Rossy keep pressure on at top
LANCASHIRE AMATEUR PREMIER DIVISION BLACKROD TOWN .......... 0 ROSSENDALE FC ............ 2 ROSSENDALE kept the heat on in the title race with a hard fought victory against a tough Blackrod outfit.
The away side started the game very well and were determined to play football, passing the ball around well and getting at Blackrod down the wings via Luke Simpson and Will Foster.
This seemed to frustrate the home side who started to resort to unsavoury tactics, flying in with late tackles which lead to them picking up a spate of early bookings.
Rossendale weren’t rattled though and carried on carving out chances. Paul Hooper went close on a couple of occasions and Foster was also denied but the Blackrod keeper was in fine form and pulled off three high quality saves to keep the score 0-0.
As half time approached the stags took the lead through captain Stephen Claxon who took hold of the ball, drew in his man then bent a shot around the keeper which hit the post and went in. A thoroughly deserved lead, but Blackrod were always looking dangerous and they themselves hit the post minutes later.
Into the second half and Blackrod began to really try to rattle the cages of the Rossendale players who have a lot of young players in the side, but the likes of Ryan Siddle in midfield seemed to rise to the challenge and matched the home team for physicality .
It wasn’t long before Blackrod were reduced to ten men following a disgusting challenge on Paul Hooper, who caused havoc all day with his aerial ability. Rossendale then doubled their lead when from a corner the ball pinballed around for a while in the box before Eddie Holden for the second game in a row managed to volley the ball home with a well executed finish.
Blackrod found it more and more difficult to get in the game, they did have a danger man who looked very good on the ball, but his will was broken in a dominant man marking display from Stephen Claxon who didn’t give him an inch on the ball and basically rendered him useless.
In truth Rossendale could have added another couple of goals but for the Blackrod keeper who really was outstanding.
As the final whistle blew Ryan Siddle was punched in the face and another Blackrod player was given his marching orders.
Manager Kevin Harrison said: “This was the best performance of the season from the team ●● Stephen Claxon holds off a defender during Rossendale’s win at Blackrod
‘We are passing sides off the park’
without a shadow of a doubt, the lads, especially the young ones were basically in a fight out there and some of them turned into men for me, instead of shrinking like many would they took it, gave it back and still played football.
“We’ve changed the ethos slightly at the club and are trying to play a lot more football and it’s working, the lads have responded to it really well and we are passing sides off the park.
“If they don’t have the ball they can’t score and what we do have with youth is fit and hungry players so if we make the other team chase the ball they are going to tire quicker. That happened today, we frustrated them and had it not been for a very good goalkeeping performance we could have had five or six.”
Rossendale were at home Wednesday night to Bury GSOB and then take on Rochdale St Clements on Saturday away.