Three points the hard way, subs to the rescue and a ramshackle ending.

Maghull 2 - 1 West Kirby

Saturday 28th September 2013 kick off 3pm

I feel like I am picking on the side of late. Maybe, being league leaders brings too much expectation.But Saturday really should have been a lot easier, than it turned out to be.

Then again, Lee Mullen having an Anders Limpar moment within two minutes did not help matters. What possessed him to handle the ball, only he knows, but it gave West Kirby the perfect start, as the penalty was despatched with ease.

Maghull tried to respond, but they were struggling to cope with the opposition number 8, who seemed to be finding all sorts of space and causing problems. Credit to the management, who spotted this and changed personnel around, which helped Maghull get a footing in the game.

John Hastings had a good opportunity to bring the scores level, but was denied by the keeper, Steve Williams missed a glorious chance, putting the ball wide and Hasting was once again denied,when clean through, by the linesmans flag. Poor decision, if you ask me. But you are not, so lets move on.

The equaliser finally came around the half hour mark. Paul Jackson, who was tormenting his full back, was given tons of space to finish off a great move by driving low and hard into the far corner. the expected goal rush didn't happen and the scores stayed level at the break.

The second forty five brought about a battle of attrition. It wasn't good to watch. The visitors, who had relied heavily on set pieces all game, constantly tried to gain free kick in Maghulls half. Being a tall and physical side, it was a style of play best suiting their needs. Neither side could get control of the game. Even when West Kirby went a man down, for foul and abusive language to a linesman, the one man advantage didn't seem to work.

Cummins, McGrane and McGinn came on as a late sorty, to try and gain the win required. McGrane, back after injury, went on one of those mazy runs of his, but his shot having beat the keeper, faded just the wrong side of the post. Luckily, with time running out, the two other subs conspired to bring the much needed three points. Sorry Mikey, I can't even give that as a cross shot, but it found it's way to Mick McGinn who smashed it into the roof of the net. Massive relief.

West Kirby then found themselves reduced to nine men before the kick off, as they complained about an apparent offside for Maghulls goal. Let us say, there was not any sweet talk from the dismissed player as he trundled off.

As expected, the visitors had nothing left to offer and the final whistle came soon after.

A good three points, but gained through grit and determination and a slice of luck, rather than great play. But if that's what it takes to stay at the top, I am sure the powers that be will stay happy. The defence stood firm after it's sloppy start and good to see no silly slip ups thereafter. A few lads not at their best, so I am quite looking forward to the day when it all clicks together.

Next game : Manor Athletic home Saturday 5th October 2013 kick off 3pm Wirral Senior Cup 2nd Round (we got a bye in the first round Mary)

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