC
Match Report by Ray Simpson
Spennymoor overcame a dreadful start to beat Burscough and move into the First Division North play off final.
Moors conceded a second minute goal and were perhaps fortunate not to concede another before half time as they struggled to get going.
But an equaliser just before half time significantly changed the course of the game.
Spennymoor manager Jason Ainsley said; “I prefer to forget the first 44 minutes, because we weren’t great at all. I don’t know whether the occasion got to us, but we dug in, and it’s a sign of a good side when you come in 1-1 at half time. I thought we controlled the game a lot better, and we scored straight after half time, which helped. It settled our nerves and we scored our third at the right time. Our subs changed the game.
“I said at half time that Craig Gott’s goal probably won us the game, because we didn’t turn up in the first half. We were more like ourselves in the second half, we passed the ball a lot better and got into good areas.”
Moors got off to the worst possible start on 65 seconds, when the ball came into the box from the right, Moors failed to clear it, and Liam Caddick drove the ball past Dan Lowson from ten yards as the defence hesitated.
Moors’ hearts were in their mouths on 5 minutes when Michael Monaghan went down when he was challenged by Moors skipper Chris Mason inside the area, but the referee waved play on.
Moors continued to lack assurance at the back, and had one or two more shaky moments before they started to get into the game. They had their first real chance on 25 minutes when Craig Gott floated a free kick over to the far post and Mason headed into the keeper’s hands.
However, Burscough always looked dangerous when they attacked, and from one corner, Lowson finger tipped a fierce shot by Elliott Newby over the bar.
And the visitors spurned another good chance when Monaghan burst clean through with just Lowson to beat, but he scuffed his shot from ten yards wide.
Moors got the boost they so badly needed in first half stoppage time, with a 25-yard free kick driven into the bottom left hand corner by Gott.
And within 90 seconds of the restart, they were in front, when Liam Henderson crossed deep over to the far post, keeper Calvin Hare could only backpedal and palmed the ball out for Shane Henry to put into the roof of the net.
Nathan Fisher nearly made it 3-1 when he turned well inside the area, beat a defender, but Hare blocked at the foot of his near post.
Moors got some breathing space on 69 minutes, when Gott and Henry both had shots charged down, but the ball dropped nicely for sub Gavin Cogdon, who had only been on the field two minutes, to drive firmly past Hare.
It was nearly four right at the end when Cogdon got around the back and set up Risbrough, but somehow Hare managed to keep the ball out.
Moors will now play either Northwich or Glossop in the final on Saturday at the Brewery Field.
Teams: Spennymoor Lowson, Griffiths, Mason, Gott, Tait, Watson, Stephenson (sub Risbrough 75), Henry, Henderson (sub Taylor 82), Fisher (sub Cogdon 65), Anderson.
Subs: Johnson, Bell