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Boroughbridge AFC Match Reports 14/15
August to December
23/08/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-3 Beeston St. Anthony's - League
After the opening day drubbing at Field, this visit of Beeston St. Anthony's to Aldborough Road marked a continuance of the gradual improvement that had begun to be shown at Bardsey just a few days prior, with the three one scoreline masking what was in truth a close game. From the opening whistle it seemed like a case of here we go again, however, as first the visitors shot wide in the ninth minute having drawn Paul Diamond off his line before finding the target just a minute later with a nice move started on the left wing, controlled in the middle and fired home from the right by Matthew Moon. Importantly, the hosts didn't allow their heads to drop, however, and after Martin Hutchinson had delivered a free kick straight into the goalkeeper's arms in the thirteenth minute, just as Beeston had done, 'Bridge improved their accuracy just two minutes later as Hutchinson this time fired a free kick into the top right-hand corner leaving the visiting 'keeper rooted to the spot. The goal handed 'Bridge the momentum as a rattled Beeston realised they weren't to have things all their own way, and Mike Mullenger was denied by a last-ditch tackle in the 23rd minute before Ross Mardon fired over the bar from close range in the following minute. Another chance came and went just before the half hour mark as Jake Fletcher broke but fired wide of the target on the right, and ten minutes later Mullenger spurned a golden opportunity to give his side the lead as he fired over the bar under pressure from an advancing defender having been put in by Mardon.

With the hosts on top, Beeston were looking for the half time whistle to re-group, but it was 'Bridge who took a premature half time break as they switched off in the 45th minute and allowed Matthew Jackson time and space to unleash a powerful drive from the edge of the area that nestled in the bottom right-hand corner beyond an outstretched Diamond. If ever a goal changed a game, this was it, with the visitors heading in for half time with their heads up despite having soaked up pressure for much of the half. Indeed, Beeston were a different side in the second half and fired wide in the 54th minute before getting one on target three minutes later, forcing Diamond to tip over the bar. The next serious chance came in the 74th minute, and once again for the visitors, as the ball sailed across the face of the 'Bridge goal only for there to be nobody there to tap in for the visitors. Substitutions for both sides saw the game starting to open up once again, however, and the hosts were unlucky not to restore parity as Mardon couldn't quite connect with an excellent Hutchinson corner. With 'Bridge sensing a chance to get their first point of the campaign, Diamond advanced for a series of late corners, but just as in the first half it would be the visitors who enjoyed the late goal action with Stephen Crawford sealing the points in the fourth minute of stoppage time, beating Diamond at his near post with a well hit effort. For the hosts the wait for the first points of the campaign continues, but with three of the top four finishers last season played once already Daz Ekin's men have some tough games behind them even at this early stage in the campaign.
06/09/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-4 East End Park - League
This bottom of the table clash proved to be a walk in the 'Park' for the visitors with a much wider margin of victory only denied by a brilliant performance from 'Bridge keeper Paul Diamond. The opening five minutes looked promising for the home side but thereafter there was only one side in it as they stretched 'Bridge in all areas of the game with the wing play of Ashley Hubbard and Adam Tunnicliffe always a threat. Three times in the opening twenty minutes Diamond pulled off excellent saves to twice deny Hubbard and then Gary Thomas with a Kyle Wilkinson effort grazing the bar. Looking as though they might have survived the storm 'Bridge were then undone in ill-timed circumstances when a miscued scissor kick from Hubbard spun off the post and then Diamond into the net and three minutes later a poor touch from Ben Mudd allowed Gary Thomas to rattle home the second. 'Bridge, who looked shambolic at this stage, were thrown a lifeline following a good run and cross from Stevie Coles controlled and finished by Ross Mardon four minutes before the break. The expected resurgence, however, failed to materialise as Diamond was forced into another point blank save before being beaten again on the hour mark by a Wilkinson header from a pin point Tunnicliffe cross. On 69 minutes the visitors went further ahead when a Thomas effort took a big deflection of Martin Hutchinson and it took two more excellent saves from the 'Bridge keeper to give the final score a degree of respectability.
Man of Match - Paul Diamond
13/09/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 0-1 Robin Hood Athletic - League
The polarised position of these two sides was not reflected in the overall pattern of the game and in the end it was the clinical finishing of Graham Marchant that separated the teams. 'Bridge had the better of the chances in the opening half, the best two both falling to Brandon Trower, who failed to trouble Lee Wood with either of his efforts whereas Scott Murgatroyd pulled the best out of Paul Diamond with Hood's clearest opportunity of the half. After the break little changed with defences and 'keepers in control and with stalemate the likely income Hood broke from deep and when the ball was played in from the right Marchant managed to find enough space to hook home the winner.
Man of Match - Ryan Priestman
20/09/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-2 Oxenhope Recreation - League
The adage of 'Down on one's luck' is slightly out of context when describing 'Bridge's fortunes so far this season but after conceding a late goal last week adversity struck again on 16 minutes when they lost 'keeper Paul Diamond to an ankle problem, yet to be diagnosed. This forced a switch to their defensive formation with Ben Ryder taking on the goalkeeping mantle and Jack Herron filling the full back role but it was the home side who had the best of the early opportunities as Ryan Priestman failed to get on the end of superb Martin Hutchinson ball. As half time approached it was the visitors who got the important breakthrough through Tom Marshall who pulled down a cross from Shaun Quinlan to fire past Ryder and worse was to follow when Craig Morris smashed home the second two minutes into the second half. James Watson, on debut, missed a great chance to pull one back before Mike Mullenger, now playing in a more central role, glided by three defenders to fire past Sam Lee. As 'Bridge pushed forward gaps began to open up at the back and it took a point blank save from Ryder minutes from the end to deny Josh Kane a third for the visitors.
Man of Match - Mike Mullenger
04/10/14 - Otley Town 2-3 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Saturday morning texts reached a new nadir for Manager Daz Ekin when he learnt that 'keeper Paul Diamond was out of action especially as he had only released stand-in 'keeper Mike Davis hours earlier leaving him to use 'A' team stopper Lee Dearden for his trip to an Otley side who were coming off the back of an excellent victory at Leeds City. James Watson brought a good early save from Chris Brodie only for Otley to strike on 6 minutes resulting from a poor goal kick and one pass later the enigmatic Toby Harris was hitting home his seventh of the season. Watson and Mardon both went close for the visitors before Harris fired over after linking up with Josh Roberts but back came 'Bridge with a strong run and shot from Watson and Danny Rimmel having his volley cleared off the line. 'The ticking clock' then looked likely to blow a fuse when a ball played back over the top hit a 'Bridge defender leaving Scott Cater, who was yards offside at the original play, to go on and grab the second. A determined 'Bridge showed plenty of character but had nothing to show for their efforts as Jake Fletcher had a header cleared off the line and Watson, Mardon, Martin Hutchinson and Leo Sibanda all tested Brodie to no avail. The second half started with a couple of chances to Scott Cater which failed to trouble Dearden and on 54 minutes 'Bridge got their deserved breakthrough with a long throw from Ben Ryder volleyed home sweetly by Mardon. The initiative however swung back in favour of the home side as Cater headed over from a corner and from their best move of the game sub Josh Lester failed to trouble Dearden. As the game became stretched it was the visitors who were in the ascendency but without the essential ingredient as Fletcher was wide, Hutchinson failed to hit the target from a one-on-one situation, Brodie tipped away another Watson effort and from the resulting corner Mardon headed over from close range. With time ebbing away 'Bridge regained parity on 81 minutes through Fletcher who hammered the ball into the top corner from 25 yards after the ball had come out to him from a Ryan Priestman one-on-one situation. Priestman hit the post from a similar position minutes later and on 87 minutes Fletcher drilled home the winner after combining with Watson. Following a miserable start to their campaign which has been dogged by long term injuries this was a valuable three points for 'Bridge and a much improved performance.
Man of Match - Jake Fletcher
11/10/14 - Horbury Town 6-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Another defeat together with five backwords certainly does not make good reading for the 'Bridge faithful and with a third of the games played their season is already near it's watershed. The opening ten minutes were closely contested with the home side getting a lucky break on 11 minutes when James Mountain miscued his free kick leaving Luke Griffiths to volley home. Play swung from end to end as both sides enjoyed brief periods in the ascendancy but this all changed in a three goal eleven minutes spell which decided the outcome of the game. On 28 minutes the returning Paul Diamond spilled a cross from Gibril Bojang gifting Mountain a goal and ten minutes later Alex Ferguson headed home a Bojang cross quickly followed by his second in similar circumstances. Any lingering doubts about the outcome were dispelled five minutes into the second half when Griffiths headed home a Tom Dews corner which maybe saw Horbury take their eye off the ball and allow the visitors a good twenty minute spell. Danny Smith brought an excellent save out of Andy Liversidge in the home goal, Jake Fletcher and Ross Mardon both missed good heading opportunities before the visitors produced their best move of the match involving Liam Healey, Ben Ryder and Fletcher with Mardon smashing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area. Smith had another good header saved but it was the Horbury who struck next when Ben Mudd failed to clear the ball leaving Mountain to grab his second of the afternoon. 'Bridge did have the last say with a 25 yard cracker from Mardon in injury time which did little to allay the long ride home or the arduous survival journey ahead.
Man of Match - Ross Mardon
18/10/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-1 Beckwithshaw Saints (a.e.t.) - Whitworth Cup
Beckwithshaw win 3-0 on penalties
On paper this should have been an easy progression into the next round of the Whitworth Cup for 'Bridge against a Harrogate & District League side against whom they have won in each of the last six encounters. A tough start to the league campaign, however, and the lack of bodies on the substitutes bench meant this was to be anything but and the hosts would have been aware of the need to avoid a long drawn out encounter. A poor start to the game from Daz Ekin's men did little a lift the spirits of a home support who have seen just one league win in six at Aldborough Road this season, however, and the hosts were quickly trailing as a long range defensive clearance from Ollie Thackwray took a freak bounce and sailed over the head of the advancing Paul Diamond to nestle in the back of the net without another player within 40 yards of goal. The goal awoke 'Bridge from their slumber briefly, but did little to improve the overall quality and Beckwithshaw were unlucky to add their second approaching the half hour mark as Paul Diamond was forced into an excellent one-on-one save from point blank range. Indeed, it took 'Bridge 35 minutes to have their first meaningful effort as a Ross Mardon shot from a long throw was blocked, with the rebound effort traveling just wide of the target. Keith McKenzie in the Saints goal was called into action six minutes later to tip a Brandon Trower shot from distance over the crossbar, and would perhaps have been disappointed not to get any more on Ross Mardon's effort in the first minute of stoppage time, which was fired low and whilst McKenzie did get a touch couldn't prevent it trickling over the line to restore parity.

The late goal masked a poor first half performance from Daz Ekin's troops, but the half time team talk had the desired effect with Danny Rimmel firing wide of the left-hand post ten minutes into the half and Ryan Priestman unlucky not to be able to direct a miscued Saints clearance home just shy of the hour marker. For the first time in the game 'Bridge were on top of proceedings and McKenzie was in action twice in as many minutes to first save a long range Andy Layton effort before saving well on the line to a 'Bridge header from the resulting corner. Spurred on by their increasing influence in the game 'Bridge's search for the go-ahead goal intensified, with Mardon breaking in the 68th minute and trying his luck from range only to be denied with an excellent save to tip the ball over the post, but the hosts' new found confidence was almost shattered in the following minute as Saints counter-attacked and Diamond was once again called into action in a one-on-one situation. 'Bridge were under pressure once more two minutes later as the otherwise excellent Diamond was this time breached, but with Danny Smith on hand for the hosts to confidently deal with Ben Lambert's shot. The last act of note in normal time would be a fingertip save from McKenzie, but with 'Bridge unable to find the breakthrough they needed were forced to regroup for an additional thirty minutes. The hosts started brightly with the industrious Mardon sending a long range effort just wide of the target on 95 minutes before firing over an open goal from close range two minutes later. 'Bridge continued their waves of attacks into the second period of added time, with Jake Fletcher unable to find the crucial touch to direct a 111th minute free kick past McKenzie, Greg Pickes directing a header at the 'keeper two minutes later and Mardon firing straight at McKenzie four minutes from time.

In truth 'Bridge had plenty of chances to wrap the game up, but the visitors had defended resolutely and battled to the last, with McKenzie outstanding in the Saints goal. His form continued into the penalty shootout with the tone for the contest set from the very first kick as McKenzie pushed Andy Layton's effort wide of the target. Fletcher would fire over the bar and McKenzie would again be his side's hero in saving Brandon Trower's spot kick to leave Sylvester Rowe, Lambert and Ben Parker to fire in their three penalties to give Beckwithshaw a dominant shootout victory after a hard fought 120 minutes.
Man of Match - Ben Ryder
25/10/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-4 Shelley - League
The spectre of relegation hangs perilously to its legendary Damoclean thread after this 'Bridge defeat allowed the sides immediately above them to stretch the gap to five points with both Shelley and Wetherby having games in hand. An early injury to striker Andy Farrell did not deter a positive start from the visitors with a left foot shot from Jack Green just off target and Liam Berry followed suit when the ball came back to him from a free kick before they took the lead on 20 minutes. A crossfield ball found full back Alan Greenwood in acres of space and his strong run from inside his own half and subsequent cross gave Berry an easy tap in. The game was scrappy and disjointed with neither side able to gain a foothold and apart from dead ball situations chances were at a premium. It was not surprising therefore that the home equaliser came from a corner played in by Brandon Trower, missed by everyone, leaving Greg Pickles at the back post to knock home. The lead lasted a mere five minutes from a ball they lost deep in their own half following a throw in and when the cross came in from Dan Morgan 'Bridge were all at sea giving Josh Green the easiest of chances and his side the half time advantage. Liam Riley was narrowly wide in the opening minute of the second half as Shelley looked to consolidate but it was 'Bridge who struck next through Danny Rimmel who showed composure and a deft touch to chip over the advancing Paul Day in the 49th minute for the equaliser. Coincidentally the lead again lasted give minute as Green headed home, via Martin Hutchinson, a Liam Riley corner and two minutes later they added a fourth through Rob Bartram after the referee awarded a free kick for a back pass when probably a penalty decision seconds earlier might have been a more justifiable decision. The visitors' celebrations manifested the value of the mini goal spurt and the subsequent three points which gives them a seven point gap a far superior goal advantage and two games in hand on 'Bridge.
Man of Match - Danny Rimmel
01/11/14 - Ripon City 2-4 Boroughbridge AFC - County Cup
'Bridge progressed to the next round of the County Challenge Cup with this oscillating derby victory in a game full of endeavour but a lack of quality that manifested the reasons for the teams' perilous positions in the League. Both Managers had predicted 'fireworks' and it was the visitors who started in explosive fashion with two goals in the opening six minutes. The first came on four minutes when Tom Beasley's miss hit shot from a Ross Mardon pass gave Mike Mullenger an easy tap in and was quickly followed by a well taken Stephen Coles effort to a Ryan Priestman cross which Tom Cullen was unable to cut out. The buoyant visitors nearly struck again in a goal-mouth scramble before ex 'Bridge man Ben Jones started to flex his muscles with a couple of efforts wide of the mark. Matt Smith was next to try his luck from 30 yards out before Jones struck with an overhead kick from a Ripon corner on 24 minutes and ten minutes later he was on the mark again with a clean strike from the edge of the box after Duncan Terry had flicked on a long clearance. It was now the home team who held the initiative but 'Bridge nearly ended the half as they started with Mardon heading over from close range. Ripon continued to have the better of the game after the interval with Paul Diamond the busier of the two 'keepers saving well from Terry, twice, and Smith together with a strong penalty appeal by the home side turned down by referee Martin Ashworth, but 'Bridge also had opportunities with Mullenger hitting the bar and a couple scrambled of the line from a Ryder long throw and a Mullenger corner. As time ebbed by and tension increased play became more fragmented and it was Mardon who delivered the coup de grace getting on the end of a Mullenger corner 19 minutes from time, and in injury time Elliott Gracey headed into his own net from a Martin Hutchinson delivery to give 'Bridge victory and a home game against Campion in the next round.
Man of Match - Tom Beasley
08/11/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-6 Field - League
League leaders Field increased their position at the top to nine points and demonstrated the polarised positions of the two sides with a clinical demolition of relegation threatened ‘'Bridge. They took the lead through John Penn in the 10th minute and even though this was cancelled out by the excellent Mike Mullenger seven minutes later it did not take them long to regain control with a brace from Chris Wood before the break to make it ten from ten for him this season. Josh Hartley added a fourth early in the second half and late goals from Danny Cunningham, his 24th of the season, and Danny Illingworth confirmed their superiority.
Man of Match - Mike Mullenger
15/11/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 0-8 Wetherby Athletic - League
When you're down and in trouble and you need a helping hand is alright if it materialises but when 'Bridge needed a bit of a lift on Saturday it was not forthcoming. The game started badly for them when Paul Diamond let a 30 yard free kick from Joe Barden slip through his grasp but they responded positively and on 23 minutes should have levelled matters. Ross Mardon was denied a clear goal scoring opportunity in the six yard box when he was brought down by 'keeper Johnny Maxted and even though Jake Fletcher should have scored neither was advantage gained nor a penalty given. This was exacerbated on 36 minutes when Wetherby were awarded a justifiable penalty, converted by Barden, for a lesser offence and two minutes before the break an agitated Andy Layton was dismissed for a second bookable. Wetherby had edged the first half with the captain Brian Blewitt and Johnny Richards marshalling the defence, Tom Hesketh orchestrating play from midfield and the mazy runs and pace of Jack Emmett a constant threat and it was now backs to the wall time for 'Bridge but their resistance did not last long as Barden completed his hat-trick on 51 minutes and Emmett got in on the goal scoring just past the hour mark. Just when you thought it could not get any worse 'Bridge lost Danny Smith and Tom Beasley, both to injuries, and in the last ten minutes the wheels came off completely and the visitors took full advantage of a dishevelled home side. Emmett got his second, Barden his fourth and subs Jesus Farina and Jonathan Hadley completed the scoring as Wetherby romped to victory.
Man of Match - Danny Webster
22/11/14 - East End Park 1-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
With their only League victory this season coming from their earlier visit to Aldborough Road, East End Park were looking to double their tally when the two sides met at their Skelton Road ground in a relegation six pointer even though the season has not reached the half way stage. It was the usual scenario of late back words for Manager Daz Ekin and after taking Craig Peacock and Stevie Coles from the Reserves he utilised the services of Phil Wix, fresh from a six month sortie in America, as his only substitute. It was the visitors who started the brighter with Brandon Trower and Martin Hutchinson linking up well to set up Ross Mardon but he was left with too tight an angle and was off target again on eight minutes from a Ryan Priestman pass. A minute later Park had their best chance of the opening exchanges when Paul Diamond was forced to head clear a long ball which fell to Gary Thomas whose forty yard return was high and wide. The visitors continued to have the better of things and deservedly took the lead on 23 minutes when Mardon got the better of Josh Walsh in a one-on-one after he was played in by Tom Beasley only for misfortune to strike ten minutes later as a goal destined Mike Mullenger shot hit an unsuspecting Shaun Coggill and deflected for a corner. Beasley missed a great chance from the subsequent corner and minutes later his good run into the box was abruptly ended but without any reward. As half time approached the temperature began to rise with two Park players going into the referee's book and a minute from the break adversity struck again for the visitors when Bri McIlear was dismissed for, at worst, a cautionable offence. 'Bridge went to a 4-4-1 formation with Beasley taking up a defensive role as Park went for the jugular and in the 47th minute Diamond pushed a close range effort from Gareth Mitchell on to the bar with their constant pressure rewarded on 58 minutes as Thomas headed home a near post corner. Mitchell and Thomas were prominent for the home side with 'Bridge were pushed deeper and deeper but with under just under twenty minutes to go Wix was brought into the fray to give the visitors fresh impetus. Mardon was denied by good save from Walsh following a free run on goal, Mullenger was wide from the corner and on 80 minutes Priestman robbed Ben Smith, fed the ball to Mardon and his cross was met by Mullenger to smash the ball, via a slight deflection, into the net. Pushed on by their vociferous home support Park searched for the equaliser and in the 5th minute of injury time Mitchell was narrowly wide when through on goal with only Diamond in his way. Park do have three games in hand on 'Bridge and face another six pointer this weekend against other relegation candidates Ripon City whereas 'Bridge travel to Leeds City and anything will surely be a bonus for Manager Ekin.
Man of Match - Ryan Priestman
29/11/14 - Leeds City 3-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
For an hour 'Bridge, unexpectedly, matched their top four opponents but all that changed with the introduction of young Joe Tasker who produced a magical thirty minutes to snatch all three points for the home side. Ben Ryder had an early effort for 'Bridge before they took a surprise lead on 11 minutes with a spectacular leaving goal from Tom Beasley who picked up a Mathew Witrylak header and from 25 yards out rifled in the opener which rattled the underside of the bar before going in. Four minutes later a Stephen Coles cross was met perfectly by Witrylak only for Jordi Yorath to deny his goal bound effort with an excellent save. As the game swung one way and then the other Leroy McIntosh and James Hochstrasser both tested Diamond before Coles, Ryder and Witrylak produced the move of the half only for Beasley's header to find the waiting arms of Yorath. The half ended with another great save but this time is was Paul Diamond denying Adam Dutson. City started the second half like a side on a mission and were unlucky not to get back on terms when a superb Mitch Cameron strike rattled the bar but this all changed on the hour mark with the introduction of Tasker. He was only on the field for a minute when he skinned Craig Peacock down the line and his cross was claimed by Hochstrasser and four minutes later his mazy run took him past four 'Bridge players to slip the ball home past the advancing Diamond. Phil Wix shot wide as the visitors tried to rescue a point but their efforts proved fruitless in the last minute when a penalty, converted by Barrie Frankland, was awarded against Peacock for a 'deliberate' hand ball from a yard away. Although going home pointless this was a much better performance from 'Bridge who made a good Leeds City side worked hard for their victory.
Man of Match - Tom Beasley, Paul Diamond & Graeme Mitchell
06/12/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 3-1 Campion AFC - County Cup
'Bridge looked in awe of their opponents in the opening exchanges and going a goal down only added to their trepidation but they got through the opening half with no further damage to take the tie in the second half. Early chaos was created from a Campion corner with Ross Mardon clearing the ensuing scramble but it only took seven minutes for the visitors to open their account from a Omar Habeeb shot that Paul Diamond was unable to keep out despite getting a strong hand to the ball. The impressive Nathan Woodward then tried a shot from distance and it was 14 minutes before 'Bridge had their first effort when Jake Fletcher found the ubiquitous Mathew Witrylak who forced a fine save from Ivan Willis to keep out his goal bound effort. Habeeb then shot wide from a Willis clearance flicked on by Steve Hollingworth as the visitors continued to dominate with the mazy runs of Graeme Sides and Liam Charles always threatening but never productive as they were usually across the park thus condensing their own space and giving 'Bridge greater opportunity to close them down. Sides missed a great opportunity on 36 minutes and within three minutes Mardon fired over the bar when Campion failed to clear a Ben Ryder corner to leave the half time deficit at one. 'Bridge forced two early corners after the break which were easily cleared but it proved third time lucky on 54 minutes when Witrylak's header from a Mike Mullenger corner was pushed out by Willis for Ryan Priestman to pounce and regain parity for the home side. The elation levels were raised four minutes later with a goal out of nothing from Fletcher who, with seemingly nowhere to go, gave himself a yard of space to smash his drive into the bottom corner. From a side brimming with confidence it was now Campion who looked less assured as the home side gained several corners but they were unable to consolidate their lead and Willis kept the game alive with another fine save to deny Witrylak. As the game entered the last ten minutes it was Campion back on the offensive but 'Bridge with some frenetic defending from corners and free kick and headers from Woodward and Terry Ryan narrowly off target survived up to the last minute when Mullenger put the game out of reach with an easy tap in after he was unselfishly set up by Barry Pryce. 'Bridge's reward is another home tie against Bardsey who knocked out runaway West Yorkshire League leaders Field in the first round and enjoyed a comfortable four nil victory against Northowram on Saturday.
Man of Match - Mathew Witrylak
20/12/14 - Boroughbridge AFC 0-3 Bardsey - League
In truth 'Bridge were never expecting much out of this clash against defending West Yorkshire Premier Division champions Bardsey, but will still be disappointed by the manner of the first half performance which was masked at the final whistle by the knowledge that conversely the result could have been much closer had they not been twice denied by the woodwork. It was the hosts who unsurprisingly were quickest out of the blocks and it could have been the beginning of the end for 'Bridge as early as the first minute with Paul Diamond in the home nets having to be alert to twice deny the champions with some excellent goalkeeping. Barry Pryce gave 'Bridge their first sniff of the action in the 11th minute, but his long range effort was gathered easily by Chris Barrow in the Bardsey goal and just two minutes later 'Bridge were behind as Diamond was drawn out to the edge of his area allowing an easy cross to an unmarked Danny Maw in the middle of the pitch and an even easier tap home past a non-existent home defence, before matters got worse for the hosts eight minutes later as Nicky Seed was quickest to react to Mike Mullenger's clearance off the line to fire in from close range. 'Bridge continued to have chances, with a brief purple patch seeing Pryce trying his luck on 26 minutes, Mullenger on the half volley two minutes later and Ben Clayton having an effort tipped onto the bar in the 29th minute, but the lead was three on 35 minutes as Diamond once again found himself unprotected from a swift Bardsey counter attack with Mikey Hall chipping the advancing 'keeper from the edge of the area to put his side in firmly in the driving seat. A late Brandon Trower effort from range tipped high and wide by Barrow gave the hosts something to take into the interval, but "range" was the story of the half in truth with all of 'Bridge's efforts speculative from beyond the edge of the box and the visitors allowed to control the game, pushing 'Bridge players off the ball with ease throughout the opening 45 minutes. The second half started just as the first had ended with a long range speculative effort from the hosts sailing wide and Bardsey would be denied on 67 minutes as a Jamie Thompson effort was blocked, just a minute before the woodwork would once again deny 'Bridge with Phil Wix for once catching the visiting defence napping, beating the offside trap and firing past Barrow only to see his effort rebound to safety off the left-hand post. Pryce briefly caused concern for the visitors in the 77th minute as he latched onto a long ball from Diamond, pulling Barrow out to the edge of his box in a one-on-one situation, but the ball would go for a corner and 'Bridge's last real effort three minutes later summed up the game as a long range Pryce shot sailed wide of the right-hand post allowing a Bardsey side now well into cruise-mode to see out an easy three points. At the final whistle 'Bridge could count themselves unlucky not to be on the scoresheet given their two efforts off the woodwork, but they could count themselves lucky that their deficit wasn't higher, with the major disappointment for the home supporters the ease with which the visitors were able to push their opponents off the ball.
Man of Match - Danny Smith
03/01/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-2 Bardsey - County Cup
After a three nil defeat last time out in an almost carbon copy fixture of this Fourth Round County Challenge Cup clash 'Bridge were not expected to challenge but in the end fell just short following a performance that was anything but a carbon copy of that a fortnight prior. It looked as though Bardsey would pick up where they left off before Christmas from kick-off with the visitors controlling the game and forcing Paul Diamond in the 'Bridge goal into an excellent early save to keep the game goalless, but this was all to change on 16 minutes as a swift attacking move turned the game on its head in the short term with Mike Mullenger bundling home a Barry Pryce cross. Bardsey continued to threaten, with Andy Layton clearing off the 'Bridge line on 24 minutes and Diamond pulling out a fine reaction save on 37 minutes, but the hosts ensured that the game remained even until the interval with Ross Mardon eased off the ball when through on goal on 34 minutes and Barry Pryce very unlucky not to double the advantage six minutes from half time as he broke free from his marker and curled an effort from range across goal just wide of the right-hand post. 'Bridge knew that Bardsey would come out firing in the second half, however, and so it proved with Diamond in action as early as the second minute of the half tipping over a free kick before saving well on 56 minutes. The introduction of Jake Fletcher for the industrious Barry Pryce for the hosts on 65 minutes looked to inject a bit of impetus into the 'Bridge attack, but before Fletcher had even had chance to get into the action the scores were level as Danny Maw broke and rounded the advancing Diamond before slotting home. At one all the hosts were very much still in the game, but they switched off after the equaliser and just two minutes later Nicky Seed was afforded too much space in the box by his two markers leaving an easy tap in to a well weighted cross. The Bardsey joy was all too clear, as was the 'Bridge despair and the hosts struggled to pick themselves back up from the swift blows allowing Bardsey to see the game out with relative ease, with a stoppage time shot deflected wide 'Bridge's sole opportunity to force extra time. The final result was in all truth a fair reflection of the match with Bardsey just having too much for their opponents, but 'Bridge will be disappointed by the manner in which they were defeated with a two minute defensive meltdown proving costly.
Man of Match - Paul Diamond
10/01/15 - Stanley United 6-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League Cup
A gale force wind and a quagmire of a pitch certainly took 'Bridge out of their comfort zone as the home side adapted better to the conditions to gain another home tie against the winners of Bardsey or Knaresborough. It did not look that way in the opening minutes as Ryan Priestman had an effort cleared off the line, Ross Mardon shot wide and on 14 minutes an Andy Layton free kick was partially cleared, flicked back in by Mike Mullenger and Josh Gardner, on his first full debut, was on hand to open the scoring. The lead lasted only two minutes as Stanley's playmaker Adam Hayton glided by three 'Bridge defenders to level matters and two minutes later a long ball out of defence found Ash Munton who turned and rattled in the second. The rest of the half was a dour affair apart from a Paul Diamond save to deny Ben Andrew eight minutes before the break. 'Bridge started the second half in similar fashion to the first forcing a couple of corners and following a flurry of shorts the spell of pressure ended with Barry Pryce having his effort saved by Karl Powel. On 55 minutes a Munton header came back off the post leaving Ben Huntington to fire home the rebound and thereafter, with Hayton pulling the strings, the home side were in control. Diamond then saved well from a Stuart Davies volley and another Munton effort only to be beaten again on 68 minutes as Andrew scored from a Munton cross. Five minutes later Munton drifted by two 'Bridge defenders for his second of the afternoon and even though Matt Inman's cross-come-shot ended up in the back of Powell's net 10 minutes from time it was Stanley's day when their Captain Ash Munton completed an excellent afternoon with his hat-trick goal in injury time. In contrast a bad day for the visitors was exacerbated by the news that Mike Mullenger ended up on crutches following a poor tackle which went unpunished.
Man of Match - Josh Gardner
17/01/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-1 Ripon City - League
The double dose of Derby Day did not fulfil its expectations at Aldborough Road as relegation candidates put on a 3D performance in a dour, dismal display that manifested the plight of both clubs in their desperate fight to avoid the drop. 'Bridge had the fillip of an early goal as Tom Cullen dragged a Martin Hutchinson free kick over his line but there was little else to warm the cockles until Duncan Terry picked up a cross from Phil Miles to drill home the equaliser a minute before the break. A Ben Regan shot and a Jake Fletcher effort pushed wide by Cullen were the only notable efforts of the second half and the lack of quality was discernible by a tetchy affair that saw a straight red for Danny Smith, two yellows resulting in a red for Daz Simpson and two further cautions for each side.
Man of Match - Liam Healy
24/01/15 - Beeston St. Anthony's 4-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Just when you think your luck may be changing there are further tribulations round the corner which is how it must seem for Manager Daz Ekin as both centre backs Danny Smith and Liam Healey departed the field injured before the break on Saturday and with Smith beginning a three match ban and Healey a groin problem the omens do not look good for some vital fixtures coming his way. Healey went down injured in the 13th minute which proved to be a double whammy for the visitors as a Smith attempted clearance found the head of Ben Haigh and subsequently the back of the 'Bridge net. A Stephen Coles header forced a good save from Steve Kerr but it was the home side who were on the offensive and after Paul Diamond saved well from Haigh quickly followed by Lee Coleman firing over Beeston were gifted the second after a defensive mix up allowed Dan Thackray a tap in. Jake Fletcher replaced the injured Smith at half time and he was quickly involved in the action heading on for Barry Pryce to fire at Kerr and on 51 minutes the pair combined for Ryan Priestman to half the deficit. 'Bridge were now enjoying their best spell of the afternoon with Fletcher failing to capitalise on a one-on-one before bring an excellent save from Kerr after good work from Josh Gardner and Priestman. The period of ascendency was cut short by a harsh handball decision, converted by Lee Turnbull, on 65 minutes that gave the initiative back to the home side and Diamond was now the busier of the two 'keepers saving well from Haigh and Dan Daly but unable to do anything about a Sean Jeavons effort in injury time.
Man of Match - Paul Diamond & Andy Layton
07/02/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-3 Salts FC (a.e.t.) - County Cup
There was a touch of déjà vu for 'Bridge as they departed the County Challenge Cup at the Quarter-Final stage in similar circumstances to their exit at Carlton four years ago albeit on this occasion they could have no argument about the extra time penalty that gave Salts the victory. It was the home side that started the better and within three minutes Martin Hutchinson chipped a great chance wide of goal when in the clear before 'Bridge got an indication of what to expect in the 15th minute as Stephen Coles cleared off the line after Paul Diamond was unable to hold onto an in swinging Joe Pleasance corner. The advantage swung 'Bridge's way in the 19th minute when a ball played down the channel was chased and won by Barry Pryce and his cross from the by-line was knocked home by Hutchinson. Salts responded positively with Ryan Gill testing Diamond and precipitously there was more composure to the visitors play but this was restricted to the middle of the park and the home side looked to be heading for a deserved half time lead. The faces of the 'Bridge spectators as they trailed off for their cup of tea however told a different story when in the 45th minute Diamond mishandled another Pleasance corner to hand Jonathan Cunnington the equaliser.

'Bridge remained upbeat with Andy Howland putting 'keeper Dan Bailey under pressure with a mistimed header to a Coles cross and their positive approach was rewarded in the 52nd minute as the determined Pryce got in another telling ball which was scrambled home by Danny Rimmell. Jake Fletcher was off target with a speculative effort and Pryce then had a shot deflected for a corner before Josh Gardner saw his close range effort blocked as the home side looked to capitalise on their advantage. The visitors also had their moments with Diamond producing a great save to a Sam Waterhouse effort subsequent to Gill heading over a Rob Barraclough cross with the goal at his mercy. Pryce's last contribution of the afternoon, before being replaced by Paul Scaife, was a cross shot that hit the top of the bar and two minutes later parity was restored as Diamond helped a Pleasance corner into his own net to take the game into extra time. Scaife produced an excellent effort on 98 minutes which was matched by an acrobatic save from Bailey and two minutes later Pleasance sealed the tie from the spot after Gill's mazy run was halted by a Coles challenge. 'Bridge threw Craig Peacock into the fray for the last fifteen minutes but he was only on the field for a minute before damaging an ankle leaving the home side to battle it out with ten men. As the clock ran down it was 'kitchen sink' time but Salts matched everything with block tackles until the last minute when Hutchinson was unable to direct his diving header goalwards. The reward for the visitors is a Semi-Final trip to Woodlesford where they will face Settle who overcame another West Yorkshire League side Oxenhope and for 'Bridge the fight for survival continues. Man of Match for 'Bridge on the day went to Danny Rimmell with mention also for Match Referee Jonathan Bickerdike for his control and management of the game despite going into the tie without Assistants.
Man of Match - Danny Rimmell
14/02/15 - Wetherby Athletic 4-0 Boroughbridge AFC - League
After their disappointment of last week it was back to the bread and butter stuff for 'Bridge as they travelled down the A1 to face local adversaries Wetherby Athletic in search of points to alleviate their survival fight. Bereft of recognised defenders Manager Daz Ekin chose to go for a three-five-two formation and on a surprisingly tacky surface 'Bridge started the brighter with Paul Scaife rattling the post as they enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges. The pace, however, of Johnny Hadley, Ed Marau and Joe Barden posed a constant threat for the home side with the deadlock broken on 26 minutes and in simplistic fashion as a throw in was played back to Barden and his 30 yard looping cross shot deceived Paul Diamond for the opener. This gave the home side the initiative and Adam Carter and Hadley both brought fines saves out of Diamond, Hadley then hit the upright before going on to add the second from a Marau pass in the 33rd minute following an incisive counter-attack. To negate the pace of Marau and Hadley 'Bridge switched to a 4-4-2 formation which together with the difficult surface strangled the game until it was enlivened by a twenty five yard drive from Ben Jones in the 72nd minute that rattled the bar with Sam Moore well beaten. As time ebbed away 'Bridge went for a front three and with ten minutes to go Jones hit the woodwork again, this time from a Martin Hutchinson corner, but the system proved futile on 87 minutes when a quick break by Hadley set up sub Josh Barden for the third and two minutes later another sub Luke Duberry delivered the coup de grace with a quality finish. 'Bridge should have been going to in form Knaresborough this Saturday but Town now face 'Bridge's conquerors Stanley United in the League Cup leaving Ekin's side to metaphorically lick their wounds for the battles ahead.
Man of Match - Andy Layton
28/02/15 - Shelley 6-0 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Long-term injuries to key players may have played havoc with Daz Ekin's plans for the season but there can be no excuse for the malaise that left him with a bench totalling 150 years for the trip to Shelley. It was no surprise that Shelley started the brighter of the two sides with attempts from Dan Morgan and Jack Green failing to trouble Paul Diamond subsequent to a mistake from Stephen Coles allowing Morgan to set up Alan Greenwood for a tap in. This was in the twelfth minute and apart from an Alex Croft shot straight at Paul Day and an Andy Farrell effort tipped over by Diamond there was little else to excite other than the substitution of Bobby Allen for Daz Ekin ten minutes before the break. The pivotal point of the second half was a penalty conceded by Josh Gardner for a foul on Morgan and tucked away by Green in the 63rd minute and by the 70th minute the margin became four as a punt up field was missed by Andy Layton and converted by Ash Vickers before Liam Berry then headed home from a corner. Coles, Ben Jones and Paul Scaife all had efforts come to nothing and it was the home side who added to their tally with goals from Greenwood on 83 minutes and Vickers in added time. Without a League victory since November and only nine League games left March's fixtures are seminal to 'Bridge's continuation in the Premier Division which will start on Saturday with their home game against Otley.
Man of Match - Andy Layton
07/03/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-3 Otley Town - League
Now in the last third of the season and with the dark clouds gathering this was a must win for 'Bridge but their aspirations of survival just about dissipated in a disastrous 15 minute first half spell. It was almost a dream start for Otley as Scott Firth was unlucky to see his effort bounce of the bar and on seven minutes it was 'Bridge's turn when a strong run and shot from James Watson had Chris Brodie scrambling across his goal. It did not take long for the opening goal to arrive as Paul Diamond hesitation to a Firth cross on 14 minutes allowed Toby Harris to nip in for the opener and a minute later he had doubled his tally latching onto a ball over the top from Dave Webber to fire past the advancing 'keeper. Stephen Coles was wide as the home side tried to respond and on twenty minutes Martin Readshaw and Levi Crombie combined to find Paul Scaife who beat two men only to miss the target, which was pivotal as what could have been one became three a few minutes later when Webber slipped Harris through for his hat-trick. Watson tried his luck with another powerful drive and on 32 minutes he combined with Crombie to set up Coles who reduced the deficit with a drive from the edge of the area into the bottom corner. Scaife had an early second half chance pushed away by Brodie and from the resulting corner Coles hit the bar but for all their exertions they could not get the break to put the pressure back on the visitors. Otley had a couple of decent counter attacks and on 70 minutes, from one such situation, Joe Hall fired over from 10 yards after he was set up by Harris, and the home side also had their moments with Brodie tipping over a Paddy Inman header and Arran Smedley clearing the corner off the line. 'Bridge worked hard to get the vital breakthrough but there was a lack of cohesion and innovation in their play to break down the Otley defence and they now go on to their next game against Brighouse Old Boys knowing anything but three points is fundamental.
Man of Match - Andy Layton
14/03/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-2 Brighouse Old Boys - League
They say that the table never lies, and whilst on paper 'Bridge's route to West Yorkshire Premier Division survival looked simple enough, the fact that Daz Ekin’'s side have picked up less than half a point a game thus far this season tells its own story. Both sides knew coming into this fixture that it's outcome could have a big impact on the two sides' respective chances of survival, and thus it was perhaps no surprise that it was a nervy start on an overcast but settled afternoon at Aldborough Road. Indeed, the midfield area would prove to be the main battleground for much of the opening 45 minutes, but when there were attacks they were primarily from the visitors, with only a commanding performance from Paul Diamond in the 'Bridge goal preventing any chances of real substance. At the other end 'Bridge were having their opportunities too, with young Matt White, thrown in at the deep end in first team debut, missing a simple tap in and an advancing Ben Jones unlucky not to connect with the ball after Danny Rimmell had fired a Josh Gardner ball out of defence across the face of goal. Nil nil it would be at half time, however, with the match well poised to swing either way in the second half and it looking likely that the team to break the deadlock could be the team to win it. The team to get on the scoresheet first was the hosts, and they did so through the hard working Danny Rimmell, whose strength had caused the visitors problems throughout the first half, as he headed home a Paul Scaife corner at the near post just six minutes into the half, giving the Brighouse 'keeper little chance. Having fallen victim to late goals so often this season, it was now important 'Bridge consolidate their position and ensure that they kept their concentration levels up, and Ekin's side did a good job of this for the next twenty minutes in maintaining a grip on the match and looking more likely to add to their tally than to be pulled back to parity. As the game entered the final twenty minutes, however, the momentum began to swing back towards the visitors, and parity seemed somewhat inevitable when it was restored on 76 minutes as Brighouse cut open the 'Bridge defence to slot home with ease under a hapless Diamond. Instead of motivating the hosts to restore control of the match it had the opposite effect, and 'Bridge were caught out once again by poor defending just three minutes later as Brighouse added their second in a similar fashion to their first, opening up the home defence and leaving Diamond little chance with the final ball. With the cost of defeat a nine point deficit in their survival chase, this was now or never time for the hosts, but the improvement in performance needed failed to materialise with players visibly tiring as the clock wound down. The switch to a back three on 90 minutes came too late to have a meaningful impact, despite the lengthy six minutes of added time, and in truth it was Brighouse who were closer to adding a third than 'Bridge were to rescuing a point as the final whistle approached. The significance of the result was clear to see from the celebrations of the visitors at full time, and when coupled with a draw for Ripon City at Bardsey sees 'Bridge slip to the bottom of the West Yorkshire Premier Division. With games still to come against City, Brighouse, Hunslet Club and others in the bottom half of the table the fight for survival is not over just yet, but with ten points needed at the very least from just 21 available the writing would appear to be increasingly on the wall for Ekin's side.
Man of Match - Danny Rimmell
28/03/15 - Robin Hood Athletic 2-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
It was a familiar tale even before 'Bridge set off on their trip to Robin Hood with six backwords from the Brighouse game and a further fourteen unavailable with a few spurious excuses thrown in amongst the authentic majority giving Manager Daz Ekin a repeated bench of himself, Paul Dargavel and Tony Coles together with Mick Johnston. After Paul Scaife had an early effort saved by Lee Wood the dark relegation clouds loomed large on the horizon when a cross shot from Danny Bridges on 16 minutes gave Hood the lead and two minutes later Graham Marchant chipped Paul Diamond for their second. Down but not quite out 'Bridge were thrown a lifeline on 26 minutes when Scaife fired Woods' poor kick out back over him but this failed to enhance the quality of the game as both sides failed to build any momentum. As half time approached Martin Hutchinson and Ryan Priestman both had shots blocked before 'Bridge put a few passes together for Ross Mardon to volley in Hutchinson's pull back. This brought an immediate response from the home side with Bridges giving Diamond an easy save but they should have regained the lead in added time when Jack Fisher missed an absolute sitter. The second half brought little improvement as both sides failed to come to terms with the windy conditions and it was past the hour mark before the next goal worthy attempt as Scott Murgatroyd fired over with Johnson following suit with a similar attempt at the other end. Hood then failed to find the target from a one on one situation and when Scaife found himself in a comparable position his pathway to goal was blocked by Wood who received a caution for his transgression. Three minutes from time Hutchinson was thwarted by Wood when clean through leaving the two sides to share the points which does little for the visitors' precarious league position. For 'Bridge the stand out performers were Andy Layton and Danny Smith at the heart of their defence with the young gun taking the Man of Match award.
Man of Match - Danny Smith
04/04/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-2 Horbury Town - League
'Bridge came into the latest stage of their race for survival knowing that this would be the toughest fixture they would face, with visiting Horbury Town challenging for the league title. In the end, however, a vastly improved performance and late drama meant the Aldborough Road faithful left feeling that this was more a case of two points dropped than one gained. Daz Ekin's men once again got off to the worst possible start, one down after just six minutes as Lamin Bojang received the ball and calmly slotted home in a one-on-one situation with Paul Diamond in the 'Bridge goal. Far from settling the visitors though the goal prompted an almost immediate response from the hosts and after Michael Johnson had launched a long range effort directly at Andy Liversidge in the Town goal, parity was restored on the quarter hour mark as Paul Scaife fired a free kick into the bottom left-hand corner from the edge of the box. The side now firmly in control were the hosts and after Liversidge had done well to get down and stop a high-paced effort the ball came to Scaife who hit his effort over the bar. After a brief lull in the chances the Town 'keeper was again in action as half time approached to deal with efforts in the 38th minute from Ross Mardon and 40th minute from Scaife. Given their position it was inevitable that the visitors wouldn't lie down easily though and they ended the half with a flurry of chances. The first fell to Bojang who couldn’t control the ball enough to get a shot away after Diamond had tipped a cross out to him, whilst just a minute later his brother, Gibril, headed wide from another well weighted cross. At this point it was all Horbury and Diamond was forced to produce a good reaction save to maintain parity on 44 minutes after 'Bridge lost possession cheaply in the middle of the pitch and a well-worked move saw the ball fall to Neil Samardzija. It would be stoppage time that would provide the defining moments of the first half, however, with first a routine-looking punch by Diamond to a looping cross injuring the 'keeper's back. This was followed three minutes later by drama at the other end of the pitch after last man Mardon was fouled whilst through on goal. The hosts argued that it was a goal scoring opportunity but following protracted discussions with his assistant, referee Matt Sowerby produced a card of the yellow rather than red variety, leaving Scaife to fire the accompanying free kick straight at Liversidge.

Whilst this late drama could have seen 'Bridge enjoying a man advantage for the second 45 minutes, they were instead forced into a goalkeeping change, with Diamond too injured to continue and veteran Alastair Hogg rolling back the years to once more occupy the goal that he spend so many seasons defending. As in the first half, the first chance of the second half fell to the visitors, with Lamin Bojang breaking and shooting wide of the near post. This was once again shortly followed by a 'Bridge free kick, only with Scaife unable to find the target on this occasion as he had in the first half. From here the half settled into a pattern roughly similar to the first, with 'Bridge enjoying the better of the chances but unable to really threaten adding to their tally. Ross Mardon gave Liversidge an easy save to a weak shot from the edge of the area on 64 minutes, just a minute later Martin Hutchinson saw his long range speculative effort easily collected by the visiting 'keeper, and James Watson was the third 'Bridge player to see his effort collected by Liversidge after a 74th minute header. Town were still enjoying their chances at the other end of the pitch, but Hogg was clearly enjoying being back between the sticks more, with each save and collected ball greeted by a wave of applause from the home crowd, none more so than an excellent save to tip over a 81st minute free kick. As in the first half, the defining moments would come at the end of the second half, and Ross Mardon looked to have stolen all three points for 'Bridge when he launched a long-range drive goalwards in the 88th minute, the ball finding its way through a mass of players and nestling in the back of the net with Liversidge rooted to his spot. Cue wild celebrations around the ground of what looked like a relegation lifeline for the hosts. Football can be a cruel game at times however, and 'Bridge's naivety showed as the clock ticked into stoppage time, with the hosts still in search of more goals rather than simply holding possession to run the clock down. This tactic almost paid dividends on 91 minutes with Johnson manufacturing a shot, but as the clock continued to tick deeper into added time the constant loss of possession saw 'Bridge pushed deeper and deeper by a Horbury side who knew they needed something from the game if they were to keep their title push alive. Town would get what they desired as well, and with the game deep into its fifth added minute Sowerby pointed towards the spot following a routine-looking tackle in the 'Bridge penalty area. Hogg guessed incorrectly, but even if he had gone the right way would likely not have stopped a well taken penalty from Gibril Bojang to secure what may turn out to be a very important point for the visitors, but may prove to be an even more crucial two points dropped for the hosts. For 'Bridge there are now five games left to save their season, and with a minimum of eight points to find Ekin's side could see themselves relegated as early as 18th April when they travel to Oxenhope Recreation.
Man of Match - Andy Layton
11/04/15 - Knaresborough Town 4-0 Boroughbridge AFC - League
After the prior weekend's battling draw against title-chasing Horbury Town, Daz Ekin's side came into this match with some confidence and in the knowledge that Knaresborough had been one of only three teams they had beaten thus far this season. Unfortunately all optimism soon dissipated on a blustery afternoon at Manse Lane as 'Bridge put in one of their worst performances of the season to date and all but confirmed their relegation to Division One. The visitors started brightly enough, with a fierce Ross Mardon shot from the edge of the box finding the woodwork in the third minute before two chances for Paul Scaife just after the quarter hour mark. The first of the opportunities came from a flick-on from Martin Hutchinson which Scaife couldn't quite reach before it was gathered by James Stratton in the Town net, before four minutes later a half volley was directed straight at the 'keeper. Knaresborough were growing into the game, however, and enjoyed their first serious chance on 28 minutes as Paul Diamond did well to get down to tip a shot from former Aldborough Road man Fraser Lancaster around his left-hand post. 'Bridge were still an attacking threat at this stage, and were once more unlucky not to open their account with just five minutes to go until the interval, as Ben Jones beat Stratton only to see his effort cleared off the line by the Town defence with Scaife fast following in. From near elation the mood of the visitors would turn within a 15 second period, however, with Town straight on the offensive whilst 'Bridge were still thinking about what could have been, leaving Josh Yanac free to open the scoring for the hosts. Just as in the first 'Bridge were quick out of the blocks in the second half knowing that this could be a 45 minutes to define their season and with the boost of a return from injury of early-season top scorer Mike Mullenger, and Jones was almost put in by James Watson as early as the 47th minute. It's not often that the 'Bridge talisman would be in need of extra height, but on this occasion it would have paid dividends with Watson's cross from the right just too high for Jones and instead finding its way through to the safety of Stratton’s arms. This would be as good as it would get for Ekin's side in this half, and after Paul Atkinson had doubled the lead on 55 minutes in firing under Diamond at the near post the Town advantage was three on 67 minutes as an excellent cross from the right found the head of Chris Fairhurst to direct past a hapless Diamond. If there had been any hope of a comeback from 'Bridge then those hopes were extinguished with this goal and Town continued to exert their dominance as the clock wore down. What few movements 'Bridge tried to make forwards were soon undone by misplaced passes and, far from looking like a side fighting for their Premier Division lives, the visitors were being pushed off the ball with ease by a Town side brimming with confidence. The fourth was somewhat inevitable when it came one minute into stoppage time as George Eustance cut in from the right and hit home across goal, and Town still had time for a chance at a fifth as Lewis Riley launched a long range speculative effort well high of the target in the third minute of stoppage time. 'Bridge must now somehow regroup in time for their trip to Oxenhope Recreation, which could see relegation confirmed with three games to go if results go against Ekin's side.
Man of Match - Mike Mullenger
18/04/15 - Oxenhope Recreation 5-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Remove 'Reserves' from the headline and you come up with a similar score to last week's reversal for Richard Donohoe's side but a much different scenario in team selection with first team Manager Ekin again having to cope with a raft of backwords and the 'old guard' on the bench. His selection problems however proved inconsequential as a nightmare journey on the twisting roads and traffic jams gave them no preparation time. Similarly the small pitch left little room for manoeuvre or mistake and on 14 minutes a cross from Lon Smith left Dan Moriarty with an easy tap in. 'Bridge responded with the best move so far with Steve Warburton, Jake Fletcher and Ben Jones linking up well before parity was restored in the simplest of fashions, a Steven Coles throw to Fletcher who turned and shot past Sam Lee. The visitors were then fortunate to see Michael Garnett miss a great chance off another long throw before a quickly taken free kick caught the defence napping and Smith was able to chip Paul Diamond to restore the lead. Martin Hutchinson was just off target with a superb 35 yard lob and on the stroke of half time Diamond produced an excellent right-handed save to deny Moriarty. The second half started with an excellent 'come and get me' cross from Matty White that no one anticipated and minutes later a misunderstanding between James Watson and Josh Gardner gifted Moriarty his second. An Oliver Metcalfe free kick deflected off Gardner for the fourth in the 65th minute, Ekin entered the fray for the last 23 minutes following an injury to Jones and a left foot strike from Tom Marshall completed the scoring fifteen minutes from time. The situation for 'Bridge is now out of their hands and after having lost only one home game to the weather this season they now have to wait until the 6th May for their next fixture by which time their fate will have been decided.
Man of Match - Paul Diamond & Martin Hutchinson
06/05/15 - Ripon City 2-3 Boroughbridge AFC - League
A stunning strike deep into stoppage time was the icing on the cake for 'Bridge as they recovered from an early two nil shortfall to overcome local nemesis Ripon City at Mallorie Park. The home side had the advantage of a very strong wind but three corners apart there was nothing of note in the opening fifteen minutes until a speculative effort from Dan Hickey took a bobble to completely deceive Paul Diamond. It got better for Ripon a minute later when a quick counter attack resulted in a Luca Crompton drive going in of the post to double their advantage. Paul Eagling returning after a long injury problem was wide when clear on goal and Diamond produced a fine save to deny ex-'Bridge midfielder James McDaid as the two sides traded blows before Josh Gardner missed an absolute sitter for 'Bridge from a Martin Hutchinson corner in the 32nd minute. Ten minutes later another Hutchinson corner resulting from further good build up play had more positive consequences as 'Bridge halved the deficit through Ben Jones who headed home from close range. 'Bridge wasted a free kick on the resumption and Kyle Fox was equally profligate for City when he fired wide from a great chance before Jake Fletcher tested Ryan Bassi following good work from Ross Mardon. On the hour mark Mardon hit the post from a Ben Clayton cross followed by chances to Jones, Hutchinson and Eagling before parity was restored on 82 minutes through a back post Josh Gardner effort to a Hutchinson cross. This produced a frenetic last few minutes with an overhead Eagling attempt just over, Diamond saving well from Duncan Terry and just when it looked like the points would be shared Eagling linked with Clayton who picked out Fletcher, who cut in from the left before releasing a spectacular right foot drive into the top corner of Bassi's net and the adulation of all who witnessed it.
Man of Match - Stephen Coles
09/05/15 - Brighouse Old Boys 2-0 Boroughbridge AFC - League
The elation from Wednesday's derby result quickly dissipated for Manager Daz Ekin as seven backwords from that squad together with a plethora of other excuses left him with a bare eleven and the 'old guard' manning the bench. Surprisingly 'Bridge started the better with Leo Sibanda and Ben Clayton linking well, only to see Jason Hibbert out quickly to smother the intended pass for Ross Mardon, and Josh Gardner was just off target with a half volley to a Connor Freeman cross field ball. After ten minutes or so Richards Heins started to make things happen for the home side and he was involved in most of their build up play setting up Chris Wdowczyk who missed the target and then seeing his own effort hit the bar. 'Bridge were having to rely on Mardon playing up top on his own and a couple of decent moves petered out as did one from the home side on 35 minutes when Wdowczyk shot wide with a poor effort. The breakthrough came five minutes from the break from a Luke Johnson free kick on the half way line which Paul Diamond, under no pressure, punched into his own net. 'Bridge responded positively with Hibbert saving well to a Gardner volley and the 'keeper found himself in the right position to hold a Mardon header after Clayton flicked on a long Freeman throw just before the break. The second half started disastrously for 'Bridge when they were caught napping in the opening minute to a through ball from Reece Bray which put Heins in the clear to double the Brighouse advantage. Ben Clayton hit the post to 'Bridge's first corner on 65 minutes and Bray fired well over from only their second corner of the contest which was a reflection of the limited opportunities throughout the game with the final whistle a relief to all. 'Bridge will now have to regroup for their final game of the campaign at home to Hunslet Club before looking to next season and bouncing straight back to the Premier Division – not an easy task.
Man of Match - Danny Rimmell
16/05/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 1-3 Hunslet Club - League
'Bridge finished their season in disappointing style against a Hunslet side who recorded their first away win of the season as Johnny Grayston hit home a hat-trick to add to the four he had scored in their victory earlier in the week. It was again a matter of shuffling the pack for the Manager and his lack of a recognised striker was manifested by the opportunities created and taken especially when looking at the record of Field's Danny Cunningham who has found the back of the net 53 times this season whereas 'Bridge have not got one player in double figures. Hunslet started like a side fulfilling their obligations and it was the home side who had a couple of early chances before Paul Eagling chipped 'keeper Brandon Wood only to see Liam Young clear his effort off the line. Thereafter it was the visitors who had the better of the opportunities as Josh Grant wing play posed a greater threat and Paul Diamond was kept busy denying Ben Abel, Johnny Grayston, twice and coming out on top in a one-on-one situation with Gareth Groves. Paddy Inman fluffed a good chance early in the second half before Grant was just off target with a good effort at the other end and a minute later (53rd) he skipped by a couple of defenders prior to putting in a low cross partially cleared to Groves who, in turn, was denied by Diamond only for Steve Tovey's attempted clearance from the melee to rebound off Grayston into the back of the net. Ben Clayton fired high as 'Bridge tried to respond and Eagling drifted by two defenders only to put his effort wide of the onrushing Wood and the target as they pressed for the equaliser. Their confidence levels, however, were reflected in the passing and movement and general demeanour which was exacerbated farther by a breakaway second goal when an intended cross field pass by Killian Maybe miscued into the path of Grayston who finished with aplomb from 25 yards out. An injury to Wood forced his early retirement and the visitors down to ten men but again the home side could not take their chances and when Josh Gardner put a free kick straight to Grayston he moved forward ten yards to strike home his hat-trick with another good finish. Small consolation to 'Bridge was a goal from Paul Eagling in added time after Matthew White and Ross Mardon combined to set him up.
Man of Match - Paul Diamond
 
 
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