Barnoldswick Town 1 Bootle 0

BARNOLDSWICK Town go into tonight’s second leg of the Macron Cup semi-final defending a slender one-goal lead.

A last-minute strike from substitute John Beckwith and a heroic performance from goalkeeper Jordan Gidley gave them the edge at the Silentnight Stadium last Thursday.

Town had to show great character as they were forced to defend for long spells against an impressive Bootle side who took their revenge in the Hallmark Security League Premier Division game between the sides on Tuesday when they triumphed 6-1.

Keeper Gidley, the hero of the cup win, was rested for the league clash which saw Bootle go ahead after 11 minutes through Ryan Cox.

John Beckwith equalised after 23 minutes, but Bootle took command with goals by Cox – his second – and Carl Peers in the final minute of the first half.

Manager Danny Craig was delighted with his side’s resilient display in the first leg  and has been reviewing a video of the game in the hunt for chinks in the Bootle armour for the second leg.

Craig said: “I cannot pretend that we were the better side on the night because we weren’t, but we hung in there and scored from our one clear chance.

“Our keeper Jordan Gidley was absolutely outstanding. He made a number of world-class saves and point-blank blocks.

“Bootle created a number of openings and showed they are a quality side. They have some very good players and we stood up to the test.”

The only goal came when Mark Threlfall’s cross field pass found Beckwith, who let fly with a right-footed half-volley that found the found the bottom corner of Ryan Jones’ net.

Craig is hoping that his team can catch Bootle out again tonight.

Craig said: “We know we are in for a tough test, but there is pressure on Bootle and if we are smart we can cause them problems.”