West ride luck and rely on last gasp goal to secure 4-3 win over Burscough
In what has become a staple at Brookburn Road, West took part in a thrilling NWCFL game in which both teams profited in front of goal – and ended up the winning side in match that genuinely could’ve gone either way.
Burscough looked the most likely of the two sides during the opening exchanges, playing some intricate passing football in West’s half without ever truly finding a cutting edge – though this was to come later. With the game tilting slightly more in their favour, West took advantage of a dominant spell thanks to a 25 yard strike from Ben Steer. Beautifully hit as it was, on reflection the keeper may feel slightly upset as to not have kept it out – especially given the range. A few minutes later, West had the best interchanges of the game – Kay passing to Bailey on the edge of the box, who backheeled between two defenders to find the still-running Kay. Taking a chance on the byline, Kay then took on another man, before sweeping it across goal for Evangelinos to hit home, making it 2-0.
Then, the inevitable happened – West were undone by some good, if not spectacular play from Burscough twice. Both goals were the product of some less than ideal defensive work – as a team, not purely due to the defensive unit, it must be said – which left the visitors to capitalise from point blank range twice, with the second coming just before half time.
Straight after the break, West had their own bit of good fortune. Ben Steer, who had been a livewire and arguably West’s most effective player all night, launched a throw into the area, which eluded both defence and keeper for Bailey to tap home for 3-2. That lead wouldn’t last, as another goal – similar to the first two – made is 3-3 with around 25 minutes to go.
From there, anything could’ve happened – and Burscough could’ve easily ended the night the victors in different circumstances. A strong penalty shout wasn’t given (though, it must be noted, West were also denied up the other end moments later), and Aaron Ashley was forced to push header – what looked like a certain goal – onto the bar with around 5 left to play.
With 89 minutes on the clock, and both teams pressing for a winner, a throw-in won on the right was launched in by Steer again, and Evangelinos bungled it home in a packed defence, sending a nervous home support into raptures. With time added on coming in at 5 minutes, West then showed some intelligent game management to seal off the match – with Saul Henderson in particular making the most of his strength to waste vital seconds and secure what turned out to be an extremely hard fought victory for Steve Settle’s men.