IN the Baines Bagguely North Lancashire and District Football League Premier Division only two games beat the overnight frost.
Bowerham/Furness United beat an inconsistent Morecambe Royals side 4-3. and was played on a near perfect pitch.
The opening goal came deservedly the way of Bowerham, although they were slightly lucky as a shot hit the bar and bounced down on the goal line.
As the Royals’ defender was waiting for the ball to drop, Andy Strachan forced the ball into the net off his body.
The match was far from being a classic as neither side could get their normal game going.
At times the Royals struggled to string two passes together with Bowerham struggling to get past the back four of the Royals.
There were no more goals in the first half but within five minutes of the re-start Bowerham doubled their lead when Joe Bouskill, for once, got behind the Royals’ defence and his inch perfect cross into the six yard area was headed in by an unmarked Tom Spencely.
Bowerham then turned on the style as they raised their game and started to cause problems for the Royals defenders.
It was no surprise when Bowerham went into a 3-0 lead when Strachan scored his second after bursting through the heart of the Royals’ defence.
Bowerham eased off after scoring their third goal and paid the penalty when Miles Manley somehow forced the ball into the net.
This gave the Royals a bit of heart and they threw everyone forward, looking to reduce the arrears.
They came close on a number of occasions to scoring a second goal from corners, but it was a needless free-kick given away by the Bowerham left back that got the Royals back in the game.
The free-kick, taken some 25 yards from goal, was brilliantly headed into the net by a diving Marc Murphy at the far post to score the goal of the game to make it 3-2.
Bowerham responded by reverting to what they do best, and that is to play football on the ground.
This had the Royals under pressure everytime Bowerham had the ball.
The Royals still threw everyone forward looking for an equaliser and very nearly got it on two occasions from silly defensive mistakes.
On one occasion, when a Royals attack broke down, Bowerham counter attacked at speed, a good through ball was collected by Tom Spencely, he in turn turned his defender and as he entered the penalty area, substitute James McNally, unmarked, was given the ball to score one of the easiest goals he has ever scored to put his side into a 4-2 lead.
Most people thought that was game over, but not the Royals, they raced down to the other end straight from the re-start and pulled a goal back when Dan Broadley shot past the keeper to make it 4-3, but as time ran out the Royals could not score again in the last couple of minutes.
See The Visitor (17-01-12) for full story.