Burscough 2 Brighouse Town 1
Once again Brighouse were made to pay for missed chances as Burscough moved into the play-off places as Town slipped further off the pace.
In fact, in terms of football and despite being 1-0 down to a fifth-minute goal after a sloppy defensive lapse, Brighouse were arguably the best side.
Former Huddersfield Town player Dave Sutton was full of praise for Town’s midfield player Ryan Hall, who sadly was starved of service in the second half out on the right.
Town’s manager Paul Quinn, who drafted in Tom Robinson and surprisingly dropped striker Daniel Facey to the bench, commented after the game that his side had had three or four clear-cut first-half chances to have given them the lead, plus others in the second half.
“It is developing into the same old story, we are creating the chances but not putting them away,” he lamented.
“We are not being clinical enough in the final third after some good approach play.”
The manager said he had opted to bring Facey in after he had come through the Thursday training session and said he had come through his last 20 minutes of the game okay.
Burscough had the first opportunity to score after two minutes but James Pollard kcleared off the line to save his side’s blushes.
The ball was quickly shipped to the other end and Tom Robinson and Leon Henry could both have put their side ahead.
Then, sloppy passing on the edge of their own penalty area cost Town dearly as they were dispossessed and Michael Monaghan struck with a neat curling short which moved away from Town keeper Chandler Hallwood.
Almost from the restart Alex Honeyball tested Hallwood and then Monaghan struck just wide of the target this time.
Henry, Hall and Ernest Boafoa took Town close again but the final effort was wide of the target before James Hurtley, from a corner, saw his chance come to nothing.
On 22 minutes, Drew Lewis blasted over for the home side with the goal at his mercy and then Chris Fisher released Boafo but Hare dealt with his shot. Boafo had another good chance, but the off-form striker shot straight into touch.
Hall was testing the home defence, with both Honeyball and Anthony Brown wishing the first half whistle would come, while Robinson and Pollard were also pushing forward.
Despite being so dominant in terms of possession and chances, Town were unable to find the equaliser in the first half.
Honeyball did come off at half-time to be replaced by Matty Devine and one minute into the half Town’s Sam Hewitt was injured, but he opted to run it off.
Town looked as though they would level in the 51st minute when Henry was clear and heading into the box but he was tackled just as he was about to pull the trigger.
There then followed some drama as home keeper Hare collided with two of his teammates and Boafo. After two minutes of treatment he carried on and was finally beaten in the 56th minute when Robinson headed in from a free-kick out on the left.
The goal gave Town the lift they needed and Fisher and Henry worked the ball for Robinson but this time he was denied.
Robinson, who was working hard on his first full start of the season after a long illness, was just wide with a curling shot.
Kurt Harris then replaced Ben Atkinson in midfield for Town and he was only on the pitch three minutes before Burscough retook the lead.
A free-kick was swung in from an angle out on the left and surprisingly Hallwood did not come to claim it but central defender Nick Ryan did to the delight of his team-mates and the home crowd.
There was another delay of two minutes while Burscough put Devine in goal for Hare who was not fit to continue from his earlier injury, with Karl Noon coming on.
It was now raining heavily as Quinn threw on Facey for Robinson and then Isaac Baldwin for Henry for one last throw of the dice.
Town did have their moments in search of an equaliser, but so did the home side, as Town pushed forward leaving holes at the back.
There was controversy at the end with the referee going with four minutes added time when Town clearly thought there were more minutes lost in substitutions, the goal and other injuries apart from the keeper, but they were unable to find the leveller.
Burscough: Hare, Camozzi, Honeyball, Brown, Ryan, Williams, Monagahan, Smart, Jones, Lewis, Rice. Subs: Noon , Conway, Caddick, Devine, Whittington.
Brighouse Town: Hallwood, Pollard, Fisher, Field, Hurtley, Hewitt, Hall, Atkinson, Boafo, Robinson, Henry. Subs: Harris, Thornton, Baldwin, Facey, Hargreen.