Maine Road ran out 4-2 winners in an impressive display against AFC Liverpool, thanks to goals from Tom Bentham and Neil Chappell
Liverpool found the first half tough as Maine Road executed their game plan perfectly in the opening half with striker partnership of Bailey and Bentham never allowing the back four to rest while the impressive form of Martin Hill
continued after a shaky opening 15. The Road were busy and full of movement, with the front pairing of Thomas Bailey and Bentham especially lively, the midfield duo of Chappell and Andrew Kilheeney were dominant while Martin Hill
was a constant threat down the right wing.
Maine Road were denied an early lead by a fine reaction save from Carl Williams as Edward Moran got onto the end of a Bailey cross and the Reds keeper later displayed a quick reaction to prevent Bentham from nicking the ball past him as he connected with a Hill cross, though Chappell should have buried the follow up but blazed over instead from six yards with the goal gaping.
Tom Bentham wasn’t to be denied on thirty three minutes though as a static Reds back four failed to respond to a quick ball forward and the Maine Road number ten rounded Williams before strolling the ball into an empty net. Bentham’s second of the evening came barely a minute later as he smashed home from six yards after Hill’s near post cross had rebounded into his path.
Only defender Sinnott intervening prevented Bailey from converting another run and near post delivery from Hill but the respite was brief as from the resulting corner, Chappell headed in unchallenged from inside the six yard box.
The introduction of Wilkinson at the start of the second half coupled with a formation change brought about a response from the home side.
Groves signalled early intent with a long range effort and the Reds’ industriousness was rewarded just before the hour when Lawless got to Williams’ long goal kick just ahead of Hall, who then brought down the Reds’ number ten just within the confines of the box. Lawless converted the penalty. However, Road hit back immedietly. Tom Bentham sneaked in behind the back line and knocked the ball past Williams to claim his third of the night.
A slick pass from Lawless found Groves, who reduced the deficit back to two on seventy one minutes. The fingertips of Hall then deflected a goal bound Lawless drive behind for a corner.Road hit back once more when Neil Chappell
was upended for the second spot kick of the game. However, keeper Williams saved, diving low to his right to turn away Eddie Moran
The Reds continued to press to the end but solid defending kept the Sky Blues’ two goal cushion.
Anothe impressive display From Road, culminating in another 3 points.
A view from AFC Liverpool