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Boroughbridge AFC Reserves Match Reports 19/20
August to December
12/08/19 - 'Bridge Reserves Reserves 2-1 Otley Town Reserves - League
'Bridge and Otley started life in the Alliance Division One with another close fought encounter after their promotion from the second tier last season where they were separated by a single point after their 26 match season. The game started at a good cadence with Joe Mash the busy of the two 'keepers but the focus of the game in the first half was in midfield where both sides slugged it out for control and when it did get beyond these barriers it was swept up by the respective defences.

Unsurprisingly it was stalemate at the break with 'Bridge upping the tempo in the second half and beginning to create a few openings but failing to make the best of their opportunities until a long clearance was flicked on by Steve Walker leaving Nick Cressey to slot the ball past the advancing Mash. Luke Fletcher and Josh Mulandi both failed to increase the score from good chances as Otley began to come more into the game through the driving runs of Jesse Kennedy and the introduction of subs Sam Hutchinson and Ryan Newell. It was now 'Bridge's turn to absorb some pressure but with safe handling from James Webster and dogged defending it was the home side that struck next with a double piece of luck. A poor defensive header left Jim Johnstone in a 50/50 with the 'keeper which the latter just edged but only managed to kick the ball against the 'Bridge player who then saw his mishit shot go agonisingly into the empty net. Game over or so it seemed until a couple of corners later Tristan Holdsworth powerfully headed home to give the home side a few nervy moments which they survived. This was a good opener for Neil Greer's much changed side and a good benchmark for the season ahead.
17/08/19 - 'Bridge Reserves Reserves 1-3 Robin Hood Athletic Reserves - League
Apart from an early solo effort by Matty Coles it was Robin Hood Athletic who enjoyed the majority of possession using the wide playing area to their advantage. They forced five corners in quick succession all successfully defended by 'Bridge and just when it seemed that it would only be a matter of time before they conceded it the home side that took the lead. Any respite from their defensive duties had been thwarted by Athletic's offside trap until they had an extraordinary piece of luck. Coles, who had scored two spectacular goals in pre-season matches, miscued an attempted volley and before the guffaws of laughter had chance to die down a defender's clearance smacked against the man in blue and ricocheted into the net past an equally startled 'keeper.

The visitors had to endure a half time dressing down which seemed to pay dividends as within minutes they restored parity with a fine effort from Kane Laidlaw, which he repeated a few minutes later with another quality finish to put the visitors in front. 'Bridge's efforts to stay in the game dissipated within twenty minutes as another well worked move ended with an equally clinical header from Kane Withington and it took some resolute defending and fine saves from Paddy O'Neill to keep the score respectable. Changes in personnel managed to steady the ship but apart from the Hood 'keeper flinging himself at the feet of Jim Johnstone 'Bridge were unable to make serious inroads to the outcome.
07/09/19 - Boroughbridge AFC Reserves 4-1 Leeds Modernians Reserves - League
Modernians missed a great opportunity in the second minute when the ball was zipped across the six yard box with nobody there to add the finishing touch and two minutes later Alex Coombes whipped in a free kick following a foul on Steve Coles to find Jim Johnstone on the end of it to give ‘Bridge and early fillip. Steve Warburton Paul Scaife and Sean Corbett together with the marauding midfielders were giving Modernians all sorts of problems but the home side were neither able to apply the finishing touch nor beat keeper Matt Gibbons. Stand in ‘keeper Chris Chapman was having very little to do at the other end but had to be at his best to push a Hugo Sach’s drive from only 10 yards out over the bar following an incisive Mods break and later in the half go full length to push a Paul Green free kick round the post. In the meantime Steve Coles hit the bar with a header from a Coombes centre and shortly before the break roles were reversed as Coombes hammered home a Coles’ cross at the far post. ‘Bridge consolidated their position early in the second half with a good move out of defence followed by Mark Burniston and Johnstone exchanging pass and ending with astute back heel by Burniston clinically finished by Johnstone. Home and hosed or so it seemed but Mods still had some fight in them and after Chapman produced another excellent save to deny Liam Dove before his defences were eventually breached by a close range effort from Adam Gillott. Mods had another chance to reduce the deficit with a free kick on the edge of the box only for this to be blocked by Johnstone who ran into the other half, linked up with Burniston and Carl Allen and from his cross a penalty was awarded for handball and duly dispatched by Johnstone for this hat-trick. Predictably the contest for Man of the Match was a close affair between Chapman and Johnstone with the latter shading it.
Man of Match - Jim Johnstone
05/10/19 - Garforth WMC 0-0 Boroughbridge AFC Reserves - County Trophy
'Bridge travelled to Garforth for their opening game in the County Challenge Trophy to face a Garforth side presently top of their league and only one goal light of averaging five per game. Not surprisingly the home side were certainly up for the game and took the game to the visitors on a slippery sodden surface who had 17 year old Jamie Hassall and 16 year old Ben Stephenson making their debuts at this level. Hassall was certainly not fazed by the situation and had two important saves to make the opening half as well as several corners to deal with. 'Bridge managed to survive the onslaught up to the break. Another teenager Jordan Atkinson worked tirelessly up front and was only denied by the outstretched legs of the home 'keeper.

The second half was a more balanced affair but as the conditions deteriorated the game became more of a slugfest and certainly not conducive to good football. Similarly chances were at a premium and a blank day at the office was the right outcome in the end. The Penalty shootout started with Garforth's first two going over the bar whereas Steve Coles and brother Matt found the right and left corners respectfully with theirs. The third from the home side went crisply down the middle and Jordan Atkinson sent the 'keeper the wrong way and when Hassall guessed right for the fourth it took 'Bridge into the next round.
Man of Match - Jamie Hassall
12/10/19 - Beeston St. Anthony's Reserves 2-1 'Bridge Reserves - League
Neil Greer's side travelled to Beeston with an awareness that they were visiting one of the best sides in the division and would have to be at the top of their game. Subsequently they came away pointless but with the knowledge that they had pushed the leaders all the way and deserved their position in the Alliance Division One. Both sides had opportunities in the first half but 'keepers James Webster and Alex Houghton gave nothing away and Steve Coles was assiduous for the visitors in midfield. Unfortunately after holding their own for long periods a lapse in concentration was all it needed for Sam Morrell to open the scoring. Within minutes parity had been restored as Jim Johnstone went motoring down the left wing and from his cross Houghton made a terrific save to a Jordan Atkinson volley but was unable to hold with the quick learning youngster on hand to react the quicker to the loose ball. 'Bridge were on the back foot for phases of the second half but remained competitive and when opportunities arose Webster was at his best with one double save an exceptional piece of goalkeeping. Like all tight contests this was always going to be down to a mistake or a piece of individual brilliance and in Patrick Courtney, Beeston had the man for the occasion as he came up with an excellent solo goal to seal the victory.
Man of Match - James Webster
09/11/19 - 'Bridge Reserves 3-1 Oxenhope Recreation Reserves - League
Despite the incessant rain during the course of the week the 'Bridge ground was declared fit on Saturday morning and with first team games cancelled both sides took the opportunity to strengthen. After their long trip, surprisingly, it was the visitors who made the better start and on nine minutes an unmarked Scott Nelson headed home a Dan Makinson cross. The setback did not last long however as five minutes later a great run from Jim Johnstone enabled him to find Jake Fletcher who flicked the ball onto Jordan Atkinson and he found Johnstone, who had continued his run, to slot the ball past the advancing 'keeper. This was the fillip required and with Steve Coles and Mark Burniston marshalling the defence, the latter barking out orders rather than organising, 'Bridge began to assert more control. A couple of chances came and went before the pressure paid off following some great build-up play which found the tricky Jim Johnstone in the area where he was duly upended with a horrendous two-footed tackle leaving the referee in no hesitation to award a penalty but leaving the offending player lucky to only see yellow. Jordan Atkinson duly stepped up to dispatch the penalty only for the lead to be soured by the loss of Johnstone who was unable to take any further part in the game.

'Bridge made a positive start to the second half with more of the chances and play and just when it looked than a goal was imminent they were reduced to ten men after 'keeper Jamie Hassall was adjudged to have intentionally handled the ball outside the area. Step up to the plate Mr Dependable Chris Chapman, who has filled many roles in his years at the Club and again put on the gloves and made a couple of important saves during the course of the second half. The dismissal of Hassall also swayed the game towards the visitors which inexplicably gave young Connor Kitching more opportunity to exploit the left wing area and it was from a cross that Jake Fletcher and the 'keeper got in a tangle, leaving Steve Warburton to add a third. A good competitive game threatened to get out of hand with some feisty challenges until the referee's whistle brought it to a close and maintained 'Bridge's mid table position.
Man of Match - Mark Burniston
 
 
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