Hurst Green suffer rare setback

Green returned to league action after over a month without playing, and it showed as they were beaten by Canberra for the first time since their opponents returned to the East Lancashire League.

A combination of poor defending and a couple of goalkeeping errors meant that Green found themselves 3-0 down at half-time, with no possible hope of a comeback.

But to the home side's credit, they fought back and were maybe unlucky to not have found an equaliser.

The visitors went one up within 10 minutes as they picked a hole in Green's three-man defence and fired past a stricken Young in goal.

The visitors started lively enough and looked dangerous from set pieces, surprising considering their lack of height as a team.

Considering both sides hadn't played for such a long time, the pace of the game was fierce, with plenty of challenges being put in by both sides, one of which meant an early substitution for Coonan, as he picked up a knee injury, with Ben Walker slotting in at left back.

Two goalkeeping errors were then to gift the visitors the match and make it an impossibility for Hurst Green to get back into it.

Firstly a long ball looked to have caused no danger, but Young misjudged the ball and the Canberra forward nipped in to slot into an empty net.

Two soon became three as a hopeful long range shot somehow squirmed through the hands of Young, giving Canberra a seemingly unassailable lead.

Hurst Green did have some excellent chances of their own, and could have easily scored three themselves.

Firstly Leighton skied a great chance as the ball was pulled back to him, and the same player missed an almost carbon copy chance, the midfielder, for once, not finding his shooting boots.

Substitute Walker found himself clean through with only the keeper to beat, but his shot also flew over the bar.

Bamber also skewed a shot just wide from a corner.

Seedall threw caution to the wind as he threw on an extra attacker in the form of Stuart Davies, and his wing play gave Green an extra attacking dimension.

But this in turn left huge gaps at the back as Green went in search of goals.

Leighton pulled one back midway through the second half as his thunderous shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line.

The majority of the football was being played in the Canberra half, but one quick breakaway meant the three-goal cushion was restored, as a shot was squeezed past Young in goal.

Sub Danny Walker, only on for a matter of minutes, should have scored with a header as Davies whipped in a superb right wing cross.

With only 15 minutes to go the home side grabbed their second of the afternoon as Walker's deflected shot found the corner of the net.

And on 78 minutes a third arrived from the boot of Chippendale, and the comeback was on.

With Green now only playing two at the back, countless balls were launched up into the Canberra area as Seedall sent centre back Anderton up as a makeshift centre forward.

Unfortunately the home side couldn't find the elusive equaliser as a three-goal half time lead finally proved one goal too far.

If Green are to pick up a third title, they will have to tighten up as this was the third time this season they have conceded three or more goals at home.