A comfortable hour, squeaky bum time and a classy finish

Maghull 3 - 1 Newton

Saturday 14th November 2015  kick off 2pm

What a grotty day, but a cracking game of football took place in the deluge.

Newton arrived having led the table for most of the season and of course they gave Maghull a whirlwind first half blast at their place earlier in the season. But with both sides in top form, this did have the potential to impress the large crowd not put off by the awful weather. And it lived up to it's billing.

One side held sway for so long in this game. Maghull started well and though Newton their moments, they were few and far between and of little danger.

The hosts pressed high and controlled the midfield battle. A couple of early tackles incensed the sidelines, but credit to the referee who took the conditions into account and kept his cards in his pocket. Unfortunately, after much verbage from both sets of teams officials, two silly yellow cards were produced, one for each side, probably to appease those grumbling.

Newton rode their luck in the first half, but they could not hold out after a few earlier scares. Brad Smart played a clever ball down the channel to Jay Hooper. He cut in and as a square ball or cut back was expected, he calmly struck a shot with the outside of his right foot with the ball clattering off a retreating defender on its way into the net. Clearly Hoopers goal. And the only disappointment at half time was that the lead was only by one goal to nil.

The second half started as the first had ended, Maghull could have increased their lead before a silly and rash challenge brought about a penalty. Tom Foleys cute through ball found Mark Madden and he was callously brought to the ground and gave the referee one of his easier decisions of the afternoon. Brad Smart thrashed it to the keepers right and doubled the lead. The game should really have been put to bed now. Newton had offered little or no threat up front, but a change of personnel on both sides, enforced in Maghulls case, saw the game swing dramatically with twenty minutes to go.

The visitors made a big claim for a penalty, which I may have seen and commented on if they had not has do many people in the technical area. I am pretty sure that area has a limited number of people allowed in it. Anyway, I have heard since from Maghull sources, they have seen them given but would not have been impressed if it had. A damned if you do and damned if you don't moment for the referee. He never gave the penalty. But this seemed to give some impetus to the visitors, who pretty soon clawed their way back into the game. A good move saw a decent effort bring out a very good left handed save from Lee Carrol, unfortunately a striker responded quickest to the rebound and Newton had a lifeline.

To say some scary moments followed is an understatement. Newton hammered and battered at Maghulls backline, twice seeing efforts cleared off the line, on another two occasions fabulous blocks somehow kept the ball out and Carrol made another very good save. It was an all hands to the pumps period as attack against defence saw Newton showed why they had been table toppers.

But for all of their efforts it was not to be, when they were hit with a sucker punch, when Maghull finally broke free and what seemed like a chance wasted saw Hooper carry the ball back outside of the Newton box and then curl a right footed effort in off the far post and the points were wrapped up.

The earlier script had been torn up and this form of ad libbing is not good for a mans ticker, may I say. But three points and a late goal always makes the game seem a lot better. So well done lads... only a referee not seeing the ball in the net has stopped you from being unbeaten since 15th August (two penalty shootouts excepting) keep it up.

Next game (at time of going to press) Mallaby away 28th November 2015 kick off 2pm

I may get told off for this, but I am sure you will all agree with me in the condemnation of the sickening attacks in Paris on Friday evening. As our erstwhile friend Mr McInnes knows, I have a very dear friend who lives in Paris and panic sort of set in until I found out all was well, though she did lose a friend in one of the restaurant attacks.

Nous Sommes Unis

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