Maghull 3-2 Hale
Saturday 8th February 2014 kick off 2pm
The English weather is certainly doing it's best, to cause maximum chaos to the West Cheshire League fixtures this winter. Luckily, Maghull has a pitch that can cope, with all the constant rain of these past six to eight weeks.
So yesterday, we had a game on.
Before I go any further, the scoreline makes this game look like a close one. Only the incorrect sending off of Steve King, made the game a bit of a contest, as prior to that, it was a complete one sided affair.
Maghull started the game on the front foot and other than a lost challenge by Lee Carrol, that the visitors failed to capitalise on, Maghull had no fears at all for close on an hour. In fact, they just dominated.
Hale came, as the closest challengers to Maghulls quest to become Champions , but the league leaders put them to the sword and at times it was all too easy.
It could have been two or three nil (one chance was actually deflected off Hales line by a Maghull player) before Steve Williams opened the scoring with a classy lob over the Hale keeper. Being sideways on,outside the box, he caught a glimpse of the keeper coming out and his right foot did the rest.
The second was not long in coming. A training ground move paid off, when Michael Boyles corner was met at the near post, with a stonker of a header by Steve King, that thundered into the top corner and some realism was beginning to show on the scoreline.
Maghull settled for total domination up until half time, the odd half chance coming along, but energy saving came into the equation on a heavy pitch and with a horrible wind to contend with.
The second half was greeted with a horrendous downpour and playing against the wind, Maghull still kept control and then increased their lead. Having carved out a couple of chances already, Rob Dutton was played through down the right, he squared the ball across the box and Jay McGrane wandered in from the left hand side to be left totally alone six yards out and have an empty net to tap into. The visitors where carved open and left staring at humiliation.
Game changing moments happen now and then and a fine tackle by Steve King puzzled the officials, but the attacker was given the benefit of the doubt and a penalty was awarded. King, being the last man, gave the referee no option but to dismiss him. A double injustice, but these things happen at times. Just wish it had not been met with screams of, he has to go ref, from various parties. It's just not cricket.
Hale accepted the opportunity and the penalty was stuck away well.
Within 60 seconds they had another and their own Istanbul on the cards. A ball in from the right and somehow, from a host of bodies, the ball ended up in Maghulls net and it was game on.
A few long range efforts and a close shave was the sum amount of the pressure from then on. Still playing with four at the back, when Maghull only had one up front gave a lot of respect for Maghulls attacking prowess. And helped the lads who dug in and showed a whole lot of character and gained the win despite being a man down for over half an hour.
Hale had a last minute effort disallowed for pushing and no real complaints came from the visitors.
A game that was very comfortable, turned into a bit of a battle, due to a sending off. It would have been nice to have seen the game played out 11 vs 11. I think the scoreline would have been considerably different.
And nice to know that Mr Boyd has finally succumbed to my constant waffle. Andy, you're a star, you finally believe me. Ten points from seven games to make it official. As things stand.
Next game: Heswall away Saturday 15th February 2014 kick off 2pm
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