Todmorden Borough get a chance to catch their breath this weekend after maintaining their superb start to 2014.
John Gilford’s side were 4-2 winners at Ladybridge last weekend, following up their 2-1 victory away to title-gunning GSK Ulvertson Rangers and their penalties success over Kendal County in the Challenge Cup.
Borough have no game in the West Lancashire League on Saturday but have climbed into the top half of the Division Two table and will aim to get enough points in their last five matches to stay there.
Gilford said that would be a satisfactory outcome after his side had managed only one win and two draws from their first eight games.
Playing on a 4G pitch in Bolton held no fears for Borough and they romped into a 3-0 interval lead against Ladybridge.
“We were outstanding in the first half and played as well as we have all season,” said Gilford.
Tod made an unusually brisk start on a beautiful surface with a true bounce, the only downside being the bruised knees for those who dared to tackle.
The visitors were in front after seven minutes, Jim Hardman scoring when Ladybridge failed to clear.
A Ben Whitham effort was saved and Gilford’s son Elliott shot wide but Borough’s fine play was rewarded with further goals from Whitham and Hardman from balls across the face of goal.
Gilford senior decided on a safety first approach at half time, following the side’s recent disciplinary problems, and took off central midfielder Jack Dungworth, who had been booked.
The resulting changes disturbed Borough’s flow and Ladybridge responded with some fine play of their own, going through the middle of a Tod side which had looked solid up to then and pulling a goal back.
Chris Kay was moved into the the centre of the park to shore things up and when the home side failed to clear after Dave Patrick had hit the bar, Dean Farry made it 1-4.
Ladybridge scored a second midway through the half but Borough, who had appeals for penalties after challenges on Whitham, Stevie Barker and Elliott Gilford turned down, stayed on top.
After a free day on Saturday, Borough play Stoneclough at home and then look set to play the winners of the delayed Leyland versus Milnthorpe tie in the cup.
Borough’s reserves, whose game was postponed last weekend, host top of the table Mill Hill St Peters Reserves this Saturday.
Last weekend’s first team subs Dan Lively, Farry and Marco Romaro, who only played 65 minutes between them five days ago, could be included.