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Boroughbridge AFC Reserves Match Reports 13/14
January to May
04/01/14 - B'bridge AFC Reserves 1-2 Brighouse Old Boys Reserves - League Trophy
'Bridge came into this opening game of the new year looking to make something of a new start having seen their season put off course by a run of poor results to close out 2013. The new year gave them no favours, however, as ahead lay an Alliance Division One outfit in the form of Brighouse Old Boys Reserves who were enjoying a purple patch and currently sitting fourth in the table. Indeed, it was the higher ranked hosts who started the better and enjoyed the first real chance of the game as 'Bridge 'keeper Josh Donnelly was forced to stop a short-range Paul Taylor shot on twelve minutes. Keen to show their promotion credentials, however, the hosts were not phased by their opponents and went straight on the attack, with Paul Scaife crossing from the right to Carl Allen who fired just wide of the mark. As quickly as 'Bridge established themselves in the game though, they found themselves trailing by a goal as Calvin Lee was first to recover after a fifteenth minute clash with Donnelly to calmly slot home the opener. This scoreline would remain until the interval, and in truth acted as a fair representation of the first half with a 20th minute one-on-one effort from Ben Johnstone, stopped by Ben Briggs in the Brighouse goal, the only further event of note in the half and with the visitors marginally on top. As the old adage goes, however, it's a game of two halves, and this certainly turned out to be with 'Bridge coming out firing in the second half and taking the game to their visitors. Just two minutes into the half, Johnstone saw his shot from the edge of the box parried away by Briggs, and nine minutes later parity was restored as Phil Wix was on hand to rifle home from short range following a moment of ping-pong in the Brighouse box as both the post and Briggs got in the way of a goal at the first and second time of asking. Elliott Sheeran's men were buoyed by this, and just a minute later had a good chance to take the lead as Johnstone drew Briggs off his lines before passing to Stephen Coles, only to see his teammate hit wide of the right-hand post. This missed opportunity was the cue for Brighouse to have a brief period of ascendency themselves as they first fired over on 62 minutes before Taylor forced Donnelly into action five minutes later at his near post, albeit with neither effort really looking like it would give the visitors back the lead. Just two minutes after Taylor's effort and 'Bridge were back on the attack once more, with Johnstone denied by the smallest of margins as Briggs just got a glove to knock the ball away from his feet as he rounded the 'keeper on goal. With Sheeran now beginning to flex his substitution muscles, Luke Fletcher entered the fray, and almost had an immediate impact as his 76th minute shot from the edge of the box was parried away by Briggs. By now the momentum was with one team only, that of Sheeran, and as the game entered the final ten minutes Johnstone, who was impressing all on his step-up from the 'A' team, came closest to getting the goal he deserved as his effort rattled the crossbar. The following minute brought another chance to find the winner as Scaife broke down the wing before putting in Fletcher in the middle, but he could only hit wide of the mark with Briggs advancing and after Scaife had forced the Brighouse shot-stopper into an excellent save with five minutes left on the clock the game looked to be heading to extra time. The extra 30 minutes were already in the minds of the 'Bridge players before the referee blew the final whistle on the first 90, however, and it was here that Brighouse showed why they are the higher ranked team, as Stephen Ashford capitalised on defensive indifference to fire in the winner with the very last kick of the game to send the visitors into raptures and Aldborough Road into a stunned silence at what had just happened. Whilst the end result is a defeat, and one that sees 'Bridge exit another cup competition, Sheeran can take plenty of positives from the display, with his side looking more than a match for opposition from the league they hope to occupy next season for the majority of the game, with only inexperience costing them at the death.
Man of Match - Ben Johnstone
18/01/14 - Otley Town Reserves 1-2 Boroughbridge AFC Reserves - League
Having missed the previous week due to Pool Reserves declaring their pitch unplayable, 'Bridge Reserves came into this tricky looking away fixture having played once since in just under a month and with a lack of any training for many players included in the squad. Elliott Sheeran's squad was missing Tom Hussell, however they welcomed back Steven Warburton from a two month absence and captain Craig Peacock, following illness. With heavy rainfall in the week, the pitch had held up surprisingly well, although expected to cut up as the game progressed. 'Bridge started brightly with Wix, Johnston and Scaife causing the Otley defence early problems, however it was Otley who were first to test either 'keeper, when 'Bridge only half cleared a corner and the ball was met on the volley, which Donnelly did well to push wide of goal. With 'Bridge's attacking play and particularly the movement of players causing problems for the Otley defence, it didn’t take long for 'Bridge to gain control of the game. In the 21st minute, when Stephen Coles looked to be racing clear of the Otley left back, he was chopped down just on the edge of the penalty area. A booking followed for the player and Paul Scaife fired in a great ball across the goal mouth, which was met by an even better header at the far post for Ryan Haswell to get his first for the season. 'Bridge continued to look dangerous but failed to grab a second before the half, with the Otley 'keeper pulling off some good saves. The second half got underway and the home side appeared buoyed by their half time talk, as 'Bridge began slowly but without being troubled. It took the introduction of Luke Fletcher in the 59th minute as a replacement for Liam Bannard, to allow 'Bridge to get a firmer grip of the game. In the 61st minute, Fletcher threaded the ball through the home defence into Scaife's path with only the Otley centre half to beat, as Scaife dropped his shoulder, the defender lunged in and sent Scaife tumbling into the mud. The referee pointed to the spot and Scaife stepped up to put his penalty hoodoos behind him, tucking the ball in the corner. Scaife was replaced in the 66th minute, with Warburton entering into the game. The home side continued to show belief and grabbed a goal back in the 70th minute, when a flick on was raced onto and slid beyond the on rushing Donnelly. The mood around the ground changed and it looked like it would be a nervous end to the game. The home side were dealt a blow when their right back received his marching orders for a second caution in the 78th minute, denting their chances of finding an equaliser. 'Bridge were dangerous on the counter attack for the remainder of the game, however they were often caught offside or couldn't beat the home 'keeper. With goal scoring opportunities being passed up by 'Bridge, the home side's confidence continued to grow, so Ben Johnstone was replaced by Wayne Fisher in the 81st minute and 'Bridge were able to secure the much needed three points.
Man of Match - Stephen Coles
25/01/14 - Boroughbridge AFC Reserves 5-2 Aberford Albion Reserves - League
The 'Bridge playing surface was a credit to their groundsman and after a morning of relative serenity the teams were greeted with squally showers for the start of the game with the visitors, understandably, taking first call on the driving rain, which proved to be the right decision in the 7th minute when a wind assisted Chris Wade corner floated into the roof of the net. 'Bridge tried to play their way out of the situation but were often caught out by the conditions and physicality of the opposition and both Jamie Hadland and Steve Rostron had decent opportunities which they put wide of the mark. The home side also had their moments with penalty appeals from Paul Scaife, more comedic than genuine, and James Bottomley, authentic, with their best chance falling to Phil Wix who allowed Faz Rafiiq to dispossess him when clear on goal. The game seemed to be slipping away from the home side on 25 minutes when Aberford gained possession in their last third and one ball from Tom Walker caught 'Bridge square leaving Rostron to beat, easily, the onrushing Jordi Halifax. 'Bridge attempts to salvage something gained momentum eight minutes later following a neat interchange between Paul Scaife and Stephen Coles and even though Andy Smith saved Scaife's close range effort Ben Johnstone reacted the quickest to knock the ball home. They took the impetus into the second half and within two minutes were back on terms as Johnstone won the ball in midfield, passed in onto Wix and from there to Scaife who remained cool to slip the ball past the advancing Smith. On 55 minutes Scaife put his side ahead for the first time in the game as he collected a Carl Allen pass in a tight situation and with some adroit touches left two defenders in his wake to fire home his second despite a fine effort by Smith who got a strong hand to his left foot shot but could not keep it out. It got better for the home side within two minutes as Scaife turned provider latching on to a ball over the top from Johnstone to pick out Wix who gleefully smashed home the fourth. Aberford looked stunned and it took an excellent save from Smith to a Luke Fletcher volley to prevent them going further ahead but he was left helpless two minutes later (68) as a loose ball from a Wix tackle fell to Scaife who megged his marker to complete his hat-trick. The game opened out in the last 20 minutes as tired legs showed a lack of regular football over recent weeks and the visitors could easily have doubled their tally whereas Smith produced another excellent save to deny Scaife and Fletcher fired wide when clear on goal from an Alex Coombes pass. The deserved victory takes 'Bridge back into third place and with nine games left consistency and availability is the key to them regaining their Alliance Division One status.
Man of Match - Paul Scaife
22/02/14 - Boroughbridge AFC Reserves 6-1 Rothwell Town Reserves - League
Following a four week enforced break 'Bridge were looking to get their season back on track and secure the three points to keep them in the Alliance title/promotion battle when they hosted Rothwell Town Reserves. The side showed five changes from their last outing with Josh Donnelly returning in goal, Jack Herron, Tom Hussell and Alex Coombes filling three of the back four roles and Nick Cressey slotting into midfield. The opening exchanges were uneventful and the only incidents of note were confined to complaints that the footballs were too soft but once that was sorted we got some action with the home side taking the lead on 17 minutes. A strong run starting inside his own half and subsequent cross from Tom Hussell looked to have petered out until it was picked up by Ben Johnstone at the corner of the penalty area and his sweetly placed shot gave Ryan Smith no chance. This settled the home side and ten minutes later they increased their lead as Cressey latched on to a Craig Peacock through ball to coolly slip past the advancing Smith and double their advantage. Complacency nearly cost them three minutes later as indecisiveness on the ball allowed Chris Pennington an opportunity and only an excellent tip over by Donnelly prevented his tight angled drive from reducing the deficit which proved pivotal two minutes later when 'Bridge increased their lead. The visitors appealed vainly for offside but after recovering from that situation gave the ball away cheaply and were punished by Paul Scaife heading in a cross from his strike partner Phil Wix to give 'Bridge a comfortable half time cushion. Three minutes into the second half it got even better when a move down the left was only partially cleared to the marauding Hussell who picked out Cressey and his powerful drive from the edge of the box fizzed past Smith. The visitors were thrown a lifeline on 55 minutes by Donnelly who made his only mistake of the afternoon passing the ball out to Sam Strangeway to reduce the deficit and it could have got worse if Chris Ward had been a little more accurate as he was similarly gifted an opportunity by James Bottomley. 'Bridge got their game back on track with a penalty converted by Cressey for his hat trick on 64 minutes which was followed by successive corners both bringing smart saves from Smith to Jack Herron headers. The scoring was completed 12 minutes from time by a Luke Fletcher penalty after he had been brought down but a comfortable 'Bridge victory was soured by a mass skirmish ten minutes from time resulting in the dismissal of two Town players. 'Bridge now face a tough month which will surely determine their fate with four away fixtures together with a home game against long time leaders Whitkirk Wanderers Reserves.
Man of Match - Nick Cressey
08/03/14 - Boroughbridge AFC Reserves 1-2 Whitkirk Wanderers Reserves - League
'Bridge went into this game knowing anything but three points would end their title aspirations and in the end it was a lack of nous that saw them nullified by the more experienced rivals. The open exchanges were cagey with the first noteworthy effort, well saved by Jordache Halifax, coming from Martin Dixon but the best chance of the period came to Phil Wix who failed to control a precise Paul Scaife free kick when clear on goal. The home side also won a few corners but all seemed to find the head of Wayne Farrington until the 36th minute when Jack Herron headed home an Alex Coombes free kick and four minutes later he was only denied his second by an excellent save from Matt Robison to his powerful deflected shot. Whitkirk's response was a sharp drive from Mark Halligan as the home side went in at the break with a narrow but deserved lead which was to change within three minutes of the restart. It was Herron who was again involved only on this occasion in his defensive role when he was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in a 50/50 situation and Aaron Dix coolly dispatched the penalty award. The visitors were now happy to allow 'Bridge possession in their half and condense the play and with the home side lacking a cutting edge their defence was never really stretched. A few corners, similar to the first half, and free kicks were all like a magnet to the head of Farrington and although Steve Warburton shaved a post and Jake Fletcher headed over Robinson was rarely troubled apart from a couple of efforts from Johnstone and Scaife. Whitkirk's best chance fell to Danny Hewitt who fired over from an excellent position after Halifax, at full stretch pushed away Halligan's effort but Hewitt made amends ten minutes from time sucking Ryan Haswell into a rash challenge and Dix was again on target from the resultant penalty. It went from bad to worse a minute from time when Halifax brought down Hewitt which the referee deemed to be violent conduct and will result in the 'keeper, standing in for the sick Josh Donnelly, to miss the next three scheduled 'A' team fixtures.
Man of Match - Ben Johnstone
05/04/14 - Boroughbridge AFC Reserves 5-1 Barwick Reserves - League
A three nil away defeat to bottom of the table Barwick Reserves at the beginning of March was the catalyst for a slump that would see Elliott Sheeran's side lose four of five fixtures played in the month, and thus this visit of Barwick to Aldborough Road gave an important opportunity to halt the slide against the team who had started it, something which was achieved in emphatic fashion. The game was just six minutes old when Ben Johnstone headed home a Paul Scaife free kick at the near post to open the scoring and after Johnstone had put a Matt White cross the wrong side of the post two minutes later, Ryan Haswell doubled the advantage before the clock was into double figures as he headed home a White corner. Another two minutes later, the lead was three as Johnstone's cross was fumbled by Jordan Rosendale in the Barwick goal to leave White with an easy tap in. If this third goal was a blow to the visitors, then the fourth was effectively game over, and on 22 minutes the situation was just that as Johnstone fed in Scaife who escaped from Mark Skeet's marking to slot home across goal. 'Bridge began to take their foot off the gas a little at this stage, and after Chris Wood had hit the post from an acute angle in the 25th minute a Scaife one-on-one with Rosendale in the 36th minute was the only remaining act of note in the first half.

Keen to build on their lead 'Bridge came out firing in the second half, but instead of adding their fifth were pegged back to a three goal advantage as defensive indifference allowed John Ripton to slot home with ease past the helpless Josh Donnelly in the home nets. This was only a minor blip for 'Bridge, however, and after Steve Warburton had fired at Rosendale in a one-on-one situation in the 54th minute, three minutes later Scaife restored the three goal cushion in rifling home direct from a well taken free kick which gave the Barwick 'keeper no chance. Much as the first half had done, the second half petered out after a Scaife goal 22 minutes into the period, and it was seven minutes before time until the next opportunity of note as Johnstone hit the bar with an acute chip from the right which initially looked to be going well wide. The best chance for 'Bridge's sixth came courtesy of Johnny Brear who was his 84th minute effort cleared off the line, and the hosts ensured the last word was theirs just a minute from time as Warburton fired over in an almost carbon-copy of Johnstone's effort six minutes earlier. In truth this was an easy victory for Sheeran's men who looked much more like the squad that started the season than the one that had fallen out of contention for the title of late, and the manager will be especially please with Johnstone who was excellent all afternoon and has quickly become one of the first names on the team sheet each week.
Man of Match - Ben Johnstone
 
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