The North West Counties Football League
Published 4th May 2012
....Division rivals Maine Road at the Tameside Stadium on Thursday night.
Two goals each from Jamil Adam and Adrian Bellamy sent Bacup on the way to a comfortable win, although an unfortunate own goal from Maine Road’s Joseph Armstrong in first half stoppage time was a major turning point in what had been an evenly matched game in the opening 45 minutes.
Bacup made a lively start and Adam had two good chances in the opening 6 minutes, first heading wide after good work from Kingsley Williams and Bellamy, and then jinking past two defenders on a mazy run before finishing with a shot that was beaten out by Maine Road keeper Greg Hall.
Maine Road gradually began to enjoy more possession and Liam Beckford almost punished the Bacup defence when a miskick on the edge of the box presented him with a chance, but Bacup keeper Paul Horridge reacted quickly to smother his shot.
As play flowed from end to end, a good passing move from Maine Road set up a chance for Eddie Moran, but he shot wide from the edge of the box.
Just after the half-hour mark, the deadlock was broken when Maine Road conceded a free kick on the edge of the box, and Bacup’s Jamil Adam curled a delightful shot over the defensive wall and into the top corner of the net.
There was worse to come for Maine Road in the second minute of first half stoppage time, when Bellamy chased a ball down the right flank and whipped a cross into the six yard box that Road’s Armstrong diverted into his own net.
Despite their misfortune, Maine Road began brightly after the restart, and two minutes in Tom Bentham sent a glancing header wide from a James Rothel cross.
Road continued to press and Matthew Huntley, who joined the action at the start of the second half, came close with a fine shot on the turn that flew just wide of the target.
But on 63 minutes, Bacup’s Daniel Cocks went on a storming run down the right wing and as he advanced into the penalty area, he was tripped by the chasing Andrew Kilheeney. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty, and Adrian Bellamy made no mistake from the spot to put Bacup three-up.
Within a minute, Bellamy was almost on the scoresheet again, when he collected a Daniel Cocks pass in space on the right and tried an audacious 40-yard shot that almost caught out Maine Road keeper Hall.
But in their next attack, Bacup grabbed their fourth with a sweeping move that began with a terrific throw from keeper Horridge who spotted Cocks in space on the right wing. Cocks’ surging run upfield ended with a shot that the keeper failed to hold, and Jamil Adam had the simple task of slotting home the loose ball from close range.
Maine Road’s misery was completed 2 minutes from time, when Bellamy got on the end of a Matthew Wrigley cross to the far post and fired home Bacup’s fifth into the top corner of the net.