A shambles, putting things in perspective and why Shanks was wrong

Maghull 2 - 4 Vauxhall Motors

Saturday 3rd September 2015 kick off 2pm

Somebody told me, I would never again see a performance as bad as the humiliation at Cammell Lairds two years ago. Saturdays first half had me wondering if they were right. How Maghull came off the park, after 45 minutes, only trailing 3-1 is beyond belief. They could not have complained had it been six or seven.

A non existent defence and midfield culminated in Vauxhalls putting on their own Strictly Come Dancing display, as they continually waltzed their way towards Maghulls goal. Johann Strauss would have been impressed by the visitors, while the hosts performed as if they were Brahms.

The game, as a contest, should have been over and done with within 35 minutes. The warning signs had been their for all to see, before an early setback came when Ben Sumner misjudged the ball, hand came in contact with the flick on and the referee had no option but to give a penalty. Lee Carrol was sent the wrong way and it was time to get the heads right and start playing.

But things went from bad to worse. Vauxhalls squandered opportunities, but soon enough had a two goal lead, when another misjudgment in the middle of Maghulls half, gifted the visitors the chance to pass their way through and score their second. Maghull did seem to heed the problems and within seconds of the kick off James Steel was unlucky to see his effort fly past the far post. Then they got back into gung ho mode and a lack of full backs, playing as wingers at times and a four against two situation in midfield saw them passed to death once again, leaving the nippy right winger with only Lee Carrol to beat, which he did in style.

Maghull did get a stroke of luck just before the break, when Mikey Cummins was manhandled to the floor and he got up off the floor to hit home the spot kick and give Maghull a glimmer of hope.

How much a game can change came in the following 45 minutes.

It was a role reversal as Vauxhalls clung on and chance after chance went begging. The post was struck, the keeper made decent saves, bodies were put on the line to block shots or make last ditch clearances. Two one on ones went begging, but eventually another bit of luck came Maghulls way when the keeper pushed out a shot that hit his defender and found the back of the net. Could the most unexpected recovery be on ?

More chances went begging and on this second half performance, it would have been fair if the equaliser had come. But unfortunately, a dilly dallying moment on Maghulls right hand side saw them lose possession, Vauxhalls broke quickly and as Lee Carrol came out the ball was clipped over him and the comeback was over.

In fairness, more chances were created, but it was not to be a day of recovery. Vauxhalls held firm and on the ninety minutes probably deserved the win. But all the effort in the second 45 minutes nearly did pull off a great escape.

Going three goals down is not the best basis for trying to win a game, though if Maghull had scored six in that second half, it would not have been a travesty. It just showed that if they had performed for 90 minutes, the win was a real possibility or probability.

A bad weekend was made even worse, for those closely associated with the club, when news came on Sunday, that long standing fan and friend of many, Tommy Toale had passed away after a long illness. Tommy was a big character and will be sadly missed. And I am sure the club and all those who knew Tommy, send their condolences to his family. The day before was just a league defeat, the news on Sunday was far more important.

Next game : To be confirmed.

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