West Lancashire Football League
Euxton Villa 3 Lostock St Gerrards 4
SOME poor defending cost Euxton Villa three points in this local derby game.
With Stuart Howson unavailable, Villa boss Mark McDonnell slotted the returning Rick Wood in at centre back, and gave a start to Simon Carey up front in an otherwise unchanged line-up.
In a comedy of errors, St Gerards players were lining up to poke the ball home after five minutes as Stuart Parry got the all-important goal whilst defenders got in each others way.
However, Villa were back on terms when Matt Plano smashed a 30-yard left foot thunderbolt into the corner.
In fact they started to settle down and take control of the game and Danial Hogg beat the keeper with a cross-shot from a tight angle mid-way through the first half.
Villa’s Gavin Cooper tried a clever chip which narrowly missed the target but it was the visitors who had the best chance in what was left of the half when Andy Almond had to scramble to hook the ball out from under his crossbar.
The second half saw the home side revert to a more familiar formation, which played into the visitor’s hands as they were gifted a soft own goal by Danny Hutton.
Minutes later, Hutton fired over a beautiful cross which was just begging for a finish to be applied, and Simon Carey duly obliged with a powerful header.
However, Villa were guilty of poor defending as Stuart Parry capitalised on keeper Almond and Wood’s mix-up to level the scores.
And it was only to get worse for the home side. Another defensive blunder allowed Randall a free shot, which he was not about to pass up, and Villa found themselves chasing the game for the last 15 minutes.
Villa sub Greg Anderton fired a blockbuster which had goal written all over it, till a St Gerards defender cleared the danger.
St Gerards went away with all three points and if Mark McDonnell was looking for something to take from the game, he would have to settle for the consolation that his charges can never defend this badly again.