Saturday 10th November 2012
Christleton 3-1 Maghull Pyke Cup
After two years of being holders of this trophy, we went crashing out at the first hurdle, in this quaint little backwater of Cheshire.
A steady early start to the game gave some hope, as the hosts seemed happy to play the containment game. Nothing of note seemed to be happening, but the better play came from Maghull. Who must have been intent on not letting Christleton into the game, as they had done in the league meeting 3 weeks previously.
Then that old devil, called defensive mess up, gave the hosts the lead.
What should have been a routine clearance into touch, resulted in a rebounded clearance for the striker to run onto and place the ball in the net. I feel I have written this before !
Christelton then upped the pace of the game and became much more aggressive going forward, searching for a second, which came just after the half hour mark.
Another lapse of concentration, down the right hand side of Maghulls defence, saw them puzzled as to whether the ball had gone out, stayed in play or was still in the referee's dressing room. It did not really matter, as Christleton played on. The ball was played into the box and an unmarked midfielder ran into a huge gap in Maghulls penalty box and side footed home from 12 yards out.
We had a mountain to climb (I feel I have written this before, too) to stay in the competition.
A helping hand was given, on the stroke of half time. The ball actually crossed the line after a bit of pinball in the Christleton area, but the referee had already blown for handball and a penalty to Maghull.
Paul Carragher stepped up to reduce the defecit.
Half time 2-1
After being given a lifeline, the hope was that the confidence gained from the penalty would get the lads charged up for a second half assault.
Yes, Maghull had plenty of play, mostly in and around the centre circle, but they showed no cutting edge. The final ball was always going astray and other than the odd attempt from distance, the opposing keeper had very little to do.
Even the changes in the second half, normally good moves and game changing choices by Mike Joyce, just didn't give us the impact required to turn the game around.
Eventually Christleton began to play a little and with less than ten minutes to go, killed the game off. They had looked more threatening, on their odd sortie into the last third of the pitch. However, a good passing move across the pitch eventually found it's way to the Christleton forward, who meandered across the edge of the penalty box, before seeing a gap and lashing a drive into the far corner of the net. From a home point of view, it looked a classy goal, from a defensive outlook, it was awful that they allowed themselves to be passed to death and then allow the time and space for the opponent to even get a shot off, let alone be given the space to hit the target.
From there on in, the game just died it's slow painful death.
It was a poor display and a hurtful way of losing our grip on the Pyke Cup. Time to stand up and be counted lads.
No game for the first team this weekend
Next match is at home versus Newton on Saturday 24th November 2012 k.o 2pm
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