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County 2-1 Bowland
After last week’s good result against reigning champions Lonsdale, last season’s runners-up County, were looking to make it two wins on the trot whilst Bowland were seeking their first points of the season having lost to Fylde.
The first half began in a scrappy fashion with both teams struggling to keep the ball on the ground and the Lancashire wind playing havoc with both teams’ preference of long balls.
After a hectic opening ten minutes, County began to play some nice football with Candler, and Lovatt linking up well in attack. County’s first clear chance came in the eleventh minute when right-winger Galloway carved the defence open with a through ball. County’s forward, Brown, shot just wide of the right-hand post.
Despite early County pressure, Bowland took the lead against the run of play when a good run and cross from Dunleavy found striker Hesse who managed to get a shot off from a tight angle, which just beat Kay in the County goal. Dunleavy and Hesse were by far Bowland’s best performers, especially in the first half where they appeared to be County’s main threat.
County replied almost instantly, equalizing within three minutes with midfielder Gammie scoring the best goal of the match. After Bowland failed to clear from a County throw-in, the ball rolled out to Gammie on the edge of the box. His shot struck in off the bar to level the score.
As soon as Bowland restarted the match, County were straight on the offensive again with Brown going close to putting the yellow and blues in front.
In the 30th minute, Bowland almost took the lead when a mix up between centre-backs Fries and Beckwith lead to Dunleavy hitting the cross bar. Despite that brief scare, County continued to create more chances before the break, lacking only that killer pass in the last third.
The second half began much like the first, with both teams competing in a combative midfield. County captain Dale Vardy in particular flew into challenges, occasionally winning the ball until he was finally booked later on in the half. That said, it did not take long for County to regain control of the match with Gammie going close to putting his side in front but for a last-ditch tackle.
A few minutes later, Fries had a header cleared off the line and Gammie had a shot on the edge of the box but this time it was comfortably saved by Stainsby, the Bowland keeper.
County began to dominate in all areas of the pitch from then on with chances from Candler, Brown and not least Finn, Gammie’s replacement, who had a couple shots blocked within the six-yard box.
In the seventieth minute, County’s pressure finally tolled when Vardy’s long throw and Lovatt’s aerial pressure led to an own goal to give County a well deserved lead.
With the score at 2-1 and twenty minutes to go, County refused to sit back, generating more chances in front of the Bowland goal. Substitute Gynn was particularly involved in many of the later chances, with excellent passes to set up wingers Lovatt and Galloway who both came close.
Except for the early set-back of going behind, County ran out comfortable winners against a rather disjointed Bowland side. County secured their second victory of the season, bringing their tally to six points. Bowland having lost twice, remain pointless near the bottom.