15 months in the making, a game changer and the loss of silverware ?

Maghull 0-1 South Liverpool

Saturday 13th December 2014 kick off 2pm

It looks like another weeks wait for that change of luck.

The league leaders came to Old Hall Field looking to take a ten point lead at the top of the table, albeit over nearest challengers who have three games in hand. But this one was a real must win for Maghull, to keep them in the title race. After suffering an abrupt about turn in the reverse fixture earlier in the season (leading 1-0 but conceding twice in the final ten minutes) the hosts must have felt confident of being able to get a positive result,

The first half was a bit of a stalemate, with neither side being able to take control or create much in the way of chances. But South changed this when they seemed convinced they had opened the scoring, only for Lee Carrol to get a foot in the way of a goalbound effort for a fine save. This seemed to spur on Maghull and they began taking the game to the league leaders and should have been rewarded with taking the lead.

An effort looped up and was looking as if it was going out for a corner, the keeper made a desperate lunge to clear the ball for a throw in, but the linesman, some 10 yards behind play, gave a corner to Maghull. A wee bit of guesswork if you ask me, as nobody could tell if the ball had gone out. From the resulting corner Maghull couldnt make headway and played the ball back out to Brad Smart, he played the ball across the box. Via a deflection, the ball came to Michael Boyle who played the ball into the path of the onrushing Danny Dillon, who struck his effort into the net off the inside of the post. The referee pointed to the centre circle, but spotted the linesmans flag raised. He disallowed the effort and an uproar ensued from the Maghull players. Making the matter worse was that NO South players appealed for an infringement. Once again, an official had made a shocking decision against Maghull. It seems like a weekly occurrence now and it would be nice if someone got to grips with some officials to show you how to get a basic decision right.

From the resulting free kick, South broke away, a ball was played in from the right, a player made a dummy, and left three defenders looking like something out of Madame Tussauds and the incoming player smashed the ball past the keeper and instead of being a goal to the good, Maghull were a goal down 60 seconds later. A real sickener and and can only be put down to minds still being on the disputed decision at the other end. With a couple of minutes left, the first half was played out to a lead for the visitors.

South started the second half much the brighter, obviously intent on trying to get a second goal to kill off the match. For five minutes they pinned Maghull into their own half, but nothing of substance was created.

Maghull then got to grips with the game and for thirty minutes totally ran the game. South did have the odd breakaway from a long clearance, but all in all it was just relieving the pressure. Though not creating chance after chance, they asked serious questions of the leaders. One very good chance went begging, another struck the crossbar. The longer the game went on, the less likely an equaliser looked like coming. An awful lot of possession and pressure, but nothing to show for all of their endeavour.

The last ten minutes was like the first thirty revisted, a tough midfield battle, which suited South as they had the advantage.

The final whistle brought about Maghulls first home league defeat since September 2013 and it all rested on one game changing decision. I know the lads will not give up the hope of retaining the title, but it is looking like a forlorn hope right now.

Next game : Hale away league Saturday 20th December 2014 kick off 2pm

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