A keepers heroics, a bad day on the line and losing the plot.

Blacon YC 2 - 1 Maghull
Saturday 2nd March 2013

Last week we gave credit where it was due. Well, we have gone full circle after this weeks game.

But let's focus on the positives to start with.
Mark Mawdesley had a blinder and ended up on the losing side, which was highly unfair. But in reality, Maghull only got what they deserved and we must learn to stop throwing points away.

The game started badly, when, after 5 minutes, Blacon where awarded a penalty for a handball offence. Mark pulled off a great save, low down to his right, to give us a big boost and get us off the hook.

This was a game that, rightly or wrongly, we expected to take all three points from. And this shock should have been the jolt we needed to go and take control of the game.

Maghull did start to impose themselves on the game from hereon in.

A couple of missed half chances and needless offsides kept the scoreline level, until Tom Wharton reacted to a cross from the right, with an overhead kick that went in via the post. A cracking strike and just what we needed to get the result we required.

Another great chance from the right saw the ball drift agonisingly wide of the far post. My apologies for not knowing whose effort it was.
We then went 2-0 up, or so we thought. John Eustace dummied a defender on the edge of the box and hit a drive, albeit straight at the keeper. The keeper made a right hash of it and allowed the ball to spill from his grasp and over the line. But the referees assistant, flagged for Brian McIlroy being offside. Claiming Brian was in the keepers eyeline. Considering Brian came from the keepers left hand side, yet he spilled the ball to his right and the shot was from his right hand side, I find this quite baffling. The referee saying he disallowed the goal on the say so of his assistant. Though I do not recall them speaking to each other.

The hosts had put up a bit of a fight and had themselves had a goal disallowed for offside, but they made nothing of the decision.Leaving us with a 1-0 scoreline at the break.

Dejavu struck in the second half.

Last week we failed to turn up for the first fifteen minutes of the second half, this time we went one better and failed to turn up for the whole 45 minutes.

If it happened, I missed it, but I cannot recall anyone other than Mark Kilroy (who stood fast and had his usual big game) winning a header in that second half. I apologise, I just remembered Danny O'Leary won one. Yes I am being pedantic.

Not only did we lose most first balls, but Blacon picked up the second ball on virtually every occasion. You cannot win games when you allow the opposition to take advantage of the play, unless you are very lucky, or the opponents are useless. We know that we are not lucky this season and Blacon where far from useless, so being competitive and winning your share of lose balls is the order of the day. This did not happen.

The hosts should have gone down to ten men, when their number 9 decided that his knee should connect with Mark Kilroy. The usual handbags took place and the referee gave a yellow. When pursued by his other assistant, that the matter warranted more than a yellow, his comment was, it's ok I have dealt with it. Any luck we may have hoped for to keep the lead, went by the wayside at this point.

Spurred on by this fortuitous bit of luck, Blacon pressed on. They had most of the play anyway and we got out of jail when Danny O'Leary made a last ditch challenge to keep us ahead. No heed was paid.

With fifteen minutes to go, the inevitable happened. A move down our right ended with a cross coming in and a fine save made by Mark Mawdesley. The rebound was slammed towards goal and yet again Mark pulled off a good stop only to finally be beaten by the second rebound finding it's way past a melee of legs and into the net.

At this point, we would have taken a point. But we didn't get it.
The game was fading into a bore draw last fifteen. Maghull hadn't performed, the hosts happy to get something out of the game.

Then came the coup de grace.

A horrible error left Danny O'Leary in a one to one with the aforementioned number 9 of Blacon. The forward went down when reaching the box, the referee looked for his assistant, who was trying to catch up with play, who then decided a penalty was to be the outcome of the tussle. Yet again, the referee was not going to give the decision and depended on the assistant, who could not have seen the collision from where he was, behind the play. But a penalty was awarded. The protestations where strong, but nonetheless futile. Danny was given a yellow card, maybe swung his way by a Blacon player asking the ref for only a yellow. But technically, if it was a penalty, it was a red card offence.

In time added on this was a real body blow. But up steps Super Mark Mawdesley to save down to his right again. Pushing the ball around the post for a corner. We had salvaged the point and got away with murder.

The corner came in, and cleared, again, by Mark Kilroy. The ball bounced outside of the box, a fifty fifty challenged ensued, our lad bottled it, the Blacon player hit a swinger that soared into the top corner of the net.

We had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Yet actually, got what we deserved. Let's not gloss over this, with, if only the second had stood, if they had had that player sent off. That is clutching at straws. Sorry to say it, but this is now a relegation battle and some people need to stand up and be counted.

Next game : Ellesmere Port away Saturday 9th March 2013 k/o 3pm

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