Whinney Hill 0
Todmorden Borough 2
WLFL Challenge Cup Quarter Final
Borough put in a great team performance to set themselves up for the semi-final.
Weeks of inactivity left them with a desire to play and win in a tough no compromise game.
They responded to the challenge and, according to manager John Gilford: “Did themselves proud.”
Tactics were changed to deal with the aggressive play of the home side, who lie one place above them in the West Lancashire League Division Two.
Oliver Gilford went into the back four with James Pevoy and the experienced Karl Stanley moved to fullback in an effort to curtail the home side’s best player.
Nicky Taylor came in for his first game after being sidelined with injury for most of the season and immediately started to dominate the midfield.
Borough had expected a hard battle and got it with no holds barred in the opening 10 minutes.
Then the visitors went ahead against the run of play in the 15th minute.
Chris Kay broke free on the right and put in a good ball to Oliver Gilford who chested it down and slipped it to Dean Farry, who held off a defender before hitting it home.
Taylor began to run the show in midfield with Danny Welsh.
Otherwise it was virtually stalemate for the rest of the half with each side cancelling the other out.
Borough just had one scare as a free kick into the box caused problems before running dead.
The home side came out even more aggressively in the second half, but the back four of Oliver Gilford, Pevoy, Stanley and Stevie Barker held firm.
Goalkeeper Jamie Shackleton was called upon to make a fine save as the two sides battled it out for 20 minutes.
Then the weeks of inactivity began to take their toll as both sides tired.
But Taylor was still in charge and put a ball through to Elliott Gilford whose deft pass gave striker Olver Wood a great chance.
He drew the goalkepper before putting the ball in the net.
Borough replaced Barker with Joe Anson, Elliott Gilford with Dave Patrick and Kay with Terry Lowe as they toughed it out with the home side in the last 10 minutes.
Manager Gilford had nothing but praise for his team.
“It was a fantastic result. The effort the lads put in was outstanding.
“If they played like that every game we would be top of the league.”
Borough return to league action on Saturday when they play second-placed Furness Rovers at home (kick-off 3pm).
It will be Borough’s first home game since October 23 last year.
With two more home games to follow it will give Borough the chance to string a run of results together to move up the table.
To help boost the squad for the rest of the season Borough have signed centre back Jordan Rispen on loan.
The former Rossendale man has Conference North experience and Borough will hope he can help them recover lost ground.