Rossy keep pres­sure on at top

Rossendale Free Press - - Motors -

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.

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