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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
23/03/19 - Featherstone Colliery 1-3 Boroughbridge AFC - League
After two consecutive Saturdays of inactivity due to cancellations because of the weather, 'Bridge made the trip down the A1 to face Featherstone Colliery in a game that was vital for both sides - ‘Bridge needing the points to keep pace with their promotion rivals and Featherstone to move away from any thoughts of relegation. On an almost perfect afternoon for football it was the visitors who started the brightest. Within the space of three minutes Phil Wix was set free down the right. He took a touch to steady himself before hitting a powerful shot that Ryan Smith in the Featherstone goal did well to save. Minutes later and 'Bridge found themselves in front. This time good work from Joel Fireman, who found Chris Simpson on hand to fire in from close range. Another good save was needed from Smith, this time to deny Dom Creamer and it was Creamer who was to play a part in 'Bridge's second of the afternoon. Set free on the left by Phil Milsom, Creamer picked the ball up and ran at his marker. His low cross was met by Simpson who made no mistake to make it two nil within 20 minutes. 'Bridge should have added a third minutes later but were denied by a combination of brave goalkeeping and a last-ditch clearance off the line - Callum Rodgers thought his goal bound header from a corner was in, only to be denied by more heroics from Ryan Smith. Featherstone were now creating far more in the game with Leake, Finch and Pearson all linking up well. The 'Bridge back-line was starting to be tested and strong tackles from Liam Glennon and Dave Millea were needed to clear several promising Featherstone moves. A long range shot from Colliery near the end of the half brought a good save from James Webster to deny the hosts. With half time approaching 'Bridge won a corner, cleared by the head of Joe Colley, but with the 'Bridge defence stretched Millea was forced into a last ditch tackled which caught the legs of Pearson. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Pearson made no mistake to put Featherstone right back in the game. Minutes later the whistle went and from a strong two nil position, 'Bridge exited the pitch knowing they had gifted their hosts a lifeline.

Daz Ekin's team-talk was simple: keep playing football and stand up to the physical threat that Colliery posed, and the result would come. However, it was the hosts who started the second half the brightest and put 'Bridge under pressure from the off. Luke Fletcher continued his impressive form and was everywhere at the heart of the battle winning important challenges and allowing the visitors to regain control, and they thought they had made it three on the hour mark. Good work from Milsom and Creamer found Simpson free. His low shot looked to be heading for the corner of the net where Jake Fletcher looked to make sure with a back-post tap in. Sadly for 'Bridge and Fletcher the home side's appeals were heard by the referee who ruled out the goal for offside. Steve Coles was introduced into the fray as the hard-working Fireman made way and within minutes 'Bridge had added a third goal and what a goal it was. This time Chris Simpson slipped his marker, turned and hit an unstoppable shot past the 'keeper. John Rimmer came on for Jake Fletcher who had worked tirelessly up-front. With Featherstone now throwing men forward in an attempt to get a goal back, 'Bridge were finding space down the flanks and Phil Wix went close as did Creamer. The visitors had a strong penalty appeal turned down as Simpson was sent to the ground by a Colliery tackle, whilst at the other end James Webster saved well when a mis-directed clearance from Phil Milsom looked to be heading goal-wards. As the clock ran down 'Bridge could have made better use of a couple of late free-kicks and corners, but it was cheering all round as the final whistle sounded and another extremely hard earned three points were heading back up the A1. This win keeps 'Bridge firmly in the promotion shake up, although there is still a lot of hard work to do before the team even begins to contemplate the possibility of a top three finish. This was very much a team performance and whilst Chris Simpson will rightly get all the headlines for a superb hat-trick other notable mentions go to Liam Glennon and Luke Fletcher. Ekin and his team were delighted with the result but know that next week will be another battle against promotion rivals Kirk Deighton Rangers. As for Featherstone they have in their ranks one of the best 'keepers in the West Yorkshire League in Ryan Smith. Added to that the physical threat and goals of Pearson, they will be surely too strong to be relegated and we wish them all the best for the remainder of the season.

Team: Webster, Glennon, Millea (captain), Rodgers, Milsom, Wix, Fireman, L Fletcher, Creamer, Simpson, J Fletcher

Subs: Coles for Fireman and Rimmer for J Fletcher
Man of Match - Chris Simpson
30/03/19 - Kirk Deighton Rangers 2-4 Boroughbridge AFC - League
On a sunny afternoon 'Bridge made the short trip to promotion rivals Kirk Deighton. This was Daz Ekin's side's third away trip in a row and the 'Bridge contingent that turned up to lend their support were hoping that they would see another victory on the road. However, standing in their way was a Kirk Deighton side who were full of confidence after an impressive win of their own against in form Kippax the previous week. This was a game that was to provide plenty of drama from start to finish as both sides put on a show that was a credit to the West Yorkshire League. Ekin had told his players to treat this as just another game and not to be drawn into all the various outcomes that a victory could bring. The game started brightly with both teams signalling their intent with good efforts on goal. Jonty Smith had to be alert, to deal with a Chris Simpson header and a shot from Jake Fletcher, while at the other end James Webster did well to deal with an in-swinging corner. As expected, there was plenty of midfield battles with referee Jason Payne being kept busy to ensure the game flowed as much as possible.

It was 'Bridge who took the lead in the 25th minute as a well taken throw in from Liam Glennon was flicked over the Deighton defence and lurking at the back post was Phil Milsom who headed home from close range. This seemed to kick the game into life and Smith did well to keep out a shot from Creamer to prevent 'Bridge from going two up. Deighton were always a danger and Danny Grannon was causing the 'Bridge defence all sorts of problems both with his physicality and his neat footwork. His strike partner Carter went close with a shot that was blocked by Callum Rodgers and as the half wore on you felt that it would be Deighton who would be the most likely to score. This they did and in some fashion. A Deighton attack was only half cleared, the ball fell to Joe Straker who hit a clinical strike from well outside the area. The powerful drive gave James Webster no chance and the hosts were level. Within minutes they were to take the lead and what a goal it was once again. A long clearance from Smith found Grannon, the number nine controlled the ball turned and hit a shot that looped over the 'Bridge defence and 'keeper. The visitors now had to re-group and try get a foothold back into the game. Luke Fletcher and Michael Snowden were starting to drive the 'Bridge midfield forward and both Simpson and Luke Fletcher were causing the Deighton defence problems only to find said defence resolute and giving precious little away. Then as half-time approached Creamer reacted quickest from a quickly take throw in. Controlling the ball, he placed a neat shot past the outstretched hand of Smith.

Half time and the game was finely balanced. Ekin told his team to keep their discipline and stick together. With this encouragement ringing in their ears it was 'Bridge who started the brightest. Dan Clayton played in Phil Milsom who went close with a dipping shot. When Deighton did launch an attack, they found Dave Millea and Rodgers equal to the task. Luke Fletcher saw a shot blocked and Creamer went close. At the end Barden and Carter linked up well with a well worked effort on goal. Then on 75 minutes 'Bridge thought they had been given a lifeline. Phil Milsom was adjudged to be fouled from a corner, up stepped Simpson but his penalty cannoned off the post to safety. 'Bridge could have let their heads drop at this point, but this was not the case. If anything, they raised their game and came back at Deighton still looking for that all important third goal. The introduction of Charlie Yates was keeping the 'Bridge defence on their toes as the pacey winger was looking to get balls into the box and Webster did well to punch one such cross to safety. With the game becoming stretched and players tiring, Ekin made a treble substitution to shake things up with twelve minutes left on the clock. The substitutions proved to be a masterstroke as John Rimmer danced past his marker before firing a low shot into the net from a tight angle on 86 minutes. As Kirk Deighton pushed forward looking for an equalizer they were undone as 'Bridge made it four on 90 minutes. This time a long ball evaded Dave McKay and Phil Milsom nipped in to nick the ball. As Smith charged out Milsom coolly lifted the ball over the 'keeper to make the points safe. As the final whistle sounded the players and management celebrated knowing that this was a vital win.

Looking back on the game it must be said that Deighton provided one of 'Bridge's toughest tests by far this season. They have quality all over the pitch and if they retain this squad, they will surely be in the promotion shake up next season. Played in the right manner both teams gave it their all but, on this occasion, it was 'Bridge who just shaded it. The victory was a 'real team performance'. The subs all showed excellent attitudes and delivered when it mattered. However, a Man of the Match must emerge from the game and Phil Milsom was given the award for his tireless running and two vital goals.

Team: Webster, Glennon, Millea, Rodgers, Clayton, Creamer, Snowden, L Fletcher, Milsom, Simpson, J Fletcher

Subs: Fireman, Wix and Rimmer for Glennon, Snowden and J Fletcher
Man of Match - Phil Milsom
06/04/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-2 Otley Town - League
After three tough away fixtures where 'Bridge were able to pick up maximum points, they returned to Aldborough Road knowing a single point would guarantee promotion to the West Yorkshire Premier Division. Standing in their way were a determined Otley Town side, who made sure they were not simply here to make like easy for the hosts. A large crowd gathered to watch a game that certainly had everything you wanted in terms of excitement with both sides eager to take home the points. On the selection front, Joel Fireman returned to the side that had beaten Kirk Deighton the previous week and it was 'Bridge who could have taken an early lead when Phil Milsom picked out Jake Fletcher in the visitors' penalty area. However, the 'Bridge striker's shot was blocked as Town defenders closed in and minutes later and it was 'Bridge who were breathing a sigh of relief as Kyle Jeffrey crashed a long range shot against the bar, which thankfully bounced to safety. The game was being played at a frenetic pace with both sides struggling to string several passes together and gain a foothold in the game. Joel Fireman had a long range shot on target and at the other end Kyle Jeffrey was proving to be a real handful for Dave Mille and Michael Snowden. The hosts finally got the breakthrough they were looking for on the twenty-minute mark. A well-taken free-kick from Dom Creamer was glanced in at the near post by Chris Simpson. From the restart Otley nearly found themselves on level terms as 'Bridge failed to clear their lines and a long-range shot went narrowly wide. Liam Glennon was causing problems for the Town defence with his strong runs down the right and a neat ball to the feet of Jake Fletcher found the 'Bridge player in space, but this time his shot was well saved by James Senior in the Otley goal. Then on the half hour mark the visitors won a corner, the ball bobbled around the six-yard box and with bodies trying to clear fell kindly to Robert Neesam, who made no mistake from close range.

Half time and Ekin pulled no punches in his assessment of the first half. Players needed to up their game and take responsibility. He reminded all his players that promotion was on the line here and that they still needed that all important point. 'Bridge started the half brightly with Luke Fletcher starting to impose himself in the middle of the park. Dan Clayton was finding his range with his passing but Otley were not going to make things easy for 'Bridge and all promising moves were thwarted by Richard Parry at the heart of their defence. With twenty five minutes left Ekin introduced the fresh legs of Phil Wix and John Rimmer as Fireman and Jake Fletcher made way. The game seemed to be heading for deadlock when Phil Milsom latched onto a pass from Dan Clayton. As the 'Bridge number eleven ran into the box he was sent crashing to the ground and the referee pointing straight to the spot. From the resulting penalty, up stepped Simpson who made no mistake from the spot. Minutes later and the 'Bridge bench were up in arms as the referee gave an offside with the same player clean through. Then as often happens the opposition struck. This time a long throw was only partially cleared and as the ball was played back into the area an Otley player went to ground and again the referee pointed to the spot. The Town captain made no mistake and the game was again level. Minutes later Webster came to 'Bridge's rescue saving at the feet of Jeffrey. With the last throw of the dice Duncan Terry was introduced and he certainly looked bright with his neat passing game. As the game wore on no-one was quite sure how it would end. Then a long ball found Simpson bearing down on goal and as the Otley 'keeper spread himself to block the shot, the 'Bridge number nine went for power and the ball flew agonisingly just over the bar. As the final whistle sounded there was a mixture of elation and dejection. The 'Bridge contingent were elated knowing a point secured promotion, but they also knew a win could have put real pressure on the other title contenders. Looking back on the game, a point was just about a fair result. Otley Town were a very well organised side, good on the ball with plenty of attacking options. At the back they defended well with both their centre half and 'keeper having excellent games.

Ekin will probably feel that his side was a little under par in its performance and will want a reaction for the visit of Hall Green United next Saturday. For the moment though 'Bridge can celebrate their return to the Premier Division for the first since the 2014/15 season.

Team: Webster, Glennon, Millea, Snowden, Clayton, Creamer, Fireman, J Fletcher, Milsom, Simpson, L Fletcher

Subs: Wix, Rimmer and Terry for Fireman, Fletcher and Millea
Man of Match - Liam Glennon
13/04/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 4-2 Hall Green United - League
High flying Hall Green United rolled into Boroughbridge on Saturday for a game that gave the supporters of both teams some memorable moments, but ultimately ended with 'Bridge coming away with all three points in a game that was an excellent advert for West Yorkshire League football. Daz Ekin had warned his team that an improvement in all areas was needed from the previous week's performance or 'Bridge would be severely punished by the free scoring United side. A decent crowd had gathered to watch the game and many were just making their way from the bar when Phil Milsom opened the scoring. Collecting the ball mid-way inside the Hall Green half, Milsom unleashed an unstoppable shot that flew past the 'keeper before he could even move.

'Bridge were one up within three minutes and this was just the start Ekin had demanded from his players. Hall Green dusted themselves down and started to play some decent football, with Clifton Firth at the centre of everything. A move down the right almost paid dividends for the visitors with Daniel Critchlow going close whilst at the other end both Phil Wix and John Rimmer were causing the Hall Green defence problems with their movement. A quick pass from Rimmer almost set Chris Simpson free, but he was adjudged to be offside. At the other end both Dave Millea and Luke Fletcher were enjoying a real battle against Hall Green's leading scorer Tom Fowler. Just before half time 'Bridge had a great chance to double their lead as a pass from Dan Clayton set Phil Milsom free, however this time the number eleven failed to get any power with his shot and the ball was cleared. Clayton then delivered another cross to the back post, but the Hall Green defence managed to scramble the ball away. Then with just seconds of the half remaining, Liam Glennon came to his side's rescue with an excellent tackle to deny an equalizer for the visitors.

Half time and the home contingent were in confident mood. However, Ekin reminded them that the job was only half done and a big 45 minutes was needed to make the points secure. His words were still ringing in the players ears as Chris Simpson latched onto a Phil Wix pass to steer the ball past the outstretched arms of Lee McGrath to double the lead. The hosts had their tales up and Dom Creamer provided a teasing cross to the far post that was just too high for Chris Simpson. When Hall Green did attack, Michael Snowden was snapping into tackles to break up play. Just on the hour mark James Webster did well to punch away a dangerous looking corner which served as a reminder that Hall Green were still very much in the game, but minutes later 'Bridge were in dream land as Phil Milsom made it three nil. Phil Wix was involved in a move down the left before Milsom took the pass and hit a powerful low drive giving the Hall Green 'keeper no chance. The visitors made changes as they looked to somehow get back into the game and these changes paid off after a move down the right saw a ball played into the path of Critchlow. The player took a touch and hit an unstoppable drive past James Webster. Hall Green took the initiative and looked to go forward again in search of the second goal, but 'Bridge tough had other ideas and Creamer slipped his marker before placing his shot into the far corner of the goal.

Four one to the hosts and it was now time for Ekin to ring the changes with Wix and Rimmer making way for Jake Fletcher and Duncan Terry. If 'Bridge thought they could sit back and see the game out, Hall Green had other ideas though. This time a corner was cleared by the 'Bridge defence and the danger seemed to be over only for the ball to fall to the feet of Kyle Schofield who hit a rocket-like shot that nestled into the goal before you could blink. Joel Fireman was introduced to settle the midfield and the 'Bridge defence stood firm to deny the visitors from adding a third. At the final whistle the 'Bridge players and management celebrated a vital win that keeps them in the top three places of the West Yorkshire League Division One, with promotion to the Premier Division already secured. Hall Green United again showed what a very good side they are and battled from the first minute till the last. Ekin had asked his team to raise their game from the Otley Town match and they did just that - Chris Simpson again led the line well and added to his impressive goal tally for the season but Man of the Match went to Phil Milsom who showed plenty of energy and notched two well taken goals.

Team: Webster, Glennon, Millea, L Fletcher, Clayton, Creamer, Rimmer, Wix, Milsom, Simpson, Snowden

Subs: J Fletcher, Terry and Fireman for Wix, Rimmer and Milsom
Man of Match - Phil Milsom
17/04/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-1 Aberford Albion - League
On a gloomy Wednesday evening another top-three side rolled into Aldborough Road and put up a superb fight before finally going down by the odd goal in three to set up an exciting end to the season. After Hall Green United on Saturday it was the turn of Aberford Albion to test the 'Bridge resilience and following the win over United Daz Ekin wanted to ensure that the same level or performance was shown by the players against an Albion side who have been excellent all season. The game took a while to get going with both sides struggling to put more than a couple passes together and time on the ball was also a premium as both sets of players snapped into the tackle. With both sides failing to make any real scoring opportunities it was no surprise that the first goal would come from a set play. 'Bridge won a corner, Callum Rodgers made a run to the back post and his powerful header was too good for Anthony Haywood in the Albion goal. Minutes later and the hosts had doubled their lead - this time Phil Milson played in John Rimmer his cross was met by a glancing header from Chris Simpson giving the 'keeper no chance. If 'Bridge thought Aberford would crumble they had a rude awakening as Dominic Blair went close with a well hit shot. A mix up in the home defence saw Jason Payne point to the spot, but relief was felt all round as James Webster was equal to the task making a fine save to his right, however, just minutes later Albion found themselves on the scoresheet. After sustained pressure they won a corner which was met by a towering Liam Parker header and the visitors were back in the game. On the stroke of half time the same player was booked for a foul on Phil Milson who looked to be on route to goal before being caught by the Aberford defender. The second half had the feel of a tactical chess match rather than a game of football, as players from both sides cancelled each other out. Both Luke Fletcher and Rodgers stood firm at the heart of the 'Bridge defence, as did Parker and Martin Rostron for Albion. With very little creativity and the light fading it looked like a mistake would prove costly for both sides and the game became a very scrappy affair. 'Bridge breathed a sigh of relief as an Albion long-range shot went just wide of the target and at the other end Phil Milsom just missed connecting with the target from close range. When Payne finally blew for full time it was the team in blue who were smiling after another hard-fought win against a top side in Aberford Albion who pushed the hosts every inch of the way. There was very little in this game and judging by the last two games against Hall Green United and Aberford there will some very keenly contested games in the West Yorkshire Premier Divsion next season.

Team: Webster, Glennon, L Fletcher, C Rodgers, Clayton, Snowden, Creamer, Wix, Rimmer, Milsom, Simpson
Man of Match - John Rimmer
20/04/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 5-2 Hartshead - League
On a day more suited to sunbathing than football, 'Bridge hosted a Hartshead side who would go on to make it a very tough afternoon for a home who were looking for their third victory in a row at Aldborough Road. As the sun beat down Daz Ekin made his team aware of the pitfalls of taking the game to lightly. While Hartshead did not have anything to play for in terms of promotion or relegation, they were on a decent run and a team capable of scoring goals for fun. This was also a team that inflicted a defeat on 'Bridge on the opening day of the season.

As expected, the pace of the game in the early stages was a little slow and the heat certainly had an impact. Chances were at a premium as the midfield area dominated the game. 'Bridge created the first chance of the game as Duncan Terry looked to play in Chris Simpson, but on this occasion the referee ruled for offside. At the other end a header from a corner crept just over the bar as the 'Bridge defence breathed a sigh of relief. Dan Clayton was finding his passing range and a far post cross was scrambled away with the 'keeper beaten. 'Bridge were now looking to take control with the game just passing the thirty-minute mark, however Hartshead capitalised on a defence mix up with Adam Hird converting from close range. This seemed to spark the hosts into action as they pressed for an equaliser. A long ball into the area from Phil Wix caused confusion and a miscue from the Hartshead 'keeper presented Simpson with a chance to level the score. Minutes later Bridge had their noses in front. This time Phil Milsom latched onto a Clayton pass to fire past the 'keeper.

'Bridge were now looking the more dominant team with Liam Glennon and Clayton both putting in solid displays from the full-back position. Dave Millea and Callum Rodgers were looking strong at the back and you felt it was only a matter of time before the score was added to. Hartshead had other ideas though and could have equalised on the stroke of half time when a long-range shot was almost deflected past Alistair Hogg. With players taking on as much water as possible Ekin made the point that game management was key, especially with 'Bridge being ahead in the game. Keep possession and not rush set plays were the watchwords as the second half kicked off. Within three minutes that game plan had disappeared as Hartshead found themselves on level terms. This time Nathan Foster held off his marker and fired a low shot past Hogg in the home goal. Not the start to the half that Ekin had demanded and he certainly let the players know his feelings. Thankfully his words of wisdom paid dividends as Milsom fired in 'Bridge's third from a tight angle. Minutes later and Joel Fireman tested the Hartshead 'keeper with a fierce shot from the edge of the area. John Rimmer and Phil Wix were seeing plenty of the ball now and 'Bridge made this pressure pay as Milsom played in Simpson to make it four.

With the heat playing a major part in the proceedings Ekin made changes to freshen the team up. Duncan Terry who had put in an excellent shift was replaced along with the hardworking Rimmer. 'Bridge finally put the game to bed as Simpson fired in for an excellent hat-trick. Milsom made way for the final substitution of the day as the hosts went on to record a hard fought five two victory. With the weather sapping the players energy levels Ekin was grateful to have such a strong bench as Ben Mudd, Matty Coles and Matty Forster kept the pressure on Hartshead from the minute they entered the pitch to the final whistle. The visitors certainly played their part in an entertaining game and it would be no surprise to see them challenging for promotion come the end of next season.

Team: Hogg, Glennon, Millea, Rodgers, Clayton, Fireman, Wix, Rimmer, Terry, Milsom, Simpson

Subs: Forster, M Coles and Mudd for Terry, Rimmer and Milsom
Man of Match - Chris Simpson
27/04/19 - Rothwell 0-3 Boroughbridge AFC - League
Daz Ekin took his side down the A1 to Rothwell, for a game that could determine the destination of the West Yorkshire League Division One title. With two games to go a win at Rothwell would see the title head north with one game remaining. Lose the game and it could go down to the final day of the season away at East End Park.

Playing into the wind in the first half the game plan was set out right from the start. Rothwell were looking to hit the long ball to put the 'Bridge defence under pressure, while the visitors looked to sit back, soak up the pressure and hit their hosts on the break. With Dom Creamer back in the side this proved to be a useful tactic with his pace proving to be a handful for the Rothwell full-backs. While the home side looked to be playing the better football, it was Ekin's men who were creating the better chances. Phil Wix was unlucky to see a shot blocked and Jake Fletcher was proving to be a real handful leading the line. 'Bridge had several corners in the opening period without having any real success, before on twenty minutes the deadlock was broken. This time a near post corner was fired in by Joel Fireman and Dom Creamer was first to react and place the ball past Lee Briggs in the Rothwell goal.

Straight from the restart Rothwell were unlucky not to be on level terms as a long-range effort flew just wide of Alastair Hogg in the 'Bridge goal. Ben Andrew was causing problems with his movement up-front and Dave Millea and Luke Fletcher were having to be alert to the Rothwell number nine. As the thirty-minute mark approached the hosts were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous area, but thankfully George Walker's effort went just over the bar. As the half wore on the 'Bridge full-backs of Liam Glennon and Dan Clayton were making inroads down the flanks. A neat pass from the latter found Jake Fletcher with his back to goal and the 'Bridge number nine turned and went past a couple of Rothwell defenders before firing a shot over the outstretched arms of Briggs. The visitors found themselves two goals to the good with ten minutes to the break, a scoreline they were able to hold onto until half time.

'Bridge were now forty-five minutes away from the title, but Ekin was making sure his team were not getting carried away. Rothwell had looked dangerous on the break and a quick goal would see them very much back in the game. The manager stressed the need for good game management and to be ruthless if chances arose. With the strong wind behind them, it proved more difficult than expected to take control of the game. A powerful run by John Rimmer provided the 'Bridge player with a shooting opportunity, but this was bravely blocked by Tom Greaves. Michael Snowden was starting to dominate in midfield, and he was unlucky with a shot after good work from Fireman had set him free near the Rothwell area. The longer the game went on the more you felt that 'Bridge needed a third to put the game to bed. The hosts were sensing that a goal was coming for them and watched in disbelief as a curling shot from the left somehow evaded everyone before thankfully going out for a goal kick. As legs tired Ekin rang the changes with Phil Wix, Joel Fireman and John Rimmer making way for Duncan Terry, Matty Coles and Ben Mudd and it was one of the substitutes who nearly settled the game as Terry smashed a rocket like shot onto the cross-bar with the keeper well beaten.

With the clocked ticking down the 'Bridge contingent were getting ready to celebrate the title, and with a minute to go Jake Fletcher made absolutely certain with a powerful shot from the edge of the box. As the final whistle sounded 'Bridge players, management and supporters celebrated as one. The ritle was heading back to Aldborough Road for a night of celebrations. The press were on hand to take the photos of the title winning team with a classic picture of Manager being thrown into the air by the jubilant players. The three nil scoreline did not tell the full story, as Rothwell had put their visitors under pressure for long periods of the game. The 'Bridge defence stood firm despite the pressure and veteran 'keeper Alastair Hogg put on a master class in handling the ball in very testing conditions. As food and drinks were enjoyed in the Rothwell clubhouse it was clear to see how much the title meant to both players and management alike. After a difficult start to the season, it seemed impossible at the time that 'Bridge would be celebrating promotion let alone a title winning one. Ekin will be demanding that the high standards he sets do not drop with two vital games remaining, as his side finish the season with a trip to East End Park, followed by the Whitworth Cup Final against Knaresborough Town. Man of the Match was closely fought with Jake Fletcher scoring two vital goals, but it was the non-stop running of Michael Snowden in midfield that just edged it on this occasion.

Team: Hogg, Glennon, Millea, L Fletcher, D Clayton, Creamer, Rimmer, Wix, Fireman, Snowden, J Fletcher

Subs: Terry, M Coles and Mudd for Wix, Fireman and Rimmer
Man of Match - Michael Snowden
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