parkgate show fighting spirit

Parkgate's George Morley fires in the equaliser in the 4 - 4 draw with Bacup & Rossendale Borough
Parkgate's George Morley fires in the equaliser in the 4 - 4 draw with Bacup & Rossendale Borough

Parkgate kept their FA Vase hopes alive - just - after battling back to seal a 4-4 draw against Bacup & Rossendale Borough.

Parkgate earned a replay with the Lancashire outfit - played last night at the Brian Boys Stadium in Bacup - despite falling behind three times in the first leg last weekend at Green Lane.

The Steelmen fell behind with just eight minutes on the clock, after a goalkeeping howler from Declan Howard.

Howard rushed out to meet a throughball, missed his kick completely and allowed Arajoms Butorins to roll the ball into the open net.

Parkgate then went 2-0 down on 22 minutes, when they lost the ball in midfield and let Matthew Bryan through.

He fired across the face of goal, and Matthew Plant slid in and turned the ball into his own net.

Parkgate gave themselves a glimmer of hope four minutes later when they reduced the deficit. Jamie Hopkins, on the right wing, twisted and turned and crossed for Scott Whittington to make it 2-1.

The revival didn’t last long, however, and Bacup went 3-1 ahead from the penalty spot.

Aaron Kirk was going nowhere when he was impeded inside the area, and Daniel Cocks made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

Parkgate spurned a golden chance to make it 3-2, when John Ogden in the Bacup goal clawed the ball off Gregg Mason’s toe.

And it was the visitors who had the final say on the stroke of half time, although Matthew Bryan’s attempted chip went just inches wide of Howard’s goal.

The second half began in a similar fashion, with Bacup well on top, and Bryan again had a golden chance to extend the visitors’ lead, but his header went over the bar.

Three minutes after the break Parkgate pulled another one back, when Scott Lowe found Simon Mirfin who volleyed home.

But they went even further behind after 66 minutes, when Howard let Aaron Kirk’s shot through his hands at the near post.

At 4-2, it seemed that the visitors had done enough. But Parkgate, and George Morley in particular, had other ideas, and it was Morley who set up a tense finish with a fine overhead kick to make it 4-3 after 75 minutes.

And with just five minutes left, it was that man Morley again who popped up with another fine strike, to level the scores and send the game into extra time. Parkgate couldn’t cap their heroics with a winner in extra time, and had to settle for a replay.

n Parkgate: Declan Howard, Alex Cavanagh, Scott Lowe, Reece Wesley, Matthew Plant, Andy Dawson, Gregg Mason, Simon Mirfin, Jamie Hopkins, George Morley, Scott Whittington. Subs: Luke Beedham, Scott Ellis, Ashley Emson, Elliott Simpson, Ben Langford.

n Bacup & Rossendale Borough: John Ogden, Adrian Ballamy, Luke Morgan, Laquan Esdaillie, Mike Harling, Shane Birtles, Daniel Cocks, Lee Oldham, Arijoms Butorins, Arron Kirk, Matthew Bryan. Subs: Marcus Calvert, Gareth Wager, Boic Nhliziyo, Ashlea Gotham, Simon Thompson.