Villa grab win after late salvo sinks Casuals

Ian Billington
Ian Billington
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Three goals in the last 15 minutes saw Euxton Villa record their first league victory in four games as they defeated Crooklands Casuals.

Villa had fallen behind after 10 minutes after Steve Caskie rocketed a strike into the top corner.

But the last 15 minutes which saw goals from Ian Billington, Dan Hogg and the returning Greg Johnstone which sealed the points for Mark McDonnell’s side.

It was a promising start at the Jim Fowler Memorial Playing Fields as Euxton passed the ball well and Danny Marland, in particular, caused havoc down the left-hand side.

But against the run of play, experienced forward Dave Mansergh worked the ball in from the right and Caskie thunderbolted an effort past Shaun Gibbs right into the top corner.

Euxton soon licked their wounds and went in search for an equaliser.

Dan Morris was denied tremendously by Sam Stephens and five minutes later, the Villa players were up in arms as they clearly thought a shot went over the line, but it was ruled otherwise.

McDonnell made an early change in the second half, bringing on Johnstone and his impact was soon evident.

Man-of-the-match contender Marland was again denied by visiting keeper Stephens.

Then with 15 minutes to go, the tides changed and Villa grabbed an equaliser.

The ball flew around in the Crooklands penalty area and the tireless Billington just managed to force the ball over the line.

Villa then laid siege on the Crooklands goal, with Hogg impressing with his turn of pace while Marland showed plenty of skill down the left-hand side.

Eight minutes from time, Marland whipped in a cross and at the front post was Hogg, who turned the ball home to send the Villa management wild.

But the scoring still hadn’t finished as five minutes later, Hogg broke through the Casuals back line and he fired in a shot which rebounded back off the post.

The nippy striker showed great awareness to pick up the loose ball and squared to the unmarked Johnstone who tapped the ball home with ease.

Prior to the third goal, former Barrow striker Mansergh found himself through on goal but Villa skipper Rick Wood had other ideas and he produced a fine last-gasp sliding challenge.

n Dave Haughton’s Coppull United had a day to forget as they were thrashed 6-1 by top-of-the-table Blackpool Wren Rovers.

Ben Seear gave Wren Rovers the lead after 22 minutes before Gary Pett doubled it two minutes into the second half.

Things went from bad to worse as Coppull turned the ball in their own net before Ben Seear scored his second goal.

Rick Seear also scored a brace late on in the game.

Prior to Seear’s second, Lewis Grimshaw had managed to pull one goal back for Coppull.