League top scorers in top form in Darwen defeat
On cold, wet and windy night in the North West, Bootle continued there impressive league scoring form by putting seven past a slimmed Darwen team.
The game began at full speed with Bootle on the attack Kieran Halligan ran down the right and seemed to attempt to cross the ball from the edge of the area although the cross was miss-hit, lobbed the Darwen goalkeeper and bounced off the bar! Whether it was meant or not Darwen had been let off.
But Bootle didn’t let off and only 5 minutes in Bootle scored their first, the Bootle midfielders kept hold of the ball and produced a great passing play before Steven Jones gathered the ball on the edge of the area and fired into the top right corner of the goal. 1 – 0 Bootle
Darwen came back stronger, when Conor Gaul played a quick ball into Liam Cole inside the box, the Bootle defenders missed an attempted interception and Cole was left with a great opportunity on the edge of the area, but his shot was weak and the goalkeeper collected easily.
On the 20 minute mark Darwen had another great chance when a ball was fizzed into the box Mohammed Nabeel produced a great touch and turn but his shot towards goal was blocked by the Bootle defender, however the goalkeeper would have had very little chance.
A minute later Bootle had a great opportunity when Josh Hamilton was played through on goal and the Darwen keep slipped on the saturated ground and slipped again when he tried to get up! The Bootle striker could have finished easily but seemed confused by the slipping goalkeeper and before he even took his shot Keith Wedge got back and produced a brilliant tackle and the keeper collected the ball.
Soon after Bootle extended their lead when a poor clearance from a corner was crossed back into the Darwen area and was volleyed home into the bottom corner from close range by Kieran Halligan. 2 – 0 Bootle
5 minutes later another great chance for Bootle was met by a brilliant save, when Halligan ran down the right and flung in a great low cross to the Hamilton who connected with the ball only 5 yards out from goal but the Darwen keeper produced a brilliant reflex save low to his right to stop Bootle extending their lead.
Then for 10 minutes the game evened out with both teams having very few chances but in the last 6 minutes of the match Bootle really found a spark and scored 3 in quick succession.
The first came from long ball that fell to the feet of Halligan on the right side of the box whose cross was hit first time in to the top corner from 10 yards out by Hamilton, the second was a simple header tucked away from a corner by Daniel murphy, but Bootle’s 5th of the match was there best so far, when another corner was headed out by a Darwen defender, the ball fell to the feet of Michael Ordish who hit a rocket of a shot into the top right corner of the goal from 20 yards.
A half of horror for Darwen meant that at the break the match was 5 – 0 to the visitors.
Unfortunately for Darwen Bootle started the second as they had ended the first and scored 2 almost identical goals in the first ten minutes of the half the 6th of the match was a run down the right wing by Ordish who crossed the ball in for Ryan Cox who easily headed home from close range, and Bootle’s final goal of the match was another run on the wing by Ordish who again crossed the ball, this time low, into the feet of Cox and he again dispatched the ball with no problem from very close range.
Darwen went on to end what had been a rather forgettable game on a high as they dominated the final 30 mins.
Darwen’s first great chance came when the ball came to Alex Ralph on the edge of the area and hit a rocket heading right for the top corner, only to see his shot somehow tipped away by the Bootle keeper.
In the 70th minute Conner Gaul received the ball on the edge of the box with his back to goal, he produced a great turn and his effort just went wide of the right hand post.
7 minutes later Conor had another chance when a corner was played to him and his first time shot was dragged just wide of the left of the goal.
Darwen then finally ended their duck when Conor Gaul got the ball on the edge of the area again shot towards goal, his effort deflected of the back of a defender, wrong footed the goal keeper ended up in the back of the net. 7 -1
And with that the game ended, a game that saw 8 goals but a game that Darwen will be hopping to move on and improve from pretty fast.