MATCH REPORT | West 1-4 Burscough

Saturday 5th January 2018, NWCFL Premier Division

West 1 (Faux 82)
Burscough 4 (Ekpolo 13, Finlayson 29, Lorde 55, Whyte 85)
Att: 333

West slipped to their first home defeat under David Powell as Burscough won comprehensively at Brookburn Road.

The home side trailed at the break to strikes from Prince Ekpolo and Connor Finlayson, and there was to be no repeat of last week’s comeback against Runcorn Town as Jordan Lorde and Chad Whyte goals sandwiched Joe Faux’s consolation.

This was a chastening experience for West against the excellent Linnets, who showed why they are unbeaten in the league since November to move into 5th place. But there will also be frustration as slack defending had a part to play in all four of the visitors’ goals.

Things started promisingly enough for the home side – the returning Ciaran Kilheeney nodded in Joe Shaw’s free kick after eight minutes, but the linesman’s flag had been raised long before the ball crossed the line. There was to be no such intervention at the other end five minutes later, when Ekpolo was allowed to run through the middle and send a low shot beyond the dive of Burgess.

West struggled to create any chances of note against the obstinate Linnets back line, with the in-form Ash Leather frustrated on the right wing, and the home side’s task became steeper just before the half-hour. West passed up numerous opportunities to clear a ball into the box, and Finlayson eventually took advantage to double the Linnets’ lead.

Any chance of another Brookburn Road comeback depended on West beginning the second half strongly. However, after Kilheeney had spurned a presentable opportunity from Stephen Hall’s pass, Burscough sealed the points with a lamentable goal from the home side’s perspective. A square ball across West’s defensive third was pounced on by Lorde, who moved in on goal and beat Burgess with the help of a looping deflection.

Substitute Faux provided a ray of light with eight minutes remaining as he scored an excellent first goal in West colours. The Australian winger cut inside from the right wing and shot left-footed low beyond goalkeeper Maxwell Povey.

But any optimistic thoughts of a dramatic rescue act were snuffed out three minutes later, when Whyte was unmarked from close range and claimed his 29th goal of the season.

Faux’s impressive cameo continued in injury time as his trickery set up Lee Gavin, but the December player of the month’s shot was deflected wide to sum up a difficult afternoon.

West: Burgess, Tinker, Cooper, Andrews (Dixon 60), Eiselt, Eckersley, Leather (McLaughlin 71), Gavin, Kilheeney, Shaw, Hall (Faux 60). Not used: Langford, Affleck.

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