Borough got the game underway at 3.04 kicking towards the newly opened PRE. Considering recent form and good weather, it was a shame that the 100 or so occupants looked a little lost in such a large structure. However, thanks again to all who helped to finally get it open.
Borough: Ross Fitzsimons, Josh Huggins, Ollie Treacher, Adam Doyle (Bamba 73), Alan Inns (C), Darryl Siaw, Tyrone Berry, Matt Ball, JJ Hooper (Bennett 73), Connor French (Page 45) and Harry Lee. Subs not used: Fraser Colmer & CJ Fearn.
Concord Rangers: Jamie Butler, Leon Gordon, Matt Fry, Taylor Miles (Cowley 61), John Easterford (C) Jack Lampe, Stephen Cawley (King 80), Joe Gardner, Gary Ogilvie, Sam Collins and Lewis Taaffe (Stokes 63). Subs not used: Seedy Njie and James White.
Referee: Simon Knapp – Assistants: Jonathon Hollier and Guy Poynter.
The home side started in a lively enough fashion and a long throw from Harry Lee, saw a Connor French make space for a shot from the edge of the area which was wide of the right hand post. Shortly after, JJ Hooper tried an overhead kick which landed on the roof of Butler’s net. It wasn’t long though before Ross Fitzsimons was in action when a free kick from just outside the area was deflected and was heading for the net when the Boro’ keeper made a good diving save to his right.
On 12 minutes, the Beachboys opened the scoring when a corner from the left went low across the crowded goalmouth and with Fitzsimons apparently unsighted Taaffe slotted home from close range. 0 – 1
Borough went in search of an equaliser and after French and Ball both had efforts blocked the resultant corner was cleared by Butler with a two handed punch. Lee took a free kick on 20 minutes which was headed on by Inns before Butler grabbed the ball at the 2nd attempt. Taaffe was booked for a foul Lee, then Matt Fry then clearly pulled back Connor French, but, not for the 1st time, he got away with it.
Ross Fitzsimons comfortably dealt with a 30 yard free kick before Boro’ almost got a break through on 40 minutes when another long free kick from Harry Lee was again headed on by Alan Inns only for French to lose his footing as he tried to shoot. Lee then shot through a crowded goalmouth, but the effort went straight to Butler.
A quick counter by the Beachboys almost led to a 2nd goal, but the ball rebounded from the crossbar before anyone realised that an off side flag had been raised. Then Boro’ were caught off side when Fry was at last penalised and the resultant free kick foundered when the flag was raised. Alan Inns was booked for a rather innocuous foul, then, in a rather frenzied final few minutes, Boro’ laid siege to the visitor’s goal, but a combination of efforts being delayed too long and a lack of good fortune from ricochets saw the half end at 0 – 1.
The visitors played some neat football and were always looking dangerous on the break while Boro’ weren’t able to match their confident play of the last few games. A fairly even half which the visitors just about shaded.
The 2nd half commenced at 4.05 with Boro’ bringing on Phil Page for Connor French. Five minutes or so, into the half, Boro’ seemed to have a pretty good shout for a penalty, when the busy Harry Lee was felled, but Mr Knapp saw nothing wrong.
Following a period where play switched quickly from one end to the other, things started to happen around the 60 minute mark. Firstly, Doyle was booked, then the Beachboys brought on player/coach Nicky Cowley for Taylor Miles. Play had barely restarted when Sam Collins was booked and Boro’ players and fans were rightly annoyed when the Referee failed to allow an obvious advantage. Once the delayed free kick was cleared the visitors made a further substitution replacing goal scorer, Lewis Taaffe with Tony Stokes.
In the 70th minute Harry Lee was clearly pulled down by Cawley, but to the utter disbelief of the majority of onlookers, Mr Knapp immediately booked Lee. Presumably, for simulation as the FA like to call it. An altogether shocking decision – sadly not the first strange decision from the official. Boro’ made a double substitution in the 73rd minute replacing JJ Hooper and Adam Doyle with Dan Bennett and newcomer, Youseff Bamba.
Boro’ were not short on effort, with Bennett and Page using their ‘fresh’ legs in an effort to peg back the visitors. However, as often happens when a team are pressing, the opposition broke down the left with a through ball finding Ogilvie, who looked to be off side. He was allowed to continue and rifled a shot into the far left corner which gave Fitzsimons no chance. 0 – 2 (79 mins.)
The Beachboys immediately made their final substitution replacing Stephen Cawley with Steve King (not a name many Boro’ fans needed to hear). The remaining 10 minutes, plus the 4 added, saw both sides make chances and Ross Fitzsimons saved well when Stokes shot on the turn before Boro’ were awarded a free kick about 40 yards out from goal. Harry Lee’s kick caused a melee in the area which was only stopped by the Referee’s whistle. It’s doubtful that many people, including the players, knew why he blew, but the result was a straight red for Boro’ skipper Alan Inns who left the field to sympathetic applause. Sadly, unless there are grounds for appeal, we shall be without his services for three of our remaining games. The last couple of minutes saw the visitors continue to attack with Collins shooting well over, before Stokes brought another good save from Fitzsimons.
Result: Borough 0 – Concord Rangers 2.
A disappointing afternoon for Borough after some very good performances in the last couple of weeks, but, regardless of how a team plays, they need the ball to bounce kindly now and again, for the inevitable ricochets to fall to them and not the opposition and of course the encouragement of visible and vocal support from their fans. We now have just seven games left, four of them away, with some of our longer trips among them to Weston, Dorchester and Bath. It would be great to see as many fans as possible make these trips, hopefully, enough for us to run a coach, at least.
Keep on shouting for the YELLOOWSAA !!
Match Report by Tony Duff.
Borough Man of the Match – Darryl Siaw
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