Maghull 4-3 Cammell Lairds Reserves
Saturday 24th August 2013 kick off 3pm
Last season we had a shocking habit of gifting the opposition a two goal start, sometimes even more. Cammell Lairds away springs to mind. This season we have been a stronger outfit, but the officials decided to intervene and bring about the two goal deficit.
A full 90 minutes was asked for, after the Southport Trinity victory in midweek. We got 75, so cannot grumble. But we could have done.
From the offset Maghull took control of the game.
Playing by far the better football, as once again the opposition played the percentage game. Long balls forward, looking for either the centre forward or the nippy right sided midfielder, as an outlet. A couple of early chances came and went. But what became evident, was that Lairds back four were there for the taking.Unfortunately, so was ours, if you believe in the officials.
A ball into Maghulls box broke loose at the far post. Two players set off in hot pursuit for possession. An innocuous collision took place, the Lairds player fell to the floor, while flak was aimed at him to get up, the referee pointed to the spot. To say we were stunned was an understatement. Even the Lairds bench laughed at their sudden stroke of luck.
Penalties seem to be our downfall this season, having missed 3 since pre season started and now we had conceded a feeble one. I hope our lads took note, as it was despatched with ease and we were a goal down.
We upped the, already high, tempo and took the game to the visitors. How Maghull were a goal down was unbelievable. What came next was a total stunner.
A long ball was played through the centre of Maghulls defence and a game of statues ensued, as the Lairds centre forward ran clear and slotted home his second of the match.
After all the pre match hope and confidence, I was beginning to think this could be another hammering at the hands of the opposition. Going forward, they did look very sharp and seemed to be getting that touch of luck needed at the back, when things are shaky.
But we have to be confident. And we quickly forgot our woes and got behind the lads to pull off a comeback. And they responded.
A quick, slick, passing movement saw the ball played through to Danny Dillon, who, for the want of a better term, made a mug of the Lairds keeper and strolled forward to place the ball into the empty net and it was game on. We could and should have got the second before half time, but we, though confident of a turnaround, were still stunned to be behind at the refs half time whistle.
The second half started well and Maghull wasted no time in bringing the scores level. A great cross into the box saw Jackson rise at the back post and head home easily.
Now, similar to the South and Southport games, we seemed to switch off a little when in control of the game. And as I said earlier, Lairds had a top centre forward and lads who liked to play when given the chance. Now they were given the chance. Lets be nice and say, we had a dodgy 10-15 minutes, when in all reality the visitors could have taken the lead on one or two occasions. I will put it down to taking a breather, after clawing our way back to 2-2 against good opposition.
Maghull, revitalised, smelled blood and it wasn't long before the third came. Jackson again applying the final touch at the far post after an effort at goal had squirmed it's way to him. This was no more than we deserved. I tell a lie, we deserved a hell of a lot more. And soon after it should have been four. Liam Vogle played a great ball through the Lairds defence and Ryan Stamper, stemming his nose bleed being the highest man up the pitch, saw his effort saved by the keepers legs and out for a throw in. But we were not to be denied.
A long throw by Lee Mullin saw the ball break to Jay McGrane who finished the game off. Lairds were a spent force.
We should have made it five, when debutant John McMahon headed home at the far post. Only to have been judged to have pushed his opponent. Now this was silly. The same bloke had suffered the penalty offence in the first half and he is so big he didn't and hadn't needed to push the opposing player. If someone tries to challenge him and bounces off him, that is not a foul in my book. Even if they hit the deck like a bag of spuds.
A fifth or even a sixth would not have flattered the lads, but once again the officials had the final say. Literally.
A rare attack, saw a shot hit King, the referee waved play on, the linesman gave a penalty. Yet another cranky decision. Supposedly the ball hit Kings arms (no not the pub)as he tried to defend himself. I was always of the thought that handball had to be intentional. Apparently not. The Lairds bench laughed again at this infringement as their number 9 stepped up to complete a hat trick. followed by the final whistle. A bit of the gloss had been taken away.
But let's look on the Mr Brightside... a very good side came here today and even after taking an undeserved two goal lead, Maghull dominated the match, on the whole. Not just in possession, but in chances and class.
They showed they have what it takes when the going gets tough and toughed out a dodgy decision to bring about a really good result. In the words of the DoF they had character.
Well done lads, great performance. Now more of the same is needed.
Next game : Hale away Wednesday 28th August 2015 kick off 6.15pm
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