WEEKS without a game told on Todmorden Borough as they went down to league leaders Burscough Richmond.
The scoreline did not reflect the closeness of the contest, which was only sealed by the home side with two quick goals in the final minutes.
Borough were frustrated by an officious referee in a relatively clean hard fought game in which there were eight bookings, two penalties and a red card.
Eventually they ran out steam, after weeks without a game, and had to play the last 30 minutes with 10 men after Stephen Senior was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Manager John Gilford had to make a late change and moved Chris Pearson to fullback, while Dave Patrick came on in place of the injured Oliver Wood.
But there was no excuse when Borough were caught napping in only the second minute and conceded a goal after a quickly taken short corner.
They weathered the storm from the home side for the first 15 minutes but then got back into the game.
But things went against them when they conceded a penalty, although Borough’s Harry Whitehead maintained there had been no contact. But to his and Borough’s relief the spot kick was wide.
Just before half-time, Senior broke into the box, but was upended. He took the resulting penalty himself to level the scores at the break.
Borough came out strongly in the second half and while looking comfortable lacked the cutting edge.
Their good work was undone by a mistake which put the defenders under pressure and a cross from the left was met with a spectacular overhead kick which left Borough keeper Lee McGrath with little chance.
Dean Farry came on to add pace to attack and Lee Earnshaw replaced Patrick and immediately hit the post.
But once Senior had left the field it became an almost impossible task for Borough and they conceded twice at the end of the game, once from a loose ball in the area and then with a blast from the edge of the box, which was the last act of the match.
“The score flattered them, but they are the league leaders. We’re still in third place, but struggling a bit and need a run of games to get that sharpness back,” said Gilford.
Borough are at home on Saturday in their delayed league cup tie against Milnthorpe Corinthians (kick-off 2.30pm).