Bucks Make It 16 In A Row
By Connor O'Neill
Joe Doran's side remain in second after latest win in East Lancashire. Image: Sam Inkson
Ryan Cox’s first-half goal was enough to help Bootle make it 16 wins on the bounce after they overcame Barnoldswick Town.
In truth, it could and probably should have been more, with Joe Doran's side wasting of a host of chances in either half, but the manner in which the Bucks dug in deep to get themselves over the line was more than impressive.
Doran's side came into the game knowing that the slightest slip-up would all but end their hopes of catching current league-leaders City of Liverpool, but any potential nerves were eased on nine minutes when Cox fired his side ahead.
A long ball over the top was collected by the forward before he instinctively let fly with an effort that found the bottom corner of the net from 25-yards out.
Further chances followed for Doran's side, with Ryan Livesey in the Barlick denying Cox - before Ste Jones and Carl Peers both fired over.
The hosts were then reduced to ten men on 30 minutes after Samuel Anankwaa was shown a straight red card for an off the ball incident.
But to their credit, Matt Barnes' side responded well to going down to ten men with Zach Dale twice testing Ryan Jones in the Bootle goal before the first-half was out.
The second-half, however, was all one-way traffic, with Livesey denying Jones in the opening stages - before Cox headed Michael Carberry's cross over.
Livesey then denied Peers with his foot - before the former Maine Road keeper produced a superb flying save to tip Cox's effort over the bar.
But the Bucks' best chance of the second period fell the way of Jamie Clark.
Liam Loughlin released Kieran Halligan down the right, before the full-back crossed for the unmarked Clark, but despite having the goal at his mercy, the midfielder somehow side-footed the ball wide from 12-yards out.
Barlick, though, continued to battle hard, and their efforts were nearly rewarded in the dying stages.
Zak Dale managed to find some space on the edge of the box before letting fly with a right-footed driven effort that was superbly pushed over the bar by Jones.