Vodkat Premier Division
New Mills 3
Bacup Borough 1
A STIRRING second half comeback saw New Mills defeat Bacup Borough to maintain their lead at the top of the Vodkat Premier Division.
Chris Hirst was inches away from giving The Millers the lead in the 12th minute when he collected a long throw from Nick Swirad and his resulting volley from the edge of the penalty area whistled inches past the post.
No matter how hard they tried though, that opening goal just wouldn’t come for the home side as they were constantly thwarted by the assistant referee’s flag and this allowed a little bit of frustration to creep into their game.
If there was one person who would capitalise on such feelings, it was Tommy Turner and the striker who scored 32 goals for New Mills last season put one over his old team-mates in the 37th minute.
A long ball caught the defensive line square and Turner raced onto it and squeezed his shot under the body of Ben Procter.
Whatever was said at half time worked wonders as it took less than two minutes for The Millers to get back on level terms.
Adam Mather’s crossfield ball found Dean Crowe onside and the former Stoke City and Luton Town striker showed his class by expertly rifling the ball into Paul Horridge’s bottom corner.
Crowe should have scored again in the 57th minute. Strike partner Daniel Douglas-Pringle laid a pinpoint cross to him at the back post but with the goal gaping, he could only divert his shot wide.
Goalkeeper Ben Procter made an excellent save to prevent Bacup from retaking the lead when he tipped Daniel Cocks’ shot around the post.
New Mills deservedly scored again in the 68th minute. Referee Mr Woodward played a good advantage despite captain Syd Pickford being hacked down on the edge of his own penalty area.
A couple of quick incisive passes later and Douglas-Pringle was free in space and although his shot was on target, Horridge was deceived by a sizeable deflection.
Despite that fortuitous second goal, there was only one team ever going to win the game in the second half and it was The Millers who wrapped up the three points with 15 minutes remaining.
Pickford’s quickly taken free-kick was broken up by left-back Josh Greenhalgh but possession was immediately given back to the home side’s skipper. He instantly made better use of the ball as he played in Douglas-Pringle down the right hand channel.
The striker raced clear before his delivery across the face of goal found an unmarked Hirst who couldn’t miss from four yards out.
New Mills: Procter, Swirad, Mather, Rowe, Coyne, Hirst (Noon), Meakin, Pickford (Monaghan), Douglas-Pringle (Horrocks), Crowe, Carey. Unused subs: K Grandison, Ingram-Hughes.