Maghull 2 - 2 Helsby
Saturday 5th December 2015 kick off 2pm
I really cant figure out Saturdays game.
It hit some heights, it had phases of obscurity,produced four goals and many talking points. But it just didn't make any sense. Then again when has football made much sense. At least it may not need any censoring this time !
Helsby seemed to start the game as the stronger outfit. The awful wind and rain may have affected Maghull in the early stages but the soon got into their stride. After the first few minutes, Maghull got their passing game sorted and moved into a higher gear. They pushed Helsby deeper and deeper towards their own box and on a couple of occasions they were unlucky not to take the lead.
Then came one of those weird moments that changes a game. Helsby were given a free kick midway inside Maghulls half. Maghulls players had switched off, the kick was taken quickly and within moments they should have been ahead. Hollywood would portray this as a huge exclamation mark drifting towards the sky as the hosts breathed a sigh of relief. Helsby had cut Maghull to pieces in three passes and the Helsby player struck his shot wide when he really should have scored. But they did not let their heads drop. For the next ten to fifteen minutes Maghull clung on. It wasn't exactly one way traffic, but Helsby had the lions share of possession and looked the more likely to take the lead.
But once again, Maghull got back into their stride and after causing a moment or two of concern on the break, they got some reward right on the stroke of half time. A decent but long range effort was the keepers all day long. But the ball either hit a divot, or the keeper misjudged the bounce, either way the ball ended up in Helsbys net and Brad Smart had opened the scoring.
The second half started at a pedestrian pace. Helsby looked disinterested, Maghull looked like they were going through the motions as if the win was just a matter of cause. When they moved into a higher gear, a nice move down the right saw the ball played to Smart in the box. He took his time, shifted feet and stroked the ball home to make it 2-0 and seemingly game over even with over half an hour to go.
Having lost their keeper at the break with Danny Boyle taking over the gloves, Maghull made two more changes. The first seeing the withdrawal of Hooper.. which was swiftly followed by a change of personnel by Helsby, which seemed to free up the fresh legs at right back, which he took full advantage of. The game was still a level or two down from the first half and even the improving weather conditions did not perk it up. But Helsby had gained a little impetus and decided to take a chance or two.
The optimism from the visitors was rewarded when they struck a surprise goal and got themselves back in the game. Even so, this second half would not come to life. Maghull had the better play, Helsby happy to hit them on the break, but nether side coming close. Then Helsby had one decent chance that should have got them level, but they didn't have to wait long, as with less than ten minutes left they brought the score to 2-2 and ruined the day. They even hit the bar soon after, which would have been a travesty as Helsby would probably say about Brad Smarts late effort if it had found the net instead of flashing past the post.
A weird game, not the most exciting, but four goals and it would have given the locals plenty to chat about. Games can change on the slightest of things. It is very fickle !
Next game : Upton AA Saturday December 12 2015 away (my favourite fixture) kick off 2pm
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