Hurst Green get point they need in tetchy title decider

CHAMPIONS!: Hurst Green celebrate their title success
CHAMPIONS!: Hurst Green celebrate their title success

Goals from Paul Coote and substitute Derek McCarthy gave Hurst Green the point they required to clinch the West Lancashire Football League Second Division title.

Two postponements meant that the two sides, who had already secured promotion, played the last game of the season in a winner-takes-all scenario, with Green knowing that a point would also be enough to edge out County.

Green could have opened the scoring as early as the first minute in a goalmouth scramble, but a County cleared.

County had a goal ruled out for off-side and the dangerous Coote had a shot go narrowly wide, before openingthe scoring on 14 minutes with a carbon copy shot that this time evaded the outstretched hand of the keeper.

Green then hit the crossbar with an overhit cross.

County, playing against the wind, looked to play in their pacy right winger Strickland who tested rookie Aspinwall out to his maximum. It was Strickland who created County’s equaliser as he got the better of the left back and crossed, with Chester parrying the ball out. However Paul Holden was on hand to tap into the empty net.

Green, now playing into a strong headwind during the second period, looked dangerous on the rare occasions they managed to get out of their half, and frustrated their opposition with some clever football.

As the game wore on tempers became frayed, and Green felt they should have been awarded a penalty as Coote looked to be tripped.

The all-important second goal came with 15 minutes to go as an Enefer header was parried straight to McCarthy, who slotted home.

The game eventually boiled over as Bartlett and the County centre forward were both red-carded following a spat and the home side equalised through Strickland’s perfectly weighted lob.

But Green held on for a momentous success.

The club would like to thank the Bayley Arms for sponsoring their coach for away trips this season.