Vodkat Premier Division
Bacup Borough 0
New Mills 1
A SINGLE goal from Chris Hirst secured New Mills a crucial victory at Bacup Borough on Saturday.
Proceedings were no more than a minute old when Daniel Douglas-Pringle and Marc Taylor clashed heads in an aerial challenge. Taylor was eventually substituted with blood pouring from a nasty-looking wound.
The sloping playing surface was not conducive to attacking football and when the game’s only goal arrived in the 20th minute, it was no surprise it occurred from a defensive lapse. A block tackle saw the ball loop high into space over the Bacup back four and although Douglas-Pringle was first to react, goalkeeper Matthew Wrigley remained firmly routed to his six-yard box.
The Millers forward’s first-time cross found Chris Hirst who easily rounded the stranded keeper.
A rare moment of attacking quality nearly saw the visitors double their lead just after the half hour. Douglas-Pringle was again the provider, but this time the recipient was Carl Carey who on the stretch at the back post could only divert the ball narrowly wide of the upright.
Substitute Richard Rowe made an immediate impact, upending Daniel Cocks in the area to concede a penalty. Cocks took the spot kick, but Ben Procter made an excellent save low to his right.
This was the closest that either side came to scoring in the second half as both defences proved difficult to break down. A rare piece of attacking creativity saw Carey unleash a volley which was spectacularly caught by Matthew Wrigley.
Apart from the penalty, the home side barely created any meaningful goalscoring chances all afternoon and for that credit must go to New Mills’ hard-working defence for whom Nick Swirad was the stand out performer.
New Mills: Procter, Bowler, Horrocks, Swirad, Barras (Rowe), Hirst, Meakin, Pickford, Douglas-Pringle, L Grandison, Carey (K Grandison).
* On Saturday, the Millers entertain Formby at Church Lane (kick-off 3pm) before travelling to Colne on Tuesday evening (kick-off 8pm).