Burscough put marker down ahead of Cup clash
AT the end of this rehearsal for Saturday’s FA Cup tie, it was Burscough who had laid down a marker for the repeat fixture between the two teams at Victoria Park.
The scoreline didn’t reflect the level of comfort that Burscough actually won the game by, romping into a 4-0 lead by the hour mark, the Linnets were able to rest some players with Saturday in mind and it was only then that Northwich pulled some goals back.
It all has to give Burscough a psychological edge for the FA Cup game.
There were two changes to the Burscough side that lost to Bootle on Saturday as the Grier brothers Gary and Ryan started in midfield and defence respectively.
It was a scrappy start to the game and the nearest to an early goal was when Vics’ defender Kieron Kenny came forward for a free-kick but headed wide.
As the 20th minute approached it was clear that Burscough were beginning to look the most likely team, especially after Danny Brady played a finely weighted cross field ball to an overlapping Jamie Clark, leaving the Vic’s defence glad to smuggle the ball away for a corner.
Burscough took the lead in the 24th minute with a superb goal.
Terry Cummings made ground with the ball and played it to Gary Grier, he went to play it into the goalmouth but his attempt was blocked.
Cummings followed up onto the rebound and unleashed a topclass strike with the outside of his right foot, hitting across the ball and sent it swerving into the top corner of the net from 18 yards.
Three minutes later Vics left-back Mark Ayres crudely tackled Chad Whyte and received a yellow card. It was to prove significant.
Burscough were now well on top and in the 34th minute they made it 2-0.
A long ball was headed back to his goalkeeper by the visitors’ defence, however, Matt Ward pounced on the ball like a shot and one on one with Vic’s goalkeeper Dan Taberner he coolly slotted the ball home.
Burscough could have had more before the break but Taberner saved from Gary Grier and Cummings went close again.
On 50 minutes Ayres fouled Whyte again on the right and as a result saw a second yellow and the resulting red.
Although the freekick was cleared it went straight to Ryan Grier, he thumped a skimming shot at goal from 35 yards, Taberner allowing it to go past him when he should have saved it.
Northwich were pushing hard to get back into the game and on 57 minutes only a finely timed tackle by Brady kept Joel Brownhill out after a headed flick on.
On the hour it was all over, Cummings running onto a helped on ball and firing past Taberner to make it 4-0.
Over the next ten minutes Burscough substituted Whyte, Ward and Peter Henerty, no doubt saving them for Saturday, while Northwich made three changes too.
Northwich were now the stronger team and after a goalmouth melee Billy Whittle headed home to pull a goal back, then on 85 minutes Whittle netted again at the far post to make it 4-2.
Burscough were now not the force they were but Cummings made sure there were no worries, setting up Jordan Lorde after a determined run down the right-wing, the substitute netting low into the corner.
Northwich did pull another goal back, Anthony Shinks heading a Rory Gorman free-kick into the net, but by then it was deep into added time and only had a minor effect on the outcome.
Burscough were the best team for an hour and going into a 4-0 lead against ten men allowed them to take their foot off the gas.
Regulars Prince Ekpolo and Luke Gibson were both missing from the line-up, it is not known whether they will be available for Saturday.
But Burscough should go into Saturday full of confidence and seriously hopeful of a repeat.
Burscough FC’s Terry Cummings