Borough exit cup but pride is restored

Todmorden Borough's Chris Kay (right) and James Hardman (no. 4) watch Ash Ball's header for Leyland last Saturday
Todmorden Borough's Chris Kay (right) and James Hardman (no. 4) watch Ash Ball's header for Leyland last Saturday

Borough’s final hopes of winning something this season vanished on Saturday but boss John Gilford was far from unhappy.

After the debacle of the 9-0 home hiding by Division Two leaders Askam the previous week, Borough regained some pride in a 2-0 Challenge Cup loss away to third-placed Leyland United.

“It was a good all-round performance. I said we needed to get some credibility back and show a bit of fight and that is exactly what we did,” said Gilford.

Danny Welsh (groin) failed a fitness test so Chris Kay came in at centre half to partner Harry Whitehead and the pair did well.

Jim Hardman, also back from suspension, joined Jack Dungworth in the centre of the park and Borough hassled and harried their reputedly big-spending hosts in the early stages.

The visitors, with the advantage of the slope, offered the greater threat.

Elliott Gilford’s long-range effort went wide, Ben Whitham missed a decent chance, a Kay free-kick tested the ‘keeper and a Dave Patrick effort wasn’t far away.

At the other end, Lee McGrath made a couple of clearances from through balls but had no saves to make.

Leyland passed nicely after the break but the game remained goalless up to the hour mark. Then a deep cross was cleared to the edge of the area and the ball dropped nicely to a home player, who rifled the ball into the corner of the net.

Leyland sealed victory after 75 minutes when Borough failed to deal with a free kick and the big centre half headed home.

Gilford added: “We really worked for 90 minutes and battled hard but the ball did not fall for us.”

Borough have four league games left, starting at home to Stoneclough on Saturday week.