By Neil Leatherbarrow


Burscough made it three wins from three North West Counties Premier Division games with a spectacular victory in their first ever league game played overseas, flying out to the Isle of Man on Monday morning and flying home with all three points after a remarkable best of seven goals success in a see-saw encounter that went on for eight minutes added time.

Burscough looked to be cruising to a 2-0 victory with only twelve minutes remaining on the clock in the Manx Bowl, but then three goals in a bombshell eight minute period which included having a man sent off gave the hosts a 3-2 lead going into added time.

Burscough equalised on ninety minutes before going 4-3 up on 90 + 5 minutes, ultimately it might actually have been 5-3 but a vociferous penalty appeal by the Linnets on 90 + 7 minutes was turned down.

After digging in for the first twenty minutes during which goalkeeper Charlie Monks made a couple of excellent saves one from Furo Davies and a second from a Stephen Whitley free kick, Burscough gradually got their game together and began to play their usual passing build-up style and the latter part of the first-half was pretty even, but was still goalless at the interval.

The second half opened with a more open display of football and both goalkeepers made decent stops, up until the 54th minute when Burscough took the lead. Tom Ruffer finding the net from just inside the position, pouncing on a ball driven in from a wide position.

On 68 minutes a clever piece of control by Ruffer put two home defenders out of the game but he couldn’t get his shot on target.

In the 70th minute Burscough made it 2-0. A clumsy challenge by the hosts Morgan Naylor resulted in a penalty being given, Ruffer smashing the ball into the roof (appropriately) of the net.

Fourteen minutes from the end it started to go wrong for the Linnets; Ruffer was given a red card by referee Jamie Roberts, allegedly for dissent.

Before Burscough could reorganise properly Jack McVey thumped home a loose ball that come about after a Sam Baines corner.

Burscough were rocking and on 84 minutes Isle of Man equalised, a superb run down the left by left back Jacob Crook saw his shot hit the post and making up for giving away the earlier penalty Naylor was on hand for an easy finish.

With four minutes of normal time left on the clock the nightmare from a Linnets perspective was complete; Isle of Man went into a 3-2. Whitley hoisted a free kick into the box, Davies lost his man a headed home.

Even though the ecstatic home support now had the ground bouncing Burscough determinedly fought back, just as five minutes added time was signalled (the referee was to play eight) Burscough equalised themselves. Eddie Servuts turned sharply in the penalty area and his shot beat home goalkeeper James Rice. It really was now game on.

93 minutes had elapsed when another clumsy challenge resulted in a penalty kick, the former scorer Ruffer was now in the dressing room so it was up to Alex McMillan to restore the Burscough lead, he sent keeper Rice the wrong way and it was 4-3 to Burscough.

The last quarter of an hour had seen more blows and more unexpected recoveries than a Rocky Balboa film, but without the actual violence, it was a proper thrilling encounter.

On 96 minutes there was another appeal for a third Linnets penalty but Mr Roberts was having none of that and Burscough hung on for a memorable win and no doubt to create a happy flight home.


FC ISLE OF MAN: Rice, Shimmin, Crook, McVey, Maitland, Corlett, Whitley ©, McDonnell, Davies, Baines, Higgins Subs Jones, Watson, Clark K., Naylor, Creer


BURSCOUGH: Monks, Kinsella, Parrington, Boydell ©, Koehler, Willingham, Bahula, Ruffer, Servuts, Pellegrini, Monthe Subs Speed, Clark J., Middlehurst, McMillan, Maciejewski


REFEREE: Jamie Roberts                                                  ATTENDANCE: 920