AC Hoylake Galaxy 9-1 Shaftes
By Les Roberts
Galaxy are back to winning ways with another great display.
After the disappointment of being beaten by Heswall Jaguars, Galaxy needed both a solid performance and the three points - and the lads delivered on all counts.
I was a little nervous going into this one, not just because the Heswall performance was still playing on my mind, but because we were playing the team against which we turned in one of our worst performances of last season - throwing away a three goal lead at half time to get beat 4-3 with the last kick of the game.
That result proved to be the turning point of our season, as it was the last defeat we suffered all season (bar one hiccup against Shore Villa), and this result will hopefully have got our season back on track as we keep the pressure on Greasby at the top, after they slipped up again - we're now four points behind with two games in hand (it's Young Lions Lions - so good they named them twice - we have to keep an eye on, as we're also four points them with just one game in hand).
The game got off to a perfect start, as Daniel Melling found space inside the area to fire past the Shaftes keeper after just six minutes. But although we had more chances to extend the lead, our next goal didn’t arrive until 18 minutes later.
Seeing the game was crying out for another goal, I put our resident goal machine Dylan Gary on (it was purely tactical, and nothing to do with the fact 20 minutes had passed and he was due to go on) and he’d trebled our lead within two minutes – his first a thunderous shot from outside the box, and his second a shot inside.
Dylan had been complaining that he’s never scored a hat-trick for Galaxy, but he soon put that right, bagging his third by heading in from close range a wicked in-swinging corner from Jamie Gann.
Galaxy were cruising, but then Shaftes struck back as the ball bobbled awkwardly through our defence for their striker to race onto the ball and slot past Thomas, who’d had very little to do until then, but had no chance with this one.
Half time – Galaxy 4-1 Shaftes
The first half was another complete performance from Galaxy, but I was feeling nervy after last season’s collapse – although we’re an entirely different proposition to then, but it doesn’t take much for my nerves to kick in where football is concerned (and yes, that is all because of Everton).
I needn’t have worried though, as the lads stepped it up a gear to knock another five past Shaftes in the second half.
Dylan bundled in his fourth of the game from close range after Dan fizzed a cross into the six-yard-box, then Luke Davis made it six by lashing one in from inside the box.
Good work from Dylan saw the ball fed through to Jamie Gann, who got his customary goal to make it seven, then Luke fired in an absolutely outrageous shot from outside the area – he only scores worldies – to make it eight.
A long clearance downfield from Thomas saw Dylan burst free of the Shaftes defence to hammer in his fifth, and Galaxy’s ninth, to end the game on a high.
Another complete performance from the lads, who showed great character and composure to get the season back on track. And although it always seems to be about the goals, the defence were superb in this one, particularly Zack Rowe and Matthew Baker in the full back positions, and were one bobble away from a clean sheet.
In fact, the defence was so solid, we were able to drop to a back three, marshalled by Josh Hughes in the middle, to allow Max Farrell the chance to push up in midfield.
It’s West Kirby in the cup next, followed by back-to-back games against Greasby – the next few weeks will really shape our season.
Man of the Match – Dylan Gray
As usual, there were a few contenders for man of the match, particularly Luke Davis who had a great all round game and topped it off with two great goals. But this was a devastating display from Dylan (the sort he used to put in against us when he played for Stars), and his five-star, five-goal game say him take the award.