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FC Isle of Man lose out to Burscough after second-half goal feast

Photo Credit: Gary Weightman/Vannin Photos

Ravens beaten despite dramatic second-half comeback

FC Isle of Man suffered dramatic late heartbreak as a wild second half saw them beaten 4-3 by Burscough at The Bowl in the NWCFL Premier Division this evening (2 January).

Burscough’s Thomas Ruffer had the visitors 2-0 up with a close range header followed by a well-taken penalty before he was sent off for dissent towards the referee.

FC Isle of Man then produced an astonishing comeback to take a 3-2 lead thanks to a quick fire trio of goals courtesy of Jack McVey, Morgan Naylor and Furo Davies.

But 10-Man Burscough struck back through the prolific Edward Servuts to level at 3-3 in the 90th minute before the Lancashire club scored the winner through Alexander McMillan from the penalty spot deep into second-half stoppage time.

Both teams took to the field for their first respective contests of 2023 with FC Isle of Man hoping to build on a big away victory in their previous outing, whilst Burscough were hoping to add to a recent run of good form knowing victory would take them out of the relegation zone.

The first half had little in the way of clear cut chances for either outfit with both sides struggling to find quality in the final third.

Arguably the closest opening came for the hosts in the ninth minute as FC Isle of Man’s Ste Whitley saw his free-kick from 20 yards beaten away by Burscough goalkeeper, Charles Monks.

After a goalless and largely uneventful first 45, Burscough started the second period the brighter and got their reward eight minutes in.

A deft cross from the right from Xenon Bahula found Thomas Ruffer who got between the FC Isle of Man centre-backs and drove a powerful header from six yards low and through the legs of Ravens stopper, James Rice for 1-0.

FC Isle of Man struggled to respond as Burscough held firm, and with 19 minutes to go the start of a dramatic end to the game began when Burscough’s Jordan Monthe was brought down in the FC IOM box with referee, Jamie Roberts, pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Ruffer who emphatically struck home the spot-kick into the top left corner to give the visitors a commanding 2-0 advantage.

However, shortly after in the 76th minute, Ruffer’s night changed when, following an FC Isle of Man challenge and resulting foul, Ruffer was shown a straight red card for dissent towards referee Roberts for his reaction.

Now down to ten men, Burscough just two minutes later found their advantage halved as, from almost nowhere, FC Isle of Man found the net when Jack McVey slammed home from point-blank range after Burscough had failed to fully clear a corner.

This seemed to transform the home side, and then on 83 minutes they were level - a marauding run from full-back Jacob Crook past two defenders and around Monks in the Burscough goal saw Crook hit a shot against the post from a tight angle, only for the ball to fall to substitute Morgan Naylor who slammed a shot home into an empty net for 2-2.

Now on equal terms and all of a sudden in full flow, FC Isle of Man then took an astonishing 3-2 lead with four minutes of normal time left - a Whitley free-kick from the right was met at the back post by Furo Davies who rose highest to guide a header into Monks’ bottom right-corner.

With some in the home crowd thinking the comeback was complete, Burscough then stunned the local support to fight back in the 90th minute when a swift counter-attack down the left saw Bahula involved again as he slotted a low pass into striker, Edward Servuts, who six yards out swivelled on the spot and fired a low effort past Rice into the bottom left corner to make it 3-3 and set up a grandstand finish.

But the final sting in the tail was yet to come in the 94th minute when FC IOM’s Naylor was adjudged to bring down Burscough's Bahula in the box with Roberts awarding the Lancashire side a penalty for the second time in the game.

This time, substitute Alexander McMillan stepped up and finished with aplomb, striking low into the bottom corner and sending Rice the wrong way to earn the away side a last-gasp 4-3 win.

FC Isle of Man’s next match will be at home against Kendal Town next Saturday (7 January) kicking-off at 6pm.


Man of the Match: Jacob Crook (FC Isle of Man)







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