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Bowland 4-0 Lonsdale
Bowland gained their first win of the season with a thumping victory against fierce rivals Lonsdale. Guy Pearson’s second-half penalty got Bowland off and running, before two quick-fire goals and a late fourth settled this tasty encounter.
Both teams went into the game looking for a win to kick start their season; having both suffered two consecutive defeats.
The game began at a high tempo, and the desire to win was in full evidence in the opening stages, with both teams putting in some crunching tackles.
Lonsdale forced most of the early pressure, keeping the ball in Bowland’s half.
But it was Bowland who fashioned the game’s first big chance. A throw in dropped to right-winger Dom Finn at the back post but he could only volley straight at Matt Wood in the Lonsdale goal.
Lonsdale’s first chance fell to Pete McCarthy, who fired over from just outside the box.
The tackles kept flying in, with Lonsdale’s Brad Ashford and Bowland’s captain Guy Pearson going in the book.
But the game started to open up, with Bowland going close again as Denholm Hesse robbed Ashford in midfield, cut inside and forced a sprawling save from Wood.
Bowland’s pressure grew as the half wore on and they should have been 1-0 up before the break. A throw in landed at Jamie Preston at the back-post, who blazed over with the goal gaping.
As the game sparked into life, McCarthy was next to go close for Lonsdale, making a surging run from his own half before drilling it wide from inside the penalty box.
Lonsdale were inches away from taking the lead just before half-time, as a testing free-kick was taken off the head of Chris Floodgate by a superb defensive header by Guy Pearson.
The second half continued where the first half left off, with some tasty tackles and plenty of chances created.
Bowland really turned on the style in the second half, with Lonsdale keeper Matt Wood forced to make a terrific save to deny Hesse. Bowland then went even closer with a long-range pile driver from James Iberson Hurst, which rattled the crossbar.
For all the good chances created in open play, it was ironic that the breakthrough came from a scrappy penalty decision. Bowland’s throw-in was not properly cleared and substitute Scott Wilkinson was penalised for handball.
The decision may have been debatable, but the finish wasn’t; Guy Pearson kept his nerve and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, sending Wood the wrong way. Cue jubilant celebrations from Bowland players and supporters alike.
Jamie Preston should have sealed the game minutes later, but could only volley straight at Wood from six yards.
However, Preston atoned for his earlier miss as a route one free kick was played into the box and he finished in style.
2-0 very quickly became 3-0 following a scramble in the box, where left-winger Karl Purvis was on hand to tap-in and put the result beyond doubt.
Bowland then rubbed salt into wounds in the final minute, as Preston ghosted past Tom Forrest and slotted it into the bottom right corner.
Captain Guy Pearson said of his team’s resounding victory “Every one of my lads put in 110% today. This is the start of our season now, that second half we just wanted it more than anything, our team spirit today was fantastic and that’s going to get us through the season”.