Maine Road 2
St Helens Town 1
ST Helens Town took on table toppers Maine Road at Brantingham Avenue and out played the high flyers for vast periods of the contest and ended up returning to Merseyside empty handed after a late goal gave Road victory.
An early opening saw skipper Osman find Edwards with a diagonal ball and the Town top scorer looked certain to score but he failed to get a good connection on the cross and the home stopper was able to block the effort. At the other end Town had an escape when Kilheeney had an effort cleared off the line
Further pressure from the visitors saw McNair and Osman threaten the Maine Road goal but for all their pressure Town failed to score and indeed it took a fine save from Novak in the visitors goal not long before the break to send the two sides in level.
The first threat on goal after the restart saw Hall just manage to claw Edwards header out from under his crossbar and debutant Lomax pushed forward down the right before his centre was held by Hall. McNair found Osman with a good ball which looked to have the Town man clear but a heavy touch saw the chance lost.
The visitors took the lead on 68 minutes when the lively Philip Williams found space 30 yards out and tried his luck finding the top left hand corner of the net with his well struck effort giving Hall in the home goal no chance.
As so often you are at your most vulnerable when you have just scored and the lead was to be short lived as Town conceded a rather needless corner and from the set piece substitute Chappell rose highest to head home.
Williams almost repeated his earlier feat but this time Hall managing to get to his effort keep the scores level. As time started to run down and a draw looking inevitable Bentham missed an almost open goal as he blazed over the bar from six yards out with the goal gaping and Novak was again on hand to thwart Chappell as the hosts poured forward trying to secure a victory.
The killer blow came in the third minute of added on time when from another corner the ball broke to Bentham and he rifled the loose ball into the roof of the net to secure the win for the hosts and deflate Town who at the very least deserved a share of the spoils.
Town visit big spending Stockport Sports on Saturday(December 8) with a 3pm kick off before welcoming high flying Bootle to Edge Green Street the following Tuesday (December 11) with a 7.45pm kick off.