FOLLOWING their surprise home defeat to Widnes Vikings on Wednesday, the FA Cup was exactly the tonic Formby needed to clear any hangover.
The visit to Premier Division Bacup and Rossendale Borough held no fears for the Squirrels as they won a League Challenge Trophy quarter final there last season.
The early exchanges were dominated by Borough as Formby struggled with their formation. Jonathan Swatton needed to make two interceptions to prevent Simon Thompson getting in and Marvin Molyneux had to be alert to stop Paul Gallagher.
Formby’s first real incursion into the Borough half came in the eighth minute.
A Borough corner was cleared up field towards Kurt Sherlock. The tough centre forward held off a defender before attempting to lob the Batman-esque Andy Gotham in the Borough goal. He was unlucky to see his effort clear the bar.
A minute later and Formby were ahead. A smart interchange of passes between Franny Smith and Paul Speed ended with a confident Connor Belger finish.
The goal was exactly what Formby needed as it gave them the confidence to play their swift passing game.
In the thirteenth minute they doubled their lead and it was Belger again who took the chance.
He collected the ball on the right edge of the area and carried it along the eighteen yard line until a gap appeared.
He looked up and shot across Gotham and into the corner of the net.
The remainder of the half was Formby’s. Kieron Brislen got forward from right back and ended a flowing move with an angled drive that just cleared the crossbar.
Jonathan Swatton, looking particularly composed at centre half, drove into the Borough half and powered a shot that Gotham tipped over the bar.
When you’ve missed enough chances to win three games, a 2-0 lead is always precarious. Almost from the kick off Borough pulled a goal back. Some slack play in midfield allowed Shane Birtles time and space in which to move.
He took the ball on and as Formby’s defence dropped back he hit a low shot that gave McGuire no chance in the Formby goal. Game on.
Formby remained calm though and three minutes later restored their two goal lead.
Jamie Henders linked up well with Franny Smith before delivering a superb cross field ball that picked Connor Belger out in acres of space. The precocious forward took his time before delivering a delightful cross into the penalty area that was met by the diving head of Franny Smith.
With the game effectively over it all became a bit scrappy in midfield.
On the hour Connor Belger was booked for a heavy but not malicious challenge on Borough’s Jonathan Lupepe.
In the 78th minute Belger broke clear of the Borough defence and tore into the penalty area.
His shot was saved by Gotham with his legs but the rebound fell to Franny Smith who had no difficulty in side footing the ball home.