Winsford United 4-3 AFC Liverpool

“Then put your little hand in mine, there ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb”

5:59 rolls over to 6:00 and we’ve seen this game before…

AFC Liverpool again slipped to a narrow defeat. Again defensive errors have proved costly and again The Reds have scored 3+ goals and failed to turn those goals into 3 points.

Joe Whittington kicked off for AFC Liverpool and The Reds won an early corner, skipper Michael Boyle jinked through a couple of defenders but a strong challenge prevented any real danger.

AFC moved the ball well in the opening quarter of an hour, a fluid passage of play set Danny Boden for a shot on the edge of the Winsford area but his drilled shot was just wide.

After 16 minutes with both sides wrestling for control, the home side played a long ball over The Reds back line. Striker Michael Koral latched on and ran through on goal and slotted across keeper Jack Cookson into the bottom corner. Cookson and centre half John Holmes should really have had it covered between them but a tidy finish nonetheless.

AFC Liverpool responded well to going 1-0 down however and pressured the Winsford defence into an error. The home side failed to clear a dangerous cross into the box, midfielder Conor Smith gambled on a mistake being made and finished emphatically passed Matt Green.

An extremely open match was typified by vital saves being made by both keepers within the space of 30 seconds. AFC’s Jack Cookson dived well at the feet of forward Justin Pickering while at the other end Green’s acrobatic save denied Danny Boden’s powerful header.

Both sides continued to throw everything forward with little regard to the defensive side of the game. Around the half an hour mark, a comedy of errors following a Winsford cross into the box allowed the home side to re-establish the lead. AFC Liverpool had two opportunities to clear their lines but Winsford won both headers and gave Lee Duckworth a tap in to make it 2-1.

Not to be outdone in the dereliction of defensive duty, the home side failed to deal with a simple free kick. A decent cross in towards the penalty area wasn’t dealt with and Adam Weston capitalised to equalise for AFC Liverpool.

Frustratingly for The Reds, the match wasn’t level for long. A great direct pass over the top from Ryan Hopper landed to the feet of Scott Taylor who dribbled through on goal and finished well from a tight angle just before half time.

An entertaining half saw Winsford United lead 3-2 at the break.

It wasn’t long after the restart before Jack Cookson was called into action again. Midfielder Sean Sherwood made a run into the box and his connected header was well saved by Cookson.

Sherwood would test Cookson soon after with the Winsford man this time coming out on top. Sherwood picked the ball up 25 yards out and struck a cracking effort into the bottom right hand corner to double the home side’s lead.

The second half looked to get away from AFC Liverpool as they struggled to keep the ball. Winsford conversely played with confidence and probed for weaknesses in The Reds defence but failed to create too many more clear cut chances.

A brilliant individual piece of play from Danny Boden gave the reds a glimmer of hope 15 minutes from the end. Boden timed his run to perfection and used his pace to dribble through on goal and blasted his shot beyond Green.

The final minutes of the game ticked away frustratingly for AFC Liverpool. Time was misspent on soft fouls and the pursuit of individual feuds took priority over what should have been the collective goal – the equaliser.

The manager stressed at full time that the players must now react and they have two huge matches in the next week in which to do so. This could well be a defining week in AFC Liverpool’s season with Northwich Victoria and City of Liverpool ahead. The manager also praised the continuing support from the fans throughout this poor run and rightly so. The supporters at our club are everything, a good turnout on Wednesday will be a massive lift and will be crucial if we are to get back to winning ways.

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