A different kind of shambles, the fading light and keeping the blues happy

Maghull 4-2 Mallaby

Saturday 28th December 2013 kick off 2pm

Well, at least it was nice to get a game played. Though some parties did their utmost, to make sure it was a football match remembered for all the wrong reasons. The first minute brought a sign of what was to come !

A free kick was chipped into the box, Colin McDonald was pushed down, the referee waved play on. As our lost genius, David Coleman, would have said "Quite remarkable"

Too many free kicks and tetchiness was the order of play. Neither side could get the ball down and get any flowing football going. Not helped, when Danny Dillon was booked for questioning a free kick and John Hastings was given a severe warning for, actually, winning a tackle and no free kick awarded. So the two midfield combatant's, where now treading on egg shells, within twenty minutes.

The visitors took a shock lead not long later. Questions where asked if a push on Ben Sumner had any effect on the outcome, but in reality, a couple of errors culminated in a losse ball slammed into Lee Carrols goal and Mallaby had the lead.

One thing this Maghull side does not suffer from is lack of character. And seem happy to rise to the challenge. So, after a few disgruntled, clear the air, words were versed, the lads brushed themselves down and set about putting things right.

Another penalty claim, so clear that even Howard Webb would have given it, was dismissed by the officials. Both of whom had perfect views of both penalty offences. Neither responded and neither gave any reasoning of why they rejected the appeals.If laws are applied, that players and management do not understand, then surely it is down to the officials to explain why. Food for thought for the Football Association ?

Nevertheless, Maghull were not to be denied. Micheal Boyle and Colin McDonald combined down the left, Boyle struck a goal bound effort that was blocked, but the rebound was hit home, by Steve Williams. His goal drought was over. Boosted by this, Williams soon turned provider.

Mallaby broke down their right, Ben Sumner cut out the problem and laid the ball off to Williams. who then played a one two with Sumner, nutmegged one player and then sent a glorious ball down the line to McDonald. Who in turn beat his man and squared for Jay McGrane to strike his shot past the keeper into the corner of the net. A classy goal.

I mentioned the character, I forgot to say, the quality. When needed, the better class in Maghulls ranks comes to the fore and overpowers sides. It took less than five minutes, before the interval, to turn things around.

The second half started with another surpise. Mallaby (who I said earlier in the season are in a false league position) struck an equaliser. A clearance was hoisted back, with interest, straight into Lee Carrols net and it was all square.

Within minutes Maghull had regained the lead, when Boyle and Williams combined to set up McGrane for his second of the match, though it did take a kindly deflection over the keepers arm.

The annoying, stop start fashion of the game, finally came to the boil. Ryan Stamper was straight red carded, for winning a tackle. As annoying as it was, it was not a surprise that a red card was shown, it was actually expected, given what had gone before. Which is a shocking indictment, of a performance.

Down to ten men, it now need a huge performance to gain the win, against a good side. And well done to the whole side who put in that extra effort that was needed, to keep the lead and Mallaby from causing any problems.

But the red cards had not had their final say of the day.

Colin McDonald was hauled back when turning his man and clean through on goal. The referee waved play on ! Colin tried to get some momentum and managed to get to the ball, his opponent did a proper job this time and dragged him to the floor. The referee finally decided to blow his whistle and show the red card to the Mallaby defender. I am puzzled at the play on response, there was no advantage for the attacker. If the defender had realised what had happened and cleared the ball, I am fairly confident the game would have played on !

Due to the late kick off, the amount of stoppages and the increasing longevity of the chats the referee had with Maghulls bench. Both sides where giving us, what was more of a midnight show than a matinee performance. The light was fading fast, but we still saw another red card for a Mallaby player, though no idea why he was ordered off.

The game had one final twist, when Paul Jackson saw his shot fumbled by the keeper and Steve Williams pick up the rebound to slot home his second of the match.

Not the best game, but it kept everyone on their toes. A sticky pitch and some quite strange officiating not helping at all. But three more points and who knows what the rest of the season holds. Maybe a decision on the Ashville non appearance, will help clarify matters a little.

Keep it going Phil and Stuart. A little bit of History is lurking in the distance. Are you happy now Neil ???

Nex game : Southport Trinity away Saturday January 4th 2014 kick off 3pm

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