Bacup land final blow to automatic promotion hopes
Heys set for the play offs
Heys hopes of automatic promotion were ended as they slipped to defeat at Bacup Borough.
It was a frustrating night for Heys who enjoyed long periods of possession. Indeed, the opening half hour of the game was played almost exclusively in the Bacup half.
However, Heys were met with some dogged resistance by a determined home side who defended stoutly and when their defence was pierced, home keeper Karl Price made some fine saves. Even so Heys had their chances but where, as recently as last week, those were being taken, as with the defeat to Whitchurch on Tuesday, shots were scuffed, and final passes didn’t make their intended target. Football’s fickle fortunes have swung against them this week.
Jon Lyons’ team went into the game knowing that nothing less than victory would hand promotion to Litherland REMYCA. It was a motivating factor that sprang a lively opening.
A couple of early corners set the template as Heys camped in the home half. In the 12th minute it looked like their pressure was to tell. Some good passing ended with Ash Stott teeing up Alfie Belcher, on the edge of the area, but his well struck shot was parried to safety by Price.
Stott flashed a shot across the face of goal and then had the ball in the net, only to be deemed offside.
When the impressive Max White burst into the box only to see Price block the shot with his legs, one wondered if it was going to be one of those nights.
Such fears were soon compounded. On the half hour, with their first sight of goal Bacup nearly scored when Davison Banda’s header was clawed from under the bar by Michael Smith. Three minutes later Bacup led.
From a free kick, Matty Bryan swung in a cross and Adrian Bellamy rose above everyone to head home.
Looking to respond, Belcher saw a shot deflected over and Chris Baguley fired wide.
The pattern continued after the break as Jake Wood saw a header come off the top of the bar and Price dropped low to gather a Chris Baguley free kick. There was no doubting Heys endeavour but the cutting edge was missing.
Unlike, the first half though Bacup were much more of a threat going forward. With the ever-dangerous Bryan providing a regular outlet their attacks threatened a second goal. Only a great save by Smith prevented that as he dropped low to palm away a fierce shot by Elliott Collinson.
As the game entered the final quarter Rio Wilson-Heyes went on a solo run, riding three challenges, to bear down on goal. However, in keeping with the night, he scuffed his shot allowing Price to gather comfortably.
With Heys disappearing down more increasingly blind alleys, they were ripe for the counter and in the 82nd minute they were undone for a second time.
Great running from Bryan opened Heys up and when he picked out Rees Welsh the latter’s super cross ended with Carter powering a header into the top corner.
The damage might have been worse when in the 86th minute Kyle Brooks let fly from the edge of the area, but Smith pulled off a super save.
Heys night was summed up in the 88th minute. A scramble in the box, saw Lee Bruce scuff a shot and then Anthony Hall fail to get full contact from six yards, allowing the ball to be cleared.
Ultimately, Bacup deserved their victory. Heys appear to have lost their way a little. It is hoped this is only temporarily for it would be a travesty if their sparkling football of this season was to go unrewarded.
Team: Michael Smith, Darius Photiou, Danny Vincent, Max White, Jake Wood (Capt), Jacob Holt, Alfie Belcher, Chris Baguley, Ashley Stott, John Main, Rio Wilson-Heyes Subs: Lee Grimshaw (for White 55 mins) Lee Bruce (for Stott 55 mins), Anthony Hall (for Main 56 mins), Mark Baguley, Liam Lawlor