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Boroughbridge AFC Match Reports 19/20
August to December
10/08/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 4-0 Leeds City - League
Over the summer there has been work carried out on the pitch, a tough pre-season schedule and lots and lots of fitness work. On Saturday all that hard work came together as ‘Bridge played out a four nil victory against a good Leeds City side. Pre-match Daz Ekin was faced with the usual headaches that accompany games at the start of the season: holidays, honeymoons and being away on flood patrol were some of the reason for various absentees. Nevertheless, it was a strong ‘Bridge side that took to the field for the opening game of the campaign. The early signs were promising, and the hosts almost took the lead in the 10th minute as Jake Fletcher went close from a Phil Milsom cross. Minutes later and Michael Snowden almost concerted from a Lewis Pye corner. After 20 minutes of pressure from the hosts it was the visitors who came closest to taking the lead. A well worked free kick was scrambled away just as Leeds City were about to celebrate a goal. ‘Bridge looked to carry the attacking threat to City and a Phil Milsom header was well saved by the visiting ‘keeper. Minutes later it was the ‘Bridge faithful who were celebrating. A move down the right was started by Joe Chisholm, moving the ball to Freddie Jackson his flick found Milsom, who hit a low shot into the bottom corner. The goal certainly settled ‘Bridge, but City continued to look dangerous from set pieces and Liam Corbet made a good save from close range to deny City. On the half hour mark ‘Bridge doubled their lead. This time Jake Fletcher powered into the area, as he stumbled the ball broke to Milsom who fired into the net from a tight angle.

Ekin made very clear at the interval that the job was only half done. City looked dangerous from set plays and also had some good footballers in their ranks, so everyone had to be mindful that an early goal would put them right back in the contest. When the visitors did mount an attack, they found the ‘Bridge defence of Chisholm, Millea, Herron and Wix in commanding form and more often that not shots were blocked and cleared without too much danger. Then on 55 minutes ‘Bridge claimed their third, this time Jake Fletcher supplied the finish after a good build up involving Simpson and Milsom. With games coming thick and fast over the first few weeks of the season, Ekin looked to make changes and Luke Fletcher, Matty and Steve Coles were introduced to the fray with Millea, Chisholm and Jake Fletcher making way. The instructions from the bench were clear: keep a clean sheet. This saw Snowden breaking up play and making sure City were not able to mount one final push. As the game drew to a close and with torrential rain battering the Aldborough Road ground, Chris Simpson made the points absolutely save with a trademark finish on 86 minutes. So, as the referee brought the game to a close a drenched but happy crowd made their way to the bar to celebrate a winning return to the Premier Division.

Reflecting after the game Ekin was pleased that everyone came through the game unscathed. Four goals and a clean sheet to boot was just the start that ‘Bridge needed and will provide the team with confidence moving onto the next game. The gaffer was also pleased with the work rate and fitness levels shown in very testing conditions. This certainly vindicated all the hard work in training that the squad put in.

Several players were in the running for the day’s Man of the Match award. Jack Herron had a solid display and centre half Freddie Jackson covered every blade of grass on his debut. However, it was the Blonde Rivaldo who took the honours. Two goals and an assist were just the start Ekin was demanding from Phil Milsom and the number eleven did not disappoint.

Team: Corbett, Chisholm, Herron, Millea, Wix, Snowden, Jackson, Pye, Simpson, Milsom and Fletcher.
Subs: L Fletcher, M Coles and S Coles for Chisholm, Millea and J Fletcher.
Man of Match - Phil Milsom
17/08/19 - Hunslet Club 2-1 Boroughbridge AFC - League
After a frustrating start to the season where 'Bridge have seen a game chalked off due to a team pulling out of the league after just two games (Leeds City) and a postponed fixture against Knaresborough Town, a game finally got underway at Hunslet. With conditions just about perfect 'Bridge got the chance to officially sample life in the West Yorkshire Premier Division. They left Hunslet with a hard lesson learned: in this division, if you don't take your chances you will be punished. With several key members still missing from the squad 'Bridge were able to hand a debut to Nick Cressey, recently signed from North Riding Premier Division side Thirsk Falcons. In the early exchanges both teams had half-chances with Dom Creamer and Chris Simpson making the Hunslet 'keeper work to keep shots at bay. At the other end the centre-half partnership of Jack Herron and Jonty Maullin were keeping the Hunslet forwards in check. The game burst into life on the half hour mark: first Liam Corbet made a good save in the 'Bridge goal and then Kieran Corley fired wide of the post with the visiting backline frantically appealing for offside. On 40 minutes Chris Simpson went close with a header as did Jonty Maullin from a corner kick.

As the second half got underway with 'Bridge mourning the missed chances, as so often happens it's the opposition who capitalise and that is exactly what Hunslet did. A corner was not cleared and when Ryan Grant swung a boot at it there were a series of deflections before the ball nestled beyond the reach of Corbett into the net. 'Bridge responded well and Milsom got the visitors back into the game after being felled in the area by Dave Pickering. Up stepped Chris Simpson who made sure from the spot. As the game wore on changes were made with Jake Fletcher and Mark Burniston being introduced for Phil Wix and Nicholas Cressey and the visitors nearly took the lead with Dom Creamer shot from just inside the area. Then the killer blow, a poor clearance fell at the feet of substitute Danny Walker and his low shot beat the outstretched hands of Corbett in the 'Bridge goal. More half chances came and went. Hunslet defended for their lives and a last minute freekick sailed just over the bar. Last season 'Bridge would have conceded two goals and probably still gone on to win, but against a strong, determined Hunslet side they did not get that luxury and left south Leeds just thinking of what might have been.
Man of Match - Jack Herron
21/08/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 4-0 Sherburn White Rose - League
With a good training session on Monday night under their belts, 'Bridge took to the field on the Wednesday evening hoping to put Saturday's disappointment behind them. They were able to welcome back Callum Rodgers and Liam Glennon to the squad and it was an expectant crowd that descended on Aldborough Road hoping to see a turnaround in fortunes. After a relatively quiet opening, with both teams cancelling each other out, it was 'Bridge who suddenly burst into life. A strong run from Dom Creamer brought the first of many stunning saves from Lee Kelsey in the Sherburn goal. The 'keeper was on hand again to deny Chris Simpson after good work from Milsom with a neat pass to the Bridge number nine. Lewis Pye was starting to dictate the game from his number ten role and another neat passing move saw the ball deflected for a corner. From the resulting corner Jonty Maullin thought he had scored as the ball cannoned of the bar and it then looked like a defender had turned the ball over the line before Simpson made absolutely sure. With the back line of Freddie Jackson, Jack Herron, Jonty Maullin and Cal Rodgers nullifying all Sherburn's attacks, you felt that 'Bridge must capitalize on this to settle the nerves. Phil Milsom went close with a header then on the 35 minute mark the hosts extended their lead. Michael Snowden won the ball in the middle of the park, fed Creamer who found Simpson five yards out and he made no mistake.

If 'Bridge thought the second half was going to be an easy ride, they were soon in for a shock. Whatever the Sherburn Management said at half-time fired up their side as they looked for an early goal to get back into the game. Liam Corbett pulled of an excellent save to deny Joseph Fella and then a shot from Arran Hodgson hit the post. Tempers were starting to get a little frayed and the hard-working Nick Cressey found himself in the referee's book for an altercation with a Sherburn player. After soaking up the pressure 'Bridge could have been three nil up after a lovely move instigated by Dom Creamer evaded the Sherburn backline, only for the onrushing Phil Milsom to be unable to keep his shot down leaving the game in the balance. With 20 minutes to go 'Bridge made changes as Callum Rodgers, Lewis Pye and Nick Cressey made way for Phil Wix, Liam Glennon and Jake Fletcher. The Sherburn 'keeper made another good save to deny both Simpson and Fletcher, but the pressure told as Simpson hit a low drive from the edge of the area for the third. Phil Wix, who had been full of running when he came on, capped off the victory with the goal of the night as his long-range shot flew into the net. Phil Milsom, who ran his marker silly all night, was denied by the post at the end, but a four nil victory was well received as the referee called the game to a close.
Man of Match - Chris Simpson
28/08/19 - Whitkirk Wanderers 1-3 Boroughbridge AFC - League
‘Bridge made the trip to face a Whitkirk Wanderers side in confident mood on the back of a six two victory at the weekend. Daz Ekin was back in the dug-out to find his side also with a positive mood following a win against Sherburn White Rose the previous week and with the knowledge that previous trips to Whitkirk have not ended well.

Boroughbridge started brightly and Dom Creamer almost provided the early impetus with a shot that was eventually blocked on the line by a Whitkirk defender. This was never going to a game for the faint hearted and a midfield battle ensued with tackles flying in from all angles. Whitkirk welcomed back Oliver Maude and his intentions were clear from the off to dominate the opposition and both he and Adam Barlow were starting to make Whitkirk tick keeping Liam Corbett alert as he made a good save from Jason Kitchen. At the midway point both defences were on top with Liam Glennon, making his first full start of the season keeping the busy Mathew Waller in check, whilst Jack Herron, Callum Rodgers and Freddie Jackson were all producing solid displays. The referee was certainly having a busy evening as Whitkirk played right on the edge; however it was to be Jack Herron who picked up the first yellow card of the evening. As the half wore on ‘Bridge started to seize the initiative, with Lewis Pye starting to pull the strings and from a corner kick on the 40-minute mark Michael Snowden went close with a header. The breakthrough came on the stroke of half time when a Dom Creamer corner was met by Jonty Maullin and his powerful header gave Paul Diamond no chance.

The words from the Management at half time were simple, keep possession and our discipline and within a minute of the restart this message had worked perfectly. A Chris Simpson header found Creamer who left the full back in his wake and his low cross was met by Phil Milsom, only for ‘Bridge’s goal celebrations to be cut short by the assistant referee’s flag for what must have been a very close off-side. Minutes later and ‘Bridge were celebrating again but this time there was no flag as Creamer’s low cross was met by Milsom who powered the ball home from close range. Whitkirk needed to respond and Liam Corbett made two excellent saves from powerful shots from the edge of the area and Waller then got a clear run into the box from a long ball with his shot going narrowly wide. Just like against Sherburn, ‘Bridge soaked up the pressure and tried to play on the counter-attack, Chris Simpson went close with a low shot and Lewis Pye had a long-range effort. Then on the 70-minute mark ‘Bridge made it three through the Creamer/Milsom combination as Milsom tapped in from close range a Creamer pass for his second on the night. Legs started to tire as Whitkirk mounted attack after attack searching for a way back into the game. Jake Fletcher and Nick Cressey were introduced with Liam Glennon and Jack Herron making way and Fletcher had a chance but his shot from close range went just over the bar before Chris Simpson brought out a good save from Diamond as the minutes ticked away. Then on the 80 minute mark Whitkirk pulled a goal back as Scott Jones rose the highest from a corner to power a header past Corbett. Last ditch tackles by Callum Rodgers and Michael Snowden were needed to keep Whitkirk at bay as the hosts looked for a way back into the game, but Bridge remained resolute and were well worth their three one victory.

The Man of the Match proved to be a close affair and with every ‘Bridge player putting in a real shift it was a difficult one to pick. Rogers and Herron were excellent at the back, while the pace of Creamer and Milsom caused problems all night. However, Jonty Maullin covered literally every blade of grass on the Whitkirk pitch and that and his vital opening goal just edged him above several other contenders.

Team: L Corbett, L Glennon, F Jackson, M Snowden, J Herron, C Rodgers, D Creamer, J Maullin, L Pye, C Simpson and P Milsom
Subs: D Millea (Not used), J Fletcher, N Cressey
Man of Match - Jonty Maullin
31/08/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-1 Huddersfield Amateur - League
After their excellent win at Whitkirk and with Milsom and Simpson both absent ‘Bridge brought Nick Cressey and the returning Dan Clayton into their side for their home fixture against Huddersfield Amateurs.

Both sides started with attacking content with the visitors looking the threatening of the two as the used the width of the pitch to utilise their speedy wingers. They had an early opportunity when Sam Halstead fired over a Slater Barnes cross which ‘Bridge did not heed and on 11 minutes an unmarked Glynn Haley headed home another Barnes cross. The home side responded through the pace of Dom Creamer and Freddie Jackson who began to gain some inroads to the Amateurs back line but with the centre backs of Matthew Parker and Matt Eastwood backed by keeper Lee McGrath remaining cool under pressure restoring parity was not going to be easy. Amateurs nearly paid the price for their composure when Creamer nipped in to pinch the ball only for the keeper to recover quickly to tip away Jonty Maulin’s effort. This gave ‘Bridge the impetus they were looking for and McGrath clawed away a Dan Clayton free kick bound for the top corner before Mike Snowden headed home a Clayton corner to bring the sides level on 31 minutes. The incentive gained from the goal was quickly negated by an injury to the inform Creamer that forced the winger to leave the field with Phil Wix taking his place.

It was a cagey opening after the break by both teams with chances at a premium and any efforts on target were comfortable handled by the respective keepers Liam Corbett and Lee McGrath. Only 15 minutes into the second half however ‘Bridge were forced to make a second change with the struggling Clayton replaced by Steve Walker, Jackson taking over the left back spot and Maullin going into midfield leaving Lewis Pye to take on the wide role. The enforced shuffling of the pack began to pay dividends with Pye having more influence on the game as Nick Cressey was just wide from one of his crosses and minutes later he drifted in from the left before passing to Walker and his stunning drive nestled into the bottom corner giving McGrath no chance. This opened up the game a little more with Amateurs now pushing for the equaliser only to find the ‘Bridge back four and Corbett unyielding. One reflex save by Corbett was of particular note and another occasion, when a goal looked certain, Jack Herron managed to scramble the ball away to safety. It wasn’t all one way traffic and ‘Bridge had opportunities to put the game out of reach with Walker rattling the inside of the post and Maullin having his driving run thwarted by the excellent McGrath but they did enough to secure the three points.

This was typical of what ‘Bridge can expect in the Premier Division with all games highly competitive and, outside the top three of four, results will be decided by the odd defensive error or an exceptional strike with ‘Bridge today the benefactors of the latter. Every player again contributed to the victory and the importance of a strong bench was also emphasised as a must in this League. The voting for Man of the Match was shared amongst five players with Callum Rogers shading it by one for another complete defensive performance.

Team:- L Corbett, L Glennon, D Clayton, M Snowden, J Herron, C Rodgers, D Creamer, L Pye, J Maullin, N Cressey, F Jackson Subs:- P Wix, S Walker, D Millea
Man of Match - Callum Rogers
07/09/19 - Horbury Town 1-0 Boroughbridge AFC - League
’Bridge travelled to Horbury with two games in hand and only three points separating the two sides together with the knowledge that any result but a defeat would be a bonus. The loss of Mike Snowden, Liam Glennon and the injured Dom Creamer were exacerbated by the late withdrawal of Freddie Jackson but compensated by the return of Phil Milsom and Chris Simpson and teenagers Joe Chisolm and Jordan Atkinson making up the 14 man squad.

‘Bridge made a positive start with Jonty Maullin and Phil Wix bringing early saves from Tom Padgett who was forced into a further action on 8 minutes pushing a Lewis Pye effort for a corner after he had been set up by Phil Milsom and Maullin. A free kick given away on 14 minutes by Jack Herron nearly brought reward for the home side as Lamin Bojang’s effort rattled the ‘Bridge bar and as the game progressed the Bojang brothers began to have an effect on the outcome. On 22 minutes Corbett saved from Gibril and in the next eight minutes he denied both Gibril and Lamin before producing a brilliant save to thwart a 30 yard drive from Neil Samardzja. The play switched to the other end as Simpson turned sharply from a Wix throw only to shoot wide and on 40 minutes Milsom was flattened by the keeper when he was clean through but the Match Official did not agree with the ‘Bridge bench who were sure it was a penalty. This was made worse on the stroke of half time when Luke Playford played in Gibril Bojang who drifted by a couple of defenders and unleashed an unstoppable shot past the despairing Corbett.

The second half was a different affair with chances at a premium and arguably the best of these fell to Phil Milsom who just failed to get a foot on an excellent cross. ‘Bridge always had to be mindful of the Bojang trio who posed a constant threat and an integral part of a good football Horbury side likely to pose a threat to any side. Frustration in the ‘Bridge side began to show with Steve Walker was sin binned and Nick Cressey booked as they battled away but in the end they had concede defeat. The Man of the Match was another close affair with Callum Rogers just shading it from Liam Corbett.
Man of Match - Callum Rogers
05/10/19 - Boroughbridge AFC 2-4 Headingley AFC - League
After a September the 'Bridge would rather forget, everyone at Aldborough Road was optimistic that a new month would bring a turnaround in fortunes. However, no-one passed this message onto the opposition and by the final whistle it was Headingley AFC who were celebrating the victory, while the hosts were once more left to contemplate another 'bad day at the office'.

With no game the previous week due to the logistics of the UCI World Cycle Championships, it was hoped that the break would re-charge the players batteries and the benefit would be seen on the pitch. Unfortunately, 'Bridge are learning that if you are not 100% on your game in this league you will be punished, and that is exactly what a very good Headingley side did. When you are on a bad run of form that last thing that you need to happen is concede an early goal, but that is exactly what happened. A long ball out of defence caught the 'Bridge rear guard out of position. As Luke Fletcher tried to make a tackle, Mark Freeman was able to knock the ball past him and place the ball past Liam Corbett in the home nets. 'Bridge tried to steady themselves are were unlucky when a neat move involving Freddie Jackson and Joe Chisholm ended when the cross to Chris Simpson was cleared by Joe Cooper. A long-range effort from Joe Dorkings was smothered by the Headingley ‘keeper and just as you thought 'Bridge were beginning to make inroads, they went further behind. This time a corner was only half cleared. A cross to the far post found Cooper unmarked and in acres of space and he made no mistake with his close-range header. To their credit the 'Bridge players did not let their heads drop and Chris Simpson was unlucky not to half the deficit when his shot was well saved by Callam Taylor. 'Bridge were to go three down with the half drawing to a close. As the home bench shouted to the referee about what looked like to be a foul on Simpson, play was waived on. Oliver Carter latched onto the ball and his shot from 25 years was too good for Corbett in the 'Bridge goal.

This was not what the crowd were hoping for and Daz Ekin made sure all his players know that they must show passion in the second half and fight to get back into the game. From the restart, Phil Milsom tested the 'keeper with a long-range shot. Then 'Bridge thought they had pulled a goal back as efforts from Ashley Atkinson and Cal Rodgers were cleared off the line. Within in minutes of this bout of home pressure Headingly made the points safe when Nick Gledhill finished off a good move from close range. This certainly fired up 'Bridge with Snowden looking to drive his team forward. Jonty Maullin pulled a goal back with a long-range free-kick and further reduced the deficit with a powerful header. So, with 'Bridge now looking to make a fight of it people were starting to sense a comeback. Headingley had Taylor again to thank, after he pulled off three close range saves at the feet of Chris Simpson. With tempers starting to rise both Snowden and Rodgers found their way into David Holbrook's notebook. With 15 minutes to go 'Bridge suffered further woes as Corbett was dismissed for a handball outside the area. Luke Fletcher took the gloves and saved well from the resulting free kick. Ekin had introduced Steve Walker and James Pennington to try and change the fortunes, but to no avail. Dave Millea replaced Ashley Atkinson, who had put in a real shift at the heart of the 'Bridge defence and as the referee sounded the final whistle the hosts knew that on this occasion they had been beaten by the better side.
Man of Match - Michael Snowden
02/11/19 - Hebden Royd Red Star 3-6 Boroughbridge AFC - County Cup
The West Riding County Challenge Cup is at its best when you place your wits against sides that you would not normally encounter on a regular Saturday and that was certainly the case when Boroughbridge made the long journey to take on Hebden Royd Red Star. The hosts certainly looked like they would carry a real threat as they sat unbeaten at the top of the Halifax & District Premier League. With a pitch and facilities that were alien to some of the ‘Bridge contingent, this was always going to be a game where you had to be stand up and be counted and deal with whatever the game threw at you. With some players not quite navigating the route correctly and arriving-ten minutes before the kick-off, pre match instructions from the Manager were always going to be limited. One clear message was deal with the conditions, play your way into the game and not give away any early goals. Sadly, all three of these instructions went out of the window as ‘Bridge found themselves chasing the game after just five minutes. Joe Chisholm was caught on his heels and a low cross was turned in by the Hebden number nine. Worse was to follow as the hosts capitalised on more ‘Bridge hesitation and within ten minutes it was going to be an uphill battle after going two goals behind. The visitors then suddenly woke up and started to play as they can. Luke Fletcher and Cal Rodgers were dealing with the long ball tactics the hosts employed. In midfield Jonty Maullin and Lewis Pye started to find time on the ball and a neat move saw Joe Dorkings test the ‘keeper from close range. Minutes later and ‘Bridge thought they were back in the game. This time a it was a well struck free kick from Joe Dorkings that thundered back off the bar to safety. ‘Bridge had their tails up and you felt that a goal was coming. It was, but unfortunately for them it went to Hebden Royd. This time a well worked move and a low short that flew past Liam Corbett. It was vital that the visitors did not let their heads drop and spurred on by a vocal away support they kept their calm and were rewarded as Chris Simpson converted a penalty after Phil Milson had been fouled. Then with half time looming Phil Milson finished off an excellent move involving Freddie Jackson and Joe Dorkings to give the side a lifeline.

The second half started as the first had finished with Bridge on the front foot. The returning Jake Fletcher was making a nuisance of himself and life very difficult for his marker. He got his reward for his hard work by converting a chance to bring the scores level at three all. While this was good news, ‘Bridge still had to be on their guard as the hosts looked to regain the lead. Liam Corbett made two very good saves as the hosts enjoyed a period of pressure. Then the moment that changed the game. Joe Chisholm won the ball, played in Lewis Pye who found Phil Milsom on the edge of the area. A shot from the ‘Bridge number eleven was too good for the Hebden ‘keeper and on the hour mark the blues finally had their noses in front for the first time in the game. Hebden certainly made their intentions clear and a couple of reckless challenges saw the referee brandish several yellow cards. Boroughbridge were now starting to play some good football under difficult conditions though, and on seventy minutes found themselves further in front with Jake Fletcher applying the finishing touch making the score five three to the visitors. The hosts were certainly not finished, and the ‘Bridge defence were called into action winning tackles and headers to deny Hebden a way back into the game. On the seventy-five-minute mark ‘Bridge made the game safe as Chris Simpson scored a typical poachers goal tapping in from close range to give the visitors a six three advantage. The team had put in a massive effort to turn the game around and as legs started to tire Ekin made changes with Dave Millea, Mark Burniston and Steve Walker replacing the impressive trio of Jonty Maullin, Joe Dorkings and Jake Fletcher. There were to be no further goals, as Phil Milsom missed the chance of a hat-trick when the Hebden keeper misjudged a headed clearance but recovered in time to deny the striker.

Ekin was quick to praise his team following the hard-fought game and the spirit shown in never giving up. Heads could have dropped at three nil down, but this was never going to be the case and ‘Bridge now progress to the next round and a local derby against Kirk Deighton Rangers. Some impressive performances once the team had woken up with both Fletchers working their socks off, Milsom getting some important goals and Chris Simpson leading the line in his usual fashion. Jonty Maullin never shirked a tackle, but after a very close decision it was Cal Rodgers who just edged the Man of the Match award for his impressive defensive display.

Team:- Corbett, Jackson, Chisholm, L Fletcher, Rodgers, Dorkings (Millea), Pye, Maullin (M Burniston), Milsom, J Fletcher (Walker), Simpson
Man of Match - Cal Rodgers
 
 
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