Liversedge moved to the top of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division table on Wednesday evening with a comfortable 4-0 victory at Malty Main on my first ever visit to Muglet Lane.
The third in a series of non-league football travels with our friend and groundhopping guru Bill saw my Dad and I heading to Muglet Lane, the home of NCEL Premier Division club Maltby Main.
Based in Rotherham, the club are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and in recent times have spent all but four seasons since 1990 at step nine of the football pyramid – finishing 7th last time around.
The early weeks of the new campaign had been disappointing for Maltby, having fallen at the very first hurdle in the FA Cup for the first time in three years courtesy of a 1-0 home defeat to Squires Gate, and then losing their opening two league games to Athersley Recreation and Garforth Town.
However, things quickly picked up and they headed into this evening’s contest in good form, picking up seven points from their last three games, which included victories over Armthorpe Welfare and AFC Mansfield.
The visit of Cleckheaton-based outfit Liversedge looked to be a tougher challenge for Maltby, however, with the visitors knowing a two-goal winning margin would secure them a move to the summit of the league table by the end of the evening.
And in front of a crowd of 95 people, the majority of whom housed themselves in either the 150-seater main stand or it’s accompanying covered terrace down one side of the ground, it was the away side who opened the scoring early on courtesy of Joe Walton’s glancing header.
The next twenty minutes or so were evenly fought, but on the half hour mark the home side’s task was made increasingly difficult.
A duo of Liversedge attackers charged forward on the counter, only for the man on the ball to be sliced down by a lunging last-ditch challenge from the defender. There was little doubt that it was a sending off and the referee immediately sent the Maltby player off to reduce the side to ten men.
Despite being a man down, the hosts kept the deficit to a single goal until the break. It still remained 1-0 as the hour mark passed, but from this point on Liversedge were clearly the more dominant of the two and looked like scoring at every opportunity.
Rhys Davies made it 2-0 in the 63rd minute when he beat the defender to a low cross before stabbing the ball home off the inside of the post.
They had a third fifteen minutes later, as Steve Wales charged into the area and cut inside – poking the ball past the goalkeeper at the near post to seemingly put the outcome beyond any doubt.
But they weren’t finished yet. Seven minutes from time, a low driven effort from Vaughan Redford rounded off a comfortable evening for Liversedge.
The 4-0 scoreline meant the away side ended the opening month of the season in first position and also continued our 100% record of seeing the home sides concede four goals on our football travels with Bill so far!
Maltby Main 0–4 Liversedge
Joe Walton ‘4, Rhys Davies ’63, Steve Wales ’78, Vaughan Redford ’83