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Boroughbridge AFC Match Reports 15/16
August to December
15/08/15 - Hartshead 2-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
'Bridge should have come away from this game with something but even if there were no points there were lessons to be learnt which should serve them in good stead for the rest of the season. It was frenetic opening to this season's campaign with Hartshead's plan to get the ball forward early and pick up the pieces working in the early stages with Jamie Wasley twice firing across goal from a couple of half chances. 'Bridge certainly looked to have the quality on the ball but their opportunities were limited as Matt Biddle had a shot blocked and then shot wide before Frazer Robinson was tested pushing a twenty yard drive from Duncan Terry for a corner. The home side took the lead on 28 minutes in fortuitous fashion when a cross from Jonjo Haley deflected off Mattie White and looped over Paul Diamond for the opener with luck on the side of 'Bridge six minutes later as Wasley stood on the ball when clear on goal. There was a positive response from the visitors with a swift piece of interplay resulting in James McDaid hitting the bar and two minutes from the interval the same player was unlucky when his appeals for handball went unheeded as his effort looked goal bound. Five minutes into the second half Paul Eagling fired over after another handball appeal was turned down but these two incidents were put to bed when Stephen Coles got on the end of a Dan Clayton cross to restore parity. Even though their possession was not matched by chances 'Bridge were looking the more likely to go on and win the game at this stage only to pay the price for their naivety in the latter stages. Warning signs were there in the 87th minute when Liam Fox missed a great chance from close range and two minutes later he was on hand again to convert a cross from Ben Smith who then hit the post in the last minute of the game.
Man of Match - Stephen Coles
19/08/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 5-1 Ripon City - League
With James McDaid and Ben Jones returning to their old stamping ground and Duncan Terry, Ben King and Joe Knowlson swapping the Ripon red for the 'Bridge blue it was all change as these old adversaries clashed at Aldborough Road. Despite the heavy rain of the previous day the 'Bridge ground was in excellent condition and the home side started the brighter with Knowlson, twice, and Jones off target in the opening fifteen minutes allowing the visitors to grow in confidence. With the game more compressed chances were limited and a mistake in the home defence allowed Tom Leeming a bit of space and when he turned inside Dave Burniston the 'Bridge player handled the ball leaving Danny Edmonds to hit home the resulting penalty. It was Ripon who were temporarily in the ascendency only to concede a minute before the break when a Jones overhead kick to a Paul Eagling free kick came back off the post and McDaid was on hand to hit home the equaliser off the underside of the bar. Two minutes into the second half the ex-Ripon pairing of Terry and Knowlson combined with a superb header from the latter finishing off the good work and cross from Terry and 'Bridge should have consolidated their position only for Jones to head over from under the bar. Tom Leeming was a constant threat for the visitors but it was 'Bridge who had the next opportunity with Ben Clayton forcing a fine save from Steve Warren and on 74 minutes the game swung the way of the home side as Eagling latched on to a superb through ball from Chris Hasting only to be brought down in the box. With Eagling through on goal match official Jason Payne was left with little option and McDaid completed the job from the penalty spot. Tom Leeming gave the home side a reminder of his abilities forcing a great save from Diamond but it was 'Bridge who finished the stronger as Jake Fletcher shrugged off a couple of defenders to make it four, Andy Layton hit the bar with a tremendous forty yard strike before Burniston made it a nap hand in injury time.
Man of Match - Stephen Coles & Dave Burniston
22/08/15 - Thornhill 2-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
'Bridge are certainly finding life tough away from their Aldborough Road ground and had to dig deep to grind out a draw on the sloping Thornhill ground. Rob Evans shot wide for the home side as they showed early intent and on 11 minutes they took the lead as 'Bridge were caught out by a long ball out of defence which Sean Housecroft tucked neatly past Paul Diamond. Paul Eagling fired over for 'Bridge but the home side maintained the pressure forcing successive comers and neither Wayne Flannery nor Housecroft able to find the target with their efforts. A great header by Joe Knowlson to an Eagling corner got 'Bridge back on terms and they had a Duncan Terry goal wiped out for outside as Diamond and home custodian Mathew Breheney were kept busy up to the break which was the case in the early part of the second half. The home side got their noses back in front on 63 minutes as 'Bridge succumbed again to the long ball with Housecroft again the beneficiary but 'Bridge showed plenty of resolve and ten minutes from time a superb 50 yard pass from Eagling was picked up by Terry who beat his marker to smash home the equaliser. Ben Jones missed a great opportunity a minute later but on the balance of play a draw was a fair outcome.
Man of Match - Paul Diamond
26/08/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 5-0 Aberford Albion - League
For an hour there was little to separate these two sides until a second Ben Jones goal together with an injury to 'keeper Jordan Richards and a late 'Bridge flourish gave the home side a deserved, even if slightly flattering margin of victory. The early signs indicated a competitive evening ahead and a Ben Jones header to a James McDaid free kick on 16 minutes did nothing to change that view. A good interchange of passes ended with Paul Diamond saving well from Fahaid Rafiq and then denying Josh Capitano and the half ended with Jones having a goal disallowed and a corner count of 5-4 showed the proximity of the two sides. Both sides had good chances in the early part of the second half before the home side added their second started with a superb cross field ball from James Sibley to Paul Eagling with Jones on hand to convert his cross. Superb link up play between Joe Knowlson and Jake Fletcher ended with Danny Rimmell opening his account for the season as 'Bridge took control. Chris Hastings had a good run and shot saved by the stand-in 'keeper who was unable to keep out his next effort three minutes from time, he was then pulled down in the box which went unpunished before playing an integral part in the build up to the fifth goal superbly taken by Fletcher.
Man of Match - Jamie Sibley
29/08/15 - Leeds Modernians 2-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
The result epitomised 'Bridge's inconsistent start to the season with a starting line-up showing seven changes from their victory against Aberford and having to rely on 50 year old Alistair Hogg to don the goalkeeping gloves due to the unavailability of Paul Diamond. The opening exchanges were interspersed with free kicks but when the teams settled down Duncan Terry shot over with the first opportunity before firing 'Bridge ahead on 14 minutes after James McDaid's header to a Chris Hastings cross came back off the post. Playing without a recognised centre forward 'Bridge's build-up play was thwarted by a flimsy offside trap giving the initiative back to Modernians who capitalised on 35 minutes as Declan Keeney was left with a simple header to a K'warme Westerman cross. Hogg made a good save to a Ben Turner drive as the first half ended and the 'keeper was in the thick of it at the start of the second with successive saves before seeing a Ryan Capitano cross strike the bar. Chances continued to be created as the game became stretched and Matt Gibbons made a good save from a great run and shot by Terry in the 81st minutes but four minutes later the visitors looked to have secured the points as Terry got on the end of a long Hogg clearance to give his side the lead. Modernians had different ideas however and with two minutes remaining levelled matters as Hogg scooped the ball into his own net after initially saving Ben Tuner's 25 yard effort.
Man of Match - Dave Burniston
05/09/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-2 Whitkirk Wanderers - League
It is only a couple of seasons ago since these old adversaries met in the Premier Division and in that eighteen month period only Paul Diamond remains from the starting line ups on that day, but the fixture still retained that competitive edge. The game was open from the start with Ben Jones denied by Mark Grayson in a one-on-one after good link up play between Michael Snowden and Ben King quickly followed by Erik Seed hitting the side netting after a Stephen Copley cross shot came back off the bar. There were other opportunities with the best of these a fine individual run and shot by Snowden again thwarted by Grayson and a good late chance to Shaun O'Neill which he headed over as the sides went into the break all square. The second half was scrappy by comparison with free kicks littering play and it was Ben Jones who had the clearest opportunity with the same outcome as the first half. 'Bridge were forced to change Ross Mardon for the injured Andy Layton on the hour and seven minutes later the wily Steve Copley seemed to manoeuvre the ball with his hand to put him clear and slip the ball past Diamond. 'Bridge then went to a back three bringing Jake Fletcher into the fray to replace Alex Coombes and within two minutes they were back level as Grayson made a hash of King's innocuous looking free kick an on 83 minutes Mardon volleyed home after Fletcher flicked on a ball from Dave Burniston. The cheers barely had time to die down when 'Bridge fell to a sucker punch with Copley again the scorer as he was allowed to turn in the box and skip his way by two defenders to equalise. Once more 'Bridge were left to rue what might have been but on the balance of play the result was about right.
Man of Match - Michael Snowden
12/09/15 - Baildon Trinity Athletic 2-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Once again, a depleted Boroughbridge AFC side was given the task of getting #OperationPromotion, or should that read Operation Commitment, back on track. The conditions were not favourable for a team used to playing its football on the always immaculate Aldborough Road surface whereas the Baildon pitch was isolated, exposed to the elements, sloping down and across with the grass much longer than would normally be expected. Add to that a strong wind and this was always going to be a scrappy game between two mid-table teams.

Kicking against the wind 'Bridge started the brighter, and within 45 seconds good link-up play between Mike Snowden and Ben Jones presented Ross Mardon with an opportunity to break into the box, but his tame shot was off target. The next 10 minutes saw 'Bridge looking comfortable, although they did struggle to string a series of passes together and couldn't turn possession into chances. Baildon eventually grew into the game and on 20 minutes a long ball over the top saw Louis Francis outstrip the 'Bridge defence to slot beyond the advancing Diamond. It was now Baildon who looked in control, and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead on 27 minutes - again a ball over the top exposing 'Bridge's defence with Lee Matthews displaying good pace and strength before rounding Diamond to make it two nil. A scrappy end to the half could have seen 'Bridge concede a third goal, but the goal-mouth scramble was eventually cleared.

Some harsh words from Manager Daz Ekin at half time left the players in no doubt as to what he thought of their first half performance, and it was no surprise that with his words still ringing in their ears and the wind now in their favour 'Bridge reduced the deficit within five minutes of the re-start when Ross Mardon converted Jones' cross. It was 'Bridge now in the ascendency and the equaliser came on 55 minutes from a deflected Matt White cross which found its way into the 6 yard box, where Jones was on hand to head beyond the despairing Michael Haran. It looked at this point that there would only be one victor, but try as they might 'Bridge just couldn't find the elusive winner. Although the management would have taken a point at half time this is the side's fourth draw, all ending with a similar score, and as the season goes on they will probably reflect that this was another two points lost.
Man of Match - Dave Burniston
19/09/15 - Beckwithshaw Saints 1-1 Boroughbridge AFC - Whitworth Cup
Beckwithshaw win 4-2 on penalties
'Bridge suffered a severe case of deja vu as they went out in the first round of the Whitworth Cup to a humiliating defeat at the hands of Harrogate League side Beckwithshaw Saints. The non-appearance of Joe Knowlson left 'Bridge short on the bench but they had Ben King, James McDaid, Duncan Terry and Chris Hastings all back in the team which, on paper, should have given them the upper hand. It did not work out that way and 'Bridge will have to lick their wounds before two more difficult away ties at Headingley (League Cup) and then Ealandians in the County Challenge Cup the following week. The match itself had seen the home side take an early lead through Sylvester Rowe who posed a constant threat in the opening thirty minutes before James McDaid restored parity in the 32nd minute after Terry had been brought down. Neither 'keeper was brought into serious action as both sides failed to create any clear openings and it was the visitors who came nearest to scoring as Terry and Ross Mardon both hit the bar and David Burniston had a header cleared of the line. 'Bridge were on top but did not have a finisher and with four minutes left on the clock 'keeper Keith McKenzie handled outside his area and even though he was last man the referee only deemed it a bookable offence. The penalty shoot-out brought the same outcome as last year and maybe next time around 'Bridge will get the job done in the 90 minutes.
Man of Match - Mike Snowden
26/09/15 - Headingley AFC 2-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League Cup
'Bridge exited the League Cup in Round One for the first time as they went down in the odd goal in three to Headingley, now managed by ex-Reserve Manager Elliott Sheeran. There could be no complaints about a good flat pitch but with six backwords from his anticipated squad it was another Saturday morning scramble for Manager Daz Ekin leaving him to partner the versatile Mick Snowden with Andy Layton and bring in 17 year old Jack Campbell for his first start at this level. Both sides had periods in the ascendency with Ashley Austin (Headingley) and Ben Jones ('Bridge) having a couple of chances each but it was Lewis Keating who gave the home side the lead resulting from their first corner on 15 minutes. 'Bridge were contributing well to the game with some good football only no end result and Conor Murphy headed over and Merlyn Andrews was off target for the home side with one of the key moments in the game coming in the 72nd minute. From a home attack Snowdon went to close down a fierce shot from Murphy which smacked the defender on the arm from a distance of two yards and a well-rehearsed 20 yards Keating free kick doubled the advantage with a left foot drive. Three minutes later Jake Fletcher reduced the arrears following good work from James McDaid and Harry Maltby to put them back in the game only for the bit of luck they needed to desert them. A hand ball in the penalty area, admittedly not deliberate, but not too dissimilar to the one in the 72nd minute went unpunished and in the 90th minutes Maltby headed a free kick over the bar and was simultaneously 'taken out' by 'keeper George Clarke but again nothing given much to the chagrin of Ekin and his players.
Man of Match - Mike Snowden
03/10/15 - Ealandians 6-1 Boroughbridge AFC - County Cup
After a promising opening 'Bridge suffered a double whammy as Mark Heppenstall was probably a minimum of three yards offside when he opened the scoring and in the next minute the same player was involved in a scuffle with Andy Layton resulting the 'Bridge captain receiving his marching orders. Almost immediately Lee McGrath got the better of Ross Mardon in a one-on-one situation and on 26 minutes Hepenstall added his second when Jimmy Tucknott got caught in possession. Jake Fletcher beat the offside trap but not the 'keeper on 30 minutes and a half that started assuredly finished on a frustrating note when another Tucknott mistake allowed Wayne Crossley a simple opportunity. Toby Hardaker tested McGrath following a good 'Bridge move at the start of the second half which was about as good as it got with Ealandians adding a fourth on 52 minutes, James Greenwood volleying home on 75 minutes and Tucknott putting through his own goal for number six. It is a worrying time for 'Bridge and with no win in their last six outings they will have to take maximum points from their next two games at home to Sherburn White Rose and Ilkley if they are looking to be serious promotion candidates.
Man of Match - James McDaid
10/10/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 0-0 Sherburn White Rose - League
This turned out to be a pretty stop-start affair littered with free kicks restricting any flow to the game and limiting opportunities. The first two attempts on goal both resulted from free kick situations with Danny Middleton (SWR) just off target and Ben Jones ('Bridge) having his effort saved by Lee Kelsey, and the game was thirty minutes in before Ben King brought a save out of Kelsey in open play. Another Middleton free kick produced a good save from Paul Diamond and a couple of chances, one to each side, from corners just about summed up the first half. Little changed after the break as a James McDaid effort and an Aaron Hodgson shot were easily pouched by their respective 'keepers and on fifty four minutes Diamond was grateful to see a close range Connor Booth header from a Danny Middleton free kick come straight to him. McDaid and Ben Clayton free kicks followed but no-one was able to stamp any authority on the game and it was seventy eight minutes before a piece of Paul Eagling magic took him past three players only to see his goal-bound strike deflected for a corner. Late in the game Mike Snowden was just over with a great effort and Diamond blocked an effort from Sherburn substitute Bob Jackson but in a game that neither side deserved to win the final whistle was a relief for all.
Man of Match - Dave Burniston
17/10/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 4-1 Ilkley Town - League
What a difference a week makes or so it must seem for those watching 'Bridge in their last two home games as the turgid affair of last week was replaced by an invigorating team performance and a fully deserved victory over third placed Ilkley Town. 'Bridge were quickly out of the blocks and their game was incisive and innovative which gave them the early initiative but without the vital breakthrough. Typical was a goal bound Ben Clayton header to a James McDaid corner in the 24th minute which was blocked and fell to Jimmy Tucknott eight yards out who managed to get his shot away, only for the combined efforts of 'keeper James Hirst and Ben Dexter to scramble the ball to safety. Next it was Duncan Terry and then Ben Jones with opportunities before the Ilkley resistance was broken in the 31st minute when Terry laid the ball off to Mike Snowden who beat Hirst’s despairing dive with a crisp drive into the top corner. Ilkley forced a couple of corners and James Wilson fired over as they tried to respond but it was the home side who struck again on 43 minutes from a Terry shot adeptly deflected by a Jones header into the opposite corner leaving Hirst stranded. There was still time for the visitors to respond and it was a pivotal Paul Diamond save on the stroke of half time to deny Richard Schofield that ensured 'Bridge maintained their two goal advantage which became three within a minute of the restart as Matthew Readshaw and Jones linked to set up Terry who gave Hirst no chance with a delightful chipped volley. In an open contest, Jones hit the post and had another effort cleared off the line whereas Ilkley's best opportunities came from set pieces but the home defence stood firm and on 69 minutes Jones picked up a poor Ilkley clearance to clip a left foot shot round the retreating Hirst for the fourth. Still the visitors stayed positive and only a superb reflex save by Diamond to a close range Dan Henderson header kept them at bay but their persistence did pay off in the 87 minute through Darren Munday who hooked the ball round two defenders into the bottom corner. Unfortunately for 'Bridge their day was spoilt when they were reduced to ten men a few minutes earlier when Jones was caught by a late tackle, albeit unintentional, which leaves him doubtful for this Saturday's trip to Featherstone.
Man of Match - Ben Jones
24/10/15 - Featherstone Colliery 2-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
It was a similar picture for 'Bridge on the road as once more they dropped points by conceding late in the game in another two all scenario. They made a promising start from their long trip with a brave Ross Mardon header, under a strong challenge from 'keeper Jamie Dyas, giving them a ten minute lead after Jake Fletcher had flicked on a Ben King throw. Thereafter 'Bridge had intermittent spells in the ascendency but it was the home side who were the more dominant with Joe Gannon and Jamie Deal a constant threat, and it was no more than they deserved when Gannon equalised from a good Dan Bamfield pass on the stroke of half time. The second half started off with Paul Eagling producing a good save from Dyas and Ben Clayton having his effort cleared off the line. Colliery responded with a succession of corners before Eagling and King combined for Mardon to sweep his side back in front on sixty six minutes. King had a good chance to seal it eleven minutes later but akin the first half it was the home side who finished the stronger and a fine strike from Gannon in the 89th minute ensured a share of the points.
Man of Match - Ben Clayton, Jack Herron & Ross Mardon
31/10/15 - Kippax 1-0 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Operation promotion and a return to the halcyon days took a further downward spiral on Saturday when 'Bridge were undone by a dubious penalty decision in injury time. To blame this in isolation however only conceals a myriad of problems as typical of Saturday morning for Manager Daz Ekin was the diminution of the 14 man squad to nine leaving management to staff the bench. The game itself was littered with free kicks, cautions allied to sporadic pieces of football and even though 'Bridge probably enjoyed the better of the opportunities with Ben Jones, Jake Fletcher and Paul Scaife out injured and Duncan Terry unavailable they lacked a focal point for their attacks. The nearest either side came to scoring was in the 67th minute from an Adam Gumby free kick which rattled the bar and a follow up effort from Lewis Dalton did the same, with the closest for 'Bridge coming in the 89th minute when Ben King brought the best out of Tom Charles. The decisive moment of the game came in the 92nd minute after David Burniston was adjudged to have brought down Richard Jackson who duly got up to convert the resultant spot kick. Despite his purported faux pas Burniston, along with fellow defenders Craig Peacock and Jack Herron, scooped all the votes for the Man of the Match award with Burniston coming out on top.
Man of Match - David Burniston
14/11/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-0 East End Park - League
A 260 mile round trip for a game of football on a wet miserable Saturday afternoon is not everyone's idea of enjoyment but Paul Diamond showed his commitment by doing just that and even though it was not the busiest of afternoons for him a clean sheet to take back should have made the journey worthwhile. Each of these sides were relegated from the Premier Division last season and with Park making the better start to this campaign before suffering a surprise first defeat at the hands of Baildon Athletic the previous week it was 'opportunity catch up time' for 'Bridge who could not have made a better start when a cross shot from Ben Clayton deceived Jamie Skelton for the opener. Both sides were keen to play the ball about and Liam Clark had a couple of half chances for the visitors but in general the midfield area was the battlefield and what got past there was stemmed by the respective defences. On the half hour mark a good run and cross by Jake Fletcher was met by Ross Mardon and the' keeper and when the ball came out to Clayton his effort was deflected for a corner by Owen Drinkall. The 'keeper was injured in the incident and had to be replaced but 'Bridge failed to test his replacement and just before the break it was Diamond who was in action pushing away a Clark drive with Luke Coates off target from the resulting loose ball. Five minutes after the interval it was 'Bridge's turn to lose a player as Jack Herron had to come off injured and two minutes later Miguel Cassama fired over the bar quickly followed by Clark wasting a great opportunity after Ashley Hubbard flicked on a Coates free kick. Duncan Terry replaced the injured Mike Snowden in the 64 minutes and with passes going astray as players began to tire in the strength sapping conditions the game remained in the balance. Terry fired over a Fletcher flick on from a Diamond clearance, stand in 'keeper Gareth Mitchell spilled a Terry effort with the energetic Clayton's follow up deflected for a corner. At the other end Alfie Beestin had his effort blocked by Matthew Witrylak, Diamond pushed another effort over the bar before Terry eased the tension in the 80th minute with a clinical finish to a Paul Eagling crossfield ball. Park nevertheless kept battling away and created a couple of anxious moments which Terry could have alleviated with an opening in the fourth minute of injury time shooting straight at the 'keeper with Fletcher waiting for a tap in. The win keeps 'Bridge well placed and was a good way for Paul Eagling to sign off after his eleven years at the Club making 323 appearances and a goal per game ratio of over half.
Man of Match - Matthew Witrylak
28/11/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 0-0 Old Centralians - League
'Keepers exchanging passes, sporadic pieces of quality, even fewer chances and not a goal in sight did little to warm those who had turned out to watch on a wet, miserable windy Saturday afternoon as 'Bridge gained their seventh draw of this campaign. 'Bridge had an early opportunity when Jimmy Tucknott put Jake Fletcher through but instead of striking with his left foot he tried to curl it in with his right making the angle more difficult. He had another effort blocked minutes later as did Duncan Terry with his follow up but it was Centralians with the wind at their backs who enjoyed the territorial advantage putting pressure on 'Bridge with a myriad of corners and free kicks. Mike Snowden and Dave Burniston cleared two particularly dangerous situations but in the main the defence stood firm and when they were breached Paul Diamond produced an excellent save to deny Aaron Rothery. Five minutes into the second half James Lee fired over with a great opportunity and it was another twenty minutes before the next real chance occurred when a series of ricochets left Ben Jones in the clear, but after rounding 'keeper Joe Royce he tried to square the ball when a shot, albeit from a tight angle, may have been the better option. As time ebbed away there were few clear breaks from either side and the nearest to a goal came from a sixty yard wind assisted punt from Dave Burniston that was destined for the top corner until Royce produced a brilliant save to claw it away.
Man of Match - James McDaid
05/12/15 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-2 Stanley United - League
Déjà vu a wet, miserable windy Saturday but at least, on this occasion, there were goals, controversies and flashes of quality from both sides with 'Bridge again dropping points in the latter period of a game. Stanley, with the advantage of the conditions put the home side under early pressure and certainly showed why they are presently topping the table but 'Bridge, despite conceding a raft of corners and free kicks demonstrated a resilience of their own restricting the visitors to a minimum of chances. The best of these fell to Ash Munton and the lively Nathan Smith with Ross Mardon, playing in an unfamiliar right back role, warming the hands of Karl Powell with 'Bridge's best effort of the half but after all their hard work they conceded four minutes before the break to an in swinging corner from the deft left foot of Russ Gill. Four minutes into the second half 'Bridge were back on level terms when Jimmy Tucknott headed home a James McDaid corner and on 57 minutes Duncan Terry took advantage of some casual defending to nick the ball and round the 'keeper for the lead. This changed the tempo of the game with every tackle even more keenly contested and challenged leading to the dismissal of David Burniston for a second bookable offence on 84 minutes and an equaliser from Liam Powell a minute later. 'Bridge survived a frenetic last five minutes for their eighth draw of the campaign with points dropped in the latter period of games a concerning factor for Manager Daz Ekin.
Man of Match - Jack Herron
02/01/16 - Boroughbridge AFC 4-4 Leeds Modernians - League
'Bridge's inability to close a game down when leading with minutes to go allied to a raft of missed chances again proved costly as they racked up their ninth draw of the campaign in a game they dominated for long periods. "It is not an exaggeration to say it could have been five nil to Boroughbridge after 10 minutes - runners were coming from midfield for fun and Mods were clearly feeling the extra sprout" (Leeds Mods). In the opening six minutes Matt Gibbons saved a Daz Simpson free kick, Paul Diamond pushed away a Chris Ross effort, a Simpson header was cleared for a corner, Gibbons let another Simpson drive slip from his grasp but made amends by blocking Jake Fletcher's follow-up and the 'keeper pushed over a point blank Jack Herron header. Something had to give and on eleven minutes 'Bridge got their breakthrough and it was Simpson who was the driving force with a terrific effort from the edge of the box that even the fully stretched Gibbons could not reach. Mike Snowden put his body on the line to block two efforts from the visitors before a quick break should have doubled the advantage as Fletcher was off target from an incisive Clayton pass. "It became evident that, having highlighted our defensive follies in their match preview, Boroughbridge were equally as comical in theirs. Very long, very direct balls were very nearly finding BT19 (Ben Turner) one-on-one with the 'keeper and he snatched a warning shot wide. Chris Ross was looking very tidy in possession and soon made an impact chipping a good ball over to BT19 who rounded the 'keeper, blocked his own shot with his elbow" (Leeds Mods) before finding the net at the second attempt. Back came 'Bridge with Phil Gillett rescuing the 'keeper as he failed to hold a ferocious Jimmy Tucknott effort and Fletcher's follow up but it was Mods who struck next through Turner who shot wide from a one-on-one in the 34th minute only to make amends three minutes later smashing home another Ross pass. The home response took two minutes as James McDaid glanced in a Simpson free kick but then conceded again a minute before the break as Ross volleyed home to give the visitors an unexpected advantage. The opening exchanges of the second half were mirror images of the first as Ross Mardon had a couple of efforts blocked, Clayton fired over a free kick, Fletcher should have scored with a free header and it was left to Simpson to restore parity on 63 minutes finding the bottom corner from 20 yards out. Two minutes later 'Bridge were in front through Simpson who completed his hat-trick by smashing home a free kick from the edge of the box which should have been enough to take the points but the last words both literally and metaphorically belong to Leeds Mods. "Desperately chasing the game Gillett and Danny Forest picked up bookings, the latter amounting to nothing short of war crime. As all hope looked lost one final attempt to find BT19 in the box dropped to Reece Odmidiran who smashed home without a second thought and salvaged an unlikely, undeserved and fairly manic point".
Man of Match - Daz Simpson
09/01/16 - Aberford Albion 3-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Although glad to get the game played the adverse weather conditions, in the end, did 'Bridge no favours as the home side were able to sign three Northern Counties players on before the game and that extra touch of quality allied to a strong second half performance gave them the edge. 'Bridge got off to a great start with a superb Ben Jones finish to a Duncan Terry cross but it only took Aberford four minutes to respond when Brad Newton converted a Jack Stoker cross. There was an immediate response from the visitors with Daz Simpson forcing a good save from the 'keeper which was the pattern of the first half as 'Bridge had the better of the opportunities but failed to make the best of them as the sides went into the break on level terms. The second half opened with a snap shot from Terry that failed to trouble Lowe and on 57 minutes Tom Brook put the home side in front from a Devon James cross after 'Bridge failed to clear their lines. In the next fifteen minutes, James, twice, Martin Rostron and Joe Walton all went close before Stephen Coles tested Lowe who was then equal to a Jones header. 'Bridge's efforts to regain a foothold in the game dissipated on 83 minutes when Walton added the third and he should have doubled his tally when he powered his way through the the visitors' defence only to miss the target two minutes from time. 'Bridge could reflect on a first half when they failed to capitalise on their chances but in the end could have no complaints about the result and with visits to all top clubs in the pipeline "Operation Consolidation" looks to have replaced "Operation Promotion" as their season's target.
Man of Match - Ben Jones
23/01/16 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-0 Kippax - League
A typical Saturday in the 'Bridge season with the customary stream of backwords giving Manager Daz Ekin a few problems but on the good news side he had Martin Hutchinson and Ben Ryder returning after long term injuries and Tom Hepworth making his first start for two seasons. Early disaster nearly befell them in the 3rd minute when a Daz Simpson crossfield ball took a wicked deflection into the path of Joe Thorpe leaving Paul Diamond to make a point blank save at the feet of the striker which as followed by a 30 yard Hutchinson volley that brought the best out of new signing Martyn Wood in the Kippax goal. As the sides jostled for control Thorpe headed a contentious free kick wide, quickly forgotten when Diamond's goal kick went from Ross Mardon to Ben Jones who brought a full length save out of Wood only for the ball to land favourably at the feet of Jake Fletcher to open the scoring. This was in the 20th minute and two minutes later Diamond cleared a Kippax corner to Mardon which should have resulted in 'Bridge's second when his cross was headed wide by Liam Walton. From the resulting corner there was a very justifiable appeal for a penalty and as play continued Fletcher chipped the 'keeper and Mardon, running in, knocked the ball home only to be adjudged offside. The home side were having the better of the game at this stage but the visitors continued to pose the occasional threat with Kallum Hirst off target with an opportunity and just has he did in the opening minutes Diamond made a good save to keep out Richard Jackson after he had been put clear by Marchant. A one goal advantage has been 'Bridge's nemesis this season but after Wood had denied Simpson and Mardon they got the vital second in the 69th minute through Fletcher who beat the 'keeper with a left foot drive after Wood had again thwarted Mardon. This settled the home side and even though there was a few twitchy moments they had the better of the chances as the outstretched leg of Wood denied Fletcher his hat-trick from an incisive Hutchinson pass and the latter was equally frustrated when the 'keeper tipped over his speculative 25 yard half volley. A couple of late flashpoints failed to spoil a good afternoon for 'Bridge who recorded their first victory since the 14th November.
Man of Match - Jake Fletcher
30/01/16 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-0 Featherstone Colliery - League
A victory, a clean sheet but little else to compliment the game as both sides struggled to find any rhythm in the cold blustery conditions. Replacing the unavailable Ben Ryder, Martin Hutchinson and Ross Mardon 'Bridge had Jimmy Tucknott, James McDaid and Mark Burniston in the starting line-up and took the lead on 10 minutes through Daz Simpson, who latched on to Ben Jones pass to beat the advancing Jamie Dyas. Shortly afterwards a good move down the left ended with Mark Burniston firing over from a good position and minutes later he combined with brother David to set up Ben Jones who was also off target. The game was 24 minutes in before the visitors had their first shot as Kyle Pearson fired wide, Paul Diamond produced a good save to a Hale Jordan free kick and from the resulting corner Joe Gannon failed to trouble the keeper. 'Bridge had a couple of opportunities at the start of the second half but it was Featherstone who had the best chance on 52 minute with Diamond again saving well to deny Jordan. In general, though, play was fragmented as neither side were able to come to terms with the well grassed tacky surface and going into the last quarter 'Bridge only had a nervous one goal advantage. This could have been alleviated on 72 minutes when McDaid headed a good chance wide and four minutes later Dyas pushed his free kick over the bar with the pressure eased three minutes from time when Tucknott headed home a McDaid corner.
Man of Match - Stephen Coles
20/02/16 - Headingley AFC 1-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
A strong 'Bridge team arrived at Headingley as slight underdogs due to the home teams' fine form this season. On a heavy pitch it was a well drilled Headingley team that started the stronger and they had 'Bridge on the back foot from the first whistle. Their game plan appeared very clear - get the ball wide and put high balls into the box where they had a clear aerial advantage in the shape of their two centre forwards. For all of the balls that were put into the danger area, Headingley were struggling to create any clear cut chances as the visiting defensive five of Diamond, Coles, Burniston, Hepworth and Ryder all defended resolutely. It was this solid foundation that enabled 'Bridge to slowly get a foothold in the game and they then began to look the more likely, and it came as no surprise when they broke the deadlock on 17 minutes - a cute ball down the left flank from Ryder found an excellent Terry run. With the ball at his feet the striker still had plenty to do, but he was equal to the task as he beat Andy Williams and then dropped his shoulder to round home 'keeper George Clark and slot in from an almost impossible angle. Headingley responded well and created many half chances, most of which came from corners where they demonstrated their aerial supremacy time and time again, but still the equaliser evaded them. Having been under the cosh for the best part of the first half, 'Bridge were relieved to hear the half time whistle.

The start of the second half was pretty much the same as the first, with 'Bridge on the defensive as Headingly continued to pump high balls into the box from wide areas. The back five were again superb, with Ryder and Hepworth deserving of a special mention. Ekin's side spent the first 25 minutes of the second half pretty much camped in their own half, but a quick break down the left resulting in a 'Bridge corner provided brief respite for the visiting defence, however the respite was short lived as Headlingley broke at pace from the corner and with key defenders having gone forward, 'Bridge were stretched and a cross from the left was met by Jonathan McKinley, but his close range effort was saved by Diamond only for the rebound to be dispatched in clinical fashion by Merlyn Andrews to restore parity. This goal appeared to wake 'Bridge from their slumber and for the next five minutes they attacked with a vigour that hadn't been seen since early in the first half, but it was Headingley who finished the stronger and had a couple of half chances late on to try and seal the win. Although not the three points Ekin was hoping for upon arrival, the collective defensive performance from front to back was one to be proud of, and the hard earned point may prove to be the difference come the end of the season.
Man of Match - Ben Ryder
27/02/16 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-0 Thornhill - League
For 69 minutes the eleventh draw of the season looked on the cards for 'Bridge as a mixture of missed opportunities and a solid performance from 'keeper Jamie Vokes looked likely to thwart them until his mistake broke the deadlock allowing the hosts to go on and secure the points. In the opening ten minutes Vokes safely pouched a James McDaid effort, Daz Simpson dragged his effort wide from a one-on-one with the 'keeper who then saved from Duncan Terry when he was clear on goal. McDaid and Mike Snowden then combined and when the 'keeper spilled the former's effort, Ben Jones fired over and on 18 minutes another dangerous Terry cross was put over his own bar by Tim Clarke. Thornhill's long ball tactic had poised the occasional threat with the speedy Anees Younis and Michael Chadwick the main outlets and Younis was the first to seriously test Paul Diamond on 25 minutes before two minutes later the 'keeper made a good save to deny Chadwick. A minute later Ben Ryder and McDaid combined to set up Terry only for the striker to again be denied by an excellent point blank save and on 30 minutes Younis ghosted past two 'Bridge players to rattle the underside of the bar. A frenetic opening half ended with a Terry effort deflected for a corner and on 45 minutes Ross Ingham had his attempt cleared off the line by Andy Sunley from a Thornhill corner. The second half did not have the same intensity with the visitors prepared to defend in numbers and use the long clearance of Vokes as an outlet thus restricting the home side to a minimum of clear cut chances. Dave Burniston, who was majestic in defence, Jones and Terry all had efforts saved by the 'keeper only for his resolve to be broken in the 69th minute when the assiduous Daz Simpson got a cross in from the by-line only for the 'keeper to inadvertently push it into his own net. As Thornhill pushed more Younis had his shot deflected wide but it was the home side who had the better of the chances with a raft of free kicks in dangerous position. 16 year old Oli Caciagli, on debut, fired wide after linking well with Stephen Coles and Ross Mardon had two great chances in the last five minutes before finding the target in overtime after he was set up by Terry.
Man of Match - Andrew Sunley
12/03/16 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-1 Baildon Trinity Athletic - League
'Bridge certainly made hard work of securing the points against relegation threatened Baildon in a game they dominated for long periods but failed to lock down a two goal cushion to prevent another nerve jangling finish. The visitors got off to an ideal start as 'Bridge lost possession in midfield from where Lee Newall picked out Jamie Sykes who fired home a sweet volley into the top corner of Diamond's goal from 20 yards. 'Bridge were getting a lot of joy down the flanks through Ben Ryder and Steve Coles but lacked the penetration to hurt the Baildon defence until the 16th minute when a Coles cross destined for Ryder was intercepted by a back pass resulting in an indirect free kick, hammered into the roof of Steve Sample's goal by Daz Simpson. James McDaid, Andy Sunley, Ben Jones and Simpson all had efforts blocked or saved as the home side continued to dominate possession and even though the Baildon's chances were limited they always looked a threat from dead ball situations. The home side continued to have the better of the game after the resumption with the familiar tale of missed opportunities before McDaid and Coles linked up with a deft header from Ross Mardon complimenting Coles' excellent cross. Sample continued to be the more active of the two 'keepers as shots continued to rain in on his goal but he was never seriously troubled and with fifteen minutes remaining it was time for the last hurrah from the visitors. They forced five corners in this period, Will Hawksworth headed wide from a good position but 'Bridge managed to see out, albeit uneasily, the last few minutes.
Man of Match - Steve Coles
19/03/16 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-1 Hartshead - League
Following a nap hand of home victories 'Bridge were looking to maintain their momentum when they entertained a Hartshead side sat in the top half of the table with enough games in hand to challenge for promotion and showing their intent in the opening exchanges with some meaty challenges. Their aspirations were boosted further on 6 minutes when a low skimmer from Joel Farrell squirmed under the diving Paul Diamond for the opener but 'Bridge have shown a greater resilience since the Christmas period and came back to level on 17 minutes through Mike Mullenger following good work from Steve Coles, James McDaid and Duncan Terry. Nick Lambert should have restored the lead for the visitors, heading wide from a free header and Liam Cowan was just over on the half hour mark. Frazer Robinson was the busier of the two 'keepers though saving well from Duncan Terry on two occasions and when Terry got the better of him in the 39th minute he was unlucky to see his effort strike the post. The second half was equally frenetic with bookings in the opening minutes but 'Bridge would not be intimidated and only a brilliant save from Robinson to yet another Terry strike prevented them taking the lead on the hour mark. The nearest the visitors came was a cross from Farrell that flashed across the six-yard area with only a touch needed which may have changed the outcome as seven minutes later Mullenger and Terry linked play for Ben Jones to stab home Terry's cross. With only one game left at home against title favourites Headingley 'Bridge now face seven games on the road when their commitment and steadfastness will be sternly tested starting with this Saturday's fixture against third placed Whitkirk Wanderers.
Man of Match - James McDaid
26/03/16 - Whitkirk Wanderers 2-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
The visitors arrived at Whitkirk full of confidence after the prior week's fine performance and victory against Hartshead. Due to an illness, a prior engagement and a recent departure, 'Bridge had to face a Whitkirk team one place ahead of them in league minus Ben Jones, Ben Ryder, and Dave Burniston - who were replaced by Ben King, Ryan Priestman and Shane Butlin on debut. In blustery conditions, and on an unpredictable pitch, it was 'Bridge who had the better of the opening exchanges and almost went ahead through a Daz Simpson free kick which was mishandled by Whitkirk 'keeper Mark Grayson but subsequently cleared off the line, and minutes later Priestman had the opportunity to put the away team ahead when one-on-one with Grayson, but he lost his composure and his attempt was comfortably saved. Priestman did however make amends five minutes later with good work down the right flank and a smart cross resulting in a Simpson drive from the edge of the box which crashed against the post and spun across the goal line into Mike Mullenger's path, who made no mistake to score his second goal in two games to put 'Bridge one nil ahead with 31 minutes on the clock. The lead, however, was short lived as two minutes later the dangerous Eric Seed, who had already forced one excellent save from Paul Diamond, smashed home the equaliser from 20 yards. With the strong wind at their backs, 'Bridge couldn't take advantage and had to settle for stalemate at half time. Unfortunately for the away side, the strong first half wind was even stronger in the second half and for the first 15 minutes 'Bridge struggled to get out of their own half. As the match went on though, they began to get a foothold in the game again and started to look the more likely to score the next goal. Although playing at left back Andy Sunley, linking up with Mullenger, often proved to be the most direct form of attack and 'Bridge almost capitalised on two occasions from his marauding runs and crosses from the left flank. It was no surprise then, that 'Bridge took the lead for the second time in the match when Ben King forced home from close range following a corner after 75 minutes. The lead was well deserved and it seemed at this stage that 'Bridge would be able to hold on for the win, but with just 5 minutes left on the clock, another shot from distance, this time from Thomas Leneghan, found the bottom right corner of Diamond's net. With so much at stake both teams were reluctant to throw too much forward in search of the winner in the last five minutes through fear of losing the match. With results elsewhere going their way, both sides will most certainly view this as two points lost.
Man of Match - Paul Diamond & Andy Sunley
09/04/16 - Sherburn White Rose 3-0 Boroughbridge AFC - League
An Arran Hudson hat trick sent 'Bridge to their heaviest league defeat this season and another year in Division One whilst enhancing further his own side's chances of making it back to the Premier Division. The home side made an ideal start when a fierce shot from Richard Buckthorpe rebounded off Paul Diamond to leave Hudson with the opener in the fourth minute. Jake Fletcher, returning after a long layoff, hit the outside of the post as 'Bridge tried to respond but their makeshift defensive line up was struggling to contain Hudson and his strike partner Danny Middleton. Both brought good saves out of Diamond with Andy Sunley, Steve Coles and Ben Jones all rescuing threatening situations with last ditch clearances before the game began to even out after 25 minutes. The half ended with a great save by Diamond to a Matt Cressey effort which was equalled by Lee Kelsey at the start of the second half as he kept out a Daz Simpson strike. It was Martin Hutchinson's turn next as he thwarted a powerful Rob Foreman header with an excellent goal line clearance but the hard work proved fruitless in a three minutes spell as 'Bridge's defence failed to deal with two long Kelsey clearances leaving Middleton to provide Hudson with two crosses for his hat-trick.
Man of Match - Paul Diamond
13/04/16 - Ripon City 0-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
The threat of relegation hanging over their heads and a visit from local rivals Boroughbridge could not have been a better incentive for the home side only for their backs to the wall display to be ruined four minutes from time by James McDaid. Duncan Terry, McDaid, Daz Simpson and Ben Jones were the vanguard for the majority of the 'Bridge attacks with the two raiding full backs Ben Ryder and Stephen Coles providing the ammunition but they were unable to get the better of Danny Metcalf who kept his best save of the half until the last minute to deny Jake Fletcher. He produced another excellent save a minute into the second half to an overhead kick by Jones and when he was beaten minutes later Simpson was unlucky so see his free kick come back off the post. Ripon enjoyed their best spell thereafter with Mark Tyson firing wide from a corner but it was the 73rd minute before Paul Diamond was seriously tested producing a fine save to a dipping Liam Spence effort and from the subsequent corner Kyle Fox headed wide. It was the visitors who continued to create the better of the chances with Tyson blocking a Terry shot, Ross Mardon heading wide from two yards, a Simpson corner cleared off the line and with time ebbing away McDaid got into an advanced position to knock home a Terry cross for the victory.
Man of Match - Ben Ryder
23/04/16 - East End Park 1-0 Boroughbridge AFC - League
The home side kept up their outside chance of promotion with this narrow victory over 'Bridge who finished the game with ten men following the 82nd minute dismissal of Andy Sunley. Park began on the offensive with Ash Hubbard and Gareth Mitchell both firing over before they took the lead on 18 minutes through Liam Clark who beat Paul Diamond after being put through by Josh Knaggs. This was the pattern of the first half with 'Bridge unable to get a foothold in the game and only some resolute defending kept the deficit to one at the break. Hubbard tested Diamond again at the start of the second half but it was James Skelton who produced the save of the game to deny Andy Sunley the equaliser from his thirty-yard volley. Daz Simpson hit the post from a free kick, Adam Tunnicliffe and Clark both found the 'Bridge woodwork and Steve Coles chipped wide when put through ten minutes from time but with no further goals it was Park who took the spoils.
Man of Match - Ben King
30/04/16 - Old Centralians 2-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
A raft of backwords left 'Bridge with a makeshift outfit but from the experienced Andy Sunley to teenagers, Connor Freeman, Kai Campbell and Kieran Horner making their full debuts everyone gave their all and in the end it was a terrible bobble that cost them a deserved point. Paul Diamond had a new back four in front of him who defended resolutely and with Martin Hutchinson and Sunley pressing in midfield first half opportunities were limited with a Hutchinson chip over the stranded Joe Royce the nearest either side came to breaking the deadlock. Five minutes into the second half Centralians took the lead from a 25 yard speculative drive from Brendan Mullen that took a deflection of Burniston to beat Diamond and minutes later Alex Coombes was denied when Royce managed to deflect away his effort in a one-on-one situation. On the hour mark Coombes restored parity with a tremendous 30 yard drive that gave Royce no chance only for 'Bridge to be undone five minutes later when Diamond was left scrambling to clear the ball after a back pass bobbled over his foot and in the ensuing melee Daniel Dasaolu knocked home what proved to be the winner.
Man of Match - Andy Sunley
21/05/16 - Stanley United 2-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
If ever there were a case of saving the best until last then this was it for Daz Ekin's men who finished their season watching the West Yorkshire League Division One trophy being lifted. Unfortunately it was not Ekin's 'Bridge side who were lifting the trophy as they might have hoped but a Stanley United outfit who finish the season with just four defeats from their 30 matches and a ten point margin of victory. A downpour greeted the sides from the dressing rooms ahead of kick-off but it did nothing to dampen the game and after Alex Coombes had fired a warning shot high into the air for 'Bridge in the seventh minute the newly crowned champions opened the scoring in the ninth. The ball was played in from the left and Joe Childs made no mistake in cutting home at Paul Diamond's near post. The response was immediate from Ekin’s side as 'Bridge pushed upfield from the restart and the ball fell towards Martin Hutchinson on the edge of the box, who hit an excellent volley into the top corner giving the United 'keeper no chance. After this early excitement the game settled into an even tempo with both sides content to take one all at the interval in the face of the intermittent downpours. The champions were looking to end their season on a high, however, and came out on the attack in the second half. They very nearly had their second as well as the ball was played towards goal and clawed away by Diamond to be met with vociferous claims that it had crossed the line only for these to be waved away by referee Gordon Greaves. Stanley's next chance came six minutes later as they smashed the crossbar, with the header from the rebound placed well over the bar, and another six minutes had elapsed before a low glancing header went just wide of Diamond's far post. Having soaked up the pressure much like they had the first half rain it was now 'Bridge's turn to go on the attack, with Ekin's men coming close to taking the lead in the 71st minute as the ball was fizzed across the box and David Burniston just unable to connect at the far post. All of 'Bridge's hard work was undone with just eleven minutes to go, however, as Stuart Davies converted via the post from the penalty spot and despite James McDaid firing just over in the closing minutes the visitors were unable to find the response to going a goal down that they had in the first half. Whilst the hosts celebrated their 21st win of the season it was a ninth defeat of the season for Ekin's side, enough for a mid-table finish but crucially with eight of those nine defeats having come on the road.
Man of Match - Andy Sunley
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