Possibly the poorest penalty decision you are ever likely to see set Bootle up for a win on Saturday as Mossley did everything bar score before being hit by two late breakaways as the bereft of luck Lilywhites lost for an eighth successive game.
It was another hard pill to swallow for Mossley, who have now endured their worst successive run of results since the same two months in 2013.
With several players injured and unavailable Mossley included latest addition to the defence Will Hartshorne and he partnered Devon Matthews in the heart of the Mossley back four.
Mossley, desperate to put the difficult run behind them took the game to the home side and generally dominated the game territorially throughout. But a combination of the woodwork, a hatful of other missed chances, Bootle’s debutant ex Mossley keeper and clear man of the match Theo Roberts and that inexplicable refereeing decision combined to deny the Lilywhites the result their performance and overall work-rate deserved.
Here’s the action as it unfolded:-
8 mins, Brown– shot blocked.
11 mins, Hadlow easily saves free kick.
13 mins, Brown shoots narrowly wide.
14 mins, Hokinson fired wide for Bootle.
15 mins, Hadlow saves with his feet from Hodkinson.
23 mins, Matthews heads narrowly wide.
27 mins, Roberts’ acrobatic save denies Fawns.
29 mins, Matthews goes on typical mazy run before shooting narrowly wide.
31 mins, Butterworth’s 20 yard shot shot grazes the post.
33 mins, Roberts makes another great save from Fawns’ free kick.
39 mins, Hodkinson fired wide for Bootle.
40 mins, Roberts again denies Fawns.
42 mins McLoughlin fired over for Bootle.
Half time: 0-0.
48 mins, Brown shoots wide.
52 mins, Matthews wins a great tackle, referee awards penalty, Referee claimed it was a leg breaker yet didn’t produce a card. Hodkinson scores from spot and ref Griffiths books Keogh for questioning his ridiculous decision.
53 mins, Butterworth free kick deflected wide.
55 mins, Phillips and Matthews denied by Roberts in quick succession.
60 mins, Phillips denied by Roberts.
64 mins, Matthews hits the bar from Fawns corner.
65 mins, Roberts makes a great save to deny Fawns’ header.
70—80 mins, heavy pressure by Mossley brings no reward. Bootle begin to waste time.
82 mins, Hartshorne’s header is deflected over the bar.
84 mins, Roberts saves brilliantly from Morris, Fawns hit bar from rebound and Banister fired over bar from second rebound.
85 mins, Roberts booked for time wasting.
89 mins, Roberts saves from Richardson’s flick.
90 mins, rare Bootle breakaway and Homson-Smith dips 25 yarder beyond Hadlow’s despairing dive, 2-0.
90+3 mins, another Bootle breakaway and McGowan forces home a Bootle third.
90+5 mins, final whistle, disbelief all round.
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