HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
BOOTLE 9 AFC DARWEN 0
This game marked Darwen’s heaviest competitive defeat since the club reformed as AFC Darwen in 2009. In a way it matched their biggest win (9-0 against Oldham Boro in March 2015).
As second half performances go, this was perfection from Bootle. Having taken a two-nil lead into the half-time interval, they scored a further seven times in the second half to ensure they picked another three precious points to remain top of the table.
Bootle dominated from the off with Kieran Haligan and Ben Hodkinson firing wide, before Ryan Cox saw an effort cleared off the line by Keith Wedge.
But on the half hour mark, the home side would take a deserved lead. Kieran Haligan’s cross from the right was handled by Kiel Lonsdale with the referee having little hesitation in pointing to the spot. Captain Liam Loughlin stepped up and coolly converted.
One became two on the stroke of half time when Bootle were awarded their second penalty of the game. Ryan McKenna bundled Loughlin over inside the Darwen box with the referee once again having little hesitation in pointing to the spot. Loughlin picked himself up and fired into the bottom
corner of the net.
Half Time: Bootle 2 AFC Darwen 0
Four minutes into the second half and Bootle increased their lead even further. Kieran Haligan and Loughlin combined before the latter teed up Carl Peers, whose shot was saved by Ben Proctor in the Darwen goal, but Ryan Cox was on hand to head the ball home.
Ben Hodkinson then added a fourth for Bootle when he finished Peers’ cross into the top corner of the net.
Bootle produced a deadly final ten minutes, where they found the net five times.
First, substitute Josh Hamilton collected number five with a cute finish after collecting Cox’s pass. A minute later, and Cox himself netted his second of the game. Some neat play down the Bootle right eventually saw Peers cross for Cox, who side-footed the ball home.
Less than two minutes later, Cox completed his hat-trick with Hamilton playing the role of provider. The midfielder’s eye-of-a-needle pass found Cox, whose delicate chip over Proctor found the far corner of the net.
And Bootle weren’t finished there, as there was still time for Carl Peers to net himself a brace. His first was arguably the goal of the game.
Tony Rendell advanced down the left before crossing for Hamilton. The midfielder then instinctively flicked the ball into the path of Peers, whose finish found the top corner of the Dodge Kop net.
Peers then collected his second minutes later, completing the rout in the process. Substitute Michael Carberry broke down the left before his low cross was turned home by the midfielder.
Full Time: Bootle 9 AFC Darwen 0
(Report edited from Bootle FC website)
REFEREE: Michael Crusham
GOALS AND TIMES:
Bootle: Loughlin (31 pen., 45 pen.), Cox (49, 81, 84), Hodkinson (63), Peers (86, 90)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
Bootle: Carl Peers
AFC Darwen: Alex Ralph
YELLOW CARDS: Lonsdale, McKenna, Edwards (AFC Darwen)
1 Charlie Taylor
2 Anthony Rendell
3 Michael Ordish
4 Daniel Murphy
5 Joel Powell
6 Paul Woolcott
7 Kieran Halligan
8 Liam Loughlin
9 Ben Hodkinson
10 Carl Peers
11 Ryan Cox
S1 James Howell
S2 Michael Carberry
S3 Josh Hamilton
1 Ben Proctor
2 Keith Wedge
3 Jonathan McDonald
4 Kiel Lonsdale
5 Adam Douglas
6 Ryan McKenna
7 Alex Ralph
8 Jordan Scott
9 Karl Turner
10 Mohammed Nabeel
11 Declan Cunliffe
S1 Liam Cole
S2 Daniel Russell
S3 Jamie Edwards