Maghull 1-2 East Villa
Saturday 11th October 2014 kick off 2pm LCFA Challenge Cup
You could call it a week to forget, or was it just deja vu !!
To think the club could be revisiting the same scenario of a couple of years ago, only this time during a season, beggars belief. But more of that later.
John McInnes stepped into the vipers nest called the managers seat, for the unforeseen future, to take over the side for the visit of the unbeaten East Villa. And with a bit of luck, could have pulled off a coup. But fate and a painful day brought about a defeat. Though a much changed side, brought about by actions off the field, came very close to clipping the visitors wings.
A tough first half, ended in a scoreless stalemate. Both sides having chances to take the lead, with East Villa probably edging matters with the more clear cut chances. But Maghulls much changed back four came out of it unscathed. During which the back four had to be re-arranged due to a facial injury suffered by Luke Rafferty, bringing about a hospital visit with a suspected broken cheekbone, in an accidental collision.
East Villa started the second half quite brightly and had more of the possession, but Maghull eventually began to impose themselves. After creating a couple of gilt edged opportunities, the opener finally came from Max Hornby, with a fine strike from the edge of the box. Maybe the keeper could have got a stronger hand to it, but that would be nit picking, as he had made a few very good saves previously.
The consensus was that the visitors seemed to be tiring and Maghull had to put the game to bed, while on top. Unfortunately, the second did not come. Sensing that they could still get something out of the game, East Villa scored an equaliser right against the run of play. A good goal it was too, but from the Maghull camp, they did allow themselves to be carved open and had chances to clear or get a block in. Instead it was left for a visiting player to tap home unmarked, after a fine passing move. And extra time loomed.
Well, it should have.
With two minutes remaining, another slick passing move broke through the Maghull rearguard and though once again the ball should have been cleared, it was clipped past the keeper and that painful late winner had gone against Maghull. Nothing of real note came afterwards, Maghulls chances had been earlier when a goal up.
Bits to learn, many pieces to pick up, but on the whole a pretty decent performance, from the lads who had been mustered together from the reserves and under 21's to forge a makeshift side, with those who have stayed, who helped the club win the title last season. A few new signings are waiting in the wings and there is now two weeks to gather thoughts and press ahead.
I have been called a dinosaur and living in cloud cuckoo land, but like anyone who supports a football club, I have an opinion of the side. And maybe I am lucky to have this vehicle to express that, from time to time. But after the club suffering the loss of many players on a previous occasion, I never thought that the same thing would happen again. (maybe I am naive as well) I am all for players and staff wanting to improve themselves and challenge their ability at a higher level. But to rip the guts out of the side, during the course of the season... to me that is just not cricket ! The fall out has been quite powerful.
Maybe what I was told when younger was true after all. For every Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, for every Matt Le Tissier and Mick Lyons (names changed) there are a thousand gigolos around. At Maghull, we are just another girl, in the great big scheme of things. Or is it time to don that LBD and make people stand up and take notice ? Just a bit of a shame that the loyalty of the chairman, and the committee, may have been forgotten in the midst of things.
In the words of Sherlock and a n other, it's time to crack on !
Next game : Mallaby away league Saturday 25th October 2014 kick off 2pm
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