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Boroughbridge AFC Match Reports 18/19
August to December
02/08/18 - Knaresborough Town 0-4 Boroughbridge AFC - Sadie Rose Charity Cup
'Bridge moved within a game of finishing their pre-season fixtures in convincing fashion with this victory over local adversaries Knaresborough and for the first time since its inception took home the Sadie Rose Charity Cup. The early stages were all Knaresborough with Rob Youhill posing a constant threat but 'Bridge were dogged in their resistance and a long ball out of defence by Dave Burniston was capitalised on by Phil Wix who outpaced the home defence to finish with aplomb. This proved to be a fillip for the visitors and five minutes later a penetrating exchange of passes ended with an equally incisive through ball by Joel Fireman for John Rimmer to go through and chip James Webster in the home goal. Both goals had narrow escapes as play swung to and fro before Rimmer was upended just before the break and he got up to fire home the resultant penalty. 'Boro strengthened their side for the second half which augmented the pressure on the 'Bridge goal but they survived a series of corners and free kicks and one spectacular save from Sean Lenz of particular note. As 'Bridge got pushed deeper and deeper it seemed inevitable that the home side would score until an uncharacteristic error from Jack Rushworth to an innocuous Chris Lamb shot finally crushed the Town spirit leaving 'Bridge with their hand on the trophy. John Rimmer was presented with the Man of the Match award for 'Bridge but this was an excellent team performance and he was one of several heroes on the night.
Man of Match - John Rimmer
11/08/18 - Hartshead 3-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Following a promising pre-season and an excellent result in the Sadie Rose Charity Cup it was back to the old story for Manager Daz Ekin with a raft of backwords leaving him with a skeleton squad for their opening fixture. Nevertheless they put in a creditable performance against relegated Hartshead and it was only in the latter stages when they ran out of steam that the home side were able to sign off with Andy Wood netting the winner thirteen minutes from time. New signing Dave Cummins opened the scoring on his debut scrambling home a Joel Fireman corner with Andy Wood restoring parity for the home side before the break. Blake Maud put Hartshead in front from a one-on-one situation with Sean Lenz before another addition to the Club, Chris Simpson, headed home a Phil Wix cross. There were chances available to take the points but it was the Wood brace that secured it for Hartshead.
Man of Match - Mike Snowden
15/08/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-0 Kirk Deighton Rangers - League
Buoyed by their emphatic opening day victory it was Deighton who created the first opening of the game with their centre forward heading against the bar from a corner but most of the battles were in the midfield areas and anything that got beyond this was swept up by two resolute defences with Phil Milson and Mike Snowden again solid for 'Bridge. Chris Simpson and Toby Hardaker posed the occasional threat for 'Bridge but without giving Jonty Smith any concerns as the half ended all square. There was little change after the interval with both sides creating the odd half chances and as the game reached the latter stages a breakthrough seemed highly unlikely until a piece of individual brilliance from Dominic Creamer broke the deadlock. He picked up the ball at the halfway line, beat two defenders and then unleashed a terrific drive from distance that gave Smith no chance deserving the headline a "Creamer Screamer". This was in the 75th minute and minutes later Dan Clayton put Simpson through to wrap up the points. Unfortunately after a hard fought, often tense battle the game deteriorated into a tetchy affair with both sides lucky to have a full complement of players after a couple of unsavoury incidents went unpunished.
Man of Match - Dom Creamer
18/08/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 3-2 Newsome - League
Last season's Division Two champions showed their credentials as they pushed 'Bridge all the way at Aldborough Road on Saturday and would consider themselves unlucky to go away empty handed. Newsome's fluent football orchestrated by midfielders Luke Gibson and Jamie Jobarteh had 'Bridge on the back foot and it was no more than the visitors deserved when Dwayne Wilkinson put them in front on 21 minutes following a corner. Jobarteh missed a great opportunity to double their advantage before 'Bridge put together a slick move of their own and together with an assured finish from John Rimmer restored parity. This only lasted six minutes, however, as Jobarteh volleyed home another Newsome corner to regain the lead on the stroke of half time. It took six minutes for 'Bridge to get back on level terms as Chris Simpson stroked home a penalty, vehemently questioned by the opposition, after a trip on Toby Hardaker and they took the lead for the first time with a powerful header from Dom Creamer to a Joel Fireman corner on 68 minutes. 'Bridge's cause was not helped by an injury to Simpson as Newsome pushed hard for the equaliser but the 'Bridge striker battled on to the end and helped by some missed chances, especially one by Jobarteh, the home side survived an excellent contest to take all three points.
Man of Match - Dom Creamer
22/08/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-2 Wetherby Athletic - League
Paradoxically both sides will look back on this fixture with ambivalence as Wetherby who defended for 90% of the game, had one shot on target, a two goal advantage going into the final four minutes and could have lost all three points in the end. The visitors were on the back foot from the start but 'Bridge were unable to break down a resolute defence which was helped greatly by 'keeper Darren Hooper who never dropped a thing all night. Toby Hardaker missed two gilt edge chances for 'Bridge with Wetherby taking a half time lead from a Kev Trower free kick that was deflected home by a 'Bridge defender. The second half was a similar pattern of constant pressure with a goal seemingly a matter of time but when it came it was from a Wetherby breakaway with Darren Harrison leaving the 'Bridge defence in his wake before powering his drive into the roof of the net. Try as they may 'Bridge could not find a way through as the ball got stuck between defenders' legs, was cleared off the line or safely pouched by Hooper and Wetherby were running out the time when Dave Burniston slotted home a loose ball with three minutes to go. A desperate 'Bridge quickly regained possession for Jake Fletcher to stroke home the equaliser and unbelievably the striker still had time to fire over from inside the six yard box to steal all three points.
Man of Match - Steve Coles
25/08/18 - Kippax 0-3 Boroughbridge AFC - League
With plenty of Bank Holiday distractions there were a few changes for the trip to Kippax and the opening fifteen minutes were evenly balanced as both sides tried to adjust to the blustery conditions and hard surface. Neither team managed to create any clear cut chances and the opening goal on 16 minutes came from a long Chris Lamb throw which bobbled about before it was slotted home neatly by Phil Wix. This gave 'Bridge the edge for the remainder of the half but it was the home side who took the initiative after the break bringing a couple of decent saves out of Luke Phillips only for Chris Simpson to strike on the hour mark volleying home a Dom Creamer cross. This knocked Kippax out of their stride and 12 minutes from time Creamer and Joel Fireman combined with the latter setting up Wix for his second of the afternoon. A solid, rather than spectacular team performance with a defender coming away with the Man of the Match award an indicator of this.
Man of Match - Dave Millea
29/08/18 - Aberford Albion 2-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
On a difficult playing surface 'Bridge can consider themselves unlucky to come away pointless but they did have the better of the opportunities and it was the home side that were the more clinical in front of goal. They took the lead on 15 minutes from a corner headed home by John Mallinson with 'Bridge's chances coming from a glaring Dom Creamer miss and a John Rimmer free kick tipped over by the 'keeper. Playing a high line 'Bridge were caught offside time and again until the 73rd minute when Jake Fletcher broke the trap to bring the sides level. The home side responded and seven minutes later Jack Stoker put them ahead from another cross and this time there was no way back for 'Bridge despite late pressure.
Man of Match - Dave Millea
01/09/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 3-1 Featherstone Colliery - League
'Bridge bounced back from their disappointment of Wednesday night but it took a late third goal to quell their determined visitors. After being able to rely on the services of Alastair Hogg for many years 'Bridge did not have a 'keeper in place until an hour before kick off when Adam O'Neill filled the void. They enjoyed some good spells in the first half, playing crisp football and carving out good opportunities. Dom Creamer put Ben Clayton in the clear only to fire straight at the 'keeper, Josh Richardson, and another excellent move involving John Rimmer and Creamer left Phil Wix a toenail away from giving his side the lead and Toby Hardaker was then unable to get enough purchase on an excellent Liam Glennon cross. The visitors had been restricted to a testing drive from Andy Burton and were beginning to come more into the game that Phil Milsom broke to put the ball down the line to Creamer who picked out Ben Clayton to finish clinically from 12 yards out. The lead was not undeserved and two minutes into the second half John Rimmer smashed in the second from the edge of the box. The news had only just spread to the late tea drinkers when Andy Burton unleashed a special of his own to reduce the deficit and put the game back in the balance. An Adam Cameron volley and a Liam Threlfall header from a corner were the nearest they came to restoring parity before Jake Fletcher secured the points with a large slice of luck and a cool finish.
Man of Match - Callum Rodgers
08/09/18 - Oxenhope Recreation 2-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Only eight games in and 'Bridge have had to slip in Alastair Hogg under the radar as he became their sixth 'keeper in those opening games and with Paul Kirbitson donning the gloves for the Reserves, the average age of these two gents, ignominiously, totalled 54 years. Both sides were also helped by the excessive rain which curtailed cricket in the area and gave them an additional six outfield players to share to fill the void shaped by a raft of backwords. Despite the enforced changes 'Bridge started positively after their arduous journey, taking the lead in the 10th minute when Chris Simpson was put through to chip the 'keeper. The home sides vociferous appeals for offside went unheeded only for Daniel Moriarty to convert their muted call for a penalty a minute later which is how it stayed until the 44th minute when Simpson was on hand to knock home a Clayton cross. There were further chances for both sides after the break but it took a mistake from the highly dependable Mike Snowden to gift the equaliser to James Bailey 14 minutes from time. Points were there for the taking but wrong options from both teams and a last minute miss by Jake Fletcher left all thinking what might have been.
Man of Match - Luke Fletcher
15/09/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 4-1 East End Park - League
'Bridge started the brighter in this top six clash with Ben Clayton heading over and John Rimmer's header hitting the post but it was their 'keeper Paddy O'Neill who kept the score all square with a brilliant save to deny Liam Douglas. On 20 minutes Graeme Ryan tipped over a Rimmer free kick only for Callum Rodgers to scramble the ball home from the resultant corner which give the home side the initiative and they doubled their advantage through Chris Simpson from the penalty spot. The visitors pushed to reduce the deficit and had a couple of decent chances but were again thwarted by O'Neill who was also instrumental in 'Bridge's third goal as his clearance was flicked on by Clayton for Simpson to beat the advancing Ryan. Back came East End Park who were thrown a lifeline when Dave Millea deflected an Aaron Kitao shot past O'Neill and even though this increased the intensity it was the home side who struck next with a superb header by the hard working Simpson to a Phil Wix cross for his hat-trick.
Man of Match - Liam Glennon
22/09/18 - Howden Clough 2-4 Boroughbridge AFC - League
With the success of their cricket team proving to be a pleasurable but early season nightmare for 'Bridge it was an unfamiliar line up that started the game at Howden Clough but after a promising beginning they allowed Howden back into the game with errors that could have proved costly. It took only six minutes for Callum Rodgers to test 'keeper Elliott Lightowler and a minute later they took the lead with a Chris Simpson penalty after he had been brought down. With so many changes this was the fillip they required and on 18 minutes a Mike Snowden through ball was clinically finished by Phil Wix who could have added to the tally three minutes later from a long Adam O'Neill clearance. They did not have to wait long for the third as Joel Fireman set up John Rimmer but after dominating the opening half hour they had a crazy spell which allowed Howden Clough back into the game. On thirty five minutes 'Bridge conceded a needless corner which they failed to clear leaving Emmanuel Bernard an easy tap-in and within four minutes of the interval a Dave Millea mistake allowed Ryan O'Donnell to reduce the deficit to one moving the momentum back to the home side. As Howden pushed for the equaliser 'Bridge were under the cosh until a long clearance was headed into the path of Fireman by defender Daryll Bedeau which played the midfielder onside and he took the opportunity to chip the 'keeper and get some control back for his side. There were no more goals but as Manager Daz Ekin commented after the final whistle the scores could have been nine all with the chances created.
Man of Match - Chris Simpson
29/09/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-1 Hall Green United - League Cup
With promotion high on their agenda for this season the League Cup was not a priority for visitors Hall Green and 'Bridge should have had the game put to bed in the opening 30 minutes instead of leaving the home support on tenterhooks to the final whistle. 'Bridge got a grip of the game in the early minutes when Dan Clayton pinched the ball in midfield and went on to test 'keeper Lee McGrath who proved to be a stumbling block with further saves from Chris Simpson and Dom Creamer until the 16th minute. Creamer picked up a pass down the line by Liam Glennon, outpaced his defender and whipped in a superb cross met by a diving Simpson header. The hosts continued to look the more threatening but were unable to beat the excellent McGrath and on 34 minutes they suffered a setback when key midfielder Ben Clayton was forced off through injury. As 'Bridge reorganised Hall Green grabbed the initiative and enjoyed their best spell of the game but without creating any serious dramas for home 'keeper James Webster. The second half was a similar affair with the home side having the better of the chances through Clayton, Creamer and Simpson with the latter especially guilty of a glaring miss which left the visitors in the game and it took an excellent last ditch tackle by Liam Glennon to prevent a certain equaliser following a quick break and cross from Lee Speight. On 78 minutes 'Bridge got the vital second following a mazy run by Joel Fireman ended by a corner which was swung in by the same player and converted by Callum Rodgers. As the visitors threw caution to the wind McGrath came to their rescue again with a double save to deny Simpson and Creamer and then thwarted the latter minutes later when he was in the clear but the drama was not quite over. On 90 minutes Hall were awarded a controversial penalty which most certainly would have been discussed on ref watch as spectators on both sides thought it harsh but it did not deter Alan Laud who coolly dispatched it into the bottom corner. A minute later the comfort zone quickly turned to panic when the visitors were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area but the wall did its job and 'Bridge survived for a trip to Shelley, three nil conquerors of Wetherby Athletic, in the next round.
Man of Match - Liam Glennon
06/10/18 - Otley Town 1-6 Boroughbridge AFC - League
'Bridge continued their upward spiral with a convincing victory at Otley Town which took them, temporarily, to the top of the league with Aberford and Hall Green engaged in County Cup fixtures. They got the fillip of an early goal started with a defensive tackle by Steve Coles, cleared to Joel Fireman and on to Dom Creamer who left all in his wake as he galloped half the length of the field to set up Chris Simpson for the opener. There was little to choose between the two sides as James Webster produced a good save on 20 minutes and Phil Wix and Fireman both went close before a Simpson header to a Creamer corner was cleared to the edge of the box where Mike Snowden was on hand to fire low past Town 'keeper, George Grubb. The two goal cushion became three on 42 minutes with Creamer and Fireman the architects for Simpson's second only for Otley to bounce back immediately with a crisp Kyle Jeffrey finish to a strong run and cross from Germayne Woodley. Five minutes after the resumption 'Bridge restored their three goal advantage as Fireman and Snowden linked up with Simpson for his hat-trick and on 64 minutes Wix headed home from close range after a defender missed another Fireman corner. Their sixth was déjà vu the first only with different personnel as Phil Milsom won the ball in defence, played it to Snowden and then on to Jack Campbell and his pace took him clear before crossing to Jake Fletcher to finish off the move. Although the points were lost Otley, to their credit, never gave up and in the last five minutes both Jeffrey and Fitzpatrick tested Webster who proved equal to the test on each occasion.
Man of Match - Joel Fireman
13/10/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 3-1 Leeds Modernians - League
'Bridge maintained their top spot with this hard working victory over a Leeds Mods outfit now managed by former 'Bridge Reserves boss Elliott Sheeran. The blustery wind made playing conditions difficult but both sides showed ability on the ball and after a cagey opening 'Bridge hit a purple patch when they should have had the game sewn up. Alex Hay had made a couple of decent saves and a couple of efforts went narrowly wide but on 28 minutes he was beaten by Joel Fireman who picked up a pass on the edge of the box, sidestepped his marker and fired into the bottom corner from 20 yards. Four minutes later Hay's goal kick was headed on to Dom Creamer by Phil Milsom and his astute pass set up Chris Simpson who finished exquisitely and two minutes later Simpson's diving header to another pacey run and cross from Creamer went just wide followed another goal bound effort deflected for a corner. Mods managed to get through this period without any further setbacks and from their first corner of the game Phil Wix cleared off his own line, Scott Morrison tried a speculative 50 yard wind assisted drive that dipped over the bar and two minutes before the break Mikey Hall got the better of Steve Coles and his cross was knocked home by Danny Forrest. A minute later they caught 'Bridge on the break and James Webster had to be sharp off his line to deny Hall the equaliser and they took this confidence into the second half only to be undone within three minutes as Coles broke up an attack, passed to Jake Fletcher, then onto Mike Snowden, crossfield to Creamer who slipped in the overlapping Milsom to finish off in clinical fashion. The expected onslaught never arrived as Fletcher hit the angle of the goal with a rocket, Simpson the underside of the bar, Creamer denied by the excellent Hay who then saved a Simpson penalty which always left Mods in the game and after a couple of half chances went begging Hall could only hit the post from eight yards out with the goal at his mercy. Even though the second half did not live up to expectation 'Bridge got the points on the board and without another league game until the 10th November they will be hoping they do not lose touch with the sides around them.
Man of Match - Michael Snowden
27/10/18 - Shelley FC 3-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League Cup
'Bridge suffered their first defeat since the 29th August when they were dispatched from the League Cup by Division Two side Shelley. They could point to a few crucial decisions that didn't go their way but that can't mask an opening 25 minutes when they conceded three goals in disappointing fashion. A speculative cross-shot from Ricardo Ianzitoe deceived James Webster for the first and Alex Thomas added a second despite all but him stopping for an obvious looking offside. An innocuous coming together between Mike Snowden and Dan Simpson resulted in a penalty which Simpson converted and with less than 20 minutes on the clock Shelley were just about home and hosed. A Dom Creamer special before half time gave 'Bridge some hope and they rattled the post and bar before a Phil Milsom header reduced the deficit fifteen minutes from time to set up a frenetic finale but they were unable to make amends for their shoddy start.
Man of Match - Callum Rodgers
03/11/18 - Alwoodley FC 1-1 Boroughbridge AFC (a.e.t.) - County Cup
'Bridge win 5-4 on penalties
Twice 'Bridge were on the precipice against Yorkshire Amateur League Premier Division side Alwoodley only to survive both situations and go into the hat for the Third Round of the West Riding County FA Challenge Cup. Apart from home advantage Alwoodley were the more physical of the two sides but 'Bridge were not intimated in an opening half of few chances. Little changed after the interval and the game seemed to be swinging Alwoodley's way when 'Bridge lost Joel Fireman to an ill-timed tackle and on 67 minutes an innocuous contact in the area resulted in the left back scoring from the spot. 'Bridge were finding clear cut chances hard to come by with their equaliser not coming until a minute from the end through Phil Milsom who stuck his leg out to an Ed Murau free kick and ironically in added time Jack Campbell had their best opportunity of the afternoon only to be thwarted by the onrushing 'keeper. The first eight penalties were all converted and when John Rimmer missed, the ball was in Alwoodley's court, but James Webster pulled off an excellent save to maintain parity. Callum Rodgers scored his penalty and when Alwoodley fired high and wide it was 'Bridge who progressed to the Third Round and a home tie against West Yorkshire Premier Division champions Carlton Athletic.
Man of Match - Dave Millea
10/11/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 4-0 Rothwell - League
Adorned in their new John Ellis sponsored kit it took 'Bridge a while to get into their stride against a Rothwell side were determined to spoil he party. After a tentative opening 'Bridge got into their stride only to be met by some resilient defending from the visitors mixed with a little bit of good fortune as they survived a few goalmouth scrambles, saw the ball whiz by the post on occasions and 'keeper Danny Greaves keeping out anything else threatening his goal. It was therefore paradoxical that the breakthrough had an element of luck with it as Phil Milsom and Dom Creamer linked down the left and when Creamer's cross fizzed across the area it was met on the volley by the shin of Ed Marau and flew into the net past a bemused 'keeper. Now in arrears Rothwell adopted a more attacking formation after the break but were unable to breach the 'Bridge rear-guard and on 56 minutes Marau struck again turning from a throw in and smashing home the second. 'Bridge were cutting through the Rothwell defence with pace and precision and went further ahead on 62 minutes from a Phil Milsom header with sub Chris Simpson completing the scoring eight minutes later and maintaining his run of a goal in every game played. The game up to this point had been keenly contested but the last 20 minutes were spoiled by some over zealous, petulant behaviour which could have been avoided by firmer action during the earlier stages of the game.
Man of Match - Dave Millea
17/11/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 10-4 Hampsthwaite FC - Whitworth Cup
A six goal salvo in a fourteen minute spell ended Hampsthwaite's resistance after a battling first half performance where they came back twice from unlikely situations to stay in the contest until half time. 'Bridge had the visitors chasing shadows in the opening minutes and the incisive play was rewarded with a classic near post header by Chris Simpson to a Phil Wix cross and a cross-shot from Joe Dorking that finished up in the top corner of Marcus Durrant's net. Within two minutes the visitors had levelled as a Dave Millea crossfield pass was intercepted by Jim Metcalfe who then supplied the cross for the equaliser. The mood in the two camps changed as quickly as the score and it took a sweet strike from Joel Fireman to restore some sanity but even then they couldn't dampen the spirit and two minutes before the break Sean Glennon took the ball from well inside his own half and was as surprised as anyone when James Webster let his shot slip through his hands. Game on or so it seemed only for Durrant to let a Dorkings cross slip through his grasp and gift Jake Fletcher a tap-in before on 52 minutess Simpson headed home, at the second attempt, a Liam Glennon cross. Fletcher rattled the post before adding his second with Dorkings again the provider, Simpson completed his hat-trick from a Fireman through ball and Dorkings made it eight with an absolute beauty that curled into the top corner with only 62 minutes played. Simpson then converted a John Rimmer cross to bring his tally for the season to 21 before Alex Craggs responded with an 83rd minute penalty and two minutes later Fletcher completed his hat-trick and earned the team a freebee with the tenth.
Man of Match - Chris Simpson
24/11/18 - Hall Green United 0-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
In near perfect conditions second played played in the West Yorkshire League Division One as unbeaten Hall Green United met an in form 'Bridge side. On an excellent playing surface, the hosts started the brighter and it took an excellent double save from James Webster to keep out Fowler. 'Bridge started to settle into the game and some strong tackles in midfield from Michael Snowden and Luke Fletcher set the tone for the match. Daz Ekin's men had a chance to take an early lead on 10 minutes when Eddie Murau was set free down the left. As McGrath advanced from his goal Murau looked to chip the 'keeper from the edge of the area, however the ball dropped just wide with Chris Simpson and Jake Fletcher unable to divert the it over the line. It was 'Bridge who struck the first blow of the game on 15 minutes. This time good work from Phil Wix and an excellently weighted pass found Jake Fletcher on the edge of the area. He controlled the ball and finished with a low shot to beat the 'keeper.

The game was becoming increasingly tense with tackle after tackle reining in from both sides. The referee had made a point from the start that cards were not going to be issued after Phil Milsom was sent crashing into the railings from a late tackle. 'Bridge were certainly not going to simply lie down and the back line of Glennon, Millea, Rodgers and Milsom blocked, headed and tackled everything that Hall Green threw at them. Chances were at a premium as both sets of defences continued to stand firm. As the half drew to a close United thought they had equalised, but Liam Glennon and Callum Rodgers both cleared off the line.

The second half got underway and again it was Hall Green who started in a very positive fashion. Their captain Firth was starting to have more of an influence on the game and a pass from him found Fowler. He was able to fire in a shot that thankfully for the visitors just cleared the bar. At the other end both Simpson and Murau had half chances that were cleared. On the hour mark 'Bridge should have done better when a Murau free-kick was only half cleared, but no-one was on hand to follow up.

With 70 minutes gone the game was getting stretched as both sets of players began to tire. James Webster made an excellent save from the feet of Fowler, who caught the 'keeper causing there to be a delay in proceedings. As Hall Green ploughed forward, they forced a succession of corners and in the 80th minute all hearts were in 'Bridge's mouths as the excellent Rodgers made two crucial blocks - first to deny Firth and then Miller.

Jack Campbell was introduced for Jake Fletcher and the young forward caused the Hall Green defence problems from the off with his pace. A last-ditch tackle on him gave 'Bridge a corner and the ball fell nicely to Simpson only for his shot to be smothered by McGrath before Milsom hit a long-range effort which was also well saved. Six minutes of time added on seemed like 60 but Bridge stood firm to take all three points. In a game dominated by both defences Daz Ekin will be delighted with three points and a clean-sheet against a very strong, physical and well organised Hall Green United side.
Man of Match - Callum Rodgers
01/12/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 0-6 Carlton Athletic - County Cup
An in-form 'Bridge entertained high-flying Carlton Athletic in the County Challenge Cup Third Round and sadly found the visitors just too good for them on the day. After a good win away at Hall Green the previous weekend Daz Ekin's men hoped that this would provide the confidence to take on the Premier Division leaders but this was not to be. The opening exchanges were even as both sides tried to deal with the difficult playing conditions. A good move down the left by Dom Creamer produced a high ball into the area with the Carlton back line struggling to clear. The resulting corner was scrambled away, and the danger cleared. At the other end solid defending from Callum Rodgers was keeping the Carlton forwards at bay. In the midfield Luke Fletcher and Joel Fireman were having their work cut out against the combination of Charlie Thompson and Joe Kenny. Ekin had stressed before kick-off that every player had to produce a 'man of the match' performance for as long as possible to frustrate the visitors for 'Bridge to get something from the game which lasted for just short of 30 minutes when a good move down the right and a cross to the far post found Moore, who controlled the ball before firing low past the out-stretched arm of James Webster. The next goal came about in contentious fashion after a disputed throw in and a blatant off-side were ignored, nevertheless the game played-on and the Scott Burns goal stood. 'Bridge desperately wanted half-time to come to reappraise, however this was not the case and a well worked goal from Carlton saw the visitors take a three goal lead through Thompson at the break. To add to this Phil Wix had to be replaced by John Rimmer through injury making it not the first half 'Bridge or their supporters had been hoping for.

Despite the score the players, to their credit, remained positive and wanted to go out and make a game of it in the second half. Sadly after five minutes Carlton went further in front when a mis-placed pass was picked up by Thompson who found Moore and another incisive finish made it four. As 'Bridge pushed forward looking for the elusive goal, attempts by Simpson and Jake Fletcher found Gardiner in the Carlton goal equal to the task. At the heart of the Carlton defence Joe O'Neill was a commanding figure and was determined that the visitors were not going to concede even the solitary goal. 'Bridge introduced Liam Glennon and Joe Dorkings into the battle to bring fresh legs to the proceedings but Carlton continued to press forward and Younis was causing the home defence all sorts of problems. Further strikes from Thompson and Younis brought the scoring to a close leaving 'Bridge to reflect on lessons learnt.

It was one of those days where you must admit you were beaten by the better team and learn from your mistakes. Carlton's passing was accurate, and their finishing was ruthless. They are an excellent side and a long-standing observer of countless 'Bridge games was heard to say that "this was the best side he had seen for as long as he could remember".

Phil Milsom picked up the Man of the Match award for some powerful runs and strong tackling.
Man of Match - Phil Milsom
08/12/18 - Boroughbridge AFC 5-0 Howden Clough - League
Howden Clough were the visitors to Aldborough Road as 'Bridge looked to bounce back from their disappointing exit of the West Riding County Challenge Cup at the hands of Carlton Athletic. Daz Ekin had kept faith with his squad from the previous week with the addition of Railway Athletic Under-23 player Joshua Mulandi. The hosts started brightly and Elliot Lightowler was soon called into action making a good save from Chris Simpson who went close minutes later with a header that just cleared the bar. In the 'Bridge goal James Webster was looking assured keeping out a long-range effort from George Brook. Mid-way through the half Michael Snowden gained possession in the middle of the park, linked up with Joel Fireman and his superb diagonal ball found Snowden who finished with aplomb. From this point on the hosts pressed forward looking for the second to give them a cushion against a very hard working, competitive Clough. A pin-point cross from the left found the head of Simpson but he was denied again by the impressive Lightowler. The visitors were trying to force a way back into the game and their neat football from the back together with the midfield duo of George White and Capi Khan was certainly good to watch but their strike force were having little joy against Dave Millea and Callum Rodgers at the heart of the home defence. As the half drew to a close good work down the right from Liam Glennon found John Rimmer unmarked on the edge of the box, however his shot went just wide of the post followed by Jake Fletcher firing over after Dom Creamer had set him up.

Half-time and the 'Bridge contingent were left scratching their heads as to how it was still only one nil and the team talk focused on being more clinical when chances arrived. It was the visitors who started the second half brightly and it needed some strong defending from Phil Milsom to deny Mohammed Sadiq from levelling the scores. Minutes later and it was 'Bridge who were celebrating as Dom Creamer rounded off an excellent move involving Milsom and Fireman to hit an unstoppable shot past Lightowler. This seemed to invigorate the visitors and 'Bridge were having difficulty clearing their lines and as the ball pinged back and forth Sadiq made a dart into the area looking to pick up a loose ball. What happened next was comical as the number 10 produced a dive that Olympic champion Jack Laugher would have been proud of. As a cluster of 'Bridge players politely invited Sadiq to get up, the referee pointed to the spot but justice was done as James Webster produced a fine save. It was now 'Bridge who had their tails up and an excellent corner from Joel Fireman found the head of Callum Rodgers, who powered home number three. On the 70 minute mark excellent work from Jake Fletcher and a neat ball into the area found Chris Simpson, who fired home from close range for the fourth giving Ekin the opportunity to introduce Phil Wix, Luke Fletcher and Joshua Mulandi to the fray especially as late tackles and off the ball incidents were becoming more prevalent. On 77 minutes Luke Fletcher produced the goal of the game picking the ball up from deep and evading several Howden Clough tackles before firing home from the edge of the area.

After the heavy cup defeat the previous week this was 'Bridge's seventh league win on the bounce taking them to second in the table and should be good preparation for their Whitworth Cup tie this coming Saturday at Kirkby Malzeard. There were plenty of positives for Manager Daz Ekin with five scored and none conceded but on this occasion it was another superb performance from the ubiquitous Mike Snowden that earned him the Man of the Match award.
Man of Match - Mike Snowden
29/12/18 - Wetherby Athletic 2-3 Boroughbridge AFC - League
'Bridge ended 2018 with a hard-earned victory over Wetherby Athletic but were made to fight all the way to claim the points. As well as being a local derby the game had a bit of added spice with several players having played for the opposite side in recent years giving bragging rights at the final whistle.

It was Wetherby who certainly settled the quicker into the game, sharper in the tackle and handling the difficult playing conditions much better than a tentative 'Bridge side and deservedly took the lead inside 10 minutes. A long ball was controlled by Chris Travena, his neat touch found Josh Wilson whose powerful shot gave James Webster no chance in the 'Bridge goal. This seemed to kick start the visitors who began to get a foothold in the game with ex-Wetherby duo Phil Milsom and Dom Creamer combining well down the left creating a half chance for Eddie Murau, but his shot was wide of the target. Wetherby then added a second on 18 minutes through Wilson who picked up a ball on the left, cut inside and fired a low shot that cannoned off Webster onto the post and into the net. 'Bridge did not let their heads drop and from a well worked corner Chris Simpson was able to reduce the arrears on the 20-minute mark with a turn and shot inside the area. Minutes later parity was restored as Luke Fletcher won a strong tackle inside the Athletic half and Joel Fireman picked up the loose ball to fire home from the edge of the area. The 'Bridge defence were now getting to grips with the threat of Toby Hardaker, Chris Travena and Josh Wilson with both Dave Millea and Chris Simpson looking more assured and Liam Glennon able to get forward and support John Rimmer on the right. 'Bridge had a late chance in the half when Jake Fletcher found Dom Creamer in the penalty area but this time as the latter tried to turn and shoot he lost his footing and the chance had gone.

Half time and with the scores level Daz Ekin was able to get his points across regarding work rate and cutting off the space to the Wetherby frontline. With his words ringing in their ears it was 'Bridge who started to take the game to the hosts but as shots rained in they found Darren Hooper in excellent form stopping everything they had to offer. Brian Blewitt also stood firm at the heart of the Athletic defence with the third goal proving to be illusive and as the tension increased, tempers started to fray keeping referee Joe Moss on his toes. Wetherby were starting to soak up the pressure and a long ball out of defence nearly proved costly with Webster reacting quickly to avert the danger. On the hour mark an Murau cross found Jake Fletcher who saw his header saved by Hooper and from the follow up Creamer's shot was inadvertently blocked on the line by John Rimmer.

With 20 minutes to go Ekin rang the changes with Matty Coles and Josh Mulandi being introduced. Milsom won a free-kick on the edge of the area, but again Hooper was equal to the resulting effort and as the clock ticked down the 'Bridge management seemed resigned to a share of the points. The team had given their all against a resolute Wetherby side but reaped their reward on 86 minutes as Creamer broke free down the left before being brought down on the edge of the area. Up stepped Murau and his flighted freekick was met by the head of Milsom and this time the effort was good enough to beat the outstretched arm of Hooper. Finally 'Bridge had broken the deadlock and Dan Clayton almost added a fourth, which would have been a travesty for the input from the hosts.

This was never going to be a classic with the strong wind and so much at stake for both teams and as the final whistle blew 'Bridge knew the value of the points to their season. Wetherby certainly put up a very strong case why they should/could stay in Division One with several players putting in excellent performances. As for 'Bridge their fitness and determined attitude just about got them over the line with some good displays on the day but, for his late winner and strong defending throughout, Phil Milsom earned the Man of the Match award.

Next up is Kippax at home on 5th January, with 'Bridge Reserves back in action as well as they take on Kippax Reserves away. Two very tough games to start 2019.
Man of Match - Phil Milsom
05/01/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 5-2 Kippax - League
On the first Saturday of the New Year 'Bridge entertained Kippax who came to Aldborough Road on the back of an impressive win over Otley Town. Daz Ekin was able to welcome back several members of his squad and with conditions almost perfect the scene was set for an entertaining afternoon of football, and both teams did not disappoint. Kippax certainly settled early in the game and on three minutes a shot just fizzed past the post with the 'Bridge defence caught napping. Ekin had stressed in the pre-match talk the importance of starting the game in a positive manner and this nearly paid off when a good move down the left found Dom Creamer in space. His far post cross beat the Kippax defence but there was no 'Bridge player to apply the final touch. On the 17-minute mark it was Kippax who took the lead. A hopeful ball into the area took a wicked bounce leaving Phil Milsom stranded. In nipped Joe Thorpe and placed the ball into the far corner giving James Webster no chance. This certainly sparked life into the 'Bridge ranks. Jake Fletcher was proving to be a real handful up-front and a neat lay off to Michael Snowden saw the midfielder's shot blocked. Joel Fireman had a long-range effort saved and from a resulting corner the Kippax 'keeper made two excellent saves to deny 'Bridge an equaliser. The visitors were also having a say in the game and both Tom Charles and Josh Morley were playing some neat football in the midfield. Finally, after a period of sustained pressure 'Bridge were back on level terms. This time Chris Simpson collected the ball on the edge of the area. He turned and fired a low shot into the far corner on 35 minutes. Minutes later and the hosts had taken the lead. From a corner Phil Milsom fired a low shot that was excellently saved by the 'keeper before the follow-up was parried. Thankfully the ball spun out to Eddie Marau, who bundled the ball into the net on 40 minutes. Virtually straight from the kick off Kippax could have been level. As the 'Bridge defence appealed for offside Brad Hoyle carried on and James Webster was quick off his line to block his shot. Just before half-time 'Bridge made it three with a neat header from Jake Fletcher following good work from Fireman and Creamer.

Half time and the team could reflect on a decent performance. Kippax were certainly still very much in the game though and they would make sure the next 45 minutes were going to be a real battle. Game management was the message from Ekin and not to sit back and invite pressure on. The message certainly got through to the players as Bridge made in four within two minutes of the re-start. Picking up the ball in his own half Phil Milsom played a couple of 'one-twos' with Creamer. A neat pull back from the former and the latter finished off an excellent move. Callum Rodgers and Dave Millea were looking solid at the back and dealing well with the Kippax frontline. At the other end Harry Bradley, in the Kippax goal was making save after save to keep 'Bridge at bay, the pick of the bunch from a Simpson header when everyone in the ground thought a goal was a certainty. Ekin started to ring the changes with Liam Glennon leaving the field with cramp to be replaced by Luke Fletcher. To their credit Kippax continued to press forward and again went close as a far post cross was turned just wide of the post. On 65 minutes John Rimmer and Phil Wix were introduced. Both were quickly into the action with Phil Wix seeing a long-range effort just going over the bar. John Rimmer also went close with the visiting 'keeper denying with a save at his feet. On 80 minutes Kippax ensured that 'Bridge were not going to have an easy last few minutes as a fine move was finished with a well worked goal. However, 'Bridge stood firm, weathered the storm and came back strongly themselves. Simpson again went close and Eddie Murau was unlucky after he was held back as he looked to be through on goal. With the clock ticking down Marau picked up the ball on the right, cut inside his marker and his arrow-like shot nestled in the back of the net. Full time and a well earned five two victory. This result keeps 'Bridge in the mix as they look to get back into the Premier League. Credit must go to Kippax though who were a tough nut to crack. They have the physical presence to trouble all teams in this division coupled with the ability to play neat football with a powerful front line and in Harry Bradley they had a 'keeper who was in superb form.

The Man of the Match for the hosts went to Dom Creamer for his tireless work for the team and a superb strike for the fourth goal. Next up for 'Bridge is a trip to Pool which is never an easy fixture. Ekin will be hoping that his team continue with the good run they are enjoying as they look to be in the shake-up come the end of the season.
Man of Match - Dom Creamer
12/01/19 - Pool AFC 2-3 Boroughbridge AFC - League
'Bridge maintained their winning start to 2019 but were pushed all the way by a well organised Pool outfit. On a blustery afternoon conditions this was never going to be a classic and Daz Ekin would be a happy man to leave with three points. Pool certainly looked up for the fight and James Webster had to be alert, making a smart save after good work from the dangerous Jamie Algar. However, it was 'Bridge who were able to strike the first blow as Eddie Murau neat finish put the visitors in front on the 15-minute mark. Although the visitors had the wind in their favour, the strength of it made passing very difficult and more often that not well intended balls ended up out of play. When Pool did look threatening, the 'Bridge defence stood firm with Callum Rodgers and Dave Millea in dominant form giving Liam Glennon and Phil Milsom opportunity to make inroads down the flanks. Phil Wix set up a chance late in the half for Jake Fletcher but his header went agonisingly wide, Chris Simpson was unlucky to be flagged offside when through on goal and on the stroke of half time Joel Fireman's corner was almost turned in by Luke Fletcher.

Within five minutes of the restart 'Bridge thought they had doubled their lead when a powerful shot from Chris Simpson was well saved by Andy Doey and the loose ball was forced into the roof of the net by Jake Fletcher. However, after much confusion the referee awarded a free-kick to Pool for a raised foot and from potentially two goals up 'Bridge found themselves level. This time a long kick from Doey cleared the 'Bridge defence and in darted Jamie Algar to fire a low shot into the net. Pool were very much back in the game and again Webster pulled off another good save to keep the scores level. Tempers started to flare as tackles reigned in from both sides and with the game finely balanced Wix charged down a misplaced pass from Doey to keep his cool and run the ball into the net to the delight of the 'Bridge support. Ekin made changes to try and see the game out with both Joshua Mulandi and Michael Snowden being introduced and with 15 minutes left this looked justified as neat play down the left from Phil Milsom and Eddie Murau resulted in a penalty when Milson was tripped. Up stepped Chris Simpson and his cool finish from the spot looked the settle the nerves and ensure his side victory. Pool though had other ideas and pressed forward looking for a goal to get them back into the game. A long-range free kick went close and James Webster made another fine save to keep them at bay and 'Bridge were being forced onto the backfoot. A well-timed Wix tackle stopped a promising move and Callum Rodgers blocked a powerful shot on the near post and with the clock ticking down Pool were handed a lifeline after a well worked free-kick was bundled over the line by Joshua Wagstaff. 'Bridge though were able to see out the last few minutes with high fives all-round as the final whistle sounded as they knew they had been in a battle.

Far from a classic with the wind causing problems for both sides. Pool played some neat football and looked well organised at the back. Upfront Jamie Algar worked non-stop, keeping the 'Bridge backline on their toes throughout the game. Next up is Oxenhope and this again will be a very tough encounter. All the 'Bridge players put in a real shift in testing conditions, non-more so than James Webster. These conditions can cause nightmares for keepers, but the stopper was excellent with vital saves and very good handling throughout earning him the Man of the Match.
Man of Match - James Webster
26/01/19 - Leeds Modernians 0-8 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Daz Ekin was able to welcome back several players as 'Bridge put last week's defeat behind them to overcome Leeds Modernians and put themselves back into the promotion shake up. His stringent message of cutting out basic mistakes and concentration from the start certainly paid off as they found themselves a goal up in the second minute. Alex Hay in the Mods goal could only parry a well taken Dan Clayton free kick with Phil Milsom first to react and minutes later a corner was only half cleared and Milsom's well struck drive proved too good for the 'keeper.

Despite the setbacks Mods were determined to play their football the Manager's way adopting a patient build from the back approach which almost led to a third goal as Dom Creamer intercepted a pass from the 'keeper only to see his shot fly just past the post and had another escape as the 'keeper made a fine save to a Clayton effort. Chances continued to be created with Phil Wix unlucky with a shot from the edge of the area and Jake Fletcher seeing his header to a Joel Fireman corner fly over the bar. At the other end Mods threatened with a couple of set pieces of their own and a well worked free-kick almost provided a goal late in the half but it was Fletcher who struck next capitalising on a defensive mix up for a simple tap-in.

Positive words of encouragement from Ekin and more of the same in the second half quickly turned into number four as Luke Fletcher broke up play in midfield to find Chris Simpson who set Milsom on his way and he picked out Jake Fletcher to finish with aplomb. This was an excellent team goal which soon became five as Clayton set up Milsom to power home for his hat-trick on the hour mark. Dom Creamer, who was proving a real handful down the right, was next to find himself on the scoresheet taking a pass from Fireman to cut inside his marker and fire a low shot into the bottom corner. To their credit Mods continued to play their neat passing game and Jack Sewell might have had a couple of goals on another day with his first effort well saved by James Webster before a shot from the edge of the area went narrowly over the bar. Josh Mulandi had now been introduced with his all action style and clever build up play saw another chance go begging, but minutes later the hard working Simpson got himself on the score sheet with a typical deft finish and with minutes left Jake Fletcher rounded off his day with his third as he tapped home a Chris Simpson header.

This was a very good team performance with every member of the squad putting in a real shift and with competition for the promotion places hotting up it was vital that 'Bridge returned to winning ways. Although the scoreline might say otherwise, this game remained competitive to the final whistle and with this attitude Mods will certainly prove hard to beat in the closing stages of the season. As for 'Bridge some strong words before the game paid dividends and now it is up to the players to put another run together. Plenty of contenders for the Man of the Match award as all the 'Bridge players played their part in the victory. However, it was Phil Milsom who edged the accolade with a strong all-round display capped off with three goals. Next up is Otley Town, kick-off 2.30pm, at Aldborough Road in what will no doubt prove to be another tough encounter.
Man of Match - Phil Milsom
16/02/19 - Kirkby Malzeard 1-1 Boroughbridge AFC - Whitworth Cup
'Bridge win 4-3 on penalties
'Bridge made it through to the Whitworth Cup Final but it was far from easy as Kirby Malzeard pushed them all the way, with the tie finally being settled by the dreaded penalty shoot-out. The game was played in bright, sunny conditions, spoilt only by the blustery wind which certainly seemed to affect both sets of players. 'Bridge were unlucky not to take the lead within a minute as Jake Fletcher's shot cannoned back off the bar. Minutes later Dan Brown made one of several excellent saves in the game this time to deny Chris Simpson. A low cross from Phil Wix evaded everyone with the ball just missing the bottom corner of the net. Malzeard were happy to soak up the pressure and try hit 'Bridge on the break and both Michael Snowden and Callum Rodgers were called into action to clear as the hosts looked for that all important goal. As half-time approached the visitors thought they had made the breakthrough, only for Chris Simpson's close range effort to spin clear from inside the post.

Half-time and in truth on chances alone 'Bridge could have been two or three goals to the good, but chances must be taken and the longer the score remained at nil nil the hosts were very much still in the game. 'Bridge finally made the breakthrough as Simpson reacted quickest to place the ball into the back of the net from close range and minutes later the 'Bridge number nine could have doubled the lead. It needed a last-ditch tackle to deny Simpson as he looked to pull the trigger. As is often the way in football, rather than being two nil up you find yourself level and that is exactly what happened. This time a good move down the left and a neat pull back found the Malzeard forward unmarked at back post and he happily tapped in to level the score. Changes were made as Daz Ekin introduced Matty Forster, Liam Glennon and Dave Millea to freshen up some tiring legs. The game was becoming stretched as both sides went for the elusive winner and 'Bridge were left frustrated by the final ball and the excellent Dan Brown who pulled off a superb save to deny Joel Fireman. At the other end James Webster had to be alert to make a good block to deny the hosts. The final whistle blew and with the score at one all it was to be a penalty shoot-out to see who took their place in the Whitworth Cup Final. 'Bridge converted their first three and as then Malzeard had a penalty well saved by James Webster the pressure was on Dom Creamer, but his penalty was equally well saved. Phil Wix then placed his penalty neatly into the corner and the pressure was back on the Malzeard player to take the shoot-out to sudden death, but to the relief of the 'Bridge contingent he fired wide.

The win takes Ekin and his team to another Whitworth Cup Final where they will meet Knaresborough Town. The game was certainly not a classic, but in terms of excitement it kept everyone biting their fingernails right until the very last penalty had been taken. Credit must go to Kirby Malzeard for their dogged resilience, especially after going one nil down. We hope they now have a successful run-in in their League. As for 'Bridge they know that they must be more ruthless in-front of goal after a whole host of chances had gone begging, especially in the early stages of the game.
23/02/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 3-1 Pool AFC - League
'Bridge produced an improved second half performance to ensure all three points stayed at Aldborough Road, but they were made to work very hard for their victory as Pool proved to be very tough opponents. After a hard-fought Whitworth Cup Semi-Final win over Kirkby Malzeard, Daz Ekin had stressed to his team prior to kick off that they must be more ruthless in-front of goal. Chances will be created, but it was all about making the most of them. The game was barely five minutes old when Joel Fireman found Phil Wix in space down the right. The forward ran towards goal and let a shot go just inside the area that looked destined for the top right corner, only for Andrew Doey to make a fine save. At the other end the 'Bridge defensive line looked solid with Pool's attack being blunted with some strong defending. It was to be the hosts who took the lead in the 18th minute as this time a neat pass from John Rimmer was finished by Jake Fletcher. The goal seemed to spark Pool into life and Emmanuel Musat was starting to cause problems for the 'Bridge midfield with his neat footwork. When the ball was eventually played forward Michael Snowden and Callum Rodgers were equal to the task. Then just on the half hour mark Pool were level. This time a long ball was not dealt with and as the ball bounced between Luke Fletcher and Snowden, the Pool forward was quickest to react giving James Webster no chance with his close-range shot. Minutes later and 'Bridge could have been back in front, this time Chris Simpson got goal side of Josh Waite, but his low shot went agonizingly past the far post. A clash of heads brought a period of stoppage and as both players made it to their feet the referee decided that was enough for the first half and the players left the field level at one all.

While 'Bridge may have been disappointed not to be in front, as Ekin had said to his team prior to kick off, this was never going to be an easy game and patience was to be key in the second half. Pool's defending had been excellent and Doey in the visiting goal was having another impressive display.

The second half was only minutes old and Pool very nearly took the lead, this time a long ball over the top seemed to confuse everyone with the ball just clipping the post and going thankfully for a goal-kick. 'Bridge had now settled into their stride and Dan Clayton was staring to impose himself in the game. His ball to Dom Creamer gave the 'Bridge number eleven some space and as the striker went past his marker his ball into the box was turned in by Chris Simpson to give the hosts the lead. Minutes later and another excellent cross by Dom was almost converted by Jake Fletcher. 'Bridge were now in the ascendancy and John Rimmer was unlucky to see his shot spoon over the bar after a late run into the penalty box. Rodgers was also unlucky after he danced past the Pool defenders only for his low shot to well saved by Doey. With twenty minutes to go Ekin rang the changes with Ben Mudd and Steve Coles being introduced as Wix and Rimmer made way. Pool went looking for the equaliser and Webster produced some excellent handling as Pool fired long balls into the area after pushing Josh Waite forward. 'Bridge were soaking up the pressure and looking to hit Pool on the counter. Creamer thought he had made it three as his shot beat the 'keeper but fortunately for Pool a defender made a last gasp clearance right on the line. With the clock ticking down it was Jake Fletcher who made the points secure. This time a cross-field ball from Ben Mudd found the 'Bridge number ten. His powerful run into the penalty box drew the 'keeper off his line and Fletcher placed the ball into the net from a tight angle. Celebrations all round as this gave 'Bridge the two-goal cushion they were looking for. The final 10 minutes saw Pool push an extra man forward, but again the 'Bridge defence were equal to the task. The final whistle sparked controversy as tempers got a little frayed. Words were exchanged between the Pool 'keeper and referee, with the referee showing a straight red. A shame as the game had been hard fought but played with a very good spirit from both sets of players.

This was very much a must win game and with just nine games to go the points keep 'Bridge in the promotion mix. The Management have stressed that these nine games will all be battles and nothing is guaranteed. Pool made life very difficult in both the League games and if they perform as they did today a win will not be long coming. As for 'Bridge a series of solid displays, with Fletcher's brace earning him the Man of the Match award. Some real positives to take from the second half display, with two very well taken goals and chances created, while at the back Webster and his defence withstood the Pool onslaught to take all three points. Up next is a trip to promotion rivals Newsome and another stiff test will be instore for Ekin's side.
Man of Match - Jake Fletcher
02/03/19 - Newsome 1-2 Boroughbridge AFC - League
'Bridge made the long trip to Newsome and came away with all three points as they looked to keep the pressure on their promotion rivals. This was the first of four tough away games in March and today's side proved a very tough and resilient outfit over the ninety minutes With the teams sitting third and fourth and kicking up the slope, Newsome made their intent known by quickly denying 'Bridge space and time on the ball. All too often passes were rushed as Newsome snapped into the tackles. As the half wore on Dan Clayton began to find his passing range. On fifteen minutes a ball to Eddie Murau found the Bridge number eleven in space, however his cross was blocked and the danger cleared. A neat pass from Phil Wix found John Rimmer in space, this time Rimmer looked to pick out Jake Fletcher but the cross was cleared by Karl Gledhill, who was proving to be a difficult player to pass. Then just as 'Bridge were getting on top, Newsome struck to take the lead. A long hopeful ball from Gledhill caused confusion in the vistors' defensive ranks. George Sommerville was quickest to react as he nipped in-between Dave Millea and Callum Rodgers to place the ball past the outstretched hands of James Webster.

A goal behind on twenty minutes and Newsome's lead could have doubled minutes later. A quickly taken free kick by Gledhill saw Webster tip the ball over the bar to safety. Going a goal behind seemed to be the catalyst to spark 'Bridge back into life - Luke Fletcher was starting to win his midfield battles and Joel Fireman was starting to see much more of the ball. When Bridge did mount an attack, Ashley Whitaker was on hand to deny both Chris Simpson and Jake Fletcher. With the half drawing to a close Simpson struck to level the scores. This time the 'Bridge number nine fired home from close range after Newsome failed to deal with a Rimmer cross.

The goal certainly made the team-talk a little easier for Daz Ekin. This was always going to be a tough test against a very well organised side, so to go in level at half-time was a big positive and Ekin urged his team to be more committed and to look after the ball a little bit better in the second-half. Right from the start 'Bridge were on the front foot. A strong run from Murau earned the visitors an early corner and as the ball was cleared it fell the Rimmer. His well struck shot looked destined for the goal but it somehow struck Callum Rodgers and went agonizingly wide. Phil Wix was seeing more of the ball and a pass behind the Newsome defence found Jake Fletcher, as the 'Bridge number ten looked to close in on goal, Whitaker got down smartly to deny the forward. Newsome were still looking dangerous as they looked to hit 'Bridge on the break and Darius Matheson had a good chance with Webster having to be alert to clear the danger. As legs began to tire Liam Glennon was introduced for Rimmer. The game was now finely balanced as Newsome pressed forward.

Strong tackles from both Dave Millea and Rodgers were needed to deny chances on the 'Bridge goal, then with twenty minutes to go Ekin's side made the deceive breakthrough. A ball into the Newsome penalty box was not dealt with and as it bounced around the area Simpson was first to react to fire an unstoppable shot high into the Newsome net. From this point to full time the 'Bridge players were first to everything with Clayton looking strong both in defence and attack. Joel Fireman went close to making it three, but as the final whistle sounded it was relief all-round for the visiting contingent. Three hard earned points for Ekin's side and 'Bridge still in contention for one of the promotion spots having seen off a strong Newsome side, who were still in the game right until the end.

Conditions did not help in the game and this was never going to be a classic. It was more about the result than the performance and 'Bridge can be proud of the battling qualities they displayed. Newsome provided a tough test and will feel they still have a chance in the final promotion shake-up. As for 'Bridge they face another tough away trip next Saturday to Rothwell. Some good performances on the day with Simpson adding to his goal tally with two well taken goals, but Man of the Match went to Phil Wix for his all-action display.
Man of Match - Phil Wix
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