Heswall 2 Mersey Royale 3
Wednesday 25th August 2021
West Cheshire League
After picking up a great three points on the weekend, Heswall FC fell to defeat against table topping Mersey Royal at Gayton Park in a five goal thriller on Wednesday evening.
Talking to people around the club pre-match, including the players, it was obvious that the visitors had quality in abundance. It didn’t take too long for visiting individuals to show varying signs of brilliance with pace and trickery to beat the hosts’ defensive shape. However, there were few chances in the opening stages for either side. In truth, the best opportunity arrived in this period of the game when Heswall keeper Fin Collins rushed off his line to collect the ball from the toes of a surging Royal forward.
The first half was probably typified by a five minute passage of play just after the 20minute mark, a Mersey Royal defender being shown the first yellow card of the evening for kicking out on a fast forward who was closing in on their box before a stray backwards ball from a host defender was nicked as the forward ran towards the goal before seeing his inevitable effort being blocked on the line.
It was the hosts that went into the lead, on the half hour mark, after a beautiful volley from the edge of the box flew into the top corner of the Royal net. Shay was the goalscorer, leaving the keeper hopelessly stranded as the reserve graduate’s effort flew over his head.
The visitors ended the half in better form and most probably should’ve gone into halftime as leaders. Their equaliser came after a cross from the left was misjudged by the young keeper who was beaten to the ball by a forward who leaped high to leave the net empty and without much to do to get his side back into the game. However, they were probably kicking themselves come the halftime team talk as a shot was over hit by a forward in the box. The goal looked relatively impossible to miss but the ball sailed into the trees.
The visitors came out of the blocks in the opening stages of the second half as they started in dominant fashion, the first great opportunity to get themselves in front in these stages being an unmarked shot from inside the box which went agonisingly wide of the post.
However, the hosts soon evened the momentum out with a good shot as they hit the post from a volley outside of the box. With some of the players in acres of space though, the visitors were able to counter-attack with speed from their number 7 and this resulted in a questionable and dubois penalty.
The early stages of second half domination would be rewarded when Royal got themselves in front from the spot, an effort which slotted into the right-side of the net sent the keeper the wrong way as he dived to his left.
Considering that the penalty was questionable, it was relatively just that the hosts managed to pull the game even with another moment of excellence from young forward Shay. Netting his second goal of the game, another one of his efforts from outside the box reached into the top corner yet again leaving the visiting keeper with little chance of saving it.
However, you could argue that Royal had the best opportunities of the second half and after a Heswall man was booked for a late kick on a surging forward they were able to take all three points from Gayton Park as the ball fell to the foot of a Royal forward following a scramble in the box. The effort was fired into the bottom corner, another strike in which either keeper would have very little chance of saving. It was to be the visitors that were the happiest come the full time whistle.
Heswall are next in action in the West Cheshire League at Gayton Park on Saturday at 3pm.