Late Hurst Green goal seals unlikely comeback!

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Hurst Green continued their title assault with an enthralling win over league contenders Leyland United thanks to an injury time clincher from Derek McCarthy.

The Green faithful were treated to a seven-goal thriller for the second consecutive game, as they watched their side come from 3-1 down with only 15 minutes to play. McCarthy’s goal capped an amazing comeback that looked unlikely.

Leyland arrived with the division’s best record, having only been beaten once.

Indeed, they started the brighter of the two sides, showing exactly why they laid claim to the division’s best side as they stroked the ball around comfortably. Green had to take a back seat during the opening quarter as they frantically tried to keep up with their opponents.

McIntyre had the game’s first decent chance, but his piledriver from a cutback flew over the bar.

The visitors’ weak link looked to be their goalkeeper, as he looked to come off his line at every opportunity. Green failed to take advantage of this despite twice him being caught in no-man’s land.

Captain Hayes delivered one or two dangerous left wing crosses but Green’s front men weren’t able to get on the end of any of them.

The home side were certainly aggrieved just before Leyland’s opener as Walker’s trickery ended with him being upended in the box as the ball ran away, but to their amazement, the referee waved away Green’s claims.

Just to rub salt in the wound, the visitors went in front as Andrew Leggett turned in a low left wing cross, giving Chester no chance.

The home side looked to be dead and buried moments into the second half as a corner from the right side was met powerfully by Kevin Houghton.

But Ross Dent started the Green comeback as he courageously beat the onrushing keeper to a ball and side-footed home from 20 yards out.

Seedall made a double substitution, bringing on McCarthy and Scott, and it was this change that changed the course of the game.

McCarthy’s endeavour and creativity, coupled with Scott’s powerful forward play, seemed to be too much for Leyland and a comeback looked on.

However, the officials were involved in another odd decision as they awarded the visitors a penalty on 75 minutes as the substitute went down in the box, Morris making it 3-1 and seemingly game over. Immediately from kick-off, Chris Scott found Danny Walker in the area, however, and he finished coolly to reduce the arrears to one goal.

The momentum had well and truly swung Green’s way, with McCarthy orchestrating things from midfield and Brierley delivering several crosses into the box.

The home side could smell goals, and the equaliser came with five minutes left as a deflected cross found Walker’s head, and he found the corner of the goal and sent the Smithy Row crowd into raptures.

Green were not finished, as two minutes into injury time, Brierley delivered a delicious cross from the right hand side that substitute McCarthy slotted home from close range to finish an amazing turnaround and give Green all three points.

A truly amazing game between possibly the two best sides in the division and one which ensures Green stay top of the league, clear of the chasing pack.

FINAL SCORE: Hurst Green 4, Leyland United 3