Bucks Suffer Bank Holiday Blues
Phil Stafford’s side pay the price for poor first half showing. Image: Judie Tingle
Bootle suffered a Bank Holiday Monday to forget - after Congleton condemned them to their first league defeat of the season.
After getting stuck in heavy traffic on the M6, Phil Stafford’s side didn’t arrive at the 106.9 Silk Stadium till 15.25 - 25 minutes after the game was originally due to kick off.
A 4pm Kick Off was then agreed by all parties, but the opening 45 minutes brought little to brighten the Bucks’ mood, with the hosts racing into a commanding 3-0 lead.
Their first arrived after just 10 minutes. Steve Foster’s instinctive first time flick released Dan Cope who volleyed first time past Ryan Jones from 15-yards out.
Congleton then twice went close to doubling their lead when Foster saw an effort blocked by Hoy - before Cope rattled the inside of the post after collecting Billy Hassler-Cregg’s defence splitting pass.
While at the other end, Bootle best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell the way of Johnny Foy.
A quick Bootle break saw Jamie Colebourn release Lee McConchie who in-return crossed for Foy, but the youngster fired well over.
But on the half hour mark the hosts doubled their lead in stunning style.
After collecting Anthony Griffith’s cross field pass, Hassler-Cregg cut inside and let fly with a curling right-footed effort that flew past Jones and into the top corner of the net.
The hosts continued the pile on the pressure with Jones producing a fine one handed save to keep out Warburton’s free kick - before the Bucks stopper got down low to push Bevan Burley’s effort away for a corner.
But five minutes before the half time interval Jones would be beaten. After combining for Towns first goal Cope and Foster again combined, but this time it was Cope’s turn to be the provider.
Swinging in a cross from left, the former Hanley Town man found the head of Foster who diverted the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
To their credit, Bootle started the second had with a lot more purpose to their play and registered their first effort on target when Foy fired straight at Craig Ellison after pouncing on Andrew Gillespie’s knock down.
Before Gillespie himself fired over after trying his luck from range.
At the other end, Hassler-Cregg fired wide before John Main stung palms of Jones.
But Bootle’s best chance of the game arrived five minutes from time. Substitute Gillespie let fly with a instinctive chip from range which was superbly pushed over by Ellison.