DISPUTED LATE PENALTY SENDS LINNETS TO DEFEAT
By Neil Leatherbarrow
Burscough made a trip down the A59 on Saturday knowing that the outcome of their game away to fellow strugglers Litherland might well have a crucial part to play in whether they get relegated from the North West Counties Premier Division at the end of April, so they were far from pleased to be defeated by a penalty five minutes into added time, a penalty that could certainly be argued wasn’t a penalty at all.
Litherland broke into the Burscough penalty area in the last moments, Linnets goalkeeper Charlie Monks dived at the strikers feet clearly getting to the ball first and taking it away from his opponent who then went to ground, Referee Jahangir Hussain awarding the spot kick which could have huge implications for Todd Blaney’s side. Photos of the incident courtesy of Nick Gerrard show the incident, significantly showing Monks getting to the ball first and it bouncing clear.
Burscough had dominated proceedings in the first-half and maybe should have had more than the 1-0 interval lead they held at the turnaround.
The Linnets goal arrived on 37 minutes, Xenon Bahula sending a low ball into the home 18 yard box from the right, Eddie Servuts gathered the ball turned and shot at goal, the ball bobbling but still found the net to make it 1-0.
Around five minutes later it could so easily have been 2-0, A Bahula shot brought an initial reaction save from Litherland’s former Burscough goalkeeper Jack Reynolds who fumbled the ball and it went inches just the wrong side of the post from a Linnets perspective.
The hosts who had eight former Burscough players in their squad on the day were improved for the second half; however Burscough started the half looking the most likely.
Substitute Alex McMillan was particularly creating problems for the home defence and Jordan Monthe went very close to doubling the lead.
Gradually Litherland got more into the game stretching the Linnets defence in wide area with diagonal balls to players with pace.
On 73 minutes Litherland equalised. A ball over the top caught Burscough out putting Nathan Corness into the clear one on one with goalkeeper Monks, as Monks came out Corness finished past him to make it 1-1.
The goal boosted Litherland but as the referee’s whistle was expected imminently the ball went behind the Linnets defence and the penalty resulted, Will Dunne scoring the crucial goal.
On the balance of the ninety minutes Burscough didn’t deserve to lose and to lose in the manner they did was particularly galling to the away contingent, it is just hoped that it doesn’t have implications deciding who is relegated and who isn’t.
LITHERLAND REMYCA: Reynolds, Denson ©, Sinnott, Houghton, Hay, Richards, Corness, Nugent, Hunter, Dunne, Dooley Subs Flight, Clark Jamie, Salisbury, Monaghan, Lawless
BURSCOUGH: Monks, Kinsella, Parrington, Willingham, Koehler, Elms, Bahula, Ruffer, Servuts, Boydell ©, Monthe Subs McMillan, Pellegrini, Clark Jason, Speed, Middlehurst
REFEREE: Jahangir Hussain Attendance: 92