Town Shot Down By Eccleshall
Lou Grabs two as Eccy move above St Helens in the table.
This match report is sponsored by Top Car Detailing.
Eccleshall were the visitors to Ruskin Drive for St Helens Town’s 4th home game in a row. The blues had lost their previous 3 including the penalty defeat to Daisy Hill in the LWC Drinks Cup 2nd round on this ground just 2 days prior. With a win, Town had the opportunity
Town started the match the stronger, perhaps trying to prove a point from Thursday night. The left wing was proving an effective outball in the early stages, with Luke Edwards, fresh of his hat-trick less than 48 hours earlier, looking a threat combining well with Paul Cliff and Owen Dursley.
Just as St Helens were looking on top, it was the visitors who took the lead early on from a penalty, Town’s nemesis in the cup against Daisy Hill. Blues defenders looked perplexed as the referee pointed to the spot for a handball, but Louis Downs fired the penalty past Gage Walsh to give Eccleshall the lead.
St Helens looked for an equaliser straight away, and were firmly in the Eccleshall half when Edwards tried his luck from just outside the area, but his top corner bound effort was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Eccleshall keeper Matthew Johnson, earning applause from both sets of supporters.
Minutes later, the ball broke to Shaun Brady on the edge of the box, he supplied a sublime piece of skill to beat 3 Eccleshall defenders, but with only the keeper to beat he fired his effort just over the bar.
Town continued to look the most likely team to score next, and crafted an opportunity just after the half hour mark. Alex Ashby released an overlapping Jake Young on the right who delivered an expert cross to an unmarked Brady but his header went just over the bar.
Brady had another chance to equalise for the Blues as he latched onto a miss hit Edwards shot from another Jake Young cross, but his invented overhead kick went narrowly wide.
HT: St Helens Town 0 – 1 Eccleshall (Downs, 10p)
Town started the 2nd half determined to find an equaliser, and they duly did 8 minutes after the restart. The hosts had proven at their most dangerous when using the pace of Brady and co. during counter attacks. On one such attack Danny Lomax found Brady on the right, his low cross was spilled by the Eccleshall keeper but Paul Cliff was on hand to knock in the rebound.
Just as the Blues were on the hunt for a 2nd goal, Eccleshall managed to take the lead through a counter of their own. Town were caught in possession in the middle of the field, and Eccleshall’s Leigh Skellern was allowed to run down the right and square to Downs who added his 2nd of the game with a tap in from close range.
St Helens tried to find a 2nd equaliser but their efforts were in vain as it was the away side that went back to Eccleshall with all 3 points.
FT: St Helens Town (Cliff, 53) 1 – 2 Eccleshall (Downs, 10p, 64)