Another stumble, back to normality and a point away from history

Cammell Lairds Reserves 2 - 5 Maghull

Saturday 22nd March 2014 kick off 3pm

The boss promised a reaction and we got one... but it did take another sloppy and mediocre 45 minutes to bring it about. And no doubt a few rattling of sabres in the dressing room at half time.

To be fair, Maghull did not start too badly. Took the game to the hosts and though not carving them open, did bring about two top quality saves from the Lairds keeper in the first half. But way too much tiki taka in or around the Lairds box, gave them the opportunity to counter attack and when they did, they caused Maghull problems. Some of their own making.

The half's only goal came courtesy of some shambolic defending down Maghulls left hand side. Being allowed more space than a hungry lion on the prowl, the Lairds right back stormed forward, found a big gap in the defence, let fly and the ball found the net. Nobody covered themselves in glory.

As has been the norm, during the last month, the lads got agitated, heads seemed to drop. Cammell Lairds could have increased the lead before the break, when a great opportunity was wasted and the half was over. Three 1-0 defeats this season, may have made the hosts think this was enough. Wrong !

The second half brought about a change of personnel. The returning Steve Williams replacing Rob Dutton, who had actually had a decent first half.

A managerial masterstroke ? A player coming back with a point to prove ? Or a half time VT ? Who knows. But within ten minutes the game was turned around and won.

Beating the offside trap, Williams broke clear down the right and crossed for Colin McDonald to strike home the equaliser. Lairds looked stunned, they should have saved that appearance for 75 seconds as Williams then beat his man down the left, supplied a delightful left footed cross, straight onto the head of Colin McDonald who bagged his second of the match. A sudden turn around and Williams the provider of both goals. Welcome back Steve, but who let you go.

Two minutes later, goalscorer McDonald, turned provider. A great chip into the box by John Hastings, caught the Lairds defence puzzled, Colin deftly flicked the ball on and Danny Dillon headed home.

The top of the table Maghull, had returned. Maybe the pressure of getting across that title winning line had become a burden. Maybe over confidence had taken over. What is true, is that when they knuckle down, play properly and treat every game like their lives depend on it, nobody can touch them.

A fourth was only a matter of time away and came from an unlikely source. Paul Jackson hit a cracking cross, from the left side and rising to head home was 17 year old Tom Barton, making his debut, after impressive outings in Peter Edwards youth side. Barton came close to doubling his tally with a lovely chip, that left the keeper flat footed, only to see it it hit the face of the bar and out to safety.

The early season sloppyness of conceding silly late goals, when the game is safe, came back when Lairds scored a second with five minutes to go, to the deafening sound of silence. The three goal lead was soon restored, when Steve Williams, deservedly, finished the scoring in injury time, after good work from Michael Boyle.

It took 45 minutes to demolish your opponents. A full 90 minutes next week, in what could be the biggest day of your careers, would be nice. We don't want any party poopers, do we ?

Next game : Ashville home Saturday 29th March 2014 kick off 3pm

Once again... a rally call, peeps... lets get a huge crowd to Old Hall Field next Saturday... NO Liverpool or Everton games, the weather forecast is for glorious sunshine, 75 degrees and no excuses for not getting out and supporting your local non league team. Bring the wife (or husband) and kids, get friends and family around... all team managers and players (not playing at the time) it will be great to see you.

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