Bucks Beaten In Seven Goal Thriller
Ste Jones brace not enough as Bucks suffer second-half defensive horror show.
It was an afternoon to forget for Bootle as their unbeaten league start ended abruptly after Hanley Town claimed all three points in a seven-goal thriller at the TDP Solicitors Stadium.
Despite being 2-0 up at half-time and 3-2 up just after the hour-mark the Bucks produced a defensive horror show in the second-half to well and truly shoot themselves in the foot.
Things had initially started well for Joe Doran and Phil Stafford’s side though when they took a fifteenth-minute lead. Michael Ordish swung in a cross from the left that was headed goal wards by Ryan Cox with Ste Jones helping the ball over the line from close-range.
Joe Powell then saw an effort cleared off the line before Connor Millington and Cox both fired over. While at the other end, Hanley created chances of their own with Dan Cope volleying over from just inside the box before Theo Stair forced Charlie Taylor in the Bootle goal into a routine save.
But five minutes before the half-time interval the Bucks doubled their advantage from the penalty spot. Kieran Haligan released Cox with the forward being pushed to the ground by Ben Blowers. Referee Craig Buxton had little hesitation in pointing to the spot and Ordish coolly dispatched the spot kick sending Joe Hemmings the wrong way.
The Bucks, however, have made a nasty habit of starting the second-half slowly and sadly for Doran and Stafford here was no different.
First, Jonathan Sheldon’s long-range effort was parried by Taylor with Josh Bristow reacting quickest to fire the rebound home on fifty-four minutes.
Before five minutes later, Martin Edwards’ side were level. Jamie Skellern’s through ball was latched onto by substitute Neville Thompson who finished confidently past Taylor.
But Bootle rallied well to being pegged back and went back ahead two minutes later. The impressive Connor Ellis Pratt teed up Jones who let fly with a fine strike from 25-yards out that flew into the bottom corner of the net.
Jones then went close to completing his hat-trick when he let fly with another thunderbolt that went wide of the post.
But not first time, Hanley refused to lie down and leveled with twenty minutes remaining. A long ball forward wasn’t dealt with by the Bootle defence allowing Stair to pounce and finish from 10-yards out.
And with twelve minutes remaining, the visitors hit the Bucks with the ultimate sucker-punch. Thompson pounced on a loose pass inside the Bootle half before playing in Sheldon who finished first-time into the far corner of the net to hand his side all three points.