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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
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