|Focusing this week on the Division 3A basement battle at Fleetwood Road, Thornton between bottom club the Mariners Bar FC and thirteenth placed PG FC. Both sides had already been knocked out of the Gledhill and the Division 3 Cup. The Mariners Bar were still without a point and PG FC only had a point to their name at start of play. Surely today would see some good news at last for one of these struggling sides.|
Sportspy reports from Fleetwood Road, Thornton.
Sunday morning football for the purist today with two struggling sides going head to head for their first win of the season. In the last campaign the two teams were also in Division 3A. PG FC playing as Smith & Wilson FC finished 12th whilst the Mariners Bar FC finished third bottom in fourteenth with only a point separating them. In the two league games the Mariners Bar came out on top with a 5-2 home win and an away 2-2 draw.
This season both are having to endure a terrible run of form. At the end of last season the Mariners Bar finished quite strongly with four draws and two wins in their last eight matches. This season they've suffered ten straight defeats in all competitions and at start of play were bottom of the league and out of both Cup competitions. Today's opponents PG FC have had an even worse time. They've not won a game now since the 8th February when they beat Clifton Co-op at home 4-3. Since then they've played sixteen games and apart from a 2-2 draw earlier in the season against MA2 FC they've lost the other fifteen. Also out of both Cups PG were second bottom at start of play.
There are other sides in the Alliance having a similar tough time at present like 2A's Brun Grove, 2B's Stanley Arms, the Prem's Kingsfield FC and of course 3B's AFC Moghul but at least it makes you appreciate a win when and if you finally get one. Every season about 1,600 players kick off the season in August and 1,400 of them will end up winning nothing, most happy to end up winning more than they lose. Today's game at the sharp end of Sunday football witnessed players simply glad of the opportunity to play a game of football.
The match finally ended up with the Mariners Bar winning 5-4 with goals from Hartley (3), Daniels C and Daniels B. PG's scorers were Louth (2), Worden and OG (Hartley). The match summary can be found at the foot of the page.
The Mariners Bar FC in no order ; Mike Johnson (Keeper), Gavin Nicholls, Brent Skellington, Antony Watkins, Gareth Leadbetter, Steve Longworth, Dean Hartley (Captain), Sam Whittaker, David Preston, Craig Daniels, Ben Daniels and Mike Preston. Manager Barbara Hartley pictured far left.
PG FC, again in no order ; Scott Beesley (Keeper), Steven Slater, Graham Cuerden, Nick Preston, Paul Drinnan, Steven McGowan, Stephen Smith, Neil Diggan, Phil Greenwood, Shaun Louth, Shaun Worden, Ben Fell, Shane McKenna and Ian McDonald. Player manager Graham Shield pictured front row third from left.
PG FC keeper Scott Beesley is beaten from the spot by Dean Hartley. 2:1
A Mariner's player attempts to manouvre the ball out of the mud. Stand in referee Steve McGauley pictured centre in the natty headgear.
Mariner's keeper Mike Johnson praying that the ground would swallow him up as he gifts PG FC a goal by letting Hartley's back pass roll under his foot.
PG FC 's Sean Louth is temporarily thwarted by a great save from Mike Johnson.
PG's Sean Louth (Left) is closely marked by Antony Watkins. The two were never more than a couple of feet apart all afternoon.
The 'Management'. PG FC's Paul Drinnan (Near post) and Graham Shield (Far post) prepare to defend a Mariners Bar corner (and have a rest at the same time).
With time now running out the Mariners Bar go close to taking the lead.
The Mariners Bar manager Barbara Hartley had to endure a nervous last few minutes but was both pleased and relieved to see her team get their first win of the campaign.
Due to a late cry off by the referee the Mariners Bar