A CONTROVERSIAL red card played its part as Bacup Borough could not hang on to an early lead at North West Counties Premier Division leaders Maine Road.

Lee Oldham put the visitors ahead after only two minutes but Borough then felt aggrieved when Shane Birtles was sent off for two bookings, the first of which was issued for simulation.

Neil Chappell levelled two minutes after half time and, although the Maine Road goalscorer was later sent off himself, the hosts claimed victory thanks to Matthew Warburton’s 68th-minute goal.