Brave display by valiant Sabden

Kian Briercliffe scored a brace

Kian Briercliffe scored a brace

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A wholehearted display by Sabden fell short of producing a back-to-back win at Nutter Barn, as high-flying Burnley Athletic left with three points.

Sabden spent a lot of the first half pegged back into their own half, as Athletic dominated possession. However, a scratch centre-half pairing of Ryan Graves and new signing, Ryan Ellis, marshalled the backline with considerable poise and skill. They were further aided in this respect by quality contributions from Ben Dewhurst, with Zac Musker

When Sabden did get the ball, it was shifted quickly to the front; and with considerable success. Twice in the early part of the game, Charlie Collinge found himself with clear cut chances, only to uncharacteristically pull his shots wide of the target.

On 24 minutes, Paul Astin was gifted the ball by the Burnley defence and he made no mistake, tucking the ball neatly into the net. Athletic continued to press hard and on 38 minutes, Athletic finally found a way through via the right flank as a fine shot nestled in the corner for Athletic’s equaliser.

One minute before the interval, Fallon won a ball on the halfway line and rolled the ball into the path of the outstanding Will Child. Child added to his growing list of assists by slipping the ball to Collinge who unleashed an unstoppable drive into the top right corner from 25 yards.

It did not take long for another equaliser, which arrived on 51 minutes, with the ball striking Dewhurst on its way into the net.

Just two minutes later Jonny Heap made a 50/50challenge for the ball and a scuffle ensued. Both Heap and his opponent were sent off but Athletic adjusted more quickly to the enforced changes and just before the hour mark, got their noses in front for the first time, as a hasty clearance was returned with interest, with Diggins unsighted in the Sabden goal.

On 64 minutes, Athletic scored their fourth. For the remaining 25 minutes Sabden fought hard for the goal that could bring them back into the contest.

With 10 minutes left, Fallon broke clear, but the keeper saved well and the chance was gone, and Sabden were unable to make any further inroads into the score before Mr Reid blew for full-time.