Burgh Town 4 Alford Town 2
East Lincs Combination
A battling team performance secured Burgh Town’s passage into the next round of the Town Trophy with a 4-2 victory over division one side Alford Town.
They had to do it the hard way, after going a goal down with the game only five minutes old. Centre back Ross Muirhead’s short back pass was intercepted by the nippy Alford winger, who rounded keeper Ben Taylor before tapping into the empty net to give his team an early advantage.
Burgh showed great character though, digging deep and marching back to grab a deserved equaliser. Gino Lanzetta surged down the left, going past his marker and smashing his shot goalwards, only to see it rebound from the woodwork. But the alert Josh Whittam was on hand to stab home the rebound from close range.
This gave Burgh’s confidence a boost as they pegged Alford back deep in their own defensive third, with tough tackling Charlie Carter, Darren Murphy and Herbie Nichols all excellent in the middle of the park with Sean Wathall conducting proceedings from a holding position.
Burgh’s second goal arrived after Ryan ‘Rocky’ Beresford combined well with Carter down the right, the latter being upended on the edge of the Alford box. Josh Whittam’s perfectly flighted free kick was met by Muirhead, who powered his header into the roof of the net.
Alford’s defence seemed in disarray and Burgh increased their lead. A corner down the Burgh right saw Muirhead leap highest in the area again. His header was initially blocked, but he bundled the rebound over the line for a deserved 3-1 advantage.
Against the run of play Alford were thrown a lifeline, as a free kick taken on the edge of Burgh’s area found its way into the net. Ben Taylor made an initial excellent save, but the slippery ball squirted out of his grasp and into the Alford striker’s path for a simple tap in.
After the break Burgh expected an onslaught, but it didn’t materialise. The tricky conditions made it hard for either side to gather a head of steam and the Burgh midfield kept control of things. The excellent centre back pairing of Mark Pellow and man of the match Ross Muirhead dealt ably with anything that did get through, while second half sub John Maycock also produced an impressive display.
Burgh capped a fine performance by adding the fourth goal. Pellow’s long through ball was tracked down by top scorer Jordan Houlston. His persistence forced a misunderstanding between centre backs and goalkeeper and he slipped in between them to score from 12 yards.
Keeper Taylor was called into action late in the game, diving full length to tip an effort round his post.
Burgh were also boosted further by the return of influential centre back Arun Gray. He got 15 minutes under his belt after being sidelined just before Christmas with a burst appendix.
Burgh -Taylor, Beresford, Lanzetta, Pellow, Muirhead, Murphy, Wathall, Nicholls, Carter, Whittam, Houlston, Maycock, Gray, Chapman.
On Saturday Burgh are away to Caistor (kick-off 2.30pm).