Burscough put marker down ahead of Cup clash

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BURSCOUGH ........................................ 5 NORTHWICH VIC­TO­RIA ................... 3

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.

Billy Bris­tow

Burscough FC’s Terry Cum­mings

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